Do you know what I like best about Alan Rickman? Besides that. I like the fact that he plays many different types of characters. He’s been a scoundrel, a badass, a leading man, an American Jew, an American cop, a Bohemian artist, a posh upper-crust Englishman, and, of course, Professor Snape in the HP movies. I know he’s not typical leading man material, but he can star in my private home movies ANY TIME.
OK. Taiji yesterday. I have decided that it’s time to face the beast, as it were. Since the flashbacks were coming during meditation time regardless of whether I meditated or not, I decided to trudge forward with the meditation. I would use the method Julie taught me (looking at the images and saying, “You are not a part of me” before dispelling them) because it’s past time I dealt with this shit. I’ve lost fifteen years of my life (well, more, but fifteen since I consciously decided to shove the memories to the deep recesses of my brain) to my childhood, and I cannot do that any more.
So. I rooted myself. I took deep breaths. I remembered Julie’s instructions. Then, the flashbacks came. They are not really new ones any longer, but they are still horrifying.
In my bedroom. I am seven. I am on the bed. My father is on top of me. He is choking me and telling me not to fight him. The me in the image is fighting him this time. She is saying, as best she can, “You are not a part of me.” He keeps choking her. She is flailing her arms and legs. Suddenly, The Man (someone with whom I would choose to have sex, like Alan Rickman, though it is not him) enters the picture, picks my father up off me and tosses him to the floor. The Man reaches for my hand to help me up. I am now a young teenager with hair down to my ass (like I have now, but I didn’t have then). Holding my hand, he leads me to the door. Before we reach it, though, my father is up and blocking our path.
Next scene: I am on my bed (aged seven), my father’s face is between my thighs. He is licking me, and I am trying not to cry. The picture is a close up of his face, so I cannot say what my facial reaction truly is. Again, The Man comes in, knocks my father to the floor, and holds his hand out to me. Again, I am a young teen with long hair. I take The Man’s hand, and we start walking towards the door again.
While watching the screen in my mind, it sometimes splits into two screens. A grownup me, dressed as a cross between Barbara Eden as Jeannie (complete with my hair in a high ponytail) and a female ninja, with the veil from this anime female ninja, is standing between the two screens. As the pictures play, she moves them off the screens with a swift push of her hands. Once in awhile, she throws a few shurikens in front of her.
I forget to breathe as I am busy concentrating on informing the father in my images that he is not a part of me. I am tearing up the whole time, but I keep going. Meditation seems to go on forever, but in reality, it’s fairly short. Five minutes, maybe?
I know it’s hopeful that the younger me is talking back to my father. I know that it’s a good thing that my adult sexuality is winning over what my father did to me when I was a child. I know that my father cannot physically hurt me any longer. I know all this shit, and yet, every flashback drains me emotionally. I end up feeling vulnerable and scared and powerless. I hate remembering that time of my life. In fact, I don’t remember much of my life before I went to college. I can remember things if I force myself to remember, but for the most part, it’s behind a wall. A friend asked if I immediately blocked out the memories after my father…molested (she said rape, but I have a hard time saying that) me or if I stuffed them down years later. I have no idea because I can’t remember much of anything from that time. I do know that in my second year of college, I was dating a guy who moved to brush his fingers against my cheek. He stopped and got a concerned look on his face. I asked him what was wrong, and he said I flinched. He asked me who hit me, my father or ______ (an emotionally-abusive ex). I said neither, as far as I knew. Even then, I knew that something had happened in my childhood, but I only had a vague idea of what it might be.
There’s a parallel to talking on the phone with my mother. When I am talking with her, I flip right back to the childhood me. Now, I know that’s pretty common for many people, regardless of if their childhood was abusive or not. However, I feel completely helpless when I’m talking to her. I know I should tell her I don’t want to talk about X, Y, or Z, but my throat is frozen shut. Instead, I swallow all the things I want to say, even the mildest criticisms because I feel as if–what? Partly, I feel like lightning will strike me dead if I talk back to my mother. Partly, I feel as if I will be striking her dead if I talk back to her. Cognitively, I know that I am not responsible for the fact that she has no friends in whom she can confide or that she’s in a dysfunctional, codependent marriage. I also cognitively know that I am not responsible for her emotions. However, I still feel as if it’s my duty to be her everything. It’s partly an Asian thing, but it’s also partly our family dysfunction.
My best friend and I were talking about parenting, and I said I felt like I owe my parents so much. She looked at me in amazement and said, “You are their child. You don’t owe them anything. I wouldn’t want _____ (her daughter) to feel like she owes me anything. They are your parents. That’s what it means to be a parent.”
I looked at her as if she had grown a second head. Her words were foreign to me. Not owe my parents anything? How could that be? I owe them my existence. I owe them for all the money they’ve given me. I owe them everything. Now, while I’m slowly starting to understand why that might not actually be true or fair, it’s something I still feel to my core.
Back to talking to my mom on the phone. I have so many emotions running through me as I talk to her–not many of them positive. Then, once I’m done talking with her, I feel like a worthless piece of shit. I feel like life is hopeless. I cannot give her what she wants. Ever. I cannot be the daughter she wants me to be. I told Kiki (my best friend) that I thought my family was ashamed of me because I always had to pare off parts of my personality when I’m around them. She said they didn’t understand me and weren’t capable of understanding me, but that didn’t mean they were ashamed of me.
I thought about it some more, and I am sticking to my original assessment. They are ashamed of me. When I go to my brother’s house (which isn’t often these days), I have to constantly watch what I say. He told my mother that he was worried that I was a bad influence on my niece because I refused to lie about God (the fact that the Christian god is not the oldest god around). And yet, my brother is the one member of my immediate family that I am sure I love. I don’t love my father, and I am wavering on my mother.
Which makes me feel like a horrible person as well.
The demons are very loud right now. All I can think about is all the shit I’ve done wrong in my life and all the flaws I need to fix. I am not happy with myself at all right now. Not that I ever am, really, but I am pretty much disgusted, worn out, fed up, fatigued, and mournful. I have a separate meditation session with Julie tomorrow (really, today). I am hoping that will be a good thing.
*Johnny Cash’s version of Hurt is still my current theme song.