Donning the mask

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I struggle for authenticity.   There is a yearning for wholeness, for acceptance of self, for cohesion within myself.  Despite this, shame has always driven me to compartmentalize areas of my life; to stay fractured, splintered.

Only 3 friends know about this blog.  Still fewer know my dad signed his parental rights away when I was one and a half.  Few people who know me are aware that I swear like a sailor despite me having a good command of lexicon at my disposal.   My eating disorder is only known by my immediate family and 2 close friends.   I can count on one hand who knows this abbreviated story I recount here,  the abuse I suffered at the hands of my ex.  No one knows I am a survivor of incest as a child, but my shrink, my dying mother, and my fiancé.

It is still hard to say that out loud,” Isurvivedincest,” even in a therapy session behind closed doors where no one can hear.

But how to synthesize these areas of my life?  Would people be accepting of the “real me” after years of putting on a veneer and hiding the ugly things that I am ashamed which happened to me?

Me trading authenticity for acceptance began in early childhood.  Often doing what other kids wanted to do even if I didn’t want to, afraid I might lose them and/or their friendship.  I became a people pleaser at a very young age. In a desperate attempt for love and affection which were denied all around me.  Instead of getting love, I received the abuse, exploitation, and humiliation.

As a victim of incest, the first lessons I learned was that my home was not a safe place, and that my body was not my own, and that I didn’t get to have a  “no”.

As early as kindergarten I recall feeling shame, it manifested in feeling ‘less then’ the other kids.   Anxious and unsettled and wanting to sit near the teacher hoping she might like me or show me some approval.

As I grew older and the sexual abuse intensified and more violence in my home occurred, an irrational belief sprouted that the ugliness inside me may be transparent. I began creating a false persona to hide my shame.  Hide my tears.  Hide my emotions. Hide my authentic self.   I had observed first-hand that the girls who were quiet and sullen or melancholy got made fun of, got devoured like shark meat ny the mean kids.  So I immediately suppressed my feelings under a fake happy,  sunny,  disposition.   I realized that with my persona operating, that  I could “pass” for normal.   I could have friends, connection, some sort of meaning in an otherwise desolate life.

Because my older siblings were all poly-substance users, I too began smoking marijuana at age 12.  Took my first drink of vodka by 13 years old and never looked back.   By high school I could drink most guys under the table and had alcohol poisoning once.  I was not deterred by this.  At this point I believed that I couldn’t let the “real me” come through, the fake me had been operating for so long.  I’d lose everything, I feared. Friends were the only positive thing I had in my life at that time and I was petrified to lose them.  Even if their friendship was built upon knowing me, a girl who was hiding the pathetic, sad, depressed, nothing-to-offer loser who hated herself underneath this joke-telling, witty, charismatic confident false girl they came to love.

Using booze and pot helped me turn down the volume of the authentic me deep inside me, screaming for relief and accelerate the fake persona that I was creating externally, that was happy and confident.  As I was fast approaching my high school years substance use was just I needed to survive all the sharks who would eat me up.

I don’t remember much of high school due to all the alcohol and marijuana use.  My parents divorced and our house was sold.  I found myself looking for a place to stay as neither parent was financially capable of absorbing me after I graduated.

I had never told either of my parents  about the incest.   As I entered my freshman year of college, my eating disorder was so severe that I had starved myself down to an emaciated state.  I couldn’t think or read very well as my mental functioning had declined from being malnourished.  For many months I was harming myself, also called self-mulilation.   I used self-injury to push back any feelings of intense emotion with which I couldn’t cope.   Then things changed and my feelings simply left.  My depression intensified and I just felt numb all the time.  Empty, cold, void of any emotion had become the new norm.  I had persistent and intrusive thoughts of suicide.   This dragged on for 6 months or more.  I figured I may as well be physically dead too.  Seemed logical to me.  Finally one night I decided to end my life.

First, I asked God to forgive me, and then I went ahead with it.   I guess God had other plans.  After getting discharged from the regular hospital,  I was sectioned involuntarily into a psychiatric hospital.   This was the first time in a long time any of what happened to me as a child would surface again in my consciousness.

I find it interesting that had I not attempted suicide at 19, I may have well have kept that mask on.   My authentic self may never have had the chance to be re-born.  My then therapist told me, “sometimes we have to have a complete and total breakdown, so we can put ourselves back together in a more healthy way.”

It has taken many years in therapy and I am still only able to let down my guard and become vulnerable to a few.  Happiness? Real long-standing  happiness? Still elusive I’m afraid.  I do find moments of real joy though.  I’m told I can learn to expand those and they can grow.  Self-love is the one thing I have yet to be able to achieve.  I have been working on learning to set boundaries and learning what it looks like to truly care about myself.  Imagine, having to be taught that.  Most of my life has been spent caring for others and I do that really well.   Historically, I give and give until I am emotionally drained or financially bankrupt.   The goal for me  is to learn to put myself first and not feel guilty for doing so.

Though I have always had the ability to love others and deeply empathize, I find it strange that both myself and my pathological narcissist both employed “masks” to hide our authentic selves.  Perhaps we have something in common after all.

 

Blogging is like confession, without the Hail Marys and Our Fathers

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It’s so true isn’t it?

I come here and unload all the shit that churns around in the recesses of my mind and my soul.   All the benefits that comes with the process of confession, none of the fear of being chastised and told to repent.

So there’s something inherently therapeutic about the whole thing.

Meanwhile, back at the ranch Pope Benedict resigns….

Into thin air….

At one time, my heart broke over this sex-addict.  He was sleeping with prostitutes, going to gang bangs, whoring around with swingers, doing NSA chicks off Craigslist, and caning, whipping, flogging, spanking my ass.

Tell me there is nowhere to go but up from THAT shit …

Oh but indeed I managed to sink lower…..

My heart is presently ripping in two, because my latest relationship just went belly up; into thin air.

While he was passed out from drinking two pints of Vodka (his usual daily intake) I looked at his cell phone while he was passed out,  I know I know wrong on so many levels.   And found he’d texted his buddy in San Fransisco asking if there are any conservative hot chicks there.

To which his buddy replied, “do you mind Asian girls?”  He’s already procuring the next piece of ass while he’s sleeping off his hangover in my bed.

But he said he loved me and wanted to marry me, and I freakin trusted him! I freakin’drank the Kool-aid.   He appears for his pre-trial divorce hearing in a few weeks, signed his parental rights away to his 3 kids, got thrown out of his parents house for acting like such a verbally abusive asshat, has no job because he resigned in a drunken stupor but by the time he reneged, they accepted, just got out of two detox’s in a row.

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My mind and heart are on parallel courses.

I thought if I just showed him what love could be, what kindness could be, if I cleaned up his puke, held his hand through his Librium haze, tolerated his calling me denigrating names when he is shit faced…..

gave him the best head he ever had, kissed him from head to toe, read from the Big Book, prayed with him, booked his doctors appointments for him, reminded him to keep them, maybe he would see he had something good?   WTF??

Even sadder, I still love him.   And wish that at the end up the episode it could all work out and that he would get sober and stop lying.  That we could live happily ever after in the Barbie Dream house with the convertible by the pool.   But not…..with that fucking Skipper bitch.

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Oh, please…like you’ve never had any train-wreck breakups….pfffftt.

House of cards

They’re all the same though aren’t they.

Their names change.  Their faces.

But the pattern, it inevitably repeats.  Because I don’t change.

I keep building my house of cards.

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I like my adrenaline rush with a side of cortisol please.

I don’t know any other way.

And yet there is a tiny seedling within me that wants something different.

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The Hallmark industry has brain-washed me into thinking that some white knight was supposed to come with his steed and

sweep me off  my mother fucking feet and I was suppose to traverse into some fairy-tale and live happily ever after.

They lied and

I bought it.

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Fact is there is no fucking fairy tale.  No white night.  And happy ever after?  Pfffft …..the closest I’ve ever come to it

was numbing out my pain in fantasy, booze, weed, or other escapist activities.

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My two greatest defense mechanisms have always been humor and intellectualization.  I hide behind them like great steel gates.

The authentic me?  who the fuck even know what that is anymore.   who the fuck knows if I’d even be recognizable to myself, or even be likable?

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What do I see in the fucking ink blot?

Oh yeah……..fucking rainbows and sunshine you assholes.

Even though I see black, death, blood.

Oh but I know the ” right” answers.

That’s the problem.

I know what you want me to say.

but at the end of the day….. I still can’t find my way out a fucking emotional paper bag.