Wednesday, June 12, 2024

How a bizarre type of physical abuse causes me problems now

Hi friends. I'm doing a lot of deep digging and truth telling about past trauma I experienced: neglect, abandonment, endangerment, exploitation, scapegoating, gaslighting, parentification and abuse (emotional, social, mental, sexual and physical). Today I'm sharing how a bizarre type of physical abuse has left scars and unhealed injury. 

I'm talking about what is referred to as medical abuse or medical neglect. I experience many weird symptoms that I've come to realize are carryovers from medical neglect: allergies, back problems, early onset arthritis, vision problems, ENT, skin rashes and chronic pain. These are attributable, I see now, to lack of care and being made to do too much heavy labor and child care as a child and teen. 

I didn't realize this until my husband pointed out that he'd witnessed this happening to me since first he met me. He also identified what I told him I'd experienced as medical neglect. I'd never understood this due to much gaslighting by my four authority figures (I no longer call them parents). Any symptoms I experienced were mostly dismissed or ignored. I had to get very ill before anything was done about it. This was just basic physical care. Mental health issues were completely ignored. 

I had chronic sore throats beginning around age 5. I was taken to a clinic and given cough drops that didn't help. I was frequently diagnosed with swollen glands, strep throat and tonsilitis. In 5th grade, I missed 40 days of school one year and took penicillin for months at a time (injections and pills). Lowered immunity caused me to get every bug going around. Now you might think, as I did, that well, they weren't medically neglecting me because I was getting medication. 

But months on an antibiotic is not medically advised. And missing so much school should have been a red flag in itself. Finally, after years of suffering, my tonsils were taken out. I was told the doctor was against taking them out. But I can't believe that, now. Two of my own kids had frequent sore throats and the doctor took them out when they were 5. When I told him what happened to me, he said that no doctor he knew of would have waited that long unless my parents wouldn't allow surgery. 

When I finally had them out at age 10, my tonsils were so infected that I was sick for weeks afterwards. I couldn't and didn't eat for 3 weeks and lost like 15 or 20 pounds. My mother didn't even know I wasn't eating till my friend told her (I was left home alone during the summer). Mom got angry, probably embarrassed she hadn't noticed, and forced me to eat applesauce which on a raw throat is like vitriol. 

She and my dad were divorced and he wasn't involved. It was gram and gramp who made them get treatment for me. Same thing happened when I was having headaches. It took them till I was 12 to finally get glasses for me. And then at some rinky-dink place that was cheap. She herself had several pairs of fashion glasses. My whole family wore glasses so I'm not sure why they waited so long to have mine checked. When I finally got them, I was surprised to find that trees actually had leaves and weren't just blurs. 

Another time, I fell out of bed and broke my cheekbone. She sent me to school with a huge goose egg  on my face. The school sent me home to have it examined. It never was till my dad finally the swelling wasn't going down. He snuck me in to the hospital where he worked and had his radiologist friend X-ray it. I'd fractured a bone and a piece is still lodged in my face. 

Later when my mom and her boyfriend lost her foster care license due to physical abuse of kids, I was moved in with my dad and his new wife. My mom says I chose to go there to give she and her boyfriend "private time" (gross).  But I now think that was more gaslighting to cover the fact that when the kids were removed from her home, it included me. 

My dad and his wife were into some expensive vitamin pyramid scheme. For breakfast, I had a vitamin and lunch was one of the power bars. Dinner was a salad. I was always hungry. Then they got into chiropractic and I was diagnosed with scoliosis and spina bifida. They were warned not to let me ride anything that jolted (carnival, snowmobile, motorcycle) and to be careful of heavy lifting. He didn't warn off housework because he probably didn't expect that I, at 12, would be made to do the kinds of things I was made to do. 

I slept, and got up at night with, their babies. I slept in a youth bed.  I did all the ironing. I still feel the intense cramping that caused. I hung clothes out on the line in winter, having to scale snowbanks to take them down.  I did all the vacuuming, lugging around a big, heavy vacuum, scrubbed toilets and mopped floors on my hands and knees. 

I had congenital hip dysplasia as a baby.  Beyond wearing a brace for a few months, there was no follow up care. No one gave a second thought about overworking me and keeping me in unsuitable conditions, despite doctor warnings. Now, I struggle with fused vertebrae, a slipped disk and constant back pain. My hips are a mess. I walk crooked. How much of it is due to that? No idea. But it certainly didn't help. 

When I was 16, my mother's husband kicked me out of their home for coming in an hour late one time. I didn't realize it at the time but this was illegal. I think now that (this is gross, too) he was sexually attracted to me. He'd always been off in that respect. (Side note, they'd stolen my savings bonds from grandparents and lied about how they used my dad's child support payments to fund their new family). 

My mom went right along with it. I was sent to live with an elderly lady in town, for my senior year. I was having lots of trouble with wisdom teeth. My mother finally took me to a dentist who removed them. He prescribed Darvocet (an opioid) and said I would need care and monitoring. I was not allowed back home but sent back to the lady. My gums got infected and when my dad came to visit he said it looked like I had mumps. I lost feeling in half my mouth and it's never returned. No one did anything about it. 

It never occurred to me that any of this was medically abusive. This was not how my parents were raised by their parents. They received proper medical treatment. I was told we couldn't afford it. But they took good care of themselves, their new spouses, kids and even their dogs. There was always money for whatever took their fancy. 

The problems all this causes now are not just physical. I don't take my pain seriously. I'm used to being ignored and gaslit about it. So I gaslight myself. Even writing about, I question whether I'm exaggerating. It's exhausting. 



Monday, June 10, 2024

How I lost 100 pounds by feeding my inner child and starving narcissistic supply

 Hello my dear friends of this blog on how I lost 100 pounds. I began by writing about weight loss then for the past few months have been delving into CPTSD from parental narcissistic abuse, neglect, endangerment, abandonment, exploitation, scapegoating, toxic shaming and gaslighting about it all. Today, I'm circling back to how I lost 100 pounds by feeding my inner child and starving parental narcissistic supply. 

It may seem like a stretch to say that doing inner child worked helped with weight loss. But it did and in some basic and complicated ways. The simplest way was in literally nourishing myself after spending a lot of my life going without. It's no exaggeration to say that I was not only hungry for love from my four parents but also food. And very often, there wasn't enough. 

We weren't poor and nor had my parents grown up deprived. They just didn't spend their money on care for me but on themselves and their new partners and kids. The dog ate better than I did. And when my abusive stepfather kicked me out of the house when I was 16, I ended up stealing food to survive. 

So what does that have to do with weight loss? Well, obviously, from not eating enough. In college (which I  paid for entirely on my own, thru earnings, grants and scholarships, no help from them, I might add), I pretty much didn't eat and dropped down to 109 pounds which as 5'4' was underweight. I must have had anorexia before I knew what it was because I still saw myself as fat. 

The complicated part of how I lost 100 pounds came later in life. When I met my husband, he saw to it that I ate better. We got married and had kids, and I got to a healthier weight. Then we experienced some very painful situations and I started the antidepressant Paxil, gained a bunch of weight and got obese. Paxil knocked out my limit switches and I overate.  

Additionally, it's a proved fact that an undernourished person will often gain too much weight when they finally get enough to eat. Deprivation makes the body hoard fat because it fears it will be starved again. And, although I was eating better, I was still emotionally starving my inner child and adult self. The parental narcissistic abuse, neglect, abandonment, exploitation and especially the gaslighting didn't end in childhood. I had begun to gaslight myself about the trauma and CPTSD I had and was still enduring. 

All of this was so much narcissistic supply for my mom, dad, stepmom and stepdad. They continued to get more entitled, delusional and manipulative and do crazier and more outrageous things. And they schooled their little acolyte kids in the scapegoating abuse. And I let them because I believed their gaslighting. I never spoke up or called it out. Till one day, I sort of did. That full story is in another post. The short version is that I actually named one of the awful things my mom and her boyfriend had done to me. And she lied and said it never happened. Then I said how I'd been kicked out at 16 and more gaslighting lies. 

But now I knew, from Dr. Ramani on Youtube, how narcissists operated. And I learned from Reddit what gaslighting was. And by golly if Mother wasn't doing just those things. Which kind of woke me up to the fact that she'd always done these things. And that these people I'd been shielding and making excuses for, really did give zero effs about me. And the narc abuse was so extensive that now they were lying to cover their asses. And my poor inner little girl was left a brain damaged mess.

So, part of how I lost 100 pounds (or really about 800 lbs, LOL) was to stop feeding and cut off their narcissistic supply. It was easier with my dad and his wife. They were dead. It's harder with mom and her husband. Well, now ex-husband, as he too began to see the shit she was pulling. Still in denial over his own shit-pulling but oy vey. The thing there is to keep them at arm's length and grow much longer arms. And most importantly, to start feeding my inner child the things she's been lacking all these years.  

I know it may not make much sense. It doesn't completely yet, to me. But somehow, giving myself the love and care I have needed for so long, has helped my inner child to grow to a  healthier adult place. 

Sunday, June 9, 2024

Healing CPTSD from parental narcissistic abuse means rethinking everything

Hi friends. This blog is going deep into my past experiences with narcissistic abuse, neglect, abandonment, endangerment exploitation, parentification and gaslighting from four parents and the resulting CPTSD. Much of this, I only just realized within the last year. To say it's been mind-bending is putting it gently. 

One thing CPTSD has left me with is a lot of memory-voices in my head which gaslight me every day in every way. I second-guess everything I think, feel and do. Now that might seem like a good thing, to double check to make sure I'm not doing something wrong or hurtful. To make sure I'm thinking or feeling things correctly. I can't speak to that for someone without CPTSD. For someone who's been gaslit, it's a living nightmare. 

I don't know, because I wasn't taught accurately, what is right and wrong. Narcissists are self-serving. So the version they taught was what worked for them. Rules applied to me, never to them or their children. In fact, such was their hypocrisy that they held others and especially me (the scapegoat) to expectations that they blatantly did not follow. I was told to do for them, at the expense of myself, to ignore my needs and wants and to just give and give and give. 

Now, I don't have any clue where others stop and I begin. It occurred to me recently that I never thought of myself as a real person, just a possession or puppet. Essentially they taught me that I didn't exist except to please them. Which I'm learning is classic narcissism. They made themselves my gods and as such, expected me to worship and obey. 

So now, my entire morality is cockeyed. When I go to confession, I have no idea what to confess because I have no reference for right and wrong. It makes me weep with frustration just thinking about it. I read that CPTSD is a form of brain damage and boy howdy is that the truth. I feel like I've been battered in the head. What IS right??

You might say, if you were not raised in narc abuse, well, just read your Bible. Or follow church teaching. Would that it were that simple. When you have been raised with an effed up view of parents as God, you live only to serve them. What  is "right" is to do their will and what is "wrong" is to disobey them. But if they are living contrary to that, if their behavior is immoral (which of course it is if they set themselves up as gods) how do I juxtapose that? 

You might also say (and people, including priests, ministers, counselors have), now that you know that's wrong, you can just move on and do it right, easy peasy. If you believe that, I've got a lovely piece of swampland to sell you. There is nothing remotely easy or simple or straightforward in CPTSD. We are busted up!! We bring our broken little inner kid minds and emotions and beliefs with us into EVERY situation. We bring mommy and daddy and stepmommy and stepdaddy (said very facetiously) with us everywhere. Their gaslighting directed everything and it still does. 

The super shitty thing about gaslighting and narcissistic abuse is how toxically pervasive they are. I've said it's not so much gaslighting but gas poisoning. They deform and dement us. They are our everything. We know no world outside of their sick, fake, delusional fantasy. How do we escape? How the bloody sodding H do I know? I've been trapped so long I stopped looking for the door. I didn't even know I was trapped till some light shone through the cracks. 

But one thing I am, in all this broken, is tough. My callouses have callouses. My scars as scarred. So by God (the real one) I'm going to find a way if it kills me. You think that's melodramatic talk? You ain't seen nothin yet. I'm sick of second-guessing myself. I'm going big and loud. I'm calling out everything that happened as bullshit. I'll throw the baby out with the bathwater if I have to. 

What do I mean? That in order to find some kind of peace, I need to question every single thing they taught me, did to me and exposed me to. One thing I've learned about lies is that if there is one, there are more. That if there is egregious abuse and neglect and abandonment and shaming and humiliation and exploitation and endangerment and parentification and scapegoating, it's not episodic but pattern behavior. The entire thing is rotten. Boom. 

What I've got to do now, is to tear down the whole facade and start over. It won't be as difficult as it sounds because as I said, it's rotten. There's no salvaging it. The wormwood of narc abuse cannot stand up to scrutiny. It shows it's poison clearly.

Will I end up losing the good with the bad? No. Because there never was any true good. It was just weaponized to keep me in line. A means to an end. Do I feel badly about that? As in guilty? Not on your nelly. I've spent enough years enslaved by guilt to those people. Guilty cat has run out of effs to give. Do I feel sad as in grief for myself? Yeah, sure. I want my childhood and adolescence back. I wish my family had actually been a family and not an exploiting bunch of liars. 

But it ain't going to happen so why waste time on it. The past has passed. All I've got is the now and I'd like to save as much of it and me from further harm as I can. Can I get an amen?

 





Wednesday, June 5, 2024

Freedom ain't free: the massive cost narcissistic abuse takes on me

 


Hi friends. You know, I dread these daily posts relating my experiences with parental narcissistic abuse (physical, emotional and sexual). I write because someday I want to break free from those bonds. I don't know how else to do it but to keep lancing the wounds. So I'm revisiting the neglect, abandonment, endangerment, parentification, toxic shaming, manipulation, humiliation, transactional existence, exploitation and gaslighting about it all. 

It's often said that freedom isn't free. And nowhere is that more true than in freedom from the devastation that parental narcissistic abuse has wreaked in my life. That suffering cost me dearly both in living in it and trying to get out of it. It nearly cost me my physical life and it has definitely cost in quality of life. For most of my life, I believed I wasn't really even human, no rights, no feelings, needs or wants that mattered. No life of my own. Just a drone whose purpose was to attend to the needs, wants and feelings of four narcissist parents and their children. 

This is what was gaslit into me, in various subtle and blatant ways. But over the past few months, spurred by some posts on Reddit, of all things, I have begun to challenge that version of me. And I realize that I have gotten very many things wrong about myself, children, parents, God and what life is supposed to look like. It's like I've been looking at a picture sideways and been perpetually confused by it. And suddenly, turning it right side up makes so much clear. 

It explains why I struggle with everything. It explains why I feel so miserable most of the time. It explains why I've been playing different roles, assigned to me by the narcissists. It explains why I've never felt like a person just a possession. It explains why I have no interests or hobbies. Or opinions. Why I can't remember bedrooms, beds, toys, stuff, meals, clothing, birthday celebrations. Why I have constant nightmares. 

The answer is fairly simple but also the most complicated thing I've ever dealt with. I didn't have needs met on a consistent basis. If my bedroom was needed for my uncle and his girlfriend to share, I was moved out. If I was needed to sleep with my parents' children, so they didn't keep them awake, I was given a tiny youth bed in the corner and made to make due. If my stuff was needed to be sold so my mom's out-of-work boyfriend could have a new motorcycle, so be it. If there wasn't enough food because the dog had to have his special Science Diet, I went hungry. If there was work to be done, it ws my job to do it. If my mom o dad wanted to run off to God knows where, I should be fine being left alone to fend. 

And I was gaslit into thinking that I should not expect needs to be met. Because I was not a real person with needs or wants. All that belonged to someone else. I owed them everything and then some. I could never pay all I owed, just for my existence. I had the audacity to inconvenience my narcissistic parents just by being. And did I pay...and pay...and pay. No shameful treatment was low enough for me. 

And I have just accepted my lot as good enough for who it was for. There was nothing I wouldn't take the blame for, no behavior of theirs I wouldn't excuse. No shit I wouldn't absorb. And I was and still am one messed up, confused, self-loathing lil girl. 

Until someone or something flipped that picture and I saw it for what it was. It finally began to get thru to me that I didn't treat others this way or think it was okay to. I can see clearly why neglect, abandonment, endangerment, parentification, scapegoating, surrogate spousing, manipulation, exploitation and abuse are so harmful. So if I was such a self-centered, disobedient, selfish, show-offy, disappointment, how DID I screwed up me know that this behavior was wrong for others?

That's gaslighting for you and boy howdy is that a powerful weapon. It's why I accepted this treatment. Quite simply, they made it loud and clear that I was a worthless and they and their shiny new families, weren't. In fact, they were entitled to more than the average person because they were a cut above. Superhuman. Ubermensch, not answerable to rules, the same rules they preach to others. 

And of course their children were treated so much better than I was. They deserved it. They were their real kids, their real families. Somehow, it was as if they believed that by divorcing each other, they could divorce themselves from me. And yet, not. Because they certainly expected me to do whatever it was they wanted of me, cheerfully and with a complete subservient attitude. Oh and I had to read their minds, as well. A tall order for a kid and one I never was able to successfully do. Ergo the reason I have such feelings of failure. 

I grew up with this broken mirror image of myself. I've wrestled all my life with too much responsibility, too little care and nurturing and being made to feel like an untouchable. I've tried to make them happy and failed. I've kept up all my expectations in the transactions and they've let down their end. Well, they never were going to give me what I needed anyway, no matter how much I gave. 

So where does this leave me? I think it's time to take a long look at the picture now that it's right side up. I wasn't a failure. I was expected to think like an adult when I was a child. I was made to parent my parents and their spouses and children. I was expected to act like an adult so the adults could act like selfish children. I wasn't broken, the family system was. I wasn't a child, I was unpaid staff. I didn't have a family. I had betters. I didn't have a home. It was always their homes.  I was silent homeless. 

I wasn't "dishonoring" my parents. They dishonored me. I wasn't disobedient I was too obedient. I wasn't disrespectful, they were. And they didn't earn my respect. They broke the covenant and didn't keep their part of the commandment. A child has two parents, not four. That's polygamy. Their spouses should not have been shoved on me as parents let alone the tyrannical bosses they were. 

I didn't owe them for my existence and care. They owed me love and nurturing. I was not their parent. They were mine. If anyone was going to suffer the consequences of their consistently foolish, risky and dangerous behavior, it should have been them instead of me getting the brunt of it and them getting off scot-free. (I need to blog a lot more about that later).

I didn't bring their children into the world, they did. They weren't my siblings. They were  my parents new, favored kids. I certainly wasn't their parent and should not have been made to care for them like a parent. I should not have been made to feel guilty or responsible. I could not and should not have been expected to provide for their children what they failed to provide for me.




 


Monday, June 3, 2024

Healing CPTSD by ignoring the manufactured crises of narcissistic abuse

 Hi friends. For the past few months this blog has diverged from weight loss down a path to healing from CPTSD (or at least just addressing it). Today I'm looking at how the manufactured crises of narcissistic abuse have driven my life. I can't remember a time when my life wasn't controlled by other peoples' various self-created drama. Looking back, I see that these "emergencies" weren't genuine but contrived by manipulative adults to keep me in a state of perpetual chaos, uncertainty and fear. Weaponized chaos is very useful in controlling a nervous, eager-to-please kid like me.  

What got me thinking about this was noticing how I feel in the morning. Lately, I've been doing things differently. Instead hitting the ground running, I've been taking 30 minutes to wake up with my coffee. I've actually been (gasp!) playing a little online game. This is a universe away from how I used to do it. Since I can remember, I've woke up to an impending sense of doom and feeling behind the 8-ball to fix it NOW!

So why is that? Well, to start with, I don't and never have slept well. I dream/ nightmare all night long. And that is due to CPTSD (complex post-traumatic stress disorder). I have the craziest, most complicated and disturbing dreams and all in vivid detail. I'm always in bizarre situations in which all kinds of things are expected of me. There are always countless children, unknown to me that I have to care for. I don't know what exactly is expected because it isn't communicated. I don't even know who expects it, just that they do.  I don't know how to do it. I lack the resources. Everyone is mad at me for failing to do what I don't know what or how to do. 

Allowing myself to recall my child and teen and young adult years, I see that these aren't dreams but memories. This is exactly what happened: tons of manufactured "crisis" which I was expected to magically troubleshoot and fix, without help or tools. I was expected to know what needed doing without being told. And it had better be done yesterday, with a smile and no hint of objection. Which of course explains the sense of panic and doom. 

So this is what I dream because this is what I lived. And nightmaring all night long shot my sleep to hell. So waking was and is difficult to impossible. I often sleep to the last minute, trying to scrape up enough to  get by. I never do. And then it repeated all over again. Expectation, demands over constant crisis that came out of nowhere. Which of course, they did. 

And there's the irony. All the crises I was gaslit into believing we were in, were preventable. Financial troubles were down to very crazy spending. Homes were lost due to non-payment. We moved all the time on my dad's whim. Their babies were my job to care for. Their foster care homes were my job to run. All this housework, mine. Angry parent? My fault. Lazy, vindictive spouses, my problem.  None of it was their or their kids' responsibility. 

So now I'm asking myself what was so damn important that I had to sacrifice my childhood, teenhood and young adulthood for? Where was the effing fire??? Actually there wasn't a fire, but not because of any care on their part. So often I was left in dangerous situations with no forethought to safety. 

But back to mornings. All this time I was gaslit about how other people needed their "quiet time" "space" etc, to wake up. I always respected that. My dad had to have his time at a coffee shop (which I was expected to provide childcare for). My mom's husband just slept all day, woke up mad and stayed that way. Literally, mad as in nuts. No one could talk to my dad's wife while she "woke up." Funny, I was the one sleeping with her babies. She had her spacious waterbed to herself while I slept on a tiny youth bed in the baby's room. And no one worried about how I slept or what I might need to wake up. 

Well, now I'm starting to respect my needs. Fortunately I have a husband who applauds my self-care. He even makes my coffee. I need space to come to terms not only with the day but also with the terrible dreams that disturb my sleep. I need my wake up time. And my game. I can't wait for someone to give me permission. That's never going to happen with the people who stole it from me. So I take it. 


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