So this is my first time here on this forum, so I apologize in advance for how long this will be, as to explain what I'm going through I need to explain my very complicated life.
First of all my parents divorced when I was only a baby, and I growing up I lived with my mother (as an only child) until I was 20 (which is when I got to my breaking point). As a child I used to have regular weekend visits with my dad, but when I was a teenager I stopped talking him for 3 years, due to complicated circumstances that I'm still trying to understand.
I now currently live with my dad who is really the only stable thing in my life at the moment. I should also mention, throughout my childhood he was really the only support (both emotionally, physically and financially) that I had, and as you read on you'll probably wonder why he didn't try to take me out of the environment I was living in... the answer to that question is beyond complicated, and even though I hate the outcome, I respect and appreciate the reasons my dad has given me - as my life would have been a LOT WORSE
had it of ended badly, as it would have
due to the legal system at the time here in Australia.
Less than a year ago my mother diagnosed with schizoaffective disorder (which for those of you who don't know it, is basically a cross between schizophrenia and a mood-based disorder (in my mum's case it's bipolar)), and when I was 14 she was diagnosed with bipolar.
Up until then however, she was completely untreated in every way and very sick - both mentally and physically speaking!
Growing up even as a young child, I barely went to primary school... and high school was practically a non-existent adventure.
The reasons for this are that most of the time my mum was too sick in bed, sleeping all day, and practically non-responsive, and needed someone to care for her. I was also rarely fed properly, and sometimes not at all... most of the time I was searching the cupboard for a bit of dried pasta to eat. Even though I was too young to know how to cook it, let alone cook it safely.
My mother was also INCREDIBLY
over-protective (due to the abuse that she suffered from her family as a child), so up until the 2 years before I left primary school I never really had any friends where I lived with her (my only/best friend lived next door to my dad, and I also got to occasionally see my cousins who is from my dad's side of the family, but that was pretty much it).
Aside from these things, my only other memories of my childhood are sitting alone at home trying and wanting to play with my toys, but feeling so lonely that playing with them only made the feeling worse... so instead I would try to watch television, and as quietly and gently as possible sit next to my mum unresponsive and sleeping mother, just so I could have something that barely resembled company.
In my mum's defense though, she was suffering from a fairly serious
blood-loss condition (that I don't know the name of, and that I know she wouldn't want me to talk about anyway, due to personal reasons), which is obviously one of the reasons that she was so weak all of the time!... It took her a long time to get help for her condition, and now that I think about it, it wasn't until the doctors were able to fix her condition that she started to have a more active involvement in my life. - I think I was about 10 when this happened.
From there things got better, but in many ways they got worse! - Now with my mother's ability to get up and be a bit more active (and by that I mean she permanently had the physical strength and agility of a 60-80 year old; depending on whether it was a good day or not), she had more say and input into how I lived my life.
My childhood was at it's happiest when I was between 10-13... I had finally started getting to school more (though not even remotely often enough to still call regular), and had even started to make some friends (though oddly enough none of them were actually from my school (which if anything I found even more lonely), but from around the neighbourhood).
Unfortunately this was also the time that I
began to realized that I was depressed, so more often than not I felt too depressed to play with them... and even though I had told my mother that I needed help, it wasn't until I was 14 that she took the steps to getting me the help that I needed.
The day before my 13th birthday was when everything went from bad to worse. (If I was superstitious, I would have realized it was a sign!!!
About a month before one of our neighbours had shot a bullet through our back window (which lets face it was bad enough... though thankfully no one was home!), and my mother had finally gotten the approval from the community housing people, to move wherever she wanted.
So of course my mother moves us to a country town, far enough away from my father (who she hates
) that he couldn't help us in any way shape or form (aside from financially), but close enough just in case there is was an absolute
emergency... which unfortunately happened far more than what should have been acceptable).
For me these are the worst years of my life... not necessarily because they were a harsher experience than my early years (in some ways they were better, in others they were abominably worse), but because after finding happiness with my friends I really started to understand how alone I truly was!!!
For me my childhood is like a story that happened to someone else, but from which I can remember the details... my adolescents on the other hand has very much been a story of my life that belongs to me!
A terrible, horrible, twisted story!
I don't remember a whole lot from my teen years (as I have partial amnesia), but I shall tell you some of the things I do remember...
As much as I tried, I never was really able to make any solid friends where we (and my mother still) lived. I had a brief friendship with a neighbour (but we soon realized that we had no interest in hanging out with each other), and became friends with a girl who was 3-5 years younger than me (remember what I said about my mum being over-protective? -Well that also extended to the age of my friends... because if they were younger than me, they were less likely to sexually assault/abuse me! Most of my friends in life have had this age difference, with very few of them being my own age, and even fewer have been older!... Even by a couple of months!), who didn't only visited her family in the area occasionally.
Where I was only just starting to show the signs before we had moved, I was now pretty much a full recluse! I barely ever went outside (even to the mailbox), and pretty much spent the majority of my life watching tv and dvds, and absorbing myself into books (and when I say absorb, I mean that literally!
- I would focus so hard on what was going on in the story, that I became more than completely unaware
of my reality or my surroundings!).
And remember when I said that I was 14 I started getting help for my depression?... The help I was receiving wasn't so much help as "help".
It was at this time that the doctors had finally realized that there was something not quite right with my mum's mental health, and she had finally been given the diagnosis of bipolar.
But because my mum was so over-protective, and I was so emotionally traumatized and desperately needy/clingy, whenever I went in to see the doctor and psychologists/psychiatrists (I've had so many over the years, either because mum didn't like them, they were too hard to get to (we didn't have a car), etc), and not 4 months after my mother's diagnosis, my mother pushed/manipulated my psychologist into diagnosing me with bipolar. (It's obvious now, as it hadn't been then that the "symptoms" I had been showing, were in fact behaviours that I had learned from her.)
I promptly went of a wide variety of drugs, trying to find the one that "worked"... one of which made me so heavily obese (I've always had a naturally slim body) that if I had of stayed on it, we would of had to get my clothes specially made, to immediately one that made me lose all of that weight so quickly that I now have a lot of excess skin... which even though it's obviously not my fault, I am *DEEPLY* ashamed of!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Also during this time I had the more obvious fluctuating emotions of a teenager, and felt so much anger that I didn't understand... though now I obviously do!
It was during these times, that I things were probably the hardest! - You see, if my mother even got an inkling that I was upset she would start suffocating me! If I need a little while alone to process something, she was all in my face, following me everywhere, and essentially not letting me out of her sight. (I used to self harm (never to kill myself, but because I needed to feel something and also because it was the only way I could express that things weren't alright... especially since words didn't seem to be working.))
So once it became obvious that locking myself in my room wouldn't work (one time she got a neighbour to break in through the window, just to make sure that I wasn't dead), I started to show my anger... which lead to even WORSER circumstances!!!!!!
I never hit or physically abused my mother (well that's not entirely true ( guess), one time I hit her repeatedly with a pillow... You might be thinking "oh that isn't too bad!" - but you've got to remember she was/is frail (so apparently it hurt quite a bit, even though I was only hitting her softly). In saying that though I've *NEVER*
wanted to hurt my mum!!!!! I LOVE her too much to do such a thing!
), or the walls, house, etc, for that matter... Really I just slammed the doors repeatedly, so I could physically show my anger and make a lot of noise without damaging anything!
However once the pillow incident happened, she started getting the police involved every time I started to get angry. One time I was so desperate that I went to the kitchen to get a knife (so that I could self harm), and she refused to let me pass with it (as I always self harmed in my bedroom were I felt "safe"), that I pointed it at her and begged
her to just leave me alone so that I could have some privacy, etc (and if I haven't made it obvious yet, I had NO INTENTION
of actually hurting her with it!!!!! I wouldn't even have waved it in a threatening manner towards her!)... obviously the cops were called, and this time they took more serious action (usually it they just told me to respect my mum, and once or twice they I remember even seeing them roll their eyes at how ridiculous my mum was being). - I've almost completely blocked all of this stuff out, but I remember that I had to go to court, and was put on probation for a year, and if I hurt my mother during that time I would end up in gaol. - Needless to say that I was scared so s**tless that I never again
showed any form of aggression towards my mother. I must have been about 16-18 when this all happened.
In the following years nothing much happened, aside from the fact that I really started to die inside!
One of the more nightmarish symptoms I had were SEVERE
stomach and body cramps. (Which lasted for 3 days, I LITERALLY
couldn't move (even lying ABSOLUTELY STILL, I was in EXCRUCIATING PAIN!!! - Seriously, I've NEVER felt such horrible pain!!!
), and during which period my mother (who at the time was feeling better than normal) not only didn't care about what I was going through, but wouldn't help me... so on the third day having barely eaten anything, I then had to get up and make my own food (which involved cooking, as my mum had changed the quality of food (minutely), compared to when I was a child... and it just happened that she had eaten all of the easy to make stuff while I'd been sick). - This is one of my most traumatic memories and experiences!
Another severe symptom I had was SEVERE
hypersalivation... this lasted full-on for about 6 months to a year, and was not only disgusting but highly embarrassing! - Obviously I went out even less during this period, than my usual secluded self did!
I don't really remember much else about my teen years. The only other stuff I can recall, is that my mum used to brainwash me... psychologically, emotionally, and religiously. Everyday, multiple times a day she used to tell me whatever it was that she wanted from me, or for me to do, or what was "evil" or "good", so much so that eventually it would become a mantra in my head.
It was about 6 months after the hypersalivation that I took the first steps into changing my life forever!
After a short visit with my dad's family (away from mum, which my dad tried to give about every 6 months since I moved away), not long after we started driving away I burst into great emotional sobs, as I realized that if I went back to my mum's house I was going to kill myself! - That was when my dad finally succeeded in me to choose to live with him (I legally had been able to decide for myself for quite awhile, but didn't because of the brainwashing).
As truly terrifying as my entire life had been before that moment, it has been the last 3 and a half years that have been the *SCARIEST* of my LIFE!!!
When I first moved to my dad's house I wasn't even human... that's how I see myself. Unhuman. Non-human. Nothing.
For the first 2 years the amount of *FULL-BLOWN* emotional breakdowns
I was having were at minimum every 3 days, and at max *MULTIPLE* times per day!
- Even the smallest thing like walking outside to my letterbox or going on a bus or train (so that I could visit my mum), were TERRIFYING!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
I am a LOT better now, the smallest things (usually) don't scare me and in general I function a lot better... but I am by no means "normal" (not that there is
such a thing)!
Using a quote from Dr. Seuss (whose simple wisdom has really become an inspiration for me!), "Sometimes the questions are complicated and the answers are simple." - Lately (especially over the last 2 weeks), this really seems to be summing up my life! And no matter how much I try, I feel like as much as I know the answers (and try and put them to use), it's like until I can I understand the questions, the answers won't work!
For instance, after much grief, struggle and turmoil, I decided around 6 months ago that having my mum in my life is permanently going to be a bad idea - even though she's *FINALLY* getting the help she needs both mentally and physically, and is in many ways the best she's ever been!
To me she is my GREATEST
fear (whether that be becoming like her, being around her, or even the fact that I'm starting to look a little bit like her)!!!
But she's also the person (aside from myself) that I love most in the world!!!
And I don't know if that's because I truly love her, or if it's because she's brainwashed it into me!... I mean aside from the fact that she gave birth to me, she literally
hasn't really done very much to deserve my love! She was always highly loving and affectionate, but the more I begin to understand her and her problems, it becomes easier to see that it was more out of her own desperate need to be loved and not be abandoned that was the motive behind most (if not all) of how she treated me!
I know she loves me, but I also know that she doesn't love me for me... that poor defenseless brainwashed non-human thing is what she loves! This person that I am, who has her own thought, feelings, and emotions, she begrudgingly accepts (and is very obviously deep down waiting for me to come back to my "senses" and return to her, and live just as we used to!).
So back to my original point that I was trying to make, I know that the only answer is to have her stay out of my life, if I want any chance at happiness and "normalcy", but my love for my mother (and undoubtedly all of that brainwashing) keeps making me want to go back to her... even though just thought
of calling her on the phone can send me into a full scale panic attack, let alone anything more social!
And that's not to mention how whenever she has anything to do with being in my life, she has me feeling so emotionally unstable (seriously she doesn't even have to do anything!
), that I can barely function!
***This is so long, that I'm actually over the limit, so I'll paste the rest of this into the comment section***