My Mother Is Machiavellian

This may not come as a surprise to some of the people who’ve read my story. And in fact it has crossed my mind in the past.

I have this pattern of realizing things or coming across info and then placing it by the wayside, to maybe revisit later.

I hate that about me. It’s like I learn about it and then forget about it and then have to relearn it.

I mean I remember looking into it before and remember the thing that helped me realize that I’ve had people like that in my life.

I am still struggling with getting past some form of denial about my mother but at least I know that much.
I think I must be in shock about it all concerning her too, even though it was pointed out long enough ago to me that my mother is a fucking narcissist.

I know it’s because she’s my mother and I grew up…as my brain developed, I believed my mother to be the ‘good’ parent. So it is likely that my psyche is protecting me from the devastation of this information by keeping me in some sort of numbness about it.

I sat in bed this morning thinking about my mother’s Machiavellian tactics she used with me when my father got sick and tried to feel the grief, sadness or even anger…and nothing. No emotion. Like nothing at all. It’s like I don’t care.

I mean, I knew then that she was being manipulative, but I certainly didn’t have the name for it, the style of manipulation that she used.

And sure, it’s hard to prove unless you know what the manipulator is actually thinking. And when it comes to my mother, I didn’t really know until the recent email exchange.

This one line (pulled from her last response to me after I’d emailed her to tell her that I felt insignificant to her when she triangulated against me with my sister):

“What I did feel then was that your father’s needs were the primary concern just then”

She is admitting right there, combined with what she actually did (manipulated and triangulated; guilted and shamed me) that it didn’t matter HOW she made sure my father’s needs got met, as long as she made it happen.  (And knowing the situation and circumstances, I can also say that she felt the need to make it happen so that she herself didn’t have to care for him.

You would think that in realizing that my mother saw me as and treated me like a pawn in this way that I would break down…that I would cry inconsolably at such a revelation.

So I don’t know. I don’t know if it’s shock and awe or if it’s just that I’ve had enough time to get used to the information that she’s quite narcissistic, that I in fact am not surprised at all.

Here are some links that explain what Machiavellianism is:

Meet the Machiavellians

What is Machiavellianism in Psychology?
This one has a list of 19 traits. My mother fits 13 of them. I’d say that makes her Machiavellian.

If this is true: “Machiavellianism is most about manipulation for personal gain.” (taken from the article linked.)

And this: “Sociopathy is most about being cold and insensitive to others needs.”

Then would it not stand to reason that someone who is Machiavellian is also at the very least sociopathic, if not a sociopath altogether?

It adds up for me.

The other thing statement in the article: “Narcissism is most about believing you deserve admiration and to be treated differently than others” doesn’t, as far as I can see, fit my mother. However, if you’ve seen something in other posts of mine that you’ve read about her, please don’t hesitate to point it out. I’m very open to seeing what I don’t see yet.

When I read through the traits, the ones that fit, fit in certain circumstances but not all. So that to me seems even more toxic, because of the unpredictability factor.

I still want to at least believe that this was a gradual process for her to develop this throughout her life and not a trait she had, at least while I was a small child. But tbh: I can’t say one way or the other right now. However, I can say that I am aware of and remember the emotional neglect so there’s that.


A Birthday Card and a Dream

Last night, or more accurately, early this morning, I had a dream that starred two women and later a huge dog that looked like a giant version of a Burnese Mountain dog.

The women were standing in front of me in a crowd. One of the women in particular, kept backing up toward me as they moved around a lot. Actually they both were doing this, with very little room to spare. A couple times one of them almost stepped on my foot and both of them almost backed right into my body a few times. The woman closer to me than the other was then called up to the front of this auditorium type place the crowd I was part of was standing in. When the other woman turned around and saw me, I said (with a smile),  “Oh good, I was just about to say something to her.” (Referring to standing too close, etc.)

The woman sneered and replied, “Well she’s on medication so…”

I didn’t respond. Then I noticed the woman who was up at the front had lost her note cards by putting them (accidentally) through a slot at the podium/desk she was standing at. She peered out toward where I was standing, with a pleading look on her face and I walked up to get them out of the slot and hand them to her.

I felt uncomfortable up there in the front of all those people, even though I was just helping this woman out and walked right back to where I’d been standing.  Then she realized there was a third card and didn’t see where that one was. She looked at me and let me know with body language she couldn’t see the other card and still needed help.  From where I was standing, I could see it still inside the desk and it had not gotten stuck inside the slot.  I shrugged and said quietly, “I don’t know.”

She eventually found it on her own.

Then while I was standing on one side of a post and rail fence, a man walked onto the other side of it with a Bernese Mountain dog that could’ve belonged to Paul Bunyon. The man was average size and squirted all of the water from a water bottle into the dogs mouth, which was level with the man’s head.  After the dog received the water, he then nudged the man’s face. From my vantage point, I thought the dog wanted more water. But it turned out the dog had a ball in its mouth and was nudging the man to play.

Post and rail fence

I felt intimidated, even though I was on the other side of the fence and stood up on the rails of the fence to make myself bigger/taller than the dog…which actually made me unrealistically tall, almost like the “Christ the Redeemer” statue in Brazil.

I could hear the dog growling and thought it was because of me standing high up like that.
(But of course irl I know that dogs play growl when they’re playing.)

The part of the dream with the women is likely drawn from my two hour wait on Tuesday, at the ultra crowded DMV. I had already been quite stressed out from some other stuff going on in my life and dealing with that, added another layer of stress. My responses also indicate my codependence relating to caring more about people’s reactions to standing up for myself than I do about actually standing up for myself. It also shows my willingness to be helpful, but only to the point that I am okay with and will even say something that isn’t true, just to not deal with the complete but short sentence of saying ‘no.’

I related these two women in my dream to two girls in the neighborhood I lived in from the ages of 10 to 20. My family had just moved there and I had just finished 5th grade. Since I was new to the neighborhood I was bored. I’d met the one girl already and thought that we’d become friends. But apparently she didn’t like that idea because she recruited another girl to help her bully me one day.

Not to jump around too much, but I received a birthday card from my mother on Monday, with a personally written message inside of it. She still believes that my reasons for staying away from her (and I guess my siblings) stem from her mistakes as a mother while I was growing up. Her message was mixed. It was manipulative and yet I detected some desperation in there too. She also even apologized for her behavior from my childhood.

I’m honestly not sure if she is aware of her manipulations. I tend to think that she is not. But I wouldn’t gamble on it. I don’t give benefits of the doubt anymore when it comes to people who’ve already proved themselves to be manipulative and have betrayed my trust.

I’ve written out an email standing up for myself and clarifying that I’m not staying away because of my shitty upbringing but because of how I was treated in the weeks leading up to my father’s death.  I’m paraphrasing here. I didn’t call my upbringing shitty in the email.

I’m debating on when to send it. My birthday is tomorrow so I think I’ll wait til after the weekend. Because I know that after I send it I will be nervous about her reply and I want to give my mind and body a chance to chill out. Just receiving her cards with these messages at the time of my birthday, creates a lot of turmoil for me.  So I’m giving myself the gift of a little time. And afterward I’ll give myself the gift of finally verbalizing (even if it is in writing) the real reason I severed ties with my mother and siblings. I don’t know what will come of it. I don’t know how she’ll receive it. But that’s not my job. My job for myself is to stand up for me and say what I need to say in as civil a manner as possible, yet get the point across.

Relating back to the dream:

My wanting/needing to speak up is important to me. But yet, I feel the need to plaster a fake smile on my face in order to do so. It covers up my feelings of anguish…feelings that none of them want to know about.

When it comes to my mother, I am compelled to help her forgive herself, to go to her because I feel sorry for the way she feels, or at least the way she expresses herself to feel…one thing she said in the message is that she won’t ever forgive herself for how she was when I was growing up. My feelings of wanting to and being compelled to go to her is represented in the part of the dream when I go up to the podium and get those note cards out of the slot, because she doesn’t see them and I do. (Just like my mother doesn’t see (or claims to not see) the real reason I stay away from her.

Standing on the fence to make myself super huge, when I felt intimidated by the humongous dog was to mask the intimidation I felt by the big dog.  I believe that big dog represents my family (mother, brother, sister) as well as the growling from the dog represents their bullying and abuse of me.

The email I intend to send is that fence that I’m standing on. It’s a boundary, but also helps me to feel ‘bigger’ than I’ve been in the past. Bigger meaning that I am more willing to see myself and my feelings as important rather than worry so much about being seen as or even called selfish because of the boundary I choose to draw.

I’m still feeling intimidated. But standing up for myself has become more important than worrying about what will happen on the other end.

The Dust That My Brother’s Wife’s Friend Request Kicked Up + Giving Myself More Compassion

Last night I ran an errand and in the car I started to think about my brother’s wife’s friend request.

And I felt angry.

How dare she intrude on my life. She doesn’t know me. She can’t possibly know the truth of why I don’t speak to my brother and it is not her fucking business to attempt to insert herself into my life.  Whether it was to announce the marriage to me or try to serve as some sort of mediator to get my brother and me back to talking again, she can suck it.

When I opened this post to write a new one, I started it as a message to her, to write out and never send. But it got too jumbled. I got into stuff that if I were to actually write it, I’d have to get more into detail, and I have no desire to do that right now. I don’t want to give any of my family members that much energy. They’ve sucked enough out of me as it is.

It’s good enough for me to just write this and express how the fucking friend request made me feel. The emotional flooding that came first after realizing who she was and that it was my brother in the photos, jacked me up.  I could feel the stress and agitation. I could feel the anxiety.  I felt wired.

Thankfully, the errand I ran last night was to my favorite store (a health food store) in my county.

It’s a small store with such a calming atmosphere. And when I walk in, it’s like crossing another dimension and gives me a huge sigh of relief. It’s been like that since I discovered it years ago. On my way there, I could see a thunderstorm was on its way. A somewhat heavy rain hit almost as soon as I entered the store.  It was awesome and gave me the escape from my thoughts that I needed at that moment.

Unfortunately the drive home stressed me out once again. I was like where the fuck is all this traffic coming from after 8 pm on a Thursday night. And I was even on the back roads.

So anyway:

The old me would give my brother’s wife the benefit of the doubt. And my narrative would go something like this: “Oh, I don’t know what she knows. I don’t know what brother has told her. I don’t know her line of thinking. Maybe she just got curious and found me on her own. Maybe she’s just sentimental. It’s okay because she just doesn’t understand the family issues.”

But fuck that. In fact her not understanding and friend requesting anyway, served to piss me off. She knows that we don’t talk. And of course she only knows what my brother told her. So that would likely mean he didn’t tell her that I don’t want to talk to him because I acquired PTSD via his, my sister’s and my mother’s scapegoating, manipulation and raging.

So she’s butting in to something she knows nothing about and she needs to mind her own fucking business.

In the past, I would also be too scared of my brother’s reaction to delete her request and block her ass. I’d just let it linger there and try to ignore it. But not anymore.

He can suck it too.I’m sick and tired of caring more about their reactions and feelings than I do my own feelings and my own protection. I’m sick of being scared and doing things (or not) that are not in my own best interest and in fact a detriment to my well-being, to keep someone else from feeling bad.

I have no doubt he had a hand in her friend request. He’d have to point out that I was the right ‘Sleeping Tiger.”  Okay so, we all know that’s not my real name. But my actual name happens to be pretty fucking common and when you search it, a lot of people with the same name come up. So yeah, he’d have likely had to help her with that since she and I don’t know each other.

Every time one of those fuckers reaches out, it makes me wish I’d just been straight forward with them all in separate emails, instead of being vague and telling them simply that I need time away. I even said something so fucking co-dependent that I’m now so disgusted with myself for it.

I wrote that I needed a hiatus and that I wasn’t sure how long I needed and that it wasn’t about ‘grudges.’ UUUGGGGHHHHH!

But that was a lie. I mean, it’s not the whole of it. It’s not JUST a simple grudge. That word seems to minimize it. But I wanted to simplify it in the email and wanted to assure that there was no judgment toward me. No minimizing of my feelings or denial of their actions.

Nor did I want a raging brother at my door again screaming “HOW DARE YOU!” in my face again for pointing out the truth.

They definitely should be aware of their own behavior. But they are not.

So that means they have no clue. And I hate that I never just straight up told them. Even though my fear is completely justified.

Also in my own defense and giving myself some much needed slack and understanding, I had every reason to be afraid of them…or at least my brother. I was also in a very different state of mind at the time I sent that email.

All I knew at the time was that I needed to protect myself by getting away and I needed to tell them something. In addition I needed to tell them something that would also ensure that none of them would come knocking on my door to persuade, manipulate or scream at me.

I was in a deep brain fog from the trauma of the abuse. And all I knew was that I needed protection. And unfortunately, I was the only one in my own life who was going to take care of me.

So I had some justifying reasons. And hell, if they really wanted to know, they could ask and stop dodging, stop pretending, stop trying to shove themselves back into my life like it’s just business as usual.

If they took the time to self reflect and looked in the mirror, they might actually come to some realization. But these are people who think that I am too sensitive. They think that I worry too much. They have double standards to the point that I should be able to let their shitty behavior and abuse go, because it’s in the past. They think that I have no justification to my own feelings.

The last time I expressed my hurt, I got a raging visitor in the form of my brother. Each time I have expressed my feelings and reason for doing something, I’ve been faced with either a minimizing response, scapegoating or some sort of manipulation. So it makes total sense as to why I wouldn’t tell any of them exactly why I want to not just walk away from them, but to run and never look back.

So My Brother’s (New) Wife Sent Me a Friend Request on Facebook

A photo I took at my maternal grandmother’s house when my brother and I took a drive down there together to visit her. This was years ago. We were feeling strange and creative. We came up with this. Guitar and case were my bro’s. Umbrella and surrounding furniture, my grandmother’s.

If you’ve read a good portion of this blog, you know I don’t talk to any of my immediate family…mother, sister, brother.  And for good reason.

I blocked both siblings a long time ago but the small area we are from and the school district we went to, I have plenty of friends on my list that know them both.

Apparently my brother, although he’s lived with this woman for a while, has recently gotten married…from what I can tell from what I can see on her FB page.

The moment I realized who she and the man were in the photos, was quite the strange experience.

He dated her before when they were younger, but I don’t remember her. I know this from an email he sent me a few summers ago, one I didn’t respond to.

When I saw this mysterious name as a friend request, I clicked on it to see who she was and if we had any friends in common.  I was taken to her FB page with photos of her and a man. A man I didn’t recognize at first. A man I wasn’t really looking at so much either. I was trying to figure out who the woman was requesting ‘friendship.’

I scrolled a bit and saw some post pertaining to a local radio station and then it clicked in my brain, who the man was I’d been looking at.  My brother.

It’s probably a variety of reasons request. My brother is blocked, so he can’t request unless he creates another account. They are likely announcing the marriage. And I think my brother still wants a relationship with me.

But I can’t do it. Not unless some discussions are had, some acknowledgments are made, apologies too. And that there is some understanding as to why I’ve stayed away so long.  And given his minimizing of my feelings last time I tried to confide in him, I don’t think that is there.

I won’t accept the friendship and I’ll likely block her at some point. I’m not on there much so it’s not a big deal. But it kinda freaked me out.

You know, when I was driving around yesterday, in the area I lived in with B for 13 years, I was wishing I could move the fuck out of this area, so I could stop being so close to all the things and places that hold so many shitty memories.  I feel like that again, right now. Not that my family’s or my internet presence won’t be a thing, but it would be much more freeing to not be in their physical vicinity.

Oh and btw: Even though I have been aware of what my brother looks like these days because of his YouTube channel, that I don’t visit often, he looks very different than he did the last time I saw him five years ago. And being distracted and focused on the woman made my mind kind of blind to who he is.

Lemme tell ya. It’s very strange not to recognize your own brother.

Addendum to: I Wish My Mother Had Breast Fed Me

After I tapped out the emotions in my post about my mother not breast feeding me and the excuse she gave…I listened to the rest of the podcast/YouTube video the excerpt I also posted was from.

The doctor interviewed said that she struggled to breast feed. That it didn’t just come naturally or easy. That she had to work at it before it really worked.

I also was told by a friend of mine the same thing, telling me she had to work at it before she was actually able to do it.

Well, although I do think that a mother owes it to her infant to continue to try until she makes a success of breast feeding, so that her baby has at the very least that head start in health, I now understand now that it’s not just something that happens quickly and automatically for everyone.

So I wanted to add that I didn’t mean anything I wrote to be judgmental against every mother who never breast fed.  All circumstances are unique. Plus I want to admit to my mistake of not understanding how difficult it can be. I just thought it was easier and more natural than I’ve found out that it is. I was under the impression that most babies will just automatically latch, but I was wrong about that.

I mean, I still wish she’d breast fed. My feelings haven’t changed about that.

But I can probably even forgive her for not doing so. Were there pumps back then? Because if there were, then it would’ve been an option she opted against. Which would be another sign of her apathy and not wanting to bother.

But I don’t know the entire story since I don’t have any memory of any of this. Maybe she tried for a few months. If she did, she didn’t tell me about it. Maybe she tried once and gave up.  Again I don’t know.

I’m really not trying to find and nitpick shit my mother did wrong. I’m not even really mad at her  most of the time, for the shit that happened to me in childhood. I am disappointed that she didn’t try harder for me. That I wasn’t important enough to her to make the effort until it worked. I’m disappointed that she didn’t protect me more. I’m sad for myself as both adult and child, that I didn’t have a mother who wasn’t so apathetic, who wasn’t all that physically affectionate, who didn’t stand up for me when it was appropriate.  It sucks hard.

But what I’m mostly pissed off about as well as very emotionally injured from, is her behavior during my father’s time of dying. The story is weaved through the blog so I won’t get into it here.

Thing is, that level of manipulation and abuse taints the good to the point that there seems to be none of it left when it comes to my memories of her.

I Wish My Mother Had At Least Cared Enough to Breast Feed Me

I’m sitting here watching/listening to a woman who is a nutritional scientist named Rhonda Patrick. I’m not sure if that’s her technical title, but that’s the topic…nutrition from a scientific perspective.

If you’re into nutrition, you’ll find her quite interesting and very personable.

She had a baby earlier this year and on the Joe Rogan show she talked about her desire to breast feed because of the benefits of it to her baby. I’ll link the excerpt from the interview below, but I wanted to relate this to my own infant-hood.

My mother didn’t breast feed. No surprise there really. Not now that I know what a narcissist she actually is.

But I’ve known this for decades. I knew it as a child because I asked her once.

Me: Hey mom, was I breast fed?
Her: No, you didn’t like it.
Me: Oh.

I had colic when I was a baby too. And now that I know what I know about breast feeding, even before I came across this info that you’ll hear in the video below, I realized it was because I wasn’t breast fed. Or at the very least given some sort of probiotic…which would’ve been in the breast milk.

My mother’s answer to my crying with all that stomach cramping? Was to feed me more of what the fuck was causing me the colic in the first place.

I know all of this because she told me.  And yeah, maybe she didn’t know. But isn’t it her responsibility to know, to learn if she didn’t know. For God’s sake she’s a fucking nurse.  There must’ve been some inkling.

So the thing that contradicts her saying that I didn’t like it is this: First of all, let me just say that it’s instinct for a new born to seek out the breast for food.

Second: My father told me that right as he had me settled in his arms for the first time, I turned to seek out his breast. Why the fuck do you think I would do that? Of course I wasn’t going to find what I was looking for there,  (A theme that would play out through my entire life btw) but my instincts were obviously working.

So telling me that I didn’t like it????

I’d put money on that being a big fat ass lie.

So without further ado, here’s the video, and why if you weren’t breast fed as a baby could effect you even into adulthood:  (UGH! This makes me so angry.)

Wasted Time

I don’t know if it came up because I meditated (or actually scryed) the night before, because it’s come up repeatedly in my life.But yesterday morning I was thinking about how much I didn’t do, even though the opportunity was there.

My parents would have paid for a college education and I in fact went through a semester of community college and dropped out. I dropped out to work.(1)

And the job I got was at a restaurant working in the kitchen. Even though there were some fun aspects of it and I credit my restaurant kitchen experience for being able to cook, I was miserable.

My parents told me they would pay for college. I just needed to finish out the two years at community to show I was serious. I couldn’t even do that. (2)

I focused on a major that was completely out of character for me. I don’t remember what I was even thinking. I know I had a goal in mind but don’t remember it. (3)

All the classes were really just Liberal Arts classes the first two years anyway. I think I wanted to have some sense of direction for myself since I never had it before. And I was looking for something ‘secure.’ And for whatever reason I saw that major as a sure thing.

There was no nurturing through my childhood towards any talent. I was left to make decisions to try things. Most things I enjoyed were athletic kinds of things but I was usually limited to the neighborhood to learn.

I did take tennis lessons one summer after I’d asked to, but I seemed to have played worse after learning from an adult teacher.  I didn’t stick with it.

My parents didn’t teach me “how to fish” so to speak. What they did was hand me the fish.

I was in my early 30s when I finally moved out. I think I was 28 and asked them to build me a room in their vast basement. I can see the memes now.  Ugh! Cringe.

Eight years before that, we all moved from the house we’d lived in for ten years. I was ten when we’d moved into the house before. We moved from there when I was 20.  At twenty, I was in some of my darkest depression. I had a shit job, no car and rode my sister’s bike to work.

I remember I dreaded so much going to work back then. It wasn’t the job, (although it was a job without much professional growth) it was me. I was empty inside. I was beyond sad. I lived in a soup of guilt and shame. Every negative thought, every thought about a guy, I felt guilty about it toward my then boyfriend.

I struggled so much to get up in the morning and slept until the last possible moment and the only way to get to work on time was to ride my sister’s bike. I’d be late if I walked.

Thoughts of the consequences of being late, rattled my adrenals and up went the cortisol levels. Which is what powered the bike once I was on it.

I just shake my head now at how “on my own” I was then. I was twenty with no clue who I was or what I wanted.  I’d only made it through one semester of community college. I got stuck. Not knowing what I wanted in the way of a career, I stopped going to school.  So I started working full time at age 19.

As I edit, it slams me like a ton of bricks to really realize the impact and implications of not having any guidance or help with direction from my parents. Ever since starting public school in my sophomore year, I was left on my own. My parents went from being quite involved in my school work, even going to parent teacher nights to zero, zilch, nada involvement.  But at the time it was a relief because my father was such an ogre. His answer was to simply ground me for bad grades, never to get to the root of the problem.

It’s a kick in the gut really, to feel the neglect of what happened.  It makes my heart hurt to remember so clearly. It’s like being left to drown, even though you can see the people on the ship you fell of of, in the middle of the ocean.  I was completely forgotten.

The parents moved house while I was at work one day. I also had not seen the house at all before being brought to it after work that day.

The house was bigger but my bedroom had become smaller. (Before the basement bedroom.) Of course I hated it and I was immediately resentful toward my sister, who’d gotten the larger bedroom because she was there when they looked at the house.

My brother had the whole basement. My father had the intention of putting walls in a section of the basement for him and build a bedroom, but brother moved out before that happened.

I wonder what would’ve happened or  could’ve happened if they’d have not neglected my need of help to become an adult.

And by my 30s, even though I still thought about going to school for something, so I could have some sort of career, I was never sure. The idea of certain things appealed to me, but when I got into it I couldn’t stand it. I never learned what it was I wanted to be when I grew up. (4)

It makes me sad that I wasn’t the type of person who couldn’t wait to get away and did the work, paid my dues, so I could get out of dodge. But I think I was afraid of the frustration of the struggle. I was afraid I’d fail. And I think the trauma bonding was strong. I think I stayed so long into my adulthood with my parents because I was trying to fix the past.

I had a therapist once tell me that and the minute he said it, it resonated so deep I knew that it had to be at least part of the reason.

Of course the older I get and the more time passes, the more I feel shame and regret for what I didn’t do.

As I started to meditate, I asked “Who am I?” I asked, “What should I do now?”

I came up with a few answers for the immediate present, (I think “immediate present” might be redundant) which was good because it was almost like I was calling myself out for stuff I’ve been a bit self-centered about and I was able to see it clearly.

What I really wanted in an answer though, is a ‘big picture’ so to speak. Maybe I have had some grandiose thought processes, because the mundane bores me. Sometimes the esoteric bores me too to be honest.  I’ve always wanted to do something meaningful, something that would have a real and positive impact on other beings, human and/or animal. But the question was always, “What?”

So I’ve felt, throughout my adult life, that I have some sort of purpose but have always been frustrated in finding it.

Thing is, I now believe that I wasn’t born with a purpose necessarily. Not in the way that some divine being decided I would be born to fulfill some niche in humanity or that I was the right person for a certain “job.” I think it’s all a series of choices and I also think that our choice making skills can be compromised when our self-confidence, self-esteem and self-respect have all been tampered with. So in that aspect, where you end up in life can be luck of the draw…who your parents are/were and how did they behave in raising you. Your teachers have a big influence, as well as other adults, siblings and friends do also.

As an adult there is responsibility of course for your own life, but it’s a lot easier to take responsibility when you’re taught how and if you weren’t abused and neglected. If you were abused as a kid, then you’re left to filter through all the junk yourself.

Not everyone was or will be effected this way. Some will be effected in the opposite way that I have been and travel, help lots of people, adopt pets, volunteer at animal shelters, visit Africa and build places for orphans to live and be cared for. It may have even started as a way to get away from the abuse. Some abused and neglected people are compelled to go out and make a difference as soon as they can for others so those others don’t have to live a life like the abused people did.

Not everyone reacts the same but either way, you are not only left to figure out other people and relationships, but you’re usually left with not really knowing who you are too. I think that having been lost, having my essential identity stolen from me, I was left depressed and demotivated and left me without authenticity, trying to be what everyone else wanted…guessing at it. Wanting to be me, but not knowing what that meant.

For me not knowing who I really am/was, also made it impossible to know what I wanted to do with my life and where I wanted to focus my energies.

Getting out of the brain washed and trauma bonded state though is challenging. I have it drilled into my psyche that I am not powerful. That I am not capable and that I can’t.

I used to believe that if their was a will there was a way, but I utilized that strong belief more for my own immediate gratification instead of working toward a better life for myself and others in the future.

That future is now and my life is a result of a series of choices.

Notes made on 8/27/2018

(1) Just want to be clear about this. They were already paying for community college. I had voiced interest in going elsewhere but still had the issue of not knowing what I wanted to do…well that’s not completely true. I’d wanted originally to major in Communications (I’m just remembering this)…but my father discouraged this. This is the same man who told me I could be whatever I wanted to be. I could do whatever I wanted to do, when talking to me about a career. Fuck, what the fuck. He told me it was a crowded field. It’s hard to get a job, blah fucking blah.

(2) I do say this later in the post, but…because I had no fucking direction or guidance. No one sitting me down and helping me figure it out.

(3) My mind was on focusing on science! Like what the fuck. I had no interest in science. I still have no idea what my goal was there. I may not have even had a specific one in mind really.

(4) It’s weird I didn’t mention this: In my mid-twenties I went to school for make up and skin care. I loved it. I graduated and even took the boards and got my license. I was offered a job pretty much right out of school for pretty low pay and didn’t take it. I lied to myself and everyone else that I didn’t take it because of the low pay but it was much deeper than that. And it all had to do with fear. I think I write in more detail here in a post somewhere. If not, it will be done at some point.

Bad Day and Birthday Card from the Mother

Today is/was my 50th birthday. Pretty significant birthday and it was harder this year than it’s been the last couple years without my family.

My mother has sent me a card each year though. They’ve always come a day or two before the actual day and this year it didn’t.

I felt hurt that she hadn’t sent a card. But the last couple years I sort of wished she hadn’t sent one. The conflict is difficult.

This morning the hurt really caught up to me and I was so agitated I took it out on Mr. B. I realized what I was doing though and apologized.

But then we ended up in another misunderstanding, which turned into an argument and then I broke down a little.

We settled everything though, before he left for something he had to go do this afternoon and when he got back he brought the mail in. When I went downstairs I saw two cards sitting on the coffee table and the one on top was from my mother.

I was excited (and apprehensive at the same time) and I thought, “She remembered.” But that was a misfired thought process because…well…of course she’d remember.

I opened the card and read and felt stunned. She had pasted some poetic phrase inside the card that eluded to forgiveness and no longer being angry. It was basically meant to say that I should forgive whatever I’m angry about.

This made me angry and sad and I felt like I was back at square one grieving her absence all over again. It was a raw kind of hurt. I cried, hard. It felt good to let it out like that. But there was frustration in those tears too, because she so painfully and obviously doesn’t get it.

She is asking me to forgive without apologizing. She is asking me to let go of anger without even understanding what it’s about.

It’s tempting to respond with a hand written letter because she also wrote a note under the ‘punch line’ of the card itself. Stating something about how she must have gone wrong somewhere in motherhood. Indicating that she has not a clue that I’m hurt by the manipulation, triangulation and betrayal I last experienced in my involvement with her.

But I’ve been through that. The explaining of things that I was hurt about. Not these specific incidents of betrayal but  I’ve explained verbally on the phone plenty, to just have it ignored and minimized. Even the parts she claimed to understand were later disregarded.

Besides, she should know what the fuck she did.

So why? Why should I explain this to her? For one thing, she’s not even asking me to. She’s just telling me I should forgive. And for another, similar shit’s been explained already, so it only stands to reason, if it was disregarded then and continues to be, it won’t get through now either.

I don’t feel like this shit is in my court. The burden of forgiveness isn’t on me at this point. The apology needs to come first and then even after that, time and proven action needs to happen before true forgiveness can be finalized.

I don’t think she understands that forgiveness for such hurtful offenses, is a lengthy process. But if she doesn’t understand that, I don’t really think I should be the one to explain it, especially since she’s not asking for an explanation.

How dare she blatantly tell me to forgive in such a manipulative, emotion provoking way, without even the acknowledgement of her behavior.

Happy fuckin’ birthday to me.

But on a lighter note.

And I really need to add this, because even though it was a rough day, it ended well.

After I cried it out and Mr. B and I escaped into some YT videos, we went out to a quiet little Chinese restaurant for a low key birthday celebration. When we got back, I got a little tough on myself and made a comment about me ‘getting weepy.’

Mr. B said, “Getting weepy? Dealing with the BS your mom wrote? It’s understandable why you’d be so upset.” I’m paraphrasing. He said it in more eloquent way but I am not remembering his exact words at the moment. It was nice to be understood.

After he said that, I realized I was putting myself down, minimizing my own emotion and the pain I feel. So I talked a bit more about the message in the card my mom sent and the way I feel about it and why. I was ruminating really, telling Mr. B, but getting straight in my own head. I’m feeling supported though, something I really needed today.

Giving from a Dry Well (Helpful Words From A Friend)

kid_drywell“You give from what you’ve already received. If you haven’t received there’s nothing to give.”

This was said by a friend of mine years ago. I wrote it in a journal because it really had an impact on me.

Having been abused in such a covert manner and in insidious ways, I have grown up to wonder why my relationships were so fucked up. (That’s a technical term for unhealthy.)

I don’t remember now what exactly we were talking about when he said that, but it’s very likely that I was lamenting on how unhappy I was and probably something about how I’ve felt unsatisfied in every relationship I’ve ever had. That includes romantic and non, just the same.

Sometimes I think I’ve given too much, even though it was from a dry well. So that would make it fake wouldn’t it? I guessed a lot about how to be, how to act, how to talk and what to give and what to take. I wanted to show that I cared but I also wanted to be honest, which at times worked against me.

A friend of mine used to tell me that I was ‘too honest.’

A relationship at any given time could be unbalanced where I gave more than I felt but I wanted to keep the person from leaving or felt the need for approval.  Other times I felt I was receiving too much and I would say something or do something to sabotage the relationship.

And then came the desperation in selling them a reason to stay.

After that I’d feel trapped and dishonest for making that “sale” and break it off or tell them they were calling too much. And then I’d feel lonely.

In truth I had nothing to give. Because there was nothing in the well.

Update on 10/27/16:
Since writing this, I’ve written a post about how I’ve been mostly a taker in relationships and friendships.

To add to this though, when I was “giving” anything, it was out of codependency a lot of the time, being a people pleaser, wanting them to stay because I didn’t want to be alone/lonely. It wasn’t authentic most of the time. I may have liked them, but I also may not have. I didn’t take much time to really know. Much of the time I was running away from myself.

Some cases I wanted to feel special. In other scenarios I wanted what they had, much of the time that was pot. There were plenty of times I would choose someone to call and hang out with based on the high possibility of them having weed.

Pathetic to think about that.

All that time wasted…in more ways than one. All that time I spent high or with someone that treated me like shit or with someone just to avoid being by myself, I could’ve been getting to know myself.

I’m trying to do that now. But it isn’t easy.

Ties No Longer Have to Bind

black sheep

image from 123rf dot com

Why should family ties necessarily bind?

Once upon a time being accepted in your tribe was a matter of life and death, so it would be detrimental if we didn’t do what we needed to do, including bow down to the role of family scapegoat, for example. That’s what I was.

Maybe I still am, in their view.

But I’m not there to know. I am not there to be treated that way. My going No Contact or more like No Response was my way of drawing a boundary.

I think it’s still an imprint in the DNA, to feel the need to stick with family, even if they’re abusive.Being part of us, I think is why I felt so anxious about severing those ties before I did so. On the surface I was afraid of their reaction to not liking it.

Would I be in danger physically? Would they come knocking on my door? Would they endlessly text or call?   I didn’t know. But I had to take the chance for myself because I was emotionally exhausted and beat down. I needed to get away from them…permanently…as far as I knew. And as far as I still know.

It’s nice to think that they will see. Once you’re away they will figure out what happened and why you want to keep your distance.

That may happen. But in many cases, that most likely will not happen.

There is ambiguity within me about wanting any family member to want to resolve things. Even if they seemed genuine there would be doubt and if they really were genuine what about all the shit that’s already happened? It would take a lot of apologizing and talking to resolve the past.

I’ve said I’d be open to such discussions and conversations. But then how would I know what the intentions are from a phone call or a message?

How would I know it would not just be a trick to lure the scapegoat back in, or just plain bullshit?

There are I’m sure ways to tell, especially when you have “known” someone all your life and you’ve been tricked and pushed and bullied and beaten so much. There’s a lot to be said for intuition. In addition it would be in their words. And later in their actions if it was a trick and they said all the right things.

Someone who is truly sorry and wants to resolve issues is going to know what to say and how to approach things. They will be awake to their own errors and won’t be accusatory in an email or voicemail. They should point out where they went wrong so you can easily know they are self aware.

I also don’t think they are going to send emails and leave voice mails that don’t acknowledge the bullying and abuse at all. God knows the attempts at contact from my family members mentioned nothing of the hell I put up with.

They’d rather sit with the elephant in the room and in the ether. But of course the elephant wasn’t addressed when it was fully present and in fact held against me later. I was blamed for it. My mother blamed me for of it, of all people.

So even if there were sincere attempts and desires to want to discuss things, to resolve and heal the hurt, to apologize, I’m not sure I’d be ready right now, nor trusting. Words prove nothing. A whole lot of action would be needed to prove it was meant and sincere. And that takes time.

The abuse and bullying got to a point that it was severe, and I’m still angry that they would even do those sorts of things in the first place. It can’t be changed I know. But the damage is deep. It’s also layered dating back to childhood for me, going all the way up to a couple years ago.

There’s a lot not to forgive. And besides, I’m just getting to me…the real me and I haven’t even gotten past the surface yet. There’s a lot to get to know and years of catching up with myself.  Given the oppression that was dished out and then my own defensive suppression I felt was necessary to protect myself, I think it’s better that I do some healing on my own.

But then if they were actually sincere, the healing would be faster if we were ‘all in it together’ I think.  I know that’s not reality though. People who finger point, scapegoat a family member, triangulate and blame don’t usually just wake up one day and say, “OH, what a shit I’ve been. How narcissistic and damaging of me to be so abusive.”

If it happens at all, I’m guessing it’s rare. It’s their way of dealing with their own trauma. It’s more comfortable for many people to be in denial, pretend it’s the fault of one other person, establish a scapegoat and instill lots of double standards.  But that doesn’t mean you gotta take it.

To find out who I am, who I really am is important to me and if I were to accept them back into my life right now, even if they truly were sorry, even if they really wanted to work at healing themselves and the dynamic among the family, I have myself to tend to right now.

It would be too easy to fall back into my role, as it would be for them as well. No matter how sorry or apologetic they all might be, we all still have our triggers and history.  So I can only assume it wouldn’t be easy for them as well. Change is hard for everyone so that would mean it would be difficult for them not to scapegoat me. It would be difficult not to utilize their double standards of their blame and shame against me.

The point is moot though. I think this may be permanent. I can’t imagine that they would ever understand or stop seeing me as the problem. I can’t ever see them as coming to realize how hurtful their treatment of me was, let alone that they were even treating me like shit.

I don’t expect that any of them will ever be self-aware enough to see the blame they put on me.  Nor will they push past the denial of the triangulating and manipulation they pulled.

I just don’t see the rug being put back where it’s been pulled out. And I don’t see them looking under said rug for all the shit they swept under it.

Although I removed myself, I still feel ostracized, because I was pushed out. I wouldn’t exactly say that I went willingly, even though I used my own will to walk away. I did it to take care of myself, for self-preservation and self-defense.