Secrets of Dysfunctional Family (4) – More than 1 dirty laundry in basket

Silence empowers the abuser and imprisons the survivor.  Shatter the silence, take back your life!

Things happening in toxic families like dirty laundries that shamed to be aired, and there usually have more than one person can be handled simultaneously.  Anyone who never experience to grow up in dysfunctional family will have difficulty to image how chaos the door behind.

Physical abuse

Victims will be punished physically whether it’s their fault or not, but simply a “punching bag” to take over all anger / frustration projected from abusers.

It took me a long time to understand not every child in world are beaten as like as me.  I was beat, hair pulled, slapped without any warnings, sometimes it’s my mistakes but other times I didn’t even know what’s the problem.  My mom lost control and temper easily and used to tie me up with strings to windows, to stop me running around when beaten.  She was very creative, made use of any tools can be found from tiny house, I tried stick, belt, feather duster, plastic pipe, chairs, etc. Occasionally she simply throw my forehead to the wall.

At that young age, without any exposure to outside world, I really thought to be beaten is a normal life for kid.  My tiny body was always covered with bruises / scars so I usually wear long sleeves even in hot weather to cover my arms and legs, I was extremely shamed!

Tactfully, my dad never hurt me physically but loves to report my behaviors to mom so eventually I was beaten furiously. Until now, I still remember his sinister smile, while I bite my lips tightly to avoid any screaming.  I hate to show my weakness to them.  I was stubborn even at that young age – I can’t control my body, but I can control my reaction.  It’s my dignity!

Verbally Abuse

My toxic parents are professionals.  I was name-calling, yelled, teased, humiliated sarcastically / hurtfully or foul language.   At that early age, I was totally naive with the term of “verbally abuse”, but I was deeply hurt, for many nights I cried to sleep and don’t understood why my parents treat me like a person without feelings.  At first, I thought they just in bad mood, or I should do better to make them satisfied / happy; or giving them excuses such as they didn’t mean to hurt me, it’s just their way of talking / acting because they never go to school.

But later I found that my classmate’s parents also without any education but they treat their kids with respect, love and care.  And I start to realize the huge difference when they communicated with outsiders or other family members.

My Dad is very kind, nice to people outside the house.  Sometimes I confused if it’s the same person I know at home. He thanks to people who help, work with him, at shop, management office and his company.

I still can’t control my emotions whenever flashbacks knock my head nowadays, remembered all hurtful comments he made to me can lead me to tears, depressed for days or weeks.  Bruises can be healed, but hurtful words are imprinted in my heart and soul.  This is the reason I seldom vilify / insult people by words,even though I am very angry, as I was there and totally understand how it feel.  Words can never be taken back.

Emotional / Psychological Abuse

My dad cares a lot about his reputation and how people think about him.  The image he creates are : generous, kind, responsible, i.e. a “fine person”.  Thus he never put hands on me since scars / bruises can be seen.

However, he neglect me since early childhood to …..I should say, most of the time.  I was not allowed to call my parents as “dad” or “mom” at early age, but need to call them “aunt” or “uncle” as they didn’t want people know I’m their kids.  Then later he loves taking opportunities to slander me, in front or behind my back.  He positioned himself as “saint” who can judge me as “the worst kid” and shame to him.  I was not welcomed to join family dinners, and if there are relative involved, I was either be left at house alone, or listened his comments about me in front of other relatives, e.g. how bad, how useless I am at family etc…aims to shame me in front of everyone without showing any embarrassment / remorse.

The more he acted like this, the more I disrespect and hate him.  What a decent man will gossip like a woman? Who the hell a Dad will badmouth their kids in front of strangers and relatives? What’s his motive? Is it that exciting to just shame me?

He’s a short temper person, any small stuff that doesn’t meet his expectation / requirement – he will punch and throw things up, bang the doors, yelling, scolding etc.   I walked on eggshell everyday – heart bumping fast, muscle tensed, hands sweating whenever he’s home.

Sexual Abuse

I learned that it’s another common behavior for abusers to gain and manifest power.  Remembered there were times my dad came to my room and touched me even at very young age, but since my mom still in family (later she ran away and never show up again), things seem under certain control.

But started from the 1st day my mom disappeared, my dad started to touch me inappropriately.  He seems no longer need to fake about about his desire.  He first created rumors / gossips about me to ruin my relationship with siblings and relatives, while I was not allowed to have friends or any social activities outside school or work.  In such,  I was completely manage everything on my own since there’s no support system.  Nobody will judge or doubt him since I had already being viewed as “the trouble one”.

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I was totally naive without any knowledge about sexual assault, abuse or incest at that age.  He took advantage for my innocent and lack of supporting system.  I didn’t feel comfortable for what he did to me, doubt and confused : whether it’s love or normal for dad to kiss daughter in mouth? is it really OK to sit on the lap of dad? Every morning / night, it became a routine for him to come to my bed, touch me for 10-30 mins while my younger sister (around 8-10 years old) sleep next to me.  Now I know it’s “molestation”.

He brought me to swim but I found he’s the only one who had fun every time.  I didn’t enjoy at all,  I was hugged, kissed, asked to cross my legs on his tummy (like usual days I was asked to sit face to face to him on his lap, or touched me under sea water, while my sisters played on sand.  Once I found him comforted himself under sheet in front of us in hotel room.  I felt disgusted for his behaviors and refused to spend lonely time with him.  Or when he’s around, I covered myself up carefully to avoid his following eyes on my body.  He did it openly without remorse.  Disgusting!

I started to feel depressed / lost track of life when I received more information / knowledge about my situation.  There were a long period of time I gave myself up completely.  I made myself getting fatter and fatter, no longer care about my appearance or how I dress, don’t care job or life anymore.  I don’t know how to manage my never-ended flashbacks.  There are days I am doing good with peace, but when emotions overwhelmed I just can’t handle it.  Now I knew I kind of caught up by PTSD, common for victims after long-time trauma.

Manipulation

My life was controlled completely.  There’s nothing much I can do besides of school, work and housework.  I was not encouraged to have friends, restricted to social life or even healthy relationship with siblings and relatives.  I was commented as “not putting family at first place” by wanting going out with friends during weekends.  I used to feel extremely guilty for having life outside home, but later, I started to get more and more rebellious, I had more wisdom to judge whether his so-called rules are non-sense / bull-shits or not.  I started to stop doing what he ordered and my life at home was getting more miserable since then.

He insulted me when I read, so I read more;  he blamed me for travel and frame me up as “bad girl” to relatives and his friends.  But who knows I was hungry for self-education because I want to step out of the dysfunctional system, I wanted to re-learn everything that I was taught.  And to leave for travel, even for a short period of time, can give me chance to breath, to be myself without being controlled.  I don’t know what will happened if I lost these two things from my life as these actually save my life.

Final thoughts

If I can start over again, I hope I had more courage and wisdom to speak up, to protect myself and ask for help / support.  I learned these during healing journey in a hard way – wasted a lot of life figuring things out by myself.

Until lately, I finally reach the point : sick of keeping secrets and carrying all baggage, thus screw it! If what I had done over years not serving me well, what’s the point to keep on doing the same but expect different results.  I got to head up and turn my life upside down by starting this blog.

Hope nobody will go through the same path as like as mine.

Photo credit :  Pixabay – Gellinger

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Secrets of Dysfunctional Family (3) – Sibling relationships are like a school bully

Dysfunctional families have sired a number of pretty good actors.

~ Gene Hackman

In any dysfunctional / toxic families, siblings are discouraged to support and get close to each other.  This is one of the tactic toxic parents used to manipulate each other kid according to their own wishes.  It’s a huge force when siblings united together, such dynamic scares narcissistic parents a lot because it’s difficult to brainwash or restrain.

Split us up

Though I was young, but still sensed my narcissistic father felt uncomfortable whenever he spotted us played together, had fun or laugh around.  At first, I thought it’s just because our noises but later I found his prohibition were became more and more unpersuasive.   He did it on purpose to separate us from each other.  My life was like “walking on the eggshells” whenever he’s home because I was so scared to speak to my sisters.  Even when I tried to have conversation with my sisters, they ignored me as they knew father hate to see I have good relationship with them.  It’s a reason I pick up reading as my hobby as the house was completely quiet like a ghost house.  I was very lonely.

Competition was encouraged

Besides, he tactfully encourage us compete with each other continuously.    I am not talking about how great marks we got from schools, or how nice we behaved.  In fact, my father never cherish my success and efforts in any aspects, instead, he continuously put me down sarcastically, for example, he persuaded me to abandon further education even I got a remarkable school results, it’s one of the terrible mistakes I made but I trust him at that age; and when I tried to get a nice job, he teased me for being too greedy and unrealistic.  I learned keep all my plans for my own secrets as I tied of hearing his hurtful comments.  I was so confused as I thought parents always happy to see their kids have a better education, career and life.  But I was wrong, at least not in my home.

The only thing he concerns is his ego, he cares a lot whether people praise him or not.  He loves to comment in front of us to compare who is more obedient and respect him.  He made it very clear if anyone of us want benefits / gifts, especially his love and attention, that person must do whatever he say.  This is his interpretation of devotion to him and the family.  He never think I’m a human who has my own mind, wishes and dreams etc.

Stab another in the back

Since he discouraged us to have our social life outside home.  Undoubtedly he became the top and ONLY person that my sisters rely on for love, care, attention and survival.  Life at home was kind of like school bully situation, many dramas were running from time to time.  I got to be concussions about my behaviors and speeches as these could become my own traps. My sister not only teased on my appearance, clothes and act of behaviors, but also love to grab any opportunities to grab my flaws and show to parents, thus they can be praised.

Since early age, I knew I can’t trust them as I believe when situation allowed, they would sell me out.  Whenever I was in trouble, they will joined together to tease / verbally abused me, laugh and jumped around to show their happiness to see me failed.  I learned to hide my record cards, change another ugly dress before I back home or don’t show my happiness / luck for avoiding potential troubles.  It’s no longer a family I feel safe with freedom.

Own responsibilities

Of course it’s my narcissistic father’s fault to set up this toxic system, which eventually ruin our relationships.

But at the same time, I do believe every person have a choice to respond good or bad.  We are very different from animals because we have moral standards and wisdom right?  Thus, I trust my sisters do have their own responsibilities, Hitler is evil, but if there’s nobody support him or execute his evil thoughts, the tragedy will never become the true.  I would say my abusive father is the primary cause of this dysfunctional system, but the reactions of my sisters supports / encourage the phenomenon,put gasoline to fire to make it worse.

For me, no matter how many abusive incidents I got from this family, I never feel comfortable to do the same, as like as my sisters did to me.  I feel immoral to betray or step over another person to seek love and attention.

Final thoughts

It’s one of my shame to tell people that I don’t connected much emotionally to my siblings.  I don’t talk about my relationship with parents and siblings, all are under the blankets.  There’s a myth and pressure from society that siblings are always nice to each other as these are people who are blood related, but the truth I experienced – these are people who kept on sell me out for their benefits, not the fellows I can trust.

When I did good things, they took advantages by claiming it’s their efforts then took the compliments; but when things goes wrong, whether it’s my fault or not, they will transfer the blame to me.  I was treated as a “scapegoat”.

Sibling relationships only brought me anxious and headaches.  This kind of so-called sibling relationship hurt me a lot!

Photo credit : Pixabay – Sathyatripodi

Secrets of Dysfunctional Family (2) – Scapegoating

Don’t expect abusive family members to apologize or make amends.  

They will likely blame you more if you attempt to hold them accountable.

~ Glynis Sherwood ~

In any dysfunctional family, the authority person (usually parents) will assign specific role to specific kid.  “Scapegoat” is one of the typical role because these kind of pathological  families need one member to be the “identified problem” in order to make everyone look good by comparison.

Name of my blog – Rebellious goat, is actually represent the role I play in my toxic family, which was crowned since very young age.  I was so confused, lost and absolutely in chaos until I come across psychological term of “scapegoating” in recent years.

The more knowledge I gained the more anger I accumulated and kept on asking “why me?”, I was broke down, depressed, cried from day to night secretly until my eyes swelled like eggs.  Why it seems most of people have a normal (though may be unhappy) family but I was trapped in such toxic family?  It’s not my choice and I didn’t ask for it.  But in another quiet moment, I feel relief because finally have a word to describe my situation and there’s nothing wrong on me. Instead, there’s a saying “Scapegoat” often the truth tellers in the family.

Can do “no right”

I was defined as “the bad / worst daughter”, being picked on small stuffs daily, blamed, put down for most of problems in family, including real or things that they made up or imagined.  I felt I’m a slave / maid at home, my food, education, expenses and self-esteem are exchanged with non-stopped household works.

Nobody helped me when my abusive father was not around, I did cleaning, cooking etc. as fast as I could so I can have my own leisure time.  But when my dad back home, everyone who was on the phone chit-chat or sleeping were suddenly became very hardworking, clean this and that.  I didn’t blame on my sisters for their intention of ACTING good, but when my father found me reading or watching TV, I was insulted as “rubbish” and yelled in foul language.  He didn’t care how much efforts I paid during the day but simply want to blame me for whatever situation.

He acted like a God who tease me sarcastically to my sisters that how lazy I am and how unlucky they are to have such a terrible sister. In my mind, I was thinking they should be the one who need to feel sorry as it’s so sick to act at home.  It’s not a theater.  It’s so pathetic and sad if we can’t be true to ourselves and our biological family.

Lost of motivation

At first, I tried to explain, fight back but eventually tired of doing anything to defend myself, what’s the point? The drama is non-stopped, I’m not only responsible for my own mistakes but all of other family members.  My mom lost her wallet, I was slapped, kicked out of the house, humiliated and scold harshly for not able to get her wallet back from her friends, who stole her wallet (I was 11 years old).  And when my sister mess up the house with unwashed clothes, I was blamed for asking her to tidy up the house (she was 22 years old).

I shut up whenever my father lied about my attitudes and demeaned me in front of family members, relatives.  Not only I was tired of explaining but also I felt shame to have this so-called family.  I feel shame to let others know my abused situation and I worry that once I disclose everything, the family will tear down and my dad’s reputation will be gone.  That’s another common attitude can be found from abused child because we don’t want to hurt people, especially those who supposed love and care us.

Felt like no matter I did, said or respond were become another long-lasting war.  It’s exhausted.  I learned to shut up, ignore and disassociated.   And gradually, I stopped to do all household work because I knew I can never do good, I finally woke up and paid more attention to my own welfare, knew nobody will appreciate my effort and can foresee myself will be their life-long slave / maid till death.

Difficult to shake off the role

Every day, I need to handle all name calling, negative labeling and insulting by my own self.  And in abusive family, other family members are also encourage to pick on this “scapegoat”, i.e. me thus I don’t have any support in the family.  This is the reason why  once you were trapped in the role of  “scapegoat” , it’s extremely difficult to step out of it without hurts.

My abusive father stated clearly that if anyone wants his love / attention, that person needs to stay in his side to support his rules.  He isolated me from other family members and relatives so I’m completely out of support system.   And rumors he spread openly around his circle of friends, relatives made me viewed as even worse in their thoughts.

People chose to believe if parents don’t like that kid, it means this is the problem of the kid.  Not too many people will care why is it happened, what’s wrong behind the doors that made this kid acting so rebellious.  Similar situation may found in classroom, once we spot a child who has behavior issues, it’s not his / her problem but obviously something happened in his / her home that he / she can manage.

Final thoughts

As a scapegoat in dysfunctional family, I can tell you it’s extremely difficult to live with peace.  I was so confused, helpless but at the same time fueled with anger and frustration that ready to explode.  My healing journey is tough and long as it’s still a taboo to talk / judge family at today’s society.  We assume family is always supportive, parents are always do good things to their kids and family members are supposed united together.

Because of such unrealistic perception, abused children or adults have great struggles to speak up.  It’s out of the norm and expectation of society.  People don’t want to listen or see the truth and everything should be covered up properly, like dirty laundry.  It took me a long time to figure out my situation so I feel education / awareness is very important in society.

If you somehow taking the same role as like as me, you are not alone, and actually “scapegoat” is the lucky and independent one, one who well realize the situation, who complain the problems and brave enough to confront the dysfunctional system.  It just need time to learn and heal but eventually we are the warriors.

Photo credit : Pixabay

Wish I’m more popular

I used to think the worst thing in life was to end up alone.  IT’S NOT.

The worst thing in life is to end up with people that make you feel all alone

– Robin Williams

I wish I can be more popular in crowds.  Not meaning have hundreds of friends on Facebook as this actually made me exhausted (as an introvert), who needs spaces and alone times to recharge energy.  But at least, hope being more welcome in groups.  Once a comment was written on my record card – “If she can be more active she’ll be more popular to others”.

Very OVER-WEIGHT

I can’t help but envy to see people who are attractive and sociable.  How can they do that? I used to be very fat because of my binge eating self-destructive behavior.  There were times I didn’t care my appearance anymore because I lost hope.  I dress the same old / ugly clothes, ate, ate and ate to ease my emotions and according to many psychologists’ sayings, it’s a common coping mechanism for sexual abused child because we don’t want the attention.

The heavier I was, the more disrespected I got from society.  It’s cruel but truth is we live in a society that judge people by appearance.  Fat people used to be clarified as lazy, lack of accomplishments etc.  My weight made me more unpopular to outsiders.  People love to tease or use this as a weapon to bully me.  The more hateful I got, the more I hide from foods to smooth my anxious, but the more food I binge the more weight I gained, then the more bullying / verbal / emotional abuse I suffered.

Glad I started to realize such self-sabotage behavior.  My life, self-esteem getting better and more organized since I lost 80+ pounds 2 years ago.

Learned to be silence

Being quiet, obey and shut up are common attributes that abused child learned from an abusive / dysfunctional family. Though I don’t comply to distorted rules but knew the situation can get worsen if I fight / yelled back.  Guess it’s the reason I picked up reading as hobby since early age as this always give me peace to live in toxic environment.  Until this day, I still have problem dealing with authority because this remind me what I have been suffering from home.  I crave for justice and black and white as my life at home are filled with dramas without boundaries.

Live with secrets

Same as other childhood abused survivors, no matter how miserable / abusive at home, we keep these in secrets, kind of like a dirty laundry that we feel shame to show outsiders.  For many years, I carry all dramas on my own shoulders, never able to tell honestly and openly to anyone.  I feel shame to have such parents and family members who don’t care my benefits but only their own welfare. I afraid to let people judge me for not being loved and abused,

Difficult to have genuine relationship

It’s impossible to have a true relationship if I keep many secrets to myself.  I’m not fake but can’t speak or act freely in front of friends, colleagues or any potential lovers.  Since I don’t talk much about my family life, background or history, this made people feel I’m timid, conservative or not interested in the relationship.  I don’t want to let people see my wounds as I don’t know how to heal it back once it’s disclosed.  Sometimes I feel more safe to not telling than sharing.

I tried once in a church, there were no professionals and backups there, my emotions collapsed terribly for a period of time even without telling what’s happened to me.  Eventually I left the church because I can’t handle my erupted emotions anymore.  It’s so scary and don’t want to re-touch the hurts.

More exposures than normal people

I love travel, reading, podcast, lectures and all kinds of knowledge that can help me to grow, heal or become a better self, plus observation skill we introverts good at.  These all adds up lots of knowledge I absorbed over years, which give me have very different perspectives in many life tops / issues.  Like a sponge to grab new ideas / knowledge continuously, let say, if I learned 1 tip everyday, I will have 365 tips more than anyone who don’t care to learn anything new in a year.

This is good for my self-development and healing journey, but this also give me a a bigger gap between others from time to time.  I don’t force others to believe me but most of time I found it’s others don’t accept my ways of thinking. Again, I’m weird to their eyes.  I don’t mean to brag about my skills / knowledge but I kind of understand what people means “it’s lonely to stay at the top, or ten steps further than other people”.

Final thoughts

Reasons why I start this blog this year because I want to throw myself to the world.  To learn more true to myself by speaking out secrets / burdens / hurtful memories I carried over the years.  This is a huge milestone for me as I don’t have this courage, if you ask me last year.

I start to realize if I’m not able to open myself up and share my vulnerability, I will never accept myself.  If I can’t accept myself then I can never expect others accept me.

And if you see someone always stay in corner, looks sad, extremely quiet, or seldom talk about themselves, please be patience and warm to them, they are just simply scare to open their wounds up to the world.  They may dress poorly or have weight issues; it doesn’t mean they don’t care but they simply lost hope to live; they want friends and relationships but don’t know how because this is not the skill they learn from dysfunctional family.

I knew all these signs and always feel sad for seeing one, because I am one of them.

Photo credit : pixabay

Secrets of Dysfunctional Family (1) – Triangulation

Norm in dysfunctional family : don’t tell the outside world, pretend everything is fine

Many people don’t understand what’s it actually like to live / grown up in a dysfunctional family.  Reasons why it’s so difficult for abused child to develop (emotional, physical and mental) are due to distorted principles we learned from toxic environment over years, which lead us feel confused, doubted and helpless when we step in adulthood and a normal world.

My Dad is a very abusive parent, not physically as he cares a lot about the image he created, i.e. generous, hardworking and responsible.  It’s just a mask he wears for outsiders but I (as an insider) can uncover lies behind the door.

Since earlier age, I was defined as a “troublemaker” at home, not only as a target for all problems / blames, but also was split and rejected by other family members.  I was not welcome to sit together at dinner table, I was left at home alone while everyone was out for meals, and definitely not invited for any family reunions or celebrations.  Reasons he gave other relatives for my absence were “I am a bad daughter / the worst / the most useless person at home”, etc.

He use many dirty tactics to create conflicts between me and my sisters, aim to maintain his sense of power in the family, made it clearly that if anyone want to have a good life in this family, especially if you want to get his attention / love, then we must follow his rules, which 99% of the time I found are non-sense or morbid.  For example, he threw rubbish on floor and expected me to clean it continuously during the day; switched TV channel whenever he found I enjoyed the program because he’s the one who bought it.

I was not allowed to have friends, social life but have non-stop chaos at home otherwise I will be name-calling, yelling or humiliate as “useless”, “rubbish”, or scold by foul languages etc.  So many weird behaviors I can hardly write them all down, my life at home is simply “walking on the eggshell” all the time.

Triangulation is the common dynamic found in dysfunctional family.  An emotionally abuse parent loves to spread rumors and children will be manipulated into conflicts with one another.  For example, my abusive father used to talked to my sisters, relatives and his friends how bad / rebellious I am, and what terrible things I did (e.g. reading, travel).  He simply made up the stories in which I never did them.  I saw his smile whenever he set up drama traps so family members and outsiders join the blame or distant me.  Yes, he’s my parent but the way he treat me made me angry / frustrated / depressed and no longer respect him.

Now when I look back, most of my family time was confused and hurtful.  Deep down I knew something went wrong as I don’t believe parents should treat their kids this way.  But I didn’t know how to react or fight back as I was completely naive for my situation.  I simply ignore / shut up / stay away most of the time to express my disagree, rebellious and request for justice. This strengthen my dad’s excuse to abuse me emotionally and verbally even more.

Differently, my sisters take his side and joined together to against / betray me in order to gain benefits, e.g. gifts, money, love and attention.

Final thoughts

My family life is very lonely and filled with hurts and betrays.  Guess this is the reason why I have difficulties to establish close / intimate relationships with others as I don’t trust people easily.  But I am learning to heal my wounds and reply on others.gradually though there still a long way to go.

Photo credit : Pixabay 

Step out of the Scapegoat (Black sheep) Role

From time to time, I’ll try to post worth-to-read articles I found from the net, in case someone in somewhere find helpful by learning from other people’s wisdom.

Healing is a long journey, it’s tough and can be very lonely, especially if we don’t connect to the world.  This is the mistake I made over the years and I don’t want to see anyone will go through the same like me.

Below is the link of an article related to scapegoat role in dysfunctional family.  It resonates me a lot and this kind of articles always give me energy / strength to move on my daily life.  Or if you found any well worth articles / websites, please share with me.  Thanks.

Till now, Enjoy! All credits to the writer alone : Step out of the Scapegoat Role

Photo credit : Pixabay

Let go of the Shame

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.

Final thoughts

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

Abused survivor’s journey is Rough

 The Scapegoat doesn’t get picked randomly or by accident. Usually they are sensitive, unhappy, vulnerable, or outspoken child.

In other words, he/she is the child who refuses to stay silence in the unbearable atmosphere created in the family home.

– Glynis Sherwood

It’s not my choice

I’m a family scapegoat.  Don’t even know this term until recent years.  I just felt all the dramas doesn’t make sense even based on my limited awareness of my situation.  I just acting rebellious which lead me to a rough life journey!  Every time I hear someone says “we can choose our friends and lovers, but never family members”.  Damn true!

However, I disagree the saying of “since they are my family members, thus we need to cherish the bond and forgive anything they did to me.  It’s necessary to compromise and let go in any relationship otherwise we will have a resentful life by complaining this and that.

But according to my family history, I would say it’s better living as an orphan than growing up in such a sick family environment.   I was forced to become mature at a very early age, act as a mother taking care of siblings, housework, etc. while struggling through all life challenges by my own self.

Why I write now?

Personal

Years of abusive relationship taught me to shut up and shut down all my anger/frustration as no one will care or help me.  The better survival skills for myself is “don’t touch the scar within myself”.  I thought I can handle or believe the so-called “time will heal”.  Sadly, all shame / hurtful memories never leave my mind.  To cope with the dysfunctional family, I learned to act tough as a defend mechanism.  Abusers treat me this way because they want to show their power by proving that my life will be miserable without their supports/love.  I hate to see they win.

But the truth is : I never feel any better over these years, results and mistakes were repeated continuously.  Strive to read and learn as many as I can, to understand what’s the situation about.  The more information I get, the more I realize how messed up my life is.  Started to realize speak out is the hardest but most important step of healing.  I’m lonely, depressed and hope to connect to the world like a new born baby.

For many years, I feel so shame for myself so build up a wall with people to protect myself being hurt.  Knew this is the worst decision but the most comfortable coping skills.  If family can’t be trusted and can betray me, it’s difficult for me to trust others so I feel safe this way though feel extremely lonely.

External

During this life searching journey, thanks for many writers who devoted to share their own stories, which helps me learn a lot about my situation.  Education of abuse is tremendously important as this still a taboo in many cultures in this century.  People don’t share much or choose to hide from lies.  Of course I still have a long way to go, but I hope to speak out so may be someone in somewhere has the similar situation so we can both learn from each other.

Final thoughts

I never want to be an abused survivor or feel comfortable to say “how strong I am” to go through all these.  Because I don’t want to, but if that’s my fate, well, I better start to unlearn everything bad for me and relearn new strategies from now on.

Photo : Unsplash – Jeff Sheldon