What you can’t say owns you; What you hide controls you.
Shame is my buddy
What I remembered, my mom was unhappy most of the time. Because of her miserable childhood and was then abused by relatives when she immigrated from her birth place to live under the roof of them. This is how she met my Dad then jump into marriage within short period of time. Marriage was an escape for her though it might jumped from one hell to another hell.
I was verbally and physically abused by her regularly because of her unstable emotional status. I was brutally beat by all sorts of tools can be found at house, but when you were young, you can’t escape anywhere (many times I was tied to the window). Besides physical, I was also mentally and emotional abused, my mom is very creative for humiliating people. But as mentioned, when you were young without any close friends to compare with, it’s impossible to realize it’s not a norm.
It was tough but whenever I think back, it’s not as damage as what I was suffered after she run away from the family. She is a person who can’t control her emotion / temper but treat me nicely when mentally stable. At least she built me a strong foundation of personal value, good and bad, in which save me from trouble afterwards. I have the potential to reach the even worst situation while struggling all traumas by my own. It’s true we never have a strong mom-daughter relationship but she is the one who treated me the BEST in this family anyway.
Shame about my parents’ divorce
30 years ago, divorce is very rare in comparing to nowadays society. Thus when my parents divorced especially my mom disappeared completely, it’s a huge shame for me. I kept the secret from my friends at school (though not many friends actually) as I was afraid to be judged / teased. I was shamed for not having lunch boxes that prepared by mom like other school kids. Not only school, but also there are many curious neighbors started to notice the absence of my mom so I need to answer numerous questions that I don’t want to or don’t know how to. I usually turn away whenever I spotted them from distance.
Shame to replace my mom role
I was very sad and felt deprived for not able to have the life I was supposed to live as a teenager because of family situation. I had no choice but need to replace my mom role to take care everything at home. I was forced to grow up so fast within short period of time. It was confused, helpless because I was not only taking care of myself but also needed to nurture little sister, who was only few years old when my mom run away. It’s extremely a irresponsible act as a parent but there’s nobody I can blame for. I was brain-washed to give up all my dreams or desire but pick up all responsibilities which was not supposed mine. Nobody asked my opinion about the birth of my sister, if I knew I was the one to pick up the mess then I should be informed properly at first place.
Shame for my verbal / emotional abuse
I didn’t miss my mom much since we were not that close anyway. But if comparing with my abusive dad, she is the best I met in family. My Dad is a psychopath, immature, selfish, manipulating and narcissistic. He wears the mask perfectly thus nobody know his truth.
Like other narcissistic parent, he carry a nice image : nice, generous, caring, etc. outside the house. I was so sick of his role acting so hate to listen his speech / conversation with others. Who knows such a nice acting man will become another horrible guy at home? He’s short tempered, abusive and mean. I tried very hard but still fail to forget all humiliations he put on me. Frequent flashbacks drive me crazy, his cruel comments / judgments lead me to depressed mode from time to time. I had to learn to shut down my emotions or keep myself busy in order to get rid of these hurtful memories.
Now I learned from many psychologists / professionals’ articles that he projected his weakness / loathe / failure onto me. The more he hate and feel insecure about himself, the more he will humiliate others as this is the way to make them feel good about themselves. It’s how he get ride of his own blames by transferring them to others.
Shame for sexual abuse
When I was a kid, there were blurred memories my dad came to my room molested me. But the situation gone worst since my mom run away. He abused me verbally and mentally and talked me bad in front of sisters, create a fence and distance me from sisters. Then he created many rumors in front of other relatives so people believe how bad I am. This further cut my support systems since I don’t have too many friends due to the non-stopped chaos at home. I pick up the role of family “scapegoat”.
Reasons why I never respect him because I hate his distrustful tactics. When I lack of supports then he can fool me around as he wished. He started to molest me whenever he want without showing any remorse. And started to treat me badly to prove that if I want to gain his attention / love / caring, I better obey him as much as he wants.
I was confused and scared and didn’t know how to handle the situation. Am I too over-reacting? Shall I scream? I felt extremely uncomfortable and devastated every time he sexually abused me. As I growing old, the knowledge I gained from media and newspapers etc. proved that I am victim of physical, mental, sexual and domestic abused
I started to feel furious and depressed. Tried to commit suicide and lost the motivation to live my life. The anger is huge because I was betrayed by my family members. Not only my dad but my sisters and relatives, family’s friends are all ignored my situation. My sisters just care their own privilege because the more worst I am suffering, the better benefit they get from my abuse. Many times I screamed loudly inside and cried for the whole night until my eyes can’t open up as they were swallowed. I was blamed for everything, I don’t have right to fight or argue back, or blamed for being too sensitive. Fortunately I was not totally naive thus able to stop my dad getting any further for several situations (he can rape / induce me into sex acts), otherwise my trauma can become even worst than now.
Same as many other sexual abused survivors, I felt extremely shame for my sexual abuse. I don’t want to let anyone know because I don’t know how to explain how come my Dad will do this to me, his biological daughter.
Shame for being left alone
My dad never earn my respect. Outsiders will think I’m such a rebellious / repenting daughter with too many issues. Who knows the truth? It’s simply because I am not good at (or hate) acting. The more he use different despicable tricks to show me his power, the more I look down on him.
He’s not a good husband so his wife willing to give up everything and run away. He’s also not a good parent because he simply transfer all his responsibility to me. Everyday when he stepped into home, he became a king and only ordered this and that, to sit, sleep and eat. I was the one who run from here and there to serve him like a servant. If I refuse to do or doing not properly, he will blame me for being lazy or humiliated me with swear / abusive words, which end up stamped on my heart forever. It hurts so much when your dad insult you. Of course he can’t called as dad because no father on earth will sexually abuse his daughter.
He’s a psychopath so never do introspection. Like other abusers, he break all my support system not only create rumors about me in front of others, but I was kick out from family celebrations. Nobody celebrate my birthdays or uninvited for reunions. This is the way he shows his power, to show me that if I don’t follow his rules, I will never gain his care/attention. I don’t really care actually. It’s better to stay alone at home rather than pretending we are good family to others. Though it hurts a lot and I cried so much every time secretly. How cruel they are!
Shame for simply being a human
The common tactic narcissistic / abusive parent used in dysfunctional family is : to create rumors about that “scapegoat” and spread it openly everywhere. This help others to believe there are reasons I was not be loved or cared because I am a bad person at family.
But those who understand the dynamic of dysfunctional family will understand usually the “scapegoat” in the family is the one who actually see the truth behind the good-looking family. I am the one who refuse to follow the sick path thus shaken this toxic system in the family.
I lived in the dark hole for such a long time, never have courage to disclose or tell the truth. Everyone believe I’m the one who should blame for all the problems and relatives dislike me too. But now I understand the importance of speaking the truth, not only for justice but for my own mental health.
Over the years, I swallowed so many secrets / angers that make me depressed and suffered from PTSD. I always want to live my own life but my mental status not allow me to do so. But recently, I spent great efforts to get back to track, to rebuild myself, to get stronger, as I finally realize the first step to heal is to speak up, this is the way I admit the situation before I can fully be honest to myself and the world. I never able to establish a healthy strong relationships with others because there are so many things I don’t want to tell. I felt like others will not like me once they found out my background.
I am getting stronger and braver everyday thus lead me to start this blog. But if I can do it again, I will not keep all these as my own secrets because I sabotage myself so much for so long……I was trapped by lots of my self-destructive behaviors. It’s not worth it but further lead me to a very depressed status.
I carried so many shame over years, wish I can live freely without shame one day. I’m not the one who abuse and doing bad things, why should I feel guilty and shame for others’ faults? I have more to learn.
Photo credit : Pixabay