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

 

 

 

102 response to "To be Objectified is to be Dehumanized by Pam Witzemann"

  1. By: Pam Posted: 21st June

    Ronnie….???

  2. By: Ronnie Posted: 21st June

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

  3. By: Pam Posted: 20th June

    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.

  4. By: Shanyn Posted: 20th June

    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.

  5. By: Carolyn Posted: 20th June

    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.

  6. By: Pam Posted: 20th June

    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

  7. By: Pam Posted: 20th June

    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

  8. By: Susan Kingsley-Smith Posted: 20th June

    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:)

  9. By: Lynda ~ Out Of The cRaZy Closet Posted: 20th June

    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

  10. By: Pam Posted: 20th June

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

    Pam

  11. By: Carolyn Posted: 19th June

    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.

  12. By: Pam Posted: 19th June

    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

  13. By: Lynda ~ Out Of The cRaZy Closet Posted: 19th June

    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

  14. By: Pam Posted: 19th June

    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.

  15. By: Lynn Tolson Posted: 19th June

    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.

  16. By: Pam Posted: 19th June

    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

  17. By: Lynda ~ Out Of The cRaZy Closet Posted: 19th June

    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.

  18. By: Pam Posted: 19th June

    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.

  19. By: Pam Posted: 19th June

    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.

  20. By: Lynda ~ Out Of The cRaZy Closet Posted: 19th June

    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.

  21. By: Lynda ~ Out Of The cRaZy Closet Posted: 19th June

    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

  22. By: Lynda ~ Out Of The cRaZy Closet Posted: 19th June

    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

  23. By: Pam Posted: 18th June

    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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