Why We Need to Share Our Stories

Why do we share our stories?

Why do we NEED to share our stories?

For me, I think the key is that these stories are sources of pain.

We need to tell the stories to work through the pain and process the emotions.

If we ignore it, it stays.

If we address it, talk about it, it lessens.

Anything that causes us pain needs to be expressed in some way.

“Verbal ventilation is the penultimate grieving practice. It is speaking from your feelings in a way that releases and resolves your emotional distress.”

Pete Walker in Complex PTSD: From Surviving to Thriving

Some of us write stories, songs or poetry.

Some of us vlog or blog about it.

Some of us have been fortunate to find a good trauma therapist that we can trust.

Some of us have a good friend to talk to that gets us through.

I am finding the stories that I feel compelled to tell are sources of tremendous pain for me. Pain that has been there since that first time my mother, the one person that is supposed to be there to protect me from all harm, inflicted intentional, confusing, blistering emotional harm upon me.

Each time it occurred I went through a trauma.

Ongoing emotional abuse.

Ongoing lack of empathy.

Ongoing lack of unconditional love from the one person that should hold the market on such a valuable resource.

My struggle is that I keep going into freeze response.

I keep saying that I need to snap out of this and get moving, but it’s not a matter of will power or laziness, or lack of motivation to change my circumstances.

I get triggered and my brain literally goes into freeze mode.

When that happens the frontal lobe, the part of the brain responsible for controlling important cognitive skills, such as emotional expression, problem solving, memory, language, judgment, and sexual behaviour, is basically non-functional.

I am functioning on the monkey brain.

All the monkey brain cares about is survival.

Physical survival.

Mental survival.

That’s it.

I can go days like this.

It is days like this that I watch and listen to other survivors’ videos.

I think their stories help me to pull myself out of my frozen state.

The commonalities that I find in other survivors’ stories are like a life line to me.

I hear my story in other survivors’ stories.

It is as though we are telling each others’ stories.

This tells me that if I tell my story, maybe just maybe, somebody out there is experiencing the same confusion and pain in their lives due to narcissistic abuse, and they will hear my story and realize that they are being abused and they will realize they need to get out of there.

At the very least, I hope it helps them feel validated and less alone.

People like me, the lost children, don’t usually do things like this.

We stay back in the shadows. We watch, but don’t usually participate, if we can help it.

Sometimes, when we’ve felt particularly comfortable we might let our guard down and write out a comment only to later go back and delete it, because we’d rather not get involved, or we feel threatened by our own vulnerability.

Sharing such buried parts of ourselves is scary.

We long to, but at the same time, it is terrifying.

If I could not hide my identity I would not be doing this.

If I recognize myself on video I apply another filter to conceal my identity further.

Some of us feel compelled to share online because we have experienced what it is like to be in the dark and then to be awakened.

We know the pain of the awakening, but also the necessity of it to heal. Being awakened feels like you have literally been asleep. My whole life feels like it’s been a lie. Like, the opposite of what I believed to be true actually is true.

It is from this place of feeling cheated, feeling like “why didn’t anybody tell me?” that I come to you.I want to help, warn, encourage, validate, and do whatever I can to help you because I understand, and I know that understanding means something.

It means I am not alone. It means you are not alone. It means we are not alone.

It means somebody else out there might actually get me. It means somebody out there might awaken sooner and can begin their journey of self discovery sooner.

I’m not mad it took me so long to awaken. I’m just glad I did.

Thank you for letting me share my story with you all.

Thank you for sharing your stories with me.

Your stories have saved my life.

 

Wash Your Mouth Out With Soap

#Potential Trigger*
I’m going to start writing about the memories of abuse from my childhood that come to me, as they come to me.
I’m not sure what prompted this particular memory, but here it is.
If I swore my mother would take me to the bathroom and wash my mouth out with soap. 
She wouldn’t just take me to the bathroom through. No. It was usually a struggle and would go something like this.
Her shrieking,
“What did you just say????”
“Come here!!!”
GRAB*
SLAP*
SHOVE*
HAIR PULL*
YANK HEAD BACK*
“LET’S GO!!!”
*try to get away*
run*
ouch*
She would not let me resist or get away. It was a struggle like a predator chasing it’s prey. I’m sure if I did ever get away she’d fight me to exhaustion to win.
She enjoyed this part. She couldn’t just hit me and get it over with. No. She made a big production out of it.
I don’t even remember what emotions I felt even though I’m remembering the visual memory of it. I know what I should have felt.
Fear. Betrayal. Hurt. Horror.
She’d be shrieking the whole time. Grabbing at me to keep me from getting away.
I remember having bruising on my inner arms from her digging her nails in so hard and sore spots on my scalp from her pulling my hair.
She’d get me to the bathroom in front of the sink and she’d grab the bar of soap. She’d already have a hold of the back of my head by my hair. I can remember trying to put my leg out around the door frame to get away from her. She’d fight me like her life depended on it.
When she finally had me where see wanted me she’d scream in my face,
“OPEN YOUR MOUTH!!!”
and she’d shove that bar of soap into my mouth. Then she’d make sure to scrape it across my upper teeth on the way out. The thought of it now makes me feel like gagging.
I remember feeling so defeated. So humiliated. So beat down afterwards. All because I said a bad word.
My mom insists that she never said a bad word until she started working when us younger kids were teenagers.
She insists that is when she started using the eff word. I call bullshit. 
She has one of the nastiest mouths I’ve ever heard. Her mother was pretty vile too.
She always told people in front of me how she never started swearing until she started working. 
I only remember feeling uncomfortable and not wanting to look her in the eye. I didn’t disagree or call her out either. That wasn’t allowed. And even though I couldn’t put my finger on it, I knew she was lying.
She gaslit us a lot. Mostly it was to cover up her crazy behaviour.
The irony is I’m sure she was swearing her head off while she was fighting to get me to the bathroom for my punishment.
Even though it is not that unheard of to hear about this kind of thing happening, the way she did it tells me I endured so much worse. You know? Like, what am I not remembering?
That remains to be seen.
~ Poking Holes

Narcissism: Ups and Downs

I’m up and I’m down. I’m so confused.

I still wish there was something I could do to make this all go away. I think I could go to my mom and beg for her forgiveness. This would be followed by her saying I better get on some meds and go talk to a counsellor. Ya, no kidding, but would it be worth it? Would I be happier?

Can I do it? Should I do it? Will it actually help me to remember my childhood if I maintain a relationship with her? Just being around her was causing feelings of hatred towards her to well up from inside of me.

It hurts so bad. It hurts that I don’t have the good family that I thought I had.

Should I ask my mom to go to counselling with me,  so I can speak to her in a safe environment? I know if I ask her to talk now, she will want GCS there.  You know, the “sane” one.

Why didn’t I see this before?  Did she really just start treating me strangely after my dad died? Or, did I just wake up? I mean,  I called the woman my bestfriend!  I thought we were close.  I thought I was one of those lucky people that had a great relationship with both of her parents.

Where did it all head south?  And, why??? I’m almost 50! Why now???

That is where I am at today.  I miss my “happy” family.

~ Poking Holes ~

image

Narcissism: Afraid and Confused

I’m feeling confused. I feel this way when I try to sink back into the ignorance I’ve lived my life in before the discovery. The discovery that I am the daughter of a narcissistic mother.

It’s a pretty big thing to wrap your head around. I’m afraid sometimes to continue because I’m afraid of what I might uncover.

Before, I would have described my family as a very loving and affectionate family.  Now, I’m not sure if my mom was even capable of loving us at all. I remember a lot of love and affection from my Dad though. I believe he was an enabler, not a narcissist like my mom.

When my oldest sister told me she moved away because of my mother, I became afraid that I may have been through more trauma than I thought. She said there was always yelling and arguing at every family gathering. I don’t remember the holidays being like that. I love Christmas, so the fact that I don’t remember it the way she does tells me that my young mind blocked out some of the craziness. When my sister moved away I was around 11 or 12.

I’m going to write here more often. Every time I get a memory, or see a meme that I can relate to, I will share. It may be all over the place, but it will help me to heal none the less, and that is the purpose of this blog anyhow.

I just thought I’d mention that I am not speaking to my mom right now. She will text me once in a while, or I will text her, but I haven’t seen or spoken to her since the end of June.

~ Poking Holes ~

Narcissism: The big discovery

I’ve been trying to remember what prompted me to look into my mother’s behaviour while I was growing up. I guess I’m looking for a way to mark the beginning of the big discovery.

Here is a little background on the past few months.

I’d been diagnosed with depression and anxiety (again) last March (2014). My former doctor prescribed Zoloft. It seemed to help, but not all the time. I felt like I was on a cycle. Sometimes good, other times not so good, a few times really really bad. I began to realize that my moods followed my cycle. I was very moody and irritable before my period and mid-cycle when I was ovulating. I always got pms, but never like this. I am 46, and had noticed perimenopause symptoms for the last couple of years. My former doctor completely ignored anything I said about perimenopause and chose to treat the symptoms instead. She took blood tests, and from the results she told me I wasn’t in menopause. To her, it was an either you are or you’re not thing. I have learned from my new gynecologist that the 5 years leading up to menopause we experience wild fluctuations in our hormone levels, which can have a huge effect on our moods. He prescribed the pill to regulate my hormone fluctuations, and under my gp’s guidance I weaned myself off the Zoloft, reducing my dose by 25mg per week. As of today, I have been off Zoloft for 50 days. I have been experiencing really bad withdrawal symptoms, but I have noticed that I am feeling better lately. It could have something to do with us being out of her house too though.

I was noticing, during those moody times, that I couldn’t stand my mother. In fact, I hated her. She made me irritable, so I avoided her, and I think she felt it. I was talking to my good friend about it, and she asked me if she was a nice mom while growing up. She said that it is possible that I suppressed memories, and they are just coming to the surface now. That really made me think. It was like red flags going off.

Without prompting, I remember my mom spanking me, using wooden spoons on my hands, washing my mouth out with soap, and yelling and screaming all of the time.

I think I googled “Why do I hate my mom”. Anyhow, soon enough I was reading all kinds of information on narcissistic moms, and I felt like I was reading about my family.

The following is what I wrote in my journal on Wednesday, June 17, 2015.

Ok, so this is big! It’s the biggest thing I’ve EVER realized about my childhood. I realized on Monday (could have been Sunday…it’s all been so emotional since the discovery) that my mother is a narcissist. I am the daughter of a Narcissistic Mother!

I’ve been reading about it on the internet and my family is a classic case to a T! My mom had her “golden children” (some more golden than others) and her “scapegoats”. The scapegoats were basically bullied all their lives by their own mother, and the golden children joined in, or did it for her. It’s painful to imagine what life must have been like for my other siblings, especially the scapegoats.

I’m remembering a lot of bad memories, even before the actual realization that my mom has a mental disorder. I’m going to need an outlet, somebody to talk to who understands the disorder. I’m really afraid of the memories that might come forth. I’m just hoping for a bit of good along with the bad. 

So, there you go. I made the big discovery that I am the daughter of a narcissistic mother about one month ago.

~ Poking Holes ~

The following video is me reading out some journal entries, including the one above.

https://youtu.be/u3cYKVE-Nsw

Narcissism: I was once a golden child…

I’m not really sure where to start. I am at the mere beginning of this long journey of discovery.

I am the daughter of a narcissistic mother. From what I’ve read, my mother is a textbook case of narcissistic personality disorder.

I come from a family of 6 children. I am the youngest of 5 girls. We all have 1 baby brother. My mom made it seem like she gave my father the ultimate gift by having my brother for him, after all of us girls.

I was once a golden child, but have only recently discovered, at the age of 46, that I have been demoted to scape goat. I believe the demotion began, 5 years ago, shortly after my Father passed away. I was his baby girl. We were close. I noticed both my mother, and one of my sisters, the other golden child, pulling away from me.

It took moving back home, being under the same roof as my mother, to bring about this whole realization. I moved back into my mother’s home, on a temporary basis, with my husband and my young son. We moved back to my hometown, and she allowed us to stay with her until we were able to purchase a home of our own. We are now renting until we can purchase a home of our own. We had the down payment, we just needed to secure jobs in order to secure a mortgage.

I am using this blog to help me heal. I hope it will also help others heal.

~ Poking Holes ~

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