Guest Post #8 : Abusers break you–and then HATE you for being broken.

My dear friend and active participant on this site, Linda Lee, has written a wonderful and OMG SO TRUE post, which describes a lifetime of abuse, including incarceration in a state mental hospital, and being faced with unethical doctors and caregivers, including one who raped her. She was sent back home to a rejecting family–who had put her there in the first place! Linda Lee has Complex PTSD, a form of PTSD that’s often the result of chronic abuse during childhood, rather than an isolated traumatic incident later on in life. After describing the insane house of mirrors she had been thrusted into that seemed to have no way out, Linda lifts the reader out of the darkness with an uplifting message about Easter and the resurrection.

Linda Lee also has a blog about her Complex PTSD caused by prolonged, severe trauma called Surviving Trauma (formerly Heal My Complex PTSD).   (I got a little confused here because Linda recently changed her blog but the old one is still there too.  Her new blog is called A Blog About Healing From PTSD. )

I know the following story sounds so crazy, it’s hard to believe. But it is all true, so help me God… unless I really AM nuts, and the mental health professionals who have told me otherwise over the years were all wrong!

ABUSERS BREAK YOU — AND THEN HATE YOU FOR BEING BROKEN
By Linda Lee, Surviving Trauma and A Blog about Healing From PTSD

going_crazy_bookcover
The cover for Linda Lee’s future book, which she designed herself!

If you take a young puppy away from his canine family before he is weaned, yell at him, kick him, shake him, beat him, half-starve him, and leave him on a chain outdoors, exposed to every kind of weather without shelter, that poor little puppy is going to grow up to be a deeply disturbed dog – if he lives to grow up.

If you treat human children like that pitiful dog, they are going to have behavioral and emotional problems, too.

I grew up with parents who were normal and nice some of the time, and behaved like insane, demonically possessed monsters part of the time. I never knew from one day to the next whether my mother was going to be like June Cleaver in the TV show “Leave it to Beaver,” or Joan Crawford in the movie “Mommy Dearest.”

As for my dad, a fundamentalist minister whose episodes of violence led to his diagnosis of multiple personality disorder (now known as Dissociative Identity Disorder), some people believed that he actually was possessed by demons.

When I was fourteen years old, I began to have some emotional problems. Big surprise, right? I told my mother about the difficulty I was having, hoping she could help me. But, although my problems were mild compared to both of my parents’ history of extreme mental problems, my mother said “You are crazy just like your father!” Then she contacted my dad (my parents were divorced by then), and he agreed with her that I needed to be put in a state mental institution – against the advice of my doctor!

Of course, my dad said that I was “crazy like your mother.” He also told me he was GLAD I had psychiatric problems, because now I would understand what he had gone through.

But I did not understand. Almost fifty years later, I still don’t. Unlike both of my parents, my behavior was not out of control. On the contrary, although I wasn’t perfect, I was obedient, subservient, and eager to please. I had never been the least bit violent. I had never threatened or tried to harm anyone.

My dad, on the other hand, came so close to murdering my mom when I was twelve years old that for several terrifying moments I had thought she was dead. That’s when my father was arrested, then put in the psychiatric ward of a general hospital after the police took him to the emergency room because his insulin-dependent diabetes was out of control.

As for my mother, a few weeks after my dad tried to kill her, she did something even worse – she tried to gas us all to death while my four younger brothers and sisters and I were sleeping in our beds. Yet she never put herself under any kind of psychiatric care. With no other responsible adult living in the house at the time, there was no one to force her to get help. So now, because she has never been to a mental health professional and labeled with a psychiatric diagnosis, my mother thinks she is “just fine.”

When my dad’s medical insurance ran out and he was discharged from the psych ward, my mother dropped her charge of attempted murder so he could go back to work and provide financial support. Then my dad married the head nurse of the psychiatric ward whom he had met while he was a patient there (how unethical is that?), and my mother started dating a newly divorced man who had previously worked with my dad. She soon became pregnant (accidentally on purpose?), and quickly married the unborn baby’s father.

So now my parents were living happily ever after with their brand new loves while I, their eldest daughter, became the family scapegoat and “the crazy one.” And together my parents decided that I needed to be locked up in a state insane asylum, because: “she might become violent some day.”

Projection much?

About a year after my parents put me in the institution a new psychiatrist, Dr. Fenster, was hired to replace the rapist shrink who had been caught and fired the third time he drugged me unconscious and raped me. Lucky Otter posted this story for me almost a year ago. Here is the link: https://luckyottershaven.com/2015/04/12/have-you-ever-been-hurt-by-a-psychiatrist-guest-post-by-alaina-holt-adams/. (I wrote that post under the pen name Alaina Adams. I have since changed my pen name to Linda Lee, because it’s more like the real me.)

I had originally met the newly hired doctor when I was first put in the asylum and he was there, finishing his psychiatric residency. He had told me then that there was nothing mentally wrong with me, in his opinion, and he was confident that the psychiatrist in charge of my ward would soon have me released.

When Dr. Fenster took over my case more than a year later, he was shocked and dismayed to see that I was still there. Within the first five minutes of his first day on the job, the good doctor made me a promise: “I am going to get you out of here as soon as possible. You never should have been put here in the first place!”

But his promise turned out to be much easier said than done. Eight months later, Dr. Fenster called me into his office one last time before sending me out into the world. “I am very sorry that it has taken me so long to get you out of here,” he said. “The amount of legal red tape involved to release a patient from a state hospital is unbelievable, especially when it comes to a minor child. Because you are only sixteen, you are legally a ward of the state and you cannot be released on your own recognizance until you are twenty-one, five years from now! Until then, you can only be released into the care of a responsible adult. I have spoken with every adult in your family several times, at length – with your grandparents on both sides, and your mother and father. I hate to tell you this, but every last one of them is far sicker than you ever were! Frankly, it’s no surprise to me that you had emotional problems. Coming from a hateful, self-centered crew like that, I don’t understand how you can be as sane as you are! Even your maternal grandparents are unbelievably hard-hearted and selfish! At first, I thought they would be the best hope for you to have a decent chance at life. With your grandfather’s current position as the associate warden of Leavenworth Federal Prison, they could so easily provide you with a stable home and every advantage.”

He shook his head sadly. “I hate to tell you this, Linda, but no one in your family wants you. Every single one of them came right out and told me they don’t want a ‘mental patient’ living in their home. It didn’t make any difference when I told them that you are not mentally ill and you never should have been put here in the first place. In fact, when I mentioned that, your mother said that just by virtue of the fact that you have been kept here in this place for so long, you have probably been changed by the experience and now you may be dangerous! So… when I kept hitting a brick wall with everyone in your family, I gave up and tried to find a foster home willing to take you in. But they have to be informed about your time in this institution, and I could not find any foster parents willing to take the chance. I even tried to talk my wife into the two of us fostering you, but… it was a no-go.”

Dr. Fenster stared down at his hands, which were lying palms-up on his desk in an attitude of defeat. “Your mother is coming to take you out of here today,” he said. “although she is the last person I want to send you home with. Why she chose to have so many kids when she doesn’t have a maternal bone in her body is beyond my understanding. But she is coming to get you because – frankly – I found out something about her and I have used it to blackmail her. But even then, she would not agree to take you unless I wrote your discharge paper in such a way that it says you are being sent home on an ‘indefinite leave.’ I’m sorry this isn’t a full discharge. What it means is that your mother can bring you back here at any time, for any reason, or for no reason at all. So my advice to you is to get as far away from everyone in your family as soon as you can – and don’t ever go back!”

A nurse handed me a paper bag full of my threadbare clothes, then escorted me from the doctor’s office down to the lobby. My mother and her mother were waiting there, both with very grim faces. After a tense, silent two-hour car ride to my mother’s house, I discovered that I no longer had a bedroom or a bed – I was told to sleep on the living room sofa. In fact, everything that I had ever owned, my beloved books, the papers I had written, my clothes, my costume jewelry, and the childhood toys I had cherished and saved, were all gone. Taken to the dump, I was told, right after I was put in the mental institution.

My “WELCOME HOME” was nonexistent. Not one person said “I’m glad you’re back, I’ve missed you.” My much younger sisters and brothers had always looked up to me, loved me, and depended on me, especially during our mother’s deep depression after the violent end of our parents’ marriage. Along with my new stepfather, my four little siblings had begged our mother not to send me to the institution two years earlier. Even my grandparents may have questioned why she would send her adolescent daughter to the most notorious insane asylum in the region, when my behavior, to all outward appearances, was completely normal. So then my mother had told horrible projecting lies about me, to justify what she had done. Lies which the majority of my family apparently believe to this day.

Three days after my return “home,” while I was being ultra careful not to be a bother to anyone in any way, my mother waited until my stepfather was at work and my school age siblings were all in school, and then she told me that I needed to leave – to run away – because she could not afford to feed a big grown girl like me.

“I can barely afford to feed the five little ones,” she said. “Your father doesn’t pay nearly enough child support, and it wouldn’t be fair to expect your stepfather to feed you. And after where you have been, I am afraid you might be a bad influence on the younger children. I had you when I was only eighteen, too young to know what I was doing. So I made all my mistakes on you. Unfortunately, it’s too late for you. But I think that throwing one child away, in order to save the other five, is the right thing to do, don’t you? And don’t worry, I promise I won’t call the police and report you as a runaway!” She said this, about not calling the police, with a big smile on her face, as though she had just handed me the keys to a brand new car.

“You know, I married your father when I was sixteen. Sixteen is old enough to be on your own. And, like I’ve been telling you ever since you reached puberty – no house is big enough for two women!”

This happened in the middle of a cold December and there were several inches of snow on the ground. The tiny town where my mother and stepfather had moved to while I was in the institution was miles away from a city, where there might be some kind of shelter or help. Without a penny to my name, with my few clothes bunched up in a pillowcase, because the paper bag I had brought my clothes home from the hospital in, had torn – and I remember feeling guilty for taking one of my mother’s pillow cases, that’s what a “terrible” daughter I was! – I walked out the door into the frozen December morning. I had not eaten any breakfast that day, because no one had offered me anything and I was trying so hard not to be a bother….

Whew. Right now, as I am writing about that terrible time in my life, I feel so ANGRY!

My husband today, a combat veteran from the war in Vietnam, has talked about the pain of coming back from the hell of war and getting rejection, instead of a Welcome Home. I’ve told him I understand how that feels. A few years ago, there was a big push to finally welcome our Vietnam War Veterans home. I’m so glad they got that. They deserve it. But… deep down inside, I feel like I am still waiting for my Welcome Home.

I did not follow Dr. Fenster’s advice to have nothing to do with anyone in my family of origin, until I was in my fifties. Why? Because I loved my family. I wanted to have a family! Although I stopped living in the same state forty years ago, I kept reaching out to them, time and time again, over the years – by driving very long distances to visit them, by phone calls, by letters, and finally, when social media became available, I reached out to them through Facebook.

With the exception of my aunt (my mother’s younger sister) and my oldest niece, every time that I have ever reached out in any way to anyone in my family of origin, I have been hurt and abused all over again. The bullying I took on Facebook was so bad, I ended my account. Even today, every time I see that ubiquitous blue logo, I shudder inside.

WHY does my family of origin despise me so much? Because they apparently believe my mother’s lies about why she “had no choice” but to commit me to an insane asylum almost half a century ago. And anything that I have to say on the subject is suspect because, you know, I must have been really crazy in order to be locked up.

They BREAK you, and then they HATE you for being broken.

Every trauma story is unique. Some people have told me that my trauma story is so extreme, it makes them feel ashamed of having any kind of emotional problems when their trauma is “less” by comparison. But I absolutely do not want anyone who reads this to feel that way! Please!! Pain is pain, trauma is trauma, and – in my experience – THE WORST PAIN OF ALL IS THE PAIN OF BEING REJECTED BY THE PEOPLE WHO ARE SUPPOSED TO LOVE YOU. Not the terrifying episodes of violence, not the rapes, not even being labeled “crazy” and locked up for almost two years in a lunatic asylum, hurts as bad as this!!

If you, like me, have ever been scapegoated, lied about, shunned, and rejected for being so “bad” as to have any kind of emotional or mental problems, then I believe your wounds go just as deep as mine.

Thank you for reading this. Please feel free to share your own story in the comments. And thank you, Lucky Otter, for giving people like me the opportunity to share our mental health struggles with your readers. God bless.

In truth and love, Linda Lee

PS: Today is Easter, the day we Christians celebrate our risen Lord. I believe HE is the reason why I finally got free of the insane asylum, during an era when 97% of the people committed there were never released. (This is what one of the psychiatrists told me right after I got there, when I asked him how soon I could go home.) I was one of the lucky few who got a second chance at life. I think the reason may be because I had given my heart to Christ when I was a little girl. “Weeping may endure for a night, but joy comes in the morning.” Amen!

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About luckyotter

This blog is my journal. I just choose to share it with the world instead of keeping everything inside my head. I'm a recovering Borderline and have also struggled with Avoidant Personality Disorder. I also have Complex PTSD due to having been the victim of narcissistic abuse for most of my life. I write mostly about narcissism, because I was the child of a narcissistic mother, and then married to a sociopathic malignant narcissist for 20 years. But there's a silver lining too. In some ways they taught me about myself. This blog is about all that. Not all my articles will be about NPD, BPD or other personality disorders or mental conditions. I pretty much write about whatever's on my mind at the moment. So there's something for everyone here. Blogging about stuff is crack for my soul. It's self therapy, and hopefully my insights and observations may help others too.
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80 Responses to Guest Post #8 : Abusers break you–and then HATE you for being broken.

  1. Leslie says:

    Thank you so much for sharing your story Linda. Bless you.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Thank you so much for sharing your story! I am very sorry you endured so much pain and yes, there is nothing more painful than being rejected by your parents..Take care

    Liked by 2 people

  3. You are such an inspiration to me, Linda. God bless you for your honesty and courage.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. I don’t really know what to say.. there are so many things I would like to say.. You’re so strong! you’re a superwoman. Thank you for sharing this. I hope you won’t have to suffer that much anymore.. even though it keeps hurting.

    Liked by 3 people

  5. Thank You for sharing your inspiring story.

    Liked by 2 people

  6. Deb says:

    Thank you so much for sharing this. Stories like these should be shared with the world.

    Liked by 2 people

  7. Susan says:

    thank you. i’m happy I read this on Easter!! Blessing: )

    Liked by 2 people

    • Aww, thank you for saying that, Susan. I was worried about posting my mostly dark story on this most special day.

      I want to invite you to check out my new blog, ‘A Blog About Healing From PTSD.’ It is totally my fault that I didn’t think to tell Lucky to link this guest post to my new blog! I stopped using my old WordPress account several weeks ago, because of serious technical problems with comments, which even WP support could not help me with.

      Here is the link to my currently active blog:
      https://ablogabouthealingfromptsd.wordpress.com/

      Liked by 1 person

  8. Oh my goodness… I had writer’s remorse after I emailed this post to Lucky. I thought it said too much, I thought it was too long… way too long. But I left the decision up to her and she posted it anyway! Already there are so many lovely encouraging comments. Wow! I feel so blessed!

    It’s my fault, though, that I forgot to tell Lucky to link this to my new blog, ‘A Blog About Healing From PTSD.’ I stopped using my old WordPress account, which contains my ‘Surviving Trauma’ blog about Complex PTSD, because my comments posted from that account weren’t generating notifications, and WP support could not tell me how to fix it.

    Here is the link to my currently active blog: https://ablogabouthealingfromptsd.wordpress.com/

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Reblogged this on 'A Blog About Healing From PTSD' and commented:
    Here is a guest post that I wrote for Lauren Bennett. Her fascinating blog, Lucky Otter’s Haven, is one of my all-time favorites.

    By the way, it is totally my fault that I forgot to tell Lauren to link my guest post here to my new blog. I am keeping my old ‘Surviving Trauma’ blog up, but I no longer post there, because of technical problems with comments which even WP support couldn’t help me with.

    I know the following story sounds so crazy, it’s hard to believe. But it is all true, so help me God… unless I really AM nuts, and the mental health professionals who have told me otherwise were all wrong!

    Thank you for reading. God Bless and Happy Easter!!

    Liked by 1 person

  10. I read with jaw dropped. Although I’ve known some of your story already, each time I read something else you write, I feel my heart crushing for you a bit more. I have the same reaction as Dr. Fenster about your mother having so many kids.

    He really did a lot of leg work to get you out of their. He’s kind of a hero. I felt so sad about all he told you about how no one wanted you. That must’ve been so devastating. I would be interested to read how you were feeling then, as you stood (or sat) there listening to everything he was telling you.

    I’m so sad for you and so sorry you were just tossed to the street like that. I am seriously one to not really think that humans are evil. They’re injured and have reasons for their behavior. Blah blah blah. But this…your mom kicking you out like that, that is evil.

    Big hugs Linda. I am crying for you. You should never have had to endure such cruelty.

    Liked by 2 people

    • luckyotter says:

      I felt the same way you did, Tiger. Every time I read about her background my heart just breaks for her. But she’s so incredibly strong, and a beautiful, smart woman and a fantastic writer. And you know what? That horrid “family” she had doesn’t desreve the time of day from her.

      I agree with you about Dr. Fenster trying to do the right thing but his hands were tied. Linda Lee, you are such an inspiration.

      Liked by 2 people

    • Dr. Fenster is my hero. I don’t remember his first name, if I ever knew it. But I knew that he was only in his late twenties when he was my doctor. I did a search online about three years ago for psychiatrists with that last name and found a Robert Fenster who was the right age, early seventies. Sadly, I also found a website that said he had recently lost his license due to a lawsuit by the family of a man who had been his patient, who committed suicide.

      I sent a letter to the Colorado address I found for him on white pages, asking if he was the Dr. Fenster who had worked at the state hospital in Nevada, Missouri, in the late 1960s. I thanked him for saving my life, if he was my Dr. Fenster, and told him that my three adult children, three grandchildren, and my great-grandson, who was a newborn baby then, would probably not exist if it weren’t for him. But I never heard anything back.

      I intend to try contacting him again, after my book is finished and ready to publish. I want to ask him if he minds me using his real name. I am changing all of the names in my book, except for public personalities. But I would like to use the real names of the psychiatrists who saved my life: Dr. Fenster in 1969, and Paul Meier, MD, of Richardson, Texas, who diagnosed my PTSD in 2003 and explained that it isn’t truly a mental illness, but a psychological injury. Dr. Meier is the one who told me that having PTSD after extreme trauma is normal, just as it is normal to bleed when you are stabbed.

      You asked how I felt when Dr. Fenster told me about my family not wanting me: numb. Just numb. But deep down inside, I already knew they did not want me. With the exception of my maternal grandfather, the associate warden of Leavenworth. He had always dotted on me. It took me awhile to understand that his love was conditional. When I had a breakdown at age fourteen, I became nothing to him. Something to be ashamed of and to distance himself from. Which… really hurt.

      Thank you for your caring words, Tiger. Your friendship and support means so much.

      Liked by 1 person

  11. lynettedavis says:

    My heart goes out to you. How a mother can be so cold-hearted as to go so far as to have her teenage daughter committed to an insane asylum is still beyond me and I know a lot about malignant narcissists. It sounds like your mother was the one who was a danger to others. Look what she did to you, notwithstanding that she tried to gas you and your siblings. Evil has no boundaries. You were living with enemy. Who knows what more would have happened to you if you had continued to live there with her. Reading your story, I can see how you were a lamb in a pit full of wolves. I can relate to your experience of your family rejecting you. As I look back, I can see that anyone that formed any type of a relationship with me, especially as a child, my mother would bust it up to make sure that I didn’t have any one to go to or talk to. Mentally and emotionally, I was kept isolated. At the time, I didn’t understand why everyone was cordial, but distant. There’s no telling what my dear mother was telling them about me. I thought it was me because that’s what we do–internalize things. (I was afraid to get to close to anyone.) When it came to going no-contact, it really wasn’t that difficult because no one was really reaching out to me, at least not on my mother’s side. About the reaching out to other family members, I’ve come to realize, as I’m sure you have too now, that sometimes, we’re separated for a reason. The way I see it, you’re on a totally different path. Like the doctor told you, the entire family was extremely selfish (i.e. malignant). This makes a lot of sense to me because there is such a thing, in my opinion, as narc families. It’s clear that God has a different plan for you, which by the way, I’m convinced, is why you were chosen to be the scapegoat, in the first place. I am curious, though, how your younger siblings fared. With you out of the picture, your mother probably turned some of her wicked behavior on at least one of her other children. Your story brings to mind 2 Corinthians 12:9, when God said, “My grace is sufficient for you.” Take care.

    Liked by 2 people

    • luckyotter says:

      These are beautiful and inspiring words, Lynette. I hope she sees them.

      Liked by 2 people

    • Oh, Lynnette, I am so sorry you went through that with your mother, too. It’s so unbelievably painful and crazy making, isn’t it? Until a few years ago, I could not understand why my mother hated me so. Finally, as I learned about narcissistic personality disorder, I began to understand that she was is jealous. She was in competition with me, her own daughter. When I reached adolescence, that’s when she started saying “No house is big enough for two women, I will be so glad when you are grown and gone!” I was 13 when she started saying that.

      You asked about my other siblings, they have struggled in different ways, but most seem to have done much better in life than I did. One sister, though, has struggled with drug addiction and relationship problems. One brother is very bad off, he has been on disability, unable to work, for most of his life. He is 54 now, I believe. Another brother was in the first gulf war and was in the Khobar Towers (sp?) in Saudi Arabia when a terrorist blew the front off the building. Because I haven’t been around most of his life, I can’t say for sure, but he seems to have a terrible temper. He seems… cold. His wife acted afraid of him, when I met her many years ago.

      The sins of the father’s…

      Liked by 2 people

      • luckyotter says:

        Yes, it does sound like your siblings were damaged too. From waht you are saying here, it sounds to me like you came away from that crazymaking family the best off of them all, with your soul unscathed.

        Liked by 1 person

    • Yikes, I just realized I’ve been spelling your name wrong. Only one “n” — so sorry, Lynette. My eyes don’t see as clear as they used to.

      Liked by 2 people

  12. Thank you for sharing your story. I know this journey as I have seen my niece go through something a little similar. When they were trying to medicate and diagnose her we managed to connect for a time, luckily I was sober by then and knew better than to settle for any diagnosis others may have been trying to lay on me and tried to encourage her in the same way. She managed to get out of the psyche ward and off all meds in time.
    You are incredibly brave and loving. Its so hard not turning to those whose love you long for and getting the lesson they know nothing about loving and accepting you. It can be such a lonely journey but I am so glad you have found others to support you telling your story and that you have been brave enough to express it so we can all know the hell you went through, and that there is hope on the other side if you continue to love and believe in yourself.
    I am also so sad to hear of your husbands horrible experience on returning from Vietnam. I am sure you are such a wonderful support for each other.

    Liked by 2 people

  13. Extraordinary story of survival

    Liked by 2 people

  14. Reblogged this on Art by Rob Goldstein and commented:
    Extraordinary story of survival

    Liked by 2 people

  15. katiesdream2004 says:

    Thank you for this deeply moving account. While triggering in some ways your story is also very comforting. For a quite a long time I feel that I’ve screamed to a stone deaf world that the mental health system can be used as a tool by a narc family to invalidate their scapegoat. I know too well that it isn’t therapy that happens behind those barred windows, but quite often institutionalized abuse. Then, family members whisper to whomever can hear “you know she’s a mental patient” and you are erased as a valid human being. Yes they break you and then hate you, but I’d add and some of them enjoy breaking you just as some morally debauched people enjoy torturing the puppy.

    My first thought of hearing of Dr. Fenster in your story was “God sent someone”. Without that witness regarding your actual sanity and validating the insanity of your family how torturous the world would seem. I wonder if that psychiatrist then understood the way families can use the mental health system to erase their victim, invalidate their voice and to justify their evil of making the scapegoat the “schizophrenic” or “bipolar” or BPD, or whatever. Those demented human beings then rely on the stigma ingrained in society to further isolate you and validate themselves.

    Lastly, the scene of leaving…. brought tears to my eyes, my own leaving was similar. I was 17, my father had beaten me up, blackened one of my eyes in a fist to the face because he found out I sneaked off to church, but a church he didn’t like. Like you I was an obedient subservient eager to please girl except I wanted to go to a church that was a non-denominational. After the beating he scooped me up in his arms, 6’3 man that he was (and he was the nice parent I want to reiterate that) threw me out the door as he said “don’t come back”. It was very late at night, the wind was howling, the snow was blowing and it was winter in Alaska.

    I staggered down the street without a coat walked about a mile or 2 and stuck out my thumb when a car came by. It was my first time hitch hiking and I got a ride to some new friends house. My new friends put me on a train the next morning to stay with some of their friends in a remote cabin where I found several other misfit religiously inclined social escapees. Sadly, like you, I kept wanting a family and reconnecting with the narcs only to experience the same invalidation, over and over again. I’ve finally gone no contact this last year, at age 60. The longing for family can foster such denial.

    IN the years that followed I’ve escaped in the dark night with nothing but the clothes on my back far too many times from battering husbands. I was conditioned by my subservience to accept narcissistic men as “normal”. But, I can say that like you God saw the wandering homeless one, and He had the lovingkindness and mercy to make Himself real to me. As the Psalmist said “when mother and father forsake, YOu will take me up”

    Liked by 2 people

    • Oh, Katie. I am moved beyond words.

      Amazing internet, amazing blog world, that allows people like you and me to find each other. I thought I was the only one, for so long. I know you did, too.

      Our horror stories sound too horrible to be true. Surely no mother would do what my mother did. Surely no father would do what your father did. Surely so many traumatic and abusive things could never happen to one person in a single lifetime. I can barely believe my own story. I could barely believe it when I was living through it.

      And yet, I know there are many people who have lived through far worse than I or you did. People who did not have a Dr. Fenster. People who were not able to hitch a ride, who did not end up in a cabin full of like-minded friends.

      People whose stories have never been heard because they did not survive. Thank You, Lord, for Your mercy and grace. Please help us be an instrument of Your love to others.

      Liked by 2 people

      • katiesdream2004 says:

        Yes, I’m grateful for the internet and this witness about what a narc family does to your life. Then by God’s grace and for those that didn’t survive, for those that are under age and being tortured, let this testimony arise. The satanically inspired narcs did their best to destroy, but God had a plan and it was good. I do think of 8 year olds in Thailand sold into brothels were they are abused by some sweaty old rich white American narc and I groan. I think part of the healing from our own narc abuse is to reach out anyway we can to help those ones still imprisoned by a capture bent on their destruction. Starting with prayer is all I know to do

        Liked by 2 people

        • luckyotter says:

          I avoid the news because it makes me so angry to hear stories of what the American narcopaths do to not only the vulnerable people of other nations, but the vulnerable people of this nation–and then project all the blame, saying it’s the poor/minorities/immigrants/women, etc. who are responsible for the sorry economy and state of the nation in general.

          Liked by 2 people

        • Yes, I agree 100%.

          Two years ago my husband and I drove up to the site in Missouri where the state hospital used to be, before it was closed and torn down in the 1990s. As I walked across the park-like grounds where the huge, overcrowded, gothic style insane asylum used to be, I remembered… so many people, so many faces, so many names. And I wondered: Where Did They All Go?

          Then I walked across the broken burial grounds of the state hospital cemetery, the rows and rows of graves with no headstones, and I thought: “These were my people, the people lying buried here. They are my people.”

          When I was first put in that institution I asked the ward doctor how soon I could go home, and he matter of factly told me that 97% of the people committed there never left there alive. “If you are here past one year,” he added, “your statistical odds of ever going home again will go down to 1%.”

          Seeing the look of shocked disbelief on my face, that cold-hearted doctor told me to ask the other patients on my ward how long they had been there, if I doubted his word. I did, and the shortest answer I got was 8 years, the average well above 20 years.

          I had just turned 15 years old and my life was over!

          So I ran away the first chance I got. Was caught and punished with four point restraints in solitary confinement. The 4th time I ran, I was put on maximum security with the criminally insane. That was where I spent the majority of the almost two years I was there. I barely escaped with my life.

          And yet — I am one of the rare 1% who was there longer than a year and got out alive. I was blessed. When I am writing about my traumas, I have to keep remembering that. How very blessed I am.

          Liked by 1 person

          • luckyotter says:

            You are very lucky. Is that “the” picture of the hospital on your book cover? Why is it that old school mental instutions always had that gothic, horror-movie look?

            Liked by 1 person

            • Yes, the picture on my book cover is taken from an old postcard I bought off of eBay. The picture on the postcard is of the actual mental hospital where I was incarcerated from early 1968 to December 1969.

              That asylum was built in the late 1800s and was the largest building in the state at the time of its construction, more than a mile in circumference.

              The actual official original name of that institution was: Lunatic Asylum #3, Nevada, Missouri. Later they changed the official name to: State Hospital for the Insane, #3.

              Horrible.

              Liked by 1 person

            • luckyotter says:

              Both the names are horrible, and the fact that you were “incarcerated” and referred to as “inmates.” For what crime? THAT is insane.

              Like

  16. lbeth1950 says:

    Thanks so much for sharing this story. I am so glad you survived this horror.

    Liked by 2 people

  17. Miss Ruth says:

    As I read this, I am firstly taken aback by how MUCH you have suffered – and *what* you have suffered. Secondly, I have been experiencing this – this rejection from those who are supposed to love you most – as of late. It is brutal. It is painful. It is scarring. The lengths that they go to ruin you is always freshly awful. But you know already. Also, my entire teenage life, I dealt with certain people who who would “break me” and then get mad at ME for being broken. I was accused of being “too sensitive” when in reality, I was being justifiably hurt by very demeaning, condescending remarks and declarations about my character. I suppressed absolutely everything. I very rarely reacted. I showed little of the pain that I was feeling inside… but there is a quote by Sophia Dembling, it goes like this: “One of the risks of being quiet is that other people can fill your silence with their own interpretation: you’re bored. You’re depressed. You’re shy. You’re stuck up. You’re judgmental. When others can’t read us, they write their own story ― not always one we choose or that’s true to who we really are.”
    I feel that this is so true for me…
    Anyway. I’ve been reading your posts today. Just awed by your story, by your survival. Amazed at what God brought you out of. Praying for you. Needing prayer as well. ♥ God bless you a thousand times. You’re truly a survivor Linda xx

    Liked by 2 people

  18. Mahevash says:

    This broke my heart over and over again. Thank you for sharing your ordeal…may God bless you.

    Liked by 2 people

  19. Heartwrenching. That you survived at all — let alone with a capacity for compassion — is miraculous. I am sure your story will help others. ❤

    Liked by 2 people

  20. Oddly enough, this post came up as “related” at the bottom of one of your new posts just now, Lucky, the post about your dad. So I thought maybe I should put a link here to the post I wrote yesterday, about my ‘new’ memoir-in-progress. As I explain in this post, I won’t be writing a book called GOING CRAZY after all, I am changing my memoir’s focus. It is still the same story, just more finely tuned:
    https://ablogabouthealingfromptsd.wordpress.com/2016/06/03/my-new-memoir-in-progress/

    Like

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