This is a post I’ve been meaning to write for a while.
I grew up in a house full of fear. I was always afraid, always on edge, always waiting for the other shoe to drop. My mother set the atmosphere in that house and set it early. I don’t remember any love or care from her. Only anger and rage. Yes, she wasn’t angry all the time but it sure felt like it to me. I never knew what would set her off, what she would come after me for this time. I was constantly alert, constantly afraid. I wasn’t safe and I didn’t know it. I thought everyone lived this way because I only really saw the isolated world I was imprisoned in and couldn’t see anything else.
Not only fear but no boundaries as well. I wasn’t a person to my mother. I was a mistake, a failure, something that ruined her life. My thoughts, my feelings, my own body weren’t mine according to her. My physical body was hers to control. Therefore, I was too fat, too ugly, too stupid, too much of a failure, too bad for everything except Hell, would never amount to anything. In her world, I wasn’t fit to live but wasn’t worthy enough to kill either. Destruction was easier for her and made it look like she was a good mother and I was just a bad daughter. Maybe if I was like her then I would be okay but she couldn’t have that because she considered herself perfect and nothing could compete with perfection. Therefor, I had to be destroyed.
Where was my father in all this? On the sidelines, keeping his head down. But I didn’t know until I talked to him yesterday that he also considered me a disappointment. I heard it in his voice. And I thought he loved me. He does, on some level, but I painted him as an innocent victim of my mother when in reality he was a passive enabler. I did not have parents who cared for my welfare beyond the very basics. There was no love, no caring, no intimacy. Nothing that made us a family except DNA and blood.
Now I have friends that I can see love their children and raised them in a house full of love. No matter what these kids have done or believe or act (and the kids are adults about the same age as me) my friends still love them and shower that love on them. No strings attached. No unreasonable expectations. And they give that love to everyone they meet, no matter. They do and say things that my own family of origin would never tolerate or allow.
It’s so strange and hard to go from a house full of fear with no respect for personal boundaries and extremely unreasonable behavioral expectations to what amounts to an almost free for all. It’s not but it certainly seems like it to me. I keep expecting the other shoe to drop, to expect something I can’t give, to be hurt and dumped. This just can’t be real, can it?
It’s such a different world and I’m an alien in it. I don’t feel like I fit in.