As I was writing my Memoir, I was gaslighting myself! Was your childhood really that bad, JD – or did you dramatise it?
I actually took to YouTube of all places, to find out how other people have been affected by knowing their parents favoured their sibling over them. One girl commented “if my Mother had to chose someone to live and someone to die, she’d let me die so my sister can live”
I felt that, Imelda.
That crushing pain of knowing your own Mother sees you as dispensible. Cast away. Easily.
I have never related to someone more, to be honest.
When your parents have a blatant favourite, it F*CKS YOU UP in unimaginable ways, truly.
It makes you think you’re completely worthless, because the people predisposed to LOVING you have chosen to put someone before you – all day every day.
I grew up with my birth Mom and my Step Dad. They had a son when I was 5 and I was completely forgotten about. My Dad had his “real child” so there was no use for me. My Mom adored my brother. And that was set in stone.
My parents didn’t torture me. I didn’t get starved or beaten. But I got forgotten about and let me tell you…it’s just as bad. Being pushed down so you disappear altogether…that is surprisingly painful. It doesn’t break your heart, it twists it slowly over time.
So writing about what I went through in my Memoir has been a painful and yet healing process. I’m getting the opportunity to “speak my truth” and there is something really liberating about it.
When I started writing in January 2020, I was really worried – mostly about what my Dad would think because I value his opinion more than anyone else in my life. Then Dad died unexpectedly in 2021…so that worry was replaced by grief that to this day still hurts very deeply.
I guess the main thing I want to say is to speak your truth and don’t let anyone – even yourself gaslight you into underrating what you’ve experienced. No matter what trauma you’ve gone through, I believe it really did happen. You didn’t imagine it. It was real, it affected you and you are allowed to grieve what was lost. You are allowed to be angry about being betrayed, hurt, taken for granted…or in my case, only occasionally acknowledged for much of my life.
Ironically, it’s my Dad who taught me to use my voice…even when I’m scared. Bless him.
Now my life story is in the hands of Austin MacCauley in New York and what will be…will be.
I’m excited to see what the future holds for my very first book. I’m hoping that it will bless people. If even one person reads it and feels like I understand them, it will all be worth it.