The memory of smoke

The memory of smoke

Wednesday, October 30, 2019

Dealing with the roiled up crap.

Gaslighting.

I'd never considered that my mother was gaslighting me. And yet.

"Of course he loves you, he's your father!" "Oh, you can't think that!" "How could you think that, that never happened!"

Reframing is a powerful tool. Not that I think it was, mostly, on purpose. She was deeply in denial. But, she had to know, however deep down. She had to know, and not want me to cotton on. She denied my truth, any truth, when it suited her comfort.





not because they value or even like their children (though they’ll use the word “love” like it’s going out of style) but because they want the outside appearance and validation of “We’re Good Parents™, right? And that’s what Good Children™ Do For Good Parents!”

Another one from Captainawkwardcom.


My father used to say he treated me like he did, because the world would be so much harsher on me.

I
have been hungry, I have been cold, I have been sick, and I have been scared but I have never, ever been as unhappy as when I lived under my folks’ roof as a kid and had to just sit there and take whatever it was. Never.

Saturday, October 19, 2019

It's hard to see abuse, so call it early and often.

Another gem from the Captain Awkward comments.

You don’t need to be an Abuser to act in abusive ways, and you don’t have to be at the extreme end of abusive behavior to be an Abuser. I think CA’s commentariat has been immensely helpful at validating things we gloss over as “not a big deal” actually being insidious, controlling, and manipulative. But then those things become normalized and minimized which only furthers the victim’s perception that they are the ones being the problem or being unreasonable. People in abusive or toxic relationships often can’t see what is happening to them. It’s important to have people on the outside point to things and say “that is abusive.” Because we’re trained not to use that word unless it’s physical and extreme.

It took me until my mid 20’s to realize my dad was abusive. Because he “just” was controlling, manipulative, argumentative, and threw tantrums. Society told me that stuff wasn’t abuse because it wasn’t ~that bad~. Even once I recognized his behavior was abusive, it took other people naming those behaviors “abusive” out loud for me to start using that word to describe it myself. Before that he was just an asshole. People don’t like the “a” word but it needs to be said, and I’m grateful to CA’s community for being so level-headed and blunt about it.

Saturday, October 12, 2019

Cat boundaries

Via Captain Awkward comments.


Agggh – that reminds me of the dim and distant days of my Family of Origin, and the abuse and bad stuff that both parents used to unleash on me through my childhood. One of my Mum’s favourite sayings, to show that we were expected to put up with the crap, was “A dog, when it’s beaten, always comes back for more.”
That was the family ideal. Seriously.
My advice to anyone else in that situation? Be a cat.


I’ve often said that the reason a lot of people hate cats is because they suck at respecting boundaries. They get mad and offended when the cat they’re chasing runs away, or wants to sit next to them on the couch instead of on their lap, or walks away when they’re done being petted. So cats are mean and jerks because they set and enforce boundaries (as well as anything that weighs 8 pounds can, at least).


I know a cat who is actually pretty good at respecting my boundaries – her owner is fine with bitey and scratchy play, I am not, if Cat wants to play with me she has to use Soft Paws or play stops. I’d say her level of success in this is about at that of a little kid, in that she starts well and usually gets over excited, but I’m okay with that.
I mean she also yells when it rains and keeps trying to eat my food, so I’m not sure she’s a great role model.


Cats will respect the boundaries that you enforce. If you don’t consistently enforce your boundary, the cat knows it’s not really a real boundary. 🙂


I had a cat who was an excellent boundary setter who escalated consequences perfectly. Get in his personal space too aggressively? He’d squawk. If the offender didn’t back off, he’d swat with claws in. If they still kept at it he’d swat with claws out and leave. We introduced him to many puppies since he was so great at communicating and enforcing appropriate boundaries. I try to channel him often, although I am not always successful.


My parents’ cat hasn’t let me touch her since 2012 when I put her in the cat carrier. Which annoys me, but I respect the hell out of it.


Wednesday, October 9, 2019

Rage inheritance

My father's rage, my mother's anger.

It’s like a liver, or a starfish: if she cuts off a piece of that feeling and gives it to you, it will grow back to full size, in both of you.

I want my fuckin' money, Lebowski.

I want it over.

Wednesday, October 2, 2019

How much longer?

I have these days when it all seems too much and I wish my mother had aborted me, or I'd ended it all long ago. Before Dylan, though, not since, never since. Promises have been made.

Still, the weight.

Sunday, September 15, 2019

Leave the rubber on, idiot

I had character shoes with rubber grips on. For one class, I had to have taps. When I got them put on, I was told to take the rubber off from the place I bought the taps. Next door, the shoe place, I did not tell them to take the rubber off because I DID NOT WANT IT OFF, since I would be removing the taps after one semester. Picked them up, and they'd taken off the grips because the tap place called to tell them to. My mother was with me, the wimp. I was furious, but did not argue, because Mother there.

To this day, I want to say "FUCK YOU, I am the one paying you, put the grips back on and make it right youfuckers."


I HATE tap dancing.

MY SHOES.

MY CHOICE.


Saturday, September 14, 2019

He was borderline, she 'forgave' me, so...

If you write to me for help because someone is bullying you, I, Jennifer Captain Awkward Rodham Leigh Peepas, do not give a single fuck if your abuser gets into Heaven someday or how they feel about their lives or what possibly caused them to behave this way or if they are a good person at some imperceptible deep down “Schrödinger’s Good Intentions” level. If you want to forgive them someday, great, do it for you. Save all that for after the harm is over and you are safe.

via Captain Awkward.


I am safe. She never considered needing my forgiveness, so I can't force it on her, anymore than I could accept her forgiveness. Him? too damaged, I just don't wish him in any further hell than the life he made for himself. And for her. Let it all end here.