The Lucifer Effect, Parental Alienation, & Dehumanization

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Study of Regular Division of the Plane With Angels and Devils by M.C. Escher

Study of Regular Division of the Plane With Angels and Devils by M.C. Escher

Dr. Philip Zombardo who pioneered The Stanford Prison Experiment defines evil psychologically as “…the exercise of power. And that’s the key: it’s about power. To intentionally harm people psychologically, to hurt people physically, to destroy people mortally, or ideas, and to commit crimes against humanity.

Evil and malignant narcissism sees love as power – nothing but a way to feed off of and control another human being.

Love is the ultimate power we willingly hand to others to wield over us, trusting they are decent and good and will not use that power to destroy, destruct, or dehumanize us.

I fully understand that I will never, ever feel safe to love someone again.  I’m also unable to hate, but now I’m unable to love as well.  What is life without love anyway? I could never allow anyone that power over me again.  I could never be so naked and vulnerable emotionally to let love flow through me, well up inside me, open myself up to being vulnerable under another’s power.  I learned this from my mother, overcame it, then re-learned it from my children’s father, then overcame it, in order to freely love my children and always believed loving my children could never be something used to hurt me. Believed that could never be an unsafe place to love!

Ohhhhhh I was wrong…it is the sharpest sword, the most vile hammer of destruction – the unconditional and infinite love for a child is the most destructive weapon of all when placed in the controlling, sadistic hands of evil.

Dehumanize: to deprive of positive human qualities.

In the recent wake of an unexpected and unannounced visit from my oldest daughter, I’m shaken, shattered, and thoroughly discombobulated all over again.  I use the term “visit” loosely here, as no visit was intended whatsoever.  As per a few years ago, she “had a friend waiting outside” and thus declined my offer to share the lunch I’d just been preparing for myself.  A visit, it was certainly not.

It wasn’t five minutes until she was using the word “fuck”, as though there could ever be a single thing I’m permitted to say, do, or feel at this point which would not be scoffed, belittled, twisted, or flipped.

I’d been watching the documentary The Stanford Prison Experiment. And it occurred to me quite painfully after she left, that dehumanization is the key to it all.  Dehumanization is how mother abused me for years on end, sometimes without lifting a finger.  Dehumanization is how my children’s father did the same.

“How we went about testing these questions and what we found may astound you. Our planned two-week investigation into the psychology of prison life had to be ended after only six days because of what the situation was doing to the college students who participated. In only a few days, our guards became sadistic and our prisoners became depressed and showed signs of extreme stress. Please read the story of what happened and what it tells us about the nature of human nature.”

Professor Philip G. Zimbardo

“In only a few days, our guards became sadisticand our prisoners became depressed and showed signs of extreme stress.”  Likewise, their kind, thoughtful, healthy minded (all participants in the experiment were carefully interviewed prior to being chosen) peers – the one chosen to be the guards by a coin flip – became almost immediately “sadistic” toward the ones randomly chosen to be prisoners.

In fact, the cruelty and dehumanization the guards presented escalated so quickly under the established circumstances of being given power and the situation of encouragement to wield that power however they saw fit, that the two week experiment was shut down after only six days!  Only one guard presented feelings of guilt while watching the sadistic mental cruelty grow more evil day by day and under the circumstances, he chose not to speak up and went passively along with the more assertively cruel guards – he never spoke up.

These people in the experiment were healthy, strong, college kids from good families and the prisoners weren’t physically abused at all, merely dehumanized and made to question reality and constantly put in no-win argumentative situations with people in power over them; these healthy, loved, psychologically normal young men only lasted 6 days before breaking under the stress.

I’ve been living it for over 5 years now, since childhood really if one starts counting there when it first began. I had about a 15 year break though in the middle when I was raising my children free from my mother or their father’s power over me.

Even when I saw it was she at the door, I instantly felt twisted in knots…the same way I feel when my mother is even mentioned, much less in my presence.  The same way I feel when my mind flashes back to being raped, to being beaten, to those miserable, futile, desperate days jumping hoops living with her father just hoping for a crumb of kindness…the mind games… the utter helplessness of the unknown…  would she be kind?  Would I believe it if she was?  Was she here to spy and run back to her fascist tyrant father with updates?  Would she be cruel?  Would she be conniving?  Would she fling herself against the wall screaming OMG STOP CHOKING ME!!, as I politely offered her iced tea from the next room?

My own child fills me with terror.

She swore at me for no reason, so I swore back.  She said she loved me “even if I didn’t believe that” and I said, I appreciate you saying those words so much but it’s really hard to believe that Lexi, when you treat me  like less than an annoying dog begging for love for over 5 years straight now.  That sure doesn’t feel like love to me.  She didn’t reply to that.

I was determined not to present myself as the dog who’s been whipped for 5 years, huddling in the corner…flinching and waiting for the next random attack.  After all, if I grovel for their love, I’m “pathetic and disgusting” and accused of trying to “manipulate and guilt” them into loving me.

Because, like the dog in this video,  THIS is how I felt inside.

I tried not to beg.  I tried not to be in the “victim” mindset, waiting for her to jump at me.  I tried to smile. I tried to act naturally, as my stomach did flip-flops and my legs shook.  I attempted to behave as a grown ass adult who has done nothing wrong except love this child apparently far, FAR too much… thus,  giving this previously loving, kind, thoughtful child unlimited power over me with that love.   So, I attempted to at least pretend I felt I was standing on solid ground and fake like I wasn’t afraid….or desperate…or clueless…or spineless…

My children have become experts in dehumanization.  If I lack self esteem, I’m criticized for having low self-esteem.  If I attempt to defend myself, no matter how righteously albeit humbly, I’m difficult and impossible.  If I have human emotion, it’s wrong; it’s criticized.  If I’m sad or cry, even unintentionally, I’m manipulating.  If I’m angry, I’m abusive or hateful.

This is precisely the environment a malignant narcissist creates.  Denying truth, denying fact, belittling feeling, ignoring to demean as worthless until the target is so confused, so desperate for acknowledgement, so pathetic for recognition of being a worthwhile human being, begging to witness a crumb of humanity, pleading for any  tiny token of kindness; until the world just makes no sense anymore.  Up is down and round is square; blue is orange and right is wrong; good is bad.

My children are now experts at this.  Not only are they genius as dehumanizing, but they’ve been taught somehow that this is appropriate and acceptable.

She hugged me at one point and I tried with all my might not to cling to her or sob or shake, but I started to anyway.  I enveloped her with my arms, closed my eyes and silently pleaded with God to let me see my child in there somewhere; to let me hold my daughter just one more time… Please?  PLEASE???

She wasn’t there though; I could feel that this wasn’t my child at all.  Even her hugs don’t have her in them anymore.  She is a shell of a person, like my mother, like her father.  She is an illusion of humanness, built on lies and betrayals, schemes and cruelty…power trips, judge and jury, and greed.

She wasn’t even there at all.

What is the dividing line of differentiation between those resistant to evil and those more likely to allow/follow/act on the power of evil?

Dr. Zombardo said of his experiment, “So my book, “The Lucifer Effect,” recently published, is about, how do you understand how good people turn evil? And it has a lot of detail about what I’m going to talk about today. So Dr. Z’s “Lucifer Effect,” although it focuses on evil, really is a celebration of the human mind’s infinite capacity to make any of us kind or cruel, caring or indifferent, creative or destructive, and it makes some of us villains. ”

Dr. Zombardo concluded that given the power and authority to dehumanize someone, being in a situation with power, along with encouragement and support that it’s okay to treat another human being cruelly, that nearly anyone can flip from good to evil.

Parental Alienation has made my children dehumanizing, cruel, heartless monsters.  Their father is this way when it suits him and they’ve been expert pupils.

I haven’t been a mother for 5 years now, but now I realize and fully see that I no longer have any children at all. They no longer exist.  They have been successfully eradicated and replaced with minions of their father, a pathological narcissist.

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Parental alienation IS child abuse

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Listening to Neil Young, Cat Stevens, and Led Zeppelin while I read the words, understanding, and compassion of a child alienated from her parent in Mother Erased: a memoir  on this Father’s Day – without either my father or my step-father, and without my children due to their father, her words strike me in both my deepest fears and my greatest hopes. Of course, heavy thoughts of my daughters weigh my heart down.

But I’m also reminded how diligently and covertly my own mother attempted to do this to my father and me.  I’ve not had many great gifts in my life other than my children and my dad, but I’m reminded to be grateful that in spite of my childish, innocent, desperate adoration of my mother, her alienation tactics didn’t work.  Sure, she succeeded in creating and maintaining a great deal of physical separation between my dad and me while I was growing up.  Yes, she succeeded in planting ugly lies and accusations in my head regarding my dad too.  But it never went to my heart nor did it ever fully cloud the truth I saw with my own eyes.  My dad was my only enduring and reliable source of truth and compassion and joy for me as a child.  He didn’t live in a huge, brand new home or have much money like my mother married into after she left him, yet I greatly preferred my dad’s tiny little meager house to the big fancy one I lived in miserably with mother.  Money just never mattered much to me.  I preferred joy and laughter, safety and understanding; of which there were plenty resonating throughout my dad’s tiny home… and none in mother’s palace.

I have always had the cursed blessing of a great and uncanny depth of intuition.  And although at that age, I couldn’t possibly have believed mother would (ever!) lie …yes I’m snickering/scoffing/psh-ing at that ludicrous thought now… I just couldn’t reconcile the off feeling in my gut that something about her words just might not be exactly true.  I mean, back then as a child who blindly worships their parent, I was sure she wasn’t lying exactly…but something seemed off, felt dirty, smelled fishy every time she’d tell me heinous things about my dad…

And just five minutes with my dad would shine light and fresh air on that ugliness she regularly planted and spread,  until it either didn’t really matter if it was true ( I would love him anyway!) or I maybe convinced myself it was some kind of misunderstanding between mother and daddy.

My sister didn’t fare as well, but then my sister is a replicated minion of mother now, so I’m not sure if that was a success back then or if it grew into it as the years passed.  Nor do I really care at this point.

Mother was still trying to plant ugly, nasty ideas in my head when I was 19 and had  lived, alone, several years with my dad and her physical power over me had greatly diminished although I still very much wanted her love.

I think of how desperate those continued attempts were.  It borders on ridiculous.  I was living with my dad for years; she had cruelly abused me my whole life up until the point when she kicked me out to live with my dad, and still she believed her power of persuasive ugly suggestion to me might overcome the truth I lived every day.

In hindsight I realize it’s because she had wanted me to be miserable.  She had hoped my dad and I would have constant problems!  We had a typical teen girl/ dad relationship.  It wasn’t perfect, but it was good.   This was not the punishment she’d wanted to inflict on me by kicking me out – not happiness???!  Not LOVE?!!??  NOT laughter?!?

My dad and I had a couple of conflicts, all of which I would consider very normal for my age at the time and never was my dad unduly cruel or out of line in his parenting tactics.  I was punished when I deserved to be, but properly and justly so, not cruelly, excessively, indefinitely punished for any even slight typical childhood infraction.

This drove mother crazy! So, she continued her interference and her little evil plantings and ever-so-subtle persuasive, factless suggestions long after I lived the truth!

These tactics while I was even a young adult worked well though, to alienate me from my step-father. She has full control over him and his knowledge of situations, unlike with my dad and me; she only maintained some intermittent control over what we believed versus what we knew was true.

As much as my 6th sense has been a challenge in my lifetime, this is one instance where I consider it a great blessing. I think of this blogger who finally saw the truth and thankfully, isn’t suffering the worst of the lifelong after effects of parental alienation (like I’m desperately afraid my children might), but I realize my mother’s non-stop efforts to destroy the greatest, truest love I’ve known in my life  –  that of my incredible dad’s  – and I can’t help but feel the hugest sense of relief that I did not miss out on that like she desperately wanted.

I would be truly beyond lost if she’d succeeded and if I’d seen the truth when it was too late and he was already gone.

I blame myself often for this now – the innocence, the stupidity, the childish faith and trust in the goodness of people and the inherent honesty and depth of love for a parent’s child to supercede and rise far beyond any evil personal agenda.  I blame myself, but my experience is the exact reason why, short of murder or molestation, I’d have never ever, EVER have kept my daughter’s father from the beautiful gift of a relationship with his daughters.  Mine with my father is what sustained me. Except for their own protection or safety, nothing that man or my mother could have done to me would have made me hurt and punish my children by poisoning that possibility of love from family for them in their lives.

My children’s alienation with the combined efforts of their father and my mother, has been remarkably, wildly successful and thorough.  I don’t believe my children will come to the truth ever.  I hope I am wrong about that, but the alienation has been so successful that at this point, knowing the truth of what’s been done to (and taken from) them, might destroy them as much or more than the lies they choose to believe.  It’s a great catch-22 within itself… a web of tightly woven lies surrounding them that might choke them should they ever attempt to wiggle free.

So I’ve great fear my children may not be as fortunate to not suffer the long term effects of alienation, but I still have great hope that their first 13 and 15 years of living with a mother who encouraged and assisted them to have all the love in the world that was theirs, might some day still be deeply embedded in their souls and at the least, maybe help keep them from being the worst of the parental alienation statistics.

 

 

To the fathers who have been alienated

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Mother Erased: a memoir

I imagine that Father’s Day is an excruciating day for alienated fathers, just as Mother’s Day is for alienated moms. Today, my heart is with you, all of you fathers who cannot be with your beloved children.

I have seen your pain. I saw you in Boston and New York and on the pages of your blogs and in the messages you put out for your children, hoping that they will read them. I saw the tears in your eyes and felt the love in your heart.

You only want the chance to love them.  How could anyone believe you are unworthy of this? It makes no sense. I know you are treated as the disease, the outcast, the dangerous one. And I know that is a lie- the most destructive lie that can be told to a child.

This pathogen is the disease, the virus, the destructive force…

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Impossible conversations

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brick wall

As I patiently listened to her tell me the same story for the fourth time, I didn’t interrupt.  I didn’t say, Ummm, you’ve already told me this.  I did wonder briefly if she was forgetting she’d told me or repeating it hoping for added effect…  It didn’t seem to matter anyway though, every time I attempted to speak, she just spoke over me.  That’s okay though, I know what it’s like to have so much to say.

But in sharing something that was obviously some type of traumatic experience for her, I could never have made her feel badly or self conscious by saying, You’ve told me that three other times already.

I just listened every time, as though I hadn’t heard it before.  I didn’t really see how it was such a traumatic thing, but between the repetition as well as her indignant tone of voice each time she repeated it, I sensed it had been traumatic for her…  Trauma is quite subjective and relative to every individual.  It’s not my place to decide what someone else’s  threshold might be.

In addition, this was a new friendship and I don’t risk many of those anymore and I’m sure I repeat myself,  especially sometimes when first getting to know someone.  So I would have listened to it 1,000 times as though I’d not heard it before, if she needed to tell it that many times to feel heard; to feel validated.

I had texted her the day prior to ask if she had time for me to share a few odd incidents around my dad’s death and just get her opinion or thoughts about them.  She had been too busy that day, but then texted and called several times this day to say, yes, she’d love to give me her thoughts/opinions and had the time to talk.

I was grateful for this!  I let her know it was nothing urgent, just some old stuff I hoped to get a totally objective outside opinion on, pretty trivial in the big picture really and I’d told her not to worry about it if she didn’t have time; that it truly wasn’t any crisis or anything vital or time sensitive.

So when she called, I was in the middle of something and she called two more times in a row, so I stopped what I was doing, went to get my phone and returned her call.  I was glad she was willing to listen and give her thoughts especially since it was nothing of great importance at this point, yet very sensitive and bothersome to me over the years.  It would be great to get someone else’s, someone totally unrelated, perspective!

Yet when we finally connected, she seemed to have much to say herself…much to repeat… much to advise… on entirely different things about my life and her own…

So I just listened mostly for the first 30 minutes or so.  I had pretty much decided she might need me to listen today far more than I needed to share what I’d asked to discuss with her, when she finally asked me what I wanted her opinion on.

I reminded her that it wasn’t anything urgent and might even seem rather silly as it was all said and done and in the past.  Go ahead and tell me, she says.

Okay.  I begin listing the various odd circumstances that I’ve not been able to wrap my head around since they happened five years ago, eager, excited, and grateful to talk of them and finally get someone else’s thoughts on these things.

I told of the first point.  I told of the second point.

She interrupts me here to say, Why are you telling me this? My opinion is you have to stop living in the past.

Umm…okay.  I’m not living in the past.  When I asked if I could discuss this with you, I told you it was from the past.  I can’t get your thoughts on them if I don’t tell you these things that happened….in the past…without talking of the past…?

I’m not sure even what to say here.  But that was okay because she had plenty to say here…  She began to get quite aggressive and blatantly condescending.

I don’t understand why you’re telling me this!  I’m not going to listen to this! I just listened to you talk for five minutes about things in the past. WHAT do you want my opinion on?

I say, Well, I was trying to tell you what I wanted your opinion on, but you’ve just told me you don’t want to listen to me talk about that, so I’m not sure how I can get your opinion, but it really wasn’t anything important..just some events I didn’t understand and I thought you may have a fresh perspective about them.  No worries.  I really wasn’t important and it was all in the past, so let’s just discuss something else, ok?

Here she goes on a 5-10 minute rant about there are good and bad people in the world but she thinks most people are good…  blah blah blah blah….  Sometimes people are mean. There are givers and takers in the world and if you’re not giving then you’re a taker and if you’re not taking then you’re a giver but she thinks most people are takers…blah blah blah…and that’s my opinion!

I’m thinking, umm…?  Huh?!?  This is starting to feel incredibly awkward, nearly nonsensical, and gruffly condescending to boot!  I don’t even know how to respond to this, as nothing about these incidents was related in any way whatsoever to “givers and takers” nor “good vs. bad people”.  These were just a few random incidents from years ago that were rather bizarre and didn’t make sense to me.  Nothing was mean.  Nothing was giving or taking…

I sensed hostility, which I couldn’t understand, but I carefully said, I’m a little confused now because I didn’t get to finish telling you what I wanted your opinion on because you said you didn’t want to hear it and that’s okay, Shari… but nothing I shared or wanted to share was about anything “mean” anyone did or about “taking vs. giving”, but I appreciate your opinion and I’m grateful for your time and your thoughts.  

Now, her hostility rose and she went straight to demeaning, I have two kids!  I had a car accident this week! I’m NOT going to listen for 20 minutes while you tell me every mean thing anyone’s ever done to you in your whole life.  WHAT are you asking me here?

I’m floored.  Just floored.  What?????  I hadn’t even told her and none of it pertained to people being mean to me…much less “every mean thing anyone’s done to me in my life”?!?    It wasn’t even about anyone doing ANYTHING “mean” to me?!  Now, I’m getting really discombobulated and trying to walk on eggshells with every reply.  I really just want to end this conversation, yet I had the distinct sense of being pushed up against a wall, cornered and bullied, with no polite or delicate way to tiptoe out.

I say, Okay. I totally understood you when you said you didn’t want to listen to me tell you about this and that’s perfectly fine.  It wasn’t anything really important, just some old stuff I wanted to get your opinion on, but since I didn’t get to tell you about them, you can’t give an opinion because you don’t even know.  None of it was mean or related to anything mean anyone’s done to me, so I’m not sure where you’re getting your opinion, but I really don’t want to discuss it anymore.  I feel like you’re pushing me in a corner and I don’t know what to even say, but let’s just forget about that now, ok?

Her hostility rises again.

HOW LONG IS IT GOING TO TAKE YOU TO TELL ME CHLOE?  5 MINUTES? 15 MINUTES?  AN HOUR????? I GAVE YOU MY OPINION BUT YOU DON’T WANT TO HEAR IT. YOU’RE PUSHING MEEEEEE IN A CORNER HERE!!!!!!!!

Ummmm holy mother of God…whaaattt??

At this point, I realize I can’t get out of this gracefully or by any other means either.

I literally don’t even know what to say anymore!

I say, I’m not pushing you in a corner, you said you aren’t going to listen to it, I said that was fine, and asked if we could drop it… Shari, I honestly don’t know what to say here…  Can we forget about it?  It was trivial…and I’m feeling uncomfortable even discussing it at all right now.  You’re busy and it was just a silly thing.

She says, I asked you a direct question and you won’t even answer it! Why won’t you just answer my question?!?

OMFG…  is this really happening??  WTF IS THIS??

I say, Shari, I can’t answer your question because I don’t know how long it would take to tell you.  I’ve not timed myself telling anyone before so I’m not comfortable saying it will take such-n-such amount of time.  You’re busy and don’t want to hear it and I really no longer want to bother with discussing it.

I asked you a simple question and you can’t even answer it and you don’t seem to want to hear my opinion! WHAT are you asking from me here??!??!! Do you WANT my opinion or not?????

OMG…I just want to hang the phone up on her now.

This is maniacal and senseless and I’m just getting more and more

confused by the second.

So I say, I keep asking if we can drop it.  I can’t seem to find the right answers for you here and you don’t want to hear what I wanted to tell you. Your opinion had nothing to do with the scenario since you don’t know the scenario, but I’m really grateful for your time, though.  I really think I should go.

Shari says, We could find a resolution to this Chloe, but you just don’t seem to want to resolve it with me?  Do you want to resolve this or not?

I say, I’m too confused about this entire conversation right now to keep discussing it and you’re busy, so I think I just need to go.

Okay Chloe, if you’re not willing to resolve this, there’s nothing more I can do.

Okay, Shari.  Well, thank you so much for your time.  I really do appreciate it.  Bye.

When I finally hung up that phone, I felt exhausted, terribly disoriented, and almost slightly bruised and battered… as if I’d just ridden in a tilt-a-whirl and been spun hard and tossed around from all sides .  So mentally disoriented that my physical equilibrium even felt off! And my feelings were slightly hurt as well. None of that had been necessary. I’d told her in advance what it was about. I’d asked to discuss it when she had the time, and only if she didn’t mind. 

Just yuk… total yuk. And yet rather grateful I hadn’t finished sharing about this… or anything else either… with her. Not sure what her deal is, but she clearly is not a safe person to share personal or sensitive things with! 

I could never presume to know enough to diagnose Shari as a pathological narcissist, but holy FUCK this was exactly like the circular, impossible, confusing as HELL madness of trying to have a conversation with a narcissist!
 

 

 

 

Abuse plus denial 

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Narcissistic abuse is a dual edged sword. It will never admit … much less apologize.. for the damage. In fact, it denies and belittles, making you feel even worse, more vulnerable, more crazy, more abused.

More like a victim….. helpless and victimized from every edge….

The first boyfriend I ever had beat me senseless physically . He didn’t emotionally or mentally abuse me though….  Just random, irate, wild physical attacks. I was lucky to have survived a few of those vicious attacks, but still I’d choose that over narcissistic abuse like my mother, my ex, or my children. 

Recently I got very reflective on that first boyfriend. And I texted him to just state my feelings. I wasn’t hoping for anything more than the chance to say how I felt about the abuse and a few things that happened concerning him after my dad passed. I truly expected him to actually deny it ever happened! That’s how distorted narcissistic abuse has made me…

But he just apologized. He didn’t deny. He didn’t belittle or minimize the abuse. He literally just apologized!  He even went so far as to say ” I would pay the devil if I could take back how badly I beat you”.

He SAID that!! 

And I’m just flabbergasted….  I’ve never had anyone hurt me deeply and actually demonstrate remorse or regret of any kind. It’s always been “I didn’t do that” or “sorry you think that’s what I did”. Never EVER just a straight out I’m so sorry for how I hurt you. I wish I hadn’t. 

NEVER EVER

I’m amazed at what a difference just the  acknowledgement of truth makes! Much less, the sincere apology. It’s astonishing actually! 

It makes all the difference in the world. 

Narcissistic abuse is hands down the most vile evil abuse there is. 

I’d so much rather be beaten. 



8 Hands

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choking

Once she wrote

flowers dangling from her pen

words dripping onto the pages

flowing from a place inside

that hid itself away

like a little girl punished in the corner

not allowed to dance or play

reading books

doing twirls in her mind

playing with friends

being loved in big warm imaginary families

inside two covers on pages that came to life

inside her mind

Writing was her interpretative dance

oozing all the hidden emotion,

dancing playfully…or lovingly…or angrily…

onto pages

Now, the words spit – projectile vomit

in between heaves and gasps

8 hands choking

throat closing

Choking on the very words

which beg for oxygen

thoughts dying to dance in the sunlight

choked back inside into oblivion

4 hands squeezing her heart

scrambling the flowers

4 hands ripping off the petals

 

 

Begging the Question – Poetry About OCD and Depression

Sherwyn Jellico - Author

Are you a poetry lover whose life has been touched by Obsessive Compulsive Disorder or depression?

Perhaps you’ve experienced one of these disorders first hand?

Perhaps a friend or loved one has?

Perhaps you’d just like to learn more about these oft-misunderstood phenomena you keep hearing about in the media?

If so, then maybe you’d be interested in my forthcoming poetry book, Begging the Question.

It’s a collection of over 140 poems about OCD and depression. I started writing these poems 4 years ago when I made the shocking discovery that I’d been obliviously living with OCD all of my adult life.

There are also 4 supplemental sections about OCD and depression; my personal journey with these disorders; and a controversial section contending that governments and corporations have manipulated the perception of OCD to make money.

I’m currently adding the finishing touches to the book before publishing it on Amazon as an e-book.

If you’d like…

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Hand Lotion & Interrupted Goodbyes

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hands

The days when it hits me fresh, as though I’ve been sleeping and just woke up to discover he is gone.

And gone forever.

I wonder at times if I’m crazy. How can it possibly,  still – after five long years – still knock me to my knees when I realize for the gazillionth time, it’s forever.  Gone forever.

He’s not golfing.  He’s not at work.  He’s not on vacation or visiting friends out of state.  He won’t be home in an hour, later tonight, in a week or 100 years.

He won’t be blowing my phone up later. he won’t be taking me to lunch tomorrow.

He. Is. Gone. Forever.

Just like my daughters, except my daughters live…live to be gone from me.

I didn’t just learn this and I’m not stupid.  He wasn’t my husband or my child or a dear childhood friend.  He was my father.  People lose parents!  For God’s sake, that’s just a normal part of life.  How can it still sting and ache and tear to suddenly think, oh my God, he is really never, ever coming back…? How? What the hell is wrong with me?  How in the fuck does it still seem so, so so very impossible?  That, it can’t fucking possibly be forever?

I’m not in absolute denial. My mind does know and understands.  I imagine on some deeply subconscious level, I’m constantly telling myself that, as for all my life, he’ll be home any minute now.  He will walk through that door, smelling of fresh air and golf greens, grinning that beaming whole-face smile, and tell me how his golf game was.

Any minute now, right? Because only so many unacceptable things can happen to one person, right??

Any god damned minute now…

Darlene (mother) made his funeral a big fucking joke!  I can’t let myself be angry.  Senseless to burn with fury over that now, just like it’s senseless to rant and rave about what my “family” did to me during and since.  Wasted energy to wish so hard that I’d been less in a dazed state of shock and been more aware of what they were all doing.

My dad was fucking dead for Christ’s sake!  DEAD!!!!

I waited after the “Darlene show” of a funeral to have a few last minutes alone with him.  I wanted a last few minutes alone my DAD, my best friend, my only parent, my only cheerleader, my only compassionate, helpful encouraging soul.  Waiting til the people had cleared out, I went to him – peaceful in his casket – looking so much like him, yet somehow not at all like my dad…

I touched his face.  I kissed his cool, firm, rubbery-like embalmed cheek.  I placed my hand gently on top of his and remembered only a few weeks ago we’d sat in his car and I’d touched that same warm, loving, age-spotted right hand as it rested on his gear shift and said, Daddy, your hands look so dry! They need lotion. And I silently wished I hadn’t taken the trial sized lotion out of my handbag the week earlier.  Looking at them, so old and so dry –  almost (dare I say?) frail like?

NO.  They could not be frail!  Not my dad’s hands.  Not my superhero.  Not the only person in the world who really did only hurt me when he wanted to help or better guide me.  Not this strong,  can-do anything, never stopping, ceaselessly giving and doing man with the invisible superhero cape I’d always pictured on him as a child.  NOT. FRAIL!  Not he! Not those hands! Nuh uh!

I just wanted to put lotion on his hands for him, this amazing man who’d done more for my life, my spirit, my kids, and my heart than anyone one human  being deserves… God, how I wanted to put lotion on those hands that day!  I have a thing about hands…  How had I not noticed before today that his hands had somehow become dry, older, so different from MY dad’s hands? HOW HAD I NOT SEEN THIS BEFORE TODAY?

…and WHY HAD I TAKEN MY LOTION OUT OF MY PURSE? WHY??

…so I wanted those last precious moments with him after the people cleared out of the funeral room.  After all, it had been just he and I for most of the past 20 years.  Seemed fitting the last final moments with him should be shared quietly between he and I, alone… on our own, like Darlene had expressly seen to it both our lives were?

I touched that hand again, thinking of that conversation and REALLY wishing more than ever I’d had that damned lotion in my bag that day so that the last time we had together I’d done something special and thoughtful just for him – just because I loved and cherished and appreciated him.

I put my head on his chest and I let the tears come out.  Not shrieking and wailing tears for show like Darlene had done in the middle of the funeral, just quiet tears. I held in the sobs and shrieks I actually felt welling inside me.  I lay my head there, imagining the countless times I’d put my head there all my life.  My safe haven – right there.  My comfort when I was scared.  The place my tears often fell as a child and adult alike.

Within moments, my egg donor, Darlene, comes back in to, of course, pull me away.  GOD FUCKING KNOWS SHE HAD TO INTERRUPT EVEN THIS LAST FUCKING MOMENT ALONE WITH MY DAD.

I should have told her to fuck off.  I should have said, This is my last time with my dad, could you please just step away?  COULD I JUST HAVE THIS?  JUST THIS???!?

Get your fake fucking hand off my shoulder and shut your filling-my-kids-heads-with- ridiculous-bullshit-while-we’re-grieving-our-loss filthy, evil, lying mouth!  No, I will NOT do as you tell me today…  NOT TODAY!

Being the dutiful child she trained me to be(and swears to the world I wasn’t), of course I did not.  I just did what she told me.

…And let her interrupt and steal EVEN THAT.

I can’t be angry.  Anger wastes my spirit and there’s just not much left of that to throw away on narcissistic vile evil pigs like she.

Anger would be so wasteful.  My dad never wasted time angry.

And I am my father’s daughter.

Dusty Lamp


I touch the dusty lamp

delicate, soft, lingering touch

as though I might time travel

to that living room of yesteryear

be seven again –

with all the hope and innocence of a kitten

But I’m not three – three was scary

confusing slaps stung my face

over ice cream and desperation to please her

gain her love –

that magical, elusive smoky element

…things from my childhood.

He kept

he despised this throwaway society

he believed in repairing

fixing

keeping

cherishing

loving

While she destroyed

diminished

belittled

punished

Her legacy of disposable people

and love as a cheap fleeting

whimsical commodities like devotion

continues

His legacy of value dies with me

I failed in all the ways

he succeeded…

Tossed away

along with all these priceless trinkets

like hopeful childish faith

will be nothing but

rubbish.

The dusty old lamp of his legacy

dies with me.

You Want to Hear Something Crazy? — After Narcissistic Abuse

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Listen to a narcissist react to a narcissistic injury. What’s the injury? Any path or description that is contrary to the narcissist’s desires or image. You will be able to swiftly see a narcissist’s agenda in how they STRONGLY REACT to your self-expression. Speak up for yourself; act as if you have THE RIGHT to […]

via You Want to Hear Something Crazy? — After Narcissistic Abuse