Looking back, I like to say we would have been better off if we had been raised by wolves. At least wolf parents might teach their child a few things before throwing the young wolf-cub out into the world, so to speak. In my family of origin, we children had nothing, and possibly less or worse than nothing, if there is such thing, in the way of proper parenting. The long and the short of it amount to this: My mother was a truly awful human being to live with. My father wasn’t much better, and he did not have the verbal capacity to fight back to my mother’s haranguing, criticizing, and berating. My father chose to respond to my mother’s verbal bashings by beating the ever living hell out of my mother once he was pushed beyond his capacity. My younger sister and I inevitably watched, terrified. My father apparently did not think we were abused. Though he knew damn well we were present -how could he have not known, as we two tiny babes cowered and screamed and cried close by, in the same room as these terrible fist fights and beatings occurred? To this day, I cannot tell you why Amber and I carried on like that, with our screaming and crying when their fighting occurred – was it pure terror, and purely instinctual? Had we been older, I am sure we would have realized that we must be putting our own selves at risk of my father’s anger, and acted in a way to remove ourselves from the imminent danger. Yet we were not older, and we did not have any ability to understand or respond in a more appropriate manner. My mother, who today I firmly believe is a raging narcissist, thought she was and is even until today, the only “victim”. Believe it or not, I think she actually enjoyed playing the role of the victim. She took out her own anger about her “situation” and the “circumstances” on my sister and I – she didn’t think Amber and I were abused, either. Nor did our mother think it was abuse when she picked us up by our hair, or pinched our spindly little arms until we though the skin would pinch right off. I have hung in the air at the hand of my mother, suspended only by my own hair being attached to my scalp. If you don’t know, this hurts SOOOO bad. To this day, I can hardly stand my hair being touched, I can hardly stand to go to a salon for a wash and cut, and I am 44 now. But this doesn’t leave a single mark; at least not one that anyone else can see. My scalp would ache and sort of burn for days afterward, though. I beg to differ with both my parents. My younger sister and I, we were abused at the most basic of levels. …….This was simply our “norm” and what was happening during our young/baby years. Later, as we got older and could talk, my mother would terrify us further by telling us that we were to lie and cover up what happened if anyone asked us – I look back now and see that I simply shut down any ability to process emotions and situations, because to do so would mean having to understand and process that what was happening was very, very wrong. My mother would make us lie, and threaten us not to tell her mother or father. They were always “her” mother and father, rather than “our” grandmother or grandfather. My mother made us so scared of our grandparents, so scared to speak in front of them, that just being around them became a major cause of stress. Of course, I couldn’t define what stress was, then, either. Today, I find that I have taken over 40 years to grow into a “semi” normal human being. I have realized in just the past couple years that I will never be “normal” – and I have to try every day to be the “most normal” that I can be. I will always be “broken”, but just as someone who has had major surgery will always bear the scar, that scar can become stronger, and you can learn to live with – and maybe someday even love – that scar.