Saturday, 9 August 2008

I'm still here

In response to enquiries, yes, I'm still here. I don't have much to say about PA at the moment. Well, I don't think I do, but the subject has been on my mind again recently. Weeell, it's always on my mind to some extent, I guess, because it has shaped my adult life.

I've been trying to get my head around the Asperger's lately. That's taken up a lot of my thought processes, and has probably pushed the PA to one side.

I joined Facebook 3 weeks ago after much prompting by the offspring. It's been weird because family members I haven't heard from in a decade are "adding" me as their "friend", but then not speaking. I assume that's normal :> I've been reconnecting with one, however, who himself spent a lot of time out of touch with the family.

Joining Facebook has meant facing the presences of my male parent and my sister. I called her after seeing a comment that she made about her husband being sent to a war, to offer my support to her and particularly her children. She thanked me for calling and hung up. Neither of them have approached the offspring on FB - not that the latter would want that, but I have spent the last 3 weeks complaining about the former. I've probably been earbashing the offspring about them a bit too much.

I just don't understand. I keep saying it and it might get old, but I don't understand disowning people. Offspring also received birthday card and present from the male parent, with a note from his partner inside saying "We're thinking of you and your sibling" (paraphrased). I was completely excluded and thoroughly pissed off at such a direct and deliberately cruel exclusion of me.

My sister's children are living in fear of their father dying - and yet she won't let them have the comfort of me and mine.

My offspring keeps saying "Your family are crazy. Seriously. They're mental. You have been surrounded by insane people all your life".

My ex spent a great deal of time insisting he wasn't going to talk to me about my sister, by talking about my sister. Apparently she's angry about things from our childhood. Well, I TOO am angry about our childhood - but I forgive her. I did a long time ago. I'm not going to hold anyone to ransom over something that happened in 1978 when we were both little children, but apparently she's allowed to. It's SOOOO bizarre. She complains about things I did 30 years ago. I don't get it. She made my life miserable - and we argued, like sisters do. But I feel like she should get over it - and if there weren't any ulterior motives, surely she would? I feel as if there is something else going on here.

And then today out of the blue I realised that my grandfather, my male parent's male parent, disowned his daughter too, for not behaving exactly as he wanted her to. This man (whom I adored, despite my mother telling me he wasn't "a nice man") also kicked his wife out of the family home and made her leave her children behind. My offspring said "So maybe your male parent thinks that's normal? Does that make it less malicious?". Does it? It makes it more so, in my opinion, because he's been witness to what disowning does to children and grandchildren - but he did it anyway.

No, there is more than just me not towing the line for him and my sister. There's something else. I still think he chose her over me. Or I should say her and her kids over me and mine (and I have the older grandchildren who knew him, my sister's children didn't).

I have spent the last few months in a very dark place. I called the Samaritans at one point, because I honestly felt that I had nothing to live for other than my children, and that if I didn't have them, I would end my life. I spent weeks fantasizing about death, but not telling anyone. That mood lifted after a week of enforced decent sleep at night (hay fever medication!), but I still feel lost and by myself. I never actually even approached taking my own life, but I wished for an escape. I wished SO HARD!!

The Asperger's is helping me understand myself better in many, many ways, and is helping my life to become easier by giving me understanding. I can eliminate things that I can't deal with and alter how I approach others. What it doesn't do for me is repair broken relationships, even the ones I want to repair. I cannot even tell the people I need to because two in particular are spiteful and would take great pleasure in grassing me up to authorities in order to cause trouble, all the while pretending that they're just trying to do the right thing for my kids. My kids are FINE. They are great, they're happy, lively, thriving, balanced, well educated (because I hide everything negative from them, as exhausting as it is, and because I have replaced their lost family members with alternatives from our church and also have supported/maintained/encouraged relationships with step-relations). My Asperger's does not affect them.

Asperger's also tells me that there are some things that even "normal" people don't understand - and that's deliberately harmful behaviour towards others. Alienation is one such behaviour.

To sum up PA and Asperger's in my life: I was told I was unwanted so I felt excluded. I also have a condition which causes social isolation. I have been doubly excluded socially. No wonder I'm a wingnut ... but knowledge is power, and I know what I'm fighting now, instead of wallowing in misunderstanding.

I'm still not going back to the mailing lists. I can't be drowned out on my own blog so I'm staying here. Please do continue to email me and leave comments. Ask me more questions. Offer comments, even, but please do it nicely :>

3 comments:

Louise Uccio said...

Glad to see your back.. I missed you!

Michael J. Murphy said...

Rowan:

I haven't been very attentive recently. Being too busy caught up in my own battles against PA. I'm at a new level of activism..I didn't know you were an Aspie. There are forums for parents and affected people on the internet - but you may already know this. If not let me know and I'll give you my info. My ex also has AS and I know its impact on someone relative to social interaction. I lived with her symptoms for almost 30 years but I did not know its name until after we split. Other members of her family had it too and she found out through genealogical research.

Having this is another barrier for you to find foregiveness for your father. It is hard. I would join an Aspie forum and talk it over with others familiar with it. It might help.

You are correct about adding "friends" to facebook. You might infrequently communicate directly but you can stay in touch, nevertheless, by being able to see the interactions going on between family members. It is a good 21st century tool, one of many, to communicate especially with photos or videos. Stay on it even if every now and then you may observe something a little negative. My 13 year old (the most alienated) currently has me on as a "friend" but has "unfriended" me before with a note "I hate you". It is not her fault and we are able to communicate through FB and MSN Live Talk. I consider myself lucky that I'm able to be involved in this way with a teen who, even in a normal family, values friends and privacy more than parents.

I'd like to hold your hand some day and look you in the eye and say "Forgive Him". Then you can move on to the future and not have to dwell so much on the pain from the past.

Even though I am not yet completely divorced from my alienating ex I would, if she was willing, take her hand and give her a hug if I knew there was any hope we could find mutual foregiveness. She has AS and OCPD so it unlikely to happen. But I always have hope. It is like an eternal flame that burns brightly, then dimly, but can be refueled by your inner spirit. My spirit is strong and let me pass some on to you. If your children are old enough talk to them about your issues. I do with my adult children. They are full of wisdom as are my youngest who in the course of their lives have also fueled my spirit moreso than any religion ever could. They are us and more. Best wishes. I remain your quiet observer who cares.

Anonymous said...

Oh girlfriend, I have only read a couple of your posts. So I am not completely aware of what has happened to you & different steps you have taken. I greatly appreciate your blog. I am a 28 year old female, I have a mother that alienated my twin sister and I from our father. They divorced when we were three, she remarried when I was 4 and had my little sister when my twin and I were 10. I was miserable with my mother from 10 on. Not because of any jealousy brought on by the birth of my little sister- as my mother would like her to think- but because from then on we were severly alienated from our father- and suffered emotional abuse, some physical abuse, and my twin suffered an incident of sexual abuse. I moved out when I turned 20. I stayed in my mother's home because I wanted to protect my sisters who I love dearly. Finally I realized I needed to take care of myself or I wasn't going to have a future. Although my father was alienated from us by our mother, he was a very strong man and had an equally strong wife and they were able to see us at least once a month while we lived there. He sent cards, left messages, etc to make sure we knew he loved us. Looking back- that meant the world to me and helped me to push away the lies. I moved in with my father when I turned 20. My mother immediately quit talking to me and instructed my sisters, my grandpa, and the rest of her side of the family to do the same. All of a sudden, I was the one being alienated. I have tried for 8 years to work things out with her and the rest of my family. I have so much resentment towards her at this point I have decided that I can't continue to pursue her. I have missed holidays, birthdays, my twin sister's wedding, the birth of her twin girls, my little sister's dances, basketball games, everything. My little sister is out of the home now, she is 18- has a baby and is married. Imagine from the age of 10 years old you are told you are not allowed to see your big sister unless they allow it. You have to hate her- she is no good. You know how that goes. I realized what a wonderful man my father has been through out my childhood while he was being alienated. When I moved into my father's home at age 20- not only did she ban my sisters from seeing me, she banned them from seeing my father, and his family. So she alienated them from half of their family for the past 8 years. Every once and a while, she decides she wants to reconcile. I don't know if this has happened to you with your family, but when she wants to be apart of my life, then the rest of my family wants to too. But when she doesn't then they don't. It drives me crazy. I love my mother, but she has caused me so much pain and heartache for such a long time, I feel like everytime I take her serious and we try to reconcile, all I do is get "punched" in the face- (not literally), and its off again. I have gotten "punched" too many times. I am at the point where I am engaged, I never bring my fiance around them- they have caused me so much hurt- I don't want to bring that into his life more than I already do by just talking about it. I will not bring my children around people that only want to see them 2 months out of the 12. What will that do to their self-esteem? My mother wants to blame me for all of this. She is a narcassistic- severe alienator. I wonder how she is able to look herself in the mirror everyday. I was friends with all of these people on Myspace and Facebook, but I had to take them off. If they will not be my friend in real life, then they are not going to be my friend in the virtual world either. I understand the father that is still "friends" with his 13 year old daughter who is still under the control of the alienator. But at this point, my sisters are 18 and 28, I do not like seeing pictures of all of the things I continue to be left out of. The final straw was seeing my stepfather holding one my twin sisters new baby twin girls. OUR OWN FATHER HASN'T EVEN HELD THEM!!! I HAVEN'T EVEN BEEN TOLD ABOUT THEM BY ANYONE ON THAT SIDE OF THE FAMILY. I WASN'T WELCOME TO THE BABY SHOWER, THE BIRTH, ANYTHING. So I took them off. They think they have all the control and I am letting them know that I will not accept their behavior anymore either. My hairdresser told me that I have spent too much time loving these people, and missing them and being hurt by the past. She said I should be happy, and move on with my own life and family. I think she is right. I am not giving them anymore of my life if they are only wanting to continue to cause me pain. I will always be open to them if they are going to be honest about the past, and truly want me in their life as much as I want them- but I will not pursue a one-sided relationship. I miss my mother, my sisters, my grandpa, and now my twin neices and nephew. But I will not be abused by them any longer. I think I am going to look at it like, you want what you can't have, realize that there are people in your life that are what your need- and be thrilled that they are apart of your life. They are the necessities. Not the ones that are abusive. The other thing I wanted to say- find inspiration where you can- for me it is Celine Dion and U2- she sings about love and Bono has a song called "Walk On"- I played it everyday when I first moved away from my mother. It was my motto.

I realized the other day a similarity in my relationship with my mother and that of an abusive husband. She had called me to say she say she loved me and that she was thinking about me. After 8 years of this same back and forth, I just didn't know what to say back anymore. I was silent. I do think she loves me, but I don't think she is someone that can be apart of my life anymore, I don't trust that she will ever treat me right. Actions speak louder than words. My mother has caused me so much hurt, taken my loved ones away from me, left me out of some of the most important events in my lifetime. So I thought to myself, she is no different than a man cheating on his wife, hurting her, disrespecting her, hitting her, whatever kind of abuse it is she is suffering, then calling her back to say, "Oh, baby, you know I love you." What do we tell those women to do? Keep putting up with it? Its your husband, so you need to figure a way to deal with it? He is the father of your children and they need their father in their life? ABSOLUTELY NOT- We tell those women to get some strength and courage and to get themselves and their children as far away from that man as possible. (Of course I would not condone alienating her children if it was a healthy relationship) But we would not tell her to just take it. So why should I keep taking it from my mom and taking her back in? For me that was quite the paradime shift. NOBODY IS ALLOWED TO TREAT ME LIKE THAT- NOBODY.

I wish you peace, and I know the holidays are tough- be strong and be proud of your strength. Your children will be. I had to write this quick- so I hope it doesn't come across as angry or hard to understand.


Best Wishes-
Loving Daughter/Sister