Note: possible trigger warning, I talk about abuse though not in graphic detail (Look, I don’t know how triggering works so I’m just being careful) so yeah you’ve been warned.
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It’s late and I have a huge headache but I’m kind of excited/sad so I wanted to talk (type) about this.
So some time ago (too lazy to check and also I have a horrible time keeping track of time and my memory sucks) I wrote a post about how I was gonna give in start looking for disorders again. I actually didn’t do it that day, but I did eventually.
I got kinda obsessed. I spent one who night looking, and then the next day. And that day I didn’t get out of bed other than to use the toilet and to get my laptop from my table. I didn’t even eat until my mum finally convinced me that afternoon/evening. My mum got worried (because she didn’t know what I was doing) and, honestly, kinda annoyed since she was doing everything in the house, and that led to me having a seriously uncomfortable talk with my parents.
I really hate talking badly of my parents, but I want to be honest. My dad seemed pretty angry when I came downstairs so I started to panic because I knew what was coming. My dad started asking, more like demanding what my problem was and when I told him I didn’t know, which I have actually told my mum in the past, he got really angry and he got up and he was shouting at me and I think he said he was going to hit me and I got really scared and started crying uncontrollably and apologising.
He didn’t hit me. He went back to his seat opposite mine on the dining room table and I tried my best to explain something I wasn’t really sure of whilst he was telling me that he can’t hear me over my ‘crocodile tears’. Now that I think about it, a lot of the times I have genuinely cried in front of my dad, he has called them ‘crocodile tears’ meaning they were fake. For the second time in my life I told my dad that I was crying because I was SCARED. Scared that I was going to get hit. And my parents told me that obviously my dad wasn’t going to hit me. Well SOR-RY for misinterpreting my dad standing up, raising his voice and saying he’s going to hit me. They made fun of me the last time I said I was scared. My mum told me to call social services so they take me away to put me in a care home. I know African parents can be mean, but I think that goes too far.
The rest of the conversation was my parents telling me other people are suffering real things and that I should read the bible, and then making a case for God’s existence and how much he’s helped our family despite the fact that I never told any of them that I don’t believe in God. My mum made that distinction but my dad took my attitude to not going to church as not believing in God, despite my mum telling him I never said I was an atheist.
I felt really empty during the conversation. I didn’t really have the energy to argue with them. I mostly stayed quiet (after the manority of the crying subsided) and answered how I was supposed to.
I eventually found myself getting angry. I was trying to tell him about the loneliness I felt and he told me that that’s because I always hole myself up in my room and don’t want to visit relatives despite the fact that I’m usually lonely when I’m with other people. I told him about the explosive anger and he told me because I’m not ‘free’ that I have to be ‘free’. I think he meant ‘relaxed’ or ‘chilled’. Since this was towards the end of the conversation and I felt a bit more bold, I told him firmly that it’s okay to feel sad andfor want to cry- it’s okay to feel emotions but tou won’t allow me to feel any. Then he spouted some bullshit about how I should just be happy.
I suppose that would’ve been the time to realise that my poor emotional control probably stemmed from the dad (and my mum to some extent) not allowing me to properly express my emotions, if I hadn’t already guessed it. I have to smile all the time. I have to be happy. I have to do everything with joy.
“Do it with joy! Do it with happiness!” My dad would say to the point where now just thinking about him saying the word ‘joy’ annoys me.
If I’m sad and I’m crying, I have to smile and be happy or else it’s a threat of violence. Granted my dad hasn’t hit me in years. He told me that I’m too old to be hit… unless I misbehave of course. My dad has hit my sister as a teenager. She was a handful (and still is) I’ll admit- not that I’m justifying hitting people- and sometimes I’d want to hit her and we’ve actually had fights… like actual brawls.
Sorry, went a bit off-topic.
Even though my dad doesn’t hit me anymore, thst doesn’t erase the fact that he did. I have a bad memory, and I can’t really remember being hit all that well, maybe just a little, but subconsciously the memories are still there (and I can even recall the fear of impending doom when my dad would just quickly take of his belt/grab one from his room) to the point that when my dad raises his voice or puts his finger in my face with intimidation, I just can’t help but cry. And then they ask me why I’m crying my ‘crocodile tears‘. 😑
I’ll never understand my parents, and maybe African parents as a whole. How can you expect your child to smile and be happy when you’ve just yelled in their faces and threatened to hit them? Madness!
So why am I making this post? To tell you about what happened? Well it’s only part of it. What I discovered tonight is the main thing that ties everything together.
So I’ve mentioned plenty of times thst I suck at socialising. I’ve always felt a wall between me and other people, that I can’t connect with anyone that well. I find it hard to make and keep friends because my friendships, all too often, feel somewhat superficial. People who I’ve laughed and joked with and had a good time with, I’ve dropped, just like that, because I don’t really need them anymore. It sounds mean- it probably is- but I just often can’t get past that barrier unless someone is willing to do it for me.
And I don’t even like people that much. I feel low empathy when it comes to individuals, even my friends. I’ve wondered several times if I love my family. I’ve never really said ‘I love you’ and actually meant it. Maybe I’m going a bit too far, but that’s how I see myself. It’s weird because I want people, but then I don’t want people. And I’m always lonely and feel isolated. I also have some sort of social anxiety.
Perhaps it’s not so much autism as it is a combination of not acquiring certain social skills because of lack of interest in people, and not being social not because I don’t know what to do, but because I simply can’t connect with people emotionally, or at least I can’t do it well.
How do I know this? I don’t, but Mike King, apparent MS and PhD in psychology with 20 years experience might have the answer.
He says that people who grow up in households in which certain emotions are forbidden (e.g. smile or you get hit) emotionally connecting with people becomes impossible.
If you ask me, this explains a lot. Socialising has always felt foreign to me. I always have to think about what emotions I have to show or how I’m supposed to react in the situation.
He describes how these kinds of people show certain behaviours. Out of the ones he listed I’m definitely fussy ans obsessive (in so many ways) I have a tendency to hoard (digitally and irl) and could be somewhat described as a thrity Scrooge type. I don’t have depression but I have been depressed for a period in my life.
The thing that really made me think ‘this is me’ was when he talked about the explosive anger which is so characteristic of me at this point.
When I was seeing the counsellor at college, she mentioned I might have a problem with recognising my emotions. I think this is true. Even now, talking about this, I’m not really feeling anything. Not that I’m empty, just normal. She explained that perhaps the reason I explode the way I do is because I build up all this anger and I don’t recognise it. It could actually be that I’m repressing it, but it’s hard to tell 😅
More weird things ive noticed, but I’m not entirely sure they’re related:
My tendency to smile: I normally have aa neutral face, but I get nervous laughter and sometimes smile at sad things when I’m not happy. I actually get nervous when someone tells me something sad because there’s aSo chance I might smile. Though, tbh, probably just nervous laughter.
I had more reasons, but I forgot them and the headache’s making it hard to remember…
So that’s why I guess I was kinda excited to write this, even though I don’t feel that excited right now. I’m still typing despite my headache so that must mean something.
I’ll end it here, but I wil say that with this discovery, I have decided to go ahead and see a GP to refer me for counselling. Hopefully I won’t have to explain everything. I know it was be accurate to call what happened to me ‘abuse’, but I’ve just be raised to think that it’s perfectly okay because it’s discipline. I used to be pretty thankful my dad hit me so that I wouldn’t turn out bad (which is what, I’m sure, he intended), but there are other ways to do it! Other ways that won’t screw someone up!
Even now I feel bad calling it abuse. I think it’s because I tried to tell my mum is was abuse and she dismissed me. It hurt and it was terrifying, but was it bad enough to be considered abuse? I don’t even remember it tahat wellIf anyone else had told me, I’d call them an idiot for doubting it.
That’s it for now. I’m tired and itchy and my head is pounding.
[EDIT: Forgot to put the link to Mike King’s answer- here it is.]