Youth & Teenage Years
I am born in 1965 as the oldest of 3 children on a small island in the Netherlands.
My mother was brought up in an extremely Christian family (Orthodox Protestant). My father came from a progressive Mennonite family.
For me, at least for me, it was sad that my mother was in charge of the family. What she didn't like we weren't allowed to do.
And there was a lot she didn't like. Almost everything children who grow up like.
Because, in her eyes "What I do not like or love, is not likable nor lovable".
Without any sense that she could or might be wrong.
My mother told my this my whole life (till I cut the ties in 2013):
- You are feeling it wrong
- You are seeing it wrong
- You are doing it wrong
- You are not worth it
And even when you know intellectually that this is not true. It has so evaporated that the subconscious mind has come to believe it.
Therefore really, really hard to unlearn...
My father was often away for work, so we were at home with my mother.
A very cold mother.
I can not remember any time, not even later when I got a new baby brother (I was almost 7 years then), we were ever hugged.
What I remember is that someone called on the door. A stranger. Telling my mother that he heard a baby crying for a long time already.
"I know" my mother said. "That is my son. Let him cry. He has a clean diaper, he has been fed and now he needs to go to sleep".
What would have happened when this stranger would have called the police?
A kiss? One in the air, next to your cheek. Do not try to give 2 or more. No chance...
(This was still the case when I was an adult. I once saw a relative far acquaintance from my parents and she was completely unaware when he approached her and before she he the change to say
"1 is enough", she received the second one.
I never forget the look on her face.
UNBELIEVE! How dare he! This was on the day my father received a royal medal. As she was (is?) all about how others saw her, she could not react how she would have done when there were no people around.
I was a very bright, very sensitive, child. With sensitive I mean that I absorbed the energy around me.
Felt what others felt. Their suffer, their bad humor, happiness etc.
Both positive as negative. I still do, and still find it difficult to protect myself from this.
I also learned to talk and walk early.
Liked to look into books and started to learn reading also at a very young age.
And I had, have, a special way of looking at the world. I had so many questions. Like any normal child. And so much more...
Some questions I asked (before my 5th birthday):
- Are you sure there is no other world?
- Are you sure we are alive and this is not a dream?
- What if Hitler isn't dead but still alive?
- I am afraid to die, what is going to happen when I do?
- And so one...
And the answers to these questions?
- Don't be a fool!
- Do not overreact!
- He is dead!
- You are not going to die! (She was so wrong, we all are going to die...)
- Do not worry so much!
I learned to recognize her moods. As they changed in a split second.
What was a good answer or behavior this minute, was completely wrong the next.
I learned, but during learning it made me kind of crazy.
Not being able to be yourself next to the person who should be your tower in strength...
Hard, very hard for the sensitive child I was. And sensitive adult I am.
My sister was born when I was almost 2 years old.
We were not the best friends, we will never be. But that's another story.
And when my sister had to go to bed in the evening, after her bottle, I had to go to bed too.
In the beginning no problem, but when we grew older it was.
When I got a baby brother, I was almost 7, I started to complain about this.
Why should I, as a 7 year old, go to bed on the same time my brother went to bed?
BECAUSE I SAID SO...
I could not stand these words. Can not stand them. Not at all.
The words I heard the most since the beginning of my life.
No explanation, no communication. Only those words.
Or... BECAUSE I DO NOT LIKE IT!
Some other words I hate!
When I grew older I hardly got new clothes anymore.
They received clothes from family and/or friends with older children.
And the stuff that still was in good shape I had to wear.
My sister got the new clothes. Although I am the oldest I also was the smallest and within a few years my sister had the same size as I had. And grew bigger.
And my brother, well... he was male, so he got different (new) clothes.
I could learn very good. I loved school. Being away from home, were I wasn't allowed to do anything. Except the things my mother liked.
Remember she came from a Orthodox Protestant family. Had not learned to love things other then God & the Bible.
This was forbidden in the Bible, this was not allowed. And the other things she didn't like, and therefore we weren't allowed to do this.
At least me and my sister weren't.
My bother was spoiled rotten and he had (has) is way to get everything done from her.
At school I had a major head trauma during gymnastics.
In this time, the early 1970's, I was not send to a hospital, nor to the doctor.
My parents weren't warned.
And the only thing my mother said when I told her the reason of my headache "you should not have stand there".
Although my father tried to protect us, he was not strong enough against my, at that time already, narcissistic mother.
And he was away often. Not only for work, but also for his hobbies
Now I think it was his way of escaping... He, for example, wasn't allowed to have certain friends because my mother didn't like them. Friends he had his whole life.
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I grew up in a big house with a huge attic & cellar.
When I did something she didn't like I was locked up in the cellar. But most of the time in the attic.
The attic was scary. Dark with wooden beams that creaked and spiders. And the door was locked so no possibility to escape.
No food, no water, no toilet.
Till my father rescued me, when he came home.
When he was away for the night, she sometimes "forgot" me.
Sometimes I was there with my sister, mostly alone.
I was always blamed for anything gone wrong. Even when I didn't do it. Which was mostly the case.
I became a very withdrawn child. I still am a very withdrawn adult.
My only escape was school. On which I did very well.
But never well enough. There was, in the eyes of my mother, always something I could do better.
My grades in primary school were so good I received the "gymnasium" (High School) advice. But I didn't want to go.
This meant leaving the island I grew up, at the age of 12. I didn't want to do that (I really should have don that, but it can not be changed anymore), and for once my father put his foot down for me.
I can not remember very much from the period after primary school till I was about 17 years old.
Some things I remember:
At the age of 15, I stood for a long time in my bedroom with both hands full of pills. To commit suicide. It was the bitterness of the pill that I could not stand.
And I threw them away. There came times in my life I regretted this. There were times I didn't...
I became sick often, very sick, yet I survived. Barely. And got into a relationship, which lasted almost 3 years, with a boy.
Only because my mother disguised him.
Just before I moved out for the first time, to go to another school, I went to our General practitioner. To talk about the circumstances in our family.
My mother who's hands were very loose, but not too often.
The psychological mistreating from her site etc. And I told him that I was worried what would happen when I was not there anymore to catch the blows.
Now these days the GP would have been careful.
He came by the same evening telling my mother what I had told him.
She of course told him I was lying and exaggerating. That I was the one who should be blamed. After that, the circumstances became worse and worse.
The most important thing for my mother, Window Dressing. Nobody has to do with how it goes in our family.
Hyacint Bucket from Keeping Up Appearances is an amateur compared with my mother.
Three months before I became 18 years old, I started my education as a nurse. First 3 months I had full time schooling. And after that it was working and learning in a hospital.
And although I lived on my own, in a small apartment, every time I got home, I still did that these years, I was not allowed to do things she didn't like.
What has this brought me? Going trough a youth no one should go through...
- I learned I am strong. Although I needed therapy years later, I did not became a drugs/alcohol addict.
- As I also didn't became a serial killer :) .
According to FBI research, almost all serial killers are white, have been abused physically or mentally in there youth. And had major head trauma in their youth.
I checked above three.
Except the fourth... I am not male.
- I learned to adapt very fast
- Also I am very empathic
- And I am able to understand all points of view (which doesn't mean that I agree with all)
- I am able to help people
- I have no prejudice
- Yet I have a very strong sense of standards and values
- And due through everything I've experienced I am able to understand and feel with others.
Yes, we were fed, we had clothes.
But there was no love (at least not for me) from my mothers side.
I hadn't much blue spots, but the mental damage is something nobody sees. But exists.
And hurts for a long time...
Probably for ever.