I'm going to start at the beginning. My childhood is no longer the worst part of my story to me. It hurt like hell as a young woman and it caused me to go into therapy, which helped in some ways, and hurt in more ways. For those who grew up in emotionally abusive environments
In this installment I am not going to really mention my illness much, but know it was there.
My parents had been married for 15 years when I finally came along. My mother could not carry a baby to term. She had a hell of a time with me. I've heard the story for the last 48 years. My birth was about her, not me. Everything is always about her. I personally think that my younger brother and I were brought up by a borderline and an OCD (as in personality disorder) for parents. My own diagnosis, but I do believe correct. My brother is two years younger. He never liked to rock the boat, so I was the one who always spoke up and out and took up for myself and him, even though we fought like cats and dogs. He took my parents shit while I fought it tooth and nail.
I'm going to concentrate on my mother here. I may come back at some point and work on my dad. He did do some damage, but his wasn't as lasting because when the fighting was over, it was over. My mom has never let anything rest, and she is ALWAYS the victim. Besides, my dad is dying of dementia now.
I don't even know where to begin with my mom's crap. She is and always has been a very manipulative person, but I grew up thinking that I was because she told me that I was. It's sad that when people ask for basic needs to be met she thinks it's being manipulative. I am just now putting that together since my dad got sick when she yelled and screamed at him about being manipulative like she did at me when I was a small sick child. A sick old man wanting to be at home is not being manipulative. When my brother and I were children she called it using "psychology" on us. My brother took it. I did not. I got called names, including manipulative, and was generally emotionally abused for my my outspoken ways.
We were not allowed to ask for things. If we went to the store and saw something we wanted we had two choices...we were either shit out of luck or we, in this case, I could ask for us, and then I could get screamed at, and cussed at because my mom always had a hissy. I was again told how manipulative I was, among other things. Shame was another big thing with my mom. I don't really remember this, but it appears that she took me to a dress shop with her when I was 8 or 9 and I saw a blouse I liked. I had the balls to say I liked it. Of course, I was screamed and cussed to the point that I cried, which appears to have made my mother feel bad enough that she went back and bought it for me, telling me how manipulative I was. It also seems that the emotional price I paid was so high for it that I never wore it. So she kept it for decades in a cedar chest and took it out when my niece was young and told her the story, and then told ME the story (which I had forgotten) like it was a matter of shame on MY part. My mom has all sorts of these stories on me that she likes to drag out at family functions, reunions, to new members of the family, etc. She tells them as "humorous" but they are "shameful" stories...only if she'd look at them they are shameful to her. Went to a reunion in my 30s and she started in and my aunts shut her down. I was never so proud!
Everything was a secret with my mother. She told me all of her secrets. She told me the family secrets. Most parents try to shield their children from shit to protect them, my mom did the opposite. I protected her. I was never allowed to tell. Even now my mother tells me crap and tells me not to tell. I recently told her not to tell me anything she did not want broadcast to the world. I learned shit at an early age that no child should know.
You should never use your children to fight a war with a spouse. My mom hated her husband and used me to fight her war with my dad. She thought her children should hate their father and take and fight her side. I did, and I did.
Best I can tell my mom thinks of marriage as little more than servitude of woman to man, marital sex as little more than rape or means to having children. At best, it's men using women for their own selfish needs. After seeing what she went through to have me my dad said no more kids. My mom tricked him into having my brother. He had no hard feelings toward her. I'd like to point out how manipulative she was. Anyway, she taught me this as a child. As a teen when I expressed the idea that maybe I should not marry then, she made fun of me and taunted me, wanting to know who I thought I was. If she really thought that, you'd think she would have wanted better.
Although my mother is a drama queen, she expected me to have no feelings. She taught me from the get go to have no feelings. There was punishment if I expressed feelings and reward if I did not.. I was the strong caretaker and she was the weak victim to be taken care of. (It's all bullshit, but that was the training.)
Rather sadistic at times. Early on in my school career she'd get up in the morning knowing what she wanted me to wear for the day. Instead of putting it out for me, she'd open the closet door and ask me what I'd want to wear. Well, I would always want to wear some of my comfy play clothes, not the uncomfortable starched dresses for school. So, I'd point to what I wanted. Of course, it would be the wrong thing. Well, don't you want to wear that? No. Then she would do her "psychology" thing on me. It never worked. I knew my mind. She'd blow up, get me to crying because she'd make me out to be the horrible child and she the victim. So she'd be screaming and cussing and I'd be crying, and she'd whip me. I had anxiety problems those first few years, which she carried on and on about with the teachers. She just did not know what was wrong with her child. This went on all of the time. Hmm, could the problem have been child abuse? I did have learning problem it turns out from the dysautonomia because of the memory problems, but that would not come into play until later.
My mom and the illness...just a little...in that she was the victim. The doctors never took her seriously because she was a drama queen and it was all about her. It's true my illness was freaky and imitated everything, but it was impossible to take her seriously.
When I was six I had my tonsils out. The doctor accidentally nicked a blood vessel and they had to pack my nose to stop the bleeding. I woke up from the second surgery sick and I could not breathe well. I had an IV in my ankle, so I had to be still. I was scared. I started to cry. My mom told me to stop, that she could not take it. I did. Later, when I was home, the doctor had told me/us that I could eat anything I wanted after discharge. My mom thought she knew better. She fixed all of my favorite things during my forced mashed potatoes and baby food time and made me watch as the family ate my favorite stuff and got mad when I wanted to eat the stuff too. Another thing for her to bring up decades later to a new sister in law.
So, this is a taste of life with my mom as a kid. My dad, well, life with him was OCD. You pretty much know that story...being yelled at over having a hair in the floor or taking a shower over five minutes. My dad was uneducated, dependent, opinionated, had OCD, and like to have his way. BUT, if you had a fight with him, once it was over it was finished forever.
This is not the worst of my trauma. That would come in my 20s, and it would cause PTSD. I have no idea if/when I'll be able to write about that.