Meeresbande Zine #2, S. 67 – Not allowed to connect + On Children by Kahlil Gibran
Not allowed to connect
[Trigger warning for child rape and incest, emotional abuse, victim blaming, dysfunctional family]
[also trigger warnings for and apologies for our use of racist metaphors and ableism]
One of our most prevailing problems is that we can’t connect to other people. It is very hard for us and also very hard to admit, because we feel ashamed and guilty about it. It is so hard for us to reach out to other people, to friends, to our siblings, to people who would probably help us. And our non-mother’s voice tells us why: Because we don’t really care for you. Otherwise we’d read and write emails/letters regularly or call and visit our friends. It’s obvious, right? We’re not interested in other people, is what our internalized voice says. And we feel terribly guilty and ashamed about that. Which of course makes it even harder to reach out to people.
But there’s even more to it. We „know“ somewhere deep down that we are so incredibly dirty and unworthy… [words fail] Everyone who is even near it (us) must somehow suffer from this deep, dirty place inside us that will poison everything. We try to hide it but that just won’t be enough. Everyone who comes near us will be negatively affected by us, no matter how hard we try to protect them. This is fact to many of us. It seems so obvious. So we need to keep out of other people’s lives, especially those we like. We also cannot ask anyone for help because that would mean we have to let them know about our dangerous secrets, that rotten, dark pit inside (at least a little bit) and that would burden them and put them at even grater risk. We are not worth it to burden anyone else – innocent people! – with our problems or even hints at them. But we do. We sometimes talk about our problems and we are never sure whether or not it’s okay and how far it’s acceptable to go.
We’ve also earned all this. Somehow it’s right for us to suffer and bear all the pain and it’s our duty to try to shield others from it. I know part of the story behind it, and it is cruel and really warped. Please know that you don’t have to read this, it is disturbing and likely to be triggering.
Our non-mother used to torture us and beat us up. It was unbearable and we often thought we might die. She was so crazed with fury. She said we were a „slut“ and „whore“ and that we had taken her husband away from her. She also said we had ruined her life. Yes, she said that *we* had ruined *her* life, not the other way around. Apparently, all she wanted was a „normal“ life (whatever that is) and that’s why she married a child-raping, alcoholic, narcissistic psychopath. Maybe she didn’t know these things before the wedding. Who cares. She felt that as a wife she was entitled to have sex with her husband. I guess he only had sex with her to make children he could rape or when he couldn’t get anyone better and maybe sometimes to appease her, make her shut up (he also sometimes raped her). Maybe our non-mother realized that he wasn’t at all interested in her (he told her to the face that she was only good for making children) after she’d had children. So to her we were the reason he didn’t „like“ her anymore. Of course she didn’t care at all about the fact that he raped us, except that it hurt *her* feelings. In her eyes we were „stealing her husband“, because we were „sluts“. She must have seen it that way ever since we were tiny babies. At least she didn’t ever help us in the slightest, instead she blamed and punished us for what he did to us and also raped us herself. Because in her eyes we were the reason that she didn’t get the sex she felt entitled to from him and so she took it from us. We knew most of this before, but only recently did we realize that she blamed us for EXISTING. According to her our existence ruined her life and that was completely our fault. Never mind that she was the one making the decision to have us, not us deciding to be born to her (who’d ever decide to do that??) and never mind the fact that she had already had a child and had been married to that man long enough to know what kind of person he could be. No, it was all our fault and everything will always be our fault because of this. Something in us made him rape us and ignore her. We must be inherently bad, dirty, sluts. It’s because of us, because of who we are that our non-father raped us, it’s because of who we are that he „preferred“ us to our non-mother, it’s because of who we are that she beat, tortured and raped us. We had to endure that because we could never make up for the terrible thing that is our existence.
I just don’t know how to deal with this. How can we un-learn these things. It’s so deep, so messy, so complicated, so WRONG!!! It’s all so tangled up and we’re so trapped and so many of us believe all this, just because it is so wrong and illogical and tangled and cruel. Because of all the pain and torture and brainwashing she did to us. Because we were young children and we had to love her, to believe her, to cherish her. We did everything for her.
So how can we „betray“ her now? How can we ever try to free ourselves? And how can we let anyone else get close to us? We’ll just smear our dirt and all the terror on them, no matter how hard we try not to.
Usually we’d work this out with our therapist. But that’s not possible right now. It’s incredibly hard to find other ways to deal with it, because we can’t do it on our own. We keep trying, though.
by Kahlil Gibran
Your children are not your children.
They are the sons and daughters of Life’s longing for itself.
They come through you but not from you,
And though they are with you yet they belong not to you.
You may give them your love but not your thoughts,
For they have their own thoughts.
You may house their bodies but not their souls,
For their souls dwell in the house of tomorrow,
which you cannot visit, not even in your dreams.
You may strive to be like them,
but seek not to make them like you.
For life goes not backward nor tarries with yesterday.
You are the bows from which your children
’s living arrows are sent forth.