storyrainthejournal: (flying)
So, over at Making Light, Abi Sutherland is hosting the annual Dysfunctional Families Day conversation.

I went...and I find I can't post there, so I'm posting here. All appreciation to those posting over there, but I can't. I feel like I'm an abandonment survivor, more than an abuse survivor. I guess abandonment is a kind of abuse, but insofar as abuse implies connection (of a horrible sort) it's not the same.

And I guess I sometimes self-exclude from conversations rather than try to engage and risk feeling unwanted and unappreciated. So here is my contribution to the conversation, over here in my little part of the forest.

Here's the thing. No one beat me as a kid. No one in my blood family was psychologically abusive (the two step mothers and first set of step siblings were, but that's another story). My family's dysfunction was that they just weren't there--physically, emotionally, any-ally. My mom left my dad, and us, when I was six and a half. She tried for custody, but she was a hippy freak who left a corporate lawyer to go live on a beach in Jamaica (in 1970, so basically, no way sister). My brother and sister were 12 and 13 at the time and made shift to be away summers, and generally present as little as possible from then on.

I'm thankful that I have a good relationship with my mom now, as an adult, and I love her, and I know why she left--she was very very unhappy with my father, he wasn't there emotionally and his particular pathologies were already in evidence. I also know she still feels horribly guilty about leaving me even now, at 79. I'm also incredibly thankful for my sister, who did try to be there for me, a little, as much as she, as a confused teenager, could be.

But knowing all that doesn't really impact a certain emotional "truth" of my life, which runs: no one cares about me enough to stay, no one loves and appreciates me, really; how could they, when my own mother couldn't? It didn't help that my dad wasn't emotionally present at all, and set about trying to find an alternate family immediately--or that both of the alternate families had little space or time for such as me, the ratty haired distaff child. (The first step mother said she was ashamed to be seen with me.)

When I start feeling just kind of sad, unloved, unimportant and pointless, when nothing else has happened to make me feel that way, it always comes back to that, the deep seated feeling that I'm just not important to anyone. It can make seeing couples tout each other's awesomeness, and parents doting on their kids, echo bitterly for me. (I hate feeling bitter!) Makes me think, I'm not the most important person in the world to anyone, and of course, I feel like it's because I don't deserve to be, if my own mother...etc.

The feeling of being left out, not appreciated or wanted, all comes back to these family of origin issues, along with not feeling safe or rooted in the world, because all sense of safety and belonging, of being part of anything, disintegrated early on.

I get so so tired of feeling that way.

I have a lot of happy in my life and have worked hard to have good friends and a healthy self, emotionally and psychologically. Friends, writing, animals, meditation, these  saved me, and continue to save me, and make life full of love and good bits--as it should be. How thankful am I for my friends? Baby, it's huge.

However, the sad sense of being unwanted, unappreciated, unsupported, unloved always, always comes back; that's just the way of it, I guess. 

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