Sunday, June 18, 2006

Vengeance is mine

I have been MIA from my blog for about a month, coming back to it last week. Part of it was I was studying for the CPA, but after that, rather than going back to dealing with things, I just felt stunned. It is just hard for me to comprehend that my parents would rather let me go than acknowledge what they did to me. I do not understand how my dad could have abused me the way he did, forced me to go to a man’s house that he knew was sexually abusing me, beg my forgiveness, drive his son to commit suicide, and then choose to do it again to another family. I do not understand how my mom could tell me she thought I could handle the abuse on my own, and then when I confronted her about how she failed in her responsibilities to me, deny the abuse even happened. I do not understand how they could abandon both Jeff and me.

I felt a lot of this same shock after Jeff’s suicide. I just could not comprehend how he could do that to me, and everyone who loves him. I am having the same physical problems as I did after the suicide too- migraines and my stomach hurting whenever I eat. It is hard for me to work all this emotional anguish out of my system, and it eats away at my health. My body is overwhelmed with stress, and the only way I have been able to feel better physically is to be as healthy as I can in every other way- eating healthy and exercising. That does not address the cause of the stress, though. The only way I can really get better is if I can figure out how to stop holding these feelings inside me.

I think the real sticking point is how I learned to deal with emotions as a child- post-traumatic stress, if you will. In order to survive, I used copying strategies that were the best I could do at the time. I was hyper-vigilant- always on the look out for danger, always prepared for the worst to happen. I disassociated from the sadness, pain, confusion, and anger. I focused on what I liked about my parents, and blocked out how bad they were, so I could stand to live with them and be dependent on them.

Right now, I am experiencing a flood of heart-wrenching emotions remembering every detail of how bad and unsympathetic my parents really were, and how bad and unsympathetic they still are. My coping strategies helped me survive living with them. I was also brainwashed into thinking that the way they acted was normal, and that I was bad and emotionally unstable for rebelling against them. I could not help rebelling against them, because what they were doing was wrong, but they beat me down and put me through so much that I believed I deserved it. When I escaped that situation, I did not escape it psychologically. I thought I deserved that treatment, and I attracted people who took advantage of that.

Now I feel really angry that I was taken advantage of, used, and mistreated, and angry that people are capable of treating other people like that. I am really struggling to know what to do with these feelings. It is unsatisfying to just walk away, after everything I have been through, when they took so much from me. I wish I did not feel vengeful, but I do. It is hard to accept that these people will just keep doing what they are doing without having to take responsibility for all the pain they have caused. They should pay!

When I think about these feelings, though, I realize that I have gained something that my victimizers will most likely never have. They are prisoners in a never-ending cycle. My grandfather abused my dad when he was a kid, and my dad takes his revenge on other people. He will never be satisfied, though, because he sees himself as the victim, and his anger and resentment over his perceived helplessness only gets worse. He hurts others to feel powerful, but because he does not take responsibility for himself, he is incapable having power over his own life. He is incapable of having compassionate, supportive connections with other people, and being happy.

My ex-boyfriend, last I heard, blames me for everything, including his alcoholism. He took advantage of me when I was at my lowest point, blaming myself for Jeff's death. He verbally and emotionally abused me, constantly belittling me and cutting me down. I left him when I was sure he would start physically hurting me. After how hard he made my life at a time that was already incredibly difficult, he has tried to punish me in any way he could for leaving him, including threatening physical violence on me. As long as he holds me responsible for his misery, though, he is powerless over his miserable life, as he is powerless over me.

My mom has buried one child, and alienated the other. She sacrificed us to save herself, and in the process, threw away everything that mattered to her. I do not need to seek justice against them because they are inflicting it on themselves. Once I stopped waiting for them to release me, or for someone else to rescue me, I was able to save myself. I fought against and escaped the victim cycle. Now I am responsible for my own happiness, and there is nothing more that these people can do to take my happiness away. That clich├ęd saying is true- living well is the best revenge. All we really have power over is our own life. I wish I knew how to heal my body, but I think as the anger subsides, the pain will too. I will stop expecting the worst, and realize how far I have come.

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