Parental Social Expectations & the Abused Child

Most people have parents. Most people, I think, must love them.  From what I read they do. They love and they care for them.

I can’t say the same about mine.  And it makes me feel weird.  (Another thing which sets us apart from ‘you’.)  It’s a “Society Thing”.  That much I – (and we – part of being DID) recognize. And it’s weird. Gives me (us?) a lot of weird feelings.

This came about due to the hospitalization of my dad. Yet again. I wasn’t too concerned the first time.

I still hardly give a damn.

But society still goes on . . . silently, and through pressures of social media and ‘things’ (meaning social expectations – hell, Biblical!) about what you’re supposed to feel.

I see everywhere where people post these things:  “My dad died. I feel so alone without him.”  “My parents are gone . . . I miss them so much.”  People grieving again and again. And I have to grit my teeth and keep my mouth shut.

I get tired of doing that all the time.

As a favor to family and friends who care for him (and my mom) I, as physically nearest son, and able to use a computer and social media, let it be known: “the old man is down here at room XX, visit him if you will . . . nothing serious, I’m not worried, and am sure he will get better” kind of thing . . .

and so I’m getting all these notes and comments (it’s a social media thing): “Wishing for the best!” “You’re in our prayers!” “Hope he gets well soon!” and the rest.  And I understand . . . but cannot reply except in the tersest of thanks and words or jokes.

Plus: When he’s better my mom will wish that he was dead. Again.

That’s the thing: it has been a ‘war’ between those two from the very beginning. From the very get-go. She used him to escape an abusive stepfather; he married her because he was young, horny, and Army.

Insanity – or at the very least, some sort of mental instability – runs through the family.  And I’m willing to liberally paint it thick and heavy on both sides of the tree.  He got his PTSD symptoms honestly; his sadism I cannot excuse. (Tho’ I forgive – that’s for my own peace of mind, and not his.)

He is the perfect chameleon – turning into a zealot preacher, or a hatred of races; a ‘kind old man’ – while torturing his kids and small animals in the background.

People all say the best things of him. And yet I had to restrict him from seeing his granddaughter alone when she was five and came home complaining he was terrifying her – pushing her higher & higher in a sling until she cried, and still he would not stop going, pressing the limit . . .

the way he used to terrify our minds. Only then there was nobody to stop him from going on . . . and on . . .

I wish I been wise enough to know that screaming would leave him satisfied. I was always such a stoic child. I held my screams inside until the last minute.

Until I wasn’t there anymore.

(here’s where the DID part comes in; I can still feel that sad child.)

But anyway, society and social pressures say:  I have to be polite. I can’t say anything to the social ‘crowd’ of family friends and extended family in my network (of which I have few – thank god).  I refrain from telling them about my mom’s rants; the terror, hatred, degradation – none of that ‘stuff’.

I just try to joke with them. And of course, I’m the dutiful son. I do what is expected of me, and do it very good.  A little bit callous, perhaps – for instance, I insist he get himself up (if he can) – when he falls down. I don’t waste my sympathy on him. I make sure (sort of) he gets taken care of; ditto my mom.

I’m doing my duty, in other words.  Looking after the caregivers of the past.

But aside from time and shared memories, I don’t feel a lot towards them.  Just some conflicted BS which I had hoped to solve through this (writing, perhaps).

But it’s a social situation I hate being in. It’s like swimming in tacky paper. All these social rules . . .

“It takes time to be human,” I faintly sort of remember some instructor telling me.

“And it’s okay not to give a damn,” a shrink of mine once said . . .

But it makes things just a lot harder, being different in the way I am.

People at once don’t understand – I understand that.  I’ve had friends I’ve hinted the truth with – and they are shocked. Not that my parents might of abused me (us – I had a sibling as well).  But that I don’t fall all over my head and heels for them.  Don’t “love” them anymore.  If I ever have.  (I assume some of my small parts have/do. But mostly they are terrified of them.)

I remember my mother. She hasn’t hugged me once in 50 years. Never once said “I love you.”

My dad: well, he tried. But he was gone too long to do any good, and when I was being sexually abused (and he didn’t know it) – I told him to stop giving me hugs anymore.

I was seven at that time.

And I hated him a lot of times.

Even more when I found out why we starved so much. That while at ‘war’ he’d given away all our money to some missionaries, leaving us behind.  Eating good and having a fun time on his part while we at home scrapped by to survive . . .

He’s a selfish man, that’s for sure. And was astonished when I told him I had PTSD (he was puffing himself with his, he’s seeing a therapist now – when it’s too late to do much good . . .) he couldn’t understand how he and my mom could’ve done that, inspired those symptoms (like nightmares for 48 yrs – from the very 2nd dream I can ever remember until then).

But I can’t tell them that.

“He’s a good man.”  “I love him!” (said the librarian).  “He’s such a sweetie! My best buddy.” (my dentist before I left her).  On and on . . .

and my mom who is secretly (and not so secretly!) psychotic and insane . . .


Social expectations.

How I hate them sometimes.


About jeffssong

JW is an adult childhood abuse survivor with DID*. He grew up in a violent family devoid of love and affection. He is a military brat and veteran. He no longer struggles with that past. In 1976 JW began writing "The Boy". It took 34 years to complete. It is currently on Kindle ( ), or if you prefer hard copy, on Amazon ( JW resides somewhere in the deep South. He is disabled and living with family. Note: Please feel free to take what you need; all is free to all. With that in mind, keep it that way to others. Thank you. We have 3 Blogs - One for our younger days, 0-10 (The Little Shop of Horrors); one for our Teen Alter and his 'friends' (also alters) with a lot of poetry; and finally "my" own, the Song of Life (current events and things)
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