Looking for a Scapegoat (comments are now closed)

I am not doing well. In fact, emotionally speaking, this is the worst I have been in a long time.

It’s embarrassing…. humiliating…. and humbling to admit this.  I thought  I was so much healthier than this!  I had healed so much. I had learned, and grown, and blossomed, spreading my wings and flying so far…. all those happy, la la land metaphors.

My blog is about HEALING from PTSD, for heaven’s sake!  I have a page posted at the top of my blog entitled “How to Heal  PTSD,” which lists all the different therapeutic methods and self-help books that have helped me immeasurably. And I really, truly have come incredibly far from where I was when I was in my worst, most crazy-broken-shattered-insane condition.

My tablet wants to know if crazy-broken-shattered-insane needs to be added to the dictionary. Uhm….no.

You know what’s weird? You can’t tell by looking at me right now that I feel like H-E-Double-L warmed over. At least, I don’t think other people can tell. The face I see in the mirror looks exactly the same as it did when I was feeling perfectly fine. Even my eyes look the same — nothing like the scared rabbit look I expected to see there. And no one among my acquaintances has looked at me recently and asked in alarm “Is something WRONG?” —  the way people used to do, when I wasn’t doing so great.

What’s that about? On the inside,  I feel like the world is ending, but it’s like somebody forgot to notify my face.

Not that I’m complaining, mind you. The last thing I want is to walk around looking like the “before” half of an ad for a psychotropic medication. …..

OK, maybe that’s not the LAST thing I want. Another holocaust or a nuclear war would be last. Which is still a ridiculous thing to say, because I don’t want any of these things, not first, not last: NEVER. What I really mean to say is I felt relieved, when I looked into the mirror awhile ago, and I did not see anything in my eyes or on my face that gave the slightest hint of the turmoil I feel raging inside.

But seeing my expression looking so serene made me feel oddly disconnected, too. It’s as if my inner being has somehow detached or dissociated from my face. This isn’t something I am doing on purpose. I am not trying to wear a false front or a mask. It’s just somehow there.

Now I have to wonder: how many ordinary, normal looking people are walking around among us every day, feeling like they are teetering on the brink of shattering into a million pieces? It’s a horrible thought!  I wouldn’t wish this turmoil I have inside me right now, on anyone else. Not even on my worst  enemy. (I did have to think about that for a minute, though.)

Anyway, “normal” looking face aside, WHY do I feel like 50 shades of rotten right now? What is wrong with me?

Huh… the first thing that popped into my head, when  I wrote the last sentence, was how many times I heard this from my mother as I was growing up: What is WRONG with you, Linda?

But my mother is in her 80s now and I am in my 60s. What she said to me so long ago should no longer apply. I don’t care what the definition of PTSD is right now, I just want to Get Over It, Already.

Which is exactly what my mother has been telling me to do for most of my life, about… everything. “Get Over it already, get out of the past, live in today.” No “I’m really sorry for all the trauma and abuse and the lies I told about you, how can I make it right?” Just “I had problems when you were a kid, but that was then and this is now, so Get Over It.”

I have been no contact with my mother for a few years now — ever since shortly after May 2011, when she showed me how well she lives in today rather than in the past, by sending me a 62 page hate letter, telling me everything that was ever “wrong” with me in my entire life, and she gave copies of that letter to my siblings and my aunt, so they could fully appreciate all the (twisted lying) reasons why I have been her scapegoat since 1967.

But, even though we have been no contact since shortly after that, and although I really have, by the grace of God, forgiven my mother to the best of my human ability, and have left her in His hands, praying that God will fix whatever is wrong with her — still, that cutting, unloving, critical voice lives on in my head.

Until recently, I thought I had managed to leave most of the past in the past.  I thought I had found a way to get over most of my traumas. I was functioning and feeling the best that I ever have — and then, suddenly, WhAm!! Out of nowhere, I took several giant leaps backwards in my therapeutic journey.

I feel like what happened to a college professor I knew years ago. Her specialty was higher mathematics: algebra, trigonometry. Then she had a heart attack, and lost most of her math skills in the brief time that her oxygen supply was cut off from her brain. She had to start all over again, relearning the times tables.

Right now,  I think  I would feel relieved to find out that  I have a serious heart condition or cancer or something like that, because then  I could point to that thing and say “There! This is my problem, right here! I have every right to feel 50 shades of horrible, because of this thing that I cannot help!”

I know,  I know… people who have a serious heart condition or cancer, or who have a loved one one with one or both of these serious conditions, are going to read this and think: “Linda Lee is CRAZY. Not only that, she’s STUPID.  I (or my loved one) has cancer (and/or a really bad heart), and  I (he/she/they) would give anything to have a rotten mood, instead!”

Which is another reason why I temporarily disabled comments on this blog. I can heckle myself just fine, thank you, I don’t need anyone’s help with that.

But really, although I may in fact be both crazy and stupid, I do know  what I am talking about. My best friend husband has had two heart  attacks (his daughter says he’s actually had three, one many years before  I knew him, which he has apparently forgotten. My husband says this may be true, for he has forgotten many things because of his heart attacks.) Also, when I was in my late thirties, I had a potentially deadly heart arrhythmia which has since been brought under control. My dad died at the age 53 of a heart attack. So trust me, I am not making light of serious heart conditions.

And as for cancer,  I have watched many friends and loved ones die of that terrible disease. For the last two weeks of her life, I spent every night sitting at the bedside of my dear friend and neighbor, as lung cancer destroyed her body and mind. Plus, when  I was 26 years old, I had cancer. The pathologist’s report said that the cancer appeared to have already invaded my endocrine system, which I knew meant an automatic death sentence, barring a miracle.

SCARED? Oh man, I was stark raving TERRIFIED!! At that age, I still thought I was virtually immortal. I had two young children and most of my life still ahead of me, and suddenly, without warning, I had cancer spreading throughout my entire body?

But either the pathologist was wrong, or I did experience a miracle, because more than 35 years have passed and I am still here, apparently cancer free! Most of the time I am very thankful for this. But right now, with the inexplicable way I have been feeling inside, I need…  I need….  a SCAPEGOAT to blame this on!!

Which brings me to the title of this post. Just before I started writing this, I was swirling around in my head, trying to figure out WHAT — or WHO — is to blame for my 50 shades of feeling horrible.

I thought of this person, who said this wrong thing to me recently, and I thought of that person, who failed to say something right that they “should have said.” Then I thought of someone else, who did this thing, or failed to do that thing…. and suddenly…. SUDDENLY…..  I realized:

“I  am looking for a SCAPEGOAT.  I, the scapegoat in my family of origin, the one who was unfairly blamed for things I had no control over, the one my abusers projected their sins onto, with character-assassinating lies and by blaming the victim…. I am looking for a Scapegoat of my own to Blame!”

Geez, I thought… so THAT’S how it happens.

scapegoating

Maybe there really isn’t anyone for me to blame right now. And maybe I am not dying of some exotic, undiscovered disease. Maybe this is just me, with Post-traumatic Stress Disorder.

PTSD, the gift that keeps on giving. Especially during the holidays, for so many reasons, but primarily because Christmas time is when my worst trauma happened.

I guess I’m not the poster person for Healing From PTSD, after all…

~ ~ ~

Comments are open below because, who am I kidding, my memoir writing has once again come to a standstill. However, being a lot more dysfunctional lately than I have been in a long time, please don’t take it personally if  I don’t approve or answer your comment right away.

Thank you for reading, and God bless. Bah Humbug…  I mean, Merry  Christmas!   🙂

 

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56 thoughts on “Looking for a Scapegoat (comments are now closed)

  1. dbest1ishere December 16, 2016 / 12:44 pm

    I am sorry that you are feeling this way. PTSD is indeed as you put it the gift that keeps on giving. 😦 It’s hard to say what brought all of this on, the holidays are certainly a time that really triggers me as well. I have a lot of horrible memories that happened around them. Please hang in there as that is sometimes all we can do.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Prairie Girl December 16, 2016 / 1:06 pm

    I’m always so happy to see a post of yours to read. And the added bonus of being able to comment is great!

    I wonder if what you had recently wrote about in a prior post had caused enough temporary stress to put you off of your equilibrium. I know it can happen to me. Nonetheless, something has put you off kilter and I know it could even had been a small thing. It doesn’t take much.

    I’m going through something similar right now and that is the reason I haven’t written much lately, not wanting to bring everyone down during Christmas! But your post has encouraged me to do so as I think writing about it will help.

    One of the things I’m going to be mentioning is what you’ve touched on in this post – the wishing that there was something a little more ‘serious’ that could justify the need to unplug from life as other people live it, as far as other people may be concerned. And, yes, cancer is a good one. Cancer shuts people up right away and remove any expectations off of you. As it should, of course. But sometimes we wish we had a magical ‘word’ or diagnosis that could do the same for us because we have the same need to be pressure-free to heal.

    I wish i lived near you and we could have a lazy do-nothing day where we have a needlessly expensive cup of mocha in a coffee house and look through some shops and maybe find inexpensive treasures to buy for ourselves. But, for the sake of reality, I just wish and pray for you a wonderful cozy day where you do a little something for yourself that makes you feel a little happier and calmer.

    Liked by 2 people

      • Shattered in Him December 17, 2016 / 9:04 am

        I wish I had seen this yesterday! So, I am a day late and probably even a dollar short. I am doing a little happy dance to see your comments open. But, I am not doing a happy dance to see what is going on. I read this post with my heart twisted up for you and also thinking, “Yes! You say it, girl! Say it!!”

        I have been feeling the same way lately; what happened to the progress? I feel knocked backward and wondering how many times a person can break in one lifetime. I loved this post. And, I too, often find myself wondering if other people are just as shattered or are they really as ‘happy’ as they seem?

        People don’t want to address the woes and the ills that tear the heart to shreds. People want image, a mask, a facade. Girl, I cannot even tell you the things I have heard my own people saying about me all the while I was in the hospital alone, sitting at home alone on the holidays, and desperate to love and be loved. It does not compute in any way, shape, or form. If any of my people had been in my shoes, I would have RUN to them and cried and held their hand and asked, “What can I do? Do you know how much I love you? What can I do?”

        Anyway, I don’t want to go off on a tangent or make this about me, but just know you are not alone in your head-space. Your feelings are VALID. The way you were affected by all that happened is REAL. And, nuts to anyone who wants to tell you, me, or anyone else to “just get over it”.

        Hugging you all of the hugs and saying all of the prayers!

        Liked by 2 people

        • Linda Lee/@LadyQuixote December 17, 2016 / 9:35 am

          Do you know how wonderful and beautiful you are? I am speechless, now.

          Please feel free to write all that you want to about yourself here. That’s how we relate and know that we aren’t alone.

          Liked by 2 people

    • Shattered in Him December 17, 2016 / 8:43 am

      I have been missing your posts and now I understand completely. You are in my prayers.

      Like

  3. Alexis Rose December 16, 2016 / 1:19 pm

    I feel your pain and frustration. You are not alone when you think you’re doing fine and then BAM symptoms just blind side you. And also the outside looking like everything is okay while your insides feel tattered. PTSD is a mean illness thats for sure! Im sending lots of hugs and support to you. You aren’t alone, although I know it sure feels like it sometime and you are healing everyday. Take good care my friend. 💕 Alexis

    Liked by 2 people

  4. Object of Contempt December 16, 2016 / 5:23 pm

    It’s the holiday season, with all its stress. The sun goes down too stinking early. There are a million possibilities. But, I’ve been a scapegoat, too. I know the real reason you feel miserable …. it’s *my* fault! 😉

    I hope you won’t be offended by my wry humor. Sometimes a chuckle helps a lot to boost my mood.

    I have prayed, and will pray for you.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Linda Lee/@LadyQuixote December 16, 2016 / 5:59 pm

      Oh my gosh, your wry humor is exactly what I needed. Thank you, fellow brother scapegoat friend!

      Liked by 1 person

    • Little Shepherd Girl December 17, 2016 / 5:15 am

      Object of Contempt, I think your name has a wry sense of humor to it. I like to say I am a little girl with a curl in the middle of my forehead… When I am good I am criticized anyway!

      Liked by 1 person

  5. luckyotter December 16, 2016 / 6:31 pm

    Linda Lee, you are neither crazy or stupid. It’s weird but it seems like SO MANY people are feeling really down and really depressed and really crazy right now. I’m not sure what it is, exactly. Sometimes I feel like the world is about to end. I can relate to everything you wrote, because I have been feeling much this way too. (and wearing a false calm face) I think this “false front” (even though that’s not really what it is) is really a form of dissociation. I want to reblog this post. Big hugs to someone who has always been there for me. ❤

    Liked by 2 people

  6. luckyotter December 16, 2016 / 6:33 pm

    Reblogged this on Lucky Otters Haven and commented:
    I think a lot of us can relate to this post right now. I know I can relate to it. The season really gets me down, but it’s more than that. I can’t pinpoint what it is though. I’ve also been noticing how many others seem to feel like they’re losing their minds or the world’s about to end. Linda Lee has always been there for me when I need her; I know I can’t do much but she needs big hugs from her WordPress friends right now.

    Liked by 2 people

  7. Little Shepherd Girl December 16, 2016 / 9:05 pm

    I read this post with great empathy. Here is a great big cyber hug from me to you. If you were here, it would come with an offer of chai, peppermint tea or gingerbread.

    My mother has jealous schizophrenia, is well into her 80’s, and has operated like such a genius sociopath to slander me to relatives, friends and my business connections for years.

    First let me say that no, I don’t believe you will become a narcissist who scapegoats others, simply because there are times that you are highly sensitive, and trigger readily.

    Being too judgmental against yourself only makes complex post traumatic stress disorder and its subsequent periods of depression worse. I remember one time yelling at the poor, young, disinterested pharmacist woman, when I could not get my blood pressure medication refilled.

    Was I to become a chronic pharmacist verbal abuser, just because I had gone a long time without sleep, was having heart palpitations and triggering easily?

    No, of course not.

    I got some sleep and apologized, the next time I got my prescription filled.

    I realized that it is not grandiose thinking to assure oneself that most people could not even survive what I have been through, my mother in her psychosis, bludgeoning me in the face, when I was just a small child. Survived, overcome and thrived. And when I thrived, guess what, I didn’t apologize for it, or minimize it. I learned it is ok to love oneself, that in fact, GOD wants us to. We should all mother ourselves with such self assuring statements of reality, in times of stress, or self questioning uncertainty.

    But moreover, I have a theory to your current state of mind.

    I do not believe it is like a mathematician who suddenly cannot add, or an alcoholic, who resorts to alcohol after twenty years sober.

    No, with CPTSD it is different.

    Please, hear me out on this.

    One of my favorite writers, CS Lewis, wrote:

    “A sum can be put right: but only by going back til you find the error and working it afresh from that point, never by simply going on. Evil can be undone, but it cannot ‘develop’ into good. Time does not heal it. The spell must be unwound, bit by bit, ‘with backward mutters of dissevering power’ –or else not.”

    So do not listen to anyone who tells you to “get on with your life”, if by that they mean a prohibition to stop analyzing the past, a past which, by birthright, is yours. It is yours to flip if you want, discover the paradox of it, how the suffering of your past can actually bring you the joy you deserve today. Too many counsellors are counselling PTSD patients who have no idea how to CURE PTSD.

    Usually abusers say “don’t look back” as well, particularly maternal narcissists, because they do not want you to find out the extent of the secrets they kept, your “birthright”, which of course involves your innocence, their guilt, and how they imposed that sense of guilt wrongly on you.

    If there is something still bothering you about your mother, your body and your emotions are telling you the truth, not lying, only it is not an unease YOU are supposed to burden, but one wrongly IMPOSED on you.

    Perhaps your mood is telling you you need to review the past once again, because there’s a truth you know that you are not consciously aware of, and it needs to come out. Only the fullness of truth will set you fully free. Perhaps there is something more you deserve to find out, you “need” to find out, that your mother is hiding, that will help you when you realize what it is, before she dies.

    Your mood might be a gift from God so you give a final mental tug on the “cancer” inherited inside of you, that will free you of it forever. You need to have a clear view of reality, to mentally operate, and moreover, a clear view, IS the only operation you might need. You are a good, innocent person. God wants you to know this, and to have happiness in this life, as well as the next.

    For no child is born guilty of anything, or deserving of a life of unease, or PTSD, and if you could see your past more clearly, remember it more clearly this day, this truth would register as reality, and the fog of vague unease disappate into a gounded, free and happy reality.

    (Oh, that’s the way it is! Oh that’s how happy I can be! Mom knew it. She didn’t want me to see it. She was jealous of my innocence. Poor Mom. I pity her. Oh well.)

    This is not scapegoating your mother.

    This is just viewing reality proportionately to what it actually is. When your sense of reality is proportionate to what reality actually IS, when you have completely unravelled your past to the reality of your innocence, you will have no desire to scapegoat anyone, ever.

    When I started trusting my moods, but not reading them as a reason to self blame, I found out amazing things about myself that set me free.

    One of them (just one sweet little surprise) was that I actually had an adopted sister that my mother had kept from me for fifty years. My intuitions were, guess what… correct. I was missing her, feeling sorry for me and my sister, without even realizing it. I found out the negative moods that were imposed on me in my subconcious from childhood, were a guilt I had wrongly carried for my mother for too many years, and once I realized this, my mother’s old mental tricks against me no longer worked.

    Your mother may die soon. You are not doing her any favors by carrying the burden that is hers to bear, not yours. I hope this lengthy mental proposition and meandering helps you discover the happiness that you surely deserve. Christmas Peace to All.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Linda Lee/@LadyQuixote December 17, 2016 / 5:31 am

      Thank you so much for your empathy, compassion, and deep insights. Also, it’s good to know that I’m not the only one who writes very long comments. 😀

      I am sorry that your mom has schizophrenia. My dad was diagnosed with schizophrenia when I was 12, this was right after he almost murdered my mother. Dad was arrested the next day, then hospitalized because his diabetes put him in a comatose state without his insulin. After they treated his diabetes in the emergency room, they put my dad on the psych ward, where he was diagnosed with schizophrenia. This was in 1965, when the criteria for a schizophrenic diagnosis was very different than it is today. It was more of a catch-all diagnosis back then.

      A few years later, my dad’s diagnosis was changed to multiple personality disorder, which today is called dissociative identity disorder. My dad definitely had more than one distinctively different personality living inside him, that’s for sure! One of his personalities was a very loving, caring, moral dad. Another personality was terrifying in the extreme. My dad’s main personality was very religious, a preacher. He was the pastor of our Christian church, very strict, everything was a sin. Another personality was a hippie pot smoking motorcycle riding Buddhist.

      If your mother’s “schizophrenia” was anything like my dad’s, I know what hell it was for you to grow up with that. To my knowledge, my own mother never went to a therapist or a psychiatrist in her life, so she never received a psychiatric label. However, as crazy as my dad was, my mother was worse, especially after my dad almost killed her. Understandably, my mother went into a deep depression after that. While my dad was in the psych hospital, our family had no income at all. My mother could not get a job, because she had no high school diploma and at the time she had five children. Like I said, I was 12, but the other four kids were ages 5 and under. I was the only one in school.

      So we ran out of money, ran out of food, our only car was taken, and our house went into foreclosure. Then, a few months later, my deeply depressed and traumatized mother tried to gas us all to death. This happened around Christmas time, when I was twelve years old.

      I know this is part of the reason why Christmas is hard for me. But it happened more than fifty years ago, and I have had a lot of therapy since then. Other Decembers haven’t been nearly this hard. I thought I was over it. But now… I just want spring to get here.

      Thank you again for being so understanding. I am just very sorry that your understanding came out of your own terrible nightmare of growing up with a severely mentally ill mother. ((HUG))

      Like

      • Little Shepherd Girl December 17, 2016 / 11:27 am

        I am humbled to hear what you went through as a child, and feel even more honored now to know you. Please let me re-emphasize, my understanding (and even the joy and gratitude I feel today) came right out of my feelings of angst, suffering and sorrow, in a beautiful and paradoxical way.

        It is very hard to put into words, despite my lengthy writing…and I feel compelled to try to explain more.

        I have seen you mention God, so I will tell you there is an expression for what I am trying to say. It is called the Mystery of one’s personal Redemption. For most of my life I got this mystery wrong, because I believed wrongly that all my childhood suffering was necessary to “redeem me from my sins”.

        I remember noticing one day, many years much healthier, while following that natural compulsion to revisit the past, that many things abusive people did to me in my life, and even the very words my mother would say to me, seemed like something the devil would say to me. They were accusatorial, and NOT true.

        I realized the “jealous” in some kinds of schizophrenia, and most all kinds of abuse.

        Jealousy is the very nature of Satan, who is jealous God chose to become human at Christmas, not an angel of light like him.

        And it is jealousy therefore that Satan tempts a lot of mentally ill with, to make the lives of the innocent difficult, because he cannot get to, or attack the innocent and sane directly. Jealousy was something I could not wrap my head around, that anyone could be jealous of me, given the state of my life at the time, but man, when I look back today, I know it is so true.

        This was freeing, when I realized that abusive people target people with the qualities that they are jealous of, not that their victims lack: innocence, intelligence, inner or outer beauty. Abusers do not want you to find out you are putting them to shame, not the other way around.

        I think of how obvious it is the jealousy and guilt and shame of Lucky Otter’s disgruntled relatives and naysayers, who pick on her for having a successful blog.

        She is a wonderful person and extremely articulate, and DESERVES success, adulation, joy, and to feel good about what she is doing. There is no sin in that. She should continue to love herself and make use of the many talents God gave her.

        Further healing came when I really accepted the fact that if discouragement is a weapon of the devil, the “opposite must be true” applies with depression and descouragement as well. I must have talents, intelligence, kindness, much joy in store for me, etcetera.

        So, if you feel discouragement (it’s a lie, a trick!) about something good, like Christmas, know the opposite must be true. Christmas was meant to be a time of great and ecstatic JOY for you in particular. Perhaps the “dark forces” tried to destroy you once upon a Christmas, specifically, so long ago, for precisely that reason.

        Christmas is all about the Mystery of Redemption. Christ IS the Mystery of our Redemption, and He is also Truth, Love and Joy. The thing that sets us free from sadness is a Person. Imagine that.

        That little child in the cold and the hay was particularly like you, I can’t help noticing, in more ways than most people could ever claim to say.

        Remember the slaughter of the innocents, Satan inspiring the jealous king to kill the first born sons, in hopes he’d prevent the predicted kingship of Christ?

        If you suffered so intensely and of course undeservedly as a child, if satan tried to enduce your mother to despair and kill everyone on Christmas, that must mean that satan, the dark forces, really didn’t want you to discover the joy and happiness in life that God must have in store for you.

        Moreover, he doesn’t want you to discover how much more proportionately God chose you, protected you and loves you. He doesn’t want you to discover how generous and GOOD God is, all the gifts he gave you, and has more to give you, and how Mary and Jesus have carried you in their arms all along, keeping you safe, because you are THAT special to them and needed in this world. In fact are doing for the world something that no other person can. To do them all you will need JOY and God will certainly provide.

        Satan has some knowledge of this truth, especially about you.

        THAT is why you have suffered so extra much, because you are extra special in the eyes of God. Satan targets you because he is JEALOUS, jealous of the love and JOY God has in store for you. That is the secret, the Mystery of your Redemption (suffering).

        The answer to the mystery is that even in this life, God can turn our tears of the greatest sorrow into JOY. They were meant to be turned, and flipped right around, our stubborn joy thrown right back into the devil’s face. Let’s not fall for cheap tricks like discouragement. It’s just an illusion, that fog of depression.

        And that Charlie Brown, is what Christmas is all about.

        (LOL)

        But seriously, when I went to a PTSD therapist she said that everything I am trying to explain spiritually here was right out of the book for RECOVERY from PTSD related depression.

        I have also read some recent excellent books on the need to “revisit the past” (not to be confused with dwelling or obsessing on negative things). It is this looking at the past through a new lens, and discovering a truth and reality (like those who embrace intense sorrow were destined to embrace intense joy in this life and the next) that gives happy and permanent resolve. God is never unfair.

        Christmas doesn’t mean we won’t suffer anymore, but it does mean that suffering can be flipped into JOY. And this is my wish and prayer for you and all those that innocently suffer. When united with Christ’s sufferings to redeem the world we can also share in His infinite joy. Hope this helps.

        Liked by 1 person

        • Linda Lee/@LadyQuixote December 17, 2016 / 2:05 pm

          Thank you. I especially like what you said about looking at the past through a new lens — not, as you said, to dwell and obsess on negative things, but to look at our lives through His truth.

          This I do believe: although we may temporarily suffer in this brief life, God will turn it into an eternal joy, if we keep our trust in Him. He has already done this for me, in many areas of my life.

          Yes, what you said about the evil nature of jealousy. I experienced a lot of that too, with my mother. It is hard to comprehend how a mother can be deathly jealous of her daughter.

          Two years ago, I spent ten days with my daughter in the Beverly Hills home of an actor friend of hers. Although my daughter and the actor were never more than platonic friends, it made me happy to see that such a handsome man obviously really likes my daughter — even though he is much closer to my age, than to hers. But I am very happily married and I am too old now for flirtations, anyway.

          At one point, when my daughter and Richard were talking and laughing together, as my heart swelled up with happiness for my daughter, my mind flashed to my mother. I thought of the way she competed with me, even coming on to my first husband, to the degree that I feel at least 90% sure my mother and my first husband had an affair. They certainly had an emotional affair.

          When I thought of this, during my time with my daughter in California, I remember thinking: “If I were my mother, I would be so jealous of my daughter right now. My looks are fading, while she is in her prime.” But I examined my heart and I really, truly, felt no jealousy.

          I don’t think I can take credit for not having that particular defect, though — it’s the Lord, working in my heart, that has taken that jealous nature away.

          I also don’t think that I can really blame my mother, for being the way she was. Although she does not come across as an obviously brain damaged person, my mother had a very bad head injury as a little girl. She fell on her head on cement and, if I remember story correctly, her skull was fractured. I have heard y mother say that she never felt the same after that.

          Only God, Who knows our innermost feelings and thoughts, can judge if my mother is unable to help being the way she is. The more I have learned about head injuries, and mental illness, the more I believe she must have damaged or lost that part of the brain that feels empathy and compassion for others, that feels love, and has a conscience to tell right from wrong. Like Christ prayed on the cross, today I choose to forgive my mother because I believe that she probably does not fully know what she does.

          Like

  8. lbeth1950 December 17, 2016 / 3:17 am

    Christmas is hard. It’s like giving yourself reminders of previous hurts instead of gifts. Writing also makes you examine things in great detail, but it ultimately gives me some understanding. I think it makes you experience pain that was put on hold. Hope you feel better. I think of you often.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. atimetoshare.me December 17, 2016 / 8:23 am

    Linda, I can’t imagine what you’re going through, because I have not walked in your shoes. I do think the holidays might be playing a part in your mood right now. Since I’m not qualified to do so, I won’t try to diagnose, but I do know that I get easily depressed before Christmas. It conjures up memories that I thought I tucked away in the recesses of my mind a long time ago. Some are nostalgic, some delightful, some horrible and very much forgettable. There is peace though in knowing that we can look forward at this time of year too. Our past defines who we are, but our future gives us hope. Jesus’ birth was the most important day in history, because it was the time when love came down from heaven and dwelt with humanity. He takes away all our anxiety, even when we think we can’t take it anymore. These words may not bring you comfort, but I also know that writing a memoir can be very difficult because, for a time, you’re dwelling on those horrible memories. You may need this break to heal again. I’ll pray that comfort comes from the promise of love, salvation and peace from God the Father, Jesus, His Son, and the Holy Spirit. Even Scrooge was redeemed. Love you. Hugs and prayers.

    BTW I sent this accidentally to bethanyk, but she called it to my attention. In the process I discovered a new blog I will be following.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Linda Lee/@LadyQuixote December 17, 2016 / 9:00 am

      Thank you so much, dear Kathy. Your words do comfort me. That’s why I enjoy your blog so much. I also agree with everything you said here. 🙂

      I am feeling much better today. It’s hard to stay down when I have such sweet caring people, both online and in my home life, encouraging me with loving compassion. Also, having two grateful rescue dogs that we saved off the streets to cuddle with, is a great healer. Our dogs are cuddled up to me right now. ❤

      God is good, all the time. I don't know why sometimes we have to go through hard things, but I have learned to trust Him, no matter what. Like someone wise has said, our trials can either make us bitter or better, it's up to us to choose.

      Years ago, I chose bitter. Now I am choosing better.

      Liked by 2 people

      • atimetoshare.me December 17, 2016 / 9:49 am

        I’m certain that you realize that even in your darkest times, God is with you too. He loves us so much that He has provided relief from our depression. You are better because of it. Again – you will get through this!

        Liked by 1 person

  10. Aura Gael December 17, 2016 / 9:13 am

    I’m sorry you’ve been feeling so awful. I read this yesterday and was feeling so damn down on my self as well, I drew a blank on what to say here. But I’ve been thinking about your post since.

    It makes me sad to “see” you like this though. You are such a good person and deserve so much better than to live your life (any of it) in such pain.

    Your mom obviously had no idea what she was talking about,nor did she understand the gem of a human she gave birth to. Her loss for sure.

    Big hugs to you and I’m so sorry you are dealing with this right now. As trite as it might sound, please have patience with yourself. What was done to you is not something easily forgotten.

    So many of us know that, so don’t listen to anyone who tells you ‘to just get over it.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Linda Lee/@LadyQuixote December 17, 2016 / 9:36 am

      Wow… I feel like my heart is bursting now. Thank you, dear friend.

      Like

  11. Shattered in Him December 17, 2016 / 9:15 am

    Also, we make trips through and to ‘small town’ MO and drive through the area where that old hospital used to be. Now, every time I go that way I think of you and if our paths ever crossed, I would take you to lunch or for a cup of coffee. I feel like there would be SO MUCH to say!!! More hugs to you.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Linda Lee/@LadyQuixote December 17, 2016 / 9:47 am

      Amazingly small world, isn’t it?

      Although I was born in California and spent the first 3 years of my life there — my first memory is of a 6.9 earthquake, which kind of set the stage for everything yet to come! — I grew up in Missouri. Most of my family of origin still lives there.

      However, I moved away shortly after my daughter was born in 1974. Although I went back to Missouri many many times looking for water in a dry well, before I finally gave up after my last family visit in 2003, I have lived all over the country since 1975, even out of the country for a few months.

      My husband and stepdaughter and I live in New Mexico, now. But two years ago we traveled to Missouri, as he has granddaughters living there. They live right in the same town where I lived in the 1960s, although my husband and I did not meet until 2003, here in New Mexico.

      Yes it is a very small world!

      Liked by 1 person

      • Shattered in Him December 17, 2016 / 10:01 am

        I love New Mexico! I lived in Phoenix for almost 12 years and have driven through and stayed in NM many times. We even daydreamed about moving there and looked at real estate and jobs. And, I so get the dry wells!!

        Liked by 1 person

        • Linda Lee/@LadyQuixote December 17, 2016 / 1:32 pm

          I wish no one else could understand what I mean about going back to the dry wells, especially not someone as kind and caring as you. But what JOY awaits us after the dark night, if we don’t give up our hope in Him. I see that, all through your writings. Can’t wait to get your book.

          Liked by 1 person

          • Shattered in Him December 17, 2016 / 2:44 pm

            I’m trying to pour water into the dry wells, anyway! And, I did a final revision because I am OCD about things. I had a proof copy and saw some funky typos, like a period spaced out or a comma spaced out. So, may not have caught some prints I’m time. *Sigh* So, I am letting go and it will be what it is. I have been asking God to show up on the pages and move in the life of anyone looking at them. I want people to feel His comfort and get their socks blessed right off!

            Liked by 1 person

          • Linda Lee/@LadyQuixote December 17, 2016 / 5:57 pm

            Lol, I understand about those never ending revisions. I wrote a novel that was published in April 2000. Yikes! Luckily, I wrote it under an entirely different pen name. I don’t promote that book at all, because I wrote it during my agnostic years. But maybe after my memoir is finished, Lord willing, I will go back and rewrite it. It did not sell very much the first time around, though, and the publisher went out of business several years ago.

            I am praying for your book to accomplish far above what you ask or think, for God’s purpose.

            Liked by 1 person

          • Shattered in Him December 17, 2016 / 6:07 pm

            I have a bunch of stories in my collection that were written during darker days. I am so glad they were never seen!! 😀

            I hope you are able to climb the wall to the other side so you can finish your memoir. But, maybe it is good to take breaks and recollect the mind, heart, and emotions. All of that going back is HARD. I have been working on a writing project that goes back to fill in more of the blanks and I had to step away. It was setting off the triggers like bombs. I will continue praying for you and I hope you feel His comfort and peace in mighty ways!!! Hugging all the hugs again!

            Liked by 1 person

  12. melisdvash December 17, 2016 / 6:47 pm

    It’s a spiral in which, things may look the same as at an earlier level, because I am back in the same place with the same perspective, but over time I see the improvements until even though I’m in the same place it doesn’t look like same at all. Just hang in there and this, too, shall pass. Another survivor with CPTSD.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Linda Lee/@LadyQuixote December 17, 2016 / 10:59 pm

      Thank you! I hate that others have this struggle, but I’m glad I am not the only one. I’m sure you know what I mean.

      Liked by 1 person

      • melisdvash December 18, 2016 / 1:29 am

        I’be been at this (recovery) for more than thirty years. It gets so-o much better. It doesn’t change what happened but it’s like memories ought to be – mostly in the past. And I get the opportunity to help people who are just like I was. I’m sorry they have to go through it, but so grateful to be able to help.

        Liked by 1 person

        • Linda Lee/@LadyQuixote December 18, 2016 / 7:38 am

          That’s wonderful!! My PTSD goes back to at least 1965, however, I wasn’t diagnosed until 2003. So my recovery has been ongoing for a little over 13 1/2 years. Not nearly as long as yours, but still long enough that I thought I was further along than this.

          Oh well… I guess, like with everything else, some people are better at recovery than others.

          Liked by 1 person

          • melisdvash December 18, 2016 / 9:50 am

            Someone told me, it’s in the ballpark of 28 years ago now, that real recovery happens with glacial speed. Another lady likened it to a snowball rolling downhill, at first it is small, and doesn’t seem to be gaining size or speed. After a while, though, it’s like a boulder, and you couldn’t put the brakes on if you wanted to. In any event none of us is ‘all better now’ which is to say we could never become the person we would have been if the trauma hadn’t happened. I’ve done all of my recovery work while married to the same man. Well, the same body. About five years ago he stopped being the abusive shit he’d been for decades, and we make jokes today about him being my ‘pod-husband.’ If you’d asked me before he became my pod, I would have told you I didn’t have any concept of ‘happy.’ So really all the visible recovery has been recent, and when the promises are read at 12-step meetings, I am sure I’m one of the ‘sometimes slowly’s. So don’t beat yourself up, it takes what it takes. The important thing is to keep moving, not to settle for good enough. Well, we have to accept that we’re good enough for today. Just also keep working for tomorrow.

            Liked by 1 person

          • Linda Lee/@LadyQuixote December 18, 2016 / 4:23 pm

            It takes what it takes, indeed! I used to go to AA meetings, at least one a week, often several a week. Started going in 1989. Finally took my last drink, truly by the grace of God, on January 14, 1990. Man, that was a night! It is truly a miracle that I did not die that night.

            I stopped going to AA in 2003, soon after I began going to church. Not that you can’t do both, but for me, it just worked out that way. This was also the year my PTSD was diagnosed.

            I have a pod husband, too! Isn’t it amazing to see the transformation?! My hubby and I did not meet until we were both in our fifties. I thought I was finally old enough, wise enough, and recovered enough, to know what I was doing. But the ink had not dried on our marriage license, when his ranting raving yelling demanding controlling fit throwing began. I spent many nights sleeping in my car at a Wal-Mart parking lot, or in a motel room when I could afford it, because I had healed enough, at least, that I was NOT going to be YELLED at, unless the house is on fire!

            My husband finally did what his VA doctors had been urging him to do for years: he checked himself into a Veterans hospital in Topeka, Kansas, for an 8-week in-house intensive treatment program for combat vets with PTSD. He was a US Marine sniper in Vietnam at the age of twenty, so he had severe issues.

            When he graduated from the program and came home, he was a totally different person, someone I never knew. He said “I believe I am now the man I would have been, if I had never gone to Nam.” I’m not so sure. Like you, I don’t think you can completely unpickle a cucumber. But he is my best ever friend today, still, eleven and a half years later.

            His two adult kids had gone No Contact with him, years before my husband and I met. Now, his 44 year old daughter has been living next door to us, actually in an RV trailer in our back yard, since July of last year. She has become a true daughter of my heart! She says that her father is someone completely different from the unpredictable, abusive man she knew as a girl growing up. It has been a beautiful thing to see the healing of their relationship!

            What happened to change your husband so profoundly, if you don’t mind my asking?

            Like

          • melisdvash December 18, 2016 / 5:28 pm

            I don’t mind your asking, but I don’t know. I have asked, and he once told me a story about being in beit knesset, and the rabbi was talking, and he suddenly felt(?) that he wasn’t alone. That’s the closest he’s come to describing what I can only call a spiritual awakening. My experience was that he came home one day and his soul-crushing negativity had been transformed. He wasn’t all better by a long shot, but there’s been much progress.

            I married him in 1982, my ‘official’ dos is 1 October 1981 (I was pregnant), but it wasn’t until 1988 that I started working the steps in earnest. So I have two dates, and my recovery date is the more important to me. 14 February 1990. I was pregnant with my middle son. My kids have been my biggest impetus to working the program. I tried to keep them from being affected by what happened to me.

            So now I know that’s not possible. It took long enough. 🙂

            I don’t go to f2f meetings any more, but I keep the program central to my life. When I started this journey The Courage To Heal had just been published. There was little known and less acknowledged about mother-perpetrators. As far as I remember PTSD was only being dx’d in vets. I saw any number of therapists briefly. Long enough to convince myself that HaShem (what I call my h.p.) wasn’t providing. Thank goodness the steps work no matter what problems you may have! I have a wonderful counselor now, but honestly she’s more a friend than a therapist. I guess I had to be ready. I don’t hate and distrust doctors anymore either. 😉

            Liked by 1 person

          • Linda Lee/@LadyQuixote December 18, 2016 / 6:16 pm

            Amazing, the parallels I see in your healing journey and mine!

            I love the story of your husband’s spiritual awakening. It is similar, in a way, to what happened to me on the night of January 14, 1990, when I drank my last two beers and walked out into a snowstorm.

            This was near Lubec, Maine. I walked for a little over 17 miles that night in the freezing cold and blowing snow, down an unplowed road that was so isolated, there weren’t any houses or power lines most of that way. As I walked, I yelled at the God I didn’t believe in, telling Him why, if He existed, He was a rotten God. My plan was to walk until I could not walk any further, then die in the snow.

            But suddenly, when I finally finished yelling, I sensed an awesome great God of infinite Love all around me. Moments later, an old lobsterman named Delwyn drove up in his diesel truck and stopped right next to me. He said he had followed my footprints down that unplowed road for 17 miles to find me.

            I barely knew the man, I had only seen him a couple of times in an AA meeting. Yet he told me that God had spoken to him, telling him “Linda is in serious trouble”, and he needed to go find me before I died.

            I haven’t had an alcoholic drink since that night in January 1990, almost 27 years ago. But I remained staunchly agnostic until March, 2003. I kept telling myself that the whole God thing had been a hallucination. Even though it was as real to me as anything. Stubborn, that’s me!

            Yes, I remember when Courage to Heal first came out. I read it in 1989, I believe. As for Post-traumatic Stress Disorder, that did not become an official psychiatric diagnostic label until 1980. And you are right, it was years after that, before PTSD was considered to be anything more than a malady of combat veterans.

            I was 14 years old when I had a post traumatic breakdown. The year was 1967, more than a decade before PTSD was known. In the 1960s, schizophrenia was the catch-all diagnosis of the day. The psychiatric DSM definition for schizophrenia was very different then, than it is now. So I remained under that label until 1969, when a new psychiatrist decided that I was not schizophrenic at all.

            Of course, to my scapegoating, projecting, narcissistic, malignant abusive mother, I am still hopelessly “crazy,” and therefore in need of constant “correction” and “tough love” — i.e., verbal and physical abuse.

            In many ways, my recovery from all of these things has been ongoing for close to fifty years. Half a century!! But I did not know that I had PTSD until March 2003. I also did not have any understanding of my abusive parents’ personality disorders, until after my PTSD was diagnosed. So I count my PTSD recovery as beginning then.

            I am glad you are here. Your comments are making me think. 🙂

            Liked by 1 person

          • melisdvash December 22, 2016 / 3:06 am

            As you may already know, much sickness has occurred. Sorry I didn’t mean to just vanish.

            The abuse in my family was such that I couldn’t miss it. At the same time it was so bad that I locked it, and knowledge of it, away for many years. I knew Something was wrong, I didn’t know what. Until I started having kids. That was the beginning of everything.

            So I used to live in New England, and knew someone, a neighbour of a friend, who did just what you did, on a cold, snowy night. Her body was found the next day. She froze to death. I thank Gd that you were saved. It’s too real to me. I am also glad you’re here.

            Liked by 1 person

          • Linda Lee/@LadyQuixote December 22, 2016 / 4:06 am

            I’m sorry, I did not know about the sickness. I pray that you and your family will soon be healthy again.

            How terrible that your neighbor’s friend died in that way. It is still difficult for me to understand how I survived my 17 mile walk in the freezing cold snowstorm, 27 years ago. I recently tried to find the man who saved me, but he is no longer alive. He was an older man.

            I see that you live in Israel. I pray that you are safe. Shalom to you and to the nation of Israel. ❤

            Liked by 1 person

          • Linda Lee/@LadyQuixote December 22, 2016 / 4:13 am

            I found your blog just, I am reading about your recent trip to India and falling ill while you were there. So sorry, but happy to read that you are now better. I am now following your blog. 🙂

            Liked by 1 person

          • melisdvash December 23, 2016 / 2:16 am

            Still sick, but each day is an improvement. I don’t realize how sick I was until I start to get better, and it is such a long, slow climb to better. 😦

            Liked by 1 person

  13. Anna Waldherr December 27, 2016 / 4:05 pm

    I cannot imagine that anyone — w/ the possible exception of your mother — would be as hard on you as you are on yourself. I suffer from the same skewed judgment, so speak from experience.

    I find as I grow older that struggling w/ familiar demons can be incredibly discouraging. Anxiety, depression, PTSD are old friends. You would think that by now I’d know all their moves. And I do. But despite a list of medications as long as my arm, and despite eons of therapy, old challenges continue to resurface.

    I believe all of this is a faith walk or, more precisely, a faith climb. We may each carry a different cross, but no one skates by without one. The trail up a mountain winds again and again round the mountain. We come repeatedly to the side which exposes our particular weaknesses. Each time, we learn a little more. Go a little higher.

    As Christians, we die to our old selves. Humility replaces pride. The sensation of conquering PTSD (even temporarily) may be exhilarating. It is, however, collateral. The real issue is whether we will continue to have faith if our wounds do not heal. Will God be “enough” for us? He is, of course, far greater than that. Wishing you a Happy New Year! ❤

    Liked by 1 person

    • Linda Lee/@LadyQuixote December 27, 2016 / 7:01 pm

      Beautifully said! Your words are like sunshine and fresh air. Thank you for sharing your hard won wisdom. ❤

      Liked by 1 person

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