What people do not seem to understand, and by people I mean myself also, is that a child being raised by an abusive Borderline mother is NEVER safe. Although I was the ‘special’ child of our family singled out for the severe abuse, every time Mother attacked me in any way including verbally, all my siblings received witness abuse at the same time.
I hate to say this, I hate to know this, I hate to live with this — but at 60 years old I am finally coming to realize that the wounds I have from the 18 years of abuse I went through ARE NOT GOING TO HEAL IN THIS LIFETIME.
I don’t choose to feel anxious during my days, or choose to be overwhelmed by the madness I see in most human contact, or choose to wake up as I did before dawn today crying with tears soaking my pillow — for NO GOOD REASON — except that these 18 years of unhealed wounds make me SAD!
So why do I feel guilty that I am sad and anxious? Why do I feel I made that choice to wake in the dark of predawn crying? Why do I burden myself with feeling so responsible for not being 100% OK if I ‘chose to be’?
Last night I was happy to accept the invitation of a friend who lives in town on the boulevard that surrounds this small town’s only real park to help her distribute the $150 worth of Halloween candy she bought to the crowds out wandering the streets last evening. I sat beside my friend on the brick bench on her well-lit wide porch as friend divided the candy ‘donations’ into equal-sized piles while I handed them out as fast as I could to streaming hundreds of people.
I felt as if I were parched nearly to death for the light of pure joy in people’s eyes. Not only were the joy-filled costumed little people such a great delight to me to see, but also even the teens, and also the parents and older siblings and grandparents that accompanied these little people.
I was very sad not to be with my daughter and 20-month grandson last night as they trailed out to collect the treats where they live nearly 2000 miles away from me. Some of my inner tears are from that loss. Yet it was all I could do last night to keep my tears from streaming down my face as I looked into the eyes especially of the children under age 7 that came up to me on that porch with such a bright light shining in their eyes.
If anyone doubts the love of God that created we humans in this world let them donate their time, and maybe some candy, too, and offer to go help someone in one of those ‘fancier’ houses where the hoards like to swarm on Halloween eve. That is a job, that candy-giving!! Three hours, non-stop children/families, and what I needed to see for myself last night was that perfection in children that I can so seldom see in grownups.
In that perfection, in the eyes of nearly all of those children (I did see its opposite in the eyes of one boy), is absolute trust. In that perfection is an innocence that is born by NOT being a continual punching bag for one or more hate-filled parents. There is, unfortunately, no reason to believe that all of those children I watched last night are safe all of the time from harm done to them by big people. But at least I could see last night they were safe THEN.
An abusive Borderline’s children are prey. Prey are never safe if they cannot escape the presence and threat of their own personal predator. A never-ending viscous circle of never being safe. If I had been out with my mother like those children were last night I would have had to ALWAYS be alert to where she was, what she was expressing, hyper alert to everything about me in the world!
I was never safe as a child. If I had been one of those children who forgot to say Trick-or-Treat, or forgot to say thank you, or tripped on the hem of my costume or slipped on a step or stood in the wrong place or walked in the wrong place or looked up when I should have looked down?? An infraction such as that could, with my mother, have nearly cost me my life in violent and complicated punishments that ALWAYS included the evils of verbal abuse.
And certainly Mother cost me my happiness. It is probably my biggest problem in my life that I hold myself responsible for these unhealed wounds from her that I never asked for, never deserved, could not avoid — these wounds that woke me crying from my sleep this morning. I DID NOT ASK for this — not THEN — not NOW.