Five Significant Events in my Life-4

Realizing I was emotionally abused as a child (College Softmore)

About half a year after my parents had separated I discovered this truth.  While it was super great that I was finally able to understand why I thought they way I did and did the things I do, it also shocked me to the core.  One would have thought that discovering this would have been a breakthrough not cause a breakdown.

The gears first started turning a few months before my epiphany when I was still going to my therapist.  I saw her about three times a month and we talked about a lot of things, all of them centering around the issues I had with my mother, and why I resented her so much.  I showed her my art and poems as that was my main outlet for my negative emotions.  We talked about how manipulative my mother was over my life (the fact that I had a curfew while I was in college was astounding to her), and about how phrases my mother would say had morphed my thinking.  At this point we hadn’t put a label to what was going on inside my mind.

I also talked to my dad a lot and found out that before my younger sister was born my mother had tried to control the things I played with.  As most mothers try and do. she was desperately trying to my make into that stereotypical “girly girl” when I was clearly on the path to “tom-boy.”  Dad explained how I liked to play trains with him and how disapproving my mother thought of this.  A few years later mom finally got her “girly girl” in the form of my little sister but never gave up on trying to force me into that role.  I remember playing with Barbie’s, makeup, and dolls during my pre-kindergarten years, basically all the stereotypical “girly girl” toys.  Thanks to my dad, I was still able to hold onto some of my “tom-boyish” ways.  He would buy me Matchbox cars whenever we went to toy shows, we’d race the Nascar remote controlled car tracks, and he’d let me help him set up the huge old train set we had.

When I got to middle school I started being more artistic and started devoted large amounts of my time tracing and drawing in an anime style.  Mother did not approve, surprise surprise.  She thought academics were more important than letting my express myself and improve my artistic skills.  This is the start of her clamping down on my creative spirit.  This is also the time when I got into anime, or as my mom called them “cartoons.”  I was into Naruto at the time and she didn’t want me watching all the violence and tried to steer me towards more “realistic” shows like reality tv (it’s what my mother and sister would watch all the time; I couldn’t stand it).  Since my friends were into anime I would always catch her looking down her nose at them, because we were the “weird” kids.  She’d put on this “good hostess” face but it was so forced that it was so painfully obvious that it was fake.  It was always a struggle to go to friends houses to chill or go to parties when she would keep denying them, saying that she needed a weeks notice in advance so she could plan it around her schedule.

In high school I got into sewing and used my new found skills to start making cosplays for the one convention I went to a year.  What a shock, mother didn’t approve.  She thought the money that was being spent on the fabric and the conventions was a waste,especially if it was for anime themed things.  Video games also became a big part of my life.  I’d spend hours downstairs in the basement playing .hack//gu or rockband or smash.  Dad would come down and join me in smash or rockband and the games that he couldn’t join in he’d stand and watch for a little while and ask me questions about what was going on.  Mother, on the other hand, would just complain about how I isolated myself downstairs not interacting with my “family.”  This was also the time when my mother and sister were trying to force makeup down my throat.  My mind was focusing on inner beauty rather than outer, since I wasn’t the “thinnest” or most “attractive” girl out there.  Those two just couldn’t understand.  In the morning when the two of them would spend hours on their makeup and hair I’d barraged with “Do you wanna try this eye shadow?” or “You should put some foundation on.” or “You need to learn how to do makeup for when you get out in the real world.” or “You can’t go to work without makeup.”  I was perfectly fine with my natural look, sure I had acne but so did everyone else.  I always ignored them and told them, “It’s what on the inside that counts.  If someone doesn’t like how I look on the outside and doesn’t want to get to know me, that’s their loss.”  Over the years after countless barrages, my confidence in my words was getting shaky.

During my entire I was also being compared to my sister.  She was labeled as the “smart” one, I was labeled as the “weird” one.  Not “creative”, not “artistic”, “weird.”  Because my sister was involved in cheerleading (a sport) my mother gave her favor over my choice of doing musicals with the theater.  She was the baby of the family and got everything she wanted, even if she never admitted it.  I always resented her for that.  She got the most love, got the best things ,and just seemed to get treated all around better than I.  It always seemed like she could do no wrong, but all I could do was wrong.  Forget to do this, not do this, let me remind me that you failed to do this two years ago, etc.

It wasn’t until I told Ryan all these things, and basically told him everything about my childhood until now that we were able to figure out what had happened to me.

Emotional Abuse.

Compared to most cases it certainly isn’t the most extreme example of emotional abuse, but when I researched it more I found myself checking a lot of my boxes and becoming emotional because the things I was finding were accurate to my home life.  The sad part of this whole thing is that I don’t even think my mother realizes what she was doing and continues to do to me.

There is a happy lining to this; I realized that I needed to start focusing on doing what made me happy.  I wasn’t going to let her drag me around to places I didn’t want to go to, as I was practically tied down to her schedule before; I was focusing on my schedule.  I stopped going to church, I moved onto college campus, I made my own plans with my friends and stuck to them.  Just recently I declined the traditional “family vacation” in order to go to a convention in Baltimore.  The last few that I had gone with just my mother and sister had resulted in some horrid depression during the trip; I didn’t want to go through that again.  While it made her horribly upset, I felt so much better and happier that I didn’t go.  Now it’s the era of me.

Five Significant Events In My Life-2

Meeting Ryan (October College Freshman)

~Sappy post ahead, read at your own risk

The way that Ryan and I met is literally one of my favorite stories to tell people because it really feels like a fated encounter; one that drastically changed both of our lives.

It all started in our freshman writing class, Analytical Reading and Writing, taught by Professor Arehart.  I sat in the front corner, the furthest one from the door, right next to the windows.  There were long table, that sat six, arranged in a three by four grid.  This is what made up the basement classroom of Campbell Hall.  Little to my knowledge, Ryan was sitting at the opposite end of the long table I sat at. We had never talked to each other prior to our big fated meeting, however he was a big contributor to class while I hid in my shell.

Then, one day, Professor Arehart told everyone to pair up on their own to peer review our research essays that we had been working on.  I hate it when professor’s make me do group work or pair up, especially when I don’t know anyone in the class; I’m not the type of person to go up and ask someone if they want to work with me.  Seeing that I was alone, Professor Arehart paired me up with Ryan; he had forgotten his paper and no one had paired up with him.

So I moved my stuff down to his end of the table and shyly introduced myself.  I felt really out of my comfort zone as this guy was waaaay too attractive to give me the time of day; my confidence and self-esteem were super low at this point in my life.  He read my paper and gave me energized compliments while also gently giving me critiques.  This is when we both found out we both loved to write, fiction and fantasy being our to to genres.  We talked even more, my confidence rising from having a similar interest.  What really threw me head of heels for him right on the spot was we discovered we both liked anime.  (God I wish I could have kept a somewhat concealed face because Ryan told me that he knew I really liked him from the get go).  My heart was racing from excitement, but my low self-esteem was bashing me over the head telling me that this guy was out of my league.  Ryan also mentioned that he was dating someone at the time; that dampened my spirits.

We started hanging out together a lot more after that.  He moved seats so he could sit next to me.  We ate lunch together and talked endlessly about books ans story ideas we had.  I also went up to his dorm room on almost a daily basis to watch anime; he gave me a comfy chair while he relaxed on his bed.  Eventually, he broke up with his girlfriend (I laughter found out that she had thought Ryan was cheating on her with me and freaked out on him; Ryan didn’t appreciate the freak-out and irrational behavior).  I pretended to be upset and supporting, but secretly I was cheering because now he was on the market!

When breaks came around, he called me a few times and we talked for hours; our Skype calls sometimes lasted four hours.  When classes resumed for the new semester, we continued to hang out and walk each other to class, even though we didn’t share a class anymore.  Then on February 12th 2013, he asked me when had had finished walking me to my car.  Not wanting to pressure me into making a decision, he told me to think it over; I totally would have said yes right on the spot.  February 14th is when I gave my answer, but first I had a question that needed to be answered.  “Why me?  What’s so great about me that make you wanna be with me?” I asked, sitting on his bed.  “IT’s because of what’s inside here.” He responded, pointing at my heart.  I nearly cried.  How could I not say yes?

So almost four years later, he were are.  Both of us are completely different from who we were on that day.  We both have grown so much together with both of us pushing each other to be the best we can, while being there for the many road bumps life throws at us.  I hope we can continues to grow in the future.  I still feel like this meeting that happened four years ago was fate.