The Fog of Dysfunctional Adult to Child RelationshipsBy
When I talk about the fog, I am talking about the state of confusion that has been created by the adults in my life which began when I was a child. The confusion was created in order to keep me from figuring out that what was going on in my life, was not normal. I was taught false definitions of love, false definitions of being cared for and being kept safe. I was taught that I was not as important as others. I was taught that I was wrong about my feelings. I was discredited in so many ways so that if I ever did figure out that I was not actually wrong, the emotionally abusive adults in my life could remind everyone that I had always been a bit “off”. And I didn’t correct anyone because from a young age I had begun to believe that I was the one that was a bit “off”. The fog hides the blatantly obvious truth.
In this state of confusion and with all these false definitions of love and respect, I had trouble seeing the truth. I had trouble realizing that a mother, who dress a 6 year old child up in her little black lace teddies to “dance for a visiting man), and a father who doesn’t do anything to stop it, are a little bit abnormal. A mother who sticks her tongue in a 9 year old daughter’s mouth, to show her the way men will kiss her, is not behaving in a normal way. I had trouble realizing that a loving mother would not take all the joy out of every single accomplishment that I had ever achieved. I had trouble comprehending that when a father shows absolutely NO interest in a child’s life or in that same adult child’s life, that is a strong indication that said father just doesn’t care. When someone doesn’t show in any way that they care, they don’t care. Continue…… When someone degrades another person, they don’t love that person. When someone constantly tells you that you are stupid, weather with words or actions or by inference, they really DO think you are stupid. They really are telling you that you are stupid. But the fog hides the blatantly obvious truth.
When I was 16 years old I had to go on the birth control pill for medical reasons. Soon after that my mother started to tell men that I was on the pill, and therefore it was okay if they wanted to “sleep” with me. When I was 16 she said this in front of all the people at an office party, to a young man that I actually had a crush on. I was so humiliated. Consequently, a 31 year old married man in the office grabbed me and shoved his tongue down my throat in the garden of the house where the party was. I guess he thought that since she was offering me, he could just take advantage of her generosity. When I was 19 she said those same words to my cousin at the rehearsal dinner for another cousins wedding. This was mortifying for me. It was degrading and humiliating. But the fog kept me from confronting her. The fog kept me from realizing that there was something wrong with my mother, that she would treat me this way. And these examples are only the tip of the iceberg but the fog hides the blatantly obvious truth.
My parents divorced when I was around 13 years old. If I ever complained to my mother about anything at all she would tell me that if I didn’t like it, that I could go and live with my father. One day I asked my father if I could come and live with him. He said no. I was not given any explanation. I thought it was because I wasn’t worthy of his love. But in reality I know today it was because he couldn’t be bothered with me. He couldn’t be bothered being my father. He couldn’t be bothered with me when he lived with us so why would that have changed? I was in my forties, still trying to get my father to notice me, when I realized that I never really HAD a father. But the fog hides the blatantly obvious truth.
The fog is exactly that. It makes things foggy and misty and unclear. Emotional abusers create a fog through mixed messages, inconsistency, and by indicating that the person with the problem is not them. They are the model of normalcy. As for ME, however, they say that I have some obvious “issues”. I need to get my head together. I need to change. I need to smarten up. If it weren’t for me and my problems, everything would be fine. And the message is always, if it weren’t for me, then even THEY would be fine. This is the grooming; the training; a process of damaging the self esteem until there is no chance that I would ever get the strength to rise up or stand up to the lies and break through the fog that hides the blatantly obvious truth.
And the reason that I didn’t want to believe that it wasn’t me that was the problem, that it was in fact them, was because they had convinced me that I was not worthy of love and acceptance AND I believed it. I worked harder and harder for their unobtainable love and I believed that it was my defects that prevented me from having it.
I believed them for so long because I was afraid that they were right about me, and if they were right about me and I stood up to them anyway, that they would reject me and then my only chance of being loved would be gone. If they were in fact right about me, then no one would EVER love me. So therefore, the relationships that I had with those dysfunctional people, including the false hope and fantasy that I had for so long that one day they really would love me, were better than no relationships at all. I thought that dysfunctional family was better than no family. “Blood is thicker than water” “Family is everything” And those statements and beliefs turned out to be lies too.
So I busted out of that deathly fog that hid the blatantly obvious truth and instead of the death that I thought the ultimate final rejection from them would bring, I found life. And I found it to the fullest.
Exposing Truth; one snapshot at a time,
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