I saw Angela on Wednesday. We didn’t get to the green buzzers. We talked. She asked me if anything was percolating. Well there was so much junk in this session. Very personal. Very messy. At one point, I told her that Karen had said that I should have known by 12 or 13, that incest is wrong. I knew what we were doing was wrong, but not why it was wrong, not particularly because we were brother and sister. Angela was outraged, by that. So I tried to tone it down, by saying she was pointing out that my experience was not normal — that if I had a normal upraising, than by that age I would have know exactly why what happened was not ok. But that was just a little piece of it. If I cannot say what it was here….
Wow, this has taken almost a week to complete. If I complete it. We talked about how I figure she isn’t judging me by the stuff I said to my younger brother to make him cry — pulling his chain. I don’t know if you would call it teasing or bullying or what. I do know that that shit ended before I was 11. But we still fought a lot. He was a little punk when he was young. Spoiled. Yeah. And my older sister and I had the job of keeping him in order, for the most part. We moved out here when I was almost 11. He was a little less than 7 years younger than me, so he was 3-4. My little sister was born six weeks before we moved here. I used to walk my paper route, the half-way point was their baby sitter’s house. I would deliver newspapers to that point, and then put my little sister, snow suit and all — she was born in mid July, so in the winter she was about six months old. I put her in my paper bag and delivered the rest of the paper with Mark in tow, carrying Lisa. When I babysat to make money, I took my brother and sister with me, as my parents and older siblings were going to college every evening. I was the unimportant one, the not so smart one, the one that could stay home when the kids were sick to watch them. I did the cooking, so I was the one that made everyone a cake on their birthday. They didn’t make me one. When I was in my twenties I finally bitched about it, and after that they did. It’s funny, that I kind of blamed my siblings for not doing that for me, never my parents, but who does that to their kid? My dad was an alcoholic when I was very young, but quit drinking when I was 4, and he became a born-again Christian, and got big in the church, taught himself to read, and got an electricians license, and worked all the time. My mom was always working too. I graduated with both of them, 1 year apart. Mom went into public work, not exactly politics, but working for the local governments, and was appointed to an elected seat, and had to run for reelection. She put her heart into her work, and would come home late, 11pm, and collapse in front of the TV.
I wonder what I might have been if my parents could have given me just a little encouragement, a little self-worth. I know you have to build that on your own, but going through life knowing I was different, and then so unimportant, not as smart as my older siblings, I thought I was stupid, though there was tons of evidence to the contrary. Maybe if what happened never did, maybe I could be happily married with kids and grandkids, maybe I would have been a doctor or a veterinarian. Everything I wanted to do, I was discouraged, I was laughed at when I had the idea of being a police officer. I was not smart enough to be a doctor I was told. Being a vet, you had to have someone vouch for you, you had to have money. When I said I wanted to be a civil engineer, my dad said there were never jobs for civil engineers. I finally took the same path he did in electrical/electronic, and the head of the mechanical department said that I should take a third year and get an associate’s degree in that as well. So I did. I took five years off school to go to work, then went back and finished up my bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering technology while I was working full time. You don’t do that if you’re stupid. But I still thought I was stupid. I got the department scholarship — you don’t get that if you are stupid. But I thought I was stupid.
That was NOT what I talked to Angela about. I told her I didn’t think she thought I was repulsive because of how rotten I was to my little brother. She asked “So I think you are repulsive for some other reason?” kind of incredulously. I said, yes. I said that because of what I let my brothers (older brothers) do, because I performed oral sex on them. It is the most repulsive thing, I am still disgusted by it. And I can tell you all about how kids who are years older can get younger ones to do whatever. Doesn’t matter. I can, with my brain, know that I did not let them, I did not want that, they should not have done that, and all that stuff. Doesn’t matter. On some level, I can’t get over the fact that I did it. It doesn’t matter that that probably started when I was between 4 and 6. It doesn’t matter. I have walked around my entire life as an imposter. Once people knew that I did that they would know how repulsive I am, and I walked around with a huge sign all over me saying I was contaminated.
Angela said I have to stop being so judgmental with myself. She said I have to stop putting/projecting my self-loathing and repulsive feeling off on her. She says that it makes sense, something makes sense, I think that I am so invested in what she thinks about me, because of how I perceive myself. It seems to change, why the therapeutic relationship is so important. It is one-sided, really, it’s about me, she cares about me or at least my mental/emotional health. I have let her in far enough that if she approves of me, I am ok, and if she doesn’t, I am not ok. I know that’s ridiculous, but it is what I do. I just have no faith in my own judgement. She said that I don’t trust anyone, I feel I can’t trust anyone (and with good reason), but because I don’t trust myself.
It was a ton of stuff to swallow this week. So it took forever to get it out. I keep losing hope that there is anything better, that there is any such thing as healing from all of this. I know what happened to me was outrageous. But I immediately try to stuff that into some I-should-be-over-it-by-now, or worse, I-let-them-do-it. It’s like I am afraid to admit that it was bad and that it changed the course of my life, it changed who I am today. People say that the crap we go through makes us stronger, but that’s bullshit. It’s bullshit to the truama survivor. It doesn’t make us stronger, because we have no idea how strong we might have been had this not happened. Maybe I am every bit as smart as my sister, only my brain was damaged and stunted by what was happening to me. And maybe we can put shit into different categories where we can deal with them, and maybe we can make new pathways and fix the damage, maybe it is gone forever — after a certain age, the brain starts losing mass, and learning becomes more difficult. I HATE the EMDR, but I have to say that at work, I rarely have to look at a procedure now, once I am shown something, I can remember long sequences of stuff without having to refer back. This is a change, positive change.
Ok, quick week update: I did backwards summersaults off my parents front steps and hit each concrete step with a different part of my body. I think I sprained both ankles, and my knee. I ripped open my knee, and the hand where I got the stitches before Thanksgiving. I may have further hurt my back/side/ribs where the shingles nerve is, and it gets really hard and cramps up. Could be the meds. Could be the shingles. Sucks big time. I took Uzi and Columbo to my friend an hour and a half away, and she has them for a week (Columbo), Uzi maybe a little longer. I brought back Karma, who is pregnant, and Vera, her yearling pup. I am setting up a double kennel for Cujo2 and Hepsi in the back yard, by rearranging some kennel panels and adding some igloos, putting down wood chips, and getting more straw, have to rake the whole thing out first. Took Tuesday and Wednesday off to work on this project. And I ordered some personalized aluminum plaques for each of them, so that I can put it on which kennel they are occupying. They have their name, and the month and year of their birth below it. The idea is that if I croak, whoever takes my dogs can then match up the paperwork to the individual dog. Since Cujo is a boy, and Hepsi is a girl, there will be no question of who is who. Bear is almost 11 and Tinny is almost 3, so they can figure out between them who is who. It will make it easier. And I can use zip ties, and move them whenever I move the dogs to different kennels. I am excited about getting them. And, the Browns won a playoff game against the Steelers — that is huge!
Thanks for reading.