Integrative / Intuitive Health and Empowerment Coaching
'Mamaita's Journey uses the gifts of a clinical academic and intuitive to empower seekers to discover that 'missing something' they need to make their life MORE!
Catch your thoughts....
April 19, 2014
My Reason for being...
May 1, 2013
'Guilty of Libel...?'
June 3, 2014
The Ugly Duckling...
January 18, 2014
I am 9 years old. Stood in front of the bathroom mirror looking at my face. His face is in the mirror too, behind me. He is not touching me, but it feels like he is pushing me into the reflection I see in front of me. 'Look at it! Look! Do you see how ugly it is? It looks like a monkey’s back side! Have you ever seen a monkey’s backside? Well you take a good look next time you see one…you’ll see what I’m saying….' I look at the area all around my mouth. It is red and chaffed, making my mouth look distorted and yes, he was right, ugly… 'But ...I don’t know how it happens…I don’t know when I do it…' I can see the tears welling in my eyes. I’m trying so hard to push them back down. And that tight feeling is in my throat…its there again. I want to scream at him…protest my innocence… But if I do, I’ll just be in even more trouble, for ‘answering back’… so I push it back down as well...'Of course you know when it happens. We see you, ‘biting' your mouth. Do you think we like taking you anywhere looking like that? You could be such a pretty little girl… '
Another EMDR session…. Wow! Where did that come from? So vivid…and that tight feeling in my throat… there it is. So familiar. I’m crying for that little girl, that little girl who used to ‘bite her mouth’, just like many kids do who are suffering with anxiety/stress… My son did it too for a little while, when he was being bullied at school. I gave him sympathy, 'Ouch, that looks sore sweetheart, must be this cold weather. Use some of this cream, it will clear it away.' Followed by opportunities to tell me his anxieties…we got to the root of it all and the mouth biting stopped.
I still catch myself doing it now. If I’m anxious or worried, in goes the bottom lip and I bite…
My parenting has always been a concerted effort to do the opposite... It’s a great ‘Rule of Thumb’! Oh, don’t get me wrong…parenting is the hardest job in the world. But… deliberately demeaning and putting down? No. That is bullying. And even if you are an elder, that is a commanding role and one that should be respected, not abused.
Now I am 11 years old. Ugly. An embarrassment. I was the disappointment… I’m looking at my face again… in that same mirror. Looking at my ‘fangs’ … I hated my teeth. Hers were were perfect… pretty little pearls in a straight line… They both had perfect teeth 'She’s such a pretty little thing…and so entertaining…where does she get her good looks from…ha ha ha…' They were all good looking. 'You are blessed with healthy teeth, Manty… why would we interfere with them if they are healthy… spending all that money on cosmetics… far better to leave them alone…Just make sure you clean and look after them or they’ll all fall out!' End of that conversation… I wasn’t ever gong to have those perfect straight line teeth like the other girls in school. Even though they wore braces and hated them, they knew their teeth would be straight after. I didn’t deserve them anyway… I convinced myself that I didn't want braces and agreed with him... wanting to please and say the right things...and be 'sensible'.
I hated my smile. I hated having photographs taken. If I smiled my top lip curled back to reveal nothing but gums and my high incisors coming from above my other teeth… ugly. Fangs. I only remember one school photograph of me, no... two. The one I can see it so vividly. I’m wearing that red polo neck jumper. I have rat tails for hair. I’m smiling the biggest smile revealing my ugly fangs. My eyes are like slits… when I smile too widely, or laugh, they crinkle up… They were evidently embarrassed by it and dismissed it as ''She's such a tom-boy… don’t think she’ll ever grow into a young lady…”
They only ever bought one other school photograph after that, none before. The other I recall was me aged 12? Maybe… and her. She looks like an angel. So pretty. Those big round blue eyes in that pretty face. That big wide perfect smile. 'We decided to have a photograph of the two girls this year… such a shame Samantha wasn’t smiling…'
Yes. I remember those photos so well.
Now I am 44 years old, and with the help of my counsellor, I am finally starting to look at myself in a more positive light. I am not ugly. I could look better, but I’m not ugly. Those teeth are still the same, and I still try to smile without revealing them, or my gums. Yet people always compliment me on my big smile. I remember him telling me that as long as I smiled my smile, I would go far. Yes… that same man who ‘pushed’ my face into that mirror… He had such a nasty, cruel tongue sometimes, but when it was just me and him, I was his girl. I adored him. Worshipped him. People used to say ‘you look just like him’ and I was so proud of that. I did... I still do. I see his face looking back at me in the mirror so often. All I ever wanted to do was please him. When he told me he was ‘disappointed’ in me, it was like a knife ripping through my chest. I’d failed… I'd failed him... again….
What I now understand is that he was the 'Enabler' to the ‘Narcissist' ~ putting it simply, she gave him the bullets, he fired them. Of course, she fired them too… whenever he wasn’t there to see it. We would fight. Really fight. Physically on occasion. I would watch her face getting more and more angry...contorted...knew when she'd belt me one, and I'd duck, watching her frustration as she'd raise her hand again... That part of my character is still there. I think that 'fight' is what has brought me through. I would find my inner voice and shout back. But it never lasted for long… I knew that she would ‘win’.
'Just you wait until he get’s home!’. And so she would grab him first and I would hear their 'discussing' me, the problem child. Then in he would come… looking despondent, sad even? 'What am I going to do with you Mant? You know what she's like. Why can’t you just leave it alone? Just accept it. Give us all some peace and quiet. I don’t want to come home to this… I work all day, to look after you all, give you all you need and want, and this is what I come home too…' and he’d shake his head that way that he did. Disappointed. Disappointed, in me.
You see, I idolized him. He idolized her. She favoured her. She despised me. She was what the text books now tell me is the 'Golden Child'. I was the "Scape Goat'.
It took me 44 years to finally understand the dysfunction. 44 years! It all started to make perfect sense, more than three decades later. The jigsaw was starting to fall into place.
There were many EMDR sessions like the one I described above. Each one helped to make me realise that it was not me. It was not MY fault. My counsellor had given me a book to read: “Will I Ever be Good Enough?: Healing the Daughters of Narcissistic Mothers” by Karyl McBryde. As I read each page, it was as if light switches were being flicked on in my mind... for the first time… I could 'see' and understand what had happened to me. And I was now receiving counselling for Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)….