I had moments in my childhood where I thought that parents are always right. Warden told me that she is always right. She has an endless need of being praised. It makes me think that she has no self-esteem at all. Thing is, she also does not seem to be able to show empathy. Warden told me that she is good at memorizing, she is good at school, she is so accomplished, etc. When I was little I thought that she is perfect. When I was younger and telling people that I am abused, no one talked to her. Relatives told me that I should be faithful to her and that she does not have empathy to me because she never had her own baby. Now, why would a child needs to be understanding to the abuser? A child needs to be safe, away from abuse. My anger towards those who told me to be understanding to my violent Warden would not solve anything. I should however articulate that I am disappointed with many of my relatives.
I learn a lesson that when a child confide in you, it is on their best interest that you listen and trust them.
Having flashbacks is exhausting. I spend about two hours per day writing and practicing cognitive restructuring. It is a constant work. Think of having a farm with chores to do. I don’t have a farm. I had a sour childhood. It takes all in me to work on it. I have two kinds of chores. Normal people chores and traumatic adult survivor chores. I do laundries, putting dishes away, clean the room, make my bed, like an average adult would do too. The traumatic adult survivor chores include but not limited to; Warm baths, gym, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, grounding practices, blogging, meditation and writing diaries. Sometimes I wonder, ‘to what extent does this blog helps?’. I am a person too, I can get tired, I can have burnouts. My thing is stress. My tolerance to stress is so low that a small amount can easily make me dysfunctional almost for the whole day. Have I talked to a psychologist? Yes. I have a privilege for unlimited consultations.
I tried to stop blogging. I was pausing for less than 10 days. Flashbacks return, the whole sour, sad memories return. When will all these things subside? It feels like being in a tunnel with no end. Here I am back to blogging. Can these excruciating memories just.. pouf gone?Never come back until my last breath? I would love to do many things in my spare time than having to tame my brain from excruciating flashbacks.
I gave up the religion I was born with when I was thirteen years old. On a morning walk alone, I thought, ‘what if there is no God?’. Being raised by two religiously academic couple, I have maintained a religious routine for a while. 99% of people in the country I was raised in are religious. I read books authored by religious scholars. The question I asked to myself was very incisive, considering that I am on top of my class in religious studies. I explored my mind through that question. Long story short, at age fifteen, I told my sister that I consider myself to be an agnostic.
My journey to become an agnostic, breaking free from the dogmas of religion that were placed in me was life-changing. This is when I discovered that I have a strong inclination to natural sciences. I don’t condemn those who hold religious beliefs, to each their own.
Now what makes me confused this morning is.. Why is it easier to liberate my mind from religious moral standards and philosophies than to liberate my mind from the trap of excruciating memories I had when growing up? I did not choose to be religious, nor choose to be raised by someone with a deranged mind. I was religious as soon as I came out of my mother’s belly and I was in Warden’s care since I was 2.5 years old.
Being away from Warden rebuilds my self-esteem and sense of self. In my life, I never had my own room. Never had a time for myself. I am thrilled to discover myself. I see hopes, I see self-compassion. I see a bright future. I give up my desire to find a closure with my warden. I don’t need an explanation. She has too much problems and the best thing I can do is to focus on myself, my dreams and my hopes.
She does not deserve my thoughts. Perhaps the future entries will be focused on me, to what extent I am affected by her. I’m not sure yet. I would not restrict myself by plans. Well, not for these entries at least.
As a kid, I heard some things from Warden that I would never forget. One of the things she said to me was that she forced an old man to buy her papers. Verbally insulted a poor homeless old man to buy papers from her. Did she show any remorse? No. Did she regret this? No. In fact she told me that this is how much she needed to sacrifice. Now, I was aware that she completed her masters at this point, with no student debts, no mortgages, no loans to pay so I am not quite sure why she was driving around carrying papers to be recycled.
Her father bought a car, a house and paid her education. She worked for a multinational company a decade prior to the incident. She is able to be violent towards a stranger, an innocent, homeless old man, stole his money while driving a car. What was on her head? If she did sacrifice than should not she at least attempted to find a decent job? She managed to hold a reasonably good position at a company, a desk job, a usual 9 to 5 job. Why not apply to other companies?
Sometimes I wonder if she is wanted by local police officials. Some people may believe that she is not capable of hurting strangers. I witnessed three by my own eyes before I even reached ten years old.
She physically attacked a woman who lied to her husband about the business opportunity. Her husband was rather trusting and he admits this. One afternoon, she pulled her car to the side of the road. She got out of the car, she physically attacked this woman in front of my eyes. I sat in the car and I was scared. It was horrible.
Warden spent her days laying on the bed, on her stomach, play video games on her ipad for about 8 hours a day or more. She had a lot of money from the inheritance. I asked her why she did not help me to do house chores, also expressed my concern that she plays games too often and too long.
She said, “I am an adult and I have so many things on my mind. I deserve a break”. This break lasted about six years. This is how she would spend her day from when I turned 11 to when I turned 17. Me and my twin sister were the ones who would prepare her meals. I would laundry all her clothes and clean the bathroom. We were her servants from the day her husband goes abroad.
I could have been in school but two years within that six years, I was ‘homeschooled’. This is because I had to teach myself every subjects I took in school. She did not help me, she yells, fights, shouts, being violent and play games all day. She lies. She lies to everyone that she teaches me. She never did. I taught myself sciences, mathematics, history, religious studies from grade 6 to grade 8. Lucky enough I managed to achieve well on my national exams.
I asked her to move me to formal school but she never allowed me to go to a formal school since her husband goes abroad. She had enough money to send me to a school with good teachers. Not only I was forced to stay inside the building, I was not allowed to make friends. She would take my phone and check all my conversations. I had two friends, both lived just across our apartment unit.
Unfortunately the friendship did not last. I never had fights with them. Warden took my phone and insulted my friends. Obviously, their parents thought it was me who did it and so they never allowed my friends to talk to me since. I never had a chance to explain them that it was Warden who sent the verbal insults.
Warden used to wake me up at four in the morning. She did not let me sleep afterwards and would rushed me to the bathroom where she would give me a hot, painful shower. I would be awake only because of the hot water. It was painful.
I asked my warden, “Why is it so hard to maintain peace with you?”.
Obviously she did not answer. Obviously she thinks everything is my fault even when my right arm has bruises from her. The log I created reveals that she have burst of anger every single day.
I keep a list of what made Warden angry, because I never recognized the pattern of her temperament. I tried to study her, see how frequent she would shout and be violent also what caused them.
I kept a log for about a year. The log tells me that she would be angry for almost everything. Any trivial things could turn into a drama. You could compliment her looks and she would be angry and turn violent towards you. You could grab some cutlery while she is in the kitchen and that would turn into a huge drama. There is no pattern, her violence cannot be prevented.
This left people who are closest to her to struggle just to love her. It is difficult, if not impossible to maintain a relationship with her. It is easy to like her when you are at a certain distance. Do not get closer.
This is perhaps the most useful insight I have gained from years of observation.
This made me go into a cycle.
I am in desperate need for a mother figure, so I view her as a mother.
There will be conflicts and drama, out of pretty much everything, I will try to de-escalate.
She will give silent treatments after being abusive, I will be heartbroken, betrayed. Silent treatment can last for two weeks.
My heart is broken and I would be reminded that she is not suitable for being a mother figure.
I long for a mother
Repeat to #1.
I still would consider myself to be mother deprived, I don’t always know how to deal with this. It is a loss, I haven’t recovered from it. This is my first and last heartbreak of my life. I long for a mother. Not a perfect mother, but at least not abusive and antisocial.
Living with Warden makes me used to be tensed during my development years. I would write things that bothered me in my diary and she would open them and read them. One of my diary entries writes,
“She is a monster. She is not my mother. She pinched me, she take my hobbies away from me. She is evil, she is merciless. I want to die”.
This did not make her feel remorseful. This made her yell and becoming even more abusive. I felt very remorseful to her to have written this. I remain to live without seeing her as a mother, caretaker, but as an older woman who is a monster and who has control over me.
After that incident, if she becomes more violent, she would say, “What would you write, huh? I am a monster right?”. All the sudden everything is my fault.
I told her that I would tell the police about all the things she had done. This is a conversation I had before I turned 10. She said, ‘Then tell the police that you misbehave too. Be fair”. I was scared, I felt intimidated with her response because I thought I deserved to be violently punished for almost everything I do. This kept me silent until now. I never told police officials the things she did to me and my biological mother.
I always felt responsible for Warden’s feelings. Though abused, I would draw her and write, ‘I love you’ and slipped the paper under the door when she locks herself. This was the routine until I turned eight when I started to sense that my love is not returned.