This post follows —
I could say that from the instant I left home I followed an invisible bread crumb trail into the future, but I would be wrong. I began to follow that invisible pathway from the moment I was born. Because there was never any reason, no cause and effect, no reason, no logic to consequences there was never a discernible pattern to anything that ever happened to me.
All I knew was what was told to me, as I came into a body and into this world, through actions and later by words as I came to recognize and understand them. I was told I was so bad that I tried to kill my mother when I was born. I was told that I was not human, that I was the devil’s child, and that I was evil. Everything that I knew always went back to these facts.
At the same time that I was forced just by the fact that I was alive to follow this invisible bread crumb pathway into my future, I was trying at the same time to follow the faintest dim light of hope that was held repeatedly in front of me throughout my childhood by my mother. I did not know that I was living an unsolvable paradox.
At the same time she told me that I had been created and born evil, I was also told I remained evil because I chose to do so, and that I deliberately continued to remain evil because I was so evil that was the ongoing evil decision that I chose to make — moment after moment, hour after hour, day after day, year after year, incident after incident. I never knew that I was doomed not to ever get near to or reach the hope that was held out in front of me.
Because I was innately and essentially evil it was impossible for me to ever make the good or right decision or choice how to act BECAUSE of that fact. Yet I was also told that the fact of my evil remained a fact because I willed it that way each time I continued to make the choice to stay evil no matter how many chances my ‘loving, caring, patient, adoring, long suffering’ mother gave me to choose otherwise.
How could I as an infant begin to learn about the exercise of free will, decision and choice when I was continually punished for a choice I had been proven to have made before I was born by my actions in trying to murder my own mother? I was born evil. I was evil because I chose to be evil. I continued to choose to remain evil because I chose to be evil because I was evil.
The yet even darker blanket that grew over this entire pyschosis that my mother had was that I was born evil because of the evil I had done in some other lifetime that had condemned me to hell. This had nothing to do with any other manifestation of a thought my mother might have had regarding something that could have been construed as a belief in reincarnation. Her thinking along these lines ONLY related specifically to me.
Her belief in my evilness grew so that as I grew older it was not about me being born as an evil infant human. It came to be about my having done something so evil in my earlier lifetime that I had been judged as being so evil by God that I had been condemned to everlasting damnation in hell. I had been given up on by God and He had given me to the devil. The devil owned me. I was his possession, his puppet, his tool, his worker. I was his proxy sent first to kill her, and because that didn’t work, I continued to live on as the devil’s curse upon my mother’s life.
I suspect as I write this that this dark blanket that smothered out any hope of the light coming through to me was the inevitable result of the progression of her psychosis as I continued to live as her daughter in a body that also continued to grow. The only possible avenue of escape that could have been possible for me growing up was never provided. It would have had to have come as a result of my being able to, in any way, understand that the further development of my mother’s psychosis, which had me at its center, was a logical consequence of her mental illness, that her mental illness was the cause of her psychosis, and her actions toward me were the effect of it.
Did anyone ever tell me that? No. Was I ever able to step out from under her insanity so that I could figure it out by myself? No. Was there any possible avenue of escape open to me from birth to age 18? No.
My entire being from birth had to attempt to grow along with and in spite of my mother’s madness about me that she continually forced me to encounter in my ongoing experiences throughout my entire childhood. It makes me think about how cancers devour a body’s resources until the person is killed. I had to grow an entire being that was contaminated with the cancer of my mother’s beliefs about who I was from the time of my birth.
I was not given the choice NOT to build the cancer of my mother’s mental illness into my being. Her cancer had taken over the ‘cell’ that was her and spilled over and grew into me. I had to eat and swallow her poison. I had no way to prevent this from happening. Yet through this analogy I see that while her cancer cells were taking over space inside of who I should have been able to become as my own self, they could never invade the ‘cells’ that WERE individually my own.
I had some impermeable ‘Linda cell’ boundary abilities that prevented my mother from taking over all of me. Somehow there were pockets of my own experience of being alive that she and her psychosis could not completely take over, contaminate or consume. But neither was there the opportunity for these individual ‘Linda cells’ or pockets of Linda reality to form themselves into a whole entire separate person, or even into clear definable identities. That is where the dissociation originated from.
When I go back and read my June 1972 writing I can see how able these individual Linda cells and pockets were to co-inhabit my own being and mind. It strikes me that perhaps how I came to develop that far was due to the fact that I am innately a peaceful person. Had my separate experiences of experience ever had the need to compete with one another I would not have been able to follow my invisible bread crumb pathway into the future in one body at all successfully.
I suspect that the lack of any inner need to compete for supremacy of one single perspective — or even of one tiny part of one — also stems from the bizarre yet helpful fact that nothing I EVER did as a child successfully allowed me ANY illusion of control — related to cause and effect — over my mother’s reactions to me.
I was as a child cut off at EVERY possible turn from being able to assert myself in any effective way to change what happened to me within my environment. And no matter how strange it might be to understand this, it was because nothing worked that I never began to compete within myself so that a working model of a part of Linda ended up taking control of any part of who I was. Hence, I basically have ended up with a dissociative identity disorder without the identities.
It is hard to know about the development of a human brain-mind because we need to use the brain that has already formed in order to go back and try to understand the earlier form as it formed itself. I do believe that I have a unique situation here and something unique to offer to anyone that might wonder about the possibilities that exist within a developing brain-mind.
Brain-mind development is a process that usually proceeds through identifiable stages. Once one or several of these developmental stages has completed itself, its patterns are locked into place and used, then, for the further developments as they come along in their own sequences and patterns. Because of the very special circumstances I developed in, my brain did not ‘lock into place’ these individual growth and developmental stages as they normally occur.
My brain-mind was forced to go on and on and on and on as it attempted to find a place for its ongoing experiences in the world. I received piece after piece after never-ending piece of information through my interactions with my mother without ever being given the opportunity to hook them together in any meaningful way. I believe that some part of me knew that this was happening as it happened.
This is what makes my June 1972 writing significant. It was a message in a bottle, written down by some part of myself and sent into the future as an intact representation of the best operation my brain-mind could accomplish right before my 21st birthday. The writing itself was like taking a living slice of brain-mind tissue, cut out at that point of time, frozen within those words, and passed to me in the future so that I could accurately re-member who I was when I left the home of my origin.
Time passed. I went on in my life. I continued to follow that same invisible bread crumb path to get to where I am as I sit here today with my fingers upon this keyboard. Yet even as all this time has gone by, my inner experiences of myself in my life are not much more connected to one another than they were as represented in those June 1972 words.
My brain was never allowed to develop through its stages with a single Linda at its center. What ‘holds me together’ is more like what holds all the individual notes and patterns of silence within a song together. The individual notes, patterns of sound and silence, tones, pitches, rhythms, movements within songs do not compete with one another any more than do my experiences or my experiences of my own experiences compete with one another.
Yet holding oneself together as the ongoing pattern of one’s life song is continually being written is an exhausting and disheartening process. I cannot, as I believe that others can, just let go and let the ‘main Linda’ go on about the business of life as if such an entity exists. Because I have little sense that such a single Linda exists, I also cannot trust that she knows what she is up against or doing in this lifetime. The ongoing process of living my life is therefore continually ‘up for grabs’ between all the various aspects of myself that process both my life and my experience of it.
I believe that I continue to be able and willing to ‘do life’ only because I am able to identify some very incredible and undeniable gifts that I was born with. Among these are my innate intelligence, creativity, indomitable will to stay alive with its accompanying determination, stubbornness and courage, my ability to have consideration for the feelings of others in my life who love me, my ability to focus intensely, my ability to tolerate changes, my ability to hope, my curiosity, my willingness and intense desire to learn, my ability to be surprised, my love for beauty including my innate desire to find something beautiful in ugliness, my loyalty to others as well as to myself, my compassion, my incredible stamina and ability to withstand pain, and the never ending peaceableness of my nature.
All of these gifts and abilities help me as I try to orient myself and organize my experience through a brain-mind that was not created in anything like a normal, benevolent world. I imagine this to perhaps be like being deep under water all of the time, and having to follow the upward movements of the bubbles my gifts provide me with as I try to orient myself and my movements toward the water’s surface.
So when it comes to the question of why I never left home before I was 18 to escape the abuse, I have to say that I didn’t even know that either the abuse existed or that escape existed. One has to know one is captured and a captive before there is anything to contrast the state of captivity to. Otherwise, how can a person even conceive of escape in the first place?
There was also no unified Linda in existence, and therefore there was no one to make such a choice or decision ‘with’, ‘within’, ‘from’ or ‘for’. I had all the facets of a diamond, but no diamond. All I had was the capacity to survive in and endure being alive in a world of chaos and destruction.
When I finally did leave home, I took all the chaos as well as my ability to live with it out the door with me. Chaos by definition means that all possibilities are contained within it. Building patterns out of chaos is what a brain does from its beginnings. Neither mine nor my mother’s brains were an exception to this rule. That hers was built around a psychosis and mine was not is the difference between us. While both options are contained within the possibilities of being human, mine allows for some access to consciousness where my mother’s did not.
Both of our child brain-minds had to develop in the midst of an unsolvable paradox — how to remain alive in a malevolent world that did not give us the resources to do so. We each, however, had available to us different inner avenues to pursue that allowed each of us to accomplish this impossible task in a different way. I cannot find it within myself to fault either one of us for taking the only possible route we had available to us in childhood that ensured our continued survival.
Once our individual routes to survival were taken, in our early environments that we were equally powerless to change, those routes became permanent pathways into and through our futures. They allowed us some chance to organize and orient our inner reality within a disorganized and disoriented world. Neither one of us could ever go back to the beginning and get to develop a different ‘better’ brain in different better circumstances. We each were forced to live with the consequences of the ‘developmental brain damage’ that we suffered, and that could have been prevented.
That fact is what this blog is all about.