Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Therapeutic goals and the knight in shining armor

We have checked my therapeutic goals with my therapist, and realized that I have reached almost all of them. Yay! I am proud of myself now.

DB is a knight in shining armor. Despite all my positive experiences with him, I still firmly believed that I'm the only one whom I can really count on, and that no matter how sick or disabled I might become, I would still have to do everything by myself, because no one will help me. This sounds quite mean, and I have only recently realized that I have serious trust issues.

And still, I start to believe in DB. My blood pressure suddenly dropped and I found myself lying on the floor, in pain I have never felt before, and the only thing I could tell him was to find help. And then I fainted. I was in and out of consciousness, and woke up in the hospital. He managed to take me there, without any instructions or help from me (I know that this should be normal, but in my head these scenarios didn't exist before), told them everything they needed to know and the result was that I felt a lot better, the pain faded, and I stopped fainting. What I woke up to was that he was slowly stroking my back and talking to the doctor, and I felt comforted and safe.

This is what trust and safety must feel like. It is a wonderful feeling.

He was really there for me when I was in trouble and needed help.

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Manipulating children according to NM

When we were talking about raising children with NM, she told me that I was always the 'perfectly well-behaved child' and that everyone envied her. I don't remember crying when I was young. I do remember NM spending every waking hour with me, completely enmeshed with me and I had more fun I could have imagined, and I remember my first like 3 years of life as perfect. Maybe even a bit after that. I also remember that my opinion was always asked and valued, so that was also why it was so shocking when I became a tween and suddenly my taste in clothes was put down and screamed at, my taste in food was considered disgusting, my friends were 'inappropriate', and everything I wanted to decide on my own was replaced by her completely different decision.

I have only realized now why. I only had the illusion of deciding things. NM 'came out' lately that she was manipulating me from my birth into believing that the choices I made were mine. She proudly announced that she always manipulated me to do what she wanted me to. And then went on explaining in detail how to make a small child believe that the choices they make are theirs and still get what you want. How to provide them with 'options' to choose from and make sure that they will want to find out eagerly which one you would want them to pick, how to ask them to choose and then if the answer you get from your child is not what you want, simply derail their attention with some toy or something interesting (and due to their very short attention span they will forget you have even asked anything), and then ask the same question again, but that time, even more manipulatively.

NM described how to push their 'wants' the way you want them to, with little tricks, decoys, or how to disregard their desires without them noticing and then replace them with your own.

She was so proud of herself, and she was so condescending (she wanted to demonstrate how little I know about raising children and how awesomely clever she is).

When I was a teen, this elaborate technique was replaced by asking my opinion, acting like it was accepted, then coming at me later completely enraged, authoritative, and dragging along with EF as a physical and emotional shield and threatening to severely abuse him if I don't comply, and then telling me that I will decide to want the exact opposite. And I did so. The conversation looked like this basically:
NM: - Scatha, do you want to visit auntie today?
Scatha: - No.
NM: - Okay (walks away and waits until 5 minutes before departure time, then marches into my room)
NM: - Get your clothes, we are going.
Scatha: (grunts, makes faces and silently starts putting clothes of NM's choice on) 

(you can extend the conversation with buts, arguing about clothes and losing, listening to how 'grumpy' or 'difficult' or 'unloving' I am, or how I don't respect family, or as a last resort NM shoving EF's sad, desperate and panicking face into mine, to demonstrate how she had already started torturing him emotionally and will escalate doing so if I don't comply)

It never even occurred to me until my mid twenties that I could ask why the hell she was asking my opinion if she was not interested in it or would not accept it anyway.

And it never even occurred to me that I could say no to these, until a few years ago. When I first did so, she sent EF to me, and I've never seen such fear on his face before. I still said no. Then she marched up to my door and ordered me to go. I said no and shut the door into her face. Then she tortured emotionally the living sh*t out of EF after it, just to make sure. This is their problem.

But this, that she admitted that she was conditioning me from my birth to do what she wanted me to, was downright creepy and shocking and devastating. At least now I know that no, even when I was around 3 years old, my life wasn't happy or perfect. It was manipulated. And I never had the chance to learn that being enmeshed with NM and doing exactly what she wanted was not equal to being loved for who I was. Not at all.

The worst two dreams

These are the two dreams that are on my top worst dreams list. There was so much gore in them, along with all the sheer panic, helplessness, desperation and fear of death that I felt inside these dreams, that it almost literally scared the living sh*t out of me.

My first worst was, when I was still living with my FOO. After waking up, I have realized that there must be something really, seriously wrong. This was the time when I was an alcoholic, left for college each day around 4AM at dawn to avoid meeting NM, EF was in hospital, I was severely depressed, suicidal, and I had absolutely no hope.

My second dream was approximately a few weeks ago.

Dream #1

I somehow tied NM to a bed, and I was so desperate to end all the pain inside me, that I have decided to end her life. To do that, I started chewing her heart out, with nothing else than my own teeth. It was a very long process, there was way too much blood, and she was screaming. And when I almost got there, I have realized, that there was the rib cage between me and the heart. That besides all her pain, agony and screaming that I have caused for her, and the extrapolated version of what she was feeling, all her pain, and also my emotional pain inside me, being so desperate that I was to do that to my own birth mother, I still cannot get rid of her.

Dream #2

I lived at my FOO again. I went home and found EF tied to a chair, his hands twisted back from his shoulders. I knew that NM did that to him. Without hesitation I freed him. NM came in, and realized that I have freed EF, she started screaming at us, and wanted to kill both of us. EF somehow signaled to me that we have to end this for all, and that I have to drown her in the bathtub. I knew that it was her life, or ours and there was no time for negotiations. So I pushed her into the bathtub that was only half-full with water and held her down. And I was terrified of my actions. EF prepared me that it would take at least an hour to drown, so I must prepare that it will be very long, and if I fail, I will have to start over again. And as he said it, bubbles came up, and formed the words: I really love you Scatha, I genuinely, truly, deeply love you. I knew it was a trick, and that she would lie anything to survive, but still... it resonated so deeply within me that I started crying uncontrollably and released her up. She attacked me again. Realizing that she lied to me, again, I pushed her back, still crying like I have never cried before. Then she transformed into some sort of seed or bean or something, but I still had like half an hour to continue the drowning. I have never felt as guilty as that before, to commit the ultimate sin and to hurt someone that much. EF came in and admitted that the 'World Police' was looking for her and that they want to give me a medal of honor for putting such a threat down. We put her 'seed form' into a glass of water and I still had to hold her down, while EF was driving me to the police station for my celebration. And I still felt worse than ever before.

Both times, when I woke up, I felt so disgusted of myself, I cannot even describe. I truly loathed myself. Side note: while awake, I'm unable to even kill a fly or a spider. I rather help them get out my apartment. Why am I dreaming about such violence then?

If there is hell, these dreams are there. I am still uncontrollably shaking and my stomach is turned upside down. I feel terrified.

Another blow to my insomnia. I have been terrified of going to sleep since I was 16, because of my nightmares. This does not help.

I want a drink so bad. But I am not giving up being sober. No way.

Comments are welcome, as always. Did you ever have dreams like that?

Friday, November 23, 2012

The wonders of honesty

As I've mentioned before, I'm practicing honesty. And oh boy, the wonders that follow after being honest.

Last time I've decided to be very open and honest with one of my friends whom we had a subject that we did not talk to. I realized that the truth would hurt him, and might end with him not wanting to be friends with me after that. But I have also realized that I cannot have a deep connection with someone, if I have to lie about one of the most important things in my life, just to protect him from having to deal with his own emotions.

Hell, I've been doing this all the time with NM, having to hide everything I was just to protect her from realizing I'm not her salvation, nor the fulfiller of her unfulfilled childhood dreams, and definitely not her substitute husband. I was the main actor in her private theater of make believe, along with EF and all the cheerleaders and flying monkeys around. It has been my second nature, since I was born to deny myself and twist reality for everyone else, to know all their secret thoughts without asking anything, and to concoct the most beautiful realization of all their dreams. The only thing I knew was, that if I am myself, their worlds shatter, and I am the cause of their illness, despair, conflicts, and even the thunderstorm outside (yes, she actually made me believe that me being myself was making the rain fall with thunders and lightning, to emphasize that I made NM sad).

To think this through made me realize that this was, in fact, narcissistic thinking. To believe I was powerful enough that I was making everyone happy or unhappy just by being alive, and that I could influence the weather. That it was my responsibility only to save the day. Geez.

I don't want to create dream worlds to people anymore. I can show empathy if they are struggling with their own problems, I help if I have the means or the time, but I don't want to save everyone around me from their own lives and solve everything for them. I don't want to be the fairy godmother anymore.

So I sat down with him, and then 5-6 awful hours passed until I was capable of telling the truth. It basically was that I was with DB and there is no way that we can be anything else but friends. I also added that it does not mean that I don't like him or his company, or the things we do together, but there is a line that I cannot, and will not cross.

And then the miracle happened. He still talks to me, we still do stuff together, the world didn't collapse, there were no earthquakes or innocent kittens dying. It also seemed that he was somewhat relieved (despite that he was the one explicitly asking me not to talk about anything like this). I am myself, and the world is still here. Wow.

The other part:

My friend-who-broke-contact-with-me-before.

I have decided not to hide in the corners anymore and do what I think, instead of doing what I think is expected of me.

We had to go to a business event together that supposedly lasted 3 hours (but in the end it turned out to be a 8-hours-long one). I asked him if I could sit next to him. He said yes. Then we had business lunch with the others, and he sat next to me. He talked to me. We even had a cigarette together, just like old times, talking, laughing. And in the end, I asked whether he would visit the big event of my project (that he was part of in the beginning, but then decided to quit). It was my greatest fear that he would simply say no. I was scared as hell.

And he said yes.

I expressed that I was more than happy that even if not participating actively, but he will visit us at the event. He smiled. And yes. This means a lot to me.

Ah, the wonders of honesty. The miracles of being true to myself. Of being me. Wow.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

The others

I am practicing the art of honesty, and I feel really embarrassed about what I am going to post now. But please, be honest with me. I am open for advice, criticism, analysis, and well... also compassion :)

I wonder if I am really seriously f***ed up, and whether I intentionally sabotage my chances to any healthy relationship.

I have considered myself completely monogamous and a firm believer in fidelity, marriage for most of my life.

However, there was a point, where I have failed myself and my value system. I have been living with EXNB for four years. We moved together after a few months, and from the day it happened, he stopped talking to me, spending quality time together and having sex with me. Also, he refused all my attempts at getting close to him, or even trying to touch his face. He always had reasons: being tired, the weather, side-effects, depression, problems with work, problems with anything. I have accepted the reasons, but it drained me and my self-esteem in every possible way.

To cut the long story short, I have decided not to sit at home all day long looking at his back playing computer games, and I started to make friends again (I have lost almost all of them because I focused on nothing else but his needs). I got closer to one of the new friends than I should have, and we started to have an affair. Soon after that I have realized that I would not do this to either of them, broke up with EXNB, and went on with the relationship with the friend, then broke up with him also when I have realized that he was unhappy with me and that all I could do anyway was being a sobbing lump of depression 24/7.

After this, I couldn't forgive myself, besides all my friends telling me that after four years of neglect and celibacy I had no one to be faithful to, and thus it was acceptable that I cheated on EXNB even if for a very brief period.

It still haunts me. How I could throw everything that I believed in away just because someone, at last, wanted me.

Since then, I do feel f***ed up. Especially because I feel that I cannot get away from that pattern anymore. When DB and I had problems, I had a huge crush (love?) on one of my friends and when said friend realized he felt the same, he broke all contacts with me. Nothing ever happened between us, but I still miss him like hell, and (I still love him)

I am still in touch with the other friend, who was my boyfriend after EXNB, and I am still not made of stone... meaning that I don't find him unattractive, and that he is not unlovable to me. I know he is still in love with me, after all these years, and it still hurts him that we are not together. And sometimes, memories start flooding me, and I sort of think that I feel the same about him as I used to...

When I look back on my earlier life, I remember that with my boyfriend before EXNB (also for four years, also he was completely unavailable, with a wife and children, feeding me with lies that he wanted to be with me), I also had shorter episodes of having a crush on someone else, but back then, I could control myself.

And I do remember my second boyfriend in my life, who was so innocent and young and inexperienced (I wasn't really that experienced either) that he barely ever kissed me (again, unavailable), and I had a very good friend, who became more than a friend for me, and then disappeared from my life. I didn't feel any regret then, though, which bothers me now.

I start to recognize that there is a pattern here, me being in long relationships with unavailable men, starting to panic when I realize that there is a problem in said relationship, suddenly turning into a femme fatale and then selecting someone to fall head over heels for.

Now, I feel that I simply cannot deal with men who "are there". Like DB. I love him deeply, but still... what the hell should I do with someone who is there for me and loves me? I miss the powerful, napalm-like burning inside myself, the thrill of the "hunt", the uncertainty, the anticipation, the all-engulfing passion and obsession, for someone, whose thoughts and dreams I can completely possess, but whom I cannot really have. Or the secrecy. The thought that I am wanted, truly, deeply wanted by more people.

That one, simple, normal, harmonious, loving, working relationship is very far from enough.

Once, I phrased this feeling as that "I collect souls". I feel the best when more than one men (especially a certain type: who have beautiful souls, thoughts, moral values, are great to talk to, have a sort of underlying attractiveness that is rather deep charisma than beauty, and some hidden but deep pain inside them) are completely obsessed by me. The downside is, that I am unable to "unlove" them or forget them no matter what happens after it.

I feel a deep hunger inside me, that can only be fulfilled by one single person when he holds me really close, entangles me, and constantly showers me with love, affection, desire, and words, loving words.

(A side note, EF, the first "man" in my life had traveled a lot when I was little. I loved him more than anyone, and he was never there. But I could spend all my months, waiting for him, preparing presents, dedicating all my thoughts to him, waiting for the wonderful day of his arrival. One of my theories now is that I am reenacting this in my adult life)

I do NOT want to mess up my relationship with DB. I do love him, and I want to keep him. I want to be normal and faithful and normal. And normal. And I don't want to spend most of my days obsessing about the thought of obsessing about someone obsessing about me.

Am I seriously f***ed up?

(am I a narc, like NM?)

Thursday, November 8, 2012

The first one to believe me

I grew up with literally no one in my family believing what I said about NM. I was always told by other family members that it mustn't be true, what I say about her, that she was the most amazing mother in the world, that she is almost a saint, that she is always nice, and she loves me more than a human being can possibly love.

That I have a vivid imagination. That I am a child that loves exaggerating, and telling stories that are more "colorful" than how they have actually happened. That I am a teenager who obviously tries to "rebel" (I have never rebelled, I didn't even know what it was). That I don't understand motherly love. That I will learn what it is like to be a mother when I become one. That my poor mother only wants the best for me, I'll see. That I am a liar. I soon became the Pinocchio of the family. And I had to realize, that there never was and never will be anyone, who will believe anything I say about my life in my FOO, or NM.

And now, a miracle happened on my birthday.

I have talked to DGM and her husband, they said HBD and quickly changed the subject. They were very agitated. It turned out that they talked to NM the day before my birthday. I don't know what she told them but it really scared the sh*t out of them. They basically told me to escape as far as I can from her. They said something about how she must have something wrong in the head, and muttered about it not being right for a mother to expect her child to sacrifice herself for her mother. That if I have no other choice, they will give me shelter until I can find someplace else.

That they knew.

That they believed me.

That they were in my corner.

I never, ever have felt so light and so powerful in my life.

Someone, in my family, believes me.

Monday, November 5, 2012

Teenage diaries

I had a beautiful diary book with green paper, when I was at elementary school. I didn't know how to write one, but everyone in class had one, so I started writing too. It only consisted of what I had for homework and basically how I performed in class. I guess I was already preset to think that it was the only part of me worth noting.

I put it in the trash half year ago when I found it. It sounded so artificial and empty.

My third diary was rather a compilation of e-mails between me and my then boyfriend whom NM disapproved of. She found it, read it, screamed at me for a complete day and forced me to dump him. I didn't do so, but kept our relationship secret for four years. And then came out to them four years later, that we were still together. It resulted in hell breaking lose and consequences that I will write about later.

My second diary, I have found two weeks ago, in the week-end house. In the topmost drawer of NM's wardrobe. I know I didn't put it there. So I know that by now, she knows its content by heart. And she will do everything she can to use it against me.

I have read a few pages of it. I was between 16-18 years old, smart enough not to write anything about my parents. But all the other things that were in it... I didn't even remember how desperately sad and lonely I was all the time. It was unbearable even to only read through the pages. I didn't know how to connect with anyone, I didn't know how befriend anyone, the ones I thought were my friends constantly hurt me. The ones who didn't, hated visiting me (because of NM). If I wanted to see them, I was grounded. If I wanted to do anything that didn't involve NM, I was locked up. My only friend was DP. NM labeled it as sick and disgusting. I was so unhappy and vulnerable, you could almost feel the pain just by touching the written words. I am actually surprised why I didn't manage to kill myself in the end.

I have burnt it page by page.

I will never go through that again.

Thursday, November 1, 2012

The day when EF almost died

I was at the beginning of my twenties. I lived with my FOO, and had a boyfriend for four years. (I have mentioned him before in one of the posts). NM found out about him at the beginning of our relationship, and my life turned into hell, until I promised to leave him. I secretly dated him for four years. And I finally decided to take control of my life. I sat down with NM and EF and told them that we were still together and intended to stay that way. (A half year later we broke up, but that is totally unrelated. We are still good friends though, both happy in our present relationships.)

In a week, EF was taken into hospital with an unknown but very severe illness and almost died within a day from dehydration. He stayed there for a month (or three? I don't remember). And I remained alone, at home, with NM. He was the only thing between me and EF and now he was gone. He almost never protected me but at least he never hurt me and I loved him. And I still believe that he does love me. I was horrified and scared to death, because I knew the worst hell was coming. And no, I didn't know that the 'worst hell' was way much worse than that.

I learned that EF was dying via phone. NM called me (I was at college which was unfortunately in our city, so I had to live with her). She briefly told me that EF was in the hospital and that he was dying and that it was because of me. And then she hung up. I called her back, and when I managed to talk to her, I asked her where he was. She refused to tell me. I had to beg her for days. She told me that she wouldn't tell me because the reason behind EF's mysterious illness was that I told them I was together with then-boyfriend.

I was devastated. NM kept on talking. She explained to me in detail, that EF admitted to her (before being taken to hospital) that it was my fault that he became ill. That the fact that I was together with then-boyfriend devastated him so much, that he almost died. Then she looked deeply into my eyes, and told me:

"He will die. You killed him. You killed your own father. It is all your fault. It is because you shocked him. You devastated him. You hurt him so much. He did not expect this abhorrent behavior from you. He could not take it to realize that his daughter was such an unimaginably horrible person. To know that you are with then-boyfriend."

I was crying so uncontrollably that I was rather screaming then crying, and was collapsed into a lump on the floor. She shook me up and forced me to stand up. When she ensured that I could not look away from her gaze, she continued.

"If he would survive your murder attempt, do not ever even think of trying to telling this to him. He is such a good man. He wouldn't ever admit that it is all your fault. So don't ask him. He will lie to you and tell you that it is not your fault, because he is so much better than the lowlife you are. He would want to spare you from knowing that he knows how horrible you are. That you wanted to kill him. Your own father."

The next thing I remember was hearing the following from NM:

"I wish Bro was alive. I wish he survived instead of you. At least, if both of you had to be alive, I could say that well, Scatha is irreparably broken and went wrong, she is the black sheep of the family, but at least we have Bro, who is nice and loveable. So I could toss Scatha away and turn towards Bro."

(Note: Bro was aborted before I was born.)

Then she forced me again to look her in the eye and said:

"I wish I wouldn't have to see you all the time, the way you are. I wish I wouldn't have to know day by day that you are like this. I wish you weren't alive. I wish you were dead. I want you to be dead so that I wouldn't have to go all through this."

After a few days, when I was completely broken, she told me where EF was. I could see him but only with NM present, watching my every move.

I don't remember too well, but I think almost half a year have passed until I managed to ask EF in private, whether he thought I was killing him. That I didn't know what to think because NM told me that he wouldn't tell me the truth anyway. He sent me away with a backhand wave telling me that I was stupid and it was not true. And that he didn't ever want to talk about it again.

He has recovered pretty quickly after he got home from the hospital and is now completely cured from that illness.

NM's words still echo in my head.

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Two questions

EF forced me to call NM yesterday (my assumption is that he was tortured and threatened to convince me to call). She called me the day before but I did not answer, since I figured she would be yelling at me about some nonsense that involved my upcoming birthday.

I absolutely loathe my birthday. I remember having ones that I waited for. When I was little, and got toys as presents, and a cake. But most of them were about me getting some present that I never liked or wanted, and then I had to pay heavily for them. I learned that all presents have a very high price, one that I'm unable to pay. Such as being forced to repeat for months, every day, several times, how happy and grateful I am that I received such a wonderful gift from the best mother in the world, whom I bless and who must be a real angel, my sweet sweet mother. Yes I had to call NM sweet. I feel sick just by writing this down.

So I called her yesterday. She had two question: when we will visit them to celebrate me, and what special food should she cook. I answered 6PM and that I want nothing.

We talked for 1.5 hours. I will miss these hours so much at the end of my life.

She answered that no, we will not visit at 6PM, but at 5.30, since she loves me so much that she wants to see me more. I told her that IF she wants to know when I can visit, she has to accept what I say. If she knows beforehand that only a particular time frame is acceptable for her, she should phrase it in a statement and not a question. She did not even hear me.

Then she went on about how she will cook food A (that is actually both my and DB's favorite, but he mustn't eat it because of some meds he has to take for a while. The food would negate the effects of the medication and might put his health in severe danger. For the same reason, he mustn't consume any alcohol). I told her that as I have mentioned EVERY time I talk to her, he mustn't eat food A. Oh, she never knew that, she says, and sounds genuinely surprised.

I mentioned to her that the last time we had lunch, she made sweets with a lot of alcohol in them and was proud of it. And wanted to give him wine to accompany the meal. Oh, she didn't know that he cannot drink. How wonderful it is that we now talk about it, she says.

I still wonder whether she is that evil or that insane. I vote for both. My best guess is that she literally does not hear what I say.

I literally told her that she was killing DB. She didn't even react. Anything. At all.

She then decided to cook food B, which is acceptable by its components.

NM also kept saying that she really really wanted to see the two of us together. Especially DB. And that we so rarely visit together. I told her legitimate reasons why we are usually not even at home, and when we are, I want to see him, and no one else. And that 'no one else' includes them.

Only when I could finally hang up, I realized that she completely negated both my statements. I wanted no food for my birthday. And I told her that I was to visit at 6 PM. And I was stuck with special food and 5.30. And the main result was that I was cold, unloving, uncaring, distant, whereas she was waiting for me in her warm home with all her motherly love and all the wonders I ever wanted in the whole world.

When I hung up, I was so blind with rage, I thought I could smash something. I was shaking with fury.

When I woke up, I couldn't stop crying. I still can't. I feel like a complete failure.

No matter how hard I tried to stick to what I wanted, I still couldn't. How could she twist things around again, so that I only realize what happened when I'm already in it?

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

NM visits ENGF

ENGF is ill. NM visits him a few days a week, to help him, cook him food, buy him stuff, keep him company, etc.

(Note: ENGF never wants to see or talk to us, and he refuses all invitations. NM is desperate to somehow gain his, or GCU's love, but she always gets ice-cold refusal.)

NM told me about her last visit at ENGF. I don't even remember all the details, but what boiled down to me was that NM did not notice, that ENGF was making a complete fool of her, using her and laughing at her behind her back.

Like sending her out from his apartment to buy some bread for him, then when she goes back to him, he claims that he 'accidentally' forgot to mention that he also needed sour cream flavored chips (that were actually sour cream and onion, just he didn't say that so NM spent like an hour searching for 'sour cream' chips). Then when NM brought back the chips, he started yelling at her that she brought the wrong ones and then was surprised when he realized that she actually managed to buy the right ones despite him misinforming her. Then she announced she had somewhere else to be and that she was leaving, only to hear that he 'accidentally' forgot to mention that he also needed some medicine, from a certain shop, since the one in the other shop was too expensive. He claimed the shop was to the right in the mall. It was to the left, as it turned out, and was closed on that day. So NM bought the medicine in the other shop, for double price, and then listened at ENGF yelling at her for buying it at the wrong place. So as a self-punishment, she offered him that he can have the medicine for free and she was paying for it. Then she also offered to visit him again on all days of the weekend, so that neither NM nor EF will be able to rest at all. EF was surprised to hear that since before this, they agreed to visit him on Wednesday.

I told NM that it was pretty clear that ENGF was using her and abusing her, and that she should have stood up for herself and not let him do that.

NM was first very surprised that I have noticed the abuse, and couldn't say a word. Then she managed to say that she helps him and endures him 'being a little bit difficult' because she wants to set a good example before me so that I don't abandon her when she becomes old. And that if she stood up for herself against ENGF, I would surely abandon her, the way she abandoned her father.

I told her that she should rather worry about showing an example of being a doormat rather than showing a good example of standing up for herself in case of abuse. She was now shocked with surprise and quickly dismissed the subject.

I don't want to end up like her. It's so pathetic.

I ended up dreaming about screaming at NM all night long. (I have never ever screamed at anyone in my whole life). DB woke me up several times at night, because I was tossing and turning and crying. I am so happy that he cares about me even when I sleep.

Monday, October 29, 2012

The kitchen towel

The story of the kitchen towel is a great example of the reoccurring moments of getting a weird 'present' from NM.

We met, and NM became very cheerful, announcing that she intends to give me a kitchen towel as a gift.

(Note: It is difficult to find good kitchen towels. Most of them look nice, but don't absorb water, which I would want to use them for. I have only 2 that can be used for anything other than decoration.)

The kitchen towel she waves in front of me looks like the old-fashioned water-absorbing one, but I get suspicious. So I ask whether it is an old one from her collection of 'good kitchen towels' (which I would really like to have). I then tell her that I don't need another kitchen towel to consume space in my wardrobe, only if it serves its purpose.

NM is surprised. She becomes sad and wants to know why I refuse accepting a gift. I slowly repeat the sentence above.

She gets more confused and then proves me that it in fact does absorb water, by pouring water on a plate and then wiping it. I become even more suspicious.

I sort of blurt out OK and tell her that if that is the case, I do accept it, and think that I might get rid of it anyway.

The punchline: She explains that it must have belonged to someone else who hung it on a clothesline to dry, since she found it in the dirt. The proudly announces that she managed to wash it three times, so it must be clean. And adds, in an I-will-be-deeply-hurt-if-you-reject-my-wonderful-gift voice that of course if I don't trust her washing abilities, I can reject her gift, and she will be very sorry and sad.

Minus points for me: I took the freakin' towel.
Plus point for me: I will give it to the homeless, along with the clothes that she sometimes dumps on me.
To practice: Saying no for 'gifts' like this.

Why didn't it seem this weird when it was actually happening, as it seems now? I mean how disgusting this whole idea is? Giving your child a 'gift' that you actually stole from someone else (I know, it fell off, but still, what if they weren't home and would be looking for it? And now I sort of feel responsible), and it was on the ground, in the dirt, and you want them to use it on your clean dishes that you eat from? This is gross on so many levels.

Thursday, October 25, 2012

I'm back again

I've came back from my long holiday with DB, and it was awesome on so many levels.

One of the levels was, that I've realized, again, that I am capable of living on my own, without NM constantly sniffing my behind, begging and growling for breadcrumbs of attention, like a stray dog. Actually, life is much more enjoyable this way.

As soon as we got back, she tries to put on the same record again. What amazes me is how deeply she is unable to understand, imagine or even hear anything that is outside her mind.

I've become tired of explaining why I don't want to visit them and chit-chat, when I get home from work around 11PM. I simply don't explain and don't go. She invites, or tries to force, or anything related, I ignore.

We have been talking about economy and politics with EF, obviously NM had to bark in with all her negativity. EF escaped as usual and left me there with NM who constantly kept on whining about how the world will continuously get worse, including all the people, and showered us with conspiracy theories and negativity. Instead of trying to reflect on what she said, I asked her suggestions on changing the world's course. It soon turned out that she had absolutely no clue about what she was talking about. Since she did not expect this turn of events (being questioned instead of getting her usual dose of narcissistic supply), she unconsciously started exposing her uncertainty, how she is constantly in a state of 'learnt helplessness' and how alone and bitter she feels in the world, and her life

And I've just realized how much NM wanted to make me like her... I have been living in learned helplessness for so long, it still seems weird when I do something on my own, for myself.

I've bought some books for myself. In my FOO, buying something for yourself, for your own happiness, without asking for anyone's permission for it, without explaining it in detail why you would otherwise die/starve/freeze to death was a sin that was comparable to killing your own family members. It was a scary experience to buy something for myself. But also, a wonderful one.

It is so much easier to see the patterns, when I don't feel emotionally enmeshed with her.

Also, life seems more peaceful.

Keeping the Gestalt prayer in mind helps me.

"I do my thing and you do your thing.
I am not in this world to live up to your expectations,
And you are not in this world to live up to mine.
You are you, and I am I,
and if by chance we find each other, it's beautiful.
If not, it can't be helped."

(Fritz Perls, "Gestalt Therapy Verbatim", 1969)

Thursday, September 13, 2012


I will be away on holiday with DB. Only the two of us, without my FOO nearby. It will be two weeks, away from my everyday life.

I've said NO again to NM. She asked me to water their plants while the father of EXNB will be staying at their apartment renovating the kitchen. I told them no. (I made the mistake of explaining the whys though). A few days after this, EF tried to convince me to celebrate a family holiday with them by visiting them in the very same apartment (where father of EXNB still is). I said no, without an explanation. He then expressed his disagreement, and I didn't care. So as a result, NM came over (EF thought it would be too 'embarrassing' for them to come together, since 'how could they tell EXNB's father, that I don't want to see him', so he stayed at home), I gave her the presents and she left. Well, they couldn't force me to meet EXNB's father. I'm happy this way.

I've got my synthetic dreads yesterday and went to my workplace in them today. I thought I would be frowned or laughed at, but I didn't care. And to my surprise, everyone said that I looked beautiful, and they all gathered around me and said that it was cool. Yaaaay! The CEO said that it was 'f***ing awesome and that I should wear them all the time'. Wow.

This is such a new experience to me. To be loved, to be in the centre of attention... just because I am who I am. To receive positive feedback for being me.

It really feels good.

If you haven't tried it before, try it. It is fascinating how powerful it can be if you stop acting like someone whom you think others would accept and like and start being yourself.

When I get back from abroad with DB, I will post again :)

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Being a teenager for the first time

The 'teenage' topic popped into my mind when I read Ruth's post Very late teens.

I've only heard about teenagers from NM (speaking about them with disgust and hate), the news, books, Internet, and I've seen some as they were my classmates. But I've never been one of them.

I guess I've skipped being a teenager. As soon as I've grown from a child to a teenager, I was transformed into an adult. I had to parent NM, tend to her every emotional need that she didn't get from her parents before, and fill the shoes of the husband she always wanted me to be. I was forced to be her parents, her brothers and sisters, and her spouse.

I wasn't allowed to have friends, to have my own personality, to make mistakes, to act as young people do, to be careless, to have feelings, to try anything.

I could only be at school, go to my music classes, or be at home, visibly studying (as NM helicoptered over me), and tend to her every unspoken emotional need. I had straight 'A'-s all the time, and it made her envious. I was everything to her, and I was still not enough. I didn't have any friends other than her, and everyone else was hated and pushed away from me. Even EF, my relationship with him made her jealous.

I had the wear the clothes and hairstyle she forced on me, I had to speak the way she allowed me to, I have never been to parties, I have never done anything 'insane' or 'silly', I didn't take risks, I didn't know any modern music bands other than Johann Sebastian Bach and the Beatles. I wasn't allowed to be in love, I was ridiculed instead. I wasn't allowed to learn how to clean the apartment, how to cook, how to mend my clothes, how to shave my legs and armpits, how to wear make-up or polish my nails, how to color my hair. When I found out that everyone in class mocked me because I looked like a yeti, and the boys were whispering how I must be a lesbian because I didn't have any 'girl' traits, I was devastated. I begged her to let me become a woman, and I met rage, hatred and more rage.

I see the little 'teen' relatives around DB, who wear awesome clothes, look like young beautiful women and men, who go to concerts with their friends and go on holiday with their significant others, and I secretly feel envy for the teenage years I never had.

I've started to go to concerts, wear insane clothes and shoes, do my own makeup, dye my hair, play in a 'rock band', etc. at my late twenties.

I'm going to visit my hairdresser next week, and will have awesome crazy colorful synthetic dreadlocks for the next few weeks, while I'm on holiday with DB. And I feel young, for the first time in my life :)

Monday, September 3, 2012

NM's requests

I have been bombarded with requests from NM during the past few weeks.

They are renovating a kitchen and since they are living in a very small apartment (just as I do), it will be full with dust, etc. NM told me that they will ask their friend down the street to be able to sleep at their place, but she wants to cook their food at my place. Additional fun: the people who will be renovating their kitchen are the parents of EXNB. I guess cooking at my place will involve inviting them over for happy family lunches and dinners. Without my consent. And my whole apartment will be constantly criticized.

I was told that I have two days to take my piano from their living room wherever I want to (until now they were quite happy to have it) or they will throw it away, or it will be ruined by the dust anyway. It is a very old grand piano, so now I have to pay a lot for it to be transferred to my place, and had to spend the whole weekend with DB rearranging furniture and other stuff to make a space for it. Before I was informed about this short deadline, we were under an agreement, that we have a year to transfer it, and to prepare everything beforehand.

(for the last part, a bit of background info:)

(Legally, I'm only a co-owner at NM and EF's company. That means that I don't have any responsibility for what NM and EF do, but I don't get any money out of it either. I don't work there, I don't really get any benefits out of it (other than it might be useful to have some background if I don't find a job after maternity leave, if ever). They do work there and make all the decisions.
NM is the owner. She has cancelled the contract with her last client a few days ago because she was 'fed up with them', so now only EF has clients. This decision has put them in a really bad financial situation. Moreover, they still have to pay tax after NM even if she does not get any income, since she does not have any other job.)

For the last request, NM sent EF to communicate it with me, I guess she didn't have the guts for it. They want me to take over the official ownership of their small company for a year, because then they wouldn't have to pay tax after NM. The official ownership would mean that I would still not get any benefits, or money, but I would have to be financially responsible for all their decisions. And in this company form, 'financially responsible' means that if they make a mistake, everything that I own (house, car, deposits, clothes, you name it) can be taken away, and more. Oh, and this responsibility lasts for five more years even after I resign.

I am absolutely sure that when I will say no for this, I will be the black sheep who forces her parents to starve to death, and into poverty. This will be held against me, until I die. Maybe even after that.

But I will not take the risk of her messing something up in the company and losing everything I have. No way. Fortunately, DB supports me in this decision also. He said that if they really need help, we can give them food, or a few dollars, but that it would be suicide to take the company ownership. I agree with him.

But I still feel overwhelmed.

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Half a loaf is better then none for NM

It seems that NM is quite desperate to have someone around who is not EF, at the secluded week-end house.

We have visited them with DB for the birthday of EF. During our visit, she constantly kept asking me questions like:
  • "When will you visit us at our week-end house? You never visit."
  • "When will we talk?" 
  • "Will it ever be possible that you come and spend time with us?"
  • "We never see you."
  • etc
I have informed her that I was standing right in front of her, at their week-end house, talking to her, spending time with her, right now. But she went on with these, like a broken record nevertheless.


So we were invited again for some "big party" (that included historical lectures, culinary treats and concerts all around the city of the week-end house) for the next weekend. I have told NM that I was unavailable, since I was in another city the whole weekend, doing important stuff. Then she turned to DB and started trying to convince him to visit them and "party together" the next weekend, since he wouldn't see me anyway, so why not. He politely avoided answering and later during the week texted her that he was not going (after NM explicitly told me that she definitely expected at least some answer from DB whether he was going or not).

Even more creepy.

I wonder whether this was an attempt to try to turn DB into her "pet boyfriend" as she did so with EXNB (they once went to theater together and were both delighted by the envious looks they got, EXNB often visited NM for a cup of tea, lunch, or just a little chat while I was away working, etc.). I am happy that he didn't go without me.

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Music as emotional amplitude modulator

While growing up, I was forbidden to feel. Anything. If I was happy, I was emotionally trampled into the ground by NM. And she made sure I stayed there. My joy was ridiculed, my interests were laughed at, if I smiled, she mocked me and interrogated me for hours and then rained on me. Hard. If I was sad, she emotionally tortured me until the pain was unbearable. She always knew how to make me feel a lot worse than I initially did.

I developed this numb shell around me. I dread happiness, because I feel that something extremely bad will happen to me as soon as I dare to feel good. And when I am sad, if I'm really sad, I become numb and my mind literally shuts down. I don't feel, I don't think, I don't notice the world around myself, and I am literally unable to move. This was the only way I could survive my teens, when NM had these emotional torture sessions with me that lasted for 5-6 hours each. My therapist told me that it seems, that I revert to my half-one year old self.

I had maniac depression for years during my early twenties. Then another period, that ended almost a year ago now, and I barely survived it. The only thing that kept me from killing myself for almost a decade was listening to music.

I had interesting discussions about the types of music people listen to when they are down. I always felt alone with listening to deeply sad, depressing or disturbing music when I was depressed. Everyone around me listened to cheerful happy music when they were sad. For me, listening to uplifting music when I can barely stop myself from suicide is mere torture.

I never understood why I was so different from anyone else, until I have realized from the discussions on your blogs, that it might be because I was otherwise forbidden to feel. Music was the only way for me to express the feelings I couldn't. To live the feelings that I couldn't display on my face through other people's feelings, through their art.

Somehow I always feel a certain urge to listen to music that pushes my emotional amplitudes way out of the normal borders. And that is the only way I could find to survive, or to be able to function normally. So, if I feel abandoned, I listen to songs about abandonment. If I feel depressed, I listen to songs about depression. If I feel lonely, I listen to songs about loneliness. And it somehow puts everything in the right place in my head after a while. (While can equal to months sometimes, but still...)

Some people even called me a masochist for doing that. But it works for me. Even if the music is triggering, or makes my feelings stronger or more extreme, it soothes me.

I wanted to share a song with you. I have found this artist when we separated with EXNB. I believe that her songs (especially the lyrics) are ones that people with narcissistic parents or partners can deeply understand and relate to:

Unter Null - Broken Heart Cliche

Do you have the same experience/feelings with music? Listening to something that amplifies your feelings rather than listening to something that is the opposite of your feelings?

I have had a very deep connection with music for as long as I can remember. Partly this was an unfulfilled dream for my parents: NM wanted to learn to play some instrument, but since she was the scapegoat and her GC brother didn't have any talents whatsoever, NGM forbade her to do anything like that in order not to upset GCU with her talents. EF has learned to play an instrument, but for some reason he didn't continue his studies.

I was a child prodigy at a very young age, and they decided to take me to music school. I had two lives from kindergarten: the "normal" life - school, and the "music" life - the music studies. For some reason back then I was allowed tp decide what instrument to start to learn playing.

I was otherwise a social outcast. Since I didn't have any time to make friends after school (I had all these extracurricular activities that I chose for myself: playing two instruments, musical theory classes, orchestra, writing, pottery, ballet - I was 9 back then). I had an IQ a lot higher than that of my peers, and I wanted to learn everything in the world. I didn't realize that it also made it impossible to make friends. I didn't know how to do so anyway, and my parents did not warn me that having 7 separate extracurricular classes was somewhat unhealthy.

EF loved music. I grew up on Beatles, Bee Gees, Electric Light Orchesra, ABBA, Deep Purple, Pink Floyd, and a lot others. NM hated music, so it was not allowed around her. This resulted in me and EF growing close to each other, talking about music. And she couldn't participate. Then I slowly developed my very wide own musical taste (ranging from classical music to hardcore industrial noise), and she hated all. I introduced new bands and styles to EF and he loved them. NM claimed that we formed a secret alliance against her and were laughing at her behind her back, plotting evil plans against her.

When I reached the age of 14, I still didn't know how to make friends, and was planning to become a musician. I had to change teachers for personal reasons, and NM, using my emotional turmoil, managed to convince me to go to a "normal" highschool, where I would not become a "dumb musician and could actually make a living". But I continued my music classes along with highschool.

And now here I am, playing in a reknown classical orchestra, and leading my own rock band at my workplace. The meaning of my life. The reason for me to live. My love. My dream come true. My everything.

NM refers to these projects, especially my own, with hatred, disgust and spits venom every time I mention them. EF is proud of me and listens to every song I compose.

And when I play, those are the "true happiness and peace" moments of my life.

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Not being a proxy and stories of someone I don't know

I have visited my FOO, after they have come home from the week-end house. We had quite a normal chat until the topic of weight came. DB has always been very thin, but now due to some medical issues, he has lost a lot of weight from that, and is now around my weight. NM immediately had to comment that when she met EF, he was 2 pounds less than DB is now. And then went on to explain how fat EF is now, and that he should really lose a lot of weight, and would look much better. And that I have to tell him to lose weight. I told her no. I said it is none of my business. She blew up and started stating that it shows how I not consider myself a part of the family anymore, and that I should comment on EF being fat, if I consider myself a daughter. I stood up, calmly told her that their relationship issues are not mine, and that I am neither a postman, nor a proxy or a firewall, so if they have anything to talk about, they should do it among themselves. And that I did not come to listen to anything like this, and that I was leaving. She started saying something, but EF told her to stop. I started walking towards the door and she shouted after me that I should at least kiss her. I said bye and went home.

I consider this a success.

The next time I've seen them (this morning), she started with telling me that I should really not 'behave that way' as I did when I told her no. And that she was really only asking for my help. I told her, that it is still their issue, not mine, and went to the kitchen. She dropped the subject.

A few normal topics later, she started telling me about the old lady who runs the grocery store in the countryside, and that NM has learned that the old woman sometimes had her grandchildren visit. And that she said that the grandkids were around since the second child was 'too much' for their mother, and that she wasn't able to handle them. And went on explaining how some mothers just simply are unable to take the burden of having children around and how they are not the type who can handle kids (and of course how selfish they must be). That there are moms who are simply not the 'mother types', and who cannot deal with children no matter what they do, because they just cannot focus on anything else than their own interests and 'wanting to have fun'. So thus, the mother in the story ditched her children to a poor grandmother, where the kids were bored to death, because 'there is nothing fun to do at a grocery store anyway', and how awful this was. Obviously, poor grandma was only the victim of the vicious mother, who has abandoned her children because she wanted to have fun.

I have sensed she expected some reaction from me, but I just didn't react. She realized that she couldn't trigger me into saying anything, so she went on throwing words around such as 'mother', 'inappropriate', 'unable', and the like.

There was no rational reason behind her talking about someone she has only seen like four times in her life in such a detailed way. I am absolutely sure that this was one of her usual 'just talking about someone else' meaning that she was talking directly to me, about me.

Got the message, NM wants to take my children, because I will be an inappropriate mother.

No way.

When I left, she literally jumped on me and kissed me, before I could even resist.

Saturday, August 4, 2012

Text message from NM at midnight

I guess this is the other shoe. A hook. I've received this text at midnight(!) while we were spending our last night together (before his travel) with DB.

"We are waiting for you, to spend a 'party weekend' together at the family week-end house! Take the bus and come! Contact us, by all means! :D Kisses"

My FOO knows that DB is leaving today. NM tries to convince me, us, every week that we should go to the week-end house together and spend the weekend there. When we wanted to spend the weekend there, alone, she sabotaged our plans, despite the fact that I had an agreement with EF that we could go, and they wouldn't.

And now, she couldn't even wait for him to leave. I guess she thinks that now DB is 'out of the way', she can lure me in and
  1. prove that he prevents me and NM from seeing each other 
  2. do whatever she wants to do to me, because DB would not be there to intervene, (EF does not intervene, ever) and we would be secluded at a godforsaken place in the countryside (which is really romantic and peaceful and beautiful, without her), with no transportation means other than their car, and a bus that only stops there once a day.

And all these exclamation marks, and the smiley at the end, the imperative voice of the sirens. Even in a text message she can make me feel that I have absolutely no choice but to do what she wants me to.

Another thought was that she sent the message at midnight to purposefully interrupt either us having sex, or our sleep (and DB told her yesterday, that he would be leaving at dawn and would not have enough time to sleep anyway), or whatever we were trying to do with our last moments together.

DB has been thinking about the message all night long, and in the morning, he told me that both the timing and the location are very fishy, and that he is worried about me, that she would want to hurt me. And that I could go if I wanted to, but he doesn't think it would be the best idea.

I tend to agree with him. And still, I hear the voices at the back of my brain (maybe she only wants to have a good time with you, maybe she won't do anything to you, you'll hurt them if you say no, it'll only get worse later if you say no).

Argh! I hate this. I hate this.

Friday, August 3, 2012

Waiting for the other shoe to drop

NM has been acting very nice lately (after those really nasty attacks). I'm prepared.

I have visited her and EF together with DB for a few minutes. She started screaming at EF, so we left them.

DB is going abroad for a bit more than a week. I already have separation anxiety and miss him.

And I still miss my ex-friend. A lot.

I guess I'll lose another friend soon. She is moving abroad, permanently.

Am I losing everyone around me whom I love?

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Crying openly and shame

A few years ago I have realized that for me, crying in front of someone is one of the most humiliating things I can experience. Even if that someone is a close friend, a therapist, or a boyfriend. I was searching for reasons why, especially because when I rarely found myself in a situation like that, I always got extremely puzzled reactions to my behavior (hiding behind anything I could and holding back tears, sobbing and anything that could reveal that I was crying). Everyone who has seen me like that tried to assure me that there was nothing to be ashamed of, that I was loved, that I was safe, and that I could express my sadness and that there was nothing wrong about that.

Now I'm sort of able to cry in front of DB, but the extreme shame and humiliation inside still persists. And I still start hiding, as the pain (the reason for crying) grows.

My first memories of crying are all the same, and I guess this can be the reason behind my feelings or reactions.

I remember falling, or something happening to one of my favorite toys, bruising myself, or anything like that, that can make a small child (around the age of 2-3) cry. And then I would run to my NM, cuddle up in her lap, crying. First, she would hug me and stroke my hair, for a few minutes, and then I always felt that she became more and more annoyed that I was still crying. And then, she started either telling me jokes or funny stories, or making fun of the whole situation, or acting extremely happy, laughing, and acting like as if nothing has happened, or at least that it wasn't important. And I remember explaining her, that I didn't need jokes, I didn't need being ridiculed or laughed at, that I didn't need invalidation. That I needed comforting, compassion and needed her to make me feel better again. She then explained that she was trying to do that, making me feel better with the means of somehow diverting my thoughts from the event that made me sad. I have tried to tell her a few times that that really did not work for me, because I remembered exactly that I fell, because it hurt. And that I did not need anything else but her comfort, and then I would be OK in a few minutes. And then, she started to make word jokes from the word 'comfort', which is quite easy in my language.

Then I realized, that I had no chance for receiving any comfort from her. And every time I cried, I have tried begging for it nonetheless. And felt more and more humiliated, because I just couldn't 'decide' to stop crying, and I felt that it was an obligation that I could not fulfill.

In my teens, I was forced to cry in front of her, until I learned how not to cry even in the saddest situations. She would sense that I was desperate, that tears were forming in my eyes, and started staring right in my face (if I hid my face, she forced me to look at here), and asking in a mocking and condescending tone, loud enough for everyone around to hear: "Oh my, do I see that you are crying? You ARE crying!

And then everyone would stare at me, and I wished I could just disappear.

And no comfort followed, no validation. Only her fake surprised face, that 1) I was crying at all, and 2) that I was crying over such nonsense as my boyfriend unexpectedly breaking up with me, losing one of my best friends, or failing an exam that was very important for me.

The last two times she saw me crying and the telling me "are you STILL crying? oh my god, you can't be serious, c'mon, get over it already" was
  1. A week after EXNB (I was still madly in love with him) and I have been separated, he moved out of my apartment where we have been living together for 4 years and me learning that he was cheating on me while claiming that he was still deeply in love with me, wanted to marry me and have a family together.
  2. A week after the death of DP, whom I lived together with for 12 years, and who was THE most important and most loved person in my life.

Never, again.

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

10 Commandments of Dysfunctional Families, from Sanctuary for the Abused

I have found this post a few months ago and have realized that most of these were present in my FOO, disguised as love, kindness, devotion, etc. What really surprised me when I first read it was the reality reinterpretation part was. That I was raised to experience one reality, and re-imagine a completely different one in my head. And obviously believe and preach the latter.

I'm interested in your thoughts about the article.

10 Commandments of Dysfunctional Families

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Healing mantra for today

  • Living and feeling my grief does not have to result in making myself physically, mentally or emotionally disabled.
  • I cannot change other people's decisions, but I can make my own decisions about how to deal with the current situation in my life.
  • If I feel sad, I can allow myself to feel that sadness. I do not have to repress my feelings, as I used to do.
  • If I feel better, and things get easier, I do not have to push myself back into depression again, as I used to do.
  • Just because I am not happy, I do not have to give up the things I love. I can allow myself to have coping methods.
  • I do not have to act like as if everything was OK, I do not have to act happy. I do not have to jump into action with full force, especially if I realize that doing so without healing would only hurt more.
  • If dealing with the art project intensely, or any other mundane action causes me pain, I can give myself time and decide not to do it for another day.
  • Just because someone has decided not to talk to me, it does not mean that I am less loveable or valuable for either him or anyone else. 
  • I can decide to continue the art project, I can decide to show those who count on me that I am there for them. I can allow myself to be happy in it, even if my ex-friend does not participate in it anymore. I do not have to sabotage the project consciously, or on an unconscious level.
  • I can allow myself to move on. And I can take as much time as I need for that.

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Losing love and taking blame

I just wanted to say that I'm alive, just very, very sad.

I have lost one of my best friends. It was his decision, and there is no way he will change his mind. A few days ago, I was still sunbathing in the warm light of his love, and were happily and very excitedly planning our art project together. And yesterday, came the cold reality, that he will leave the project, and will stop talking to me. In order to save his already failed relationship.

The project consisted of several people who depended on him and me. Now everyone, including me are standing above the carcass of the unborn art we wanted to create together, petrified, not understanding what has happened. I bet there is something in the background, it just doesn't make sense for me.

I've spent so far two days with crying, completely unable to eat, feeling the end-of-the-world, grieving for our beloved project and my friend, whom I still love. And trying to find reasons for blaming myself. It must have been my fault. I've killed our friendship. I've killed the project. I'm unable to keep anyone's love and will lose everyone in the end.

I've talked to DB about this, and he empathized with me and also reassured me that it wasn't my fault. That it was the unexpected decision of my friend, and I couldn't have done nothing about it. That I didn't know about it either. That it was his problem that he couldn't handle his personal life, and blamed it on the project, and the co-leader: me. It sounded so rational.

But I'm still searching for my pieces on the floor. This project gave meaning to my life in the past year. It was something that I loved the most, above almost anything else. And to lead it together with a friend, who loved it as much as I did was simply heaven. Now it is all gone, and I have absolutely no clue about how to go on.

However, during the talks with DB, there were two things I've realized, and I guess they are common among ACONs.
  • My greatest fear is being abandoned by someone whom I love, and/or losing their love. I am sort of able to handle disasters in my life, but this, I am unable to cope with. I've realized that behind most of the things I do, there is the underlying motive of being afraid of losing love. I can devote extreme amounts of energy into anything that I think can preserve someone's love towards me. I am ready to do anything, bear any kind of pain, give up anything from myself, just not to lose friends.
  • If I'm in a deep pain because of someone else, who has hurt me or been unjust with me, no matter how much twisting I have to do in my mind, I try to turn the situation in my head so that I can realize that it was my fault. It has to be my fault. And I am the first to take the blame if someone hurts me. Because if I'm responsible, I can do something against it. I can try harder. Be better. Put more effort in it. Love more. Be more devoted. Sacrifice more of myself. But if it is not my fault, I cannot control it. And I have to realize that someone whom I love, and who I thought loved me, could intentionally cause me pain. And that is more unbearable than being responsible for all the wrongs in the world.
Did you ever have similar thoughts or experiences? Fear of losing love? Or blaming yourselves?

Friday, July 20, 2012

Email, love and pain

NM called yesterday. I didn't want to pick it up. I called her back today, for only three minutes. She managed to tell me that they, have been thinking about someone whom they could contact if something bad happened since they surely cannot count on me.

I've received a long email today from NM right after this. Just a few parts from it:

"I always hope that you are really interested in how I, we are. And then I am sad to realize, that you don't have time. As if you were saying don't bother me. You never answer my calls. I feel that we have become a nuisance for you. Why do you make us feel that you don't want to contact us anymore? I would like to invite you over, have lunch together, talk, just naturally. What should I do to change this? Is it only a dream? Have you decided not to meet us anymore? I hoped it was not only me who thought that family was important. Please don't neglect your parents. If I'm wrong just tell me, that you can meet more frequently. I don't want to tell you what to do with your life, but I beg you for your love. It hurts so much, I cry so much. Do I have to live my life without you? I don't believe it and I don't accept it. Please help to change this. I hope that we can find a solution. We love you so much, with Dad. Mum."

I feel awful. I feel betrayed. I feel abandoned. I feel so alone. This feels like a living nightmare. It hurts... so bad I can't even describe it.

I borrowed a cigarette from a co-worker after this. I don't even smoke normally.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Celebrations and family chit-chat

Thus, we visited FOO to give them a chance to celebrate DB's birthday the day before he had it, because they "had other program". And we were happy that they wouldn't ruin that day for him anyway.

Before that, I have talked to NM via phone to discuss the details. It was hilarious.

  • NM explained to me that they are so 'broke' that they could not really afford gifts. For the Christmas before, I bought a present so that they could give it to DB as a present. They have decided to give something else instead. I have suggested that they give him that present, so it would be free anyway.
  • NM asked me what to cook. I told her not to make a big deal about it and cook whatever she wanted. She told me that she didn't intend to make a big deal about DB's birthday anyway. Great. As a result the food was something she knew I hated. I wasn't surprised at all.
  • I suggested that I would bake the cake for him, and bring it over, so NM wouldn't have to bother with baking. She said alright, until I explained that it would be the 'family specialty' that she always used to bake for me when I was little, and that I always baked for her for her birthday. She told me that she hated that cake, and so that I shouldn't bake that type of cake for HER for DB's birthday.
    WTF. And thanks for making me realize that you have always hated the cake I made especially for you. Great.
    I have decided not to bake anything for that day and baked the cake on his "real" birthday, the day after. He was more than happy and told me that he loved the cake.
  • NM asked me when would we be able to talk. I told her that when we'd visit together with DB, we could. She said, "I see, so we won't talk again". She was furious because I blew her chance to be alone with me.
On the day of the family gathering, NM has quickly realized that she wouldn't be alone with me, so she rather
  • Kicked one or two into DB, so that he would know his place.
  • Also told him to tell me (while I was sitting next to him) to visit her more, because it is not "polite" or "loving" that I don't visit my own mother.
  • Then NM explained to me that I was laying the table wrong, because I didn't choose the appropriate cutlery.
  • She tossed him the gift with the comment "happy birthday, love us all". We have the habit of hiding the gift from sight so that it would be a greater surprise. Of course it was not hidden, it was displayed on the central table.
  • And then during lunch, NM explained to DB, in details, how hideous DP was, how evil and vengeful he was, and how he made everyone's life impossible, and the 'evil tricks' he intentionally invented to ruin our life. How he maliciously sabotaged everything she wanted to do, how annoying he was all the time (she never, ever said this before, she always claimed she loved him). How awful it was for NM when DP was dying, because she had to participate in taking care of him while I was working, and how difficult it was for her. She never ever mentioned how painful it must have been for DP himself. Or understood why I still couldn't get over his death.
    Another thing to hurt me with, deeply. It was personal. She knew how much I loved DP above anyone else. How he was my only friend, my only brother, my only confidante, my only connection to the human world for more than a decade, my love, my life, my everything. Everyone who knew him said that he was more than human, the most loving, kind living soul on Earth. Who taught me that telepathy really does exist. Who loved me when no one else did, who stayed beside me when I was very ill. Who has literally saved my life several times. He was my cat.
    If you ever grew up with a dog or a cat whom you had a deeply personal relationship with - and had narc parents, I think you can imagine what I'm talking about.
    Speaking ill of the dead and lying about them is the new game I guess.
Yesterday, NM called me, cheerful, she was very artificially nice and kind, and asked about how I am, how DB is, etc. Of course, she wanted me to do some stuff for her today.

Thursday, July 12, 2012

NM's most recent gaslighting session

I haven't seen NM since this incident (a month ago or so). Due to family reasons, I'll have to see her soon though. I'm not looking forward to it. I have called her today to talk about the details of our (me and DB) visit, which resulted in a stereotypical NM-backstabbing-me-with-every-word type of phone call. I would only quote one part.

"No, I'm not well at all. It is really difficult for me to put the bedsheets to their place..."
(My mind started racing at this point. What could be wrong with the bed? What the heck is this all about? Since I didn't produce the reaction instantly, that she wanted me to, she explained of course.)
"See, the shelves are too high for me, and I cannot reach them if I'm trying to stand on a chair..."
(And then it hit me. I've borrowed their stepstool ladder from them. And the chair NM mentioned was a folding chair, a real death trap to stand on, especially if you are trying to reach high from it.)

She didn't have to mention neither the ladder, nor death, but she knew I would get both messages. That it was a big mistake that I have dared to borrow anything of hers, and that I am responsible for causing her severe back pain and forcing her constantly risking death or severe injuries. Brilliant. Truly brilliant.

Another perfectly subtle out-of-the-big-book act. But what I wanted to describe in this post was the prequel of this, when we have last met in person. Well, here it comes:

I have visited my FOO. It seemed like a good idea at that time (the last sentence of all Darwin Award winners). I remember stepping inside the apartment, EF being visibly happy for seeing me. NM barely noticing me. Then mental blackout followed, and the next thing I remember was being completely convinced that I was mentally clinically insane and was unknowingly ruining my own and everyone else's life around me. I was there, exposed to NM for hours, feeling physically unable to move. It was pure horror. I'm mostly writing this down because I want to have it as a memento, to be able to prove myself that it really happened, and it was not only my 'vivid imagination', and also to ask about your opinion. So here's a list of what I've learned from her in 2,5 hours:

  • I am insane. NM knew this from my childhood that I had serious mental problems.
  • My former doomed relationships were a direct result of my mental illness.
  • It was right, logical and I have to praise her that NM made my life a living hell, since she didn't have any other choice when I fell in love with someone she didn't think were appropriate for me.
  • Obviously it is not different now, since I only choose people whom I'm unable to maintain a relationship with, such as DB.
  • This is also my fault since I'm completely unable to care and to give.
  • I only keep in touch with people whom I can benefit from, and who can tend to my selfish interests, because I'm egoistic and I only use others, and I discard everyone who doesn't exactly do what I want them to.
  • I could have a working relationship now, but since I'm not the 'motherly' type who would be satisfied by serving others (like her, who is motherly), and since I'm not like that, no matter how kind and trustworthy DB is, I will be unable to maintain a working relationship with him, since I'm selfish down to the core, and what I need from others is to serve my every need.
  • I will be completely alone in the end anyway.
  • I neglect my FOO so much, that it will have very serious and irrevocable consequences in a few years.
  • The worst will be that my own (yet unborn) children will hate me the most (and she will make sure they will do so), and that I'll get my devilish and hellish horror that I spread do everyone and NM back from my children, but a thousand times worse, in the most horrific way possible.
  • I won't ever be able to become an appropriate mother.
  • No one will ever want me as a woman, because no one needs someone who treats her FOO the way I do.
  • DB thinks this way too, that he would not ever seriously want me because of this. But there is no reason to ask him, he wouldn't ever admit that he thinks about me this way. But still, family goes first for him, and this speaks volumes.
  • If I was sane, I would have breakfast with FOO every morning, I would go home to their place and have lovely jovial chats about what happened at work, or on the public transport, or anywhere. If I don't do it, I'm insane.
  • This is also true for grandchildren, they would have to do the same.
  • It is very welcome that I'm not dealing with my hobby right now (the word hobby spat out as if I was sacrificing newborn goats for satanism and not playing a musical instrument) because of the summer break, so I must focus now on more worthy projects such as writing my fourth thesis to finally get my fourth master's degree.
  • Since I will forever be mentally ill, and I cannot do anything against it ever, it is inevitable that my relationship, and all my friendships and other social connections will be ruined my be. To be honest, I've already irrevocably ruined all of them, just wasn't able to notice the fact.
  • I want happiness so convulsively, that I destroy everyone around myself.
  • I'm incapable of loving, or any other emotion since I'm a psychopath.
  • My relationship is already doomed, since I myself have destroyed it. Obviously, I'm incapable of anything else.
  • My previous relationship with EXNB only ended because of me. NM didn't have any problems with him, but I blew it, since I was already incapable of caring or loving him.
  • I'm already this old, it's time to get myself together, of course, she remembers that I'm incapable of it, since I'm not normal, but I still would have to produce grandchildren for her, and she will spend all her time with them when they are young and cute and lovely. After that they will grow up anyway into evil abominable monsters who have friends, own interests and other stuff and ditch their families.
  • Since we haven't spoken for two days, NM and EF have become deadly ill, that I obviously don't care about, but both of them will die in four years anyway.
  • My grandmother, grandfather, and another elder relative will die also in a few months, and after that I will only be able to talk to them if I'm finally dead.
  • It does not matter that ENGF does not talk to me and spits hate and rage at me every time I call him, I am obliged to talk to him, and genuinely love him, since he is family.
  • The ideal family is my cousin's family, where everyone is perfectly happy. He spends all his time at his parents' house to borrow this or that, he does sports and hobbies with his parents, and performs chores at his parents' garden, and always brings his children along. And they rarely see his wife, but she is ugly and fat anyway, the most important is that he and his parents are constantly enmeshed. Oh and they work in the same office also.
  • It is outrageous that NM and EF cannot come and go into my apartment as they please without prior announcement or even me being at home. This means that I don't love them at all and that I consider my FOO as hated and despised strangers.
  • It is also outrageous that I ring the doorbell when I visit them. I should just walk in on them. And it is also disgusting that I text them when I arrive at home at midnight, since families work that way, that I would have to visit them at 3AM at dawn if that is when I have time for a chat, and should wake them up even if they are asleep.
  • It is insulting, humiliating, callous and evil from me, that I consider it a sign of respect to ring the doorbell when I visit someone. Sending e-mails or texting is also such a thing. As well as not calling NM on a daily basis and not spending all my days there, freely, happily, in a natural and relaxed way.
  • My hair is abominable anyway, of course I'm still basking in my early adolescent years instead of growing up already.
  • NM understands that I have a workplace, but still, I can call her while I'm working, or should have happy breakfasts with them at 5AM if I have to go to work early.
  • The fact that I don't have breakfast with them every morning, and moreover that I don't eat what she wants me to (white bread, heavy food, with artificial flavors and fat), and that I don't eat tons of food means that I'm mentally insane, and that I don't let my own birthmother to nourish her child, and that I obviously don't love them. And it is particularly sick that I have breakfast in the office, not to mention that with people who are not my parents.
  • She is so desperately sad when she is somewhere, and I'm not with her, something happens to her and I don't witness it, she would talk and I'm not there to listen.
  • She also knows that I don't know how to shave my legs properly, she also had lots of dark hair, but now that she does it properly, she has less dark hair on her legs.
  • And the details of her sexual life and the method of contraception that they use (which I now wouldn't disclose) as well as creating theories about my sexual life.
  • It was a great idea that I have agreed with EF that we could go to the family's week-end house with DB to relax and stuff, so NM has decided that they would come also, and we would be together as a happy family. Of course they would not disturb us, she has already planned all the events and places we will go together, and eating together. If we want privacy, we can still go to the other room, sure.
  • I mustn't talk to DB about this, obviously he'd be delighted to learn that FOO will also come, everyone would be happy. It is outrageous and ill-mannered that I don't want to say yes to such a wonderful idea of hers, and want to discuss it with DB.
  • I am not allowed to leave to my office, even if it results in me being fired until I'm not genuinely and honestly happy from all this conversation and does not hug NM with warm honest overflowing love.

Fortunately after a few days (and help from my therapist) I've managed to think clearly again and realize that I wasn't the insane one, but still, this was outright scary.

EF left the room when she started. He was in the next room all the way long and heard everything. When later I mentioned this scene to him he said that "yes, I've heard what she said, but you have also said some very nasty and horrible things".

Any input, comment or opinion is welcome.

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

From Injunctions and Drivers to Autonomy

I have described in my previous post - Injunctions and Drivers - the most basic messages that the child receives in the early ages and interprets them as means to stay alive. I have to note here, that it is possible, that the message is conveyed without the parent's intention (for example if either of them has to spend a longer time in hospital, the child can interpret it as abandonment and acquire the "don't be, don't exist" injunction).

For moving towards autonomy (consciousness, spontaneity and intimity), the goal is not to over-analyze our life-script. Realizing our own injunctions and drivers is only the means of getting rid of the life-script once and for all.

It is difficult, because these were the ones, that we believe with every inch of our body, will save us from demise. Starting questioning them usually stirs shit up, but it worths it.

The most important fact is, that you are OK as you are. Even if you make mistakes, even if you are guilty, even if you are the archetypal villain. You can always correct your faults and improve yourself. Your core, your deepest definition is OK.

Permissions instead of Injunctions

If you have managed to identify your own injunctions and drivers, or have found at least some of them, it usually results in sadness or anger. This is a normal first reaction. What is more difficult to accept is, that these were our own, very rational decisions, based on what we knew best with the mind of a small child, of course. These were useful and good decisions back then. These ensured our very survival - which is only possible that time if our parents nurture us.

It was an adaptive decision, because it worked: you are alive and grew up, and here you are, reading.

What has changed since then is only one thing: you are not a young child anymore. You can survive and live your live even if your parents don't love you.

Therefore, the once rational and valid injunctions are now invalid. Give permission to yourself to do what the injunction has forbidden you to do before. This new decision will be made with your adult self and consciousness:

  • Permissions for Don't be (Don't exist)
    • You can exist. You have just the same right to live as anyone else. You will die one day, but you don't have to bring that date closer in any way. You cannot be obliged physically, emotionally or relationship-wise to harm or destroy yourself, neither partially nor completely. You can give up any self-harming behavior and still survive life and its difficulties. You are allowed to be noticed by other people. Your life is yours alone, and you are allowed to live it.
  • Permissions for Don't be who you are (Don't be You)
    • You are who you are, and you are completely OK that way. You are generally valuable and good, with your gender, sexual orientation, personality, qualities, abilities, skills, thoughts, beliefs and preferences. Other people are OK if they are different from you, but you are OK the way you are. There can be things that you would like to improve or change in yourself, but this does not change the fact, that you are OK this way.
  • Permissions for Don't be a child
    • You can be imperfect, and you can be uninformed. You don't have to instantly know everything and be proficient in everything. You don't have to provide the maximum in every situation. You can be as free and as happy as a carefree child. You can put aside consciousness, rationality and responsibility, and you can play freely, without any specific reason. You can do things that are ineffective, irrational or not tangibly useful, for your own enjoyment. You can enjoy life as such and value the little things.
  • Permissions for Don't grow up
    • You are an adult. You can separate physically and emotionally from your parents and live your own life. You can experience your sexuality based on your own norms. You can make independent, responsible, rational, conscious decisions and you can bear the consequences for your decisions. You are able to evaluate situations on your own and phrase your own opinion about them. You can take everything you can into account when deciding something. You are allowed to prioritize.
  • Permissions for Don't make it in your life (Don't succeed)
    • You can perform well, you can achieve things, and you can finish whatever you have started. You are able to be successful, and you are allowed to succeed. You have every possibility to work for your own achievements, and you are capable to do things on your own. You be proud of yourself for your successes even if others are less successful in that particular field or situation.
  • Permissions for Don't do anything!
    • You can make your own decisions. You are allowed to make risky or wrong decisions. You don't have to escape critical situations. Your personal value is not dependent on your decisions. You can learn from your own mistakes and improve yourself. You can do what you intend to do, and you don't have to report about it to anyone. You can be loved if you are active.
  • Permissions for Don't be important
    • You are just as important as anyone else. Your needs, desires and requests are as important as anyone else's. You can be in the center of attention, and you deserve to be listened to. You can be beautiful, successful, smart, popular, and you can be loved. You have the right to have physical, emotional and social needs, you can take steps to fulfill these, and you are allowed to reach your goals. You can pay attention to yourself.
  • Permissions for Don't belong
    • You can decide to partially give up your own freedom and belong to a family, society, team, minority, movement, culture, nation, religion, band or any other group. You can have your own social connections. By belonging to others, you can still be yourself, and don't have to be enmeshed with anyone else. You can have different points of view and still belong to groups. You are allowed to agree with ideas, beliefs, thoughts that certain groups agree with.
  • Permissions for Don't be close
    • You can form intimate relationships with others. You can decide to be open and honest while communicating. You are allowed to trust others. You have the possibility to think the best of another person without prior proof. You can express your needs, feelings and opinion. You can have close friends, you can be close to the members of your family, your spouse, your children, your colleagues, your neighbor, and anyone else you decide to open up to.
  • Permissions for Don't be well (Don't be sane!)
    • You can be healthy and sane. You don't need to get attention by having physical or psychological symptoms. You deserve attention, love, respect and caring even if you are not different from others, even if you are not extravagant. You can stand out, but you can also be like others. You can live a healthy life physically, psychologically and emotionally. You can blend in if you choose to.
  • Permissions for Don't think
    • You have the right to know the world, and to form theories about anything. You can have your own opinion. You can realize problems and find solutions for them. You can ask questions, find answers and draw conclusions. You are allowed to make mistakes and be wrong, you can reconsider your previous conclusions. You do not have to stick to your past thoughts and beliefs. You have the right to think what you think. You don't have to evaluate your thoughts as right or wrong based on other people's thoughts or belief systems. Your thoughts and beliefs are your own, and you do not have to disclose them to anyone if you don't want to.
  • Permissions for Don't feel
    • You have the right to feel, and to express these feelings. You are allowed to be happy and feel good if your need is satisfied. You are allowed to feel bad, if your need is not satisfied. You can be sad because of the past, you can be angry in the present and you can be afraid of the future. Your feelings cannot be invalidated, they are neither right nor wrong, they simply exist. Your feelings are valid, and yours. You do not have to disclose your feelings to anyone if you don't want to. You can express your feelings to any extent you choose to, and you can decide whom you share your emotions with.
It does not mean that if you reprogram your injunctions with permissions, that you will become unscrupulous, or a sociopath/psychopath. By becoming autonomous, you don't inevitably become selfish as well. Knowing that you are allowed to do something does not mean that you are obliged to do it. It is a possibility, that you can decide. Redefining the values that originate from your childhood does not necessarily result in being valueless, an anarchist, or being a nihilist. You can have your own personal values, and stick to them, and if you - as an adult - realize that in a given situation it is appropriate for you to do so, you can act differently also.

To be honest, when I have learned about some of these, it literally made me cry. It was such an overwhelming feeling to even think that there is a world somewhere, where I am allowed to do those and be like that. And that I can let myself heal.

I'm nowhere near that road yet (I'm practicing one of these right now, and it is really difficult for me to forget lifelong conditioning, but I am taking one step at a time).

Permissions instead of Drivers

Drivers are usually the behind your belief that you are in deep shit and that "something wrong will happen". That punishment will come. If you have these thoughts (usually it does not even have a source in your thoughts where the punishment, the shitstorm or the end-of-the-world will originate from), it is very likely, that one of your Drivers has started operating. And, as the name shows: it will drive you like mad, to escape the perceived all-hell-will-break-loose, demise, and all the other horror. It is usually not enough to simply remove the drivers, as it is possible with Injunctions. What can help is to redefine them.

  • Permissions for Please me/others!
    • Please yourself!
    • You don't have to please your parents or others to deserve others' acceptance and love.
  • Permissions for Be Perfect!
    • You are OK as you are!
    • You don't have to be perfect to deserve others' acceptance and love.
  • Permissions for Be Strong!
    • Express your needs!
    • You don't have to hide your emotions and be strong deserve others' acceptance and love.
  • Permissions for Try Hard!
    • Do it!
    • You don't have to burden yourself with unfinished projects to deserve others' acceptance and love.
  • Permissions for Hurry Up!
    • Give yourself time!
    • You don't have to hurry and multitask to deserve others' acceptance and love.
These redefinitions are all long processes. After all it took a lifetime so far to realize your injunctions and drivers. But with practice, self-love, and help from a professional mental health specialist, therapist or even a spiritual leader, it is possible and reachable.

Note: I'm using Wikipedia, Sanctuary for the Abused,, Eric Berne's What Do You Say After You Say Hello book, my therapist's sessions and my own thoughts to write this blogpost.