Could it be because of my mother?

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earthhorse
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Could it be because of my mother?

Post by earthhorse » Tue Apr 09, 2019 10:17 am

So the last few weeks I have being doing EMDR around a scene that played out daily until I tried to commit suicide when I was 16.

As soon as I turned 16 I wanted out of my family home. My mother signed a form saying I was being abused at home. It was true. But she couldn't wait to get me out. If any of you know my story, you know that at that age I had recently, at age 15, been gang raped by a group of young but much older men, then slut-shamed by people at my school and scouts club, all my friends - ostracized me.

I had reinvented my identity after that and started hanging out with other immigrants and dressing as a goth - listening to the cure, frequently skipping school.... ( even though being good at school was something I had held onto for so long to keep me going). My mother she didn't know anything that had happened and she didn't want to know she would tell me, "Tell me anything but the truth - I'm just not interested in you."

My mother couldn't wait to get rid of me.

So I was living a pretty painful existence as essentially still a child without any skills to self care on my own in my new deary apartment. My mental health getting worse and worse, very dissociated and fragmented, deep self loathing, major depression. Enemies everywhere. Very few friends. Experimenting with drugs, developing an eating disorder with my new bulimic best friend who had access to them- who though had more support in her life, was in a lot of trouble too, very attracted to bad boys and bad places. I somehow managed to stay pretty innocent and aloof from the more dangerous stuff around me - it could have been so much worse if I did not have the survival tendency to self isolate... One day without asking me my parents they just came and took me home. I wish it had been to rescue me. Home was a very hostile place.

This is when I just started to check out - I would just go into catatonic dissociation. So I wouldn't be able to move or talk, barely breathe. Sometimes I would even just collapse, fall down and remain frozen on the ground - this happened in the school playground a few times. I remeber it happening on the train to school...

Everyday my mother would come into my room and scream at me for hours at the top of her voice. I don't know how she did it. How can you just stand there harassing a child for so long? And I would just be there on my bed. Sitting there, staring into space frozen, far away. While she told me how useless I was, how hopeless and lazy and selfish. What an ungrateful brat I was. How she never wanted me. How I was pathetic, how I disgusted her...

Even when I overdosed and was in the emergency room. My mother she was there yelling at me.

It only dawned on me, and I know this might be silly. That I may feel hateful because of how she felt about me?

I think I buffered myself by telling myself that I had detached from her, that she didn't have any power over me. "Did I ever have a mother did I? Or just a place to stay?" was an art peice I made at 20... Especially as I grew older her neglect was profound. I never felt I could even 'blame ' her for anything. She made sure to let me know I was a "self made person" and that it was all my fault. Always just feeling like a fake, a loser... but these bad, bad feelings? Could they be her gift to me?

She controlled everything. Even me going to art school after I tried to die. It was her idea not mine... even though I loved it there. My body everything was hers.

Anyhow... I am so traumatized, I have lived through some extreme experiences... It was a shock for me to discover that been yelled at like this was a deep trauma too. So much more to say of course. But will leave ti here.

Thanks so much for listening...

EH
"One kind word can warm three winter months"

coconuts
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Re: Could it be because of my mother?

Post by coconuts » Tue Apr 09, 2019 1:27 pm

Oh Earthhorse,
Your mother was terrible person and yes she very much was a big part of your trauma. Your family never instilled in you a worth for being here. They never gave you identity and reason. They just projected and perpetrated cruelty on you. As a child you did as every other child. You believed. This is a hard mold to break and when we developmentally reach a point where we suddenly are not sure we believe and test the waters many of just have the worthlessness confirmed. Partly because we continue to put ourselves in situations that continue to harm us. Because we don't understand what safety looks like. We only know what we have seen so far. So we create confirmation bias. And our view of ourselves and the world doesnt really change that much.

I feel like even the simpleness of my parents hatred for me without the physical or sa impacted me greatly. From birth I was unwanted and was told so regularly. I hear a similar line in your story. If you tell someone that day after day even if you didn't start until adulthood it will have a deep impact. Imagine the impact if such was told to an infant from birth. Sometimes I feel as if I am chiseled stone with that imbedded into me. Before I began healing I simply tried to cover it up. And now so many years later I'm trying to chisel something different out of it. Trying to convince myself I am something different.

My deepest sympathy to you for the cruelty of your mother ( and everyone else). You as a child and now as a talented and wonderful adult deserve so much love and light and kindness. And self forgiveness.

there
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Re: Could it be because of my mother?

Post by there » Tue Apr 09, 2019 2:30 pm

eh,
I feel that some of the anger I've had to feel and express came directly from the anger abusers put it on me.
It made it even more difficult to develop a self at all, leave alone a healthy self.

If hatred was put into you that way, it's no wonder you've felt hateful. Sounds like she did her best blame the victim and convince you that whatever you suffered was all your fault.

What Your mother did was just unconscionable.

You have my deep sympathy, too, eh.
Reach for the stars. ---Christa McAuliffe

earthhorse
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Re: Could it be because of my mother?

Post by earthhorse » Tue Apr 09, 2019 3:08 pm

Dearest coconuts,

I think like you, I have always striven to make the next step a better one, to always move forward in life and to never make the same mistakes again. When I was a teenager life was very hard though , like you say it was very difficult to get out because of all the bad learning. I strove for years adn years to unentangle myself to get tot a better palce to find safe harobour.

It's hard when the family is such a profound source of abuse and gas-lighting, my family they would keep dragging me down, compelling me to stay in hurtful/harmful situations, only content when I was in a state of abject destruction, broken, so they could corner me and express their contempt... nothing I could do was right. Not success that's for sure, success was another moment for humiliation and attack. Not even the constant service and care I provided them from infancy onwards- no time for things for me, I had to care for the household and my younger siblings, ( which though in many ways saved me too, but I would've liked to learn things after school to go and dance, to have friends, to play more) I only started to really get truly safe when I got away from them geographically and in terms of cutting off any contact.

I think like you and I in your silent and dark room, you and I are a theme for me quite often at the moment coconuts. It means so much to me to have 'met' another trafficking survivor. But also that we share so much of the kinds of pain that made that possible, even when are stories are very different too at times.

I think about you too when I think about what my mother did and didn't do.

She just used me as her punching bag. I did not even have room for thoughts of my own.

Today in therapy it was again a kind of revelation that I had internalized that in no way was my mother to be depended on. I had to struggle for absolutely everything, there was absolutely no safe place, no privacy , no uncontested territory, it was very clear that nothing I owned was mine.... I had to be very responsible from a very early age. My therapist said it was like I never had a mother. and I have to agree.... coconuts I never had a mother... and I was told over and over I didn't deserve to be mothered or cared for. How to even begin to grieve for that... all it feels like is deadness/ emptiness.
Sometimes I feel as if I am chiseled stone with that imbedded into me. Before I began healing I simply tried to cover it up. And now so many years later I'm trying to chisel something different out of it. Trying to convince myself I am something different.
They filled my head so full of them, my life, my body my very being was theirs. perhaps only now, I get to discover what it is I truly want from life, who I want to be.

Thank you for being such a wonderful friend to me coconuts.

Love,
EH
"One kind word can warm three winter months"

earthhorse
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Re: Could it be because of my mother?

Post by earthhorse » Tue Apr 09, 2019 3:42 pm

Hi There,

Thank you so much for your validation, for seeing me.

You are very right, she blamed me for everything - I didn't even have time to think. I was completely gaslighted. There was no space to even begin to see myself as any kind of a victim, I got wrapped up in trying to prove my goodnees, my right to life at all.

And when that failed when I couldn't be 'good', because I was raped and that too was my fault too, like my classmates and firends said, like my father woudl say all the time. After I was bullied for so many years in school, and it turned out I was the worst and lowest person in the world just like she said... (maybe only able to hold onto some kind of self worth at all because of years of putting up resistance to her). I think I realized there was no legitimate way life was going to be for me. This was her message too. That I was dodgy, that there was no straight path for me, that I was a burden, only way I would get by is with scams or through attaching myself to some man, like a sugar daddy. A waste of space etc... my life was already over... destroyed. It has never really felt like it isn't, I feel like I am always still trying to make up for the things that didn't go right for me back then, the things I ddin't manage to do at the right time.

Art was for crazy people and as long as I wore that identity it could be for me, but when I started to be successful she and my father sabotaged it, big time.

I always made this pledge never to be bitter and never to hate. I have felt hate oh yes, bitterness too. But what I mostly feel is hate-able, a hateful person, like some innate thing in me destroys everything I touch. that I am not to be trusted. That I am despicable. And these really are my mothers words. Over and over and over again...

The anger I can very much relate to, I feel so much anger. Sometimes I think all I am is frustrated rage.

She was furious. But one thing I am glad at, even though the anger surges up for me too, and I can be frightened of it in my behavior, is that I am not like her. I really am very different. I couldn't do what she did. It is very rare for me to raise my voice in anger at another, maybe I have sent one too many angry emails at the wrong time though this too is rare. My anger tends to kind of (in)appropriately at times flow into political issues. Or just come up in a too strong reaction, where I also feel triggered in other ways too and honestly just distraught. It works best when I can get angry for me, for truth.

I imagine you are also nothing like your no care givers there.

Thanks so much for getting it.

Love,
EH



Maybe now i finally get to have a self...
"One kind word can warm three winter months"

earthhorse
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Posts: 1842
Joined: Thu Jul 21, 2011 8:12 pm

Re: Could it be because of my mother?

Post by earthhorse » Wed Apr 10, 2019 3:00 pm

Oh my...

So hard to fight this programming!

The more I confront it the more intense it's roots seem to take hold.

Does any one else get this... I tell something about he abuse, or how I feel. And then afterwards I get this feeling, maybe related to slight misuse of words or maybe a perceived over exaggeration of something, and I look at that and I feel like I have lied about everything. That this is just more proof of what an awful person I am. How I am not real and just a fake. "That if anyone truly knew me, they would not want to be around me...." like my mother used to say...

I still flinch now, I feel there are others out there mocking me, reading this. Looking at me and saying as my father did that I brought this all on myself and I am an immoral attention seeker, a failure who would hide behind a 'false' story of abuse rather than own or face her own failings...


One of the things my mother would constantly say is that my pain or distress was ridiculous, selfish, b*llsh*t. That I am a drama queen. No reason to complain. No right to ask for anything - because I had it all.


It's all so messed up. I have felt that I am my mother. I think people who dissociate, or people who've experienced mother-daughter incest- may understand. It's like my body is hers. That I am her. My mother is a 'part', I hear my voice and it is hers, I look at my hands, they are hers. I float outside my body - no space for me there.

The work with EMDR. It has helped me form some separation from this part... but the nastiness/ the stream of contradictions I feel it pull me back in.

I know how I have lived. I mine for treasure and hold onto that like that is all there is. I remember the woods where we lived in my childhood, the big house my parents built on family land, the national park, family rides and walks, the garden, the old castle on the hill behind our house, playing in the neighborhood and with my cousins. My brothers and sister. And with such richness such joy and fortune, how could there be... abuse, torture, terror, neglect, degradation? Parents gaslighting a child so they could prostitute her or make pronography? Surely I am the bad one? I am a liar like they say? My claims are 'ridiculous', myself 'pathetic' - (an answer for everything hey mummy dearest?)

I am not sure if it was 'they' who sold me, but I know my mother she blamed me...

And it's strange. What is me? I know I wanted to be an architect because I believed we need to take positive action for sustainability and social justice in most direct and material way possible, and because, I needed to have a mission, a future, something to live for while I recover - and well because I thought if I had an engineering degree it would be easier for me to be taken seriously by my family and society and may be able to press charges.... But my mother, she always wanted to be an architect, she drew up the plans to the big house we lived in. She would even draw farmhouses like the ones in the country I now live in - is living here even my choice or is it hers? She was more of an architect than me, some strong feeling inside me tells me, better at it ... ( but how can I say this, surely I can see what I have accomplished? But all I see a lot of the time is failure, my failure to be good enough... )

And yes I am a painter, but my mother she was that first, technically mimetically masterful, nothing like my wild layers, and 'child like' expression - my failed, ugly degenerate art - (again hearing her and my families mockery and derision, dismissal, only seeing that what I was doing was valued when others did). Before she withdrew ever more into delusions and escapism she was very creative, in our first house, she painted every room with huge beautiful murals. The lonely wolf - a scene from a book of Russian fairy tales, a tiger in the jungle, viking myths from the silverhand, giraffes.

There they were in the room I would be locked into. In the room where I was harmed so much...

But in the process of separation it seems that all that is me is the lies she fed me, that I have internalized and personalized and all I have chosen or become is just her will to live through me materialized to do what she wanted to do through me. Not a thing my own...

This I think is a big part of the block I constantly face. Perhaps why just about when things are about to be completed I get really slow, like someone forgot-to wind me up and I just keep clunking along until I come to ta halt and let the true me out, the motionless huddled, dissociated frozen thing.

I am not sure what I truly want?

Outside of just wishing I had a mother who did really love me and put me first... and just wanting to be safe... all my enthusiasm for other things, it's just feels like an overexcited puppy saying look at me... a role I would put on for my mothers approval - the self I should be, but never was or could be.

Sorry for all this dreary circular self reflection.

EH
"One kind word can warm three winter months"

there
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Posts: 6665
Joined: Mon Aug 15, 2011 12:41 am

Re: Could it be because of my mother?

Post by there » Wed Apr 10, 2019 5:47 pm

eh,
Am reading your recent post before leaving for teaching this afternoon.
Would like to respond more later.
Reach for the stars. ---Christa McAuliffe

Couragetoday
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Re: Could it be because of my mother?

Post by Couragetoday » Thu Apr 11, 2019 1:27 am

Hi EH,

I don’t have wise words to Share but really wanted to express caring and support for all the difficult processing, painful awareness arising and realizations.
You are an amazingly special soul worthy of so much love, peace, wholeness and caring.

Couragetoday

there
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Posts: 6665
Joined: Mon Aug 15, 2011 12:41 am

Re: Could it be because of my mother?

Post by there » Thu Apr 11, 2019 1:41 am

eh,
I get how you’re thinking and feeling— the incongruities of happy childhood times vs. terrible child abuse. Maybe as a child you felt like you had to have been bad to be so ‘punished’/
Maybe the believing you’re bad (or were bad) had many sources. Being called ‘bad’ or made to feel worthless, plus the PA, CSA, EA. Add to those the child survival tactic of taking the blame——you’ve had so much feeling like you must be bad.
I know that yearning for the love and natural approval from a parent, the willingness to to turn yourself into to pretzel to get it...
I know that you’re good in so many ways.
Listening and caring, eh.
Last edited by Jonesy on Thu Apr 11, 2019 8:51 am, edited 1 time in total.
Reason: Changed MT to NT, as no triggering content
Reach for the stars. ---Christa McAuliffe

coconuts
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Joined: Mon Mar 28, 2016 2:34 am

Re: Could it be because of my mother?

Post by coconuts » Thu Apr 11, 2019 2:11 am

Oh Earthhorse,
It's so difficult to separate those things. Your mother was awful, behind the smile and disguise was an ugly darkness. One she tried so hard to force on you. She knew what she was doing was wrong. But she faked and hid and then because she couldn't take the blame she placed it back on you. None of it was your fault. You were a small wonderful child deserving of love and kindness. She should have showed you that love and kindness and gentle guidance. Your pain is due to her actions not your own.
You are a fully separate person than her. Perhaps she carried similar interests but you took the talents and became a better person with them.
We were trained young to take the blame. If we were to blame why would we ever tell because we would be telling on ourselves. It was how it works. They exercised such precise mind control perpetrated on small children raised and trained. The thing about children is their view is limited to that which they are shown. If they only ever see and hear hate and harm why would they believe something different. Then to have the blame placed back on them they would grow to believe it is all their fault once the world is seen differently. Why when you've been told lies since infancy would you believe differently.
The truth is they lied to you. They hurt you for their gain. Nothing that happened was or could ever be your fault. You are innocent you are good.

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