If I was hit by a truck….

January 30, 2009 at 3:04 pm (Uncategorized) (, , , )

So, you may be wondering…just what was wrong with my mother?

Well, until 1998 I had no name for it.  When I talked to my aunts, uncles or grandparents (her family) about her behavior – they told me I wasn’t being “good enough”. If I was “good”, she wouldn’t act that way.

Putting the blame for a mentally ill woman’s actions on a child. This would be the first example of many demonstrating how the adults in my life chose to protect my mother, themselves or walk out and leave me to make my survival on my own.

As an adult, I often used this example to try to explain my mother:

My mother didn’t drive, and so I often took her shopping, to appointments etc. If one day I picked her up, and as I was getting into my car a big ol’ semi hit me…and I lay bleeding in the street, my mother’s reaction would have been “oh, Lisa, you’re hurt! Now how am I going to get to the Doctor????”

My mother’s world began and ended at the end of her own nose. Self-absorbed? Self-centered? Yes…but there was more going on there, even when I didn’t have words to explain it. An almost complete lack of empathy – for anyone, even her child. A literal inability to see another’s point of view or understand their feelings.

She went through many bouts of depression. I recall days going to school and she was in bed and when I got home, she was still in bed. At best, she might be up – still in her nightgown – but sitting in a darkened living room. No TV or radio…the curtains pulled, the lights off. Just sitting. She would go through rages….and such periods of complete blankness that it was as if she was empty, just her body was present.

My mother was a master at manipulation and turning everything to be about her. If I tried to express a need, before I could take the next breath she had turned it to “Well what about what I have to put up with?” Again and again, in her mind everything came back to her.

In 1998, she was finally in a situation where she was seen and tested for about 10 days in a mental health facility in the Portland, Oregon, area. At that time, a diagnosis was finally rendered:  Schizo-affective disorder, exacerbated by several small undiagnosed strokes in the frontal lobe of her brain, ironically in an area of the brain which controls ones ability to have empathy – to sympathize or understand another’s pain.

There was a name for what was wrong with my mother. For my entire life, I had been told it was my fault my mother acted odd, even crazy. Finally, finally, I could begin to separate myself from responsibility for my mother’s actions. It’s taken me 20 years to get to where I am since that day. I haven’t “arrived” at my destination…but much of the journey is behind me.

Next post:  Where was my father during all of this?


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Family Snapshots

January 29, 2009 at 10:08 pm (Uncategorized) (, , , )

This blog chronicals my survival of childhood in an attempt to heal myself and provide connection for others seeking the same healing.

My writings are my true history, not fiction.

Who am I? I’m a 45-year-old survivor of child abuse, incest, and untreated mental illness of a parent.

While I don’t believe we can “blame all our problems on our mother”, I do believe my mother holds great responsibility for what happened to me as a child, both at her hands and the hands of others.

Today, it is enough just to get this far. To make the leap of creating the blog – it’s enough. Tomorrow, the beginning.

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Hello world!

January 29, 2009 at 9:44 pm (Uncategorized)

Welcome to WordPress.com. This is your first post. Edit or delete it and start blogging!

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