Friday, April 26, 2024

The most shocking thing about being abandoned, neglected and parentified

Hi everyone. If you've been following this blog, you know that I've had a bunch of epiphanies lately about how bad the childhood trauma I experienced really was. Why am I just now realizing, at almost 60, that I was abandoned, parentified, neglected, abused, scapegoated, exploited and gaslit about it all? That's a story for another post (see side bar for the different chapters I've written so far). 

Today I'm looking at what is probably the most shocking thing (in a panoply of shocks) about the abandonment, neglect, abuse, parentification, scapegoating, exploitation and gaslighting. Before we begin, you might wonder why I always list each thing (abuse, neglect, etc.) Well, that full explanation too is for another post but in short because I experienced a complex web of childhood trauma, actually whole life trauma with my parents. And because I had not two but four authority figures (they would say parents) attacking from all sides, each with his or her own package of abuse. 

I liken my life to a crazy patchwork quilt. Each tiny piece so different from the one next. Each weird, scary, abusive situation completely separate from and unrelated to the next and each traumatic experience completely ignored by the perpetrators (whichever "parents" it happened to be). Each experience shrouded in gaslighting and what I now know to be lies. Each traumatic experience excused, covered up and buried by me. Part of the healing is to stop sweeping it all under the rug and call it what it is. 

Okay, so back to the shocking thing. So lest you think that I use the word "shocking" for clickbait, I WISH it was just that. My backstory is so weird and disturbing, that the few people (as in could count on one hand) I've told have said they've never never heard of anyone experiencing anything like my bizarre experiences. 

Even just trying to pin down what is THE most shocking is difficult. Was it the fact that I was so alone through it all? I was the only child of two insanely narcissistic, histrionic and antisocial people. Two parents who felt no responsibility to me. Ever. They let me basically run wild, from about age 4. They abandoned me in strange cities, left me with strangers, and didn't provide a modicum of care. 

They  moved every few months and then went to Alaska (from Michigan) to be "missionaries" to the "Indians" (their words). No church sanctioned this. While there, my dad left to go on a "mission trip" about 2,000 miles away while mom played at being a "Good News Club" leader. That was just another fantasy, I now see. She also had a series of boyfriends and was never around. This was only the beginning. 

How I survived is, as the trusted few I've told have wondered, is a miracle. I have no memory of them being involved in any part of my life. Nobody walked me to school. Nobody played with me. I don't even remember a bedroom, toys or meals being provided. I don't remember family activities, being shown or taught anything. I remember grandparents' homes in lovely living color. Parents? Nada. 

Mind they didn't give me up for adoption. Oh no. That would have been a luxury, for me. I got dragged thru every sordid weird thing they did. And it would have deprived them of me as first their arm candy and then their servant, scapegoat, surrogate parent and spouse. It's sick, I know. Also it would implode their narcissistic fantasy that they were being good parents to me. 

I was always made to parent them. I can't even say I grew up because I never was a child. And certainly never a teen. Soon they tired of Alaska and went back to Michigan. But not before splitting up. My dad stayed in AK for a year. Something I now understand constitutes child abandonment.  Divorce was VERY weird in that time and place. None of my agemates' parents were divorced. 

Both hooked up with new people. My dad took a shot at pedophilia "dating" a 17 year old when he was 34. My mom had a series of affairs some with married men much older than her. Then she found a boyfriend whom she moved in to our house. I never said "my house" after that. It  was always his and hers even though he never worked. He just harassed, shamed, abused and ordered me around. Likewise when my dad finally married a woman only 14 years older than me. 

I was bounced from home to home. And when I was too old to be cute anymore, I made a good servant, scapegoat and surrogate parent for their kids, including my mom's foster care kids. Whom she had when she was shacked up with her boyfriend. Boy, was I useful then. Marilisa did all the heavy lifting, including sleeping with all the kids in the same room while mom and bf made an "apartment" (her words) for themselves in the basement as far from the foster kids as possible. Likewise with dad and his kids. I slept with them because their mother didn't want to. 

The ironic thing is that they never parented me but then expected me to parent their kids. And they were very clear about their expectations of me. All that they didn't give me, I was supposed to give their kids. When I was like 11. Is that the most shocking thing? No. 

I think that's the absolute balls-out hypocrisy with which they preached God's will for others. How they shoved the Bible at me and used it as a form of gaslighting. All the verses about being a servant honoring your parents, applied only to me. They actually remade God in their own images, to me. They were omniscient and omnipotent. I was flawed, broken, disobedient, wrong, arrogant, etc. They were golden, beyond reproach and above all the rules they preached to others. I believed them because they were so terrifyingly convincing. Their voices assail me at night in CPTSD nightmares. 

I've got a lot of work to do, to heal. 

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