I am scared to live - scared of who I am not - you can't see me
by Marianni Cari
That little blonde girl with the finger curls cocking her head to the side with a faint smile and sky blue eyes - looks so sweet and adorable - so why did she grow up to be afraid to look into someone's eyes, wanting so much to love and be loved - but has not clue what that entails - feels nothing but hurt and sadness and wants so much to just say what I feel and think and be confident - so smart but stupid; so attractive but ugly; so fit but fat; so clean but dirty. I doen't deserve any of it - love, confidence, respect.
I love my mom but she had real anger control and resentment issues -even as a baby I can remember the fear, the dark, the loneliness. I was scared all of the time. I wet my bed until I was 13 years old and would run home to bring in the sheets before anyone would see them. Sometimes I think she really loved me but would get so angry out of control screaming and hitting me with a steel spoon spatula, weed poker, ruler, whatever she could.
I was the last of the 4 - turned out to be the brightest and sweetest, horribly shy but would always be with a smile to say something nice to someone then I could pout and I could turn on a dime and be mean and say something rude just like my mother. Was I that difficult? - my sister hated me too - she resented me, the kids in school made fun of me why???? I was adorable - really cute and always very polite - it hurt like hell not to be invited to birthday parties, hearing the rumors, and just being taunted - truly hated - what the hell did I do?? What the hell did I do to to cause such disdain?
Even as I got older anything that I would contribute to the conversation was scoffed as unimportant and stupid - so I would just shut up. I was an explosion waiting to happen - in my teens I became horrible - ran away, used foul language and wanted to be viewed as a tripped out hippie. I really didn't do much in the way of drugs - just smoked a little weed and hashish. But I would pretend I was high all the time - why not. As a younger child I clung to my stuffed Lassie dog for dear life. I would write poems, color and play board games with myself. I was never permitted to have friends over or go to others homes.
My mother hated me and said she wished that she aborted me, I was a bitch. I tried to please her - I use to love to play outside in my bronters shirts and jeans - at 4 years old I would swing so high on the swings and just loved to play in the dirt. I climbed trees and just loved being a nature girl - free and loving the moment but Mom wanted me to be the debutante - dresses - hell - I liked my skinned up knees - I was curious and life was an adventure that I loved to explore. She would get so angry with me - called me a tomboy - I was just like my father - a nothing (He was an architect and professor- he just didn't live a lavish lifestyle like my mom wanted).
When about 9 or 10 years of age, I was feeling this happiness inside (I now know it was a external emotion b/c I was going to make my mom happy. She was right, it was time to act like a girl) I put a stupid dress on and went out in the yard and picked dandelions and buttercups - they were flowers to me. I had this image in my head of June Cleaver and meadows. I never lived in the real world because my world was hell. I skipped into the kitchen to give them to my mom - she called them weeds and put them in a glass of water on the window sill- I stood there hoping she would notice me - in a dress with that stupid smile- It didn't please her. Her tone of voice was why in the world was I wearing that dress!. I told her that I was being a girl just like she wants me to be. She said yea sure how long will that last and turned around to do her kitchen work.
There were times when she beat so badly & left on my body- I remember lying on the red couch one day thinking that she is just beating me because I'm bad but she wouldn't kill me because I'm her little girl - dear God I was only 5 - where did I learn about killing at that age?
I'm just turned 60 but look 40 - still cute as a button and wear that stupid grin. I married and divorced 3 times - first one - he was an alcoholic; 2nd one I just did it b/c I didn't think any one better would come along and the last one, I loved and I scared him off with my internalizations and explosions. The end of that marriage nearly killed me - I had a nervous breakdown and have never really recovered - Oh I function well on the outside but on the inside I've been plagued by debilitating depression and anxiety, self doubt and faced with the truly that who I was, was my mother. No why couldn't I be more like my Dad - he was brilliant, talented and so reserved and gentle.
I earned 2 under graduate degrees and 2 masters degrees and a law degree - spent 20 years as a navy officer and the last 10 as a private attorney. My problems surfaced in my 40's - my marriage fell apart - that was the worst feeling of rejection ever - even to this day;I blame me. My biggest fear was being alone - what I learned was being abandoned. My father abandoned my every time he went to work and left me with my Mother. Just this past Thanksgiving at dinner (last evening), my X to my right side and my youngest daughter to my left and I realized that I was looking downward - could not look at my Husband (I still love him) but the feeling was more of shame and embarrassment. I wanted to look at him that its me (you never knew me - me who loves you) and tell him I was just hiding out from who I was - I'm a great person just traumatized by my bipolar mother. I can't say those words either. I was always afraid to tell my Dad that I loved him. We never spoke words of love in our house - my mother screamed obscenities and cursed him and he and I would hide out in the room until she calmed down. I had a brother 2 years older than me - mom never yelled at him or beat him like she did me or my older sister or other older brother.
There was my Dad - I idolized him - my safety net - my protector - unfortunately he was gone all the time working - like I do now - I do the same damn thing - work work work - so I don't have to feel or can have an excuse as to why I can't go to lunch or interact with other- If I am not working, I feel uncomfortable, I'm afraid that when I am just talking about anything but work people will see me. When I am alone at night, I start having tremors and horrible depression. I cry for hours even days then I get angry - I am angry now. I want this emotional roller coaster to go away.
I want to be that little girl who was allowed to grow up to be a professional women who is confident, content, and popular- I have no friends and I don't go anywhere except work - I am fine when I'm working - I look as if I am under control and the confident - but when I get in my car to go home at night, I say shit - I hope I can fall right to sleep so that I don't have to think about my life or how the hell I got to this dark lonely place.
I feel crazy in my head but so serene in my composure - like a schizoid - the inner me that no one sees (that frightened child peeking out of the closet or from under the bed listening to my mother scream how she was going to beat the living day lights out of me when she found me - and she did) then there is the outer me who appears to be in such control - what a sicko - I hate me and I hate the life I have - I loved my Husband I just didn't know how to love him functionally. Of course he probably has issues - the eldest of 7 children whose father is an alcoholic - he was the hero child and I was the nonscript all over the place little kid who was flighty, happy and never grew up - I was just trying to survive but I want to live before I die.
I am afraid my mask is falling off - if it does then who will I be????? I'm so conflicted - I don't want to be alone but I love being alone - I'm afraid to interact on a social level with other because they will see the fear behind those blue eyes and the smile is really a frown. I feel so desperate at times. I use to have lots of friends and acquaintances - I felt whole being married with my little ones - now I'm alone, with no friends - no clue how to make friends - what has happened to me? The feeling I felt during the divorce is as if I was being ripped away from my life - I cannot function alone but I do. I hate the thought of dating - find it stupid. My emotional state is getting more sociopathic - I feel absolutely nothing but sadness.
Help me - please.