Some days I want so badly to scream my story from the rooftops and just throw every sordid (and possibly boring!) detail into the air like confetti .
Other days, I wish there were even one person in my life who knew it all already and I wouldn’t have to struggle with words and sordid (or boring!) facts and stories at all. I realize at this late stage in the game after all the damage has been done and my eyes have finally and painfully been pried wide open to the truths of it all,that is no longer a feasible possibility or option.
So I challenged myself to try to wrap the whole thing up in one sentence…just one solitary sentence that might somehow encompass the feel of the whole thing. The entirety and bitter irony of my entire life to this exact point in time.
And this is my sentence:
They cut off my wings then crucified me because I couldn’t fly… and blamed me that I couldn’t grow them back from their mangled feathery bloody stub-bits that were left behind.
I read an article that made sense of my specific experience with parental alienation. My children were turned against me at 13 and 15 and while quite vulnerable due to the recent sudden loss of their beloved Papa. I know the level of pathological narcissistic qualities my mother and their father have. I realized while pregnant with my first child that I had indeed gotten into a relationship with the male version of my mother. They are cunning and confusingly efficient narcissists.
I grew up in desperate fear of turning into my mother or of sharing any similar traits as she. For many years I vowed not to even have children when I grew up because the fear inside me of being a mother like she had been was not worth the risk. I would rather die than treat any child the way I had been treated! For many years, I wanted to be a nun, thinking if I devoted my life to serving God, I could never hurt anyone like I’d been destroyed by her.
I’ve pondered so often if sociopathy is genetic. How much of narcissistic personality disorder is narure versus nurture. When I become unexpectedly pregnant and realized my baby’s father was pathological like my mother, I really worried. I worried that I would have a narcissistic child. I vowed daily that I would love and protect my child at all cost; that my child would know joy and understanding, fun, compassion, kindness, security, self esteem, encouragement, and love, love, LOVE.
So although the sequence of events was more horrific and painful than I have words to describe even, I have never once blamed my children for their cruelty and lies intent on destroying, demeaning, and tearing every single thing about me to shreds. I know the evil that was pulling them to do such things. I know it personally and I know it well.
I also know my children after raising them alone for 13 and 15 years. I know their hearts and their souls, their struggles and their loves. Or so I thought…
After the extent to which they have gone to assist in crucifying me, my character, my parenting, my career, and even my own childhood, I’ve had terrible moments when I wondered if I created monsters. Had I loved them too much?!? Was that even possible?!?? No. I just can’t believe you can love a child too much. You can’t possibly give children too much understanding or compassion. They’re children! Perfect, innocent, loving, amazing children whom are entitled to all the love, compassion, and understanding in the world!
Maybe the vicious streak was severe parental alienation and narcissistic brainwashing? Maybe it was genetically predisposed for them to be cruel and discompassionate? Maybe all the love in the world wouldn’t have been able to soften their souls when they got old enough to think like their father and grandmother that kindness and emotion are nothing but weaknesses to prey upon? Mere vulnerabilities of “weaker” people who are to be destroyed if possible and perhaps for no other reason than that you can destroy them because if they’re foolish enough to trust and weak enough to love another more than they love themselves, then they get what they deserve when you stomp on them and laugh in their face as they cry in pain?
That’s how narcissists certainly think. I’ve researched a great deal on nature versus nurture with narcissistic personality disorder, but I’ve come to no definitive answer. I only know my children weren’t abused or ever shown anything but love and compassion and accepting their actions against me has been the bitterest pill I could have fathomed ever having to choke down. I’ve rather believed it was brainwashing and survival mechanisms for them. That they were victims of this abuse exactly as I and maybe worse.
It’s hard to fully accept that when I see that my oldest is possibly a pathological liar with a vicious streak of cruelty that I’ve only seen in her dad and my mother before in my life. A hateful, punishing, extremely selfish nature combined with a quick and easy willingness to lie to get whatever she wants.
It’s painful to realize the level of this. And it’s been much easier to blame the narcissists that abused me in my past for her ugly behaviors than it is to blame her and allow myself to wonder if she is a sociopath as well.
I’m just not so sure anymore though. She has embraced cruelty and manipulation and lying at a rapid and efficient rate as to actually be frightening and deeply unsettling to my soul and wrenching in my heart when I picture her the first 15 years of her life… so precious, so kind, so sweet and loving, so easy going and sweet natured that I literally thought of her many times as an actual angel on earth and I couldn’t believe after so much abuse and terror and heartbreak all my life that God had deemed me fit to raise a child so perfect and precious and angelic like this one. And then one day a few weeks after burying my daddy, she was my abuser.
This beautiful, amazing sweet child of grace and love like I’d never known in my entire life, lies without conscience for no purpose other than to hurt and smear me as a human being, as a mother, and as a daughter. She is cruel and vicious and literally laughs at my pain. She seems to actually think watching me suffer loss as a mother is funny. She has crucified me like Jesus and burned me at the stake like a witch in Salem without a trial or even honest accusations. The more I hurt it’s almost like the more it feeds her fury and cruelty!! I’ve known two people like that in my life… two sociopaths… her father and my mother.
Then I read this article and suddenly it all became painfully clear.
It’s 1995 and MD, my live-in boyfriend, has checked himself into a 30 day rehab for sex addiction because I’d caught him lying and cheating one too many times and I was leaving him. I was 3 months pregnant with our first baby and had just taken maternity leave from my job as a cocktail server due to hardcore nausea, vomiting, and pregnancy precautions due to other issues. I had no money or income. After the first week with MD in rehab, I ran out of food.
When it had been 6 straight days with nothing to eat, I was physically weak and had a chronic splitting headache which I assume was due to my hypoglycemia issues plus developing pregnancy. I was sleeping like a bear in hibernation, constantly throughout the days and nights, to escape the maddening cravings for food. It was all I really could do. I had been isolated from my friends when we started dating and here I was unplanned and unexpectedly pregnant by a man who not only treated me worse than dirt on his shoe, but couldn’t keep his dick in his pants or tell the truth to save his life. I had only my precious cat, Porsche, for my best friend, my confidant, my snugglebuddy… Porsche and the tiny baby inside me were my whole world.
In my excessive sleeping, I’d recently begun having chronic wildly scary nightmares about the affect this malnutrition was going to have on my growing baby. I’d learned from my What To Expect When You’re Expecting book that the first trimester was a critical time for baby’s development. So my subconscious was working full force to descriptively show me in great gory detail all the horrifying possibilities of the damage being with done every famished second that passed.
Determined to find something in that kitchen to eat, whether it was an old beaten up can of kidney beans, an ancient forgotten can of creamed spinach, or whatever, I made a diligent, open-minded search! There was nothing left in the pantry, so I scavenged through the refrigerator like I had on many occasions in the days before, only this time my nightmares had scared me into an open mind for anything…literally. Anything.
Voila!! I see the leftovers I already picked through the same day MD had checked in to I Can’t Keep My Dick In my Pants rehab center. Now, these leftovers are about 2 weeks old. It’s a tuna casserole I’d made awhile prior to him leaving. I’d seen it before but had been a little scared to eat it because I wasn’t sure how long it stayed edible. I did a haphazard food inspection. There wasn’t any obvious mold; suddenly it was a casserole gold to my eyes…a delicious feast!!
I didn’t bother heating it up. Fork in hand, I stood right in front of the fridge with the saran wrap pulled half off the glass casserole dish and shoveled a few forkfuls into my mouth. It tasted horrible, dry and bland, but not yet rancid, so I figured it would do the trick.
After these bites of food, I grabbed the needle point I was working on (learning) and sat in a comfy chair in the living room with Porsche, my devoted cat curled next to me. After a while, I got very sleepy and dozed off for a few minutes. Suddenly I abruptly woke. My stomach was churning and flipping and I felt vomit quickly rising. I ran to the bathroom and puked. The vomit was mostly watery mixed with some chunks of tuna and chewed pasta shells. I wiped my face down, rinsed my mouth with some water right from the bathroom spigot and lied down in the bedroom. Still feeling terribly sick to my stomach, my mind started wondering. I had a scary thought: What if the food actually was spoiled and I had just poisoned my baby? If a pregnant woman inadvertently ate something poisonous, would it kill the baby? I didn’t know!
I started crying from fear and guilt, apologizing out loud to my stomach, rubbing it and saying, please be okay little baby, please be ok? Your momma is so sorry! I felt destitute and afraid for my baby so much that I telephoned my mother. My mother who had been angry, disappointed or downright disgusted with me for as long as I could recall, most likely since the day of my birth. It wasn’t an easy call for help to make. However, my mother married a wealthy business owner when I was little more than a toddler and enjoyed bragging of her luxury and financial comfort. And after all, she was a mother and would at least know if I should call 911 for the baby, right?
So, I phoned her, trying not to let on how hungry I was; I didn’t want her to insult and criticize my baby’s father. I made casual conversation at first. , during which she began explaining her latest car purchase, a flashy little red sports car. After listening earnestly and ooh-ing and ahh-ing over her latest indulgence for long enough that I felt a subject switch was appropriate, and still trying to downplay my desperation, I finally asked nonchalantly about eating spoiled food while pregnant and if that might hurt my baby. She wasn’t sure but she thought probably not, she thought that my body would most likely rid itself of the bacteria and only the nutrients would go to my baby. Okay, I thought to myself, I can eat that last bit of casserole very slowly each day. I felt much relieved… until I remembered there wasn’t much left of the spoiled tuna at all. I walked into the kitchen on the phone and peeked again at the dinner I’d been so proud to prepare for my boyfriend only a short while ago, which today felt like years, not weeks ago, and saw there was maybe 4 or five tablespoons of it left. Could I eat around 2 shell macaroni’s each day? No, even at that meager amount, I’d run out soon. It wouldn’t last three weeks, even if I could get it down as it spoiled more and more each day that would pass.
I knew I had no choice. My baby deserved food. Even if I deserved to starve to death, this innocent child inside me did not, of that I was certain!
So I sucked up my pride and asked this woman who had carried me inside her body 25 years ago, Would you please send me $50 for groceries ? It’s only three weeks til MD will be out of rehab, I just needed a little help to get through til then.
No, she says. Go get on welfare.
Ok, could I maybe please borrow $25 and pay you back in a few weeks?
No. You can get on welfare.
What? Welfare? I knew nothing of welfare and certainly didn’t feel entitled to it. I was living in MD’s decent 3 bedroom, two bath house! Welfare was for homeless people with 5 starving kids, not a 25 year old newly pregnant college student with a boyfriend in sex addiction rehab. I mean, I didn’t eat much anyway. I only needed bare food necessities for a few weeks….some milk or rice or maybe a bag of apples would do me. I could make that last a really long time! That wouldn’t be fair to ask for welfare! I wouldn’t eat much…At 5’8 “ and 106 pounds, I had already lost 7 pounds while carrying this baby these three stress filled months of domestic violence, mind boggling gas lighting, and cheating. Gosh, I didn’t need much. I don’t want to apply for welfare!! I’d even be fine without food for a while longer if I wasn’t pregnant, in fact I was sick so much lately, I actually preferred not to eat at all. But this growing guilt and stress of what it could do to this tiny heartbeat depending on me for its survival was causing these horrific nightmares of crying babies and distorted newborns. The guilt was eating my brain alive, just like my body was slowly feeding on my muscles to survive. (And in one particularly nasty dream I’d had, my body actually had fed on my fetus! EEK!) I may not deserve diddly squat for putting myself in this situation, but this innocent baby deserves food!!!! It’s not her fault! I just needed enough to give basic nourishment to this baby growing inside of me. I of course said nothing to Mother about these thoughts.
This rejection of even basic humanity and compassion from my mother hurt in a place I’d forgotten existed since I’d been out of her house and on my own….this strange, hollow place of pain, reminiscent of a piercing sharp hunger ache, only it was in my chest. I still don’t know exactly what that acute pain was, I clearly remembered feeling it as a little girl on many occasions, crying quietly to God in my room , begging Him to tell me how I could make myself good enough to be loved by my mother. Make me good enough to deserve love and affection. I’m not much of a prideful person per se, but after the second “no”, I quickly realized there’s no shame or pride involved in the “please help me keep my innocent baby from severe deformity or death” game! At this point I knew for certain, if anything happened to my baby’s health or life from my neglect of feeding it while it shared and depended on my body, I would wish for death. I could never survive that unceasing life-long guilt and shame….letting down this teeny living creature depending on me for its every comfort or survival. No, this, I could never live with. I would lick dirt off someone’s feet right now if I can just get food enough for two weeks! No, in this very moment full of these fears and hunger, sickness and nightmares, I would have gladly done that or anything really, for help.
“Mom, please?” I pleaded.
“That’s what welfare is for…people like you”, she answered with an unmistakable sneer in her voice. That tone of voice people use when it becomes evident that they are getting immense pleasure from the power of punishment in whatever they’re saying at that moment; I mean deep soul pleasure as though they’ve just been granted a fervent lifetime wish. I was all too familiar with this tone; it was a staple of all maternal communication towars me since my earliest memory. Hearing that so clearly in her voice, right now in this circumstance, I thought I might need a shower afterward to wash the filthy joy of cruelty this conversation was obviously giving her and I had this strange hopeless feeling that I had just called up Satan for help and offered to temporarily sell my soul for grocery money.
Ok, I said. I hung up the phone and looked in the phonebook for welfare. When I figured out the correct agency, I called to see if I could just get some temporary food assistance for a few weeks. I applied. I was eligible!! Due to my pregnancy and recent lack of nutrition, it took only a few days til the food stamps came through and I carefully rationed the leftover-leftovers of tuna casserole to get baby and me through those few days.
In hindsight, I realize my frame of mind here. Like a captive who doesn’t even run for freedom at his first chance. I didn’t even think to call my dad to ask him for fifty dollars or for help at all. Although I now realize how crazy that frame of mind was! He would have gladly sent me $100 or whatever he could afford! And still worried it may not be enough and would have called regularly to check on me, caring how baby and I were doing.
But mother had said no and I knew from experience, no meant no. And if your own mother doesn’t think you or your baby are worth loaning $25 to, then you must REALLY not be worth loaning grocery money to. You and your baby must not deserve help or food. I went instantly into my well-trained “accept your punishment quietly (or you’ll get it worse!)” mode even though I was technically an adult now. I don’t know what “worse” than possibly starving or deforming my unborn baby was, but I was trained VERY effectively to take my knocks and accept responsibility for my situation. No matter what it was, it had to be my fault, had to be exactly what I deserved. So if mother said no then clearly, my baby and I didn’t deserve anything but 4 tablespoons of spoiled tuna casserole for the next three weeks or …welfare…. After all, mommie dearest had said that’s what it’s for – for “people like me”.
I have all my life been deeply fascinated and intrigued by evil, by its sheer existence, its diabolical methods, its sinister purpose, its complex functioning, its hateful motives, and its intricate inner workings. I imagine my fascination is like a child born in the tropics wants to literally and figuratively grasp the concept of snow.
I’ve finally realized the line. The actual line! It seems simple and obvious and most of my “eureka” moments of epiphany ( like in this revelation of The True Face of Evil ) were all pointing directly at this line, but I hadn’t figured out the very specific equation that differentiates between good and evil, bad choices and bad people, selfishness and pathological narcissism, etc., etc…
It’s definitely not just that evil feels nothing when it lashes out to inflict pain on others. True evil, actual pathology, literal sociopaths and narcissistic disordered people ENJOY it!
Here it is in all it’s simplistic glory: the ultimate defining line between the two:
They. Enjoy. It.
They feed off it.
It brings them actual pleasure.
Now, I was raised by a cruel mother who’s “mothering” tactics easily represent something like Samuel Jackson’s character in Pulp Fiction as displayed in the “say what again” scene here:
The last severe, pants and panties around my ankles leaned over the bed, beating I received was at 14 years old. I was in the 8th grade and my actual crime was I said “I promise I didn’t do anything mommy” one too many times while being questioned of something I had, in fact, not done. Thus, I had no other options for a truthful response to her raging hot-breath-in-my-face interrogation. I was 14. I didn’t know what other answer to give except the truth and lying, even just the perception of lying without any actual lie, brought down furious and lengthy punishments. I couldn’t lie. So when she shrieked, IF YOU SAY ‘I DIDN’T DO ANYTHING ‘ ONNNNEEEE MOOOORRRREEE TIMMMMEEEE, I WILL BEAT YOU WITHIN AN INCH OF YOUR LIFE, I truly had no other honest answer to her question. Believe me, I desperately wanted to give her another answer and I’d gotten pretty good over my short life at learning how to guess what answer she was looking for and wouldn’t stop berating and accusing me until she got it out of me, but in this specific situation I truly had no idea what the “right” answer was. I was clueless as to what magic reply would satisfy her and make the threats and screaming stop.
Yup, I defied her demand and gave the only answer I had available to me and yup, she dragged me into her bedroom made me pull down my pants and panties, lean face down over her gigantic red velvet bedspread, and beat me up and down from my ankles up to my lower back (wherever the flesh was naked and exposed) with the buckle end of one of my step-dad’s big leather belts.
This time was different for me than the others tho. Usually I would cry and beg and plead for her to stop. My brain would frantically try to understand whatever I had done wrong so I could be sure not to do it ever again. And no matter how confusing and truly innocent I’d felt, I could find a way to blame myself and accept responsibility for something… anything… to justify her punishing me.
This time, just like I had no other truth to give her no matter how badly I wanted to give her the “right” answer; this time I knew absolutely I had not done anything wrong. I mean not even a “sassy tone” or a “salty face”. For the first time ever in 14 years of life, I truly knew I had done nothing wrong.
So I couldn’t cry. It hurt… yeah, it burned and stung like millions of wasps attacking my bare naked backside. And as she went back over the areas she’d already hit once or twice, it felt like my skin had been set on fire. I couldn’t feel the specific sting or cuts into my flesh anymore. It merely felt like she’d set a match to my ankles and I was drenched in gasoline. It just burned with wild painful fury .
Yeah, it hurt like a mother fucker. But I couldn’t cry this time. I just couldn’t. My faith in my innocence was too solid to beg and plead and cry and wail like a toddler… not even at the pain of it. I just was unable to cry. I just lied there silent and patiently waiting until she might run out of fury or energy or motivation… or whatever it was that was driving this senselessly harsh furious red hot beating.
I lost time waiting. So I can’t know for certain how long the beating went on before she paused to snatch my head back by my hair and glared rage directly into my face, and snidely screamed, OH YOU THINK YOU’RE TOO BIG TO CRY NOW, HUH? WELL, I WILL JUST KEEP GOING UNTIL YOU DO.
So I knew I was really fucked this time. Just fucked. I would have gladly given her the pleasure of me bawling my head off to make it stop, but I literally could. Not. Cry. I just couldn’t. I realized she would keep going until she killed me. And that I would lie there docile and quietly accepting it until my death. I definitely knew better than to fight back or try to run. So she dropped my face back down in the red velvet bedspread and continued beating me with a new gust of furiously determined energy.
I have no clue how much longer the beating went on. I lost time completely and removed myself from my body in order to tolerate the pain and accept my inevitable death. Until at some point, I came back to present awareness when it suddenly stopped and I heard my sister say, “Mom, stop. You’re going to kill her.”
I remember those words vividly and they snapped me back into the present moment. No one had ever dared stand up to or stop my mother!! I instantly became afraid for my sister. Even though she was the golden child, mother’s fury once at this level, could unleash on anyone. I couldn’t believe my sister was willing to risk her life to save mine and I was petrified because I was scared I couldn’t save her like she had me.
This, made me cry. I sobbed both in gratitude and fear for my sister. Tears of shame came running out of my desert-dry eyeballs worried that I wouldn’t have the same courage to stand up to mother if she chose now to direct all this fury onto my sister.
She didn’t though. And the rest of the night is a blur. I only remember trying not to bleed on the sheets when I went to bed that night. I slept face down without any covers trying to keep my wounds from staining the sheets. I prayed the bleeding would stop before I fell asleep in case I turned over in my sleep. I remember how excruciating it was trying to put pants on for school the next morning so I wore an old pair of my sister’s sweatpants.
After everything, one wouldn’t think I’d be so dense and slow to figure this definitive line out, but I’ve come to understand that those without this evil really are blind to understanding something so thoroughly foreign to their own nature. I have spent my life desperately looking for reasons why some behave this way; looking for understanding rather than pinpointing the definition. I’ve always believed if I could just understand why they did this, then I could choose not to let it affect and traumatize me or maybe I could even help them overcome their pain and love the cruelty out of them. Good souls will never understand its definitive opposite. It doesn’t have the ability to accept evil and cruelty for the mere sake of being evil and cruel. This is another way some are repeat victims. The light can’t see darkness for what it is. Once light shines to look and see the face of darkness , the darkness is gone. We can understand logically that darkness and evil do exist, but we can’t actually ever see it. Our vision and sight flow first through our soul spreading lights of compassion and kindness into our very eyeballs and sprinkle it over our logic a little as well so that good can’t truly see the face of evil or understand it for what it is. By the time it reaches our eyeballs to see or our mind to understand, it has already been touched, tainted, and altered somewhat by the light of goodness from our soul before we ever gaze upon it or attempt to sort through it for the understanding light souls want to have for everything and everyone.
My previous assessments were mistaken. These people don’t just “feel nothing” as they hurt and destroy others, it actually gives them pleasure.
I don’t understand enough yet to know exactly which aspect pleases them enough to motivate the cruelty, though. Is it your actual pain and suffering? Is it the control they feel knowing they can inflict such pain and agony onto another person? Is it the satisfaction they get when they’ve taken bits of your soul and crushed them in their hands laughing until they’re dust ? Is is the sense of accomplishment they get knowing they’ve completely snuffed out all the tiny desperate-to-survive slivers of light inside your spirit?
Just thought I’d share a teeny tiny little piece of the “crazy” pie of my life these days. Btw, just so I leave nothing vitally pertinent and ugly about myself out of the slice of crazy pie I’m sharing here, my other pathetic unforgivable faults in addition to my disgusting “low self esteem” are drinking wine at 3 am in my living room while talking on the phone to an ex boyfriend after my dad died, and having sex 9 years ago with said ex- boyfriend after we had broken up!
Pathological narcissism y’all… it’s not a joke or a trendy insult. It’s devastatingly real and frighteningly, senselessly cruel. #WelcomeToATinyGlimpseOfMyNightmareThatNeverEnds
One man today actually compared this to a bad date. You know, when he goes on a bad date with a gold digging bitch, he doesn’t make a fuss. He just takes them to an expensive restaurant and leaves after they order an expensive entree, then just never talks to them again. It’s that easy. Just be quiet and move on!
Yeah, that’s such an accurate analogy of trying to heal from narcissistic abuse and reclaim and rebuild your life after mass destruction! Just walk away from those people. Just don’t let them in your life . It’s THAT simple!
You need to just let it go and move on quietly with your life.
Meanwhile, I was quiet growing up abused, then I got free and decided to work on myself and my own shortcomings and faults rather than blame Mommie Dearest for how fucked up my head and heart and self esteem was. I quietly moved on. Straight into the arms of another pathological narcissist just like her. You know why? BECAUSE I JUST LET IT GO AND “MOVED ON”… because every fucking stupid mindset I’d learned came full circle back to everything my sociopath mother had spent my life convincing me: I’m unworthy of love. Love is only real if it hurts. But I must have deserved it. I’m only lovable and safe when I’m quiet and don’t complain and accept my due punishments, whatever they are. I just have to try harder to be better and if I try to be perfect then maybe I’ll have earned a tiny right to be loved and accepted, maybe I’ll get lucky enough even to see a flash of kindness if I’m really super convincingly quiet and accepting…a second of kindness perhaps for my fake persona that I have to wear convincingly in order to be loved at all…even cruelly “loved”.
Why can’t you just let it go? Ummm… like I let it go when he pinned me down on the floor and spit on me and choked me when I was 3 months pregnant after he came home from being out all night screwing another woman and I dared to ask him where he was because I’d been up all night scared he was injured or dead ?
Like I let it go when he spit on me and my infant child as she nursed at my breast for asking what a woman’s clothing receipt had been for? After he had told me months earlier that he “needed me to start holding him accountable for his actions ” if he was ever going to “learn how to be faithful”?
Like i let it go when he admitted to his sex addiction counselor that he even though he’d told me I was crazy and paranoid for months, that yes, indeed, he had been cheating the entire time and then coming home to abuse and belittle me after he did it? And confessed that he was so scared we were having a girl because he might be sexually attracted to her or her friends once she was a teenager?
Like I let it go that I didn’t have food for almost two full weeks when I was 3 months pregnant with our child and that wasn’t his problem because he was in sex addiction rehab and was “dealing with hurtful childhood memories” that had caused him to be an abusive cheater all his life?
Like I let it go that I asked Mommie Dearest to loan me $25 for groceries when I was 3 months pregnant and hadn’t eaten in almost 10 days and she told me, that’s what welfare is for…?
Like I moved on and left him asking for nothing but my child and my freedom to prevent her from seeing a man ever treat a woman with the disdain, disrespect, and cruelty like her dad treated me?
Like I just moved on and didn’t enforce child support so that he could have an easier time seeing his kids in another state? So that I wouldn’t make him resent and punish his kids for having to pay child support to their mother for them? So I struggled and fought to raise two kids by myself without his physical or financial help while he bragged that the amount of money he made was “obnoxious “… while I was trying to decide if I could splurge on name brand macaroni and cheese for the kids this week? All so his life would be easier and I could convince myself I could keep my kids safe as long as I didn’t rock the boat or upset him or force the issue of responsibility, truth, or child support?
Like I just walked away and “moved on” when my mother came to my hospital room in the ICU when I wasn’t able to speak or move on my own after a massive stroke and told me I “deserved what I fucking got”? 4 hours after having a brain blood clot, going without oxygen for an hour, and finding out I was pregnant, all while lying on an emergency room table not even understanding what in the fuck was happening ?
Like I let it go and just moved on that when I was hospitalized for three full months unable to walk or feed myself or sit up in bed on my own, neither my children’s father or my mother (who love these kids sooooooo much) stepped up to help with my 18 month old baby at home? That my 60ish dad had to take care of my baby himself alone? Plus take care of me too, like an infant when I was released 3 months later? That no one but my dad stepped up to help during a severe physical trauma while I was pregnant and the years of physical rehabilitation it required afterward just to develop the skills movement and brain cells to reconnect in order to just be able to pick up my child and hold her in my arms?
Like I just walked away and “moved on” to find another place to live after my children’s father deceived me into trusting him and then deceitfully stole my house that was never his and that he hadn’t paid for at all? Like I just replaced everything we’d ever owned after he told me I had “30 days to get the kids and me back to our home, forcing me to choose between everything we’d ever owned and the home we loved so much … just to go ahead and take our home anyway when we arrived 3 days later in plenty of time of his threat? So then my children and I forfeited everything we owned in the world and still he scammed our house from us anyway because I’d trusted him earlier to have his name on the deed even though we weren’t together? Because I’d stupidly trusted that he cared if his children had a roof over their heads more than his fury to punish us for not doing what he wanted us to do? Which was allow the very abuse I had left years earlier to protect our children?
How many times are you supposed to walk away and just “move on” from the horrific abuse and terror and devastation these people go out of their way to inflict upon you, your life, and everything you love…. EVEN WHILE YOU’RE QUIETLY JUST “MOVING ON”?
The abuse never stops. Somehow they find a way to keep hurting you as long as you live and you’re quietly trying to just stay out of their radar of torture and cruelty?
But for fucks sake, start talking about it and it’s not 5 FUCKING minutes before I’m defending MYSELF for perpetuating the “drama” by not just shutting the fuck up about it and moving on…Again .. and again… and again… from their destruction, lies, and abuse.
I’ve fallen in love with the artwork of Jean-Baptiste Mouton. He is a talented genius! So many of his photos resonate deeply for me in depicting the sense of grace with horror in a way that makes me feel as though he can see the defining conflict and depth of misery of a life with a pathological narcissist. I get the sense of innocence defiled and a horrific mental hell that is the playground of narcissistic sociopaths. I think of the innocence of children living in times of war where the very nature of it all goes against all things childlike and sweet, portraying a definite contradiction that simply is no place an innocent mind and heart can function or survive in tact.
The need to breathe. The desperation for safety when the very air you must breathe every day is toxic with confusion and bitterness.
For 16 years, I lived in toxicity, desperate for fresh air, love, and security to just be…. to be me.. to be silly…to be happy… to feel what I felt, whatever it was… to like whatever color I liked best in any given moment without snide comments about being a liar because yesterday I liked a different color best.
Once around the age of 7, I had gotten in serious trouble for not closing the kitchen cabinets all the way. I had left them just barely open, as close to shut as I could get them without them making a clicking sound and waking up Mommie because the Saturday prior, I had gotten a pretty severe spanking for closing the cabinets after taking out cereal, a bowl, and a spoon to eat it with. I hadn’t tried to be noisy. The cabinets had magnetic closures which pulled them to shut when the door was at all close to the frame and the click they made was inevitable.
Mommie always slept in so it was up to me to get my own breakfast in the mornings, I would never dare to wake her just because I was hungry!! So after getting a spanking for the sounds the cabinets made when the magnetic piece clicked against its frame, I was scared to close the cabinets all the way at all this morning. I very carefully closed them as close as possible without getting in range for the magnet to pull it shut the rest of the way. This took some effort, but I was happy to do it and felt proud of myself that I was being so quiet getting my breakfast for myself.
It backfired though. As I was finishing my cereal, Mommie woke up anyway and came into the kitchen. Feeling confident I had been the perfect angel of quietness, I smiled my most cheerful smile and said, Good morning, mommy!
Mommie was furious! You left every GOD DAMN cabinet in the kitchen open! What the hell is the matter with you? And she yanked me up from the chair by my arm and started spanking me as she screamed this at me. At 7, I already knew better than to answer her furious questions. I knew that I never answered them right and somehow I always made it worse by trying. I said nothing about how I’d learned my lesson the Saturday prior about how noisy the magnetic cabinet closures were.
I cried though. I wouldn’t learn not to cry at being spanked or being frustrated or being scared until I was exactly 14. I didn’t yet understand how my tears fed her fury like a steak thrown into a pit of ravenous wolves. So yes, I was 7 and I cried while she spanked me.
A few hours later when she was back in her room applying her makeup and I had calmed down from crying, I ventured cautiously into her bedroom to ask if I could go for a walk outside in the woods behind our house. Even as a very young child I was drawn to the serenity of nature and solitude. And I knew it was a good idea to reflect on the error of my existence and my every choice in order to try to understand and hopefully realize wisdoms and how to make good choices that might make Mommie smile and be happy with me. Nature and solitude were like my gas masks of safety, the only place I knew where I could breathe easily.
This was my intent today now. To spend my Saturday quietly in nature, alone, where I couldn’t make mistakes or annoy Mommie at all, so I bravely asked her even though I knew she was furious with me and my stupidity, if I could go for a walk in the woods.
Mommie flipped out again. Screaming at me that she WASN’T STUPID!, she HADN’T BEEN BORN YESTERDAY!, and she demanded to know WHAT BOY I WAS MEETING IN THE WOODS?!
These questions really scared me because I didn’t have any plans to meet any boys in the woods. And I also was wise enough to know that denying the accusation was equally dangerous because it would be considered the same as “calling her stupid”.
There was no right answer to this line of accusatory questioning where she “already knew” the answer/the truth / whatever. So I said, I’m not meeting a boy Mommie. I just want to go for a walk outside by myself because I’m sad that I didn’t close the cabinets this morning.
Ohhhh the rage! I was not allowed to go for a walk, I would go “STRAIGHT TO MY ROOM “ because I was “giving attitude ” and “insulting her intelligence ” and she was just “tired of looking at my face already”.
I went to my room and wished I could be like my older sister and sleep til noon so that I could have avoided making Mommie so mad twice already before 11 AM. At least I didn’t usually provoke and infuriate her while I was sleeping… not usually at least.
Today is the birthday of the female who gave birth to me. She turns 67 today. I will always feel uncomfortable on this day. It’s a weird feeling to know there is a person out there whom I once shared a body with who not only doesn’t care if i live or die, but who actually gets pleasure from my pain.
As a child, I sensed her snide joy whenever I hurt either from her hand or another’s. I was a wise enough child to try to justify that in my mind and heart. I fully believed that was real love and I accepted to the best of my young and immature ability that when I “grew up”, I’d be able to understand better how that is love no matter how much it didn’t make sense to me at the time. My sick gut feeling I got regularly when this woman was ruthlessly and randomly cruel would be proven wrong the minute I matured enough to understand real love. After all, I was just a child… how could I understand such complex things as even love was supposed to hurt? And hurt bad and hurt regularly? How could I possibly know the right way to love a child? I was just a child myself! One day it would all be crystal clear and the words she occasionally spoke saying I love you would some day make sense even though her actions and behaviors didn’t feel like love to a silly little sensitive child like myself who probably was just extra needy of love and affection because I was just so unlovable and so very difficult to love.
As an adult, it never did make sense. I was 23 and had been in therapy since I first was freed from the mother at 17. After my first year of therapy and telling brutal truths (truths I hadn’t ever admitted even to myself before) about how truly horrible and unlovable I had always been, I will never forget the exact moment my therapist said the words, Do you ever resent your dad for not protecting you from such horrific abuse from your mother?
Immediately, I felt defensive of both my parents and guilty that I had apparently somehow inadvertently misled this woman whom was the first person in my world I’d been brutally upfront and honest about every single bad thing about me, every last little bad deed I had done and even the horrible thoughts of self pity and ingratitude I had felt so often throughout my 20-some years of life at all the love I’d been given even though I didn’t deserve any at all.
What? Abuse??!? No, you don’t understand Dr. Patty! I wasn’t abused. My mother loved me! There was no abuse?? I was not abused. I was a difficult child. I was born really bad and impossible to love. My mother tried really hard to love me and she loved me sometimes in spite of how awful I was born. And my daddy??!?? Ummm… why would my daddy have protected me from being loved by my mother? He loves me too. He wanted me to be loved and to grow up and be a good person. He loves me in spite of being born bad and completely unlovable too!! ABUSED? ME?!?? No! You’ve misunderstood ! Somehow I’ve tried to tell you every awful truth about me and you’ve totally misunderstood, Dr. Patty!!
I couldn’t understand how I had misled Dr. Patty so badly even by being 100% truthful no matter how embarrassing it was to admit what a horrible human being I was. I couldn’t grasp why she wasn’t confirming what I needed her to confirm- how lucky I was to have had a mother who loved me so much even though I certainly had never been worthy of any love at all.
This was why I was investing so much time and effort into therapy!! I was a “grown up” now and I was still sometimes ungrateful and immature enough to not feel like my mother loved me even though she’d said the words to me all my life, why did her actions still seemed senselessly cruel, demeaning, and evil? Those words that proved my intuition and understanding were just twisted and backward. Those beautiful words that proved what a wonderful and amazing mother God had given me… those three words, I love you.
Abused?!? I was not abused! I was lucky and so very loved! And now, I’m an adult and I need to understand that truth . I’ve waited my entire life to understand this is the truth of love. Love hurts . Love feels cruel and sad and very painful , but that is what love is!! Why do I STILL feel in my gut that it’s not love? Why can’t I understand what real love is? How can I be intelligent and still be clearly so immature emotionally that my mind and my heart are still in constant conflict? Why does my mind STILL try to convince me that love shouldn’t hurt when my heart knows my mother painfully loved me !? I was supposed to understand by now that my mother loved me beautifully all my life!! WHAT IS WRONG WITH ME THAT I STILL DON’T GET IT?
Dr. Patty, that’s just crazy…. I was NOT abused. Why would you even say that to me?
After this infuriating misunderstanding, I skipped my appointments with Dr. Patty for a few weeks. I was so frustrated that I had somehow misled her even by being brutally honest.
It felt like the time I was 14 and went to the optometrist. I answered every question and eye test truthfully and still I somehow “faked that I needed glasses”. I didn’t need glasses. I “just wanted attention because I was a needy, overly sensitive, never-satisfied-with-the-love -I-got-every-single-day kind of impossible and ungrateful child”. I didn’t need glasses, I was just trying to get attention. And ohhhhhhh boy, was my mother pissed at me for lying to the optometrist!! And livid that I had “cheated” on the eye exam and totally “manipulated the doctor” into believing I needed glasses when I didn’t. I was just trying to get more undeserved attention than I already got every day.
And now, I’d cheated and misled my own therapist too! I had to accept that I was so bad and so irreparably broken that I had done it again even though I thought I’d been totally FUCKING honest this time!
I was just fucked. I was hopelessly fucked.
It wasn’t until a few years later when I became a momma myself that I realized Dr. Patty had been so right. There was nothing in the world I could imagine more terrifying and utterly crushing than the sound of my babies crying or hurt or disappointed even. Then, I knew I had been in denial all my life. I had never even known or been able to understand love nor to what degree I would be willing to go to protect my child from hurt and harm until I looked into the sweet blue eyes of my two precious babies.
I knew love. It really wasn’t me!! The woman who gave birth to me had zero comprehension or ability to love outside herself or her bitter resentments or her furious seething anger at simply being forced to look at the light in my soul.
I have understood love all my life. And dammit, I would show my children all the love I could possibly demonstrate.
So happy birthday to the woman who doesn’t acknowledge my existence, who thrives on my miseries, who feels invigorated by my pain and struggles, who can’t tolerate anyone loving me, who doesn’t care if I starve, or if I die, or if I’m beaten or raped… happy birthday to the woman who spent 27 years showing me everything HATE, apathy, anger, injustice,and senseless cruelty is… who demonstrated clearly the fucking opposite of anything love could ever be.
After all, Mommie was really nice to me once when the janitor at my school put his hands inside my panties in the first grade. That was before I was truly bad and slutty and evil though… several years before my Shameful Panties.
Happy birthday, Mommie Dearest. I don’t wish you any ill will. My only wish for you is that all the “love” you showed me will come back to you threefold. You worked hard for that karma. And I want nothing less for you.
Happy birthday from your other, nonexistent child who could never get anything right in her life, who desperately just wanted to love and be loved by you.
Happy birthday to you.
No, I was not so lucky.
My assassins arrived with big smiles masking snide smirks and as time slowly passed, the effort to mask the sneers were less and less. The mask became an unnecessary effort as I ceased to understand the difference between a heartwarming smile and a sadistic snake-like sneer of sinister inner satisfaction at my growing confusion and chronic futile attempts to see the mask again… the smiley mask I mistook for reality… to find a way to perform the same circus act (whatever it had been?!) that I had unknowingly performed in the beginning to cause them to grace me with that smile they’d presented at the start.
The man who approached me for a comforting hug and pulled a pistol out of his pants saying, ” you’re not going to scream are you ?” was far more compassionate than my monsters. He ripped his mask off in seconds and I knew exactly who he was and he told me specifically what he demanded.
I would choose being raped and robbed with a gun pointed at my head all day long over my lifelong monsters. Mr. Rapist released me when he was finished. Other than a few lingering occasional nightmares and anxiety attacks when I see people in hooded sweatshirts, Mr. Rapist didn’t prolong the torture nor send it out in decades of ripples washing out to every aspect of my life. His hell was fast and furious and the confusion faded over time. Mr. Rapist destroyed a tiny piece of my soul.
My insidious monsters came straight to my door as life, spirit, and soul demons intent on sucking every last piece of joy I had known or could have ever known in my future. They left a desolate wake of barren lands where once there were lush waters of hope and green trees of faith. They did not release me until their burning destruction was complete and final. And I opened the door to them.
This is what true monsters are. This is the after effect of dancing with the devil of narcissistic personality disorder; the Trojan horse blasting into every nook and crevice of your life, you love, your joy, and your spirit with furious fires of destruction that don’t stop until it’s cleared every last root of love and hope for the future.
Yeah, I’d most definitely choose Mr. Rapist’s brand of hell over the sadistic narcissistic monsters any day.