Last night, I was hanging out with Laurel, my new school friend. We started out talking about our Blount papers and somehow ended up talking about my psychiatric history. I was still in River costume from the SereniVersary party, and there was definitely some references to Firefly in the conversation. She always equates me to River already, and when I started telling her about my psych history, she said, "You really are River."
I just kind of giggled to cover up the fact that she doesn't even know how true that is...trauma-based mind control programming. Not something I really wanted to get into with her, as I don't know her well enough to anticipate what her response would be.
"You need a Simon," Laurel said.
(For those of you who are totally lost about now, this conversation was filled with references to the TV show Firefly. One of the main characters, River Tam, was embedded with traumatic mind control at a government academy. Her brother, Simon, a trauma surgeon, spent two years and a fortune to bust her out of the academy. River is unstable and only sometimes lucid, but Simon is always there to take care of her.)
"No," I said. I think I must've spoken pretty forcefully, as that pretty much terminated the coversation.
It did get me thinking, though. I can't remember a time when I didn't dream of having someone caring and gentle to rescue me, to take me away from the unrelenting abuse I lived with for as long as I could remember. I was desperate for kindness and affection, which is probably why I kept getting put back into abusive situations. Abusers can spot the weak ones, just like wolves after deer. Instinctually, they can identify the people who will fall for their ruses, and I guess my emotional neediness showed. And, since I dissociated all the traumas after they happened, I fell for the same tricks over and over because they always seemed new to me.
Eventually, though, I turned into a little stone, cold and closed to the world. I didn't trust anyone, and for good reason. My parents, who were supposed to protect and love me, hurt me instead, or allowed me to be hurt. I was never able to form trust bonds with my parents, so how could I ever have learned to trust anyone else? I never really had friends in school, only acquaintances I called friends. I put up a happy front, and no one looked deep enough into my eyes to see the truth. When I did make a friend in high school, it was very unhealthy relationship, though it did at times keep me going.
I always fantasized about having friends like "real people." That's how I always thought about it: everyone else was real and I was not. I tried over and over to be like the "real people," to socialize and be popular and go to parties and so on, but it never worked out right. I wasn't like them, and at the time I couldn't understand why. Because I didn't remember the abuse that was, at the time, still going on, I didn't understand why I responded so differently to things. I just knew I was depressed all the time, hurt, anxious, scared. When I would lie in bed at night, I'd make up people who would come and rescue me from my life and make everything better.
No one ever rescued me. Eventually I stopped dreaming. I realized that the world, in general, doesn't give a damn about me. That led to a lot of cynicism and anger at the world, and I actively started pushing people away. I gave up on even trying to make friends because I figured everyone would hurt me and/or leave in the end.
In the last few months, I've softened on that. I've come to understand that it's a balance, like so much else in life. While it's unhealthy for me to expect others to rescue me--and unfair of me to expect that of someone--it's okay for me to accept support and even love from healthy people. It's been a real struggle as I'm beginning to let people in not to expect them to rescue me, and I'm frequently tempted to set up scenarios to see if they would rescue me.
So I suppose that's why I reacted so strongly to Laurel's statement that I needed to find a Simon. As much as I want some fairy godmother to come along and fix everything wrong with me with a magic wand, I know that I'm going to have to do that work myself. It sucks, though, giving up that fantasy. I still want someone to take care of me, but it's something I can't have.