« on: January 02, 2014, 09:05:32 pm »
Two cents, if you want it.Fuck the bit about the gun. It was a lie. The fact is, the man didn't need a gun. He didn't even need to make a threat. Not a direct one, anyway. He was a salesman, so he did it all with deals, bargains, arrangements, allusions, and jokes. That last part really fucked with me. I still have a hard time laughing at anything. He knew exactly where my handles were, and which strings to pull, and I was young enough that he could install some of his own, and so he made me complicit in my own abuse. I guess that's why I see myself the way I do. I was a kid, and I raped myself, and who rapes a kid? A monster, that's who. It isn't really rational, but these are the terms in which I view myself. An abomination that needs to be put down. I guess this is how I justify a good part of my own evil: It's simply in character. Mind you, I've never done anything along the lines of what my stepdad did to me. I do at least have that. But I still have a hard time feeling anything for other people, even as I recoil from hurting them. I find the idea of exploiting or abusing other people repulsive on an abstract level, but I don't think I actually have any empathy, and that scares me. I never miss people when they're gone. I never feel anything when they die. I find myself in the unusual position of lacking a heart and desperately wanting to have one.
We are often made complicit in our own abuse. It gives them an extra thrill and also, to them, plausible deniability. It's our fault they feel this way, want to do these things. We make them want it. Because we're the broken, twisted ones - not them.
Important note : It was not your fault and you did nothing to deserve or cause it.
You're not alone on the lacking a heart and wanting to have one scene.
Normally, I'd agree with you, but one of the things that's actually helped me deal with this is that when I finally realized I wasn't hideous, it occurred to me that I was a goddamn pimp at age 12. But then, it's probably more of a temporary measure than anything else, and probably not a genuinely useful one, and exactly the sort of thing that would lead to narcissism if I actually bought it. It's more of an idea that I occasionally amuse myself with.
I hope you don't mind me speculating, but I suspect that what's going on for you empathy-wise is not a lack of capacity, but a lack of activation, and that can be fixed, though it will be harrowing and take a great deal of work. From your description, you have become proficient at compartmentalizing and dissociating, which are really great survival skills when you're a kid being abused but not so adaptive as an adult trying to connect.
What you're doing now, writing about it, is a really, really good start. It's the processing, the reviewing/reliving, that actually helps people (and animals) to work through and integrate their traumatic experiences.
Compartmentalizing and disassociating become our super powers. We've got a shut-off switch or distancing maneuver for everything.
Keep writing it out, there's an on switch in there somewhere.
I agree with both of you on this. I think that's a large part of what got me fired, actually. The first seven years that I worked in my life, it was for the guy that abused me, so I got used to being a cold, bitter, angry asshole and filtering everything out but the task at hand when I worked, and I couldn't stop doing it when I finally got a job washing dishes. Work was associated with the rapist, and I think it still is, and I feel really shitty about that because it sounds like an excuse to get out of work. It made me very effective on a technical level, but in the end I was miserable and everyone hated me. According to the boss, I was fired because the waitresses felt threatened when I was around. I didn't really get it, but I couldn't blame them. People always think I'm either adorable or horrifying, and it's never the opinion I want them to have.