Today I want to focus more on the emotional side of things I suppose. I was feeling pretty anxious this past weekend to the point where I almost had a panic attack a couple of times. I haven't really felt that anxious in a very long time so I started thinking about the emotional side of the abuse/my childhood in general. Please excuse the rambling...
I shall call him "J". My mom got a new job and her boss' wife would watch me and best of all, they lived right down the street from the office! I could see how this was a godsend to my mother and she had no way of knowing what exactly this would end up doing to me... Anyway, J didn't start out being emotionally abusive. He was sexually abusive from the get-go, but the emotional stuff didn't come until later. He became really mean to me, but always phrased it in a way that made me feel like I had brought it on somehow. Like he'd call me stupid and when I said I wasn't he'd say something I was too young to understand and then say "see, you're stupid". His favorite word for me though was p*ssy. That was essentially my name around him. I didn't like it, but I also didn't know what it meant. One day, I guess he figured that out and then tormented me with the word. He said he'd stop calling me one, if I could tell him what it meant. Eventually, I gave up and he pointed between my legs and said that's a p*ssy, that's all you are. He'd threaten me with his dog and tell me that if I don't stop being so stupid, he'd get his dog to bite me and eat me and no one would know what happened to me. I was TERRIFIED of that dog, he always got it to growl and bark at me. One day, his mom had ordered chinese food (pork fried rice) and he told me that all the pieces of red meat was human meat and that he knew the guy at the chinese food place and told him to murder my dad and cook him in the meat. I didn't really believe him, but still couldn't eat the food. His mom yelled at me for wasting it, and made me eat it anyway and then I threw up. I didn't eat pork fried rice for YEARS. He continued with the "joke" every time they got chinese. He'd ask when the last time I heard from my dad was and if it wasn't for a while he'd say, it's because you ate him and he's dead. He'd then threaten to do the same to my mom.
If it wasn't threatening to cook her, he'd tell me she didn't love me. He'd say you're mom works so much because she can't stand to be around you. Why do you think she gets home so late? She hates you and only pretends to love you. Again, I knew he was just trying to upset me, but these were the lines that started my anxiety. At around 7 years old, I had serious anxiety over people not caring about me/not wanting me/ going away forever. I'd think my mom just left me somewhere and went away and is never coming back. She really does hate me and won't come back for me. This extended to all family members and eventually friends. I became such a people pleaser that I essentially let anyone say or do whatever they wanted to me as long as they'd be my friend. I started freaking out about school. I had to make sure I wasn't stupid that I would grow up and be smart and show J that I did know these things and that people did love me. I had decided long ago that my father no longer cared about me and when my step-father came into the picture, I kept myself at a distance. He was nice and tried hard, but I just couldn't love him cause what if he left too? That's one of the relationships I feel most bad about cause my step-father really is a great guy and treated me like his own daughter, but to this day my relationship with him is purely superficial, I never did let him in and now I don't know how to. This was essentially my relationship with most males. I kept them all at arms length.
Going back to my mother, she was trying really hard as a single mom with two young children. She was only 19 when she had me and we had only lived in this country for about 5 years at this point (we moved from dominican republic when i was about 2). As a kid though, it's really hard to see it that way and I did become resentful and paranoid because she was always away, but at the same time I couldn't let her know that. If she knew that I was upset about her always working, she might really decide to leave me and finally admit she doesn't love me and then J would be right and I couldn't have him be right. One day my mom had to go to this building for social services or something or other to do with financial assistance. It was super strict and they only let people in if you were there on time. I was on line with my mom waiting to get in and she realized she had forgotten something she really needed. She left me in line as she went back home to get it. It was the most distressing thing I had experienced as I thought that this was it. She left me. J was right all along. She brought me here to leave me with all these government people so they could put me in an orphanage, but she was just too scared to tell me. They let everyone in the building, but my mother hadn't come back yet. A security guard was reading some rules out loud and said that once the door was closed we weren't allowed to open it for anyone else. I was too scared to tell the security guard that my mother had left me so I just went in the building and sat on the floor wondering what I was going to do now. After a few minutes I heard a knock on the door and my mother's voice telling me it was her and asking me to open the door. I freaked out cause the cop said I can't open the door, but my mom was on the other side and I wanted her. The other adults told me to open the door while the guard wasn't looking and I just cried. I eventually opened the door, but was certain that the guard would notice her there and know I opened the door and kick us out or take us to jail. I dissociated the rest of the time we were there and didn't say a word. I don't think she really understood the gravity of that experience for me as she didn't know about what J was doing and saying to me.
This post is long enough so I'll end it here.