Tag Archives: family

Understanding Madness

“It is sometimes an appropriate response to reality to go insane.” 
― Philip K. Dick

Very dangerous Idea. Imagine omitting the “sometimes” from the above sentence and what you got is a powerful conviction (or excuse) to do something outrageous.

Having said that, There are times when the mind is dealt such a blow it hides itself in insanity. While this may not seem beneficial, it is. There are times when the reality is nothing but pain, and to escape that pain the mind must leave reality behind. I guess that is what happened to my sister, she has gone insane to escape the sick reality of our lives.

Later on, she will choose to live on the streets than to face her responsibilities, leaving her six children behind. I’ve tried countless times to change her mind, fostering her kids, sending them to school, but although she will play with them and stay for a while, whenever I brought up the topic of her settling down with her children again, she will get hysterics and tell me she doesn’t want headaches anymore and she will disappear again, back to her old habits of moving from one place to another.

It hurts me to think of the horror she had been subjected to being the way she is and living the life she has chosen for herself. Sometimes, she will have deep cuts on her arms or bruises on her bodies. Other times, her hair had been chopped off badly and she was bleeding. Rumor has it she had been gang-raped in the cemetery… It breaks my heart but I am powerless to do anything. You cannot help somebody that doesn’t want to be helped.

I’ve nightmares about it and like her, I avoid thinking about her situation too much for the fear of joining her in her never-ending quest for peace of mind.

Yann Martel said: All living things contain a measure of madness that moves them in strange, sometimes inexplicable ways. This madness can be saving; it is part and parcel of the ability to adapt. Without it, no species would survive.

Maybe that is what my sister is doing, saving herself in the only way she knows how. It might seem insane to onlookers but to her it makes sense. I hope someday she will find what she is looking for. I hope she will find someone who understands her and will take care of her and show her how it is to be loved. She needs it. Love is something she never experienced in her life. Certainly not from my mother who hated her from the moment she was born. Hate she passed on to anyone and everything that has something to do with my sister including her children. I don’t understand it. I will never understand how someone let alone a mother could differentiate her love between her children? 

They say all parents do it, they love their children in different ways, seeing each child as an individual, each one with their own unique characteristics, strengths, and weaknesses and may find it easier to understand one child from another. That I could understand. But to hate and shun your own child calling her ugly among so many other derogatory terms is to me unacceptable. 

Maybe my mother had her own twisted reasons for doing it. She never told me when she was alive and now that she’s dead, I will never know why. Perhaps that is the madness of my mother, favoring one child among her children.

Maybe we are all mad here in Wonderland.

Emilie Autumn said:

Some are born mad, some achieve madness, and some have madness thrust upon ’em.

I believe the last one is my sister.

Her mind is too weak to cope with our dysfunctional family situations. But she’s not alone. None of us siblings survived the ordeal of growing up without scars, visible or invisible. The traumas manifested in all sorts of bizarre behaviors which in turn have lead into more compromising circumstances breeding the next generations of the likes of us.

God knows where it will lead.

According to the experts___

When you find yourself locked onto an unpleasant train of thought, heading for the places in your past where the screaming is unbearable, remember there’s always madness. Madness is the emergency exit.

I will keep this in mind.

When things become unbearable.

12392069_917017888348138_6506871813711213058_n

Maybe

Maybe I’m really crazy. Like my sister. Maybe I have learned to hide my madness inside a seemingly calm, confident, strong package. Maybe I know from the start that there is no place in this world for someone like us, like me. Maybe behind this creative, free-spirited, mind, a raving lunatic with a taste for macabre is secretly lurking. Someone who doesn’t and will not fit in. Maybe I will succumb to the insanity which is in my blood and fulfill my destiny. Maybe there is no escaping my heritage no matter how hard I try and how far I run. Maybe I will come full circle in the end and repeat the errors and history of my tragic past. Maybe I am better dead than alive. Maybe I have to stop thinking too much and go quietly with the flow. Maybe I have to accept things as they are and quit analyzing every little detail. Maybe it will be better if I let things happen instead of expecting the worst. Maybe I have to sleep so I don’t entertain crazy thoughts.

What do you think?

maxresdefault (6)

The Art Of Forgetting And Forgiving

“I rarely suffer lengthy emotional distress from contact with other people. A person may anger or annoy me, but not for long. I can distinguish between myself and another as beings of two different realms. It’s a kind of talent (by which I do not mean to boast: it’s not an easy thing to do, so if you can do it, it is a kind of a talent – a special power). When someone gets on my nerves, the first thing I do is transfer the object of my unpleasant feelings to another domain, one having no connection with me. Then I tell myself, Fine, I’m feeling bad, but I’ve put the source of these feelings into another zone, away from here, where I can examine it and deal with it later in my own good time. In other words, I put a freeze on my emotions. Later, when I thaw them out to perform the examination, I do occasionally find my emotions in a distressed state, but that is rare. The passage of time will usuallly extract the venom from most things and render them harmless. Then sooner or later, I forget about them.”

― Haruki Murakami

Though the above quote resonates with me strongly, I am afraid I go a lot further when it comes to dealing with emotions and cutting people out of my life.

Out of a sense of duty which is one of the strongest propellers why I do things (and keep doing them) when it comes to people, I let myself be abused to the point of being a doormat, till I heard the click, and then no more.

Like I said before, I don’t cultivate any form of attachment to anything or anyone. Subconsciously, I must have learned it from babyhood leading a nomadic life and never unlearned it. Old habits never die, right?

So, when I heard the click in my head and decided to ban what causes me harm, that’s it, there is no way back.

The thing is, I don’t cut people or things from my life deliberately. It is difficult to explain. From one day to another, they will just cease to exist (in my head) as if they never been there or never been a part of my existence. And no matter what I do, how hard I try, I can’t bring them back.

It hurts indefinitely and I don’t forget but letting them back in, I can’t.

I did it with my family, my ex, my religion, and my daughter.

Speaking of my daughter, lately, she is reaching out. Perhaps the prospect of becoming a mother soon brought a little understanding in her head, realizing that being a parent is not as simple as she thought it will be. But though I love her dearly and I wish nothing but the best for her, what she all did in the past trigger the click in my head and I have no desire anymore to be part of her life. Not even for the sake of my grandchild.

There was a time that I will do anything to be included in her life but after hearing repeatedly in the past from her own mouth that she didn’t wish me in her circle and no plan to introduce me to her future children and will make them believe I was already dead because I don’t fit in her picture of what a perfect family is and compare to anyone in her immediate surroundings I came way too short of expectations. Her expectations. One day it finally sinks in and I decided maybe she is right, that I better disappear from her life and I did.

But not after she thrown me out from her place saying it will never work between us, simply because I didn’t agree with her unrealistic ideas. I cried and it hurt and still is but never again.

She invited me to her baby shower. I declined. There will be baptismal and God knows what in the future and probably I will invent excuses not to go but believe you me, the prospect of mingling with people she deemed qualified to be part of her life is so stressful for a lowly good for nothing me.

I don’t know if our relationship will improve in the future. If the gap between us could be bridge and wounds could heal. But even then…

At least we are on a speaking term now. Maybe that’s an improvement, but…

Time will tell.

As always.

ruki-cvetok-lepestki

Legacy of the Heart: The Spiritual Advantage of a Painful Childhood

Adults who were hurt as children inevitably exhibit a peculiar strength, profound inner wisdom, and remarkable creativity and insight. Deep within them – just beneath the wound – lies a profound spiritual vitality, a quiet knowing, a way of perceiving what is beautiful, right, and true. Since their early experiences were so dark and painful, they have spent much of their lives in search of the gentleness, love, and peace they have only imagined in the privacy of their own hearts.” 

― Wayne Muller

teddy-bear-440498_960_720

A Letter to my Children: You do not come from a Broken Home.

My dear children: I know that the world may try to tell you otherwise, but I want you to know that you haven’t come from a broken home—because there isn’t anything damaged about my love for you.

Perhaps we are nontraditional, and possibly sometimes, it feels as if we are wayward, but there is nothing about our family that is broken.

I never intended to be a single parent. And though I had hopes of the fairytale happily-ever-after, I soon realized that I was just not meant to live in a perfect castle, high on a hill, while those below thought my life was something more “perfect” than it really was.

My dear children: I see now that this was the journey that we were all meant to walk.

I would never have wanted you to grow up thinking that love was a responsibility, instead of a gift. Because while I didn’t get it right the first time—you just might.

Perhaps if I can show you that sometimes love isn’t easy—and that the first step is always to learn who we are and how we love—then maybe you will know more than I did and make choices that are founded in greater awareness and courage.

I didn’t know how little I knew about life and myself when I began my journey of divorce, but time did a beautiful job of teaching me.

I know that sometimes it’s hard just having one parent at home because Momma can only do so much at once. There is only one lap to sit on and one pair of arms to hold you close. There is only one adult to fix things, cook and plan entertaining endeavors. Sometimes I drop the ball because I’ve learned that I just can’t do it all.

It’s just me—and while I know I am enough, just as I am doing the best I can, I know that you still want more.

When you tell me that you want a boy to live with us, as I am driving on the highway, you don’t see the tear slide down my cheek because I honestly want it just as much as you do. I can’t provide that as easily as I can other things—I can’t magically snap my fingers and make it happen.

But I do have faith that when it’s meant to be—and at the right time—I will find us a good man.

For now, all I can do is love you my deepest love, not to make up for the fact that there is only one parent to kiss you and tuck you in at night, but because you are worth this type of love.

To say that you are from a broken home implies that you would have been happier and healthy if I had stayed in a marriage that I’d outgrown.

The reality of two adults who aren’t truly in love with one another is not as good as being single and modeling how to exquisitely love myself.

I know that what I say doesn’t mean a damn thing if I am not willing to do the hard work to back it up with action.

What good would I have been to you if I had preached to you about finding love, loving yourself, following your heart and all of the magic that is worthwhile in this life if I wasn’t willing to follow my own advice?

The truth is, my loves, we need make mistakes to learn lessons.

If I hadn’t followed my heart and decided that I wanted my life to be the greatest example for how to live, then I also wouldn’t be the mother that you truly needed me to be.

How differently would you have grown up if I taught you to ignore your heart?

If I instead taught you the value in keeping your mouth closed just to keep the peace?

You wouldn’t be the type of women who will one day change this world.

My goal from the start has been to raise amazing young women. I never intended to keep watch over you, teaching you your ABCs while you learn how to best blend into society so that one day you might get a mortgage, and an IRA and find yourself settled down but empty.

You’ll grow up to be young women with soul.

Women who have vision and ambition who know they will have to work through blood and sweat to get the life they want and deserve, because nothing is ever given in this life for free.

Women who follow their hearts no matter where it leads and who possess the courage to help others to do the same.

You will be game-changers and status quo destroyers.

I first had to become this type of woman to raise you.

So, no my darlings you are not from a broken home.

You are from a home full of love and soul that will teach you how to navigate life and have one helluva time while doing it.

~Author: Kate Rose

expressive_110411_1410x930e

365 Blank Pages

Brad Paisley said:

Tomorrow is the first blank page of a 365-page book. Write a good one.

Fair enough.

But how to do it?

One subject they never teach in any school is how to cope with life.

They never teach us how to be a wife, a mother or how to keep a relationship alive and functioning properly and how to get over heartaches and traumatic experience. They never tell us what to do when everything is falling apart and you have nowhere to go and no one to turn to. In short, for all those mostly unnecessary things they instilled in our heads, they never prepare us for real life and what lies ahead when we’re lucky enough to survive childhood with or without scratches.

In school, they never teach us even the basic on how to deal with obstacles and hurdles of growing up and being an adult.  Worse still, there is no school on this planet one could apply to if one wishes to be educated about life. We have to learn it on our own stumbling and falling.

Good for building a character you might say. That which does not kill us makes us stronger. Wrong! Friedrich Nietzsche. What doesn’t kill us makes us crazy or at the very least, paranoid if not bitter, vindictive even. Once we are burned, we show the scars one way or the other. It will manifest in whatever aspect of character we are lacking strength and influence our choices and decision makings in the future. Those who made the same mistakes over and over again are terrified of leaving familiar water. The devil you know is better than the devil you don’t, right?

Of course, in every rule… you know the drill.

Observe and learn. The best way to learn is from the pros. Easier said than done. Watching people doesn’t always give us a heads up. We tend to think it will not happen to us till it happens. Same as getting old. The youth tend to shrugs off the myths about aging even though the proofs are staring them right on their faces, till it is their turn then suddenly myths become facts and by then it’s too late. You know what I’m talking about… We all been there, being young and thought we are immortal, smarter than our predecessors and a lot, a lot luckier forgetting we are all born terminal and living on borrowed time.

Ah, if we knew then what we know now.

If only they teach us survival skills in school. If only they prepare us for what is going to happen next. If only…

And the way I see it those modern conveniences and technologies don’t help. Today’s generation is accustomed to having what they want with one click and living in virtual realities. How can you expect them to survive in the real world?

Or maybe I’m just getting old and getting nostalgic for yesteryears when people still know how to cook a meal from scratch instead of letting it deliver on their doorstep. When people could function without the aid of a computer and can write a proper letter and send real Christmas cards instead of electronic ones.

Those were the days.

Let’s begin the 365 days by spending time with our loved ones minus the gadgets. Could we still do that?

I wonder if our loved ones want to spend time with us without the buffer of iphones, ipads, and what have you. Do we still have something meaningful to say to each other to begin with?

Somehow I doubt it.

mg4860

THE MYTH OF THE GOOD OL BOY AND THE NICE GAL

The good of boy myth and the nice gal are a kind of social conformity myth. They create a real paradox when put together with the “rugged individual” part of the Success Myth. How can I be a rugged individual, be my own man and conform at the same time? Conforming means “Don’t make a wave”, “Don’t rock the boat”. Be a nice gal or a good ol’ boy. This means that we have to pretend a lot. 

“We are taught to be nice and polite. We are taught that these behaviors (most often lies) are better than telling the truth. Our churches, schools, and politics are rampant with teaching dishonesty (saying things we don’t mean and pretending to feel ways we don’t feel). We smile when we feel sad; laugh nervously when dealing with grief; laugh at jokes we don’t think are funny; tell people things to be polite that we surely don’t mean.”

– John Bradshaw On: The Family

the+pass+out+now

Divorcing A Parent

“Why isn’t there a commandment to “honor thy children” or at least one to “not abuse thy children”? The notion that we must honor our parents causes many people to bury their real feelings and set aside their own needs in order to have a relationship with people they would otherwise not associate with. Parents, like anyone else, need to earn respect and honor, and honoring parents who are negative and abusive is not only impossible but extremely self-abusive. Perhaps, as with anything else, honoring our parents starts with honoring ourselves. For many adult children, honoring themselves means not having anything to do with one or both of their parents.” 

― Beverly Engel

1c9240d787a7c54910b3a799ca00ef99

Family

“One of the problems was my belief that family were always there for each other. That was the cause of my pain and my guilt. The fact that I no longer had them in my life meant that I was going against a code I held close to my heart. I had to modify that belief. I had to change my definition of family. It was no longer those to whom I was linked by blood. My family now became the friends who had been there the whole time. People who I knew I could count on when things went wrong… Finding and surrounding yourself with people who truly care for you is your gift to yourself. You deserve that. You will be okay. I no longer believe that I have lost my family. I have only now finally recognized who they truly are.”

~Anonymous

“Friends are the family we choose for ourselves.” ~Edna Buchanan

A few years ago I ended all contact with my parents, and I have not seen or spoken to them since then.

The truth is I am actually okay with that. Initially, I thought I was going to lose my mind. I had been brought up to believe that family comes first. Children should respect and take care of their parents. Family should—and will—always be there for each other.

Those beliefs were based on love, and I cherished them.

I wanted so much to feel that connection—that unconditional love those beliefs promised. It was never there.

Our lives were filled with so much fear, pain, hurt, betrayal, and lies. Manipulation and deceit were at the core of our home.

I told myself that all families have degrees of dysfunction, and our family was no different. I could not allow myself to believe that our family was different. I believed that one day my parents would realize what they were doing and change. I desperately wanted their love and approval.

On the night when my husband and I ended up inside a police station explaining why I thought my father was about to come to my home and hurt me, while my two grown sons waited in the car, I realized I had to wake up.

My fantasy was over. I could no longer go on pretending our family was just like everyone else. That night I said my last goodbye to my mother as she lied to protect my father. The next day I spoke the last words to my father as he screamed into the phone repeating the lies from my childhood. It was over.

Giving up the hope that things would get better was the hardest part. I was terrified that I was doing the wrong thing. I thought I was being a bad daughter. I was going against every cherished belief about family.

It broke my heart to know that my life had been based on an illusion. The picture I had created of my parents was shattered. They had never been there for me, and they never would be.

I had lied to myself to protect my fantasy and keep them in my life. Now I could no longer do it.

Over time I began to understand why I had fought so hard to live out the lie, and I began to forgive myself for not being brave enough to stand up earlier.

One of the problems was my belief that family were always there for each other. That was the cause of my pain and my guilt. The fact that I no longer had them in my life meant that I was going against a code I held close to my heart.

I had to modify that belief. I had to change my definition of family. It was no longer those to whom I was linked by blood. My family now became the friends who had been there the whole time. People who I knew I could count on when things went wrong. That was never my parents.

I also realized that I was afraid I was not lovable. In my mind if my own parents could not love me, there had to be something wrong with me.

I did everything I could to minimize disagreements between us, keeping quiet just to keep the peace. I knew that if I spoke up we would argue, they would get mad at me, and they would not love me. I failed to realize that this was something I only experienced with them.

It was hard work just to be around them. I was always on edge, cautious, and scared. That was not a loving relationship. I came to accept that if they could not love me, it didn’t change anything about me. I had created other loving relationships around me, and they were the scaffolding holding me up.

My first Christmas after was hard. I had always gone to my parents’ house to live the fairy tale of being surrounded by love.

It was always hard to ready myself for those days. We would act out the roles of happy family, hoping in some way that was our truth. It wasn’t. I had no idea how tense I was at these interactions until I no longer had to do it.

Part of the hurt was that I now had no tradition, so I decided to start a new one. Christmas is no longer a day of obligation. I now spend it with the people who are my true family.

I’ve come to realize that the love I had for my parents was based on a childhood need for safety and security. I had to see them as the parents who loved me, despite the things they did. I could not accept that the people responsible for my well-being were also responsible for my suffering.

So much of the world I had created around my parents was simply not real. I have had to accept that truth and move on with my life.

One of my fears was that by breaking contact with my parents, I was setting an example that my sons could repeat with me. I’d like to think this won’t happen because of my parents.

The pain of my childhood taught me how important it is for a child to truly feel loved, safe, and cherished. I’ve tried to live that truth with my boys. I don’t know what the future holds for us. I can only hope that the love I’ve shown them will have created a space in their hearts where I will always be thought of with love.

I try to imagine how I’ll feel when I find out that my parents have died. I honestly don’t know. I’m sure that part of me will be sad that we did not have a better ending. However, I know in my heart of hearts that I tried for over forty years to make it work. In the end, it just wasn’t enough.

My parents were never who I thought them to be. I have had to let it all go. The fantasy of the perfect ending with them is over. I am setting out on a new horizon where I have redefined my world.

As abused children, we may feel that it is somehow our responsibility to fix the broken parts of our family. It’s not. Sometimes there is no fairy tale ending where our parents realize how truly wonderful we are.

The hard part is recognizing that and moving on. Sometimes it’s the only way to find real peace. It’s heartbreaking. It’s not easy. Finding and surrounding yourself with people who truly care for you is your gift to yourself. You deserve that. You will be okay.

I no longer believe that I have lost my family. I have only now finally recognized who they truly are.

By Anonymous

homeless-girl

A Milestone

Yesterday after not speaking to me since she got married, that was three years ago, my daughter called me to say that she’s pregnant. I’m not surprised. I know from my son that she and her husband were trying to conceive. I’m happy for her. 

She told me that I was the first to know. I’m not surprised with that too. It reminds me of three weeks ago when I was talking to my son after his musical/theater performance and he said that while he was presenting and singing up there he was worried if I was going to like the show or not. He thought I would find it banal. He was happy when I said that what he/they did was memorable. He hopes for the same effect when he finished writing his first book he said.

I know that my relationship with my children is far from ideal and we hardly see each other, but it is touching to know that they still value my opinion the most. Out of thousand of people watching my son’s performance, what he was worried about was what I was thinking. My daughter could let her father or anybody know first but she have chosen to call me instead. That means a lot to me.

In the past, they accused me of being hard to please and economical when it comes to giving compliments, but in my defense, I only give credit where credit is due. I don’t want to give or encourage false hopes when in reality there is none.

I know I will never be the mother they prefer to have and I doubt if I’m going to be the best grandmother but this is me. My grandchildren will know me like my children have known me_ honest straight-forward maybe harsh but fair. I hope they will appreciate the person that I really am because I am not planning to change myself for the sake of acceptance.

Let’s wait and see… 

25-childhood-friend-250712

TGIF

It’s Friday and I don’t know what to do. Last Wednesday was mother’s day Ascension Day, therefore, National Holiday. My son decided to bestow on us a royal visit fresh from a month holiday all over Italy where he was canvassing for an ideal place to buy a house which he said I could inhabit if in case I would really go through with the divorce. He said he will never hinder my freedom since we will never be married. Nice to know I have some options. 

We ended up taking a very long walk of 12 kilometers along the coast. Far too far for my limit these days. The outcome is I was flat and out yesterday and just about alive today. I want to go to the shopping mall for no specific reason other than to buy a massage oil for my aching bones. I gulped down a shortbread raspberry tart (a big no-no for my gluten and lactose intolerance but what the heck) with real green tea in the hope of perhaps it could revive me but only succeeded to make me feel heavy and bloat my tummy. When I’m going to learn? 

I’m off to take a bath now to feel human again. Till next time and Happy Weekend!

SONY DSC

The Elephant In The Room

“There’s a phrase, “the elephant in the living room”, which purports to describe what it’s like to live with a drug addict, an alcoholic, an abuser. People outside such relationships will sometimes ask, “How could you let such a business go on for so many years? Didn’t you see the elephant in the living room?” And it’s so hard for anyone living in a more normal situation to understand the answer that comes closest to the truth; “I’m sorry, but it was there when I moved in. I didn’t know it was an elephant; I thought it was part of the furniture.” There comes an aha-moment for some folks – the lucky ones – when they suddenly recognize the difference.”

― Stephen King

Violence_by_ioa