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A key word that you will see:

Fragmentation: a mental process where a person becomes intensely emotionally focused on one aspect of themselves, such as “I am angry” or “no one loves me,” to the point where all thoughts, feelings and behavior demonstrate this emotional state, in which, the person does not or is unable to take into account the reality of their environment, others or themselves and their resources. This is a term that my therapist and I use and is on the continuum of dissociation.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

PAST JOURNAL ENTRY: August 25, 2005 ~ Teasing

I've been debating in my head whether or not to share this journal entry because if my family read it especially my mother, they would know this is me. However, it feels like I really need to say something because it is still a source of great embarrassment and pain. Teasing seems like such a simple thing, but both my therapist and psychiatrist used the word sadistic in describing what my mother and step-father did. No one in my family will probably read this anyway. But, I consider this a brave step.

Geoffrey,

I am remembering being teased at school about wearing the same shoes, jacket and glasses everyday..."same old." I remember coming home and telling my mother and step-father about it. They responded by laughing and repeating the same taunts and added their own like, "same old Clueless." I remember being confused and angry and like it would have been better if I hadn't said anything in the first place.

I just wanted some comfort and maybe another pair of shoes. They continued to tease me on/off for a while even years later my mother still does it now. Sometimes, it would be "Same old Clueless, Same old pants, Same old shirt, Same old dress, and same old face." The same old Clueless and face were the most hurtful. [I still am embarrassed just by writing this...like something is wrong with me.]

I learned not to share problems with other kids with them. I just wanted some comfort and to know how to handle it. Afterward, I just felt so bad...I was being too sensitive and wanted just to die. I walked away feeling a little angry...and ended up being told, "Same old Clueless is being too sensitive again."

I remember my best friend in Elementary school telling me she was 1/4 (insert race) [well, now you know, I'm not Caucasian!] and I came home and told them and asked how much (insert race) was I? They immediately laughed. I felt so embarrassed, like I shouldn't have asked, I should already know, it was a silly question. My stomach sank and my throat got tight. [I teared up the first time I wrote this]

My mother asked what makes you think that you are not all (insert race). I said I didn't know, but my friend isn't, so how much am I. I remember feeling so ashamed for not knowing. I'm not even sure I ever got an answer. But, they both continued to tease me even after I was married and my step-father was out of the picture, my mother called me "1/4 Clueless."

I was really confused. I thought I was asking a simple question. I didn't understand genetics. [I didn't know exactly what my biological parent were and my step-father was Caucasian. I feel really ashamed just writing this.] I just wanted my question answered. I stopped asking too many questions or asked my grandparents.

I remember learning in school about embryos and that at the beginning you can't differentiate human ones from some animal ones. One area of commonality is that a small tail forms on both. She explained that in humans it became the tail bone and in animals it develops into a tail. I was really excited and thought it was interesting, so I came home and told my mother and step-father when they came home.

They wouldn't let me finish and started teasing me and kept saying "where is your tail." By then, I was so flustered that I couldn't remember the answer and said something like it goes in your pants. They started laughing even more and asked me to pull out my tail. They were laughing so hard and I was so humiliated. They even told the rest of my family. I felt like my feelings were crushed. I went to being so excited to feeling really bad that I couldn't remember the right answer. I just wanted to share something exciting. As a result, I stopped sharing even more and became more withdrawn.

I never received a telephone call, card or gift from my father except for one. It was a stuffed animal, a frog. Well, I didn't like them, but my mother and step-father thought it was funny and began making frog sounds and purchasing frog t-shirts and knick-knacks. This was really painful given my relationship with my father and that I didn't like frogs.

[This feels like a good place to insert that I have always been scared of snails. I know it is unreasonable. But, my step-father knowing this used to chase me around with them, line them on the walkway so I'd get upset, used them in some of the sexual abuse, and put them on the outside of my bedroom window. Once, while running away from him I bit my mother and lost my tooth and was she mad at me.]

[Although this was written two years ago the next two paragraphs still hold true right now.]
I felt so ashamed. Even embarrassed to write this. Felt humiliating. I can hear them laughing. Sometimes, I would hit myself with my fist. What makes it worse is that they would tease for at least everyday, several times a day for about a week, then occasionally. But, my mother still brings it up now by saying, "Oh, you remember same old Clueless...same old face...same old shoes. You're 1/4 aren't you? Show us your tail." [It confuses my husband, but now he knows not to ask my family questions. I'll tell him later]

I just laugh it off and walk away. I'm really embarrassed and afraid to say anything fearing the same responses of more teasing or being told I'm just too sensitive or that I'm making a big deal out of nothing.

18 comments:

Anonymous Drifter said...

This post almost brought tears to my eyes. How cruel. No one deserves to be treated in this manner. I feel extreme anger towards these people.

Clueless said...

Thank you Drifter. I am having difficulty coming to terms with this, so hearing your reaction helps to validate my experience and feelings.

Ash said...

Your feelings ARE valid. Cruel is exactly the word I would use.

I have step kids, who I love endlessly. It make my eyes water to think that someone could do that to a child-- even my kids. It makes me SO angry!! Kids are special, they're still learning everything they need to know as an adult... and for someone to emotionally assault them like that.
Ugh. Makes me very angry. I'm sorry that you still hurt from this. I believe that you're not someone who deserves that sort of treatment. You are an amazing, perfect, woman of God.
*hugs*

Clueless said...

Thank you Ash. I don't think that I was expecting such strong responses to this post. It is starting to really sink in.

thestranger said...

I was bullied, harassed, and teased quite a bit in my school years and it was so hard to deal with. Due to my childhood I was probably an oversensitive kid and ill equipped to deal with it. Thats all the more reason not to be cruel, especially so frequently. Sorry you went through all that!

Tamara said...

Clueless,

I am so very sorry they did this to you. I completely understand because that was my parents (especially my father) EXACTLY! They ridiculed everything I did, though, said, wore, the friends I had - everything. They constantly made me feel stupid and embarrassed. To this day, if I were still speaking to them, they would still be telling stories from my childhood to try to humiliate me in front of anyone who was around. This kind of treatment completely undermines your sense of self, your belief in yourself and your trust in yourself and others. It is a hideous, sadistic kind of abuse that was almost worse than the physical and sexual abuse. It has taken me years of hard work to quit judging myself the way they judged me.

Your feelings are valid. This was cruel, horrible abuse. However, the things they said were not/are not true. It was their way of gaining power over you and making themselves feel better in their own minds. This only proves what small, cruel, abusive people they are and how strong and wonderful you are that you survived it.

You really have to believe that this was serious abuse so that you can look at it and realize that the things they said had no basis in truth. Then maybe you can begin to erase those voices from your head and heal.

Sending you many hugs,
Tamara

eeabee said...

I'll just add that the part that got to me most especially was the feeling excited and wanting to share something and being squashed. I feel like I've just been punched in the stomach when I think of that kind of moment. It holds complete humiliation for me even though I tell myself it couldn't be that bad. But when I hear you describe your own moment of this kind, I know it is "that bad." And it is a really fascinating little thing to have learned so of course you'd want to share it!

Clueless said...

I am so sorry that you had to go through what you did too.

Clueless said...

Tamara, thank you. It feels good that you understand. I certainly have a hard time with looking at this as serious abuse, but posting this and receiving the comments that I have makes it more real. I know you are right. But, the self-hatred is hard to fight.

Clueless said...

Reading your description made it that much more real. Thank you.

marci said...

So sorry COURAGEOUS that you had to endure this degree of humiliation. Yes, this is cruel and very sadistic behaviour. And in the midst of it the child shows so much innoence and purity. That is who you are and they could not take that from you, for it still shines through.

I would like to make a suggestion, after reading this, am REALLY OVER the name Clueless for you. That word is really Toxic, the family that gave it to you was even more TOXIC, it does not in any way express the essence of your being.

Names are so important because they create a energy force, sweetie can not help but want you to send the name Clueless back to the dark ethers that brought it forth.

Sorry, i know this is your business, but after reading this entry, had such a feeling that this kind of abuse comes from a place of evil, for it is beyond cruel and sadistic.

Have you ever read "People of the Lie" by M. Scott Peck? It is a small book but it really could give you additional validation for the dynamics of what you where raised by. For so many years you internalized, as all children do that something was wrong/bad about you, am so glad you are starting to see that the defenses are what you did to survive. Dear one, you are going to thrive as you continue to claim your truth from their lies. It looks like each of the readers have felt anger and know that anger is a normal reaction to this kind of treatment. Know the anger is very understandable and please dont allow them to hurt your any more by turning it against yourself. Truly you are healing and this past is losing it's hold.

Clueless said...

The word Clueless is actually endearing and brings me great warmth as my therapist would call me that as he was telling me that I was so smart and Clinically minded, but my defenses were so strong that I seemed Clueless. So, it became...I'm being Clueless again aka I'm fragmenting aka I'm starting to lose my cognitive side. As I can't convey how much that word means to me and how much hope, I do hope that this information can help you see it in a different light. Also, the artistic side of this blog that I'm working on is entitled, "Courageous Steps."

I know that this could have come from an evil place. My step-father's family was involved in a cult that sexually abused me with my mother's knowledge. Their were multiple men involved and sadism. I know evil existed there.

I definitely heard what everyone said about it being cruel and being angry. I talked about that and my self-hatred with my therapist today as in is sinking in more how sadistic things were, but specifically the teasing. When I told my psychiatrist about two incidents for the first time, he immediately used the word sadistic. Took me off guard. Letting go of the self-hatred and self-destructive thoughts are tougher...they are my defense. I see my therapist tomorrow and we will continue to talk about this whole area.

Also, I like Scott Peck and will check into the book. Thanks.

Thank you for all the encouragement and support. I really appreciate it. It means a lot to me.

Take care,
Courageous

catatonickid said...

How unbelievably unfair! What right had they ever, ever to say such things or make you feel so small?

I hate few things more than when people denigrate others just because they can. And to do so to a child, your own child, is the worst kind of vicious.

I'm sorry, Clueless. Really sorry they hurt you like that. There's so little you can do to fight back against teasing. I think that's what gets to me most - no matter how you respond it makes it worse, not better. You are made into no more than a game and that just plain sucks. No one has the right to do that! *hugs*

Clueless said...

CK, thank you for the hugs and understanding. You stated things so clearly that it makes it easier to admit that this was abusive. The amount of anger expressed by this post was a bit startling, but it was what I needed to break through more of my denial which is why I blog...I guess. Thank you...you are such a comfort. I always look forward to your comments. You have such insight.

Anonymous said...

dear One, think i was mis-reading it, as i read the entry, thought that your Mom had used the name Clueless in her taunting and teasing. Now i see you where subsituting Clueless for the name that your Mother called you? Now am i reading it right?

Duh on my part, sorry!

Also the issue of the snail. I was reminded of a dear friend of mine that had intense fear of cats, for years she did not know why, and one day she was describing what it was that she did not like about cats, and it was so clear that she was unconsciously associating touching a cats loose skin to be like that of touching the loose skin of the penis, as an abused child would of experience it.

So sorry you have gone through much. Hope i did not offend you about Clueless, just thought it was the name your Mom gave to you.

marci

Clueless said...

Marci,

It isn't even substituting. I was just renamed by my wonderfully sarcastic therapist. (Don't worry after the time we've spent together I dish it out as much as I get.) The name of this blog is actually a name that we joked about using as a book title. Don't worry about it. I would never take on something that my mother said to me...I am not that sick! LOL!!!

Jennifer said...

I can only add my voice to the crowd -- these remarks go beyond teasing. I also have been on the receiving end of these sorts of ongoing cruelties. I will never forget them, though I am grateful that I am far from that part of my life now.

Still reading here, just not commenting much.

Clueless said...

Jennifer, I'm glad that you are still reading. Commenting is a bonus. I wasn't doing very well, so I have lots to catch up on on your blog. Looking forward to it.

I'm sorry that you had to endure teasing. The worst part for me is that my mother to this day still does it.

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