“I Don’t Know” Isn’t Good Enough

TW: abuse

My mother has bipolar disorder of some flavor. This impacted my childhood pretty heavily, as you can imagine, since she was often noncompliant with her medication and thus tended to be out of control with her emotions. She was abusive, both physically and emotionally, in indirect and direct ways.

This is just a subtle facet of the whole issue, but I was thinking of a particular thing that happened a lot: She would ask me a question, and I would say “I don’t know.” And she would tell me that that wasn’t an answer (“‘I don’t know’ isn’t good enough.”) and demand that I actually answer her question.

By itself, that doesn’t seem super terrible. Except that, when these situations popped up, my “I don’t know” was a defense mechanism. I can’t think of any specific examples because I’ve blocked a lot of that shit out, but the thing is that she’d ask me something, and I could tell it was a loaded question. I felt fear in those moments, because I knew she wanted a specific answer from me, and if I answered incorrectly, things could go very badly. Continue reading ““I Don’t Know” Isn’t Good Enough”

It’s Mother’s Day Again

TW: abuse, family alienation, noncompliance

Mother’s Day is a weird thing for me. I don’t pay close attention to holidays in general, since it’s just kind of not my thing. Mother’s Day is especially under the radar because I don’t talk to my mom any more. People just start posting things about it the week prior and then a bunch on the day of, so my regular internet perusing is enough to force me to pay attention to it.

It fills me with mixed emotions. Sometimes I think I miss my mom, but I’m pretty sure it’s just the idea of a mom that I’m missing. There are cool things about her, and in terms of our mutual interests we might be friends. But she’s incredibly way too unstable for me to try to be around. You can be a cool person and also be abusive, and I don’t know that anything will ever cause me to forgive her for the years of physical and psychological damage she did to me. Continue reading “It’s Mother’s Day Again”

Positive Holiday Experiences

Content note: discussion of domestic violence

This year, Christmas dinner was held at my father-in-law’s house for my husband’s immediate family. There are probably 15-20 of them who show up to these things regularly, so it’s a relatively crowded affair when we get together. As an introvert, it can be somewhat stressful. Messing with my sleep schedule and being around a lot of people had my depression stirring which kept me from being at my peak. I sat for most of the event.

Other than that though, it was an overwhelmingly positive experience. It’s pretty easy to talk to all of them, even the ones I’ve had arguments with on Facebook. For the most part, those pesky differences like wanting to deny people rights don’t come up. :p And when politically-charged subjects do come up, it’s in good spirit. (Except when one particular brother is there; he can be somewhat… combative. Heh.)

This might sound odd, but having a wholly positive Christmas experience (apart from my dickbag brain) is somewhat unnerving. Continue reading “Positive Holiday Experiences”

It’s my anniversary!

A year ago today, Degon and I went with a couple friends to do the whole courthouse marriage thing.

It hasn’t been the best year, but I’m really pleased with everything right now. Compared to six months ago, things are greatly improved. I can actually feel good! Which is helping my relationship.

And then tomorrow is four years all together. <3

I love my Degon.

Compare/Contrast: My Mother and I

Since this is a thing I’ve been hearing about for a long time, I’d like to mull over the similarities and differences between my mother and I–the good and the bad. There’s some stuff I like and some stuff I really hate, but it all makes me who I am and I want to fully acknowledge as much of it as I can think of. The many times I’ve been derisively compared to her, it has been a completely incorrect correlation and I want to cover that stuff as well.

I’ll begin with the similarites–the things that make me miss her; the things that make me sad we can’t have a relationship; the things she taught me to do and to love.

Compare

We both have a love for Greek and Roman mythology. She would read to me from the Iliad when one of her classes was covering it.

We both have a love for language. I took French instead of Spanish in high school thanks to her influence. I still love French, though I haven’t been practising it much in previous years. I should get a bunch of French music and watch films en français… This general love for language and my interest in linguistics hasn’t abated since I stopped talking to her.

Seriously, I’m interested in learning Na’vi. Also, do not get me started on Christopher Paolini’s made-up languages unless you’re ready for some words. Lots of words.

We are both non-Christian, that I’m aware. I know she used to wear a pentagram pendant and she thoroughly enjoyed owning many versions of the Bible and taking classes like “The Bible as Literature”. Mixed messages, and I wasn’t into that stuff as much (or at least, not comfortable with talking about it publicly) when we still spoke.

I occasionally have incredible bursts of productive energy like my mom did, except hers were fueled by manic-depression. There are some things that I’m very picky about being orderly as well.

We both have promiscuous tendencies. I used to be really pissy and slut-shamey about her behaviour, and now identify as poly. (If not behaving that way, at least identifying.)

We both have mental illnesses, although I got mine from my dad and not her.

Contrast

Speaking of mental illnesses, I don’t let mine rule my life. My mother’s manic-depression is probably the most fundamental characteristic of her identity, at least in that she lets it influence all parts of her life and actions. I continue taking my pills when they make me feel better, and actually try not to let my illness dominate my life.

I will never get into physical fights with a partner. That shit is unacceptable and is something she got into many times. I will also never emotionally manipulate people, and will certainly not inflict any of those behaviours on children.

I intentionally avoid conflict wherever possible. This isn’t really the best alternative to flipping out at everything, but it’s a deeply ingrained behaviour and it stems from a fear of conflict and anger. I can’t stand it when someone is mad at me, and often go to great lengths to avoid those situations entirely. When they do happen, I mostly find myself silent or crying. There are few times when I’m the angry one, but I tend to keep that in and not say anything. (That, plus I generally feel bad/wrong at the end of an argument in which I was the angry one.)

I do not intentionally hurt people’s feelings. I go to great lengths to avoid causing people pain or discomfort, and will alter my behaviours to accommodate others. Often up to and beyond the point of actually having to sacrifice something for myself to achieve those ends.

So, those are the major ones. This has been sitting in the drafts folder for a really long time. I have no idea how long, but it’s been totally done so HERE IT IS.

Lol Passive-Aggressive Family

The last thing I wrote on here with any substance was a big long post with screencaps of how condescending and passive-aggressive my maternal family can be.

So, one of the things my grandmother said in that final email to me was that she’s letting me go. Which I assume means that she’s breaking off contact, so I didn’t respond to that correspondence. Instead, I blogged about it here. Yesterday was my birthday, and I got another email from her! I was so surprised. Continue reading “Lol Passive-Aggressive Family”

My Shitty, Shitty Family (part 1,000,000,000,000)

I’ve written about this before; my maternal family is so fucked. It’s very rare that I’ll put up more than one post in a day on this blog, I tend to prefer to space things out. As it happens, my maternal grandmother decided to shoot me an email this morning. I haven’t spoken to my mother since May 2010, at which point I texted her to tell her not to ever contact me or my father again. I’m very rarely moved by the fact that she exists, except to lament the loss of potential.

Her crazy is shared by almost all of her family. I have so very few good memories of any of them when I was young, maybe because it all got blotted out by all the fucked up, violent, hateful things that happened.

For whatever reason, several of the nicer, more caring ones have attempted to have relationships, contact me, etc. The only ones who haven’t given me just cause to write them off are my cousin K and my aunt S *Edit* AND COUSIN D SORRY I FORGOT . You know who you are. Thanks for not being dicks.

This is specifically about my grandmother and my aunt. They’re the ones who’ve made the most recent advances toward us having a relationship. I was finding myself less and less comfortable with being around them and talking to them, especially since I can’t stand for bullshit anymore and have a hard time keeping my mouth shut. Continue reading “My Shitty, Shitty Family (part 1,000,000,000,000)”