Thursday, 21 February 2008

My view of physical discipline as a child

I used to tell people mum beat us.

Mum used to spank/smack us, sometimes with shoes and particularly with wooden spoons. I'm not advocating or condoning this form of discipline because it's wrong - by modern standards, anyway. I don't discipline my offspring this way, perhaps as a reaction against what being smacked did to me.

When I was smacked, it never made me see what I'd done wrong, rather it just simply made me angry. I never felt corrected, just hurt and unloved.

Factor in the alienation and you end up with a child being discipline by a parent, who sees the parent's actions as acts of hate. With every strike, she reinforced what the alienator said. Every time she smacked me with or without those hated wooden spoons (she broke one on my sister once), all it told me was that my mother not only hated me, but hated me so much she wanted to inflict physical violence on me.

The sheer, despairing AGONY of those moments makes me feel nauseous now, twenty years later. I was wretched after those moments and could not forgive her. My reaction was to withdraw and feel worthless, aching and silently begging to be released from the torture of a parent that hated my absolute guts. "If she loved you, she wouldn't be able to do that to you," said the male parent. "I'd never do that to you. I've never had to. You're a good girl. She just doesn't want to see it. She wants to dominate you. She hits because she's too stupid and selfish to think of any other way to discipline you." Indeed, I STILL think it was over the top, even now, even knowing that alienation was occurring. I was withdrawn and traumatized for days afterwards, but she just thought I was sulking.

What I was actually feeling was trauma and devastation so great I don't even have the words to express to you how deeply disturbed those smacks made me.

I used to tell people even when I was into my thirties, that my mother used to beat me. I believe there's a difference between beating and smacking. Beating is successive hits, several, many, lack of control involved, violence. Smacking aka spanking is one, maybe two, as a punishment after wrongdoing. I used to say "She beat the hell out of us". "She used to beat us". "She used to hit us all the time." She actually smacked us once, maybe twice at a push. For example, my sister used to yell "Didn't hurt!" so would get another one. We did not get beatings.

Let me state again: I am not a parent who condones or uses corporal punishment (unless the offspring do something dangerous, in which case it's a spanking or they continue doing something that could cause injury or death) so from the outset I am against her having hit me at all. HOWEVER in her mind, I now firmly believe she WAS just disciplining us. She was born in 1947 - unless I'm wrong, that's how her childhood discipline would have been administered. I no longer believe she hit us because she hated - but I was told otherwise.

Tuesday, 19 February 2008

Alienated kids say rotten things

Had a bit of a wobbly about my sister, didn't I? I guess I was really feeling the injustice of the situation that day.

I've said it before but the more I type, the more I remember. There are so many memories mulling around in my head causing pain or anger that it constantly surprises me. I hadn't realised my head was so full until I started writing this Blog - and yet it's helping to clear my mind. Writing things down, getting them out, really does work.

I haven't really touched upon my bad behaviour towards my poor Mum, the target parent, yet. I know I've mentioned it and mentioned that I was AWFUL, but I haven't really given too many details, mainly because I was disgraceful so many times. My own behaviour towards her embarrasses me, especially in light of what normal offspring I have. My offspring do not exhibit any of the negative behaviours I saw in myself or my sister. They're nice kids who don't mind a bit of housework - and don't see the request to empty the dishwasher as the savage order of a slavemaster tyrant determined to take all their time and (ab)use their energy and ruin their my lives. I'm not saying they never complain about chores. They wouldn't be normal if they didn't - but they don't scream and rage like I did. I've never once heard "Why should I?". I can reason with them in a way I sure as hell wouldn't have been reasoned with.

One memory of how rotten I was to my Mum came to mind recently, perhaps because it involves my sister and she's been on my mind a lot. Mum had a weight problem. She ate her feelings and was also a bored, frustrated person. She laid down on the floor in front of the TV to do exercise. We laughed at her. She said, "One day you two will stop making fun of me." We replied, "Yeah but that won't be today! Not for a long time!". What vile children. I wanted to hurt her. I saw her weight problem as a weakness, her own fault, more proof that she was an idiot like the alienator said. It just showed she had no self control. It proved she was wrong to have left him because she was never fat when she was with him. It all proved he was right and she was wrong.

But let me tell you this: I was NEVER this analytical before and am not so now. I learned to see nuances and meaning and subtetly and hints and to twist reasoning because I was TAUGHT to do so by the alienator. He taught me that dual meanings existed everywhere and in every aspect of my dealings with my mother.

So if she was overweight, it was her own fault for leaving him - just as he had once said the cancer that killed her was her own fault.

Sunday, 17 February 2008

Siblings continued

So now I'm trying to work out what motivated my sister. Why is she like this? Through reading and counselling, I've come to believe that my male parent's mother being forced out of the house when he was eleven years old is a defining moment in his life. I strongly believe it has made him what he is. His reactions to upset are those of an eleven year old boy. Ditto his behaviour towards females. He does not know healthy boundaries towards females, nor how to process disagreements.

But her - I don't know what the trigger point in her is. It's going to take time to work out. Our parents' divorce is part of it. Perhaps she was told I was the male parent's favourite? If there was any counter alienation going on, I never knew about it. Indeed, I've mentioned that mum almost never defended herself.

For some reason, she hates me, plain and simple, and always has. For some reason, she feels threatened by me, and yet is as obsessed with me as he was.

She likes to tell stories about me to people, untruths and half truths. She acts like an obsessed alienator. I almost laughed when I realised this. She is like an obsessed alienator - but why? She says she wants no contact with me but spends a long time talking to my ex, fishing for information about me.

If you have any ideas, please speak up. It won't help me to resolve anything because she wishes I were dead; it will just be good to know. Once I know reasons, I'm capable of processing things and putting them behind me. I have had to resign myself to never seeing her or her kids again. I have money put aside in my will for them. I can't write to them because I'm not allowed to know where they live. I had to give up trying to reconcile with her a few years ago, you know. I couldn't cope with the upset anymore. It's so distressing even now, to know that she wishes I didn't exist and that we can't see her children, my mother's grandchildren. It breaks my heart. I was distraught when I was told about her dealings with my ex last weekend - clearly she is thinking about me.

I'm not a terrible person! I don't deserve this!! I don't deserve to be abandoned by the two of them when I have done nothing wrong! I HAVE DONE NOTHING WRONG!!!! I have tried to be there for them both and have put up with an awful lot, including inappropriate behaviours from him, and downright lies from the pair of them, and when I said "No more", I'm cast aside. I have never lied about them or cut them off. I tried to maintain relationships that anyone can see were essentially unhealthy by reading this blog, but this situation tears me up. I want to see my sister and I wish I had a healthy-minded father. My mother is dead. I feel like an orphan.


I have two brothers and one sister. My brothers live close by and we see each other often. They're cool and we all get along.

Our sister lives in another country and hates the lot of us, me in particular. She disowned me in 1999 but has never really explained why. I did something to upset her (an email joke that went round the entire family at which everyone but her laughed, even though the joke wasn't directed at her personally. An odd situation that no one else has ever mentioned being upset about). I apologised immediately and three times. Our male parent told her I hadn't meant anything dreadful but she was furious and sent several emails to me with awful things in them. I responded in kind, defending myself - I thought - articulately but assertively. I hadn't meant to cause any problems and apologized - but she didn't want to forgive. She told me never to contact her again. I didn't really believe her at the time, I must admit. I did not believe that three years after we'd lost our mother, she would purposefully cut me and my offspring out of her life, thereby cutting her own offspring out of ours. Our kids don't have any other cousins.

I honestly didn't believe she meant it - but she did. She never contacted us after that, despite my 8 year old offspring calling her now and then. We wrote to her kids, I begged her in writing to let me have contact with my nieces. I begged her to help me when my ex left. My offspring called and asked for more contact. Nothing happened.

The male parent and I were still in touch at the time and he passed on snippets to me. I'd ask him WHY she had done this. He continually said "I don't really know. She said you embarrassed her in front of the cousins in America" - which was in 1987, an event I don't remember, and he couldn't furnish any further information on. "She just says your behaviour to her is typical". "Typical of what? What does she mean?" I'd ask. "I don't really know," he'd answer. He seemed as confused as me because he could NEVER tell me why she'd done it. He actually agreed with me that it was a hard thing to do after the death of our mother. As I've said in this blog, I'd never cut anyone out of my life like that. "I know you wouldn't," he said. I couldn't believe she would do something SO hurtful for SO SO SO many people - she hurt my offspring, her own, me, our brothers, even the male parent because, git that he was, it meant he could never have all his grandchildren together. I did not understand it.

She told him I was a bitch and a slut, that I was evil, that I'd done terrible things to her, that I'd tried to steal her boyfriend (see below). She told me I was never going to have contact with her kids again. I passed this on to our male parent: "She brought the kids into it -", I began. "She said you did," he told me quickly. That confused me - because I geniunely hadn't. I was trying to keep things together. Suddenly, the sister she had called on a day basis had gone from being her best friend to her worst enemy. I was selfish. I let other people clean up my messes. I was a slut. I had barged into her territory (I had moved into our male parent's house where she was living). I was a slut (incidentally, I was NOT!). He spent a lot of time passing things on to me, snippets of what she'd said but never giving a concrete explanation. I asked him why he wasn't intervening. He said "It's up to her". I asked him if he believed I'd do the terrible things she said I'd done. "Well, no," he said. "Did you tell her that?" "Well, no."

Years before, she had said I was after her boyfriend. That one came out of nowhere and I could not understand where she had got this from. He and I had been friends, yes, civil - for her sake. Nothing else. We had never been alone together. I felt she had gone too far so one day I went to her house to speak to her about it. She said my behaviour was a "bit suspicious". I asked her to explain. "Well, you came round here on a Tuesday afternoon because you knew that was when he has his bath". !!!!! Do I need to defend that one?! "You got your t**s out for him when we were having dinner at your house." I couldn't even remember anything like that happening - until weeks later I remembered I had indeed bent over in front of him to pick something up - but I had grabbed my top and held it closed. She chose to see things another way. I mentioned this to male parent. "She wears her heart on her sleeve," he said. He said he didn't believe her.

Maybe it was wedding hysteria because she got married that year. She decided that I would be at the bottom table, far away from her and even my own offspring. I was to be at the table with guests like my own ex, people who had to be invited for propriety's sake. Kudos to the man, but our male parent flipped his lid.

Go back in time again: she was the quintessential little sister and loved to tell tales and get me in trouble. With our mother, given the fraught relationship we had, she was believed quite often. My sister lied frequently and maliciously because she knew she would be believed. I lost possessions because she said they were hers - even things I'd bought myself. I lost skin in beatings because she told our mother I'd hit her. I lost credibility because mother never believed me unless a third party stepped in - which, for example, our grandmother and stepfather often did on my behalf. The male parent did not allow her to tell tales on me, something which was a relief, I must admit. Despite the torment of his torrents against our mother, he never let that girl torture me at his house the way she did at home. I won't deny retaliating, although I did not hit her. I yelled at her a lot, just as much as she yelled at me.

Back to the wedding: he felt she was up to her old tricks. As he was paying for the wedding, they arranged a meeting to discuss costs and seating etc. That same evening he turned up early at my home very angry. He had walked out of her house. He threw the seating plan down on my table and said "Look at it. Look where she's put you!". I was hurt and embarrassed that she would want to publically humiliate me. I'd rather not have gone that have put up with that. He said, "I told her that she was going to have you as chief bridesmaid AND at the top table or I wouldn't pay for the bloody wedding. She's not doing that." Looking back, perhaps it wasn't the best way of maintaining a relationship between his daughters as in her position I'd have been furious BUT she was using me to make a public statement (but choosing only my friend and me to accompany her on her hen night says something else, doesn't it?).

In public and in front of the family, she wanted to humiliate me - but when no one else was around, she wanted me there.

She had our mother's full attention throughout our entire childhood. I used to think it was blatant favouritism because I was the unwanted, ugly, unloved child. She is very like our mother in appearance. People have always assumed that meant her character was like Mum's too, and that because I resembled our male parent, my character was like his. Whatever the reason, she had mum's attention - I resented it. Of course! I wanted some attention, not all of it, but I didn't want to be left out. I never received the love my sister did from our mum BUT I was the target of the alienator, not her. He didn't want me to receive love from mum because that would prove him wrong, wouldn't it? He wanted me angry so that no love could find its way to me, so that - as happened - she wouldn't want to be around me because I was such trouble, so difficult, such a faultfinder, so critical, so much his child.

The alienator told me that I was not loved because I was like him. "She loves your sister because they are alike, but I'm not like that. I love you both the same. I don't have favourites. I'm not like your mum. She's mean and cruel. A real parent wouldn't show favourites. She's stupid. She doesn't know how to parent."

Fast forward to now: I, the child who was supposedly like him, has not alienated anyone nor disowned them. She has. She disowned him too, for years. I warned him that she'd make him choose between us because she needs to be the most important child: it happened. It didn't surprise me but it surprised him. She cursed at him and put the phone down on him. What DID surprise me, thought, was his reaction. He has always portrayed himself as a calm and reasonable person. That's his "image" - unless he gets angry and then the rants start. When my sister disowned him, this new person emerged. It was new to me but clearly was a hidden pre-existing part of his character. He began to badmouth my sister. He said AWFUL things about her, including that she "has a nasty streak like her mother". All of a sudden she was a devil. I can't stress this enough: the change in his attitude towards her was IMMEDIATE.

But then, after he disowned me in March of 2005, my uncle said things were "defrosting" between them. Am I wrong to be suspicious? What I believe happened was that something else was going on in the background - his partner kept in touch with my sister via text message and suddenly I'm out, she's in. I think she got what she wanted: she made him choose and he chose her. For what reason, I don't know. She has double the number of kids I do. Maybe that's it. Beats the hell out of me.

And then we're back to where we started: a man who had built up an image of being a calm and reasonable person disowns his eldest daughter via an email filled with filthy abuse and mockery of her mother's death, using such vile words that my ex couldn't believe it was his ex-father in law.

Wednesday, 13 February 2008

The lie perpetuated

My (also) alienated sister recently chased down my ex on Facebook and, from what he said, pretty much put him on the spot and started a webcam conversation with him. His poor wife was in the room too. He told our offspring who told me. He said he felt like he was betraying me by talking to someone who had disowned me and treated so badly. He actually said "If you don't want me to talk to her, I won't" (despite us having had a big, nasty argument the same day). I wouldn't and can't tell anyone what to do - but on my offspring's behalf, I also mentioned that my sister not only disowned me nine years ago but also our mutual child. He didn't realise this - and promptly knocked her off his MSN friends list.

We had a long talk during which he told me some interesting things. This woman seems obsessed with me, although she disowned me (just like the male parent did). My ex rightly did not want to be involved in issues that are no longer his, so kept changing the subject away from me - but she kept talking about me. SHE disowned me, doesn't want anything to do with me, ignored three apologies from me for any hurt she felt I had caused, has NEVER called my offspring in all these years, has made no contact with us at all, even goes so far as to tell relatives that they're not to give me her address or email address (and has never actually given me a reason for this disowning) - and yet cannot stop talking about me. The ex thought it was odd and so do I. Her words: "My sister doesn't understand me" and "I can't get on with my sister".

What does any of this mean?! SHE didn't want me in her life, she has abandoned my offspring and me and yet talked about me incessantly, so much so that my ex said "I felt like she was pumping me for information".

What's this all about?!

Incidentally, the subject title for this email relates to her telling my ex that I had disowned the male parent - which, as I've said more than once, is not true. His words: "I'm cutting you off!". I would never disown anyone. Her recounting this means that he is still telling this story. Liar!

Pity fest


I'm sorry I haven't responded to any of you over the last couple of weeks. I HAVE read your comments etc but have tried to keep my self-pity to myself for the moment as it's not pretty. I can't stand whiners so I'm keeping my whiny self out of everyone's way as much as possible until this passes - because it will. I'm really not being rude or avoiding or ignoring you. I just don't want to share the misery :>>>

Saturday, 9 February 2008

"She doesn't love you because you're like me"

"Mummy doesn't love us anymore."

"Why doesn't she love me?"
"Because you're like me ... because you're on my side ... because you're cleverer than she is ... because she's crazy, she's a nutter ... because you look like me ..."

My stepdad even chimed in once "You look like your dad and it hurts me".

Monday, 4 February 2008

I feel absolutely empty and have done for days and days. I'm cancelling my counselling session this week because it's pointless. I cannot tell the counsellor everything I think and feel and remember, just scratch the surface. I can't tell her, for example, that when I was 20, I felt I should have my eldest offspring. I just felt I should and that was that, never mind that I was a student and abroad and unmarried. Looking back, I realised yesterday that had I not had that offspring, I would be dead by now. I don't know how I would have died but suicide isn't to be counted out, purely because I felt so incredibly and utterley WORTHLESS.

That man made me believe I was worthless to my mother. He also made me believe that if I didn't do or say or think exactly as he did, I was worthless to him too.

So today I feel worthless and useless and like none of this will ever end. I'm not going anywhere: my little family and I are fine, but I will never tell the offspring these things. They will never know that the only reason I didn't drink myself or smoke myself to death ten years ago was because of them. I have given up trying to remove the results of Parental Alienation from my brain because it's tiring and hard and never seems to end.

I said a while ago that I am redefining everything. This now extends to my future life. I am planning a different life to encompass the years beyond my children being at home. I have a new career planned which will probably consume my life because it's a subject that interests me greatly.

I cannot get over my mother being dead. I cannot get over him deliberately hurting me so much. SO MUCH. I can't bear any of it. I haven't smoked or drunk alcohol or coffee for 3.5 years but I'm considering resuming all three. I didn't feel pain like this when I smoked ten cigarettes a day or drank four cups of coffee.

Sleep - still bad, still nightmares. I feel for Britney. I hope she gets well. I hope she sleeps a lot over the next two weeks, although her loss is giving her nightmares too.

I thought realising my mother loved me would be the beginning of a new mindset or a new start to my life. It hasn't been. I feel the most incredible loss not just for my mum but also what should have been.

If I saw that man today, I'd punch his lights out. I want to hurt him so badly, I feel like a criminal - and I don't even use smacks to punish my offspring.