So, after hiding in the basement during a tornado warning, I walked out of the basement and my mom asked for help unloading the dishwasher. I thought it was weird and confused. Because it’s an easy task. So I eithe gave my mom a look or said something like “What?” Or “Really?”. I had drawn a bath right as the tornado sirens had come on. And this is something that is hard for me to do. Probably my first wash in weeks. So I was looking forward to getting in.
Anyways. My mom grits her teeth and does her aggressive threatening voice saying my name. And starts ranting about how she swears to god she’ll throw me out of the house. She specified she means it. So I go upstairs after helping her unload 5 plates, a handful of silverware and 4 mugs. And I slam the door. I take my bath. Hating myself. Calling myself shit. Worthless. Unlovable. The usual.
And then I go to my room and cry as silently as possible at my desk to avoid incurring more wrath. And that’s when I realize I’ve been enduring emotional abuse from my family for years. I’m trapped in their home. They probably feel trapped with me. But I don’t threaten them with making them homeless. Or at all for that matter.
When I did research on what emotional abuse looks like I check out 5/6 of the examples they listed. Just for fun let’s list some.
Threats and intimidation. Check. Just talked about that.
Manipulation and gaslighting. Yep. Dozens of examples of my Mom making me doubt my memory. Took me year, if not over a decade to get my ears tested because my mother kept telling me she doesn’t hear things sometimes and it’s normal and I’m being dramatic and over reacting. I have 70% hearing loss on my left side. Too many to list.
Withholding affection or giving the silent treatment She’s currently giving me the silent treatment. Although frankly I have no inclination to speak with her either. But I have to ask for a hug. And often shamed for it (you’re a big boy now). I’m never give encouragement. Or complimented. I constantly feel starved for affection to the point where when someone shows me the most basic kindness a perceive them as a savior who just performed some miraculous feat and endure relationships with people who manipulate me because they throw in affection every once in awhile.
Constant criticism or belittling.
It’s pretty much the only feedback I receive.
I learned about RSD (Rejection Sensitive Dysphoria) from TikTok. Which I hadn’t ever heard of but explains so much in my life. Like why I won’t even try. Because I feel doomed to fail. I love art and drawing. But I can’t put pencil to paper because I immediately feel like a failure and give up. Or why it’s so hard for me to approach someone and talk to them. I know they’ll hate me in advance. So why even bother trying.
And I learned about how much all of this can screw up your ability to maintain and make relationships if you don’t get out of the situation. But it’s been 20 years of this. She was much more loving and caring when I was much younger. But after we moved and she got a more stressful job, that was it. I became unloved and abandoned. My dad sides with her almost exclusively in all cases. I suspect because as he’s told me previously, the only way the relationship works with my mother is if he just nods his head and says yes.
I looked into my options. Calling and getting a social worker. Calling Adult Protective Services or something like that. I don’t know this for a fact, but I’m assuming most of those roads lead to me living in a group home cut off from my parents and my extended family. Best case. I don’t make enough of disability to move out on my own. And frankly I’m scared of what happens if I live alone. Though these days my parents leave me for weeks at a time while they go up to their vacation home and invite my sister, their friends, other family members. But I’m explicitly not invited.
I’m pretty sure this is just what I deserve at this point. I mean, clearly I’ve done something wrong for the universe to subject me to two brain tumors, autism, and an emotionally abusive family. A sister who inexplicably ignores my existence. One girlfriend who asks me to move in with talks about marriage and then tries to break up with me 3 times before sending me a text message that says you need to be out of the apartment before I get home. I’m no longer attracted to you. I mean what kind of idiot am I to believe someone could actually care about me.