I have said bits and pieces over the blog around my family, but I guess I wanted to talk about it more. Firstly I guess I should say that my parents are still together, and I have a younger brother. I don’t have any of them anymore, some of which I am so glad about - my parents, and not being In contact with my brother is a huge loss. This is so raw this week, as I got a text message on New Year’s Eve that could possibly be from my brother, but I don’t know. I have replied but I haven't yet had a reply back. I am so lucky that I do have a family that I have made myself, after all friends are the family you choose...and I certainly wouldn't want to choose my blood family!!!
Families’ are something that in a way you cannot get away from. It’s all over the media, TV etc. It can be shown as perfect families, especially this time of year. (Although much in the media at the moment is around families that are benefit scroungers etc.!!). I guess that no family is perfect, but mine was so far from perfect, but no one was allowed to know It. my mum is very worried about how the family is viewed by wider society. This has had a major Impact on me. When I was a teenager my depression started, my mum was so ashamed. I remember two things so vividly, first was when one of my teachers at school brought It up at parents evening, she went mad at me when we got home for not appearing perfect. The other was when I used to go for walks as I lived in a village my mum wouldn’t allow me to go on these unless I promised to "look happy". This I guess is how I have got so good at putting a mask on. I hate to think how she thinks and feels about me now, having broken the massive secret to public knowledge. When it first became apparent that my mental health was going to have a huge detrimental effect on my quality of life, she was extremely embarrassed, to the point that she lied about why I was in hospital to people after my first admission to a mental health unit. In the paper a few months ago there was an article on my parents and how the church had put a "gagging" order on why they hadn’t been around. I am sure my mum had this Idea! my mum was also very emotionally abusive towards me, I was the black sheep of the family, I can only ever remember her praising me once and that’s when I got my degree results back In 2003. When she realised that my Illness could work In her favour, It put me Ina position that I found It Incredibly hard to fight from, she wanted to be seen as my "saviour" and was always there for me (a whole load of sh*t!!!)
My dad was very opposites. He hurt me in ways that has left me severely distressed a lot of the time, and suffering from mental health problems. HIs power over me was complete, and from a very early age he abused me right till I was 27 and also introduced me to a group of men who ritualistically abused me. However he was also so kind and really did care about me in his own way. I remember when I was little him reading me and my brother lord of the rings at bed time, and really wanted to help. This all changed when he had researched my Illness at the time (Borderline Personality Disorder) and I think he realised the Impact the abuse was having (It was still going on at this time) and suddenly my behaviour wasn’t because I was distressed but because I was an attention seeking little itch...which of cause turned the focus off him. I found this change so very difficult, as no longer as there a nice side to him towards me.
That’s the basics of my parents, they were very controlling, but I do think that in some way they cared about me, just the way that they behaved has caused me so much distress. Their control was so overbearing however, they wanted to, and still want to, control every part of my life and not allow me to be a person that wants to recover as that would have to change their role and the fact that they are the doting parents who would do anything for their sick daughter. The relief that I have now that they don’t have much control (they won’t give me my stuff back or change nearest relative) I can be me, I have changed so much because of It.
We had family counselling when I was 14/15. It was a complete waste of time as It turned into blame Lucy hour every single week. After 6 months even the therapist knew that we were getting nowhere. I spent It either counting windows (I do this when I am stressed out In a situation that I can get out of, and hope that Its even because that makes me feel safer!) or starting at the scales. They wanted me to go Into Individual therapy, but my mum persuaded me not to after all how would that look on the family????
I miss having a family, not mine as It Is so dysfunctional and damaging, but having that person who loves me unconditionally (something parents didn’t do). And I miss my brother. He’s the only one who can come anywhere close to understanding what It Is like being a child in my family. He was always the perfect one who could do no wrong (even If It was his doing, but I would get the blame), but I do love him. It’s strange how can I miss something that I never had?