Why? This should be clear by now.
The world doesn’t want me in it.
I guess there is something different about some people, something that marks them out as sensitive, vulnerable. And once someone is marked by bullies and abusers, others sense the blood in the water and so it goes on, that person is repeatedly victimized. Even ‘nice’ people sense it, and react by treating the person in a way they wouldn’t dream of treating anyone else, using the excuse that the person is the problem, they are ‘unkind’, bad, they are the abuser (when they’re not, but we are held to higher standards than anyone else, we are not people and are not allowed to stand up for ourselves, react to cruel treatment or have any feelings at all) so they are not humans deserving of human compassion but evil scum who deserve everything they get. Because no-one is repeatedly abused – people think that can’t happen, we must be the problem. And no, the results of prolonged trauma are not pretty, yes, we can be what seems like awful, nasty people to those who don’t understand and don’t exercise human kindness and empathy – we are damaged people.
Going back to the beginning – there is one place we are made, and that is the family. Home should have been a sanctuary from the bullying at school, but no. Suffice to say, my parents have their own issues. I don’t believe that is not the case for everyone with mental health issues. Verbal/ emotional and occasionally physical abuse began early. My sisters at least had each other, preferring each other and leaving me out, bullying me, can remember them laughing at me failing grade 5 clarinet (yes, I am a useless freak failure at everything) yet of course when I did well in my GCSEs and A-levels that too was wrong and boring, one sister wrote in her French lesson that she only had one sister, the other one. My hair was wrong, my Christmas ‘present’ was to make fun of me having it down but if it was up ‘oooh do you think it looks pretty’ sarcastically and I looked ‘like a posh little mouse’, and I was ordered not to wear a particular T-shirt when her friends came round as she didn’t like it and it was embarrassing (and when I said she would be upset if I said that to her, replied that I never had anyone round). I was mocked for eating, not only the way I did but daring to eat anything at all, was constantly told how fat I was. Anything I wrote was read and mocked. The newspaper I read was wrong. The clothes and music I liked were wrong. And so on. Mother ignored their hurtful remarks, and jumped on me if I dared to say anything back; I expressed my hurt that they preferred each other so clearly, but this was ‘immature and pathetic’. They had in-jokes about me and even mother was in on them. They patronise me grossly now, of course sisters are superior for getting married and reproducing and especially one thinks she is the head of the family for this achievement, she also tried to tell me not to drink when we were out for dinner when I was on leave from hospital (or as she put it, whisper ‘on a unit’ gosh how embarrassing, and it’s clear I am an embarrassment to all of them), I was too stupid to explain maths to the other sister apparently and mother made me explain to her then explained to sister which was so humiliating and belittling, oh and I was gleefully later told I was wrong, and the same was done as adults with how to knit (sister wouldn’t even answer me when I tried to explain to her, yes, I asked if she knew how to cast on and she didn’t even answer – if I did that I would be excoriated for being rude). Humiliating me is something she loved to do. It was announced to the dinner table I had my ‘usual problem communicating with anyone’, she would tell family friends whatever I had done wrong lately. She insisted on brushing my hair at 17, deliberately humiliating me telling me I was like one of hethe nursery children she worked with when I dared try to object, maybe if she had bvothered to advise and help me appropriately, maybe I wasn’t coping with long thick wavy frizzy hair becaue was depressed. I was excoriated for daring to not realidse I had my period had started and leak (I am probably dyspraxic and struggled to manage this) I was made to feel dirty and diosgusting, Ion holiday I dared find my nose was running while swimming and put my hand up precisely to stop it going into the water but was castigated for my sisters, said sarcastically ‘soirry if I disgust you’ to which she replied ‘yes, you do’. She shared my personal medical information. My medication was put on public view as I was accused of not taking it which was untrue (why would I not have taken medication that allowed to somewhat resemble a normal person?) – I was accused of being ‘moody’, hmmm maybe that was down to developing mental health issues. I was subject to was constant scrutiny, criticism, correction – I couldn’t do or say anything without being wrong – I tried to say and do nothing at all, be invisible, shrink, but it didn’t work.
I always felt somewhat responsible for my middle sister’s eating disorder. I was always called she in particular would do this (and once said my friends were, too, and then wondered why I looked upset). My mother would call me fat too, yet another one of her criticisms, that I was comfort eating due to my developing depression and anxiety didn’t enter her head, as I am not a person. I was suffering too, alone. I had my first panic attack at some time during sixth form, late at night, I now realize triggered by cold medication that contained caffeine. I didn’t know that’s what it was, didn’t do anything or tell anyone. I tried to explain the medication had made me feel strange the next day, but was laughed at by youngest sister and mother, of course I must be wrong, and stupid. I was made to take more. I didn’t drink caffeine for weeks and still can’t finish a cup of coffee or tea.
I am the joke failure of course, I mentioned S and mother mocked ‘unrequited love’ (untrue, he did have feelings) and youngest sister laughed at me too, at my not wanting to eat Greek food at that time. Of course my feelings could never be returned by anyone, I am a joke, who would want me. The last time I saw them, I hang out with loser stoners apparently and ‘liaise’ (I dared to write this on a job application once and it became a joke) and expected ‘accompanying’ to the station, which I didn’t?! I tried to do a nice thing oh but I am not allowed to, I am snapped at if I do, I am the black sheep so in the family role of useless joke who couldn’t possibly be supportive or offer anything. I am accused of being selfish, of never doing anything for anyone – they don’t ask, wouldn’t let me, as I said, I am useless. They are the ones that shut me out. Of course, whatever birthday or Christmas presents I buy for my niece and nephew are wrong, or they have too much stuff (I do understand families can be inundated with toys and don’t buy loads of stuff or plastic tat, and do reign myself in). Actually the presents I buy for adults are wrong too, I get snarky comments (body butter and sets for example), I thought people show appreciation for present seven if they aren’t thrilled, and have done so with many things myself. If I dared not fall over with gratitude I would be wrong, I fact the present as a teen that was a joke to make fun of me I said something that was taken the wrong way and youngest sister went off upset, and I was evil and insensitive (I would have been mocked for being in a ‘strop’ had I done so but anyone else’s feelings matter, and I was excoriated even though I hadn’t meant to be nasty at all. I am not allowed feelings, my mother has empathy and care for anyone but me, anyone else can be suffering and depressed but I need to get a grip, it’s all in my head, pathetic, stupid, I’m a disaster, a lazy slob, there she goes again, had enough of trying to make her feel better, unleash a barrage of abuse. Oh and I am self-pitying, yes actually infertility is agony and I get to be in pain about it, am abnormal aberration freak and get to feel like that – but not to them. She has never once understood anything I felt, never simply empathised and said ‘that must be difficult’ or something, never listened, no, I don’t deserve that. I am always wrong.
If my sisters say someone has done something to them (for instance, the youngest said a boss at work patronised her) she listens and takes their side, if I dare to I am imagining things or caused the situation (I am always wrong). She didn’t believe I was bullied at school or work, didn’t believe what I said about the appalling way L treated me, didn’t believe I was abused by mental health staff. When I called her devastated that L had ended our so-called relationship, she told me to ‘have some self-respect’ – anyone else’ heartbreak would matter. When I was in a hostel I once accidentally locked myself out late at night (yes I had ordered a pizza, oooh how dare I eat), I had forgotten the key card (the only time in six months there), the hostel was unstaffed at night so I called the emergency phone number given in a notice by reception and asked what to do. I was understandably panicked. This was a homeless hostel. Who knew what predatory males, alcoholics and drug addicts lived there. I had pyjamas and a dressing gown on, nothing but my phone, which I had fortunately taken in case the delivery person couldn’t find the hostel (I had paid online so had no money on me). There was no communal area. I was at no point rude or aggressive – I was polite and apologetic, as you would be. Yes, I became distressed. The staff member who answered the phone got aggressive, castigating me for the late hour and waking him up and his child (if you choose to do a job that involves being on call for emergencies and know you are on call, maybe have a different system that won’t wake others in your household then). He was very reluctant to come out and castigated me that he would have to get a taxi. I didn’t enjoy this, and wasn’t bothering him for fun. I would have been at risk, either from others in the hostel or myself, had I been left out in the hall…I had no way of getting a hotel, and couldn’t have afforded to…I would have ben a risk to myself. I had also been traumatised by nights on the streets before. He finally came out, continuing to be aggressive, to the point he was in my room haranguing me and I felt threatened. I was not given the chance to speak and frankly didn’t feel apologetic after being treated like this. Why should I feel guilty for a simple mistake? It wasn’t as if I could have got a spare key cut. I was actually scared of what he was going to do, and relieved when he had finished and left my room. When he was on reception over the next few days I rushed by, avoiding speaking or eye contact, as I didn’t want yet more berating. As it happened I then moved out. my mother came to help me and this guy accosted us as we carried stuff, and claimed to my mother I had shouted – I hadn’t – ‘threatened suicide’ (I had accurately stated I would be a risk to myself with nowhere safe to spend the night), promised to pay for his taxi (I didn’t), not apologised (see, why should I have after the way he treated me, and I wasn’t allowed to get a word in anyway) and other lies, ‘all for a pizza’ (remember, I had been made to feel fat and mocked for eating). Of course she sided with him and didn’t allow me to speak in my defence, as usual, humiliating me.
I heard her on the phone to another parent saying my middle sister (we were both teens) had been accused of bullying, saying she was so lovely and would never do that. Given the way she treated me, I wouldn’t be surprised if she did. Had I been the one accused (and I never bullied anyone) I would have been castigated and she would have discussed how horrible I am and apologised for my existence.
Ah yes, the way middle sister treated me growing up, yes, I have explained I was constantly wrong and corrected, she was often incredibly nasty and hurtful, I would be so upset that she disliked me so much (privately, no point saying anything, my feelings didn’t matter), it felt like constant psychological attack, I didn’t know when the next barb was coming. Mother and other sister told me off because she felt I was scared of her – honestly, I was. I wasn’t deliberately doing anything but I did feel that way and avoid her. Yet only her side mattered. As usual, mine didn’t.
She claims I never ‘admit to anything’, which is completely untrue, I constantly scrutinise myself – because of this background – and ‘admit’ plenty, even to family although their constant criticising and scrutiny and putting me in the wrong inevitably makes me defensive. She wants me to scrutinise every tiny act and word in case it might inadvertently, horror, upset, harm or slightly inconvenience someone – my existence should be devoted to others, I should be perfect, I am not allowed to have needs. I simply do not matter; other people do. What she wants is for me to be as invisible, unobtrusive and small as possible, never to impact on anyone or have a voice, and if I fail I am bad and berated for it, for everything, always, to be my fault, for me to bow down and admit I am a terrible person. She thinks she is stronger than me and like it that way. She gets aggressive and angry at me if debating politics, calling me stupid and prejudiced (against the Cameron government) and so on. She talks down to me as if I am useless. She seems to always have a simmering undercurrent of anger at me, and I don’t know why – she will get angry and explode at me, and I hear what a terrible person I am, that she doesn’t love me – yes she has more or less said these things, the.actual.words. – if I improved myself I would make myself more loveable, sorry she can’t be all lovey but she doesn’t feel that way, I should get a life, I am selfish and everyone else thinks so, weird, strange, inconsiderate, self-absorbed. If I freeze up at these attacks due to anxiety and can’t speak it is seen as rudeness or abnormality and mocked, anything I say is wrong and provokes more anger, the way I speak is mocked. I freeze and am paralysed with fear at stressful situations that remind me of times I was exploded at, excoriated for my response, can’t deal with any kind of pressure, someone being angry or distressed, I flash back to making her even more angry and being told my response was useless and pathetic. She has driven dangerously scaring me (once the police followed her and this was my fault, for not seeing her car in the dark or realising she couldn’t stop, I don’t drive, why not stop somewhere that was convenient and let me know). The constant criticism from before I can remember to well, the other day. I am excoriated for crimes such as assuming a computer with no-one at it was not being used, yes my sister had just gone to get a drink or whatever it was but instead of saying ‘actually I was using that and just stepped away for a moment’ like a normal person, to which I would happily have let her resume and probably apologised, she ran to mother to tell tales (we were both young adults at this point) who immediately had a go at me. I overcooked a pizza and was told off and had a go at, then told I ‘had a tantrum’ for daring to be upset. Anyone can make mistakes. Only I am not allowed to and viciously scolded. I am not allowed to do anything but others can. On one occasion we were out for dinner at a Moroccan restaurant and I spilled a bit of sauce on the table, sister told me I was a slob, I was castigated by everyone and accused of ruining the evening, of course by the end of the meal everyone had pretty much spilled some sauce as happens when you have large communal pots of food and serve yourself, but no, I was the one not allowed to do it and excoriated. On that same trip to a country abroad where we lived briefly, mother reduced me to tears because I dared to straighten my hair before bed, had told me she didn’t believe I was being bullied at work and it was me, ‘no wonder she (bully) couldn’t stand me’ at the airport. Middle sister was worshipped for living there (I have travelled but of course it wasn’t as good, to mother, as my sisters’) and for buying everyone dinner (just from a stall). I was harangued to buy a round when I had been about to offer to do so as yes, I was aware it was my turn, and sister sneerily said ‘you’ll get it back, that’s what a round is’, I was merely a little upset because I had been accused of not buying, I misheard what drink sister wanted and panicked as I am always wrong and stupid, mother was standing over me (too stupid even to order drinks I see, although she denied this later) and berated me, apparently the bartender thought I was odd and a normal person would have apologised for getting it wrong and asked if said other drink was OK which is exactly what I did, and the berating went on, I was generally evil. I went to the toilet and self-harmed, the first time I had done so. I was made to feel I didn’t do anything, and sister was wonderful, it was a Christmas trip and as usual the presents I got everyone were wrong, and I was selfish and evil.
Woe betide me if I drop something. They wonder why I am defensive. I wouldn’t dare make the tiniest negative comment about her cooking. I had dreams about her emotional torture in which I just wanted her to not constantly criticise and reassure and she wouldn’t. She does not care how I feel, does not care about me. You don’t say the million hurtful things, behave in that way to someone you love.
Sisters don’t bother with me. They made it clear growing up I was invisible and they weren’t bothered about my existence, preferring each other, and do so now. I have had enough of being made to feel unwanted and pathetic for daring to have wanted a relationship with them, so I gave up bothering. They clearly do not want a relationship with me.
The mother is patronisingly ‘affectionately dismissive’ (Marian Keyes’ term) at best. I am a joke, nothing, little (non-)person of no consequence. She has no sense of boundaries and told anyone (her ‘friends’, other family members) my private information. She sides with anyone but me, would believe I had done anything, rob a bank, murder someone, she clearly thinks I am a terrible person. I don’t matter. I can never be myself with them, am not a person to them, just the role of the stupid freak little thing to be patronised. They will probably laugh at this together.
She insisted I come to live with her when I wasn’t coping in London but kept reminding me how in the way I was, how much I was costing her (I did pay rent and split food), how I didn’t do anything (but when I did it was wrong, see cooking), that I was causing mould by having showers (I wasn’t actually showering much at all, I was too depressed, and if I did I opened the window), and ruining the worktops and so on. As usual, I was wrong and ruined everything just by existing. Yet more guilt, and self-loathing. I got increasingly ill but was just made to feel like an annoyance, finally gave in and texted her late at night (not thinking she would get it until morning) pouring out my distress, that everyone would be better off if I was dead, and just got her storming into the room castigating me for being ‘bloody pathetic’. She then chucked me out and wasn’t concerned I was basically on the streets.
They won’t believe me until I am gone, like everyone they think I am only out for attention. The mother laughed at me for ‘calling ambulances’ when in crisis, for only taking ‘a few pills’, and made it clear she didn’t take me seriously (and had a phone conversation with L out how horrible and not serious I was). She keeps telling me I ‘blame’ others, should ‘take responsibility’, the people who abused me (police and mental health services) didn’t or it was my fault, I ‘chose’ to leave hospital when I had been discharged oh and ‘for fuck’s sake’ and she was on her way to my sister’s. As usual I didn’t matter. As usual she doesn’t care about me.
The relentless bullying at school, all the way through, in several different schools. I was too short, too shy, dared to like schoolwork, work hard and behave (most of the time) and actually read for leisure. As I said above, I was just a freak, different. The constant verbal abuse, mocking, insults, oh I’m sorry ‘teasing’ to school – I really wish they wouldn’t call it that, teasing is something done in an affectionate way and despite what one idiot teacher thought there was none of that, relentless verbal abuse, insulting, mocking IS bullying and it wears away your self-esteem. Oh there was the putting water in my boots, taking stuff, physical intimidation and the odd sexual remark too. But it’s the constant reminder that you are at best a joke, inadequate, different that really destroy. Partway though Year 10 we moved abroad, and I was merely ostracised at the new ‘nicer’ school. I didn’t know how to make friends, to seem friendly and when you are already convinced you are unlikeable, lacking in self-esteem, you expect to be excluded. I was excluded at sixth form college, too. Even those ‘friends’ I did have realised I was at the bottom of the social hierarchy and treated me accordingly, putting me down. So many teachers noti9ced I was isolated, not one helped. Ah, teachers. I dreaded reports, despite being intelligent – there would be the isolated, too quiet, too shy comments, a couple of teachers claiming to have made efforts to help me they clearly didn’t, it was made clear this was a character flaw. Why a teacher would write that a vulnerable teenage child was ‘aloof’, didn’t have friends, quiet and not offer to help – it wasn’t concern, it was an attack on my personality. One school made the mistake of calling my mother and instead of any concern or help from her, I got a verbal bashing, and the ‘communication problem’ remark at the dinner table. No, school didn’t offer any help. None of them did. I was breaking. I can see now I was depressed and anxious as a teenager. The constant bullying had done its work. Yet as usual, I was the problem, no-one else. At sixth form college, a tutor asked the mother what was wrong with me and of course they had a nice talk about this, which really helped, he then ‘spoke to’ me, yet again I was fundamentally abnormal and flawed and wrong. He even wrote about it in my report which I asked him to please remove as the mother would just have a go at me again, of course he told her this at parents’ evening. I wanted to become a doctor but was told by everyone I was too quiet and shy and didn’t have people skills. The college basically told me they wouldn’t be writing a supportive reference – they said this was being open, but I never did see the reference – I didn’t get in. What a boost for a fragile teenager’s self-esteem. I did do well in my A-levels and went to uni to do something else. This college, ironically, put my photo and a little statement among the ‘high achieving students’ bit of their open evening presentation, which my sister saw as a prospective student – the first I’d heard of it. Yes, they hadn’t bothered to ask or even inform me.
This is only part one, but you see why I have concluded I am a freak and worthless.
You hear of funerals where everyone says nice things about the deceased, but I can’t imagine anyone will have anything good to say about me. I am a useless eater. I could have been something, many things…but I’m not…I am a joke freak, should never have been born at all.