Dysfunctional families.

Sometimes, coming from a dysfunctional family affects everyone in a horrible way; sometimes, like in my case, it really just fucks up the one child who thought they could trust the wrong parent.

When you’re 5, 7, 13 years old, you don’t realise that a narcissistic father is using you, manipulating you, that his constant criticism of things as silly as not liking your haircut are controlling and unhealthy. At least, I didn’t.

Because, ultimately, Dad was on my side… There’s no denying that, no matter how much circumstance and logic explains why this came to be as it was, my mother always preferred my brother over me. He was the perfect child; quiet, compliant, sociable. Normal. Our family friendships were formed entirely around my brother’s friends and my mother’s friendships with those parents. I was left out, dragged along as a misfit who never belonged at holiday gatherings.

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On the ability to hate bad parents;

An interesting question came into my mind today.

Do I hate my father? Can I hate my father?

Realistically, it isn’t actually his fault that he’s a narcissist, despite the negative impact that his (always ferociously denied) problems or illnesses have had on our family – and the goddess only knows I’m not okay with the trauma and the damage he has inflicted on my own psyche because of it – but I’m not sure that justifies hatred towards him.

I think I could easily hate him if I wanted to, but the ease in which I convince myself of this is a byproduct of being raised by him in the first place. In fact, perhaps it’s an indication of my humanity that I don’t hate him; I despise his actions and I hate that I was born into such unfair circumstances, but if he can’t help that he’s a blatant narcissist I can’t genuinely hate him for such a thing, not without becoming as detached from humanity as he is.

Cole Sprouse __ Geschichte von Charles Melton IG __ #ColeSprouse #Riverdale #Jughead Related posts_ #Cole #Sprouse #Mitarbeiter #Jughead #Jones #Bughead #Riverdale cole sprouse kj apa vancouver lunch riverdale 02 CoI can try to justify myself as being the “better person” because of this, but I don’t think such a comparison is helpful or necessary. Certainly, it doesn’t do anything constructive for me as I try to come to terms with the unfortunate realisations about my past. It never really occurred to me to hate my mother for being emotionally unavailable – she’s just the type of person who responds to every confession of unhappiness with a very detached “How do I solve the problem?” mentality instead of what I’m really desperately begging for, which isn’t an answer or a cure, but just acknowledgement and empathy – validation that it’s okay to feel the way I do after all I’ve had to deal with.

The real difference, I’ve noticed, is that despite the damage both parents have managed to drill into my mind over the years, it’s so easy to see that my mother tries to care and just doesn’t know how to be a source of emotional support without jumping to “How do we fix the problem?”

(I’m reasonably convinced that she’s an unfortunate case of Aspergers/HFA going undiagnosed in a woman, especially given my own diagnoses and the history on her side of the family… Perhaps it’s this understanding that makes it so easy to see that she has never acted out of malice or with any intent to deceive me, and it’s not at all her fault that she doesn’t comprehend my own need for emotional validation or reassurance.)

With my father, however, there is no good intention to be found behind his shortcomings; he has used both my brother and myself as pawns in this game, suddenly turning him into the golden child and me into the scapegoat when it serves his image best, very clearly incapable of acknowledging or caring about the intense psychological trauma that he has inflicted upon me for as long as I can possibly remember (to the point where it’s so bad that I actually find myself doubting my own memories a bit too frequently.) He’s blind to the reality of my trauma, my struggles, my complete lack of identity or self confidence; all he sees is that these things have turned me into the perfect scapegoat.

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And I hate what he did to me; I hate it with all of my being. Even after trying to go no contact, he haunts my dreams, breaking into my house leaving threatening messages telling me that I should just fucking die already.

The second I stood up for myself and tried to establish boundaries, he ruthlessly attacked me as an abusive, manipulative psychopath. And I know that, in reality, I would be justified in hating him for the years of psychological manipulation, the lies, a lifetime of being gaslighted… But it’s not his fault, at least, not in a straightforward manner.

He’s never going to get help, I know that, he’s going to desperately seek out victims to feed his narcissistic supply as much as he can and he’ll never even consider the possibility of having a mental problem, but the more I look back, the more it’s become clear to me that he really, truly does have a disorder that he didn’t necessarily choose to be ruled by.

And that’s why I don’t hate him. As easy as it would be to take the ignorant path and hate him for all that he’s done, I know that it’s not right.

I hate how much he’s damaged my self-image, my mental health in general, and I hate that he’s implanted subconscious narcissistic tendencies into my brain that I now have to constantly be hyper-aware of to be sure I fight them off, but I don’t hate him as a person.

I don’t forgive him, not in the slightest, but I don’t hate him.

I don’t think anyone chooses to have narcissistic personality disorder, and as toxic and damaging as that makes them, I can’t help but acknowledge that it wasn’t really their choice to be this way.

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I never had a genuine connection with my parents (or with my fellow schoolmates for that matter) growing up, but as much as that history has fucked me up, I’ve also accepted that it’s not really anyone’s fault…

The circumstances drove me toward a very complicated relationship with addiction, drove me to a place where I don’t have any desire to overcome said addictions and I don’t see any hope in a future where I have to constantly deal with people who will never truly be considerate or sympathetic toward my trauma, and I hate that I found myself in the middle of the circumstances, I really do, but…. While I blame my parents for failing me from the moment I was born, I don’t hate them for it, because I don’t think either of them went into this with the intention of destroying me as a human being.

It’s been a difficult distinction to process and really come to terms with, but… It seems like an important one.

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I went a good month (if not more; I don’t really count at this point) without this happening, but of course… everything was just so empty and absurd and useless that, once again, I took a blade to my skin.

img_0788One isolate slip-up hardly seems like a big deal in the face of everything else I’m trying to process; what freaked me out the most was that I cut just deep enough for the blood to trickle down and nearly create a stain on my brand new blanket (my Swedish flag blanket, which means a good deal to me as having a Swedish name is the only real connection I have to any sort of heritage that feels real to me.) Luckily, I was quick at covering the wound with gauze and rinsing out the blanket before the stains had a chance to set in, but maybe that’s not the most relevant part.

My therapist was sick and cancelled last week (ironically, it had to be the week that I had interesting news to share and legitimate questions I need help with, but we all have our own lives. It happens.)

The funny thing about therapy is that you don’t really feel like you’re doing much more than just having a pleasant chat during the sessions, but as soon as you miss one of them it becomes painfully clear just how important that weekly hour of honesty and relief is to your mental well-being…

Even when you sit in your room feeling dead inside and bitter at the world and completely irritated at the noise from everyone else living in the house nearly constantly, including directly after your appointment, it serves as some kind of evidence that, despite how hard it is to see, those hours spent with a good therapist really do make a difference. Maybe the progress isn’t as extreme or as fast as your family expects it to be, but ignoring that, at least you’ve got some hard evidence that therapy is helping in some way.

Jesse is avoiding Nate's calls He shows Paul the brochure.

Of course, when you’ve got over 20 years of trauma from an emotionally abusive father and an emotionally unavailable mother, it’s difficult to explain that therapy has helped me immensely because I’ve come to a better understanding of where my trauma came from and how deeply it’s affected me, despite the fact that I’m nowhere near ready to jump into society with a regular job and act like a healthy, functional human being…

Sure, we’ve all got problems, but we’re not all a flight risk the way I am.

I still live in a state of belief that everyone views me as a disappointment, an unreliable employee, a socially awkward flight risk…. And they’re not wrong, not really.

My personal milestone (up until 5 minutes ago) was as simple as not slicing my skin open with a razor blade. This, to me, is a significant improvement, but outside of my therapist, nobody else truly appreciates that. (To be far, I’ve learned to hide my cuts really fucking well; were it not for cops showing up at my door, everyone else in the house would be essentially oblivious to my habitual self-injury.)

Anyway, this progress goes largely unacknowledged, instead replaced by nagging questions about what I’ve been doing to advance to a place that’s about 5 levels beyond my current state of recovery…. Not that I can communicate how fucked up that is, of course.

I’m just an alcoholic that knows how to write words and care for a house full of cats; it’s going to take a lot more work to get farther than this… Just, ironically, the progress I’ve made which, to me, deserves some amount of applause, doesn’t exist to my family, as it’s really just progress that raised me up to what they thought my initial starting point was…

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Minus the alcoholism, perhaps; I can guarantee I drink 5x more than any of them suspect. (Though I would be more than happy maintaining that illusion)

The last thing I want to do is come off as some angsty teenager with the whole “nobody understands me” cliche, but in this case it really does seem legitimate that my family is, to some degree, clueless.

For good reason, though. Mum would overreact, and Dad (who is currently blocked on everything with the hopes of cutting all contact) would accuse me of lying, being a failure, etc etc until the only thing I can think of is suicide…

Still Damaged

Lord Trauma still haunts my dreams; the ideas still embedded in my psyche.

I’ve cautiously applied for a few jobs mainly for the sake of appearing to be doing better than I am, though I’ve clicked the “submit” button with the expectation of rejection or failure from the start. It’s more about putting others’ mind at ease by being able to say “Look, I applied for something.” I know I won’t get it, though; I don’t even want most the jobs.

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It’s not just laziness, though; I wouldn’t even say it’s completely self-sabotage, because there’s something much more deeply entrenched in my subconscious mind that makes it impossible to even conceive of myself as being qualified or able to do these jobs.

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If I can’t trust you, how can I trust anyone?

Somehow, I’ve always found a way, for better or worse.

It’s just those cases where the “worse” option applies that I end up asking myself this question again.

Chaos of the Storm

A war on so many fronts; yet, all imaginary.

tumblr_mt9p7owFil1rijbg1o1_500It’s not so simple as just confronting your anger when it stems from childhood abuse that your’e still struggling to comprehend… Yet, somehow, you’ve comprehended enough that it’s expected of you to start functioning somewhat normally. Like, all that pain, all that mental exhaustion and that work getting to the point of accepting that ‘it’s not your fault’ means that you’re suddenly ready to jump into society with a full time job and function like anyone else. (It’s not a conversation of praise, or even an acknowledgement of the progress made for its own sake, it’s fighting and trying to survive a fucking war as a means to an end that isn’t even happy.)

But I can’t. I just can’t. I can’t even look at a job posting without feeling a horrible sense of being not good enough and thinking I’d be better off dead if you’re so fucking tired of the burden I put on this family because everyone knows I’m not worth it.

I don’t handle expectations well, and if we’re never going to get to that point than the whole thing is pointless, so…

Yep. it’s all pointless. A total waste.

I can’t even see straight.

I’m just so fucking done.

I don’t even want to function in this fucked up society….

Haunted by Demons

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Sometimes, it just happens. When the best way to confront your demons is to shut them off, when the people who broke you simply can’t be confronted or reasoned with to any reasonable end, they just haunt you in your subconscious and even after having the most amazing night with a beautiful group of friends, your dreams come back and the nightmares remind you that you’re not supposed to be okay; you were, perhaps in a way, doomed from the start. Even if I force myself to believe that things can be okay and life can go on, I can’t get rid of the images, the screams in my head from those nightmares that jump out of the void and taint everything good almost as if nothing you ever had that was good was real and there’s no control except for fighting your way out and becoming numb to it all.

In this dream, my father vandalised my house with notes of how awful of a person I am, only for me to find that this wasn’t even very frightening. It was the triumphant, mocking note left on the inside of my window indicating he had broke in and was going to steal from me only to realise I didn’t even have anything that was worth anything to steal, so instead there was another note from him, my own father, literally telling me to die…. and I reacted to it by asking my mother to send him a text message in the morning letting him know I had killed myself (even though I wasn’t really going to) because he needed to believe that I did.

It all just sounds so stupid, now, trying to describe the dream in words makes it sound silly or ridiculous when compared to just how much it fucked with my head all day…

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I don’t have much to say about it… All day I would stare at contacts on my phone and sometimes even get a couple words typed out in a message before deleting them, but I couldn’t say anything. I didn’t know what to say, how to describe it, and I couldn’t find it in me to justify the attempt to reach out to anyone at all. I could barely find it in me to write this much, but it got to the point where I had to force myself to write something out at least for the sake of preserving my own memory…

A Certain Irony

In a way tragic, and in another way beautiful.

On a personal level, a person once loved who betrayed my trust has become irrelevant, and after a week or two of isolation, another fateful and beautiful encounter repeats itself, as if through everything, in our damage and our reincarnated alcoholic souls, it truly is fate we reconnect a second time (and this time, remove fate from the equation or add a certain variable of control, depending on how one views such a turn of events.)

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Where else would we find each other if not the same bar we first met? Yet our connection over being reincarnations of alcoholics and walking contradictions as artist/mathematician hybrids inevitably begs a larger question.

The irony at hand: simultaneously existing as a functioning alcoholic.

Because there’s an external, bigger picture here that begs this question… What strange force in the universe thought it would be a good idea to take something that is largely accepted as a real illness and turn it into an element of a deep, spiritual connection? How does anyone really reconcile that hypocrisy of the romanticism of being an alcoholic (or, as I call myself, the reincarnation of Hemingway or Kerouac; Kerouac being the more accurate relation but Hemingway being this amazing and more well-known figure who, while I may not relate to as intimately, I understand well enough to defend very strongly and very non-traditionally) with the diagnosis of how awful alcoholism (especially high-functioning cases like ours) is a serious disease?

With A, it’s not an affliction, it’s a connection, but it’s also an understanding of “us against the world” in that, even acknowledging the “reborn alcoholic” lifestyle, we live on the fringe of society judged as being ‘sick,’ etc. And while that connection may never have been so strong or so natural with anyone before A, it’s come up with other artists prior. Taking pride in our ability to function through alcoholism, using it as effective self medication, a ‘performance enhancer’ when used at the proper times for the proper performances. Living this sort of lifestyle that, ironically, is condemned very strongly by mainstream views of “proper health” or “healthy self-care” or whatever. We understand each other but ironically we’re not understood.

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Where does that leave us? An irrelevant study in irony? A footnote as an exception to what the normal human experience is supposed to be?

Because those explanations would be complete and utter bullshit. To write off authentic human beings who are damaged and who live in a world that doesn’t accept their natural state of existence or identity as healthy or normal as being nothing more than an anomaly seems like a pathetic attempt to marginalise authentic human experience (especially where mental illness, gender fluidity, and unconventional systems of belief are concerned) to something that’s only valid if it fits a very narrow definition of a specific subset of our population.

While, ironically, the two of us are most likely more authentic than anyone who even hopes to fit such a narrow, contrived definition.

It’s fucked.

I know, I think we both know really, that the best way to respond to society’s warped hive mindset is with a big “Fuck you, we embrace who we are and what we found.” It is what it is.

It’s just the irony and the hypocrisy that those fake people with those carefully maintained facades and overbearing social media posts about how perfect they are happen to also be the people who dare judge us for being “dysfunctional,” “self destructive,” what have you… Because at least we’re not lying to ourselves. Maybe we’re self medicating from our own demons, our own challenges and struggles, but we’re fucking honest about it. And how many of us can really say that?

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The Night in Question

It’s my story to tell because it’s my life and it was me who was suddenly woken up by the police in my own house when I was only half dressed and passed out on the floor, and it was me who was escorted down the road in handcuffs and put into the back of a police car. I felt that fear, I was thrown into that prison room in the ER and ignored, not even allowed to use a real bathroom.

And by the time I was transferred to the mental hospital, stripped of contact with the outside world but at least provided a coherent explanation of what even happened to force me there, I had accepted that this was happening and there was no use fighting it.

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Really, it is what it is.

They locked me up and it was my experience, my reasons and my mistakes leading up to a truth which becomes a fiction with every retelling by every person who watched from their comfortable, outside perspectives.

I knew what I had to do was give them what they wanted, good behaviour, participation, and the appearance of just enough (but not too much) stability. With this comes fictions entwined with the truth, a fixed narrative turning a broken heart into a simple misunderstanding after a bad day; restrained honesty.

Fictions and truths bleed together, though, and at the end of it, every witness forms their own opinion and draws their own conclusions regardless of what I say… “It’s not what’s true that matters; it’s the stories they tell once you’re gone.”

Maybe I’m not gone yet, but I’m certainly not present in the stories, either. A shocking image completely out of context creates a narrative more convincing than the context and the motivations behind it; it creates a fiction more complicated, a character more elusive, the truth becomes boring and almost pathetic.

The trauma comes second to the origin, gossip and speculation seem to hold more influence than my own individual experience despite myself being the subject.

The truth is, though, we all have our demons and our insecurities, we’ve all sustained damage from the flaws in others. It’s just that those of us who look past our reflection and dive headfirst into the Void to find what it is that pulls us to it so strongly are so quickly judged by everyone else who is too afraid to try; too afraid to acknowledge their struggles, too afraid to let themselves reach the point of desperate coping mechanisms and irrational actions and consequently put their own strength to the test by then working to overcome them.

It is you in your blissful ignorance and your denial of the realities of the world that judge us as “at risk” or “unstable” because, be it by choice or by force, we’ve stopped running from our demons and we’ve had to let them in, else we’ll never understand where they came from.

But our stories aren’t yours to tell. They’re our experiences. Our pain, our struggles, and our choice about how much of our souls we want exposed to anyone else.

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I’ve never been the type to care about money for the sake of wanting to be wealthy; I never got the point. I wouldn’t care about money at all, except for the fact that our society evolved in such a way that my generation never has enough, and we’re punished excessively for literally every mistake or new circumstance that has anything financial attached to it.

Overdraft your account? Here’s a $40 fee that obviously you’re expected to pay despite the fact that overdrafting your account usually implies you literally don’t have the resources to pay that fee.

Try to sell tickets for some event you can’t attend online, but then find a local friend who needs a set, and you’re punished with a $240 fee for tickets that only costed $250 simply for changing your mind and trying to help out someone you know.

There’s no getting ahead… Make some poor decisions during a period of intense depression and you’re still drowning in that credit card debt 6 years later because they make it impossible to pay it off for nearly anyone in their mid-20s, let alone someone who is dealing with so many mental health problems and can’t possibly hold a full time job because just figuring out self-care is literally life consuming.

I’m not suicidal because I don’t want to live, but sometimes economic pressure makes me seriously consider it anyway.

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Then, you get your parents’ generation (you know, people who were able to establish some kind of stability before things went to shit) accusing you of fucking up your own life because you could’ve used that $30 you spent at the liquor store to pay off part of your student loan or credit card instead but what they don’t understand is that drinking myself into oblivion is the only thing I can find that makes me feel remotely okay in between the pressure and the chronic insomnia and the fact that I’m dealing with a fucking lifetime of emotional abuse that I never even understood was happening to me until many years later…

The real truth is that I  just want to liveI want to be able to enjoy the little things that life has to offer without this cloud of debt and trauma and constant paranoia and self-doubt…

I don’t want to die, I really don’t, but my therapist is probably the only person who doesn’t say things that makes me think it might be literally impossible to actually live instead of just trying to survive as a functional cog in a machine with no fulfillment and no meaning and no path to happiness…

Nobody else really sees it…

I’m living in my childhood home – the same fucking place where all of the abuse from my father happened – I’m trapped by the expectations of society and I’m trapped by the evolution of big government and technological advancements.

Even my brother who has an okay job and somehow managed to make it through childhood without being completely fucked in the head by our father can’t really make ends meet enough to independent.