Raised to Lose Seeking the Tortured Love of Childhood

She was raised by a father who never was satisfied with anything she did or was. He claimed to be aiming for her to succeed by pointing his verbal arrows at her, but the real intention was for her to fail.

She grew up and her love affairs were many, surprising to a woman raised to feel ugly and stupid. Few were truly love. Most were reflections of her childhood relationship with her father, but the last one topped the cake. It threatened to ruin her forever.  

It seems impossible to ourselves that we are driven to go through the same tortured experience of an unloving childhood? Why would we do such a thing? The first step in change is realizing we are doing it, but how do we know such a thing?

Once grown, she played hateful parent or hated child to her lovers. She met a man through Facebook who claimed instant love. He loved her photograph. Said her open smiling face became the center of his life. It gave him hope. She was also moved by his photo, reclining on a bench arms open as if to embrace.  

They spoke for an hour or more every day, had great fun talking. But more than anything, he wanted to hear about her. He kept himself hidden. Said he only had one friend, his dog, with pictures the adorable hound in embrace. Later, he said that she was his only friend, which touched her heart, and kept her from noticing that his hand was in her pocket. He said he loved her, even sent her a video of him singing “I love you,” with the dog’s lease outstretched, presumably his only other friend lazing just out of frame. Her heart expanded warm and full towards him.

They spoke of marriage. He said he was an architect whose plan was in a contest not yet declared. After he won it, he said he would marry her after the construction was completed. She asked to see him before he departed. He welcomed her. Spoke of shopping for food together, and how great of cook he was, but argued a bit on sharing a bathroom, as he wanted while she wanted her own. She felt they were so very close. She already had her ticket and was going to fly the next day when he claimed he was required to go to Cyprus so-as not to lose the job. Most likely he did not live at the stated address.  His location remains unknown.

His falsehoods continued to pull her in. He said that he was the kind of architect who paid for materials and labor in advance so that the corporation could not undercut materials causing the structure to be unsound and risking that it would fall apart. He said that he had invested his lifetime of savings, over one million dollars, in materials but needed help to pay for labor. Early on, he had once inquired about her savings, which she never would have entertained a response, and would have fled, if not blinded by love. He knew she had some money for emergencies.

When you fall into a lying world, you try harder and harder to believe. It is too frightening to think otherwise. The love hook was in and clouded her mind.

He asked her for $200,000.00. He said he would give her ownership of the gold left to him by his father and given to his deceased wife. Sent a photo of him, sitting in front of a table covered by a large number of gold bars. He said they were worth about $900,000.00. That is more than her initial loan sent to him.  Sent her a form to sign from Credit Suisse which changed ownership to her from his deceased wife. Later, a friend told her it was not a genuine Credit Suisse form, but a forgery sent in .jpg format instead of .pdf.

She went to her bank which refused to send the money, calling it a scam. They even knew of the gold bars as a persuasion tactic. He did not think it up.  But he insisted they were just against him without reason. She moved her funds to another bank. They also refused to send money to Cyprus for the same reason: fraud. Her guy, who now called her “wife,” gave her the address of people in US states to wire the money, keeping it below a noticeable amount. How did he know such things and how would the money get to him in Cyprus? She closed the evaluative section of her mind.  

The scam scenario hit its final note when he announced he had been robbed in a taxi on the way to pick up his equipment. His cab was stopped, the driver shot in the back, he beaten to the point of hospitalization. He sent photos of him in a hospital bed. Now a new emergency. The thieves took his briefcase and passport. Again, all money gone.   

He asked her to sell her country log home to pay custom’s fees on the machinery.  Customs again, like the one on the Canadian border holding onto the box of gold. Her country home was the last thing she had left, the last safeguard against complete poverty.

She wept—the only thing she could ever count on possessing with parents who were liars and disloyal were tears. He asked whether she loved her house more than she loved him. Repeated how he would immediately pay everything back after the equipment was delivered. The new house will be beautiful . . . on and on. She became extremely depressed. The bottom was falling out of her world in return for a (false) promise.

How could he ask her this? No. Can’t sell. Will sell … Won’t. She had to say no.

He said he couldn’t live with her lying. She was the liar, not he. He said he would lose the job, the thing he has worked for all his life. He was exhausted by her indecision. Let her house be her lover now. She was the selfish one, because it was about his desires and not hers. Not theirs.

He was gone with her money. Is he an architect? Is there a Cyprus job? Did he mean his vow to marry? Her parents were great liars. This man puts their skill to shame.

Why did she fall for this predator? Why did she not read the signs that she had recognized? She felt a combination of pain and love, but the pain growing ever deeper.

She did not listen to her inner voice, yelling at her to stop giving, or weeping in pain when she did not. She was reliving the torture of childhood with unloving parents. Giving everything away was like being home again.

How many of you are like this woman? Come to an ongoing workshop on You Choose to Lose. (212) 496-6003.

Advertisements

Disaster Is a Teacher

A very good friend read my book Unloved Again and said he did not understand what changed me after such a long life of repetitive and self-inflicted misery in the ways of love.

There is a tendency to repeat. The brain never loses the memory of our compulsive hurtful choices although we like to think that it does. We push memory of bad love experience into a dark black closet of the mind thinking nothing will open that door again.

But opening happens without our noticing. Beset by the possibility of adventuring into the new, we unknowingly cling to well-known misery and childishly believe that some kind of magical force will change the outcome. Such repetition is supported by the inner child’s need to white wash our parent’s hate. The child holds onto the idea that surely love lies behind it. It clings to the belief that this time same will lead to difference.

That is where misery can be beneficial. You have-to reach the point of total despair. You have to give up the old, to be unwilling to drag your body through the same thorny emotional bush. That our love road goes nowhere cannot be denied. We argue with ourselves. Perhaps the inadequate love we’ve always “gotten” is all that can be had. But our misery has a Stop sign! Our mind declares I prefer the howling open wastes of Nowhere-Ville to the despair of doing the same. You must reach that place where repetition becomes undoable to let go of history. You have-to be so aching for real love that you step into the space of unknowing.

Only then will a person whose loving spirit can be felt by yours. People say love at first sight is only nonsense! Yes and no to that. With false love at first sight the repetition compulsion will happen. You are trapped in loveless repetition. True love at first sight is different experience since both of you are sending messages of love.

Those who confuse true love offered from one depicted with phony gestures have not suffered enough to know the difference. Those who sufficiently recognized the source of pain will move on.

 

 

Bimbo or Bitch

I was an intern at the Manhattan VA getting my first experience as a psychotherapist with troubled military veterans. Doing this earned required credits toward my PhD. I was one of several interns assigned to this VA Hospital but was the only female.

Quite casually, I seated myself at the far end of a large square wooden table with the other trainees and our supervisor. A coffee urn was on a side table near the front. We sat there when the men turned their heads and looked at me. I stared back. What was up?

Slowly, very slowly, it occurred to me that I was expected to pour and serve. Why me? Wasn’t I one of them? Yes and no. I was one in the same, yet I had a significant qualifying difference–I was female. Per their social training, the category of my genitalia put me in the role of server.

My background did not offer me advice about what to do about this. My father was a critical tyrant. I was never good enough for him. I did not learn self-defense or even a way to debate. My mother who was smashed by his words did the same to me. People who feel defeated often step on those they regard as more helpless than themselves. Children are great victims.

My mind whirled. Why should I accept this task? Why should I agree with this designation of female as one who serves the male?  Why should their quest for power, presumably caused by feelings of inferiority, be played out on me? Then came the message of fear: would they all be mad at me? Would resisting their pressure to serve appear on my evaluation in a way that made me look bad, so that I would lose my training credit?

I poured the coffee and served it, but I have never forgotten this moment. I accepted myself as a serving bimbo, as not to be called a bitch. I accepted the insanity of my demoted state. How many women do this? How often and under what conditions, and what is the price we pay for doing so?

If the bimbo charade puts us on a down escalator, how do we get onto the up? I have studied what makes me happy by comparing pluses and minuses of losing myself by fitting in. Now, I may attend a group, listen to what they have, but I do not join it. I do not surrender the right to make up my own mind and speak my truth. I can change my mind as well. My mind belongs to only me.

Remember the Greek play, Lysistrata, in which women withheld sex from their partners until the men accepted peace and unity. Hold onto your genitals and your power. Do not fall for the rewards of slavery. Demand, and only accept fair play.

State your goals without becoming hysterical, a behavior so easily dismissed. The hysterical female is a learned female role. Unlearn it. Reject as a group when an angry, needy bully demands something you do not wish to give. Women are great talkers. A bully saying “you have to do it” without stating why cannot hold the floor unless lethal weapons are drawn. We are not at that place yet.

Elan Golomb

Author of Unloved Again, now on sale via elangolomb@gmail.com ($16 for signed paperback.)