The Diaries of a Broken Soul

I sat there in utter disbelief at what I was reading. I hadn’t set out to find the stash of diaries that my sister had compiled over the years; I was simply looking for some paper to use with the kids when I stumbled across the handful of lined notebooks she kept on the shelf.

It was four years after I had tried to intervene and stop her from running off to the wilderness with my niece, her daughter, and her weirdo boyfriend who called himself “Chocktaw”. We had made amends and she’d left the phony Indian “elder” behind and we were spending the summer with them up near the border of Canada.

No one was home as I sat there, skimming page after page, completely shocked at what I was seeing. It wasn’t so much in what she wrote, but how she wrote it. It was as if a five year old had possessed her and was scribbling paragraph after paragraph of childish writing.

I felt sick to my stomach, knowing that this was some seriously fucked up shit. I suddenly realized that my sister, who had abused me and who I had every right to loathe with every fiber of my being, was truly mentally ill. Extremely mentally ill.

I thought back on all the things that she and my mom had told me over the years had happened to her, from the sexual abuse she accused my father of, to the stranger raping her in the park when she was ten years old – all of it suddenly clicked with me for the first time and I felt an incredible amount of empathy for someone who, up until that moment, I both tolerated so I could be near my niece and secretly hated for what she had done to me and probably to her own daughter as well.

I cried for several minutes, for her, for me and all victims. I never told her what I’d seen, but it wouldn’t have changed the reality that the two of us could never be sisters in any true sense of the word.

After all, we were both broken souls and there was no fixing that.

A Narcissist’s Confession?

We all know that a narcissist will never admit to themselves or you that they are disordered. It’s literally a hallmark of the disorder, frustratingly enough. Yet I can’t help but wonder if deep down they know.

I mean, how the hell can they not know??

As the old saying goes, “denial is a helluva drug” so maybe denial truly is their drug of choice. Either way, the song “Lies” by Rammstein reads as a narcissist’s confession and it’s brilliant.

Walk barefoot on the beach

Look at the starry sky

Lay down in green meadows

Go for a walk in the rain

Listen to classical music

Forever yours

Have many, many children

And love you forever

I never curse, am very loyal

Sleep, gladly again in the hay

Always breakfast in bed

Always cook without fat

Lots of poetry and thinking

Giving away your heart and soul

To someone worth it

That when I’m gone will miss me

Coffee and cake on Sundays

And visit grandmother

Lies, all lies

I lie and cheat

I even lie to myself, nobody believes me

Nobody trusts me, not even me

I’m notorious, not curable

I just promise, I won’t speak

But I really have to hurry

The truth will come out anyway

I’m good at cheating, have a lot of patience

And whoever believes it, has himself to blame

Everyone lies, but I much more

I don’t believe myself anymore

Lies, all lies

I lie and cheat,

Yes

I even lie to myself, nobody believes me

Nobody trusts me, not even me

Not even me

L├╝gen by Rammstein

Duper’s Delight

I never knew there was a name for that sly grin they would get when they knew they were driving you literally crazy. Now I know. It’s all a game for them. A sick, twisted game that gets them off and automatically makes you the loser even if you don’t know you’re a player in the game.

Once you figure it out, though, it’s game over. That duper’s delight grin turns into a look of disbelief.

They Were Right

“You just think you’re better than us!” was their favorite shaming phrase. It stuck me like a dagger to the heart. It haunted me for years after I left until one day, I finally stopped to think about it and realized they were right.

I did think I was better than them!

At least I wanted to be. And what’s so bad about that?

Soon, that changed into recognizing that I am better than them!

And that’s a good thing.

Battle not with monsters, lest ye become a monster, and if you gaze into the abyss, the abyss gazes also into you.

Nietzche

This is Not a Hero’s Journey

As I said in my last post, there was no happy ending for my niece. This is true for most of us who come from abusive, toxic families. Often, our endings are tragic.

I lost touch with her when I cut ties with everyone else, but it was a price I was willing to pay especially since they got her young enough to mold her into one of them and honestly? I didn’t need one more of them in my life.

The guilt I felt lingered, and still comes back to visit sometimes but I can honestly say I tried my best. I wasn’t trying to “play hero”, I was simply trying to save the next generation from the same fate that had befallen me.

When I couldn’t do that, I knew I had to focus on myself and my little family, which is something I was always conditioned NOT to do. I didn’t matter; their needs came before mine. I shouldn’t have even been born at all so who did I think I was to put ME first?

I could hear my mother’s admonition of “you’re just a selfish little bitch, aren’t you?” echoing in my head for years to come, even long after she was dead.

When the Circus Came to Town (part 3)

What happened next is a bit of a blur but I do remember my husband heading out to stop him from going into the camper after my niece and I also remember being determined to stop the next generation from being abused, whatever it took.

At some point, I called the cops and reported it all. They had us keep my niece for a few days until they could talk to my sister and her greasy friend and get to the bottom of things.

I wish there was a happy ending, but there isn’t. The police would do nothing to intervene at the end of the day, my dad and stepmom wouldn’t get involved and even turned on me as though I had no right to interfere with how my sister was “raising” her child, and there really was nothing we could do but watch these two deviants take off to the wilderness to live like vagabonds with my beautiful, vulnerable young niece who deserved so much better in life than the hand she was dealt.

I was so traumatized by my sister and her perversions as a child myself, it nearly broke me to feel so helpless, knowing what her daughter was in for but I tried to get on with my life and focus on my own little family.

Keeping them protected from these insane monsters became my only goal in life. I suddenly saw my dad for what he truly was – a coward at minimum and a fellow child molester protecting his own at worst.

The sad thing is, my sister had always accused him of raping her from a young age yet none of us believed her. Our mom had made sure that we didn’t take anything she said seriously, but after that day I began to see the truth of what my father was and why my older sister and brother were the way they were.

And it horrified me.

When the Circus Came to Town (part 2)

The first red flag was when they came back after being kicked out of a local historical site called “The Medicine Wheel”. The Medicine Wheel is an ancient rock formation which is older than the native American tribes of the area (supposedly).

There was also a local bar by the same name, and I thought they were talking about getting kicked out of there, which actually made more sense until they told me what they had done. She explained that her and “Chocktaw” had “entered the sacred land in the ‘old way’ which is the way they always did and the ‘white man’ (aka authorities) didn’t like it”.

Sigh, okay I’ll take the bait, I thought, and asked them to clarify what the ‘old way’ is, already guessing.

“Buck naked” she shot back grinning defiantly, flipping her head and looking cocky at me in the eye the way she always did when baiting one of us, as if waiting for me to clutch my pearls and have a meltdown.

I didn’t. I just ignored her but I did notice my twelve year old niece looked extremely uncomfortable and turned my attention to her. She had stayed with us while her whackadoodle white mom and her mom’s equally whackadoodle white boyfriend went off to purposefully piss of the actual natives, meaning the local community of sane people.

“Do you also enter these sacred places ‘the old way’?” I asked her. She didn’t answer, but my sister and “Chocktaw” sure had plenty to say about it.

They explained that she did and was initiated into the tribe ‘the old way’ along with a few other kids just before they left California. I asked how and they said the kids were baptized naked in the Sacramento River in a sacred ceremony that he as an “elder” (of course) led.

I kept my composure and asked my niece, who was still just a baby of TWELVE at the time, and who had just lost her dad, the only stability she had known and who would be rolling in his grave if he knew, if she was comfortable getting naked with her mom and this “Chocktaw” character and she didn’t answer.

I gently asked again but tears were welling up in her eyes and she finally shrugged as if to say, I don’t know.

I let it go, but I knew I had to intervene before they took off with her to the wilderness in northern Montana, which is where they were headed to meet up with the “Rainbow Family” which already had a reputation for harboring pedophiles and other lowlife scum.

My niece excused herself to go change her shirt soon after and headed out to the camper they had come in. A few minutes later that son of a bitch actually got up and made a beeline after her right in front of us.

I knew then I wanted to kill both him and my sister, but I had to stay calm. Someone had to be reasonable here or one of us was going to jail.

To be continued…

When the Circus Came to Town (part one)

My oldest sister was the queen of magical thinking. She swore that she could levitate (just not when anyone was watching), was a reincarnated Indian princess, had met Jesus during an astral projection and had sex with him (except he was a woman and she was a man during their encounter – yeah, okay), could cast spells (she was a “white witch”) and a myriad of other ridiculous claims.

She was ten years older than me and when she still lived at home was the one left in charge of us all when our parents were off playing music at the bars. I’m not quite sure why, as she had zero maternal instinct. When she did get pregnant at nineteen years old she had a shotgun wedding and then abandoned her newborn in the hospital and took off with our neighbor who was a truck driver in his forties. She had went into labor in his bed while her husband was at work and my niece was born extremely premature which didn’t seem to phase my sister a bit.

She simply didn’t give a fuck about anyone but herself, just like my oldest brother who abandoned his children, too.

I should also mention that like my brother, she was a sexual deviant who embraced the “free love” thing, bragged openly about her conquests and took it upon herself to teach the rest of us things we really shouldn’t have been learning at our ages, especially from a mentally ill perverted sibling.

After my brother in law died, leaving my niece without a steady parent at the age of twelve, my sister fought for custody and won, to my utter horror. My niece had a good father who gave her stability and now she was going to be swept into a world of madness with a woman she barely knew and no one seemed to care.

Except me.

It wasn’t long before they came to our house in Wyoming, the three of them, on their way from California up to Montana to join up with the “Rainbow Tribe” who she now called family. With her was my niece, who I had been close to, and her latest hookup, a short, dirty, chubby older guy with stringy black hair that had obviously been dyed. He wore buckskins and turquoise and a mountain man hat and called himself “Chocktaw” even though it was obvious to us that he was like her: a white guy pretending to be something he wasn’t.

Knowing her the way I did, I immediately knew he was bad news. She had a thing for pedophiles and it had already ruined my life. I wasn’t going to stand by and watch her do it to her daughter and it didn’t take long for the red flags to start waving.

To be continued…

Up in Smoke

From the moment you opened the door the stench of stale smoke, rotting food, dirty clothes and pile upon pile of cat and dog shit hit you like a ton of bricks. The heavy drapes were almost always closed, and what little sunlight that did manage to find its way inside was diluted by the ever-present swirling clouds of cigarette smoke that hung in the air. The ashtrays were always overflowing and when they were too full to use then any plate or cup or potted plant would do.

I remember crawling on my hands and knees across the filthy carpet, searching for some lost toy or important school paper that had disappeared beneath all the clutter that filled every room, and finding a lit cigarette butt smoldering away on the carpet, burning a hole in it. I picked it up and took a puff and immediately regretted it.

I must have been six or seven then.

Later, I would pick up the habit when I was around thirteen after stealing a pack of cigarettes from my mom, which she quickly found out about. Instead of getting pissed off, she just looked at me with her usual look of disgust and said, “well, if you’re going to smoke I’d rather just buy them for you instead of having you turn into a little thief.”

And she did just that. A carton of Marlboro Lights a week made us smoking buddies and me a hit with all my friends.

I smoked a pack a day right up until I found out I was pregnant at 18 and gave it up, much to her dismay. She didn’t hide the fact that she would have preferred I get an abortion and keep puffing my life and health away, like she did.

Like a Vacation in Hell

As I said in my last post, when in Rome… you know the saying.

I didn’t like it there. It was like being on a permanent vacation in hell. I’m sure the actual city of Rome is lovely but the metaphorical one, for me at least, was not where I wanted to be and I was miserable every moment I forced myself to stay there.

And it was a choice. By the time I found the courage to pack up my belongings and leave it all behind, I was well into adulthood and could have left at any time, really.

I had moved out of my childhood home the day after I turned 18 and had I been wiser and had more courage, I’d have never, ever looked back. I’d have ran as if Nero himself were burning the place to the ground and fiddling merrily watching it all.

But I didn’t because I didn’t know I could. It wasn’t until I was given permission by a stranger who wrote a book that I stumbled across called Toxic Parents that it even occurred to me that I could walk away and never look back.

So I did. Well, I walked away but I do still look back in horror at what I left behind.