Tag Archive: dissociative system


The Monster

I woke up more times than I can count this morning. I knew I was dissociating before I went to bed, I felt stuck in the background. I have no idea what it feels like for other people, or “everyone else” who dissociates, but I feel like I have varying degrees of “stuckness”. I still feel totally fuzzy, confused, and disorganized. I have a dissociation headache. I’m having difficulty concentrating because I feel like I’m floating off into the air, but it’s the tail end of it–I’ve only felt this way a million times before. The floating is so common that it feels safe.

I woke up to what seems like an exacerbation of how I went to sleep. I was stuck in the back, more so than usual. I was screaming and trying to regain control, and instead I felt like an evil monster was guiding my thoughts and actions. I was afraid if I moved we would hurt someone. Who ever was forward was so angry and had no concern about morality or consequences of the evil things streaming through our consciousness. It wasn’t anyone I recognized, and the rest of us were freaked out too, so it wasn’t just me reacting to the fact that I felt like I lost the one thing I have control over, which is  “me.” Or so I like to think. I really like to some days think I don’t have DID or DD-NOS. Everyone dissociates, I just float off more than the average person. But, other times I’m gone, or I am so far removed, I have no idea who is driving my life. Sometimes I have the system down to a science, We have it down like a science. Sometimes, I get showed who is boss–and I get punished for doubting that there are others. Sometimes I have my very own awful thoughts against myself or other people. But, this was unfamiliar. I guess the best way I can compare what I felt trapped behind would be my dad, if there were no laws or consequences for what you did, the kind of evil rampage he would go on, spewing evil and hatred everywhere. My most angry selves are never like that… nothing has ever felt like that. I woke up dissociated numerous times between 5am and 11am. It was so confusing. I’m still confused. When I’m in my head, or the people I know are immediately in front, anger is a great motivator. But anger was a monster. I don’t know how to describe who or what was out, but I felt like I was in the backseat of a soundproof, bulletproof taxi–and no one could hear or wanted to hear what I had to say. The monster was shear rage. And… what it all comes down to, is that the monster, is me.

So, my life has been kinda sucky lately. I’ve been very PTSD symptomatic. Not among my favorite things. I’ve been more dissociative and had more intrusive thoughts than in months past… but I still have mad skills–one of which is to appreciate the many great things I have in life… from the tiniest, most precious detail, to tremendous blessings. I will be updating my gratitude journal on here as much as possible… I have had one for the better part of two years, however, I have let it fall by the way-side lately… maybe this is some way to help me through my daily life again, as well as the difficult times.

9/19/10 I am grateful for…

My Mom, she’s a lil whacky, but she’s very supportive and loving.

My best friend in the whole world, Hope. I haven’t spoken to her in almost a WHOLE week ;)… and I’m in total withdrawal lol.

I have a beautiful home to live in. It is safe, and pretty, and I am doing a damned good job of keeping it clean (compared to past precendent)

I have a safe ride… I got 4 new tires last week. Yeah, so it was expensive–but my safety and peace of mind are so worth it… plus I KNOW I got an amazing deal on top-0f-the line tires.

I know how to bargain (see above).

My roommates and I haven’t killed each other yet. Living with other people is a challenge… especially when you yourself have .. other people. 😉

I have not dissociated as much unwillingly as before. I miss switching bc it was the way we operated for so many years, but they’re all still there and haven’t left me… they help me get through and make me stronger because they are part of me.

I have not self-harmed in 8 months and 9 days. That’s long enough to have a baby. (I’m tiny and as it would be my first pregnancy, I would probably go early).

I am letting go of less healthy people. I miss them, but they need to go. This is a new page in my life. Every freaking day is a new page.

I miss DLS sooo badly. Those aren’t his real initials. DLS actually stands for dirty little secret… and while I miss my non-boyfriend and do appreciate the good times we had, as few of them as there were… I deserve so much more than that.

I am a medical student. Some crazy bitches think I’m smart enough and well enough to be a doctor. So, even though this is a bumpy ride in many ways, especially with how the school year started… I’m going to be a doctor. I’m going to help people. I am intelligent and I can share my intelligence with people in a way that is incredibly meaningful to me and helpful for others. Every time I look in my patients’ eyes, I can see that even this early in my career, I am making an impact–one person at a time.

Peace out,

Joy (and 15)

****TRIGGER WARNING****

I am getting pretty close to snapping. As though the stress of being raped on the third day back at med school, starting school, moving, still unpacking, studying and feeling like there are 2 million fireflies fluttering around my head distracting me at all times, having to see his nonplussed asshole self every day because all med students have the SAME classes together at the SAME time, and the fantastic re-traumatizing process of the legal system ALL weren’t enough, I think he gave me an STD. When I was last checked, I was STD-free. I have the pleasure of finding out the culture and blood work results early next week. He has “no idea” if he used the condom that was on the floor. I took Plan B during the rape kit, along with other prophylactic antibiotics for bacterial STDs. But, I was told that there were no prophylactics available for viral STDs.

I have been having a really hard time to begin with. I am dealing with school as best as I can. I’m doing better grade-wise with every passing week. But, I’ve got a long way to go before I’m satisfied. However, I couldn’t stand pretending like nothing happened and like he didn’t violate me. I knew I had to report it either internally to my school or to the authorities. I decided on the authorities after I heard from someone else from school that (even though I was extremely vague w details) that he had “heard my story of what happened before” and that he “knew who it was based on his behaviors”. I questioned him and didn’t give any information away. I asked like 5 demographic questions to which I got all the right answers. I stood up and screamed in the room we were in. I asked my friend how he knew… and he said it was because he had heard my story before from someone else who knew my rapist before med school started.

I finally crawled into the police station and made my report. I tried to escape the prosecutor’s office and statement, but the female officer had her own agenda because she had been raped at 12. I managed to escape having to do the interview and taped statement with the prosecutor’s office that day because no one was available. I went back after I heard that he had potentially done this to someone else already. I had a feeling, but I’m not omniscient. He doesn’t even think he did anything wrong. That’s a whole ‘nother story, though. I can’t even go there right now.

I have had the pleasure of walking into class to find the staff of the prosecutor’s office at my school because they couldn’t track my rapist down at home. I hid from him for 2 days after I knew he was interviewed. I am the victim, I was violated, and yet I was cowering. It is MY school. I shouldn’t have to hide. He should be ashamed, scared, and intimidated by me. He raped me, and I am fighting back. I may not get far legally, but I am speaking the truth, which is empowering (and horrific, and humiliating, as well–but I am proud of myself regardless of the outcome).

And now I have the pleasure of waiting a few days to find out my STD status. I went to the doctor yesterday. I didn’t investigate anything on my own prior because I didn’t want to obsess about it, especially while I’m trying to stay tethered from the planet and not totally tossing in the towel over school. However, I spent time last night and this evening investigating what I think I have. I have very classic symptoms of a primary infection in females. It has gotten progressively worse since yesterday. The only thing I can do is make a paltry attempt at being mindful and not letting my worries and the potential diagnosis consume me. Emphasis on paltry. Every time I think I’ve calmed down I start crying again. I just want to be able to dissociate on command again. People have stuff to say, but it’s mostly crying, and “we’re damaged forever”, etc. However, who I want to take over won’t. I can’t be on the phone with my friends, my mom, a rape counselor 24/7. I have nothing more to say.

~Joy

On May 20, 2007 I wrote a letter to my 8 y/o self/part/aspect/split, however you like to view different aspects of self. At that time I was unaware I had DID, however, I am pretty sure my therapist at the time (who I adore to this day) had some intimation that I was dissociative. He had recommended that I write a letter to myself at 8 years old bc that was a particularly difficult year, especially emotionally. At that point, the physical and sexual abuses, though obviously affected me/us deeply, were very dissociated. But the emotional stuff was SO raw.

At that time, I didn’t know I was dissociative, nor what that was, and was certainly not the leader of my system. I recall about a year and some months ago when I lost it for a few days bc I realized that I was most certainly not my system leader. In the last year I have (at times by just “winging it” lol) become much closer to my parts, come to understand them, worked with them, so that we work together instead of apart.

I found the above-mentioned letter to 8 in a journal this morning (it was the first journal in which I wrote as if it were MINE… and would not be the subject of invasion of privacy & scrutiny–mind you I was 24 and had been on my own for 6 years already…) and wanted to share it with you and re-emphasize what I said to her at that time. =) It was very healing to re-read what I had said at that time to my “inner child”. Writing to parts if you have DID, or writing to your inner children (everyone has them), I believe can be a very important part of healing from PTSD and/or childhood trauma. I know it has been helpful to me.

“Dear 8,

I’m sorry you were scared by Lisa. She was sweet, pretty, kind, and smart–all things you should look for in a person to love. I’m sorry Mom (step-mom) and Dad didn’t protect you from harm-both from them and others. I wish you hadn’t felt so insecure and out of place in our “family”. I wish there were some places that would have been safe, and at least one adult that knew how great of a kid you were–and TOLD you. I wish our brother hadn’t been born to the same family so you wouldn’t have been cast aside like chopped liver by “Mom” and become the scapegoat, among other things in the family. I wish your little self hadn’t been made the scapegoat for ADULT’S problems. I wish your teacher(s) had reach out to you. I wish for hugs for you and warm blankets. I wish for praise and good support. I wish someone told you that 99+% on tests was GREAT! I wish for safety and privacy. I wish someone (one of our parents) had told you that you were talented. I wish someone asked how your day was. I wish for security, generosity, and truth-telling. I wish for warm covers and night-lights.

Good night lil one, Love,

Joy” 5/20/07 (Almost exactly a year before I began intensive trauma therapy)

I know it’s been quite a while since I last blogged. I hope you are all well and are moving along your recovery path at a pace that suits you. ❤

Wishing you peace and safety,

Joy

Ps-Five more days until our 6 month no self-harm anniversary (July 10, 2010)! Yay! It hasn’t been easy (and has def. required a lot of internal communication, commitment to safety, and the love and support of friends and select family!). Looking forward to it!

As I lay in my bed with my mind wrestling with feelings about my Dad and stepmom, I came to a startling (to me), frightening, and wonderful realization: I’m the best parent I’m ever going to get.

I had an abusive childhood. This is not exactly a revelation. But, I’ve spent the last two years really trying to alter the negative messages and incorrect beliefs I was raised on. My perception of self (selves ;}) is much healthier and continues to go in that direction. I’ve really worked on self-care, especially since filling out a self-care survey a little over a year and a half ago and coming to realize that I took the least care of myself outside of showering and dressing in a room of trauma survivors. I try to be at least a decent to good leader of my internal system and take good care of all of us. I try to be a good “parts mom” (when I’m not denying that I have DID, I stopped denying the abuse this past fall, so — this is progress).

I am the healthiest parent I’m ever going to have nurture, discipline, and love me. So I better amp up my maternal skills and parent myself like no one else ever has (literally & figuratively). My mom definitely is a big part of my life, and despite past abuse, I do know she loves me very much. I don’t condone her behavior, but I forgive her. She’s at least TRYING. My father and my stepmother only care to peep into my life when it involves degrading me in some capacity. I can mindfully let it go now, but I still find it very hard to let go of the pain and other associated feelings about the fact that they are never going to be the healthy parents I want and deserve. I love them, at times I pity them, and most of the time, I don’t like them. Yet, I still live with this itty bitty glimmer of hope that they’re going to ::poof:: be somewhat healthy, non-toxic, loving influences in my life. Radical acceptance sucks and yet it is also one of the most healing things for me to employ skill-wise. I have to radically accept that in their entire 5 decades of life, they’ve developed into the people they are. And, I don’t like them. They are not people with whom I share values, beliefs, interests, or much of anything. I know it’s hackneyed, but many say “little apples don’t fall far from trees”. Well, this little apple seems to have rolled up and down a few hills and landed in a markedly different place to grow. I do share some characteristics with them. Some or most of which are actually positive! But, for the most part, I’m a totally different type of apple.

I am never going to win their approval. I do all these things and am all these things that other people’s parents and families (even my extended family) think make me a phenomenal person. I am much more accepted by just about anyone else’s family than I am by my own. My friends are wonderful, unique, so-special-to-me, and accept me for who I am (whoever that is at the moment). They give me a swift kick in the tush when I need it. They are the siblings I wish I had. I love my brother, but no matter what I do, we are not close. I can’t change that either. My point is that it is very evident that I am a loveable human being by the people who know me the best, and even by people who barely know me. It is sometimes really shocking to me that the people who truly know me love me so much. 😉

Evidence is something I really like. I’m going to be a physician. I’m a very scientific and mathematically oriented woman. It’s just in my nature to appreciate things more so if they are tangible and evidence-based. So, based on evidence, I am likeable and a pretty good person. I deserve love. In comparison to how I felt about myself two years ago when I began therapy, or even a year or six months ago, I have an enormous amount of self-esteem. I’m going to try and figure out where it came from and will gladly share that when I figure it out.

I have enough self-esteem, enough skills, enough innate maternal instinct to self-parent myself in a loving and healthy way. I better get to stepping because I really am the best I’m going to get.

Love yourself as much as you can today,

Joy

I’ve been pondering this all morning. I feel better. I don’t feel any “older” per say, but I do feel more composed and capable of dealing with things. I’m the one all the “others” consider a morose, sullen teenager who is a “hot mess”. But, I don’t have flashbacks all the time anymore when I’m out (but I don’t get to come out often because no one trusts me to hold it together[-ish]). Instead of feeling totally hysterical and pained, I do feel a little angry. I’ve also been able to hold up my part of the no more self-harm bargain. I’m also more assertive & kinda demanded that I get to come out since it was a safe environment and our best guy friend was over & he’s safe. And he knows some of us. Most people don’t know me. Our parents know me, unfortunately, though. But, I’m starting to feel less shattered into a million pieces about them and more angry that they were so cruel. I was so good. This reminds me of me (and is something I played and sang over and over again when I lived with them):

“Perfect” ~Alanis Morrisette

I did everything I could do to be “perfect” for everyone. And it was never enough. But right now, it doesn’t feel like it’s gonna kill me. It feels unjust. I know I took the brunt of the crap that happened at home (and sometimes outside) while Joy was a teenager. And she remembers what happened to me (to us)… it’s not like there’s this huge dissociative brick wall between what happened and what she knows. At least the stuff that happened in her pre-teen and teen years. So I guess, 15, kept us alive & was a tough little bitch (who kept her mouth shut though bc as many of us know, the more you fight back, the worse it gets). And, I took all the feelings? I took all the hurt? I wrote all the sordid poetry, I did all the art. I hid when Dad’s car came around the corner.

I would like to share my art with you guys one day. I never shared it with anyone. And, a lot of it was destroyed (thank you parents for destroying my belongings), but a lot of it remains. It’s in a big tote box with all of Joy’s scrapbooking stuff. And 8’s art is in there too. Her Alice in Wonderland vase (it has a hand-carved by her white rabbit stamp on it) is on our coffee table. Anyway, I just wonder if I have genuinely gotten better, or if this is all a facade (all of my healing, my skills acquisition, and Joy likes to think we don’t exist sometimes too–so maybe we’re the facade)?

I hope you have a great day. I have to get ready to peace out and have a productive day. 😉

~16 (I have a name, I just don’t feel like sharing it)

I’m sorry I lied

Hi. I just wanted to tell you that this is all a lie. The others and Joy might get mad or sad because I said that, but I don’t care. Nothing happened with grandpa. He just gave us gum. The others still hate that gum, but I just want it back. It was so yummy. And he would let us play with the teeth models downstairs and tell us how smart we were and how we were his favorite.

Daddy was kinda mean. But, that’s because we were so bad. We took too long with everything. Homework, piano practice, clarinet, “perfect practice makes perfect”. If we didn’t get 100 like in Geometry when Joy was 8, she got a 92, he said “where are the other fucking 8 points”? But, that’s because we weren’t perfect. And we didn’t do our chores fast enough or perfect enough. So anything that happened was our fault. We knew the rules, and even if we worked really hard at them, we didn’t “stick to them” like Daddy said. So what happened with Daddy wasn’t all a lie, and we kept our mouth shut like we were supposed to and then school people kept asking questions. So if we told one little thing, they would call home and things would get worse. I think that’s all I have to say. Sorry for lying.

From, 7

I’m not sure if I’ve shared with you the concept I learned about two years ago; that getting better doesn’t necessarily mean feeling better. Either way, while I’d love to comment on that and will elaborate at some point, I have found that sometimes it actually does lead to feeling better. I’ve been able to feel a lot more feelings in a healthy way, some lovely feelings, some less than pleasant. I am grateful for this hellish journey. Honestly, I don’t think I’d be able to survive just life, in general, if I hadn’t been on the PTSD recovery war path for the past two years. Every time I think I’ve got something down, got things in a decent place (notice I didn’t say “under control”–the only thing I can control in life is my behavior and actions); a huge curveball is thrown at me. I think this happens to everyone. But, when I’m working so hard to get “better”, whatever that is for me (mostly coping [and NOW learning how to actually contain flashbacks until I can have them in the safe environment of my tx’ists office] safely, not further abusing myself physically, emotionally, etc., and maintaining a somewhat normal-ish adult life)… I don’t take the curveballs very well. At least not the huge one that hit me at 90 mph yesterday.

Yesterday I went to two meetings in NYC. The first was a DID meeting, which was fabulous. I then spent the day with my best friend until my next meeting. Even better! And then, upon the THIRD parking spot, all chaos descends. I return from celebrating my 90 days self-harm free (no keychain lol—some of you know how ardently I want a keychain for my 90 days lol), to find my car is not where I parked it. I wonder, okay, before I panic, let’s search the dissociative rolodex and make sure I didn’t park it elsewhere. I end up having to call 911 to find out if my car has been stolen or towed (the latter I believe the more likely suspect, even though I was parked legally). Apparently during a random plate check, the NYPD decided that I owed $624 in parking tickets from 2007 (um what?) and it would need to be paid Monday through Friday during typical business hours before I could even pay the $185 to have my car returned from the tow service. Now mind you, of course my albuterol nebulizer for my asthma, my computer, and everything under the sun is in my car. My phone is dying, no one is picking up their phone. I NEEDED to get my car, or I was literally going to die. I was in the hospital for my asthma last week and am still not doing well.

Wheezing, and hacking I call the tow service (open 24 hrs!) 4 times to no avail as I am walking halfway across the City to get to my car. I get there and am permitted into my car. Then, I’m told that according to their system my license and registration are suspended and expired (which is not true, I know because of an incident from very recently). Unfortunately I can’t verify this on a Saturday night, or fix any of it. The tow guy was going to let me have my car provided there were no complications, likely because I was polite and/or he felt so badly for me because it was very evident that I was incredibly sick. Of course, there were complications… so I plug in my nebulizer so I can breathe while an angel in my life does come to my aid. She drove me home, since there was nothing I could do at that point. I got sick in her car right by my parents’ house, on our way to my house. I threw up in front of my parents’ house three times more 😉 and then knocked on the door so I could use the restroom. Then we proceeded home.

I woke up this morning with horrific self-harm urges and felt terribly depressed and hopeless because I really didn’t see how I could think or pray myself out of this debacle. I managed to calm myself down to a safe point, and then not long after totally lost it again. Now, since I’m so allergic to everything that is outside, I couldn’t lock myself out until my urges were manageable, nor could I flee in my car (um, since it’s impounded at the moment). So I flipped out for a little bit trying to figure out how to keep myself safe. I decided to lock myself in my room, perhaps lock my utensil drawer on my porch. I figured maybe some more sleep would do me some good, and decided maybe I’ll take a Benadryl to help with the allergies and help knock me out. Sadly and luckily, I ended up crying myself to sleep, and was therefore stable enough to leave my room when I woke up a little bit ago. I’m not saying things are great right now. I don’t have fairy godmothers, or a magic wand–but I’m still here and I’m SAFE! It’s day 91 and I’m still self-harm free. Some days it doesn’t seem I am going to be able to make it 9 seconds, and yet by the grace of God, or who/whatever you believe in… I’m still safe. There’s tangible evidence right there, I am getting better. And, yes, I’m pretty sick at the moment, and am having a hell of a time, but I’m feeling pretty ok considering. I had two great friends tell me some really wise and beautiful things earlier today, and it was really hard to hear considering the place I was in. But, I am so grateful for them. And for my rescuing angel. The situations still is pretty sucky, and I haven’t gotten it all figured out, but: Everything is gonna be alright. I leave you with this:

“When life gives you lemons, make grape juice, then sit back, relax, and let the whole world wonder how the hell you did it.” -Who knows

Three Little Birds -Bob Marley
‘”Don’t worry about a thing,
‘Cause every little thing gonna be all right.
Singin’: “Don’t worry about a thing,
‘Cause every little thing gonna be all right!”

Rise up this mornin’,
Smiled with the risin’ sun,
Three little birds
Pitch by my doorstep
Singin’ sweet songs
Of melodies pure and true,
Sayin’, (“This is my message to you-ou-ou:”)

Singin’: “Don’t worry ’bout a thing,
‘Cause every little thing gonna be all right.”
Singin’: “Don’t worry (don’t worry) ’bout a thing,
‘Cause every little thing gonna be all right!…”‘

Wishing you a peaceful, safe, and beautiful day,

Joy

**Although I’m pretty sure this is a pretty non-triggering post, it does mention trauma, parts, flashbacks and eating issues. So if you are particularly sensitive at this time, please do not read this until you are safe and supported enough to. Ty.**

Upon returning from my Mom’s a few weeks ago (no NEW triggers there, same old, dealt w them well, etc.)… I seem to have fallen off my recovery path a bit, or maybe found a new direction. I’m not sure. All I know is that since I’ve come home, I’ve gone to my psychiatric rehabilitation program increasingly as the two weeks have gone by, gone to every DBT session, and stayed s/h free. It has not been easy. Outside of PTSD stuff, there’s been a LOT going on for me in my personal life, be they interpersonal problems, financial difficulties, pending homelessness, and eating issues.

I have made a lot of mistakes the past few weeks, but nothing too detrimental. I may have said the wrong thing, even though I meant it to be so gentle, yet not so subtle that someone didn’t get the boundaries I asserted, I may have shared too much or too little at times… but, I am doing my best. I have also embarked on a little bit of late teenager silliness… and then the following does not include any mistakes I’ve made: but I’ve let my parts play. It’s been phenomenal for all of us, including me, as the host. However, what I’ve come to know for myself is, as I’ve learned how to better communicate w my internal system, and become more stable… now the traumatized parts are coming out more. And if I’m not going to care for them, they’ll be in the same boat they were when they fragmented off. So, I choose to be a good parts mom & nurture, love them, and keep them safe. I don’t have a DID nor a trauma therapist. I am essentially winging it, and doing what I know works in other situations, other safe skills, and I am riding the wave and seeing it through to the end of the pain. I am also consulting w two trauma tx’ists soon bc this is becoming much too much for me to manage on my own. I know when to reach out for help. And I’m pleased that my clinician at my program, though she is a very emotionally boundaried person, and truly barely knows me–knows that I REACH out (even from the pits in the past) when I need more help than what I can currently do by myself and with my current supports.

I also called Renfrew yesterday bc the not-eating thing was not something I was managing well. I have no idea why this is going on. I am a little chubby, but I am a curvy, cute lil thing according to most–so I am a teensy weensy bit insecure. And some of my more protective parts have eating issues (namely 15, she was ballsy and would eat in the middle of the night, not caring if she got caught bc we needed nourishment), but nothing like this. And it’s not just lack of appetite. I refuse to eat. I will eat socially. And not in a disordered manner w lots of rules, but I can only will myself to eat socially. I am a very strong-willed individual. I figured going to the supermarket and getting Carnation Instant Breakfasts, baby food in flavors I’d consider, and other similar things I could will myself to consume those. But, I couldn’t. All week. So I called Renfrew. But, I have decided, I don’t want to go back to the hospital. I WILL manage this on my own. And if it does become so incredibly unmanageable, I will go. But–I am willing to work my tush off so I don’t have to go back inpatient for any reason right now. I am safe, I am not suicidal, I am dealing w my symptoms as best as I can. And that’s THAT.

So that’s where I’ve been hiding these last two weeks. I even let my fb games peter off. I have been working on me. And experiencing the absolute joy and serenity, when I’ve gotten through the pain. It’s so oxymoronic. It has been such an ugly and yet beautiful, self-actualization, phenomenal time for me. And if you have any suggestions on the nurturing and keeping the traumatized, little (and sometimes a little older) ones safe and protected, please by ALL means share. I would be forever indebted to you bc I have no idea what I’m doing. I hope you are all doing well. ❤

Wishing you peace, safety, and serenity,

Joy

I was there (*Possible trigger*)

I was there when my mother dragged me down the street by my hair because I forgot my report card in the classroom.

I was there when she slammed my four year old body into the hard, unforgiving furniture soon after I had back surgery.

I was there when she extinguished cigarettes on my thighs.

I was there when she didn’t give me the amoxicillin during the week to cure one of my many childhood illnesses.

I was there when she neglected to feed me because she was anorexic, self-consumed, and otherwise mentally ill (NOS!).

I was there when I got the chicken pox and she went to the beach instead of caring for me.

I was there when she alternated beatings when I was 12 between the tv remote and telephone.

I was there when my 2 year old half-brother weighed a pound more than I did at 7 years old.

I was there when I blocked my faced when she beat me with objects and she told my grandparents I was hitting her.

**********

I could go on forever and a day on things that I was physically and emotionally “there for” when my mother had custody of me from birth to 8, and then again at 12 that are much darker and more painful in all ways than above. While I do have feelings about what she did, I don’t have feelings about her as an abuser. I seem to either have magically forgiven her or have dissociated away enough of the feelings to have an actual relationship with her.

She denies everything. She has conjured up lies to cover up what she did, why she lost custody, etc. “My father had more money”, “He had a better lawyer”, “They told so many lies”. “I went to boarding school,” seems to be her favorite excuse as to why I was not around during middle and high school. She’s not sorry. She honestly doesn’t think she did anything wrong. Every therapist and psychiatrist has excused her behavior because she “was under a lot of stress”, “was physically unwell”, “was molested by her two female cousins”, “my father was abusive to her” (they divorced when I was two), I could go on and on. If they saw her enough times, and/or diagnosed her with borderline personality disorder and/or held her accountable for her actions she would discontinue seeing them.

And yet, here I am in Las Vegas sitting beside her visiting her for 2 weeks. I am 27 years old and I have essentially ignored my mother’s abuse. I am aware of the reason I even allow her in my life. I know that she loves me. She came back into my life about a decade ago; when I no longer needed parenting (for the most part), of course. It was easier for her then. Perhaps she was never meant to be a parent. Some people are not. She was 28 years old when she gave birth, and therefore, the same age as me when she became pregnant with me. She had no maternal instinct. The hospital wouldn’t even release my full-term 2lb. 11oz. self to her when I was born. I was in the NICU for the first month of my life despite the fact that I was 37 weeks. I was that weight because she apparently thought that maintaining her figure was more important than the life in her belly, and therefore gained only 11lbs. during her pregnancy.

For some reason when she was ready to return to my life as a parent, I welcomed her with timid, but relatively open arms. I suppose it is because I would welcome any nurturing, as I had tried to do my entire childhood (and part of my adulthood!) from any adult who would give it. My mom was thoughtful, honest, and became my confidante. She believes what my grandfather and father did to me; and wishes she could take away my pain. She blames herself for not protecting me, and that is the one thing she holds herself accountable for. I needed a mother for almost two decades, but I was willing to take what I could get. When it came to safe, nurturing, parental love: I was NOT willing to look a gift horse in the mouth.