Thursday, December 29, 2016

No, I Don't Care

I don’t exactly care about anything. I don’t understand how I can feel totally pumped then suddenly question if I really like anything that I am doing.

Recently, I tried reading the newspaper. Oh my God. So fucking boring. But interesting when I force myself to read it. But am I enjoying it? I cannot tell. Does it matter? Will I remember the stories? Will it affect me in any way?

Of course, it will. I am never not affected by the things I come across in my life.

I hate it. It sucks. I wanna just scrub off the paint and see myself. I want a packet that says, “This is you. This is your dreams. This is what you’re like, who you’re friends with, what your career is.” I want a detailed description- favorite foods, clothing, pastimes and quirks.

I get frustrated. I feel hopeless. Because I don’t know who I am. It keeps changing. Everyday- throughout the day. I want to be able to just shove it down a hole. Or just roll with whatever is happening. Honestly, whenever a new personality creeps in I feel excited. I think, “This feels right!” Then, I blow up into rages over a piece of origami that just isn’t turning out right. I get odd adrenaline surges that make my stomach flutter and my elbows feel weird. It feels as if my body just isn’t right.

So, my mind tells me, “You like newspapers. Read every word of the newspaper. Buy the daily issues.” My body obliges, but in an odd- glitchy way. Its hands tremble, stomach cramps and heart palpitates- It’s just a newspaper, a lot of work goes into them and plenty of people read it. All of my momentum begins to slow and eventually halts, because there is an argument within shouting READ IT! and DON’T! Simultaneously.

I wish I could only listen to one voice. Because honestly, this happens with nearly everything I do. It happens when I bathe, when I read. When I relax. Play disc golf. Cut. Don’t cut. Dance. Don’t dance. Eat. Don’t eat.

There’s no winning, Lovelies.

At least, that’s the way I feel right now.

And then, I won’t feel this way. And I will wonder, “What was wrong with me? Thank goodness I’ll never feel like that again.”

Right now, I don’t know which way is up.

I am like a frozen computer screen. Inwardly, I am clicking like crazy, as if that would actually restore the program and get it back to functioning normally. We not it doesn’t. Then comes frustration and despair. It’s broken. What a shitty computer. And ya really want to just throw it out of a window.
This has been difficult to write. Because I cannot decide if I enjoy doing this or not. I want more than anything to climb out of my skin. I want to shut off for a while.

At moments like these, I drink. If I get drunk enough, I hack at my legs and arms with scissors. I think it would only take one moment of solidity to commit suicide. It’s not a threat- it’s a longing for relief. In fact, a lot of my panic attacks begin with the thought that this cycle will never end. I will never find enjoyment. I will never know who I am. I will awkwardly eek by.

Then I will snap back and feel alright for a while.

And all I just wrote will sound like whiny nonsense.

Tuesday, December 27, 2016

The Twisted Nature of my My Narcissistic Stepparent

I had always wanted to be a Girl Scout. In my earliest memories, I was wanting to join clubs, sports, and general extracurricular activities. (Except for the Science Fair. Screw them and their stupid board displays and judges!)  And I clearly remember seeing the older girls in their green vests and sashes. One girl was working on a freakin' Ferris wheel made of straws! I am not kidding. There were all working on some cool project or chasing each other around the room. It looked like paradise to me. My eyes must have shone from beneath my crooked bangs.

However, no one would help my mother pay the dues. Which isn't much. Frankly, it should not have been a problem. But my interests led me to a dance group at church, choirs and playing basketball. These gave me some of my most cherished memories in life. In contrast, most of my schooling from this time is remembered as one long sitting session.

I was threatened by my father to move in with him. He claimed that if I did not immediately do so, that my brother would be asked instead and I would never be allowed to again. That had made me uncomfortable and even to a twelve-year-old, this sounded ridiculous. Foolishly, I overlooked my better instinct and trusted him to do no harm. Looking back, I feel that I was Red Riding Hood talking to the big, bad wolf. It's about as hopeless as yelling at the illustration in a fairy tale book, "Bitch-You about to be eaten!"

However, as the Yin and Yang will demonstrate, there is a little good within the bad. The spot of goodness from this experience was that I got to join the Girl Scouts. It was exciting! Something I had always wanted to do. I was a blossoming feminist and loved that programs that encouraged female empowerment. The bad was that our troop was not large. And I was the only teenager. And I did not get to go to many events or meetings due to the restriction of my narcissistic step-mom. But hey, at least I had the handbook and vest, right?

Well, this was until I made a lesbian friend and her and I messaged each other on Facebook. For whatever reason, I was not allowed to use the phone. I made the decision to call her while my parents were out anyway. We talked about four-wheelers and an activity called "muddin'," which I knew nothing about. Living under the tyranny of my parents, I very rarely was allowed to visit friends outside of school. My friend invited me to go out with the group to going riding and mudding. When my parents came home, I stayed on the phone. And why shouldn't I? I wasn't going to just hang up on her; I was doing nothing wrong.

That evening, I was called to the kitchen table by my step-mother. She outright asked if I was a lesbian. I felt dizzy. I had not told them anything about what has transpired between me and my friend. I realized that they had been reading through my Facebook messages.

I said that I was bisexual and my father and step-mother laughed at me, said I was "just horny," and went on this whole spiel about how they would maybe except me if I was a lesbian but would not since I had said I was bisexual. I was forbidden from going to anyone's houses now. Their justification was that if I was bisexual, I would just fuck anyone I was with.

Then my step-mother said snidely, "What if I were to tell the troop leader?" She said it as if it was something to be ashamed of. "What if they said, Sorry, this is a Christian organization and we don't trust perverts like you to be around little girls."

It hurt. I stopped caring altogether. Currently, I am looking for a troop to volunteer with. I love all of the great things that Girl Scouts does. And you know what? They are an open-minded community of progressive women who would have never turned me away. I mourn what I missed out on, but I celebrate what I was able to accomplish despite the abuse and the other erroneous shit that my parents threw at me.

In the end, the only thing my step-mother accomplished was to bully a trusting teenage girl and further alienate herself from ever finding true happiness. In short, I won.

Monday, December 26, 2016

Taking the Power Away

It has been a while since my step-monster has said anything to me. It has been around four years since she banged on the bathroom door because she took offense at me using the hair dryer too long. She had me sit down at the table and in front of my father and siblings said that I was "going to be a good little girl" and not misbehave anymore or she was "going to make my life a living hell."

I have thankfully never met another person that was quite as fucked up in the head as she is. However, I have heard of people with similar experiences on forums on Reddit. It has meant so much to me to share and receive feedback from supporters and fellow survivors.

I began to pull back from the communities because I spent so much time just trying to forget everything that happened and move on. I did not want the most interesting bit about me be the sexual and mental abuse suffered at the hands of my parents. I am tip-toeing back and facing this fear, however. Because this is larger than me. I am a part of the human experience and I feel that for every story that is told, the abusers lose the power that they once had. Of course, my intention is to bring awareness to the cycle of abuse, how to recognize it and protect ourselves. A lot of my regret centers around how much I did not speak out about the transgressions against me and my family when it was happening; unfortunately, I had no idea that what was happening was not normal.

I can't wait to get back in touch with all of you. I do want to hear the stories of those who were hurt, but more importantly, I want to hear where we are now. Abuse does not define us. Abuse is not about us. It may have happened to us, but we are not what others have done. We are more than just survivors.