May 4, 2010

Setting boundaries

I listened to Denise L'Estrange last Sunday night and by the sounds of things, so did a lot of people. I also saw several comments relating to her childhood and how so many said, 'she could have been telling my life story.' Um, right up to that ...successful life part kicks in and she's making international headlines (in a good way). 

I was no different. Hum, father a flirty drunk? Snap. Abusive and cruel? Yep! And we all know that women who put up with men like that are in no position to help their kids - suffice to say, for whatever reasons, mother was either crap, absent, or both. Snap, snap, and snap... really should start a chocolate fish reward system going. 

Okay, so I'm listening to her story, following her linguistic footsteps, standing in her familiar shoes and it comes to having a child - a daughter. I see, she too experienced some sort of flashback thing... this is when it all starts, I reckon, for those that were abused as a child and have been trying for years to suppress everything - this is about the time it boils over whether you like it or not sunshine and watch out family cause, when this shit blows - it blows! And, so it bloody well should!

Like most parents of a newborn, I promised my daughter that she would have a better life than me and that she would NEVER have to experience abuse like I did - that is what every parent tells their child. Those with a history of sex abuse also have to add additional never-ending promises to their children on top of a real unhealthy dose of unobtainable goals.  

But no one ever told me, or warned me that I could possible overcompensate as well - I mean, what the hell does that mean anyhow? Overcompensate against abuse? How the hell could you do that and even if it were possible, who cares - less abuse can't be a bad thing right?

Nah, overcompensating, I now realise is as bad. 

One example that I remember was when a male friend came to visit. My daughter had just hopped out of the bath. I had all her clothes on the floor in the lounge. Wrapped in a towel, she came into the lounge and my friend immediately got up and walked out of the room. My instant  reaction was to think: "You dirty bloody pervert, has to leave the room so I don't catch him out huh?" Well, all I can say is I am glad I confronted him about this because he turned and asked me: "What about your daughter's right to privacy? "Gee, well there's a thought! Ouch. 

David, the Nutter's online shrink, then asks Denise: "How much of your childhood [the abuse, abandonment etc.] do you think is attributed to depression now?" That's the good thing about the show, he asks a question and you get an opportunity to answer for yourself.... 

Denise's answer?

"Anything can set me off. It could be that someone said something to me, didn't say something. It might not have anything to do with my childhood, " she says. The one thing that could be seen as a link, she adds, is her persona giving off a tougher than nails exterior and "so people seem to think they can say whatever they like and it won't hurt when in fact, I'm just as human as they are."

Man do I know what that feels like. I have family members that seem to think the minute they feel anything, they have to telephone me and express it. It doesn't matter if I'm having a bad day or whether I've only just untied the noose round my neck to get the phone - you know, in the vain hope that there was someone willing to convince me to live? Pack of selfish bastards! 

That's the time you need a good clean out - get rid of everything and anything even remotely toxic in your life. Put your feet on solid ground, not on pieces of shit labeled family members, and get some footsteps in the right direction. Cut the dead beats off so you can gain a little momentum in the right direction... believe me, it can't be worse than drowning in gluggie pool of "relative" muck.

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