Jun
17

To be Objectified is to be Dehumanized by Pam Witzemann

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All I am is an object?Please help me welcome guest blogger Pam Witzemann. Pam contributes frequently to the discussions here in EFB and today she is writing on the topic of “Human Objectification” ~ Darlene

From Inside the Bubble by Pam Witzemann

To be objectified is to be dehumanized. One must be seen as an object before being manipulated and preyed upon. When a child is raised inside a system of manipulation, as an object, that child will grow to find her value in serving others.  A life of service can be a healthy choice when it is made from the point of pre-existing self-value. When value is only obtained through service to others, it is validation of existence. Objects have no initiative of their own but are wholly dependent upon the will of others to move them. A fully objectified individual cannot realize her own individualism. She is crippled and unable to achieve full independence. I was such a child and I grew up to be a fully objectified woman.

My mother (also objectified) has often said that she wished she could place her children inside a bubble. Inside of that bubble, she imagined her children safe from harm. This abstract idea was in fact nearly her only expression of motherly protection. In reality, she seldom lifted a finger to protect me or my siblings. My mother would not move to protect us without the direction of my father. The bubble she created protected her from acknowledging her own failure. It shielded her from her children’s cries of pain, which were the result of cruelty and neglect. She was a distant mother who kept me fed and clothed and gave little of herself. She was a woman content to live in denial, avoiding responsibility.

My mother’s bubble of protection was part of the abstract world that I inhabited as a child. My father lived by manipulation and there was no reality, no truth that he could not twist to suit. Often, I think, he manipulated us for the sake of honing his skills. His own person was not immune from his magic distortion. He painted himself a very different man than the reality through tall tales of his exploits. His failures were touted as actually being superior ways of achieving goals. My dad lived for admiration.  As a junky will do anything to obtain their drug, my dad would do anything for admiration. He used his own mother’s funeral as an avenue for attention. He performed dramas of feigned illness, including heart attacks and cancer.  He threw huge temper tantrums that kept the family terrorized. He tortured me with cruel teasing.  His favorite was to hold me so tight that I could barely breathe.  The more I cried, the harder he would squeeze. Then I was scolded for not being able to take teasing.  He drank large amounts of alcohol and my mom joined him. The alcohol added fuel to the dramas and at times, they threatened our lives. He gave me alcohol “medicinally” from the time I began teething. There were hot toddies for colds and daily “sips” of beer. Once, he gave me a driving lesson when he was drunk. I drove and he laughed while placing his hat over my face. He waited until I nearly went off the road or hit something before removing the hat. I didn’t want to drive again for a very long time. He thought it weakness to “run to doctors”.  Medical treatment was often withheld or withheld until the last minute. I nearly died from Scarlet Fever when I was four and it took me a year to recover.  My father only hit me twice. He didn’t have to. I was beat down on the inside.

The worst thing my father did to me was the way he treated my mother. The worst thing my mother did to me was to allow my father to mistreat her. Soon after they were married (my mom was 18 and my dad was 28), my dad moved her onto the family ranch which was very isolated. She had no glasses and no driver’s license. My father verbally demeaned her. He treated her like an imbecile and criticized her looks. When I displeased my father, I was told I was like her. My mother spent months alone on the ranch seeing no one outside of the family. My mother never had a friend.

When I was twelve, my parents decided to teach me about sex. Every Friday night, I was called to the kitchen table and as they drank, they would lecture me. They used their own sex life as an example. My dad would also make comments about my body. I was taught that if I lost my virginity, I would be used merchandise. I was taught that it was impossible to rape a woman. My dad used a moving coke bottle and a broom handle to demonstrate. I was not taught self value. My future value would be in pleasing a man.

The above is a small sample of my childhood. This was my world view. By twelve I was depressed and anxious.  I began stealing my mother’s allergy medicine so that I could sleep. This was my first step towards drug abuse.  My first memory of depression was at twelve. I remember sitting in my closet thinking about cutting my wrist as my parents were drunk and arguing in another room.

I was a perfect target for others to abuse. I already had it in my mind that it was better to let people do what they wanted so that they wouldn’t hurt me worse. I was raped at 14. I was raped again, by a pedophile, when I was nearly 16. He convinced me to leave home. No one cared, no one tried to come after me, or have him arrested. This led to me being abused by other pedophiles for the next year. A year later, I was forcefully sodomized and robbed. I then lost my ability to say ‘no’ or ‘yes’. I simply did and gave what others wanted. I was stalked and terrorized for nearly a year.  My drug use and self abuse escalated. I wanted out!  I chose to exit through the door of the only comfort I knew, my drugs. I died of an over dose and was brought back to life. I spent three days in a mental hospital and was released back to my desperate life.  My drug use continued and I became homeless. I weighed 75 pounds. I was sick with hepatitis. At nineteen, I crawled back home.  I had reached bottom. I would either lie down and die or begin to look up. I chose to look up.

Pam Witzemann

Pam Witzemann was born in Santa Fe, NM and is now 54 years old. She has been married for 33 years, raised two boys and has two grandsons. Pam and her husband have had their own business for about twenty years. Pam is a painter and a writer and hopes to make these pursuits more than a hobby in her later years.

The Emerging from Broken bookThe Beginning of Hope for Emotional Healing” is ready for download! If you find that the subject matter I am writing about resonates with you, get this book today! This 197 page, downloadable, printable, live linked e-book will put you on the fast track to healing.  Get yours here through the upper right side bar or click this link~ Emerging from Broken The Beginning of Hope for Emotional Healing

 

 

 

Categories : Self Esteem

102 Comments

1

Pam,

Although I had not used the term objectification in any of my prior articles, I certainly relate to it 100% and really appreciate being able to take a closer look at the concept through your writing. One of the messages that I want to get across is that the “damage” that we feel comes from somewhere. We are not just “born broken”. Children treated with such little regard the way that you were, are bound to have some huge issues with self esteem and depressions. When this treatment and environment originate with our own parents, looking for escape is inevitable, and when we look for and find escape, our own parents use it as proof that we are the problem child, just as they always said.
The sex education part of your article hit me particularly hard. It is just so unfathomable that parents would teach a child in this devaluing way. Good grief!

The progression of how your self esteem was torn down is shown beautifully here too ~ that by the time you were a young teen you already knew it was better to let others do what they wanted rather than to face worse consequences. Such an important point.
What a brilliant post. I am so honored to have you as a guest blogger today.

Hugs, Darlene

2

Darlene,

I’m honored to be asked to post on your blog as it is a place that has been such a support for me. This type of writing is difficult and I have much more respect for what you do every day since writing this.

The problem with escape is that we leave but we carry the problem with us because we are brainwashed. When I left home, I was objectified even worse than at home and I accepted it as normal. I even accepted it as love. Talk about being on a slipery slope!

Thanks for the validation, Darlene. I’ve struggled with this for decades and it is so good to hear someone say, “Yes. That was abuse.” It’s amazing how healing it is to have someone recognize your problem.

Hugs back!

3

I also wanted to add that those Friday night drunken lectures went on for years. My predominant childhood memory of my parents is of them sitting at the kitchen table drinking. It was the center of our lives.

4

Hi Pam : I guess I can say I merely did things ..whatever I was told ..so I wouldnt be hurt. I was never valued. I was an object , a work horse, a punching bag for mom’s anger. In my mom’s words I was the result of an easy transactin, an accident, unwanted and so her justificatoin of how i was treated till i left and after i left. Everything done to me was to make me understand, to her, i was just a thing, not a person. I had no value. was no one. THat is to her.

I learned to keep my tears and crying in whenever she lashed out at me because if I made a peep, it was repeated with greater intensity.

The fact that the faith I embraced told me to keep quiet about it all made me feel that much more worthless .. in my little kid’s mind.. i felt even God saw me as nothing just a punching bag . meant to suffer.

So I understand . and really can say .. I felt like all my life I was an object . not a person. People who had come into my life afterwards took advantage of my inability to speak up and used me for their gain and not any of my own good. thus I was revictimized in 2009.

Now am beginning to learn. just beginning to learn that I still am a person despite all that had been done to me and said to me; despite the fact that my mother never intended to have me..Despite it all I am a human being and have rights and am starting to learn what these rights are ..starting to heal from all the abuse thrust on me by uncaring and psychopathic people.

joy

ps . i never learned anything about life. .nothing whatsoever as a child . never learned it anywhere else. all i know in my life that I have fallen into the hands of hateful and mean people because I never received the tools and learning to know how to recognize such people.

5

ps Pam you wrote so beautifully and you are an excellent write and glad you com to know your worth and were able to share your story with us ((hugs))
Joy

6

When I think of my childhood I don’t think of myself as a child, just an object with no shape, no form, no feelings, nothing other than to be used and discarded by others.

7

Joy,
You are such a tender, sweet soul. Even with all that has happened to you, that shines through every word that you write. I know that you think you’ve lost the battle right now, but you’ve won. You’ve kept yourself and now you can learn to protect yourself. I am certain that you will become the person God created you to be.

As a child, you were in the postition of having to trust people who meant you harm. I think that is why I didn’t recognize people who meant me harm as the enemy. For me it has been about trusting God (not religion)first, then myself, and then other trust-worthy individuals. I too attracted all the wrong people but now I know how to spot them and immediately put the proper boundaries in place. I’m not immune to being hurt by someone but I don’t have a target painted on my back anymore. You’re going to get there too.

Love,
Pam

8

Fi,
You are an amazing woman. I lay awake sometimes and think about some of the things you’ve shared. I can’t imagine having endured them but endured them you have and you are coming out the other side and you have so much strength. The people who used and hurt you missed out on a lot. I’m so glad they weren’t able to destroy you. When I think of you, I know I can survive and overcome anything.

9

Pam, I like what you said in your comment to Joy: “For me it has been about trusting God (not religion)first, then myself, and then other trust-worthy individuals. I too attracted all the wrong people but now I know how to spot them and immediately put the proper boundaries in place. I’m not immune to being hurt by someone but I don’t have a target painted on my back anymore. You’re going to get there too.”

Yes, I believe she is. Joy is a sweet tender person, as you say, that comes through in her writings. Same with Fi… I, too, “know I can survive and overcome anything,” when I think of Fi.

I hope this comment goes through, I had another, long comment, and it wouldn’t.

Thanks for this post, Pam, and thank you Darlene, for posting it.

Lynda

10

Lynda,
Thank you for the support. Support is something that I value very highly and since I’ve been reading and commenting here, I see even more clearly how important support is when in a great struggle. I’m thankful for Darlene and everyone who comments here.

11

Pam awesome post it really gave me a lot to think about , I had never even thought this out but I have spent my whole life helping everyone and not usually getting anything in return. I did realize that I really like helping people in general thats why I became a paramedic . I just really don’t like always having to fix and figure everything out in my personal life . I would like for once to have someone do something for me for no articular reason just to be nice. I realized after reading this post that I still do this with my Husband and adult children . I really let them all step on my feelings and rarely say anything .I have noticed the more I read here the more I am working on myself and taking care of myself my husband thinks I am a Bi@#h he actually said that to me when I said I wanted to sleep late and he woke me up anyway ! I am thinking maybe seeing all you wonderful people getting it together is giving me the courage to move on in my life instead of being so stuck in the terrible depression I have resided in for 50 yrs I am going to work very hard on not being Objectified because I actually know when that started so now I can put a stop to it .*hugs* to you all.

12

Pam

Thank you for your kind words: I appreciate your taking time all the time
you are a very dear person.

(hugs) if ok

Joy

13

Joy,
Hugs are always okay with me.:0)

14

Charlotte,
I’m glad the blog is helpful to you. It helps to be able to use what was very painful for me as a help for someone else.

My life has been changed since I’ve started to live by my own direction and not always wait to be moved by another. It is good to be an individual.

I came out of the bubble my parents raised me in very slowly. I can’t blame all of it on my upbringing as the culture has changed a great deal, in reguards to women in my lifetime. It’s a good thing that women can be so much more than just wife and mom. Not that there is anything wrong with wife and mom but there is also much more to all of us.

As for your husband…my relationships have changed since I started speaking up for myself. I lost a few but the important ones stuck with me and they are glad to have more me. I think it will go that way for you too.

15

sigh…. I keep trying to post my long response to Pam’s post here, I have my long comment saved in my word program. But every time I try to post it, I get “Page Not Found.” I even turned off my computer, went and ate dinner, then tried again an hour later… same thing happened. Then I tried just posting a small part of my long comment… still I got “Page Not Found.” Don’t know what to do, guess I’ll see if a one paragraph comment will post, and maybe try again another day. Anyway, if you wonder why you aren’t getting more comments, Pam and Darlene, this could be the problem. Just wanted to let you know… if I can! We’ll see what happens when I hit Submit Comment.

16

“My father only hit me twice. He didn’t have to. I was beat down on the inside.”

YES. This was absolutely my situation. I am still trying to understand more clearly how vulnerable that left me – especially as a teenager. Thank you for writing it.

17

Hi Lynda,
Send the comment to me and I will see if I can post it.
Hugs, Darlene

18

Nicki,
Psychological abuse is hard to figure out because it doesn’t happen in a few terrible incidents but is a culmination of words, actions, and atmosphere. Some people figure out how to hurt and maime without leaving wounds. That is the kind of home I grew up in. Some of it was on purpose but most of it was just because my parents are sick themselves.

19

Wow, the word objectified freally jumped out at me. That is so how my religiously abusive childhood felt. I touched on that dynamic a little bit in this post at my own blog. http://ayoungmomsmusings.blogspot.com/2010/08/excessive-modesty-makes-me-feel.html

20

Young Mom,
My family wasn’t religious at the time. That came later. Sadly, faith is twisted by them also. People who abuse use any tool they can get their hands on.

21

Dear Pam, and Everyone~
Thank you for writing this. Thank you, Darlene, for posting this. It helps me, to validate the ways in which I was invalidated… objectified… from the time I was a tiny tot.

My earliest memories go all the way back to when I was around 2. I clearly remember my life, from age 2, on. I remember my mother’s parents coming to visit when I was 2, and I remember my maternal grandmother saying to me, with my mother and father and grandfather all in the same room, listening in silence to what my grandmother was saying: “Lynda, I don’t want you to do like your mother did. Don’t get married too young, and don’t have a baby too young.”

I remember my grandmother saying this to me several times throughout my early childhood. She never said it to me when we were alone, as I recall; it was always said in front of my mother, father, and grandfather. And every time she said this, NO ONE spoke a word back to her. So, in my little girl’s mind, I concluded that everyone, by their silence, was in agreement with my grandmother’s statement. They were all agreeing, by their silence, that LYNDA SHOULD NOT HAVE BEEN BORN.

My memories of my maternal grandmother are almost all GRIM. I have a photo of myself at age 2, sitting on her lap, drinking from a soft drink through a straw. My grandmother is holding the soft drink, and she is looking so very GRIM… her mouth is set in a thin, hard line. She looks in that photo like she resents the hell out of me, her firstborn, and, at that time, her only grandchild. She looks like she is hoping that I don’t drink too much of her drink. Apparently, I was not important enough to have a drink that was all my own.

My mother and father were 16 when they ran away from home to try to get married. My maternal grandfather, a prison guard who eventually became the associate warden of a large federal prison, tracked them down and brought his wayward daughter back home. My mother’s only sibling, my aunt, was 11 when my mother was 16, and she has vivid memories of all the drama that was going on in the family back then, with my grandparents trying so hard to keep my mother away from “that boy from a broken home,” who was leading their elder daughter astray during the puritanical early 1950s.

My aunt has told me that she remembers my mother wailing, over and over again, “But I LOOOOOVE him!!” That was her answer to everything, according to my aunt: “But I LOOOOOVE him!!” Finally, in order to get some peace back into the house, my grandparents relented and signed for my 16-year-old parents to get married. They then dropped out of high school, and moved into a small apartment of their own. I was born a little over a year later, when my parents were 18.

“DON’T DO LIKE YOUR MOTHER DID. DON’T GET MARRIED TOO YOUNG, AND DON’T HAVE A BABY TOO YOUNG.” Lynda was NOT SUPPOSED TO BE HERE ~ that was my first lesson in life.

I was 4 when my mother showed me what giving birth to me had done to “ruin” her body. I was still the only child she’d had, my mother didn’t have any other babies until she had my twin sisters, shortly before I turned 7. So, when she showed me the ugly stretch marks on her belly, and the painful-looking varicose veins on the backs of her legs, I knew, at the age of 4, that it was ALL MY FAULT. She told me it was my fault.

“YOU DID THIS TO ME,” my mother said, when she showed me her stretched skin and veins. She also told me in great detail about how giving birth to me had HURT HER SO BAD, she was sure she was going to die. “I didn’t know it was possible for a person to hurt so bad and not die!” my mother said. I was 4 years old, being made to feel horribly guilty for “ruining” my mother’s body, and for making her hurt so bad that she thought she was dying. My mother also told me that the doctor who delivered me had been called to the hospital from a party, he had been drinking, she could smell it on him, and he treated her like he was angry at her for ruining his evening. “Then, I gave a great big push, trying to push you out, and I had a big bowel movement all over the doctor,” my mother told my 4-year-old self. The doctor was furious, and my mother was mortified with embarrassment.

I felt guilty and ashamed about that, too.

I have told my own children about the Great Joy I had, when I brought them into the world ~ the awe, the wonder, the LOVE that flooded my being when I held each one of my three babies in my arms for the very first time. My mother never told me anything like that about my birth, it was always all about the pain I caused her, and how I had ruined her young body.

Do you know… until I wrote these words just now, it has never before even occurred to me that my mother could have told me a totally different kind of story… a story about being thrilled to have ME, her precious little daughter. It never occurred to me, until just NOW, at the age of 58, that THAT’S what I should have been told about my birth… the same story of joy and wonder and LOVE, that I have told to my own children.

I WELCOMED my children, and my grandchildren, into the world with joy and love and awe. Shouldn’t I have been WELCOMED in the same way, by my parents, and my grandparents?

I didn’t ask to be born. My children and my grandchildren didn’t ask to be born. Nobody ever asks to be born! But, in my mother’s 60+ page hate letter that she sent to me a few weeks ago, my mother wrote (according to my aunt, who also got a copy from my mother, and read the letter ~ I didn’t read it, because my husband saw it in the mail and destroyed it)… in my now-76-year-old mother’s most recent, crazy, long hate letter, she actually came out and said that, even though I never have apologized to her, as I should have done, for being her daughter… she forgives me, anyway.

How SICK! How absolutely crazy and sick! *I* should apologize to my mother for being her daughter? But, despite my “failure” to do so, she magnanimously forgives me, anyway???

I am 58 years old, and is some ways, I am still a little unwanted girl, who wasn’t supposed to be born.

Lynda

22

Lynda,
I was a difficult birth for my mother also. I’ve wondered if that is why she feels the way she does about me. She was also young, had married someone much too old for her, and the realitly of that marriage was very different than her childish expectations. I not only hurt her when I was born but trapped her into an unhappy marriage. I was too early, too small, and too needy for an immature 18 year old to handle. I had a lot of extra pain,her pain, to carry long before I could even speak.

I wrote once before in a comment of how my dad got me drunk when I was teething. The worste of it was that they told this story over and over as such a funny event. They talked about how upset my grandmother was as I sat in my high chair with my head rolling and half conscious. I could have died but they thought it was funny. Every time they told it, I felt that I didn’t really matter to them.I was a funny, drunk baby. What isn’t funny to me is that I have no memory of not knowing what alcohol tasted like. It was a regular part of my diet. I was sick a lot and I drank gallons of hot toddies. My parents also drank every day and went to parties. I was also given alcohol at those times. I’m sure it kept me sleepy and out of the way.

The objectification though was at the hands of my father. All he saw in me was the possibility of admiration. He told me huge lies about himself and as a child, I believed them. He also wanted me and the rest of the family to love only him. He would tell lies about each of us to one another to turn us against each other and toward him. If I was upset with my mom, he would get me to trust him and tell him why. Then he would tell my mom and watch as she got angry with me. He called her his Mommy Doll and he difinately wanted her all to himself. I was competition. Other times, he would just use me to hone his manipulative skills through teasing. You know, he just pushed my buttons reguardless of how it made me feel. If I couldn’t take it or got mad then I was in trouble for not being able to take teasing. My father has no empathy. My mother has more but very little. My mother knew the things he did were wrong but was unable to do anything to protect me. In a way, I think she not only resented me for being so much trouble but was jelous of my looks and saw me as competition for my dad. This was especially true when I entered my teens. I think part of the reason that my dad always made comments about my body was to make my mother jelous of me so that he had another wedge between us.

My parents never say what they really think. They think one thing and say what they feel is appropriate to the situation. If they have an inappropriate feeling, they deny it and state that they feel otherwise. They think everyone else is the same way. It makes it impossible to have a truthful discussion. I am truthful but they think I’m lying the way they lie. When I speak, they don’t listen, they try to figure out what “I really mean” and I can never get through to them. They are lost in a sea of lies. I grew up in a world made of lies. Everything and everyone was objectified and subject to manipulation. There is no truth in that world. Truth is the enemy. Truth will destroy the reality they’ve created and known all of their lives.

Psychological abuse as I understand it, is to be subject to the mental illness of others and made part of it. It is the abstract bubble that I grew up inside of. It took most of my life to fully escape.

23

Pam, it is so weird… many times, when I read your comments, I feel like I’m reading something that I wrote. We’re also close to the same age, and I also live in New Mexico.

You wrote: “My parents never say what they really think. They think one thing and say what they feel is appropriate to the situation. If they have an inappropriate feeling, they deny it and state that they feel otherwise. They think everyone else is the same way. It makes it impossible to have a truthful discussion. I am truthful but they think I’m lying the way they lie. When I speak, they don’t listen, they try to figure out what “I really mean” and I can never get through to them. They are lost in a sea of lies. I grew up in a world made of lies. Everything and everyone was objectified and subject to manipulation. There is no truth in that world. Truth is the enemy. Truth will destroy the reality they’ve created and known all of their lives.”

Wow… that right there, is the dynamic between me and my parents, particularly my mother, every time I tried to have an open, honest, heart to heart conversation with them. It just never was possible! They lie, they deny, they play head games, and they project their stuff onto everyone else, expecting everyone else to be liars and deniers and game players, just like them. (I’m that say this is what they do, in the present tense, but my dad died many years ago, so now it is only my mother doing this.)

The effect that my parents’ constant lies, and accusations of me lying when I was not, is that I grew up to be SCRUPULOUSLY honest, the exact opposite extreme of my parents, honest when it HURT me to be so open and forthcoming, honest when the truth in a particular instance may be nobody else’s business… I tend to be so nit-pickingly honest in every tiny detail, that if I later realize that something I’ve said, or written, wasn’t “exactly right” in some small way, I rush to correct it…. because I don’t want to be the “Liar Lynda” that my lying parents always accused me of being. I was all the ugly “L’s”…. Lazy, Liar, Lynda.

My mother also saw me as competition, all my life long, and it got worse as I became a teenager. At 14 she told me “No house is big enough for two women,” and she threw me away. Out of her house. Then she hauled everything I owned to the dump, all of my possessions that I had carefully saved and treasured from infancy on. She threw me away, in every way. And yet, now today, she writes me a 60+ page hate letter for staying away… now that she is widowed and aging, she thinks I ought to be there in her life, taking care of her. I am the eldest of 7, and all of the rest of my siblings live near her, but one. She doesn’t NEED ME. And, I don’t owe her a damn thing.

Pam, you said: “Psychological abuse as I understand it, is to be subject to the mental illness of others and made part of it. It is the abstract bubble that I grew up inside of. It took most of my life to fully escape.”

I agree. Only, I am still in the process of escaping it.

Lynda

24

Lynda,

You’ll make it. Satan was the original manipulator, the father of the lie. His power over us is fear. Often, what we are afraid of is our only obstacle. The bubble of lies that I grew up in was daunting but it couldn’t stand up to the truth. Like a pin, the truth popped that bubble and all that remained was the truth. My truth is far more powerful than any spell of deception that distorted my view of the world and myself. The distortion of myself was the last to go. It’s late in the game but it’s not over yet and I’m happy to be free. It will happen for you too, Lynda.

When I got so sick as a teenager and had to come crawling back home (since I came crawling, they took me back)my mother said much the same thing, she “didn’t know if the house was big enough for two women”. Now she denies it and said my dad lied about it. They think my purpose is to take care of them in their old age too. I did take care of them for 11 years. Now they are with my sister and think they’ve gotten all their going to get from me so instead of acknowledging that I was sexually abused, they’ve thrown me away againg. This time though, I’m not a child and I won’t come crawling back. Respect is the only thing I ask and I guess it is just too much to give. Mostly it would mean giving up the lies and that would be their destruction. Actually, it would probably go a long way toward healing them. Maybe the boundary I set will be a white line of truth that will eventually break into that defense of lies. I don’t know. I don’t hate my parents but I can’t be a part of their illness anymore. To be healthy, I must be seperate.

25

On truth and lies, I am starting to get it from my own history. It is more confusing due to my family’s allegience to the church/God, the waters get real muddy.

Fill in the blank below. If you fill in the blank with friends, parents, family, just imagine
Psalm 4, “My ______cannot speak one truthful word. Their deepest desire is to destroy others. Their talk is foul, like the stench from an open grave. Their speech is filled with flattery…” fill in the blank, if you use the word friends,etc., you are in trouble!

26

I don’t feel comfortable getting too far off the “beaten” (no pun intended) path with words. While the word objectification may serve a purpose, the fact is that getting a baby drunk is abuse.

27

Kate,
I think it is really important that we use all kinds of words and expressions because the brainwashing, denial, fog, lies etc. go so deep. We never know what is going to break the wall that someone else has up. So I think that it is all good and all important. Getting a baby drunk IS abuse, in fact most of the stories that Pam shares here ARE about abuse, but she was also objectified as many of us were, and sometimes it is way easier to realize being objectified, then it is to realize that that you were “abused”esp. when it comes to our own parents or family members.
Hugs, Darlene

28

Pam,
The descriptions you have given about your father, his behavior, the things he says, and the ways he gets people to turn against each other, (enjoying the slow destruction of people that he orchestrates) are SO like my ex-husband, that I sit in amazement to read them!
Especially the line about how he uses his failures to prove that he has superior goal strategies, or something like that. Now I could list all day the horrible things my ex did to his own family, I mean wife and kids, and regared those actions as superior. I get really mad sometimes that I lost so many years to this crap, not having the courage to see through it and get out.

29

Darlene,
Yes, I get that about using more words, and finding ways to reach many people, etc., and I agree. I just start to feel lost in the words, probably because I was manipulated with words all my life, being married to an english major whose narc mom was an english teacher, etc., SO the legal aspect always brought me back into perspective. Not that laws are always right, or that those in law administer properly.

30

And yes, we were treated as objects, not as real people. And my dad’s big thing was the anti-abortion, right to life cause, and how every unborn baby is a person, too, etc., ad nauseuem, what about the born ones at your own table?

31

Yes I understand Kate,
I think that is why I try so hard to say the same thing so many ways… because I was manipulated so many ways with so many sayings and so many words and expressions. And it was not always with words, but with looks, withdrawal of attention, all sorts of non verbal things but all of them add up to the fog that I was in. There is so much to this whole thing! So much fog to come out of.
Hugs, Darlene
p.s and yes, what ABOUT the ones that they brought into this world?? exactly…. so many parents are so concerned about the rest of the world but not about their own kids. I hear that SO often. SO devaluing when a parent goes on about a childs rights, while giving his own child NONE.
Thanks for making that comment…
Hugs, Darlene

32

Kate,
Yes, it was abuse but in order to abuse me, I first had to been seen as an object. I don’t think my dad sees others as anything else. (The only pain that counts is his.) The end of that was my thinking of myself as an object for others to use. When I was sexually abused, I was treated as no more than a sex toy. After that I had no personal boundaries. I didn’t belong to myself anymore. I had no purpose other than what others wanted of me. The abuse was bad but the objectification was the underpinning of it all and until I could see that, I was victimized over and over again.

My parents are religeous now too. At first, I had hopes that they would change. They did quit drinking but the underlying mental illness has not been delt with. They quit drinking for themselves not out of love for God. They use religeon as a cloak for evil. That is their own loss and I know that there are many like them that cause others confusion about God. They aren’t God and they don’t represent him very well no matter how much theology they spout. What good is one’s theology if it doesn’t make one more like Jesus? Their version of Christianity is not good for that but it is good for confusing others and covering evil. It is pretense. It is another lie. People who objectify and manipulate live according to lies and the truth is not in them. If Jesus is in them, they never get out of the way long enough for anyone else to see Him!

It makes me sad and mad that faith was used as a club against you because for me, faith is a big part of why I lived to talk about it. I’ve had bad experiences in church to but the way I look at is that the church is made up of people who believe in Jesus(at least some of them)and that belief is the only thing that differenciates them from any other human being. They are subject to all of the same weaknesses and problems as other folks. Put them all together to rub shoulders and their will be problems. The church was fraut with problems from the very beginning. There is no perfection there and I don’t look to the church for answers. I look to God. I don’t let others get in between me and Him and I try hard not to get between He and others.

I understand about getting lost in words and some words are used so often that no one really knows what they mean any more. I try hard to use my own words knowing that I am the only one that fully knows what I mean. Words are imperfect. I hope that my intent comes through. If I can share the battles I’ve fought with others and it helps someone then it makes the time spent fighting that battle even more worthwhile. I’m glad you see simularities in the situations we were in. If nothing else, it lets us know that we are not alone.

33

Darlene,
I have been taught that in situations where you are being robbed, kidnapped, raped, etc. that one of the things to use for survival is to get the perpetrator to see you as a person. No one can hurt another unles they first objectify them in their thinking. I wish that abuse stopped with my parents but it didn’t and a big reason was that I didn’t even see myself as a person. I didn’t see myself as belonging to myself. I viewed myself as being put here for others. When I began to see myself differently, and to put proper boundaries in place, then the abuse stopped. That doesn’t mean that I am assured of never being victimized again but it won’t happen on a regular basis. I’m no longer available to the manipulators.

34

“I wish that abuse stopped with my parents but it didn’t and a big reason was that I didn’t even see myself as a person.”

YES!!! We were taught not to. In fact, found this same teaching on facebook today, actually, using these words!

The basis of our total truth, which we are taking to the whole church in the

whole world, is that the human self has no nature of its own. It is the

expressor of a deity nature, whether the nature of the false deity, the spirit

of error, or the true Deity, the Spirit of Truth (1 John 4:6). Because we have

all become accustomed to speaking of ourselves as having a human nature, it may

make it clearer if we speak of the self never being an independent self. It has

never been a self-operating self, and thus never operating by expressing a

nature of its own.

There is no independent, self-operating self in the universe, except the One

who calls Himself the I AM (Exodus 3:14), and says, “I am God and there is none

else . . . There is no other God beside Me” (Isaiah 45:21,22).

This article gets real long, but it is stuff like this that is twisted to get people to submit. You know, if all those door-to-door evangelized people actually showed up at church, the place wouldn’t know what to do with them all and would have to start chasing them off with statements like, “Our church teaches the TRUTH, but MOST people can’t handle the truth, so this church is not for everybody.” That should thin the crowd some, and then those that stay and stick out in the wrong ways, get special invites to leave, just like they were specially invited to stay.

35

Kate,
People make the church such and important part of the Christian life when the Bible only has one sentence devoted to church attendence. Did you know that the early Christians were thought by some to be atheists because of their lack of temples, holy days, and the other regalia of religeon. I don’t like religeon much. Most of it comes from man. I do like Jesus and I think a lot of problems would vanish if people just lived His teachings. One of my favorite Bible verses is “Pure religeon and undefiled is this, to visit widows and orphans in their affliction and to keep one’s self unspotted by the world.” None of us are asked to lose ourselves in some kind of mind-meld. I hope to do my best to be true to God and kind to others. That’s enough to keep me busy.

I agree that there is way too much out there seeking to gain control over others and that is abuse is its purest form. You and I know from experience to beware!

36

“Pure religion and undefiled is this, to visit widows and orphans in their affliction and to keep one’s self unspotted by the world.” yes. I have quoted this verse till i was blue in the face to the ones on facebook who talk about the church, and are now free of the church, etc., because the word religion needs to be replaced with the word “false religion.”

37

Pam, thank you for writing this post. You are right about objectification. How else could they be so sadistic? I certainly feel like a ‘thing’ whose needs and feelings are of no value. What Fi said resonates with me. (“…an object with no shape, no form, no feelings, nothing other than to be used and discarded by others.”)

My father was similar to yours, very self centred and manipulative. Every conversation or interaction had to be “won” by him. His feelings were the only ones that existed for him. Everyone else was just an extension of him, with no right to a personality of their own. He took great pleasure and pride in manipulating others, even when it was a tiny helpless child.

Quoting from Lydia’s post above:

“You wrote: “My parents never say what they really think. They think one thing and say what they feel is appropriate to the situation. If they have an inappropriate feeling, they deny it and state that they feel otherwise. They think everyone else is the same way. It makes it impossible to have a truthful discussion. I am truthful but they think I’m lying the way they lie. When I speak, they don’t listen, they try to figure out what “I really mean” and I can never get through to them. They are lost in a sea of lies. I grew up in a world made of lies. Everything and everyone was objectified and subject to manipulation. There is no truth in that world. Truth is the enemy. Truth will destroy the reality they’ve created and known all of their lives.”

Wow… that right there, is the dynamic between me and my parents, particularly my mother, every time I tried to have an open, honest, heart to heart conversation with them. It just never was possible! They lie, they deny, they play head games, and they project their stuff onto everyone else, expecting everyone else to be liars and deniers and game players, just like them. (I’m that say this is what they do, in the present tense, but my dad died many years ago, so now it is only my mother doing this.)

The effect that my parents’ constant lies, and accusations of me lying when I was not, is that I grew up to be SCRUPULOUSLY honest, the exact opposite extreme of my parents, honest when it HURT me to be so open and forthcoming, honest when the truth in a particular instance may be nobody else’s business… I tend to be so nit-pickingly honest in every tiny detail, that if I later realize that something I’ve said, or written, wasn’t “exactly right” in some small way, I rush to correct it…. because I don’t want to be the “Liar Lynda” that my lying parents always accused me of being. I was all the ugly “L’s”…. Lazy, Liar, Lynda.”

This is exactly what I am struggling with right now! My family are all of those things – lazy, liars and they take without asking too. And then they have the audacity to accuse me of being a lazy, lying thief. It makes me so angry. They are the dishonest ones, and they project it all on me and treat me like a criminal who can’t be trusted. Like Lydia, I have become honest to a fault – I live in a constant state of anxiety that I will not be believed – but that does not make the slightest difference to them. And I end up feeling guilty and second-guessing myself. God they make me sick with their hypocrisy!

I am only just starting to realise that no matter what I do none of this will change. They have made up their minds about me and I cannot change that. I cannot change how they view me because they are not viewing ME, they are projecting a version of themselves onto me. They have no idea who I am.

38

Carolyn,
Yes, I am in there with you.
They have no idea who you are for real.
The only “you” they know is the reflection of themselves that they “see” in your responses to their behavior, if that makes any sense. but that is not the real you.
But the real me, my family has no idea what I am all about.
It would be easier for my mother to get facebook and do a lot of what she does anyway, but she SAYS she’s not on there. But somehow she knew how many friends I had, and had to make a negative statemnet about that,(that must be ALL you do!) and where would that attitude come from? So either her favorite daughter keeps her informed, AND she has no interest in me to know what I do on facebook ( it is a colection of information for my children who don’t live with me anymore, among other things.) But why am I uninteresting to my own mother?

I love hearing from my daughter about her life and job!

Just remembering some things is incredible. She never used my name unless she was yelling at me. If she was in a “good” mood, she called me monkey. That must have been to get back at my dad who loves to say that he doesn’t believe in evolution. I am serious, I just NOW got that!! If she was being demeaning, it was throat clearing, scowls, and “little girl” I was called until I was 21 years-old!

39

Kate,
Amen, sister!!!:0)

40

Carolyn,

The biggest mistakes I’ve made in my life has been in running in the oposite direction of what my parents are. Honesty and truth is not one of them. I also am scrupulous about truth and I cling to the truth. If I didn’t I’d be dead.

I just received a letter from my sister today. In it she was trying to get me to do what they’ve always wanted me to do, eat my parent’s sin so that the family can continue. Thanks to God for leading me here and the support that I’ve gotten from Darlene and all of you who share your stories, I’m sticking to the boundary I set. I will not be moved. If they want relationship with me then they need to treat me with respect beginning with acknowledging that I was sexually abused as a teenager, I was raped, I am not a whore, and that my parents were criminally negligent in the situation by failing to do anything to try and protect me. Sorry if that sounds kind of emotional. I’m still shaking and I have tears in my eyes.

41

Kate,
It’s awful growing up to as a mirror. I don’t know what it is like being the mirror that holds the positive image of themselves but I surely know what it means to be the mirror that holds the negative one. Argggh! What that does to the mind of a child! And how long it take to regain what was stolen at such an early age, one’s identity…

42

OH Pam,
The letter you got today from your sister….. I’m right there with you, feeling your pain. OH, how those written words from our dysfunctional family can HURT.

Every time I think that I have grown enough, and gained enough wisdom and insight, to no longer be bowled over by anything hateful and demeaning my sick family of origin may say or do, I get a letter, or I read a cruel post about me that a sister writes that shows up on my FB newsfeed because we have family/friends in common, words that HURT ME SO BAD, it knocks the very breath right out of me.

That horrible feeling of having been Bludgeoned, Battered, and Bruised, doesn’t last nearly as long as it used to, thank God! But it still hurts just as hard, when it first hits.

HUGS,
Lynda

43

Hi Carolyn,
You wrote: “I am only just starting to realise that no matter what I do none of this will change. They have made up their minds about me and I cannot change that. I cannot change how they view me because they are not viewing ME, they are projecting a version of themselves onto me. They have no idea who I am.”

Yes. Me, too, EXACTLY what you said!

Not only does my family of origin have NO IDEA of who I am… I didn’t know who I was, either, until 8 years ago! That was the year I turned 50. I knew for sure that I WAS NOT who my family of origin, my mother in particular, had always said that I was…. BUT, I was so busy, my whole life long, trying to PROVE that I WAS NOT the person my mother had always said I was, that I never got a chance to really figure out who I am! I was always REACTING to the things my abusers did and said…. REACTING, never just ACTING, on my own volition.

When I was about to turn 50, as soon as my last divorce was final, I took my settlement money and threw all my clothes into my little black sports car, and I took off…. I didn’t know for sure where I was going to end up, all I knew was that I was going AWAY, far from the people who thought they had me “all figured out” and had TYPECAST in a life that was NOT MINE, it was NOT ME, not the real, TRUE me…. it was me, as an hysterical woman, reacting in PAIN over all the ABUSE and TRAUMA and LIES, and never being truly loved, from the day I was born. ME, HYSTERICAL… ME, in PAIN… ME, trying so DESPERATELY to just be LOVED… that was what the world, my family of origin, saw… that, and their own hateful projected reflections of themselves… but they never SAW ME.

I got almost 2,000 miles away from where I was then living, in 2003 when I made my big turning-50-post-divorce-geographcial-cure… and then I found a place that was so beautiful, so open and peaceful, so free, so laid back, that I decided to stop and just stay awhile. I did not know a soul there… everything, and everyone, was all brand new to me. I didn’t have any bad memories around every corner, I didn’t have a “crazy reputation” that I needed to try to disprove or live down… I was free of all that. I was alone, just with ME… and for the first time in my life I discovered who I am, when it’s just me, and no old familair people, places, and things, no old memories, nothing and no one for me to REACT to… I found out who I am when I get up every day and do what *I* want to do, because I had no one else to consider or try to please or try to impress to try to make them like me.

I discovered who Lynda is, and I discovered an amazing thing… I LIKE LYNDA! I LOVE LYNDA! I AM THE KIND OF PERSON I WOULD LOVE TO HAVE FOR A FRIEND!!

I also learned, without a doubt, that I am SO NOT the person my mother STILL BELIEVES I AM. She is 76 and I am 58 and she is STILL writing me long (50-60+ pages) hate letters telling me everything that was ever “wrong” with me from toddlerhood on. NO, she will not change. NO, she will never EVER see ME, as I really am. It’s truly as though she is colorblind, and she cannot possibly see that I am a beautiful rainbow.

HUGS to you, Carolyn,
Lynda

44

Hmm.. Ok, so depending upon which of my 2 email addresses I use when I post, my photo comes up, or it doesn’t. Just want people reading to know that if it says “Lynda ~ Out of the CrAzY Closet”, it’s all the same person, it’s ME, picture or no picture.

KATE… you wrote: “But why am I uninteresting to my own mother? I love hearing from my daughter about her life and job!”

Yes. Just like me, telling my children the story of their births, in the context of the great awe and wonder and joy and LOVE I had, holding my priceless precious babies in my arms for the first time… while my mother, when she told me at the age of 4 the story of my birth, it was all about how I had ruined her body with stretch marks and varicose veins, and caused her so much PAIN she thought she was going to die.

What a huge difference there is, between your mother and you as a mother, and between my mother and me as a mother.

I did tell my children that giving birth was extremely painful, which maybe I shouldn’t have, but I told them all, many times as they were growing up, that the pain was a thousand times worth it, that I would gladly go through that pain all over again, and again and again, in order to have them in my life. My mother never once told me that the pain of having me was worth it! Never!

My own daughter, after she had her first baby, scolded me in a way for NOT WARNING HER that pregnancy and childbirth can give you stretch marks and ruin your figure. “MOM, why didn’t you TELL ME?” she asked. Well, I didn’t tell her, I didn’t ever show her or her brothers my stretch marks, because I didn’t want to do to them, what my mother had done to me, I did not want to ever make them feel BAD for BEING BORN.

Thank God, Kate, that you and I are NOT OUR MOTHERS. We deserved to have a mother… like US!

Lynda

45

Lynda,Kate,Carolyn, All:
The part that threatens me is the “If I push this button, Pam will do this” and the sucking under feeling that I get now that I know what she is doing. I feel sorry for her because she is acting under the same abuse that colored my life for so long but it is still a threat.You’re right, it doesn’t last as long. I truly have confused them because even if they don’t know who I really am they are having to pay attention and think about it. I am not the same as I was five years ago.

I don’t think it’s wrong to talk about a painful birth but it is wrong to blame the baby all of their life. There’s a huge difference, Lynda. I hear you taking responsibility for your mistakes that is something I’ve never heard from my parents. None of us are perfect but when we choose to be honest and accountable a lot of harm can be avoided.

I’m pooped after reading and answering my sisters letter but I’m proud of myself for sticking to my boundaries. Gosh, it feels good to protect me and know that I’m worth it! I’m doing a pretty good job of being my own mother!

I’m off to church and to spend time with friends who really do love me and are my true family. I’ll talk to you all later.

Hugs All Around,
Pam

46

Lynda,
Your mother must have been really angry at her parents? I am wondering?

47

Lynda,
And to think that two of my four homebirths WERE painless!! Not that it wasn’t work, having pregnancies and babies, etc., but i loved it and having them in homeschool for years, not all years, but about eight total. And yes, my parents were never wrong, never admitted to being wrong, i was, as an adult, still a child, to be seen and not heard.

48

YAAAY PAM for sticking to your boundaries and knowing you are worth it! I, too, feel pity and compassion for my siblings who grew up in the crazy family I did… they survived for the most part by taking on the role of the Strong Abuser.

Yes, Kate, my mother has always strongly resented her parents. I wouldn’t have wanted to be their daughter! Yet my mother was so many time worse toward me than her parents ever were, from what I know and saw… yet my mother complains, complains, complains, about the smallest slights and injustices she received at the hands of both her parents, while she never takes responsibility for the horrors she put me through. She truly seems narcissistic to me, EVERYTHING is ALL ABOUT HER, and she has no genuine empathy for anyone, tho she will pretend to when it will give her something she wants… such as pretending deep empathy for a man she wants to take care of her or admire her.

Kate, you wrote: “my parents were never wrong, never admitted to being wrong, i was, as an adult, still a child, to be seen and not heard.”

Me, too!! It’s amazing the similarities so many of us have, in being treated like we were nothing as children, and still children even after we become adults. I RESPECT my 3 grown children too much to treat them like they are still children!

Lynda

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Lynda,
It is like your mother was spoiled as a child? Is that possible? I mean to be so petty, that is why I am wondering about her being spoiled?

Also, I am having to tell my almost 18yo son that his first weekend of his first job is NOT the time to ask off work so that he can go with his dad five hours away to visit his dad’s mommy for father’s day!! Is anyone ROFL right now? It is either laugh or puke! But, empower him, i am. his sister, one year older, last year was working and living with her dad, and I simply asked her what her life goals were now that she is turning 18, etc., and I suggested some that were appropriate, and she took me up on it, told her dad it was my idea, BUT still, she did it! she got away from him and has been on her own for one year in august.

50

Kate,
I home-schooled my children for six years and I’m so glad that I did. I really value that time we spent together. My youngest son is now homeschooling his son. I’m happy for your daughter. Independence is so important.

Lynda,
Thanks for the support and the understanding. I wish my sister would open her eyes. She married a man much like my father but he is much more successful at it. It is easy to resent her for being the ‘golden child’ but she has always felt so much pressure to be perfect. At least, as the scape-goat, I’m not expected to be perfect. I’m happy to be free.

51

Carolyn,
You wrote such a thoughtful post and I was distracted before. I want to try again to respond and this time, I want to respond to what you said and not merely vent my own current problems.

My parents don’t know me either. They don’t even know themselves. My dad in particular has told so many lies that he doesn’t even know the truth of his own experiences. My children used to call his lies, “Grandpa super hero stories.” Everyone knows he’s lying but if it means being the center of attention for even five minutes, he doesn’t care. My parents have false selves that they have invented in the place of their true selves that don’t measure up. I was actually taught by my dad that I was a part of him. I am also a part of his false self. I am the reflection of what is bad in them. To them I am the scape goat, the sin eater. They see no other purpose for me.

I did lie when I was a teenager. Most teenagers try that out and that was what was modeled to me as a way of getting what I wanted or to avoid punishment. I’m an adult now and I don’t do that but my parents can’t see that. Mostly they know that they lie and think that I also must lie. Maybe we are all guilty of judging others by that which is in our own hearts. I do try though to see others as they are. I know I’ve been often hurt because I assumed others had the same good intentions that I had. When you are raised to think you are part of someone else,part of other people, then what else could you think? Emeshment is so damaging. It is wonderful to be an individual and I appreciate it even more after what I’ve been through.

Thank you, Carolyn for your comment.

52

Pam, I love your responses to everyone, wow, deep, insightful, caring.

Yes, as a fellow (sister?) scapegoat, I agree… painful as it is, I’d rather be the scapegoat than have to be the perfect golden child. Sweet Freedom indeed.

What you said earlier about having those old buttons pushed: “The part that threatens me is the “If I push this button, Pam will do this” and the sucking under feeling that I get now that I know what she is doing.”

Yes, I know what you mean. When my mother’s 60+ page hate letter did not get any kind of a response from me (not yet, I’m working on it), a few days ago I got a letter from a brother I had lost touch with 7 years ago. He told me that our mother had just visited him, obviously she is the one who gave him my new address. I’m glad he has it, I’m thrilled to be back in touch with this brother again, I didn’t know where he was… people searches weren’t getting me anywhere. It turns out he is on disability and living in a group home.

Anyway, my first thought when I got my brother’s very sweet letter, was, “This is our mother’s end-run in her game against Lynda… send a hate letter to Lynda, with a copy to my aunt, my mother’s only sibling… when about 3 weeks go by with no reaction from Lynda, then go to the most vulnerable and pliable in the brood and suggest he write to Lynda, see how she is doing, and wait for a reply that way.”

Sickness. It’s like my mother has to create her own daily soap opera, you know what I mean?

Hugs,
Lynda

PS By the way, I too homeschooled my 3 kids for about 3 years, I’m glad I did, good memories for the most part.

53

Hi Kate,
To answer your question about my mother, No, she wasn’t spoiled, maybe somewhat with material things, but not in any other way. In her family there was just my mother, and a sister who was born when my mother was 5. The sister was very cute, and spoiled, she was the Golden Child, who today is my precious, loving, and supportive aunt.. I always admired her, from the time I was tiny, but I remember her as spoiled and somewhat stuck on herself when she was a teenager… over the years, the reality of adult responsibilites, marriage, parenting, a career, the “political battles” she and my uncle were so heavily involved with, in his line of work…. lawsuits, etc, and a son who was a problem for years…. all of these things humbled my aunt and softened her and now she is no longer “haughty” or stuck-up in any way, she is just… wonderful.

It’s truly as if.. my aunt grew up, my mother never did.

Of course, I’ve wondered at times, WHY my mother is the way she is. Not that it changes how she wounded me, and I don’t let that…. wondering WHY about my mother… get in the way of my recovery from her lifelong abuse. But it does interest me to try to understand, if only in part. I do know that my mother’s dad left to join the Army during World War 2, when my mother was about 10 and her baby sister was 5. At that time of great upheaval, in their family and in the country and world, my grandmother took her two young daughters and went to the west coast to be near her husband as he was in training. Then, when he was shipped off overseas to join the war effort, my grandmother got a job in a factory, she was exactly like the proverbial “Rosie the Riveter,” supporting the war effort making parts for warplanes, and leaving her 10 year old (my mother), at home to take care of the 5 year old. There was also in that home a teenage girl who was cousin to my mother and my aunt, because they had moved in with my grandmother’s sister and her teenaged daughter.

My mother has told me that her teenaged girl cousin sexually abused her. She told me in detail, when I was a girl… an awful thing for me to hear, and an awful thing to be done to my mother. Her teenaged cousin forced her to comply, by doing things like breaking a bowl, throwing it on the floor, and then telling everyone that my mother did it… so my mother would be spanked.

I remember two things that my maternal grandmother told me about my mother… one was that she was the UGLIEST baby she ever saw, when she was first born. My grandmother thought that was a funny story to tell. The second thing is that when my mother was in grade school, she fell in the playground on hard cement and cracked open her skull! The school called my grandmother, and, as she told the story, “I didn’t have to ask anyone where my daughter was, I just followed the trail of blood.” My mother has told me that she has felt all her life like something inside her head was never the same, after that injury.

After a couple of years, WW2 ended, and my mother’s dad came back home. He was different, he would fly into a rage and spank my mother so hard that she would have welts on her rear end and put a cold wet washcloth on the welts to try to ease the pain. There were also frequent arguments, my mother said, between her parents about “what he did with women” when he was in Europe.

So…. there are hints and ideas of what caused my mother to become the monster that she was/is to me. OH, and here is another thing… people used to say that I looked more like my aunt, than like my mother. I remember hearing that when I was aabout 3 or 4. My mother was always so obviously jealous of her little sister, the Golden Child, and when people said I looked like her hated sister…. well, then it seemed to me that my mother began to be jealous of me, just as she was jealous of her sister. It didn’t help, the things my dad did, to encourage her jealousy of me.

Lynda

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Lynda,
It’s so sad that so many live out their lives hurting the way they were hurt. I guess that is the choice we all face, good or evil. I don’t know what makes some of us choose one way and others the other. We all do choose though and choosing truth is the only way to get better. I know you’ll choose truth when responding to your mom and I’ll pray for you. I pray you won’t have to have a long, laborious response but that God will give you a simple and powerful one. I know it will make you stronger. My family keeps coming at me with all the old lies and every time they do, I am more convinced of my truth. I wish we could heal all of them but we are only able to heal ourselves.

I’m tired and sleepy. It’s been a really long day. Sweet dreams, Lynda. You deserve them.

Love,
Pam

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Thank you, Pam. Your understanding and caring means so much. It really, truly does.

About my response to my mother… yes, it going to be a long and laborious one, unfortunately. That’s why its’ taking me so long to put it together.

I am doing this, for ME. I have NEVER stood up to my mother. I have been SILENT AS A LAMB in the never-ending onslaught of her lies, her attacks on me, her attackes on my character, her attacks on my very right to EXIST. I NEED to speak MY TRUTH to her, once and for all, for the sake of my sanity.

I have no illusions that anything I say or do or write, will change my mother’s warped reality one iota… sadly, I do not believe that is possible. But I need to speak, I need to stand up for Lynda. I need to finally answer her back.

I have received a lot of unsolicited advice from a lot of people as to how I “should” respond to my mother’s latest 60+ page hate letter. Most of those who have advised me, have urged me to not reply at all, because “not replying will drive her nuts.” My husband, in particular, has urged me to “do nothing.”

I don’t care about driving my mother nuts. She is nuts, already. I don’t care about revenge, either. I JUST WANT TO TELL MY MOTHER MY TRUTH, once and for all, and then tell her that I am divorcing her. She is no longer my mother. In fact, she never was my mother.

My plan is to print out, using good ink and paper, posts from my own blog, and include those in my letter to her. I am also printing out some right-on info I have found on the internet on the topic of Narcissistic Mothers and their daughters.

Finally, I am going to ask her point-blank how dare she point the finger of blame at me about ANYTHING, when she bears the guilt of having tried, approx. half a dozen times, to gas us all to death while we slept in our beds when I was 12 years old. My religious-fanatical mother is the classic example of what the Bible she so loudly proclaims, says about the hypocrite who is pointing out the tiny speck in someone’s eye, while ignoring the fact that they have a log in their own eye. My mother’s personal excuse over the years for why she tried to kill her 5 children and herself, is that she was “going through a really hard time with the violent end of her marraige, and she wasn’t thinking clearly.” HELLO! My mother can excuse attempted murder of her entire family…. only the safety shutoff valve on the gas furnace saved us, though she tried several times to override it, she TOLD me so, when I was 12, and she said she “had to tell SOMEBODY” but didn’t dare tell anyone but me, and she warned me that if I told anyone, she would go to prison for the rest of her life, and the 5 of us kids would go to 5 different foster homes and never see each other again… to my young mind, THAT was a fate worse than death, so I told NO ONE, for YEARS…. but I lived with the constant worry that she would try again and succeed, either with the gas, or another means, for as she had said, she was also considering driving us all off a cliff when she gave up on the gas…. I couldn’t sleep at night, I lived in fear all day…. and my mother’s explanation at the time was, “I brought you all into the world, so I have the right to take you out of it.” OH how I HATE when parents say that as a JOKE!!! She also said she believed she would be doing us all a favor by killing us, since life is so hard.

My mother has managed to live with her heinous guilt by telling herself, and me, that she “was going through a very hard time and just wasn’t herself” when she was trying to kill us all. Yet over the years she has written reams to me, crazy long letters detailing every fault, every sin, every wrongdoing, both real and imagined and exaggerated and blown out of all proportiona, one-sided, and total misunderstandings that she NEVER would give me the benefit of the doubt about. She goes on and on and on about such things as the time when I was a teenager she saw me through the window, out in the yard, pick up one of my younger sibling’s jumprope off the ground and jump rope with it a few times, not realizing that, as she said, “your big breasts were bouncing up and down and your stepfather saw this out the window…” I was a very modest, very painfully shy girl… I would have been mortified to know that my breasts were bouncing, and that anyone, most of all my new stepfather, was watching!! And then there was that first Christmas after she and my stepfather married, when I, at age 14, committed the heinous crime of calling my new stepbrothers and stepsisters on the phone to “brag about what you had gotten for Christmas,” not caring that they had gotten little or nothing and would feel bad… like I was doing it to HURT THEM. I remember that phone call… I liked my stepbrothers and stepsisters, I had hoped that we could ALL be TOGETHER on the first Christmas Day that we were all a FAMILY. I called, because they weren’t there, they were with their mother in another town, and I wanted to say MERRY CHRISTMAS, and then, like kids tend to do, to ask them what they got, and tell them what I got… it never entered my head that my mother and my new stepfather, who loved and adored his kids, hadn’t made sure that they got just as much as we got. My guess is that my stepfather in his trusting ignorance had handed the Christmas money over to my mother, expecting her to shop fairly for everyone, and she didn’t, and the blame had to me on Lynda, for letting his 6 kids from his first marriage, know this.

On my 17th birthday, after defending my 19-year-old husband’s right to BEAT me “like spanking a spoiled child to correct her, like the Bible says, spare the rod and spoil the child,” ….. he had beaten that day because I woke up all excited, thinking that on this, my birthday, which happened to fall on one of his days off work, that we could “do like we did when we were dating, go out for a hamburger and a milkshake and see a movie.” I had given him a great birthday by buying him some fishing gear I knew he wanted, using the S & H green stamps that my mother had given me as a wedding present when we married the month before his 19th birthday. But when I asked him, in my happy hopeful voice, if we could go out like we had done during the whole 2 months we were dating, HE BEAT ME. Days later he cried and said that he had beaten me, because his own parents had never once given him a gift for a birthday nor for Christmas. WHATEVER..

After beating me, he had jumped in the car and driven straight to my mother’s house, knowing from all my confidences that I had shared with my new husband, that if anyone in the world would side with him against me, it would be my mother. When he came back to our 1-romm efficiency apartment hours later, half-drunk, he threw my mother’s big family Bible on top of me, where I was lying curled up in a depressed ball on the bed under the blankets, where I had spent my entire birthday, and he said, “Your mother told me to give this to you, she said you need to read it and learn what a Christian wife is supposed to act like.” Moments later, a car pulled up, and my half-drunk mother staggered in uninvited, stood in the middle of the floor that was still littered with glass from the broken wall mirror that my loving husband had shoved me into that morning, and she pointed her hateful finger at me where I still lay on the bed, and yelled at me that if I didn’t straighten up and act like a wife SHOULD, I was going to “lose this wonderful husband you have.”

I sat up and I cried, “Mom, he beats me!” Hoping that just this ONCE, she might take my side about SOMETHING. The evidence that he had beaten was all over me and all over our little one-room apartment. “I KNOW HE HITS YOU,” she shrieked. “He told me so himself, and I told him that I don’t blame him ONE BIT…” and then she went on to tell me how a spoiled child should be spanked like a spoiled child.

…..before she left our apartment, my mother went over and put her arms around my husband, and sat on his lap, in the rocker recliner he was sitting on, just a few feet away from me on the bed, and they rocked back and forth crying, “I LOVE YOU,” and “I LOVE YOU TOO,” and she told him, “I’m so sorry I didn’t warn you and tell you what she is like, before you married her.”

Just before she went and sat on my husband’s lap, was one of the rare times… really, it is the ONLY TIME that I ever remember “TALKING BACK” to my mother. When she told me that she thought my husband had every right to beat me, something inside me snapped. And I sat up on my miserable bed, I pointed at the one and only door out of that miserable little apartment, and I said to my mother, “Get Out Of My House.”

Her jaw dropped all the way open in utter ASTONISHMENT. I had NEVER talked back to her before!! For me to say what I did…. she just could not believe it!!! I had always meekly silently TAKEN whatever HELL she was dishing out. Now I was telling her, on my 17th birthday, to Get Out Of My House??? UNBELIEVABLE.

Do you see what a horrible daughter I was…. that she was so utterly SHOCKED by me having the NERVE to speak to her like that, after she’d told me that my husband had ever right to beat me??

But she couldn’t leave my house without getting her last licks in. She had to go over and SIT ON MY HUSBAND’S LAP, cry with him, tell him how much she loved him, and tell him how SORRY SHE WAS for not warning him about me!

And, once again, I reverted to my DEFAULT MODE of being MUTE. Silent As A Lamb…. that was Lynda. SILENT AS A LAMB before the slaughterer.

I know that people with their unsolicited advice on how they think I “should” or how they “hope” I will respond to my mother’s latest hate attack, mean well………… I REALLY, REALLY DO KNOW THIS. In my husband’s case I know he is just afraid that if I do or say anything back, that my mother will use it as an excuse to hurt me MORE.

But, I won’t let her. I will tell her in my final LOOOOOOOONG communication to her, that I am divorcing her, and that nothing she sends in the mail in the future will ever be opened, it will immeditely go into a shredder. I will tell her, too, that if she continues to harrass me in any way, I WILL seek a court-ordered protection from abuse.

Of all the advice I have gotten regarding how I should respond to my mother’s latest hate attack, I tue advice I got from my aunt, my mother’s sister, the best. Just 2 days before the horrible unexpected drowning death of her only daughter, my precious 38-year-old cousin Elaine, my aunt, who had received from my mother a copy of her 60+ page hate letter to me, adviced me via email” “I think you should do whatever you want to do, when and however you want to do it.”

Thank you, I shall.

In Truth and Love,
Lynda

56

Yikes, I should have proofread that mess before I hit “Submit Comment.” My typos increase dramatically, the most upset I feel.

PLEASE, Pam, I hope you don’t feel the least bit bad about my response to your truly KIND and WELL-MEANT statement that you pray I “won’t have to have a long, laborious response but that God will give you a simple and powerful one.” I understand and appreciate your well-meant kindness and THANK YOU for your prayers… but please understand that I have been MUTE for almost all of 58 years before my mother’s attacks, and if I feel that I need to write a book-length reply to my mother, that is what I shall do. I feel that I have God’s blessing on this, and my husband also agrees, after I explained to him why I feel that I HAVE to do this, for ME.

If my response to your kind comment was in anyway hurtful to you, Dear Pam, PLEASE believe me that it was not my intent. I am just reeling inside… first my mother sends this latest horrible unprovoked, out of the blue, 60+ page hate letter to me, and with a copy to her sister my aunt… my aunt replies with a series of deeply loving affirming emails to me, and she writes a classy putting-her-in-her-place letter to my mother, her only sibling. And, two days after mailing that letter to my mother, and sending a copy of it to me via email, my aunt’s only daughter, and my only blood-relative here in the state of New Mexico, Elaine Tyler Stewart, drowned in the Montezuma hot baths near the small town of Las Vegas, New Mexico. My cousin Elaine and I had talked on the phone for almost an hour on the night before she died. We laughed together, we cried together, she told me her mom/my aunt had emailed her the copies of her emails to/from me, regarding my mother’s latest hate letter, and when I told my cousin, an RN at University Hospital on the infusion ward in Albuquerque, who also had a Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology… when I told my cousin, during our LAST conversation on the night before she drowned, that I used to think I was “the only one” to have a gaslighting mother like mine, but that after searching online I have discovered there are, sadly MANY adult children like me with mothers like mine, and I said, “from what I have read online, I believe my mother has Narcissistic Personality Disorder,” after a brief pause, my cousin with the genius IQ and the psychology degree and nursing degree, exclaimed, “Wow… THAT would explain…. EVERYTHING!”

Finally I had a relative from my family of origin living here in my newly adopted state, who UNDRSTOOD and BELIEVED me, and we were making loving PLANS to get together soon, and the next morning she sends text messages to our cell phone saying “we r on our way to the springs at vegas” with a YAY! and a smiley face… and I was writing a long loving email to my cousin on that afternoon, not knowing that she had already drowned. That happened on June 3. I can’t believe she is GONE. I can’t believe my precious aunt, the best mother I have ever known, has lost her Only Daughter. I am so confused and hurt and, yes, a little mad at God, right now.

So if I come across as too harsh, Pam… please excuse me. Like my mother would say…. I’m going through a hard time and I’m not myself right now.

Lynda

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ELAINE!!! Oh, my God… if God had spoken to me in a dream on the night before Elaine drowned, and told me, “Tomorrow I am taking one of you out of this world, I will allow you to chose, Lynda, do I take you, or do I take Elaine,” I would have begged him to take ME, let my young cousin LIVE. I am not feeling suicidal, I don’t have a death wish… I am in fact the happiest, by far, that I have ever been in my whole life… happy, until Elaine died, I mean.

But I am 19 years older than Elaine. I am on disability, making not one contribution to society, but being a drain on society. Elaine had so much LIFE in her, so much LIFE ahead of her, and her work was so important and NEEDED, she worked giving chemotherapy, etc, to the sickest of patients, and several of her patients came to her memorial service on June 10, which was held there at the hospital, and spoke about how much my cousin had done for them. If one of us had to die this month, I would far rather it had been me, than Elaine. My heart is broken…..

We made it to church last Sunday, my husband and I. Today, the church bells across the street are ringing now as I type this, but we are both too sad to go. My husband talked with Elaine on the phone in the last few days of her life, too, because Elaine was going through a rough time, he was helping her, I was helping her, she was hopeful, very hopeful, and then she drowned in water that wouldn’t come up higher than her shoulders if she stood on the bottom, and we don’t understand……

Life is so uncertain and short. Take care of yourselves, everyone who reads this, please. And tell the people you love, how much you love them. At least I got to do that, during my very last talk with my young cousin. “I love you 4 ways,” I told her. “One, I love you for YOU. Two, I love you because you are my cousin. Three, I love you because I love your mother, my favorite aunt. And four, I love you because your father was my favorite uncle.”

How I used to love to sit across a table from Elaine, and see both her father and her mother in her face and in her mannerisms. She was a perfect blend of those two precious people.

I knew I loved my baby cousin. I just didn’t know how much, until I got the call that she was GONE, and I SCREAMED.

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Lynda,
I’m going to respond to your first post first. I shouldn’t have said anything about the length of your post. I was feeling overwhelmed at the idea of trying to respond to a 50 page letter detailing everything wrong someone thought abuot me. I was hoping for you that you would have a powerful response that wouldn’t be laborious for you. I didn’t mean to give you advice either. I sure don’t have all the answers. In particular, I don’t have your answers and I’m sorry for what my seeming advice triggered in you. I understand fully how that feels and I would not purposely do it to anyone.

Your mother sure sees a lot in the mirror that should be her daughter. I’m glad you told her to get out. My mother also made a great show of ‘forgiving’ the pedophile that raped me over and over and over again. She also insisted that he needed forgiveness, my forgiveness, without ever asking what he did to me. It was clear that she thought she would get dirty just hearing it. I don’t have all the same experiences you’ve had but I do know how it feels to have your mother side with people that hurt you and telling you that you deserve it.

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Thank you, Pam. You are an awesome woman.

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Lynda,

I’m so sad that you’ve lost your cousin. I am glad that you got to have such a meaningful telephone conversation with her before she died. I fully understand that it isn’t about me. I just mistated something that hit a raw nerve.

By all means, honey, write it all out. I understand.

61

My husband just reminded me that it is Fathers Day and that I haven’t done anything for him, like he always does for me on Mothers Day. sigh… I very lovingly told him, “F” Fathers Day. Then I apologized. Then he apologized. Then we held each other and cried.

My best-friend-husband and I both have severe PTSD, so we understand each other’s dysfunction. His is from combat in Vietnam, mine is from combat in my childhood home and former marriages, and the horrible insane asylum where my mother put me when I was 14 – 16… so, luckily, our triggers are usually different. When one of us is having our PTSD triggered, the other is almost always grounded and OK and able to be there for the other.

But when we both are triggered, as happens most often on a Holiday, or when a loved one has died… yikes.

HUGS to you, Dear Sweet Pam.

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Lynda,
Your cousin sounds like she was a wonderful woman. There is so much in life that we can’t really understand. I hope God will give all of you peace. I’m still praying for you and again, I’m so sad for your loss.

Love and a Big Bear Hug with a Back Rub,
Pam

63

Pam, I can relate to feeling like an object. More than feeling like. Being. Being an object. And being useful. “Make yourself useful.” Because I wasn’t useful just being.

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Lynn,
After I was sodomized and robbed, I completely lost the ability to say ‘no’ or ‘yes’. I didn’t own me anymore. I was an anybody’s. It didn’t even matter if I was useful. All that mattered was what someone else wanted out of me. I think somewhere inside, I thought that if I could be useful enough to some other, then I would finally earn love. I didn’t know what true love was.

65

Dear Pam,
I’m so sorry that your sister would have the ignorant audacity to write you a letter telling you that you were not raped. What a STUPID and HATEFUL thing to say.

There are many different ways that ABUSERS make us feel like OBJECTS. There are many different ways that ABUSERS, HURT their VICTIMS. Being told that our reality is not real and our truth is not true, is disrespectful and abusive.

I have been through a lot of abuse in my life, and I’ve shared most ~ not all, but most ~ of my history of abuse here on my various comments on Emerging From Broken, since I first found this incredible healing place late last year. In reading some of the other comments on here, I have seen that some people have been through much “worse” abuse, than I have, and some people have possibly been through less. Some people, it seems, have been through about the same amount and similar degrees of abuse, that I have been through…..

BUT….. I see ONE THING that makes us ALL THE SAME, regardless of our varying degrees and amounts of abuse.

OUR ABUSERS TAUGHT US THAT WE WERE BAD.

Of all the horribly painful things that I have been through in my life, the ONE THING THAT HAS HURT ME BY FAR THE MOST, WAS NOT LIKING MYSELF. HATING MYSELF. BELIEVING THAT I WAS NOT OK. BELIEVING THAT I AM BAD.

It has only been in the past 8 years, since shortly before I turned 50, that I have learned that I AM NOT BAD. I AM likable. I AM worth loving. I AM as worthy as anyone else, of kindness, and courtesy, and RESPECT.

I AM EQUALLY GOOD, AND VALUABLE, AND WORTHY, to every other human being who has ever been created. I am a One of a Kind, GOD ORIGINAL. I BELIEVE that I was created by Almighty God, made in his image, and that he has engraved me on the palms of his hands, as it says in Isaiah. I believe that I am priceless, that my value is far beyond the value of rubies and diamonds and gold and silver.

Today I know that I deserve to be loved. Today I know that LOVE IS KIND, as it says in 1 Corinthians 13. Today I know that ANYONE who says that they love someone, while treating them harshly, cruelly, and disrespectfully, are LIARS, because LOVE IS KIND.

Today I give myself permission to BE MYSELF, the unique individual I was created to be. Today I give myself permission to feel my feelings, to think my thoughts, to speak my truth, and to do with my life what I feel led by my heart, to do with my life. Today I give myself permission to EXIST.

I have sisters like your sister, Pam. I have sisters who would try to tell me, that my reality is not REAL. I used to feel that the pain of NOT BEING BELIEVED about my traumas, hurt me as bad, if not more, than my actual traumas. I, too, was raped, and not believed… drugged and raped, 3 times, by my own psychiatrist. I was not believed, of course not, who do you believe, a respected 40-something married psychiatrist with a medical degree, or a 15-year-old mental patient?

Not being believed hurt me SO BAD, FOR SO MANY YEARS. But now, I just don’t care anymore. I know what is true, and God knows what is true, and that’s enough for me.

I hope it can be enough for you, too, Pam. From the tone of the things you have shared here, I think that it is.

Lynda

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PS~ Pam, “Love and a Big Bear Hug with a Back Rub” to you, too.

Lynda

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Thanks, Lynda. My sister thinks she has to be the on with all the answers. She’s been manipulated all of her life and learned to deal with it by becoming a manipulator. It doesn’t matter to her really if what I say is true or not. She’s looking at the facts from all the angles and trying to get them to match up so that things can be smoothed over. She cares a lot about how things look. Maybe, in her mind, if the family looks like a normal family, it is a good as being one.

She wasn’t just telling me that my reality wasn’t real but that statutory rape laws are controversial and that what happened to me doesn’t fit. Of course, she knows nothing about what happened to me.
I told her that when a grown man gets a young girl very loaded and then has sex with her in front of other men without her knowing that it is criminal. That’s the first time I ever said that outloud. There’s a lot I’ve never told. They don’t care. Knowing that is what keeps me from getting sucked back in. Besides, I’m so much happier living in truth than in trying to maintain their lies to please them. They can’t make me doubt myself anymore.

I know God loves me and it’s good to be, Pam.

Love,
Pam

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Pam,
Thank you for both of your responses. I can see your sister has upset you a lot with her letter, and I understand your need to vent, like you say, that is what this place is for.

I’m guilty of projecting onto others to. I know that when I’m critical of someone that a few days later I’ll realise that I’m guilty of exactly the same thing I was criticising them for, so I’m really conscious of how I think about other people because I know there is a message in there for me. It’s actually become an interesting tool for learning about myself. I also relate to being hurt because I project my own good intentions on others. It’s very confusing, and I end up feeling like their behaviour is somehow my fault. But since finding EFB I’m starting to build those boundaries.

Kate,
My parent’s don’t use names either, unless they absolutely have to for clarification. I’ve never heard them address each other by their first names. They just refer to “he” or “she” or “your mother” or “your father” if they are speaking about each other, or they say “are you there?” if they are trying to get each others attention.

Isn’t that bizarre? They’ve been married for 40 odd years and they don’t use each others names. I’ve never been able to figure out why, but now I can see how it is part of the objectifying, the dehumanising.

Gosh, what a revelation. Another piece of the dysfunctional puzzle.

Lynda,
I can relate to everything you have said. I’ve had trouble finding who I am. I feel like I’ve had no choices, only reactions – at least with my family. They keep me on the defensive, they provoke me and then when I react, that is further proof of “what is wrong with Carolyn.”

As a child I was so occupied with who they are, what they thought of me, how they would treat me, that I never had time to consider who I was. It is only now as an adult that I am starting to make my own choices and see me as someone separate: and like you, I am starting to really like and love who I am.

Thanks for your kind words.

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Carolyn,
Thanks for your insight, understanding, and support.

Pam

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Carolyn, in talking about your abusive family, you wrote:

“They keep me on the defensive, they provoke me and then when I react, that is further proof of “what is wrong with Carolyn.”

That has been EXACTLY my experience, both with my family of origin… mainly my mother… and also with my abusive exes.

My first husband used to beat me black and blue, for such stupid reasons as once when we were going someplace, I got in the car and sat down on the passenger side of the front seat like I always did, without noticing that he had put a pack of cigarettes there, so when I sat on them, I smashed and broke the cigarettes. He knocked me around, insisting that I “sat on them on purpose.” Why would I DO that, when I smoked them, too, and I knew we didn’t have the money to buy another pack? He also beat me for ironing a “double-crease” in the leg of his uniform pants that he wore to his blue-collar welding job. I was 16 when we married, I didn’t know how to iron pant creases properly, no one had ever taught me. Many times he beat me because I didn’t cook the way his mom cooked, I either overcooked or undercooked “the food he worked his A** off to buy.” (Again, no one had ever taught me how to cook, more than just a couple of very basic things, I was trying to learn as I went… when my mother had cooked, the job she gave me was to watch all of my younger siblings and keep them out of her way.) Another time, my first husband gave me money to go grocery shopping. What a thrill it was, to go shopping all by myself for the first time ever! I bought all the things on the list, and found that I had enough left over to buy myself a lipstick. When I got home with the groceries, he pulled everything out of the bags, and when he found the lipstick, he knocked me all around the one-room apartment because: “I sent you to buy FOOD. We can’t eat lipstick!”

When he would beat me, I would go to bed afterward, curl up under the blankets, and cry. I would lie there in so much pain, both physically and emotionally, that I couldn’t do anything but curl up and cry myself to sleep. I was usually too depressed, for several days after a beating, to get up and do… ANYthing. Then, he would use my “laziness” as PROOF that I was a ROTTEN wife and DESERVED to be beat. He would make fun of me “crying like a stupid baby.” Even in the middle of hitting me, if I became hysterical with fear and sobbing, he would mock me, and say, “LOOK AT YOURSELF, you are CRAZY, just like your mother says. NO WONDER SHE LOCKED YOU UP IN AN INSTITUTION. That’s where you need to be right now!” (This man, by the way, now has YouTube videos with his current wife, teaching people how to have Christian Marriages.)

My mother did the same things to me, making fun of me for “crying like a baby,” calling me “WORTHLESS and LAZY” when I was too depressed, thanks to her unrelenting abuse, to do much of anything, and using my hysterical sobs, when she would verbally and sometimes physically attack me, as “proof that Lynda is crazy.”

As recently as last October, when one of my younger sisters friended me on my family facebook account, I was so THRILLED to FINALLY have the chance to get to know her, and for her to get to know me… we are both in our 50s, she in her early 50s and me in my late 50s. I haven’t lived in the same house with her since I was a teenager and my sister was in grade school, and I have not lived in the same state with my family of origin, since 1974, when my then-husband and I moved first to Texas, and then to England, for his work on oil rigs. I have made the long, expensive, tiring journey back to visit my family several times over the years… none of them have ever come to visit me at my house, though, with the exception of one brother whom I paid the ticket for him to come stay with us, when our parents had kicked him out of the house when he was 19.

My sister and I were posting sweet loving comments to each other on each other’s walls, sharing photos, sharing funny stories… it was lovely. I was so thrilled! I had dreams that soon, ALL of my younger sisters and brothers and stepsister and stepbrothers would be on facebook, and we would all get to know, and love, each other, and I would have a FAMILY again!

But then one day, just a few weeks after my sister had accepted my friend request, she sent a message to a bunch of people, me included, via facebook. It was a nice little message with a cute video of her youngest daughter. I commented back that I really liked the video, and that her daughter is adorable. Then, one of my sister’s fb friends, someone I don’t know and did not have as my own fb friend, posted a reply to my sister’s mass message, and that reply went to EVERYONE that my sister’s original message went to, me included. My sister posted a reply back to her friend’s reply, and that, too, went to EVERYONE who had received the initial message. After several back and forth messages between my sister and her friend, all of which were going to everyone who had gotten my sister’s original message, my sister sent a message to her friend saying that “my eldest sister Lynda is weird. She has PTSD. She’s no big loss.”

When that message showed up one day in my message box… my heart was shattered. Reading her offhand, hateful remarks about me to her friend, realizing that THIS is how my sister REALLY sees me, THIS is how she REALLY thinks about me, THESE are the kinds of things that my sister says about me, “behind my back” ~ it was a trigger that brought back AN ENTIRE LIFETIME, of horrible memories of REJECTION and PUTDOWNS.

I responded by sending a message… which also went to everyone who got my sister’s original message, I figured that was only fair, since everyone was reading her mean comments about me… and in my brief message that went to my sister and to all of her friends on that message thread, I told her that I had received her message about me being weird and no big loss because of my PTSD, and that I was very deeply HURT.

THAT is pretty much all I said, almost word for word. I didn’t rage, I didn’t cuss, I didn’t tell her, for all of her friends to see, anything about how ignorant or crazy or amoral SHE is. In other words, I did not get all petty and hateful and sink down to her level, to retaliate. I simply let her know that I had seen her message, that it had gone to my mailbox as well as to all of the mailboxes of those she had sent her original message to, and I let her know that when I read how she REALLY feels about me, it HURT me very deeply.

My sister did not apologize… in fact, she has never addressed another comment directly to me, again. Instead, she sent out another message to her friend, this time knowing full well that it would go to everyone, ME INCLUDED, and in her message she said: “Well I am new to facebook and I didn’t know that my messages to my friend were going to everyone, I thought only my friend would see it.” And then, further down in her “it’s not my fault, I didn’t do anything wrong” comment thread, my sister made this statement: “I said to Mother, ‘I’ll bet you were wondering how long it would be before something like this would happen,’ LOL…!!”

The implication being that any time you get involved in any way with CRAZY LYNDA, the family BLACK SHEEP, sooner or later there is going to be TROUBLE.

HELLO!?! I was not the one writing hateful comments about my sister on a mass facebook message!!! I had been writing nothing but SINCERELY loving complimentary comments to, and about, my sister on facebook, up to that point! Yet somehow, the fault was MINE. Somehow, my reaction in letting her know that I had read her hateful comments about me, and been HURT by them, was MY FAULT… further “proof” that something is really “WRONG WITH LYNDA.”

And that wasn’t the end of it… one of my 20-something nieces, the daughter of another sister, who was also on my sister’s hurtful common thread, posted a comment saying, “Well I would not friend her and I’m glad I didn’t, she gives me bad vibes.”

Bad Vibes? I have met this girl once only in her entire life, at a family reunion about 10 years ago. She was an adolescent then, sullen, moody, which I chalked up to her awkward age, but heaven knows it was not an attractive personality…. our interaction at that big busy reunion was brief, but very cordial… and yet somehow, though I live many hundreds of miles and several states away, I “give her bad vibes?” Good grief… a few months before this niece posted that comment for me to see, about me giving her bad vibes, when I had heard that she was pregnant, that the baby’s father had dumped her, and that she was having the baby on her own while going to college AND while working a job, I had sent her a long loving message via facebook, telling her how AWESOME I thought she was, for having her baby and for doing all that she was to make a better life for herself and her child! AND, until I read her “bad vibe” comment, I had given her the benefit of the doubt and assumed she had not responded to my friend request because she was in her early 20s and most of her fb friends were the same age, and that she probably didn’t want a 50-something-year-old aunt whom she barely knew, privy to her fb posts with her friends. I was fine with that, I understood that. But, somehow, I give this young woman with the sullen personality, Bad Vibes….

In and of themselves, those words that were showing up in my facebook messages, were not all that HORRIBLE…. Lord knows I have been called much worse in my lifetime, than “weird” and “no big loss” and “she gives me bad vibes.” BUT, it sent me REELING, because of all the lifelong memories it triggered in me, of all the times that I have been rejected, treated like I was nothing, told that I was unworthy, unlikable, unlovable, and CRAZY.

My siblings and their children DO NOT KNOW ME….
my siblings were all very young children when I last lived under the same roof and in the same part of the country where they live. All they “know” about me are the LIES my Narcissistic Mother has told them about Lynda the Scapegoat, on whom she has projected all of her own, disowned “badness.”

Until a few years ago, when I learned about Narcissistic Personality Disorder, and I also learned about the psychological phenomena of “PROJECTION,” which is very common among Narcissists, I was totally bewildered when my mother would do or say something really HORRIBLE, and then, she would turn around tell everybody in the family that *I* was guilty of doing or saying that really horrible thing ~ which I had NEVER done ~ but that SHE HERSELF HAD DONE!! It was totally Crazy-Making!! But, now I understand that the Narcissist, which my mother DEFINITELY seems to be, rids themselves of their own feelings of guilt and shame and “badness,” by blaming someone ELSE of all the wrongdoings and evil motives that THEY THEMSELVES secretly have… and, usually the person they blame is one of their own children, whom they have singled out to be their literal scapegoat.

Just one example of this, was my mother sitting on my first husband’s lap on my 17th birthday, when he was 19 and she was 35 and still not too bad looking, rocking back and forth on his lap, IN FRONT OF ME, telling him “I love you,” and him telling her, “I love you too!!”…. and then, later my mother tells the whole family that she had no choice but to lock me up in a mental institution when I was 14, because “Lynda was planning to steal my new husband away from me,” which is as big a lie as there ever was told. I was a 14-year-old GIRL, shy, modest, and I looked up to my new step-dad, whom I had known since I was 4 years old, as he was an old family friend and a co-worker of my father ~ I looked up to him to be a replacement of the crazy violent scary father I had lost at the age of 12, when my parents’ marriage had ended. I wanted my good, honorable, kind stepfather to be my DADDY, not my LOVER!!

My mother has also accused me of doing, or trying to do, or planning to do, other, even more heinous crimes, which I NEVER DID, NOR DID I EVER SO MUCH AS THINK OF DOING, but these crimes she accused me of, were crimes that SHE HERSELF had actually DONE, and I knew she had done them, because she told me so!

Totally Crazy-Making. HOW does a young girl defend herself against her mother’s lies, when the mother, who sent me to a psychiatrist at the age of 14, because my Complex-PTSD symptoms, caused primarily by HER ABUSE, back in 1967 when PTSD was still UNKNOWN in the psychiatric community, these “crazy” symptoms, was proof that I was “crazy just like you father,” which my mother had told me so many times…. how does a young girl defend herself against her mother’s cruelty and lies, when SHE NEVER went to a psychiatrist, so therefore SHE NEVER was diagnosed with a “mental illness,” and SHE NEVER was locked up in a mental institution, which is what they did to people with PTSD in the 1960s….

How does a young girl defend herself against a Narcissist Personality who can be ~ as is typical of the true narcissist ~ so CHARMING and SMART and WITTY and APPEALING, and who can FAKE EMPATHY so convincingly to the people who don’t KNOW that she’s faking, because they have never seen her with her mask off? My mother has no genuine empathy or compassion for ANYONE other than HERSELF, she only pretends to have empathy when that pretense will get her something that she wants, such as the admiration and/or protection of a man.

Having Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder… IE, being emotionally and mentally BROKEN… by extreme abuse and trauma is NORMAL, just as it is NORMAL to BLEED if you are STABBED.

But when we “bleed emotionally” from our “emotional stab wounds,” our abusers… and ignorant society as a whole… points to us and says, “See, there is the proof that she is CRAZY.”

And so we are FURTHER wounded, by society’s ignorant hateful put-downs and condescending attitudes. We are not given the Compassion, Understanding, Respect, and helpful Encouragement, that a stabbing victim is given.

Because our wounds are invisible, unlike the wounds of a stabbing victim, our family, and society “twists the knife.” We are wounded, again and again. We take our battered ego out into the world, and normal, healthy people are not attracted to us… but ABUSERS seek us our like PREY. They see the weak, the broken, and they know, “this is someone I can CONTROL like a SLAVE ROBOT.” This is why we get into one abusive marriage or relationship after another.

And each abusive failed marriage or relationship leaves us even more broken, more needy, and less capable of attracting or maintaining a healthy normal loving relationship. It’s like we are in a series of terrible car crashes, that sometimes happens on a super highway in heavy fast moving traffic, in fog and on icy roads. One CRASH leads straight to the next CRASH which leads straight to the next CRASH… and so on and on, until you have 50 or 100 cars piled up on top of each other.

Most normal people in their normal lives have, at the most, one or two or maybe three bad car accidents. So they can’t relate to someone like me, who has had 50 or 100 severe traumas…. when I tell my trauma story, people don’t want to believe it. THAT MANY traumas don’t happen to JUST ONE PERSON.

But when you have a severely mentally ill parent, who attracts another severely mentally ill person to marry… birds of a feather flock together… then you are going to have a set of parents who says, and does, many many many many horrible crazy traumatic and abusive things to you as you are growing up.

Then, when you grow up all emotionally battered and bruised and broken and NEEDY, needy because your normal human needs for love and kindness and nurture and affirmation and validation have never been met, you are most probably going to go out into the world and get into one abusive bullying relationship after another, for the reasons I said, healthy people are not attracted to broken people when it comes to love and marriage, as a rule, but abusers ARE.

And, after a series of abusive, failed relationships/marriages, when you go for therapeutic help, you are most likely to be told that the “common denominator” in all your failed relationships is YOU, therefore the fault must be ALL YOURS, and if your exes all abused you, you must be provoking it in some way because you LIKE to be ABUSED.

When the truth is… THE GOD’S TRUTH IS…. ALL YOU EVER WANTED, FROM INFANCY ON, WAS TO BE ***LOVED***.

Of course, the more you look for LOVE in all the wrong places… because the healthy people are not attracted to you, and because you LEARNED THE WRONG DEFINTION OF LOVE when you were a child… the more failed attempts at finding LOVE that you go through, the more you get that OTHER bad reputation. You’re not only “CRAZY,” you are a “WHORE.”

Today, I know that I am NOT CRAZY. Today I know that I am NOT A WHORE, and I never was. Today I like me, I love me, and today I am loved. Today I know that my mother is full of BULL. And so is everyone in our family who has turned a blind eye to the Abusive Hateful Fake-Caring Narcissist that she is, and bought in to her lies.

Lynda

71

Pam; I can so related to your post. I too learned early on that I had no “say” and that my value was in doing what I was told and letting others violate my body however they chose. I was so conditioned in this way that from the age of about 12 to 14 (maybe 15) numerous adult men in my small rural community would use me and even take turns using me. And I thought nothing of it because this was all I’d ever known.

I remember one time one of them dropped me off outside my home afterwards and my father was yelling at me for using water to take a bath (I had to wash it off me). He expressed no concern for me. By the time I was 15 I didn’t understand why no one wanted to have sex with me anymore even when I tried to throw myself at these men. Apparently I had matured beyond their tastes. Often though I think it was more that they just took turns and once they’d “had” me they didn’t come back for seconds. I of course thought I’d done something wrong to make them mad at me and not want to “play” with me any more.

By age 16 I was ripe for the pedophile that kidnapped (lured me and groomed me) me, took me out of state and ultimately married me when I got pregnant at age 18. My daughter then became victim to him. All this before I was 20. It wasn’t until I began to learn to look at the lies that told me I deserved this that I began to live beyond it and find my “self” that had hidden deep inside me. I’m so grateful for this space at EFB where we can break through these beliefs and begin to claim our true self as a worthy and whole being – no longer damaged or alone:) My father disowned me. He knew where I was and rejected me – said I was no longer “his” daughter.

It always amazes me how society and entire communities can be complicit in this treatment of children.

Great post and a much needed discussion:)

72

Susan,
We have so much in common you and I. I know many young girls were victimized the way we were but no one really talks about it and you are the first one that I’ve met and discussed it with. Most people will see young teenage girls being used and exploited and blame it on the girls. I guess it is less dangerous to them to blame the victim.

I was a young 16, no matter how wicked my parents thought I was. I grew up in a very isolated area under the continual manipulation, abuse, and neglect of my dad. In a way, his manipulation made a ‘slut’ of me before I ever had sex…or had sex forced upon me. I looked young for my age, also. I think the first pedophile passed me to the second because I had already matured, and been used, past what turned him on. He already had a child by another teenager. He was working in a porn theatre. My parents had all of this knowledge readily available to them but they never looked into it. They didn’t think I was mature enough to drive a car but that I was mature enough to make the decision to go live with a grown man that I didn’t even know. They knew where I was, who I was with, and did nothing. (I think they were relieved to be done with me) They even sent my little sister to stay with me when I was living with the second. She has no idea what I protected her from. She has no gratitude either. Only disdain. No one knows much about what happened to me because their afraid they might get dirty hearing it.

By the time I was 17-171/2,(after the second pedophile and all his friends were done with me) I had a job that paid $2.25 per hour and rented a small house in a terrifying part of town. I had no car and lived on raw potatoes(I couldn’t afford to turn on the gas to cook them)and peanut butter. I actually did pretty well at pulling it together but my self-value was by them all tied up in sex and pleasing men. I was terribly self-abusive and out of control. I did manage to get into a government training program and get some clerical training. I got a better job but my out of control sexual behavior and the drugs I needed to continue in it got the best of me.

I spent my adult life wondering why my sexual behavior was the way it was. It was one of the reasons that I was convinced that I was bi-polar. Mania seemed to be a good basket to put it in but it was a false basket. As you know, that is a whole other abuse saga.

I’m glad I’m here. I found EFB right at the right time to give me one last push I needed to get over the hump. I’m reinjured because of my sister’s letter and attempt to manipulate me but I’m not depressed or confused. I’m confident of my truth now and have full understanding of the ‘whys’ of my life. Just knowing why can often give us the understanding we need to conquer.

Here’s to you, my fellow conqueror!

Pam

73

Lynda,
When I was misdiagnosed as bipolar, my sister also rejected me. In families like mine that are so emeshed, I don’t think the members can see the problems of another family member as being serparate. I think my sister was too embarrassed by mental illness to continue to have me as a ‘part of her’. I went to visit her and all of the pictures of me and my family were missing. None of the presents I had given her were visible (I think she threw them all away). None of her new friends even knew she had a sister. She threw me away because she couldn’t deal with what she viewed as my shame wich she also saw as her shame. Just like my Mom and Dad threw me away when I was a kid because I had been ‘soiled’ and what they saw as my shame they also saw as their shame. Now that I have made relationship with me dependent upon their acknowledging that I was sexuall abused and not a whore they have thrown me away again because they surely will not take that shame upon them now. In their view, victims get what they were asking for because they are weak. They despise weakness. I was born very small and weak. They have always despised me. They are very sick.

I’m not weak anymore though!!! I Am strong!;0)

Hope you’re feeling some better today.

Love,
Pam

74

Lynda,
I feel your anger and frustration. You have been through so much trauma and you are right, it is not your fault, it is the sick vicious cycle of abuse that people like us have never been taught is wrong. The really annoying thing is that THEY are the crazy ones. It makes me so angry.

75

Pam, what a great post. It really showed me how the progression happens and while my circumstances were quite different the same sort of isolation, control and manipulation was present, as well as the occasional violence and the constant threat of violence. Nothing is more threatening to me than the sound of a snapping leather belt and feet heavily trodding up the stairs to pause outside my room. Thanks for sharing and for the great interaction with all who commented and shared.
Shanyn, the Scarred Seeker.

76

Shanyn,
My mother used a fly-swatter and my dad had temper tantrums. The only spanking I remember giving me problems is when my mother thought that I had done something and I hadn’t. She proceeded to spank my sister for it while making comments to me that I should confess. So…even if I was innocent, I was guilty and if my sister did something wrong, it was still my fault. My scars are psychological. I know the psychological wounds from any abuse are the last to heal. So even if the method was different, we do have a lot in common. There will be a day of complete healing, Shanyn.

I’m glad the post spoke to you.

77

I cannot read this section yet but will bookmark it to be able to do so under safer conditions.

78

Ronnie….???

79

[…] week, Pam shared a piece of her story with us in her guest post “To be Objectified is to be Dehumanized” This week Pam shares the next stage of her recovery on the subject of human Objectification. As […]

80

Hi Everyone!!

I just published Pam’s new post, which is a continuation from this one! Her new post can be seen here:

The Power of the Lie is Fear ~ When the Bubble popped ~ My recovery by Pam Witzemann

Enjoy!
Hugs, Darlene

81

Pam, this was an eye opening post; thanks!

I believe that my parents were so hurt and damaged by their pasts that they just passed down the cumulative unresolved issues that they had onto their family.

I think that I became the symbol of everyone who had hurt my mom in particular, and she took it out on me. I’m not analysing her, but it appears this was true, looking at the evidence of interactions with her and the facts of our history.

As a result, my family objectified me. I was never Evie, as such, I was kind of the garbage pail they dump/dumped their frustration, fears, rage and prejudices on to.

One of the things that has so distressed me has been that no matter what happened, even when possibly people around me saw that I was being abused, verbally, and emotionally, in particular; not one person around me ever said, ‘Stop, you are hurting Evie’, or ‘Evie, I see this is happening, and its wrong; I don’t agree with how these people treated you…’

In other words, no one validated the abuse, called it what it was, called out the ones who did it, or validated to me that it WAS abusive, and that they didn’t agree with the abusers.

Its a very eerie feeling to be treated that way, to sit in the painful silence of have been put down, blamed, raged at, ridiculed, and no one says a word in your defense. All that is said, if anything, is ‘Well, so and so has had a bad life, day, week,…’ Whatever; as if that is more important.

Explaining to me that an abusive person’s bad life or bad week is more important that the fact that they are dumping their hatred and garbage on me, says to me that there is objectification going on all around the abusive situation-

When you are expected to excuse, understand, and absorb abuse by not only the abusive person- who by the way, never apologizes- and also those around you, you are yet again being abused, twice over.

Silent bystanders and those taken in by abusive manipulative people have their own issues. My recovery means I don’t allow the recreation of the original abuse scenario over and over. Explaining to the abused WHY the abuser is abusing you is inadequate, and insensitive. And abusive.

82

Evie,
I agree with everything you said because I have also lived it. When you recognize the truth as a child but it is continually denied as truth it confuses our whole concept of ourselves and how we react to others. Its really impossible to lead a successful life with no identity outside of garbage pail (I love that description).

There is a big difference between reasons and excuses. Knowing the reasons as to why things are as they are gives us the power to effect change. Excuses let abuses slide. My parents always say the problem is that I don’t forgive them but when pressed, they deny any wrong doing. Like you said, they never say they are sorry. (Who’s sorry for throwing trash in the trash can?)What they really want is for me to let it all slide and continue dealing with their trash. No more. I was to be their daughter not their trash can. They missed the boat and I’m not going to pretend anymore. I am a person, a human being not an object to be controlled by others.

83

Pam, I honestly do not believe that my family saw the big picture. I honestly after wrestling with this, believe they were aware of individual instances where they were abusive but chose not to see the atmosphere as one of abuse. In any case, maybe because they didn’t love themselves things were the way they were.

One thing I do know is that validating it WAS abuse is the first thing; realizing the treatment was based on lies, and grieving it is important.At some point I have to come to some resolution. I was angry and confused for years. Now I must have my energy for healing.

Thanks for a great blog post!

84

Pam, thank you for sharing your story. I was objectified as a sex object by my uncle and then my dad. I was taught that to a man a woman only was valuable for having sex. They had no other use for women according to my dad. I was taught this over and over again from the age of 11 onward.

With my mother I was objectified as someone to take care of her physical needs for coffee and cigarettes. I was to fetch those when she needed them. I was also needed to do house cleaning which no one ever taught me how to do. Any jobs that I did around the house for my mother were never good enough for my father especially after I said no to being his sex object sometime during my 17th year. I was home going to a junior college for 2 more years before I ran away from home.

The only reason that I didn’t fall into a life of prostitution is because God put the right people in my path to give me hope, helped me get my first ever job and gave me a place to live until I could go off to my 3rd year of college in the Fall of that year. Without those people I would have wound up out on my own on the streets.

85

Patricia,
If God hadn’t intervened in my life, I’m quite sure that I would be dead either at the hand of someone else or my own. I so needed God’s light to guide me. I had nothing else and my life up until that time was only darkness, a death dance. By nineteen, I was completely bereft of what it takes to defend oneself in the world. I was so objectified that I know longer had any self direction. I would have no story to tell without Jesus. There have been lots of people in my life sense then who have been a positive force but spiritual healing had to take place before I could even begin on the path from object to self-directed human being.
Pam

86

Pam, I am glad that you survived. Now you can be a light for other survivors coming out of their own darkness.

87

It is so strange when listening to another describe who we are to them. In words that have an intent to cause emotional damage, with disturbing and distasterous distortions of reality .

When one feels that they must defend themselves agaisnt alligations of any kind within a relationship, this is a clear sign that the relationship is unhealthy.

The degree of respect and value that one expects in a healthy relationship upholds and recognizes human rights. It is within each individuals right to communicate to another their feelings and ideals. Through respectful communications all miscommunications and problems can be resolved between (healthy, intelligent adults) ensuring that a valued relationship continues.

Learning what constitutes respectful communications allows that one does not become confused or caught in damaging unresolvable conflicts. Those that cannot abide nor agree to such terms of respectful communications, but disregard anothers rights,must be considered “unhealthy( unhealthy can be defined as; dysfunctional personality disorders ,mental illness, mood disorders and other illnesses affecting an individuals brain,substance abuse, ect..)

To continue to engage and participate in an unhealthy relationship simply allows one to reexperience the same unhealthy patterned irrational responses,a term defined as enabling.

I have found for myself that dealing with such individuals at times in life is necessary but only with a clear and stronge sense that if they violate my human rights i immediately disengage from communications and bring a third party(lawyer,mediator, social worker, family counselor)to establish and provide reasonable terms and conditions for further communications.

Having to realise that such difficult(unhealthy) people exsit, and yes are within our families of origin is a frightfully painful reality.

We each must speak out against abuse, being able to articulate and communicate to an unhealthy adult their violations of our human rights establishes that no further discussion is necessary understanding that disrepect is unacceptable within any healthy relationship,there can be have no justifiable defense.

88

cowanmagee,

I would really like to bring in a couselor with my family of origen but they don’t believe in going to them. I have asked before. I have tried everything and they have tried nothing but to work the situation. I have no other honorable choice but to set my boundary and enforce it. I still hope that they will have a change of heart and choose to pursue truth.

Pam

89

Thers are moments of wishful hope, that keep many of us still trying, over and over again. To allow that another(regardless of significant family roles) continue in unhealthy disrepectful enabling and providing oppurtunity for continued disturbing and painful experiences(enabling is the persistant continuancewith no changed), is not to understand that what “unhealthy really means”.

Before one can strongely protest anything with an assertive believable voice, one must learn about and define what they are protesting about. To believe in ones self, is to live within terms that one is willing to defend against and fight for.

Within each of our lives certain moments define us, we that have suffered abuse lived within the realm of dsyfunctional is distortion created by the unhealthy minds of our abusers.

Within families abuse exsits held tightly and firmly within the relationship ties. To be willing to let go of those ties as they are firmly established (with well patterned unhealthy responses), having no expectations of any respectful relationship from unhealthy persons allows one to redefine reasonable cause to suspend , limit ,restrict and to assert healthy boundaries which are definable and are necessary for self peservation.
Firmly establishing clear boundaries is within every persons human right.

90

cowanmagee,
Personal boundaries are a inalienable right. They should be respected and reinforced by our parents from birth onward. When those natural boundaries are trampled and broken before a child is ever cognizant of them is to leave that person vulnerable to all abuse. It is difficult to even begin to realize what is missing in order to reestablish what should never have been stolen. That is the task of all of us who have suffered abuse.

The ownership of our own person is sacred.

91

To Pam,
I read your post on demumanization through objectification. Your ability to understand the magnitude of full implications of your personal experiences of abuse affirms that you have been able to emotionally detach from continued abusive relationships.

As i have had to do myself over time concluding that the unhealthy distortions of my abusers mind could not respond in healthy respectful communications and the possibilty of change was and is unrealistic.

Through continued skill building, education and counselling the process of detachment is possible. Learning to detect the subtle triggers that cause my abuser to become aggitated and respond with patterned escalations of verbal abuse through understanding the traits of a disordered mind.

I no longer take personally his verbal assaults as I attribute these traits to his personality disorder.

I have also realized that having any further dealings with this most disagreeable and abusive person( involved with issues concerning our children)meant that I must ensure that I have protection with qualified outside parties involved (never private conversations with him)this provides that accuracy and accountability is never jepordized with an unbiazed professionally trained counselor conducting all negotiations and assisstance in resolving all problems.

I now never provide my abusiver with any oppurtunity to further abuse me (clear enforced boundaries continue to be established).

92

cowanmagee,
I agree with the way you are handling your problem. We can’t fix anyone but we can put into place measures to protect ourselves. I also wonder, at times, if my family is capable of change but I still can’t do anything but try to live better myself. I am no longer being abused by anyone. I know that is because my thinking has changed and I am more self-confident. Abusers, I believe, are cowards at heart and they target those who are unsure of themselves and their own boundaries. For a long time, I didn’t know where I ended and others began. Now I know and it sounds as if you know also.

93

Hi Pam and Cowanmagee
Pam I love what you said in comment # 90. What I have found to be the biggest challange in working with survivors is that the beliefs were set in place so young that it is very hard for people to recognize the truth anymore. I was so brainwashed that I could not survive without someone (who was controlling me) that I could not see HOW I would be able to become independant and still be happy. My def. of relationship was so very wrong! I had to relearn almost everything about love and relationship. Today I am indepdant AND married… who knew that was healthy??
Thanks for this conversation both of you.
Hugs, Darlene

94

I find it hard to believe i deserve anything good . so long told am worthless..because i feel that way ..any time something good comes my way .. i feel it wont last because am not worthy of good things. have been crying tonight over this very thought ..i cannot feel worthy of good things.. i have in me that old tape playing and when i think all the things bad that has happened that maybe my mom told me truth when she said nothing good will come to me . since i am a worthless piece of sh(i)t who should never have been born.. ..can’t get that thought out of my mind. ..tonight its playing over and over. i don’t deserve good because i should ever have been born ..some objects are more valuable than me

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An interesting study on causes of depression describe as neurological pathways” the negative loop effect”. A negative emotional trigger sets this well ingrained process off and running. Congitive behavioral therapy helps to create new pathways through positive emotional associations.

I too remember the feeling of worthlessness. I married a very harsh, critcal and demanding man. Over a long period in a confusing and conflictive relationship I developed levels of anxiety and delibitating depressions (at the time I did not consider that the relationship I was in was emotionally abusive). Hereing negative words continuously ascribed and spoken to me created a negative association that developed in my thought processing(brain washing effect also known as ‘negative loop’).

Entering into counselling with my then husband (now EX) did nothing to change his continued negative attitude towards me. Only when I determined that I needed help for myself, change occurred and the process of healing began.

I eventually left that unhealthy relationship as i became aware of the damaging affects on myself and my children. I am still healing after 8 years of separation, each stage is necessary, the first stage is the most difficult identifing and understanding the damaging effects of an unhealthy relationship.

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Joy,
I used to think the same way. If something good did come into my life, I often sabotaged it because I couldn’t believe that I could have it. I had to change what I believed. I started believing that I was valuable to God and through that I found my value. Belief is powerful and we do have a choice as to what we believe. I don’t believe the things your mother said about you are true because no baby is a worthless piece of sh–. I know you aren’t either.

My heart breaks for your sadness and the weight of it. I hope and pray that soon you will be able to begin to lay it down. You deserve better.

Love,
Pam

97

Joy I can so relate to your words in comment #94, it was a strange feeling reading your words feeling like you’ve taking a tour around my thought life. I’ve struggled with thoughts like that all my life, whenever anything good happens to me I’m always suspicious of it feeling something bad has to happen because something good has happened, it can’t last, I don’t deserve it etc. I was repeatedly told by my parents that I was worthless and never to think of myself in any other way. It’s hard to break that and think of myself in other ways. But I’m very slowly beginning to realise I can challenge that old tape.

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Fi,
That happened to me for several years too. I had to really be aware of the fear that came up whenever something good happened so that I could reassure myself that it was not the past anymore and that the fear came from the past. It was part of the reparenting I talk about. It was TRUE that in the past anything good was always some kind of manipulation, so there was that history that backed up my fears.
Thanks for sharing! This is such a valid topic.
Hugs, Darlene

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Fi,
When something good would happen to me, I’d think that it must be a trick of some kind. That there was always bad hiding behind the good. I would also think that it was bound to be taken from me so I had better not enjoy it too much. It is good when that old tape we were programmed with begins to sound hollow. That is when the new programming starts to kick in. Its good to be able to enjoy the good things in my life and not think that I deserve the bad things that also come my way.

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Fi…exactly how i feel so really am bad to me. .I should be nicer to “me” and I am not sometimes. I need to be kind to me and the little girl who was so lied to .

I never ever new really what it was to be a little girl. I was never treated like a little girl .things I got were for mom’s glory..whatever would make family good

I was called stupid but i better not get lower than a b on anything or I will be beat to smitherines…which happened often.

i never could understand how I was so stupid but got the grades she wanted me to get..

Anyway I can’t get what i lost out on but I do play now. lol I color and do things I wished I did when I was small

Joy

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