Abuse, Anger, Anxiety, Assault, Confusion, Depression, Family, Fear, Rant, Relationships, Surrender, Trust
In case you missed it, my world was well and truly rocked by BlissChick’s incredible post on depression, and some of her subsequent posts…
So here’s sort of an abridged version of her post (in italics), and my replies…
…People on anti-depressants are, from my own experience of them, still sad. Why? …Because they are putting a band aid on a broken limb…
I’ve never considered medication seriously, and the question has only been put to me once.
I understand there may be short term relief, but like you, I think it’s not something that ever fixes anything. So, I’m not interested in that path. Sure, it means things might be a little rougher for me, but I’m willing to tough it out.
…our souls are made of stories… They must be integrated into your essence or they will always be there. No amount of positive thinking will get rid of them. No amount of medication, eating “right,” supplements, herbals, or exercise… you will react because of them; you will be their slave…
I can see the truth this statement. Oh yes.
When I started writing my blog, I thought I was just writing about being assaulted. But what I learned along the way is, I’m actually writing about everything in my life that led up to that one fateful night.
Fateful, because it was a turning point, even if I didn’t start doing anything about it for almost three years.
…( (Honesty + Witness) + (Compassion + Patience) ) x Commitment
The hardest part of this formula is the first variable: Honesty about our stories.
We do everything we can to avoid this. We try to gloss over our stories… The first question to ask yourself is this: Who are you trying to protect by not being honest and why are you going to such lengths to protect them?
I was protecting both my parents, trying so hard to be who they needed me to be …a parent or both parents are exactly who most people are trying to protect…
I’ve really, really shied away from looking at my parents as neglectful. The physical abuse came from my brother, but it was ignored. And my parents were, and remain busy with their own emotional issues. It’s been that way for pretty much my whole life.
I haven’t wanted to admit these things so openly. I’ve wanted to accept them as they are and do what I can to compensate, because it’s cleaner, simpler. Because I know they won’t change. And because there’s nothing to be gained from blaming them for how they are.
…Regardless of someone else’s past, they were cruel to you. YOU were the child. YOU had the right to be the child. Your parents were not and are not your responsibility…
The crucial part, the part I’ve protected the most, has been to avoid admitting my parents were kind of shitty at their parenting job. I still have trouble with that.
I feel like, as a grown up, I should just take responsibility for myself and be done with it.
But perhaps that’s the point – how can the adult truly take responsibility when their inner child is having trouble being heard?
…Trying to understand your abuser is a classic psychological survival method… Your mind has to try to understand why this person is treating you this way, so you start to feel badly for them…
I recognise this. I do. My brother. My mother. My father. I never understood. I still don’t. And I feel bad I can’t be part of the “let’s all be close and loving” fantasy family relationship. I can’t be the “friend” my mother wants, either, especially considering she’s still self-centred and not interested in whatever I might be going through…
Every time my dad loudly has a conversation in front of me with my brother-in-law, about the importance of family (the same one on repeat), I want to be sick. Because he says those things and I KNOW he’s really chastising me indirectly for not being in touch a lot.
But heck, here I am on the brink of bankruptcy and where are they? NOWHERE.
When I was assaulted and hurting and hiding for years… THEY DID NOTHING.
What did they do when I complained again and again and again about my brother hitting me? MADE HIM APOLOGISE EACH TIME BUT NEVER STOPPED IT.
There’s more, much more. YES, they were neglectful and unsupportive parents. YES THEY WERE!!
And YES! I DO feel badly for them. I know they both had unhappy childhoods. I know my mother’s father was an alcoholic and her mother was controlling and manipulative. And that my father’s mother was the most self-centred person I’ve ever met. And my father’s father was adopted and emotionally vacant.
I expect less from them as a result. And yet, if ever I am blessed with children, I know I’d do whatever I can to make sure they feel loved and adored.
…You must be heard and seen… As an adult going through your stories and trying to order them and integrate them, a witness is the person who will give you that “real” feeling…
My witness, of course, has been Marcy. But I have also been graced with others…
Unfortunately I don’t have a ‘Marcy’ in my life. Instead, I write. And write, and write, so I can breathe.
But, those stories are slowly coming out on my blog. Which makes my blog readers my witnesses, I guess (hope you folks don’t mind!).
So witness this: I feel crappy about writing this stuff, like I’m betraying my family. Making a mountain out of a mole hill. It feels wrong and childish to sit here and write about things that have hurt my feelings over so many years and that, truth be told, still hurts my feelings.
And I’m not even half-way done yet! Not even close… however, I don’t know if it’s all for public consumption. Perhaps, perhaps, perhaps…
Feeling crappy and like you are betraying someone is a totally normal response at the beginning. I mean, think about what you have been taught about your self worth and your view of things.
“Your brother abused you? Go apologize to him!”
THAT is called CRAZY MAKING!
Your parents were essentially telling you that your very perceptions were wrong.
So now that you are NAMING things, you don’t trust yourself. How could you?
Think about all the women who are raped or beaten and won’t press charges…The psychology of that is the same.
Being an adult, of course, is exactly what you are doing. You ARE taking responsibility for your life right now in the very act of doing this work.
You ARE taking responsibility because now you, basically, have to raise yourself because your parents never did.
Please know that you are seen, Svasti. Please know that your pain is validated and that your bravery is admired.
@Blisschick – No! They didn’t make me apologise to him, they made him apologise. But it never stopped his behaviour. But now I think about it, this routine was damaging. They’d make him apologise, they’d also make us say we loved each other. And then it would happen again, and again.
Its hard to own up to what you’re saying. But thanks for listening…
Yeah, Svasti! And thank you for sharing. You have a birthright to your stories AND interpretations. There are no mountains or molehills the way I see it. But there is your truth. And your truth is welcome to my eyes.
@yogabrooks – Thanks Brooks… it really does feel kinda wrong to be writing this stuff still… but at the same time, it helps.
Jannie Funster said:
I’d feel a bit like betraying my family too (and have felt so with some of my thinly veiled poems,) but the truth is, some things are just NOT acceptable, like hitting and emotional neglect. And bringing light to these things cannot be a bad thing. Or bringing light to anything.
@Jannie Funster – Thanks for dropping in here!
Or bringing light to anything… well, when you put it like that, its very simple to understand!
*So* much here to contemplate and relate with … I don’t know where to begin. Kudos to you both for writing with such courage xoxo
The illustration is cracking my heart …
Antidepressant medication, for me, was a last-ditch choice (“Me? Meds? NEVAH!!”) for sanity … and it worked … miraculously. Yes, there are the side effects and downsides too. All told, it was hugely worth the risk.
“Our souls are made of stories.” Amen to that. Stories must be shared. I’ve come to think of storytelling as one of the integral threads of relation …
( (Honesty + Witness) + (Compassion + Patience) ) x Commitment … WOW …
Thank you … I really needed to read these words today.
@Jaliya – The illustration is possibly how a lot of young kids feel, I suspect… certainly resonated with me when I found it.
I’m glad you got something from this post, Jaliya, given your wonderful support in recent times. I hope that you can use BlissChick’s formula for your own purposes. xo
Whew, Svasti and Bliss Chick…there’s no easy way around this stuff. PERIOD. Bravery abounds as you both tackle ugly demons.
I agree that drugs shouldn’t be long-term, but if they work and if THEY’LL SAVE YOUR LIFE, use ’em for goodness sake. Heck we prescribe drugs for many physical states which should be treated at the source!
Keep on writing Svasti, even if you don’t publish all of it.
And I hope you have found some financial relief by the time you get this comment. Wish I could send you something!
@laughingyogini – well, I don’t know that it feels like being brave, more just standing my ground in the midst of it all! And I don’t have a problem with other people using meds but its never been my path, y’know?
I do keep on writing, don’t worry. And yes, financial relief is coming. First paycheck in months due this Friday!!