Because of my mother’s particular kind of mental illness, I did not exist as a person separate from her. How did I be a person anyway – in spite of her? It wasn’t like she let me develop into a part-self – so she could take that part-self away from me. She never saw ME as a person at all, a fact that might have been my greatest protection from her and from what she did to me.
She never saw ME – so she could not touch ME. There was no protection for the body that was me, but the ME that lived within that body was invisible to her because of the very psychotic delusions that prevented her from being able to know I WAS NOT SHE!!
Mildred saw things that did not actually exist when she ‘considered’ anything that had to do with me. She saw things that never happened – beat me for things that never happened – for things I never did.
As I tried to fight my way to writing about my childhood with Mildred yesterday (I was trying to work with this ‘crime’: *Age 4 – THE BEDSPREAD) I thought about one particular statement from the 43 BPD characteristics mentioned here:
+DID MY MOTHER SUFFER FROM BORDERLINE PERSONALITY DISORDER (BPD)? (this is eerie)
(43) — Accuse others of doing things they did not do, having feelings they do not feel, or believing things they do not believe?
Well – DUH Linda! Start at the beginning!
The devil did not send me to kill her while I was being born. I was not the devil’s child.
Well – my life went down hill from there!!
Yesterday I tried to get busy writing some of my ‘crime report’ ‘stories’ to include at the start of “The Demise of Mildred” series. I got nowhere. When I look at what happened to me I see HER reality. Of course I suffered from what Mother did to me – but what matters to me is that inside my own MIND I knew – always – what I had done – what had happened – and nothing the monster could do to me could or did change my reality.
I was hence always doubly beaten and ‘punished’ because to her – I lied. I would never apologize to her for something I knew I had not done. I would not admit to something I knew I had not done. (There is proof in my baby book within my very first spoken sentences as Mildred recorded them that these patterns had been going on before I was old enough to talk.)
There are huge cracks in my memories between what I now see as Mildred’s delusional reality in which (I now realize) she really DID see happen what she accused me of – and my own reality. While we were literally both in the same physical world – we were not in the same universe, not the same reality.
Because Mildred’s psychotic break regarding me happened as she was giving birth to me I was born into this split world — HERS and MINE.
I paid a great great price for living in my own world. For some reason I do not comprehend I could not (like I can’t flap my arms and fly) compromise my own self (integrity) I had evidently been born with. I could not admit that her version of reality is what had actually happened – because I had my own version.
It was not my fault these two realities did not match. I realized yesterday that it could not have possibly mattered to me if she had beaten me to death. I had nothing to lose. Not that I knew of.
But looking back my life WAS my own MIND. My intact mind that knew what happened in the world I lived in. Was I defying her? No. That was never my intention. All I knew how to do was to be true to my own self from BIRTH – at way, way, way too young of an age to have ever been ready to face and to cope with such conflicts.
I could not compromise myself. It was not in me to do so – not even to consider doing so. I did not ever agree with Mother’s delusional version of reality as she accused me of doing things I didn’t do – because I COULD NOT.
Somehow this fact is very important to me. How this is translating into my thinking today is that these patterns of horrific abuse tied to being ‘punished’ for things that had not happened, things I did not do – led to my lack of developing what I suppose others do: An Ego.
What do other people do with an ego? What is an ego good for? What am I missing if I didn’t develop an ego?
I don’t waste time in pondering what loss or benefit not having an ego gives me. I only care at this moment about one thing!
If this is true – that I don’t have an ego – it explains to me why I cannot go backwards in time (as it seems to me) to reread, rewrite or in any way edit anything I have written in the past.
It seems to me that I would have to have an ego to do this with – that it would be my ego that would stand face to face with the me that does my writing in the first place.
No ego = no editor. No self-editor. No ego to give a dang about what I have thought or said or expressed in the past – because I don’t have an ego to be invested WITH or IN my past self.
I am reminded of one of my favorite books within which for the first time I saw my own reality, my own worldview, reflected back at me:
Eskimo Realities by Edmund Snow Carpenter, Eberhard Otto, Fritz Spiess and Jorgen Meldgaard (1973)
Carpenter describes the language and worldview of an arctic people just before ‘white’ contact changed their reality. He describes how prior to the dollar culture moving in, artists carved the most exquisite forms out of ivory – and when the group moved on these pieces were left along the side of the ‘road’ as if they had no value as objects whatsoever.
They had no “I” in their culture prior to white contact, no investment whatsoever in what ‘western’ culture so fondly calls an ego.
I leave my writings behind me in the same way.
I would say, “So what?” But if I at the same time feel that any collection of my thoughts is to be published in book form, I struggle with the conflict of lacking the capacity to work with my own words. I can write things in the moment. I can add word after word.
But just as I survived the unbelievable hell of my childhood being continually attacked by a psychotic, delusional MAD WOMAN – because I had the capacity to (1) know my own reality, (2) never lose my own reality and, (3) never compromise my own reality – I seem unable to do anything any differently now: I moved forward in time THEN. I move forward in time NOW.
Is it an EGO that lets people connect their past to their present to their future in ways that I don’t think I can? If I want to complete books I better figure this out for myself. I do not call this ‘healing’. I can’t ‘heal’ the fact that circumstances of my childhood in hell prevented me from developing anything like an ‘ordinary’ ego. (If I had to choose between having an intact SELF or having some kind of an EGO – thank you, but SELF works fine for me.)
But if I don’t have this EGO-thing and this loss/absence is preventing me from accomplishing something I want to do – feel destined to do – what are my options?
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12 thoughts on “+MAYBE I DON’T HAVE AN EGO”
Is my purpose to raise and build a family OR is it to find a suitable mate procreate, and then walk? I have the suitable genes to pass on desirable traits…but should I raise a baby without empathy? No, that’s not my purpose and most Borderline moms fail….
Hi Helen – curious, have you read Mason and Kreger’s book “Stop Walking On Eggshells” and if so, what do you think of it? They removed the list of 43 BPD characteristics that were in their 1998 edition out of the current 2010 edition….. thanks!
No, I haven’t read the new edition.Hmmm, I’m curious… I may stop and pick up a copy.
I would like to know what you think of it if you find it – I am not going to read it through right now – I need to focus on my own writing – I have scanned it – seems kind of chopped up to me – lots of headings and subheadings – perhaps making it easier for readers to find bits and pieces of info on all sorts of things
I might recommend the book – in mine – my brother said there are a lot of comments on it at amazon.com
authors have written a lot of books, I see
Apparently, it’s wonderfully written…most non-bpds are calling it a “life changing tool”.284 reviews, most of them are praising this book.
Well, please let me know what YOU think of it if you get a chance to read it – thanks!
Lee- you can have a “false ego”..it’s called NDP, and if you have no sense of self you have no ego.The adult Radish ( the Borderline/NDP/APD) are wandering aimlessly through their life journey assuming or adapting to the ego of others.So, I can blend into any group of people and assume their ideas, belief system, and demeanour.Or, I can make my own ego ( false self) and lie to others about who I am.I am a predator, my early childhood has altered my whole existence to blend, inflitrate and survive.I’m a Borderline, I work, listen to others like myself on a daily basis, ( I’m an administrator for a support group on Facebook)..most of us are assuming other’s egos or “faking” that we have one.This is an adaptation..we’re witnessing a shift in human existence, there are two different flocks of human beings – Empathic and Predators.Two different flocks, two different purposes. I think about how my brain and body have adapted for a different purpose – hoarding food, violence, exceptional intelligence, cunning manipulation, NO REMORSE, lack of empathy, no sense of self…something’s coming a change or a shift and, my flock is getting larger
To read your writings for me is to listen to someone else describe the indescribable feelings that I have lived with. I too never really felt like I was a human but at the same time I never submitted to my father’s view of me. I never developed a healthy view of myself either, but at least I did not succumb to my father’s view of me as sub-human.
“But if I don’t have this EGO-thing and this loss/absence is preventing me from accomplishing something I want to do – feel destined to do – what are my options?”
This is a good question. I spent a good chunk of my adult life in and out of Buddhist Meditation centers. They practice meditation in large part to separate themselves from their ego … specifically so that they can move beyond their ego, thereby creating space for something deeper/wiser to inform their life, actions and self-concept.
While I think that this practice is useful for those who grew up with an ego, I’m not sure that this is actually a practice that is useful to me as a TAD individual who grew up with no ego … no survival instincts … no clear sense of myself as separate from others.
In Hinduism to, the ego features as a main theme throughout the Bhagavd Gita. The ego is viewed as a tool. A human asset. An asset that is NOT to be confused with the spirit or soul. They use the analogy of Arjuna (the archetypal seeker of enlightenment) riding in the chariot that the horse is pulling. The horse is a metaphor for the ego, the sense of survival that is so important to being human in this physical world. But the horse is not the part of the chariot team that makes the decisions about where to go, or what is important and what to do about it. It is the Charioteer who decides which direction the ego should run. It is Arjuna who is the symbol of the “Atman”, or soul, who has the wisdom to guide the more practical human ego.
For me now I often have the experience of learning or suddenly understanding things that I don’t know where that insight came from. From creative endeavors (I’ve been writing and learning to play music over the past 2 years) to understanding myself as a man, I have come to believe that these are my guides … or ancestors … they tell me things and guide me in ways that defy logic. It doesn’t matter to me if these guides a “real” or “true”, because they serve me well. They are my invisible friends and I trust them more than other people. I also believe that I am responsible for maintaining my relationship to and with them. I don’t think that I’m very good at it yet, but I believe that in time I will learn to integrate them into my life to serve as my ego only better. Interestingly, many indigenous cultures from all parts of the globe had ways of describing and relating to their own provincial guides or ancestors. Too bad that I had to have the shit kicked out of me to learn what children in healthy civilizations grew up learning as the way things are! This is something that I yearn to study and understand in greater depth.
I believe its the Lakota people that say as a profession of faith “Ho matakwe asan” (a phonetical butchery) to express the fact that they honor the guiding -presence of their ancestors. This phrase is uttered before one enters a sweat lodge ceremony that is intended for cleansing, healing and guidance.
Thanks for prodding me to think these thoughts this morning.
As a Hindu might say, Namaste … the blaze of pure spirit within me recognizes the blaze of pure spirit within you.
Reading your words I have my lovely ‘goosebump’ attack – thank you! ‘All my relations’ – that is ALL – past present future – all life, everywhere – always – and yes, people like you and me have paid for the ‘sins’ of our (in so many ways) lifeless culture. To do so we have always known what it takes our lifetime to remember we have always known. This inner affirmation, this allowing over time, for us to join together not only with the goodness that is US – but at the same time we join together with all life – so I believe.
Our materialistic culture is very, very sick. Perhaps it is a great gift to us that while we suffered immeasurably from the sickness of our culture — we did not ‘CATCH’ that sickness. We are therefore free in ways that allow us to move without hindrance within the good world we are discovering we were a part of always. Again, thank you for writing, Gregory!!!! With great respect, Linda – alchemynow
Linda, I never heard or read anyone come close to knowing what you describe as I do … what I call “having no ego” (if that’s possible) thank you for your accurate description especially your exploration of your truth vs. lies assumed, and experiences related to time, memory and processing … I have not yet made peace with this but your post provides important insight. Thank you.
You are so very welcome, Lee. What an ‘at-odds’ world people like you and I live within. It was never our choice to do so. It’s a world we were born into – and spend the rest of our life trying to comprehend because it is a world so different from ‘ordinary’ there seems to be no bridge between these worlds. It takes great effort in the beginning, I think, to both know and honor our reality for what it is – and has always been. That outsiders do not comprehend our world is good for them. We don’t have their luxury.