It has become apparent that I will not be able to wait until Volumes III and IV have been properly posted and digested before the onion peeling tirades shall commence. For those of you unfamiliar with onion peeling, you may read about it here.
It’s long and it’s not pretty towards the end. Well, none of it is pretty.
*FEELING VICTIMIZED – The p/a woman protests that others unfairly accuse her rather than owning up to their own misdeeds. To remain above reproach, she sets herself up as the apparently hapless, innocent victim of your excessive demands and tirades.
Aimee asked that I not do this anymore so I will attempt to find a why for it first.
Certainly, I can see that I’ve done this. However, I do tend to be forthcoming with my failings and I do realize when I’m not doing what I should. I’ll throw out here that perhaps this particular symptom only comes into play when I’m actually the victim of something, I just compound it by actually playing the part.
I’ll offer you up a memory of my childhood. I was perhaps five or six years old at the time, maybe older, but not much older. My mother and I are sitting on the floor of my bedroom and it’s probably a bit messy. There is a small navy blue suitcase with wide tan stripes on it laying open on the floor. Inside, from what I can recall, there are underwear and socks.
My mother is raining down verbal fire and brimstone, berating me for not cleaning out my suitcase from an overnight stay at my grandparents’ house. She is so angry. Her voice always took a different tone when she was like that. She always asked me questions that I could not answer. Why are you so dolus? (This word was one of her favorites and means: evil intent, embracing both malice and fraud.) Why are you so lazy? Why can’t you just (fill in the evil blank)?
When she got like that, I stayed silent. Any attempt to defend myself just brought on more of the same. Are you cringing yet? Because I am. Because I knew what happened next. The slapping. My head, my shoulders, my bare arms, my bare legs, and the hair pulling. She always kept my hair short as a child and she would grasp the little hairs at the nape of my neck and give it a good swift tug upwards. You wanna feel pain? That is pain.
Then, of course, I would try to appease her by being “the good child,” by doing what she wanted. But, that wasn’t good enough either because she rejected the attempts that I made because I should have done it before. I should not have had to be reminded. I should have done it the first time. I should have done it right the first time.
This was not an isolated incident. This happened more often than not. It was always something. My father didn’t say anything, if he was even around to say anything. She was much calmer at times when he was home, meaning, she vented against him instead of me. He was the one she went after.
So, he became my savior. I loved my Daddy when I was a little girl. Not that I don’t now, but God I loved him so much when I was little. When he came home, I knew she would leave me alone. Granted, it was still terrible because they would fight and the tension, argh, the tension. And that is what I could not tell her that day.
I’m not sure if she had yelled at me, or yelled at my brother, or yelled at my dad after I came home from my grandparents’ house, but the tension, the tension was so heavy. I went up to my room, got my little navy blue and tan striped suitcase from underneath the bed, and put my socks and underwear in it. It wasn’t my clothes from my grandparents’ house that she had found, it was where I had packed to run away from home.
The day she came up to my room and found the clothes, I don’t remember what she was so angry about. I know I saw it in her face, I felt it as she slapped me, I heard it as she yelled at me, and I felt it inside of me. The most terrifying thing was not the words, or the pain, or what I saw, it was what I felt inside of me because I could feel her anger as though it was my own.
Overwhelming percussions waves of anger and hate and violence and loathing and disgust. I was afraid because I could feel inside of her, I could see inside of her. I could feel that she wanted to choke me, beat me, strangle me, slap me, she wanted to hurt me. She wanted to kill me. That’s how angry she was.
I’m still afraid and it manifests itself everyday and my co-dependent traits slide right in there with it. Everyday about two o’clock, I become afraid to pick Nate up from Jeff’s. I’m afraid that in my absence something I did or didn’t do will have made Jeff mad, and when I get there to pick Nate up, he’ll confront me. And I’m six years old again.
When AZ left for Boston, I was afraid the entire time he was gone, afraid he wouldn’t come home. Then I was afraid when he got home that he would be angry with me although he had no reason to be angry as I had done nothing for him to be angry about. He’s gone on numerous trips out of town and he’s never come home angry at me for anything. Yet, when he returns, I desperately want to talk to him and see him, but I’m afraid to. He’s never even raised his voice to me, how could I be afraid? But I am.
It’s that way with my parents, when I haven’t seen or talked to them in a while. Fear. Anytime I travel out of town, I come home with fear in my heart that there’s something I haven’t done or something I have done that has pissed someone off while I was gone. Fear.
So, can you imagine the freak that gets loose in my mind when I actually do something wrong? When I make a mistake? Yes, the freak runs loose but the freak admits wrongdoing and the freak makes amends. But if someone won’t let go of what I did wrong, if they keep picking at me, if they pick on me at all, then yes, I start seeing less and less of what I did wrong and focus on being the victim, on throwing it back on my accuser.
I no longer care if I’ve done anything wrong, because they’re more wrong and if they’re more wrong then I’m right and I’m not six years old anymore being beaten about the head and shoulders, my hair pulled, my bare legs and arms slapped, being degraded and berated and told I’m lazy and dolus over a FUCKING SUITCASE NO BIGGER THAN A BRIEFCASE WITH A COUPLE OF PAIRS OF SOCKS AND UNDERWEAR IN IT!
IT WAS FUCKING RIDICULOUS! SHE SHOULD HAVE NEVER TREATED ME THAT WAY. I DIDN’T DESERVE IT! NO ONE DESERVES IT. BUT IT HAPPENED TO ME AND I COULDN’T DO ANYTHING! NOTHING! I HAD NO ONE THERE TO PROTECT ME! I HAD NO VOICE.
YOU WEREN’T THERE. YOU DIDN’T SEE HOW SHE LOOKED AT ME. YOU DIDN’T FEEL HOW MUCH SHE HATED ME. YOU DIDN’T FEEL HOW ANGRY SHE WAS. AND YOU CAN’T FEEL HOW MUCH I DIDN’T UNDERSTAND IT. HOW I STILL DON’T UNDERSTAND IT.
I’M SURE SOME OF YOU CAN UNDERSTAND HOW MAD THAT MAKES ME. I’M SURE SOME OF YOU CAN UNDERSTAND HOW FUCKING ANGRY I AM, BUT YOU’RE FAR AWAY. YOU CAN’T REACH OUT YOUR HAND AND TOUCH ME PHYSICALLY. AND COULD YOU LEAN YOUR FOREHEAD AGAINST MINE AND IN TWO WORDS MAKE MY WORLD SO MUCH BETTER? WOULD I EVEN LET YOU? MY GUESS IS NO.
BECAUSE I WILL LIE TO YOU. I WILL TELL YOU EVERYTHING IS BETTER BECAUSE I DON’T WANT YOU INSIDE OF ME EVEN WHEN I WANT DESPERATELY TO BE CLOSE TO YOU. THAT’S WHAT IT’S LIKE. DESPERATELY WANTING TO BE CLOSE TO SOMEONE AND NOT BEING ABLE TO.
NO, MINE AND AZ’S RELATIONSHIP MAY NOT BE MADE IN HEAVEN, IT MAY NOT BE THE HEALTHIEST, BUT HE IS THE ONLY PERSON THAT WHEN HE GRABS MY FACE, KISSES MY FOREHEAD AND SAYS, “I UNDERSTAND,” MAKES ME FEEL BETTER BECAUSE I KNOW HE’S BEEN THERE. HE HAS WALKED THROUGH THE SAME GATE OF HELL WITH ME.
THE SUITCASE STORY UP THERE, ONE OF MANY, MANY MORE THAT HE HAS HEARD BECAUSE HE WAS THE ONE WHO TALKED ME DOWN AND HELD ME WHEN I WAS DRUNK AND CRYING BECAUSE I WAS SO HURT AND ANGRY AND SCARED, BECAUSE HE HAS READ HUNDREDS OF MY LETTERS, WRITTEN ON BAR NAPKINS AND LEGAL PADS AND NOTEBOOK PAPER AND MATCHBOX COVERS AND TYPED, TYPED, TYPED, TYPED ON THIS COMPUTER.
But, it makes me sad and angry that he understands because then I know how he feels inside. And I love him so much, I don’t want him to feel this way. I don’t ever want anyone to feel this way.