Starting in the Middle

I'm the child of emotionally abusive parents.
They were the children of emotionally abusive parents.






I was brought up to be the Void Child.
A hollow shell. To live in servitude and obedience.
What I was, thought and did, I was taught was theirs to define.



THEY WERE WRONG




This blog is about my journey back from being judged as so wholly inadequate by those people who are supposed to love me most.
Its been a roller coaster so far -
and I'm still traveling.



A year ago I was a pretty average middle aged housewife. Still am in most ways.
2 kids
3 cats
1 husband
Really very average - I could have written etc. etc. after that and you could have guessed at the rest and not been all that wrong.  But like most people who are so average there was a huge engine of effort going into maintaining that image. Some days I swear you could see steam coming out of my ears from the sheer self restraint required not to be me.

Someone once thought they were insulting me by sneering and suggesting "You think your so special." and all I could think was "Shit - I'm getting it wrong - again." because all I wanted to achieve was normal. That smooth effortless state that others seemed to achieve so easily completely evaded me, or so I thought. 
If you have been criticized throughout you whole childhood, for everything you said and did, if every personal part of you you exposed was criticized for its wrongness and inadequacy, then you learn to hide. You hide behind second guessing everything you say and do and present a huge and ridiculous amount of people pleasing, so no-one will spot the monster you think you should be hiding inside.

Then...one day, one straw too many - one insult just too ridiculous to bear and suddenly my perspective changed. It turned out the monster I had been hiding all this time clearly belonged to someone else. Its not mine - it never was - and my whole world tilts and falls away...

And here I am all raw and confused and trying to work out what’s happened.
How did I end up here? How do I make myself better? How do I deal with all this...and who the hell am I if I'm not the person who spends their life hiding someone else's' monster?

I was terrified and reached out to every resource I could find, scoured the internet, read extensively and found -like I suppose most people do - that I don't quite fit into any of the standard scenarios other people have described.

Why? well like everybody else - I'm an individual - more precisly for me I'm both a visual thinker and a rather extreme INTJ personality type so I don't relate to some of the more standard texts on the topics and themes about relationships and reasoning that came up. However what it does mean is that some of my understanding of the things that have happened - and helped me - are different than anything I could find. 

I'm not any kind of expert in this, I'm never going to pretend to be. I don't think this kind of thing is really shared experience, it is something we perforce, go through on our own.

I didn’t even start out with a plan of how I was going to write this blog, this post or even this sentence. That would have implied I knew where I was going and how I was going to get there? I don’t, I have never known where this would lead.

If you read about any of this journey you will know that I am writing this because I have been so bewildered by my journey.  It unfolds in the most unexpected ways. I looked so hard for someone else’s version of this so I could see what might be coming and found nothing and although I expect, for all those of us who travel this path, it will be a very individual journey, I have never been through something that I had so much difficulty finding reference for, or someone to share it with. So I am writing it down, that way if you travel this path after me there will at least be a few wayside markers. And if you want to contribute, feel free, maybe we can help each other.

Normally I would share my thoughts by talking, or by visual acts of creation, I paint and draw and sculpt and am at my core, and in my work, a designer. Someone who looks thoughtfully at the world and the way we interact with it and plays with that interface, looks at ways to change the things we think we know and to challenge assumptions about how and what and why we do things. I have not been able to do that with this experience, I don’t know why. Maybe at the end of it I will.

I have not felt able to share with friends or family some of the dark meanders I have traveled on this past year, its not a place that I want them to share with me. So I have turned here, to the anonymous face of the internet, to whisper into a shell of seeming nothingness and hear back my own echoes.

It is I suppose the modern equivalent of putting a message in a bottle. Yet this is, "The Improved Bottle", guided by technology, it can be found only by the beachcomber who knows what they are looking for.

Have I said I'm happy to meet you?
and I'm sad you're here.