girls in fountain

During the last four years I have been psychoanalyzing myself.

The beginning was sheer hell, but my only alternative was suicide. My emotional pain was just too great to keep reliving the same pathetic, abusive relationships and situations over and over again.

I had tried talking to therapists, reading self-help books and I listened to spiritual gurus on You Tube for years. I had turned to seers to read my cards and do my “numbers.” I began meditating, which gave me eerily insightful messages, but nothing I did ever got me to a place of feeling safe or secure.

My family certainly was never willing to take my thoughts or emotions seriously, not except for the youngest member of the tribe, who shared her own thoughts and fears with me since her own mother is incapable of hearing things she doesn’t want to think about.

My niece was the one person in my family who was able to help me see things from my own point of view, from my own childhood confusion and pain. I learned a lot as my own memories flooded back to me during the years that I counseled her through her own confusion and terror.

For many years, at least since 1987, I have had interesting, deep, intimate conversations with strangers. Before that, in my teens and twenties, I often hung out with other “freaks” like myself, those who were on the outside, wishing they knew how to break in. I would listen to their stories, and tried to give them good advice, but I didn’t understand the “others” any better than they did.

And since the summer of 2012, I’ve been searching for Truth on the World Wide Web. Thank god for real information and communication.

I’ve recently realized that I had been analyzing people and what makes them tick since childhood. I was trying to figure myself out through talking with other human beings. Until then, I had only looked at the world through the lens of my camera. I began that habit at the age of ten.

The word connection began to enter my thoughts. Because I had always listened to people who had problems; because I had met and had intimate conversations with hundreds if not thousands of strangers over my lifetime, I began feeling this overwhelming urge to connect people somehow.

I started looking for some kind of pattern or design of trains of human thought.

I’ve listened to “important” married men talk about themselves like they Knew if All while simultaneously trying to get me up to their hotel rooms; I’ve listened to sensitive, honest, loyal men complain about their cheating wives; I’ve counseled traumatized soldiers who were talking about Ending it. I’ve listened to countless women tell me about how their fathers or brothers or uncles or mothers’ boyfriends sexually abused them all their childhoods and how none of their mothers “ever saw what was happening” . . .

Oh, how we are trained to protect good, church-going, hard-working family men. . . .

I listened to men talk about wanting to change gender, but not knowing how to tell their wives or children or families. I’ve heard the complaints and real concerns of the housekeeping and cafeteria and maintenance staff at the UW because no one else ever listens to those at the “bottom” or gives them (us) any assistance since they (we) are merely Human Resources to be used to their (our) utmost capacity.

I have listened to drug dealers and pimps and prostitutes and have tried to imagine what kind of a life leads you down those roads. One of my old friends went to prison for life for being an accomplice in a drug murder at Lake Sammamish back in the 80s. The last time I had seen him was maybe a year before I heard that news, when he came to my apartment after my bar closed one night and we stayed up all night drinking and talking I was trying to understand his rationale for dealing heroin to high school kids and I told him that what he was doing was Wrong . . .

But he didn’t hear my words.

I have never been afraid to get down to the nitty gritty; to do the work it requires to get to the root of the problem. I am not afraid of emotional situations since I was weaned on confrontation. I’ve heard so many real-life horror stories that horror movies no longer frighten me like they did for the majority of my life. I used to be terrified of the dark; now I am a guide through the darkest stretches of thought and the otherworld.

But in my attempt to understand other human beings, I avoided thinking about my own biggest fear: connecting on an intimate level with other human beings myself.


I spent all of 2015 and the majority of 2016 writing about my life. I’ve been a recluse. I’ve spent weeks at a time in bed, stoned, barely able to function from the pure exhaustion of my emotional anguish, writing tomes of unbearably difficult stories and experiences.

When I was no longer able to be alone with myself and my circles of thoughts any longer, I’d venture out into my neighborhood bars. I’ve always felt more at ease at a bar than anywhere else. Since my first cocktail waitress job at the age of 21, I’ve pretty much lived in bars. My childhood home never made me feel safe or secure. In fact, my childhood home was a War Zone. Strangers and bars made me feel like I was in my element.

I have not tried to sensor myself. I have needed to analyze myself at 100% full-speed-ahead Christine; the person who everyone in my family (and many friends who no longer talk to me) says is so unbearably wicked. The one my mother disowned back in the 2000s.

I began taking notes and writing about my confrontations with (mostly) men. I began noticing patterns of when I blew up and why. Sometimes they’d make me feel like the ugly, stupid, spinster slut that daddy always said I was (and the women in my family believed and maintained). Sometimes I’d get so angry, I’d get some extremely violent thoughts.

But I have learned a lot. I’ve realized that:

  • I have always felt powerless; at the mercy of others.
  • I have never been able to trust anyone. Not one person in my life, not fully. Not since my own mother and sisters have lied to me and betrayed me and sold me out to save themselves over and over again by lying about their hurtful actions, simply to save themselves from facing their own awful behavior.
  • I have always been attracted to men that had my father’s qualities: antiauthoritarian with a strict moral code; intelligent, curious, creative and strong willed. They were often also severely emotionally damaged in some way or had otherwise lived their lives on the “outside.” Many of them emotionally raped me, just like my father did.
  • I am very much like my father as well, and that I identified with him and not my mother. I embody both his good and bad sides. I inherited his terror and rage and addictive behavior along with his curiosity and strength and perseverance in the face of adversity. I realized that my anger and aggressive behavior is a defense mechanism, just like his was. And I’ve been feeling threatened for a very long time.
  • I’ve often chosen women as friends who lie to me. Some of them have no issue with stabbing me in the back if it will get them ahead somehow or “win” a man or make them feel superior to me.
  • I realized, most importantly, that I am incapable of telling people I care about and like, people who I admire and respect, how I really feel and what I desire. Because I’ve never felt that I deserve anything good. That I’m worth it. I’ve never felt any hope for the future, or happiness in the moment, not until recently. Except for special moments of connection that I’ve shared with people from time to time for moments or hours, I have never been able to find the joy in anything in my life. I’ve never felt hope or excitement for the future. Even before leaving for my month-long trips in Mexico, I would always carry with me an impending, crushing sense of doom. Because I knew I’d have to return to my life of extreme isolation and despair.

My messages of connection were important, but up until now they were misconstrued. My higher being was not telling me to connect other people together; it was telling me that I need to connect with other people. I have been hearing this word connection in my head for years, but true to my self-defeating nature and the overwhelming drive to help other people, I was unable to see what I was being shown: that in order to save my own soul, I need to feed it some love and connection or it will die.

I’ve been searching for the “good” side of myself that I hid away years ago to keep her safe from the nastiness of my tribe.

I am filled with passion and love and ideas and creativity, but have no idea how to express my deepest feelings in words. I feel like I’m six years old again, off to my first day at a school where I would not know one single person, and the fear is consuming me. I won’t know what to say or how to act, because whenever I say what I really think, people turn their heads and snicker and they’ll all laugh about how stupid I am.

At least, that is what my family members have always done. And the bosses I’ve had. And the men I’ve dated. And the female friends who have injured me beyond what any man has ever done to me, including date rape.

I either need to keep my thoughts to myself and stay away from other people, or find people who are conscious and conscientious and strong enough to handle my not-so-typical views of the world, and engage with me in discussing them instead of trying to gag me and make me lie about what I know to be True.

The most important things I’ve learned are:

The more I know, the more I realize I have to learn.

I need to be more careful who I choose to reveal myself to.

I need to listen and take the time to learn the truth before I react.

I won’t allow anyone else to hurt me twice, but I am more than capable of forgiveness if the offender is sincerely sorry for his or her mistake and if there is a willingness to talk about it.

I need accountability and transparency and truth in my life.

I am an open book because once you care about nothing further than stopping the pain, you are willing to expose it all.

Here I am, exposed for all the world to see.

One thing I have to hold onto: Not once did I ever sell out my beliefs, not willingly. I fought everyone and anyone who tried to justify injustice, and I always will. Because I am once again in touch with my vulnerable, soft side and I am no longer afraid for her soul, and I know that I can let her come out from time to time, under the right conditions, with the right crowd.

I was the sensitive child in this article. Not even my own caregivers could keep themselves from harming me. I was armor-less; no wonder I’ve never been able to feel safe.  I believed nearly all my life that human beings were bad, since I had never experienced any compassion or empathy from the people who supposedly care about me.

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