Emotional Rollercoaster

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I know I’ve been MIA a bit…with my stepdaughter moving back in after her break up with her boyfriend and subsequent stay in the psych hospital, my life has been turned upside down again. I know this is the time I need to write the most, but I just haven’t even been able to pull myself together enough to do that. This is why I’m just trying to even drop this little note to get back in to it, even if only the first step. At least it serves as a reminder of what I need to do to keep sane through a time I can already feel myself sliding down a slippery slope, very quickly. As things start to settle in, I will make it a priority again to get back to writing here. It is essential for my well being. I haven’t even been able to express myself through my music, because the school year came to a culmination and I hadn’t even been able to get myself together enough to email everyone about scheduling, especially since I teach a decent amount out of my house, and my house has been a holy wreck for a month now due to my crazy end of the year recital stuff and my step daughter moving back in, which entails a whole ton of moving things around within our house to get a room ready for her again and moving a lot in to a storage unit. One big ball of chaos and in flux again. I just don’t know how much more of this life (style) I can handle. I’m tired of my life being shaken up by everyone else. It might be time for me to do some shaking of my own…

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Juxtapose my love

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You are correct. I don’t know what it’s like for MY child to want to snuff herself out. Even though I treat of and think of my stepdaughter that I raised beginning at age 11 full time as my own, it is different than it being my own child. But you presume that it means that my pain is less than yours.

I know I always speak of my adoptive parents saying how they thought of me as their own but that I always felt the difference and that I always knew deep down that I was second best to them. They wanted their own biological child first, when they couldn’t have that child, they sought out the “backup plan” which was adoption…ME. And when I didn’t live up to their expectations, they were quick to point out how my genetics were to blame. My adoptive parents are Narcissists. They never wanted what was best for me. They wanted what was best for themselves. They wanted a child for themselves, so that THEY could feel loved, so that THEY could fill the hole they felt.

The difference is, that where my adoptive parents told me the chosen child story, the reality of it was that I was the backup plan. But I really did chose my life with my stepchildren. I fell in love with the thought of a life with them. And that was never something I would have seen for myself at 23. And despite everything I went through in raising them, being extremely young, fighting a battle against a mother who made me out to be a monster, fighting my own demons, and feeling like my stepchildren despised me, I stood by my stepchildren and you through it all.

And even when things got so hard that my stepdaughter and I parted ways, even when I was so hurt that I couldn’t even look at her when she was in the room, we began to work through it a couple of years later. And now, we are in such a good place and we understand each other and are extremely close, a place I never imagined 10 years ago that we would ever be.

Despite how much hurt I endured, how much I put in to my relationship with my step kids, to feel rejection time and time again for so long, my biggest fear because of my birth story, I still opened myself up to it again and took a chance again with both of them.

So although it is different for me than it is for you when you juxtapose how you feel about your daughter wanting to snuff herself out with how I feel about my stepdaughter wanting to snuff herself out, please don’t presume that you know how I feel. Because you don’t. It might be different, but that doesn’t mean that my pain is any less than yours. I do have a biological child, so I can compare and put myself in the headspace of what it might feel like if it was my biological daughter. You have never been a stepparent, you have never been an Adoptee, you have never experienced what I have experienced and still continued to care and come back because you can’t stop loving those children. My adoptive parents never modeled unconditional love for me, and yet somehow I found out what that was through being a stepparent, because despite my many mistakes through their teenage years, I did always try and have tried to better myself and have worked on things so that I can be a better stepmom for them, something my adoptive parents never afforded me. So, my pain should not be looked down upon or invalidated simply because she’s my stepdaughter. You have no clue what my experience has been, so please, stop comparing our pain just to show how much worse your life is than mine right now.

https://dailypost.wordpress.com/prompts/juxtapose/

Guilt, Fear and Shame

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There are two emotions that I feel very predominantly in my life: Guilt and Fear. I have felt them for as long as I can remember. Many people throughout my life have instilled those two emotions in me and then perpetuated their continuation. Due to my comfort zone of “sameness”, I have allowed it to continue. I have come to the realization that so much of my guilt and fear (aside from the fear that is actual survival type Darwinian fear), stems from many of the characters throughout my life holding alot of shame about their own actions or about their own identities. Because they were so ashamed of themselves and feared others opinions, they instilled fear and guilt in me in an attempt to silence me. But it is out of their own shame. And so, doing something like what I am doing here, writing for myself, to get things out of my head, to vent, to complete strangers, under an alias, secretively, still causes me stress, guilt and fear. I fear that someone I am writing about will find this and be angry with me for expressing things I am “not allowed” to express otherwise. I feel guilty for not being able to say some of these things directly to these people because our communication is so far gone, and I am partially to blame for that as well, but I am broken. But I am trying. I try every day, all day, to fix myself. That is what I am trying to do here. But it wouldn’t be viewed as that. It would be viewed as me talking about them “behind their backs”. But I do honestly live by the fact that I wouldn’t say anything about someone behind their backs that I wouldn’t be willing to admit that I said about them to their face if confronted. And if I had a better communication line with these people, I would be able to work through these things with them. But somewhere along the line, fear was created in me and caused me to withdraw in to myself which prohibits me from having the ability to confront the things I am feeling directly with them. Or sometimes there are things that they are just not able to grasp because we are in different places of development as souls on this journey in life. I, personally, don’t think that I am doing anything wrong here by writing and expressing how I feel. And if any of the people I write about were doing the same about me, if they said things that I were hurt by, I would have a different reaction then they would. I wouldn’t be mad at them. I would be hurt. I would be hurt that they felt they couldn’t talk to me about how they were feeling. Especially if it was a flaw about me that I needed to work on. If they were being catty, then it just says something about them, and then that is their problem and then yes, I would be mad at them if they were calling me names. That’s a little different. But if they were just writing about their honest feelings and I came across it, I would just be hurt. But I am pretty confident that those I write about would be mad at me and take it out on me in some way thinking I shouldn’t be doing what I’m doing. And on the one hand, yes I should have the courage to speak to them about it rather than “talking to strangers” about it, the reason I don’t is again fear. Because I have been met with so much anger in the past whenever I do try to bring up things that need to be worked out, that I don’t feel that much gets accomplished, or I don’t feel heard, or I feel invalidated, or I feel we go around in circles, or some other emotion is evoked that scares me or is pointless. But living with the constant thoughts that swirl in my head without being able to express them has truly been killing me for the past several years, and I need some outlet it has been a big contributor to my depression, and I need something, and this is one of my something’s. So I guess I will continue to live with the guilt and fear of being found out because it still beats the depression of living with the pent up thoughts and inner arguments and tail chasing. Because I do know that I am not wrong for doing this. I will deal with the consequences should I ever be found out for doing this. Sometimes fate inserts itself for a reason.

https://dailypost.wordpress.com/prompts/guilty/

Disappear

My song of the day: Disappear by Evanescence…….This song is very personal for me for how I feel about someone in my life that struggles with addiction and my own demons with people and addiction (since it was addiction to prescription drugs that was the catalyst for my adoptive mom to become a background presence in my life but then to turn things around on me and become jealous and angry with me when I became closer to my adoptive NPD father). So continuing to hang around in the hopes that I will finally become more important than the addiction hurts over and over, every single day and I don’t know how long to hold on and keep hoping and believing I will win in the end and finally be number one in someone’s life for once.

https://dailypost.wordpress.com/prompts/disappear/

Surviving Narcissism

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It’s as if they aimed today’s word prompt right at me. Narcissism is something I am all too familiar with. I always knew my home life wasn’t quite right growing up. But it wasn’t until 3 years ago when my adoptive dad created a huge situation over my daughter’s communion, that resonated back to situations over my wedding that was 12 years prior to that, when I finally realized that he truly had Narcissistic Personality Disorder and exactly what that entailed. Prior to that, I was still blaming myself, questioning myself, second guessing myself, still wanting to think the best about my adoptive parents. But it was during that time frame that the veil came down and I could see everything so clearly for the first time. Everything that was dysfunctional about my perspectives were because of what THEY had done to me, not because of me being inherently a messed up person like they always led me to believe.

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I have been working very hard for the past 3 years to find myself and learn to shed the voice of my Narcissist that always rules my head. I had struggled for a long time to figure out quite what my adoptive mother is. She herself doesn’t have Narcissistic Personality Disorder as she is not vain in the way my father is, she does not have a grandiose sense of self, she does not manipulate the whole world in the same way my father does. But I realized within these past 3 years many truths about her as well. I figured out that she will always defend my father over me, she will always believe my father over me, even when he has done so many horrific things to her. The only thing I really did to her was to not give her the kind of love she craved. I realized I was her pawn, she saw me as a way to get unconditional love rather than give it, since her own mother was incapable of giving it to her. And as an Adoptee, I needed extra love myself after the trauma I had gone through. And she didn’t give me the love I needed. So I didn’t have any love to give her back. I wasn’t being shown what love was by anyone.

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I lost the only mother I knew at birth and had no language to reason why I was abandoned. She was replaced by strangers first for two months (foster care) until I was adopted. As I got older, when I didn’t show my adoptive mother the love she wanted from me, she then didn’t love me the way I needed love. I came to the conclusion that after her hysterectomy when I was 7 which led in to her becoming addicted to sleeping pills and tranquilizers, followed by the death of my grandfather when I was 9, my adoptive mother essentially disappeared from my life. Prior to that, she was the one who took me to dance class, she was the one who took me to vacation Bible school, she was the one who took me to Brownies. After that, it was my dad who took me to dance class, it was my dad who became the co-leader to my junior, Cadette and Senior Girl Scout Troops and it was my dad who was on the Band Parents Board of Directors when I was in high school. And then she went on to actually complain to me and be mad at me (read: jealous) when I had a better relationship with my dad. That was because he picked up the slack when she became non-existent. And then when he decided to use me as his surrogate wife/companion through all of these activities, her jealousy caused her to hate me. She saw me as some sort of competition for her husband.

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I posted the above meme on one of my other posts, but this was how my life was as a child. A while ago I had given my mother this set for Mother’s Day that were these get to know you cards that have questions on them where she answers it, then mails it to me, I answer the same question and mail it back and she keeps them all together. She did them for a while, until one of them where the question asked: “What was the best gift you ever received”….Her answer: When your dad gave me my engagement ring at Christmas (and more details about that) My answer: My daughter……..She never sent another after that. She probably knew exactly how she looked with her response and then my response.

After recently reading an article on narcissistic parents, I realized that while my mother might not have Narcissistic Personality Disorder, I think she is a Narcissistic parent. She was parented by someone with Narcissistic Personality Disorder, my grandmother was a very wicked woman-thats another couple of blog posts in an of themselves. And she was married to a Narcissist. Plus she craved the love she wasn’t getting from either of her Narcissists, so she was trying to use Narcissists parenting techniques to extract the love from me that she wanted, or to use me for the attention she wanted from her husband. So I was really parented by two Narcissistic parents.

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I realized within these past 3 years of my “Great Depression” that I am truly alone. My mother will never defend me. She will always be on his side. Even though he was in a relationship with another man while they’ve been married for maybe 15 years until the man passed away. Somehow, my father does no wrong in her eyes. She has never sided with me, but both of them expected me to side with them when they put me in the middle of all of their issues when I was a child, when they spoke badly about each other to me as if I was the pawn child between two divorced parents, yet they weren’t. The fighting was so bad between them, I wished for my.parents to get divorced, beginning from the time I was 7, and everyone told me be careful what I wished for and that was such a horrible thing to say. But they knew nothing of the war zone I grew up in. It may not have been physically abusive between them (they saved the wooden spoon and belt for me), the verbal and psychological torture was more than I could bear.

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Deconstructing every little reaction and thought process, now that I know all of my background and all of the effect it had had on me, has had a harrowing effect on the jail cell of my mind as well. As if it wasn’t hard enough to figure out that all of the people.in your world were not who you thought they were, or that you were deceived in some huge way all within a short period of time (the reasons for my depression-other people involved as well)- to learn to dissect how all of these elements of these important people in my life affect who I am and how I can change those patterns is an entirely different ballgame.

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This one came up just yesterday in a small spat between my husband and I. I was trying to clarify something he was asking me to do on the phone to be sure I was understanding him properly. He got frustrated with me not understanding him or asking too many questions which upset me. But I do that in order to avoid doing it wrong because I don’t want him getting mad at me for doing it wrong because then I feel stupid which triggers emotions that lead me right back to my dad as well as an abusive ex boyfriend I had. So much of who I am stems back to my childhood.

And then there is always the narcissism of my husband’s ex-wife that I get to deal with from time to time. And such irony that this is the topic of the day when today was one of the days I had to deal with her when I hadn’t seen her in about a year and a half. Had to see her today because of my stepsons gender reveal party for his new baby that his girlfriend is pregnant with. And she is such a narcissist that she had her daughter from another man ask my step daughters friend to give them a ride to the party (even though my stepdaughter hasn’t spoken to her in over 4 years), her friend agreed only because it was my stepdaughters sister asking her. But then this morning my husband’s ex-wife (who has never had her driver’s license), had the nerve to tell the friend who was driving them that she needed to be home an hour and a half after the party started….Beggars can’t be choosers you narcissist. My stepdaughter took everything she had in her and stood up to the mother she doesn’t speak to and told her she’d have to get an Uber or another ride home because she wasn’t going to make her best friend leave the party early just because she made other plans, the day of no less.

I am learning how to cope with my Narcissists and learning how replace their voices with my own. Most people can only do what my stepdaughter has done, which is cut them out of their lives. I guess I’m a chicken for not being able to do that. The added guilt that was programmed in to me early in life of them being my savior’s as an Adoptee might have done a number on my psyche over it as well. I just try to remain three steps ahead all the time (while everyone else thinks I over think everything and think I’m nuts for thinking every single thing is a game or has a hidden agenda), and I will keep working on healing my reactions and my thoughts as much as I can and to the best of my ability. But most people cut the narcissism out of their lives. I guess I still don’t believe I’m worthy of love since I continue to torture myself by keeping them in my life. I keep still believing somehow that they still do enough good for me or try the best they can. They still have enough people convinced to convince me that they aren’t the worst people in the world. And so, I stick around. Unable to have enough self-esteem to believe that no one else knows what I’ve endured. No one else could possibly see them the way I do because they still only see a fraction of their true side. Because my Narcissists are the actors extraordinare.

 

https://dailypost.wordpress.com/prompts/narcissism/

My Song of the Day: This songs holds such irony for me because the person who is Narcissus in my life is the reason I don’t use a Hammer and a Nail enough and that I do look behind my ears for the green too much and that my sweat smells clean more than it should. While he did make me work in one sense and I don’t have a sense of entitlement, I also wasn’t ever taught the basics of life and simple things that should be common sense around the house types of chores for a grown woman. Because he never really did much of anything for himself either, he just called someone to do it for him, and so the incompetence was passed right along…

“Hammer And A Nail”
By: The Indigo Girls

Clearing webs from the hovel
a blistered hand on the handle of a shovel
I’ve been digging too deep, I always do.
I see my face on the surface
I look a lot like narcissus
A dark abyss of an emptiness
Standing on the edge of a drowning blue.
I look behind my ears for the green
Even my sweat smells clean
Glare off the white hurts my eyes
Gotta get out of bed get a hammer and a nail
Learn how to use my hands, not just my head
I think myself into jail
Now I know a refuge never grows
From a chin in a hand in a thoughtful pose
Gotta tend the earth if you want a rose.
I had a lot of good intentions
Sit around for fifty years and then collect a pension,
Started seeing the road to hell and just where it starts.
But my life is more than a vision
The sweetest part is acting after making a decision
I started seeing the whole as a sum of its parts.
My life is part of the global life
I’d found myself becoming more immobile
When I’d think a little girl in the world can’t do anything.
A distant nation my community
A street person my responsibility
If I have a care in the world I have a gift to bring.

Down to my core

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As I emerge from “The Great Depression”, my “Dark Night of the Soul”, a huge shift is occurring. And I knew during my depression that a huge shift was happening and needed to happen. And that scared me. While I know intellectually that the only constant in life is constant change, the unknown still scares me. Breaking out of my old habits and daring to grow in to an adult skin when certain aspects have been held back purposefully by some people because they were terrified of that side of me emerging, because they know exactly what I am capable of, is a big step for me.

The core of my soul, and my moral code, what I believe in and stand for is perfectly in tact. That has been on solid ground for a very long time. I am very proud of that, especially considering my background and my story and what I have endured. My values and my virtues are unshakeable. That will never change. I am human, and I do make mistakes of course. But I am ALWAYS working to improve myself and make amends for my mistakes and I always try to admit when I falter and grow from those errors.

But my core personality is changing. And my core behavior is changing. This is causing some people to become uncomfortable. This is causing some people to project their discomfort in to an image of me changing (which is true), but immediately assuming it is for the worst. People in general don’t know how to deal with change. I just admitted that myself. But I am willing to work through that. Others automatically react to my changes because it changes their world and their balance, and they become intolerant of the new me. But the difference is that I work on myself more than most people I know. So I know that the changes I am making are in order to improve the quality of life for myself and for those that are most important to me. And if they can’t follow suit or get on board with that, then the relationship I have with them will continue to grow more and more strained. I see things at a level that people may think is crazy, but that is because they haven’t experienced what I have experienced. And I refuse to continue to question myself and how others view my cognizance when I know exactly the level of clarity that I view the world at and that while I may miss the mark occasionally, I know that my hyper-vigilance is so acute because until you have truly experienced a Narcissist at the level I have, that plays games to the degree that mine does, who can trick the world in the manner that he does, to where almost every move he makes is a highly calculated game, NO ONE has any right to tell me that I am over-thinking any move he makes or over-exaggerating the tactics he tries out. No one grew up with me, no one experienced it first hand like I did, so no one can tell me that I read too much in to things. I am beyond over hearing that. I am tired of people assuming that he isn’t quite as bad as I make him out to be, or that I need to stop thinking that even his nice acts are also all a part of his game as well. I can NEVER let my guard down. In order to let him know I have him beat, I have to always show him I am two or more steps ahead of him, even in the moments that he seems to be trying to make nice. Those are actually the MOST important times. It is so lonely having people who love you still second guessing you and not fully supporting you and thinking you are in the wrong or not always on your side after living through 40 years of insidious and covert abuse. It pierces down to the core of my soul, to know that I am truly alone in my truth.

https://dailypost.wordpress.com/prompts/core/

Growing up in a bubble

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Do you love the truth more than you need to be loved, or do you need to be loved more than you love the truth?

This question appeared as my daily meditation in one of the two daily inspirational books I read every day. In the morning I read a very short inspirational, meditational quote or question from the book “Soul to Soul Meditations:Daily Reflections for Spiritual Growth” by Gary Zukav. This is the book that this question came from this morning. The other book that I read at night has a slightly longer pondering, and that book is “The Daily Stoic:365 Meditations on Wisdom, Performance and the Art of Living” by Ryan Holiday and Stephen Hanselman. For the past 3-4 years I have started my day by reading a short quote or inspirational blurb from a different book that I choose each year. This year I decided to take on two, one for the morning and one for the night time. This is a tradition I plan to (hopefully) continue for the remainder of my life in one way or another. I have found it to really open up, particularly my third eye and crown chakras. I have become so much more aware and self aware and my wisdom and intuition have grown exponentially since I began this practice. It is a daily practice I highly recommend for anyone and everyone.

Now that I am done preaching, on to my contemplation on today’s question, which my first preaching paragraph was probably a way to digress off of the topic at hand, because this question hit me like a ton of bricks. This question, quite literally, is probably the question that most defines my entire emotional conflictual existence since birth. I was born in to a bubble of secrets and lies. I was “sheltered” from the truth of my true history and birthright. And yet, at the same time, contradictorily, my adoptive parents exposed me to truths within their own lives and marriage that I should have NEVER been exposed to as a young child. They always told me the truth as they knew it about being adopted and the facts as they knew them, but they also we’re blatently honest about how they would feel if I were to ever search for my birthmom, that they would feel betrayef, that they were my parents, that she might have moved on and never told her new family about me and that I might ruin her secrecy by showing up (manipulation by truth to guilt me in to not wanting to search). I grew up being told that my birthfather walked away from us when he found out she was pregnant (which turned out to be a lie-told by my birthmom) and I grew up being told that my birthmom couldn’t take care of me financially and wanted a ”better life” for me, which my adoptive parents thought I made out well in the deal (because they did well financially). This was the narrative of my life. But what I intrinsically felt, was abandonment. When I was in first grade and told the kids in my class that I was adopted, the kids I told expressed exactly what I was inherently feeling….”your mom didn’t want you and gave you up”. When I told my adoptive parents that they said this, they told me that I should respond from then on that, “I was chosen by my adoptive parents, your parents were stuck with you”.

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I was also told the blatent truth growing up that my adoptive parents paid $30,000 to adopt me. None of this consciously registered at the time of course, but it all went in to the slow degradation of my psyche, and the conclusion that I came to 3 years ago that my adoptive parents don’t truly love me. They are not capable of love. Especially being who they are as people. My adoptive father has Narcissistic Personality Disorder of the highest degree. He has come to view me, I am quite certain, as his worst enemy. You know the saying, “Keep your friends close and your enemies closer”? There have only been 2 people that I have EVER witnessed to have stood up to my adoptive dad and for him not to have cut out of his life (at some point in time). That is my cousin on my mom’s side and me. My Grandmother on my mom’s side as well to a degree, but he did cut her out of our lives for about 3 years. None of us were allowed to see her during that time span. Eventually he allowed her back in, but not without constant struggle and bashing her behind her back and conflict in person. They were two of a kind and clashed in the worst way. My dad has always cut people out of his life as soon as they stand up to him or dare to cross him in any way that he sees as any kind of betrayal. My cousin is one of the few people that he knows was told that he is gay and has had an affair during his marriage to my mother. And so, he believes it behooves him to keep her in his life, because he probably believes if he cuts her out, what would prevent her from spreading his secret. And so he keeps her close to him so that he can continue to gain “dirt” on her, and she has many of her own “skeletons” in her closet, so that it becomes something that he thinks he can hold over her as well. Little does he know that I don’t think it honestly would phase my cousin if he did tell the whole world about her issues. He already does anyway, because he is a gossip queen. Every other conversation I have with him he has some kind of disparaging story to tell me about her, just to make himself feel better about his own life.

And then there’s me. I truly have come to believe that he doesn’t view me as his daughter that he loves with all his heart. Especially not since I exposed his secret when I was 21 and brought his secret life to light, told my mother what I had figured out about him, and brought her to the hotel where he had set up a date with a man and intercepted it before it happened. I truly believe now that he has come to see me as public enemy #1 in his life. I am such a danger to him because I hold the secret that could ruin everything he tries to conceal (even though he is so delusional to think that no one has him figured out from the time they meet him). And even more dangerous is the fact that I am brave enough to confront him and that no matter how hard he tries, he is not able to control me and keep me under his thumb the way he is able to either keep everyone else complacent or controlled. He may keep me afraid enough for a certain amount of time, but then after a certain amount of time, I’ve had my fill, and then I break and my boundaries go up and I speak up. He also knows I see right through him like no one else on this planet does. I am the only one he cannot fool with his charisma and charm. I am too smart and am now always a few steps ahead of him, and nothing scares him more. I am no longer his possession.

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My adoptive parents have chosen which truths to be far too loose with throughout my life and which truths to be closed mouth about because it would be to their detriment if those truths became known. And while everyone does that to a certain extent, the depth to which they have done it has been so damaging to my mental state that I truly don’t know how to answer the original question that I was presented with in my inspirational book this morning. After thinking about this question now for several hours, I think that this question will actually permeate my healing process for months and maybe even years to come. My adoptive parents would tell truths that no child should have to endure at the tender age of 7. I was plagued at that age with the fact that after my mother had a hysterectomy, that she got addicted to tranquilizers and sleeping pills. And that my dad paid for a psychiatrist out of pocket in order to keep it off her medical records (because it is such a shameful thing). He would talk to me as if I was his best friend every morning on the way to school and put me in the middle of their marriage and speak vile truths about my mother to the point that I felt as if I was a child caught between 2 parents who were divorcing (they’re still married today, never even separated). And then in addition to that, at that point I also lost my mother’s presence in my life. From that point forward, my mother stopped being involved in any of the activities in my life and my dad took over. Prior to that time, it was my mom who was involved in vacation Bible School and who took me to and stayed at brownies with me and who took me to dance and speech therapy when I was in kindergarten. And after I was 7, it was entirely my father. It was my dad who took me to dance, my dad who was the co-leader in my girl scout troop all the way through senior scouts, my dad who was the band parents president in high school. And then my mom proceeded to be jealous of me and wonder why I had a better relationship with my dad. She was angry that I talked to my dad more, she actually would verbally tell me that, as if it was my fault. I couldn’t even consciously figure out why back then. And my dad would tell her it was because she questioned me all the time and tried to force information out of me, which did contribute to it, she did act nosy and wouldn’t lay off when I wouldn’t divulge information to her when her never ending questions about my day we’re only met with the typical teenage answer of “fine”. But I now see that her absence in my life after age 7 was just another abandonment in my life. And then she would use me as her means to try to seek love for herself, the love she never got from her mother. Rather than providing me with the love I needed, she would give me a hard time when I would attempt to walk out the door as a teenager without giving her a hug and a kiss goodbye. Because SHE needed it. I had long ago written her off because she stopped giving me what I needed when I needed it most. So why should I give her what she needed and wanted.

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This meme above is the checklist for what is called emotional incest. My father used me as a Surrogate Mate essentially. This also went in to what made my mother jealous of me. I can answer yes to every single question on this list. And to further validate this viewpoint, it wasn’t until I moved away that my father actually found a steady boyfriend, basically who replaced me as his companion. All of this just proves numbers 1 and 6. And as I have already stated, I also felt that I was considered a source for my mother to gain love rather than for my mother to give love.

Fast forward several years to when I was approximately 32, to one of the defining moments that gave me emotional validation to move forward with the search for my birthmom. For all the years prior to then, I lived under their manipulation, always wanting to search, but always too afraid to hurt them and feeling guilty laden that even if I were to do it in secret, that still somehow I owed it to them to not search. One of two catalysts finally gave me permission in my own heart to go ahead with ahead. The revelation of a truth that my parents had hidden from me for 32 years and then the subsequent refusal to appease my curiosity about my own identity and truth was a clear display of the fact that their own self love was more important to them than their love for me. And I needed to start practicing self love and to try and find someone who possibly loved me more than them. When I told my dad that I needed my official (not original) birth certificate, because they still had it, because I needed to get a new passport, he said he would get it from the vault. He then proceeded to tell me that when we were down there to get on the ship (the reason I needed a new passport in my married name), that he wanted to put my name on their vault card plaquard in case something happened to them so that I could gain access. But he also felt he needed to tell me something. He told me that they accidentally left my birthmoms name on the adoption papers that were in the vault which were supposed to have been reddacted. When he told me that, I simply asked him if he could tell me if her name was Susan because I always thought that was her name. He told me he didn’t remember, just that she had a long German last name but that he would have my mother check when she got my birth certificate. After that, he never told me her name like I asked. And of course, me being the loyal daughter that I am was too afraid to ask because I didn’t want to hurt his feelings or make him worry that I wanted to look for her. That truth of course is one that they withheld from me because it would be a detriment to them, even though they knew straight up that it was one that I had been curious about my entire life. I wasn’t asking for her last name which would have been identifying information which with I could have searched for her. I simply wanted to quench my curiosity of 30 years but they couldn’t even do that for me. And believe me, it wasn’t something they simply forgot to do. My parents don’t forget things like that. They can choose to withhold that tremendous truth from me, but share truths with me at 21 after confronting my dad about his gay tryst that he has a high sex drive and he and my mother don’t have sex very often (as if it was her fault). As if this was a truth that you should be telling your 21 year old daughter who is already traumatized by what she has just had to do and go through. And when he made me go to their marriage counselor because I broke down one day and he told me I was not having a normal reaction to everything and there was something wrong with me, she asked me how many people were in a marriage and I told her normally I would say 2 but in my parents case 3. She kept insisting it was 2 and I kept telling her that she has no conception of how much my parents have made me an integral part of their marriage to the point that it truly feels as though I am a part of it. And I still stand firm on this analysis to this day.

Once it all came out, he has insisted over all of these years that we keep his truth a secret for him, yet he can sit there and talk about it openly without saying in front of everyone “my boyfriend”, but he used his name and talked about all of the trips he went once with him in front of everyone. But if he ever was told that all of those people were told that the man he was talking about was his boyfriend, he would be devastated, angry at us for telling them etc…Again, he gets to choose and control what truths are revealed and what are hidden. And we (my mom and I) have to deal with any of the consequences and emotions of that no matter how it affects us.

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Because of my childhood trauma of truth, lies and secrecy, I have developed a very tumultuous relationship with both truth and love. It is quite evident in those I have chosen for romantic relationships over the years, the way I handle myself within those relationships and how I prioritize things. It is also very evident in how I have handled myself in friendships as well and how I finally sought out my birthfamily after discovering certain truths about my adoptive parents. For how important truth is to me, I have still chosen to keep my relationship with my birthfamily a secret. Those who know my adoptive parents agree with me on this decision because they know the reprecussions of it and they know the type of people they are and the impact it would have. But those in the adoptee group I was in for quite a while almost all disagreed with me on keeping it a secret from them and felt I should stand in my truth. And while it bothers me that I feel I should have to lie about this, I also don’t want anything coming between my relationship with my birthparents. That is something I believe I deserve and I think it shouldn’t be tainted by any extra pain that would come from telling my adoptive parents a truth that they can’t handle, which is highly unfair to me. They have already done enough damage to me by sharing all the truths they shouldn’t have and keeping silent the truths that shouldn’t have been kept silent. Exactly who would benefit from telling the truth about this? While I do believe in telling the truth for truths sake, there is also a certain form of protection that the withholding of truth does serve. And when it is truly in someones best interest to withhold the truth, at least perhaps until a later date at times, is that a virtuous ideal? I believe it is in everyone’s interest to withhold this truth. I feel to protect a child from losing their innocence before they should, when it is something that they really don’t need to be involved in, that withholding the truth can sometimes be of value (but I think some day they should be told the truth, especially if there is something they struggle with from that time period in their life). If withholding of the truth is done in order to deceive someone for that person’s own gain or to spare themselves from shame or the wrath of someone else, I feel that is not an appropriate reason to withhold the truth from someone.

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My husband always asks me the question, “Did you grow up in a bubble?” And he asks me this because I have often seemed very naive to worldly things and have come across as very sheltered. And for the level of conservativeness that my adoptive parents put forth as a front, and for how strict they were with me and curfews and what they expected from me morally and such, and what they considered “bad behavior” from me, the things I was exposed to as a kid were anything but conservative. I had to deal with very adult problems from the time I was very young, and I was never sheltered from any of those things, I was purposely dragged in to them. Those truths were never once spared from me. As I had already mentioned, things such as divulging how much was paid for me, that my mother was addicted to tranquilizers and sleeping pills when I was 7, my father never watched his cursing mouth around me..I knew the f word because of him by age 5 at least, my dad would threaten in my presence to commit suicide-he talked all the time about running his car off the road-I remember him saying that as far back as age 6, my mom constantly hit me with a wooden spoon, my mom smacked me across the face with a dishtowel at 4 simply because I took all my dolls put while she left me in the house alone and went to the neighbors to ask for sugar or something like that, my dad kept a stack of penthouse (like Playboy) magazines in their closet-I guess he was trying to de-gay himself or something, talked all about their sex life to me at 21 after intercepting my dad’s tryst…and the list goes on…..

I guess I have come to believe throughout the years that when people continue to lie to me, that I am not worthy of the truth. That whatever it is they are lying about is more important to them than being truthful to me and not doing whatever it is they are lying about. It is a matter of being put second to something, which has always been one of my biggest sources of pain. Being second best, second choice. To me, being lied to, and being forced to lie for someone/keep someone’s secret for them, I think has become equated with not being loved, of not being chosen. And therein lies my dilemma that I will grapple with for quite a while. Are they really separate things, do I have a warped sense of this cohesion due to my background, can these things coexist as separate entities without defining one another, or are they inextricably linked?

https://dailypost.wordpress.com/prompts/bubble/