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mommiedearestCHAPTER FIVE

MOMMIE DEAREST

My relationship with my mother never quite survived after the day she picked me up with the former step-father and then made me lie to the social worker about my abuse.  That is because I came to realize on that day in 1979 that my only function was to mirror back the love my mother was incapable of having for herself.  Therefore — unfortunately — the physical and emotional abuse from my mother started when I was no longer able to fulfill my primary function.  The physical and emotional abuse started when I was no longer able to mirror back the love she desperately needed to sustain her love of self at all times.

A Stanford psychiatrist determined in 1995 that my mother displayed classic text book symptoms of a full blown narcissist by the stories I told her.  I don’t know if it is true though because the doctor never actually met my mother.  I remember when the doctor said it I was more inclined to believe that my mother’s treatment of me changed because she might have been abusing prescription pills like many people did back then.  That’s because I clearly remember her drawer on her side of the bed being filled with prescription pill bottles.  I also remember every single month she would get really sick with having migraines and could not leave the bed.  The doctor — on the other hand — might have been more right when she  determined that my mother brought me into existence for one purpose and one purpose only; to mirror back the love my mother could not have for herself.  In my mother’s mind I had no other function. I was being beaten because I was no longer able to fulfill my primary function.  That is because in my mother’s mind I was no longer able to mirror anything back other than the image of a little boy whose father killed himself after she left him for a man who beat and tried to murder her son.  The psychiatrist said it was most likely the reason I was and I am even until this day an unwelcome reminder of her flawed image.

john-high-school-picture-oneHowever — with that being understood — before I start to describe some of the physical and mental abuse I suffered from my mother — I would like to be fair and say there were times my mother would show random acts of kindness and love towards me in the things she did and not necessarily how she treated me on a day to day basis.  I will give you a few examples.  I had the best packed lunch out of anyone at my school and a lot of love and dedication went into packing those lunches.  I also want to mention that my mother paid for me to go to a private school after there was a stabbing at my middle school.   This would involve her every other week having to load up my three half sisters into the car as babies and driving me and my friends 30 minutes away to school and picking us up as part of a carpool deal.   Therefore —  to be fair  — I don’t want to give the wrong impression that my mother was “never” nice to me.  That’s because there were random times she would show her love for me in the things that she would “do” for me instead how she would “treat me” on a day to day basis.  I want to also say that she was and still  is a very hard worker and there were always large meals on the dinner table every single night from the age of 10 onward.  There was also no other person I wanted around me when I was sick as a child.  That’s because when I would get sick she would transform into the very nurturing and caring mother I had before I was the age of 10 years old.  Therefore — with this being understood — please do not mistake what I am about to you tell you as me saying that she never did nice for things for me or never showed me any love in the things she would sometimes do for me.  That’s because what I am about to tell you is how she “treated me” on a day to day basis and not about the nice things she would “do for me” here and there as an expression of her love and dedication for her child.

The reality is that my mother never really hit me before the age of 10.  I mean here and there but I probably could count on one hand how many times she hit me before I was 10 years old.  I remember the first time she hit me and it hurt my feelings was on my 9th birthday.  She was throwing me a birthday party with a clown and everything and had set everything up the night before.  The problem was she often did not wake up early enough to feed me and towards the afternoon I was hungry and did not know how to feed myself.  This would happen all the time when I was a little kid.  I remember one time I woke her up and told her I was hungry.  She looked at me with a groggy look and told me to bring her two eggs and a pan and she would make me breakfast.  I did just what she said and brought her two eggs and a pan but once I was finally able to wake her up again she grabbed the eggs and cracked them all over her bed and went back to sleep.  Therefore on my ninth birthday I ate the candy out of one of the cupcake candy holders on the table because I was hungry.  I remember when she first woke up she was standing at the end of the hallway just before the living room in her nightgown admiring the very long tables she set the night before.  I remember the look on her face when she noticed one of the cupcake holders missing some candy.   I was standing there looking up at her with a smile on my face waiting for her to tell me happy birthday and tell me how much she loved me.   I was stunned and in shock and devastated when she instead slapped me across the face and told me to go to my room because I was on restriction for a month for eating the candy.  I went to my room crying and devastated that day.  That’s because I realized the party was not really for me but for her to show off to her friends and she did not even really care it was my birthday.   However — before this incident —  I am not sure why — but she never really hit me or beat me before the age of ten years old.  She was actually pretty loving towards me before this age.  I am not sure why it started around this age though.

I remember my mother would have these weird crazy and cruel and unfair routines when hitting me or beating me.  It was not every single day but her meanness towards me was every single day and I remember being very frustrated and feeling bad about myself as though I was not worthy of being loved or liked.  I was treated as though I was a bad person.  I will give you an example.  I remember when I would ask her if I could go outside and play by myself she would always get this really angry look on her face and say — “I don’t care what you do.”  There were times I would give my opinion about things and she would always say to me — “You are to be seen and not heard!”  I would always say that was not fair and she would respond with a mean tone in her voice — “Life is not fair!”   There was another time we were arguing when I was 10 years old and she said to me — “I should have smashed you when you were an egg!”  I remember I totally started crying and responded with saying  — “I’m just an egg.  I’m just an egg.”  It was weird and confusing though because she started crying when I started crying and apologizing to me while saying she was just kidding.  She was not kidding though.  That’s because I remember the angry look on her face when she said it to me.  She meant it.

I remember she used to also do this other really weird thing  too when she thought I was lying or did something wrong  or talked back to her.  I was often falsely accused but she would get a really angry look on her face and grit her teeth at me and say to me — “BRING ME YOUR FACE!”  There were many times this happened but I was always terrified because I already knew from the previous times she had said this to me what to expect.  Therefore I would walk up to her reluctantly crying and when she went to hit me I would put my arms in the air to block my face because that is a natural response.  I could not help it.  This would cause her to grab a hold of me and push my arms down to my side and then reach up and continue slapping me in the face really hard over and over saying —  “Stop crying!”  That’s because of course I could not stop crying no matter how hard I tried because I was being beaten.   That’s why I would just think to myself that she was acting like a lunatic and that she was absolutely crazy.  That’s because it was readily apparent to me that I was not even allowed to feel pain.

One time I finally ran away from her and went downstairs and locked myself in the laundry room when she was hitting me with the belt in the face.  She came downstairs and told me to unlock the door and when I would not unlock the door she busted the door in and came at me in a corner of the laundry room.  She started hitting me with the belt face and all over my body until she was satisfied I was broken and would no longer try to stop her from hitting me.   She would do it until there was no “me” left in “me”.  Nevertheless I think what bothered me the most was the look of hate and anger in her eyes when she would beat me.  I remember when she finally stopped hitting me I looked up at her crying and asked her — “What have you ever given me?”  She gritted her teeth at me and said to me  — “I GAVE YOU LIFE!” as she turned around and left the laundry room to go back upstairs.  I told her I hated her when she walked away and then looked up at God and said — “I hate you too.”

I remember one time I said the word “crap” and she heard me and came and grabbed me by the hair and pulled me into the bathroom and started pushing my head down towards the sink and started grinding soap on my teeth over and over while I was crying.  I was of course crying and freaking out and trying to pull my head away from the sink but she would just push harder and harder until I gave in and my face hit the sink and cracked my lip open.   There was blood and soap all over the sink and sink counter but she would still not stop.  She was not going to stop until I stopped naturally resisting her pushing my face towards the sink.  She wanted me totally broken.  That is what it was like every single time she beat me.  It’s kind of funny now but it was not funny to me at that time when she walked away and I was standing there with blood bubbles coming out of my mouth as I cried.

At one point she started this new policy that said that I had to eat hot peppers every single time she thought I was lying or talked back or did something wrong or even looked at her wrong.  She would call me to her and force them into my mouth and put her hand over my mouth so I could not spit them out.  One time I refused and she tackled me to the ground and put her knee in my back to where I could breath and forced it down my throat with her fingers.  The meanness and unfairness would go on even until my teenager years though and was not just limited to when I was a little boy.  Though it seems like she hit me less when I was in my teens she was still mean to me most of the time and still occasionally would hit me in the face while telling me to put my hands down.

Therefore — unfortunately — between the ages of 10-16 I just had the impression she did not like me very much and I would stop liking me too at some point. That’s because I was made to feel like I was a bad person all the time and deserved it.  However — as time would go by — I would fight back with not giving her the satisfaction of breaking me.  That’s because I stopped crying when she would hit me and I grabbed the jar of hot peppers and would shove several of them in my throat and chewed them with a shit eating grin on my face.  This is the reason I am even hard to break even until today.

In my teenage years I started fighting back against the mental and physical abuse.  I figured two could play at this game.  I started punishing her with her own abuse by doing exactly what she did to me.  I would say something mean and nasty every single time she tried to make me not like myself.  One time she slapped me in the face and I slapped her back with the same intensity because I was sick and tired of being hit all the time.  I figured if she wanted “something to cry about I was going to give her something to cry about.”  I did this because it was clear to me she lacked the ability john-wright-picture-1985to empathize with her victim and I thought she would empathize once it was happening to her.  However — unfortunately — in-between the ages of thirteen and sixteen — I was not the genius I am today and my plan would end up making matters worse.  The strategy backfired and had the opposite effect because I did not realize my mother was a potential narcissist in-between these ages.  She simply could not tolerate seeing what she really looked like in the mirror and would attack me physically each time I repeated back her same cruel words.  The arguments would sometimes be very intense.

However — let me be clear here — my mother did not have a thing with “wire hangers”.  That is because my mother had a thing with “Tupperware” instead.  As a child I would be jolted awake with “night raids” for not cleaning the Tupperware and stacking it in the cupboard precisely the way she demanded.  I hate Tupperware even until this day.  It is ultimately the reason it is highly suggested you do not give me Tupperware for Christmas.  Otherwise do not be surprised if you are not invited to next year’s Christmas party.

The cruelty my mother showed to me was not limited to just happening when we were by ourselves though.  That’s because sometimes she would do it in front of my high school friends and in front her friends.  I will give you an example.  I remember I came back to the house with five of my friends after getting a haircut.  There was only one problem.   The problem was that she was the only person allowed to cut my hair.  I was 15 years old and not even allowed to cut my own hair.   I remember she looked at it and told me to turn around and then turn around again and when I did she slapped me really hard in the face.  She never had any problem humiliating me in front of my friends.  I remember my friends were stunned and her friend even gasped and said — “Stop!  There is nothing wrong with his haircut!  It looks fine!”   There were many times her friends would intervene but this usually would result in them not being friends anymore.

I would suffer emotional and physical abuse at the hands of my mother for many years.  That was until one day the tables turned on her.  I officially became a teenager.

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