Just One More Day

Just  one more day, in fact, only until noon tomorrow, and the toxic tenant who lives below me will be moved out. Well I have been assured and reassured by the new apartment manager that yes indeed she will be moved out by noon tomorrow. I am not celebrating, and I probably won’t be celebrating until there is silence and the manager confirms that she has moved out. She’s banging around downstairs right now. She was quieter over the weekend, I had called the police on her in the early morning on Saturday, due to marijuana smoke. I think she got scared from that and then I had one whole day of wonderful, respectful peace. Then she smoked cigarettes all day on Sunday and there were several incidents of marijuana smoke. And then the noise started up again, so I think she is recovered enough to be an unbalanced whack job once again.

I saw my therapist today and we talked about her some and all the negative tenants who violate their leases and how little that has been enforced in the last 18 months, due to very bad management. We talked about lots of other, more important issues, most importantly going into more detail about my siblings and mother’s varied and all-encompassing emotional and verbal abuse of me.

I talked to her about all my efforts to have boundaries and enforce boundaries with my family. She was encouraging and supportive of that. That was nice. I like the validation. It is a part of my healing work that I don’t get much from my family. She agreed with me that reaching out to others and forming new involvements and potential friendships are good use of my limited energy.

I talked about the Myer-Briggs personality test and how it showed how different I am from my family. Beyond the fact that most of them are introverts and I am an extrovert, they are incredibly inflexible in understanding that other people are different than them and that that too is normal and acceptable. They have a rigid and inaccurate perception that they are the norm and everything else is worthy of rejection, stigma, exclusion, and scapegoating. Their perception and beliefs of reality and the world are really diametrically opposed to my beliefs.

They don’t have a lot of tolerance for accepting and adapting to differences from themselves. In that too I am different from them. I am very tolerant of others, of cultures, and of accepting all the ways that people are. They are rigid and intolerant in a lot of ways and it has never occurred to them that from my perspective they are the ones who are different, not me. I told her that I believe I got these personality traits and differences from my ancestors.

My family have a whole belief system that is entrenched and rigid and pretty unmoving. It is the basis, the foundation of all the emotional and verbal abuse that my family perpetuated on me all my life. I object to it. I have always objected to it. But reasoned, rational argument has never moved them. Appeals to my heart and emotions have never moved them. Familial appeals have never moved them. Gender appeals have never moved my mother or my sister. They say, at times, that they love me, but very little in their words or actions could be defined as loving. They suck at this.

As I was leaving my therapist’s office she brought up the tenant again and I said, I wish her well, just somewhere else as far away from me as possible. And I guess that is how I feel right now. Go in peace, but just go.

Dr. Strange was just released today on Netflix streaming. It’s a good movie to watch on perceptions and beliefs and changing reality. I saw it once before, but I was definitely ready to see it again. I’m watching it right now. I hope you all are doing something fun for yourself too.

Good and healing thoughts to yous.

Emotional/Verbal Abuse is Abuse

I have expressed a hatred of teasing and emotional/verbal abuse to my parents and my siblings all of my life. My parents and some of my older siblings gave us children very abusive nicknames. Some were given to my older siblings when they were teenagers. Mine was given to me when I was three. My siblings around my age were given their nicknames when they were older children. Just based on the age when abusive nicknames were given,  you can see they started after mine in age and in time. I was named two nicknames filthy and abusive and my siblings had very less damaging and abusive nicknames and they were done when they were much older than I was

My mother, who I used to confront often on this issue, would gaslight me and say, well all your siblings have nicknames they don’t like either, like well they are all being treated like shit and I am normalizing shit, so you can’t complain and have no right to complain and have no rights  that you can appeal to, because this is normal, they are all treated like you are treated, it is not mistreatment, it is normal, it is okay, no one is going to stop. And if you want to stop them, if you want this to end, then what you have to do is not be hurt or complain or say anything. They are getting a reaction and that is why you are to blame for the perpetuation of their treatment of you. My mother was a master at blaming victims for being abused, even while she abused them.

When the only person that I could go to for relief from emotional and verbal abuse against me by my siblings was my mother, who was my sexual abuser and my emotional/verbal abuser and who encouraged and perpetuated sibling emotional and verbal abuse against me , that made life very hard for me. Still, I was very determined that they should stop and that I deserved better treatment by my siblings, that I persisted. I don’t know where I got this strong belief in myself and that I deserved good treatment, but I had it, all my childhood. I think that is very strong of me and I am very proud of myself.

I knew that I deserved better from them all, even though none of them agreed with me. I knew that none of them should be called nasty and vicious and filthy nicknames. Some of the nicknames were not very bad, compared to mine, though they were all emotional and verbal abuse.

I didn’t just ask my mother to intervene and stop abuse. I asked other siblings as well. I don’t recall any of them trying to stop.

I don’t remember ever asking my father to stop. I don’t believe that I thought that he would, since he was the one who gave me the nicknames and the one who spread it all around the family and who allowed it to continue without ever once commenting about it or ever once trying to stop it.

When I was ten years old my father retired and was at home all the time, all day long and all night long. That was when the two nicknames about me stopped. I know that he did nothing to stop it. I just think that having him around, as a witness, is what stopped others from abusing me as much as they were. I suppose it was a shock to him to see how bad it was, how much of a scapegoat that I was, and how much I was being verbally abused.

I know that he enjoyed mistreating others, especially with words, especially with his children, but the bad nicknames stopped. I don’t believe that he ever lifted a hand to stop it. In fact, he started verbally abusing my brother more directly, who is 18 months older than I, during that time period.

It’s hard when this is the closest man in your life; someone who cruelly enjoys mistreating you with words and mistreating your emotions. It’s horrible that this was the closest example of an adult man that I had. It’s sad and pathetic that this is the best that he could be for his own children. I didn’t have a male teacher in my life until sixth grade, and that was a physical education teacher who was verbally and emotionally abusive to students. So not a good man or a good human being either.

I never felt that my father was on my side. I never believed that he would protect me. never felt that he loved me, though there was a time in my childhood when he would say that, though that had been some time before that.

If only there had been one person in my family who loved me and was good to me through my childhood. That would have changed my life so much. But none of them were willing to stand up for me and to suffer the consequences. With my mother, there was always consequences. I know that I deserved their love and loyalty.

She Refused to Apologize

Several years ago an aunt told me, on the phone, that she used to emotionally abuse me with filthy name calling when I was a child. She was an adult. She had her own girl. She did not treat her own daughter the way that she treated me. She did not live with us. She did not take care of me or babysit me. She never bought me gifts or spent time with me or treated me as though I mattered to her or that I was special or that I was loved. She just visited and treated me the same way that my parents and siblings did, she called me filthy names that my parents started and encouraged my siblings to do.  She came into my own home, as an adult, and was vicious and cruel to me when I was a child.

I have to say that I was shocked. I never remembered that from my early childhood. I did remember that while she seemingly worshiped my older sister, treating her like the golden girl, she never seemed to express or demonstrate love for me. I remembered that for no reasons that I could see she would make fun of me, she would invade my space or life, even to the point of reading my private diary or evaluating a hobby or activity that I would do and enjoy. She would enjoy making fun of me. She would grab my belongings and wave them around, shouting, making fun of me, and laughing at me. I remember those times. I remember the kind of aunt that she had been to me.

We were never really close for decades. But over a number of years we had become kind of friends, talking on the phone late at night from states far, far away. She knew a number of issues that I was dealing with because I was an abused child. She knew that I had been sexually abused as a child and emotionally abused as a child. She knew that my father had been an alcoholic and that my mother had been a sexual offender against me. She had heard me talk at length over several years about how painful it all was. There were specific times that I had recalled telling her how painful it was to be the scapegoat child in my family of origin, especially with all the filthy names that I was called. She never told me she did the same thing to me.

So I was shocked and flabbergasted when she finally admitted it to me on Christmas Eve one year. I told her immediately that she owed me an apology for treating me like that when I was a child and she was an adult.

She started making excuses. I was shocked and appalled. I was sickened. I thought how dare she excuse her malicious and cruel behavior by acting like she could do anything that abusive parents and siblings were doing to me.

I explained to her that as an outsider in my home she knew that there were different rules of conduct, as an adult and not one of my siblings she was held to a different standard of behavior, that she was not my alcoholic father nor my sexual abuser mother and as such not my parent and that she had no right to do that to me, no right at all, and that I knew for sure that she had never treated her own daughter that way. Even so her daughter has a very antagonistic relationship with her mother, my aunt and considering the kinds of abandonment issues and emotional abuses she went through, I am hardly surprised.

I told her I am not filth and she doesn’t get to tell me that I am filth, then or now. I told her that no matter what my family did to me in my home that does not make it okay for her to do, and I told her that I know that you knew that as an adult. I told her that what my siblings did to me when I was a small child was when they were children as well. That I understand they were abusive, but that they were also children and that I hold them to a different standard than I do to my parents, to any adult. I told her that she knew it was wrong then and she never said word one to stand up for me, to try to stop the abuses or to be on my side. I told her I know you knew it was wrong because you never did that to your own daughter. I know you saw what kind of lovely little girl I was and your response, instead of to be loving and good and kind to me, was to crush me, to try to crush my soul and my spirit and to make me hate myself, my body, my life.

I told her she gives me an apology or I am out of her life for the rest of my life. She refused, she continued to deny wrongdoing with a number of excuses. I sent her a letter later outlining exactly why again and that she owed me an apology if she ever wanted to be in my life and it has been more than five years and nothing from her. I am fine with that. I never miss her. I hardly ever think of her. I have never refused to apologize to someone. I have always forgiven someone when they have asked for forgiveness. I’m nothing like her. I’m nothing like my mother.

The Mirror Shattered

I cannot ever ever be who I could have been without abuse throughout my childhood. That was an impossibility. I was born to a sexual offender for a mother and she abused me. Yes the mirror is shattered.

No it cannot be put back together as if abuse never happened. But I think of the mirror as a reflection of an image, perhaps of what I reflected onto myself or what others did or what we all created together, not the real person, not who I really am or who I could really become or who I really was.

This was the only place in the world for me to be born, to these parents, with these siblings, and into this household. Otherwise I never would have been. Yes I am different because of abuse. I have always raged against that. I would have liked an easier life. I would have liked to be free to live my childhood instead of being used and abused by a long line of adults. I didn’t get that and I never get to be who I might have been.

Now I am many, not one and yet one, working together, uniting  and loving and healing. I’m not sure if I want it to be any other way, ever. My inners were my reason for living for so many years of my early healing. They make me proud of myself; to think that parts of me are this precious and wonderful and loveable and loving and good and kind. They make me work hard on healing because they believe in me and they value me and they see all the good in me and they need me.

I don’t get to put the mirror back together again, wholly and completely me. I’ve believed in that image for a long time, being a mirror, being shattered, being Humpty Dumpty and no one can put me back together again. But the mirror is only a reflection of me, not the real me. I’m not really a mirror and in that way the analogy breaks down for me.

I have slowly come to an awareness that as much as I struggle with healing from abuse, I am still basically me. A me that has survived a desert childhood. A me that has learned to grow with no soil, no water, and no rain, and no sunshine. Different yes, but who wouldn’t be.

I am a me that my survivor friends see and have been able to communicate to me who I well and truly am. Slowly I have been able to take into myself the reality of the me that they are able to see and one that I could not, but had clung to as a hope and a prayer that I might someday be or might someday come to believe the me that I truly am, if only I could accept their truth about me for myself. It’s still a shaky belief, but it is a belief about who I am based on what those who love me see, believe, and reflect back to me. You see I don’t have to be a mirror, my friends are my mirror. They see me truly, and lovely, and kindly, and good. And I so want to believe that I am that person.

Now I know:

The sweet and precious uniqueness of me dwells in this heart, this soul, this mind, this body.

And it is a beautiful thing. As I am a beautiful person.

As it does in each of you.

State Mental Hospital Part 1

When I was a little child, probably before I even really knew what exactly my mother was saying or threatening me with, my mother started screaming at me, almost every day, that she would have me locked up at the nearest state mental hospital.

I really can’t say for certain when it started. I just know that it was a part of the tapestry of my elementary school life, woven repeatedly and daily into her shrieks against me.

I don’t know why her shrieks. I really don’t. I was a well behaved kid. I was terrorized into being almost catatonic, of course I was well-behaved and compliant. It seems hard for me to believe that there were things I did to deserve her crazy abuses. If there were, I can’t remember any of them. I was a little girl. I guess that was reason enough for an abuser.

I know that this was so much easier than what some survivors went through in regards to threats of mental hospitals. I do believe that she went this far in her threats, and no further, because it was exactly as far as she could go and get away with it. But this, on top of all the murderous hate and rage my “mother” threw at me. It was horrific and it was devastating.

I don’t remember her threatening any of my other siblings with this particular torture. This particular abuse didn’t seem to register on them, the abuses and verbal tortures she put me through with a casual , but crazy zest. 

They have never chosen to comment on her varied and exacting tortures against me. Even after I told them in recent years about remembering physical and then sexual abuse by her. The emotional, verbal and psychological abuse perhaps seems too small to them. It isn’t for me.

I wonder why none of them chose to intervene for me. I wonder what they think of it now. I wonder if they feel any guilt for what they allowed to happen to me. I wonder what they think and feel about the scapegoating they gleefully took part in against me. I wonder if they think of me now. I wonder. Probably not.

One of my parent’s friends had worked in a mental institution. She had been attacked by a psychotic patient there, causing her back damage. I don’t remember that word from my childhood, psychotic. I just remember the words crazy and dangerous.

It seems as though my mother made a point of bringing up the topic, urging the woman to recount the attack and to discuss at length her back damage and pain. It seems that way to me. Because it came up every visit where my mother got her in private conversation while the men were speaking of other topics. 

I loved talking to real adults who treated me like I was a real human being. So during their visits I was often sitting in the kitchen table with the adults, listening and talking. My eyes would get huge with fear. It can’t be possible that this reaction eluded my mother. She was orchestrating it.

So this was the image my mother put into my mind about what State Mental Hospitals were like and that she was threatening to have me put there and locked up forever.

I didn’t know that it would be hard for a mother to put a little girl there, one who exhibited no mental disease or suicidal ideation. I don’t know what they did with little children in the 1960s who were so abused they collapsed emotionally and psychologically. I don’t think that they took little seven year old girls, but I didn’t know that at the time.

When Your Mother is Your Abuser.

Healing Resources:

Mother-Daughter Sexual Abuse

Male Survivors 

Healing from Child Abuse

Through the years I have struggled with the thought that I never fit in. I think this is a big part of the aftereffects from child sexual abuse. Especially with women and females. I think this is a big part of the aftereffects from mother-daughter sexual abuse.

I thought about it a lot. It seems like there is a lot of social control exerted by females on one another. A kind of hateful way to keep us all in line. That all started for me with my mother abuser and my sister; who both rejected me and judged me harshly in my femaleness.

I was a goody-two shoes kid and a teen, very well behaved. I obeyed my parents as much as I was able. I was a good little Christian girl. Not because my parents brought me to church, but because I found my way to a spirituality by myself.

I had slowly over time developed a moral and ethical belief system. I have many incidents in my childhood where my spirituality and belief in God saved my life, got me through, made it possible for me to live my life one more day.

I never smoked. I never drank. I never took drugs. I wasn’t allowed to date. My mother told me that I could not date until I was sixteen years old. So my life was very circumspect. We lived out in the country, several miles from a small town, most of my teen years, so I didn’t have a lot of oppportunities to be bad.

I think that my mother abuser wanted me to be totally under her control. It felt that way. I hated her controlling me, watching me, scapegoating and rejecting me.

Her and my sister were a team against me. They never taught me the normal things that females teach one another. I still don’t know exactly what are the normal things to teach a girl. I am still very clueless about all of that. I can’t even list it all in my mind, because quite frankly I have no idea what it all might encompass.

I can look at beauty books and go this I don’t know how to do, and this, and this. And the list goes on and on. Other women seem to know these things. I haven’t a clue.

They wouldn’t teach me how to cook and bake. If it wasn’t for mandatory home economics classes I would know nothing about cooking. They were part of a club and they were clear I could never be a part of it. It just hurt so bad thinking that this was what being a woman meant.

Probably as a consequence of my mother and sister’s rejection and scapegoating of me my whole childhood, at the age of eleven, I started getting bullied by all the girls in my sixth grade class. We had moved to a new town, I guess I didn’t fit in.

I remember distinctly telling a few girls after lunch one day to stop calling the one overweight girl in the class fat all the time. The girl said she didn’t mind, they could call her fat if only they would be friends with her. I said it wasn’t okay and they needed to shut up. As a consequence I became their new target. It went on until I moved years later.

It was probably no accident that the last home ec. class that I was in had three boys in the class and they each sat down at the table/kitchen I was sitting in on the first day of class. They were some of the last students into the class that day and each girl avoided joining me at the table I was sitting at.

Perhaps they never would have liked me. I believed in goodness, honesty, love, compassion, peace, and caring. I had a strong philosophy and spirituality. I see how I didn’t fit in with those girls. It just hurt so bad thinking that this was what being female meant.

I was very cerebral and very caring, an odd combination for a kid. I was painfully shy. Finally, in seventh grade I found a home in the junior high school library with the maternal librarian there. I adored her. I volunteered there and found a space where I belonged.

I can barely call myself female. It is a project that I have been working on for some time. It took tons of women’s studies courses in order so that I didn’t despise women. I can do it now, I am female.

I can’t call myself woman. Even though I wrote a poem about it ten years ago. It was more a wish than a fulfillment. It is just too far away from reality to accurately reflect me, my life, or the examples that I have been shown.

Still working on that.