August 23, 2012

A musing on our negative society

A friend asked me to go out with him as he's feeling a bit depressed. He told me that he liked hanging out with me because I could shed positive light on his gloomy point of view, I was his source of happiness.

I texted him back,"Ok. Btw, a child can teach an adult to be happy with no reason -Paulo Coelho"
He replied,"Yeah, and tell me if you can reason with a child about anything at all."

I just smiled and thought to myself, how sad is it, that we always need a reason to be happy, be it a certain someone, a certain something, the list goes on.
We always think if we have this or that, we'll be happy. I used to think if I were healthy, if I had a normal family, I would be happy. But it isn't true.. No matter what we have, we will never be happy as long we keep focusing on things we don't have. My friends who are prettier, healthier, have nice families, have their God, etc aren't happier than me..

I honestly think we can just BE happy with no reason. Try sitting in silence for a while, smile and focus on being present in the moment, and you'll be happy. Without reason :)
Because in the present moment there's no unhappiness. Unhappiness, pain happened in the past, a month ago, two seconds ago.. If we keep thinking and replaying the past in our mind, no wonder we'll always need a reason to be happy.. It is better called distracting ourselves from the past moments by setting other triggers or expectations.

Our society teaches us to be unhappy. To achieve more, not to settle down for less. The drive to achieve is not a bad thing, obviously. But we need to find the balance at some point.

I noticed something quite interesting.. I saw a lady dancing alone with her Ipod, smiling and enjoying herself while waiting for the train in a Berlin train station. People stared at her, frowning and shaking their heads.. I overheard two older ladies asking each other if the dancing lady was out of her mind. I just smiled and continued watching the dancing lady.. It felt liberating to see her joy, her enjoying the moment.

A few weeks later, I saw a lady crying in the subway.. Strangely enough, people reacted differently. Most people paid no attention to her, as if it was something totally normal. Some sympathized, but she didn't get any frowns nor stares from people.

It is normal to be happy when you're dancing in the park to the beats of music with strangers around you, but it isn't normal to be alone and happy. Whereas if you're sad, it's always acceptable in community or in private. It's becoming a widely accepted standard, to be happy we need stimulants, whereas we don't need any specific reason to be sad

It struck me then, our society is built to be able to accept sadness without reason, but have difficulties accepting happiness with no reason. We even justify sadness without reasons in many ways, winter blues, mild depression, etc.. blaming the lack of endorphin or function failures of our brain synapses.
But ironically, we always have to keep looking for reasons to be happy.. Music, external substances, achievements, etc. Why can't we just do nothing and be happy, crediting our own capability of producing endorphin?
There are pills to boost our mood, to suppress our sadness, because we are programmed to think that happiness is something to be achieved, whereas we can just BE sad. Let's take another twist to this kind of thinking. If we can simply BE sad why can't we just let ourselves BE happy as well?

My fave TV program is currently the Dog Whisperer. It always amazes me to see how easy a dog can change it's behaviors in a matter of minutes. Dogs (or animals) do not live in the past. Their misbehaviors are usually because they are following a pattern.. But once Cesar Millan (the dog whisperer) trained these dogs, they changed blitz-fast. It makes me realize how complicated people are.. We harbor resentment and trauma, reliving the past, predicting the future based on our past experiences.. Dogs live in the moment and let go of their past. As Cesar said, it is far easier to rehabilitate a dog than a human.

A dear friend is still harboring excruciating pain from her past.. I asked her quietly if it's so painful, why did she relive the past every single time.. She snapped at me and said that I wouldn't be able to understand traumata, it's different from normal pain. I sensed somehow that she's somewhat afraid to move on, to let go of her trauma, the source of her justification and pity party. Ah well, but who am I anyway to throw accusations at her? I never walked in her shoes and I will stop holding my own way and opinions. I just hope that she'll find her peace of mind eventually.

August 7, 2012

August 2, 2012

Dealing with anger and resentment

I won't lie.
Sometimes I do feel very angry at my mom. I resent her at those crazy times. I'm torn between the guilt of resenting my own mom and the love for her.
To give her the justice, I know very well that she loves me very much in her own way. She cooked me my favorite meals, she bought me expensive jewelery (though I don't like them), she wanted to give me everything money can buy. I know this is her own way of showing her love.

But sometimes when things are hard, I caught myself thinking,"Why do I always have to be the patient, responsible and the more mature one? How old is she, and how old am I, bitte schoen? Why do I have to parent my own parent? Why do I always have to neglect my feelings and focus on hers instead? Is it fair that I have to deal with my own physical pain (surgeries, scoliosis back pain etc), my own self esteem plus her insanity?"

But hey, it is what it is. She is who she is.
If I can't change things, then I have to change my way of thinking.
If I can't change her, then I guess I just have to be the change I wanted to see in her.
I  may feel that it is not fair, but I am not the center of the universe, aren't I? So, at some point, I have to stop focusing on my own pity party and start focusing on being a better person instead. And I won't stop the rain by complaining either.

Somehow I've learned that nothing lasts forever, that every emotion will pass, be it good or bad. Anger, hatred, resentment won't last, and I've learned the hard way that if I let those emotions get the best of me, the one who's going to suffer in the end is myself. The more you think about the anger, the more you replay those bad things people did, the more you'll hurt yourself.

The Zen guru, Thich Nhat Hanh said, if your house got burned down by a certain person, what are you going to do first? Trying to put the fire down or trying to catch the person who did it? A food for thought. I prefer the first choice :)

Another way to make it even more acceptable. I believe in the Karma concept, though I don't really believe in reincarnation. Maybe.. I owe my mom, the universe, whatever, a lot in the past (or the future), and my karma is now ripening. I know this sounds a bit contradictory to my statement of not believing in reincarnation, but hey, this makes me tick.. So bear with me, ok? :D It helps me put things in a more positive perspective.

I know some western-minded readers would think I'm crazy, a masochist. The me two years ago would think exactly the same way.. Some people would encourage me to dig deeper, release the anger, psychoanalyze. I've tried. And it didn't bring me the peace of mind I'm looking for. The more I dig and read about the borderline disorder, the more I analyze, the more hurtful it becomes, the more unfair it seems.
I have put my past hurts here in writing. And my way of moving forward is to let go. I do not want to write about borderline signs and tendencies anymore.. My mom will still drive me crazy in the future, but I refuse to look back, replay and analyze those things she did in the past anymore. I'll take the higher ground.
Holding on to the past is fun, I admit. It feeds my ego, justifies my right to be angry. But let see the after effect, what good does it bring me? Nothing.

I might be an idealist, but practicing mindfulness, awareness of my own emotions, letting go are more practical and useful than those skeleton-digging-psychoanalysis things. I'm not saying modern psychology doesn't work. Surely it does to many people, but it is just not my cup of tea. I'm a vintage girl who prefers to curl on a 2500-year-old-buddhist couch to an avant-garde Freudian one ;)

I have to say, I am where I am right now because of my dad and his very Yoda way of thinking :D He is the epitome of my accumulated good karma, I guess :)

And to Yoda I'll say Amen.

August 1, 2012

Borderline Personality Disorder

 A person with this disorder will also often exhibit impulsive behaviors and have a majority of the following symptoms:
  • Frantic efforts to avoid real or imagined abandonment
  • A pattern of unstable and intense interpersonal relationships characterized by alternating between extremes of idealization and devaluation
  • Identity disturbance, such as a significant and persistent unstable self-image or sense of self
  • Impulsivity in at least two areas that are potentially self-damaging (e.g., spending, sex, substance abuse, reckless driving, binge eating)
  • Recurrent suicidal behavior, gestures, or threats, or self-mutilating behavior
  • Emotional instability due to significant reactivity of mood (e.g., intense episodic dysphoria, irritability, or anxiety usually lasting a few hours and only rarely more than a few days)
  • Chronic feelings of emptiness
  • Inappropriate, intense anger or difficulty controlling anger (e.g., frequent displays of temper, constant anger, recurrent physical fights)
  • Transient, stress-related paranoid thoughts or severe dissociative symptoms
Borderline personality disorder is more prevalent in females (75 percent of diagnoses made are in females). It is thought that borderline personality disorder affects approximately 2 percent of the general population.

Behaviors of BPD Mothers

The Witch

Typical Thoughts
Unconsciously, Witches hate themselves because they grew up in an environment that "required complete submission to a hostile or sadistic caregiver" (2000). They continue the cycle by acting cruelly to others, especially those who are too weak, young, or powerless to help themselves.

Typical Emotions
They feel no remorse for nightmarish acts, showing more interest in their own well-being than concern over the way they've hurt others. The Witch's triggers include jealousy, criticism, betrayal, abandonment, feeling left out, and being ignored.

Typical Actions and Central Dilemma
Most BP parents do not physically abuse their children. Those who do probably fall into this category. However, the abuse usually occurs when other competent adults are not present. Thus, family members can live in fear while all seems well to the outside world.
Witches want power and control over others so that others do not abandon them. When someone or something triggers the Witches' abandonment fear, these BPs can become brutal and full of rage, even punishing or hurting family members who stand in their way (2000). These types of BPs are most resistant to treatment: they will not allow others to help and the source of self-loathing is very deep.

 Typical Thoughts, Emotions, and Actions of Family Members
  • "I will comply with what she wants. Resistance is futile. I will be assimilated."
  • Fear in victims.
  • Denial on the part of those who could protect the victims.
  • Tries not to trigger the witch. But her behavior is not really about the non-BP, so this strategy doesn't work.
 The Effect of the Witch's Behavior in Children
  • Children live in terror of Witches' capricious moods; they are the "collateral damage" of a secret war they did not start, do not understand, and cannot control.
  • Attacks are random, intense, and cruel. Children automatically think they're at fault and can become shamed, depressed, insecure, dissociative, and hypervigilant.
  • As adults they may have multiple difficulties with self, relationships, physical illness, and even post traumatic stress disorder.

The Queen

Typical Thoughts
"I want more attention. I deserve more attention. And, by the way, what have you done for me lately?" Also, "My children should fulfill my needs, not the other way around. They don't love or respect me if they disagree with me, go against my wishes, or have needs of their own."

Typical Feelings
These include entitlement, deprivation, emptiness, anger, frustration, or loneliness from the deprivation they felt as children. Queens are impatient and have a low tolerance for frustration. They also push others' boundaries without regret or recognition.

Typical Actions and Central Dilemma
Driven by feelings of emptiness and unable to soothe themselves, Queens do what it takes to get what they feel they so richly deserve--including vindictive acts like blackmail. Initially they may impress others with their social graces. But when "friends" can no longer deliver, the Queen cuts them off without a thought. Queens are capable of real manipulation (vs. more primitive BP defenses) to get what they desire.

Typical Thoughts, Emotions, and Actions of Family Members
  • "I can't meet this person's needs; my best isn't enough."
  • "Don't I ever get to have any needs? (Better not say that or the Queen will leave me.)"
  • "Why is everything always about her?"
  • "If people only knew what an act the Queen puts on, they'd sure be shocked."
  • Family members who the Queen shames, ignores, or gives superficial attention learn that their worth depends on external things (cars, important titles).
  • Non-BPs' self-esteem also suffers--especially among those who become isolated or who had a Queen parent.
  • Over time, non-BPs feel used, manipulated and angry--anger at the BP and at themselves for capitulating so much they no longer recognize themselves.
  • Non-BPs give in to her wishes because it's easier than maintaining personal limits.
  • Less assertive non-BPs are vulnerable to distortion campaigns, unwilling or unable to protect themselves or their children.
 Consequences to Children with a Queen Parent 
  • To the Queen, children are a built-in audience expected to give love, attention and support when the Queen needs it. Children feel confused and betrayed when their normal behavior is sometimes punished (according to the Queen's needs of the moment). Since Queens don't allow or help children become individuals (autonomy is discouraged--even punished) kids mimic the behavior they do see: the Queens'. Thus, a new generation of BPs is born.
  • As kids grow, conflict with the Queen increases. Underneath, these kids long for approval, recognition, consistency, and to be loved unconditionally for who they are, not what they achieve.

Trying to cope with the borderline mom

Since I came back to my hometown, things had been turbulent. I came with my own opinions, my german-educated way of thinking, strong cognition and cold rationality, which clash with her emotional unstructured mindset.

I'm currently involved in the family business, and most of the times I supported my dad's decisions which are logical and cost effective. My mom was running the business as well and felt that she's the queen boss.. The problem is that she's actually incapable of managing a company as she doesn't have the educational background, the cognitive ability nor does she want to learn about new things. She's been holding back the company's progress as she would make decisions according to her emotions, refusing computerized system because she can't use the computer. The queen felt threatened that I was planning to overthrow her from her throne. She screamed at me not to access our supplier's or customer's files, not to come close to her desk, not to assign anything to our employees without her permission.

These words were often hurled at me, "This is my territory! My prerogative! Don't forget that!" 
"Do you think that you'll own this company if you're helping your dad here? You won't!"
"Why do you have to come back? Just go away! I wish your sister or brother will come back instead!"
"Get out of MY house, you and dad. Just move out!"
"We are only a small company. No need to get too structured. You're too arrogant."
If my dad asked her if she had forwarded any purchase order to the production department, she would snap at him and said if he asked her that again, she would kill him.
She takes everything as a personal attack.

I never thought of wanting to own anything. All I want is to take US to a higher level, to succeed, to help my dad with his dreams.But unfortunately my mom can't see that. She let her own insecurities hold us back.

On the emotional level, it's also exhausting. She's still hypersensitive, reading things that aren't there in the first place.
She screamed at me because I was silent in the car. She cried and screamed out of sudden,"What did I do to you!? Why are you ignoring me?" I was startled.. I was silent because I fell asleep.

I was yawning without closing my mouth, suddenly she screamed that I was ungrateful and disrespectful because she had always taught me to close my mouth and don't I ever think that shows the strength of a character. I was really confused.. How does the strength of my character and yawning correlate? I only kept silent. I had learned that she just wanted to provoke me further until I exploded and then blaming me for being disrespectful towards her, thus justifying her insanity.

My brother was back for his internship a few months ago and had a huge dispute with her as well. Unlike the vocal me, my brother is a very passive and phlegmatic person, in which he would never take sides and never voiced his opinions in front of my mom. So my mom always thought he's her ally.
My mom complained about her friend that she's always so negative, etc. My brother said,"You too." She cried night and day because of my brother's two words and resented me and my dad for influencing my brother. She was sure my brother has that opinion about her because of me. She would never thought that it was my bro's own perception, even though she knows how smart and perceptive he is.. True to the borderline traits, she sees herself as the victimized good guy.
She then started crying and telling my brother stories about my dad, what a jerk he was, how she was always victimized. My brother was so angry that he yelled back at her that he didn't want to take side and that she needed to stop being so black and white and hypersensitive. He then told me that he would never come home after he graduated and what a f-cked up home this was.. He's tired of us, the children, having to constantly parentify our mom. To see his anger made me sad, realizing that it was the first time I saw him being angry, that's he's right and everyone in this house was living a nightmare.

We wanted to visit my brother in Brisbane and I had bought the tickets, booked the hotels and everything. I asked her if she wanted to go to New Zealand, and she told me she had been in New Z a couple of times, so it's up to me. I asked my dad who's never been there if he wanted me to plan a New Zealand trip. He said no. So, I planned only for an Aussie trip. My dad told her this later and she claimed that she didn't know anything and refused to join the trip. When I asked her what should I do with the tickets, she only shrugged her shoulders and told me she didn't need me to plan the trip. What did I do? I kept quiet.. Tired of life time confrontations.

I've tried communicating with her and my dad.. But it's like talking to a wall here. I asked her why she treated me so unfairly.. She kept blaming my dad, that my dad made her unhappy and she only forwarded everything to me. No regrets there, all my dad's faults.. I said calmly that her hypersensitivity was overwhelming, again she blamed my dad, her own parent's upbringing. I gave up...

Ok, I'll stop here.. Writing this is not good for my own health apparently. Now I feel some anger rising.

I am actually contemplating of moving out, but when I told her this, she cried.. And I felt bad. Call me a masochist, but I'm going to try to cope with her and see how long I can last. Who knows, I might be able to stop resenting the fire for burning :)

The question of how I cope? Silence and practicing breathing meditation :D It does help a lot!  
I always remember what my dad said. "If a mad dog bites you, are you going to squat down and bite the dog in retaliation? Doesn't that make you as mad as it is?"
When anger got the best of me, I would force myself to think that nothing lasts forever, this (anger) too shall pass. And after a while, it does indeed go away. 

The borderline in me

I grew up into a strict, know-it-all, opinionated, independent, strong-willed girl.
But living with a borderline mom surely paved my own way to the mad world of borderline disorder.

I was very judgmental, thinking in black and white.
My own survival ability (having learned only to depend on myself) made me put myself on a high pedestal, thinking that I’m stronger than most people I know (which I am :p) ,thus I couldn’t respect people who are emotionally weak or depressed.
In my own twisted mind, there’s only two ways of thinking. My way or the highway. It’s either you’re with me or you’re against me.

Being highly unstable, extreme mood swings, bipolar tendencies, insecurity were daily routines. I was usually highly energetic in the afternoon, talkative, active and breaking down in the evening. Replaying past hurts and mistakes people did to me and shutting down. 
I remember a former boyfriend said how he dreaded the night time.

I sweated the small stuffs, getting angry over unimportant things. Simply hysterical. I couldn’t control my emotional outbursts. Can you imagine being so angry that it feels literally tight and hot in the chest? I felt that kind of rage on daily basis, even over a door that’s not being closed properly. 

I needed to control everything, being bossy and dominant, wouldn’t take no for an answer. I needed to hear the ‘right’ answer. Right according to my subjectivity, obviously.

People I hurt the most were my former boyfriends who had to deal with my instability, feeding my ego and validating my feelings which resulted from my own insecurity. I tend to push them away, break up with them often, hating them for not crawling back. To make things worse for me and themselves, they loved me so much that they put up with my madness, spoiled me and kept coming back for more. Relationships were turbulent, alternating between “Go away!” and “I need you” A book title about the life of a borderline girl really puts perspective into my behavior: “I hate you. Don’t leave me.”
What about their feelings? “Huh, do they have feelings.. Never knew that.”
Simply put, I made their lives a living nightmare. I was the exact replica of my mom..  

Being partly bipolar, when the sun shone on my turbulent mind, I was a smart, fun loving girl. I could see the silver lining in everything, thanks to my ability of manipulating my own mind since childhood. I loved deeply and was very attentive to people. But when the dark cloud came, say hello to the manic hysterical Mrs. Hyde. Well, on the bright side, this Mrs. Hyde had never hit or beat up people. She learned from her own experiences that verbal and physical abuse are no-go’s, too bad she still missed the emotional abuse part.

At those times, I never stopped to contemplate or to be grateful that I was loved, understood and spoilt. I took everything for granted, not realizing that something was wrong with myself until those people I hurt couldn’t take it anymore and gave up on me. At that point, I realized something was not right and took some time to rethink about those turbulent relationships. I might not be responsible for my borderline tendencies, but I surely was responsible for things I did to other people. This was the beginning of a change.

*** I wrote this post about 6 months ago and it kinda showed my journey of change, the difference between the former and the latter me.

My childhood with a borderline mom

My friend in high school used to complain all the time about her mom, how her mom abused her emotionally and verbally. How she couldn't get along with her mom etc. Add physical abuse to those and there you get my childhood

My mom isn't a bad person, she's actually very kind to people around her, my dad's employees, etc. She cares about the people around her when she's 'sane'. Her problem is that she's ignorant to her own mental health and projects her own unhappiness to her immediate family.
If you see my mom and get to know her, you won't believe what Im saying here. She makes jokes, laughs, has high level of energy, always active, involved in activities. In short, high functioning. But unfortunately not to her immediate family, For me, she's a hysterical, unstable, hypersensitive, controlling mother.

I do not remember much about my childhood. What I remember are surgeries, never ending courses, studying and beating.
Growing up, my mom was very strict. There's no room for mistakes. I had to live up to her standard, which was very high.

She only bought me literature books and forbade me from reading comic books. I used to borrow my friend's comic books and hid it under my uniform :) I used to put those books in my school bag before but she ransacked my bag, hit me and tore up the books in front of me. No matter how I cried, she always proceeded on and I had to buy new books for my friends with my minimal pocket money. So I learned to hide the comic book inside my clothes. Well, it really depended on my luck, because every now and then, she would ransack my room and if she found those books, I was dead meat.
She also tore my favorite books to pieces when she found out I was reading books instead of studying. I never understood why other children could read and buy comic books and I couldn't.
Once, in her rage, she deemed me incapable of continuing to the university and tore up my high school diploma certificate.

I seldom had free time for playing. I always had to go to extracurricular courses, music lessons, math, language classes until late at night. I had no right to say no.
She used to accompany me studying until 3 in the morning, but maybe I was a slow learner, she always grew impatient when I got sleepy after midnight. So she usually pinched me black and blue, beat me up with broomstick, banged my head on the wall, even burned me with an ironing rod.

I was a clumsy child (still am) and I tend to forget things easily. Whenever I unintentionally spilled my milk or juice (which happened quite often), my mom would scream at me and beat me up. If I forgot to tell her things, she would scold me and accuse me of intentionally hiding things from her, thus disrespecting her.

My mom is big on unhappiness and dissatisfaction. She thinks that her family is a big disappointment. She complains constantly about not having a place called home, that her family doesn't love her enough. She asked me quite a lot of time,"What did you ever do for me? What have you ever given? Nothing!" This brought me to another memory when I was in the primary school. On her birthday I bought her a flower bouquet, a false one because I thought it would be long-lasting. She berated me for not buying fresh flowers instead.

Her insecurity is also very prominent.
She cares very much about people’s opinion about her. In people’s eyes she had to be the good guy. She constantly compared me and my sister to our cousins. We were never good enough. I was always being compared to my cousin, saying how smart my cousin was and that I was a disgrace to her, how she could never be proud of me. My cousin’s grade in math was better than mine, but I also excelled her in history. My mom never saw my better grade and focused on my worse-than-cousin math grade.
My sister suffered more than me in this case. We have an aunt who likes to brag about her daughter. She bragged how smart and diligent this cousin was. My mom believed every single word she said and berated my sister constantly for being lazy. In the end, we found out that this aunt lied about her daughter’s grade. My sister’s 12 year misery was based on nothing but a vicious lie. We were always at fault and other people were always right. She believed everything other people said.

She got extremely upset when she found out that people were talking behind her back. She found out once that my uncle was talking about her, she still resented him after more than a decade. She also hates the fact that we talk about her problems. The funny thing is, she also talks and bad mouths people quite often. A double standard, indeed.

Other people always come first and she never defended her family members in front of others. She cares too much about what others would think of her if she stood up against them. As for her family members, we have no other choice but to cope with her.
One day miraculously I had free time after school and invited a friend over to play. Suddenly my teacher showed up (it was her fault, she forgot that I didn’t have class that day). I refused to take lesson because it was my only free day in months and I had a friend visiting. My mom forced me to take the lesson, no matter how I cried and protested, because she felt bad for my piano teacher. Needless to say, my friend was angry at me and refused to talk to me afterwards because I neglected her for 1,5 hours. I remember how I hated my piano teacher, which wasn’t fair, because my teacher had acknowledged her mistake, said sorry and wanted to leave without giving me my piano lesson. It was my mom who insisted that I took the lesson. I finally learned that I couldn’t trust my mom, that she wouldn’t stand up for me, and I learned to depend only on myself.

Speaking of emotional exhaustion, my mom is hypersensitive, assuming and judgmental. Everything we said or didn’t say, did or didn’t do could trigger her outrage. We never knew what to expect, when her mood is going to change. I learned not to confide anything in her because she judged and often used what I said to attack me later on. She could be smiling one moment and angry in the next hour. We were so afraid of her emotional outbursts so we tiptoed around her feelings, walking on eggshells all the time, learning to distant ourselves and not say anything. Unfortunately, she didn’t like the fact that we kept our distance either. It feels like being around a ticking bomb, you just don’t know when it will explode.
Silent treatment (can stretch up to two weeks) was our routines. 

She thinks only in black and white. It's either you're with her or against her. Opinion difference means disrespect, betrayal.
She used to have a dispute with her brother and refused to talk or having any contact with him. My sister, as a child, still kept in touch with my uncle's family. My mom called her a family traitor.

Inconsistency was one of her dominant traits. Today she would say A, and tomorrow Z without even remembering what she said before. She used to dislike me having male friends, berated them when they called me. The next week when she’s angry, she would say,”Why don’t you have any boyfriend? Your cousin has one. Must be because you’re ugly that no one wants you.”
Or she would get mad at me because I went out with my friends and she felt that I abandoned her and my family. But when I stayed home, she would say,”You’re a difficult person. Maybe that’s why you stay home and don’t have any friends.”

Another main trait is that she always feels victimized. She's the protagonist and life/ people treat her unfairly all the time. So she tends to blame everything on other people, circumstances, bureaucracy, her own childhood, etc.

It’s quite scary when she’s consumed with rage, she didn’t realize what she was saying and didn’t remember the hurtful things she had said afterwards. I grew accustomed to her hurtful words, saying that I was the crap of society, how she regretted giving birth to me, etc. She would also try to turn me against my dad, saying that my dad doesn’t love me, how mean my dad was and how she felt victimized. She couldn’t accept that I talked more to my dad than to her, and she despised the fact that I saw my dad as a better person than she was. She also blamed me for things I couldn’t control. She told me it was my fault that she had under eye bags, because I cried a lot when I was a baby. At this point I couldn’t help but wonder, how am I supposed to take responsibilities to such actions? And couldn’t she accept the fact that I cried a lot, if even as a baby I already had to deal with surgery’s pain?

She blamed me for her problems with my dad. She used to forbid me from reading some documentary books about Christianity when I was a child. She's a devout Catholic, FYI. When my dad asked me if I had read those books, I told him the truth. My dad then told her to stop indoctrinating me and let me think freely. My mom went berserk and denied everything (she really didn't remember that she forbade me), and threw accusations at me. I was a big liar, etc. This happens a lot of time and I didn't bother to argue anymore. It's no use to argue with someone who doesn't remember things she did or said and sees herself as the victimized good guy.

It wasn’t easy, being a child and having to deal with abuses. I grew up doubting myself, struggling with my already low self esteem and physical pain. I was born with physical impairments, needing to go through many surgeries and recovery processes. I became sad, bitter and resentful. I used to think that I was a bad child, but looking back, I realized I wasn’t a bad kid. I was a smart and perceptive kid, I graduated with distinction, I took responsibilities, I didn’t act up, did drugs, etc, and I never complained about anything.

It was a huge relief for me when my dad told me a story that kinda explained her absurd behaviors, that it wasn’t always my fault.
It was a scorching summer day and I was not even 1 year old. My parents pushed me in a stroller, they couldn’t get a taxi and I began to cry. My mom was so pissed off hearing me cry, took me from the stroller and wanted to slam me down on the pavement until my dad grabbed me away from her.
At this point, ironically, I smiled in relief. So after a life time of soul searching, I wasn't the rotten egg :) 

I grew up thinking I was crazy,  because my mom is a happy-go-lucky, extrovert person on the outside. My friends and cousins told me how lucky I was to have such a funny and supportive mother. I could only smile and doubted my own sanity.
As long as I can remember, I couldn't wait until I finished school and was able to go abroad to pursue higher education. So did my siblings, I guess. I can't speak for them, but from what I perceived, all of us just wanted to get out of the house, away from her rage and insecurities.  

Well, but we all survive :) My sister grows up to be a kind-hearted, cheerful person and my brother is now a very perceptive and stable person. And all ends (hopefully) well :)

* I went to Germany after graduating high school. I was free to explore and express my own opinions, but sadly I also showed some significant signs of BPD. 
Now I'm back in my hometown and, again, trying to cope with mom's emotional roller coaster ride. I'll write about this in another chapter :)