Below, I have screenshots from two different versions of my mother. One is in 2014 , and the other long one is from 2016. Out relationship ended after that letter in 2016. Any love that I had for her disappeared along with my patience for her rants and mood swings. The guilt I feel and the erratic changes within our relationship, still makes me think I should or could have worked “harder” to be “appreciative” of her struggles. I no longer think of her struggles as my own. Her issues are her issues. Fuck her and her high expectations.
Journal: October 20,2019
Are you Jealous of me? Are you Jealous of me? Are you Jealous of me?Are you Jealous of me?
If I was you, I would be.
Do I have to take these? May 24 2019
My diagnosis of Bi- Polar disorder seems like a separation of who I was. Thinking back to places and environments I have been in I assumed that I was just stressed out. For the four years I was at college I would see the school therapist during the Fall and Winter, then would have to fly back home. During the Summer Break, my thinking patterns changed. Particularly my need to leave my grandparents house often in the middle of the night.
Towards the end of 2015, early 2016, I still shared some nice memories, with my mother, but it often feels like the eye of the storm. As Summer 2016 began, I felt the beginnings of my next manic episode. I began staying up later and later and talking really quickly. This particular summer was different for me in a way. I had a new support system, which held me more accountable and saw the shift in my personality. Because of my support system, my view of acceptance and respect were crystal clear. Once a person shows you that you are worth it, and works to give you space. To have a person in my life who respects me is something I still struggle with and am trying to grasp.
I also began to hone in on the patterns of behavior that my family seemed to follow. My mother was off and on judgmental. Some reason she seemed mentally unwell this time, and my illness could no longer allow her to overshadow it. My disorder is still difficult to understand, but it was the only way my mind and body could begin to focus on myself. My heart had given up the idea of a close relationship with my mother after years of disappointment and stress. Our time not talking to each other after a fight began to out way the time we spent getting along together. In my opinion she was akin to a emotional vampire. A black hole that everything else is being engulfed by its magnitude.
Shame – May 25 2019 2:16 am
I feel the shame of my families immeasurable evil behavior. Evil is real. My mind is in awe of how horrible people can be. The actions of assault, verbal abuse, mental abuse, and neglect in my household have not only been accepted, but encouraged. In plain daylight I saw the glue of hate and anger hold our destroyed existence. My animus goes so deep. So buried in my mind and spirit. My life and memories are tattooed on me, inside of my mind.
My identity and understanding of myself is so eclipsed by my mother’s personality, her expectations, her harsh judgement, and her in general are the nucleus in which I based my identity upon.
Mentally, I officially gave up on our relationship after the first assault. The respect she had for me did not and never will be what I had hoped for.
My body felt like a canvas my family painted on to fit an ultimate ideal. An unattainable one that they liked to see but never helped maintain. Often my Grandparents paid more attention to their house, cars, and space more than they ever cared about me. As much as I know they cared, they also were selfish. They buy clothes for me to control what I wear. They give me money to lure me into thinking they’d be available for help. So many missed messages, that I gave up trying to figure out what they wanted. And I never will.
My life has been spent trying to avoid hurting and taking advantage of people. My firm beliefs are based on the 8th fold path, Right Actions. In the long run, my care and attention to my behavior benefits me and often the world around me. I try to smile and cut the tension. These beliefs help me avoid evil. The way I see it, if a lineage of violence, and abuse, has been passed down. Instead of trying to shy away from negative or violent behavior.
My caring and loving nature are learned skills.
In 2016? I took my mother to Family court. During this time, I had one of my yearly mania week. More like a month. It starts around April-May. My illness was hard to diagnose because I could not keep up or afford a therapist. During the year, usually while I was in college, I would come home from school and feel like I had started a new life. My favorite phrase was “ I am finally free. I am unafraid. I am someone who is a genius or have above level intelligence.” Sometimes it went well, other times, I felt pretty reckless.
My family seemed to never notice, possibly because I was not usually home. During 2016, I realized what and why I felt the same way each summer. A few months prior, I had graduated from grad school. There was a certain smell and aura of “ I’m proud of you, but only briefly, because my love for you is quantifiable and based on accomplishments” parade my family loved to go through. One of my last family dinners was September 2015. Within a year later, I would take my mother to court to get a restraining order against her. My letter to the judge:
“Hello your honor, Today, I have brought my Mom, Denise Binion, to court. This was an extremely difficult decision because I have spent so much time working on myself and learning to forgive my mother and work on our relationship. In 2004, my mother relapsed after being clean most of my childhood. In 2004, I was fourteen and spent most of my time living with my grandparents along with my mother. During this time, My mother, stepfather , and I lived together. My step father and mother fought constantly and my mother would be gone days at a time. I bring up this experience to give you some background information on how we ended up in court today. The first instance of abuse I remember was in 2004. This a retelling of my experience: I woke up on a weekend day from school. I was in high school. My mom walks in and her speech is slurred. She begins to cry about my father. My father died at age 24 in horrific conditions. I attempt to move her away from me. My memory goes hazy at this point. I just remember her attacking me. I remember running for our landline phone to desperately call my grandfather. She went ballistic. As I reach for the telephone, she grabs it and wrestles me to the ground. She picks up the landline phone and smashes it in a picture frame. She screams at me “NO. NO NOOOOOO . Give me the phone.” I am pleading and scream and begging for her to stop. I don’t remember what happens after this. The next day I am at my grandparents. I tell them what happens.
My mom says I lied about it. And it never happened. I go back to talk to her. She is sitting in the dark, tv flashing, cigarette in her mouth. Mom you know you hurt me?“No I didn’t.” She barely looks at me when she speaks.
After that I day. I am silent. I never speak of the abuse again.
After this incident, I blocked out many of my memories. Most of my high school years, my mom would leave for days at time. As I got older I worked to forgive her. Last year, my mother and I finally discussed our experiences I reached out to her to try to mend our relationship. Here is a piece of the letter I wrote to her and her response.
Everyday I work on trying to be more emotional and appreciate what you do for me. I want to give you love and be there for you, but I can not fill the void of love that you need solely from yourself. I can see that you are hurt about your parents and how they mistreated you at times. You didn’t deserve that but you have held onto this anger for a long time and you have transferred that onto me. So much so that when I talk to you I still often feel like a teenager or a child that wants to ( and often) yells and fights you. After today of telling you talk to me almost the same way grandad talks to you, you really did not care. I find it sad that I can cry to you about it, and it doesn’t seem to bother you at all , yet you want to cry to me and Norma about how much you hate that part of granddad’s personality. How much sympathy can I have for you if you blatantly can ignore your own behavior and make constant excuses. I cannot even handle it anymore. This is where this letter is coming from. I need time away from you and for you to respect my wishes. I do not want to talk to you right now. If you do not respect my need for space. you will lose me. you have not listened to me when I have spoken, not you will have to listen to my silence. I love you so much and I hope to really repair our relationship. I love you, Joy. ( Joy is my middle name)”
Erica Beatrix Brooks – 2016.
“Continue writing your letter to the person you are most angry with. Write as much as you need to, until you feel complete.
If you have anger towards others, begin writing a letter to those people as well. Continue writing anything down regarding your anger until you feel complete with each person on your list. This may take many days to complete.”
You make me angry. You always make me angry. I think about you often. I wonder how often is too often? Do other people obsess and replay one experience with a person? Am I attracted to my anger. What does it solve? For me it is really interesting place to be in. Anger always has time for you. Anger can stay up all night, follow you into the day. It can become your best friend and worst enemy. Happiness is the hardest to achieve when you have such a heavy relationship with anger.
My anger is also attached to my feelings of embarrassment and guilt. I don’t know why I have so much guilt. I assume it is from a childhood of overall useless and strict rules and expectations. My childhood makes me upset and sad. Those memories at the different homes I moved around to. I wonder why no one protected me. Why my life had to be so hard… That question is a diluted and simple, and one that I know has no concrete answer. My gp’s are who I am the most angry with .DMB, was just mentally unstable but gp’s were worse. They don’t know how to help or even really accept the individuals around them. They are truly heartless. There is no explanation for the ice cold and out of touch behavior.
The last conversation I had with my GP’s were when I admitted what happened to me. Meaning the abuse and mistreatment inflicted upon me from 9 on up. I remember them looking at me. The look on their faces was solemn and silent.
” Yeah I know, I am surprised you aren’t addicted to drugs.”
‘ Yeah me too’ -I responded back.
Really thinking about that statement really shows me how much they notice but don’t speak upon. Surprised, that I was not an addict. Surprised, I wasn’t on drugs. What the hell does that mean?
‘I am in therapy now’. – Looking at them both for emotional support but it seems unlikely. In some ways I saw the worry through their eyes and silent gazes.
” I had problems with my dad as well.” – My GMA* says.
I had known about the bad experiences with GMAs father through my great aunt and my GMA’s youngest sister. The story my aunt told me was very vague and seemed to be one of those ‘ my friend experienced this, not admitting that they are the friend that was the same from their story’ stories.
“How could a woman leave another man who loves her. This person didn’t like men who drank, but she decided to ignore that and end up with a person that was an alcoholic.” – my Great Aunt.
My response was nothing, because what else is there to say?
A Journal : Life with Mental Illness and Acceptance And Acceptance.
My life began September. I love writing, and I love sharing stories. This will be my journal and I will be writing about Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, child abuse, and overall mental illness. Most of my knowledge comes from my own experience and studying and learning about psych studies. In a few years I prepare to perform as an singer and artist with the band, Everkingly. I will be opening my own practice called Erica Beatrix Brooks Center for Art and Psychotherapy. I love You Michael! <3 M>E>K
The Story Begins
Tonight, I will tell the story of the transformation of my inner chid. In 2016, I had a mental breakthrough and break down. Watching others succeed in finding jobs and ability to be social through mood swings. My mental health was an extremely scary subject for me to : admit, deal with, and come to any new realizations about.
Until 2015, I thought I could fix the problem. Whatever the problems that my family had could be solved by a hug, smile, or random outburst. When I went to college, 2008, I had already began disassociating. It could be explained as you body goes on auto pilot. Everything feels just out of reach. Friendships are hard to even maintain if you feel like jumping out of your skin.
High school did a ringer on me, as most experiences in High School tend to be. The expectations were so high, that I just kept my head low to complete the tasks. No matter how great my grades are, I always seemed to disappoint in some other way. If I didn’t clean up my room, my father would yell at me on the way to school,
Why can’t you keep your room clean. DO YOU WANT TO BE LAZY LIKE YOUR UNCLE?
You’re a slob.
Your grandfather treats your mom like shit.
You’re mom is jealous because you are better looking.
Red finger nail polish is for whores.
DON’T YOU EVER WALK AWAY FROM ME.
You’re gaining a little weight aren’t you.
YOU are not wearing any color than white to your wedding.
The fear of being lazy came from them telling me I was naturally lazy. No matter how high my grades were, how much I spoke up because I was “mumbling”. I was always fucking mumbling in their opinion. I was always not looking good enough or living up to my potential. Always. Always.
Never have I felt like I really mattered after being 12-13 years old. It’s a malicious pattern. For women in my family, when you reach the age of 13, you are no longer able to be manipulated. I could never understand why my mom fought with my grandfather, over and over again. That was until I got older, then all was revealed.
I spoke recently with my grandparents. I could no longer lie about the flashbacks, nightmares, lack of sleep, lack of self esteem or just lack of the energy or zest to live. For the first time, they listened, but it was far too late. The air of fear and denial wafted under my nose. I was just glad they were listening.
My grandfather interjects,
Just like those lies your mother told about me. I never hit them. I would never do something like that.
My eyes shoot towards my grandmother with a glazed look on her face. Something felt like a lie. I think of the phrase Michael Avenatti, the lawyer for Story Daniels, says”
IT’S NOT THE LIE, IT’S THE COVER UP.
IT’S NOT THE LIE, IT’S THE COVER UP.
IT’S NOT THE LIE, IT’S THE COVER UP.
IT’S NOT THE LIE, IT’S THE COVER UP.
IT’S NOT THE LIE, IT’S THE COVER UP.
IT’S NOT THE LIE, IT’S THE COVER UP.
My grandfather always seemed to be the good guy in every story. The kids at his job love him, his father was jealous of him being the first to buy a house, my mother turned out horribly, my uncle was lazy, my grandmother was referred to as ” WOMAN”.
It all bubbled up in a silent rage.
The last time I saw him, I asked for money. It was a horrible mistake. The guilt I left with was unbearable. If I ask about the mortgage on my grandparents own, then they are perfectly okay, if I need any assistance, the debt MUST be repaid.
These people that I call family, that I begged to be a family with. I tried to stop the gossiping, the anger, the fear, but I can not fight evils alone. My family calls me by my middle name, That I don’t like to utter or think about.
Now I will take you back to 2016, I went through my 3rd night of insomnia. As my partner slept, I began to fear death and saw a portal. I am not sure, but it felt like the truth, the gate of life and death, the eyes of the devil, the light of angels dressed in red clothing. My mother had brought me to the brink of insanity. My thoughts would not slow down. My anger and fear came to a boil.
That night I laid my inner child to rest. At the age of 9 my life turned to into a nightmare dreamscape. I looked at the reflection of my younger self, she seemed tired, and sad. Hurt and curled into a ball. My memories flash back to my fathers words, back to my mother violence and yelling my middle name. The girl they called ugly, who was never enough. Never spoke loud enough, never had the right hair, or right attitude. That was left to be alone for days.
I let that little girl go. She is dead. I woke up the next day, and Beatrix was birthed.
Nothing is unbearable if you keep the faith.
Good Night, Good Luck.
Write for twenty minutes, beginning with, “If that hadn’t happened, I …” let whatever comes up, come up, write about it.
If it hadn’t happened. If I had not been abused and had to live with my mother and ignored by my family I think I would still be the person I am. I never give up. I believe my experiences were not life lessons. I believe they are hard experiences I have been through. It is important to understand that life is going to give everyone hard times. I just don’t understand why child abuse happens. What happens in the mind of someone who commits domestic violence. This is not a question to assign judgement, it is an actual question. These writing exercises have sent me through a new side of my mind and trauma. I can think of my abuse as an experience. No judgement on the experience.
My mother was mentally incapable of being a good mother, and in my opinion a good person. She is so lost in her own shit storm of thoughts that she could not acknowledge me . Her and my grandparents are people that do not provide any purpose to this life. Once again they are important parts of the universe. I am glad they exist. They just never seem to have an awareness of empathy. For my family, it seems that everyone is out to get each other. Each person that extends kindness to them will be punished and secretly ostracized. It was so common in my family to have two parties at war with one another. The teams and alliances changed so quickly that I became a more neutral party.
How can they be so blind to the wider world around them. I am guilty of not being open to the wider world myself, but I do empathize with people and the larger world. My goal is not to be mean spirited. I can feel anger, but I will continue to work on feelings of revenge. My goal is to be honest. My goal is to be genuine. I am not going to ask to tell my story. I am not going to ask permission from my family to be alive.
What emotional needs are you trying to obtain from someone else? List the biggest needs you feel are not being fulfilled in your relationship.Write the feelings you experience as a result of these unmet needs.
Now, think back to your earliest memories and think of a time when you had the experience of having these same unmet needs and the resulting emotions. Write about that time in your life.
Right now, I feel like I am not trying to obtain emotional needs as much as I used to. Currently, I am learning to merely exist. It is not so difficult because I don’t have a job. It feels like fate. I have been looking for a job( full time) for a few years now. Emotionally it makes me feel like a child. Emotionally I know that is a good idea to not work at this time. I am going to be a performer and then in 5-6 years will be working on mental health advocacy and my own clinic. I have started my business plan, but am taking a break to find a job related in the research field. It is an exciting prospect. It is a job that is not art related, which is a welcomed break. Working on jobs based on art, art education, museums, is a scam. Okay maybe not a scam, but increasingly hard to find a job that pays well.
Emotionally, I want a better relationship with my sleeping and dreams. I do not know how to calm my body down, more like I don’t want to calm my body down. Sleeping is the hardest time of the day for me. For me since the age of 18-19 , there have been no breaks for my brain during the night time.
This image is from the night I went to my sleep study. My brain waves and my sleep was monitored. Found out that I deal with paradoxical insomnia.
Paradoxical insomnia is sleep state misperception, “insomnia without objective findings. A major focus of cognitive restructuring in this case is to help the patient recognize that in fact they are indeed getting more sleep than they thought.- Psychology Today.
My enmeshment with with my family is quite clear in my dreams. Specifically around the house I grew up in. That is where my emotional need lies. I miss that house. My hope is buy both of my grandparents homes, ( the one they living in now and the other they sold). It would be wonderful to have that house to bring the good memories. Every part of that house I have memorized. Through my dreams, I go through each room and remember being a child there. I remember just being so happy in that house. My childhood before the age of 8 was pretty incredible. The sad thing is I don’t remember it. I want to go back. I want to go back. I want to go back.
Emotionally, I need to rebuild and reconstruct those memories in my mind. My hope is to fully connect with that house in my dreams. Maybe one day have the courage to go into the house once again. That’s what I truly want, to go into that house. Go into the back yard. To sit under the tree in the backyard. To sit outside of the back door. To look through my old bedroom window. To lay on the floor. To look at the bathroom and my grandparents old room. My memories, I want them back. My life I want it back. My family, I want it back, but not the fable that my family tried to create.
As a black woman, it would be great to have a mother, grandmother, or aunt from my family care about me and help me out with becoming a woman in this world. To help me understand how to be a woman. To understand my history. To appreciate myself. Possibly one day, teach me how to be an ( adoptive or foster mother).
How do I do this without my family? How do I live when I am without my family? I am living now so the answer is just to exist. To relax. My goal is to find home. My grandparents live so close to me, my mother, and uncle. They live so close, yet they feel like a distant memory. Each morning I wake up confused and lost. I want to go home. I want to be embraced by my family. I want to be welcomed with open arms. I want more than a memory of my old life. I want more.
Good Night, Good luck.
What have you learned by going through this trauma that now affects the way you make decisions? Write about positive decisions you’ve made or believe you will make as a result of what you went through.
My trauma in general has made me view myself as someone who I possibly don’t come across as in everyday life and to other people who know me well. I often think of myself as angry, withdrawn and lazy. Lazy is a word I have heard my mother and father call me specifically many, many times. “Why are you a slob?” “Why are you so lazy?” As an adult, I know that I was and am not lazy. Okay lazy at somethings, but overall I am a very determined and hard working mother fucker. When I set my mind on a goal, it will most likely be accomplished. I am so confident in myself that it can backfire. Especially As far as my career. My perfectionism in this area has taken its toll on my self esteem.
Because my mother was so abusive towards me, her love was often based on my accomplishments. As a human, you simply can not accomplish everything. It is not possible. My mother brainwashed me into believing it was possible. At least that I should be looking and striving to attain perfection. I hate perfection. I think it a cruel joke that humans love to play on themselves. My mother often asked for my forgiveness, and would do as she pleased. She would fail at businesses, she would fail at being there for me, she would fail at even being a nice person to people she met and friends she had known for years.
My mother and father began talking about my laziness in 7th -8th grade. It was first because of my grades. Then because my room was a mess. I don’t remember it being very messy, but according to them it was. They blamed me for any bugs, or mice we had in our apartment. They blamed me for not trying hard enough to avoid being like my uncle ( whom they deemed as lazy). There were car rides, when my father would lecture me the entire way to school. It was at nauseum.
For me, I was never lazy. I always worked hard and strived to be respected for my strong work ethic. I do not remember teachers calling me lazy, up until my mother began to use drugs and drink heavily. For me, it was no issue to accept my parents faults, and acknowledge their humanity. It was no issue that they were at times lazy and enmeshed with each other. They are human, just like I.
“ In practicing meditation , we’re not trying to live up to some kind of ideal- quite the opposite. We’re just being with our experiences, whatever it is.”
When Things Fall Apart Pema Chodon
The positive that comes from these experiences is that I am and continue to be a high achiever. My life is based on my success. Not as much about material or success in the capitalist understanding of the word. My success is now about my growth and the larger dreams I had given up. Each year I have challenged myself to become more of the person I want to be and envisioned myself. My spiritual work has brought me to another realm. I feel that I am part of something larger.
My abuse has led me to work towards becoming a psychotherapist. My abuse gives my life a larger purpose. It shows me that strength and determination can get you through much more than you ever dreamed. I am here. I am ready.
“ This job is not my life. I did my best. If I get the job it is wonderful. If I don’t get the job, that’s wonderful, too. It would mean this job is not for me and there is something else out there for me. I am finding exactly what I need. I trust the grand design. I let go and trust that everything is happening for my highest good.”
Feel the Fear and Beyond, Susan Jeffers.
Good Night, and Good Luck.
Where am i ? The question is where am I not. I am not fully within my body. I am learning to sing. In high school, singing more like playing instruments was one of my favorite things to do. The problem is if you do not show musical talent in the beginning of your musical journey, not many people are willing to invest into your talent. Visual art to me was different. I had a natural ability to focus on creative works of art. Although my family was not emotionally supportive, they did let me express myself through art work. When I got older it was expected that I keep it as a hobby, but not a career. To me, I think it is just as important to have a talent and a skill while simultaneously being realistic in finding a career. Both can be accomplished.
Singing is where I am today. I was just playing a few scales. My dreams are to perform. I had left those dreams behind me after a few different events.
1) During high school, I audition and was accepted to participate in a talent show. My decision was a spontaneous one, and my skills on piano were impeccable. I remember seeing my name on the list of participants. It was a moment of pride for me. My mom took me out the show because of a final grade of a C. It was really a heartbreaking blow to my self esteem.
2) During this time in high school, I would play music with friend during classroom breaks. I had hoped to play at her house after school, and form a band. I was told no. I still have no idea why. I do remember an odd smirk on her face, and me feeling confused. She often gave glazed over look through her black/ *shark eyes when she did not explain why something was happening.
3) Whenever I received a C, my mother would take my guitar and keyboard and hide it in her room. It was so confusing because usually musically instruments are usually used to encourage, not to hurt and humiliate. Once again, never understood this form of punishment. When she did things like this, it was usually in a rage. Years later she would ask me “ why I stopped playing guitar”.
These memories are hard to bare, but I am an adult. No one can take my music away. I can only become more talented. See you on stage!
Good Night, Good Luck.
In what ways has this emotional upheaval made you more vulnerable, and in what ways has it make you less vulnerable?
vulnerable | ˈvəln(ə)rəb(ə)l | adjectivesusceptible to physical or emotional attack or harm: we were in a vulnerable position | small fish are vulnerable to predators. • (of a person) in need of special care, support, or protection because of age, disability, or risk of abuse or neglect: employees must be better trained in how to deal with vulnerable young people.
I am never vulnerable. I still don’t see the point of it or why I have to strive to be vulnerable. Being vulnerable is too close to being weak. Upheaval. Now that is a word I can agree with. With my mood disorder makes everything feel like it is constantly in the middle of an upheaval. My mood shifts so dramatically that I feel the need to be on guard at all times. If I let down my guard, in my mind, who knows what might come out. When my moods are so severe, I sometimes lose chunks of time.
To me being vulnerable is to be weak. To be open is to leave yourself open for the attack. Being vulnerable has not been an option previously. Any vulnerability within my family, was cut off by an insult, or a callous word. My mother often made it so I would have to fend for myself. If I began to cry about something, she would call herself a “bad mother” and ask me if she “was a good mother.” My answer was no when I was 9 and my answer 20 years later is, no. I feel she wanted to be, but no example left her out on a limb.
If I was too quiet she assumed I was being ungrateful. My vulnerability, if I allow myself, is found in my silence. If I am not talking, I feel the most vulnerable. I use my words to get out of situations. I used my words to smooze my way into groups or places. My silence is the only time I am alone with my thoughts and the only time when I feel I will be heard. My silence always made my mother afraid.
Afraid that I was talking negatively about her in my own mind. Being vulnerable would mean being open for attack. Being vulnerable about my looks, led to me being reprimanded about my laziness and inability to take care of myself. Vulnerability in my skill, meant that I was not trying hard enough. Vulnerability in my emotions meant that I was open for attack. Vulnerability with my emotions to my mother meant I was lashing out at her because of what she assumed she did wrong. She was never correct, because she never really listened to me.
Because of my upbringing, I still think, sadly, that people who are vulnerable are really weak. Why be open when you can hide behind a mask? Why express your emotions, just to have someone misinterpret them?
My real question is why be vulnerable?
Actually, my new question is why not be vulnerable?
As I make my way to Saturn Returns, I am beginning to enjoy being vulnerable. I am beginning to enjoy showing my flaws. I am enjoying not looking to attack someone else, or prepare for an attack. Being vulnerable is just being open. I can choose to be open and share, or I could choose to pretend I have no room to be myself.
The truth is I am vulnerable. I am raw. I am alive. I am fearful. I am ready for whatever comes next.
Good Night and Good luck.
Write about your traumatic experience. Be as detailed as you can with what happened and how it made you feel, both emotionally and physically.
“Millions of people have decided not to be sensitive. They have grown thick skins around themselves just to avoid being hurt by anybody. But it is at great cost. Nobody can hurt them, but nobody can make them happy either.”— Osho
Honestly, I’m still only a shell of who I used to be. Some of my most painful moments, I assumed weren’t painful at all. At the time, I was stung. Stung by the experience of being swept off my feet and dropped. Open relationships, are a type of relationship that I was not good at. My mother ignoring me and leaving me at home, made it so I craved attention, even some of the most basic interactions.
When I met him, I had just gotten out of a nightmare of a relationship.
My previous ex was a really deranged individual. They were violent. I was never physically harmed, but the injury he gave me was so harsh that I left the relationship in tatters. I remember them watching movies with rape, killing, and extreme violence and loving it and watching with a smirk on their face. Enjoying pain is one thing, but the look of exhilaration when a woman was being tortured made me question my sanity for staying with them. The abuse began about two months after we were together. The relationship with him never felt right. I was intoxicated by the thrill.
The thrill meant leaving my family, to live with this person. Coming home to cook for and take care of them. After a while, they began flirting in front of me. It was only this year, that I realized how much control they had over where we went. They took me to the same bars, to show me off and at the same time make me feel jealous. Which is such a mind fuck that I have no eloquent words to describe it. I remember when we stopped having sex. By “we” I mean they stopped responding and initiating sexual contact. Until recently, I did not understand that this is an abuse tactic. When you control sex, you also control the relationship. Sex is something that sets platonic relationships apart from a romantic one.
After a month or so without sex, I began to be exhausted. As a 23 year old, I felt unattractive. Not only unattractive but I thought I could so more to be more attractive. My mothers voice would ring through my head. ” YOU SHOULD TAKE BETTER CARE OF YOURSELF. You look like you don’t care about your own hygiene.” That line used to infuriate me. I never knew wha she meant by it, and honestly she never taught me how to feel as if I deserved it.
My ex did the same. They began emotionally abusing me. Forcing me to visit them ( we lived a few blocks away from each other after I moved out). They no longer showing interest in anything that would allow me to be the main focus of attention. They began to call me ‘broke’,’bitch’, telling me to ‘shut the fuck up’, being upset that I changed a kitty litter box, flirting with other people in my face, and abusing alcohol and misusing medications.
After a while, I began to hate them. I was at the time chain smoking cigarettes. I remember just being stressed. Their behavior mimicked my mother and I began to feel the smothering of another sick individual wrapping itself around my neck like a snake.
So when they left out of town, I packed my bags at their house and left.
After the end of that relationship, I met him, let us call them CT. CT lived close to me. They began talking to me on a whim. It was so fast that before I knew it, I was being swept off my feet. This action was actually CT pulling the rug from under my feet. They weren’t really a person that I took seriously, until I was in love, and they had already had their next woman ready to pounce on.
My life shifted to be with CT. I would go to their house, cook dinner with them, play their favorite card games, meet their friends, etc. The only thing I could never do is meet their family. As a black woman, this happens often if you date outside of your race. After CT told me this, I remember weeping in the shower. My gasps were audible, and my mind was fuzzy for the rest of the time of the we spent together.
CT had me convinced that an open relationship was the best bet for us. I agreed, assuming that I was in charge of my emotions for this person. I was still raw from the ex, and still lived close to them. I figured CT wanting to have sex with me brought up my stock as a woman. That if a man like him can like me, that I was finally worth something.
The shift in the relationship happened gradually. If I had to cancel a plan, and found out that I actually had time, he had already filled his schedule. I would invite him to hang out with my friends, and if they were not doing something that he felt interested in, her would have to leave. Little did I know, that one of his friends had already snagged him.
The final straw came when I just felt so warn out and used sexually that I wanted no part of CT. The relationships with my ex and CT, were two sides of the same coin. One was a narcissist that uses sex as control, usually not wanting sexual advances until they see fit. The other used sex to get back a women that hurt him previously. I somehow was blind enough to become victims of both.
Eyes are no longer shut.
“By far, the most common view of the newborn comes down to us over many centuries of Western Culture, namely, that bases are born sinful or as otherwise antisocial beings who are inclined to manipulate their parents”.
-Addicted to Unhappiness: Free yourself from moods and behaviors that undermine relationships, work, and the life you want. Martha Heinemann Pieper & William J. Pieper
My question to him is:
How can I respect a person, who has yet to acknowledge my existence?
My mother still lives in that apartment, and I could feel the evil and negative energy radiate from the doorstep when I ever I would visit. I feel that the hate and resentments my mother holds, take her to Hunter S. Thompson levels of insanity. Drugs are not present, but surely she has done enough to kill weaker men than you or I.
-Fear and Loathing.
Push it, she did. Until the fucking breaks fell off. When I think of her drug use. I begin to feel enraged. I feel an anger that goes so deep, it reminds me of a cartoon well. When they drop a coin and the sound echoes endlessly. This is the depth of hate and detest I feel for my own mother. It makes sense that loving myself and trying to be in love with someone else took every once of effort. No wonder I wrote my suicide letter at 14, saying I would kill myself at 25.
Loathing: Loathing? Loathing.
Luckily I made it to 26. And I found the importance of living. My mother did not give birth for me to wait on her hand and foot. To wait on her approval. To wait on her to finally see me as worthy of respect. Of actual acceptance. A mother’s love is seemingly available, or it is not. Well maybe not so much a black and white issue, but more of it is easier to build upon something, rather than to create it from scratch. To talk to my mother, I would have to re-create our relationship from the ground up. I simply do not care enough to try to do that. So instead of loving her as a mother. I will love her as a flawed human. An abused child. A former addict. A woman who felt keeping a man around was more important that spending time with her daughter.
Addicted to Unhappiness: Free yourself from moods and behaviors that undermine relationships, work, and the life you want. Martha Heinemann Pieper & William J. Pieper
Did she feel jealous that me and my step father felt close.
What if I was prettier than her, would that be a fault of my own?
Had she done drugs to forget that she had offspring?
Or did she do drugs to forget her own memories?
Did those memories die after she snorted, smoked and drank them away?
Or did they eat her from the inside out?
Does she still have night sweats?
Does she envision the monster who came in the night as the old man he is today,
or as the psychically abusive drunk that haunted her memories?
Why did hating her own daughter make her seem more powerful and omnipotent than I?
Why do I still care?
Why was I born into such toxicity?
Why does toxicity like this exist?
What negative traits will I pass on to my child?
“We are all wired into a survival trip now. No more of the speed that fueled that 60’s. That was the fatal flaw in Tim Leary’s trip. He crashed around America selling “consciousness expansion” without ever giving a thought to the grim meat-hook realities that were lying in wait for all the people who took him seriously… All those pathetically eager acid freaks who thought they could buy Peace and Understanding for three bucks a hit. But their loss and failure is ours too. What Leary took down with him was the central illusion of a whole life-style that he helped create… a generation of permanent cripples, failed seekers, who never understood the essential old-mystic fallacy of the Acid Culture: the desperate assumption that somebody… or at least some force – is tending the light at the end of the tunnel”.
I hate to admit this, but I used to love feeling depressed. It felt like it was me against the world. I have always felt older than my age. Most likely from having to emotionally take care of my mother and no break from school or any responsibility. No lazy summers, no down time without a chaotic set of parents placing me in disputes.
I was forced to be a child when it came to things that would help me gain independence: going out, making my own decisions about my body, or having any privacy.
I was also forced to be emotionally an adult when my mom came home crying or in a fit of rage and destroyed the house, destroyed my peace, and fought with my step father.
Depression was my escape, depression was my comfort.
If you have ever been through depression for an extended amount of time, you’ll know that it is easy to remain there. Easy to say “ fuck it” who cares.
I used to think I felt that way ironically, but the truth is the irony is that I was just denying my feelings.
( I don’t really know what irony is, but I feel like it fits in this explanation. )
Fuck it, is an amazing feeling in the moment, but not when you want to have hope for the future.
Fuck it and future don’t mix unless you have the motivation to keep going.
Saying fuck it to expectations or limitations is positive.
Saying fuck it to mental health, hygiene, friends, and responsibilities can catch up with you might quickly.
My depression this round has caught up with me, and it has not been good.
The depression is not the hard part, the trying to get my life and moods together, is more difficult than I assumed.
Currently, I have been flipping through my memories and thinking about my previous relationships. My relationship with my past finally caught up to me in 2012. During 2012, I moved out of my grandparents home and lived about 45 min away from them. After my first ex girlfriend, I wanted someone who was exciting and someone completely different from my ex. I was tired of trying to enjoy being at home and doing nothing with her. But for me that just was not possible.
Once I met my ex boyfriend, I felt instantly in love. Just as much as I instantly forgot about all the abuse that happened to me. This relationship began to mirror my family dynamic. I wanted to be like my grandmother, secretly in charge of the relationship, a quiet force in the corner. The truth is, my grandmother is not as strong as I liked to believe. The blow to my self esteem my ex boyfriend caused was unbearable. How for so many years did she handle the verbal abuse.I can only imagine how low her self esteem was internally.
The relationship lasted about 2 years. By 2014, my soul had been shot down. Part of my innocence was lost. We had stopped having sex, he would be on molly during the middle of the week and didn’t even share or let me know. The clubs he took me to were all places that he wanted to go. During this time I decided to write on a secret tumblr. Here is my artistic re-writing of the end of the relationship.