Fuck it. Gonna unload and overshare.

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by Dark Elf, Mar 7, 2020.

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  1. Dark Elf

    Dark Elf Administrator Staff Member

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    One of my early memories is from when I was... four? Maybe five? Anyway, I'd spent the day at this older couple's place. I don't remember why I was there, maybe they'd been babysitting me or whatever. But during my stay there, I ate a cookie. A cookie which contained almonds.
    This seems like such an insignificant, pointless detail, doesn't it? And in a sane world it would have been. A triviality, a mere trifle. But sanity is scarce in this vale of tears, and it just so happens that almonds were on that long list of (sometimes biochemically impossible) things my mother had decided I was supposed to be allergic to, in addition to the severe asthma I never actually had.

    Fast forward a bit. I was at home, in our kitchen. My mother had found out that I'd eaten almonds. And there I was, brazenly defying her narrative by not displaying any symptoms.

    So what did she do?

    That time, she used what I now suspect was acetone or alcohol. Claimed it was medicine. Used it as eye drops. And as my eyes burned and I screamed in pain she said that what I was experiencing was an allergic reaction to almonds.

    Of course, my sister fared no whit better. She was "allergic to milk", you see. Acetone or alcohol again. Rub it on the bends of a child's arms and you get the kind of red, weeping sores that makes a kid have to wear bandages.

    Right. So this kind of abuse went on for years, unchecked and unimpeded. Eventually, I guess making us sick didn't provide mommy dearest with the requisite amount of narcissistic supply, so like any human-gone-monster before her she drifted in the direction of her weaknesses and upped the ante a bit. In 1995, when I was 10, she claimed she had cancer.

    And man, it was the kind of performance that could teach fucking Daniel Day-Lewis a thing or two about method acting. For heaven's sake, she even shaved off her eyebrows.

    For more than a year, I thought my mother was going to die from cancer. This is pretty rough on you when you are a kid. Learning in the fall of '96 that she never had cancer, and indeed had used her supposed "treatments" as a cover to do every drug under the sun and put us in crippling debt did not come as a relief.

    And the fights at home! Why could dad not do the sane thing and divorce her immediately? Why did social services think it a good idea we still have contact with her? Why another year of absolute shit? No, of course it had to escalate to the point where, the day Princess Diana died, I was in the back seat during one of their epic rows, holding on to my mother for dear life as she was trying to jump out of the car that was traveling at like 90 km/h. Of course I had to be scarred on that day too.

    Who would have thought Munchausen syndrome could be so much fun?
     
  2. Smuel

    Smuel Well-Known Member

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    That sucks. I hope that writing about it was cathartic, and I'm glad you turned out okay.

    Also, I assume that terrorising kids in the classroom is a form of revenge for you now?
     
  3. Zanza

    Zanza Well-Known Member

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    Glad that you shared old chap, it must have been a tough decision. Have you considered exploring these experiences further with a professional?
     
  4. Jojobobo

    Jojobobo Well-Known Member

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    I think it's good to share, especially with people you can trust/you know have been through their own traumatic or high stress situations (for the latter, this place does seem a good fit).

    However I would say even with people who've gone through similar experiences to yourself, the mileage your going to get out of talking to people will always vary pretty wildly. For example, both my parents had violent and abusive alcoholic fathers - and yet while you would think they would be able to relate perfectly I'm sure there's large differences between suffering physical abuse and suffering the same kind of manipulations you have.

    The other issue is even when someone really does and says all the right things, from my own experience these epiphanies can be short-lived. Roads back to dealing with the past and getting better mental health are a tough slog, so I think it's important to have appropriate expectations about what the positive actions you are taking are going to achieve for you.

    As Zanza mentioned, trained professionals may be a good way to go (you are after all paying them - which is maybe more honest than anything other people can say to you) - or otherwise there are resources such as self help books on Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) which in broad strokes is objectively and empirically approaching your own attitudes and behaviours (and it's usually something that a trained professional would be doing with you in the first place). The latter approach (a self-help book on CBT for OCD) worked very well for me, and I've heard good things about the Headspace app for CBT but haven't used it myself. I'd advise having a look around and working out what approach you think would be best for you.

    I hope things get better and keep being you. Don't let the past get on top of you.
     
    Last edited: Mar 11, 2020
  5. Smuel

    Smuel Well-Known Member

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    Yeah, leave that to Japes' mom.
     
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  6. Dark Elf

    Dark Elf Administrator Staff Member

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    Well, I'm seeing a psychologist.

    It's funny. Been ashamed of my past my entire life. Mostly kept people at a distance, as a consequence. Had a lifetime of depression and anxiety (as for the latter, attempting to cure it with alcohol is not a good idea, kids). Haven't really connected my personal issues with my fucked-up childhood until quite recently, which is when I decided to tell people.

    And telling people meant that shit got real. You'd think that getting something like this off your chest would make the pain go away, and then you'd move on easy as that. Turns out it doesn't quite work that way. I mean, Munchausen by proxy apparently has a mortality rate of about 10%. I don't know what scares me the most about that - confronting the figure itself, or the fact that it doesn't even come as a surprise to learn that there was a one in ten chance that my own mom could have murdered me when I was a kid.

    The fact that we didn't cut off all ties with her before 2006 (after she'd had the opportunity to betray us yet again) is just mind-boggling in retrospect.

    Well, I'm of course glad I survived to y'all's chagrin, but my brain and my survival strategies were all damaged as a result, because what else could have happened? At least now, I'm dealing with it properly.
     
  7. Jojobobo

    Jojobobo Well-Known Member

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    Glad to hear you're getting help for it - while it's hard speaking out about things like this, doing the follow-up to start to feel better about things isn't exactly easy either and takes dedication. I also think that depending on someone's past experiences (and I'd group myself in this category), sometimes just being a moderately-functioning human is an achievement in and of itself.

    As for the drinking to deal with depression, anxiety and many other of life's problems - well, I wouldn't be British if I didn't do that!
     
  8. Smuel

    Smuel Well-Known Member

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    You have my bow.
     
  9. FlyingGuillotine

    FlyingGuillotine New Member

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    With respect, I find it wonderful that you would present yourself in such a vunerable way. To me this shows that you are already dealing with it better than previously. My past anchored me down for a long time. Until one day, I just learned to stop worrying and love the bomb.

    What do you find hurts the most about it all?
     
  10. Xz

    Xz Monkey Admin Staff Member

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    That's fucked up, DE. There are a whole lot of appropriate emotions for this, anger, sadness, anxiety and many others. Even though it's understandable, I do hope you manage to work past these emotions, especially the anxiety, since it's so debilitating. The shame however, I hope you are able to just put away immediately. Shame is only useful when you yourself have done something you shouldn't have, and then only to prevent you from doing it again. In this case, shame only makes sense if experienced by someone other than you.
     
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