Black Sheep

The Logical Heart Knows Best

I was trying to force myself into doing more activities today, but I was tired. So I took a bath and was still tired. So I read and watched videos for a bit. Then I felt ready for more activities. I keep expecting to be able to use discipline to turn myself into a machine, lol.

I’m drinking peppermint tea waiting for something to come to me that would be interesting to write about. Something that would help others and not just me blithering on about how thankful I am, or how it’s so beautiful here, lol.

Maybe I’ll just write a snippet. Trigger warning.

It was the first Christmas after she’d been disowned by her family. She missed her brothers and sister terribly. She was more like a mother to her youngest brother, he was only five, she was nineteen, she choked back tears as she drove to their home, she had a narrow window of time.

She pulled into the gravel driveway, grabbed the gifts, and hurried to the door where her sister awaited. “I miss y’all so much, I’m so sorry about all of this, but I got y’all presents and wanted you to have them. I better go now, I don’t want any trouble.” They hugged not knowing when they’d see each other again, their smiling anxious goodbyes hiding the anguish.

They spoke on the phone later and their parents had made them throw away the gifts. She was angry and heartbroken. What did she do that was so evil to deserve this? She didn’t hold back and the tears of rage and powerlessness flowed.

She had flashbacks of when she came home late for curfew one night after a rehearsal. She’d been at an after-party and had a bit too much to drink. Her parents were yelling at her, slapped her, and pushed her to the ground.

The next time she was late, the door was chained shut so she would’ve had to awaken the whole household to get in. She decided to get far away from there. She drove all the way to Houston to stay with her best friend who’d moved there recently.

After that, she was disowned.

She could never do anything right, she was always getting screamed at, being called names, told she was just like her mother, “crazy,” shamed, berated, shoved and slapped.

The memories were all jumbled, the times she was afraid someone would see the bruises in the shape of handprints on her thighs when dressing out for PE in junior high. The time her stepmother while driving slapped her so hard in the face repeatedly out of the blue for something she innocently said. The chaotic, unpredictable environment, her trying to please them, trying to avoid punishment, trying to be loved and approved of in vain. She’d tried to kill herself after losing a contest in high school, her parents and teacher were so harsh, she just wanted to die.

She tried again to kill herself after her grandfather died and her stepmother scolded her for not being sadder and not grieving enough. Both times she took a lot of aspirin, but it didn’t do anything but make her throw up and give her tinnitus. The first time her parents knew and sent her to a few therapy sessions.

The next time no one knew. She’d laid on the floor of the bedroom she shared with her sister and listened to Black Flag with her head against the speaker. She’d also begun to sneak into their medicine and liquor cabinet too. It was too much, she couldn’t take all of the crazymaking anymore, but she didn’t know where to go, she had no money, no other social support. And what about her brothers and sister? What would happen to them when she was no longer there to help out?

Maybe she’d be better off dead, but why do that now, she was finally away from the abuse. Maybe things would get better, she had hope that she could find a way to make it and live a free and peaceful life somehow. She just missed her siblings, that was so hard. But what choice did she have?

She decided to give up on seeing them for the time being, it was out of her control. She just wanted them to know that she loved them and wasn’t abandoning them, that she wouldn’t forget about them. She was the big sister to them and wished they had a normal, happy, peaceful family. She worried about them so much, but there was nothing to be done.

She was thankful to be staying with her mother, getting to know her better. They were enjoying one another, so that was cool. She now had a job like a grown-up, it was empowering. Her mother treated her respectfully and kindly, yet she was supposedly the “crazy” one. How ironic she laughed to herself about it.

She was trying to make sense of it all, but it didn’t make any sense. Was it her? Was she really at fault? Was she a black sheep? She felt so bad about herself and how her life had turned out so far. There were still some people that loved and cared about her though and that kept her going even though it was a struggle. Everyday she had waves of anxiety and self-loathing though she wasn’t even conscious of it because it was all she knew. She was shell shocked but thought that’s just how life was.

End snippet.

Michelle Miyagi
Hi! I was an RN, BSN in mental/behavioral health for 27 years. Now I'm helping empower caring people like me to prioritize themselves by maintaining healthier boundaries for more freedom, peace, and joy. I am also active in Long Covid advocacy.

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