I have discussed this topic with my sister who is five years my senior.  In fact, we have discussed it many times.  We both have a complete: “The buck stops here!” attitude about it, actually.  However, there are multiple, marked and varied factors at play for both of us.

Even though we both suffered the same types of abuse in one way, we both had to deal with the weight of such different types, too.  Thus, as we grew older, it affected us in different ways.  Also, for the sake of this Post, I will leave out all of my diagnoses as hard as that may be.  Or, perhaps I won’t.  I may not be able to for it.  I don’t want to say they make me who I am.  I do not wish to get into the semantic, psychological and even ontological arguments regarding one with mental illnesses and disorders.  No.  Still, it shapes my perception of things.  This post is about abuse and trauma and my perception of it.  In order to deal with it, must I not perceive it somehow?

Alright, enough of the Philosophical Mumbo Jumbo.

Apart from the different forms of abuse and trauma that we both endured (only some details for brevity), how did we both fare in “Ending the Cycle?” How are we both faring to this day?

Well, I must say that she’s winning the race! *rolls eyes* She has three children so that has made a huge impact! It has pushed her to the extremist point, probably in that fact alone! She loves them so much, and despite the fact (more abuse and trauma…) that their father is a real doozy of an alcoholic, she has done an amazing job as a single mother (with Fibromyalgia that limits her to only working part time, might I add!)

I question if her age has anything to do with it.  I think that is inconsequential.  I do know that she completely cut off non-bio dad (her bio dad), and his side of the family a very long time ago.  She had very good reason to cut him off.  Not a pretty sight there, in terms of abuse and trauma.  On that note, I do wonder to this day about myself in that area.  I have so little memory of anything growing up at home, and that includes this disgusting realm.  I have asked my sister, and she has said she doesn’t recall a thing regarding me.  Nothing.  I still wonder, though.

The only tender spot that still comes around for her every once in a while, is the fact that she tends to ignore our extremely, mentally ill mother.  I always tell her to get over it.  It’s not such a big deal. *laughing*

And in terms of laughter, at least one good thing about the living hell we went through, is that my sister and I now get along? We may not be as thick as thieves (well, we are definitely close), it’s just that our contact is not so steady.  It’s quite erratic, really.  Although, what would or should you expect? The entire family, even in extended form, is completely fractured beyond all recognition! It’s amazing one solid relationship still exists at all! Plus, it took us years to even establish it, despite that fact we were already siblings!

So, where am I? Well, I gave non-bio dad the boot several years ago.  You see, both of the Parental Units elevate Self-Absorption, Attention Seeking Behaviour, Passive-aggressive behaviour, wow…just all of it right through the 96th Floor’s Penthouse Ceiling! As a result, I have some “issues” with these things.  I understand very well that we, as human beings, can be the utmost, fragile entities.  We all need love and care.  However, with PA, there is a threshold and a tolerance level with these acts.  She is an extremely, patient and forgiving person.  But with those, above, acts and behaviours, even with her threshold and tolerance level quite high, due to the abuse and trauma, she will go batshit in dealing with them!!!

Non-bio dad really wasn’t such a “dad,” at all.  When I was a teenager, after he and Mental Mommy became divorced, he was like my “buddy.”  At the time, I thought that was just the coolest thing, ever.  He bought me alcohol for parties (although, I was a “good girl” and never really drank, much less being such an unpopular, Aspie kid, I hardly got invited to any parties, anyway.)  However, he was completely inappropriate.  He told me things, and discussed matters largely sexual in content; things a young girl (despite how bloody mature I was), should not have heard!

He also continued to pull more unbelievable crap when I was an adult, and just about sold me down the river financially.  Minus a paddle or two.

It was funny though, as still having that notion in my mind, that “buddy thing,” I still felt we were so close.  I still felt I could rely upon him.  Well, the financial disaster woke me up pretty quickly (I managed to recover quite the tidy, little sum, thankfully.)

Also, he pulled another Self-Absorbed, Attention Seeking Behavioural, Passive-agressive manoeuvre on me, just when I needed him most (or at the time.)  Finally what did it, though, was sending me a quasi-suicidal, birthday present in the form of a spammy email.  It was one of those (KILL ME NOW!!!) PowerPoint slide shows of van Gogh paintings (okay, not so bad on the eyes?) yet it was accompanied by Don McLean’s version of “Starry Starry Night.”

Is the “irony” lost on anyone here? van Gogh was a severely disordered man, spent time in a mental institution, and whose death was suicide? Non-bio dad is a very, very intelligent man.  In fact, so is Mental Mommy, in a “brilliant madness,” type of way.

That “birthday present” put a halt to all communication with non-bio dad through a flurry of emails, more of his painful-make-PA-go-batshit-behaviour as already stated.  I can almost feel my eyes turning red, my brain splitting in two and my hair about set itself on fire, just reliving all of this! GAH! Kidding.  Still, he is…I can not find the words!

Mental Mommy? Well, I must admit I am still tied to her to a degree.  More so than my sister is for sure–but for very different reasons, as well.  In its most succinct form for me, I want to try and find out as much information as I can about bio dad.  It may be difficult due to her denial, conflicting stories, such skeletons in the closet.  Not to mention her periods of lucidity where even I can not distinguish the real from the not.  I have made some strides in that area, though.  I just have to keep hammering away at it.

I guess in a way, then, that is part of my portion of Ending the Cycle of Abuse.  The “Dirty Little Secret” of my entire existence was known to everyone but me, until I was 29! Talk about a hit of trauma and abuse that gave me! So in seeking out as much truth as I possibly can there, that may assist in some way of ending at least a bit more of my “Cycle.”

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  1. lili

    I’m glad you and your sister were able to work through things-or are working through them in a positive way.

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  2. Hi lili. Oh, we get along very well. There have been some bumps in the road, for sure, but when things are going smoothly we get along like a house on fire! We’re totally zany! I mean, if you could read some of our emails, you would swear we were the two most insane and immature people on the planet!

    No, we’re totally stupid. I’m actually literally laughing at how redonculous we can really be! For example, we can carry on and on and on… with the most idiotic, nonsense forever! We just can’t let it go to the point where it should have lost all meaning or never had any meaning at all!

    However, we are different in a lot of ways. I will de-emphasize the abuse and trauma factor there, certainly. Or, take it away completely. We are both different as people, and that’s fair enough in its own right.

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  3. (((((PA))))).

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  4. Ah, families… those perfect hot houses of dysfunction (on the whole). Anyone who reckons otherwise is lying or… super-duper lucky.

    Sorry yours is so rough.

    My sister is my one beacon of sanity in my very own crazy kin-land. Thank goodness for her and my nieces.

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  5. Hi Arkay. Good to see you. It’s been a while and I hope you are okay? Thanks for the hugs, sweetie.

    Hi Svasti. I know. Families…ugh.

    I’m thinking of the last portion of your second sentence. When I was younger, I would always look around at the NT kids or even older people that appeared so “perfect,” or well adjusted. I thought, wow…they must have come from some really, great families. Then, as I got older, that entire notion struck me as so naive and silly.

    It’s like the window dressing that’s closed, so you can never really peek inside the glass. People can put on all sorts of exteriors, but you never really know what’s going on in their lives or where they have come from.

    And sure, mine was rough but a lot of other people have had it rough, too. I always say: “It’s not a contest!”

    That’s great to hear about your sister–and her kids. Most excellent.

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  6. raginggenius

    My parents were totally messed up and abused me, plus step parents abused me. I have forgiven the step parent, not forgiving him was like wanting him dead and me drinking the poison which made me one miserable human being. As far is bio parents, we’re are not “like lets bake cookies mom”, but I think denying them or harboring anger towards them for being really bad parents would only be an abuse to myself. I am apart of them whether I like or not. If my past we not so messed up, I doubt that my art work would be compared to Van gogh and O’keef by other professional artists. I have heard that bipolar people have a common denomination in that they have all sufferd trauma in thier youth. I don’t know…. I accept my past for what it was, horrible and I look to the future with hope. Having kids does help in that process. It’s hard to look into the eyes of your child and not think of the future. My generation of family before is all pretty whacked and still suffering, but my life is a whole different ball game. I credit my personal relationship with Jesus for my life being as it is, and yes, I still suffer for many different things.

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  7. Hi raginggenius. Thanks for your comment here and sharing part of your personal past, too. It adds more to this Post, which I think is quite valuable. It allows people to see things from different perspectives and further addresses the issue overall.

    I also could have included that my sister has found that religion has helped her a lot, but again, I wanted to keep things relatively brief. No doubt I could have written so much more.

    I agree with you that holding a lot of anger and resentment inside can lead to nothing but harm of your own personhood. You have to deal with the issues, even if it is exceptionally painful and takes a lot of time. Otherwise, the road just leads to self-destruction.

    I can’t speak for all who have Bipolar or any other mental illnesses not coming from traumatic beginnings, but as I said above, a lot of NTs could have abusive child rearing experiences, as well. Actually, in writing this now, I am thinking of my friend P. He carries a dx. around with him and he came from an extremely stable and supportive home environment.

    So, tough to say.

    In the end, though, I guess we who came from abusive and traumatic pasts need to work the best we can to get through it all, in order to be as healthy as possible.

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  8. raginggenius

    It isn’t easy to overcome trauma, but it’s possible. I have read a lot of medical sites about Bipolar that point to a lot of stress in the womb and also traumatic childhood. I do so much research on this stuff, that it’s hard to put it all together sometimes.. ya know?

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  9. Hi raginggenius. Research, indeed. Remember who you’re talking to, right? *winks*

    Yes, very difficult to put it all together. Who knows for sure about so many things. Now, I’d bet my life on it that my mother has Bipolar. I mean, you can’t miss it! And beyond that? Well, I can see some other things that might be there as well.

    As far as a “stress in the womb” theory, you could plaster that one on my forehead! An illegitimate child conceived by a man from another country. A man that was a servant to a Western Family while overseas (that could have cost him…oh, the trouble he could have gotten into for impregnating a married, white woman he was working for!)

    On top of that, I am a supposed, surviving “twin” as my mother had a miscarriage during her first trimester. However, when examined, I was still “there.” Yes, she was still carrying wee PA!

    So, on top of all her existing mentalness, gee…a bit of a stressful pregnancy? She was even advised to go to London, England where the doctor she saw in Karachi was educated (and then came back to work in Pakistan where she was from.)

    My mother wouldn’t leave, though. I suspect for several reasons and am probably right about each and every one of them.

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  10. aspietalk

    just to add my voice to the comment thread, though have no desire to discuss, but here’s one more bipolar(?) person who was abused almost every which was as a kid, & raised by some crazy, fucked up people. eating out of trash cans, getting thrown up against walls, broken beer bottles held against throats… no frickin’ wonder people like this can lead such extreme existences later on in life. oh, yes, i was also catholic, of the latin mass-going variety. so, even more perverse & messed up.

    thanks, childhood i no longer claim!

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  11. Hi aspietalk. Your voice is always welcome here, no matter what you want to say. Know that! I encourage everyone to speak up and that surely includes you!

    And certainly no pressure to discuss or “do” anything, really. I always say to my commenters, they have as much latitude as I do in writing my own Posts. Say whatever the hell you want! I certainly do!

    I am a firm believer in Free Speech and I never censor any of my commenters’ words (unless they are at the risk of getting spammed or something.) Otherwise, my dear commenters, have at it!

    Well, except if you’re a troll or a flamer but I think that’s pretty obvious.

    But sweetie, come here anytime and say anything! This is a safe and open space. It always has been and it always will be.

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  12. raginggenius

    Very interesting PA about you still being in there. My childhood was horrific as I was tortured by a man that was angry about having 80% of his body burned when he was 18 years old. Dealing with anger is right up my alley. That was stepp daddy. He has been forgiven for all that he did to me. I called him 15 years later, confronted him, and forgave him. I was amazed at how much he needed my forgiveness. I learned that he was a very tortured man after I was rescued from his his torture chamber, and had the same gun that he used to put to my head in his own mouth often. He was extremely cruel and hurt so many people, that he wanted to die and I also believe that he killed another and I was very lucky to escape that same fate, he did attempt to murder me and my mother. I understood why he was the way he was and had compassion for him, but not before going through my own angry years. Forgiveness is a process. I do remember the first time a counselor suggested forgiving, I wanted to do everything to her that he had done to me and then talk about forgiveness. I am so thankfull that I worked through that pain and anger. Forgiving is now easy for me. God has sent so many abused people without hope my way. Hurt people hurt people, that’s what I know.

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  13. Hi raginggenius. Thanks for coming back to share even more. Again, it is so amazing some of the things we have had to live with, endure and make it through. Sometimes I am bowled over that we’re still here and have made it this far.

    But that’s the thing, you know–or at least part of it. Human beings are incredibly strong, resilient and adaptive. It really is amazing what we can go through, and then come out the other side! I won’t argue the fact that we may end up pretty bruised and battered, but at least we’ve made it to a point so keep going?

    It can take a lot for someone to forgive. I do know that a lot of people who come from abusive pasts tend to become the abuser, as well. However, that was kind of the gist of my post from the beginning–“Ending the Cycle,” right? My sister and I having “The buck stops here,” attitude.

    You can get into all sorts of concessions for these people by stating they came from abusive pasts, but I think that merely provides them with excuses for their own behavour. In doing so, are you then becoming an enabler of sorts? It is an extremely difficult issue, as again, How do you “End the Cycle?” How could you get through to that abuser who has not ended the cycle yet?

    I am really glad that forgiving is easy for you, though. It is for me, too. Perhaps the only person that may still be waiting around for that, though, is non-bio dad. He doesn’t seem to wish to have any contact with me, as much as I would or would not wish to have with him! I am very easy for him to find, track down, locate. He hasn’t bothered, though. Neither has anyone on his side of the family either, and they could do it as well.

    They really aren’t all that nice a bunch of folks. I remember when I was a teenager at Christmas (after the Parental Units got divorced), and non-bio dad’s sister was making fun of my mentally ill mother. She didn’t see me walk into the room and I freaked. Actually, this is a memory I don’t remember due to the trauma, but one of my cousin’s told me about it.

    Apparently, I got so upset that I screamed that if either she or anyone else ever did anything like that again, I would NEVER attend a “family,” holiday gathering again! Then I marched back out of the room and left them with gaping jaws in silence.

    Kind of tough to forgive there…especially when they keep pulling those stunts. I’ve seen them do it regarding my sister too after she cut them off. They make fun of her because of her religious beliefs and her faith. Even though I am an Atheist, I CAN NOT deal with ANYONE mocking someone else’s faith! That is just WRONG!

    So, again…more repetitive, abusive behaviour. I’m sorry if this comment may not be coming off so clearly. I’ve just gotten up a while ago so have not had my “precious leaves,” yet. I’m not trying to sound argumentative if I have somewhere? Maybe this whole issue has gotten me all hopped up somehow! *laughing*

    It’s okay though, right? You’re my dear, pal. We loves each other. We’d never get to blows! Just be crazy and silly!

    xo

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  14. raginggenius

    xoxo girlfriend!!!

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  15. Hi raginggenius. *laughing*

    Right back at ya!

    xoxo

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