Monday, April 15, 2024

I can't detach because I have no boundaries or survival skills

 Hi everyone. Awkward uncomfortable post of the day. Looking at why I can't detach from negativity, abuse, toxic shame, exploitation, manipulation and gaslighting. It's going to be bumpy, so if you want to get off the ride now, feel free. 

Basically, I can't navigate dysfunctional situations with anything like healthy coping skills because I have none. I was taught no survival skills and was allowed no boundaries. In fact, healthy boundaries were tromped on by parents and stepparents to the point that they don't exist. 

I can't develop "thick skin" because I don't  have any skin, emotionally. It was ripped off by constant exposure to trauma, exploitation, narcissistic abuse, parentification, toxic shame, abandonment and gaslighting. And at almost 60, I have no way to remedy that. 

Now, the only response I know is fight, flight, fawn or freeze. Any why? Because that is what was and has been what's expected of me. It's just an endless shitshow of shame and shoved in it. It may get a little better but only so that it can come back with a vengeance and rip the frail rug of security out from under me and leave me broken again. 

I have no idea what to do or where to begin healing this very dysfunctional system. There's no guide book or instruction manual. In some cases, the exploitation was so bizarre and damaging that there's not even any framework for it. My parents and stepparents together found every way to hurt me and made up many of their own. 

I can't look to the Bible because there's no guidance for situations of such extreme behavior. All the guidelines point one way and my experience points another. For example, honor your parents. Got that. But what do you do when you honored your parents too much? What if they acted like God to you and expected so much that you became suicidal trying to please them? What if they encouraged you to commit suicide? I asked a priest once and he  had no advice. 

That's what I mean about no direction. You can't even use the suicide word online because it's so incendiary. So I can't talk about feelings that have plagued me all my life, not even to find help. You can't make this shit up. 

Alanon says to detach. But what if you grew up believing that detachment was a mortal sin? That you had to stay stuck in every toxic mess they forced you into?  What if detachment, to survive, was dangerous. Need examples?

My dad's wife ( I no longer call them parents because they weren't) would get upset about something or other. My dad would say "maybe Mari could fix it." Why was I even there to hear? Because they kept me on a choke chain leash. And then he would invite her to think of ways that I could "fix" her. Bearing in mind I already did 95% of the work around the house. And cared for her kids. And slept with and got up with them at night. And then I would obediently do whatever it was they came up with. I never got upset or even realized how bizarre this was till a few years ago.  One time, my dad beat me for looking like I didn't want to comply. I didn't. He invented that as an excuse and gaslit me into believing it was my fault. 

If he reacted so explosively to imagined "disobedience" how dangerous do you think it would have been for me to ever say no? Or detach? Boundaries are luxuries I didn't have and skin wasn't something it wasn't safe to grow. 

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