Posted by: Judy | August 8, 2016

Change in perspective?

Of course, I’m still struggling with dealing with NM. She’s been working hard to force interaction between us. I’ve been working hard to avoid it. It isn’t healthy for me. She is not a safe person.

I’ve grumbled other times about her checking up on my eating, like I’m a baby and can’t take care of myself. It happened again Saturday night. She knocked on the door, interrupting my writing, and asked if I’d eaten. Yes. Then she proceeded to explain why she wasn’t sure, and I cut her off. I didn’t want to hear it. I didn’t care. It’s none of her business. All the rage bubbled up like lava and poured over me.

I’m the one being burned.

I took it to God a little more mindfully than I usually do. I worked on sitting with what I was feeling and why.

Earlier this week, someone had felt inclined to assure me that NM loved me in her own way . It didn’t help. In fact, it added fuel to the fire.

I thought of the times she fed me food she knew made me throw up because she’d watched it happen. The way she changed the way she cooked my favorite foods until I didn’t like them and then cooked them that way all the time. The way I’d done exactly what she had done in eliminating food allergies, learning I could not tolerate whole wheat, and then she made everything with whole wheat, including pizza and spaghetti. Amidst all the explosions, I remembered how she forbid me to lock the bathroom door and would barge in as I finished my showers and would watch me dry off. I remembered her catching my molester in the act and a short time later telling me I had to take my molester with me if I wanted to walk to the store around the corner. I didn’t remember every single incident (there were too many), but I remembered she frequently accused me of doing things that she had done. Not as in we did the same things, she did it and laid the blame on me. All the people she told that I did awful things I hadn’t done. The numerous times she screamed at me for making a grilled cheese sandwich on the stovetop or used the microwave or toaster, in the summer, and now she uses the oven for almost twenty hours straight, in the summer. The times she promised to pay me for doing extra work, and she didn’t. The time she told me that men didn’t marry girls as fat as me. Or the time she told me men didn’t marry girls with a face as scarred as mine. The way she carefully chose the nastiest things she could say about my most vulnerable weakness. Cruelty. Brutality. Neglect. Lie upon lie upon lie.

I sat with the rage until it settled to a simmer. Cool enough to inspect a little closer. I found frustration. I wasn’t surprised. I can’t say anything. It won’t help, and it will be used against me. Worse, she will twist it until I’m the one who’s cruel and brutal and lying, even if I’m telling the truth. Really. It was one of the last times I confronted her. I watched her twist my words inside out until the truth was unrecognizable and realized I was fighting a losing battle. I stopped fighting. I do my best to be as no contact as possible. She works to force interaction, ignoring my needs and requests, demanding respect at the same time she refuses to give respect.

My last counselor said that there were three basic “negative” emotions from with the others stemmed: Sadness, Hurt, and Frustration.

I’ve known frustration was a root emotion. Easy to see under the anger as well as understandable.

This time, I sat with the emotions a little longer. I found the hurt and the sadness. I sat with those for a long time. I let the tears flow. Then I gave it to God. I told Him I couldn’t handle this. The anger gets in the way too fast.

On Sunday, NM put her hand on my chair, something that usually makes me cringe and recoil as myriad memories race through my mind stirring disgust and fear. This time, I felt like a shield surrounded me. The emotions remained at bay. I answered her question without the usual anger bubbling up past the hurt and frustration. For the first time, in a long time, I wasn’t afraid to be near her. Not because she is safe but because I knew I was protected. Not protected in the way of someone else keeping her away from me but in the knowledge that even if she touched me I know how to step out of reach.

I know this does not mean I’ll be able to safely interact with her. It only means I’ve come to realize she’s losing her hold on me, even the memories are losing their hold. Anything she says or does to hurt me isn’t about me.



  1. So proud of you. That is a wonderful step forward 🎉

    • Thanks.

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