Processing Headaches

I sometimes get headaches when I process things; the same kind I used to get all the time while Bubba and I were still together.  I’m also dreaming again although mostly, I don’t remember them.  I know I’m dreaming though because I’ll wake up with a vague, uneasy feelings and my covers are all over the place.  Usually, I stay very still when I sleep so my covers rarely get messed up.

I woke up at 2:30 this morning with a throbbing headache and memory of the dream I’d just escaped.  I’m not sure whether Bubba and I were still together or divorced already but he started picking on me. I was so frustrated that he wouldn’t stop. I had that kind of laugh/cry thing going on, saying, “Please just stop. It isn’t funny anymore.” He just kept on. I’d completely forgotten that he used to do this to me – probably because it always seemed like one of the least offensive things he used to do.  I was stuck there. I couldn’t walk away. I wasn’t able to back then either because if I did, it just got worse and he’d get mad that I walked away from him (still a hot-button for him). In my dream, I was physically trapped, I don’t remember there being a door for me to leave the room.

Then I was with my parents (yes, a double whammy nightmare). I was trying to convince them that I was telling them the truth, that he abused me for years. I saw my mom’s eyes tearing up and thought she was so close to believing me but she just shook her head and told me I needed to stop lying. After I woke up, I realized her tears were not because she was close to believing me, but rather because she was upset about losing me to my sins.

I know I need to cry.  I’m fighting it for some reason that I don’t understand.  I can feel the tears right at the surface but I’m fighting to keep them in.

Why?  Why won’t I let myself do what I so desperately need?  The only answer I can come up with is that I really don’t want to cry alone.  I want someone here to hold me.  I want to cry on someone’s shoulder.  I want someone to tell me I’m going to be ok.  I want someone to pat my back and comfort me.  I want my mom.  After all this time, after all she’s done, I want her to love me again.  I want her to believe me.

And the lightbulb turns on!  This isn’t about Bubba in the slightest.  This is about my parents!  This is about my mom.  How does one do what she’s done to her child?  I don’t understand. None of the explanations people have given me are adequate.  No mother should treat her child like this.  I don’t understand.  It feels like my heart is breaking all over again today.  Why didn’t my mom love me more than her dysfunctional thinking?  Why didn’t my mom love me more than her need to cling to her belief system?  Why did she throw me away?

Now that I’m thinking about it, I know what precipitated all these feelings hitting me today.  I mentioned to a friend that I had blocked my parents on Skype then unblocked them when the Guardian encouraged me to reconcile with them.  Their name showed back up on Skype, but with a grey question mark in the little symbol beside their name.  When I wrote to them to decline their  invitation to visit with Bubba and the kids, I told them that I’d unblocked them but couldn’t get them to show back up on Skype.  They never mentioned it in their nasty reply.  My friend and I sat down and figured it out last night by playing with blocking/unblocking each other on Skype.

It seems that when someone blocks you, you see their name in your contact list with a grey question mark.  After I blocked them, they must’ve figured out what happened and blocked me in return.  So, even when I was attempting to reconcile, they’ve kept me blocked on Skype all this time.  The only thing they’ll settle for from me is abject groveling and admitting that I was totally wrong in all of this.  I TRIED TO RECONCILE!  I didn’t understand why I was being rebuffed so strongly.  They didn’t even give me a chance because I was still maintaining my boundaries.  They only love me on their terms.  They only have conditional love for me.  They only want me if I’m the “old” Hope.  They don’t want me as I am – they never have.

I was the “bad” child.   I was the one who could never stick with anything.  I was everything wrong.  My mom used to laughingly say I went to school for the social life and if I would put as much energy into learning as I did socializing, I’d be a straight A student.  When I started 9th grade, we were sitting at the dinner table, talking about grades.  My parents offered me $20 if I got straight A’s during one of the 6 week periods (we had 6 of them per school year).  The last six week period I brought home straight A’s.  The comments I remember were, “Wow.  You certainly waited long enough to do this.”  and “See?  We told you that you could do this if you’d just try.”  and “Boy, you really wanted that $20, didn’t you?”  Looking back now, every comment that I remember has some kind of shaming ick in it.  Why couldn’t they just have said, “Congratulations!  We knew you could do it!”

I was the “big” sister.  I was told so much how I was “big-boned”.  My sisters were just built differently than I was.  They were just more delicate than I was.  I’m 5’2″ tall and back then I weighed a whopping 110 pounds.  Yet, I was the “big” sister.  I look at pictures of myself back then and I think they were out of their minds.  I was just as delicately built as my sisters were.  Sure, I was shaped differently but it didn’t make me big-boned or any less delicate than they were.  I look at myself now and for the first time in my life I have an accurate self-image.  I’m tiny.  I’m delicate.  I have amazing legs!  Yes, I have a bit of a tummy but I’ve also just not worked on it because I don’t want to.  I have no doubt that I could tone it up if I chose to.  I choose not to.  I weigh, on average, about 113 pounds.

I was the “flighty” sister.  I could never stick with anything.  I took piano lessons for about 6 weeks.  I quit.  I took dance lessons for about 6 weeks.  I quit.  I would start playing a game with someone in my family.  I quit.  I heard about that for the rest of the time I was talking to my family.  When I was 36, I learned how to knit.  I absolutely love to knit.  I love creating things, especially things I can make for others.  All I heard from my mother was, “I can’t believe you’ve stuck with knitting.  I really expected you to quit after a couple of months.”  She told this to everyone.  Then she’d tell me who she’d told that to.  She was just so very amazed that I was FINALLY sticking to something.  Even after knitting for three years, I was still hearing that!

Through the years, I got the message loud and clear.  I was the defective sister.  There was something inherently wrong with me.  My sister told me that neither her nor our other sister had this experience so it couldn’t possibly be mom, but me.  Yet again, I was told that there was something wrong with me.  But the fact is that the further out from them I am, the more I see the truth.  For whatever reason, I was the target.  My older sister was the golden child, she was perfection who could do no wrong.  My younger sister was the baby, and after me her antics were always, “not as bad as Hope’s.”

Yet I sit here wanting my mom, unable to cry, fighting a headache from processing this garbage.  I want my mom.

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