I'm not good with people. Socially, I'm rubbish and have been for as long as I remember. Remember me saying I felt normal until my parents divorced and my male parent began his campaign of alienation?
After that and ever since, I have never felt normal. My sister and I once discussed this as teenagers. We didn't feel right. We felt unwhole. We felt a lack of something but didn't know what to call it. Once my male parent had begun the alienation and thus once my mother had begun to pretend it wasn't happening, I stopped feeling safe.
Apparently, I also stopped developing socially in some areas too - because of the alienation. The divorce itself may also have been a culprit but I know children of divorce who are doing okay. I'm not going to say that the actual divorce of my parents and end of my previous way of life did not affect me, because it did. However, what damaged me was their behaviour afterwards, and in particular the war waged against my mother by the male parent.
I was about six years old when the first comments were made, maybe six and a half. We returned to my country when I was seven. The first comment I remember him making, which I think I've mentioned before, is the one he made in the middle of the night. Somehow he was in bed with me. I have no idea if it was his bed or mine. I know that my mother was sleeping on the sofa and he used to wake me up every night and take me into his bed. I'm fairly certain my sister was present on this occasion too. He said, crying, "Mummy doesn't love us anymore", the sicko.
According to my counsellor today, this could be the point at which part of me is emotionally stuck and undeveloped. She asked me to think about that point of my life, which didn't thrill me a great deal, but the more I thought about it and verbalized the event, the more I realised that those words shattered me and my world view. I had never known that it was possible for anyone to stop loving anyone else, let alone my parent, my beloved mother, to stop loving me. But he insisted and repeated it. Every action that she carried out that was in opposition to what he wanted "proved" him right. "If she loved you, she wouldn't do that", from mild tellings-off to bringing us back to our home country (click here for why I don't give any identifying details about myself in this blog). He's still the same dictator now: if you don't want what he wants, you're an idiot, you're selfish, you're stupid, you're thick. I think a pretty traumatized kid lay there in that bed after she heard that her mother didn't love her anymore. I told my Aunt, my mother's sister, about this a couple of years ago. She said it was lies and that she "could kill him for saying that, the bastard". "But it was true," I said, surprised. No it effing wasn't, came the outraged reply. "She used to sit and cuddle you for hours, not doing house work, just cuddling and playing with you! She adored you!" Their brother responded similarly: "She loved you, she just didn't understand you."
I guess she didn't. I rejected her - but she never spoke to me about all this. I don't know if she was stoic or just hated talking about her marriage, but she kept her mouth shut. Under ordinary circumstances that would be the right thing to do: to keep the kids out of grown up problems. But this wasn't an ordinary circumstance and, as I've said before, her silence was a killer.
I don't know what to think about him having me in bed with him. Could be innocent. I can't remember anything happening. No idea. I don't think I was afraid to cuddle him until puberty. I remember he wouldn't let me sleep in his bed when I was eleven (pre puberty).
So, anyway, thanks to my insane male parent, I am a bit emotionally stunted which makes me feel terrific, especially as I also feel stupid at the moment too. Today I feel inadequate and thick. I'm terrible in social groups and have never really had friends. I'm always the same: I try so hard to please everyone, to make everyone like me. I'm smiley and helpful (too helpful) and over eager and desperate for friends. I have felt stupid my whole life because he has treated me that way so I try to make people see that I'm not stupid. I didn't realise that I just come across as a big head, as arrogant, and as if I'm trying to put people down. People then clam up and don't want to talk to me, so I talk even more. People end up hating me and avoiding me. It's HORRENDOUS to be a social misfit, someone everyone avoids. And I know it's happening so it makes me even more desperate to be liked. A vicious circle. Now I avoid people. I do like being at home but I am afraid to go out socially. I haven't been out in years with another adult. People make me nervous because I know what's coming: that I'll babble and suck up and make myself look like an idiot, all the while thinking "Shut up! You're doing it again!".
My counsellor sees a six year old in all that, who has been told that their mother doesn't love them or want them. Remember me saying I spent my whole life trying to be her little girl? It all seems to come from there, from that moment (thirty one years ago!!!). That terrible, selfish, egocentric man has made me this social inadequate and made me think I was so unlovable that even my mother didn't want me - but that he stood by me, despite me "having my ways".
This is really, really painful. I can't stress that enough. It feels like she's right though because my whole body is reacting to it. It's awful and I want to scream my head off BUT if I know what the problem is, I can take steps to fix it. She recommends "parenting" myself, which sounds completely ridiculous but as my mother is not here to do it, I'll give it a go. If you know how to approach this, please jump in because it just makes me feel weird. She wants me to parent myself like I parented my offspring at the same age. Ooookay. Can't hurt, can it?
Just knowing the name of the problem is an excellent start because you have to remember I've lived for the past 3 decades thinking that there is something horribly wrong with me, something medical. I've even looked for symptoms of Asperger's, to the point that I wanted to go for diagnostic tests. I don't have Asperger's. I'm emotionally broken in one place - but it's fixable and I will fix it. I already feel better just knowing that I can change the problem - it's not autism and therefor permanent. It's damage and damage can be repaired.
If you're an alienator, re-read this post. Save your kids from this. My throat hurts from crying.