She said that I was like him.
A 13-year-old girl struggling with depression and self-harm, who felt isolated and alone. I was in pain and no one seemed to notice nor care. I lived in a toxic and cruel household and all I wanted was a home where I felt safe and secure, a home that I had seen many of my friends have. A home like the one I briefly had when I was in foster care when I was around 8 years old. A place where I wasn’t called names, made fun off and made to feel uncomfortable.
I was always angry. I never knew the right way to express my emotions. At home emotions were either held back or in full eruption. I never had the best role models.
Whenever I would get angry, I would tend to lash out, more at myself than at others. I would slam doors, throw things and often hurt myself. Sometimes I would yell at my mum, asking her how she could stay here, asking her why we could not just leave.
“Because he’s your dad” she would say. Like that meant it was better to have a father rather than not. I never understood the logic behind that answer. He was never really a dad to any of us. Real dads do not do or say the things that he did.
I recall one day when I begged her to leave him and I got the same reply I always did, then I lost it. I got so angry that that I started screaming in her face and went off to my room slamming the door behind me. She cried, a trauma response caused by him too, and I was utterly ashamed of myself.
It was clear how much I needed to get out of that house, but rather than packing up me and my siblings and doing the right thing, she decided to tell me that I was exactly like him.
I can still feel the venom of those words. Nothing had ever hurt me more than that did. It broke me.
I still don’t understand how she could have said that to me. How easy it was for the words to roll off her tongue and stab me in the heart. She is my mother. But it did not feel like I had one.
The memory of that day replays in my mind more often that I would care to admit and it still hurts just the same. I have never processed it, and I’m not sure I ever can. They both like to pretend like nothing ever happened, like we were this one big happy family. Yet I cannot think of one happy memory from my childhood, because there are none.
I know that I am nothing like him, and I never have been. We are complete opposites and I could never imagine treating people the way that he does.
Being stuck in isolation is hard for me right now. It is giving my brain the chance to replay the worst of my life and the flashbacks can be unbearable. I don’t know if writing it all down helps me, but it is better than keeping it in. Right?
I Am Nothing Like Him.