Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Encounters in my head

I’ve been having lots of strange dreams lately. Amazing what you can remember from the night when you don’t go to sleep drugged up on xanax and ambien. One of my reoccurring dreams, thoughts, panic situations over the past few years has been running into various family members. I plan ahead what I would do and how I would react.

With my biological father, I feel a sense of wanting to impress him with my accomplishments. To show him that I have a wonderful family. To show him his beautiful granddaughter that he has never, and will never, have contact with. To point out to him what he has missed and will missed due to his actions. There is not a sense of fear, so much as uncertainty.

With Toilet, the nightmares follow a similar pattern - I run into him somewhere and my mother is with him. Sometimes there are people with me. Sometimes my daughter is present. When my daughter is present, I’m not concerned for her. I know I will protect her, no matter what it takes. I am concerned about the reactions of others if they are with me. What they will learn. What they will think. I’m concerned about my reactions.

I tried to think about the underlying emotions and feelings about any such encounter. There has to be something there – otherwise why would this keep running through my head? I think it comes down to fear. That four letter “f” word that consumes my life sometimes.

Fear that he will reveal “our” secret. Nobody in my real life knows. I would tell others not to be ashamed of what happened in a heart beat, but I have trouble believing it for myself. I worry that my people will think I can not be professionally objective given my background if it comes out.

Fear others will believe his lies.
Fear because he has this uncanny ability and power to see inside and manipulate me.
When he first moved in with us, I rebelled. On the other hand, he was fun. He was less “rules oriented” than mom and advocated for Sister and I to “get away with” more. He’s the one that talked her out of punishing us. But then he’d turn around and make us do stupid things – like hand wash all the dishes so we would learn how to do them, even though we had a perfectly good dishwasher. He’d walk in, pretend to find one spot on the, and make us re-wash every single pot and pan. It was like a military inspection. We’d be in there for hours. My mom sat back and did nothing.
He had the ability to manipulate mom and others. Everyone saw him as this wonderful person. He convinced mom to undergo this entire personality change. (not that she resisted). He manipulated me too – into not seeing that things were supposed to be different. That what was happening was wrong and evil and not “normal.”
He was in control. My mom may have appeared to rule the roost. But it was really him.

Fear of it happening again but more so my letting it, responding – making his words come true and “fulfilling a prophecy”
Fear my mom hearing those words (or others) and believing them – making them come true.

“Those words” – the specifics I have difficulty saying. But the words that made me a co-equal. An accomplice. A willing participant. That made mom see me as the “other woman.” That made what happened a choice on my part. Made it a conscious decision on my part. Made me the initiator. Made me responsive and the worst words “you wanted it and you liked it. I didn’t hear you complaining.”

I fear him saying those words again. Where others can hear them. And seeing the look on people’s faces as the believe him. Seeing my mom choose him again.

I fear it happening again and my turning into that 11 year old child again. Not doing anything. Dissociating, flying away. And doing nothing. Letting it happen…again.


Anonymous said...

I often have dreams of running into my mother on the street. It always ends the same: she begins chatting in a friendly manner, and I become once more the obedient child I always was, responding dutifully with the same degree of friendliness.

Towards the end of the dream I suddenly realize that now that I've been friendly with her, she's going to assume we can just pick up where we left off. Panic overwhelms me. I don't know how to tell her that I still don't trust her, or want her in my life.

Did we have the same stepdad? Mine once woke me and my older brother up at midnight (on a school night--I was 7) to wash every dish, cup, pot and pan and piece of silverware we owned because he found a spot of milk on a glass.


Marj aka Thriver said...

Gggrrrrr! This makes me so angry for you! There's a REASON why sex with a minor is called "statutory rape!" I don't care if you consented, or didn't; "liked" it, or didn't; complained, or not! It is ALWAYS the adult's fault! This man doesn't belong in your nightmares--he belongs in jail!

casey said...

Enola...after all these years, I learned something from this particular post.

Although I dont recall thinking about encounters in my head...I have vague recollections of thinking that if the truth about what happened with my stepdad came out...I would be looked at as the initiator. I realize today...that I feel guilty about it. I am so angry! Why should I feel guilty? I was a kid. A scared and confused girl who didnt understand what in the heck was going on. Except...I knew it wasnt right. What a dilemma. I have to rearrange my thinking on this or it will torture me forever. I know that the encounters with my stepdad set me up for further abuse by others...several times over. This is such BS.


lawyerchik said...

Oh sweetie don't listen to those fears. Especially the ones about his trying to make you complicit in his crimes!

The sick bastard who tries to make an 11-year-old child responsible for his sins deserves to have a brand on his forehead for the rest of his life so that everyone knows that he is a liar and a criminal. Hold onto the things you've learned since then, Enola.

Rising Rainbow said...

None of this was your fault. He was the adult. You were the child. He is responsible for his behavior, you are not. He misused his power over you to take advantage. That is that.

Sometimes Saintly Nick said...

Enola, this post says quite a bit. I am tempted to try to offer some easy advice, but that would be worthless. I do feel the control he still has in your life, at least in your dream world. So I offer my prayers and my availability to talk, just in case. Blessings, my friend.

DM said...

Good morning Enola,
I just finished reading your latest post..couple of things you said "jumped off the screen" and felt I wanted to reply.
You said

"That made what happened a choice on my part. Made it a conscious decision on my part. Made me the initiator. Made me responsive and the worst words “you wanted it and you liked it. I didn’t hear you complaining.”

I fear him saying those words again. Where others can hear them. And seeing the look on people’s faces as the believe him."

I'm always reluctant to respond to these sort of things on a person's blog because I know the value of just being heard when I do it, and don't want to just jump into the "fix it" right up front...I want to tell you...I do hear you, in fact, I've wondered to myself if you might not have some of those lies in your head about your role in your abuse.
Lawyerchik called him a sick bastard, which is putting it kindly. Anyway, on to what I wanted to probably already know this but it bears repeating....
An old guy by the name of Lester used to work w/ my dad in the summer on the construction site. He was a kindly old man... a farmer...I remember one conversation where he started telling me about the birds and the bees :-)@ lunch wasn't any type of "suggestive" conversation, rather, it reminds me now of a grandpa trying to communicate something to his grandson which he loves...that was the tone...Lester told me to be very careful when it came girls....(I had never went out on a date @ this point, so I was all ears)...He said "DM, you need to be very respectful and careful when you are with a girl... God has made a woman in such a way that after a certain point, they can't control their responses" wasn't until I was married that I began to understand what Lester was trying to tell me...
if a sick bastard had a mind to manipulate a young person , and he understood this process that (I believe) God has hard wired into our bodies/ and humanity)..then it would be very understandable for the victim to have lots of false guilt thinking they had (even just a tiny bit) of responsibility...Bull SH** was a very evil adult who knew what he was doing all the time he was doing it, and unless by some miracle God turns the lights on in his dark soul, I shutter to think of what God is going to do with him for messing with the life of a little child as he has.