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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.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Hidden Pieces ~ Teasing

***TRIGGER WARNING***  ***TRIGGER WARNING***

I decided to begin retelling what I wrote to my therapist and I in the Winter/Spring of 2007 after four years of intense flashbacks and repressed memories emerging. [Current commentary is in brackets.]  I wrote my seventy page "biography" because I needed to write out what I remembered and what I experienced to make it more "real" rather than a "story."  I am ready to take the next step and putting more of it in my blog.  This was the original reason for starting my blog and using my journal as a starting point.  I am still struggling with believing that the following is the truth of my life:

In 1971ish when I was around five or six years old, my mother met the man who would become my step-father.  He was not working at the time, and they began living together. When I was in first grade, they married when I was in fourth. Because he was not working, he stayed with me, as my mother was working.

My step-father was okay as long as I did what he wanted me to do and when I was a child and liked to play. With him, both he and my mother were aggressive, attacking and assaultive toward me. The yelling and screaming with each other and with me increased and my step-father absolutely terrified me…I really thought he could kill my and threatened to do so.

What made it worse is that my mother used to tell me that I had “better watch what I do and say because Gene could kill me.” [This continued throughout my life until they divorced.] By then, I had stopped talking about important stuff.  I withdrew even more into my own head and thoughts. And it is extremely difficult to talk and cry, as it is automatic that I don’t talk or cry about the really important stuff. It is very painful and terrifying to just talk. I wonder if my talking more recently is why my voice has been going in and out. At times, I begin to lose my voice even when I haven’t been talking much. [At the time and even now, it is difficult for me to write or talk about.  Kind of like denial, but not so much in that I know what really happened.  But, I don't want to look at the reality of my life.]

When I shared something exciting about school, about a television show, my feelings being hurt or being teased at school, or receiving the only gift I ever received in the mail from my father which was a stuffed frog, I was teased or taunted. [Some of what was said to me, my mother continues to this day.  Even when I do/did tell them to stop, it just added fuel to the fire and they teased more.] 

I hate frogs and also for some reason I was always terrified of snails. My mother and step-father would begin to taunt me about the same things and come up with new taunts and teases. I felt humiliated and sorry for talking at all and afraid to share anything even exciting or fun things especially hurtful things. They began giving me frog and snail stuff and my step-father would chase me around with a snail or twig pretending to put it in my shirt or would line them up in the walkway or place them on my bedroom window. My mother would become angry at me and or tease me.

My mother either just laughed or asked, “Why do you have to be so sensitive, it is just a joke. Can’t you take a joke” Sometimes, I felt like they hated me and I know that, at times, Gene wanted me dead.” I remember when I was around seven or eight years old that they gave me some alcohol, to get me drunk to see what I would do, then later even to this day my mother teases me about it and tell others the story of my taking a drink. I still feel humiliated when she tells the story to others and she omits that they were the ones who gave me the drink.  It feels like I’m just coming up with more things to stack the deck, but they really are just thoughts, memories or flashbacks that just seem to fit into what I’ve written. 

My aunt and I have always been huge Olivia Newton-John fans and my mother used to say that she hated her and would make faces or derogatory comments about her or me for liking her when her music came on. As an adult she told me that she actually likes some of her stuff and just did that to bug me. They seemed to get so much pleasure out of teasing me, which is sadistic, as you [my therapist] keep telling me.

[I became tearful in writing this.  I still feel a bit of pain.  In contrast, I am able to take and be the butt of a joke now, but not with my mother.  I even will laugh at myself with the things I do or say, but not in a self-deprecating way.  However, I am very hesitant to share with others my feelings even happy ones. Through therapy and my relationship with my husband and with God, I have made some progress.  Currently, it is allowing myself to feel what comes up, but choosing to act differently.  Sounds so easy, but we all know how very difficult this is.]
 
To be continued.......

2 comments:

Shen said...

I believe you. I believe all of it. I completely understand because the way they teased you, the way they tortured you, is exactly how it was done to me. Things were done in a way that would never shift blame onto my father. Things were done and then it was twisted around to make it obvious to everyone that I was the one who was flawed, who was too sensitive, who imagined things or made things up.

A child should not have to be able to "take a joke" from the people who are meant to care for them. I heard that one too... too sensitive, can't you take a joke?
No - a child can't and should not be expected to.

I'm sorry you were not cherished. Truly.It's what we all deserve.

Clueless said...

Shen,

Thank you. It feels so good to have someone express that they believe me. I am sorry that you also were teased and felt flawed like I did/do. Thank you so much for your comforting and encouraging words.

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