Why Do Some Get Bullied and Others Don’t

Question on humanWhy does it seem that the majority of those abused at home as children are abused and bullied outside the  home too? I’m not talking about later in life when we’re drawn to those who abuse us or some who were abused as kids become abusers themselves. I’m talking about when we’re still kids being beaten up in every way imaginable made to feel like we don’t matter because we’re dismissed, at home, only to go out into the world and be bullied by others.

I remember being called a cry baby by a few other kids when I’d cry in kindergarten . These were probably the kids eating paste, but they weren’t crying and they were laughing at those who were, so they must be cool. I was 4 when I started kindergarten.

Later, I remember being made fun of because I wasn’t good at kick ball in gym class. I was among the last picked for teams and never chosen as a team captain. In elementary school and middle school age, I was a blundering idiot AT school, because I was always nervous about getting the wrong answer, not doing well at whatever it was. My self confidence was really shaky.  The boys had a nickname for me that depicted stupid-ness. (I know ‘stupid-ness isn’t a word.) So every time they called me the name it was the same as calling me stupid. The boys thought it was hilarious. No one stood up for me. Not even teachers.

In my school (a Catholic school) it was ‘cool’ to be smart. It was not cool to be one of the kids called on and not be paying attention.

It was not cool to be getting  Ds.

In the public school system that didn’t matter all that much in the realm of bullying. If you were too “brainy” you’d get made fun of. But it didn’t work that way on the opposite end of the spectrum.

I don’t know every detail of the dynamic is public elementary school or even junior high because I went to Catholic school until the end of 9th grade. But I knew public school kids and most of my friends were public school kids from my neighborhood.

The only good thing about Catholic school was all the days off we had. I did have a couple friends in school. But one of those ‘friends’ actually bullied me a few times. Her name was Donna.

I used to walk to school in first grade and Donna’s house was on the way so I’d stop and knock on her door for someone to walk with. Many times, she and her older brother would have left already. I found out many years later, by Donna herself, that they used to try to get out of the house before I showed up.  And when they were there, her brother Steve would bring scary masks to school and put them on to scare me. Then they’d both run ahead of me and laugh. I don’t know or remember if I was scared of the masks. I was a huge fan of Halloween. But I would cry. And I think it had more to do with the girl I wanted to like me, running away, laughing and making fun of me.

But I kept going back for more.

The nun I had in first grade was physically abusive so I was terrified of her. I was paralyzed really. If I did my homework I was afraid she’d find something wrong with it. If I didn’t, I was guaranteed a hair or an ear pull.

I was bullied in the neighborhood I lived in, particularly early on after moving there. Two girls, one of which I had taken to and thought of as a friend, rode their bikes up past my house one day while I was out front of my house. I was actually pulling weeds for my mother. I remember feeling like I’d offered myself up on a platter. I mean, how much better (or worse for me) could that timing be. And what were the odds really of them being around to do such a thing.

When I was 12, I became friends with a girl named Lisa, who’d moved recently a couple blocks over from me. She’d already lived in my town before that, went to the public school and had been friends with someone in my neighborhood. And that’s how I met her.

After we’d been friends for a while, I introduced her to Donna…yes I stayed friends with one of my bullies.

{In fact one of the girls on her bike I wrote about above is on my friend list on FB. It’s twisted. This topic is a post or three all on their own. “What bullies and abusers of mine I stayed friends with just to be liked.” Ugh…it makes me sick.}

After Lisa and Donna met each other, they apparently became closer behind the scenes and likely talked shit about me behind my back. I was later bullied by the two of them, basically just for fun. That’s a story on it’s own with some telling detail about my mother too, so that’s another post. In fact I wrote about it before so I’ll have to find it.

Rewind back to being younger and playing with the kids in the neighborhood. Despite the bullies on their bikes, that shit calmed down. In fact after that incident they left me alone. In fact they told me in the midst of calling me nasty names that one of the girls, Annie, wanted me to leave her alone.

I was like, “Done!” Just leave me the fuck alone.

As time went on, I met other kids. And there was a long common driveway for the houses that some of those kids lived in, including one of the bullies on the bike, named Ginny. I even became friends with the other three kids in her family. Ha!

I am using ‘friend’ quite loosely here because in actuality these people would not qualify for the meaning of friend now that I know better. But at least they weren’t beating me up or calling me nasty names.

In the summer time and when the weather and sun permitted after school, we’d play kick ball or four square in that long driveway, otherwise known as the alley on 6th street. We had to distinguish it because there was an ‘alley’ behind the houses we lived in too.

As opposed to how I felt and behaved in gym class in school though,  I kicked ass in kickball and four square in the neighborhood. I was so good that people did want me on their team.

Basketball was a different story though. There were two nets in the neighborhood and it was an unspoken thing that even though they belonged to other families, anyone could use them.

I sucked at B-ball no matter where I played it. But I tried anyway, and was even on the team for my school for like a year, maybe two.  For some reason I enjoyed it. But in the neighborhood, I put up with the bullying from the boys who played regularly.  They really made fun of me.

There was a net at the end of our alley and a net at the end of the alley on 6th. The one in our alley was easier because it was shorter. The other one was not much fun because of how tall it was. Plus the part of the alley it was in, behind this guy’s house, was all jagged so the ball would bounce all wonky much more than when playing at the other net.

Thing was, though, the taller net was usually free of bullying…most of the time.

So back to my question…what is it about those abused at home that also get abused out among their activities in life?

Do these other kids sense that we can easily be bullied? Do they see a sign on our foreheads that says, “Bully me, I won’t defend myself? And then I’ll still want you to be my friend anyway.”

Besides most of the kids doing the bullying don’t care if we try to defend ourselves anyway, because even if we were to defend ourselves, the kids doing the bullying are generally a whole lot bigger. But they don’t pick on every single child who’s smaller than them, just a select few. And there is no way every single bully can know first hand the kids’ lives at home whom they are bullying.

Do bullies… even the ones who don’t know us, see an aura when they see us, even if all we’re doing is walking down the street, weeding the front lawn for our mom or sitting in an ice cream shop, eating an ice cream cone?

What the fuck is the damn deal?

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I Was a Family Doormat and Scapegoat

bullshitterIt can be so easy this time of year to get sad and nostalgic about family. I know it is for me, at least at certain times. I’ll remember something my mom used to do as a tradition, or just in general. I was triggered by the smells of baking brownies in my own kitchen the other day and it took me back.

I don’t always need a trigger and there are times I just begin to remember things and I miss my mom. The birthday card she sent this year doesn’t help either and is still with me. She wrote something that was really a guilt trip. But I have to wonder if she even realizes that’s what it is. I really wonder if she is aware of the fact that what she wrote is actually a manipulation.

To be honest and at the risk of sounding like I’m still trauma bonded (which I am to a point) I really don’t think she understands this. And I’ve spent time feeling badly for her, somewhat guilty for putting her through my absence and a bit sorry and sad for her.  Not that I think I’m something special, but she also wrote some other things to indicate that she misses me.

But then I realize, it’s not my job or responsibility to teach her. I’ve pointed things out in the past. I’ve spoken to her about similar things and still the same old behavior. I even thought about writing her a letter explaining everything as to why I need to stay away and would still like to work through things. But then I remember other things that indicate she’s not open to it.

Whether she says she gets it or not doesn’t really matter, because her actions have proven otherwise. It’s her job to learn her words are manipulative, not mine to point this out to her.  It’s frustrating though, and even confusing, but I’ve had conversations with her before that end up being disregarded. So really, I’ve already done my part. How many times can I explain myself?

Manipulative Mama:
I explain what the problem is, she says she understands, I can even sense her softening. Later in the same conversation, she says something that clues me in to the fact that she doesn’t get it. I let it go because it doesn’t register or I freeze and don’t know what to say.  Next day I attempt to address it. She gets annoyed and asks why can’t we just have a light conversation? And I get hurt, feel guilty and ashamed and feel like the problem is all me again.

This outline happened within a conversation we had before I agreed to help take care of my father while he was dying. One reason for my apprehension about that is, I was afraid of my brother and sister. I’d been psychologically abused as well as physically threatened by both, but the more recent incident involving physical threat was with my brother.

I explained it all to my mother and she seemed to genuinely understand. She said things that made me feel good about me deciding to confide in her. Then after I’d made a few points, I’d said, “It’s not my fault that everyone is walking on eggshells. I walk on them too.” (Eggshells: this was continuously brought up by my sister in reference to me. Basically as far as my narcissist sister is/was concerned, I am the one who is scary to approach. I guess that means that she thinks she is a perfectly reasonable human being.)

My mother responded, “Yeah, I don’t think it’s your fault.” And just as I was breathing a sigh of relief, she said, “I think it started with you, but I don’t think it’s all you now.”

I froze and said nothing. I figured she was most likely referring to when depression set into me and my behavior became severely different in many ways, including chronically angry, periodic rages and a lot of quiet depression and sleeping.

That quote in red was said when I was 47. I began showing signs of severe depression before the age of 20.

But STARTED with me??? The eggshells started with me??? She must have had a momentary lapse of memory. All the abuse my father inflicted upon me. She doesn’t think that this treatment of me had something to do with the depression I suffered, my anger, my lashing out and explosive anger?  And she’s no innocent either. She allowed it to happen and emotionally neglected me in many ways. That’s a lot of shit to forget and put on me.

The next day after I’d had time to think about the remark my mom had made about it having started with me, I attempted to address it. That’s when she’d said, “You know, it’s so difficult to have a conversation with you. Why can’t you just call me and say, “Hi, how are you?”

It doesn’t occur to her that I was the child. That anger and reactive behavior had to come from somewhere. That we all walked on eggshells around my father. But I was the one who needed to get over all this shit.


PTSD and DEPRESSION

I had no clue back when the depression started, that I was actually having symptoms of PTSD.  I became reactive. I yelled and screamed a lot, especially when my sister started borrowing stuff of mine and not asking. And not just borrowing my shit but ruining some things too. She’d borrowed a favorite blouse one day and got nail polish down the front of it.

She was not reprimanded by my mother or father and she wasn’t told to replace it.  I’d find things missing that I wanted to wear that day and she’d have already taken them without my permission.

One day I hit a ceramic light switch-plate out of anger after some conflict between my sister and me. I think it might have even been an incident where not much conflict really took place. If I’m not mistaken, she and I had been in the bathroom together, me curling my hair and her putting on make up. My curling iron came unplugged and the plug fell into the sink.

My sister said, “Careful.”

I said in a snotty ass voice, “There’s not even any water in the sink, there’s nothing to worry about.”

She said, “I was saying it because I was worried about you. Saying careful you don’t hurt yourself.”

I immediately felt like shit after that. But I don’t remember acknowledging it. I was in deep with this depression and I was just feeling resentful and angry all the time about everything and not knowing what. My sister and I had been close when we were younger and we had lost that along my way to depression. I was frustrated and confused. I wanted that back but didn’t know how to go about it. We’d just moved not long before that incident too and that was really hard on me.

I had not seen the new house before we’d moved in and was not at all emotionally ready to move. I went to work one morning from one house and went home to another house.

My sister seemed to think she was in charge of this new house. Since she’d gone with them to look at the house to begin with, she’d picked her room, which was the bigger of the two she and I had to pick from. And being the oldest, I was used to having the larger of whatever the choices were.  The rules had changed.

One day, my sister left a note in the kitchen informing no one that she uses her towels “thrice” and whoever is throwing them in the hamper, please stop. Obviously she knew it was me since the two of us were the only ones using that bathroom. Instead of addressing me directly (which became a very toxic pattern in years to come) and looking me in the eye, she felt the need to leave a note addressed to no one.

I needed room for my towels too, there being just one rack for them. But there was no mention or consideration of that.

I remember seeing this passive aggressive shit in the kitchen after she’d left for work. My father was standing there next to me and he laughed, thinking it was funny. I failed then and fail now to see the humor.

I should have turned to him and said, “You find it funny that your two daughters’ relationship is in the toilet? You know you are responsible for this. You are the one who have developed these narcissistic personalities in your kids and they are afraid to confront each other with issues and problems that should be dealt with face to face and resolution reached. But this. (thrashing sister’s letter in my hand) This is what you created instead. You and mom need to mediate this shit. You need to help us resolve it so that we can hash things out. Yep, it’s something that you should have fucking done when we were kids so we could be ready to do it now as young adults. But you didn’t. You neglected to a lot of shit.  But I want a relationship with my siblings so you are going to help fix this now and do things you should’ve done when we were kids.”

Another time, my sister decided that since we had a dishwasher that we didn’t need a dish drainer and got rid of it. And my mom, whose kitchen it really was, said nothing.

These are two examples of a life time of shit and build up to my sister’s behavior and our rift.

So my reaction (punching the switch-plate) was likely frustration of so much chaos that had gone on for so long, as well as a reaction to whatever had just taken place. I wish I could remember the events surrounding that act of what was essentially self-harm, but they just aren’t clear.

After punching the switch-plate, it broke and shattered all over a section of the wood floor in my bedroom. I drew so much blood from the area near my pinky’s knuckle that I probably should’ve had stitches. I still have that scar.

Both my sister and mother came running to see what had happened, and my sister immediately said, “Are you OK?” as she held my hand in hers.


Depression and my Sister

When I became depressed I became withdrawn, angry, resentful and all around miserable. My sister and I had been close when we were small and stayed fairly close throughout my high school years, despite the almost 6 year difference. So when it comes to past incidents and finding clues as to where the rift was and where it began, it was most prominent and obvious concerning my sister and me. That being said though, they seemed to happen insidiously as well as obviously. Some might say these incidents were normal sibling rivalry. Maybe some of the fights and arguments were normal to have had. Some clearly were not. Most of the problem lay in the absence of resolution and our parents teaching us how to do that.

One particular thing that sticks out in my mind that I wish I had been truly present for my sister for is when she was afraid of being pregnant at a really young age. She ran into my room and gave me a big hug as she cried. She explained what had happened and what she was afraid of. I was speechless. I myself had not had such a fear up to this point and had no idea what to say or do. I was not there for her.

I wish I had taken her by the hand and said, “Let’s go, we’re going to planned parenthood.” At that time, even without a car, that was possible. We lived in a town where so much was in walking distance and PP was one of those places. I still kick myself for that one.

Later, I used this against her when I got angry at her and said screamed something about her having sex at such a young age.

I apologized later but the damage was done.

I would not consider my brother and I as being close as children. In fact I was his bully. Things calmed down in that area once I was in high school. Plus by the time I was beginning to go through the depression, he was already 17 himself. He had his own busy life and was barely ever around. I can’t speak for him but I don’t think my withdrawal effected him quite as much as it did my sister. In fact I’m not so sure how much he really noticed what was going on with me, which is totally understandable at that age and given our past relationship.

 

My Brother

This is more about my brother’s skewed thinking as an adult and the reason behind a rage attack I endured from him one night while he was in my house.

My brother had a double standard for my father and me. My father had no idea how to be a parent. He was treated like crap by his father. His brother was favored (who became an alcoholic incidentally) and so our father, according to my brother, deserved a break. It was excusable that our father did what he did to us. But it wasn’t excusable that I was almost 50 and still angry about it.

 

Agreement with an abusive family is nothing to them:

I gave in to the guilt, shame and ultimatum each family member put upon me when it came to manipulating me into caring for my father while he was terminally ill.

An agreement was made and weeks down the road when it was time to follow through with certain parts of the agreement, specifically pertaining to my time ‘off’ when it doesn’t fit someone else’s schedule. These people could not take no for an answer and so their solution is to use emotional manipulation, shaming and guilt tripping. My mother also used avoidance when it came to reminding my sister. She just kept her mouth shut instead of standing up for me.  (But she calls me for my sister when sister whines about something she finds unfair or wants me to do something that I’ve already said no to.)

When my father was dying, he needed quite a bit of help, including having someone fix his meals. As time went on, he got really wobbly on his feet, and someone needed to be there whenever he was awake.

During a conversation I had had with my mother, a conversation following my attempt at addressing her claim that the egg-shell walking among the family started with me, she said that she’d help out with my father (who she had been divorced from for years) when none of us ‘kids’ could or would be there.

The agreement was that I would have Fridays (the day I had therapy) and Sundays for myself, to take care of things in my own life. It was agreed on by everyone involved. One weekend, I was supposed to not need to go on Saturday also,  and ended up going anyway after my sister asked me to, because my father would need breakfast. It was supposed to be “just until the Home Health Aid got there at noon.” But knowing the way things work out with my family, I had a bad feeling about it to begin with.

When I got there, my father was fast asleep but I made us both some scrambled eggs anyway. When he woke up I gave him some eggs and he didn’t want them. He had a little yogurt instead and went back to bed.When he got up a little while later, he said to me nervously, “I don’t need anyone to cook anything for me for breakfast, I like to just get myself some yogurt and sometimes go back to bed.”

I thought to myself, “What a fucking waste of time for me to be here. I was specifically asked (more like directed) to cook this fuck-head breakfast when I arrived at his apartment. Now he’s telling me this. And no one is here to hear his words. So I feel tossed around and used. I feel like I just made a trip over here for nothing.”

When the HHA showed up, my initial feeling was relief. I was more than ready to get out of there.

But then she mentioned she didn’t have a car. It was my understanding before I even went over there that this fucking inept fucking excuse for a home health aid was supposed to go get groceries that day.

I was already stressed about being there and going to the grocery store on a Saturday made things much worse for me. Not to mention my irritation at this woman showing up without a car, knowing full well she had errands to do for my father that day.

So I went, but not before letting someone (mom) know this woman is showing up without a car. Of course she didn’t think it was a big deal and said something like, “Just go get the groceries.”

Because you know, my time isn’t worth anything. I should’ve said, “What are up to mom, how ’bout you go get the groceries on a Saturday at noon.???”

I finished the grocery run, got back and my father looked at the bags and gave a weird exasperated/disgusted look, while his cousin sat at the dining room table with him. She’d shown up while I was out.  I think my father thought I went to the wrong store as he caught a glimpse of the bags. I didn’t and I’d gotten every last thing on King Fuck-Head’s list.

Another errand needed to be run to the drug store, but I needed to get out of there, and the HHA said she’d take care of it when her husband got there, even though it would be past her time to be there.  So I put the groceries away, and pretending nothing was wrong, I said hi to my second cousin, gave my father a kiss on the cheek and got the hell out of there.

In a normal and healthy reality, I would have loved to visit with my father’s cousin too. But I was done. I was not about to sit there and pretend that everything was fine when I was exhausted and feeling just like the doormat I was.

That same day, I had a cat to feed for someone who was away and while I sat at their house, I talked to my sister on the phone. I informed her that the HHA showed up with no car and I was the one to run to the grocery store. I also let her know I was annoyed by it and that a HHA needs to show up with a car so she can do the job she was being paid for.  Apparently though this chick could do no wrong and my sister wasn’t fazed.

Sister mentioned needing someone to go over to my father’s for lunch the next day.

I told her then on the phone, with my mouth, that I was not going. That I had a difficult time there that day and that Sunday was one of my days to myself.

I could hear her mutter/whisper on the other end, “I’m not going either.”

I said nothing but now thinking about it, WT actual F. It was Sunday. I’d bet her fat fuck of a husband was home and she could’ve done it. But she’s the entitled princess and simply wanted to run the show from atop her throne. FUCKING CUNT!

On my way home from taking care of the cat, I called my mother and let her know that my father needed someone to go there for lunch as per my sister. Instead of acknowledging our agreement, she said, “Well, I’ll talk to your brother.”

Wait, what? My word holds no weight. It was like standing in front of her, saying “hey, I’m here” and she was looking over my head at someone else and waving to them as if I wasn’t there.

Later that night, my sister text messaged me asking me to go see my father for lunch the next day, which was Sunday. This, after me telling her how stressful my visit was that morning and this, after knowing full well that the agreement was that on Sunday, I was not going over there. This is how much she takes my feelings into consideration. But I expected it.

I texted her back and told her No.

She couldn’t leave it alone though and texted back, and after she asked again, telling me it would only be for an hour, I said, “No. Mom said she’d do it, get in touch with her.”

I knew it wouldn’t be just an hour with my father, I had, that very day of chaos, to tell me that. In fact those same few words were used in the request to go there that morning, “It’s only for…”

No way, after that day, was I going back the next day. I can’t believe she even fucking asked. Little entitled bitch asking everyone else to go see this old dying abuser fuck.

Hey little narc sister, I got an idea. Get the fuck off your ass, call off work, find a sitter and go the fuck over there your own damn self. Whatever it takes right? That’s what you expect me to do so you should step the fuck up and practice what you fucking preach.

I heard nothing after that until the next day when I called my mom, who was driving on the turnpike. She got annoyed with me when I asked her where she was going since she didn’t offer it up when I called.

Get this shit: She simply said, “I’m driving.”  Passive aggressive fat fucking bitch. Wow! I had no advocate. Not even in my mother.

I forget what exactly was exchanged after that but she did eventually tell me she was headed to my father’s. And she was sure to say it with a tone that insinuated that I should’ve known what she was doing.

I’m pretty sure that a healthy mom would just directly answer the question in the first place. Actually a healthy mom would call me and say, we got this, I’ll go over for lunch. Instead of leaving me hanging. And if she hadn’t called before I’d called her to double check on the situation, she would’ve said, “Sorry I didn’t call to let you know before this.”

I asked then about my sister. “Is she mad?” (I know pathetic. This is the fear I’m talking about.)

“No, she’s just frustrated.” (She’s frustrated. smh)

“About what?”

“That you wouldn’t go instead of me driving all the way down there?”

I said, “Did you mention the agreement?” (Apparently with my mother’s attitude, she’d also blown it off, since on this day, keeping such an agreement wasn’t convenient for her.)

She replied, “I didn’t want to go there.”

I froze as usual and said nothing. It was Sunday, one of my days off according to the agreement. My mom had agreed to go when none of us three ‘kids’ could or would. I said to her, “It wouldn’t be just an hour” thinking about the day before. And since I’d talked to her the day before, I figured she’d get what I was saying and how I was feeling.

“It will be just an hour…..” She went on but I don’t remember what she said. I couldn’t believe that my mom was behaving as badly as my siblings.

My mother lived only about fifteen minutes more away from my father than I did.  I don’t know if my family forgot that I no longer lived in the same town we grew up in and so didn’t take into consideration that my trip over there to my father’s wasn’t that much less for me than it was for my mother. Either way, doesn’t matter since it was a fucking agreement.

Next day when I showed up to my father’s apartment, I found a note from my mother telling me the stuff she did and then claiming to love me. I thought, “BULLSHIT,” tossed the note and never mentioned it. I couldn’t believe she could treat me like trash on the very same day to later claim her love for me in writing. What a joke. Only I didn’t find it the least bit funny.

To add more insult to injury, remember the part where I said that my father didn’t need anyone getting him breakfast?

Well the following week, my brother started cooking him eggs and bacon every single fucking morning!

And take a guess at who gobbled it right down like a pig.

Because of all I went through with my family during my father’s illness, I have no desire (most of the time) to have anything to do with my siblings.

But I tend to think and feel differently about my mother more often. So when sympathy for my mother creeps in and I think about seeing her, I remember this shit, and the desire to talk to her let alone lay eyes on her, goes away.

Safety First Ignored

scooter fall

When we were clearing out my father’s apartment of all the furniture he had in it, my sister had her two sons there and my brother had his daughter there.

At one point I came out the sliding glass doors with a large box and my nephews came speeding toward me on their Razor scooters. They quickly stopped after they’d almost run right into me.

It was difficult enough to carry the box and to be running repeatedly, in and out of the sliding glass doors, let alone having to worry about the kids skating up and down the walk way we needed to use to get all that shit to the van and other cars.

My brother-in-law had been standing off to the side, engaged in a conversation with the guy my brother got to help us move all that stuff, because the guy had a van.

I could see that my brother-in-law saw this whole incident of both of my nephews coming to a screeching halt as they saw me emerge from the apartment onto the walk way. And then said absolutely nothing in the way of telling them they needed to stop using the walk way for their scooter fun.

I was so exhausted and feeling beaten after all I’d been through with my chaotic and abusive family for the last couple months.  I myself felt worthless, so it would stand to reason my brother-in-law would see me that way. I said nothing to stick up for myself though because of the fear I felt. The fear that had developed for my sister. And I certainly didn’t want to deal with any rage coming from my fat fuck of a brother-in-law.

A caring, attentive and considerate person would tell their children not to to do what my nephews and niece had been doing. Granted there was no where else really for them to do that, but so fucking what.

Safety first!

I took it as proof positive that they didn’t give one fuck if I ended up on the ground.

And actually the kids could’ve gone out to the parking lot  to ride their scooters. By then they were old enough to know how to avoid traffic in a parking lot that was not very busy, but had plenty of room for them to ride their scooters.

But that’s me. My sister was always so protective and constantly afraid that they’d disappear.  In a way I understand and don’t blame her. But in this case, then they needed to get the fuck off their scooters and maybe help carry small things.

Maybe that’s tough on my part, but running over their aunt was/is not acceptable. Go play in the grass.

It’s understandable that the kids wouldn’t know better at the age they were but it’s unacceptable for a parent not to set things right and tell the kids to stop because they could cause some harm.

I know now, that they just never gave a fuck about me and to be honest, I would not be surprised if my BIL was wishing harm on me anyway. And this thought/feeling doesn’t just come out of thin air either.

There were other incidents with him that indicated and made it obvious he didn’t like me. He’d used sarcasm and short abrupt responses to me in the past. So I had/have no doubt it was a purposeful act of neglect.

Andy, dear ass hole brother in law…I have two words for you.

Fuck you!

None of them including him, counted me as a human that mattered.

Yeah, ask me if I miss my family.

Drumming In The Mean

Mean Boyfriend“These aren’t your people you know. I’ve known Steve since high school.”

Said by Tim, a guy I called boyfriend at certain times in my life. He made this proclamation many years ago while at a house party of a couple who were specifically my friends.

Scotty, the male part of the couple hosting of the party had been a year ahead of me in high school and we’d spent time together, platonically, doing things outside of school. Lisa, the female part of the couple, and I were in the same graduating class together but didn’t know each too well then. I had gotten to know her quite well and really like her, in the last couple years prior to this party.

I’m sure this statement of my boyfriend’s came from jealousy. Not exactly sure why he’d be jealous, since he had his own close knit set of friends who actually loved him very much. Obviously he didn’t like seeing me so happy, so comfortable, so content.

I remember how much of a shock it felt like when he’d said it, but like most other things he said, that were equally as abusive, I let it go…at least outwardly toward him. Obviously I didn’t truly let it go, given that I’m writing about it now.

I stayed friends with the lot of the folks who’d been at that party for a long time, including the guy my boyfriend so arrogantly announced knowing since high school. Tim had also made a point to let me know that he and I didn’t “travel in the same circles” right after telling me about knowing Steve from school.

The attitude it was said with was that of self-importance and as though he was better than me and his circles were better to travel in than mine were. I was left feeling like I was missing something every time he’d say it.

Well, given the fun I had, despite much of it being through the fog of marijuana and alcohol, I enjoyed my circles.  At the time I thought I wanted him to be a part of those circles, but I think I had more fun with my circles of friends in part because probably he wasn’t there when I was with them most of the time.

And Steve? The man whom my boyfriend made a point to let me know wasn’t “my people?”

Well he and I had many mutual friends and I made even more friends through him. A whole bunch of people I knew camped twice a year at a festival that was by invitation only. Steve was always there. One of the fun things people there did, was have drum circles around fire pits when the amplified music/bands were done playing for the night.

Steve had a djembe that I loved and would borrow for drum circles when he wasn’t using it. I’d call him ‘one of my people’ considering he trusted me enough with a prized and expensive possession of his.

 

So Tim…you were saying?

 

Denying Abuse is Cultist Behavior

cults-250x150aI wrote late last night about being ready to return to therapy. But I don’t think I mentioned how damaged and… well…I don’t even know what word would describe how I felt yesterday. Depressed, sad, angry, even suicidal doesn’t even seem to quite cut it.

I was in hell…not that I’d know what ‘real hell’ is but I was in a lot of pain yesterday. The effects of things my father had done got an intense emotional grip.

His words said he loved me. Even some of his actions did. But so many more of his actions were nasty, mean and scapegoating.

Worthless! That’s a good word to describe how I felt yesterday.

And the kicker is that my family sees me as the one who’s fucked up and the cause of the issues. My siblings are in such denial about how our parents treated us and raised us. How they ignored so much of the bullying and dysfunction among all of us.

Last night, while watching videos on YouTube, it occurred to me to check out some Jehovah Witness videos. The last relationshit (an affair) I had was with an ex JW himself, and I wanted to see what some of the ex-members had to say about what I see as a cult.

While watching and listening to one guy, he mentioned an episode of a show called “Panorama” which features stories of the pedophilia in the JW “church”. So I watched that too.

It’s hard to stomach shit like this, but it was very eye opening. It was disgusting how this organization ignores what is happening to the children and when the parents go to the ‘elders’ (who more properly should be called slimy pieces of shit) in this cult, to report the crime, they are waved away and told to pray.

The mothers of these violated children, were so brainwashed into believing that these slime ball elders knew better than the mothers themselves, so the mothers would stay and do essentially nothing to protect their children. If they left they’d have nowhere to go essentially.

Of course the abuse of children continues while the elders and members of the organization stay in life-damaging denial, which results in allowing all that abuse to continue to happen.

Talk about sick shit!

This morning, after I’d processed my yesterday and this documentary, I realized that walking away from an abusive family…whether the abuse is physical or emotional, or both, it’s like getting away from a cult.

While it’s true I have a roof over my head as a result of the kindness of a friend, it’s not the same as having family to count on, having a mother to go to, having siblings to relate to and remember things with.

It’s extra sad when the people who are supposed to love you, understand you, be there for you, even provide some semblance of protection in the world, deny everything you struggle with, deny the abuse and chaos, as well as the damage it all caused.

That is cultist behavior.

Dismissed At Almost Every Turn

You know what sucks?

To feel judged. It sucks to feel judged. Even worse, it sucks to not even be sure. Because after making yourself vulnerable you get nothing but crickets.

I said too much. I explained myself too much. I trusted too much.  My own damn mistake though since I’d been judged by the person once before. Hello! Duh!

One thing I need to stop doing is ignoring that intuition of mine.

The above was referring to an old ‘friend’ of mine who I told a little bit about my upbringing. I was told by her that I’ve always been a bit on the sensitive side.

I told her because I thought she’d understand. I thought since she’d been molested as a small child by her step-father while her mother let it happen, she’d have some validation for me. But nope. I figured wrong. Seems I always figure wrong.

——————————————————————————————————————

Something else was triggered for me in thinking about this incident with my ‘friend’ so I would like to write a few words of advice from both sides of the couch.

-Careful how you judge people.

-Careful who you tell your personal shit to.

-Careful who you help

-Careful HOW you help: Someone may not have ‘been heard’ by anyone else about something that is really bothering them and then come to you. Maybe some validation is in order and all that is really needed.

Moving on to another case of disregard and feeling dismissed:

A blogger who’s blog was my lifeline at one point, had also become a counselor to me as well. It was all done as a friend kind of thing and I confided a lot of my personal story in her.

I have no problem with doing that, in spite of what seemed to have gone wrong. I still trust that all I shared with her is safe with her. I still feel like she helped me a whole ton and in fact helped me realize and understand the abuse I’d suffered as a child, as well as the abuse I’d been going through at the time of our email exchange.

However, we had a bit of a blow out because I’d felt coerced by her at one point, and had felt that way as a result of something she’d said, once before and had not spoken up. The second time I felt the need to say something. But when I did, I did not have the vocabulary. The word I’d needed to explain myself was coercion. So instead, I’d explained it by telling her I felt the same about her trying to talk me into doing something I’d said I didn’t want to do, as I had in another situation that I had confided in her about.

She became angry and hurt because she thought I was comparing her to this other person and his character, who’s reason for his coercion was actually illegal and perverted.

(My boss’s husband wanted me to talk dirty to him on the phone. Fucking Bill was a pervert. I’d write his last name here if I knew it, but I can’t remember now because my boss never took his last name.)

I got upset (anxious and scared she would ‘abandon’ me) when she got angry and my ability to explain to her that I wasn’t comparing the two of them like they were similar types of people, just trying to communicate my feelings about what she had said to me.

Her fucking words were the same as his.

The perv who’d asked me for phone sex, which I told him NO to, said as I was leaving, “Think about it, it might do you some good too.”

My friend, who’d wanted me to continue participating in a group she’d started on Facebook, after I’d emailed her telling her I no longer wished to participate in it anymore, said the same thing, “You really should stick with it, it would do you good as well as others.”

It’s the same fucking thing. But she could not get past her perception of believing I was comparing her character to the pervs character. She could not comprehend that I was attempting to convey that MY FEELINGS WERE THE SAME IN BOTH SCENARIOS.

After I apologized (an apology I didn’t really owe her) she denied being coercive by saying, what you do is up to you and then said, “I’ve closed the group anyway.”

So, as usual, my concerns are not relevant. My feelings don’t matter and again, I had gotten involved with someone who has no capacity to resolve shit without jumping to wrong fucking conclusions.

I held my tongue (or pen or keyboard) because I thought, well, it’s over and she’s fragile. After all, she’s got PTSD too. I should give her a pass, especially with everything she’s done for me. But the good does not cancel out the shit if the shit is never resolved. Being dismissed SUCKS!

So I say, FUCK YOU! I never owed you an apology. You didn’t listen and it was so frustrating when you didn’t understand I just gave up, let you be right and accepted the role of being wrong, like I always do because, god forbid I rock the boat. Besides, continuing to discuss would make things worse right? It would get on your nerves right?  It’s done so I should just leave it alone right?

So if you’re gonna help others like a therapist or if you’re being helped by someone like a therapist, make sure you get clear where the boundaries are on both sides of the fence. Make sure you are in an emotional place to help as well. It’s better to say you’re not, than to attempt it and then make things worse for yourself and the one in need of help.

In a therapist/patient relationship, the patient should not have to be careful about what he or she says. Hurting the therapist’s feelings is not something the patient should ever really worry about. Because it’s not personal. A therapist should be a safe place to practice setting boundaries and communicating feelings.  Professional therapists understand this.

It’s just not right to position yourself as a counselor and then react in anger at the ‘patient’ when said patient communicates to you, something you perceive to be out of line and then continue to not be open to any other explanation other than what you perceived (which was wrong) in the first place.

In a true therapy situation this would not have been an issue. Someone who has trouble expressing themselves needs a safe place to do so, because of past fears and outcomes of doing so.  If you haven’t completed your own work in healing, it’s probably not a good idea to play therapist.

I’m tired of keeping my mouth shut about this sort of thing. I’m tired of questioning myself into so much doubt that I end up believing that I’m in the complete wrong and that I’m the sole problem. And then I end up so angry I take it out on others who have nothing to do with it.  I’m sick of hiding my head up my ass and putting my tail between my legs.

To continue further, I am not a narc for asking others if I’m behaving appropriately because I’m too emotionally stunted to know. The therapist friend (referred to above) told me that my posting a question on Facebook asking whether I should be bothered by certain behaviors of workmen in our house, is narcissistic on my part.

I’m not a narc for thinking I deserve respect and it’s wrong to scold me for trying to talk out an issue that I wasn’t clear on how to discuss, when you’ve assigned yourself both roles of counselor and friend.

I turned to her about it because no one else was listening to us (Mr B and me). I thought she’d be the one to understand but she minimized it as much as the landlord, the owner of the company and the foreman.  In fact, it was my FB friends who told me I had every fucking right to be pissed off at the way those douche bags were behaving. And then to not be listened and minimized by the one person I thought would get it, was beyond unacceptable.

I get so angry when I think about this. And it’s something that would need resolving if we were to remain friends. Instead, I let it go. Well not really, I just didn’t bring it up anymore. I relinquished and apologized because her feelings mattered more than mine.

I also don’t feel comfortable bringing it up again, now after all this time has passed. After all, it’s water under the bridge right?  If I say something then I’m the asshole.

What? You’re still thinking about that?

Why would I not be since it was never resolved.

Edit July 1, 2017: The relationship as you can probably guess was never the same. I stopped emailing her and in turn she did the same. It was about a year that I emailed again, trying to put the shit behind me. With the apology, she had moved forward but since I didn’t feel I really owed her the apology, the whole thing is still in the air, so to speak.  The emails we exchanged were not about the abuse and after a few exchanges they stopped again. I can only speak for the reasons on my side, which is the anger and unfair outcome of the whole incident I wrote about above. I don’t have the tolerance to be real and true friends with someone when there is shit that is unresolved between us.

And I’m not comfortable bringing it up and attempting to work it out. As she told me once, ironically, pertaining to the disrespectful workmen, “sometimes you just have to let it go.”
(I’m paraphrasing unfortunately. It would take me some time to find her exact quote.)

I’m sick of being the silent one while everyone else feels rather justified in talking out their shit and even sometimes pointing the proverbial finger at me.

Enough is enough. I’m human too…not a fuckin’ doormat!

Bender and Resentment

cannacolaSo I’ve been on a bender. A bender of marijuana smoking for a few weeks.  Or is it just a couple? Honestly I can’t remember. I got a bunch and just kept smoking til it was gone. Well, actually I threw some crumbs away at the end. But it wasn’t much and it certainly wasn’t before the damage was done.

I’m detoxing now, but I’m agitated and crabby. Not only because of the chemical reaction cannabis has on my body and brain, (although that’s some of it) but also because it stalls any progress for myself in life, in healing and I basically check out for the duration. The time goes wasted.

The resentment that’s already there is even more intense. Resentment. I feel it toward Mr. B, despite the fact I’m SUPPOSED to feel grateful. And I feel that too, but sometimes I can’t bear to be around him. Sometimes my mood changes immediately upon his walking through a door, into a room I’m in. Sometimes, I can’t wait to get away from him and I wish I could just pack my shit and leave.

But, I can’t. Well I could, if I wanted to live outside or in my car.  I depend on him. He pays it all, well most of it anyway. He pays the rent and all the bills that go with a house. I’m a mooch. But I have food stamps. So there’s that.

Thing is, he doesn’t eat most of the food I get because he’s at work most of the time. He eats take out although he keeps it as cheap as he can.However, when I’m busy dulling my pain, I also lose any motivation to prepare healthy food and not only am I binging on weed, but I’m binging on junk food too. So if I could get my shit together and not be so self-centered, I could at least provide dinner for both of us.

But that won’t keep him from eating take out during the day and sweet junk food for breakfast.  It’s probably what’s doing the damage to his short term memory, which gets on my nerves. Probably should have compassion, but the resentment tends to get in the way of that, in addition to the fear of knowing we are both getting older.

I’ve done this to myself though. The pot is an escape and sabotages any sort of progress made previously. I continually keep myself in this place of dependence because I have this need to dull the pain. And then I blame him for it. (That’s what resentment is, right?)

Not right, not logical, but there it is. Should I deny it? No matter how twisted it may be, it is how I feel. I know the anger I feel is heavier right now because of the time I just wasted, AGAIN. And I’m actually angry at me, not him. But he’s an easier target.

He is who he is, and no, if I didn’t depend on him I would have been gone a long time ago.

We were once a couple, a long time ago, but haven’t been for a long time. He is still there for me anyway. Maybe it’s because of guilt that he doesn’t throw me out. Maybe it’s because he’s a push-over (for lack of a better word) that he doesn’t tell me to get a job or get the hell out. Maybe he’s got compassion for me and knows I’ve been trying to get disability benefits.

Thing is, we had a short conversation once and he told me he thinks that the pending case is holding me back from really putting the effort to find work. And you know? I agree. I’m “afraid” to make money, for fear I won’t get approved. And I’m afraid that as soon as I make one dime I will need to pay for health insurance leaving me with no money for anything else. Obamacare.

That being said, that doesn’t mean I don’t feel I qualify for disability benefits. I have PTSD from childhood abuse. I suffer from depression and anxiety. I am worried about my reactions to other people’s behaviors or the lack of my ability to stick up for myself in certain situations, possibly making the job another toxic situation.

But I also feel trapped presently in my situation.

I think if the tables were turned, I’d have kicked him to the curb a long time ago if he didn’t find himself employed in some way. I’m sure I would not have kept my mouth shut about it the way he does, if he just sat home on the computer all day, reading and/or watching videos, not getting anything of any meaning accomplished, being unproductive.

I think I also resent him because he isn’t who I want or what I want in a man. And saying that, I think, “Who do I think I am? Because I’m sure not the woman any man would want.”

And I know that sounds like I want a rescuer, a knight in shining armor. But I don’t think that’s all of it. Given my history and upbringing, that could be, probably is part of it. But there’s more I’m sure.

I’m a woman, so maybe I really did want to be in a traditional role of taking care of a home and raising kids, while the man went to work, preferably ran his OWN business and earned the living.

However, that doesn’t mean that I wanted to be owned, controlled or treated like some second class citizen. It means that I wanted to be a partner of someone who has the same values as me. Me doing my part and him doing his.

Instead I was too afraid because of what I saw in my parents’ relationship and marriage. I certainly didn’t want that toxic dysfunction and I was convinced that it would be that way. So I ran from it.

My values weren’t even a thought. They got lost before I even could develop them and understand what a value was. My life became about running from and dodging pain.

I dated unavailable men, pushed them away while simultaneously pulling them back in. Most of them, were high emotion, so it stands to reason that I end up with someone (Mr B) who has almost none. I needed a break I suppose.

However, there was an affair for a couple years, which was an emotional roller coaster ride and in the end triggered the PTSD I already unknowingly had.

So here I am, at 50, with no direction and no career, not even a job. No husband and no kids. I was not only afraid to raise kids because I feared I’d screw them up and abuse them the way my father did me, but I was afraid of the physical pain of giving birth. So I steered clear.

PTSD, depression, anxiety and no clue where to go or take it from here. And I have to ask, “Why even bother now?”

Here I am living with man I don’t love, who has no ambition, working for a company who won’t pay him what he is truly worth. A company he has been loyal to for over 30 years and they pay him a pittance.

He isn’t likely to get much of a raise whether he asks for one or not, and since he’s not big on communication or talking, chances are good he won’t ask anyway.

Then there’s the living situation and the house. He pays rent to his sister. And it’s a decent deal. But he doesn’t generally talk to her about problems that arise with the house because he’s afraid it will turn into a conversation about us getting out or raising the rent. All the times he’s had any conversation about the house and repairs, it’s been because I’ve said something…more than once.

Despite the fact that we are being kicked out because she’s selling, he still is apprehensive to talk to her about repairs. We have a shower that is now filling up like a bathtub. It has given us issues since we’ve moved in. We’ve had it snaked and plunged by plumbers. Mr. B has done his own plunging and clearing it and it continues to be a problem.  But instead of getting the landlord (his sister) on it, he insists on trying the Drano again.

I also wonder if he just thinks we should live with it since we’ll only be here another few months. I say, “Bullshit,” to that.

We’ll be moving in a few months. But we’ve been here for over 12 years and it was always a fight that turned me into a nag whenever something needed repair or attention.  It wasn’t appropriate for me to go to the landlord because she is his family.

He doesn’t like to ask for help and my annoyance with this was triggered this morning when he had his hands full of something and needed to open the freezer door. Instead of asking for me to open it for him, he has this need to do it himself. Granted, this time, he put the thing down he was holding to open the door. But I’ve watched him from across the room, balance stuff in both hands/arms, while he struggles to open the fridge door. It’s annoying.

Moving boxes of things for the yard sale we recently had, he’d pile boxes so high in his arms, he couldn’t see over them, risking a nasty accident. He hits his head all the time because he doesn’t watch what he’s doing. He told me once that he does it at work all the time because he’s always in a hurry. UGH!

Well, there won’t be any hurrying anymore if you’re passed out on the floor. God, I feel like I’m talking to a child sometimes. When you bend down under something, it stands to reason it will still be there when you get up and you’ll need to dodge it to keep from hitting your head. I don’t understand this at all and it is a source of irritation for me.

One morning, years ago, his need to make it out to the porch in one trip with his breakfast put our cat in danger.

I used to take a dog in, sort of a boarding situation, although I didn’t keep the dog in a cage. I got paid pretty good money for it, which is why I did it.  But we needed to have our cat stay next door with Mr. B’s mother. We always cleared it with her before saying yes to taking the dog, and she always let our cat stay with her. She loved animals and no longer had pets of her own, so, she said, it was a treat for her.

Our cat as an indoor/outdoor cat would still go outside when he would stay with her and come back over to hang out on our porch. One morning, as I sat with the dog in the living room, our cat was out on our porch and right at the door. He was meowing because he wanted treats.

Mr. B wanted to eat breakfast on the porch, enjoy the whether and keep our cat company.

I’ll give Mr. B this: The likelihood of the cat running into the house was minimal. He doesn’t like to come in usually if the weather is nice, for fear we won’t let him back out. HOWEVER: the dog who was dangerous to cats was right inside the door while Mr. B was struggling to get out the door as he struggled to balance plate, bowl and mug of hot tea in his hands.

I was holding the collar of the dog, but there is no way I would have been able to hold onto her (the dog) if the cat decided to come in while Mr. B held the door open for the extended amount of time he needed to, in order to get out the door with too much shit in his hands.

I asked him to please do it in two trips and despite his knowing that the dog would not hesitate to attack and kill the cat if he came inside, Mr. B stubbornly refused.

Nothing devastating happened, but I still get furious when I think about this incident. This is a man who is almost 60 and STILL insists on playing with proverbial fire, making the same stupid mistakes that children learn from and his refusal to ask for help when it would make sense to do so, goes right up my ass.

I know. Look who’s talking. I am by no means perfect and I almost want to say I have no right to feel angry at him or resentful. But feelings aren’t right or wrong, right? They just are. Emotions aren’t logical. (My anger and fury about taking the chance with our cats life though, yeah, I gotta right to that one and have no qualms about it.)

Still, I’m responsible for me and if I want and need something else, it’s my responsibility to go get it for myself, not expect him to give it to me. I know this.

Now that we’re both getting older however, and he in particular is starting to show signs of aging as far as his memory is concerned, (although it might help if he stopped hitting his frickin’ head and stopped eating McDonald’s) I feel obligated to stay, till the end, take care of him, since he’s taken care of me for so long.

resentment