Now that the Lexipro has kicked and I'm feeling coherent again and not as depressed as I was. People have asked so I'll vent by talk about why I shut so many out of my life.
As I was telling my sister Kathy the other night, the circumstances and events of a persons life very much mould who they are and how they interact with others, including family. Things happen. Things change people. Things changed me.
My lifetime of interaction with my family lead me to coin the term the "Jesus Complex." which relates to him being considered a prophet everywhere but his home town. People would come from all over to hear him speak and hear his wisdom but whenever he went back home the locals would say "Are you kidding me? That's just Jesus. I knew him when was a kid, what the hell does he know about anything?" I will never be the sum of my achievements, only the sum of everyone else's opinion of me.
My mother marrying Tom was the beginning of me learning to doubt myself and to think I wasn't worthy to even breathe. Until then I was a free thinker. I loved to draw and build things. I drew my own comics and plans for houses and rockets and spaceships and radios that could talk to aliens on other planets. I did all the things you would expect a smart little boy to do. I had imagination. I could tell you how radios worked and why planes could fly.
Tom was a young man when he married Mom and he stepped into a ready-made family of kids with physical disabilities and another who was hell in shoes. He wasn't prepared for it and had no idea how to relate to us. I have no recollection of how he dealt with my sisters but how he dealt with me, a little boy, affects me to this very day. Decades later he told my mother that he treated me the way he did because he expected more out of me.
Some of what I remember was being kicked from behind when I didn't pick up a sock. If I ever asked for money to get a soda or something, he would berate me to the point of crying. He would tell me that I didn't do anything to deserve anything and I was lazy and useless. When he wanted my full attention he would grab the back of my hair and pull it hard and yell at me. When I had to ride my "big wheel" standing up (because of my disability) he criticized me and said I should ride it like normal kids. One night on the way to the drive-in I wasn't feeling well and he screamed at me and told me to quit acting like a goddamn cripple. If I showed him a something I designed, he would always ridicule it and tell me go do something more real. After one particular harsh criticism, I never drew anything again. Still, he teased me for years about the comic book I made. He used to call me "washrag" because I was so skinny and he teased me relentlessly for years about certain physical tics I had, which I now believe were caused by perhaps some mild form of tourette's or something similar. They only manifested themselves when he was around and I paid hard emotionally for them. Kids at school heard about them and teased me for years.
The end of my self-esteem came when I was 17 when he had asked me to peel a few potatoes for dinner. I forgot. He screamed at me and told me that I was a worthless piece of shit. When I told my mother about it and she angrily stormed out of the room and told me "well then maybe you are a worthless piece of shit." That was the moment my soul died. Nothing I do would ever be good enough and I wanted to die. I contemplated all the forms of suicide that someone my age would but all the ideas I came up might hurt so I didn't. Instead, I just gave up. I didn't apply myself. I didn't go to college. For the longest time I did nothing because I knew it would never be good enough. I hoped that maybe if I did nothing, I would waste away and die.
Since those days, Tom has redeemed himself. I have forgiven him and we get along quite well now. When I introduce him, I introduce him as my dad. Forgiving may heal the hurt but the events formed how I will deal with everything in life and how little self-worth I have.
My mother was also very young when she had me and my sister Kathy. Having two disabled children had to be hard. I don't remember if anything happened with Kathy, but still have nightmares about the things that happened to me. My mother being so young and wanting to do anything that might help her babies allowed doctors to do all sorts of medical tests on me. This is in addition to the many surgeries I had to fix my hands, eyes and spine. I'm thinking I was between 6 and 7 when she took me to one specific hospital or medical research place. I was too young to understand what it really was. I remember she had to go to work so I was left there for the day with scary doctors who never spoke a word to me. They never explained anything to me about what they were doing. They violated my genitals and every other part of my body without asking. If they wanted me in some position they would just flip me over like a rag doll and go to it. They bent, poke, prodded, shoved and pulled every part of my body. I remember screaming for my mother and not even that got a reaction from them. I was just a little boy and nobody protected me.
The result of this is that I now have to be pretty much near death before I will willingly go to a doctor and I very much hate my body. I never told my mother what happened. In fact, I've only told two people. Still, what strength I have comes from my mother. She made mistakes like all moms do, but she wanted her babies to be okay. I love my mother and I forgave her long ago.
In a recent email my sister Kathy said that my sisters don't know me anymore. I stopped letting them into my life because I had no choice. It was self-preservation.
For as long as I can remember three of my sisters have unintentionally chipped away at my spirit and willingness to communicate with the family. Even though I was pretty well read on a lot of topics, Janet almost always regards everything I say as being full of shit or just plain silly. I got tired of being not listened to. If I said something, anything, it was either mocked or disregarded. With Kathy its very similar, no matter what I say I am just plain flat wrong and how dare I think otherwise. No matter what I say, I'm wrong. With Kim, everything is about my sex life, or at times, lack thereof. From the time she was a teen I can't recall one single serious conversation where some aspect of my sex life did not come up. When I went home last year, the first moment we were alone she started going on about a very vile thing Janet had told her about someone I love. Janet should never have said it and Kim should have never asked. It makes me not want to go home ever again. I don't think any of them are aware of what they do but they do it and it hurts me. It taught me to just shut up.
Now they all wonder about the dream I was talking about on my birthday. I can't share it with them because they would never understand it or honor my feelings about it. It was my dream and it is now dead.
Jennifer, my beautiful baby sister has never hurt me. I remember taking her for walks on her little electric scooter. I remember putting her down for her naps and gently rubbing her cheek because it helped her fall asleep. When that awful Caroline devastated me and made me the fool, Jennifer was there. She didn't tell me to cheer up or quit feeling sorry for myself, she just held me and told me to cry until I was done. If I could have had a daughter I would want her to be exactly like Jennifer. I adore her.
Laura was my very first long term love. I was her first real love too. We did really great together until all the aspects of sexuality was introduced. She was a victim of child sexual abuse and I hated my body and was looking desperately for someone to tell me it was okay. Pleasures almost always turned to pain and confusion for both of us. It was confusing for me to understand why someone who was willing give me physical pleasure would not defend me to her mother and would tell me things like the reason that she didn't want to introduce me to her friends because I was "uneducated and might say something embarrassing." It was confusing that I could give her pleasure and then she would tell me she didn't know if I was the right one for her. Again, I shut down and it caused everything to get worse. I wanted to fix it, I wanted to marry her, but I didn't know how to fix it and I knew that even if I could fix it, I would eventually let her down, once again proving myself to be a failure. Feeling of futility and worthlessness made me run away.
And finally there is my best friend Liz. I decided that I was not going to screw up with her. Even though she could sometimes say mean things to me that made me feel stupid and worthless, I was going to be there for her no matter what. I told her all of my story and kept no secrets except for one. Whenever she was feeling down and asked me to be there I would be, even when it meant leaving/skipping work or breaking plans with someone else and driving half-way across the state in the middle of the night and then calling her every night for weeks until she felt better. I did everything for her that I had stopped doing for everyone else. Now she has someone else and no longer has any need for me. On the night that I needed someone the most, she left and I haven't heard from her since.
None of this is meant to accuse or pass blame to anyone. My family wanted to know who I am and nobody can know who I am unless they know what made me who I am. I love my family, all of them. I love Liz. Love hurts.
What I learned is that to avoid hurt I need to avoid love.
This is who I am and I am sorry that I could not be everything everyone expected me to be.
I'll be fine, I always am. Don't worry about me.