I recently started reading from a website called What’s Your Grief? I need a lot of the articles right now as I struggle with my brother and mother….. I hope every February and March from here on won’t hurt this much.
In an article about Sentimentality & Holding Onto Items the writer talked about dolls that her mother purchased each year for her. Being a doll collector my interest was piqued. For me, each doll I collected had some connection to a part of me that was lost to abuse and neglect. I knew on some level that I was trying to regain these things but it took years before I could look at the dolls and say, she has this quality in her dress and facial features that reminds me of this particular moment of loss.
violence. detailed abuse. beating.
Dream ….I had a small, round stamp pad of red ink with a clear plastic domed lid. This one little ink pad was viciously sought after by my mother. She drove across town to take me to her house. The hallway was long and narrow with the top half of the wall painted light peach and the bottom half vertical wooden planks. We fought all over the house. She fought for control of the ink pad in the restroom but I was able to get away. We fought over it in the bedroom with my sister watching. She didn’t understand why I didn’t just give her the ink pad.
My sister gave the mother everything she owned. The mother wanted my ink pad for one reason only, to say she owned everything and controlled everything about me. I held on tight. In the hallway she stood on top of me and held me down with one foot on my stomach and the other on my hand with the ink pad. There was laughter and fear. I couldn’t move. She had her disgusting feet on me. I hated her feet, man I hated her feet. In real life my sister used to massage them in the evening for a dollar. I’d rather eat glass. I’d done it a few times and absolutely hated it…and her….everything about touching her made my skin crawl. I even hated the way she smelled. Everyone has a personal body smell, I hated hers. I hated her eyes, her hands, her. One finger touching me may as well have been an acid burn.
There’s this ‘thing’ people do who need you back in their toxic world after there’s a break. I figured Betty would do it and told Dr. D she would. Dr. D and I go over entries in sessions because I tend to process quite a bit outside of therapy, but I told him, she’s going to try to give me a gift, it’ll be either something I really need or something I’ve been wanting.
It’s funny, with my guard up I know what to expect. She will most certainly fulfill each and every aspect of her ‘malfunction’ because that’s what people with her ‘major malfunction’ do.
Today she showed up talkin’ ’bout, I have miniatures for your dollhouse. Oh,oh no you don’t. No ya don’t. …..I didn’t accept them, and won’t. She said, I’ve been looking around for a kitchen chair for you. I said, remember, you have no control over this household. No additions, no subtraction.
My phone rang at 1:15. I opened my eyes and answered. I’d been awake from around 5:30 pm Sunday until 10 am this morning so I was very much in need of sleep. There was a small cracker gaffe. As we talked I reached over and grabbed a cracker and shoved the little round Ritz in my mouth while talking. I started laughing because it was like, my body was in the moment but my mind was not. I apologized for the crunch in his ear, which he found humorous.
3:30 pm EST
I asked him if he remembered something he and I were to keep discussing. He said he’d make a note to remember to ask two sessions ago. He didn’t remember. I said, when you say to me, “we can work on this issue” I don’t have confidence that we will. You’ve said this to me several times but it’s not brought up again. He said, why do you think you haven’t brought it up again? That’s when I realized, he expects me to bring up the things he tells me we can work on. With that point now clear I said to him, I need a prompt because the subjects are scary for me. I also want you to bring it up because I want to know that you are committed to the issue and will assist me with it. For a long time now I’ve heard him say, “we can work on that” or “we can talk more about this next week” but it doesn’t happen. I want to know we’re on the same page. I want to know that you understand the importance of these two issues.
I turned off the comments to the other entry about water because I didn’t want anyone to say “good job”. My reaction would be to toss this whole thing and refuse to work on it as if the issue is mine and mine alone and ‘you’ can’t have a say in how it goes.
In the split second it took to turn off comments i thought, I don’t have to have water touch me if I don’t want to. ‘You” can’t tell me I have to get wet…….. and there it was….back in Florida, back in Tampa.
I think to myself, I hate you and you deserve to be dead. I really hate you.
With a topic so sensitive I’m going to keep comments off. I’m walking on thin ice. Yeah, cleaning burned mango and apple from a ban brings back anger and humiliation.
Good info for art and phobia. I would like to take it in to see what my therapist thinks and see if there’s a way to incorporate some of it into our work. I’m not going to post the art though. I can’t imagine posting it right now. Altered Book Facing Fears by Tracy Algar.
I’m ready to stop for the evening.
I called your name as I awoke.
You didn’t answer.
My brother’s birthday was the 14th of February. Of course I don’t celebrate birthday’s but it is the first anniversary of sorts after he took his life. I believe anger toward him is less intense and has moved to a great sadness.
I do not recall my sister ever taking care of my brother. I can’t say for certainly but I can’t remember her having him for a day or night. What I do remember is around age 3, when he was removed from the home, I woke in the early hours of the morning listening to her cry. The mother was in the room with her, hitting her. I could always feel her getting hit. My body cringed. Maybe it was just me remembering dowel rods on my skin and knowing what she was going through, but it felt like I was physically taking on myself each and every blow.
Subject: Went over entries about Betty behaving like a brick wall, went over near physical altercation and the trigger for it, talked about Robert not being present tomorrow because that amount of protective force isn’t needed with her. Talked about getting this information to all of us that Betty is no longer a safe person for us. Took responsibility for my own triggers and allowing her to act out over a period of time.
I went to sleep directly after therapy which I did not attend in person, however, I did read both entries concerning the situation with Betty. The most he said over the phone as I read was, “hm!”. I said, I can tell by the tone behind ‘hmm” that you recognize this is crazy? He said, yes. He asked if I was going to see her anymore I said, I’ll see her tomorrow. Enter the discussion about physical violence should she enter my space like she did a the store. I explained that Robert will not be with us on that trip to the hospital. It’s been set up for a while. I’ll be there a good bit of time. Transportation for follow ups is being worked on.
I told Dr. D that we have been going over in our head what needs to be done in order to make it to the hospital for treatment and then get home without going to jail. I find nothing humorous about the fact that I can be pushed the point of wanting to body slam another person for getting in my face. I wish there was more control than that. Dr. D asked what our safety plan is for dealing with her tomorrow. I said, I’ve been doing what I used to do with my mother, thinking ahead, planning my lack of emotional response to whatever she says. Any needling, any nagging, any missiles shot at me will not land her the expression she’s looking for. This is what I did with my biological mother, plan my steps ahead and do not respond emotionally.
Each year I try to set a goal to work on life upgrades. I’ve set creative goals for 2017 (found on the sidebar) and I’ve set goals for therapy (on the side bar). One goal is to speak more kindly to myself; control my tendency for self-deprecation. I’m going to continue one of last years goals which is to improve my communication skills by not being so dogmatic and being able to listen to hear instead of listen to respond. Those goals don’t scare me nearly as much as the third which is to take steps in to ease my fear of water. It’s a complicated fear though. It’s PTSD and OCD wrapped together which makes a nasty little package.
It’s difficult to take a shower, harder to take a bath but once I’m in there I’m okay with the water but the OCD takes over and I’m ready to get the heck out of there. I’ve showered with the lights off and filled the room with enough lavender to cause sinus combustion. Washing the dishes is difficult because I can’t stand the water. I will not wash anything with chocolate on it. I hate red sauces on pans and cups. I just walk away from it. I changed my cooking ware to stuff that lets food slip right off it so I don’t have to see browns or reds. I got gloves at one point and closed my eyes. I’ve tried several things to get my dishes washed.
Subject: Feels like I’m going fast. Betty Homemaker. General neglect expected. Abandonment expected, survival mode, old coping skills, general feeling of distress.
I kept my head down and sketched. Fitful is the best way to explain my speech patterns. I was going fast and it felt as if I couldn’t really control my thoughts. I was a bit detached from myself. I kept thinking that Dr. D looks like his father more and more. My therapist’s Italian shoes are awesome! He’s dressing ‘the part’ now which is more than likely not something he has chosen. He’s not the type to care about clothing. Thank goodness he has someone who does; I’ve seen him without female supervision and it’s scary. As I spoke to him I thought of about Betty, Dr Yes and the office manager I also thought of Dr D’s special needs. He used to come in looking like he slept in his car. It was bad. All academic, he’s all academic. I can’t imagine what his house looked like before he remarried. My goodness.
I like Dr. D very much. 🙂
Okay, so Dr. D asked if I thought I could get Dr. Yes (my general practitioner) to assist when needed. That got a strong reaction inside. We will get what we need. When explaining the strong response we also explained a deep lack of confidence in doctors.
Mother’s voice from the grave.
You’re a fast talker, a manipulator.
I owe a lot more than I give.
They’re laughing at you.
Dead end messages In my head.
You overwhelm people with your intensity. I’m embarrassed by my intensity.
Crawl away and shut up.
You’re going so fast.
My mind is going so fast that it’s uncomfortable.
I’m sipping homemade apple ginger tea. It’s the first time in months I’ve stood at the counter top, sliced apples, sliced ginger and added my other ingredients. It’s been months.
I feel anxiety… a lot of anxiety.
I have therapy tomorrow and feel anxious around before I go. I’ve seen him for 10+ years but I still feel anxious the night before and in the waiting room.