This is a very long post, so you are warned!! I recommend taking a bathroom break or getting a snack…
As I’ve been mentioning in my entries, I have struggled with severe depression, as well as a host of other mental issues, for most of my life. My adopted mom was very emotionally, mentally, and verbally abusive. Now, a lot of people pish-posh at this and say people have gotten too soft, too sensitive, that what parents do isn’t abuse, but normal life and discipline. Where has our empathy gone? ANYWAY… here we go!
I was kept in the house, in my bedroom until I was almost 24 years old. I rarely got to leave the house. I had no friends, I could barely go outside. I was home-schooled, which isn’t a bad thing, but Mom gave up on it when I was 13, so I had to push my own self through it with the Powers of the Internet (I finally went and got my GED when I was 22, by the way). I couldn’t choose what I wore, what I ate, or what I did. I was forbidden from learning to drive. My biomom was rarely allowed to remove me from the house for outings, and if they were, it meant Mom was in an extremely good mood.
Her mood would swing dramatically at any given moment, and I would be pumped full of her deafening screams of rage, guilt-tripping, shaming, belittling, threatening, mocking, and insulting. She made up her own conclusions that she firmly stood by, no matter how untrue they were. If I tried to break into one of her rages to defend myself, she would threaten to hit me, so I would cower back pretty fast. Fortunately, I was only ever struck once, at nine years old. I feared her so greatly, I didn’t even dare share an opinion that was different than hers. She held deep grudges for years and never let anyone forget any single transgression.
Of course, there are MUCH worse things that could have happened to me. Mom wasn’t inherently a horrible person, but she had horrible issues and had some pretty terrible things happen to her in her early life. In the early 1990s, she was told by a psychiatrist that she had a warped sense of reality. She denied this and became very angry!
I was always told that my biomom and my siblings didn’t want me, that they hated me, that they were horrible people who were all going to hell, that my biomom was a bad mother, and Mom did her very best to keep them all apart from me. I suppose, in her strange way of thinking, maybe she felt threatened by their physical closeness to me and was worried I would abandon her for my biological mother, who was her own daughter. It created a huge rift.
The Internet was my only window to the outside world most of the time. I made friends there and met my husband there. Any best friends I made that were concerned for my situation and tried to get me out of it were immediately shut down by Mom. She would attack them and ban them from speaking to me.
When I was 19, my biomom began taking me to a local church every week, which I looked forward to so much because I got to leave the house!!! There I fell for the pastor’s son, and we began a turbid relationship full of sexual and verbal abuse, threats of physical violence, and once me getting beaten with a baseball bat. I was so desperate for a way out of the house that I put up with it. Then he cheated on me and banished me, so there I was, stuck in the house again with no way out, with Mom telling me nobody would ever love me because I was immature, needy, and couldn’t even wash dishes correctly.
Later that year I began a long-distance relationship with my friend Trevor, who I had met online two years earlier, in 2002.
My totem Caribou had been urging me north for eleven years, and he silenced when I finally listened to him, got up my nerve and realized I was my own person, damn it, and I was going to live in Canada with Trevor. I had to take some kind of step to begin my life!
Even then, Mom’s hold didn’t let up! I always had to be available for phone calls and Skype chats whenever she demanded, or she would tell me I didn’t care about her, that I was a horrible daughter, and that she never wanted to speak to me again. Whenever I was out with Trevor or with friends, that was always on the back of my mind. She was always trying to convince me to leave Trevor and return home, where I supposedly belonged.
So I grew up into a codependent adult with learned helplessness and a myriad of psychological issues that have proven very difficult to overcome. I have been on medication and am now seeking psychiatric help. The last six years since I came to Canada have been a long and winding road, and even though I’ve made massive leaps and bounds from the person I once was, I still have a long way to go before I can feel like a normal, functioning adult.
Mom passed away in 2012, and when she did, it was like a tight binding cord suddenly snapped. I was absolutely, completely free. And yet, it’s been hard. Because of how tightly she had me bound to her, it was as though I couldn’t live without her being alive as well. I fell down the rabbit hole of terrible depression from which I’m only now crawling out of.
I crawled to my biomom and siblings, and they forgave and accepted me with open arms. We are now working on healing together and catching up on our lost years, especially the years that my biomom lost with me. I intend upon visiting them for a few weeks this fall. Virginia holds some pretty bad memories for me and makes me cringe to think of going back, but at least I know it will be much different. It’s part of the healing process.
Contrary to popular belief, healing is hard. And it hurts. It’s not light and fluffy. It’s a big fat pile of lead that crushes your heart and mind while you’re learning to deal with it in your own ways or with professional help. It’s like this no matter what kind of healing you’re going through.
But day by day, steeping in calming breaths and meditation and Nature, it begins to get easier for me. I deemed 2014 my year of healing, and I move steadily uphill with Caribou, the wind, my support network, and prayers to the Universe at my back.
Love and light,