Thanks, but I'm OK.  ありがとう。。でも私は大丈夫。

I have gotten a flood of messages and comments from my recent Youtube video about child abuse. So many people have told me that they are in similar situations. And I just want to ask, are you OK? Really?  Don't just try to hide it and pretend everything is OK.  If you have anxiety or depression, you need to at least tell someone. If you were abused as a child, you need to come to terms with it and not just shrug it off like I did for so many years. Covering it up NEVER does any good. And if you are around someone with anxiety and depression who ARE crying out for help in ways like self-injuring, substance abuse, suddenly becoming uncommunicative and reclusive, etc. remember that they are not just "looking for attention" or "being difficult". 

Some people are concerned when they hear that my parents abused me, and now I pretty much have no parents.  But for me it's a relief. I finally know what was wrong with me all these years, and my children will be safe. My father thinks its ridiculous that I would think they would abuse their grandchild, but doesn't really know for himself what the difference between appropriate discipline and abuse is, judging from the various emails to me in which he stated that I was in no way abused growing up…and then proceeded to "threaten" me that he would write his own blog about all the embarrassing, horrible things I did as a child! 

I realized how extremely two-faced my mother is. On Facebook, Twitter, etc how she would post these wonderful glowing things about me, but send private messages and post venomous, hateful comments and delete them after she got a reply. She seems to be really concerned with keeping this image that she is a glamorous person and a wonderful mother, and anything I say about being abused is just some kind of malicious, horrible lie because I am actually sick and twisted and have Asperger's. But as I said before, both here and in email, I do not have Asperger's, none of the symptoms apply to me at all, that is just something she is trying to make up to make me lose credibility. But the interesting thing is that according to my father, my mother has been abused and is also suffering from anxiety and depression as well, which would make her "sick" and a "wacko" just like me! But that doesn't fit with her "image" so of course she would hide it, to the extreme where she cannot even empathize with her own daughter going through the exact same things that she did. 

I have scars on my arm I can show you from when I cut myself, I have journal entries detailing word-for-word the things they would say to me, which are textbook examples of verbal abuse. I have the bracelet from my hospital stay, and I still have the suicide hotline number in my cell phone. Yet apparently I am sick and twisted and a liar, just out to "humiliate" my parents, according to them. 
One more time, just to make my point, I COULD HAVE DIED. And that's their response? (and after I called them on it, my father called it "heartbreaking". Too little, too late, I know your true feelings) 

So looking at all of this, I am actually happy to finally be truly free from them, and I'm happy I realized this in time to give my child(ren) the true love and respect from her mother, that I never had. I might not be a great mother, and I'll probably make lots of mistakes, but abuse will not be one of them. 

These are the last 3 entries from my livejournal, which I had set as private until now. 

The world according to my mother,compiled from my journal from 2002-2006 (before I really left for good) 
My mother said I have no personality, I'm a horrible spoilt brat who won't survive in the real world. Because I didn't like Jazz I was told I have bad taste in music, no ear, and no talent. Because I didn't follow fashion trends like the rest of the sheeple in my highschool I was a nut and deserved to have no friends. I only had 4 friends, and they were all stupid, assholes, morons with no talent who wouldn't amount to anything in the real world. I shouldn't be shopping frugally or working part-time jobs in my spare time because that's something poor people do, and I should just accept handouts from my mother into adulthood like my wonderful brother. I should jump up at every command, and I should also pick up after my brother and clean his room, because I have no social life and just sit on the computer all day watching stupid Japanese cartoons and listening to annoying Japanese music.Listening and watching things in a different language doesn't help someone actually learn the language. I took the wrong courses in highschool and was inept at picking courses in college. Whatever hobbies I had in highschool I cannot have after highschool.I will never survive in college because I cannot follow directions exactly like my mother says.I will never survive in the real world because I cannot clean or cook for myself. Yasushi will definitely leave me...even if we get married we will be divorced in a year because he will find out how rude, horrible, and immature I am.My mother is always right. Her screaming, yelling, and throwing tantrums is always justified and fixes everything. Her way of doing things is perfect, and she knows everything, even about things that she has no experience with like graduating highschool, going to college, or Japanese culture. 

2011: What I knew and found out along the way
I had many more than 4 friends in highschool, and they are all wonderful, diverse people that have all succeeded in making great lives for themselves.I treat people with the same respect they give me.I still love theatre...it is possible to still love something you loved in highschool.I have very diverse tastes in music and some singing talent. I get karaoke paid for, drinks bought because people want to hear me sing. People like my unique fashion sense and the way I stand out. I like my own clothes which is the most important.I have survived college. Despite having parents that couldn't adequately guide me I managed to graduate early for my major. My interest and willing to immerse myself in the Japanese language and culture proved to be a valuable asset to learning it. I met many people who shared my interests and had many friends in college. I have survived in the real world. I can hold down a job, cook, keep a house together, and do everything for myself, work for 6 years and have a savings of 100,000 by the time I'm 25.My brother who unlike myself has a "great personality" and isn't horrible or spoiled still isn't making a living at 30 years old and expects everything to be done for him. Yasushi and I will be celebrating our 4th marriage anniversary and 7th overall and are still going strong. He loves me. 
It hasn't been smooth sailing. Unfortunately, having a mother who believes she is always right, and screams, shouts, and blames everyone but herself when she feels challenged, AND enduring 16 years of emotional, verbal, and physical abuse from her has left its mark. I often lack confidence, feel unsure of myself, and wrestled with depression, anxiety, and panic attacks for the past 6 or 7 years. But now I am finally starting to heal. 
I can't understand why I had to be the scapegoat.My mother was a highschool dropout, but when I went to college it was all about how I could never make the "right" choices. 
I had a horrible personality, when really I was reacting to being abused. I was socially inept because I was on the computer writing this journal, communicating with my friends through instant messaging, and broadening my horizons by listening to Japanese music and finding resources to learn Japanese, instead of.............wait, that's right. The biggest landmarks within walking distance are a lake and a Wawa, and to go to work, socialize or do anything you need to drive a car. BUT when my mom finally realizes what a nowhere town this is (even though saying its name to others makes her feel classy) and spends all day on computer, iPad, or Kindle, updating Facebook and buying crap, it's fine for her to do it. 

A much-revisited subject....in the past 9 years I have been to Hawaii, Kobe, and Tokyo, and for some reason, maybe because I'm stupid, I keep going back home.
And the story repeats itself every time.
I enjoy myself for all of 2 seconds, and spend the rest of my time in this house pondering why the hell I am here.
It's even more perplexing because every time I prepare to leave I reflect on this, in this journal, and usually my writings prove to be timeless and true.
Such as my mother's excessive spending habits, the futility of the two of them living in a house that could comfortably shelter a family of 4 plus a roommate, in an area where the only way to thrive is to get the hell out.
And get the hell out they should. Because if my mother refuses to work a job and chooses to sit in the house all day on her computer or iPad or watching TV, the chances of dementia showing up a bit early just go up and up. If you don't use it, you lose it, basically. Walking around, volunteering at the blood bank or library if you can't, I mean, don't want to work...there are so many ways to stay healthy.
And I can't help but point out the irony while we're here--10 years ago, I was 15, no transportation, basically trapped in the house unless a friends parents were nice enough to pick me up, so I had no choice but to go on the computer and IM my friends, and pursue my then interests in Japanese videos and music. I was routinely insulted and ridiculed by my parents because I was "staying in the house" and "had no social life" when really, I had plenty of friends but no transportation, and I was making the best of a bad situation by exploring a different language and culture...something that would take me far, far away.
Whatever...mother's always right, mother knows best...right? Even when it's abuse. Hitting them out of your own anger and frustration when they're still too small to defend themselves, and when they get bigger insulting them on a daily basis, invalidating their feelings.......Kids never forget that stuff. I always brushed it off, tried to make like it didn't affect me......and promptly started showing symptoms of depression and anxiety disorders from age 19. Whenever people praised me I would wonder if there were strings attached, or worse, if they were mocking me like my parents always did. Yasushi and I are happily together for 7 years and married for 4, yet there were many times when I wondered if he would really leave me because I was such a horrible person, just like my parents said.
This is it; I'm breaking the cycle. I'm breaking free.
Why has it taken so long to realize what is best for myself?
Since I was 16, I would leave for a bit and go somewhere as far away as possible, and then have to come home for holidays. And every time I went out into the world I found that the world was a great place with many opportunities, and that I would always thrive much more on my own, out there, than when trapped in that house. I went farther away, for longer periods of time, and I changed, but everything here remained the same.
I'm so grateful to have had the opportunity get out, and to meet not only my wonderful husband, but also so many wonderful friends, teachers, counselors, coworkers, and bosses, from all parts of the country and world. They taught me that I am NOT a "jerk" or "miserable" or "nasty" nor do I have a "horrible personality" or "no personality at all" or "no common sense at all". They taught me how normal people act, and how to value and respect myself and others and have confidence in myself and my unique interests and talents. And thanks to them, I finally realized that I am beautiful on the inside and outside, and stopped supporting a multi-billion dollar industry that capitalizes on making people feel inadequate.
Outside of that house, I was never disrespected, insulted, mocked, or physically assaulted. I was treated like a human being and was able to observe how normal families treated each other, and how parents can teach and nurture their children with love, NOT anger, fear, and invalidation. Most people treat their children as individuals, and appreciate their unique interests and hobbies, and don't punish them for having them or force their own ideals onto them.
Sometimes I think it's nothing short of a miracle that I was able to succeed outside of that house, as I was often told that I "would never survive in the real world". And frankly, I'm surprised I did develop into a healthy person who works hard and earns a living. The only lessons I had been taught were that being lazy, materialistic and hedonistic would be rewarded, and that having an individual personality and interests that were different from my parents' just made me an outcast.
Really, sometimes I feel guilty for not being the "perfect daughter" that smiles and acts happy all the time no matter what she is feeling inside, no matter what insults are thrown at her. I'm sorry that I couldn't just mindlessly assimilate and adopt any interests and hobbies that were pushed on me, and HAD to have my own interests. It must have been so selfish of me to do things that I wanted to do.
Even so, it looks like I turned out OK. I must be really lucky....watching "childish" "stupid" Japanese "cartoons" and listening to "annoying" "unoriginal" Japanese music actually accelerated my progress in learning the language! And even though I have "no musical talent" I sang on TV, got to the 2nd round of a karaoke contest, performed at many benefits and parties, sang every day as part of my job, and generally had a really great time every time I sang. And all of those "moron" friends from high school that I "would never see again" are still great, supportive friends.
But the real miracle through all this my wonderful husband, who knows everything about me, and we have been together for 7 years (married for 4) and he has never told me I have a "horrible personality" or mocked me for crying, or asked if I needed to go to the "crazy hospital" when I had a panic attack. He saved my life when I tried to end it. And he helped create this new life inside of me. I love him so much. And I'm sorry for putting him through so much hardship, but at least now he understands that it wasn't my fault. 
Everyone, look around you. There are so many people out there that look normal and healthy, but they may have a personality disorder, or a psychological illness. There are so many children that don't have bruises or scratches, but are being abused. Those children might never overcome that abuse, and what will happen when they have children of their own? The cycle continues.
But this baby in my tummy deserves much better. Every child deserves a peaceful, positive, nurturing environment with truly open-minded people. A child deserves to be treated like a human being, with respect and love, and freedom to have their own interests and hobbies. They need rules and boundaries set for their safety, and realistic expectations backed up with confidence.
A child never needs to be terrorized into submission, and discipline should be logical and appropriate, not senseless, beating out of the parents' own inability to control their own anger and frustration. A child never deserves to be humiliated in public by being slapped in the face--the ultimate act of rejection and hate towards a person.
So that is why I am writing this, to break the cycle and start healing. It's the least I can do for my growing family. It's the least anyone who cares about their children can do. Any parent should understand, that it's not always about themselves and whatever "image" they have to the outside world. It's never too late to change.
Just a reflection. 

I am OK. I am more than OK. I am free my from toxic parents. And I am ready to close this chapter.  







http://www.ehow.com/info_8065936_signs-being-verbally-abused-parents.html 皆さん、まわりを見てごらん。外から見て普通に健康の人間に見える人たくさんいるけど、性格の障害、心の病気を持ってるかもしれない。そして傷やアザはないけど、虐待や暴力受けてる子供も沢山いる。その子供たちはその虐待を乗り越えることはないかもしれない。そして自分も大きくなって自分の子供が産まれて来たら、どうなる?また繰り返す。でも私のお腹にいる赤ちゃんにもっといい事をあげたい。どんな子供でも平和で、楽観的で、充実して考え方が広い人のいる環境にいるべき。そして子供は愛と尊敬を持って人間として預けるべき、そして個人の趣味などを持つ自由を与えるべき。安全のためにちゃんとした原則が必要。そして両親は現実的な予想と、自信を持つべき。子供は言う事聞くまで恐怖な気分にさせる必要ない。そしてしつけは合理的で状況に合ったものであるべき。自分の怒りとイライラが泊まらなくてただ殴ってるだけなのではない。ひと目の前で顔殴られて(人間として嫌いという一番のジェスチャー)恥ずかしい気分にする必要は絶対ない。だからこれを書いてます。繰り返しを破って、立ち直るためです。私の増える家族のためにこの位はできる。子供を愛する人間ならこの位はできる。どんな親でも理解できるはず、自分と自分のイメージが第一じゃない。変えることには遅いことはない。


2 件のコメント:

  1. I wish I was as brave as you are. It's so easy to try to justify one's parents (how can they be wrong?), to put the blame on oneself instead of them (if they hit me or insulted me it's because I misbehaved as a child, and so on). It's so hard to break the knot.


  2. Like I said in another comment on one of your other entries, I wouldn't say I was abused by my mother but there is severe favoritism and so I'm the black sheep/non-favorite. I think she likes to put on a face for show as well and try and use me to look good. I feel like I'm just a trophy to her so she can just brag about my accomplishments to her friends. I deleted and blocked her from my facebook a long time ago. My husband didn't feel comfortable deleting and blocking her because I guess he cares too much about not damaging his relationship with his in laws. :-p But he let me adjust his privacy settings so that my mom can't spy on me through his facebook. Sometimes when he is logged on I can see her bragging posts. She uses me and my siblings to brag and get attention. Even though I rarely talk to her she'll post a public happy birthday to me on facebook even though she knows I can't see it since I blocked/deleted her. I only happened to see it cause my husband was logged into his facebook. And of course she got what she wanted, comments of attention. I feel like she tries to share every detail of my life with everyone out of her own selfishness. So I try not to let her find out about as much as possible, even the most minute thing because it's the principal of the matter. I had to tell her to stop giving out my contact info to people and volunteering my assistance to people or trying to force me to have relationships with family members that I am just not in contact with.