The mind of a child – not just any child, but the mind of ME as a child: My mother did not change it where my mind matters most. Sure, all the trauma I was exposed to through her abuse of me had its affect. Sure, my little growing body-brain had to change in its physiological development as a consequence of stress, distress and more and more of the same. But as I look back at myself growing up I can tell that there was something happening during every one of the abusive incidents I remember that tells me that for all the twisted, insistent, psychotic, horrible projections of her own that my mother tried to transplant INTO me — it never worked. I kept my own reality as I knew it. I did not accept her version of reality as she worked so hard to apply it to me.
I can think all the way back to when I was two and my mother accused me of manipulating my grandmother to place me back into diapers, to spoil me, to pamper me, to turn my grandmother against my mother. I didn’t do those things, and somehow at that very young age I KNEW IT.
It’s not that I ever thought, “She’s wrong.” I just never believed her. How do I know that?
I can think all the way back to when I was three and my mother accused me of trying to murder my little sister by drowning her in the toilet bowl. I always knew I didn’t do that, either. Did I think consciously about this fact? No, I did not. Did I think, “What’s wrong with my mother that she could think such a thing?” No, I did not. Did I think, “I’m right and she’s wrong?” Yes, on some profoundly deep, primary and soul level, I did think that – but not in words. There is a ‘knowing’ that is far beyond words, that is original in the body (primarily in the right brain hemisphere’s connection to the body) that I believe exists in a way that makes this knowledge immutable, ‘not subject to change’, a factor of reality – plain and simple.
At age four when I was violently and severely beaten not only because in my mother’s twisted world I had picked the rows of chenille off of the bedspread during naptime, but ALSO that I was intentionally lying AND trying to get my little sister into trouble because I hated her, I KNEW I had not done any of these things.
This same pattern exists in every abuse memory I currently remember. I ALWAYS simply KNEW my own reality, what had actually happened – and most importantly I knew that my mother’s version of reality was NOT mine. But I did NOT know these things in words. I knew I did not steal the bubble gum and lie about it when I was five. I knew I was NOT sleeping but was playing a game with the fox running beside the car; that I was not hiding my marbles so my brother and sisters could not find them because I was ‘so selfish’ I did not want to share; and that I had not ‘pulled my pants down for that neighbor boy’ as my mother insisted I had.
These same patterns went on all the way through my childhood, all the way into my teens. In fact, these patterns within my mother’s distorted mind that so controlled the external world I was left to live in had started while I was being born. Was I sent by the devil to kill my mother while I was being born? Now THAT distorted projection I could not combat with any knowledge of my own experience as it contrasted to my mother’s – and THAT one I DID believe. I was given no choice except on the most profound and most important level of who I am – and it has taken me nearly 60 years to get to that level with clarity.
This single most important delusional projection of my mother’s provided the driving force behind her madness regarding me – and was responsible for all the terrible abuse she did to me. But as I wrote in my last post NONE of this had anything to do with ME, and on some deep, primary and profound level I KNEW it. The problem was I didn’t know I always knew it.
Probably because there never was a time in my first 18 years that I could articulate my own reality in words to somebody else, there correspondingly never a time when I could articulate my own reality to my own self. Everything I knew down deep inside where I WAS existed as fragmented, dissociated bits and pieces of a reality of life that was MINE on the deepest of levels, but that remained somewhere so far away from me that I had no access to it except as those bits and pieces existed AT THE TIME they were formed.
As I was being viciously attacked, screamed at, physically slapped, beaten, punched, dragged and thrown around like a rag doll in the center of the thousands of my mother’s rages I had nothing inside of myself to hold onto except what I knew of my own reality at any given moment. The facts as I knew them never matched what my mother said was true.
It is extremely difficult for me to write a post such as this one where I make any effort to approach ‘en masse’ the experience of my own reality of my own infant-childhood. There is very, very little in the entire first 18 years of my life that wasn’t painful and terrifying. As I write this morning I remember myself around age 12 or 13 lying for the zillionth time alone in my bed, ostracized, isolated, condemned and suffering after a horrendous beating – crying, hopeless, helpless, and lost in the darkness. It was during this one single incident, however, that I actually ‘heard words’ that said, “Linda, it isn’t humanly possible for anyone to be as bad as your mother says you are.”
That was it. Those words came as the only, single few instants of hope or of reprieve that I ever experienced during those long, long years of torture, trauma and abuse. So I can never say that as my mother attacked me yet again for something I knew I had not done – and as I knew inside myself the facts of my own reality that did not match hers – that I ever received any comfort whatsoever from my knowledge. I did not.
“So why,” I ask myself on this sunny and glorious morning, “are you opening that door even a tiny bit to glimpse yourself suffering in and enduring 18 years within the raging inferno of the fires of hell, Linda?”
I know as I ask myself that question that what I want to say next required of me that I ‘go back there’ to look for something. I didn’t know what I was even looking for exactly until this moment – because NOW I have found it.
What I always knew, I believe, was something that I possessed directly as a manifestation of my soul and of the spirit within it. What I always knew – what I can look back and see NOW that I ALWAYS KNEW – was in direct contrast to what my mother DID NOT KNOW.
I knew the difference between right and wrong.
I didn’t, of course, ever know during my first 18 years that this is what I knew and is what my mother didn’t know. I ONLY see this fact this clearly right now at this instant as I write this.
I am tempted next to ask a question that I don’t know the answer to. “Is every human being born into their lifetime with an intact power to know right from wrong?” I would follow this question with another one: “Was my mother born with this knowledge and through the circumstances of her own abusive earliest years so trauma-changed in her physiological development that the ability to know right from wrong was removed from her?”
Right here I allow the ‘sea to part’. It is enough to know that at the same time there was something within my mother so terribly, terribly, nearly beyond human imagining WRONG with my mother there was something equally RIGHT with me.
I (most fortunately) never lost my ability to know what was right and what was wrong. I never lost my ability to tell the difference between the two. And there was nothing my mother ever did to me, or evidently anything she could EVER possibly do to me that could have removed that power I was born with away from me.
I believe absolutely in God, and I believe that only God knows the condition of any human being. I believe that extreme stress in the physiological developmental period of infant-child growth change the BODY, and in my mother’s case those changes directly affected the way her brain-mind worked, as well.
I needed to personally write this post as a precursor to the following.
When I think about the innate powers of the soul, I think about the words contained in the quotation at this link: