Sunday, March 22, 2015

The Gift of Narcissistic Parents: Shame and Codependency

 
 
 
You spend years with these lousy people telling you bad things about yourself. You never hear anything good but the following.....


"Your laugh is weird!"

"You smell !"

"You are a slob!"

"Why can't you do anything right?"


"You do everything half-assed!"

"You are stupid!"

"You said that wrong!"

"No one likes you!"

"It's still filthy!"

The criticism was never ending. When I look back and even think of the time invested in hassling me over the way I dress, spoke, looked and acted, it shows me how sick the individuals I called parents really were. Why didn't they spend time on their hobbies or leave me alone more? Destroying me was one of their hobbies. When I left the narcs, one main thought in my head was, "I am done being your worm". I knew I could not take it anymore. It was time for dignity. It was time for self respect.  Even my recent departure from other relatives was based on this, the parties involved simply had no respect for me. Without respect, honestly there is no real relationship with ANYBODY.



The constant criticism creates shame in the scapegoat especially and this sadly is what they control you with. In other words the shameless who are incapable of feeling the emotion create endless shame in their protégé. Children and young people need love to form a foundation for their identity and who they are. If love is missing, then they will not feel like they are valuable people. They are not shown mercy and understanding or given God's love either.  They are led into severe shame and often codependent behaviors, their relating to other people can be impacted negatively.

 Codependents are people who set aside their needs for the needs of others. Narcissistic parents can definitely groom children for future codependency. After all you are expected to read every nuance to meet THEIR needs lest an unexpected slap comes out of nowhere. You are trained to "earn", "work for" any crumbs of pseudo-love and attention. This is not how real love operates, it happens naturally.



This is where a scapegoat will be taught to neglect their own needs and to ignore their own feelings and emotions. Setting personal boundaries becomes impossible. They don't even know what a boundary is as they are crossed time and time again. It would take me years to learn to set boundaries.

They are led to desperate feelings in trying to control situations and people failing time and time again. When you have to "work" to get people to "love" you in narcissistic sociopathic families, you become very fearful of rejection and of being alone. This actually can work the opposite way you want it, in that others can find you clingy and too needy. The toxic can then take advantage too of your desperation. This was a problem for me in my early 20s. I took all comers out of loneliness. My Aspie eccentricities served as an odd buffer and protection in the dating world, so I didn't have bad boyfriends to contend with but I think of a long list of toxic people that I monkeyed with that the me of today would not even talk to.

 My health problems kept me from becoming too severe into codependency, severe medical crises if anything teach self care and boundaries that are required to be clung to even stay alive. I wasn't going to become the beleaguered jack or jill of all enabling trades because I simply lacked the energy but there are codependent traits, we must all be cautious of.

One thing I had to learned and I knew this was to be applicable to all relationships, is they were not to be one way, they were to be mutual. Relationships were not meant to be all work on one side, and one person doing all the giving and the other all the taking. All narcissistic relationships outside of the food or presents for show they may give you as a child are all inherently one sided.

Sadly the shame that narcissistic and sociopathic parents impart to us, makes us feel "unworthy" inside and like we have to work fervently and endlessly in pleasing others and begging for love and attention. This can affect relationships adversely. This can be a big test for the ACON especially as they step outside in the world as young adults. It is one way that many ACONs can end up in abusive relationships replicating the dynamics of their abusive families where predators will take advantage. As I have said, if you are trained to be the puppy dog always bringing the slippers in a hurry because you fear being smacked, this subservient stance to the world sets up you for abuse in the future.

 Sadly one thing ACONS all have to face when they get into adulthood is realizing that the unmet needs of childhood can complicate adult relationships.  You didn't have a solid foundation to build yourself on as a child and these effects are life-long and the only way to come through it is a lot of prayer and recovery.

The way to recover is finding one's integral worth in God and realizing that your needs matter. You have to validate yourself. Knowing one's self and asking yourself what you really care about and are about can be party of this journey. Self care is important to learn as well as setting healthy boundaries and learning to say No. When one realizes their worth as a human being, this helps to chase the shame away. Do not let people judge you as a person by material things. Unlike the narcissistic parents who lie to you, you do not have to be perfect to be loved.  Even being a 700lb Peep, I still should have been loved and cared about. I should have been loved as a little fat eccentric Aspie child.  Many people would have loved to have me as a daughter. The problem was not with me but who my mother was as a person.

The narcissists with their deadly weapons of coldness, hatred, abuse and constant criticism brainwash their victims the scapegoat to never think they are good enough. This I realized is the cloud I have carried with me through out my life. I prayed to God a couple months ago, and told God, I was tired of waking up with this cloud over my head feeling like I was "no good" and had "ruined my life". It made me depressed a lot. Even the poverty issues were part of this toxic stew. Maybe I am finally being shown the way out completely.  This is one lesson from my wicked parents I need to spit on and walk away from, this idea that I am at fault for everything. God in the Bible has mercy and grace for His children. I know He loves me even if I am poor and super fat even if they did not. Here we want to have grace and mercy for ourselves as well and not treat ourselves like our parents did, we want to follow Jesus's example in His treatment of others.

I am working on is releasing the false shame that was foisted on me and giving myself the SAME compassion I would give other people I care about. You enter the world thinking it will hate you like your parents did, and sadly their treatment sets the scapegoat up for the predators to basically have a party on your head. Nice and kind people do not shame you. If you have a good friend who loves you even if they may warn you of something it is not done with the hatred and shame that narcissist parents unload on their children. Be as nice to yourself as a friend would be to you. This can help change your thinking on how you treat yourself.



Think about the things they have used to put you in bondage. One of my nurses once told me, "you are in the state of health you have to listen to your inner needs, and that means resting when you are tired". So today I give myself the permission to rest and to remove their wicked messages from my head about me being "lazy" and "non-productive". That is her judgment not my own. My mother can tell the world I am a malingerer and a bum, but I know I am not.

They have handed me endless false guilt that needs thrown in the trash. The shameless not only unload the shame, the guilt-free without a conscience types load on the fake guilt. Narcissist parents form many emotional cages for their scapegoats and we have to take a saw to the bars and then crush the things flat as we walk free. My two biggest cages included......

1. Being told that I should be ashamed to be an artist and of my personality.

I kicked this one over at an earlier age. In fact if they had won this war, probably the me of today would not exist. I may write about this sometime, but art was a pathway out for me. They didn't like this. Perhaps I'd be another Aunt Scapegoat. In fact my first no contact had to do with this "battle". I think in terms of forming a self identity, they were enraged because this was a war I was winning. No matter my recent troubles, I knew my identity laid outside of what they had tried to turn me into.

Looking back I know they were trying to turn me into a narcissist. They would tell me all the time, "You are too sensitive". There was one time my father screamed at me, get this, for being an "idealist". He told me idealists were stupid, and would fail. Imagine that! What kind of parenting was that?

2. Telling me I was at fault for being super overweight and other health problems. This almost cost me my life in the long run. Most other parents in the world if they saw their daughter get so sick so fast, would not have sat there making rude comments about her legs growing bigger.  My narcs and sociopaths were able to go to town on me because of the special nature of my severe obesity coupled with my being an Aspie.  I think in some ways my recovery would have happened sooner via my love of art teaching and focus on giving to the community if my health had held out. When I got too sick and faced lay-offs and worse poverty, my shame only grew. It is sad, but I have faced that fact that with parents who taught me that everything bad that happened was my fault was one of their most damaging of messages. I don't want to walk around with the shame they gave me for my having several severe autoimmune disorders and other health problems. I'm done with that.

One thing that can be very valuable to the ACON going no contact is to explore these issues of shame and codependency and how the Narcissists and sociopaths have set us up to feel guilt and shame over things that are not our fault and have led us into negative behaviors that center around trying to "earn" love. These are some chains that need to be loosened as well. We can move on, daring to love ourselves, throwing their rules and messages they gave us in the trash can. We can refuse the false guilt and shame and unload the burden they have put on our backs.





Fat People Are Told They Smell



http://www.latimes.com/science/sciencenow/la-sci-sn-obesity-smells-foul-20150320-story.html

Smell-a-phobes can make people's lives hell, because it is so often used to abuse people. Sure there are street people or those who become mentally ill and can't wash, don't wash or are unable to, but no person on this earth was helped by being told "You stink!"

At one job, there was incredible bias and harassment shown to me. The me of today would pursue a lawsuit, but more often then not while at this job I was told "I smelled". I under went so much harassment and abuse at this job it was disgusting. Because of these experiences, I am paranoid about smelling, never miss a shower, sometimes shower twice in a day during the summer and never re-wear a piece of clothing ever. This means my laundry bills are incredibly high. We spend easily 120 dollars a month on laundry. Bullies and narcissists often will use "smell" because it can't be proven and only discerned to attack people and often for the fat person this will be a source of incredible abuse. When it happens in the work place it is the worse.

When I was at my residential job, there were probably some days, I got sweaty cleaning and moving around during the16-24 hour shifts in an overly heated house. We weren't allowed to take showers there. I showered everyday but today I know the co-worker who complained most about my smelling and got others including the clients to join in, was participating in extreme fat bigotry. It is a technique that works. Be caught on a 105 degree day with a little bit of sweat and weighting 400lbs and they will treat you like you are scum of the earth and feel smug while doing it.

This is one un-spoken thing fat people don't talk about too much.  I have to overcompensate to manage in society, while some people may run out to the grocery store in the morning without a shower, I would never dare. I would never dare re-wear a piece of clothing either.  This is what helps sell the idea of spraying chemicals on everything to cover smells. Frebreze is definitely helped out.

When I was in extreme poverty, in the ghetto, this was after I was disabled but the year before I escaped, there was one woman from the size acceptance community who visited me and told me, that I and my apartment smelled. She was so ignorant that she didn't realize I was screaming to the landlord on the phone everyday about the mice taking over the apartment and the fact they had poison in the walls and more probably dead mice in them. I know most people probably would have ditched that apartment and left, but for me it was living there or in the streets at the time. Water in the ghetto is not as clean as water elsewhere. Every time our rickety bathtub backed up, the water would turn black. Our bathtub has backed up a few times here and I have never seen that happen. It still scares me wondering what was in that water. Anyhow this was the water I was forced to wash my clothes in. Was there an odor I was no longer detecting? It was possible. My furniture was ugly, stained and used to the falling apart point.  While this lady was midsized, she was also upper middle class and had a job as a system analyst. While she pled that she was a liberal at the time, she didn't have one clue about what it meant to live in severe poverty.

She sent me a letter telling me, "You and your apartment stink!".

So back then I was getting it coming and going.

A reality about poverty, it's harder to keep things clean, my walls need painted in this apartment, but I can't afford to get it done, I need money to get the carpet ripped out, I bleach what I can, when I can, and hope it does not smell. It costs 100 bucks a pop to get the carpet steamed cleaned. I had it done last November. Money makes it easier for things to smell prettier. In my case being a severe asthmatic means no trash is allowed to fester more then 24 hours in here, and any mildew or mold has to be immediately stamped out.

I almost get flashbacks when everyone starts sniffing their nose around me. Unless someone is a close friend or my husband I keep a 3 feet away rule. My mother was a smellaphobe, she crinkle her nose up and one huge part of my abuse growing up was being told, "You smell!", "You have B.O!", "You're disgusting!". This never ended and continued into adulthood. I am sure there was a huge amount of fat bigotry involved. According to her, her own poo didn't even stink. Her constant offense at way-ward smells was never ending.

What gets me I have Aspie sensory stuff that makes me live in the shower and wash up more then other people. When I am sick, I will stand in a shower to comfort myself, I may need husband to help me if I am ill enough that day, but the heat helps take away pain. I will wash my hands even if I just touch pennies or money or feel something sticky and they are washed at least 20 times a day. I wash under my belly around 2-3 times a day.  I took a daily shower every day from the time I was eleven years old. During the summer I can easily be in there twice. In hospitals I have broke the rules and gotten myself into a shower even with an IV hooked into my hand. Oh I wash my hair every single day too.

Finding out about this smell and bigotry study was very interesting to me. How much of it is bias? Some may claim maybe fat people do have a different scent producing a very different metabolism? I don't know, they could study that. There could be health problems causing problems too. PCOS is known to cause grooming challenges. I know my sense of my own smell changed even when I was forced off a testosterone lowering drug [spironolactone] which I had been on for 15 years. However this said, wouldn't thin people even have some health conditions that affect them too?

I do agree there is massive bias towards fat people and the "fat people stink", is one major prejudice, that fat people are suffering under.

Anyhow I am glad the researchers are challenging some of this stuff.

Saturday, March 21, 2015

Acceptance


I was in counseling the other day and the therapist told me I needed to have acceptance for my circumstances. Not in a "give up way" but in a way that accepts that this is reality to save myself from banging my head on the wall and swimming against the river so much that I'll drown.  I believe one can still make prayers to God for your heart's desires, but it made sense. There are things about our circumstances such as needing my husband for caretaking and many of the health issues. I came to more understand of what he is dealing with in caretaking for a disabled wife too.  I need to give myself permission to rest when I need to and not walk around with this feeling of constant battle inside where I am never at peace.

You Can't Control....


source

Some of the dangers of an abusive childhood is you come out and fall into the trap of codependent behaviors and thoughts. Thinking you can change or control people is one of those things.  Even when you remain stuck trying to get a narcissistic family to love you, that is codependent thinking and claiming control you do not have. Here we can know not just intellectually how they treated us is not our fault but in our hearts too.

Generational Narcissism: My Grandmother



                                       
 

There were major generational aspects to the narcissism I dealt with. Aunt Scapegoat, my mother's sister was the scapegoat of the previous generation, but what about her mother, my grandmother?

My memories of my grandmother are convoluted. I found her somewhat easier to talk to if we were both alone or on the regular phone calls I made to her. When I was in my early 20s, and I'd go on visits by myself to the relatives, she actually would tell me, "Your mother has major problems", and told me once, "Maybe you should write a book about how your mother treated you!". With my grandmother, all the family ideals came together, she was worshipped by everyone and some of the same dynamics applied, everyone wanted to please her, EVERY ONE. My mother's dynamics with the family are the exact same as my grandmother's where the family forms a nexus that rotates around her.

Her book idea for me is irony of ironies.  Before the smear campaigns by my mother were strengthened a few in the family behind closed doors would admit I was treated rotten. Only problem was it was never done in open. Looking back at that, the me of today, asks "Why did you stand silently by as the abuse went on?". She never contradicted my mother either. She never criticized her. She never stood up for me. She believed everything she told her too and did so even more.  Today I know the realities of generational narcissism, it ran like an evil thread through my mother's family. My grandmother was no innocent herself.

In my mind I question some of the better memories I have with my grandmother, buying eggs on a farm, times I spent at her house but I can't ignore how many of her qualities intersected with my mother's or some of the ill treatment and oddness of the latter years. Every kid wants to love their grandmother too, and since she was so idealized within the family, I never thought to analyze her or her actions until very later. I hope this makes sense.

One thing never let narcissists fool you this way. Some really do play Spy Vs. Spy. Good cop and bad cop. Good cop is still a narcissist who may mistaken for being on your side just because they are a little bit nicer.

My grandmother was no ally in a crowd either. She laughed too when the cricket came out and Uncle Narcissist played his games. One time I came down to visit when I was around 19 years old, and I was going to stay at her house but planned to also visit Aunt Scapegoat, and the Aunt that Loved Me.

 She decided to starve me while I was staying at her house to lose weight. What would one week do but she was insistent! She said to me, "You are too fat and only need one meal a day". When I was 19, I was still in the 200s, and actually had lost weight to the lower 200s at that time because I had worked at a camp as an arts and crafts director and counselor all summer. Unlike kind grandmas that would pile on cookies and goodies on their grandchildren, mine was the complete opposite. She wanted me hypoglycemic and on the floor. She wanted to give me only toast and coffee for the entire day and claimed that is all she ate. She weighed at least 200lbs so I didn't believe it. At the time, I argued and then just decided to eat out or at another relatives house when I got hungry. After all I was down there with my own car. She couldn't control what I ate.

More weirdness started on that particular starvation visit, as I was told not to call Aunt Scapegoat next door and told she was "too busy" to see me even though I drove 120 miles to get there. Aunt Scapegoat did not work. Were they already trying to hide the broken down trailer with no running water? I do not know. As a teen I was friends with Aunt Scapegoat where we even traded letters but that soon ended under these pressures. My grandmother copied my mother's isolating me from others. Perhaps my mother even instigated all this?

There are times of other meanness too, I remember. Now keep in mind my contact with my grandmother was far less then my mother. My grandmother lived in an old farm house, where to come down from upstairs, you had to go down this long tight flight of stairs, with no windows. They were pitch dark at night, since she lived in the country and there was a door at the end of them downstairs.  Her farm house was modernized and had normal electricity. She would not allow any night light. I was scared of the dark as a child and I was petrified especially when I had to go to the bathroom.  My family lived in large cities so even with all the lights out it was never pitch black. She actually expected us little kids, to "feel" our way down the stairs in the dark. As a teen I got smart and got flashlights that I hid from her upstairs to make my way down, but as child, I would almost tumble down those worn stairs and slid down them at least once or twice.

My treatment was grew worse by as I got older it never would be repaired. My grandmother would send me cards but major rejection set in for my weight and would only worsen after my severe weight gain. My mother and grandmother when they got together would become more cruel about my weight. One day the entire family ate sausage take-out pizzas and me a turkey sandwich because I am lactose intolerant. They started yelling at me for being fat and I lost it! I turned to them and said, "Look how you all pigged out on pizza! How dare you! My body works different!" Yes I cussed too. I was tired of being stomped on. Both would work in tandem against me.

 My family lived further away, 500 miles for a time, and 120 miles during my teens and later. However my grandmother had three adult grown children all living on the same farm road in a row.  Maybe it was the cheap farm land or maybe it was narcissistic dynamics and control. Have you ever seen a family where there were 4 houses in a row of the same relatives?

 My Uncle with his family lived a field and another house down to the left, the Aunt That Loved Me until 1987 when she died lived next door to her on the left where her and her husband before they divorced built a late 1970s modern home with bright orange counters in the kitchen. Aunt Scapegoat lived in her broken down trailer next door on the right.  A great-Aunt lived further down the road. Corn fields were intermingled with these houses. I was jealous of all the cousins who got so much family closeness as only had our rare yearly visits but maybe we were better off. I tried to get close to but what did I have in common with a woman that grew up on a dirt farm with 12 brothers and sisters, and who had 7 children, three of whom died before the age of 36? She considered me an over-educated book worm and dilettante.

Sad to say it, I now see my grandmother as a narcissist too. I haven't made up my mind about her being as toxic as my mother or not such as in her being an out and out sociopath. But I saw serious problems while growing up. I remember the favoritism she showed my mother. She would snipe about my mother behind her back but she had total respect for her and always gave in to her and let my mother run every show on every visit. My mother was the obvious golden child. If you are an ACON, in most cases you will see these obvious narcissistic generational patterns. Perhaps your family like mine has the scapegoats of the previous generations as well.

She praised my Uncle Narcissist who was her youngest son and piled food on him, including as many fried bologna sandwiches he wanted after his endless baseball games. She praised him constantly, his grades, his jobs, his work, his hunting and other skills were the best. He was not controlled and could do whatever he wanted coming and going as he pleased.  My "lost boy" uncle, she was generous with the food but basically ignored him while he said nothing. He still is one of the most silent people in the world. I don't even know him enough anymore to write anything good or bad. He seems a pleasant fellow who obviously isn't throwing his adult children out of his house. With my Aunt Scapegoat, the criticisms never ended. She'd shout at her for being fat, for eating a second plastic bowl of potato chips, for not getting a good job. Aunt Scapegoat was the designated "loser" while my mother and Uncle Narcissist were deemed the "winners. I would hear about stuff she did 20 years ago, every joint smoked and every visit to the bar. In my family total abstinence wins no favors either. Even those who never drink or drug can end up scapegoats.

My grandmother played favorites among the grandchildren too. I was not the most hated grandchild but second in line. That role was reserved for my brother. She would actually when I was alone with her, would tell me how much she hated my brother. Today I know this is sick, to tell a little girl how much you hate her brother. One time my brother had a fit when he was twelve years old while my grandmother was babysitting us kids, and she never forgave him for talking back and stomping down the road out of the house. When my brother was young, he had bedwetting problems which can be related to physical problems, and my grandmother would talk about the sodden sheets for hours and how disgusting it all was. Of course in this way she was not much different then my parents. Thank God I never wet the bed, they piled the abuse on and then some for that one. You would have thought the world came to an end the day he peed his sheets while sleeping on her floor.

Around a year before my grandmother died, I went to a family party that was held for by my mother's husband of a few years. It was a graduation party for his granddaughter but several relatives were all there. I sat by my grandmother trying to talk to her but she kept getting up to talk to my mother and other relatives and ignored me.

In 2005, there had been a family battle because the year before, I told my family I was against the use of embryos in stem cell research. Never disagree with narcissists. The small disagreement or wavering from their stances will earn their hatred. They nearly ripped my head off. Aunt Scapegoat called me a "Christer"! My grandmother sneered at me for voting for Bush. [actually I had already rejected both the major parties by that time] A shouting match ensued. They all turned on me. I didn't want to fight about it but move on to the next topic. It was a disaster. That day it seemed the hatred they had for me moved up another notch, but I had suspected since I had become a born again Christian, there was no love lost from around 2002 onward.

Anyhow back at the 2006 graduation picnic, I am sitting next to my 20 year old cousin, asking him how does he like college? I suspect this guy of being a schizoid, his Dad is the Uncle "Lost Boy", the silent stoic, and he literally just grunts at me, and refuses to talk to me. I have never seen him emote anything but anger and bored indifference.  Sometimes I wonder if I will see him in the newspaper one day.  He gives me the willies. He still lives at home with his parents nine years hence.

For years I had seen him on visit's to my mother's house and he would never talk. Him and his other very tall brother would sit there and eat and say absolutely nothing.  At 6 foot, 6 inches, he stared down at me. I trying to be way too people pleasing, say "Hey I liked college, so how is State U?" and I get another grunt. I wonder how this guy made it past the admissions office. He gets up to get another drink, and my grandmother comes back.  She looks at me, down her nose and says to me, "You know A**** s is my favorite grandchild, you are not!" "He knows when to keep his mouth shut.". "When he drives me to the grocery store, I don't have to listen to his prattling on". I remember saying something to her like "Well he doesn't talk at all, and he better learn to if he ever hopes to have a job of any kind when college is over." Inside I am hurt, how could she say that to me?  I and my husband leave the picnic early, I am fed up.

 One thing about my grandmother that used to astound me is she had no emotions, she never cried or showed fear either. It used to bother me as a child. She was just like my mother in these attributes. I saw her as less cold and mean then my mother but such things are relative. After all I was only around her in measured dosages. There were no hugs or kisses from her either.  I remember talking to Aunt Denial about this, and she would tell me, "Oh that's just the way they are" but this aunt who married into the family worshipped her mother-in-law. The same worshipful attitude people have towards my mother was the same for my grandmother. No one ever disagreed with her. No one ever bantered with her either. Where they afraid of her too like my mother?

 This was beyond old school reticence though, and when she got pancreatic cancer and was told she was terminally ill, in 2007 watching her wait for death like she was waiting for the bus, creeped me out. It was something that truly bothered me and still does. Some may tell me, well that is the older generation they were taught not to complain especially before the era of therapists and tell-alls but this was something beyond that. She just didn't seem to care that much. I've seen more stoic people die before, they keep quiet, don't tell you of all the pain they are in. I'm not stoic but know even when I am very sick, the natural inclination is to withdraw.

I'd call her on the phone on a regular basis, and she'd act like nothing was happening and talk about mundane matters. I couldn't go any deeper. There was one moment, near the end on the phone when I awkwardly tried to show her affection,  and told her, "I love you." and she said NOTHING in response, not even the polite "Thank you." or "Me too". This bothered me quite a bit.  Embarrassed, I scrambled to get off the phone. She was still wholly lucid at this time. I had to accept she did not love me either.

It would haunt me for some time, the way she dealt with death. It still does. I have faced almost dying before as people know on here, but a few years later around 2010, I would lose two close friends to death, and it was nothing like this. There were tears and goodbyes, and desperate pleas. I hope I did not fail them in offering them comfort though both these friends were far away. I still miss them but there was more of a sense of closure. With both friends, we talked about dying openly, I told them how I would miss them, I told them I loved them and received a response as long as they could still talk. One would have her sister send me photographs and pictures and the cards I sent her for the 17 years of our friendship. Another friend I talked about God to her.

With my grandmother, there was no emotion shown. At the age of 81, she had chosen not to go to extreme measures for the cancer. There was no regrets, or tears or even discussion of pain I saw. My families refusal to discuss health problems or share pain, only made my own pain and health problems far worse. This was 2007 and I had already dealt with my own health crises for many years.

I went to go visit her about 6 months before she died. She looked wizened and had lost a lot of weight but still was there mentally but without emotions as I describe. My mother had taken her into her home and hired hospice to come in to take care of her before putting her in the hospice center when she no longer could get out of bed. Now this was a very hard time for me, my husband had just lost his job, we were fearing homelessness and had just moved to where we live now after a year and half of employment.

Let's just say I was stressed out, and was having feelings about my grandmother dying. I don't like to see anyone suffer. Anyhow, my grandmother and other relatives are inside, and my mother and Aunt Denial are sitting outside on my mother's new deck that she forced her 70 plus year old husband to build for her. I sit out there, and they are discussing theatre shows and telling me to stop looking so glum. I said, "Well I am worried about my husband losing his job", but I shut up after that one sentence, because I figure my grandmother is dying and my problems are lesser. As they go on about their theatre shows--I forget the exact ones but its high priced ticket ones I never could afford my mother turns to discussion about the care of my grandmother.

Now this is a time where the veil got ripped off, I have discussed before.

My mother complains about my grandmother being sick, she is not cleaning her up or any of the hardcore stuff, but complains about the medications and insulin and having to maintain her sugars. She looks over at Aunt Denial and me, and says "She's taking too long to die!"

Some of my hugest regrets in life is not answering back and saying "What in the hell is wrong with you?" but I suppose my being no contact is a message of a sort isn't it?  I actually felt the earth tilt on it's axis. Perhaps this is the very day, I knew exactly what my mother was.  I always thought if anything since my mother was my grandmother's favorite, that she loved her in return even with some of the backbiting. In reality my mother who had spent a lifetime telling us how much she loved her mother, couldn't wait for her to shuffle off this mortal coil.

I would go into the other room. One thing about me, and my health, infection can settle in fast. And when I mean fast, it can come on within minutes. The doctors allow me to have emergency antibiotics, because I proved to them emergency antibiotics can mean the difference between a three week death's door, blood infection hospital stay vs. rest and being able to handle an infection at home. Stress and extreme emotional trauma can trigger infections in me.

I did not wrap back then and was not getting lymphedema treatment yet, that came years later. I go and cry in the bathroom tired of evil shallow women, suck it up and walk out to the living room where my grandmother is sitting and I feel these immense feelings of incredible sadness that are hard to explain. I put my legs up and notice with my horror, the "red spots" are there but say nothing to nobody.  Red spots on my bad leg mean an infection is coming. My grandmother sitting in her cancer wizened thinness looks over at me, and says nonchalantly "What's wrong with your leg, it's turning all red, you should do something about that!" as if it is all in my control.

That's one thing I remember from the both of them, the rude comments about my swelling lipedema legs, as if I woke up one day and decided to get huge giant legs. But what gets me is how she is commenting on my health conditions while she is dying of cancer like I am the one with the problem and not her. Anyhow thankfully I am able to bow out, tell my husband it's time to leave and act polite and tell my grandmother, "I am fine." I am lying of course. This is the last time in 2007, that I saw many of the other relatives too.

Three months later, I don't go to her funeral. For me it is an act of self preservation. I hope you can understand why.

 I don't have money to go anyhow. No one offers any. I feel like I will "die" if I go, and can't even explain that to anyone. Inside I feel this cold dark feeling regarding the family that has never ceased. I know my status in the family is lowered a few notches in refusing to come to the matriarch's funeral though I do order and send flowers that I can't really afford.

The Aliens


Bukowski is one of my favorite poets.

Of course I ask, are some of those people who look like they have easy lives just hiding their pain better? That may be possible for some of them. Don't begrudge the happy too.

I think of people sometimes as the "normals" vs. me but then that can set you up where you wouldn't get to know some great people letting your own "opposition" prejudices get you. For example if I told all thin people to jump in the lake. That would be insanely foolish.

There are times I wish I fit in and other times I don't. It is a strange dichotomy. Hey I wanted to be an artist at age 5 I kind of asked for at least a little bit of the weirdness. Also I had no control over what happened to me.



Thursday, March 19, 2015

Collection #2 Geodes and Rocks




I have a second collection of rocks which is smaller, I collected some rocks and gems before I started focusing on the stamps. Here are a few from the collection.  I love Geodes and above is what is called a thunder-egg too in the second picture. The last picture is of Dolomite.