Relationships That Were Never Wanted

There is a particular cycle each year- I tell myself that the past year was the worst year of my life. But then I think to myself “Wait, wasn’t every year the worst year of my life?” Then I remember, each year WAS the worst year of my life. As far as I can remember, every single year of my life was awful in it’s own way. I can only ever remember the most previous year because that is the pain I am still overcoming. I want to look at a year and tell myself that it has been a good and healthy year. I have not yet gotten to that point.

In a previous blog, I had stated that I had tried to kill myself when I was seventeen (2018). However, I have tried to kill myself twice which is something I will explain in a different post. 2018 was a time in which, I tried to hang myself. This is a time when I finally accepted that my own father was a bully. That same day, I had told him I wanted to spend a week or two outside of the family because I was so depressed. He said to me, “You are either in this family or you’re not. You do not get to cherry pick. If you are away, you will not have access to a car, to the family, or to your phone.” So, that night I tried to hang myself and failed.

The following winter, I stayed in that same house because I would’ve been threatened otherwise and I was too unhealthy to leave. Both of my parents blamed me for each hardship in our home. They blamed me for defending myself. They blamed me for being myself. I was punished for being myself and defending myself. My own father ignored me for days because of the abuse my mother put on us and refused to accept it. He was cruel. He was mean. He made me feel more worthless, just as much as my own mother did. All I had ever wanted, was to be able to go to my parents and hug them without feeling uncomfortable. I wanted to go to them for comfort and love. They gave me the opposite.

In the past year, I had become extremely uncomfortable in my own body and personality, which would’ve been the fault of my parents. In April, I met someone who finally taught me to love myself and that I was beautiful inside and out. I was so unfamiliar with this idea that I experienced emotional flashbacks that were utterly unbearable. I felt as though I would never get through them. Before this, I was a huge fan of taking photos of myself and modeling per say, but at one point that changed. I had come home from work one day and changed into a dress. I put on makeup. These were two things I had not done for months. I was going to have my boyfriend (Jared), take pictures of me. However, this didn’t happen because my father made comments about the way I was dressed and specified that he could see my body through the dress. He made Jared stand from the end of the hallway to help him criticize what I was wearing.

My father, blamed me for my own 10 year old brother telling me to kill myself. My own father threatened to take away everything in my life because I was mentally ill. My own father designated me as a mother because there wasn’t a proper one in our lives. THAT IS UNFAIR AND CRUEL. A child should never have to take over the role and responsbility of a parent. My father neglected me. My father bullied me.

I was molested from about the age of five to twelve by my step-grandfather. There was nothing done about this. My father and mother were both aware of what might have been going on, but did NOTHING to help.

This post is not meant to bash or accuse. This is from a victims perspective. This is neglect and emotional/domestic/physical abuse. I never had parents. I have parented myself and it is a better job than my “biological parents” could’ve ever done. I have no extended family that believes me. That is okay. I have myself and I have those that do believe me. I never deserved to be neglected or abused.

This is Complex Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.

The Person Living In My Head

For as long as I can remember, I have always looked for aspects of myself that I should hate. These aspects are including physical and internal/emotional aspects. However, because I have been conditioned by my parents to criticize every detail about myself, I am just now learning how to validate these emotions.

Almost everyday of my life, I have changed my outfit multiple times a day. This was mostly because I had so much anxiety about what was appropriate to wear for certain occasions and what people would think of me. I have always found something about myself to be dissatisfying, in regards to the way I physically appear. This was an aspect my own mother made fun of me for. She knew the difficulties I had with my self-esteem and used it as a means to make me feel even worse about myself. She intentionally encouraged me to wear more revealing clothing. Along with this, she continuously tried to discourage me over the idea that I didn’t have a boyfriend. This recurring toxic shame caused a feeling of being unworthy of anyone’s attention, including my parents.

Furthermore, I also very clearly remember holding a smile back that showed my teeth when I was younger. My teeth were extremely crooked and I had always been self-conscious of it until I got braces in 5th grade. My piano teacher, at the time, had even asked me to smile for recital pictures. He also asked my mom about why I wouldn’t smile and in response, she would essentially tease me over it. I was self-conscious because of her.

As I continue to validate my feelings, I realize more and more about my self-critic. This critic in my head is always the voice of my mother. Until I recently removed her from my life, she deliberately tried to make me unhappy. For example, every year for Christmas/my birthday, she would give me something she knew I would hate. One time, she had gone to the beach and had come back with gifts for everyone. My gift from her was a razor with shaving cream because, at the time, I was in 5th grade and had expressed that I wanted to start shaving my legs. All of my other siblings received an actual gift and I received a necessity as a “gift.”

Recently, I’ve found it even more difficult to fall asleep. I’ve always had issues sleeping because of insomnia, but recently it’s because I am genuinely afraid of falling asleep. Typically, when I do fall asleep, I will have a nightmare with someone from my past who happens to make me uncomfortable. Most of the time this person being my mother. Although, she has been in my nightmares for years, my past few nightmares have included eye contact with her.

Due to the fact that I am still living at home and I am surrounded by past/current negative energy, it is particularly difficult to receive any kind of mental recovery. The past couple of weeks have revealed to me how serious depression is. I used to invalidate those feelings of emptiness and hopelessness. I’m finally learning to validate the feelings of my inner critic and my inner child. As a way to help cope with this, I like to place myself back into the mind of my younger self. I give myself feedback like, “You weren’t safe before, but now I will keep you safe,” or “you’re not alone.” Although, it has been particularly difficult recently, I know I can learn to protect and love myself more than what my parents have ever been capable of.

Neglect

As I continue to come to different realizations, they become more in-depth and detailed. I’m in the process of forcing myself to remember certain scenarios, along with how those scenarios made me feel. It’s brought up a lot of difficult emotions and becomes exhausting. Even though I’m fully aware that these realizations are a part of the healing process, it’s still one of the most challenging things I’ve had to work through. In regards to the recent flashbacks and realizations: they have all been centered around the idea of ‘neglect.’

Furthermore, as I’m getting older and continuing to mature, I’ve seen my childhood in a completely different light. In this perspective, I have come to realize how little my parents paid attention to me as a child and even more so now. I was taught for as long as I can remember that my feelings were invalid and I believed this to the point that I even began telling myself that my feelings were not real. Even as I work through difficult emotions with my therapist, they’ve had to stop me to tell me that I need to validate my own feelings because I’m still subconsciously invalidating them.

I remember growing up with health issues that were inhibiting me from reaching my fullest potential and I expressed this to my parents from a young age, but as I got older I learned not to say anything at all. Reason being, the invalidation from my parents, of what I was feeling. This goes along with physical health, as well as mental health. With that being said, my ability to notice these things from a young age has helped me mature and grow from the situation. However, it is still one of the most painful aspects about my childhood that I can recall so far.

Seeing as I’m still living in my house, it seems almost suffocating. I feel a significant difference in my house than I do in anyone else’s. It feels as though there is a weight on my chest and I’m unable to speak freely. Its difficult to be around family members constantly while also working through flashbacks of things that occured in this house. Although, I have made a lot of progress, I find it most challenging that I am treated the same way I’ve always been and I have absolutely no control over it. This concept of not being cared for in the way that a child needs is known as, neglect.

The Benefits Of A Sensory Deprivation Tank

While being in Colorado during the month of February, I not only had the opportunity to experience beautiful exhibits of nature, but I had the privilege to try out a sensory deprivation tank. For anyone unfamiliar with this kind of therapy, a sensory deprivation tank is in the form of a pod/tube with water and an abundance of epsom salt. The epsom salt that is within the water, allows the body to float effortlessly, while also providing proper support and a sense of relaxation.

My first experience with a sensory deprivation tank, was a bit unsettling at first. I was placed in a room that provided a shower with shampoo/conditioner/body wash, a toilet, a couple towels, and the floatation tank. The tank was in the form of a tube and looked rather intimidating at first glance. However, after the process of removing clothes, putting in ear plugs, showering with shampoo/body wash, I climbed into the tank and prepared for one of the most relaxing experiences of my life.

This experience included a complete cutoff from any external stimuli and with the ability to float, the body is in an effortless mode of relaxation. As I had been practicing meditation for months leading up to this, I found it easy to ascend into a peaceful mindset. I focused only on my being in the isolation tank and found myself in a state of complete relaxation. With this being said, it did take a little bit to adjust and find the most comfortable position to float in. Another thing that was difficult, was the idea of being in a small space. But I was able to ease my mind by thinking only of the breath and the relief I would feel afterwards.

After a ninety minute session, stepping out of the isolation tank I had felt almost magical. I felt a sense of weight and pressure completely lifted from my chest. I could feel myself glowing and felt a sense of peace and contentment. After this session, I made it a priority to look into this kind of therapy in York, Pennsylvania. Seeing that I prefer natural remedies over any kind of medication, I found it best to invest in a monthly membership with an organization providing sensory deprivation tanks.

Furthermore, the benefits that the isolation tank had on my anxiety and C-PTSD, are unmatched compared to anything else I have tried. The sensory deprivation tank, after three total sessions, has improved the following: focus, insomnia, creativity, intuition, stress/anxiety/depression relief, and clarity. These are just examples of how it has improved my health, but it benefits people in many different ways. I highly recommend this to anyone struggling with anything similar to what I’ve struggled with. Seeing as medication is always a gamble, the sensory deprivation tank provides one with a sense of clarity in many aspects. But the most important being that medications are only crutches and true relief comes through natural remedies and realization.

Flashbacks: Remembering the Pain and Overcoming It

I am creating this post for two reasons, one being the idea that I am able to create a detailed image of what exactly happened during my childhood. The second reasoning, being the idea that I am still working through these memories and it is important that I understand how certain situations made me feel. The more I think about my childhood, the more dramatic & insane it looks to me. I want to make it clear that I am not creating this as a bashing against any family members, but simply as an outlet for myself.

As I continue working through C-PTSD and the flashbacks that come with it, there is a specific memory that keeps sticking out to me. It is certainly not the most violent and dramatic, but, this memory is one that includes my mom following me around the house while yelling hostile and hurtful words. This specific conflict arose over summer, when I began defending myself and siblings more often and confidently. My mother and I were already having several issues and I had communicated with her that I wasn’t going to stay silent about them but that I also needed space. Seeing as she is incapable of civil, intellectual conversation, she never understood these needs. What I write below is every detail that I have been able to pick out from the situation fully from my perception…

I remember earlier in the day I had communicated with my mother about something in regards to the well-being of my siblings, & she used this as a means to verbally abuse me. I went to work shortly after our argument and my mother texted me a long message, expressing how I needed to start being a better influence and that my negativity was affecting everyone in the house. At the time, I was working at Wyndridge Farm and when I received this text, I had to drop what I was doing then go to the bathroom so I could pull myself together. I cannot begin to explain how suffocating it is to have the urge to cry because of your own mother, while also being at work.

During the shift, I texted my best friend Sara and told her that I would be staying with her that night. I drove home from work in tears and I was only focused on going to my house, packing a few days worth of clothes and then leaving. However, this is not what happened. When I got home, my mom immediately followed me up the stairs and badgered me with questions, as to why I was so ‘unhappy,’ why I was so ‘cruel,’ why I wasn’t a better ‘influence,’ why I wasn’t more ‘put together,’ and why I wasn’t being more ‘helpful.’ Keep in mind, I was already practically parenting her kids at this point. As I continued moving to my room, I told my mom that I just needed space and that I wasn’t ready to talk.

Furthermore, it was at this point in the scenario in which she followed me into my room and continued to scream at me for starting so much drama and being so unhappy living there. I began hyperventilating and in between breaths, telling her to give me space. She stayed in front of me continuing to yell at me. I collapsed and my entire body was numb/tingling, while I kept my face in my hands. She told me I needed to get myself together and then left my room. I finished gathering my clothes and went over to Sara’s in a very distressed state of mind.

This situation is only an example of the kind of treatment I endured from my mother. There were many cases in which she was physically violent. Looking into her unremorseful face is what made this so damaging. My mother is the reason for the majority of my mental issues today and though I feel I have moved through a lot of it, I still have much more to work through. There are memories still to go through that cause me distress to think of. However, I find relief in sharing my experience and validating it. For the longest times, my emotions and personality type were seen as irrelevant and invalid.

When these flashbacks occur, I cannot predict how it will make me feel or for how long but it is typically unpleasant. It is mentally exhausting at times, seeing as I have no control over when it happens but I know that this is the single most important part of my healing process: remembering the pain & overcoming it.

Finding Contentment through Mental Recovery

Over the course of the past two weeks, I have made it a goal of mine to specifically focus on my own well-being. As I have expressed thoroughly on this page, the source of most of my anxiety is having constant concerns about my siblings and whether or not they’re okay. To an extent, it is okay to worry about others, but what I failed to realize for a while, was the idea that one must also focus on themselves.

At the beginning of February, I was experiencing a level of anxiety in which I had never experienced before. Each day, I found myself realizing more, and with this, it brought many unpleasant flashbacks and memories. Seeing that I struggle with C-PTSD, these flashbacks caused anxiety attacks and a suffocating feeling of not being able to stop myself from crying. I did not understand why I was experiencing these things so frequently, and did everything to remove them from my thoughts. I had made so many positive changes to my life, including; meditating, eating healthier, therapy, exercising daily, hydrating, yoga, proper sleep schedule, spending time outdoors, and spending time alone. I was at a point, in which, I thought this feeling would simply never end.

During the time in which I was experiencing this level of anxiety, I found it best fit to remove myself from the environment I was in. That environment, being my own home. This was rather confusing for many individuals to understand, considering I had already made many other positive changes in my life, however, it was a necessary change to make. This change in environments, was truly necessary because I obviously did not see the toxic pattern in which I failed to differentiate my own needs, from the needs of others. However, I was able to differentiate the emotions between either. I felt so overwhelmed with the idea of not being able to help all of my siblings, that I forgot to love myself in the way I needed it most.

As I began planning for this change in environments, I considered admitting myself to a mental health facility. This is something that I would never have even considered, until I had reached the point that I did. I felt so at a loss and such a need to be completely alone, that I contemplated isolating myself completely from society. Overall, the idea sounded appealing to me because though I had never experienced being in a mental health facility, I needed more than anything, to be alone. I mentally and physically could not handle the pressure I was experiencing. It was at this point, I decided to confide in one of my closest friends; Cat Zeranski.

I discussed with Cat the point I was at in my life, and the love that both, her and her family showed me, is too great for words. They showed me an endless amount of support and love, as they knew my situation and realized the importance it was for me to get mentally back on track. I truly cannot explain the amount of appreciation I have for this family, because during the time I was there, I learned what it truly meant to take care of myself. Certainly, I was doing many things to physically rejuvenate myself but my mental state was deteriorating every other asset in my life. I returned all of my belongings home yesterday, and though the environment is not as comforting as the one of Cats family, I reached a point in which I have found pure bliss and contentment.

After the week and a half, in which I was away from home, I was able to focus solely on my mental recovery. Though I still have mental obstacles to work through, I am finding more and more each day that I am beyond capable of this. I am truly content & seeing as I am still living at home, this feeling will only grow once I move out of my house. A specific goal I have at the moment, is moving out. As much discouragement that I have gotten, I am so excited & determined. There is a true misunderstanding between my level of capability and the credibility that I receive from family members, teachers, and coworkers. But thats okay, because I am happy and doing well, which is something I have never been able to say, up until this point, completely truthfully.

The Mind of an Empath

The past several months, have consisted of a lot of self-growth and realization. For me, this brought up a lot of negative memories and emotions. But, it has also allowed me to notice the things that I may not have made connections for in the past. These thoughts and ideas that I experience on a daily basis, are ones that others typically do not understand. This is not to say that I am always misunderstood, however, it is to say that I have always felt that way.

In these realizations that I have been experiencing, is the idea that I am an empath. For those unfamiliar with this concept, an empath is one who has the ability to absorb energy from any setting and any person. The idea of empathy is experienced by many people, discluding narcissists and sociopaths. Empathizing is the act of putting oneself in another’s position, to better understand what they may be going through. However, an empath is able to involuntarily understand another’s emotions and state of mind, as they are literally absorbing that energy.

For as long as I can remember, my anxiety has consisted of the fact that I am unable to help people all the time. Through this, I have neglected to take care of myself and when I do, I often take my needs for granted and use them in trying to better someone else. What is difficult to understand about an empath is that they are not choosing to feel these things, it just happens. Because of this, empaths experience anxiety, depression, and helplessness on a completely different level.

Through learning more about myself, I have come to understand that whenever I would focus my energy on myself, I would be doing mentally well. However, this could all easily change once I was put in a negative space or confronted by a vampire (narcissist/sociopath). Empaths are known for the idea that they attract vampires because we are considered easy targets. Empaths strive to help others consistently and will always give people the benefit of the doubt. However, giving someone the benefit of the doubt is not always healthy in relationships. For example, the relationship with my narcissistic mother was incredibly unhealthy as she used all of my abilities in her own scheme to tear apart my self-esteem, just so she could build her own.

I have experienced anxiety on a level that is difficult for almost anyone to comprehend. While also dealing with C-PTSD, it has been incredibly difficult to only focus on myself. My siblings have always been my main concern and when they feel at a loss, so do I. When they feel to be in a better mood, so do I. This concept goes for anyone I care about and can include any kind of physical issue they may be dealing with. I am slowly learning how to take care of myself on a level that allows me to decipher my own emotions, from the emotions of others.

Although, I will never be able to have a choice in feeling the emotions of others, I do have the choice in how I identify and cope with them. In this knowledge, I am able to grow as a person and also show support towards those I care about. As I continue to learn how to identify what is healthiest for me going forward, I am also learning that I cannot control the emotions of others and how they cope with them. I have begun to accept the idea that every individual must fight their own battles whether it be mental or physical, and I can only be there as a guide.

When it comes to protecting myself, I have separated myself from larger social gatherings, as this is a trigger for my anxiety. Reason being, is the constant search for different energies whether I am fully aware of it or not. I can absorb any kind of vibe in a setting that is typically grown from the individual interaction in the room. It is also extremely necessary for me to spend time on myself and use tools, such as meditating, to work through difficult periods. I will never be exempt from feeling this much, but I can learn to use it to my own advantage, as well as an advantage for others. A constant cycle of self-loathing is not a way in which I will thrive.