Archaic Diagnoses/Archaic Parenting

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As she asked to print more pictures to color after yesterday’s batch for the ride to the amusement park tomorrow, she originally said 1-3. Then she said it might be 4. Later on when she started to actually look them up, I specified no more than 4. As I said it, I knew she would ask for more. Because I know my daughter has Pathological Demand Avoidance (PDA) in addition to her extremely high functioning Asperger’s Autism. Sure enough, within 5 minutes she said, it might be more like 5, and I said gently, no, I said no more than 4. I had already let her increase the 1-3 up to 4. Even though PDA is currently only recognized in the UK, it is starting to gain more clout in the US. She is not officially diagnosed with this, but I know without a shadow of a doubt she has it. She is officially diagnosed by her pediatrician with Asperger’s Autism. Technically, it is now Autism Level 1. Asperger’s is now an archaic term since they released the DSM-5. All Autism diagnoses are just a spectrum and divided in to 3 levels. Level 1 is High Functioning which is where those who would have formerly been diagnosed as Asperger’s are now placed. I personally still prefer the term Asperger’s and continue to use it.

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Giving children sentences with multiple directions to follow is an actual developmental milestone. It is one for the age of 3 year olds. But children with PDA are overwhelmed by demands that are thrown at them at the same time. Any instruction is processed as a demand, and thus, this developmental milestone becomes a hotbed for attitude because it puts these children in a pressure cooker. Today when I told my 10 year old that it was time to take a shower, and then followed that up with the sentence of to make sure she also cleans up the mess she had left downstairs from her homework, she answers with an attitude how she knows she knows…When her father comes down, all of her stuff is in front of his seat and he comments how he sees a tornado passed through. I told him how I told her to do that part after I told her to take the shower so of course she has to do them in order. But when she comes down the stairs, for how much attitude I get the “I know, I know” when I remind her earlier of cleaning the homework mess up, do you think she goes right to cleaning that up? Of course she doesn’t. She tries to avoid that demand altogether. She goes right in to the other room to color and begin making another mess in there. It’s a never ending battle. And I know in many ways this sounds like typical child behavior, but it’s the constant attitude that I get when I ask daily for the simple task of her to clean up after herself. You would think I was asking her to move a mountain. You would think I had never made her clean up after herself before. You would think I had never held her accountable for herself before the way she speaks to me when I ask her for a simple request. And that, my friends, is definitely not a typical 10 year old.

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Still, at 10 years old, even with no wait at a restaurant, she has no patience. When we are done with our meal, she wants to leave so badly and is so bored that she is blowing bubbles in her water and playing with it like a 3 year old. Before we were ready to leave, because she was ready to go (as in, showered, dressed etc, far enough in advance) she wanted to leave 15 minutes earlier just so we could get to the parking lot and wait, just because she didn’t want to wait any longer at home (which is honestly a better place for her to wait where all of her stuff is to occupy her). But the idea of waiting in any way is torturous to her.

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I have definitely learned to allow a few minutes of leeway whenever I need her to be ready to do something or go somewhere because when I give her a warning or tell her it’s time to go to bed, or to stop what she’s doing because it’s time to go, I often get told to wait till she’s done with this game or this video or this episode etc….And I know that if I don’t, she will have a fit. And while I understand that children need to know how to not get their way, this is a little different because if it is a real time constraint and I can explain to her a real reason as to why she must stop right then and there, I’d rather save those demand times for important times when it is absolutely necessary and have her cooperative on those days rather than force her compliance every single time.

Many people disagree with the way it is recommended to parent children with Asperger’s and PDA. But I know for a fact that the old school hard knocks version of parenting was NOT working with mine. And although mine can still be a handful at times, I think all in all she has done much better, and I think the times she is at her worst is also when we are and that we need to remain calm and model for her the way we want her to act in a situations so she can learn by example. It just makes more logical sense than to instill the fear of God in her with something like spanking. That just teaches her that when our level.of frustration rises that it’s ok to hit and that’s not the proper message to send her. Just my personal opinion.

 

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

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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/

Making an a$$ out of u and me

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So, yesterday’s bully situation exploded in my face today. When doesn’t standing up for myself or my daughter backfires. Learning to love myself entails using my voice, defending what needs defending and not letting people walk all over me (or my daughter) any longer. And of course, just because I didn’t hear any of the specific words that were said by the girl running her mouth, I can’t really defend my position and it becomes hearsay/he said she said. The girl went and “told” on me to the teacher and her mother, who then emailed the school. She claims that someone else said something derogatory about my daughter and that she was defending my daughter. So, I get a call from the principal today to kindly reprimand me for my assumption about what it was that she was saying since I hadn’t actually heard what she said because the mother of the girl also emailed the teacher. So now I’m painted to be the bad guy because I didn’t approach the teacher. But I have approached teachers before, and in fact, my daughter one and only friend, her best friend, had issues with kids in the class and her mom had a conference with the teacher, guidance counselor and principal earlier this year and my daughter became a huge topic of her own conference about her daughter. Because she pointed out to all of them that her daughter is constantly put in the middle and kids tell her she can only hang out with their group at recess if she ditches my daughter. She told them all how mean the kids are to my daughter. Has anything changed this year when teachers and principals are told? No. By the end of this year my daughter is wanting to change schools for next year. I’m tired of leaving it up to everyone else. No one advocates for my daughter. The girl who was talking about my daughter has been known to say and do mean things to my daughter in the past, so I have NO reason in the world to believe that she has a sudden change of heart and is coming to my daughter’s defense. Her mother is also part of the “in crowd” over there at the school because my daughter attends a private school where those who volunteer and give lots of money to the school will always come out on top. And I’m not one of them. So of course I’m the bad parent who is making bad assumptions and scolding kids according to them that should have been handled by a teacher.

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Everytime I speak out throughout my entire life, people try to shut me up and/or tell me I’m wrong. It is so defeating. I am tired of being complacent and feeling like everyone else in this world is right…..except me. Everyone else can get away with the same exact stuff that I say and do and defend, but it’s only ever me that gets told I’m wrong every single time, it’s only me who is constantly shoved down so far to the bottom of the trash pile that I do my own compacting. When I’m told over and over and over and over and over and over and over again that I am wrong, it’s pretty hard to tell myself and believe that I am right. Ever. It’s pretty hard to build self esteem and self love and have confidence enough to defend my honor and the honor of my daughter when everyone constantly tells me that everything I do or the way I do it is fucking wrong. I write here because this is the only place I feel validated. Very few in my real world of people validate me. Somehow, they tell me I’m wrong, or challenge everything I say or play devil’s advocate or tell me it’s not as bad as I make it out to be or compare it to something in their lives that are worse. I’m just done with it all. I’m tired of feeling guilty for speaking up. I’m tired of people telling me where my place is in this world. I decide where my place is in this world. Everyone else needs to stop trying to rule over me and put me in some sort of little box they can contain.

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I’m tired of people being so insistent on holding all the cards and for feeling the need to dominate me and disagree with me and all my ways. I’ve let this type of thing push me back in to my shell every time I get push back. But this time it might just be the fuel to my fire. It might just be the anger drive I need to keep my convictions that I will stand ground and hold the power that they all actually do see and are trying to hold back because they are actually afraid of what could be unleashed if I am not contained. I think everyone who keeps pushing down on me sees me bubbling at the surface and is wholly afraid of real truth rather than their controlled world of “truth” and they know they need to keep me at Bay. So I will not be shaken by this. I refuse to feel guilty because I know how my daughter is treated there. I’ve seen it with my own two eyes time and again. And no one ever defends my child except her best friend. Ever. I had every right to do what I did and I don’t care if it wasn’t within the little container inside which the niceness committee wants to operate. Because their niceness is not going very far in protecting my child from the meanness she experiences, regardless of their claims for not tolerating that behavior. It happens every day right in front of their noses and when my friend brought it up to them in the meeting how mean everyone is to my daughter they all said they had no clue about that….Because no one there cares about her well being nor do they really watch or listen for what truly goes on over there. I’ve been a classroom teacher before and I know you can’t catch everything, but I also know that they are missing far more than they should. And I have every right to say that as a teacher who knows EXACTLY what it’s like.

So they can continue their assumptions about me, and I will continue mine about all of them…

 

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

 

 

Awkward is as Awkward does

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Hi. My name is Alice Ariadne, and I’m an Awkward.

I always knew I was awkward. As a kid, I knew I wasn’t like the others. I knew I didn’t fit in. I didn’t quite know the word for it. And there are a plethora of reasons as to why I didn’t fit in, and still don’t, which I am constantly writing about here on my blog. I am a hodgepodge mess. When I was younger, ai tried so desperately to fit in and do what would please others and try to mimic the “cool kids” mannerisms and phrases and hair styles and clothing. Anything and everything just for acceptance. Just to blend in. Even pretending and trying to like things my adoptive parents liked in the hopes that they would approve of and like and love me.

Middle school started it a little. The bounce between the light and the dark.

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By high school, I was starting to listen a little more to my inner self and I was allowing my own personality and style and values begin to formulate and show themselves. And by college…by George I think I’ve got it. That weird blend of what I claim to be my favorite colors: black and rainbow. Dark and Goth and Rainbow Brite all encapsulated within me.

The conflict that seems to present are more than prevalent in my social awkwardness as well. I was never properly socialized or told what is or isn’t proper to say or do. I was left to fend for myself and figure it out on .y own. The hurtful trials and tribulations that come along with that are immeasurable. One would think I would have grown a thick skin from a the hard knocks I endured, but an empath never does that. They are the people who are born with an infinite number of cheeks to be turned and those whose personalities and gentleness and compassion and emotional soul can never be hardened. A blessing and a curse all at once.

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And then I met my birthparents. And then I made complete sense to myself. Awkwardness, style of clothing, the way I personalize everything, the light and dark all in one (one is light, the other is dark)….It’s all there. No wonder I was always such a conflicted human being. Not only were my genetics from conflicting ends of the spectrum, I was raised on another planet from that spectrum altogether, where my spectrum was not respected.

I am now more comfortable with and proud of my uniqueness. I would never want to change that for anyone. Those who can’t accept that about me can shuffle right along. But I do still feel uncomfortable in my own skin and in my own body and with my exterior shell. My likes and dislikes are my souls choices and my egos choices, and I am good with those. But it is my exterior shell that feels rejected the most I think. And so I continue to feel awkward about my exterior shell and everything that goes along with that.

I began making these YouTube videos and I immediately got critical of myself, and how I present myself, and how I look when I talk and how awkward I think that I come across. And so I analyze every little detail about myself. I have always done that with pictures of myself as well. And people would think that’s me being vain. But it’s actually me trying to learn to change myself or shape myself in to something I can learn to love myself as well. So I think making these YouTube videos will also be a great exercise for me in learning to watch my own mannerisms and learning to be comfortable in my own skin, my own voice, my own body, my own lips, my own facial expressions etc…If I learn to love myself one step at a time, maybe, just maybe, I can become whole from the inside out, for the first time in my life.

Today’s YouTube video:

(Alice) Ariadne’s Quotes of Wisdom Video: One Step, Two Step

 

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

 

My song of the day: Me by Paula Cole….One of my absolute favorite songs and a song that I think says so so much about me as a person.

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.

Poor Richard

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As I sat and listened today on my daughter’s field trip to “Ben Franklin” speak about himself to the 5th graders, it triggered a memory in me. He spoke of Poor Richards Almanack that he wrote and how he wrote it under a pseudonym and how it differed from the other almanacs of the time. This reminded me of the research report I had done on him in grade school and how I had become a bit fascinated by him for a while. Particularly the Poor Richards Almanack. This triggered me to remember creating my own version of the Poor Richards Almanack, and it gives me pause to wonder if that was the first thing to infect me with my love of quotes. I didn’t start my collection of quotes in journals till college, but I distinctly remember creating my own Poor Richards Almanack book out of folded paper and writing all sorts of things in it as a kid. These types of memories when they come flooding back always seem to be filled with some sort of insight, if only I can read them accurately.

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But switching topics almost entirely to another “Poor Richard”, my all too familiar Narcissist, I created my latest YouTube video for my new Channel where I delivered deep in to a different quote in each video and give my own perspective through the lens of my own experiences and insight. I thank my Narcissist for his ability to infect me with his poison so that I may purge it out of my system in order to cleanse my soul and be a beacon of light for others as I ascend and learn from my hard knocks. May I be able to convert what I have experienced in to something that can help others through their own journey of thorns.

I hope that you will stop by my YouTube channel, watch my new video on my Quote for today, and please subscribe while you’re there as I hope to continue to grow and expand this channel and my Quote video series.

Alice Ariadne’s Quote YouTube Video

 

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

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/