I don’t think I’ve mentioned it here but I am a survivor of abuse. Emotional/psychological and verbal abuse. Not much physical abuse and to my knowledge, not sexual abuse thought there was abuse by my mother that could be considered if not sexual abuse then boundary abuse. And yes, my mother was my abuser. That went on for nearly the first twenty years of my life.
Then I went off to college at 18 while still carrying all that baggage/garbage, etc. It wasn’t until I was 21 that I was able to start drawing lines and when I was 22 realize my parents didn’t care all that much about me. My mother was abusive, my dad neglectful. And I thought that this was all normal.
It wasn’t until I was forced into counseling my senior year of college (I had gone to my advisor to get an extension for a paper and was in tears because I was so exhausted but she thought I was depressed and made me make an appointment with the counseling center) that I had someone outside the situation actually say what happened to me was abuse and neglect. I tried to say that to people while in the last year or so of high school but no one believed me. From hearing things like I must be making things up to my parents weren’t really like that I doubted what really happened to me and even believed that I was making it up. There are still times I think I made up what happened to me and then I remind myself that, no, it really happened. Why would I be as messed up as I am if I hadn’t been abused?
I recently read a book about daughters and their mothers. I really shouldn’t have read past the first few pages and returned it immediately to the library. It was the absolutely the worst book to read. This women advocates that all women and I mean all women need to be best friends with their mothers regardless of how their mothers treated them in the past and that the only friendship a women needs in one with her mother. Actually, the author advocates that the only relationship a women needs is the friendship she has with her mother and that her mother should be the center of her universe. That a women being a mother, a wife, a sister, a friend to other people is considered unimportant and even blasphemous to this whole mother-daughter friendship the author advocates. That’s such a load of BS it isn’t even funny. There are many of us that can’t even have a civil relationship with our mothers let alone a mother-daughter relationship and a friendship is completely out of the questions. Yet this author can’t see that. It upset me to read the book and I really shouldn’t have read it.
But this mentality hurts because I’m also getting it from a supervisor at work. Now, this supervisor at work doesn’t know that I was abused and I’m not going to tell her. But she can’t conceive that parents might abuse their children and that those children can’t have anything to do with those abusers as adults as a means of protecting themselves from getting hurt. My supervisor lives in a very unrealistic and a very self-selective world that’s definitely out of touch with reality. She gets along great with her mother but then her mother loved her. My mother wasn’t capable of loving me.
Another effect of my mother’s abuse (from all her screaming) is that I don’t handle loud noises really well. If I’m aware that there is going to be loud noise, I can prepare myself to handle it but there are times when that’s just not possible. Part of my job in security deals with responding to alarms (there’s actually more to alarms to than that but that’s all I can get into). Many of these alarms are loud and extremely obnoxious. Enough, even after my time working there, the sound stresses me out. A lot. I cringe and want to run away which isn’t possible.
The cringing and running away when I feel I really can’t also happens with regards to personal space. If I feel someone is sitting too close to me (which has happened a lot at Mass recently) I start to cry and want to run away but have this overwhelming feeling that I just have to stay there and let the bad things happen, that I have to let the hurt happen. Because leaving and running away is not an option. It is for everyone else but not for me. I can understand how screwed up that is but that’s what’s going through my mind when someone sits so close that it feels like they are sitting in my lap and I can’t move and that this person is going to hurt me and I have to keep silent and let it happen.
So this has been a bad week for me.