Sunday, 23 January 2011

Upside Down

It was only recently that I began to realise that the things I thought I understood as a child were really upside-down.  When you grow up in an abusive environment like mine was, abuse becomes normality.  The concept of 'normal' in terms of how non-abused people experience life, has always been counter-intuitive to me and I find it so difficult to wrap my head around it.  Okay so there's no such thing as 'normal'... but some of us have experienced less 'normal' lives than others. I guess it's subjective really, but I think most people would agree that a child living in terror is not normal compared to most.

One thing that's been bugging me greatly recently is how topsy-turvy my family dynamics were. I was conditioned to believe everything my father told me. My mother had mental health problems and yeah, she was abusive... but I find it easier to understand her abuse.  My dad on the other hand, seemed to plan every detail and control and manipulate so much.

I grew up believing that he was the victim.  I believed his crocodile tears and his sob-stories.  Truth is, he was manipulating and sabotaging any chance my relationship with my mother could have had. I heard her screams. I heard things being thrown around... bumps and scuffles from the fights.  I heard her cries while he held her down. Yet I believed him, even knowing what he was capable of.  I guess I repressed a lot even then. I was scared of him and I swallowed his lies hook, line and sinker. I grew up believing she was abusing him. I grew up believing he was the victim. I believed the lines he spun.

He was sadistic and controlling.  A master manipulator.  He abused me in every way. I was terrified of my mum, but I was terrified of him even more. I guess that's why I believed him - it was too dangerous not to. I guess more than that, it was that he had already conditioned me through abuse and I was under his control. Like a puppet on strings.  I was his.  His to control.  His to abuse. His to give. His to use.

It's probably no wonder that I believed every thing he said. Now though, looking back I feel so stupid and manipulated. It couldn't have been further from the truth. It wasn't him who was the victim in my parents' relationship, it was my mum. It wasn't her who was the abuser, it was him.  And me? well I was abused by both of them and then some...

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for linking to my blog. A good book for you: CHILDREN OF THE SELF ABSORBED by Nina Brown

    a good read:


blog ping service