Life is Flipped Upside Down Again

I’ve been wide awake all night and sleeping all day again. I suppose that really doesn’t matter much, since I’ve been keeping my bike inside this winter, for probably the first time in more than twenty years. Since having my operation and having so many ear and sinus issues this winter I just don’t feel much like going out in the  cold either. I’ve been trying to flip myself back to being awake during the daytime, but for the most part that fails after about a day or two, and I end up feeling even more tired. I tried to flip back two days ago and ended up sleeping all afternoon and evening yesterday. Oh well.

It only really ever matters once or twice a week when I have to be awake during the day. Since I don’t have any friends to hang out with or places to go I suppose I should just not try to fight it. I love being awake late at night and into the early morning hours. As an intuitive I feel my brain being soothed rather than rattled. I feel and enjoy the silences so much; both the outer silences and the intuitive silences.

Considering that I was abused for years late at night, I have always felt more comfortable being awake late at night. I knew where I was and I felt safe knowing that I wasn’t being abused. This has been a thing that I do ever since I was a teenager and could stay up late at night, during the summers, and sleep far into the day without being disturbed by my family. I don’t know exactly why they decided not to interfere with my sleeping, but they didn’t bother me. My parents always equated getting up early with being industrious and hard working and sleeping late being used to describe laziness and being a sloth, and I’ve been verbally attacked for that all of my life.

I don’t really accept that stereotype, but it also affects me and how I value myself and my level of self-esteem. My family of origin’s rigid opinions and verbal abuses still hold too much sway in my life.

My alcoholic dad was an early morning person and he absolutely believed it made him a better person for it. He was quite opinionated in that view and I never agreed with him. He had a job that was only done during the day, so in a way I understand why he thought it was important, just not why he decided to shame all his children over it. But then again he loved to shame his children, on every topic he could find.

Living in a family with many morning people made it so much more difficult, especially since so many of them cannot still understand or empathize with someone who is not like them. As I’ve said to my family all my life; you either are or you aren’t an early morning person.

When you think about it really it sounds ridiculous and stupid in our day and age to describe someone up early in the morning as a good and better person that someone who prefers to sleep then. It might have been a more valid point hundreds of years ago, before electricity and all the ways someone can be alive and productive any time of the day or night.

I was talking recently to my great niece, who is in elementary school. We are very much similar in our interests and passions, except as I found out recently, in one important respect. She said she was an early morning person and I told her I was a late night person. We both extolled the virtues of the early mornings; her upon waking up and me just before going to bed. Even though we were far apart in our early morning/late night fandoms at least we shared a love of the world/nature in the early morning, so we have that in common too..

Ghosts of Roommates Past Part 3

I hated living with my brother, five years ago. He too had lied to me and just wanted my money. He didn’t want to give me a place to live, he didn’t want me there, he couldn’t be nice to me, he refused to be loving to me or kind to me. It hurt so bad, it was like being punched in the chest. I stayed primarily in my bedroom and got out as much as possible.

Even if I went into the kitchen for three or four minutes he would try to start an argument with me about religion and politics, yelling, belligerent, mean, hateful, vengeful, raging.

He tried to kick me out of the house, twice, the first time happened when I had only been living there three days. He became enraged at me.

I had moved there, across half the country, spending all the money that I had on his promises, taking two and a half days to get there by bus, without any sleep and he refused to heat the house the first night I was there or to take me to a store to buy a space heater that evening, even though it was not far from the bus station, so that I got sick, a cold, he kept the house unheated and cold, yeah that again, but at least it was southern California but still got cold overnight, usually 50 or lower and colder as time went on, even many times going below zero, so that I had one warm and comfortable tiny room to live in.

He was mad that I got a cold, not my fault. He was mad that I was not happy and upbeat. Yeah sorry I just had to move across country in order to get away from abusive freaks that I had trusted. Yeah sorry I am disabled, and poor, and not happy and not doing so well. Sorry that is harshing your buzz dude. He was mad that I had anxiety, something I had been dealing with the reality of all of my life, but okay since my anxiety is bothering you and you want me to shut up and pretend to be happy while I am sick and can hardly breathe and talk, okay dude, whatever.

He got enraged because I did not want to stay in his freaking cold tv room and watch the second half of a Larry the Cable Guy special and said something that he took to be derogatory about white southern racists. Cause according to him many of them are wonderful people, though I don’t agree, racists by definition are not wonderful people.

But what really teared it, according to him, was that I refused to thank him and his on-again, off-again girlfriend for Thanksgiving dinner. Which I don’t think that I forgot to do. So apparently I am an ingrate, an accusation that I have had from my family of origin all of my life, but I don’t believe that I am ungrateful, just humiliated over their grandiose concept of how much they do for me and how little appreciative I am. I am appreciative, it is just that they seem to expect and demand that I put on a dog and pony show for them, and they are not satisfied until I do so. But they naturally seem to accept that everyone else is appreciative without all the bells and whistles.

But after traveling across country for 60 hours on bus without any sleep, being forced to sleep in the cold, getting a cold my first night in a new place, the rude awakening of how he was treating me and the fact that his secret plan, which I found out the second day that I was there, which made me burst into tears when I was in my bedroom alone, was to coerce me into working for him for free, doing things that I was not trained to do nor capable of doing basically and especially due to being disabled, I might have forgotten to say thank you, but I think that I did. I tried to explain to him over and over the definition of disabled and unable to work. He harassed me over and over until I broke down and called his son asking him to intervene for me.

So when he told me I was getting all my stuff and taking it outside, I told him that I couldn’t move out and live on the streets, I had no money and no check for another ten days, I was disabled, I needed somewhere to stay and there wasn’t a homeless shelter in the town where we lived. When he relented I told him that I would rather go home once my check was deposited into my checking account in ten days and live in the streets, in the middle of winter, rather than stay and live with him. He said that he would rather I stay with him than live in the streets in the middle of winter. I think that was all about and only about how the family would feel about him and treat him if he didn’t try to reconcile in some way with me.

He was loud and played his music and tv shows loudly.The second day that I was there he did take me to the store and borrowed me money to buy some food and a space heater. I had trouble sleeping due to his loudness and tried to avoid him. I would sit in my room as long as possible before leaving it, after waking up. I would stay up as late as possible and sleep as late as possible to avoid him, because he was a morning person.

The second time he insisted that I move out and live in the streets I decided that I had to limit all my money spending in order to get the fuck away from him. He got into a rage with me and was jumping up and down and rushing towards me and shouting. He made me fear for my safety, that he was going to attack me, and perhaps even rape me in a rage. I had never feared rape from him before, but his rage was out of control and I could not feel safe near him, in any way, after that. Seeing someone that out of control shattered me and my confidence that he was a human being, he looked and acted like an animal. I was not safe and I wanted to get as far away from him as soon as possible.

The argument he escalated over his rage at me and his deciding to take computer access away from me, the only access I had to anything in the outside world. I had a crappy unsmart phone with limited minutes, based on cards I had to buy. I insisted that he allow me to keep using the computer, since I was paying for half of the internet fees. He took the keyboard and locked it away in a cabinet in his bedroom, and kept his bedroom door locked as well. It took him a couple of days to leave me a note in my bathroom, saying that i could use the computer once again. I had already cancelled my internet company so had to pay again for a re-connection.

After two months of living there I finally bought a bike from Target, which was a huge money compromise, but necessary to get away from him and that house, and used it to get away from him, as much as possible, which was difficult and challenging because I did not have extra money to spend out in public, so most of the time I was at the library or as an extravagance a cup of coffee somewhere.

All I wanted was to save up enough money to get away from him.I was there five months. Everything revolved around saving enough money to get away from him and to find a place to move to once I got home. Again, none of my family, offered to help me financially or to have an emergency place to stay. Still, no matter what I wanted to go home and as far away from him as soon as possible.

He lied to me about the house being sold, it hadn’t, insisting that I had to move out in a month, but he lived there for another year after I moved across country to once again be in my home state. He was shocked and amazed that I wanted to go home.

Conversation with a Sib about Scapegoating

I wrote the poem Being A Scapegoat some time after this conversation. It was my way of saying it again, because the first time I was given time to articulate it, it meant nothing. It was the first time I could say it clearly and put it out into the world, asking someone to care.

My sister and I were in a car. We were on a long car ride and it’s purpose was family related, so perhaps she was receptive to hearing me. I don’t know what was different. Usually I would bring these abuse issues up and my siblings would not listen, would not respond, and would not care. It has been heartbreaking for me. 

This day she listened. She let me explain what being a scapegoat in our family felt like, what it did to me as a little child. I tried to explain it’s impact further in my life.

She interrupted me. She said well you can stop right there. She said I think I never understood before. I think that I only have a tiny idea of what you went through and never have before. I think that I don’t want to know more. I think I don’t want to understand this much. I don’t want to talk about this any further.

I never got one of them to listen before. When I would try they would stop listening even when they were in the same room. They would walk out either emotionally or physically. They didn’t want to know.

 I never got one of them to respond before. Not really. They would give me all their positive thinking pep talks, or try to diminish my pain or invalidate me. They never spoke from their heart. They never saw me and what they all did to me and spoke to that pain, to my humanity, that I mattered. 

What I didn’t ever realize is how heartbreaking it would be for one of them to listen and respond and still not care. I don’t think that I even contemplated that would ever be possible. I just never envisioned it.

I had tried for years to get her to understand boundaries, respect, survivor issues. I had tried to get her to care about me. Her and I had never been close.

She was the third person in my parent’s marriage. Though that cost her a great deal, she also received and coveted the special child designation. I was the opposite, I was the rejected child.

She spent time with my brothers, showing a marked preference for them over me when I was a child. I always thought that if only one of them had wanted me, it would have changed my life forever. None of my siblings wanted me.

Less than three months after this conversation, with many emotional and verbal abuse incidents I severed contact with my sister. It was a self-defensive act. I needed to be loved and treated with respect. I never got that from her.

Her home is where all the family members go to for family gatherings. I still see three of my other siblings, though that can be quite problematic, i.e. drug suggestion by brother. I see one of my adult nephews. The rest don’t seem to have the inclination to see me.  

Since I don’t see her I don’t go to any holidays there. I am alone for each of them. Even those holidays that were lonely, barren, and joyless were wonderful days compared to attending family gatherings.

So since the holiday came around recently, the old pain has risen to the surface. I’m sure it will be sad in August as well when I stopped seeing her because of a week of vicious verbal abuse that culminated on our mother’s birth anniversary.

And it still breaks my heart that someone heard my pain, knew my pain, and it didn’t matter, not one little bit.

Family of Origin and Stupid Suggestions

My brother left me a message yesterday, very excited, wanted to suggest something. I called him back. Sometimes we have an okay conversation and sometimes he just wants to argue. I hate arguing, that is an old family tradition.

First let me say that he knows I am multiple, that I am a ritual abuse survivor and has sometimes called me with suggestions or questions. None of which are helpful, understanding, or healing.

He started out by asking me if I know any ritual abuse survivors who are healed and not having any abuse related issues. I told him no I don’t. He kept asking me over and over.

The hard part about dealing with him is that he gets a little knowledge and goes a bit berserk about it all. He once listened on the radio to an interview with a therapist who worked with multiple clients. I was thinking oh this is one of those times, someone told him something and he is trying to make a point.

He didn’t want to believe me. He said well there must be some out there. I said yes, there are. I just don’t know any of them. He said well there must be survivors who heal and have a life and all of that. Yes, I affirmed, there must be. Some of them write books, I just don’t know them.

He said well I have a suggestion for you. He didn’t say where he got this suggestion. I should have asked. But every time I tried to say something he would just talk over me.

So his brilliant suggestion for me was to take a drug called MDMA. I wasn’t online to check out what it was. In trying to get some information out of him, I asked is it a hallucinogenic? Thinking this is the kind of thing he would suggest. I asked him is this a psychoactive drug? He said no. Well it is, he just doesn’t realize that it is.

He said it is ecstasy. I told him no. He continued to highly recommend it, because “it could help open up parts of my mind.” Apparently that is what it has done for him. That it could help me with healing.

He said that it was used in couples therapy. Yes before it was criminalized.  Online it says depression as well. Though the efficacy has never been proven.

Apparently someone is looking at clinical uses for the drug, including Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder and anxiety for cancer patients. No results have been published yet. Not one study.

Told my brother no. I am anti-drug and anti-med and he knows it. I told him that medications that others might be able to use are not necessarily okay for someone with DID to use. He still believes I should try it. I assured him that parts of my mind were opened up enough.

This is the level of familial discourse I have. I’m not sure if it is better or worse than the silence I get from others.