a guest Jun 18th, 2019 78 Never
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- Well, you guys wanted me to talk, here it is. Any email reply to this... I'm not going to lie? I'll be too scared to read this. But I'm not holding back on this email.
- I don't want to write an email filled with nasty name-calling or "you" statements that seem to be the only way anyone ever can communicate in this family. I am choosing this route because I feel like I can never, ever get a word in, edge-wise. I don't do this out of hate, I do this because it's at the point that this is deeply affecting my mental health in ways that none of you intend to but are deeply blind to.
- First and foremost, I do not feel comfortable nor do I appreciate being shamed for my clothing or having anyone tell me what to do with my body. Especially when the person doing so knows very well that I've had body issues since I was a little girl. I have never felt comfortable in my own skin; my trauma is definitely a result of that. I do not like reiterating what happened to me but I feel like you do not understand how deeply traumatizing and upsetting it is to hear this. It really hurts me beyond words that I can put into this email how "scary" or whatever adjective that has been attached to me before. Ever since I was a little girl, I was picked on for my looks, ranging from my natural hair color to the fact I was a late bloomer, both including kids that picked on me to even my own family members. It was not even 10 years ago, I felt comfortable in my general appearance, let alone bearing my self-harm scars out there in an effort to cope with it. I know what they look like but most people are polite and don't say anything.
- I have never felt like I even owned my own body and that it's always been someone else's because I've had boys taking advantage of me so many times, more times than I have ever felt comfortable telling you. The things I do with my appearance makes me feel like I have control over my own body and that through any sort of creativity, I can reclaim bits of myself I've thought I have lost. Trust me when I say, I've been through so much and sadly, I am never going to feel comfortable telling you. If you, indeed, feel like you must stand by "my house, my rules", yes, I will gladly sleep in a gutter over this because it is my body and no one is going to try and control my body ever, ever again. This is a hill I will gladly die on because that is how disconnected I've felt from my own self, for years. If you don't agree with this, that's fine. But I will say ever since you told me your secret, it deeply upsets me you feel that dressing for the summer invites unwanted attention, because it doesn't. I don't know how you dressed but it was never ever your fault for what you wore. I do it because it makes me feel confident in myself when I still look at my own body and think how ugly I look. It hurts, it's salt in the wounds and that's not fair.
- Secondly, I don't talk because... that's just how I am? I like keeping to myself, I'm used to this. Yes, that also is affected by how I was bullied. But also, how can anyone feel comfortable talking when you constantly hear the name-calling circulating around the house, especially at dinner. I mean, really, "retard", "surrounded by simple people", being told "you don't know what you're talking about" when someone uses a word no one else has ever heard? Boy, have I tried and it is either glossed over or someone in this house has to be patronizing to the other individual. It's not healthy to live that way, it's not cool to hear everyone shout at each other and that has always made me want to pull away. Contrary to what anyone thinks, I hate arguing! But if I had to be frank, I am not at all likely to have a conversation once anyone decides to tell me I don't know what I'm doing, I'm stupid, or having someone try and take over something I do. I don't like it, it doesn't make me want to talk to anyone. And I certainly do not want to have a conversation with someone if all they're going to do is shout me down into silence and physically corner me. I have to ask, why do you think that's effective? Why do you think that's going to make me open up? Because it's not. You don't like it when I hug you, so why do you feel the need to put me in a literal corner and yell at me? Why can't you just talk to me like you would someone at your work?
- And the thing is I have struggled with depression and anxiety since I was a little kid. This is not news. And I'm not going to blame someone and say it's their fault but environmental factors don't help (i.e. name-calling, yelling, hitting, and cornering) and I'm pretty positive mental illness runs in this family. No one wants to admit that latter part but it's true. But last month, how you both were saying that you were looking through my things for "clues" was pretty infuriating. When I was seven, I used to hit myself in the head at school or pull my hair. By the time I was nine, I had a bald spot on my widow's peak (yeah, those short hairs I had on my head weren't from me cutting them) because I couldn't verbalize that pain. I used to hit my head against the wall because I thought I deserved it. I used to think I wish I was dead as early as 12. I would freely disassociate and everyone would call it "day-dreaming" and that's when I would mentally disconnect from the world around me because I didn't know how to cope with it. And, I won't lie, I feel like these signs should have been evident. Me, not being able to sleep ever, drawing instead of listening to my teacher, having nightmares of ghosts, wandering off, etc. I was always pretty depressed as a kid because of all the bullying, those boys that hurt me, and all the chaos at home. I struggle with hurting myself because I feel like I'm never heard and it's the only way I can ever verbalize what I'm really thinking because I hate yelling and shouting so much that this is the only way I have felt like I could say something. I hurt myself because I can't understand why I'm upset or angry at things, I never learned how or why (again, not anyone's fault). This goes back to "I don't feel whole in my own body". And maybe I would have said something, but I can't really remember why I didn't. I actually don't remember a lot of things when I was a kid because it hurt me as a kid to remember.
- But my purpose of seeking out help from the beginning of 2012 is because I wanted to show others that it was okay and it's really alarming to have a flood of traumatic memories hitting you. No joke, I thought I was losing my mind in 2012. I wanted to show Jacob it was okay to ask for help and, frankly, everyone else in the family. I'm not trying to be mean when I say I strongly believe that you and dad could benefit from therapy. The habits and thought processes that run through this family, ESPECIALLY jumping to conclusions, is not at all healthy. Having dad accuse you of lying when he disagrees with you on something, assuming I'm on drugs, assuming Jacob's manic episodes are a result of a drug binge, all those things. Those aren't healthy thought processes, it's toxic thinking. It has affected you both since I was a little girl that you both scream and fight with one another over the kitchen sink or the watch you bought dad this Christmas. I'm serious when I say you guys need that help as much as I do. It's hard to balance myself when you guys can't see your own bad habits. I exemplify you both--again, that's not your faults. It's something that runs in this family that no one talks about and should.
- This is the discussions we have in therapy and here all the thinking styles we are very, very guilty of. I encourage you to look at it and read it.
- So, again, I'm not holding back. To reiterate, once more, I have other debt that I do not feel comfortable discussing; it is a major stressor for me. It is hard to discuss this with you both because it makes me extremely uncomfortable when someone offers up to make phone calls, power of attorneys, and discussing budgets that involve my personal life. My car loan is now right around $8,000, which was originally $10,000. That lease debt was almost $5,000 and now down to $1,500. I personally think that is amazing that I did all of that, in a year. That is half of my car loan. I want to be proud of SOMETHING, I want to be proud of THAT, that I've put that much money to it and I'll be free of it soon. Feel free to disagree, but that is pretty good when I've had credit, student loan, medical, and other debt to take care of. No offense to you both, but the whole $30,000 thing that I keep hearing about? Is very unrealistic and out of touch with how the cost of living and inflation have gone up over the years, let alone in Colorado. It's absurd and ridiculous. I have sacrificed the possibility of saving for anything just to pay off my stuff and I've paid off almost everything with the exception of that. For the love of good, can I at least get some sort of acknowledgment with that?
- But the thing that really gets me though is that I don't think it's fair to yell at me and call me names when I loaned you $6,000 after my car accident. I'm not going to lie, but I don't think I can forgive you for that. I loaned you that when I was 19 in 2005, confident that I know my mother, the most level-headed person I know, would pay that back. But you didn't. I have given up on seeing that $6,000 back and I'm not going to ask for it. I am just going to say I think it's absolutely hypocritical and infuriating that I keep having the above paragraph tossed and hung over my head when I gave that large sum of money, the result of my own physical suffering and losing my first car. I think that's messed up and unfair, especially when this was denied on your part. It was you who thought it was best to seek out an attorney because that girl had the nerve to blame me for the accident in summer school. It was you who wanted to go after AIG to teach that girl a lesson. What gives you the right to downplay that? No, that wasn't the pay off for the Comet, that was the result of my medical bills and therapy. I am still stunned that you asserted that was for the insurance payout. I want to believe that you forgot about this, I do, but I can't, I really can't.
- Right now... I'm not in a good place and, no, I don't think you both can help me because you don't see that your approach is not the best way. I don't need guidance, I need support. I need my parents to at least acknowledge the good things in their lives (not just mine), ones that know their mistakes and acknowledge them. You are not helping me when you already dismiss my pleas to stop calling each other names and jumping to radical conclusions about my personal life. You assume things about me too much; you guys have never taken the time to talk to me about things I enjoy, what's upsetting me, or get my age right. I am not some short-tempered, loose cannon that I feel like I get painted to be. Again, I hate arguing but everyone around me likes to argue with me, about me, thinking they know me so well when they don't. I feel like my own intelligence is questioned constantly (fuck that, I am fucking smart), I'm compared to my brothers who were raised very differently from me, and then telling my own relatives that I'm "emotionally manipulative"? I can't even talk to my aunts, uncles, or gramma. I feel so distant. I don't feel like a member of this family, I haven't for a long time. I have felt like I am always the brunt of your anger and frustrations of people you have a hard time talking to. I rarely feel included in anything; any time I voice concerns about how my brothers were treated in comparison to me, I get told: "you need to be tougher". Well, I don't feel tougher, I feel like garbage and this is a pain I can't seem to get rid off.
- I am not my brothers. I am not always going to rely on someone to make phone calls on my behalf. I don't need help with everything, I like to solve things on my own. I am not going to be stuck anymore. Stop comparing me to other people; I am not other people, I'm Natalie, I love art, creating things, weird things, animals, warm days, good food, and a cup of coffee. I want to talk to my family, not being told "you didn't do this", "you should do this", "you need to", "you look", etc. I would give anything in my life to have someone I love and see as family go "hey, Natalie, how's that art coming along?". But no one does this and the closest I've had to this is Jacob, and even if he can be a jerk to me, sometimes. I have voiced these things so many times of how I feel like I'm treated harshly in comparison to my brother and all of these things have been downplayed, I've been gaslighted, and told I can't change people. I'm so tired of it; I'm so tired of thinking horrible things. Yeah, I can't change things, but I can at least beg people to stop being so pessimistic and to listen not just to me but each other, tell them that I hate this and it wears down on my soul so much.
- I hate doing this. I know I'm rambly. I'm tired, I want to sleep with my cats, and I want to get back up the next morning and feel normal and I'm not going to have any of these things. Again, whatever reply I get, I'll be too scared to read it. I don't want to compose an email you sent to Scott or have the same scenario happened but goddamn. I don't need this; you want to help me, really? Have a normal, functioning conversation with me. Don't say things like "yeah, well, I'm depressed to" or "But I'M having a hard time", it's so dismissive to anyone's feelings. It's okay to say "hey, man, me, too" but not in that way. And what happens next? I need space. Seriously. I'm not used to everyone trying to insert themselves into my personal stuff, it's really alarming. You guys are gun-ho, I appreciate it, but please cool down for a bit. Any information about therapy, medication adjustments, doctors, and the like I am not going to discuss with anyone (Jacob, vaguely, because he gets me more than anyone else in my life) because it's a mess. It's a super, huge trigger. I know what I have to do, I don't need to hear the obvious. I can handle myself; no one knows me better than myself and Jacob. This isn't "Intervention", this is a legitimate thing that I have struggled with since I was a kid (that NO ONE is at fault for) and will take years for me to find the right adjustments and the right path. And yeah, it's hard for me to work, because I obsess over the things I do in the most unhealthy way possible.
- I don't hate you, I just want you to stop these things.
- I don't hate anyone. I want you guys in my life, I just want you to listen to me and each other, especially. But I feel like this is the best way I can really tell you how I feel. Again, sorry, it's not my intent to hurt anyone with this.
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