August 24, 2007
out of the loop
August 20, 2007
Looking at What I Don't Want to See
Earlier in the week, I felt like my therapist was suggesting something that I just couldn't see at the time.
This dream last night was like that long finger of the ghost, pointing. It was like a voice in my head, directing and asking, "Look! There. Can you see it now?" What I hadn't wanted to look at, but finally saw, was the scarier, crueler origins of my ever-present fear of rejection.
In the beginning of the week that just past, I was so proud of myself. I stayed present and I stayed safe while I was assertive, stated my boundaries and stood my ground during a difficult confrontation. I felt stressed and tired from the confrontation, but I felt good about myself and I didn't dissociate. I even asserted myself as I insisted on some time-out for me for self-care.
Yee haw! I was on a healthy roll!
Then, WHAM! I got stopped in my tracks. I immediately felt bad about myself--rejected and unlovable--after some perceived social snubs by some wealthy parents of students at my son's school. Uh oh. I could almost feel myself getting smaller. I could sense the old, familiar urge to run away and hide. I had to grab my cozy blanket and rock in my rocking chair to comfort and ground myself, in order to resist the dissociative urges.
I felt a bit better after talking it out with my husband. He agreed that some of the behaviors I endured were snobby and rude. Pardon the expression, but I just have no patience for people who act like their shit doesn't stink just because they have money and live in a big, fancy house!
Aaarrrgghh! How did I end up in this situation again?! The people in our immediate neighborhood have different values and priorities. They don't act like snobs. They are very down to earth.
But now my son has to deal with this at school. Just like I did. My high school, for instance, was full of kids who got brand-new cars the day they turned sixteen and went off to expensive, private colleges after graduation. This one girl, I'll never forget, never repeated the same stylish, put-together outfit in the six years I was with her at junior high and high school. I was lucky if I could mix and match enough to pull together a week's worth of clothes without repeating anything!
Anyway, in therapy, I had been casting my nets, so to speak, in search of some junior-high-aged part that, perhaps, I needed to work with on this rejection issue. I feel bad that I dismissed a part who was obviously hurting and calling out for attention. I didn't think she "qualified" because she's younger--between the ages of six and eight, I think. I've always thought of my social rejection era as being somewhere between the ages of 12 and 18; especially concentrated in the junior high years.
That's the time, after all, when I had to endure the social scenarios like walking up behind a group of girls I thought I liked and overhearing them say, "Nobody tell Marj where we're going. We don't want her to come." I was mortified. Back then, I did, literally, run away to hide my embarrassing, unacceptable, unlikeable self.
The dream I had last night started out in this oh-so-familiar way, with the pretty, popular girls rejecting and snubbing me. Ho Hum. That again. Then, the dream took a more sinister turn. In this version of my nightmare, all the popular "kids" look about college age and all live together...like some kind of co-ed fraternity or something. For some reason--even though I know I'm not welcome, not "allowed" there--I go up to the door and one of the resident guys lets me in. He's kinda giving me the tour of the place and being really friendly and nice to me. How strange.
I keep glancing at the front door nervously. I keep thinking, "What is this idiot doing? Doesn't he know that he'll be an outcast if the others return and find him being nice to me?" By the time the others do return, his hideous plan is revealed. He has lured me there in order to enslave me there permanently as his personal step-and-fetch servant!
At the end of the dream they're all standing around, snickering and laughing at the fool--me--who is cleaning and carrying and delivering every whim and desired thing to this guy. The same guy who was once so nice and kind to me is now ordering me about, criticizing my work and belittling me with insults. He is treating me as less than human.
Less than human.
That's what I was in real life. I was stripped of my most basic human dignity, rights and respect, the respect that all humans--child or adult--have an inherent right to. Why do we do it? As a species, why do we stoop to inhumanity? Why do we fool ourselves into thinking it's "us versus them?" How do we allow our ourselves to treat our fellow humans, our brothers--OUR OWN CHILDREN--as less than human objects?
Instead of recognizing that we re all connected--that we are all one--we strip these other divine souls of their humanity. We take an equal--a being that has come from the same source of light and love as ourselves--and we beat him down and strip him of all his rights and human dignity, until he is nothing more than an IT. That's what the plantation owners did to the slaves. That's what the Nazis did to the Jews. That's what my parents did to me.
I was set up. How was I ever supposed to stand up for myself, love myself, or find any social acceptance after that?
My old therapist used to accuse me of taking on too many of the world's problems. But it was my problem It is my problem. As unthinkable as it may seem, this is what parents can do to their own child. This wasn't black vs. white or Christian vs. Jew. This was a case of a parent reducing their own innocent, precious child to an object--an IT--for their own sick pleasure and convenience.
I know this to be true. But, I'm still not quite comprehending or accepting it.
It blows my mind wide open.
It breaks my heart in two.
August 18, 2007
Now Recruiting Carnies for August!
"We will call it the Back To School Edition… and for this edition, I would like to include a theme called BEYOND HEALING: WHAT WE ARE DOING TO GET BACK TO LIFE."
Beyond Healing? What a wonderful idea, Lisa! Let's all get some posts together for this wonderfully-themed edition. You can submit using the form here.
August 08, 2007
Reparenting and Attachment
I asked my T, "Can't I just keep rocking the baby? That was so much more enjoyable." The "rocking-the-baby" I referred to is a reparenting/attachment exercise I've been working on with my T. I'm hopeful and optimistic that it is possible for me to reparent my wounded inner child parts. Up until now, however, I haven't done any of this work for myself before the age of three.
I'm convinced that I never experienced any healthy attachment or bonding with my mother. I believe I bonded with my twin, but not to the woman who birthed me.
You see, my mother had already tried to leave my psycho father when my older brother was just a baby. A neighbor, who was spying on my parents at the request of my maternal grandfather, had witnessed my infant brother flying out the front door of his house, at the hands of my father. Luckily, he landed on the grass in the front yard and received few injuries. But, that was enough for my mother to leave my father. I guess the woman did have motherly-type protection instincts, at least at one point (maybe just for male babies, I don't know).
The way she always told the continuation of this story is like this: So, she moves back in with her parents, away from the psycho child abuser. But, then--as if punished by God or Satan--she finds out she's pregnant again. To add insult to injury, she's pregnant with twins. She's still in the town where my grandparents lived when she gives birth to me and my sister. My father did not come to the hospital to visit my mother or us.
Then, for some mysterious reason (Christian-induced "family" obligation, to get away from my over-bearing grandfather, who knows), my mother reunites with my father. She then proceeds to move six hours away from everyone she knows to set up house in a new state with my father for his new teaching job. Now she's stuck, alone with no support, in a new state with three kids in diapers. And the daily house-of-horrors abuse scenario mushroomed from there. It took this woman almost eight more years to finally divorce the monster who was my father. My theory is that it took physical abuse directed at her to finally get her to take action. I don't think it had anything to do with his abuse of us kids. She allowed him full visitation rights as part of the divorce--never fought it or questioned it as far as I know.
Anyway, it seems obvious to me that I never bonded with this woman. There was no healthy attachment that took place. Part of the challenge, I'm sure, was the fact that we babies were twins. There were two of us and we were huge. We each weighed in at over eight pounds at birth. Shouldn't that be in the record books somewhere? Almost seventeen pounds of baby! Yowzer! My mother always blamed us for the "fact" that she just couldn't lose weight after that. Hhhmmmm, I don't think you can logically blame 300 pounds of obesity on "baby weight."
We were an unwanted, unplanned birth...and there were two of us! My mother always acted like we were some kind of cosmic "double-whammy" punishment and curse.
One of the goals with my reparenting is to convince my child parts that, unlike my birth mother, this mother (me) believes children are a blessing. Children are adorable, precious treasures who are to be cherished, protected and loved.
So, I bought myself a doll. It represents the infant me. I rock her and I sing to her. These are the words I wish someone had said or sung to me after I was born. These are the words I comfort myself with as I attempt to reparent my infant self:
You're my beautiful baby girl
You're an angel in this world
My beautiful baby girl