No longer a victim!
In this video I talk about taking responsibility for my life after a childhood of neglect, abuse and years of severe depression.
No longer a victim!
Society’s protection of parents damages children.
If the commonly held belief is “honor thy mother and father”, if you don’t, there must be something wrong with you right?
And PS: ever wonder why there are no commandments that you must enjoy the taste of chocolate? Or that you must think Brad Pitt is a babe? (sorry, I don’t know who the hot celebrities are these days)
If people need to be commanded to feel a certain way, there is a reason why. A bad reason.
Growing up (and even now, in the comments section of my videos), people were quick to anxiously remind me that my mother loved me.
This of course, following a video where I explicitly stated how abusive and cruel she was to me as a child.
People who had no idea what was going on inside the home where I lived with her, people who would not believe what she said to my ten year old self, after surgery in the hospital after the nurses left the room (“You’re faking”), people who had no idea that she would get us excited that “one of” our dads was coming to visit, insinuate that we would finally have a father for a few hours (YAY!! YAY! CLEAN UP! YAY!), and take off to her bedroom while we worked, only to come down in lingerie with no pants on when the doorbell rang.
This actually happened.
She also once decided to tell us that when we were kids, she wanted to drown us and kill herself.
These people were DESPERATE that I know that my mother loved me. Teaching a child that that was love is how these cycles perpetuate.
My mother tolerated me. Sometimes. Felt obligated towards me and guilty about me. She had concern over my immediate corporeal safety…sometimes. She sometimes was proud of me when she felt it publicly reflected well on her parenting skills (right).
But no, my mother did not love me.
Or appreciate me. Express interest in my inner world or in developing a personal relationship with me. She didn’t see me as a unique and worthy individual independent of her selfish desires and wishes. She didn’t see me as a new human being who had to learn how to be a woman and person from the one who brought me here.
Her eyes never lit up when I entered the room. She was never happy to see me.
In fact, she regularly neglected, ignored or emotionally and physically abused me because of her own issues and because she never sought treatment for her mental and emotional illnesses.
My mother did not love me.
If that makes you uncomfortable, you might want to ask yourself why.
Another thing people are quick to tell me is to forgive, forgive, forgive. The best therapy I have had, that is helping connect me to my real self, the self that got erased by the indignity of my childhood, has encouraged me to finally be me. To respect my emotions, my feelings, my truths. For once.
If I had met therapists who shut that down by cowardly encouraging me to “forgive”, I would not be where I am today.
Do I think you should wallow in anger and grief and think about how much you hate your parents every day instead?
Yes. If it’s part of your healing process.
You will know when it’s time to let go. And being pressured to “forgive” by people who would rather not have to deal with witnessing your pain or considering what your revelations might mean about their life, is not helpful at all. In fact, it’s quite cruel.
Daniel Mackler explains:
“When therapists are quick to forgive parents their errors, and are quick to preach forgiveness, I am quick to say that I don’t trust them and I don’t want to refer clients to them.
To me, forgiving parents is not part of the healing process, no matter what the Dalai Lama or Eckhart Tolle or Mother Teresa might have said. Yet so many therapists preach forgiveness. Why? Because they haven’t done much to heal their traumas and instead took on the mindset of their traumatizers.
Those who preach forgiving parents are really just preaching dissociation. No one who has really gone into the depths of his or her childhood despair and rejection — that ubiquitous childhood experience — would expect or encourage forgiveness.
Instead they would respect the anger and sorrow and even rage that comes with breaking dissociation, moving through depression, and following the trail of grief.
Healing is hell, and there’s no way around it.
Often it entails breaking, and breaking deeply, from those who set up or even directly caused the trauma.
To touch upon an earlier subject, this is another reason why I tend to mistrust therapists who have children of their own. So often when people have a child they are quick to realize how imperfect they themselves are as parents, and in so doing are quick to forgive the imperfections of their own parents. This might sound healthy on the surface, but I have observed that it’s a lot easier for parents to forgive those who traumatized them than to look at the ways they are culpable of replicating those traumas on an innocent other whom they created. To me, preaching forgiveness is a sign of a stymied healing process, and why would I want to go to, much less pay, such a person for my own healing?”
MAIN TAKEAWAYS FROM THIS ARTICLE:
- Not all parents love or even like their children. This is a fact of life.
- Would you tell someone getting beaten and abused by their spouse that they should forgive them and that that person loves them? No? Then please do not tell this to children. Big or small ones. If there is a need for someone outside the family to convince a child that their parent loves them, there is something majorly wrong.
- Forgiveness should not be your main concern when doing deep healing. So often, the victim takes on the mentality of their traumatizer. Believing they “deserved it” is one. And automatically jumping to forgiveness is another. Who is it so important to that you forgive your parents? Probably your parents and other people who are made uncomfortable by your decision to be so brave. Don’t worry about that. It will come in time when you have healed yourself. Maybe.
excerpt from Is My Therapist Good or Not? by Daniel Mackler
Written by a feminist, but still a very good, emotionally raw article: I can’t forgive my mother
Here’s how to find out!
“How did you get contact and attunement as a kid? What tactic did you use?”
I had just finished roasting a popular YouTuber, in her 30s, who makes baby faces and noises at the camera in a childlike attempt at attention. It triggered me big time.
“I didn’t. I didn’t do anything. I didn’t get connection…….oh wait, I got sick. That was how I got attention. Oh wait, no. That just made my mom hate me even more, so that can’t be it.”
“Hate. That’s connection and attention. To a child, it’s better than being ignored or neglected.”
I first found him through Steven Summerstone. Thanks, Steven! These videos express everything I wanted to say.
Some days, I am still so angry and so sad.
I didn’t want to be someone whose overwhelming feeling upon her mother’s death was relief. Yes, she was suffering and suffered greatly her whole life. But I am talking about that sense that “Hey… I can breathe now. I never have to deal with one of her alcoholic boyfriends ever again. I’ll never again be manipulated for money or stolen from or guilted into anything or yelled at by someone screaming so violently that their head rattles and my ears ring with an instant headache.”
I never wanted to have to fight back. She once physically attacked me, grappling me with her full weight (over two hundred pounds), slowly pressing all breath out of me. Her teeth were bared and spittle flew out between them as she heaved her straining smoker’s breaths like a beast.
She desperately wanted to escape the hurt and anger of her childhood and thought she could wring it out of my body by force, losing her humanity in the process.
I never wanted to be a part of that.
I never wanted to carry this hate in my heart.
I didn’t want to be the kind of person who would take a certain satisfaction in knowing that her ashes were sitting unceremoniously on a shelf gathering dust in the basement of a funeral home.
Forgotten, abandoned, forsaken yet again, even in death.
Her sister had wanted to take the ashes back to the island YES I said yes please do but my brother had said no. I was disappointed but did not press the issue. I had a history of being annoyed over his expression of any kind of a preference. And I learned not to question someone who is grieving.
However, even now, I feel a twinge of annoyance at his insistence and lack of further action resulting in them still being here. It’s something I feel sort of obligated to deal with somehow. Although this will never happen. I have washed my hands of her.
My heart is another story.
I’ve been attempting to call back memories of those adults who showed me support as a child.
Today I recalled my swimming lessons. I think I was maybe eight. This would have been four years after my near drowning and while I exhibited a healthy bit of caution, I was unafraid.
The levels of swimming certification were yellow, orange and red. I wanted the red so badly and I had this fiery, wiry, wild little body that was really strong and agile.
It was the final test and for this, we each had time alone with the teacher. I can’t remember her name or what she looked like but she was young. Late teens, early twenties maybe.
We had to hold our breath under water, identify colors underwater, swim laps. But then came the floating. She supported me on my back in the deep end of the pool while my muscles spasmed and tensed. Surely, you don’t just lie there? I have to do something..?
She calmly, soothingly kept encouraging me.
It was counterintuitive to every human instinct but the truth was that when you completely relaxed, on your back, in the deep end, you would float. She’d move her arms away and back in very small increments.
The triumph!! when I first felt it. I was elated. And heartily congratulated and celebrated. She called me ‘sweetie’, which no one really ever did. I can remember every specific moment in my childhood when someone called me that. It was like balm for my soul.. that I felt slightly ashamed and unworthy of receiving. Now, as an adult, it bothers me greatly to be addressed in this way by anybody under age 70.
I think I only spent twenty minutes alone with her. Me, that little scrawny child with the afro, glasses, and the Goodwill bathing suit with no one to speak for her.
Those twenty minutes drastically contributed to my life in a profound way.
Right now my mission is active: creating, speaking and spreading concepts that can drastically improve the lives of children and adult children. But I plan to spend my retirement in children’s hospitals as emotional support. There were small moments of deep kindness I experienced as a child that I will never forget. I’d love to help someone else in that way ♥
There is a part of me that is suspicious anytime a therapist tells me your mother was ________ or your mother always _________ or your mother didn’t _________.
I think, how do they know?
I mean, I give them whatever I can. And I tell them the good and the bad. But not everything. There isn’t time for everything or I would tell everything because I have carried all of it for much too long.
I start to feel the way I do when I take eye exams. I hate that they are trusting my subjective opinion to make medical decisions about me.
Which is clearer, the top or the bottom row?
Is it better or worse when I do this?
Can I really be trusted to give them an accurate picture of the truth through my eyes?
Then I remember how we learned about soils in forestry.
When you are learned, you can look at the bark, the tilt, the way the leaves of a tree grow and know exactly what kind of soil it grew in and what conditions it endured.
You can look at it and know what it’s first winter was like.
How far into the ground it was planted.
If I had walked in there and told them that I had a wonderful childhood (I actually thought I had at first, the majority of people with childhood trauma have mental blocks in place to make them feel this way as well), it would not have made a difference. They would have known the truth.
Part of what came along with my childhood was a well programmed guilt-o-meter to prevent me from talking about it. I still feel it. But I do it anyway.
It’s not I who should be ashamed of my childhood or any of the ways that I responded to it.
And it’s still so hard for me accept that.
Thing number one that I learned yesterday.
Well, I have learned this. Many times over. But it’s the first time that a professional, a therapist, has said this to me.
It starts to make things clear. Especially when it comes to dealing with people from your past, which is something that I often discuss in sessions. I try to get perspective.
Can I allow this person back in my life?
Have I changed? Have they?
Discussing where things went wrong between two people is not living in the past, it is an attempt to prevent repeating the past. When you say to someone from your past that sure we can reconnect but things have to be different and here’s some ways how that can look and they treat you like a completely irrational raving lunatic, there’s only two choices for you:
compromise your boundaries and betray yourself
accept that they are not willing to change the nature of your relationship
(which was likely hurtful and dysfunctional) and let them be.
This is why it is important in the future to start relationships the way you want them to continue. To let people know from the beginning what you will and will not do.
People looking for a doormat, or an ATM, or a free therapist, or a scapegoat will get from the start that that is not you.