This topic has come in and out of my mind many, many times over the years. Ultimately I don’t know how to feel.
My mom and my step-dad are responsible for most of my traumas, insecurities and mental health issues, most certainly OCPD and my anxiety disorders. In spite of my efforts and fruitfulness in school, nothing I did was ever good enough. My grades were never high enough even though I graduated a year early with a 3.48. They never trusted me to make any decisions. They never allowed me to have friends or socialize. I wasn’t allowed to feel, much less express emotions. I was to be seen and not heard and anything beyond that would result in hurtful degradation and verbal abuse. They never physically abused me, but they did physically abuse my brother. My moms prior husband also beat him regularly. My parents thought he would never amount to anything. They gave up on him in high school. Wouldn’t provide him school supplies. Eventually they prevented him from going to college by refusing to help apply for student aid.
It is really unfortunate the way our lives has progressed. For me, after choosing to live on the streets at 16 rather than endure the abuse, it took many, many years of hard work and should searching before I could even figure out who I was as a person. I thought it would be impossible to support myself. I thought I was a terrible human being. Useless. Years later I hit my rock bottom and decided I was going to get better or die trying. Fortunately for me, I didn’t die.
My brother left and was living the high life with some people he met somewhere, I don’t know where. But over the years, something happened. I was so lost in my own journey that I didn’t know what happened, why or how. I just know our roads split for a long time and when they came back together, his life had taken a deep dive and he hasn’t been able to recover. He doesn’t trust anyone (neither do I for the most part, to be fair), he alienates himself and he is extremely impulsive and reckless.
Anyway. As my journey goes on I wonder what it would be like to confront my parents. I know they both deny being abusive. Over time it has been harder for me to contain my composure around them if we are with each other.
When I was going through tech school, I had a conversation with my parents. My step dad insisted that while I was in school I search for a tech job. In tech, I not only did the curriculum, but studied and obtained 9 extra curricular industry certifications first try and, despite my social anxiety, I joined student government, moving from Secretary to Vice President and then eventually President. I supervised the class and organized projects and events. But that wasn’t good enough. At the time I still worked at a grocery store bakery. I loathed the job but I loved my manager and I didn’t want to give up my job where I knew my manager would work around school and support me emotionally. But that wasn’t good enough. I told my step dad that I wasn’t ready, I wanted to stay where I was until I graduated, but he kept pushing me and pushing me until I finally snapped at him and demanded to know why not wanting to search for a new job wasn’t a good enough answer for him. Why I couldn’t make my own decisions based on what I thought was right. Why wasn’t that good enough? He had nothing to say. My mother who was in the room nothing short of shocked at my outburst. But that was that.
I have always been good at reading body language and sharpened my skills over the years as well. And was once having a conversation with my step dad during which time I stopped the conversation and told him I’m not wasting my time because he wasn’t interested anyway. I was right and it freaked him out. He was losing control.
I have dreams where I go off on my parents, telling them they ruined my life, they screwed up my brain, they were complete failures as parents. They are liars and manipulators, narcissistic. So I wonder… would it even be worth it to confront them? After all, they deny that they abused me and my brother. They did nothing wrong as far as they are concerned. And so I know if I confront them I will argue their denial and probably be extremely anxious and angry and I know it would take a lot out of me on an emotional and physical level.
I brought this up a long time ago on one of the HS streams and a good point was brought up, that it’s not always appropriate or necessary approach your abusers and that if I was considering it, it should be with the guidance of a therapist, which definitely makes sense. But is it necessary? I don’t know.
My mother and I have spoken for a few months out of the past few years. I just can’t. I lose my composure. I have so much build up anger and resentment and all I want to do is go off on her. And at the same time there is thuis weird dichotomy of feeling sorry for her because she has Schizophrenia and no support, as my step dad believes mental illness doesn’t exist. But at some point thats not my problem. I can’t fix everyone.
I just don’t know. I know it’s nobody’s problem but mine and nobody is obligated to help me, but I would just really like some feedback.