Finding The Missing Pieces

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    A college student's journey to put herself back together
    More pieces April 25th, 2016

    Let’s say that I should be asleep, logically, but was woken up in the middle of the night by more bits and pieces of memory:

    New memories that I recovered:

    -Needing Mom to keep me company after I started worrying that Woundwort from Watership Down was going to come and get me (even listening to my Enya music — I used that at the time as one of many methods of sleeping — did not help). I know that it sounds silly (I’m…not quite sure how old I was. Middle school-ish? Fuck, even saying it aloud is embarrassing) but I do remember that I was just really freaked out by Woundwort from what I saw in a music video for the cartoon. Don’t really know whether I slept on the floor of her room or not, actually. Speaking of which…

    -Mom might have actually been pretty good about the boundaries in regards to the Freddy incident, the incident with C, and the incident with the Reavers. She let me at least sleep on the floor. And she didn’t really seem to approve much of it — she did acknowledge that I should be able to sleep by myself. I think my dad did similar stuff when my brother and I slept in his room while Mom was out on business trips. He let us sleep on this mattress in the back room, similar to when I was at some of my relatives’ (unofficial aunt, uncle and cousins; let’s say that my mom has a bad relationship with her brothers and is in VLC mode at minimum, and my dad has a brother but I only saw him occasionally, although that said, Dad’s brother was a very nice guy) house and I’d be reading my Deltora Quest books (which I also read on the way to dance class and such), just engrossed, horrified and enthralled with the adventures of Lief, Jasmine and Barda. In one of those instances in Dad’s room, I’d read a book of unsolved murder cases that happened to be lying around my Summer S (yeah, real kid-friendly, right? /sarcasm) and not be able to sleep very well because I was afraid of someone breaking into our house or something. That book of unsolved murder cases was, incidentally, how I learned about the Zodiac Killer, so…yeah, I learned about the Zodiac Killer when I was little.

    Like I said, real kid-friendly. /sarcasm

    -Another piece of the tampon incident: Mom might have been a bit frustrated that I couldn’t put it in myself. Not in terms of trying to punish me (unless my mind was trying to shield me from something, she wasn’t trying to hurt me. I actually am not certain of how much of the helping she did. Hopefully that will become clearer as I work on the damage). In terms of the first one I remember (because there’s one with a teacher that is like a black hole in my memory), my mom might have been saying something, but it’s like the audio in there is muffled and unintelligible, same with the cleaning memory. I also remember that with the cleaning memory — it was like I actually chose to forget it. Shove it away, act like nothing happened. Like nothing was wrong. But it still kind of kept lurking in the back of my head, very subtly.

    -Better times, like watching movies on the old boat we had (that got sold recently). Going swimming. Drawing in shaving cream at that old pre-K that I went to. Playing in the sink with sponges — at least I have a fuzzy image of it.


    I guess the weird thing of it is that there were definitely some wonderful, beautiful times woven in with things that are…well, questionable. And that I’m still putting together. My mom, who’s a suspect at most, doesn’t really fit the pattern, so to speak, of the sexually abusive mothers I’ve read about. And my dad, also a suspect, doesn’t really fit the pattern either, I don’t think. But my mom especially — the thing that kind of gets things fucked up a little is that she isn’t narcissistic, sadistic, anything like that. She was in my corner when I needed her, very encouraging of my talents as a writer, things like that. I honestly don’t want to have turned out to have been sexually abused. It’s too horrible to wrap my mind around. It’s too big. And I guess there are times when I’m wondering if I should feel guilty for being uncertain. It reminds me of one line that Mina says in the Francis Ford Coppola adaptation of Dracula that I watched for a college course: “Perhaps though I try to be good, I am bad.” I know that I do feel like it sometimes. No, even before that, I felt like it. Usually thanks to not being good at following directions, doing something unintentionally hurtful when I was a kid, not agreeing with something, losing my temper, things of that nature. Maybe I can just work on some of the flaws I do know I have to be accountable for, and try and do some deprogrammjng on the “I’m bad” thing. It’s the best I can do.

    Here There Be Layers April 23rd, 2016

    So, my psychiatrist, who still thinks my problems are OCD related (riiiiiight. /sarcasm), decided to up my medication. Still a little pissed at this. I mean, maybe she was trying to help me, keep me happy, etc., but the truth is, I’ve been trying to keep myself as happy as I can. Doing shit that nourishes me. I just happen to (understandably) not be comfortable around my family members at the moment. Unfortunately, that seems to translate into them thinking I’m a crazy person.

    (Besides the obvious I’ve-got-no-job thing, I don’t think I’m emotionally ready to go VLC/NC. I’m going to have to practice. Build up my skills, stuff like that. I have certain disabilities re: independence skills, so that does not help)

    So…I found new layers as well. They’re small layers, but they are layers nonetheless. I’m thinking of them more like fine-tuning — the whole thing with the Critic I was talking about earlier? Well, it reminded me of something from my childhood — not necessarily traumatic, but just an annoying thing: it was my mom telling me that I needed to keep my skirt down because people could see my underpants. (I used to wear dresses when I was a little girl, absolutely loved them. It’s safe to say I was kind of a girly girl — loved the Disney Princesses, stuff like that. Just general “little girl” things. It was as I got older I got more inclined to start wearing pants, which…honestly, I like. I remember liking to wear jeans because they thought they made me look “grown up”, and liking to wear long yoga pants when I was nineteen because they made me look grown-up. When I was nineteen, I actually went through a period of hating shorts and T-shirts in the summer because I thought they made me look like a little kid. * I wear yoga pants most of the time because they’re comfortable and I like being comfortable, and yet I do actually remember that there was a girl in my Film and Lit class that wore this dress and I actually kind of envied her. I wished I could be as glamorous as she was. I’m not exactly pretty, and even my mom’s attempts to boost me up…I can’t tell if they are the attempts of a loving mother or inappropriate at minimum. Christ, I don’t think the books I read when I was younger even covered this shit)

    But yeah, let’s say that that moment caused a bit of Squick in me when I first saw it. Which probably makes me some sort of sick bastard. *Sighs*

    I also remember that it was after accidentally seeing my dad naked in the shower, full-frontal male nudity kind of started bothering me a little bit. Which…honestly, is a pretty disproportionate reaction to accidentally seeing my dad in the shower. I just don’t know if I was sick somehow (then again, there’s no way I could have seen anything sexual in this at eight or nine) or if there’s some sort of buried trauma in there. Or if, for all intents and purposes I’m overanalyzing — I’m just finding my responses kind of odd because I don’t think I got the same reaction with female genitals and female nudity. I guess that’s where things get confusing because…well, I don’t know if I ever had a sort of anger/hatred towards breasts (faithallen, of Blooming Lotus, did a bit of an inventory of Aftereffects of Abuse By A Female Perpetrator and that was one of the symptoms) or anything like that.)

    I guess I better go into the symptoms (and I’m going to have a link back as credit:

    Alter parts (or imaginary friends) who are/were male:

    I don’t have alters, but I do remember when I was fifteen or sixteen, I had Freddy Krueger as an imaginary friend. That might have grown out of a bit of a writing exercise I did for a fan-made script I had to the 2010 Elm Street remake (which has its moments, my script, but it’s generally kind of crappy). As a kid, however, I did have a female imaginary friend, named Isabelle, so…I guess that in and of itself doesn’t mean much.

    Aversion to oral sex:

    Yeah, but mostly of the fellatio variety. (It’s kind of weird that this is pushing me towards a possible male perpetrator?)

    Extreme discomfort discussing periods, bras, and other coming of age issues with your mother:

    As a kid, no. Ever since I got that flash back, yeah, things have been very, very uncomfortable.


    Gender confusion in childhood and/or adulthood:

    I went through a brief period of it, but mostly it was

    caused by something else. Basically, it was someone

    back in the TGWTG fandom — people were freaking

    out at the Nostalgia Critic for ragging on TMZ and

    someone else said that basically, TMZ is a feminine

    thing and watching reviews is a masculine thing,

    never mind that I just don’t like this sort of crap.

    It’s a freakshow; I remember the extensive coverage

    of stuff like Britney Spears’ mental breakdown and

    I don’t want anything to do with that coverage. She

    was clearly suffering from severe psychological

    issues and yeah, maybe I am a bit of a Chris Crocker

    here, but I just don’t like how the media turns

    celebrities with clear mental illnesses into some sort

    of point-and-laugh show. I mean, they’re people; they

    aren’t animals in a zoo, for fuck’s sake. And even

    putting that aside, I don’t want to hear about

    everything a celebrity did. Life is too short.


    But yeah, I do remember after that, those words did

    a lot of damage. You hear enough of what women are

    “supposed” to think, feel, like, dislike, etc. and you

    start wondering if there was some sort of glitch in

    your system. Or if you had Internalized Misogyny (TM).

    Either way, it sucks. And it seems to be a running theme with me and other stuff “aimed at girls” — I didn’t agree with the idea someone else put out that drawing curvy women was objectification, I didn’t agree with certain interpretations of things…I guess it was stuff like that that made me wonder if I was doing something “wrong” as a girl and a woman. Even though…I am who I am, aren’t I?
    Inability to be responsible for yourself (abusive mother encouraged deep dependence):

    Actually, the irony is that she’s been encouraging me

    to be more independent, things like that. It’s my dad

    who’s been doing the majority of treating me like I’m

    some helpless child.


    Insomnia when mother is in the same house:

    Honestly, I think I’ve just always had sleeping problems. I don’t know how much of them are tied to my mother being in the same house as me. I do know that when we went on a trip to London together for my twentieth birthday and had to share a room, I slept okay. Maybe it was me needing a change of environment.


    Nightmares about mother hurting you (not necessarily sexually):

    I had one. It involved me using stuffed animals to

    fight her off. And me telling her to stay away from

    my kids.


    So yeah, I’ve got a lot of damage to deal with. Not even from what I came here for in the first place, but other stuff.

    Damage to heal:

    -Setting boundaries with my father

    -Figuring out this whole sexuality puzzle

    -Gaining more confidence in myself as a woman

    -Sleeping problems

    -Issues with self-care

    -Emotional abreactions re: male equipment


    I don’t know what happened, but hopefully, I can at least heal the damage. And who knows? Maybe the stronger I get, the more I’ll actually get some clarity on. But most of all, I’ll get past the aftereffects. And that…that might do.

    Yeah. That might do.









    *Of course, considering how I freaked out on my nineteenth birthday because I thought I was “getting old” (nineteen is hardly old in the slightest, honestly)…yeah, what exactly did you want, nineteen year old me? Honest to God.