Thursday, May 22, 2014

Kill them ALL

My mother sent this cartoon to me when I was having an extremely difficult time my first year away at college. I still look at it and get that bullet between the eyes, gobsmacked feeling. Thirty five years later, I comprehend it better, but I still got nothing.

In case your parenting skills are still developing, do not send this to your self esteem damaged daughter who is thinking of killing herself like her softball playing, tomboy sister did. The term for this is "gaslighting."

Yeah, I just said that out loud.

Sooo, I've been learning all about gaslighting for the past few days . Yay me. I've seen more pompous videos made by "authorities on the subject," but these two are much more practical and contain some key phrases and examples that I identified with readily. ("You just don't understand...", "make you doubt your perception of reality...", "constant chaos.") Gaslighting is the sort of thing where you could show the person the video of it happening and they would still brow beat you until you let them have the last word that it wasn't so.

Unless you've been systematically and deliberately made to doubt what you've seen with your own eyes and heard with your own ears is true, it's a very difficult thing to explain. No wonder survivors of NPD parents don't know who they are, they haven't even been able to rely on reality being what it is!  

 Know Your Emotional Abuser: The Gaslighter

 Know Your Emotional Abuser: Unpredictable Responses and Constant Chaos/Creating Crisis

I've been on vacation for two weeks, and as usual, I had more things planned, but somewhere in the first week I started opening boxes of things I had just scooped up from Mother's houses - mostly bank statements and any sort of business paperwork that might be important, but I didn't need to deal with right then.  I had thought I might be able at some point to straighten everything out neat and tidy, make sure her finances were in proper order in every direction, and possibly draw out a more lucid timeline of family history and "where it all went wrong." The number of those boxes just grew and grew, so they got stacked up all over the house -  basement, garage, closets, wherever out of the way.

However God's grace works, this time when I opened the first one I started throwing things away. When I started throwing photographs in the trash pile, the brakes came off and the decisions just kept getting made. I decided on what I needed to save for Estate records, what was proof of my stewardship as Power of Attorney, what was family history that could be passed on to the grandkids, and what nobody really gave a damn about and needed to get out of my life. I filled - FILLED - my green city garbage bin up with things that could go to the dump. I took another 50 lbs of old bank statements and junk to a secured shredding service - GONE, never to be seen again. I have three small boxes of documentation of my actions as Executor and POA - to save in the basement until it's time to shred that. Five boxes of family objects are going to the grandkids this afternoon, plus one box of extremely old paperwork that's going back to Dad for him to remember, and one box of memories to my brother. That still leaves a half dozen boxes of photographs to scan (that would be maybe a thousand actual images?), several boxes and a hope chest of items that I'm saving for the grandkids for "later when they can appreciate them and not lose them." 

Getting rid of all this stuff is nothing short of a miracle. I have given myself a rule in dealing with all of Mother's trash thru the years - Never go back into a garbage pile and second guess what I threw in there. Trust the decision I made when I looked at it and pitched in there the first time. Coming back from the shredder last night, I was really experiencing some sort of strange exhausted euphoria. I had all kinds of muscle aches and pains and whatnots, not unlike having been in a major car wreck and a hormone rush all at the same time. Whatever it takes, kids, whatever it takes.

It looks like I get to stop at the boundaries issue for awhile. It came up in counseling years ago, and I tried to do what I could with it, but time passes and now I can do more. I've found the blog (now in hiatus) of Eugenia Berg in the videos above and paged thru until I got to her boundaries series, and I got stopped here. I'm sure I've had that book before, it may be somewhere in the house still. Walls, windows, doors, and fences. It's time to evaluate and start doing things better, with everyone. 

 If my writing any of this bothers someone, just don't read it. I have to be able to say out loud what is true somewhere so I can deal with it. Calling it out for What It Was is a form of mental sorting - if I can see it, I can do something about it - and I am so damned tired of carrying her shite around. It's like living with a rat infestation, and the ONLY cure for rats is to kill them all.  I'm tired and disgusted of living with someone else's filth, I want it cleaned out and gone. The only people I want to live with are the living, and the only thoughts I want running around in my head are the truth - living, beautiful, life giving, kind, gracious, humble truth.


Sweetbriar said...

Found this guy's articles very interesting.

Sweetbriar said...

Oh, fucking Hooray. I get to add this to the stack.
Living with the Passive Aggressive Man