Wednesday, October 2, 2019

Sexual abuse?!

So my previous therapist - REBT but wonderful - gave me the strength to go for what I think I needed. I asked a colleague I like if he'd do Schema Therapy with me and he said yes. I feel safe with him and trust him implicitly and Schema has jut seemed like a good fit from the start.

While I was still seeing her and felt supported I had a terrifying nightmare in which a terrorist was breaking into my office and he was going to shoot us all, me in particular. Towards the end it was my father breaking into my childhood bedroom and a voice over said "This means he sexually abused you".

Around this time I saw a home video HE GAVE ME (probably didn't check what he had there) in which he ZOOMED IN ON MY ASS while I was walking for several minutes. I was perhaps 9? 10? 12?

I've always remembered he mentioned my nice, well-rounded bottom, spanked red by my mother when I was 2, 3 (the whole scene seemed to give him pleasure; I know in my bones I was seriously whipped by him, what my mother did was small potatoes, but this is less relevant here).

I remember being 5 or 6 and scared to wipe my own butt because he insisted on doing that. It took great courage and initiative and going potty in the darkness so he doesn't know to claim my right to do this on my own now.

I remember being as old as 7, 8, 9 and having to bend over naked on the couch so he'd put diaper rash cream on my butt?! My mother was there in the room, I assumed it was just strange and eccentric.

My friends teased me because he bathed me until I was 12 - I don't even know if it was true.

I can't be touched at night, it wakes me up in a panic-attack-like state immediately. I'm also terrified of anyone opening the door and walking in when I'm sleeping or trying to fall asleep.

I don't KNOW anything, but my father is a sexual maniac who owns all the women in his life and narcissists will do anything to anyone, it's not like they have scruples. I'm disgusted by him and can't be touched by him and I KNOW there's a dark secret no one can know or else I'll die.

When this colleague I trusted to be an effective ally against my NF said he'd have some time in September, I had another nightmare. After trying to get to my childhood bedroom - which was dangerous and difficult - I was finally there, but my father was breaking in through the window and the voice over again said "You KNOW this means he sexually abused you".

I haven't slept well since and it's been weeks.

I let myself entertain the possibility of this and it let me cry for days - my thought is "Maybe this is where the love was hiding all along - I was supposed to have loved him at some distant point in the past, and surely just being hit or demeaned is not what did it in, there's also a sleazy abject element to it".

Also, why I'm so uncomfortable with flirting and being sexy and noticing that someone is attracted to me.

Maybe also why I was masturbating compulsively at age 3 or 4 already, including in public. To relieve anxiety, among other things. Not just exploring my body like kids do, maniacally having to orgasm.

So I guess my subconscious let me have a tidbit of this because this new trusted person who could be on my side appeared?

I've been TERRIFIED since, unable to sleep. Like if I allow myself to remember this (I don't, I'm not claiming this happened at all) then I know something I'm not supposed to, something that will get me killed.

Friday, December 28, 2018


I started therapy again.

I find most of my emotions fit neatly into these categories: anxiety, depression, tenderness/gratitude/relief/love (blending into one).

My therapist suggested writing down situations and my emotional reactions to them, both in the present and in my childhood - and what I think my emotions could have or should have been, had I been free to express them and even feel them.

And immediately I said I think I started reacting in an appropriate way really early - which means "these people are my capos, it would be silly to feel emotionally hurt by what they say or do, I can only feel fear, anger, anxiety, depression, like I would in a concentration camp, not hurt feelings, like I would if someone I cared about said or did something hurtful".

So I tried with the situation I remember was a sort of trigger that got me to consciously detach from both my parents at age 8 - I have written about it but I'll go into more details now. Because what I realize is that the emotions keeping me from accessing all this stuff are not pain or anger predominantly, they're shame and guilt.

We were at a mountain cabin/hotel for winter holidays. My parents took the daughter of my father's coworker along. We went out to play in the snow one afternoon, all except my mother.

I don't remember exactly how it happened, but us two girls started playfully attacking my father and he started throwing us onto the ground. At one point, this got really violent and he really slammed us hard. The girl said she didn't want to play any more and we went back.

I felt I had the obligation to speak up - not for myself, of course. "Dad, I'm your daughter and you can do whatever you want to me (?! yes I said this), but not to someone else's kid. I think it's wrong to behave in this way to her".

He said something to the effect of making a violent threat.

Then I said "You are stronger than me now, but when I'm 30 you'll be 70 and I'll be the stronger one then".

Then he started slapping me in the face repeatedly, making denigrating remarks. I didn't cry or react, at this moment I was tough and had an armor on against him.

Afterwards, I told my mother I loved her more then. She rejected this advance. So I had no one. I felt shame for groveling, asking for her support and love.

So an hour or so later, he was shouting at some kids in the hotel to shut up. And I was around and I remember kissing him on the hand to suck up so he'll love me again (?!) and thinking at that moment "I'm kissing the hand that slapped me". And being disgusted at myself.

I feel shame about this. About the groveling. And guilt, about the violent threats I kind of made.

But at this moment I also feel some empathy for the 8yo who had no one to turn to, no one on her side.

I don't know what my actual feeling were at the time towards my parents in general, but I'm not sure any sort of personal hurt would have been entirely appropriate. Just sadness about the loneliness, which I can feel now.

Narcissistic father acknowledges some failings

He just called me on Skype to tell me he 'almost died'. He has acute pneumonia and chronic heart & blood pressure issues, not a good mix. He'll live.

But he went sort of sentimental and wanted me to thank my ILs for being there for me and my kids. Then he said "I know I haven't been there for you when it comes to this stuff. But you know you can come to me when you need money".

This is true. And he and I can now be honest about the scope and extent of his being a father to me. He knows what he is capable of, and I feel safe being thankful for those several times in my life when he offered me money for something needed and I accepted.

I feel freer. I cried. And like I can allow some more emotions now.

Saturday, January 17, 2015

I've come a long way and am not there yet

Though I haven't written anything in quite a while, I sometimes drop by to see what people dear to me are doing.

I think about upsi - what HAS happened there? I also wonder about Kiki, whose blog is gone as well.

I like to see Jonsi get back in the saddle and shoot. Where she seemed extreme (as not polite enough by my FOO standards) in the past, I now smile at all she has to say. In some ways, I have grown.

I love seeing what Mulderfan, Ruth, Jessie, Q and others are up to.

My father is getting - old. Less interested in us, less energetic and thus less pugnacious, less invested in anything. He's been barely noticeable lately, which is, naturally, a good thing. I've also been able to swap apartments with him, which means I now own the place where we live and he owns the place that he rents out and no one can hurt anyone in any real way. So stuff is good.

I allowed myself to complete my dissertation. Even though he is proud and boasts about it, I am still a PhD. It's a practical thing I did for myself and my FOC, and him being there at the defense is something like collateral damage. He didn't do much damage, actually - he only talked to ONE of the professors, also narcissistic, and I giggled to myself that they were perfect company for each other.

I also have a third child now - a boy this time. This was something I'd feared - that I'd treat a boy differently as a result of having a dominant narcissistic father (both better AND worse) - but I was over it before he was born, thankfully.

In many ways, I have the perfect life. By what the world values, I am successful because I have a PhD and three children of both sexes.

But I'll always be an ACON, I now see - never quite good enough, never quite happy, never quite at home. And it's OK. I don't know if others can really get "there" - be really content and happy and fulfilled. If so, good for them. But this level of "not being there" is something I personally will always be able to live with in honesty and authenticity. One of my most precious life goals is writing fiction - novels and stories - and this is where I can be in truth for the rest of my life, if I can but pour this truth into a novel.

All the best to everyone and keep fighting the good fight!

Friday, June 7, 2013

New Analogy

I have started to think about my early relationship with my parents in a new way.

I no longer - having, of course, first gone through such a long phase of anger, blaming, and analyzing, which I'm perfectly happy with - need to think about the "relationship" we had. Or them, really, too much.

I see it this way: yes, this early stuff, and love, and parents, all of this is very important. It's like developing language in children. If a child is not communicated with in early childhood, she will have trouble learning language.

Well, I realized recently that, no, my parents never taught me the language of love, but that, yes, I am able to speak it with others now. It's not easy, it's not my mother tongue, I make mistakes or just don't know how to express myself, but I'm slowly getting there. And this is all that currently matters to me. I don't need to think about the fact that my parents failed me in this department so much any more. I just want to focus on the department itself, because that's what matters.

Therapy helped with that. Mostly, my therapist helped me allow myself to not feel anything much for my parents. And be OK with that. Because I feel things for other people, which means I learned language later in life - which is harder to do, but not impossible.

My new version of the recurring dream in which I discover that I actually never graduated from high school and thus my university degree and graduate degrees are invalid? I go back to school, ask around and really, there are a couple of classes that I never finished owing to an error of sorts. I never really graduated. But, also, the administration overlooked this. They gave me a diploma. I officially and validly graduated, even though I missed some things. No one will cause me any trouble or blame me for not completing those courses so long ago, especially given how far I've come since. I can freely go on with my life and, in the dream, I choose to do so.

In my life, I choose to do so as well.

I'm where I am and will be focusing on that now. Working on my doctoral dissertation, embracing new career opportunities assertively, actively making friends with people I find interesting, enjoying my family.

Thursday, March 7, 2013

Dreams, Lies, and Video Tapes

So, I'd asked my father to have some old family videos turned into CDs for me.

I hoped it would provide me with additional insights into my childhood.

 He brought them to me a few weeks ago.

I was somewhat surprised. I'd forgotten my mother and, looking at her, I felt more distant from her than ever. She seems weird, cold, too eager to sound loudly interesting and funny, or just vanishes into the background, despondently.

She's the one who'll taunt me and criticize me for her amusement in those videos. My father actually sometimes defends me. It's nothing big, for sure. Annoying pecks more than stabs.

But, I just don't like her.

I guess that's surprising. She died, then I discovered my father was a narcissist, then I remembered he was always the dominant one, and I somewhat idealized her posthumously. And I felt guilty for being duped or forced into choosing him over her when I was a child. Now I'm not so sure it was the worst thing I could have done. I just don't like her.

I've been telling people about this interesting discovery lately, most recently last night over some beers with friends.

So, this morning I had one of those vivid nightmares, the recurring one I've been having for years with some variations: I find out again all my work towards my doctorate is futile, as I never actually graduated from college. I have to go back to my final year. Nothing is a big deal, except for one course that I'd apparently just forgotten to take and thought of as boring and useless.

I now realize I can choose another course instead, and this time, being older and different, I choose, strangely for me, a course taught by a lovely, helpful, kind woman, involving baking colorful cookies shaped like snowmen and stick figures and cartoon characters. It was childlike and fun and you couldn't fail. I was happy to learn something that might help me make nice gifts for my family. I felt like a loved child being allowed to take this course. I hugged the teacher for being so helpful and she hugged me back.

She looked and acted nothing like my mother. This time, passing the missing exams meant finding a kind, loving, mother surrogate.

The dream continued by me going to my therapist and discovering someone else there, a colleague of his. He insisted I talked to him, so I started telling him about my mother and my dream, and he interrupted me:

- Stop blaming your mother! Stop blaming your parents for your problems and behaviors!

So I started railing and ranting and howling at him:

- I'm NOT blaming her for my behaviors! I'm only blaming them for not loving me, and for how bad that makes me feel, but me screaming at you right now is all ME, and my anger is all ME! And if you think I can't blame them for making me feel that way, don't you dare blame me for how you're feeling right now, being screamed at!!!

That felt good.

(I still haven't terminated therapy, as things are sort of still happening in every session.)

Thursday, February 14, 2013


I'm in a phase where I'm kind of living again without obsessing and analyzing and wondering if I'm human all the time.

I'm working on my dissertation. I had two papers published recently and am attending a conference soon. I'm excited about this. I no longer feel like enjoying doing my research and presenting it to others is narcissistic or ACoNish - it's me, it's human.

I work out. I watch movies with my husband and sometimes play with my kids. Sometimes I take a break from them, too.

Sometimes I feel like I'm a worse parent than my parents in some ways. And that's OK, too. They're not monsters in my mind any more. Nor are they perfect.

They actually often tried to be good parents, but in sometimes wrong ways and for the wrong reasons. So others could see them as good parents. So they could see themselves as good parents.

I said "NO" to my father a few days ago. No, I didn't want to call my elementary school teacher just because my father had contacted him and the guy wanted to hear from me because I was "so successful." No, there was no need for my father to justify and excuse me because I was "so busy" - I explained I had no obligation to call anyone I didn't want to call.

I wasn't scared or even overly triumphant. It was just normal.

Today, I believe I'm going to say to my therapist that I want to stop for now. I'm not sure what more I can get at this point via this particular method. I've had some good insights, but I feel I've reached a plateau - one I actually feel good at right now.

I'm going to use the money for my daughter's swim classes.

Monday, January 28, 2013

The Wire Parents Experiment

I've wanted to write this post for a long time, but things get in the way. Like not finding a good link to the Wire Mother experiment. This is not a really good one, either, but more accurate ones are also more disturbing.

I feel like my therapist gave me "permission" not to have felt attached to my parents enough to truly feel hurt when their lack of love for me was demonstrated, because I've always felt this on some level.

And then I felt like one of Harlow's monkeys, one raised by a wire surrogate. (These rhesus monkeys were isolated and put in a room with a wire contraption which held a bottle of milk.) I was fed and taken care of, just not loved in any vital, living, animal or human way.

These monkeys were physically healthy. They were just emotionally and socially stunted.

And they didn't attach to the wire mother.

There were other monkeys in the experiment, ones that had a cloth mother too. They cuddled with her and ran to her for comfort. They were inconsolable if she was removed from the room.

These fared better afterwards.

I was raised by wire parents. It's not my fault I never felt much for them. It's not my fault I went to them for food and the went away and never cared if they were removed.

They weren't even fucking cloth surrogates.