This is where it gets bad before it gets better. In Junior High, I struggled the most with my behavior. I was completely estranged from my father and had so many feelings I couldn’t understand. I knew I was supposed to be mad, no I was supposed to HATE dad… And during these formative years, I spent a lot of my time actually harassing and borderline bullying my father. I used to call him just to scream terrible things at him; I’d beat him down verbally and would continue peppering him with absurd accusations about him and threats. My mom was hurting my dad through me. But it was hurting me more and I didn’t even know it.
Not long after I developed a strong hatred towards my dad, my mom started accusing me of the same behaviors that she would accuse my dad of. She had me thinking I had inherited a cold, selfish, and criminal attitude from my father and I truly did believe it. Months turned into years of being labeled evil/hurtful names and being torn down emotionally each day, I really did start behaving in erratically. I started hurting close friends and replaced them with people who encouraged my bad behavior. I was constantly getting in trouble, write-ups weekly, in-school suspensions monthly, and at least a few suspensions per year in Jr. High. At this point, none of my actions were criminal, but they were disruptive and inappropriate to say the least.
That being said, I spent a lot more of my time in the office than the average kid. In grade 8 (my WORST year) the office secretary, who I had gotten to know pretty well, had been replaced by an older, more intimidating and much prettier woman. This new lady didn’t give me any of the attention I was seeking, in fact, I dreaded going to the office to see her because I knew she would ask me what I did, why I did it and what I gained out of it. I hadn’t had many adults around who actually cared about me, especially since being away from my dads side. I didn’t want to have to deal with her because I wasn’t used to being held to such a high expectation, at home it was just “oh well, Abby’s got ADHD and doesn’t have a dad to love her”. This secretary did however help me each time I was in distress with my family and provided emotional support when needed. Her name is Mrs. Peters.
After spending more time in the office and more time with the secretary, I slowly became aware of her family life, her 3 kids, and her interests. I remember briefly seeing a picture of her 2 sons. It wasn’t very special to me at the time, but I do remember the young one peaking my interest…. Shortly after, I had a friend who’d tell me about the Peters’ youngest, Jack. She said he was a mutual friend of hers and that he was good at Hockey (😌). I looked him up on Facebook, added him, went back weeks later to see if he’d accepted it…. and he had deleted it! So I boldly sent him another request and moved on with my next year of Jr. High.
At this time, I had forgotten all about this Jack guy and was much more invested in my struggles at home. My mom had Brandon around all day, everyday and was getting much worse with her emotional and verbal abuse. She was threatening suicide more often than usual, which lead me to attempt suicide and harm myself physically too. I started experimenting with weed and booze and was skipping school because I was grounded 90% of the time at home. My texts and media were being monitored when I wasn’t grounded and my mom had Brandon and other “friends” of mine update her on my location/actions with pictures and videos of me, at school or on lunch, and of course without my knowledge. I was dying to be set free but I felt stuck without a supporting father (or so I thought) and no finances (my mom would drain my accounts as soon as I’d get paid).
I remember being sad inside, I had many “friends” but was really just a very social outcast. I was the girl who would be invited to anything, but not many would show up for special events for me. I didn’t seem to struggle with the males around me, but was having issue after issue with females. I later learned from my psychologist that I was doing the same toxic dance I did with my mom, with women similar to her. If I met a healthy female, she would typically run from my because I’d exhibiting toxic traits. However, my dad had a healthy dance, so I’m attracted to men who know the steps to a healthy dance. It’s a weird explanation, but it really put things into perspective for me. Which brings me to how I met Jack, my rock through it all.
I remember it being the middle of my Grade 10 year when Jack caught my eyes in the hallway of my high school. I had completely forgotten about him from a couple years prior, but I was definitely still interested. He was so quiet and handsome, he had a humbleness to him that drew me in immediately, and I still had never heard him speak. I was so intrigued by his mysteriousness and was hooked from then, ‘til forever. I knew who he was but wasn’t sure if he was aware of me… luckily another friend of mine had started dating a guy on Jacks hockey team! This was the perfect in for me, so I started going to his games. At this time, I knew he knew me… I mean, he liked all my pictures 😅 So I bit the bullet December 10th, 2014 and messaged him on Facebook.
Oh the suspense. Not only had he declined my FB request years before, but he’s now got the audacity to leave my message unread – for 3 weeks. The guy got back to me tho…… With his phone number! It’s on, we’re both into each other when suddenly, an unfamiliar feeling of lust and warmth came rushing over me. I felt like I had met my person. Behind closed doors, my mom was terrible but she had a very attractive side to her around my friends. She acted more like a friend with my social circle than a caring mother, so I told her all about my crush and she was elated. She wanted me to tell her everything, every detail, she wanted to read every text and she would ask me to invite him over for family nights. If I didn’t want to share everything with her, I would get in so much trouble for disrespecting her and for “hiding things”. This all seemed normal to me because my mom had always been over my shoulder with everything from the beginning. But it didn’t take long for me to notice that Jack wasn’t super into hanging with my mom all the time and having her involved in everything we did or talked about.
Once my mom caught on that Jack wasn’t nearly as interested in her as he was in me, she started hating him and attacking him verbally when I wasn’t aware. She’d call him names, accuse him of treating me poorly, for disrespecting her, or whatever else she could think up at the time. She could tell I was slipping away from her tight grip on me and started grounding me more frequently, making it difficult to see or contact my boyfriend. The only thing I was allowed to do alone at one point was take my phone and car out to train our family horse for a few hours. This was meant to be a punishment but it gave me an outlet to reflect on my relationships with my mother vs other, healthier relationships around me. I started smoking weed out there and reached out to my dad for the first time in years. These phone calls would never end well, I was still convinced that he was a prick, so I’d scream and swear and call him names as usual… but the difference was that I wasn’t just answering his calls, I was reaching out to him for once. I see now that I was coming back to reality and crying out to him for help.
Although I was still mad at my dad, I couldn’t help but to call and take my anger out at him and without a doubt, each time I would receive nothing but unconditional love in return. I didn’t know it, but at that time unconditional love was all I needed. Things got real bad from here… my mom went through my phone as usual and saw these calls between myself and my father. She went off the rails. For months following these phone calls, my mom tortured me with threats of suicide and accusations that I was an abusive daughter who was brainwashed by my dad to make her life hell; which is ironic considering that is exactly what she did to my dad. She said her usual “I’m under appreciated, I’m disrespected”…. her “I’m always the victim” narrative, and suddenly went missing.
I started getting calls from family members and friends of my mom. They were overly concerned about her whereabouts, but it had been years for me of my mom taking off for hours and threatening suicide when mad. So I didn’t care as much as usual… she always came back. After day 2 I called the cops and they suggested I wait to file a report after a certain amount of hours. 3 days later I was still getting calls from family asking me about my mom, so I did what any daughter would do and filed a missing persons report. As soon as I did that, the police came by and her friends and family from before spilled the beans and told the cops that my mom was somewhere safe, that this was all just a test to see what I’d do. Yes, she had all her friends and family in on her going missing and no, none of them cared about what it would do to my mental state.
Once I knew she had done that to me, on purpose, I was done. I saw everything I needed to see, and it was as clear as day ….My Mom hated my dad more than she loved me. I was so hurt, I didn’t know what to do with myself or who to trust. I was starting to see that I couldn’t even trust my own mom… what makes me think I could trust anyone ever? I ditched the life I had at my moms and spent a few nights at Jack’s. I was ignoring my mom’s attempts to get ahold of me but she never tried from her own identity. She would log into my brothers or dogs Facebook or emails and harass me, always pretending to be other “supportive” people telling me how wrong I was for betraying my mom. They were desperate attempts, but not as desperate as when she texted Jacks mom a long paragraph warning her to watch out for me because I’m “bad news and am trying to get pregnant to trap her son” (funny because that’s exactly what she did to a few men in her life, including my own father). This threw me over the edge. My mom was now making up blatant lies about ME! It made so much sense, everything she said about my dad and all the other “evil people” were all just lies and manipulation.
This emotional turmoil had me completely ready to see my dad again. I was in tears in my boyfriends arms with his mom by our side when I called my dad to come get me. From there I stayed between Jack’s and my dads and I could physically feel weight being lifted off my shoulders. My dad and I connected on a deeper level than ever but it took years and it’s still taking time for me to completely trust anyone. During such a pivotal part of my life, my mom threw obstacle after obstacle in my way to ensure I didn’t succeed in my new life without her. This all lead to me having to get an EPO (Emergency Protection Order aka Restraining Order) and lead to my CPTSD and BPD. (I will cover that all in my next post.)
Jack, his family and my dad’s family showed me what unconditional love was at a time that I needed the most. They took me in and they stood by me through the toughest of my ups and downs. BPD makes it incredibly hard to deal with emotions and before I was diagnosed I slid into a downwards spiral that lead me to another failed suicide attempt and eventually the most amazing self-discovery.
Please keep reading along with me if you’re finding my posts helpful, inspiring or even just interesting. Thank you everyone for your support so far!