You call this “love” but I can’t. Whatever this is feels like being wheeled into the operating room after years of waiting for surgery, where I’m not entirely convinced that this operation will work but I’m willing to try. It’s the final hope, the last resort after exhausting all other options and, though I am […]
I fell deeper into that pit of despair a few weeks ago when my daughter reached out to me because her boyfriend had roughed her up. Previously, I had thought I had already hit the bottom of that pitiful pit. True to my inability to fully accept that it can always get worse (which I never seem able to let penetrate my mind), I’d enjoyed (for lack of a better word) the belief and feeling that at least I had hit the bottom of the misery pit. That provides some relief in itself. As I lie there on that cold hard scratchy floor from several different drops lower and lower over the years, I breathed a sigh of relief that although it was miserable and I was confused and terrorized from the various drops, I could breathe that I was, at last, on the actual bottom. There could be no more sudden shocks as that floor disintegrated and I fell another story or two or twelve down the pit.
What a false sense of desperate relief! More was to come as my daughter dangled the carrot of hope in my face…inches from my mouth…so close my mouth watered at the thought that I might actually get to taste this carrot of her love again.
As I scrambled, crawled, and begged for the dangling carrot of my daughters love and presence, I stumbled upon a thin part of the floor of my misery which broke it open. I tumbled further down the Rabbit Hole of despair and confused bewilderment.
For several days, I simply plotted my death. Desperate for the final solution to end this pain and prevent the possibility of more carrot dangling in the future, I had the answer, but not the sure-proof means and this is one thing in my life I simply cannot allow failure.
Without the means, I reached out for help. I started taking antidepressants again after nearly a year free of them and I went to a local domestic violence shelter that provides free counseling. It took some pleading and finagling to talk them out of calling an ambulance to have me scurried to the hospital and admitted, but I did it! In exchange, I agreed to try counseling (sigh….again).
Today will be my 2nd appointment. My task given at session #1 was to find the one trauma point from which to begin this trauma treatment: a pivotal point, if you will.
In terror as though my life depends on it (no pun intended), my brain has scrambled for a week trying to select the point from which to begin this process. It’s as though I have one bullet to hit the moving target.
Was it when my daddy went on vacation and only his dead body returned?
Was it when I was gang raped at 17? Or raped at gunpoint again later at 31?
Was it from the beginning, any number of soul-injustices and spirit-murders I endured at her hand in my first 26 years of life?
Was it when my ex abused me mentally, emotionally and physically while I carried our first child only to add more abuse after she was born? Or when he cheated over and over and then yelled at me for asking questions? Was it when he spit on me and our infant daughter when I asked him what a receipt was for when I was reconciling our checking account? Was it that moment I held her nursing and he looked me cold in the eye and said, “I’m on a downward spiral. You and Lexi can come along or get the fuck out?”
Was it the moment my beloved oldest child attacked me verbally after my dad died and fabricated the ugliest lies I could imagine to set me up for her plan with my ex and my mother to destroy me once and for all?
Was it when I lost the only man I’d ever loved other than my father and yet he strung me along for years afterward declaring his undying can’t-live-without-you-love until I’d believe him finally and then he’d take it back again?
Was it when I was molested by the janitor at my elementary school? Or when my babysitter Marcy molested me repeatedly a few years later, but I didn’t understand it was molestation because she was a female?
Was it when I trusted my ex enough to move our children across the country to make his life and relationship with his children easier only to watch him break their hearts in the very ways I thought I had protected them from?
Or when he stole our home and tried to make us homeless by threatening my dad not to help us to punish me for not accepting him breaking our children’s hearts every day? Was it when I listened to my children sob in depths I had never before had to sit helplessly and watch over this cruelty from their dad? My heart ripping and the first time I felt rage in my life?
Was it when I was 2 months pregnant with my youngest daughter and suffered a massive stroke and told I’d never walk or work a job again on my own or be able to raise my babies on our own? Being too ashamed to take a shit because I was mortified at the thought of someone having to wipe my ass for me at 28 years old? Or that the prognosis given at the time destroyed my every idea of being a momma as well as lynched my independence and autonomy?
Was it two years ago when I spent 40 thousand dollars in court pleading my ex for a visit with the children I had raised alone for 15 years only to be granted the right , fly across the country, and was told (in so many words) by my oldest and youngest to fuck off because they changed their mind when I brought up a promise Lexi had made to my dad, her papa, about piercing her face?
When was the pivotal point of trauma from which I haven’t returned or recovered?
Death comes in so many forms and wears many different disguises. I just lost another dear friend. That’s five in only two years. I really can’t wrap my head around this, much less my broken, tender heart. It seems I can’t catch my breath from one til the next. I know people die and that’s a part of life. I know, I know, I know…. I guess I just never imagined that it would start at this age. I really always figured maybe around 60 or so, I would have to start dealing with multiple and/or possible frequent deaths. Wrong.
At the same time as this, I was fortunate that my first love who first introduced me 27 years ago to this man who passed happened to be in town when Andy passed. Or, so I thought it was fortunate at first, when I found out Wednesday morning…
I can’t figure out if it’s just me or if I happen to be surrounded somehow by non-sentimental people. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not judging them for that. If anything, I am deeply jealous of their disconnection from emotion or maybe it’s just that they have a “healthy” disconnection/connection to their emotions while mine is not?
Death makes me cling almost fervently to the people I love: those I once loved, those I currently love, those I love as friends, loved as lovers, even those I love as good acquaintances for who they are in this world. It has hit me like a vehement sucker punch to the heart that beyond the distance life creates naturally as people grow up, mature, and develop lives totally separate from the people who were once a daily piece of your life – which feels like a death when you reconnect with them and you experience that awkwardness that distance, time, and change has inevitably created…that canyon between you that formed while you were just going about life. I mean, the friendship is still there… sort of… Or, is it not really friendship? Maybe it’s just that space you once shared together of memories and good will? More like a mutual honoring of the past that’s gone and dead and stands in the exact spot where the actual friendship, as a living, breathing, growing thing of its own once stood?
Several phrases have grabbed me through these past two years and feel particularly poignant to me with this loss I experienced while also reconnecting with my first best friend ever who also happened to be my first lover as well: “Not friends – just strangers with memories.”
And the other I can’t recall or find because although I posted to Facebook to remember and use for later (which is now), Facebook’s new idiotic “selective” post recollection is freakin preventing me from finding it unless I want to spend all day hunting for it through the “hidden” areas of my timeline. FUCK YOU FACEBOOK! YOU STUPID IDIOTS…WTF?! Good Lord, that is frustrating as hell!
Anyway… I feel like a freak because losing my daddy really made me realize that I don’t have forever with the people I love. It made me want to cherish them more and commit to making more efforts to keep in touch and keep communication ongoing and regular. Strangely, it apparently did the opposite to every other person in my life and in my daddy’s life. The other people closest to him withdrew from me(my children) or shit on me (my children and the rest of my blood relatives).
And now, again, I feel like I want to hold close to these friends from my past whom I’m reconnecting with on George’s visit here. I feel sentimental and enthusiastic to institute a new, solid bond like we once had. I realize that we all have separate lives now as adults so it can’t be the same…but you know, just establish that the connection, history, emotion, and experience is significant and matters enough to not want to resume the disconnection with this person, but to establish that it’s too important to let it slip back into the borders of oblivion (infrequent and rather formal texts now and then saying “how are things” or the yearly “happy birthday” contact).
So, in my little ways, I have tried to do this and met with an apathy which really hurts. Hurts like a death. Like it says to me, our bond as a primary, living, and cherished thing is dead. I’m content with our surface contacts and will wait til you die to think of making an effort to cherish what we share(d) between us.
Is there something wrong with me? Am I the only person who feels the pang of regret at allowing distance from those whom were once so important to maintain and grow bigger? The only one who feels the overwhelming bigger picture of loss and thus, the deep desire to at least make an effort to express the importance, the love that lingers, and hope to reestablish something less fleeting with this once so-important relationship?
I recognize that I’m typically more sentimental than the average person. I know that’s a fact…but I’m just surprised at a deep level that I seem to be the only one I know whom feels this when a death occurs. That, to me, feels like apathy for the relationship – past, present and future. And then, I can’t help but think to myself if the relationship and the connection is NOT worth that….then was it ever really of the importance it once seemed to hold at all? I mean, I’ve come to realize that if you are willing to dismiss a person you once loved so completely, then it’s most likely you never really loved them at all. Of course, I’m not talking about the toxic people you must remove yourself and emotions from for self-preservation, sanity, and mental health; I mean, the ones you loved so dearly and you parted or separated just due to life and circumstance. I’m talking about those people who once said things to you like, I would die for you…you’re the best friend I ever had…or, you showed me what love/friendship/happiness really is.
Does this not remain for most people? Do pieces of that – important pieces- not remain in the hearts of most people? Am I truly just a sentimental, freak of nostalgia?
As the numbers of those whom I love, past and present, continue to stack up in this, I’m really reflecting on has anything ever mattered? Does it just die in all ways for most people? Like, yeah, I’ll feel sad when they pass away, but not sad enough to hold onto the bonds we share or give them a little more time and attention than I have been prior to losing this most recent friend or loved one…?
Does anyone in this world really mean it when they say they love you? Do those words carry any depth beyond just that moment in time anymore? For anyone but me?
RIP Andy. I regret letting our lives distance as it did. I’m sad you are gone and I hadn’t made an effort to stay better in contact with you over the past few years. You were a bright spot of encouragement and genuine friendship in my world so many times. A friendship I cherished enough that I wish I could go back a week ago and make an effort to reconnect and catch up with you and your world…and be sure to let you know exactly what you meant to me. And that you meant enough to me to not let life keep growing the divide without making an effort to bridge it. You were my friend. Thank you.
I hope you can read this from wherever one goes after death…and I hope that place is the Heaven I believe in.
And, I guess…to all those whom are still alive that I cherish and hate to think of you passing away…those who seem apathetic toward this concept. If this isn’t important now, then I don’t know why we’d bother to reconnect here and there anyway. What’s that even for? And maybe, just fuck you. if I don’t matter much at all now, not even in the wake of losing a childhood friend , then I couldn’t have mattered much back when you told me so often I did. That makes me sad and it hurts, so yeah, fuck you.
The scariest of all to me in this sad realization, is that if none (and I mean none) of the past relationship ever had any real importance, then how do I not filter every new and blossoming relationship or friendship through that knowledge? I mean, if I already know nothing lasts forever for other people …not even love or friendship…then what is any of it worth as people say the words “I love you” or “you matter to me” important even as they speak and claim they feel them?
black sheep, child abuse, childhood, children, DENIAL, depression, desperation, dysfunctional family, estranged, fear, frustration, grief, history, hopes, invisible, life, loss, loveless, manipulation, mean mothers, Mother, nightmares, parent issues, rain, sadness, sociopath, the ex, trust, unacceptable, unforgivable, unforgiven
I’ve reflected a lot on the “exposing your children to your narcissist abuser” issue. As stupid as it sounds (and it IS sheer ignorance), I was shocked to find that meme! To know that someone else in this world made even that critical, senseless, ridiculous error after living a lifetime of abuse, just astounds me. In the same way that I’m still frequently overwhelmed with disbelief (literal “OMFG” moments) when I read someone’s words that explain situations, feelings, events, etc. that I truly not only believed were unique to MY life, but also never discussed because describing and explaining the sometimes subtle nuances of narcissistic abuse feels impossible.
…Then you read words that actually sound like they’re coming from your own life…your own thoughts…things you’ve never discussed…and thus, couldn’t possibly be copied! It’s a real contradiction. I always feel shock first at identifying so well with someone’s words, then I feel guilt that those words from that persons torturous hell actually make me feel validated on so many levels. Then, I feel horrified that ANY other person experienced ANY thing like my life and I’m overcome with gigantic waves of compassion for that person and my heart hurts for them and my head rages with their injustices.
It’s a strange process.
As far as the exposure issue, I don’t feel, for myself, that’s forgivable. I sadly have realized it’s one thing I may never totally absolve myself from. And worse yet, it makes me furiously angry at God! Madder at God than maybe anything else I’ve been mad at God for.
My narcissist mother made this choice easy for me. I can actually thank her for that. Yes, I was still living mostly in denial (desperately trying to blame myself for all the senseless pain she inflicted in my lifetime and the life handicaps that result from that). I was still praying for the miracle that it WAS my fault, I could fix me, and she would someday maybe love me.
She made that easy. Her cruelty during my first pregnancy was blatant. Or perhaps, it was the same as it always had been and I simply was becoming more aware with wisdom, experience, therapy, and age? In spite of that blatant cruelty, I still desperately begged…and begged…pleaded and jumped hoops, essentially shoving my head so far up her ass in the desperate need for a mother’s love while experiencing all the fears a soon-to-be mother experiences. In short, I had never wanted or need a mother more than I did while pregnant. The sheer terror of being a mom, knowing how to be a mom, and ironically the fear of ensuring I didn’t repeat my mother’s example…all made me pathetically desperate for her love and acceptance.
And as any true narcissist will do, the more they sense that power of your desperation, the more cruel they become. And she did become more cruel; more openly, hatefully shamelessly cruel. Which of course, pushed me in said desperation to REALLY step up my efforts to be loved by her. Which is a snowball effect of endless insanity right there. The harder I begged, the crueler she became…the harder I begged…the crueler she became…and on and on and on…
I stupidly never intended to keep her from my child. Even when my sister gave me a blatant, chilling warning of what would happen someday if I didn’t. I STILL kept praying maybe we would FINALLY bond in motherhood. FINALLY! I might have a mother at last…and my daughter might still have a grandmother! YAY! There was hope!
No. she used it all to hurt me more even while I was finally the adult who could be and should have been safe at last from her terror…independent and ready to become a mother myself. At the time when she finally no longer held ANY power over me (other than that desperate for a mother’s love thing), I willingly HANDED that monster all the power to continue hurting me.
I called her when my narcissistic sex addict fiancé (identical to my mother) was cruel or abusive. She would antagonize and aggravate those feelings. I called her when I was reflecting on my fears of being a mother. She would pick, pick, pick at those fears…deepening them into absolute gaping terrors. I called her when I was scared of my baby’s safety in my womb, she would encourage that fear and add a few more for good measure. I called her over trivial little struggles pregnant women have, like, Mom…I stood in the shower today and cried because I couldn’t reach to shave my legs….knowing Mark (Narcissist fiancé) would tell me how disgusting I was because I was fat(i.e. 8 months pregnant) and couldn’t shave my legs. My mother said, “Most husbands would be happy to help with that. It’s too bad no one loves you enough to help you with that.”
I called her when my cheating violent fiancé went into 30 day sex rehab treatment and I had no food. After almost four straight days without food, I started having nightmares about my starving fetus. I would literally picture those kids on the Ethiopia commercials inside my womb, crying and begging for food. So I finally felt scared and guilty enough to swallow my pride and call my mother to ask if she’d send me $40 for food for the remaining 3 weeks my fiancé would be away dealing with the fact that he couldn’t keep his dick in his pants or stop beating me up after he put it inside yet another chick. My mother said, “Oh, you don’t have any food? That’s too bad. That’s what welfare is for. Go apply for welfare.” I said, “I only need a little bit of food, Mom. Mark will get food when he gets released. I feel bad applying for welfare.” She said, “People like you are why welfare was created. I don’t know what to tell you except to apply for welfare”. I got really quiet because I didn’t know what to say to this and so she changed the subject. She started telling me how she and her wealthy husband had bought too many Omaha steaks that year and they had had to give a TON away to his employees. Following that up with, “I thought about sending you some, but you don’t eat very much red meat, remember?” Which threw me into confusion because I had been a part time vegetarian TEN YEARS earlier for about 6 months.
I then had to spend the next year hearing my step-father talk about what a real piece of shit my fiancé was because a “decent human being wouldn’t let a dog go hungry, much less a pregnant woman”…and always wondering how he could say that with a straight face, never realizing that mother certainly hadn’t told him I called her asking for money for food when I was pregnant and hadn’t eaten in nearly a week! After all, he would have wanted to help me! We couldn’t tell him that kind of thing…we were “blaming that on Mark”. So, I blamed that entirely on Mark too….all but forgetting that excruciatingly painful and humiliating “go get on welfare…I can’t believe we bought too many Omaha steaks” conversation I’d had with her. After all, it was only Mark’s fault.
Fucking cruelty. And I let that monster around my children.
adapting, black sheep, childhood, children, Daddy, DENIAL, depression, desperation, dysfunctional family, estranged, fear, frustration, grief, history, hopes, invisible, life, loss, loveless, manipulation, mean mothers, Mother, nightmares, nostalgia, parent issues, rape, sadness, sexual abuse, sociopath, suicidal, the ex, trust, unacceptable, unforgivable, unforgiven
Loss – true, deep, profound, crippling loss – is a loss beyond imagination and to a great degree, that loss is more profound and crippling when it’s an unnatural loss. The loss is exponentially pervasive into one’s life when it’s a loss brought on by betrayal, deceit, hatred, or brought on with the sheer intent to punish you for some unknown and/or unintentional “misdeed” of sorts, even sometimes a “misdeed” that’s merely fictional – a fabrication created solely from the dark billowing folds of a sick and twisted mind of a sociopath. I mean, there just ain’t no sunshine after this kind of loss.
People say; move on with your life. Let go of the pain. Recreate yourself. Recreate a life for you that you love. Have faith. Everything happens for a reason.
(Which by the way, I could now happily punch myself in the throat repeatedly for EVER thinking “everything happens for a reason” is EVER appropriate to say to ANY one! Except maybe (big maybe here) in the case of divorce or breaking up with a sociopathic narcissist. In THOSE cases of using the term “loss” so loosely, then yes, it really does happen “for a reason” and you are truly better off. Other than that, then everyone who falls back on that phrase (myself included), can fuck off!)
So, you look in every hidden corner of your life, your heart, and your mind…stretching your limbs and your definitions to find that possibility. You become a detective of possibilities, looking for them anywhere and in anything:
Maybe this book will help. Maybe that book will release my mind from its torment for a moment…or this movie…or a conversation with this person about the struggle….or a conversation with that person about anything but the struggle? Maybe art, perhaps painting or coloring or creating a DIY project will provide a moment of relief?
Maybe God? Worshipping Him, being grateful for the many wonderful things you know are there but no longer bring any joy, forcing yourself to look for that joy and insist it is there? Maybe singing to Him, or listening to music praising Him?
Maybe a new pet, a colorful squawking bird or an innocent playful puppy or a soft fluffy cuddly kitten?
Maybe reminiscing? Or not allowing yourself to reminisce, removing as many painful reminders of all the places joy once stood? Maybe cleaning until your skin is raw, bleeding, and cracked and looks like your heart feels? Maybe not cleaning? Living in squalor, letting everything get and stay as messy and unkempt as your life and your thoughts feel?
Maybe music? Country music? Classic rock? Reggae? Heavy metal? Classical? Gospel? Hard rock? Really loud music? Really soft, subtle background music?
Maybe gardening? Putting your time into cultivating a beautiful plant which signifies life? Or growing tomatoes to remind you to survive, you must eat? Maybe plotting the revenge you don’t believe in and would never seek? Maybe imagining karma or refusing to allow yourself to believe you “don’t deserve” this kind of pain? Or forcing yourself to think you deserve this and much worse? If “much worse” exists? Maybe fantasizing about how “much worse” might be or feel?
Maybe too much time on Facebook or Twitter or blogging or Pinterest? Maybe joining support groups and reaching out to help others who are hurting? Maybe volunteering for a domestic violence shelter or the humane society? Maybe do daily affirmations in the mirror? Or practicing the Law of Attraction?
Maybe drinking too much wine? Or not allowing yourself to have any alcohol? Maybe writing letters? Or emails? Or joining causes you believe in? Laughing foolishly about the silliest stuff your brain can think of?
Maybe planning your suicide? Writing your will? Organizing vast piles of paperwork? Maybe dancing like no one is watching? Playing in the rain? Hand writing letters to lonely souls in prison? Reaching out to long-lost friends? Reconnecting with friends you’ve grown distant from? Maybe having sex with an old boyfriend? Or going on a date with someone new? Maybe drinking more tea? Making infused waters? Maybe browsing through hundreds of old photos? Or hiding every reminiscent photo?
Maybe living in another state? Or another state again? Or the same state where you lost everything? Maybe changing your name? maybe writing of the abuse you’ve never spoken of? Maybe writing of anything but your grief, sorrow, pain, or past abuse? Maybe writing the stories of your multiple rapes? Your mounting dealings with injustices? Maybe giving compassion to others who’ve endured similar experiences and not even speaking of your own?
Maybe get a tattoo? Alter your flesh somehow to tell yourself you are now officially and physically not the exact same body who experienced these things at all?
After a while, you listen to everyone tell you how to move on, let go, live again. And you are a detective of
joy survival; madly and frantically searching for brief any flashing moment of joy happiness serenity peace relief to alleviate the pain and sorrow that has somehow infused itself into every recess of your brain.
Maybe beg for a lobotomy?
adapting, black sheep, childhood, children, Daddy, depression, desperation, dysfunctional family, fear, frustration, grief, history, hopes, life, loss, mean mothers, nostalgia, parent issues, sadness, safety, sociopath, trust, unforgivable
Humans of New York (http://www.humansofnewyork.com) posted this photo with the caption “Dad let go of her hand, but she never let go of Dad’s hand.”
My earliest and perhaps most innocently poignant memory is of having to let go of my dad’s hand. I guess myself at around three. My mother and father were viciously arguing. My sister and I were hiding on the stairway. My heart was racing; scared of the fighting and petrified I’d get caught for sitting on those steps listening to all the loud yelling I didn’t understand and be punished for my curiosity. Two policemen showed up. They appeared larger than life and what frightened me most was the Billy club each had dangling from his belt. Menacing, baseball bat looking clubs as big as my leg, which I knew were there to be used. In my confusion for sitting on the stairway…or maybe it was the automatic assumption I’d carry with me for the rest of my life that as usual, I’D done something wrong …whatever it was, somehow I knew instantly that Billy club was to beat me with. The minute I saw it, I ran as fast as my legs could fumble themselves up those stairs in my panic, too scared now to even worry about being quiet!
I ran straight to the top of the stairs and turned into the first door on the left, my parent’s bedroom. My bedroom was straight ahead and the same distance to run, but somehow I felt sure that Billy club would come looking for me in MY room. So, I thought I was quite clever to hide in my parent’s room where they at least wouldn’t come first looking for me, maybe buying myself a few precious seconds before the beating.
The yelling downstairs had ceased. I could still hear talking; the policemen and my parents’ voices, but no more yelling. I wanted so much to hear what they were saying…to know what I had done this time…and get a clue as to how bad the Billy club beating might be….ohhhhh, how I wanted to know! Sheer terror kept me hiding behind the leather rocking chair in the corner of my parents’ bedroom, though. I didn’t DARE peek out and be nosy with the Billy club policeman man there, no matter how overwhelming my curiosity was!
My sister had gone under their bed. I stayed behind the chair for what felt like my last eternal moments before my inevitable death, making myself as small as I could to hide completely and occasionally putting my head sideways against the floor to peek under it and see my sister under the bed.
That lasted forever and I must be missing some time in there because the next thing I recall is my mother standing in front of my dad by the big wooden front door downstairs. My mother facing my dad directly, his face looked sad and hurt, not angry and mean like my mother’s and I knew something was horribly awfully wrong. My dad smiled and laughed perpetually. I’d never seen this look on his face ever. Not once on my entire three years! My mother held mine and my sister’s hands on either side of her, facing him and saying to us, who do you want to go with? This was a hard question. I didn’t want to hurt either of my parents’ feelings and I didn’t know what the right answer was. I love my mommy so much and I love my daddy too! And forever without one of them seemed an impossible choice. At that moment, I really believed this was the most final and permanent decision I’d ever have to make in my lifetime. My sister immediately piped up with, I’m going with you, Mommy. She either knew the right answer because she was an older, wiser five years old or it simply wasn’t the dilemma for her that it was for me? I didn’t know. I was looking at my dad’s face right that moment, still that sad look that was hauntingly unknown to me and I knew I couldn’t leave my daddy alone no matter what. My sister had already picked mother. I couldn’t leave my daddy alone with that expression on his face and I could feel the hot anger seething off my mother, while my dad felt quietly just hurt and defeated maybe…somehow seeming much safer than the alternative. I stepped over to my obviously wounded gigantic daddy and said, I’ll stay with you, Daddy.
It was decided. My sister left with our raging, seething mother and I stayed with our wounded, broken hearted Daddy, just knowing I could love on him enough with hugs and kisses to chase that sad look away and bring back his usual jolly smile. Strange that the few seconds it took me to make that choice feeling afraid because I believed it would be forever and I’d answer wrong, was immediately replaced with as much confidence as any three-year-old could have after answering such a question. I knew I belonged with my daddy. I loved and adored my mommy like crazy as any child does, but I knew the minute I took those few steps over to stand by my daddy’s side, that that was exactly where I belonged in this world, even if it DID mean I’d never see my beloved mother’s face again. I felt sad, but I was no longer afraid that I’d answered the question wrong. Yes, I belonged with Daddy; my happy, laughing, loving daddy with the smile that lifted my heart high in the air full of joy every day.
I didn’t understand this was only for the night…or a few days…or whatever it ended up being. I can’t recall. The last thing I remember is feeling that odd confidence that I’d made the right choice and knowing I would be safe forever right next to my daddy, holding tight to his great big warm hand.
But it wasn’t forever. Not too long after this painful choice…a night…or two or three days…my mother returned and took me with her and my sister far away from our house any my dad (to be with another wealthy much older man whom I’d later in life discover she had already been seeing and cheating on my dad with way back then). And, my daddy had to let go of my hand. I never let go of his though. Over the next 14 years, I held onto my daddy’s hand once in a while in person when I was allowed to see him, but every day and night I held onto his hand in my prayers, in my dreams, in my thoughts when I was scared, and in my heart when I felt unloved and unwanted or confused and beaten. And I continued to hold it the 27 years following that as I trudged my way through life, love, rape, abuse, and many scary choices.
Forty-one years later from the year I made that first great big life choice to hold my dad’s hand, I’m still holding that big warm hand in my mind and my heart. My daddy is gone. He let go of my hand again to go to heaven but I haven’t let go of Daddy’s hand.
adapting, adolescence, black sheep, child abuse, childhood, Childhood prayers, children, confusion, Daddy, Darlene Higgins, DENIAL, depression, desperation, dysfunctional family, estranged, fear, frustration, God, grief, history, hopes, invisible, life, loss, loveless, manipulation, mean mothers, Mother, narcissistic mother, parent issues, suicidal, trust, unacceptable, unforgivable
That pre-adolescent time is so awkward and ignorant. As a female, before you understand what’s happening to your body or ever know it’s changing at all, your vagina secretes a light discharge caused by hormonal changes. Healthy, hormonal discharge of a young girl anywhere between maybe 9 and 13 depending on how early your body changes.
I didn’t notice that. I was somewhere around 9. It’s not as though your panties are actually wet. It’s just a little bit of moisture that gets into your panties. So, you throw your panties into the dirty laundry like usual. You just toss them in there, clueless that you’ve done anything wrong…clueless that your body has gotten you in trouble. Clueless until Saturday morning when you’re in your room reading and suddenly you hear your mother scream your name all the way from the basement. You still don’t know you’re in trouble…you’re not sure why she’s screaming so angrily. Still ignorant and innocent, you zip downstairs to see what she needs or what you’ve done this time, feeling fairly confident it can’t be too bad because you know you’ve not done anything wrong or broken any rules. So at this point, you’re mostly curious and maybe the hateful scream of your name was merely to reach the volume level to get your attention.
But as you stand half the size of your 5’2 raging mother, while she shoves your dirty panties in your face screaming, “I’M NOT STUPID! WHAT ARE YOU DOING?” you realize you’ve certainly done something wrong or shameful or disgraceful or broken the rules somehow. You know you didn’t pee your pants or anything(you’re very proud of the fact that you’ve not done THAT in a LONG time!), so what could be possibly be wrong with your dirty panties? Then she shows you the tiny spot in your panties that have been sitting in the dirty clothes for a few days now, and that delicate smudge of moisture that your changing body discharged while you were swinging on the maypoles at recess has become the tiniest little dried off-white crusty smudge. “WHAT ARE YOU DOING WITH THE BOYS, YOU LITTLE SLUT?” And you don’t know what you’ve done or what a “slut” even is. You just know that boys are wayyyyy yukky…and you DO know you’re in serious trouble by your mom’s expression. You’re not sure why your panties did that yet (that knowledge won’t come for another 3 or 4 years)…you only know that those are your panties (you can’t possibly deny that – you’re the only 9 year old girl in the house) and your body did something disgustingly wrong in them. Your body betrayed you. It got you in trouble. And it’s so embarrassing and humiliating that your dirty panties are so disgustingly unacceptable and apparently tell stories you don’t even know, that all you can do is cry and plead “I’m sorry Mommy” and silently vow to have a LONG talk with God about this horrifying indiscretion later after you’ve tucked all your stuffed animals safely in your bed.
Only later that night, after you tuck all your stuffed animals carefully under your covers, God doesn’t tell you. He doesn’t answer your pleads to understand why your body did something so disgusting and shameful against your will. He doesn’t even tell you what “boys” had to do with it! Mr. Bananas, your beloved stuffed monkey, doesn’t know either or he’s not talking if he does. So the best you know to do is beg God to stop your body from ever doing THAT again.
But God doesn’t stop it. So, further punishment will come. You aren’t going to be allowed to play neighborhood football outside or go sledding with them when it snows with the neighbors for a while…a REALLY long while. And all you can do then is pray that God sends your daddy and maybe your daddy will know why your body is doing that disgusting horrible “slutty” thing and understand that you’re not doing it on purpose. Even though, you’re too embarrassed about your shameful panties to ever tell you daddy…or ask him…
After all, your daddy loves you. You know it. Be
adapting, black sheep, childhood, children, Daddy, depression, desperation, dysfunctional family, estranged, fear, frustration, generosity, grief, hopes, invisible, Mother, nightmares, nostalgia, parent issues, rape, sadness, safety, sexual abuse, sister, sociopath, suicidal, the ex, trust, unacceptable, unforgivable, unforgiven
It’s pity party time… I’ve officially spent my second birthday and the second anniversary of my dad’s death alone. Without one single phone call on either day…not a “checking in to see how you are”, not a “hey, I’m thinkin of you”…not a single friend or family member thought of me on the two most significant days of my life.
After 44 years of life, millions of friends, several boyfriends, one husband, and two children of my own, I now realize what I feared most from my earliest days is literally true. My mother, my sister and all those other people over 44 years couldn’t ALL be wrong about me; I’m not someone who can be loved. I’m just not…
I suppose I could write of how it’s my mother’s fault. How being raised by a narcissistic sociopathic woman damaged me so cruelly, left me with huge holes in my soul that can’t be filled, making me so desperate and needy for the one thing that scared me most, love. I found it crazy ironic to discover at 26 that I have a flap in my heart which doesn’t close properly. What a perfect description of me…it was almost an explanation at last for what I am that I can’t seem to help or change. The pieces of me that are so just wrong that they’ll never be right finally made literal, physical sense when the doctors told me that back when I was pregnant with Savannah Grace.
I suppose I could write how it’s other people’s fault, as well. How being so painfully insecure and desperately needy for love and approval for as long as I can remember being alive led me directly to the kinds of people who would manipulate and abuse that…furthering the unlovable clause I was born with. Seriously, WHO gets molested as a 6 year old by a teacher and a babysitter? And WHO is ridiculous enough to get raped *three* times in 44 years? And WHO is blessed enough to have had so many wonderful men profess the most beautiful depths of undying love and still ends up alone? What kind of idiot runs so fast and so often over a lifetime from the very thing she has been praying for since the tender age of 4? I certainly could never convince myself that it was all THEM…that there was something inadequate with every one of THEM. No, the common denominator there is me…and only me. I chased, pushed, argued, and crazied every one of them away from me, even the most tenacious of them. I could try to blame any one of a hundred girlfriends who shit on me, stabbed me in the back, devastated and used me…..but again, who’s the common denominator there? Me.
And what about my daddy? I was fortunate that my mother kicked me out with just a trash bag full of clothes at 16 for lying about smoking a cigarette. Thus, I spent the majority of my life, from 16 to 42, with a most amazing parent who demonstrated love, acceptance, kindness, honesty, integrity, and joy. So many children don’t have that kind of example or love in their life from ANY where growing up, at ANY age. Hell, I was fortunate that my daddy somehow always found the strength and ability to love me at all. Why didn’t that fix those fucking holes I was born and raised with? Not everyone who is unloved by her mother is blessed enough to be unconditionally loved by her father. If the cause of this unending and irreparable unlovability issue isn’t ME, at my very core, then that shower of my daddy’s true blessings would have repaired that. It should have, right?
Yes, it should have. It would have. If it wasn’t me, my fault, my issue, my fault, my inadequacy…mine, mine, MINE.
I’ve never felt good trying to blame any of this on other people anyway. Contrary to many people’s beliefs, I’ve just never been the person who could blame someone for anything at all really and feel confident it wasn’t really my fault. When the teacher molested me at 6, I even felt guilty when he got in trouble…even at that tender age; I felt it was me, my fault. After all, I had actually appreciated the special attention he had always given me, hadn’t I? I had looked forward to his smiles in the elementary school hallways that made his face beam whenever he saw me….it actually made me think of my daddy’s huge grin whenever I got to see HIM! And my favorite was the day he lifted me up to drink from the big drinking fountain. I had appreciated feeling special to a grown-up who saw me every day and still seemed to think I was someone special in this world. I would have never told on him intentionally. Not EVER! And I really didn’t want him to get in so much trouble either. Somehow, even way back then, at such a young and innocent age, I just knew it was my fault. Everything was my fault, so that had to be too. All three times I was raped, no matter how cruelly, I still felt deep down it was my fault…that I HAD gotten what I deserved. And I think I was always afraid to tell my mother because I knew she would be sure to bring that to my attention immediately and then all doubt of me “not deserving” to be raped would be totally eliminated. Hell, somehow I’ve been “asking for it” since the age of 6! I’m sure at 17 and older, I was REALLY asking for it. I just wanted to blame them because I never figured out HOW I “asked for it” and thus, couldn’t figure out how to stop “asking for it”. I only blamed them in my own mind out of frustration that I couldn’t fix what had always been wrong with me.
I’ve never minded taking the blame for things, actually I usually prefer it. After all, if it’s MY fault, then I can fix it. If it’s not, then I’m powerless to ever get it right. And yet, in spite of years of therapy, and so many wonderful years with a loving father, a zillion self-help books and strategies, I’ve never been successful at fixing it. And I still don’t feel satisfied trying to put the blame on other people for anything really… It’s been my life problem as long as I can remember; therefore, it’s still MY problem. My ex-husband even said to me once, “NO one in this world has such chronic shitty luck as you. The shit that happens to you regularly, just doesn’t happen to anyone…not even one of then usually, much less a lifetime of them!?” He was so right. I’ve always known that deep inside too. It’s me…it’s GOT to be. There is no other logical explanation. Hell, my mother abused the hell out of me physically, mentally, and verbally for 26 years and I was STILL desperate for her to love me. I’ve counseled so many children whose parents were fiercely abusive and still, they loved them and would do anything for their love. Me? I have two children who tossed me AND my love in the garbage without a second thought or one single look back to just wave good-bye….just threw me in the trash like the worthless garbage I’ve always been. And in spite of all my mistakes and failings as a mother and a human being, I gave those two children the very best of anything good I have ever had inside me to give, which was still apparently utterly worthless.
And since it seems to get worse the harder I’ve tried to repair whatever this is I was born with, what does that even really mean? If I own it all, I still can’t fix it; if I blame everyone else, I can’t fix it either.
I have so many of my daddy’s amazing qualities…deep down I think, where most can’t see them, but I have them damnit! So, why don’t they make me and my life even a fraction as valuable as my daddy was in this world to almost everyone who ever met him? Why can’t I fix what’s wrong with me?
I realized recently that I’ve never really been afraid to die… Well, as a mom I was because I felt my children deserved to know the love and nurturing of a mother…the love I never knew and started my desperate journey toward a life of failure lacking. Other than that, I never was afraid to die though. Obviously, my greatest fear is living. And figuring out why I’ve been forced to do something for 44 years that I’m just not able to do well. I’d rather not do something at all, than try for 44 years just to get worse and worse at the effort.
I did always hope that someday, before he passed or I did, I’d have the opportunity to deserve to matter in this world by giving back to my daddy somehow. I always told him, “someday Daddy, I’m going to get myself together and do something REALLY amazing for you to repay all you’ve ben and done for me over my life time”. It still wouldn’t have ever been enough, but I really always hoped I’d have that opportunity and ability someday. I didn’t. He is gone and I’m still fucking alive and every bit as unworthy, useless, and unlovable as I was born.
I’m sorry Daddy. I’m sorry I didn’t get it together in time to return your wonderfulness to you even a little bit. I’m really sorry. I know it made no difference to you whatsoever, but it really would have made the world of difference to me.
It seems so cruel. So much death all around me over the last two years since my daddy passed. All these beloved people and children dying and leaving behind heartbroken masses of hurting folks who loved and admired them. Yet, on and on and on I go…. 44 years of nothing but worthless efforts to somehow give the world what I always dreamed of. A life of nothing; worth nothing, for nothing, meaning nothing. No one notices or cares I’m alive and who can blame them? I don’t. So, why does God take the cherished ones and leave the insignificant failures to continue being a burden.
Yet, on I go…
adapting, black sheep, childhood, DENIAL, depression, desperation, dysfunctional family, estranged, fear, frustration, grief, history, hopes, invisible, Just sometimes, life, loss, mean mothers, Mother, nostalgia, sadness, trust, unacceptable, unforgivable
Do you ever feel there’s just so much to say that you can’t even begin? Yet simultaneously feel desperate to get it out? Ahhhh…stuck. Just stuck. Like the kitten who bravely climbs the tree and then vociferously bellows sad meows of desperate fear, not realizing that since he found his way up, he has the power to get back down the same way.
I get stuck there so often. This is where my “crazy” starts. Writing is my primary therapeutic tool to process feelings and events and safe method by which to allow my feelings to flow. I was trained very early to deny or hide my feelings. That has become my automatic response. Hide, deny, belittle, any feelings which aren’t “appropriate” to express. So when I’m unable to write, the feelings seem to stagnate and sit still inside me, festering into an un-climb-able mountain to be silently feared as it slowly takes over my mind, growing larger, more shameful, and impossible to overcome each day.
Sometimes I want to list my regrets so I can look at them in black and white…mourn them appropriately and move on. I abhor people who refuse to acknowledge their mistakes and subsequently will never grow or learn from them.
Sometimes I want to list all my blessings to simply keep my mind focused on the positive. Yes, I do buy into the theory of positive thinking. Why focus on the negatives? Simply focus on the blessings and allow those sensations to build within!
Sometimes I want to be like everyone else. Why have I always felt so different from the majority? Am I narcissistic? Am I really so entirely different from others as I’ve felt all my life? Is this a disguised and distorted vision of myself as being so incredibly different, when maybe in fact I’m merely ordinary and just not all that different after all?
Sometimes I want to embrace my differences and put them on that gratitude list. Some of these “differences” are beautiful. Well, at least on good days, I try to convince myself they are…
Sometimes I want to tell my story. This feels like a necessity to define and understand myself…as though I question my very existence and my own truth without putting it in black and white and hopefully hearing some validation for my struggles.
Sometimes I’m too ashamed to tell the whole sordid story – afraid it’s pathetic and will merely present myself as a “victim”….so NOT what I want to be or be seen as! My inner need to always find my blame and my responsibility in every rough event in my life (after all, the only person I can change is myself, right?) often conquers the healthy ability to place blame where it truly lies (yes, sometimes others really just are responsible for their actions which have affected your life, right?).
Sometimes I’m afraid if I don’t finally tell my whole truth, that somehow it will mutate into something else, the perspective of those around me. I fear it will become so saturated into my desperate need to find my blame in everything (out of the terrible dread of accidentally placing blame on the wrong shoulders), that not telling it will perpetuate my depression. After all, carrying the weight of everyone’s choices is not any healthier than chronically blaming others for your life challenges.
Sometimes I just get stuck and I have to think of these “sometimes” to get my thoughts flowing.
And sometimes I have to write them down as evidence that I actually exist at all.
adapting, children, Daddy, DENIAL, depression, desperation, dysfunctional family, estranged, fear, frustration, grief, hopes, life, loss, loveless, manipulation, nostalgia, parent issues, sociopath, trust, unacceptable, unforgivable
April, 14, 2013
I’m really missing my dad today. At church this morning, I prayed so hard for him to communicate my love to him and to feel his for me and I remembered when my church did a huge renovation in 2010/2011 right after the girls and I came home from Nevada. When the floor was stripped, they invited people up during the service to take a marker and write the name of a person you wanted to bless and wrap in the grace and love of God. I debated and prayed for a while on whose name I most wanted to write since there wouldn’t be time to include my entire list…and I wrote your name. I was so hurt and angry at you during that time in our lives, watching my girls hurt so badly over the choices you’d recently made, but I knew those were choices you made from your own hurt…so I forgave you and gave you entirely to God. Your name is still written on that huge devotion of blessings to hundreds, maybe thousands of people. I hope that might bring you some comfort and peace.
The strangest thing came to me immediately after my prayer and the subsequent memory of that Sunday morning at church with my dad and the girls and I all taking our turn writing on that space… I suddenly knew what my dad would say to me. So, I lighted a candle of blessing and healing for you. I’ve kept you in my prayers for years, as did my dad and we often prayed together for your well-being. I know he was grinning at me as I blessed you. I know God was smiling at me as well. It was a powerful moment and I hope you sensed the love and grace I sent your way.
I know maybe more than anyone how you struggle with your own demons. I’ve always tried to give you my full support and compassion in that fight. I suppose that’s why it hurts so much more to have you so cruelly and unmercifully engage in this vicious attack on me in my weakest point and at my most vulnerable time ever. No matter how painful your choices sometimes were or how deeply they hurt me, I never used your personal pain or personal challenges to hurt you in vulnerable moments. It seems like another lifetime ago when I felt any kind of personal love for you as a man, but I’ve never once stopped caring deeply about the man who is the father of my children; or praying for you in your endeavors to become the man of integrity you once told me you wanted to be. You may have hurt me in a billion ways when I was still quite young and naïve and directed my life far from the path I desired and dreamed of…but I always redirected my perspective to the human being you were when you were doing everything in your power to overcome your painful challenges and prepare yourself to be a father to our children and a good partner for me.
I was young and naïve of many things you and I went through together while we were going through it all, but I know I truly did everything in my heart to love and support you through the pain of all that you carried around with you from your life, even when you hurt me personally. Not one of the choices I have made even once since that fateful day you first asked me out were ever with the intention of hurting you or causing you any additional sadness.
Although I am absolutely devastated at your choices over the past few years and how deeply they’ve damaged my life and the lives of the people who mean the most to me, I still pray for your personal struggles and maintain hope that you’ll someday be free from the pain those things bring to your life.
Anyway, today is nostalgic for me… and within that, along with these thoughts and memories, I recalled that tape I made for you when I was pregnant with Savannah and how you called me when you listened to it and we were laughing because I had included that song by Paul Anka, “Having My Baby”. Also the night before Savannah was born when you got here around midnight and I couldn’t sleep because I was so deathly afraid for her safety during the birth…and you rubbed lotion on my huge belly because it was so sore and ugly covered entirely with bruises on top of bruises from all those months of injections I had to give myself to keep her safe…and afterward, you just lied next to me with your hand on my head until I fell asleep.
Those have been valuable memories of you and glimpses of why I believed in you in the first place and they are precious moments for me from our relationship. Thank you for those.
I’ve considered you along with our children as my primary family for many years now. Although the hurt I feel right now is far worse than any pain I could have ever imagined I could survive, I remembered you today when I prayed for those who have meant the most to me throughout my life, and I wanted you to know that you were still one of the first to come to mind. No matter how much you hurt or attack me, I will still always care about your personal struggles and continue to pray for peace in your soul and healing for your heart.
God bless you,