Psychological History Part II
When I was around the age of 12 or 13 I think I saw a woman for therapy because my parents chose her. Her name was Karen. At first I really liked her and it was fun to go to sessions every Saturday. Then I really came to hate her. There was a good reason for this though. When I was about 14 or 15 I started to catch on to what John was doing with her. Now, because I was still a minor it wasn't illegal for Karen to reveal what I was saying in therapy to my parents but it was highly unethical of her. She was doing it anyway. It was about a year or year in a half after I started seeing her that John always wanted to go in before every session, just for ten minutes, to talk to her. I asked him not to, repeatedly, but yeah like that ever stopped him. They both assured me they weren't talking about me, and/or it wasn't specifics on me. It was just like a progress report or something.
Then there was the week that John got mad at me for something I never told him. The only person who would have heard me say this was Karen. That's when I figured out that they were talking about me and in great detail. Going home from a session one day I got yelled at (then later punished) for "lying" to my therapist that I was being abused. Which I was so it wasn't a lie. Then I was punished for it. Which I guess "totally showed me" that my parents weren't abusive. I accused Karen right to her stupid face that I knew what was going on. They both denied up and down they were talking about me in those little 10 minute sessions. The sessions weren't about me, and they maintained this story no matter what. I asked John why he didn't just go see his own therapist then, he said he didn't NEED to. Trust me if anyone needed therapy or still needs it, it's him, but he thinks nothing is wrong with him so...who fucking knows if that's going to happen. Or if it ever did.
Though my parents were incredibly public with anyone who would listen that I was in therapy, when anyone else in my family was in therapy it was a HUGE secret and no one was allowed to talk about it. At some point I found out one of my sisters was on anti-depressants and had been on them for a year. I was never told. However with my medications (as previously mentioned) they couldn't have been more obvious about it. Everyone in my family at some point was in therapy, and I never found out until years after the fact or completely by accident. I was scapegoated around as the only problem when actually everyone else was in therapy too. I was the biggest scapegoat of that damn family.
Anyway, so at that point I had realized that Karen was telling John stuff, but neither of them would admit to it. I decided to test my theory and lie about stuff. It was never anything huge, because I knew at the time there were limits to what I could or couldn't say (legally) without getting in serious trouble. The more I lied, the more of it got back to John. I don't remember specifics cause they were more or less harmless lies and only things that John would get upset about nothing that could get me into any actual trouble (at least legally) so that kept it quiet. A few months of that bullshit and I knew what was happening. I asked to see a new therapist because I didn't like Karen any more. They weren't going for it. I asked to stop therapy all together. That wasn't an option either. Even if they complained all the time about how expensive Karen was, which is really debatable considering they had good insurance and I was on it. Not sure they were actually paying anything for me to see her (and if they were it was probably a small co-pay).
I ended up being forced to go there, if I liked it or not, every week for at least a year before they finally realized I just wasn't going to talk to her. They must have thought I was stupid or something because they kept trying to send me to her. I really don't know what their motivation was. I would go in to every session, tell Karen I hated her and not say anything for the rest of the session even when she tried to bait me. It was either that or I'd go in there and talk about completely useless things that wouldn't at all help her to figure out what was going on with me. I would talk about TV shows I liked mostly. Nothing that she could actually report to John because it wasn't substantial information. I know by the very end I just straight up said nothing to her other than how much I hated her and how I wasn't going to talk to her. It took them a full year of this to actually make me stop seeing her. It was ridiculous.
So around the time I was 16 or 17 I started to see another woman named Jennifer. Who I adored. This only actually came about because I had a nervous breakdown. Due to what was going on in school at the time as well as the fact that I started to notice the ambient abuse being done to me and I had no one to talk to that I trusted, I became a wreck. It was very clear to me, overly clear, what John was doing. He would make sure to set me off in front of people to also point out I was "overly emotional" or crazy. For example, when we would go to parent/teacher meetings he would bring up shit that he knew would upset me. I was a teenager at the time and a stubborn one at that, so of course I was going to argue with him. He'd ONLY do this in front of other people. He knew how to push my buttons. This of course caused me major backlash at school because it only ever proved his point that I was "insane" when he was doing it on purpose.
Though I tried like hell to point out to everyone he was doing it, no one ever saw it. He was very very good at it. Mostly because he was so calm any time he did it which just made me more and more mad because I knew he was lying. He would lie with such a straight face or tell a sob story about how he "cared so much" for me and it was utter bullshit. I had no actual way to defend myself against him. This happened all the time, in every school. He did this to me year after year after year. In 8th grade a teacher saw him hit me and did nothing about it because I guess in her opinion I deserved it. I remember at one parent/teacher meeting in high school I didn't want to leave with them. By that time I was old enough to know how to take the buses home. I was really good at public transportation because they wouldn't allow me to learn to drive. I knew I'd never get out of the house if this were the case so I learned the bus systems.
I told them I would just take the bus home. They wouldn't let me. I was telling my teachers I did not want to get in the car with them. They kept asking why. I kept saying that the moment I got in the car with them they were going to scream at me and I was going to be in trouble. I didn't want to be trapped in the car with them for a half hour while they yelled at me and degraded me. The problem was, both of my parents (like I said) kept utterly calm and reasonable while at these meetings. I mean I knew they were upset, totally knew it, but they never showed it publicly. Ever. So any time I claimed they were angry with me, or going to be angry with me, all the teachers could say was "No they aren't mad at you". Then John and Robyne would reaffirm they were not mad and I was not in trouble. Which made me look like a damn lunatic. In the end I was forced into the car with them and yes of course I was yelled at all the way home. Despite claims they totally weren't going to do that and they absolutely were not upset with me.
This was my life for years. I had no one to believe me, I had my parents constantly tricking people into thinking I was the problem by knowingly triggering me in front of other people. Then I looked like a huge spaz and I was "denying their help" when they never were actually helping me. Due to John's status in life and various jobs, he knew how to keep a public profile. He worked with politicians and was in the news a lot (still is). He knew the difference between public John that everyone could see and private John that no one but the family ever saw. This was a huge issue for me (still is) because the public version of him appears to be a saint. The private version of him is a damn monster. Years later my sister admitted to me that most of her own problems were because she was TERRIFIED of being treated like me, so she became an overly neurotic perfectionist to avoid any criticism because she never wanted to be me. My parents used me as an example to whip their other kids into line.
Yet, it seemingly doesn't matter to them now. Despite both of them at one point or another, admitting to me that they knew what my parents were doing, my sisters now completely deny that they said anything. Now their stories have reverted to "Mom and dad only ever wanted what was best for you and you were an awful child". It's really frustrating because there were points in time they saw what was happening to me. There were points in time where they admitted to it happening.
I saw Robyne talk both my sisters into developing eating disorders. At one point, my other sister (Laura) admitted that Roybyne was the reason she had body image issues. However, if you were to call her right now and ask her today she would act like Robyne was a damn saint and only ever "cared" about her. Robyne scapegoated her as the "fat" kid and would parade her around as such. Laura was never actually fat. Maybe a bit chunky but she was never actually fat. She only became fat because she started to binge on food and eat her feelings because Robyne forced her to hide her eating habits. Then of course history wrote itself and she gained weight. Robyne would get upset and Laura would guilt eat, then she'd start to purge. Liz saw what was going on with Laura, decided being fat was the worst thing ever, and developed anorexia nervosa.
The thing is that my sisters didn't come out of this completely fine either, they just got it on a far lesser scale than me. I was lucky, very lucky, that they found me Jennifer when they did. I needed someone like her after Karen. Jennifer refused to talk to my parents unless I was in the room or I had given her permission, even to a point of signing something to give her permission. Something she could have ignored, cause at the time I was a minor, but once she heard what the issues with Karen were, she was very careful to not go against my trust. Had I not had Jennifer at the time when she came into my life, I imagine things would have turned out far worse for me. For years and years (even past this point) I was constantly set up to look like the problem when the real, actual problem, was I had parents who at some point decided I was the problem. The made me that way, they wanted it to be that way, and slowly over about 19 years of time they talked me into being a huge ball of nerves. It's really questionable how mentally healthy I might be now had I not ended up with those people. I might actually be an entirely different person.