August 4th, 2004

trust, best friends forever, snot-nosed brats

Not Mine

When people mentioned the general class of abuse victims, I never identified myself as being in that class.

I identified myself as being part of a broken cycle of domestic violence, yes. That was measurable. I was spanked too hard, not quite abusively but fearsomely, and on occasion things were destroyed and I was terrified lest I be hurt too. But I counted as one of the household's triumphs that it stopped, and that it's not continuing in this next generation. The Little Fayoumis might never know that in all three of his parental lines there was a pattern of domestic non-peace. He'll probably learn when he's older, because that's the sort of thing that you do eventually tell kids, so they'll know how to recognize it when they see it, but he won't ever know it firsthand.

I know I wasn't sexually abused, nor raped, nor subjected to enough domestic violence to do anything other than make me immensely determined to never subject a child to the raw end of my temper. So when I see things for "victims of abuse", I don't include myself in that. Victims are of murder, and I'm alive.

I know that when I was sixteen, I was aware that the situation I was in was red-flagged, and that if it were anyone else, I would be telling her that she should not be there. But it was me, not some other young woman, and I had to be there. I couldn't ignore him. I couldn't refuse him the help he needed. I could take it. I was strong enough to handle it. They couldn't rearrange themselves, and I could. It hurt, it hurt almost every minute, but I couldn't let go. I knew the warning signs for an emotionally abusive relationship. I probably had them memorized for Health class. And there I stayed, even so. I just didn't, couldn't, connect "this is my life" with "this is abuse".

Every time I connected it, I forgot it soon after. I couldn't imagine that I would endure abuse. Hardship, yes; abuse, never.

It doesn't come naturally to me to say, "Yes, after three years of very little contact, I'm back in cordial correspondence with my abuser again." Abuser sounds intimidating, terrifying. This person isn't that. He just had root access to my soul, and -- abused it.

Abuse makes it sound bigger than it was. I can't remember very much of 1997 or 1999, and 2000's kind of fuzzy too. I have to really squint to get 1998 in focus, though 1996 stands out with unnatural, painful clarity. That's all. I just had my head walled off so I could function and pretend to be normal. Everybody does that. I only cried myself to sleep regularly. Most teenagers do that. I only had to deal with his attempted suicide the once, and then his suicidal behavior for the following year without any backup, and the knowledge that if I tried to get backup, he would cut me out of his life. I could deal with that because I had to. I learned to live with his sudden manic interests in obscure things, and stopped reacting so badly when he tried to freak me out. Everyone goes numb after a while. And of course I forgave him, because if I didn't, he would sulk and pout and act ill-treated, though I harbored a grudge and let everyone know what a dick he was being.

I couldn't understand why my sister hated him. He was my best friend, wasn't he? Why should she hate my best friend? She had to be jealous that she wasn't my best friend anymore.

It makes it seem like a bigger thing when I say "Darkside and Ro found me broken from the three years of abuse (plus damage from my would-be husband on top of that) and walked me through the recovery process until I am now actually functional in the professional world" rather than "I've got really good friends who are there for me when I need them." I've finally gotten comfortable with the idea of Darkside being a good friend who's there when I need him, just as I'm trying to be there for him when he needs me (though he's far more shy of admitting he needs anyone). I'm a little intimidated by the idea that I have a friend who is demonstratedly capable of taking someone who was just barely on the edge of functional after being abused and coaxing and clobbering them back into some semblance of stability. People who are that good are supposed to be charging $50 an hour or more, not reading me D&D message boards over the phone for hours on end and making crude jokes about Smurfs...

Wrapping my head around the idea that the trials of 1996-1999 were in fact abuse, and since they happened to me, I was abused, is going to take some rearranging. This is a far more grave mental adjustment to make than the delightful realization that when Darkside said that he cared about me a lot, he meant it... but I think that coming to terms with this is going to help me, in the long run, and help me realize some of what is going on in my head. There are all sorts of things in psychology to help survivors of abuse. I just didn't realize that any of those tools applied to me...
  • Current Mood
    trusting that I'm not alone for this
running, bomb tech

Tien, and other unsubtle silliness, including the Army

My friend Dawn called this morning. She was housecleaning last night and got a little carried away with that, and didn't wind up calling me. I wound up telling her all about the thing with Tien's wife leaving him. Then I had to explain what, exactly, I meant by "a Tien" when she hadn't read the books. (She really should read them.)

If the spaceship crashed in the desert and we were worried about having enough water, a Tien would take a shower.

We cackled together over the inevitabilities, and caught up on recent events. She does travel bookings for Disney, and has Cunning Plans for either when I wind up visiting her, or if my Pretty and I ever want a romantic getaway. (Hmm. Somehow I don't see a solitary sort of romantic getaway thing happening, but I think it could be lots of gigglesome fun if there were some sort of group holiday trip thing...)

Midway through the call, I got a beep. I switched over. It was for me.
"This is Captain John Kirk from DeVry..."
<azzgrin> "I don't feel like being recruited. Have a nice day!" >click<
I must say, working in the phone survey industry has made my telephone solicitation brushoffs very smooth indeed: swift, polite, and unambiguous.

Dawn and I have great fun giggling about stuff together. It really helps to have a chickfriend who knows the entire household and the whole old school crowd. It was the four of us at school: her, me, Darkside, and ralmathon. We're scattered all over the country (sort of), but we're still staying somewhat in touch, with me as the hub. It really helps that she knows the Tien-type, having been married to one; we could giggle about that properly. I explained the kid's middle name, and we cracked up...
  • Current Music
    TMBG, "Whistling in the Dark"

Room-cleaning progresses apace

I have disposed of business cards by putting their information into my Y! address book, which will put them on my palmtop, which is where I would use them anyway.

I also thought of a sweet little thing that computer or technically savvy businesses might want. Y'know how you can beam your Palm OS own address book entry to someone as a business card thinger? Well, if you had a dedicated broadcast unit in your business that was set up to beam the store's business card (restricted to a certain location, or on demand, lest it piss off users trying to look up something) ...

The Little Fayoumis is hanging in my room. He likes my bed. It's gotten bouncy again, because I've put the saved couch cushions from the Massive Couches of Doom underneath.

The box that used to hold a certain homemade candle has been converted into a Big Box of Divination Stuff. I wound up trying to explain why I got rid of the candle to the Little Fayoumis, and wound up using Team Rocket metaphorically.

I actually like cleaning my room (when I have a choice about it) because that means I find things that I hadn't remembered I had until I find them again. I get space, I get rid of things I don't need, and I find things and put them where I can find them again...
  • Current Music
    "Pop Goes the World"
Housewife&#39;s Lament

Mmm, scorch-your-mouth-off soup

One of the features of pastrami is the pepper. The templeravenmoon thing is turkey pastrami, and we had some leftover turkey pastrami and potatoes that needed to be used.

So I made soup. Potatoes, turkey pastrami, corn, water, a touch of onion and garlic salt, and then some salt to round it out, with a sprinkling of dill seeds.

Results? Soup that is good with the hard bread we've got left over. It's also soup that sets your lips on fire. Mmm. Pity I'm the only one who doesn't have to run screaming...
  • Current Music
    Romeo Void -- "Never Say Never"