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That Kick In The Gut That Reminded Me That Nothing Has Changed *tw Abuse*

I've never been good enough for my mother. Ever. First, I was fat. Always, save the eating disorder I developed in middle/high school, when I starved myself down to a "normal" weight range. She bullied me about my weight for as long as I can remember. She put me in dance with first my sister Ashley, who is 5 years younger, then my sister Sommer, who is 14 years younger than I am, joined as well when she was old enough. I hated it. I was no good at it. They laughed at the tape of my first recital, when I was 10. You get the picture. The things I was interested in, such as band, just weren't that important to them, ever. They never came to any events. My father never even came to so much as one band concert. They even made me skip solo and ensemble for band to go their stupid out of town dance competitions. Nothing that was important to me was ever important to them. I even had to spend my birthday weekend there one year, at a competition, on my birthday, and I got no cake, no card, no present, nothing.

When my mother found out about the sexual abuse I suffered for 7 years at the hands of my father's (really stepfather's, story for another time) daughter from his first marriage's hands, she blamed me. I was 5 when it started, 12 when it ended. I got into drugs in college round one, eventually dropping out. That lasted through my 20's, even as I galavanted around the nation doing some really good things. She never realized that the abuse was what triggered the self-medication, or maybe she didn't want to, because then she'd realize that she had failed as a mother to protect her child in her own home. After a complete and utter breakdown in which I landed in a psych ward in New York, I came back home, went back to school, and graduated college with a computer science degree. I totally turned my life around, and now I have a great job, money in the bank, and I even do nice things for my parents even though they don't really deserve it after all they put me through.

And, the thing is, nothing has changed. I was reminded of that on Friday. My sister and her fiancee own a food truck, and there's this event every third Friday of every month during the summer here called Food Truck Fridays downtown. Their truck is a part of it, and we all went this past Friday. It was really crowded, and when we were at one of the outdoor tables, a couple came and sat by us. When they started chatting it up, my mother immediately launched into how proud she was of my sister and her business, then, without being prompted, launched into her being assistant director of the dance studio, her job selling legal software, her getting her MBA, and the array of other things that make her so proud.

That's when I realized that no matter what I do, how much money I make, I'll never be good enough for her. I never was. She'll never be proud of me as I am. She'll never brag to strangers about me. I'm the fat one, the gay one, the one with no romantic future she will ever brag about, the one with the job she considers "controversial" (I'm a liberal political writer, and I'm working on my first book). None of my successes matter to her at all. They never have, and they never will. She has never and will never beam with pride about me like that. Ever.

I really have to work on not seeking or needing approval from these people. I'll never get it. I have to, on some deep level, realize that. I'll always be a fat embarrassment to them. Always. I wish I could disappear, but I'm doing the next best thing- planning to move hundreds, maybe thousands, of miles away, without warning them as to what my plans are. I really just wish I could disappear, but I suppose that's the next best thing.



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I don't know if people usually respond to blogs but moved to respond to yours. I am so sorry for you that your family don't recognise your talents, strength, achievements. Mine don't either, although they say they do in the right company. Like you I was blamed for abuse when I was young, and left to fend off my brother for the next 12 years on my own. I did what you did and are going to do - spent time in psych wards, pulled myself together, moved thousands of miles away, and now live in a different country altogether. Its better, but I still feel like the fat, rebellious, pathetic creature they see me as. After pulling myself out of an abusive relationship 5 years ago (another failure as far as the family is concerned - I really shouId have ''compromised more" apparently) I finally started working with a trauma therapist about 18 months ago. Now the journey is for me...and its one I have to take and I have withdrawn even more from my family to do so. I can't believe in myself or start to heal while I have their voices in my head - and neither will you. You will never be ''right'' for them because the qualities they value and are seeking are so much less than you have already become. I hope your journey forward is one you take for you - and that you get to realise that the only persons values you should be seeking to fulfil are your own. I'm not there myself - I'm still a long way off, but I do recognise that I will be okay, when I get to that point too. And most days, without having family around, its easier to do that. Not sure if this helps at all...but just wanted you to know you're not alone in this experience. Below is a whakatauki (Maori proverb) I love and which sits on my desk at work. Hope it gives you the strength it gives me :)

"Tawhiti rawa töu haerenga ake te kore haere tonu"
We have come too far not to go further.
We have done too much not to do more.

Kia kaha

(Stand strong)

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I don't know if people usually respond to blogs but moved to respond to yours. I am so sorry for you that your family don't recognise your talents, strength, achievements. Mine don't either, although they say they do in the right company. Like you I was blamed for abuse when I was young, and left to fend off my brother for the next 12 years on my own. I did what you did and are going to do - spent time in psych wards, pulled myself together, moved thousands of miles away, and now live in a different country altogether. Its better, but I still feel like the fat, rebellious, pathetic creature they see me as. After pulling myself out of an abusive relationship 5 years ago (another failure as far as the family is concerned - I really shouId have ''compromised more" apparently) I finally started working with a trauma therapist about 18 months ago. Now the journey is for me...and its one I have to take and I have withdrawn even more from my family to do so. I can't believe in myself or start to heal while I have their voices in my head - and neither will you. You will never be ''right'' for them because the qualities they value and are seeking are so much less than you have already become. I hope your journey forward is one you take for you - and that you get to realise that the only persons values you should be seeking to fulfil are your own. I'm not there myself - I'm still a long way off, but I do recognise that I will be okay, when I get to that point too. And most days, without having family around, its easier to do that. Not sure if this helps at all...but just wanted you to know you're not alone in this experience. Below is a whakatauki (Maori proverb) I love and which sits on my desk at work. Hope it gives you the strength it gives me :)

"Tawhiti rawa töu haerenga ake te kore haere tonu"

We have come too far not to go further.

We have done too much not to do more.

Kia kaha

(Stand strong)

Thank you for this! I am unsure if people reply to blogs here either, because I am not a regular poster here-- I just come when I feel the need to, like I did when I wrote this.

I am so glad you got away from your toxic family. I am sure that helps a lot. Thanks for the proverbs as well. Definitely applicable here.

You're right- I need to get to a point where the only values, wants, and needs I care about are my own. I know on an intellectual level that that's true.

We'll both get there, I'm sure of it. :)

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Hey, judging by your picture, you are gorgeous woman with a shining heart, it sounds so hard to have had such an upbringing where you are not appreciated, feeling like the outsider in your own family and suffering through continual affirmation that you are somehow "not as important" its utter crap, your inner child.. I have had similar struggles a super star older brother who was moms perfect angel while mom always abused me for being what I see now as a curious kid and experiential learner... a bit different, but your story touched me and I can really feel your pain, you have a good heart for helping your parents now that you are in a position to, I hope you have found people that do love affirm, and appreciate you like you deserve, remember that you are wonderful and the source of all love loves you so discover just how much you can love yourself better than those jerks ever could!

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Hey, judging by your picture, you are gorgeous woman with a shining heart, it sounds so hard to have had such an upbringing where you are not appreciated, feeling like the outsider in your own family and suffering through continual affirmation that you are somehow "not as important" its utter crap, your inner child.. I have had similar struggles a super star older brother who was moms perfect angel while mom always abused me for being what I see now as a curious kid and experiential learner... a bit different, but your story touched me and I can really feel your pain, you have a good heart for helping your parents now that you are in a position to, I hope you have found people that do love affirm, and appreciate you like you deserve, remember that you are wonderful and the source of all love loves you so discover just how much you can love yourself better than those jerks ever could!

Thank you for this! And thanks for reminding me my photo was linked to the email I use to sign up here. EEEEKK! Not that I mind people knowing who I am, I've spoken out before, but this is not the forum for it.

You are an amazing person. I can feel your warmth radiating through and through. Don't let your mother tear you down, you do you.

Thank you again. I guess I am learning to accept that my mother is who she is, and I am who I am. That's it. Life's a journey and all that.

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