In which I unload some festering thoughts

I sometimes think that I can not resolve some of my lack of deep conviction in the existence of God, not just because I’m too rational, but because I see people be hateful towards me all the time for being honest.

I haven’t liked to talk about my abusive past here…and I still don’t.  But I want to talk about it, because I really painted myself into a corner over the past few days.  I am such a social misfit that sometimes the more I try to explain myself, the more odd things come out of my mouth.  It used to happen more often, which is why retreating from most people is usually the best bet for me.  Most people don’t know what to make of me, and that’s all right.  There’s a few people that do (if not locally to me).  I do what I can, and when I fail to make the right impression, I slink away like a wounded tiger, and cry and lick my wounds in a dark corner of my soul.  I come out when I feel stronger and ready to say, “fuck it”.  I am who I am and if it’s one thing I learned, keeping to myself is more rewarding than trying to talk to some people.

I’ve been abused, physically, emotionally and psychologically, first from my family of origin, and later in my marriage, after my husband’s episodes of binge drinking over 15 years.  I don’t talk usually about that trauma here, because this is not where I do my trauma recovery work.  Here is where I recover my spirituality and my hope through my writing, my photography and my dreaming of the kind of friendships that are edifying…not soul-sucking.

I don’t expect any of my readers to ever understand the things I’ve come to know from my abused past.  It’s not necessary to know what I’ve been through to get a taste of what I’m really like:  loving, peaceful, hopeful…and I prefer to keep my wounds private, but not today.

I make no excuses for my mistakes.   There are landmines in my psyche, as there are in all survivors of complex-PTSD.  Get too close to one, you’ll likely get one to go off on you.  Talk to me compassionately, you’ll get a pussycat.  Treat me like you are better than me, that you know more than I do, or treat me condescendingly, I will put you in your place posthaste.

I have ugliness inside me.  A mistrust of most people, especially stupid saccharine sweet women (and you know who you are), and not just because most are intolerably mundane.   But because they are most often judgmental.  And yes, it’s true, sometimes I do come across as harsh when I suspect people are being disingenuous, or superficial, or I detect a malicious intent (I’ll grant I might detect things other people might not agree are malicious…and that’s something I am working on).

And, as an aside, this is precisely the reason why I don’t do blog awards (I was ‘awarded’ one recently but I didn’t play along).  I keep to myself and I don’t know who to bestow a superficial fake honor to.  I don’t read many blogs.  I’ve got too much writing of my own to do.

Abused people don’t see the world with Pollyanna vision.  For us, optimism is hard to learn, and we see the seed of abuse in many situations that may not actually germinate.  But, knowing what can go on behind closed doors, hidden from the neighbors and authority figures that might actually be able to save someone from abuse, we see red flags everywhere.  Even when there is nothing to be alarmed about.  But sometimes we just hear something…or read something…and that feeling of nausea rolls on in.  It’s just best to heed the warning.  Only I forget to keep it to myself.  And piss people off in the process.  And I don’t want to make enemies,  I want to make friends.  But…well…shit happens.  I’m not able to shrug it off when I know I made an egregious error.

And, because I am who I am, and experienced what I have experienced, both in my personal life and in my work as a forensic scientist working on sexual assaults and homicides, I have trouble connecting to people who are superficial and who live in a world of fantasy where even if bad things happen, they learn to paste on a smile.  I’m sorry, I can’t be fed bullshit and believe it’s chateubriand.

I am not pessimistic, but I do lose faith that people will ever be truly aware of the things I see. It’s a tragic gift of empathy.  Sometimes I’m right and I get wounded people to open up to me, other times I’m either wrong or they are hiding something and just got found out and they get pissed.  I can’t help calling things as I see them.  I’ll grant you that I have skewed vision.

But, if one more person tells me to get a grip…I’ll smack them.  I swear to baby Jesus I will.

The same sister who chased me around the house when I was 11 with a large kitchen knife with the intention of wounding me would tell me all the time when I was older, I needed to “get a grip”.  I had a therapist one time try to tell me I must have done something to instigate her violent behavior.  And then I fired him.

A complete stranger advised me to not pathologize my siblings…and some other things I don’t remember.  This is for her:  you don’t know me and you don’t know the kind of sociopathic behavior I had to endure from them.

Family fun that did not involve me?  My younger sister was committed for a week at a psych ward because my mother couldn’t handle her ‘acting out’ as a teenager when she and my step-father were fighting.  My mother was thrown in jail one day simply because she slapped my oldest sister on the face in front of her skeezy boyfriend a couple of years after her divorce and the boyfriend called 911. My mother would not stay out of my sister’s personal life, so my sister had her arrested for assault.

My mother was from an upstanding, ‘responsible’, well-off family.  And my mother was acting most of her life as an entitled, narcissistic, psychologically sick person and my siblings caught some of her illness (and me to some extent).  But no one outside the family home had any clue.  No one could save us because they didn’t know.

Two things go hand in hand with abuse – psychological enmeshment and emotional incest.  Children of dysfunctional parents often become punching bags, pawns in the marriage or emotionally bonded to the parent to fill their unmet emotional needs.  Sometimes, a child is aware enough to recognize the toxic nature of the dysfunctional family dynamic and they do everything they can to 1) save the rest if possible or 2) get the hell out if they can’t.  Both are nearly impossible, but some children will nearly die trying.  In my family, that child was me.  And I suffer short episodes of some pretty severe suicidal depression that I manage to ride out without medications or booze (though I came pretty damn close to cutting my life short a few times).

Last night, as I walked by myself in the dark at that war memorial…crying…wondering why am I here if I can’t make a decent friend and I can’t even shut up when I know I’m being seen as being a total ass (though I’m trying trying hard to be…I just don’t suffer fools gladly).

I might be a ‘class act’…an overblown windbag…an isolated, lonely, severely disconnected, mal-adjusted, fucked-up mother and abuse survivor, but, if you don’t like me, you can just stay away from me.  I don’t need your advice (I did not ask for it).  I don’t want your kind of friendship.  You certainly aren’t beneficial to my spiritual growth.

So I apologize to those who I’ve mortally wounded with my words.  Before you think I’m judging without getting to know you, please return the favor and stop judging before you get to know me.  I know what my limitations are.  I’ve spent 2o years trying to change them so people will stop telling me what’s wrong with me.  It’s only dawning on me that the problem lies not with me.

I’ve been through hell and back.  I’ve made mistakes and tried to apologize for them. I’ve loved and been loved by one or two tremendously amazing, spiritual people and some that were amazing yet not all that spiritual.  And they’ve come and gone (some through death, some just moved on).  And I need to find more of them.  I hope I do soon, in my real life, so I can stop hanging around the internet, hoping to connect with my next spiritual friend.

When I take a long look at my life, as though from outside, it does not appear particularly happy. Yet I am even less justified in calling it unhappy, despite all its mistakes. After all, it is foolish to keep probing for happiness or unhappiness, for it seems to me it would be hard to exchange the unhappiest days of my life for all the happy ones. If what matters in a person’s existence is to accept the inevitable consciously, to taste the good and bad to the full and to make for oneself a more individual, unaccidental and inward destiny alongside one’s external fate, then my life has been neither empty nor worthless. Even if, as it is decreed by the gods, fate has inexorably trod over my external existence as it does with everyone, my inner life has been of my own making . I deserve its sweetness and bitterness and accept full responsibility for it.

~ Hermann Hesse, Gertrude

So, with that, go in peace and love the world.

About Casey

“the only people for me are the mad ones, the ones who are mad to live, mad to talk, mad to be saved, desirous of everything at the same time, the ones who never yawn or say a commonplace thing, but burn, burn, burn like fabulous yellow roman candles exploding like spiders across the stars and in the middle you see the blue centerlight pop and everybody goes ‘Awww!’ ~ Jack Kerouac, On The Road Again
This entry was posted in Inner Excavation, Seeking the sacred, Self Defense, suicidal pain. Bookmark the permalink.

8 Responses to In which I unload some festering thoughts

  1. g33kdad says:

    I don’t know if you’ll want to go through this here, or moderate this reply and go somewhere more private…

    First off: Get a Grip!! (See what I did there? Open with a joke…)

    I have to say that I think it’s good that you can recognize when your interactions are going downhill – even if you can’t necessarily put on the brakes to stop it. Sometimes when I see you doing that it makes me think that you just want to ram your point home – damn the torpedoes, full speed ahead – and almost wish that it all blows up. (Kinda like a suicide bomber: “I’m going to make my point. I’m going to blow the shit out of all these people to do it. Oh yeah, I guess I’ll blow me up too – a small price to pay to prove that I’m right.”)

    Treat me like you are better than me, that you know more than I do, or treat me condescendingly, I will put you in your place posthaste.

    It’s interesting that you say this. There are several people that will agree with me that you often come across as superior and condescending. This is another area where I don’t know if it’s not visible to you, if it’s just part of your way of interacting, or if you know it and just like to do it.

    I’m not trying to be an ass and just say “you’re bad” because you’re not. I’m trying to point out some of the things I’ve seen over and over again and bring them to your attention (if they’re not already there) and offer to discuss them and offer ideas on how things can be done differently. I know you won’t take unsolicited advice (and often won’t take solicited advice) so I’m just leaving this as just a comment. You know how to find me if you want to discuss more

  2. First off, husband…I have nothing to hide. Thanks for replying. This is maybe what, one out of a dozen comments you’ve ever tried to make on any of my blogs?

    Secondly, that’s NOT funny to me. I’m walking around crying, suicidally depressed because I care what some random person or two thinks of me…and it triggers all sorts of pain in me and I can’t find the humor in any of this. I also can not find the point in trying to relate deeply with people who are blind (not literally blind, of course), but who refuse to see.

    I am aware of my own arrogance. It’s protective, a pretty shitty defense mechanism, but it only comes out when I’m triggered by the inconsiderate things people say ALL the TIME. I have my self-respect and I will never sell out just to make other people comfortable. It’s not my job to do that. I’d rather be alone and misunderstood than waste my energies on trying to fit in.

    And….I AM bad…at least in as much as I won’t give up my self-respect to make anyone like me, not even you.

    “Every society honors its live conformists and dead troublemakers.” Mignon McLaughlin.

    And…when I see people doing something they maybe shouldn’t…(like drinking and driving on a SUSPENDED license that could land your butt back in jail from that DUI back in December)…I AM going to drive home my point and show people that maybe, just maybe, they are doing something wrong…(and in some cases…like this in this case, something actually illegal).

    People do stupid stuff all the time. Like that 20 year old kid who split his head open from nose to mid-skull because he was texting and driving a motorcycle at the time. Everyone KNOWS this is WRONG and DEADLY…and now the kid is a vegetable. What a tragic waste.

    We are all wasting our lives in empty pursuits (even me, writing all this stupid shit out is wasting my life)…consuming our planet like mindless vermin (no wonder other countries hate Westerners). I have very little faith in humanity as a whole. But, I’m TRYING my hardest to regain it.

    I’m not superior in the compassion department. That is why I am on this spiritual journey. To forgive people for what they do/have done that hurts me and hurts our world…and try to see where I’ve got a ways to go. But yes, in many ways, I am superior in intellect (as pointed out by others along my path). I OFTEN have told you I WISH could un-see what I see. But I can’t. And I won’t reach for the booze to take the discomfort away.

    I suck as a human being. I do. I push people away who misunderstand my intent…and with whom I can’t relate to…who waste my time and energy…who bait me. I have NO time for baiters and haters. None. I could be dead tomorrow for all I know.

    After 17 years of being with me…have you thought about NOT pointing out my shortcomings…and appreciating my strengths? Of simply TALKING to me more than you do so I don’t waste time looking for friendship online? I think that would be much much more effective.

    I am like the character House on tv, who also calls things like he sees them. Unfortunately, I don’t have the thick skin that he does and when I rise to someone’s bait…and get hurt in the process…it really hurts.

    But…mistakes are okay. I’m learning valuable knowledge about myself and others through my mistakes. It’s all good…in the end.

    • totsymae1011 says:

      You two are funny. At first, I thought, “Wow, this person responding is rather brutal” and then I see that he’s your husband.

      First of all, I can appreciate your candidness. It’s courageous and healing, not only for yourself, if that’s the case, but anyone who reads and can identify with your experiences. No, don’t allow those thoughts to fester. As my mother always says, “Better out than in” and she meant on both ends. (Sorry for that sensory information but I’m tying to lighten up the mood).

  3. Totsymae –

    I appreciate your comment so much. It’s 2:30 in the morning. I haven’t been able to sleep tonight. I’ve been troubled since I discovered what I wrote in the next post.

    I have to admit, I was scared to read your comment. I wasn’t sure what I’d find. After all, I made one whopping big mess the last time I opened up my mouth (on my friends’ blog), and I saw the fallout there. I really didn’t mean to let that happen. Sometimes I just do not see these things coming.

    I love my husband more than mere words can say. We’ve put each other through some very difficult stuff over the years…but we are making our way through.

    I have a lot of acquaintances in my real life, but no one other than my husband with the time or the interest to go out for a cup of coffee with me. My husband is warm and tender and loving, but our communication styles are very different. Not bad, just different. Sometimes we can bridge these differences…and sometimes we can’t.

    And he’s right…I can be well, um…prickly. Especially when I am afraid.

    Don’t worry about the TMI. It made me laugh. The last time I was miserably sick with a stomach bug…it was just like that…and I said that same thing (“better out than in”) to myself.

    As far as the courage and healing thing. I know you are right. However…some days I wish the healing would come already, you know? But these things take as long as they take. One step forward, two back…two steps forward, one back.

    Pretty soon…I’ll just be going forward and not backsliding at all.

    Your words have helped me tonight, and I really am glad of it.

  4. joesoares says:

    OK, guys that was somewhat amusing. Nevertheless I grasp the seriousness of the matter. Just love the way you express and fight your corner.. I almost can read your mind…but I am going too far when I just met you here…Well done..

  5. Joe –

    I think that the key to a strong marriage is when both individuals can stand up for their individual rights to be heard, even if sometimes it’s difficult to hear what is being said.

    A good marriage is not the absence of fighting, but the presence of healthy expression of feelings, even the more difficult ones.

    I’ve been blessed to have my husband. It’s not always been easy to live with me, because I’m the more stormy one, while my husband is the more calm one. We keep learning from each other all the time how to meet each other where we are at.


  6. TBS says:

    when your interactions are going downhill
    several people that will agree with me
    I’m not trying to be an ass
    bring them to your attention (if they’re not already there)
    offer ideas on how things can be done differently
    I know you won’t take unsolicited advice (and often won’t take solicited advice)

  7. Yeah,

    I’m not sure either.

    I am beginning to think: one is not allowed to make mistakes, sift through one’s experience and discern, for oneself what is working at what is not.

    The lesson I am learning? The more I know and grow, the more troublesome I am to others. But…I’m learning which environments are conducive to free expression, and which ones are not.

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