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.