I tear my skin with a vengeance. Chunks. Layers. Blood. Tears.
Sweaters and jeans would cover the evidence. But I don’t feel compelled to hide it anymore. I once did.
Home was our school. Our yard was our playground. My brothers were my Narcissist’s tools. He was a specialist of identity transactions: training my brothers to steal confidence from anything feminine in their sphere (I was easily accessible) and consider it an addition to their masculinity. He would feed off the resulting confusion and shame. Yummy yummy shame.
Unicorn (This was a special one that only applied when there was a sore on my forehead. It’s that kind of attention to detail that really set their work apart.)
Elephant (especially because I walked up stairs like a boy – girls are supposed to be dainty dontcha know)
I hate you (seemed especially potent because they were taught, rightly, that emotional support and trust were powerful)
Poor Sport (it was very important to him that I not try to use my body to play sports or really do anything that helped me feel like my body belonged to me. Fucker.)
A GIRL (Always as an insult.)((Became a good enough reason to exclude me from things all on it’s own.))
Stupid (This one was more selectively used as I got better at school.)
Goody-two-shoes (A way to shame me for trying to live up to the ridiculous standards of my Narcissist’s Fucked Up Christianity)
Skitzy (Short for Schizophrenic. I believe it was a stand-in for Hysterical.)
Chicken Legs – while at the same time, somehow, having
In The Way
A Burden (girl clothing?! special food?! WHAT a travesty!)
Incapable (of playing video games, etc. Girls have thumbs, right? wth)
Forgettable (in an existential sense as well as a practical one)
The opposite of valuable (because men are valuable and I was not considered one by others)
“Mine” (*SCREAMS INSIDE MY SKULL*)
Any and every chance they could, they were taught to assert their dominance by telling me how bad I was at using my body to do things. Any and every thing. My Narcissist really believed it was the best thing for the world if I thought I was a shameful body and my purpose was to be used and owned by men. This was reinforced as often as possible by religion, by any media he could find, by punishment, by other families he could parade in front of us as an example of what we needed to be for him, by “love”. His version of “love” involved our complete subjugation to his will and the banishing of independent thought. It was not enough to do what he wanted, he wanted our whole being; we had to want to do the things and we had to want to want it so badly that we would strain and work to grow submission and self-hatred inside ourselves. If our senses could tell we were tired, we were not allowed to be tired unless he wanted it. If my body was getting sunburned and close to heat exhaustion, I better not need a break unless it was in his Will. This fomented a rebellious spirit within me, I’m proud to say. Unfortunately, the rebel in me was still a nine-year-old, mostly femme, malnourished child. My brain short-circuited some memories so I could maintain that rebelliousness that helped me keep track of a filament of myself.
I’m remembering some violence. Attempted drowning. At least one severe head injury in that ghastly yellow bathroom. A lot of restraining and immobilizing. Darkness and not enough air.
There’s really nothing quite like the sound of your skull hitting something … you can hear the sound, but you can also hear it from the inside. I imagine if there was a sound when a hacker broke through a firewall, it would sound like that.
I still tear my skin with a vengeance but now I wonder whose vengeance it is.