Tag Archive | verbal abuse

Words of Wisdom

Just wake up put your head to think what you are at university for and knuckle down with your studies. Do not waste all this time on Facebook. Socialise in person to relax with your favourite friends and try to be happy.Do your best. Life will always have ups and downs so learn to face them and overcome them but do not publish your FEELINGS on Facebook.

This comment was written to me on Facebook on a message to a group of friends that just frankly and unemotionally excused myself from a social engagement that I did not feel I could participate in.  It was written by a member of my family.  

I can put into words precisely how it made me feel just reading those words from someone who I used to trust as part of my family and it epitomises just the reason why I hesitate and refrain from trusting my family members.  Most of them are nice to me, or at least civil, yet there are always going to be those who refuse to see that messages and offhand comments like the one above have the power to break me.

Part of the reason my mythomania, social anxiety and depression remained undiagnosed and untreated for so long, resulting in countless times when I tried to kill myself and/or self-harm, is because a lot of people still believe that mental illnesses exist only in people’s head and by simply willing them away they will dissolve into nothing.  My mother believes this along with the majority of her family.  On numerous occasions, she has taken away my medication or instructed me to stop taking it and she claims to be a holistic therapist…well, if I did and I would be a danger to myself without the SSRI’s to keep me as level-headed as I am ever likely to be and if I topped myself during that time, that would make my mother a therapist who kills people.  That’s good for business!

I am not well at the moment.  I haven’t left my flat in a week.  I have lied about going out but the shame and guilt that I feel when I just can’t stomach the feeling of being among other people and just when I feel sure I will tomorrow, I read that message and everything comes crashing down. I have tried to tell myself that the person who sent that message has no power over me and therefore neither do his words, but we all know it’s not that simple (if it were, I’d probably be going clubbing tonight).  I wish I could reply and just tell the sender to stick it where the sun don’t shine but I still respect the majority of my elders (like a good Indian girl…) even if I get no respect in return.  I just wish that someone else who saw that message would stick up for me and say what I cannot: that words like those help no one and people who say those kinds of things to people like me are guilty of cyberbullying and victimisation.  I know it’s passing the buck, but when things like that are ignored by those who could and would lose nothing to speak up, the kindness of the human race dies just a little bit more.  With wars in the Middle East and religious extremism I know it is a small thing, but it is the small things in life that matter most…that make us human.

I have been watching the reimagined 2003 series of Battlestar Galactica and the issue of what separates humans from others is a central theme.  It has made me think a lot about what humans endure from themselves and things of their creation.  On that subject, Facebook as a social site is fantastic for so many things, but as a means to inflict your opinions and derision on others, it works unfortunately well too.  I do think that feelings, particularly those of a personal nature, should be kept off Facebook.  I used to expose myself awfully on Facebook and the knowledge that I was vulnerable and baring my soul to that world was part of the reason I began this blog, to put one more button between myself and the rest of the world.  It works.  I did not expose any feeling on Facebook which is what my relative accuses me of so their words were not only hurtful and resultant in me questioning my family’s love and my value to them if they continue to treat me with such disparagement.

Some people think that giving people who suffer from depression and the like goals and targets to achieve is the best thing to do for them.  I agree for the most part.  Aims and goals are good, they give life meaning and purpose, but ordering people with imperatives is undue pressure and makes aims and goals seem impossible and negative.  Capital letters don’t help either.

LaBellaBorgia Speaks,

P. Mistry-Norman

20-02-2014

Motherhood

“In a child’s eyes, a mother is a goddess. She can be glorious or terrible, benevolent or filled with wrath, but she commands love either way. I am convinced that this is the greatest power in the universe.”

~ N.K. Jemisin, “The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms”

At this point, I would just like to shed a bit of light on my relationship with my mother.  Over my life I’ve met a few people with notable mother-child relationships.  Some people are lucky enough to have a mutually loving relationship with their mothers, others have mothers who adore them but they cannot love them back and vice versa.  I don’t know which of these broad categories my mother and I fit into but I am going to try and pinpoint it in this post – if I can…

My childhood was traumatic.  It felt incredibly harsh and almost as if it didn’t exist at all.  I still swear that when I was twelve years old I was at my most mature.  I am an only child born to parents who were already looking at their prime in the rear-view mirror at the time of my birth.

I am not laying any blame for how I’ve turned out at my parents’ feet, I just feel it is a contributor to the negative as it is to the positive as well and thus, needs to be shown as part of what happens to make a young adult with such a cocktail of mental disorders.  

I will start by saying that my relationship with my father is uncommonly strong.  We talk almost everyday for about an hour each time and I love my daddy.  Even when both of us – since neither of us are the most talkative of folks – run out of things to say, it is one of the most comforting things for me just to know that my father is on the other end of the line just listening to me and spending time with me.

Contrarily, my mother and I do not have a solid or stable relationship at all.  When I was in school, I attended counselling to deal with various problems that – I feel – stemmed from how I felt about my mother and how I perceived her feelings for me.  I am not going to lie about anything here to make people feel better or to sugarcoat what happened.  This is my story and I intend to tell it how it really happened, though, there are two sides to every story, but I’m telling mine.

When I was a child I was hit.  There, I’ve said it.  I was slapped for things I did wrong, I was hit for making mistakes.  It was a time when it was acceptable for parents to smack their children and some of my friends had the same punishment tradition at their homes and a few claim to be glad that their parents struck them as it supposedly made them disciplined, but I do not share in that view.  I don’t at all.  I think it is the most loathsome and cowardly thing to strike a child and there is no excuse for it whatsoever.  It literally makes me weep when articles come up in newspapers and headlines come up on news channels telling the story of some poor innocent child being killed by negligent parents or being beaten to death.  I am thus not even capable of thinking about hurting a child and I am quick and harsh to judge people who do.

The fear a child can have of their mother is a horrible thing.  I was plagued with night terrors all through my formative years and they’ve only just begun to dissipate now with the help of medication and audiobooks, actually.  Some of my earliest memories are of running through my parents’ bungalow from my mother.  It is what prompted me to ask for a bunk bed at Christmas and what makes me still need to lock my bedroom door at home in order to get a decent night’s kip.  Never underestimate how a ladder can keep you safe when your mother has a back problem!

The annoying and incredibly vexing aspect of the relationship my mother and I share is that it is so changeable and difficult to read.  One of my former best friends once told me that every child is genetically predisposed to love and cling to their mother and I suppose that is true. She is a graduate psychologist so I might as well take her word for it.  This primal instinct is what keeps me coming back and never being able to truly let go of the aspiration that one of these days, my mother and I will put everything behind us and stop this endless cycle of cruelty that has been fostered for two whole decades…hopefully, while I’m still young!

Some days, my mother is the ideal mother, she is a fantastic cook – honestly, no one can make as nice a proper Indian prawn curry as my mum can.  On those days, no one loves her more than me.  Sadly, those days are few and far between…most of the time, my mother despises me and resents me and blames me for everything that has gone wrong in her life.  When I was born, she was kept in hospital due to a badly done epidural and I was a sick baby so I was a nightmare and a problem then too, but I think that possibly due to that separation so soon postpartum, our relationship was affected permanently.

On the days when my mother is a gorgon sent from Tartarus, it is not even worth stepping foot outside my room just to be called fat and huge and useless and weak.  This is the ultimate point of what the relationship with my mother has done to contribute to my condition.  It is not the words or the actions themselves, it is how intimidating and memorable those insults and strikes are when you are literally at rock bottom and have to work up to no self-esteem.  That is the effect of a poor mother-daughter relationship on a depressed, socially anxious and mythomanic child who didn’t quite manage the transition to young adult as easily as it’s done in “The Sims”.

LaBellaBorgia Speaks,

P. Mistry-Norman

28-01-2014