This is a tough post.
Seriously. I do not speak about my upbringing often except the generic info. And A World So Bright and Dark will give you a hint of the darkness. I will not get too personal here.
The above picture was taken in 2016. You will know me and my son. My biological parents (yes, still married then) are next to me. My older sister is holding Calvin and my young brother is in the front. Yes, something was going on and it was funny.
We're an obnoxious bunch. Always have been. I have described that my father was the nasty one. He was brutal. He was also in pain. That did not excuse anything. He could have fought his demons. But his own upbringing and the environment he chose to live in changed him into a monster. At the end of his life, when my son was born, he changed a little. Well, that was because we threatened to walk.
The relationships between family members in a household like this is complicated. You have the feeling of belonging, that THIS is what it is supposed to be. But it is not. Imposter syndrome is a great symptom of trauma. Another, I found, is how we conduct our lives. Everything we have been taught is acted upon the world. I will give a personal example.
Recently, I was dealing with the school board about uniforms. My son is autistic and he cannot stand the fabric of their chosen clothes. I was speaking on the phone with someone who was absolutely rude. I explained that I have an educational background and can understand her point of view. But she had to work with us too.
At every turn, I was interrupted. I was talked over. And it got to the point where I was crying. Usually, this happens when I am so frustrated, when someone makes me feel small. It was like a specific person who did this to me growing up.
Luckily, I had the sense to excuse myself and hang up. But the next time that woman called me, she left me a voicemail. And I freaked out for over an hour. Literally, shaking and crying because not only did I have to call her back, but her voice sounded like the abuser. I had to tell my son's teacher that I will have my husband call her back when he got home from work.
It worked out. I am ok. But to think: one little trigger caused all of that. And being that self-aware that you are taking control of the situation with no control and making it yours. The innocent doll might be a demon in disguise.
Does anything trigger you? Remind you of your childhood? What differences do you see between countries?
Be aware. Check yourself. You might be the toxic one.