Today was the first day alone I’ve had since I got back from my trip to see my relatives.

My house is a mess, something that if I don’t deal with soon, will probably put me at odds with my wife. I spent most of the day in bed reading, broken up but largely context-less bursts of sobbing. There is so much to integrate from my trip, and I feel utterly alien. It’s like I’m hiding my own emotional reality from myself unless it leaks out suddenly, as it did on the weekend in an unexpected burst of anger which I wasn’t that good at hiding and today in an unexpected burst of crying while reading a novel.

I hate it. It makes me wonder what I’ve got locked away so tight, since my own emotional reality sneaks up on me, like it’s coming from somewhere else. I mean, I was a therapist, so I know it makes sense I’d have grieving to do, and anger to express. It’s the fact that I don’t actually feel them, until they burst out suddenly and then just as suddenly are gone. Am I in some sort of shock? It’s not that I’m not capable of strong emotion sometimes, but I seem to need someone there to validate and protect me, even if it is only the Goddess in the form of a beautiful natural location, in order to truly feel.

I”m overwhelmed.

What am I overwhelmed about? The trip went well.

1) I disclosed graphic details of the abuse: That I’d been injured in a rape at the age of 5 and that my mother must have known – to family – her own brother and sister. They’d believed me, shown me validation and respect for my strength, and apologized for not seeing and intervening. They totally got why I needed to ask questions about my mother and father, and answered them honestly and as fully as they could.

2) I got information about my father and mother. My mom’s high school yearbook, which my uncle had since he went to the same school, referred to her dating my father at the age of 15. My aunt said that her parents were strongly against sex before marriage, and that my mother was the golden girl, very obedient. She thought my father must have put huge pressure on her to have sex with him before marriage, and that her getting pregnant before marriage as she did was a huge deal. My uncle told me a story about going hunting with my father and my father firing a gun irresponsibly, scaring my uncle so he didn’t hunt with my father again. The way he told the story, I could see my father doing it on purpose, just for the risk and to freak out my uncle. He loved freaking people out. Very sociopathic.

3) I got triggered by two things at my paternal aunt’s house. One was a room I think I was abused in, which I’d dreamt about, but didn’t realize actually existed, a ‘secret room’ behind one of the bedrooms that used to be a storage area. The second was the type of attention her husband showed toward my cousin’s son, his grandson. He lit up when he saw him, but was a bit controlling with him, and the little boy moved away from him later in the meal. Nothing major, but he was just enough like my dad to creep me out, given the context.

4) I went to a couple of places I’d been to as a child, but didn’t have the liberty to wander and soak up impressions, to get a sense for whether I could remember how I thought or felt there. It was like I am so hungry for places that were familiar to me as a child, places I could recover lost parts of myself from.

I found a really good way to explain why survivors don’t want to ‘just forget it’. I told my mom’s brother’s wife, my aunt: “Because of how overwhelming it is when traumatic things happen, the brain doesn’t store the information properly. You get bits of memory floating around, ready to surface at any time. Like a feeling of terror, with no other information. To stop it, you have to allow yourself to feel whatever it is, and then sometimes you get more information  to go with it and it can become a normal memory.  So why would I want to forget a memory I worked so hard for?”  Shortly after this she told me how much she admires my courage.

The problem is people don’t really get it unless you tell them everything. If they don’t know how bad it really is, they don’t get why things are important. I really respect my maternal aunts and uncle for hearing, and asking and being unflinching in looking at things. I offered a couple of times to change the subject, but they said they were comfortable with talking about it if I wanted to.

I think it’s the love that makes me cry. I’m not used to getting this kind of love and support and willingness from people, certainly not my family.

My aunt told me she was going to tell my mother she should confess, tell the truth about what she did. We both agreed it would be good for my mom to get it off her chest, and that she owed it to me. My aunt thinks she can get her to disclose. I think she can try, but I don’t really see it happening.

And then there’s this whole thing about whether my mom abused me. I’m afraid if I remember anything like that it will f up my sex life even worse than it already is. One of the great things about being a lesbian is that I don’t have sex with men, and don’t have to wade into the minefield of sensations that are too similar to the ones of the abuse.

And lastly there’s the whole sociopath thing. Even the small morsels of love I thought I might have had from my father, the connection of singing together and all that, was probably either grooming or his ego at having a talented daughter.  He literally had no ability to connect or love anyone. I had no father. Someone f’ing saddled me with a sociopath father! and it’s fricking hereditary!  I can’t have a child knowing he or she might be sociopathic, not that I was really planning to, but still. On the other hand it validates what happened to me. He just did what he wanted to, and liked to torture and dominate people.

My wife and I get into fights because I think she lets’ mean people get away with hurting her. It triggers me because I know you have to cut off people like that. Apparently I did the best thing you can do if you are involved with a sociopath in some way, just cut them off completely and permanently. As long as they have contact they will use it to meet their needs for stimulation and winning at the expense of others, to manipulate with pity and power. I cut him off effectively. Why did he give me his piano? Was it to manipulate my mother into thinking she could get restitution and repentance from him to mend her broken family to the way it was? I can’t think of another reason. He made trouble for me actually, because by giving it to me, he  broke his separate promises to both of my brothers to leave it to them.

My mother should just cut him off, and wait for him to die, not count on getting a penny out of the house, and do whatever hands off legal shielding she can do to prevent herself from becoming accountable for his debts.

I hope in a few days I’ll feel better. The crying feels more like exhaustion that anything else, and the rage. It’s like I’m overwhelmed and just can’t take anymore.

0 thoughts on “Hangover”

  1. WOW. What a powerful experience. No wonder you are crying in the meantime – the whole thing was just so powerful, dealing with it out in the open instead of dealing with it on the inside. Brave and honest.

  2. About the sociopath thing. My father was/is one (was because, in my mind, he’s already dead).

    I have come to think that he never had any human bonding with anybody in his life. He was operating on a purely egotistic basis of “me against the world”. Either you agreed with him and you were somehow admitted to exist, in a “you’re a useful/good/agreeable thing” kind of way – or you disagreed and you were an enemy (in his words : “they’re all assholes”). I don’t think he was ever able to consider anyone else as a fellow human – there was him, and things, things that would cooperate with him or wouldn’t, and also very threatening things, like the authorities. I was one of those things. And since I was a thing somehow excreted from his own body, he could use me with less risks than he could use other things, that could rebel and hurt him, or even worse get the authorities to check on him – the main villains.

    I think he never raped me because, though probably grooming me for it, he didn’t feel secure enough to attempt it, until I had clearly asked for it, which never happened. He behaved as if my mother was his own mother, always asking for permissions, making temper tantrum when she or I wouldn’t grant him what he wanted (like company to go with him wherever he wanted to go). And he got sexual gratifications from me in sneaky ways – I remember him being aroused and asking me to sit in his lap, cause good little girls sat on their father’s lap. So no violence. And nobody saw nothing – like you said, little girls don’t know that fathers are not to behave like creeps.

    Okay, if you’ve thrown up, sorry – it seems like I’m using your comments section as my own therapy, I never could write or say any of this in my native language or to anybody in front of me, but in English on a computer it seems to work for me. Edit whatever is too yucky.

    So, that’s a sociopath for you, right ? Well, I’m a proof it’s not hereditary. I’m not like him. My eldest son is 11 now, I’ve never fondled him, nor felt any inclination to do so. I admit I’ve wondered about it when he was growing, often, like “OK we’re cuddling now, my father used to cuddle me too and touch me, am I feeling like touching him sexually like the old man felt with me ? Mm… no. OK, I’m still not a effing pervert, good ; no need to go kill myself yet”.

    Of course, when I was a teenager, I vowed never to have kids in case it would be hereditary. I also tried to off myself because I was carrying half of his genes. Then, I went to Texas, I lived a whole year with a normal family, and when I came back I knew I could be normal too.

    Although I did marry a jerk, he’s not into sexual violence, more into psychological violence. And since we’ve separated now, and I have the kids most of the time, I can undo what he does, with the help of psychiatrists. I’m his main target, so the kids are relatively safe for now. Oh, and I know that I’m quite normal because he sent Childcare on me, and they checked everything (including what the kids’ teachers had to say of me) and then Childcare told me that, though depressed, I was a “beaming mother around the kids”, thanks ! Then he asked for a judicial expertise of my mental health, and the expert found me in a light depression but otherwise quite fit to raise the kids. So there.

    Of course I’m no medical expert. But survivors can have and raise kids, even though they have some of the genes of their sociopathic abusers. And even if revictimization in adulthood is a big risk for us, we can have a family with kids. Not all of us wish it, but we can.

    About cutting abusers off : I feel the same. I would get rid of the piano if I were you (maybe you already have), unless it has a really overwhelmingly good meaning for you. It feels like with this gift, he made sure you wouldn’t have good relationships with your brothers (divide and reign stuff).

    About the sex life. Mine was hard enough to make to happen. Although there was no penetration in reality, I’ve had years of recurring nightmares of being forcibly or sneakily raped by the father, for intercourse with a man to be a trigger. It’s less often with time. I’ve learned to repress the visions. Whenever I have one, I ask my boyfriend to speak aloud, and that helps me to focus on now, with him. I’ve not told him why ; I don’t want him to feel insecure and to wonder with whom I’m in my head, it’s bothering enough as it is. I’m 36 and I can have now several intercourses with no visions in a row ; whereas when I was 18 it was every time. It helped a lot to learn, not many years ago, that other survivors experienced this too.

    So if your mother did abuse you – which is not certain at this point – and you remember things during intercourse, you’ll have to learn how to fight the remembrances, how to come back to now and here, for example by using sensory stimuli from your partner (hearing him for me). It will be easier every time. Don’t be afraid in anticipation. It’s just another fight.

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