Saturday, September 29, 2012

When I was 3 or 4

I didn't want to write this post before I could find the post at Roots to Blossom that inspired it, but I just can't seem to be able to locate it.

She writes about how when she was around that age, her narcissistic, incestuous father poisoned both her and her mother's minds so he could turn them against each other and have little roots2blossom all to himself. The mother was told she was incompetent and couldn't take care of her daughter, while the little girl was told her mother didn't love her.

My father wasn't a sexual molester, but when I read that post, I had an intense emotional reaction and I knew something similar happened in our family.

3 or 4. That's when I started biting my nails. That's when I stopped wanting to cuddle, ever - and my mother was the only one who even ever wanted to hold me. I think I sat in my father's lap exactly once and it felt stiff and forced.

Until recently, I thought kids just stopped wanting to be held around age 3. And my 5 year old still sits in my lap and wants to be held and hugged and kissed. Until recently, I thought my mother just wasn't the motherly type, and that's why she didn't have anything to do with me when I was growing up. But I learned from other people that she was told she was incompetent by my father and that she wasn't happy about that at all.

I wonder what lie I was told that made me start avoiding my mother.

I don't remember it, but there must have been something.

I told other kids at school my mother was dead. I didn't want anything to do with her. That doesn't just happen, right? Somethings prompts that kind of reaction in a kid, right?

For the longest time, I felt like I killed her by rejecting her to please my narcissistic father. And it's easier to think that she'd already been dead, her soul crushed by a narcissistic mother and a long barren relationship with a narcissistic spouse, voided and made narcissistic, albeit passively so, by them.

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Blood sacrifice

Blood sacrifice. Or an indication of just how futile, sterile, and abortive this quest is going to be.

Either way, she sets out, blood pouring out of her. It’s the first day of her period.

Noon. Hot sun. Black clothes. She arrives wearing a protective scowl for some reason.

I guess I should try talking to you. It’s supposed to be therapeutic or something.

There are other people in black clothes here. Some of them are crying and hugging each other. She stares, wondering what that would be like. To be like these people, one of them.

So, OK, I’m here. Now what? Right, talking to you. I don’t miss you. I never had you. I feel nothing but emptiness and mild nausea.

There must be something I’m thankful for.

Thank you for dying when you did. Your timing was good. Had it been any sooner or later, my escape would not have been as effective. It was a narrow one as it is.

People brought flowers. I wonder who and when. Your sister, your friends. You said you wouldn’t mind dying if you could have a big funeral attended by many. You died three years later and got your wish. Big funeral. Obviously, lots of people really loved you. Right?

She walks away slowly. OK, one flower. A candle. And a drink, it’s so hot.

At the florist, she asks if they have a cheaper flower. She can’t afford the one they offered, but she wants the question to make her sound just mean and nasty. They ask if it’s for a funeral, if they should wrap it, if… “Something else. Never mind.” She frowns at them.

She returns and forces the stem of the cheap white rose into the crammed vase.

Like when he forced himself on you when you were a shriveling, puking, motionless mass of cancer and chemotherapy. Demanding his daily dose.

You had every right to never stand up for yourself. You had every right to let your mother keep you forever in a cage. You had every right to let your husband crush your soul into a pulp.

You had no right to sacrifice your child, though.

Blood sacrifice.

She lights a candle in the little church with freshly painted fresco painting.

Mary, Mary on the wall,
Who are mother to us all,
Be my mother – but for real
And please teach me how to feel.

OK, some tears at last. She goes back to the grave.

So, thank you for dying when you did. The other day, I told a friend, without even thinking, “I’m lucky that my mother died, so that's all I need to tell people in response to any mother-related questions. They nod knowingly and leave it at that.”

It’s not my fault, you know. Human beings love and miss other human beings they’ve had some sort of a human connection with. Friends, distant relatives, fucking acquaintances.

I mean, if my sometimes-annoying-but-fundamentally-human-mother-in-law were to die, for instance, I’d, I’d…

Now she’s crying.

Ten years today. A third of her life. But, really, motherless from day one.

The third little girl

A knife blood everywhere I wash and scrub and hide the washcloth.

No one must find out.

Two little girls are still here. The older one is five, the younger two. They don't know a thing. They don't know what happened to the third little girl, the one in the middle, who's about three or four years old.

A detective comes. Horror as she finds traces of blood on the floor, on the bed, on the camera. Guilt and shame, I'm ready to confess to all my crimes, but then I remember – I only have two little girls. I never had a third girl.

"We've done a test," the detective says.

"The blood we found belongs to you." 

(My interpretation: This is when I was emotionally broken and basically killed. I was around 3 or 4. Because I think the way I am is my fault, I try to hide it. If I'm the third little girl, if the blood is mine, then it's not my fault. No more so than it would be my daughters' fault for anything that happened to them now. There's no need to hide anything. I'm the detective, I'm myself, and I'm the dead little girl, all at once. According to the dream, at least, I didn't do anything horrible, although I constantly feel like it. I never took that knife to my daughters. The worst that happened to them was they might have seen some of my blood and got scared. And I'm sorry about that too.)

Friday, September 21, 2012

I'm still around

After a summer vacation during which I relatively easily came to terms with the fact that my father is my father, I'm back. I've been lurking around other blogs lately, mostly. I'm so happy - and sad - to see so many new blogs all around. Happy because other people are finding this wonderfully therapeutic means to communicate. Sad because so many have had to be born and grow up without love.

Realizing that my father didn't deviously usurp another man's child and lie about it made me feel less anger towards him. He wasn't quite the monster I'd imagined him to be - a bit less so. Merely an impenetrable narcissist who was still better than his mother. This, however, somehow led me to become less alert and aware in my parenting. Lose some feelings that had been back. Become a worse mother.

I wonder: why is it so impossible to feel a bit of empathy for one's narcissistic parents and still retain emotional integrity? Why is what feels a bit like forgiveness actually so dangerous? Can "forgiveness" be close to complacency?

I have to be back to this blog actively in order to live my insights regularly. To always remember what kind of legacy I have and never slip into "oh, well, it wasn't so bad, I should stop whining about how my parents didn't love me and live my life in the present" again.

I got a number for a REBT therapist a colleague of mine recommended. I might actually dial it.

If I go into therapy, my first rule will be "One invalidating comment about my parents/childhood and I'm out." Even the nice, warm, empathetic, stable colleague who actually gave me something that seemed a bit like free therapy, had previously related in the same conversation how she had told a friend that even though her parents didn't love her, at least they gave her ballet lessons - and I cried out "Yeah, and if they blind you and give you nice sunglasses, do you have to shut up about being blind?" And later today, I was still angry about it, and thought of this parallel: if you kill a guy but then "at least" pay for a good make-up job and a nice casket, is it then OK? Fuck that. This shit makes me angry. I'm back and I'm less restrained, angrier, and sometimes swear.

But I do think I need help. I can't seem to get in touch with any emotions on my own at all - apart from constant anxiety, some depression, and a bit of anger here and there. My children deserve more. I do feel good things for them much of the time, but I can also block these feelings sometimes.

My mother will have been dead for 10 years on Monday. I still can't dig up a single feeling about that. Or her. How messed up is that?

I'll try to write all I can find in myself about that on Monday.