Wednesday, July 10, 2024

Why "faith over fear" is bullsh*t: what faith and fear are and aren't

Hi friends. Part two about why the "faith over fear" trope is dangerous bullshit based on my experiences. I ended the last post pointing out how the promoters of this don't know what faith or fear mean. To continue with this, let me say what faith isn't. Presumably, when they say faith, they mean faith in God. But you have to wonder. 

Especially when someone tells someone in a difficult situation, to have faith, when the teller isn't in the situation and knows nothing about it. That's toxic positivity. And hypocrisy. And shaming. If someone is in a bad place and afraid, telling them to have faith over fear is just opening your mouth and crap pouring out. Faith in what? That the abuser will keep abusing? Yep that's for sure. That they should just tie a knot and hang on? Tell me you don't care without telling me you don't. Or just shut up and love them.  

In the case of a pandemic, telling other people they won't get Covid if they have faith is like clicking your ruby slippers together and hoping you'll get back to Kansas. Another problem is telling others to have faith while we are living very unfaithfully. Or bragging about how much faith we have. That's not about God at all. It's just me, me, me. Honestly the way some people talk, you'd think they were God. Oh wait.

My parents were masterful at weaponizing scripture about faith against me. They themselves Hedonistically did exactly as they pleased. They twisted their every foolish, dangerous, illegal and abusive choice into an act of faith. They said God told them to do it. And how can you argue with that? It's impossible to prove God didn't tell them.  Oh and they loved the verse "lean not unto thine own understanding" as it applied to me (not them, I later realized). Any time I questioned, I'd get accused of trusting myself and disobeying God.  

I lived with that crazy gaslighting all my life. Until I started really listening to God. Then I began to see the flaws. It wasn't God I was to obey, it was them. They were gods, not subject to the real one and making up rules for me as they went along. Their will for me was self-centered and their demands, contrary to God. 

Running around on each other and dragging me along. Shacking up with dangerous, abusive, narcissistic partners and making me subject to them. Making me parent them and their children. Neglecting my care. Stealing from me. Forcing me to do their work. Putting the focus on their selfish wants and needs. Leading me astray. Subjecting me to deviant, immoral, degenerate behavior. Making me be an adult without ever being a kid. And calling all of it God's will for me. 

So yeah, I was afraid. I was in a perpetual dry-drown of fear, self-loathing and shame. It was so bad I didn't know how bad it was. I thought constant pain was normal. I've blanked out not just experiences, but months and years of my life. My memories are like Swiss cheese and not baby Swiss. Huge gaping holes where memory is supposed to be. More hole than cheese actually. But at night, they're there. In endless dreams and nightmares. They are so constant, vivid and pervasive that I have trouble separating dream from memory. And it's all so scary. 

But I'm supposed to just smile and fake none of this happened? I'm supposed to say the right words and hope it gets better? Because that's what this "faith over fear" crap implies.  I'm supposed to feel ashamed to admit that I know nothing but scared shitless? I should feel guilty because I don't even know what let alone who to trust? Well, been there, still do that. My problem isn't trusting, it's trusting too much and the wrong things. It's being too obedient to my parent-gods. It's putting them above God. 

Now that's a problem and maybe the crux of it. God's first commandment in the Jewish and Christian Bible is to have no other gods before Me." Well, blew that one. My parents made themselves my gods. But in my defense, I was a gaslit (brainwashed) kid. I was taught wrong. And recognizing that is where I'll find my healing. 

Bear with me while I get this sorted. So, I was taught to make parents, their partners and kids, gods. But there's no other god before the God. I put my trust in these false gods. I shouldn't have but I didn't know better. I was terrified of them, their crazy demands and harsh punishment. And the fact that I was, shows they were fake. Because God is LOVE. His commands make sense. He forgives. Also the fact that I was so signally uncared for, mistreated, unloved, neglected, manipulated, abused and shamed shows up their wrong. 

We're told that God cares, loves, shepherds, nurtures, tends, teaches, leads, guides, walks with, carries, supports. He also warns us against danger and dangerous people. Unfortunately, I was so little when the abuse began that even if I had heard His warning, they would have shut it down as wrong. I would have been shamed for daring to hear God when they were only receivers, especially if He was saying they were wrong. They firewalled me off from God, lest I catch on that He was real one and they weren't. 

They created a little narcissistic fantasy world, a parallel universe, in which only we existed. Religion was such a convenient weapon for them. They could hide their own sinful behavior behind a smokescreen of Christianity. They twisted scripture to not only condone but command their wickedness. 

But hold on. I've said I wouldn't have understood those warnings even if I'd heard them. Well, that's because I would have assumed that God would never contradict them and what would stupid me know anyway. But what if, on some deep level, I did hear and understand. Was my gut telling me all along that something was rotten in Denmark? Is that what the dreams are about? Is that why big pieces of my memory are gone? Was that God shielding me from too much pain and suffering?

There is a large faction of so-called Christians who preach that trusting your gut is evil. That you're trusting yourself, not God. Ironically, those are often the people, like my parents, who are doing things that send up the red flags that your gut is responding to. I say that our inner voice is the only thing we can trust, especially victims of parental abuse. That's where God's  Holy Spirit (the still small voice) resides. I may not have understood what I was hearing or even that I was hearing anything. But that doesn't mean God wasn't there. 

I didn't feel it at the time. I still often don't. But I guess He did protect me because I'm still here. However it wasn't because I had enough faith. It was because He has enough love. I didn't do anything. I don't always even reach out to Him when I'm drowning. I just keep splashing and He rescue swims with me. 

Why faith over fear is bullshit and how that toxic positivity destroys traumatized kids

 Hi my friends. Last post I promised an earful on why the "faith over fear" trope is bullshit. It's generally bullshit but especially when it comes to traumatized kids of narcissistically abusive parents. "Faith over fear" is unChristian, unBiblical, ignorant toxic positivity that just smacks hypocrisy and slippery slope selfishness.  It was a raw spot for me to begin with. Covid made it so much worse. 

I'm so damn tired of hearing, during a bloody pandemic, how we could avoid Covid if we just have enough faith. And how taking precautions like wearing a mask and getting vaccinated is "fear-mongering." When used with traumatized children who are terrified of their scary bullying parents, it's sick. I've been physically, emotionally and sexually abused, neglected, abandoned, manipulated, parentified, dismissed, scapegoated and gaslit. And let me tell you, no amount of faith is going to see you through that shitstorm. It's fucking horror movie you can never shut off. I dream about it every night. 

I was weaned on fear. Fear of abandonment which could and did happen with alarming frequency. Fear of my dad taking his own life as he threatened to many times. Fear of what bizarre and scary thing my parents and their partners would do next.  I was told to be afraid, very afraid of what my mom and dad and their partners would do to me if I didn't obey. If I didn't let them do whatever they wanted. Living in fear was my God-given duty. To not fear them would be sinning. 

So tell me, how then was I supposed to also have faith and not be afraid? What's wrong with this idea that faith trumps fear is in how it's used and with whom. It is always someone who is not struggling with a terrible situation (or who has his or her head wedged firmly up his or her posterior about said situation) pontificating to someone who is smack dab in the middle of the shit. 

And they never tell you how to leverage this magical faith let alone what it even is. And I'll tell you why. Because they don't know themselves. It just makes them sound like they know what they're talking about and that makes them feel superior. And because the Bible kinda alludes to this, bonus brownie points added. 

However, the scripture they are referencing has nothing to do with how they are using it. "Perfect love casts out fear" is the correct quotation. Perfect love. Which is from God alone. And it's love, not faith that drives demons away. Because another thing they get wrong is the definition of fear. Fear is not caution. Or trauma induced obedience. Or compassion. In some cases, it's just common sense. Fear in this case is the slavery to demonic forces that we in the world are subjected to. So love casts out evil. We are also told in other scripture to fear the Lord. We are commanded to fear! Fear in this case means respect. 

But being accurate isn't something the "faith-over-fearers" worry about. In fact, being vague and hinty is part of the passive-aggressiveness. It's meant to make a person with rationale, reasonable concern feel inferior to their moral superiority. Held up to a little clear-headed scrutiny, their kitschy catchphrases are shown as meaningless, baffling bullshit. 

Because if they don't know what fear means, they surely don't know what faith means. None of us really does. You can put your faith in a lot of stupid things. Is it belief? We believe a lot of stupid, untrue things. That just sounds like opinion to me. And like buttholes, we all have one. Is it blind trust? That sounds dangerous! And then there's the matter of what one says he believes in versus what he lives like he does. 

A lot of right-wingers (who are usually the faith-over-fearers, proclaim to believe in God. But they live for Donald Trump. They wear shirts that say "Faith, FLAG, FIREARMS" (not in that order.) So your faith is in a piece of cloth and a gun. Hmm. Gotcha. So if you get Covid because you won't wear a mask or get vaccinated, you're gonna run it up the flagpole and then shoot it? And if you give someone Covid because you won't take precautions, that's honoring God?? Wow. Stay away from my loved ones please. 

But the biggest concern with "faith over fear" is with people who've suffered from abuse and live in terror of abuser. That's going to require a part two. So stay tuned. 

Tuesday, July 2, 2024

Why I'm too reliable and why I hate it

 Hi friends. Mar here with  more on my life with narcissistic parental abuse, neglect, abandonment, manipulation, parentification, exploitation, unrealistic expectations and gaslighting about it all. Today I'm looking at why I'm too reliable and why I hate it. 

First, you might be wondering, can you be "too reliable" and isn't that a good thing? As one who has been through a lifetime of being the predictable, stable adult  amid the very childish behavior of adult authority figures, oh hell yes, you can and no, it's a very bad thing, for me. 

Lately, I've been opening up about how the four parents (two bio, two step) have always put way too much expectation of me. Heavy housework, taking care of adults (who didn't need care and didn't take care of me) parenting their children and foster kids (including sleeping with them so the adults could have "privacy."), being always obedient and never questioning, basically not being allowed to be a kid and certainly not a teenager. 

They would gaslight me that it was my God-given responsibility to be bossed around by but also to care for them, their boyfriends and girlfriends (later stepparents). I was even subject to their kids. I literally had to babysit my parents and tend to their petulant and unrealistic demands as if I were the parent and they were the kids. But yet they still expected that I would obey them like a little child, even when I was nearly an adult. Both ways of treating me were inappropriate. 

When they threw temper tantrums at me, berating, hitting, screaming at, shaming, name-calling, cursing, I was expected to just forgive and forget without ever getting any apology. And not just my two bio parents. That would have been more than enough to deal with. But they also expected me to tolerate whatever anyone did that they forced into my life. 

I learned very young that I had better be on pointe at all times, to say yes ma'am and no sir. To comply with any and all expectations and to read minds about what they expected. In so doing I might, just might, earn their love. Yes, earn. I didn't deserve it, you see. And (wait for it) no matter how hard I tried, I never succeeded. I see now that it was very much in their selfish, self-interests to keep the prize just out of reach, so I'd keep striving. I didn't catch on till I was 59 that I was never going to reach it. 

I was always so frightened of them as well. They saw to that. By gaslighting, shaming, setting me up to fail, pulling the supports out, raging, beating, blaming, manipulating, guilting, belittling my feelings, mocking, leaving me behind, leaving me out, weaponizing God against me and a host of other shitty narcissistic bullying tactics, they had me terrorized. 

I obeyed because I believed their gaslighting that it was my duty but also because I was afraid not to. Which is never a good reason to do anything. Fear is a great motivator but poor mentor. I never had the luxury of making mistakes, of being obstinate or recalcitrant or just plain lazy. That was for others. Interestingly, the very people who were so angry at me, were also failing me as parents in colossal ways. 

My every error was not only rubbed in my face but made to seem catastrophic,  till I was sick with self-hatred and sense of failure. I see now that every wrong I was accused of was either a mistake, blown out of proportion or flat out lied about to protect the real guilty party. Which usually was the parent or stepparent who was doing the blaming. They expected me to just pick up the ball when they dropped it but were savagely unmerciful if I dropped it. 

It wasn't that I was so good. It was that it was unforgivable not to be. If I'd grown up in a more realistic and loving home, I'd have been your average mostly nice, occasionally naughty kid. But I didn't. So I never learned how to be good, just obedient in the extreme. I was reliable because it was dangerous not to be. 

How they must have laughed behind my back at what an idiot I was, working so hard to get what they were never going to give. And how badly frightened and cowed I always was. It's sick to say, but even sicker to realize, that they knew how traumatized I was and didn't give a fat rat's ass. I dream every night about these terrible memories. So being too reliable, too dependable, too helpful and obedient has had a disastrous effect on me. 

I've  never dared to be anything but. It makes me nauseous to contemplate not doing what people say, giving them what they want, disagreeing, challenging, dropping balls or in any way failing them. I'm still obeying. And I hate it. Don't get me wrong. I like that I'm reliable. What I hate is why I'm reliable. I wish I could relax and fail occasionally, like all humans do, without feeling such hideous toxic shame, guilt and fear. 

And lest anyone chime in with "faith over fear" let me stop you right there. That's the worst thing you can say to anyone who struggles with fear from parental abuse. You'll get an earful on that from me in my next post, I promise. 

Wednesday, June 26, 2024

Healing from abuse and gaslighting means I have to do some uncomfortable but crucial things

Hi everyone. This blog has become more about me dealing with parental narcissistic abuse and gaslighting and less about weight loss. Today I'm looking at some uncomfortable but crucial things I have to do to heal. First, for those that are new, I experienced neglect, abandonment, endangerment, exploitation, abuse (emotional, sexual and spiritual) parentification, exploitation and gaslighting from four extremely narcissistic and manipulative parents (two bio and their new spouses). I'm just now, at going on 60, exploring all this and trying to come to terms with it. 

To do this, I'm finding that I need to do several things that are very uncomfortable but also crucial. First, I need to accept that I've learned a very flawed version of reality and one that was in my narcissist parents' best interest but not mine. Being very empathic, I accepted and covered for every weird, disturbing and hurtful thing they did. I believed all the gaslighting and lies about it. 

When they put adult expectations and responsibilities on me, I never questioned. I tried to do everything to the best of my ability but mostly failed because I was too young. When they expected me to both parent and obey them and their new spouses, I did my best but never seemed to please. When they neglected,  stole from, cheated and forced me into dangerous situations, I just figured it was what I deserved. When they exposed me to inappropriate sexual behavior, made dirty jokes, mocked me for my small breasts and got mad at me when I reported a foster kid for molesting me, I internalized it, felt dirty and ashamed and bit myself. 

When they scolded and punished me, I assumed I was wrong and bad. It never occurred to me that they were expecting impossible  things, not doing their part or acting like parents and taking advantage of me. When they made me and only me do everyone else's work, I did it without question. When they kicked me out of the house for coming in 15 minutes late (no exaggeration) I never understood that not  only was this dangerous, it was illegal. I've only just realized that it is abusively exploitative to expect a kid to parent adults and other kids while also respecting them like authority figures. I thought this was all God's will for me because they told me it was. 

So healing from that has meant that I have to rethink it all.  I have to get a fresh perspective. That's exhausting and uncomfortable. Decades of gaslighting, lies and twisting situations to suit themselves has left me very confused. I hear voices all the time. I have constant nightmares. I'm used to thinking that my parents and their spouses and children are superhuman, ubermensch, above the rules, untouchable. That they speak ex cathedra, are omniscient and basically gods. 

The part of my brain that isn't damaged ( if there is one, I'm not sure), knows that's not true. But having believed it so long, it's really hard to shake. I've been gaslighting myself for as long as I can remember. So when I try to see it correctly, the flying monkeys in my head start screaming that I'm one lying. And being that my brain was damaged by their lies at a very young age, some of my thinking is still very young, immature and naive. So I've got to find my adult part and get her to help the child part. Yes, it feels very fractured. And very tiring.

One thing I've found that helps, but is also super uncomfortable, is to just say what happened. Being brain damaged, my memory is very spotty. There's so much I've blocked out because it's so alarming and hurtful. But one thing I'm sure of is that what I do remember, actually happened (despite a lot of gaslighting that I'm imagining it). Much of it is so bizarre that it seems made up. But then, I couldn't make it up and wouldn't if I could. 

A big part of what made my experiences so difficult is that I went through them utterly alone. No one helped. I had no confidante. They had  me successfully brainwashed into believing that if I did no one would believe me or that they would blame and shun me. So now, it's become important to me to tell my stories. To have people hear my side of it.

I'm working on not trying to figure out why they did (and continue to do) what they do. Each exhibits narcissistic behavior. Do they have NPD? I don't know and I can't afford to care. Does it stem from childhood trauma? Maybe, but I doubt it. I've heard a lot of sob stories from both the bio parents but nothing concrete. Just how they were misunderstood, found fault, yada yada. All that just sounds like narcissistic self-pity. And I've been the victim of their bad ideas, (leaving me behind in Alaska to be "missionaries" quitting jobs, having foster care homes they didn't manage properly, stealing, cheating). If grandparents were faulting those things then I agree. 

It's not like they would have held back to spare  me if anything happened. They never spared me any pain. My dad has regularly been telling me he planned to commit suicide since I was 5. My mother went out of  her way to make me feel awkward. Since I was 8, she'd tell me in graphic detail about her sex life with my dad and others, how my paternal grandfather (and best friend) tried to molest her. She recounted the plot of "A Clockwork Orange" to me and gave me nightmares. She laughed when her boyfriend called me "Blisters." She tells my husband and kids about her vaginal issues and spares no blushes. So if there was anything sordid or icky or upsetting to share, they'd be sure to pass it along. 

I used to agonize about why they did these bizarre things. I made excuses for everything. I felt sorry for them. I let them do whatever they wanted, thinking if I was just caring enough, they'd come around. But they never have. It's just gotten weirder and more disturbing. And I finally realized that me trying harder was just leading to more misery for me. Where they used to be coy about  how they kicked me around, now they're just blatant. They know they can do anything they want and I'll overlook it. 

Well, I've got  news. I don't anymore. I quit. I finally get it. They didn't love me and not only that, they wished me ill. They went out of their way to hurt me. They trashed things I held dear. They lied, stole, cheated and scammed. They threw pies in my face (that's not metaphor). They humiliated, shamed, embarrassed, made fun of, harassed and bullied me.  And they keep on. For once, I see that as odd as it sounds, it's true. 

No amount of candy-coating, toxic positivity, lying, her claiming not to remember, self-gaslighting, forgiveness, ignoring, making excuses for or pretending will make it unhappen. My messed up mind and disturbed sleep are proof. So what now? I'm focused on me and how I can get out of this hellhole I've existed in. I need to debride and disinfect my brain from the crippling toxic shame. I've got to get to the bottom of this pain, to learn what I need to learn. To find a way manage it and not let it manage me.

I think the next step is to pull a Scooby Doo and unmask my fears. I'll blog more on that soon. 

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?


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