So I have recently been doing what I always do when I do not understand something- I abandon almost everything else to the point of starving myself in extreme cases and read and read and read and google and chat and join groups until my fingers break off and my sleep is thoroughly disrupted again. At least I’m getting better with eating by now. So here is what I learned:
Most of the advice, groups, blogs, forums and whatnot I have found and scouted are geared towards Adult Children of Narcissists (ACONs). The narcissists prime way of abusing people is to get narcissistic supply, hence the advice is all about emancipating yourself from their destructive messages and thinking it’s your task to either supply them or get them to see reason. Fair enough.
The thing is I now understand my parent prime abuse technique has not been to manipulate me into doing their bidding but to ignore me. My emotions were all by and large met with the same reaction: none at all by father and from mother either none as well or finding the worst possible motivation I could have for behaving and feeling the way I did.
A textbook example of the ignorance is my mothers advice for me having been lovesick at age 14 having broken up with someone the first time. She told me to eat the apples she bought before they go stale. It wasn’t even about apples being good for me either during time of distress or as a growing person, it was about what she wanted to happen to the apples. Completely disconnected to my situation. She would have told anyone including the canary bird to eat the apples. My father was just never available period so I can not even give an example of him ignoring me because I didn’t exist enough to even be ignored.
For finding malicious intent I also have a nice story of my IQ test. This started with my father being in therapy for ADHS. There he complained about me and the therapist said that might be because I’m academically gifted (and I assume not having my cognitive needs met but no one ever mentioned that in my presence). So my parent shipped me off to take an IQ test, I sheepishly did what I was asked to do. All the while picking the word gifted apart in my thoughts and attempting to find a way to reconcile the notions associated with it with the notions associated with me. I found no overlap.
Eventually the test result came back and of course my mother opened the letter addressed to me before I even knew I had mail. It confirmed my fathers therapists suspicion, all puzzlement aside I was indeed gifted. Which of course was a reason to celebr… meant I was gifted just to spite my mother. It meant I was arrogant and questioned her authority and only chose to be gifted to make her look bad. That’s the state of mind my mother developed within minutes upon reading her child was certified a bright kid. And that’s how she was mad at me in a rather violent way before I read the letter myself. So nice to at least know what you are accused of.
I basically spent about 20 years being ignored and attempting not to have any emotions at all, especially not extreme ones. And preferably not do anything at all because doing stuff could mean mother would find a reason however farfetched to be mad and find fault. So what did going low contact mean? It meant I asked for being ignored even more and at first I still didn’t do much at all because the idea that mother will find out later is nothing you shake within a few months or years. She will get mad once she finds out. Going low contact did nothing to call into question the malicious brainwashery I had been subjected too. I still treated myself as if I didn’t exist and I continued my parents job of neglecting myself and accusing myself for everything I did and being extremely fearful of mistakes.
So here I am. I now know that in order to break the cycle I will need to learn how to exist. How to actually see myself and how to not neglect myself. I have no idea how to do that yet because much of my neglect comes from a lack of energy but I will try. I already eat more, watch my hygiene a little more, manage to even clean and organise my room to the point of making it habitable for someone with low expectation. Medication helps. Having people around me who understand how hard this is helps as well. But I still feel very very disconnected, very robotic and haunted by the fear mother will find out something anything I did wrong. I do not know yet how to shake that fear. I know I’m trying with this blog because as I write and promote it I hear many abusive voices in my head, how it’s all self involved, how no one will be able to understand what I am talking about, how no one is interested anyway, how my spelling is lacklustre and how my writing in general lacks clarity. The funny thing is my demons are much more effective at abusing me than mother ever was. But I’m still putting things out there and I let other people be the judge of what I write. Maybe it will help me showing the demons the door at one point.