Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Enmeshed

en·mesh (n-msh) also im·mesh (m-)

tr.v. en·meshed also in·meshed, en·mesh·ing also in·mesh·ing, en·mesh·es also in·mesh·es

To entangle, involve, or catch in or as if in a mesh.
 
Used in a sentence: Shattered is enmeshed in a complex web of lust, love, and abuse.
 
Dear Ruth commented on how deeply embedded my parents are in every aspect of my being.  And possibly more so than the typical adult child.  This thought caught me falling off balance it wasn't until I fell to the ground that I took a hard look at the truth of this idea.
 
And she was right.
 
My sense of normal has always been skewed.  Well meaning people always insist to me that there is no "normal" and I have always smiled and accepted their offering of kindness. 
 
However, I'm finally going to have to flatly refuse that well meant advice because what sense of normal I have always had is certainly no where close to the typical yet non-existent normal.  Ruth brought this thought to the surface when I had to look at the possibility that in many ways, I was more connected to my parents than the typical adult.  Just like I used to think that everyone heard voices in their heads; I also thought that this enmeshment was normal.
 
But it is not.  Not even close.
 
I lived and died by my parents hands.  I starved and was fed at their discretion.  I was his companion and her demise.  I was his lover and her deepest competition.
 
And all these roles were diametrically opposed to the single role that should have existed.  Parent and child.
 
It is creepy, weird, dirty, strange and wrong but my father was my first lover.  And I use the word lover very loosely but to a daughter starving and begging for affection, that is exactly what he was.  A sexual bond existed between us that served him well to emit his constant control.  For many who read here, one can probably equate this bond to your first love; they are someone you have moved on from but you never quite forget.
 
My problem is that I never really moved on from him.  He was unforgettable.  He cast his net wide and though I struggled I never was quite free.  I was trapped in his warped lust because I carried a bond of both a child to a parent but also a bond that intimate partners share.  But now he has moved on from me.  And I would be lying if I said that I didn't feel a deep twinge of impure loss.
 
No wonder I am so very fucked up and confused.  Every single day has been a struggle lately.  My only solace is that this is finally over and with each step I take I am walking out on this distorted love.
 
I hope.

38 comments:

Andrea said...

Praying for you!!
Hugs,
andrea

Rhonda said...

I am so sorry you had to grow up in that kind of environment with such a weight on your shoulders. Hang in there sweety!

English Rider said...

Smart perceptions clearly expressed. I am impressed but not surprised.
Are you sharing this explanation with your partener so that he may understand and support you?

California Girl said...

I just read your last three posts and some of the comments you received. One of my sons was molested by a neighbor boy when he was very young. It went on for several yrs and he never told us til we moved. The boy who did it, in turn, was being molested by his own father.

We consulted a child therapist and her first and most important words to us were, "He needs to understand this is not his fault."

California Girl said...

Continuing on, because I didn't mean to publish the above until I'd finished...has anyone told you this is not your fault? You aren't responsible. You are innocent. It's not your fault.

The Pliers said...

Totally comprehensible.

The only thing I would say is that I can't see anything impure about it. A loss is a loss is a loss. And if your psychic-space hoggin' Daddy is dead then that's a pretty damn big loss from my perspective.

BTW, one of my favorite words in the English language–ENMESHMENT. My family-or-origins last name, for all intents and purposes!

Walkin' Away A Winner
performed by Kathy Mattea

Any time love is on the table
The stakes are high
But I thought this was love
So I laid it all on the line
You nearly took everything I had
Never knew I could hurt so bad
But at least I left with every piece
of this heart of mine

I'm walkin' away a winner
Walkin' away from a losin' game
With my pride intact
and my vision back
I can say
I know where I'm goin'
and I know I'll be alright
I'm walkin' away a winner
Walkin' back into my life

It was a hard way to go
When I didn't know when to leave
And if you knew all along,
baby, you weren't tellin' me
Now I know I could live or die
I'm headin' down the right road now
Still believin' in a way
That a real love is meant to be

I'm walkin' away a winner
I'm walkin' away from a losin' game
With my pride intact
and my vision back
I can say
I know where I'm goin'
and I know I'll be alright
I'm walkin' away a winner
Walking back into my life

I'm walkin' away a winner
I'm walkin' away from a losin' game
With my pride intact
and my vision back I can say
I know where I'm goin'
and I know I'll be alright
I'm walkin' away a winner
Walkin' back into my life

Walkin' back into my life
Walkin' away a winner
Walkin' back into my life
Walkin' away a winner


Do check out "My Voice Will Go With You" by Sidney Rosen

Also, I happen to agree with out about that normal/non-normal deal. Difference in degree, of course, but I had a friend whose father did not beat his wife or children, nor kick in the TV set and break his toe or go on a drunk. Thus, I and another friend teased him mercilessly with why his father didn't do all the stuff that our father's did. Reverse abnormality!

Amitiés,

sarah said...

Stay strong ok. And stay safe. Sarah

Journal of Healing said...

I am also impressed at your drawn parallel. I think it very brave for you to be able to take such a harsh, candid look at yourself and the sickness that develops when adults fuck with a child's development, whether spiritual, emotional, developmentally or sexually. Wow. I offer one comment in the midst of all of this that you can take or leave...be GENTLE with yourself. I think it is easy for us who are fighting to rise to the surface from abuse for fresh air to develop deep gashes in our legs, arms and being as we rush past debris that lie in between us and air. Then, as we lay on the shore bleeding, we can develop gang-green from our journey, and from forgetting to rest. As Svasti said, the bear learned to take breaks when he needed to and to rest after each thorn pushed it's way to the surface.
I need to think long and hard about the parallel you drew, tho, in relation to my own journey. And I will one day. Soon. It will go on the long list of triggers to process.
So, i leave you, sweet cyber friend, with that slogan..."be gentle with you and all of yours."

wishing rest and safety soon for you,

ang

Deborah said...

Jennifer, your ability to analyse is possibly your biggest friend right now. I know that intelligent examination alone is not going to get you out of the hole, but it helps enormously. Ruth's acute perception might have sailed right past someone without your intention to understand.

The Pliers has separated the wheat from the chaff, as usual. You've lost your father, who meant a great deal to you. Never mind what that entailed, the loss is something to mourn.

You hope? You are hoping? That's essential.

Deborah said...

Jennifer, I meant to say 'intellectual' examination.

Malefic said...

Wow. Very powerful.

Friko said...

Normal is whatever's normal for you. Or me. Normal is whatever life has been and still is. You can't change your own normal, it's part of you; all you can do is accept it and live with it.

As somebody else said, be kind to yourself, accept your feelings. Love yourself, the person you are. That's all there is.

The physical abuse is over, mourn whatever it is you need to mourn and then, when the time comes, you will move on.

Ruth said...

This emotional layering made you grow up so fast. Forced to be a lover when you were still a little girl. It's twisted, sweet woman, and it's what you have. What keeps blowing me out of the water is that you are one damn beautiful twisted tree growing out of the ground where you were planted. What I see is that you are growing up straighter from the twisted trunk. You were twisting around to free yourself, but also to turn back and be with him. Circling around, twisting. Now you're reaching up, straightening. Maybe you'll turn back toward him less and less as he dissolves into that ground. The rain and the sun are what you need the most now. You might only be able to let in a drop of each now. That's ok. Maybe it's enough for a day.

VICKI IN AZ said...

Thank you for visiting at my blog and for your generous comment. This is just such a moving post for me. I admit I have nothing profound to say, only that I hear you, I already relate to you, you are a tender soul with so much to offer. I am so very sorry for your pain, this story of loss and confusion you tell here is making me want to write about my feelings surrounding losing my father. I really get you. Take care and keep expressing this, it is good.

Deborah said...

Jennifer, how are you doing?

Shattered said...

Andrea, as always, thank you!

Shattered said...

Rhonda, I'm sad that I grew up in that environment too. I'm hanging in there though...

Shattered said...

ER, I have no idea how to even begin this conversation with my husband. He knows nothing of this. I know... it's not a good thing that it is like this but I don't know how to un-do this. My husband is a good man but I honestly don't know how healthy all this information would be for our marriage.

I don't know...

Deborah said...

Just glad to see you responding here.

Shattered said...

California Girl, I'm so sorry that happened to your son. I hope he has been able to make a full recovery.

I have been told on multiple occasions that this wasn't my fault but that is so very hard to believe. I have moments where I believe it but I have many others where I carry the burden of this solely.

Shattered said...

"The only thing I would say is that I can't see anything impure about it. A loss is a loss is a loss. And if your psychic-space hoggin' Daddy is dead then that's a pretty damn big loss from my perspective."

The Pliers, thank you for understanding. I guess it just feels impure because there is nothing good or pure about the relationship we had. I have always felt guilty about my feelings for him and that still continues. Thank you for sharing your version of normal as well; it helps knowing that I'm not the only one.

Shattered said...

Sarah, strong... I'm not so sure about but I am safe... and that's a good thing.

Shattered said...

Ang, thank you for the reminder. I know I am bad about taking care of myself. None of this is easy, that's for sure. I tend to be all or nothing so I'm working to keep some sort of balance in all of this to where I am moving in some direction while still being safe.

Shattered said...

"You've lost your father, who meant a great deal to you. Never mind what that entailed, the loss is something to mourn.

You hope? You are hoping? That's essential."

Deborah, it is so hard not to weave in all that our relationship contained. I really do wish that I was able to separate it and just grieve for him as a father. Problem is, he was never one of those.

And yes, hope, I do have some. It is a small amount but I think it is enough.

Shattered said...

Malefic, thank you for visiting and reading.

Shattered said...

Friko, I am trying to find my normal. But that is frightening too. You are right, the abuse is over and that does give me hope. There are times where I find myself relieved more than anything else and quietly I hope that those times become more frequent.

Shattered said...

"What I see is that you are growing up straighter from the twisted trunk. You were twisting around to free yourself, but also to turn back and be with him. Circling around, twisting. Now you're reaching up, straightening. Maybe you'll turn back toward him less and less as he dissolves into that ground."

Ruth, I like this picture. I do feel like I have grown in very distorted ways and you put it perfectly. I do hope that I am able to look back to him less and less; I certainly know that would be more healthy.

Thank you again for your insight. I'm grateful that I have had the chance to look at this side of my relationship with my parents.

Shattered said...

Vikki, thank you for reading and sharing here. I really like your blog and the artwork that you have been creating. It is very powerful.

Shattered said...

Deborah, I'm doing OK. I'm sleeping a lot which is unusual for me. I'm still very torn between all my emotions and I still can't seem to separate my grief. Strangely, this happened when my mother and sister died as well; I couldn't decide who to grieve for and that was so confusing.

And now that strange yet familiar feeling is back; except that this is grief over one physical person who was two very different people to me.

English Rider said...

I had misunderstood. I thought he knew. I agree that is a huge subject to introduce. Hugs, E.R.

botheyesshut said...

Your only solace, Shattered? This place doesn't look much like a bastion of peace and safety, but you're sounding very -- introspective -- these days. Who knows? Maybe there's light in the darkness, somewhere. Perhaps somewhere nearby.

Anyhow, you know how I feel about SIOP: I come for the writing.

Thanks for not hiding.


-Both

Just Be Real said...

Dear one my heart cries out to you. I can relate on many things, the enmeshing with my mother has and to a point now (since I am working on breaking away) so devastating. Be gentle with yourself dear....

(((((Hugs))))

Shattered said...

ER, yeah, I have been sparing whith my husband when it comes to information about my father.

Shattered said...

Both Eyes, let's hope that there's light somewhere in all of this. Thanks for reading.

Shattered said...

Just Be Real, I am sorry that you are going through this with you own mother. It certainly is a difficult thing to break free of. Take care...

Phoebe Miriah Kirby said...

I was not very familiar with your blog... but I feel I've entered a very personal place and I feel privelaged to even read your thoughts and share your experiences.
I am not very good at saying things to comfort.. I have lived a very happy life and it is hard for me to relate to your pain/confusion/???. But I am here, and I can listen and read.

Not only are you helping yourself to cope and move on through your blog, you are revealing so many human conditions to your readers.

I am honored to be a part of your therapeutic process.

Shattered said...

Phoebe, I am pleased that you are here to read and respond. You are not required to have a rough life to read here. ;) I like that I have a diverse group of readers here. :)

I know that I can get a little raw and revealing here so I am privleged to have people who continue to listen and support me. Thank you.

out of SILENCE said...

I'm really impressed and inspired by you and your honesty and your courage. I'm sad that you've gone through so much pain, but I'm so happy I found your blog.