Reviewing an Old Journal: Rediscovering the Manipulation of My Sister and My Mother

Here’s another old post. Not the best night for this reminder but wanted to reblog anyway, since I read through the whole thing.

Sleeping Tiger

I finished my ‘to do’ list yesterday, except one thing. I wrote that I wanted to get through an entire notebook (journal) yesterday and that didn’t happen. It was the last thing I did from that list and it wasn’t until about 8:00 pm that I started.  But what I did do was to get through a section of a three subject notebook. I don’t have much doubt that’s contributing to my feelings of depression this morning also.

I didn’t find anything pertaining to the time of my father’s terminal illness. I didn’t think I would though because that particular journal dates back to 2009. It was on top of the pile though so I figured I’d start there to minimize the overwhelm.

It’s alarming to see the same basic themes running through me and my life back then as today. I struggled with authenticity just like I still do…

View original post 1,104 more words

Dark Truth Between the Lines

I am slowly going through and editing old posts and taking stuff out of private mode. Since the family BS is coming up again and still, I thought this was an appropriate one to reblog. It was beneficial in a bitter kinda way to come across it. Very sad.

Sleeping Tiger

dark_forestI went through the emails exchanged between my father and me back in 2012 and 2013. I think I know why I forget certain things now. It was difficult to read what I wrote as well as some of the things he wrote. But more disturbing is what’s between the lines really.

Some emails were about getting his furniture and other belongings out of his apartment because he was moving in with a woman and wouldn’t have room for the stuff where he was going. We kept going back and forth about working out a time to do it. Our schedules conflicted. In fact I noticed some contradiction in a couple of his emails as well.

He kept saying he’d arrange to be there when I could get there. He’d even bring his girlfriend down to the apartment if necessary. But later insisted on the fact of being up there…

View original post 635 more words

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.

Glare and Daggers

woman shooting daggersThe piercing daggers I felt as my sister glared at me were painful and intimidating.

Despite knowing by then how much she loathed me, a part of me still longed for the resolution I knew would never happen.

I’d been bringing my father smoothies on a pretty regular basis, making a last ditch effort to turn his health around, even though the prognosis was dim. But at the time I had not really known how serious things really were.

I now know that I was not getting clear information from my siblings, who in turn may not have been getting clear information from the doctor either. But they accompanied my father to the doctor so they knew more than I did first hand. Now that I think back on it, I have a feeling I was being alienated.

But then I don’t know since I didn’t go to the doctor appointments. I suppose I could have, but in all honesty I didn’t want to be in such a trapped situation such as a car, with my siblings. And it was difficult enough for me to be in the situation as it was.

My father had already been diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. It was understood the prognosis wasn’t good, but there were no definitive answers. At least as far as I knew. As far as my father seemed to know. I wonder how much the doctor wasn’t sharing with my father. I wonder how informed my siblings were compared to my father.

I started to bring him smoothies because he was having some digestive problems and diarrhea. I simply offered them and he gratefully accepted the jars I brought him, filled with what looked like milkshakes and Mistos, (check out Rita’s Water Ice to see what that is) made with fruits and greens.

I had a feeling that my sister wouldn’t respond favorably to my efforts of helping my father, in the form of green smoothies. So when she came by for a quick visit to ask my father how his appetite was, I cringed inside and waited for her reaction in judgment to ensue.

“Not too bad, your sister brought me a smoothie this afternoon,” my father responded.

From the far end of the dining room table, I glanced over the screen of my laptop, I felt the desire for approval, once she knew, while at the same time the impulse to defend myself. I said, “I thought it would help his digestion.”

Like a jealous and narcissistic co-parent, she spun around on her scrawny ass, where she’d been sitting on the coffee table, to shoot me a glare of daggers and said with a cold and bitter tone, “Or go right through him.”  I could hear the sneer that was not quite visible on her face.

I felt so defeated, not to mention hurt yet again. Like I couldn’t ‘win’ with her. As long as I fulfilled her need of “babysitter,” she seemed to feel this right and maybe even a duty to crush and control me every opportunity she saw.

It seemed to be in that moment, that in her twisted little mind, that I was supposed to simply show up and prepare for him whatever was status quo.  How dare I go off the conventional track. After all, food had nothing to do with his illness.*

At the time along with feeling defeated, I also was angry while being afraid at the same time. My sister can rage as well as say some cutting things and bring up other apparent unresolved issues she tends to hold onto, fighting dirty, using them against me when the timing seems just right to her.

And me, at that moment, with her, physically in my vicinity, feeling she was presenting a physical threat to me just by her presence and attitude, I wanted to just keep the peace. At that point, I was just biding my time, already knowing I was going to sever ties with this nasty troll, once I’d gotten through all of this.

So I took the figurative punches while telling myself, “Just a little longer.”
Of course not knowing really how much longer.

I wanted to stick up for myself so badly despite that fear. I wanted her to know that she was being a nasty little bitch for no reason.That her behavior was abusive and she had become, along with our brother, a horrible bully toward me.

I wanted to know why she felt the need, to put down my effort to help, in such a mean way, instead of discussing it with me respectfully if she disagreed with it being a healthy alternative.

I knew why she wouldn’t discuss it. Besides the eggshells that surround(ed) the entire family, she was jealous of my ability to think outside the box, while at the same time feeling superior and that my ideas were stupid and ridiculous.

But for me to stick up for myself, I knew, she’d likely just roll her eyes while berating me for being too sensitive after which she’d walk away feeling triumphant and I’d feel frustrated for not being able to get a word in or not know what to say until the whole thing was over.

I’m sure she knew I wouldn’t ‘rock the boat’ in such a scenario, as to stress out my dying father. She’d already put that anchor in place during a previous conversation about “this not being about her or me. It’s about dad and only dad since he’s the one whose ill.”

And although the probability of her raging while in my father’s apartment was low to non-existent,  I still worried a little about it because I knew her capability of holding on to something until she could release it on me, which could possibly manifest itself in an explosion.

I’d been on the receiving end of that a few times. Once in person. But I’d said something passive aggressive and I really don’t blame her for that too much. A lot of tension had accumulated between us and we hadn’t had any knowledge of how to deal with it because our parents hadn’t taught us how to talk through our frustrations with each other.

But luckily in the more recent incidents where she flew off the handle (after what I was saying was not passive aggressive, but attempting to resolve some issues between us) took place on the phone and I was able to simply hang up.

In person, I felt I ran the risk of her impulse control failing. So I kept my mouth shut.

More stuffed anger on my end.

I think I’m going to have to write one of those letters I’ll never send to each family member, expressing my feelings.

As I’m writing this, I’m realizing that might help me in a big way.

 

 

*projection. I can’t possibly know what she was actually thinking. I was going by things she’d said in the past, issues we’d had that I’d tried to discuss, etc.

Common Dream Theme + Privacy Problems with My Father

 

I have a lot of dreams that involve going into a bathroom then not having any privacy. Either a bunch of toilets are in one big area/room or there are no doors on the stalls.

In one recent dream, just as I went into a stall, the door changed into a shower curtain and the upper part of the stall became the rod for the shower curtain, while the metal walls that made up the stall, disappeared.

In these dreams there’s always a line of people at the door and they are streaming in, or there are groups of people inside the bathroom itself. Or if there weren’t a bunch of people inside the bathroom already, as soon as I go to use a toilet, they suddenly appear, taking away any privacy I had.

I see the lack of privacy. But I’m updating this on 10/27/16
It was originally written on 9/30/15.

I spoke to a therapist about this recurring theme and he mentioned that it pertains to the potty training period in childhood. But how that fits I have not been able to figure that out. And the therapist didn’t elaborate leaving me to think he wasn’t clear either. I think he needed to know more about me before being able to interpret this running theme in dreams for me.

But in looking it up and not really feeling satisfied with what I found, the thought of feeling vulnerable and exposed came to mind.  These dreams started long before I started blogging though, so even if it does pertain to a feeling of vulnerability and exposure by blogging, it’s more than just that.

I would have to remember what was going on in my waking life first I guess, before figuring out what I felt vulnerable about when having this sort of dream.

There could also be more to it, but I’m not coming up with anything at the moment. However, this did bring up some lack of privacy issues I had in my family home with my father.  See below:

Knock before entering

As a teen, my father would just open my bedroom door without knocking. The older I got the more frustrated I got about this.

When he’d barge in, I’d ask him to stop and to please knock from now on.

More than once he responded with, “It’s my house, I can walk into any room I want.”

Other times when my timing was right and I would catch him at a time he was thinking more reasonably, he’d agree. But when the opportunity presented itself he’d knock, not wait for a response and just open the door.

When that happened I asked again and specified that he also wait for an answer. Just writing about this now feels crazy making. It helps me see what an entitled POS this man could be. I felt tormented when it came to the things he felt the need to control. I mean who needs to explain to a grown ass man that when you want him to knock that he should also wait for a fucking response to be sure it’s OK to enter.

God forbid he allow his teen age daughter some privacy. That would mean relinquishing some control. I get so angry at him even now for that teenage girl.

Trapped was how I felt in that household. I could never put a word to it before. And it explains a lot of why my relationships failed on my side.  The feeling of being trapped results in wanting to escape and this manifested in pushing people away. But with my father it resulted in me continually trying to get his permission and approval. And to get him to hear and understand me.

The door to the bedroom I had in my adolescence (we lived in a few different houses) had a lock on it but I wasn’t allowed to lock it. When I did lock it and he tried to walk in, he’d bellow from the other side, “OPEN THIS DOOR.”

When I did he’d seethe, “Don’t ever lock this door again.”

Periodically I’d lock it anyway.

When I asked “Why not?” He replied, “Because it’s the type of lock that if anything happened to you on the other side of the door while it was locked, I wouldn’t be able to get to you.”

Even as a teen I knew this was bullshit. And he used that made up reason each time he found it locked when I’d have the guts to rebel, which wasn’t too often because I was afraid of his reaction.

It was one of those little button locks that sat underneath and to the right of the door knob. These can’t be unlocked from the outside and there is no key. However, the door was a hollow core door. My father, who was more than 6 feet tall, in his early 40s and of average build, would have had no problem whatsoever breaking down that door, if it was ever even necessary.

The man had serious boundary issues along with those control issues.

Reviewing an Old Journal: Rediscovering the Manipulation of My Sister and My Mother

I finished my ‘to do’ list yesterday, except one thing. I wrote that I wanted to get through an entire notebook (journal) yesterday and that didn’t happen. It was the last thing I did from that list and it wasn’t until about 8:00 pm that I started.  But what I did do was to get through a section of a three subject notebook. I don’t have much doubt that’s contributing to my feelings of depression this morning also.

I didn’t find anything pertaining to the time of my father’s terminal illness. I didn’t think I would though because that particular journal dates back to 2009. It was on top of the pile though so I figured I’d start there to minimize the overwhelm.

It’s alarming to see the same basic themes running through me and my life back then as today. I struggled with authenticity just like I still do today. I struggled with depression, as I have since I was 18 but probably long before in reality. I struggled with communicating with my family and being treated with respect.

One particular thing that stood out was my sister’s treatment of me.

I took her dog in a couple times while she and her family went on vacation. Both times she promised to pay me for it. Both times she broke that promise. The second time I did it I was still angry about the first time. But instead of speaking up I kept silent.

I know there’s people would probably say, “It’s your sister, you should do it for free.”

Well I would disagree in our situation. Besides that, she’s the one who insisted on compensating me. She’s the one who initiated the topic of paying me. Whether it was all planned to manipulate me into taking her giant Rottweiler into our small house, I don’t know. But it was her husband who dropped off the dog with her young son. Pretty much assuring I wouldn’t bring up the subject of payment. Then when they got back, the husband picked the dog up again.

Later when I spoke to sister on the phone she told me ‘We’re going to do something for you. We just don’t know what yet.”

It breaks my heart that my sister could treat me this way. I’m also angry. I had actually forgotten about that until I read it last night. I want to go back in time so much and tell her how shitty that all was and that if she can’t come through on something, don’t fuckin’ promise it. It’s not even the not getting money that hurts and disappoints me. It’s the fact that she thinks and feels so little of me that I’m not worth much but to lie to and manipulate.

Makes me even more confident in my staying away from her and cutting her out of my life.

I’d also written some about my parents and their neglect and abuse from childhood. In fact one incident effected me so much that I wrote about it twice.

Between last night and this morning, I got into a small battle in my mind about writing about all this. And then I realized, one of the big reasons that adult children hesitate to write and sometimes never write about it is because we still want to protect them.

The other big reason we hesitate to write about what happened is because of shame.  Our own shame and the fear of being judged for what they did to us. Somewhere along the way, society has brainwashed many of us into believing that if we got abused, or hurt in any way we must have deserved it.

Last night I kept thinking about how I still want to believe my father loved me. I think he believed he loved me. But I don’t think he really knew how to love. Abuse can be confusing because I wasn’t abused continually every moment of every day. My father and I had some fun times together too.

When I was younger, I believed my mother was the good parent, the nice one, the patient one. The one who didn’t yell. (My father didn’t yell either, he bellowed.) My mother was the one who let us do things that my father didn’t. We didn’t have to walk on eggshells when he wasn’t home. She was less drama and I could be a kid for the most part.

But there was neglect too. I did have friends and spent quite a bit of time playing with them, but when I was in the house with no friends, I played alone a lot.

When I was 9, one of my small pets died because my mother hadn’t been keeping an eye on my sister who was 3.

I went to school without homework being finished when I was just in first grade. And was abused by the teacher for it.  I went without a Winter coat one year in high school. And where I’m from, a Winter coat is a necessary item. I compensated with a sweat jacket underneath a jean jacket. And then there’s the enabling of the abuse my father inflicted most of the time.

I list those things above because I do see most of them as a mom’s responsibility for the most part. But it’s really both parents who were responsible for these things. I don’t hold my father too responsible for the death of my small pet because he was at work. My mother was home. She was just downstairs, while my sister was upstairs.  The homework was an issue because my father was abusive when he “helped” me. Simply avoiding him wasn’t always possible when I was six.

In the end, while my father was dying, my mother teamed up with my sister to triangulate and manipulate me. She had me believing she validated and understood me during one particular conversation between the two of us, then threw a dig in as well as excused an incident of my brother raging at me as “just an emotional reaction.”

In my opinion I waited too long to sever ties with these people.

I’m also questioning this healing capability of journaling. I posted a video where Dan Mackler talks about it here.

I’ve journaled…a lot. Not recently, but I used to. So why am I not healed?

One reason I think is because I allowed my family to still be a part of my life for so long. I allowed them to treat me like a dumpster and a doormat and I allowed them to manipulate me. But in my defense, I really didn’t know what exactly was going on. I can’t even be sure that if I had been so aware in my 20s, 30s and even part of my 40s that I would have severed ties.

I knew something was wrong. I’ve known since at least from my early 20s that there was dysfunction in my family. I know now it was a lot more than dysfunctional. It was toxic. But each time I attempted to confront something or resolve something, I walked away feeling like it was me who was the problem. Because, if only I could let go of the past.

Even when later I would feel the anger again. Or the confusion or sadness or depression. I would at times feel so astonished and perplexed after a confrontation or an attempt at discussion because I would walk away from it feeling beat up.