When I was fifteen I was ready to get a working life. I knew without a doubt that the key to any kind of personal power was working, making and having money. I earnestly told my mother I wanted to get a job. I scraped up a short gig from the want ads in the paper at the local Feed and Fuel for three days humping bags of chicken feed and learning where the all the Chows, including Monkey were stored. But the Feed And Fuel didn’t pay much and once the yayhoo who was the regular humper got well and came back, I was done.
That summer I dragged my mother to different stables I actually looked up in the phone book, asking if I could be a groom for money, but she sabotaged it all by talking to me and about me as though I were a three old to whoever was there. I didn’t know at the time that only very ritzy stables in America have professional grooms. Unable to process and accept the bald fact that my mother thought I was an idiot and didn’t want me to succeed at getting self sufficient, my determination to seek and find gainful employment shrunk like a balloon with a tiny leak to nothing and disappeared.
This was to be a recurring failure motif for me from then on, to the point of where I stopped trying to get work, have a career or understand anything about why I couldn’t get it together. I went along from 15 as ambitious as anyone, assuming I’d be working and trying like heck. What I believe I can assume at this point, after years of failing to conclusively launch, never being able to sustain any kind of decent employment or money flow that was not inheirited, was that I was well programmed long before I was 15 to believe I would not, should not, could not EVER succeed.
It’s had something to do with some kind of deep brainwashing around the instinct not to disturb, threaten, or exceed the parental units and family by achieving anything significant so I would not be abandoned, cast out and left for dead without a chance to survive. Instead, I was to be an object to be used and abused due to my inferiority over and over again by anyone in the family who felt they had the need to. I’ve stopped trying to figure out when, how and why it happened.
My mother used to tell me: “you are too sensitive. “. She also used to tell me I was “just like your father. Everything shows on your face.” This confusing edict became false from that moment on. I couldn’t help but eventually go to “oh yeah? I’ll show you.” Then I was told I was ” a liar and a sneak”. This was the perfect double whammy: damned if I showed anything, damned if I didn’t. Thus I was locked into the real rules of Don’t talk ( or express yourself) Don’t trust, Don’t feel. The perfect prescription for never getting to know who I really was or where I belonged.
Families are mine fields, and my story is common, and far from the worst by far. Still, who knew? How could I have ever prepared or fathomed any of this? I couldn’t, no more than I would have guessed my father would accost me sexually when he was drunk or my sister would assault me by putting her hands around my neck and promising never to apologize. She kept her promise. Nor would I guess the other sister would spend years insisting I rejected her and saying tons of contemptuous, slanderous things behind my back, effectively killing any chance I would have of being around any of my nephews or grand nieces. I’ve survived and that is all there is about that.
Somewhere along the line I was elected without my permission to fill the role of an all purpose, one-size-fits-all scapegoat. On some level, this was a family contract, signed sealed and delivered, and despite every attempt to stop, end, resist, and defy it, it has ruled my life from within and without. I believe the moment has arrived where the grip of that dreadfull programing has loosened up a little from the core.
I finally discovered the only thing that kept me from utter anniellation was the need my family had to not ruin their self images of themselves as decent, ok, loving people. The unconscious program to use me to act out their split off hate, rage, unresolved guilt, unexpressed grief and carry their disowned weaknesses in projection just wasn’t congruent with total, up front destruction of me and my life.
My mother needed me to take care of her in her old age, because nobody else was available.That I did, despite my bone deep hate of her, and the pain over her complete lack of interest in me becoming a me. Doing that in spite of the persecution and hate from the family towards me turned the tables for good.
This does not mean they didn’t do a great deal of shit they never should have, but I digress. Nor does it mean I was free from fucking up, far from it. I’m certain there are many things I have done which I have blanked out and forgotten that my sisters remember clearly.