Anyone can have a child and call themselves “a parent”.
A real parent is someone who puts that child above their own selfish needs / wants.
Father’s day, same as other big festivals that used to drive me crazy and in emotional roller coaster. Numerous banners / advertisements / slogans are displayed over the places – TV, newspaper, magazine, shopping malls. It’s impossible to ignore and suppose it’s a big day to celebrate family heroes, right? Sadly, all those so-called meaning words / expressions used to hurt me like using a knife cut my heart/soul into pieces.
I used to dive into self-sabotaged / destructive habits for days (before and after). Glad in recent years, my emotional management skills are increasing though still have bumps from time to time, at least the ratio of indulging binge eat, non-stopped tears, or lay in bed for days without energy / motivation are inclined.
Dine together? No-No
As the scapegoat in the family, name-calling, manipulated, treated with disrespect, verbally, emotionally, psychologically and sexually abused constantly are usual. I was not welcomed to dine together at routine family’s meals or eat out, at the beginning, my abusive dad will pull all his favorite dishes to his side so I only pick those non-fresh/unfavorable dishes in front of me sheepishly.
He delivered a clear message to me that I’m not worthy enough to share foods with the family. I was so shamed / humiliated and eventually only go to dinning table after everyone finished their meals. I was the one who cook, clean dishes so I can’t stop my tears when I see there’s nothing left on the table for me.
Besides, there were times I was not allowed to turn on the light so need to eat barely leftovers alone in dark. Remember the night I let my tears run widely on my cheeks and swear to myself that “this was the last time I “dine” with my family”, it’s just doesn’t worth it.”. Especially when I noticed he took pleasure with smiles on my misfortune.
Thereafter, I started to prepare my own food and eat separately with my so-called family. It’s weird and strange to tell anyone that I used to stay in room by myself, while all happy noises running outside in the dinning room. I feel like a roommate more than a family member. It’s extremely hurtful whenever these memories flash back to my mind.
Festivals / Celebrations? Another no-no
My birthdays were not celebrated, needless to say, I was never invited for any family gatherings, e.g. birthdays, reunions, etc. I was invisible and excluded from all celebrations / reunion. It was devastated and hurtful to see everyone is dressing nicely, ready to go and chat happily afterwards about what happened, while I’m left alone and felt miserable about myself. My dad spread rumors around relatives indicated that I was the bad /worst and misbehaved.
My dad made sure I understand that he’s controlling my life/reputation, if I don’t do what he wants then I will be treated like in hell, he has all the power to control my happiness in family. That’s why I despise him and reject his rules constantly, until reaching the point that I didn’t care whether he treated me his daughter or not.
I felt the day he start to abuse me, he’s already lost his right being my father. I used to wander around at streets for hours during holidays because I was so shamed to let anyone know how my family treated me. I witness how other family members happily celebrate at public and felt miserable about myself.
Sometimes I just sat in a corner of the park to cry myself off. It’s unfair and what’s wrong with me?
No one care about my existence, I was betrayed by every family members. Such unspeakable wounds took me a very long time to heal and re-build my self-worth/confidence. Now I understand it’s commonly found in dysfunctional family system, all family members will identified with toxic parents, join together like a community to enhance the abusive relationship, to projet problems on others’ shoulders can help to ignore individuals’ flaws and issues.
No expectation is good expectation
No longer have unrealistic desire / expectation of a warm and welcoming biological family. This family is sick. Over years, I learned to accept the truth that there are families or parents not toxic but people afraid to admit because it’s out of the norm.
I started to educated myself more about dysfunctional / toxic / narcissistic / abusive family / parents to understanding my situation, so I feel less trapped by the confusion / misconception.
Don’t mean I’m expert now but my coping skill is getting more healthy and less harmful to myself. I no longer willing to waste my life on something I can’t control. Be responsible to myself to learn how to nurture / comfort my inner child, more conscious to chose people and environment I’m engaged, etc.
I used to feel extremely confused and jealous for my sisters, who were treated completely different from me. They laugh / tease whenever I was humiliated or mistreated. But now when I observed their lives, that’s not what I want to become – especially the one who used to be praised as the WELL-BEHAVED sister is becoming the loneliest, insecure person because she put 200% energy / time to please my dad, which proves the old saying “You are who your are hanging around with”.
How about you? Do you have good and supporting parents and family ? That’s good and I am happy for you. If not, how do you deal with your ambivalent feelings during stereotype festivals?
Photo credit : Pixabay – PublicDomainPictures