Raised by a narcissist

Hello, readers! How are you all? Well, I hope!

I come here today to talk a little about my own life experience. Before I begin, I’ll just warn anyone that this post will not be pleasant, as it deals with emotional abuse. This is your final warning.

Now that we’re past the warning, I’ll preface this by saying that I love my parents dearly, I really do. Even my mother. But she’s a narcissist. And being raised by her has damaged a lot of stuff in me.

This is by no means a comprehensive list, or particularly organized. It’s mostly me sharing some of the things that happened to me, things I didn’t even notice were not the norm while I was growing up.

  1. I was blamed for things I ‘did’ even before I was born. For as long as I can remember, she talks about how I made her suffer while she was pregnant, in an accusatory intonation. I also stopped nursing at 3 months old because I hated her, not because – who knows, I was a baby.
  2. I could never have anything nice. Any time she gave me something I loved, she took it away by forcing me to give it to someone else.
  3. I was never treated as me, but as a reflection of her. I had to be perfect, or else.
  4. I was treated so much worse than my brother, that at some point, when I was around six, I decided I had to be adopted. I just couldn’t believe someone would treat her own child like she treated me.
  5. She was always trying to change me. She ruined my hair with chemicals to make it straight. She wanted me to hide my developing breasts because ‘none of my classmates had them’. She yelled at me in front of the school if I had torn a bit of my clothing playing, because ‘I looked like a homeless person and she was ashamed of me’. She refused to even ride the same elevator as me and pushed me to the service elevator because ‘I was dressed like a maid anyway’.
  6. She used me to please others. I remember my body autonomy being stripped of me very early on. I was forced to hug people, and let people kiss me, to the point where I now hate being touched. I was also supposed to suffer to please others. Such as when I had surgery and my grandmother (another narcissist who had formally informed me I’m not her grandchild when I was around 6) decided to offer to ‘keep me company’ as soon as I came back from the hospital. Of course, her ‘keeping me company’ meant that every time I was trying to rest, she would call me to change the channel on TV or call someone for her, to the point where I was tired and in pain at the end of the day. And then my mother refused to tell her she couldn’t come back, ‘because it was gonna hurt her feelings’. I had to do it myself.
  7. She used to take my things and give them to her friends, even as an adult, as the time she had one of her friends stay with us for a few days and gave away my favorite house dress ‘because she liked it’. I got this one back because I called her friend and demanded my dress back.
  8. She used to covertly insinuate that I had an inappropriate relationship with my father. Now, I’ll admit that my dad did and does enable her. He’s been married to her for 40 years, so I guess it is to be expected. But he has my back, as much as he can, and we have a lot in common. So the fact that we often go to a nice little café – she never wants to go, even if we invite her – means something disgusting is happening between us.

Well… I think that’s it. At least that’s what I can remember now. I’m sure there’s more, but these are the points that stand out the most to me. What’s sadder is that, as a child, I didn’t see anything abnormal about all of that. I thought every mother-daughter relationship was strained. I thought I was bad – until I started meeting my classmate’s moms, and they started commenting on what a good child I was. I used to envy kids who had divorced parents, because if my parents would only divorce, I could live with my dad, because he would need someone to cook his food and do his laundry, after all. 

I don’t really know why I wrote this post, to be honest. I just felt like venting a little, and well… any writing still counts as writing, right? Even if it’s intensely personal.

Now is your turn to speak. Is there anything about your own life you thought was normal just to find out it wasn’t, at all? Share with me in the comments!

See you on the next post!

Being a woman is a daily battle

Hello, readers! How are you all? Well, I hope!

Today, I come here again for a bit more rambling. I’m almost sorry about that. Almost.

Before I get started, some context:

  1. I’m a cisgender female, so I can’t talk about the experience of a transwoman;
  2. I’m a Brazilian woman living in Brazil, so I can’t talk about the experience of women elsewhere.

With that out of the way, let’s move on to the theme of the post, shall we?

I’m a single woman, and chose not to have children. I don’t have a problem with anyone choosing not to, but this is my choice. I’m mostly asexual, which means I’m not interested in having sex with anyone, and I’m romantically attracted to men and women. This is me, this is my reality, and, unless asked for details, I’ll keep to myself. 

I’m also a college educated woman working on a highly male-dominated field. And living in a very sexist country.

What are the challenges this presents?

  1. Men consider themselves entitled to my body, since I’m there and apparently available;
  2. I’m considered the perfect fuck buddy because since I don’t want kids, that’s all I’m good for, right? Who cares about what I want?;
  3. I’m being constantly judged (more than men) by my appearance, how I wear or style my hair, how much I weight, what I like to wear, etc;
  4. I’m considered much less competent than my male peers by my customers, who go from believing exactly what I have said when it comes from a male to outright refusing to speak to me or let me provide service;
  5. I have to fear for my life all the time, and not know whether or not my life partner (not that I have one now, but you get it) will be the one to kill me;
  6. I have to deal with my pain being ignored in medical settings because I’m probably overreacting (according to several providers’ opinion);
  7. I don’t have reproductive autonomy – abortion is a crime in the country, and getting approved for sterilization – even if you have a medical reason why getting pregnant will be unhealthy/dangerous – is nearly impossible if you don’t have children. It’s so bad I’m actually being denied treatment for a medical issue because the best course of treatment would render me sterile. Yes, things are that bad here.

This is just what I can think of right now, as general challenges women face in my country.  I know women in other countries have other challenges – some of them even worse, just like honor killings, which we generally don’t have here.

I also have to say I know that I face less challenges than other women. I come from a structured family. My parents were both hard workers and able to provide me with a comfortable life. We were not (and are not) rich, but our basic needs were always met. Education was considered important in my family, and I managed to graduate college without debt, through getting a good scholarship and having a father who was able and willing to cover the rest of my tuition, leaving me to cover only the cost of books, copies, etc.

I was able to find a decently paying job and keep it when I moved to another state, through my own hard work and having an understanding boss.

Overall, I do have a pretty good life. I know that. I know I have come into this world and lived life with privileges a lot of other women don’t have.

And my life would still be easier had I been born a man.

Phew, that was a hell of a rant, wasn’t it? I’m done, I promise. And it’s your turn now. Why don’t you share your woes with me – regardless of your gender?

See you all on the next post!

On freedom of speech

Hello, readers! How are you all? Well, I hope!

Today I come here today to talk to you all a little about the things that go on in my mind. Business as usual, I could say.

Today’s theme is: freedom of speech.

Why am I talking about it today? Well, basically because it crossed my mind a while ago, and I wrote it down at my ‘things I’ll eventually post about’ list.

I have no idea what even prompted me to think about it, but I decided I’d write about it anyway. Why not, right? It’s one more post tackled, and something worthy of a posting on a lazy Saturday night.

So, I see and hear a lot of people going on and on about freedom of speech every time someone else doesn’t like what they have to say, or any time there is what they see as policing their right to free speech in a controlled environment, such as being banned from a group or having a post deleted. And, interestingly enough, 99% of the time, it’s about their perceived right to engage in hate speech.

Well, I guess I should explain (keeping the legalese out of this post) what freedom of speech actually means:

It means you can’t be arrested by the government for stating your opinion. 

That’s it. That’s literally all there is to it. Now, there’s a thing here. That is, if your opinion is not a crime. Aka, if you go around encouraging people to murder others? You might see yourself in a bit of a legal pickle there. Just saying.

What is not covered under freedom of speech:

  • People agreeing with you (shocking, I know);
  • People liking you – at all;
  • People wanting your opinions stated in their personal space where those opinions are not welcome;
  • Anything other than your legal right to say things.

Well, I guess that’s today’s post, everyone. Just a little PSA for those confused about whether or not their freedom of speech is being denied every time other people don’t take kindly to what they say.

All right, now that I have finished speaking, it’s your turn. Have you ever had to deal with someone with the wrong concept about free speech? Would you like to share your experience? I’d love to read about it in the comments!

And, if there’s anything you’d like to see my blabber on about, feel free to tell me! I’ll be happy to write about it in the future!

See you all on the next post!

The carbonara, or: out of my comfort zone

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The famous (or infamous?) carbonara

Hello, readers! How are you all? Well, I hope!

Here I come again today to speak about random stuff. Basically, about how I left my comfort zone in two fronts today, and how much fun it was.

Those who know me well know three things about me:

  1. I’m a major introvert;
  2. I have major performance anxiety;
  3. I love cooking for people.

These all came together today during lunch, and with pretty good results.

Backstory: I often go to my mom’s house on a Sunday to cook something special for their lunch – usually pasta or a risotto. The exact recipe used depends on what they want for the day, or what I have on hand at home.

So, this past week, my dad said he was craving my carbonara recipe while we waited for me to get my MRI (see my previous post for details).  I immediately decided it would be a good idea for me to cook it this weekend, and started making arrangements with my dad.

On Saturday, we went to the mall, had lunch and then went to the store to shop for necessities and the ingredients for my carbonara. As is usual, my dad paid for them and took them home so I wouldn’t have to carry everything there on my way to their home.

Today, my mom called me and told me a friend of hers was there with her husband and son, and they were waiting for me to cook lunch. Friends, I froze. Every time I have to do something I know how to do in front of (near) strangers, I feel I’ll automatically fail.

But a promise is a promise, so I took a shower and off I went to my mom’s.

Got there after about a 20 minute walk, greeted everyone and off to the kitchen I went, feeling like I was about to have a heart attack. The fact that my mom’s kitchen is tiny and she was also there making other stuff didn’t help either. But hey, people were hungry and I had to cook. 

If you have ever cooked this specific dish, you know there’s some prepping involved, and you kind of have to do it all at once. I don’t really know how I managed, for real. Anxiety was brewing inside me, but I kept going, and, about 20 minutes after I got to my mom’s, we were ready to go. It looked good. It smelled good. And we sat down to eat.

My mom’s friend’s husband and I started talking about cooking, since at that point I only knew he liked cooking. He started asking about my recipe, and I told him about it. He then told me two things – one that caused me to freeze, and one that made me feel very proud of myself.

The thing that caused me to freeze was that he had worked as a chef for 12 years before moving to Brazil. The thing that made me feel proud was that mine, in his words, was the best carbonara he had eaten in Brazil. And then we started talking shop. We have a lot in common, like the passion for cooking for others and the love for garlic. So we spent the rest of our lunch swapping tips and recipes, and he still went away saying he wants to be present next time I cook something.

Well, that was it. I just felt like bragging a little, because it’s not every day you get someone who’s a professional to compliment your cooking in such enthusiastic terms. And it’s definitely not every day you make two amazing new friends (the lady and her husband) and make someone’s day brighter, as she had been really depressed and told me she was feeling much better after spending time with us and having a comfort meal.

That’s it for today, friends! I just needed to post something, and – as it’s becoming usual for me -, instead of writing the next post on my list, I ended up sharing something about my every day life.

Hopefully, the next post will indeed be what I had planned. Unless something incredibly boring interesting happens in my life, of course. Then you’ll be subject to reading about stuff you don’t wanna know.

It’s your turn to speak now! How about you share something positive that happened recently, or what you have done for your Sunday? I’m a stalker curious, and always want to hear what you all have to say!

Have a great night, and see you on the next post!

Why I haven’t been around for a while

Hello, readers! How are you all? Well, I hope!

I come here today mostly to say hello, because I have missed posting here on the blog and I would like to make it clear that I’m not dead. Despite the fact that my body has actively tried to make sure I would be by now. 

Well, no, I’m not dead. I have just been battling a pretty annoying cold. Nothing too serious. The usual lack of appetite, tiredness and the ever charming 80 year old smoker coughing all day and night are the only things I have to complain about.

I haven’t been completely idle, though, while I try not to cough out a lung and hope to be able to rest a little.

While the blog has been idle, I have been doing some collaborative writing, though less than usual due to the aforementioned cold, and working on the outline for a solo story I have been toying around for a while. I’m still wondering whether or not it will be posted here, as whatever I come up with will be a first draft. I might post it here, or just give updates on the process and post once I have had the time to polish things off a little.

I’ll probably have some update about that in the near future. Provided I don’t forget all about it, that is. (Nah, I won’t, it’s written down on my blogging planner).

Well, that’s it for now, I have honestly only showed up to post because I missed being here. I’ll have a more decent post later in the week, when I feel better.

While we wait, why don’t you all share whatever projects you have with me in the comments? I love knowing what other writers are up to!

Have a great end of day (or whatever time it is where you are), and see you all on the next post!