Mother’s Day musings.

I have an unpopular opinion surrounding Mother’s Day.

We’ve just had it in the UK, and there were reams of messages and photos posted on walls so people could see just how much everyone we know loves their mum and how awesome their mums all are. There were treats, trips out to spas and salons, afternoon teas…

I always feel weird when it comes to Mother’s Day. The weirdness is twofold.

One: my mother has been a lot better in recent years. She’s been less angry for no reason, more willing to listen, more supportive and less dismissive… But, when I was a child, she was angry, uncommunicative, resistant to any form of “bad” emotion from any of us (me or my alters) and was emotionally neglectful. We all have deep scars left over from this. Clara is processing hers and not doing well because of it. She always thought it was her fault that she couldn’t make Mummy happy, but it should NEVER be a child’s job to support their mother’s emotions.

Fifteen is angry because she got the brunt of our mum’s anger and fear about having cancer. I think mum would like to believe she was fine and not depressed or frightened at all, but we know better. She worked all through her chemotherapy… As a dance teacher… Can you imagine the physical and mental strain she went through?! She didn’t get help, she didn’t ask for any extra support at work… She powered through, doing me and her a lot of damage on the way.

Sixteen is angry and upset because she never got it with our ex. She knew he was bad news, but didn’t try and get any help with dealing with him. She didn’t try to get any help with mental health stuff apart from an awful Christian counsellor, who backed our abusive ex up. Sixteen is still hurt and feels she doesn’t really have a mother.

All of us want to know why she still continues to work on Mother’s Day. Why she won’t listen when we explain that we have a chronic illness, and it’s not going away. Why she keeps pushing us to get a job, because, apparently, we need one. Sitting around in the house all day is bad for us?! Who knew?!

It hurts so much when she says this, because she’s not really accepted that the Perma-Smile girl is gone and never really existed in the first place. She was a conditioned front, placed strategically in view of everyone so that they would be happy. Mum can’t see that she was a front, and that we are hurt. We can’t even tell her that we are hurt because of her, because she makes the conversation all about her.

We still love her, which is very upsetting,and we know she loves us. It’s just that the love is conditional and always has been, because our grandmother taught her that that’s how love is. You have to earn it, you don’t just deserve it. What a damaging way to raise a family.

This Mother’s Day, I hope everyone hurting like us manages to stay away from the propaganda that you Must At All Costs Love Your Mother. If your mother was abusive, there’s no need to keep loving her. If your mother was absent emotionally, like mine was, it’s ok to love her from a distance and seek love elsewhere. My dog, my husband, and the new cat, not to mention my friends and sister all love me for who I am not what I do. That’s all we wanted from her.

The other is that we could have been a mum, but the miscarriage stopped that. We still hurt. It’s easier now that we named our Fay, but the scar lingers.

Take care, everyone.

Love, 15, 16, Clara and 27.

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Gaslighting- an article I’ve found that all should read.

Gaslighting is what makes psychiatrists diagnose wrong, makes victims continue to believe that the abuse was caused by them, and that they are the evil ones. Society does a pretty twisted job of re-inforcing this, because the words, “There are two sides to every story,” are often used thoughtlessly and indiscriminately. I’ve been on the receiving end of disbelief over the gaslighting that happened to me, but this article explains what used to happen to me on a daily basis very well indeed.

http://www.elephantjournal.com/2015/08/gaslighting-the-mind-game-everyone-should-know-about/

Religion and bipolar.

J is doing better- we spoke on camera last night and I was so happy to see him! He said tonight that I make him happy and relaxed. It really hit home after my last sad frustrated post that even despite the distance, he feels happy talking to me. That’s a definite bonus.

I’ve recently been reading a blog ( https://wordpress.com/read/blog/id/46008726/ ) called Defeating the Dragons, run by a brave and lovely woman named Samantha. She talks about her struggles with being raised in a fundamentalist baptist church, and attending a college (US college, not an English one) where she was in an abusive relationship. It was a Christian college, and the reaction of her tutors to the fact that she’d been raped was that she had to pray for her sins.

Yet, despite all the hell she’s been through  with religion, Samantha is still a Christian.

I am in awe of that amount of faith and I feel pleased that she ended up sticking with her faith, something she held so dear.

I read her blog because of my own issues with religion. My parents do not acknowledge the fact that I no longer believe in their Christian god, and don’t understand why I haven’t been in church since just before I was admitted to hospital for PTSD and the voices (who are quiet now, and they’d better stay that way). They know about the horrible brainwashing I went through with my friend B, when my ex tried to get us to believe we were angels. For me, his words succeeded in making me believe in this delusion, and he let it string on because he thought it was funny.

I tried not to lose my faith. I believed I had to keep believing in what he’d said because they were direct orders from GOD, duh, and not believing in them would make me a sinful Christian and a fallen angel.

Religion has been there all through my life, as a powerful and often misused force. I remember feeling horribly guilty for anything and everything I’d ever done through the week whilst saying confession in church. I must have only been about six then. I used to think that if I wasn’t thinking about God every single moment of the day, I was a bad Christian. I was consumed with guilt over pretty much everything, because I had read in the Bible the penalties for being sinful. Surely, as nobody was born without sin, that made me the worst sinner in the world?

Sexuality was a huge problem too. I used to feel red-hot guilty that I couldn’t decide whether I liked boys or girls more. Being bisexual is tough for the largest majority of the population to understand, but for the Church, being who I was would land me in hell. I was damned.

I continually felt wrong and sinful and guilty. I thought I should be a missionary because being anything else would have been selfish and a sin to God. I spent a lot of my religious life feeling like a pariah or like God himself had chosen me for a special purpose.

Religion is damaging enough, but put that together with a mental health problem and it gets seriously damaging.

Nights like this…

Tonight I’m sleepless and trying to exorcise the demons in my head. J and I have just talked and I love love love the smooth, sweet drawl of his voice. That voice anchors me whilst I’m feeling strange.

I’ve been a little dissociative tonight. I’ve been at Saturday family tea- the whole clan, aunties, uncles, cousins- the lot. My auntie was babysitting her best friend’s daughter, who is a shining gem of a seven year old. She played with the puppy, a rare event- Juno puppy is not the world’s biggest fan of children, but this little girl is an old head on young shoulders. She let me read to her. She cuddled up with me and the puppy, her on my knee and the puppy beside me. I felt very safe, but somehow a little sad.

I think what’s triggered me a little is talking about my ex to her. My auntie was married to her abuser, and this little girl knows a highly edited version of that story. She calls him Naughty, so we all do too. We had gone upstairs in my nana’s house to see one of the many family portraits hanging on the walls, and she mentioned to me that she knew that Naughty was a bad guy because HIS smile was not a good smile. All the other people on the picture had big, happy, truthful smiles, she said. Only Naughty’s wasn’t right.

That really hit me hard. SHE could see, through our eyes, the flaw in him, the defect that ate at his core and caused such harm to my auntie that she ended up in hospital, too. She knew, this seven year old, that there was a man not to be trusted- and she could see that through his smile!

She asked why my auntie had even married him in the first place, so I explained that sometimes, the scariest baddies are the ones that pretend to be your best friend. I said that I had been with a naughty man, for six years.

The wise, innocent little face formed an expression I’ve mostly seen on adult faces: she was appreciating how hard that was for me.

“Whew,” she said, “that’s a long time.”

I said that yes, indeed it was, but he hadn’t started out bad. He’d pretended to be one of the good guys, and I had never seen the badness coming at all. He’d added the bad stuff in, bit by bit, until I didn’t know that he was all bad.

Looking at those feathery blonde brows rise in shock, I was struck with an intense desire to protect her. I would have jumped in front of a bullet for that child, and I still will. I would right now. I didn’t want that angelic creature to have to face what my auntie and I have faced- the sleepless nights thinking he is perfect and I am not, the agony inside as he breaks up with you and demands you back only for the cycle to repeat. I felt something tearing inside of me in my chest- my heart was trying to reach through my chest to keep her safe.

Talking to Dr K, my therapist, on Thursday may have stirred a lot up- I was trying to tell her about some of the things I’ve had to endure under him- but this has made me remember long nights waiting by the phone, worrying about ringing him in case it ‘wasn’t convenient right now’. I’d get yelled at if I didn’t ring at bang on ten pm. I feel like time is slipping backwards, like having a rug pulled out from under your feet. I remember the feeling in arguments, that bad feeling of ‘I’m losing you and it’s my fault and you knew I was going to say that, oh god why?!’

I’ve found a song that sums it all up. He never drove, but the car keys are symbolic. They are the keys to my heart, my freedom, my life. They are the things that drove me and the things he took control of, bit by bit. Those phonecalls I tried to make that he aborted with one stern word. The threats of all sorts, the demands, and finally go to sleep silly girl, we’re getting nowhere tonight. I would try not to get too upset but tears inevitably burned my cheeks, that acid tang, and the feeling of being about to throw up came when he called me pathetic. I was trying so hard. I was. I promise I’m trying so hard to be different and more like the girl you wanted me to be, the girl I was when you met me. I promise I won’t go to anyone with my problems, definitely not you, I’ll solve them myself. I know I’m weak and need to stop being such a little girl I promise I won’t do this again I swear I’m not going to hurt you I didn’t mean to oh god don’t say that to me I’m not like that I swear I’m not-

The loop plays on and on, and I drown it out with other things. But, in the background, it’s always there, along with his replies.

I’m alone at three in the morning. I haven’t rung J to let him know I am feeling awful: too much programming in the way. I’ve lied to my mother about feeling “ok” now, and that I will get up in the morning and “face the day”. I have been on an online counselling service, which wasn’t great.

I am out of options.

What can I do next? I don’t have a clue. My usual method of writing hasn’t worked. My efforts to calm myself down haven’t worked. I don’t want to wake up my flatmates, because they have enough on their plates already.

I am feeling very unsafe.

I want to do something really stupid. I want to neck a whole bottle of alcohol, or slice my arms and legs with the sharpest knife I can find, sitting in the bath, until I can’t lift the knife. I want to cry again but all my tears are gone.

I want to die again.

I don’t want to die…. because I should be here for my friends and family and for J. However, today I am not me. I am in pain. I am programmed, I am listening to my stupid fucking dark passenger, and I want to cut.

I don’t know what to do to feel better. I don’t want to relapse. I want to sleep and forget and not have nightmares or paranoia or flashbacks any more.

I am exhausted but there is no chance of me sleeping.

What if I just cut a little?

That’s cheating. I am four and a half months clean. I would break my record.

Who am I keeping it for? Me? J? My family?

Tonight I don’t know. Tonight I feel unreal.

I just want to know everything will be ok. I suppose right now it isn’t, and it never will be.

Therapy in four months? I could be worse by then, or dead or something. I feel emotionless typing that. The only thing I feel is the guilt and unease that my ex used to cause when I couldn’t contact him: that saving up of anger for the big storm.

I’m getting sick again, and I want to be how I was in America with J.

Apparently I’m not allowed that. All I am allowed is pain and death and anxiety and paranoia and hallucinations and PTSD and whatever mood disorder I have on top of that and the fucking voices and memories of abuse that go on and on and on and never let me rest.

I am sick of life like this. I just want to be better. Is that too much to ask?

 

I hate you

I hate you, you sick bastard. I hate what you did to me. I live in hell now every day and I have nothing left, not even my pride. You took it all- my virginity, my self-worth, my trust in myself, and left me a hollow, scooped out, bleeding nothing. Why do you get away Scot free and I am left bleeding and alone!?!
Go and fucking die for all I care, but make sure you give me back my heart- you know, the one you stole that was never yours. Whilst you’re at it, apologise to my ex girlfriend, because you helped screw up our relationship even though you weren’t there.
You self-centred bastard. I am a wreck, and it’s all down to you.