As this blog continues you will get to know my family a bit better,as well as my relationship with them and without them.
My ‘mother’ is a covert narcissist. My father is part enabler,part self absorbed and part Bible basher. My one and only sibling is estranged from me on and off,very socially awkward and generally just not well adjusted because of the emotional abuse that stunted childhood development.
I am just in the middle of all this mess because I decided I couldn’t live in the dysfunction anymore.
I remember the first time I discovered that my family wasn’t ‘normal’. I was over at a friend’s house and she had been a bit clumsy and broken a glass. I sat back in fear,trembling from head to toe,my heart beating out my chest. The rage I was expecting never came.
Her mother rushed over and asked her if she was okay. Made us both sit very still while she cleaned up the glass. And even gave her a hug and some ice cream afterwards.
In my house I wasn’t allowed to break anything or lose anything unless of course I wanted to feel my mother’s wrath in the form of silent treatment,a solid grounding and the sweet satisfaction of her having a good enough reason to beat me with a belt.
I had many of these awakenings from age 10 to 15. I felt trapped. I felt like I was living in a prison. I felt alone because no one knew what my life was really like.
Everyone thought I was extremely shy and socially awkward because I never went anywhere without my parents present. When in actual fact I wasn’t allowed out anywhere. This was in part to prevent me from having any fun and part so that I wouldn’t create any strong bonds with anyone and blab the family secrets.
I had many dark days. Many. This type of abuse was hard to explain and still is. Very often we don’t have physical injuries. Physical injuries serve as proof,and when you don’t have proof,well you need strong emotional ties to someone to make them believe you. So as you can see,this is all part of the abuse,it keeps you locked in.
The family I have now don’t keep secrets. They don’t isolate me and make me feel afraid of offending them and being punished for challenging their authority in any way.
The family I have now aren’t related to me by blood at all.
They are however the people that I have come to depend on and who also depend on me. They have seen the darkest corners of my soul and led me back into the light when I was too weak to walk.
They are people who believe me and believe in me when I can’t summon the strength to do it myself.
I have found them in the weirdest ways. Mom groups on the internet,clients turned friends,coworkers, and a few on support groups.
Though my journey is still a difficult one,the kind souls I have met along the way have saved me in ways they don’t even realize. The hardest part of not having a family is feeling isolated. Having a few good friends can make the world of difference.
I often tell my friends that I love them and that I appreciate their friendship,this world can be cruel,you never know what those words can mean to someone.
Regardless of whether your relationship with your blood family is good or not,don’t ever take your friends for granted.
Photo credit: flowers from one of my besties