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Colorful and hopefully optimistic but maybe hateful occasionally

A bit ago I woke up from another nightmare... we all know how this post is gonna be, then :)

Hopefully getting it out will help me get to sleep.

I used to have a friend who lived in Israel. She was about my age, maybe a little younger. She lived alone and didn't want to leave her house. She was always scared. Always begging for help. I'm not sure she ever really saw me when we spoke. We used Skype to talk. Her connection was okay.

She had been in some terrible stuff. Long story short, she had gotten used to seeing missiles flying around. She was used to hearing the rumbles they made. They never hit her or her house.

At some point she was with some Red Cross type people, when she was 8. I don't know what for, besides the usual... but when she went to see a doctor for a traumatic wound, everything got worse. She was stabbed with a pencil in the bladder. She could never hold her urine again.

Due to trauma of my own, I understood this. I hate the smell of urine to this day and feel shame around normal bodily functions.

Obviously she didn't want to go to a doctor, though I tried to tell her that she needed to. When she obviously couldn't make herself go, i began trying to help her through Skype with the limited training I had. But I was at a loss, because what she needed was a doctor who could give her surgery and other therapies. I knew she was going to get a bladder infection again soon, and she couldn't keep mysteriously getting antibiotics from people and expect the problem to disappear.

She trusted me. She began trying to separate what a doctor was, from the monster she met in that camp. I was smart enough emotionally, but I knew I wasn't a psychologist, and couldn't be a therapist. I was teaching her only what I had learned from therapists, and I made sure she knew it. I told her that other therapists might be willing to meet her over Skype. It was unlikely that one could visit her where she lived.

One day, something happened to her friend. Not sure what, but the point is they lost communication. She told me that she needed me to come on Skype to fill his role in her life -- which was to watch her sleep through the night, or at least stay on Skype to keep her safe.

I tried to explain that I couldn't do this. It interfered with my schooling. After she signed off that night, I never heard from her again. She was never online after that, ever.

I kept checking until about four years later. I haven't checked since last October, when I stopped talking to my ex.

I like to daydream and think up logical answers as to why this is -- she was upset that I said no, despite seeming to understand, and simply chose another friend and never wanted to talk again. It would be a little rude, but not odd for an Internet friend.

I also like to think that she made more friends, lost internet due to missile activity (though she and her house would be fine) -- maybe she stopped having access to Internet, maybe she moved, maybe she went to a hospital and they got her out of that mess and she's having a happy ending to her story. I feel that's what she deserved.

But my brain has seen some horrible things, as many people have. It's heard horrible things, too. Therefore, my sleeping brain knows a different ending.

I never see her face, exactly. I have facial blindness and can't recognize anyone, not even my ex. It's sort of useful. However, in my dreams I can see her hair, and the pink shirt she wore frequently, and I can see the voice that marks her as her in the air around her, as if she's talking to me, but I can't hear anything. I think I'm seeing her emotions, and they're full of fear, and I realize she's begging me to help her. Then I look outside, and the sky is a very creepy reddish color, and the light from it is leaking into the house we're in. The house is dark and wrong, and fire seems to come out of the floor, and someone grabs her and takes her away. Sometimes she kills herself in the dream, other times I watch her get raped with a pencil in her urethra while I'm paralyzed, and yet other times I watch her get killed.

I'm just filled with helplessness, and the strongest feeling that I could have protected her and prevented this.

Just in case, when I'm awake and logical, I picture what her heaven would be like, in case she is gone now. I try not to feel guilty for something I couldn't have possibly controlled. I still worry about her, hope she's around on Earth somewhere, and feel angry and betrayed at times that she hasn't told me that's she's okay.

But I know that if she isn't already, she will be okay, someday.
Not that long ago I was able to help my moM get through just about anything.

Nowadays when she tells...
Hey, Little. I've been reading your diary and I'm so sorry for everything you've been through. You didn't deserve any of this. I don't want to make you upset or sound bossy but I feel like first and foremost you should worry about you and what you need. If you don't want to take care of your mom or siblings you don't have to. This is your life afterall and although it's hard to watch people you love go through their struggles sometimes you have to step back and tell yourself you have a right to freedom and your own life. If I may be blunt, you sound like you're living in a caretaker hell. When you get away from the drama of your dysfunctional home you really start to find out what you want and learn what your boundaries are with other people. A large part of feeling like I had some dignity back was when I learned to say no to other people. You don't have to step in and be the parent your parents weren't and that includes being a parent to your own mother. I supported my brother for two years while he binge drank and kept telling me he was getting a job but he never did and now I don't worry about him. I love him, I know he's f*cked up because of our parents, I feel sorry for him but I've set him free. He's a grown man and he's not my responsibility. I have my own set of problems.
So anyway, I hope I'm being helpful and you don't feel like I'm just barging into your diary and sassing you.
Hey, Little. I've been reading your diary and I'm so sorry for everything you've been through. You d...
Not intrusive at all :) I heavily appreciate the advice, thank you. I'll be sure to remember it.

I've realized that my current room is like my ability to handle other people. My room was once clean and pristine, and so I allowed my sister to use it as storage the first time we cleaned the house. Now it's an absolute mess that needs cleaning. Like you've said, I've had to stop letting other people leave their stuff here. Otherwise it'll never get clean.

Thank you again :)
Very anxious lately. Very very.

I'm not fully sure what it is, but whatever it is, is terrible. I guess something to do with my dad..

I'm cleaning up the hoarding mess. Never had a nice room before, until I had a dorm room, and now I might actually get one. I've sent some before and after pictures to my friends in a group chat, and they liked the so-named "little bathroom" and its new decorations. I didn't have a before picture of it. But hasn't been able to see hardwood flooring before, so that's cool. I sent some during and after photos of my bedroom as well. There's a clean spot. Looking at it feels surreal and so nice. It's my space, like when I had a dorm room. It's nice to see that something else is clean. :)

Yet several things are bothering me anyway. The silliest and least important is the group chat. The group chat is a "meme chat" for a group usually about eight regulars who share memes. Or weird cat pictures, same thing in a way :P I asked a week ago if they'd be fine with me sharing some before and after pictures, maybe to help them feel motivated? Most of them are still in college. Lots of stuff to overwhelm them. I got at least one yes, but someone said something about "if it helps you cope," so I didn't respond. I'm not sure what made me uncomfortable, but it doesn't matter, luckily.

Today, I decided to share photos that showed obvious improvement in my room. I felt extremely vulnerable and I know that's okay. I got some replies that were very encouraging, and nothing went wrong. As in, I'm not sure what's upsetting me. Is it that no one "liked" the message? Because that can't be it. It wouldn't matter if the message hadn't even been replied to, because I only wanted to share. It must be because of feeling vulnerable, and kind of wanting to delete the images and take them back, and being afraid that I'm being too much or a bit annoying. That thought, "Am I always like this?" shows up, but I'm not even sure what "this" is. Maybe I'm afraid of looking like I want attention? Like my father would. Or maybe I'm just that worried that they're having negative thoughts about me... which is dumb, because what do I care what people think? It's not
my business. And, yes, people are bound to think negatively of me at times -- it's normal and natural -- and in fact, if they think badly of me because of my father's trash, would I actually care? Because I think I would just move on and remember not to talk to that shallow person again.

Meanwhile, I've gotten no actual negative feedback. And I'm fighting weird conflicting urges to both show off my progress to my mom and completely hide it from her.

I think what's going on is my family was very secretive when I was growing up. We didn't share problems, and every time I tried to? There were multiple adults I approached as a kid for help. If (when, usually) my parents found out, my dad would get dangerous. My mom would chastise me and say that I shouldn't be telling anyone anything about our private home life. It was painful and confusing. Especially coming from my mom.

My mom is weird about it still. Was, too, even after my dad was legally forced out. My mom and others kept acting afraid that I had schizophrenia. I knew I didn't. I had no symptoms of it. The problem was much weirder. (It was my ex asking me to build a fake fantasy world for her to be a part of. Long story.) But I was confused and interested. I wanted a diagnosis or to be proven I didn't have it, as I knew I didn't but had minor doubts due to the treatment I was getting from others, including a therapist at the time. In the doctor's office, my mom was with me. I made mention of maybe being checked for schizophrenia, a little out of fear -- my uncle had recently died and had schizophrenia so badly that he wasn't right after he turned 16 (medications were ineffective on him and he was never in reality). My mom snapped at me, "Do you WANT to have schizophrenia?" The tone sticks with me. She was accusing me of wanting attention, without a doubt. She and my sister would do that to me, and still do.

It's part of why my sister was able to blame me for the house not getting cleaned. I will likely get into this in more detail later, but she at one point tried to clean the house. She was supposed to just help. It's extremely painful for me to talk about. Not sure I can right now. I already had PTSD at this point. She pushed me and my brothers way over the edge, wouldn't give us breaks, bullied us and manipulated us. Mother was in league with them. Sister and her husband. Husband was downright cruel. Accused us often -- a bunch of teenagers -- of being stupid and useless. Wouldn't praise even hard work, telling us that we'd just stop trying.

I broke, bad. Had to go to psychiatric hospital. I was bullied and abusedthere. Still have nightmares. Bad ones that leave me terrified of the dark.

My sister was mad that I broke. Sure I was over exaggerating. She left and stopped helping. Blamed me. Then the house got worse than it ever had, because we were all deeply depressed.

Meanwhile my mother kept constantly saying, "Isn't E's house nice? If you clean our house, we could have a nice house." And she'd go around yelling how she hated our house.

I had my entire family turn against me, and not in a PTSD distortion way. I mean that I got pushed into the garage to live there, and could hear my siblings in the front yard talking about how dramatic and stupid I was being. Twin brother was the only one not joining in. I wanted to die so much. Surviving everything else wasn't doing me any good.

And that hospital stay. Horrible things happened that I can't bring myself to discuss right this second. One hard thing at a time, I guess? Even if I'm only grazing the surface of the hoarding cleanup.

To top it all off, I tried giving my mom financial advice. She wouldn't listen because I was a teen. She was ignoring phone calls from the hospital. Said she couldn't afford the bill. Wouldn't listen to me describe the laws, the ability to negotiate, anything. She got sued by them. Not surprisingly. She continued to laugh at my advice even to other family members.

When I got just brave enough to barely say that the hospital had been so cruel that I was afraid to go back to a hospital? I got an angry, "I wish you would have told me that before I got sued."

Blamed for that too, I guess. Despite my attempt to fix it. I still feel like such a burden, and hate myself for breaking so easily.

My therapist explained to me that it was because my dad was survivable and in a weird way, normal to me. But I couldn't fight my sister, who was SUPPOSED to be on my side. Who knew I hadPTSD for various reasons and was "strong" anyway.

I wish she'd never tried to help. I hate how much worse I got, and how now I have even More trauma to carry around.

But it makes sense that all that would bother me when I try to share with some neutral friends What progress I've done. Silent judgement was deadly, unexpectedly.

There is also the fact that these days, I'm having to constantly fight triggers of my father. I can't quite remember the flashbacks I had. But I know I'm terrified of the little bathroom toilet looking "wrong," so I had to add a toilet lid cover to make me stop being afraid of the toilet. There's something wrong about toilets. From when I was kidnapped, or something to do with Dad? Who knows.

But I do know that he used ckeaning the house as a punishment. Not many gaps in my memory there. He would scream at my brothers and I to clean off the table, or to clean rooms, constantly. He was a hoarder, but he was going to take no blame. It was our fault. We never learned how to clean properly, because we had to just do it as quickly as possible to survive. My brothers were terrified of my father, but I was the sassy one. So I was constantly challenging him about his odd punishments, unwilling to take his shit.

Probably why he chose me to be the one he sold to his friend. Kidnapping children gets you attention in the media. f*cking psycho. But I talked back often before that -- even after that. I won, too, in a way. He didn't go to prison. But, I didn't let him get the attention he wanted. No media cared about him, because none of them know. More, he wants my approval nowadays. When we talk on the phone, he's trying to impress me with ridiculous lies. I never call him. The last time he called me, I called him out on trying to make himself look good for his new girlfriend. He has not called me back. Good.


The other thing bothering me, besides bad hospital stays... I'm disappointed in my condition again. I was with my sister and mother today, having fun (had a nice dinner, played with my beautiful nephew (my mom and sister are not evil, unlike my dad... not sure how to handle them, honestly, because unlike my father they DO feel things like love)). My mom has a funny quirk where if you mention tickling and then reach for her, she'll get a funny reaction where she tries to stop you, pretty involuntary. She's very ticklish. I teased her by reaching for her in a tickle motion, obviously not going to tickle; obviously expecting some retaliation. Funny retaliation. These things never ruin an evening.

This time, though, she reached for a remote sitting beside her, she held it like she was going to strike me if i got any closer. I had a flashback of my father doing that.

My father used to keep my brothers and I in cages. I'll likely get into that in more detail very soon. I remember it way too well. Very little food or water was present, and we could only leave for bathroom breaks. We weren't even allowed to go into our rooms. He would follow us to the bathroom and wait for us to go. If we didn't, hell broke loose. Enough that I'm still heavily frightened of loud noise. Makes drowning out storms or flashbacks impossible. Being synesthesia supposedly hurts me here. Supposedly.

He would frequently grab what was nearest him and beat us.

So my flashback was of that. I said absolutely nothing. This has happened recently, when my mother acted like she was going to snack a cat. My mother was so angry about me responding instantly (I said right away, "Can you please not do that? It's very frightening to me") that she dragged it out and made it a big huge problem. That is, she claimed I was trying to control her emotions, and she wasn't allowed to have normal reactions to cats.

I'm sick of being invalidated, so today I said nothing. And then I absolutely hated myself for being triggered by what was supposed to be funny. I'll never be able to do it again.


As for something positive? I have a whole corner of my room cleaned out now, as I said. Looks lovely. My little bathroom frightens me less with the personalization I've done to it. It's a nice place to use as advised by someone else on this site :) That is, if I get overwhelmed, I have one clean room to go into.
Actually, you know what? It's 4am and I'm not asleep anyway. Let's get one more thing out there.

One time I was attacked by a dog. I knew that dog was suffering. I could see it, and I'm very good at seeing emotion. That dog was scared. I figured I was not projecting, but it was hard for me to tell until the dog attacked.

I can't explain this fully right now, because it's complicated and too difficult to talk about, for now. Bare with me.

I also seem to have some blank spots or repression in my memory, because I'm struggling to recall the exact timeframe here of when exactly this dog attacked me in relation to when I was kidnapped.

However, since I was without a doubt in 6th grade when the dog attacked me, I know that it must have happened at the tail end of my kidnapping.

I was biking down a street. (Sorry if that seems odd. I can't explain right now, too complicated/difficult.) As I passed by a certain house, a black dog with a white chest approached me. As I've said, I recognized fear. Not so hard to tell in a dog, though at the time I didn't have a dog. My dad hates dogs.

I stopped biking and stopped to say hello to the dog. The dog approached cautiously and then I pet him. He looked into my eyes in a comfortable way.

All of a sudden, the house's kid comes outside and yells, "Look out, he bites!"

I actually knew this kid and was mildly surprised, but instinctively I turned back around and looked back at the dog. I'm not sure what I was feeling exactly. But the dog looked beyond terrified. It was strange.

Then the dog lunged forward and bit my thigh. He wasn't acting like the scared dog I'd seen a moment ago.

Clearly unable to use my bike again, I hopped off and (still holding my bike as a shield and as my means of escaping kidnappers) ran for my life. It didn't quite work. The dog outsmarted me and bit me right on my ass, while this stupid kid just watched.

I got away after that somehow. I walked down the road, limping and crying. I was 11, and had been being raped repeatedly for a year at this point, but now there were two natural things that had come at me within a year. Tornadoes and a dog.

But I KNEW that dog needed help. That bothered me more than anything else.

But then it got weirder. To me, then, anyway. I realize today that my dad may have been looking for me because my kidnapper was asking him where i was, why I wasnt in his house. My dad cabe driving in his truck down the road -- to me a complete coincidence -- and pulled over. He looked frustrated and annoyed, as if I had forced him to stop.

I was a mess. I had to accept his help. Getting on my bike wasn't going to work. I needed a ride.

He did let me put my bike in the back of his truck. Despite a bleeding bum, I did sit down and let him drive me home. Actual home. Across the street from my kidnapper, but still home.

When we got in, I was afraid. Terrified, like that dog. I felt I was going to have to bite to stay safe, too.

My dad insisted that we go to the bathroom to let him look at my ass. I obviously was very distrustful. I hesitated and didn't know what to do.

That led to the weirdest thing about this event. He grabbed a towel and said I could cover my front with it. He told me that I was his daughter, so I didn't need to worry. He needed to see the wounds. More, he told me that he used to change my diapers as a baby, the one thing he was apparently comfortable with, and told me that that meant I didn't need to feel embarrassed.

It was like he had empathy. I wonder about it, since he hates dogs but hoards every other animal. And because he had allowed me to be raped, repeatedly, for money and media attention for an entire year before this point. He had allowed me to be raised more by a cat than by a human. He let us go hungry and did drugs with a purple-penised weirdo in our kitchen. But a dog attack was worth pity? Not allowing and even encouraging rape? Or anything else that HE caused? Wtf?

I accepted the help at the time. I regretted it, but not for the reason I expected to. My mom was concerned about if I had rabies, because I wouldn't explain the dog attack. I was afraid for the dog. I was also scared to answer questions about why I was out so far.

But then my dad (maybe my mom?) started explaining what the rabies vaccine was like. I was scared. So I gave away the location of the dog. I had to or I'd face more torture, it felt like (in a way).

The family answered and claimed that their dog had been vaccinated. They also revealed that their dog had actually attacked multiple people that day. He was likely going to be put down.

He probably was. His fearful expression bothered me so much after that. He hasn't been aggressive until the neighbors said something about him. I knew he was a good dog.

I think but am not sure that the rapes at least were infrequent after this. My kidnapper loved dogs. He started letting me really leave. One day I never came back. His mother asked to see me on her deathbed.

I regret that I didn't visit her, but. Well.
Been cleaning out my room. At first, it looked impossible -- way too much stuff. To the point that it looked like stuff was literally towering above my head. Some of it actually was.

If I had to go back and look at that, I would go back to feeling overwhelmed and knowing in my gut that it's an impossible-to-clean mess.

But somehow I'm getting through it. I'm taking lots of before, during, and after pictures. I've un-surrounded my bed, and now I've taken out more than thirty-five 55-gallon trash bags full of things I donated or threw away or recycled. It felt so satisfying. And, now when I look at the mess that's left, I feel hopeful.

When telling one of my friends about it, I got so happy. This will be the first time in all of my life that I have my own bedroom, besides a college dorm room that I've had until last December. (I guess I should have bragged a long time ago about getting my Bachelors of Art degree?) I'm excited to decorate and have lots of lights and places for my cockatiel Dove (it's short for Dover) to play without being in some kind of danger.

Most of the stuff has been trash -- things my dad left behind. I feel bad throwing it out. Weird but true. I keep remembering the sudden moments of kindness that made him look like he wasn't a psychopath. I'm still confused by it. But it's nice to throw stuff away, so I'll leave it at that.

The hardest thing is running across toy stashes and food stashes. The food stashes are easy to understand -- when neglected and going hungry, of course it makes sense to stash. I did a big thing for myself, and put my food stashes away with other food storages in this house. It's not impossible to go hungry again, but if I do? I won't get food stolen or refused. And anyway, do I NEED food that's gone bad? Maybe, but not now :)

The toys are weird. They're things I haven't had access to in years and which my brain says are vastly important without a single doubt. Fair enough. For times I got locked into my room for hours or longer, having toys was helpful. And having pets, like lizards, snakes, hissing cockroaches (the Madagascar sort), cats, turtles, and whatever else my dad hoarded, helped.

I'm fighting ridiculous thoughts that I'm hurting the toys' feelings? It's makes me highly annoyed that Toy Story's main plot point was that a poor disturbed child who learned to take out his trouble on toys got punished. You know... the toys all plot revenge and tell him their real, which he didn't know, effectively scarring the human boy for life and giving him weird amounts of guilt. (Luckily he looks happy being a trash man by the last movie.) I know it's ridiculous. I felt bad separating toys, and even am throwing old shoes away in ways that won't make them lonely -- tied together to prevent separation in a dump.

I have seen studies that show that solitary confinement is torture and drives people insane in a very short time. I guess that's what's going on with these toys and inanimate objects. Sort of like that movie Castaway.

I have actively reminded myself that I don't need to keep one toy just because I'm keeping another. They are inanimate and don't care. Even the ones I "played torture" with, they don't hate me. If I think that they do? I could just as easily give them freedom and imagine they're at peace and happy. Whatever my brain needs to chill out, really.

The room looks so much more manageable now -- granted, there's still a lot of stuff, but the big stuff is out now. I'm hoping that sorting through the little stuff will be easier. I'm going to have some trouble organizing, though. I did when having dorm rooms -- but the thing is, my dorm rooms were always clean. So I know I can figure this out, eventually. :)
So my flashback was of that. I said absolutely nothing. This has happened recently, when my mother acted like she was going to snack a cat. My mother was so angry about me responding instantly (I said right away, "Can you please not do that? It's very frightening to me") that she dragged it out and made it a big huge problem. That is, she claimed I was trying to control her emotions, and she wasn't allowed to have normal reactions to cats.

This makes me so angry for you. You were asking for help and she completely turned it around. It kind of summed up your whole story - which makes me so sad for what you had to go through.

And, now when I look at the mess that's left, I feel hopeful.

Yes!!! I've been following along and you did that so fast!!! It was so good to watch you come out of your cocoon and start being the butterfly you deserve to be.
And I get the toy thing - I've always been afraid they had feelings and I didn't have an abusive childhood -- so I'm gonna go with it's normal and most people just wont admit it :)
Congratulations on the room(s) progress!
My partner is a hoarder, but absolutely lovely, my mum was too, but not so lovely. We have lots to do but I'm going off to hospital for 3 weeks, so I won't be be getting on to it til I get back. Luckily we've only been here for a few years so it's not too bad.
We need to move though, so the job must be done.
I already helped him clean up and move out of his last place and we got rid of heaps of stuff. Such a good feeling!

I think you are very brave for putting up those pics. I'm not that brave. I'm inspired by your progress though! Well done you @littleoc !