Bending or Breaking?

Sometimes it’s better to bend instead of breaking. It’s what trees do in a storm, for example. Now I make it sound as if I was a tree when I feel about myself more along the lines of a twig – limber alright, but much less durable than a tree, of course.

And Friday afternoon I broke down. In fact, I broke down so hard, I couldn’t stop to cry for a while, even after having gotten into the car and heading for my place here. The tears were tears of loss and the degree of the pain was that which you feel when someone actually dies. Who had died? I have. Or rather: The person I once should have been when I was younger. That person – got suffocated, beaten, derided, ridiculed, humiliated, punished, used – so many times, until that person had disappeared. It left an empty shell of a functional being, devoid of a heart, a soul or any human feeling. A zombie who survives on nothing but willpower and not knowing, what else to do other than ending his life at his own hand or – pressing on. But what’s the point of pressing on? Does it lead to anything worthwhile? Can there be healing? To what extent? Will life ever offer me what it could have and would have offered, if the true me hadn’t gotten smothered when I was too little to even exactly know what was going on? Other than feeling that things didn’t go as they seemed to go in other families.

I entertained dreams of getting adopted by my friend’s family. I think, I actually asked him once when we were younger. I don’t remember what came of that, whether or not he actually went ahead and asked. I don’t think he did or else I would certainly remember something as significant as this. It’s actually funny an idea to ponder: “Mom, Dad – I’m moving out. H’s family are taking me in. So – thank you for everything and farewell.” LOL. I don’t think I’d have had the balls to say something as outrageous as this. I would have probably needed support. An ally, someone being in my corner for once. All the way in my corner. Just there for me and noone else – if for nothing else, then for this moment.

I got threatened with the outlook of getting sent to boarding school. And every time I heard that threat, I thought to myself “can’t be much worse than here, bring it on.” But that never happened, either, of course. So I was stuck at where I was: Monitored and used by someone to live vicariously through me. Zombie, see? Robbed of my own soul so someone else might have enough room to make themselves at home there. I was an obedient, functioning shell taking and carrying out orders. Except for Christmas. Christmases were o.k. I would usually get most of the things I asked for. Then on Christmas Day, I couldn’t wait for the morning to come, so I could go to the living room, where the presents were still placed under the Christmas tree. Christmases were good. That joy usually lasted until around noon, when we had to get ready to get dressed for close relatives showing up for Christmas Day lunch. My mother was a stressed out mess, always dancing on the edge of a psychotic fit despite my Dad helping in any way possible. Christmas Day after 10.00 am was a boot camp.

Anyway, I’m digressing, as usual. ‘Escapism’ is the next thought and word that comes to my mind. And avoiding. Mostly avoiding confrontation with them, like these past two weeks. I was submissive. Relented to their little routines, where every little detail matters and good intentions buy you nothing. It is not about doing something in the first place, it is about doing it their way. I mean, don’t get me wrong: I can behave when staying elsewhere. I guess any half cultivated person likes some kind of order and tidiness. A little mindfulness should get you by: You look around, you see what things are arranged in what way and once you’re done using them, you put them back in that way. Simple right? No, not there. Example: I borrowed the bike (and I’m grateful that I got to as it gave me a perfect excuse to be out and about, which I did every day after checking my emails, reading and writing this blog etc.). I come back after dark and put it in the den. Close the door, take the key and put them on the keyboard. The next day, I’m informed that at night, the preferred place for this key is up here in the family’s kitchen. No, it’s not enough to be as mindful as thinking about locking that thing, taking the key and put it back where I thought it belongs. Am I being too dramatic here? Is it me making too much of this? And why is there even any debate about something so ridiculously insignificant, it’s actually embarrassing to have to mention it? Fucking hell, the world is falling apart and we’re fucking concerned with the exact location of a particular key in a locked house and to a room that has basically trash and second hand items in it? You think, anyone would bother to break in there? To do what? Take out someone else’s trash? Give me a fucking break!

Speaking of mindfulness: I must have observed this in other people, I certainly didn’t learn this at home. If I had picked up what I saw and listened to, I’d be the last verbally abusive MF you’d ever want to meet. Unfortunately, there were a few times, when that demon had control of me. Very bad and I am deeply sorry for each single time that particular demon got the better of me. B.t.w. me? Who actually am I? Where am I? Where do I stand? Or do I stand at all?

So I had a breakdown Friday afternoon when leaving. They were gone for two days, during which I had the family’s floor and the floor next to my small room in the den to myself (b.t.w.: Isn’t interesting that it rained all day and cooled down to fall-like temperatures? I had meant to give this stay a grand finale by going to ride the nearby wakepark, which was a sensational discovery!). For the gazillionth time, I had meant to take the opportunity of this stay and get through to them. Establish a real connection, a real basis of communication and a new understanding of each other from that. Whenever I think “That’s it! I’ve made myself heard!”, I can be sure that this moment doesn’t last for too long. It never lasts long enough to bring about a real change of perspective in them, let alone a questioning process. Questioning things and myself – where do I have that from? Clearly I didn’t see that at “home”. There was no self-monitoring or questioning. I don’t think, I’ve heard one of them ever say “I’m sorry” – not to each other, not to other people and God knows not to any of us. In other words: We’re dealing with perfect people here, mind you.

Friday I closed the book on hoping for a real change in that relationship that never lived up to the very word. I also closed the book on hoping that this earlier version of me, who was in dire need of genuine attention – not to confuse with monitoring -, of real communication, of getting direction with the things I was unable to make sense of, of feeling them in my corner when the world out there lashed out against me, that this young version of me would be seen, get validated and embraced by them. I sort of buried that version of me. Paradoxically though, they say they love me and a part of me wants to believe it. I can sense it. Only – their understanding of me and mine are not the same. Urrggghhh. So fucking what. I’m gonna move on and finally, finally drop this fucked up thing that will never get resolved or made any better. That hole in my soul can’t be mended. It’s there and it will be there until I die, I’m afraid.

“And nothing had the chance to be good
Nothing ever could” (Simply Red, Holding back the years)

P.S. This here resonates and confirms this, too: I seem to have felt the impact of their actions on that particular afternoon.


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