Monday, June 30, 2008

Top 10

It’s an interesting way to live when your parent has a personality disorder. You really are living on the border; the border between being a kid and an adult, between loving and despising your parent, between wanting them to just finish the job and commit suicide and being ready to give anything for their recovery. I understand that people mean well and try to support us yet below are a few of things that I (and my unchosen friends) find the most offensive.

1. “Your parent loved you the best they could.” If the way my mother loved me was the best she could do and that’s cool with you, I feel bad for your kids.

2. You’ll regret it if you go No Contact with them.” Actually, no I don’t & no I won’t. I regret that it took me so long and that I had to humiliate myself in so many ways before I understood that contrary to what mom said, she had no desire to get better.

3. “It’s time to forgive and forget, your mom/dad has said they are sorry, what more do you want?” I want an honest apology, actually. I want an apology where she doesn’t look at her damn audience to see if she has them believing her theatrics. I want an apology that doesn’t focus on how she feels about abusing me.

4. “It’s time to grow up and realize your mom/dad needs your support.” And while we do this, who, pray tell, will support us thru dozens of trips to the ER, calls to psychiatrists in the middle of the night, hold our hand or hold us when we see our parent close to death in ICU? What, not you? You’re too busy? Go figure.

5. “That’s just the way s/he is.” Ok, so s/he gets the freedom to be who s/he wants to be and I don’t? I have no freedom to be me and say enough is enough? Well guess what- wanting my own life and an end to the insanity is just me being me. Deal with it.

6. “S/he doesn’t know what s/he is doing.” Oh s/he knows. That right there is bullsh*t. I know my mother has periods of disassociating that leave her memory wiped yet she always had/has the foresight to have a back up story. She may not remember the details but she remembers enough to know she needs/needed to cover her a$$.

7. “Why can’t you just get along with your mom/dad?” Because it’s impossible to get along with a tiger when all they see in you is dinner.

8. “It’s an illness.” Yes, I know. When I’m ill I go to the doctor, follow instructions, and take any meds as prescribed. My borderline parent, on the other hand, goes to doctor after doctor, looking for the one that tells her she can blame someone else for her illness.

9. “You’re so angry sometimes.” Gee, ya think? Really, does it show that much?

10. “Can’t you let it go?” Allow me to translate this from coward into the English language. Anyone who says the above is really saying “can’t you turn a blind eye like me so I don’t feel uncomfortable?”

Sunday, June 29, 2008

Do You Dream of Me?

One of my fav songs by Michael W. Smith is “Do you Dream of Me.” One of the lines is “you know you hold my heart and always will.” As I count down the days to turning 30 I find myself missing my mom more and more. Not the sadistic, abusive mom I had for so many years. I miss the mom I had for a few short months, the mom I successfully went shopping with. She didn’t criticize, she didn’t throw clothes over the door with an order to try it on, it will look different when you have it on. No more drill sergeant! I loved it. She let me be me. She patiently listened to the convoluted plot lines of my fav Farscape episodes, she laughed at my attempts to decorate, and we talked for hours on the phone. It was nothing terribly important that we talked about, but to have the ability to do what so many of my girlfriends could do was and is a treasured memory.

She was so much fun for the short time I had her. We would watch the Independent Movie channel; she let me watch The Apprentice every Thursday night at her place. We switched off who bought dinner and when it was her turn, and I KNEW she really didn’t have the $$$ she still wouldn’t let me pay.

Sometimes I wish I had never had those few months. It’s a cruel twist of fate that right before the awful end I had to have the best of times with her. I didn’t want to see it when she started to crack again. I tried to hold on to her for as long as I could. I made excuses like it was the new meds (of which the woman had many), the divorce from my dad was taking a toll on her, etc.

God and I have had many yelling matches about the screwy final months I had with mom. A bit of advice here-it’s really not a good idea to yell at the sky, even if you are in a state park. The Rangers tend to rush you off because of fake bear sightings and adults tell their kids not to go near the crazy lady at Whitewater Beach. I trust His plan but don’t always agree with it. I have told the Big Guy that this better play out later in life, I had better understand why this had to happen the way it did or He and I would be having the Big Talk when I got to His place.

In the 2 years that I have been no contact with mom so many good things, so many blessings, have come into my life. The sad fact is a lot of those things would not have happened, or I wouldn’t know they were there, if I had continued contact with her. We both lost so much.

I wonder if she knows-

* that going NC was the worst and best thing I have ever done

*that I did it as much for her as for me

*as I walked away I had to fight not to look back. I could hear her sobbing so hard we honestly thought she was going into a massive panic attack or was going to give herself a heart attack

*the sick feeling I had when we drove away, knowing that she now had no
one in her life that knew her whole history. She had no informed advocate
and for a while she would be at the mercy of a system that itself was dysfunctional.

To quote some more from the MWS song“Give It Away:”

…. love isn't love
'Til you give it away
You gotta give it away

As we live
Moving side by side
May we learn to give
Learn to sacrifice

I gave the love I could and I gave it freely. My mother gave what she had to give and we both sacrificed for it. Someday, somehow I hope it is enough.

The hardest part of love is letting go/but there’s a greater love that holds us/pray for me……and I know that one day love will bring us back around.

Yes, the above is from MWS; it’s “Pray for Me.”

Saturday, June 28, 2008

And this guy helps to run the country!!!!

I can't seem to get a link on here, so if you care at all about abused kids, go to youTube and look up "James Fagan." Watch his diatribe about "ripping apart" survivors of child sexual abuse.

Then tell me with a straight face that our country is run by people who are educated and compassionate.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Why I hate "To Catch a Predator"

I really, really dislike Dateline's segment To Catch a Predator. First of all, it's bullsh*t. People go to sleep all happy after watching the show, secure in the knowledge that the bad guys have been caught. Well, actually they aren't. The truth is, most survivors of childhood sexual assault were abused by someone they know. It was either a relative, family friend, etc-not a stranger as Dateline portrays.
As a survivor myself I find it frustrating to watch this show. Everything is wrapped up nice and neat in an hour or so. Dateline never explores the real issues surrounding the aftermath of child sex abuse. They won't do a segment on the survivor community because they know what they would show, our drug addictions, our failed marriages, the way we abuse ourselves, would not make for good TV. I have had more than one person me "It's all about ratings baby. Don't take it personally!!!" Arseholes........I can tell you what to do with the Nielsen ratings if you lean in real close, OK? C'mere........
I see this a lot in volunteer work I do. Many parents still, in 2008, will not get help for their child that has been abused. The parent themselves are ashamed/embarrassed/horrified at their inability to protect their child. So they lock it away. They pretend as if it didn't happen, as if their child wasn't hurt, as if their child will forget what happened.

We never forget.

As we watch our parent shut down and refuse to discuss the topic it reinforces what our abuser did to us. If our parent won't talk about it, then we must have done something wrong, right? When we watch tv and see Dell the decoy being rescued it plays a # on us. Why are these children helped? Did we do something wrong, is that why we are left alone as a child to deal with this? I honestly thought that, btw. I really did think that without knowing it I had done something so awful no one wanted to help me. Talk about re victimization!! Since our abuser was family or a friend, does that make it OK? If it's OK then why won't our parent talk about? But it's not OK, we are taught that in school. We do the right thing, tell our parents about "bad touch" and.................nothing happens. What did we do wrong? These are some of the questions we ask ourselves.
To Catch a Predator also gives a false sense of security. When the majority of what you see on TV shows stranger rape/sexual abuse society starts to believe it. I truly believe that is why the plague of child sex abuse is exploding across the world right now. Our culture has refused to acknowledge child sex abuse for too long and now we are paying the price.
My own extended, maternal family will not talk about my cousin the abuser. They know he did it and yet I am the one they turn their anger on. Why can't I just forgive and forget? Why do I make an issue out of it, the incident(s) were so long ago? The child as a scapegoat is disgusting to me. Not one of these people has EVER reached out to me. When I found out a year ago my mother had told these people a few years earlier about the abuse, I had a hard time. I still to this day do not understand how you can learn that someone you loved or professed to love was abused and not reach out to them. My dad tells me that these people are probably uncomfortable and while this is probably true, their inability to see past themselves destroyed any respect I had for them.
So much can be healed with being open and acknowledging a person's abuse. You may not always know what to say, but believe me when I tell you that a smile, a hug, or a "let me know what I can do to help" does more than you will ever know.

Friday, June 20, 2008

The call of cocaine

The first time I tried cocaine I found heaven. All the noise in my head, the words I heard from my mom about how stupid and worthless I was, the reprimands from teachers who told me to get with the program yet wouldn’t listen when I tried to tell them the hell I lived in, all that went away. The hole in my heart and soul was filled. I felt beautiful, smart, and capable. These are the things the abusers in my life took away.

Man, I had found my Atlantis and I grabbed onto it for all I was worth. I spent so many weekends higher than a damn kite. Can you blame me? To me this was a magic elixir. To this day, especially as I am writing this, I remember what that first rush of doing a line was like. All my circuits lit up. My brain was on fire; I loved it! And then….when it first hits your muscles and you sink into the chair, letting all the tension you didn’t even know was there seep out onto the floor. I used to imagine all that crap, the hurt and anger, the feelings of being a constant outsider, as a dark sludge that formed a puddle on the floor.

When the effect wore off the sludge would slowly creep back into me. That pissed me off. I wanted all that crap gone! I didn’t want it back, what the hell-get gone and stay gone, I wanted to tell it. Yeah, I wanted to talk to imaginary emotional sludge. I look back now and it’s so tragicomical to me-a pissed off coke head coming down, which makes you edgy anyway. I was an anger cocktail looking for someone to drink me. I would look for a target to direct my rage at, because I noticed real quick I had to ration out the snow. Even then my body wanted more and more. It was never satisfied with a few lines at a party or before going out. Oh no, my brain chemistry was already so corroded at that point I needed 2-3 times what my friends were doing. I realized that I went thru a bag twice as fast as the others. I can’t say that scared me… annoyed me more than anything. That stuff is expensive and I didn’t have a lot of money. That was my annoyance-that it cost so much. Not that I was on the edge of falling into the hardcore abyss of addiction or was cruising for an assault charge if I kept my use up. Nah, I was more angry at the thought of being cash strapped.

What began as a fun weekend treat started to creep into the work week. A rigid rule of using only on Friday and Saturday nights went out the window. I started using on Thursdays as soon as I could get my hands on the stuff. Then it was doing a few lines in the morning before going to work. I was using more and more to get the high I loved while I was coming down quicker and harder. I was the junkie that I had made fun only a few years ago. I had sworn I would never be that way. The kids in school told me I was a freak show, my mom made it clear I was nothing to her, and dad buried his head in work. Teachers wrote me off as a psychological loser. But hell no, I would not give them the satisfaction of being a user. Yet I did……..

Not one person ever looked at me, at the totality of my life, and put 2 and 2 together. They knew I had been sexually abused at the ages 4 and 9, that my mom was “off” and had been hospitalized more in a psych ward more than once when I was in elementary school. So many of them saw her in action and either thought she’d never act that way at home or figured if she did act that way at home they didn’t want to get involved. No telling what she’d do to them.

So they turned away because it was too hard for them, as adults, to deal with my mother. No one thought to ask what it did to me or my siblings. Where a mentally ill parent is concerned, the motto other adults live by is “don’t get involved.”

If they don’t ask they don’t have to tell, do they?

I’m not quite sure what gave me the idea it was a good idea to drink a fifth of raspberry flavored vodka AND to put a whole bag of cocaine (that normally lasted me a week) up my nose in one afternoon. I thought I was going to die…………on the one hand I was drunk and laughing my ass off, on the other hand my heart was pounding as if it was Barbaro crossing the finishing line. I was fucked up and fucked up good. I started to cry when I realized I could die.

I couldn’t sit still. The room was spinning. I was sweating all over the place, and kept repeating to myself that this would wear off, it had to wear off, dammit when would THIS WEAR OFF? I either passed out or fell asleep, I am not sure which. I fought sleep for hours, thinking I would die and not wake up. I said my prayers, “now I lay me down to sleep, I pray the Lord my soul to keep. If I should die before I wake, I pray the Lord my soul to take.”

God had better take my soul if I die before I wake, was a thought in my head before I blanked out. He owed me. I had withstood His plan for me in the best way I knew how and if it wasn’t good enough, if I hadn’t looked for help hard enough or in the right places, then that was His fault. A blind man can’t cross a street without help. Neither can a child raised with the insanity of a Borderline parent navigate life without some sort of guide dog/therapist or hell, even a friend.

I woke up and looked for the last of my bag. I am not proud of this but…..I cut it open and licked the last of the snow out. I knew I couldn’t keep using and had to quit. I wanted to get every last high I could while I able. Months later I found the mirror I had used for cutting and briefly entertained the idea of licking my finger and running it across the surface so I could pick up whatever was left. I windexed it instead, then threw it after that.

I still crave my fix every now and then. I try to fill the hole in my heart/soul with other things. I really work hard at that, yet every once in a while the urge comes back. I can see what I was, the street junkie trajectory I was on, and I won’t do that. Somewhere, somehow, I was able to get it thru my head that I AM worth more than that.

Some days that knowledge is all I have to hold onto. Maybe I am delusional, I don’t know. But I do know I would rather be delusional than to ever go back to that place I was in where I realized I was punishing myself for what I had no control over. I was abusing myself for what my abusers did to me. How ass backwards is that? I will keep my delusions, thanks.