Monday, April 23, 2012


When my sister asked me to start writing, we had a discussion. She envisions my writing about my past as a continuation of her own project. She is a child abuse advocate, and constantly searches for how to prevent abuse of children, as well as how to help guide victims to survival.

How my sister survived our childhood is not really a secret. She was strong, determined, and she had support from four grandparents and a father who adored her. She was able at a very young age to balance the abuse of our legal maternal bitch against the love and adoration others gave her. LMB used the thread of that love to frame her conviction of my sister as selfish and self-centered. I believe she was insanely jealous that everyone loved her baby moreso than she felt they loved her. LMB was a Narcisst. Her ability to grasp and trust that anyone loved her was non-existent. Her need for fulfillment and reinforcement was a bottomless pit. No normal, health mother would ever be jealous of the love bestowed upon her child. Ours was.

When I came along four years later, she had learned her lesson. She would not allow that family to love me the way they loved my sister. Instead, she isolated me. She created a dynamic where all I had was her, and all anyone knew of me was the perception she created of me. To the world, I was crazy, lying, worthless, and something to be avoided. To her, I was her toy, her stuffed animal and security blanket to be carted around and played with to provide the admiration and adoration that she felt no one else could or would give her sufficiently.

What of me? How did I survive? My sister apologized to me in diggng through our past. She admitted that in all of the years that she made fun of "mom and you," she never once thought it through. The "you" was me, and I was a child, a very young child, in fact. Narccistic mothers generally have what is called a "Golden Child." It is this child that they enmesh with, that they latch onto and that they guard like Gullom with his precious. I was that Golden Child. Statistically, Golden Children often survive and have somewhat normal lives, as they cannot distinquish the enmeshment from love at a young age. However, they generally never escape the control of the Narcisstic parent. They remain under their control, isolated from the outside world and barred from having normal, healthy relationships. They dno't actually become Narcisstic themselves. Rather, since the role of this child is to feed the emotional needs of the unhealthy parent, this child is sucked body and soul into that vortex of need, never having a chance to escape it to become a fully formed and independent adult.

What not one person in my family knew was that never was I fooled by LMB. They assumed we were one and the same. They assumed the woman fooled me and I really was the person she told them I was. And, the perception she created to explain me was cruel. It was meant to keep anyone from wanting to know me, much less getting to me to discover that I was something entirely different than what they thought. My LMB wanted more children, more biological ties to her. That necessitated that she needed to find relationships for me. However, she hand guided relationships that would allow her to dictate the relationship and continue to control me. Just as she isolated me from my family, she attempted to isolate me from healthy intimacy with anyone who might take me away from her.

I was four by the time I knew that I had no one and nothing on this earth except for a woman who I knew lied to me all the time, and lied about me to get me into trouble deliberately. I was twelve by the time I knew I absolutely had to find a way to get away from her someday. It was by twelve that I was making lists in my mind. I watched my LMB carefully. I took notes of what she did and what she did not do, and I took notes on what was appropriate behaviors. I constantly made notes of what I would NOT a person, as a spouse, as a mother. When I was seventeen, she had me completely isolated and removed me from my entire family so that she might finally steal the object of her desire--my biological child. I had no way to protect myself and my child. Seventeen and recovering from the trauma of a rape wouldn't leave a normal teenager prepared to fight off the assault LMB launched against me. Having no one to support me left me even less prepared to protect myself and my child.

Thus, I did the only choice I could see to protect the baby and myself. I acquiesed to give her the baby....on the sole condition that the baby was given to my father. I knew my father would accept her as his child and he would protect her from the crazy. I knew so long as the baby was never isolated from him the way I was, he would protect her entirely with his life. I set the groundwork, even as I was trapped, to make sure that baby bonded to her adoptive father, to make sure she completely adored him and he knew I considered him obligated to NOT be isolated from her. Then I started working to get me out.

My father was worthy of that trust for that child. At eighteen, she is the biggest Daddy's girl you have ever met. She has always been his child, just as my sister was. See, even when everyone thought I didn't have an original thought of my own, I saw. I saw that the bond between my father and my sister was what saved my sister. It was the same bond that saved my child.

I survived because I knew better. I survived because I wasn't her. I wasn't crazy. I knew what normal and healthy was. I knew how to get there, even though it was scary and exhausting. I fought without support, without love, and without anyone understanding to get there.

Somewhere in that journey, I met II. He saw me, not the persona LMB had created but ME. He saw what no one else saw and he was willing to help me, even if we didn't have some great love story. He stood and supported me through every battle I took to remove the enmeshment and force my family to see me outside of her perceptions.

I know that I would have made it even if I had not met II. I was determined to be free of LMB at all costs. However, just one person who saw me, who supported me, and who encouraged me, helped me get there faster, stronger and with my soul still intact. There's a reason I was SO devestated when I discovered II had betrayed me. This man, who had supported me in my fight for health and freedom was the one person who was NOT supposed to hurt me and betray me in this world.

I have learned that II is human. I'm okay with that. I had to first learn that I really would have made it without his help. For so long, I thought he rescued me. I hadn't wanted rescued originally and I fought against his offer, but somewhere inside of me, I still thought he rescued me. It's not true. He loved me. I rescued myself. I made it because I knew better than what LMB gave me. I wasn't the shadow people thought I was. I was always there, always watching, always taking notes. When I started fighting for my freedom, I fought with everything I had to get free. It helped that II was there to support me. I would have done it anyway.

When my sister asks how did I survive, the answer is not that much different than hers. I waited a long time for a support system like what she had. However, in my own way, I too was plotting my escape from the start. My escape looked different than hers, and my steps to get there were much different than hers. I still knew that the only way to survive was to get away from the LMB and to get freedom. Once I found a support system, it all came easier.

How does a child abuse survivor escape and have a normal life? They have to see and know that there is something different out there in this world. They can see this many places. When I went into other homes, I saw something different, something healthy, something with unconditional love and parents who were genuine and I ached for that different. They have to want that change. I ached for something different so much that it nearly broke my heart yearning for it. I had to want it to fight for it. Then, they have to fight. It is not easy to survive. It takes hard work, the humility to admit when you are wrong, and absolute honesty with yourself and others. Lastly, they need a helping hand. It might be something small, or it might be something big. As I started escaping I had a friend who would just listen to me and make me laugh. We made the mistake of getting romantically involved and messing up that friendship, but before that point, when I was struggling, I knew I could always call him and he would simply listen. I had a lot of helping hands along my journey. Even those small touches were something that helped me get to the next one. Every step gave me hope, gave me courage, and kept me sane.

My sister got out the more standard method, loved and supported outside of the crazy from the get-go. I had to go a non-traditional path. Truthfully, part of my healing always lay in being a mother, the kind of mother I yearned so deeply for myself but instead vowed to give to my own children. My sister needed to be solo to heal. I needed to be a mother, to love passionately, to turn the talents and unique comodities that made me a target by my LMB into something that could actually heal others and not merely be sucked away and stolen by her.

I was born to be a mother, to help hurting children heal and walk a path of health and security. Meeting that destiny kept me honest about my own healing, and gave me a chance to heal through being what my children needed and not merely what I was given. Everyday of my ordeal, I survived because I knew I would get out, and I would get to pour my love and my strength into hurting children. That promise, that destiny, that calling was the number one reason I survived. I survived because I knew they would need me, and the only way I could be there for them was to heal myself. I've done one thing absolutely right in this world. I've mothered my babies. I fought for healing every step of the way because I would never perpetuate my past. I needed to be healthy and indepdendent for them. That's why I often slip into sacrificing myself. That's why I was so shocked at II's mistakes. That's why I can't quite articulate to my sister how I got out. I realized that I couldn't just survive. I had to heal, or I could never be the mother they required of me. I had to give myself oxygen before giving it to them. In the big ways, I've done that and done that quite well. In the samll ways, I constantly ferret out and find where I need to make improvements.

I fell down the Patriachy rabbithole. However, I didn't totally get lost there. Now that I've climbed back up from that rabbithole, I've spent a lot of time working my journey so I can make sure I am strong and healthy for me and for my children. That's how I survived. It was my path, and the only one that could have led me to survival and healing.

No comments:

Post a Comment