monsters in the closet

Sorry I haven't been around lately...I have really been focusing at work.  Not so much on diet and exercise.  that being said....work is going swimmingly.   lol.
My problem is on my work days...I walk all day...by the time I get home and amp down it is one or two in the morning..then I am up at 6:30 am to get my daughter around for school. Using a pedometer I walk around 8 miles at work per day.  But it's just walking...not cardio walking. It's not the same. I need an at home workout.  Because on my workdays. I don't want to go anywhere..and since it's half my month...that leads to working out less.
That being said;

on to the subject of my post.
I have a theory.
I hear all the time about people who, when growing up...were afraid of monsters in their closet or under their bed.

I never had that fear.
I knew that monsters...the ones in closets...didn't exist.
I knew that the only monsters out there...were people.
And I am throwing this out there to my blog people who were raised in abusive homes...and non abusive homes.
did you have a fear of monsters in the closet or under your bed?
I am interested in this idea that being raised in an abusive home may actually BETTER prepare you for adverse conditions and for a more realistic expectation of people....
All of my middle class friends who were raised in a 'normal' environment, have a tendency to expect more from people...they also seem to have more fear of what seems to me, to be fairly mundane issues...like 'will people like me" "What do people think of me."
And their disappointment and disillusionment is usually profound when they find out that people are generally self focused.
Whereas kids who are raised by abusive or narcissistic parents have already figured out early in life that the majority of people are going to look out for themselves first.
Now,  I am not saying this is ideal...because your family should be your first line of defense against the world...and having no buffer at an early age can destroy people.
But people who make it through that...well, they are some tough ass bitches.
Then the real work is letting people back in and trusting....almost a reverse issue.
I think being raised like that, (if you are self aware and don't allow bitterness to overwhelm you) tends to lead to more compassion for people who are down and out.
Just like poor people have a tendency to give more...because they know what being poor is like, kids who grew up rough know what it's like to be alone with no support.
And they don't fear it.
Because they know they can make it.
did you grow up in an abusive household.
Did you believe there were monsters under your bed or in the closet.
Do you fear making choices that aren't popular.

Just questions:
Chris out.


Robin said...

I think you are fairly well versed in how I grew up. I can't say MY house was abusive. If anything, my parents lived so separately that they sometimes didn't speak for weeks at a time other than to discuss what was for dinner and "pass the salt." That created its own problems for me in that I sought out aloof men who made me Work For Their Love, but never were willing to give it. Boy, that is some self flagellation there.

My grandpa was horribly verbally abusive to my grandma when I came along. He was physically abusive when my mom was growing up. My grandma was that cowed person who fears leaving her abuser, so I hated him on her behalf for MANY years. And then I married him. Not HIM. Just someone like him.

So... to answer your question since I lived a home that wasn't abusive per se... I didn't believe that there were monsters under the bed. I was afraid of someone getting in the house or being attacked in the street on a dark night. So, the monsters were People.

I also grew up wanting desperately to be liked, needed, loved. And totally feared making a choice that would hurt someone's feelings at the expense of my own. My worst decisions stem from this lack of a boundary (and that is what it is... lack of boundaries). I remained in a marriage and then a relationship after my marriage that were just horrible because I didn't want to hurt them by leaving. I can see (now) the twisted logic.

I am going back to my blog to link you to something I wrote that you missed that I think addresses this better. I know I just wrote 500+ words to tell you that I need you to read something else. What can I say???

Robin said...


Anonymous said...

Hmmm. Interesting thoughts from you, Chris, as usual.

Your questions:

Did you grow up in an abusive household.

Yes. Narcissistic, mentally ill mom. But safe, loving dad. NO abuse happened in his presences and I had never told him what happened when he wasn't home. I just knew I was safe when he was there.

Did you believe there were monsters under your bed or in the closet.

No. It never occurred to m to worry about what was under the bed or in the closet. It's what was prowling in the living room that I needed to careful about.

Do you fear making choices that aren't popular.

I would prefer not to make choices that are unpopular. I would prefer not to say/do things that I know will not be...ummm...appreciated. :}

But I take a deep breath and say/do them. Because that is what integrity does.

When it comes down to it, I care more about you (the general you) hearing the truth that you need to hear I do about you thinking I'm nice.

Because that's what love does. Even when it's misinterpreted as being critical or unsympathetic. Patting someone on the back and cheering for them as they stagger towards the edge of a cliff is not helpful to them. You may seem "nice" as you do it, but at what cost?

Chuckle. Ummm. That may be my overreaction to having a narcissistic mom...

E. Jane said...

My situation was exactly like Deb's.

Yes, I grew up with a very abusive mother...but a kind loving father who didn't know the extent of what was going on. ...and I didn't tell him. I didn't want to rock the boat. He was also a victim of her rages, but he stayed with her. In this day and age, I'm not sure if that would happen, but it was better for me that he did. I say that because I was her target...not my brothers. When he was around, it was a better situation. When he was at work or out of town, I had to watch out, and sometimes I wasn't successful.

If I had any fears at night, it wasn't because of the monsters in the closet...I had insomnia had developed some nervous tics because I lived with such anxiety and fear of being physically and emotionally hurt. I carry these scars today. I don't think that monsters in the closet would have left me as damaged. I hide this from almost everyone I know, and even my kids don't know the extent of what went on.

Thank God, my dad was a role model for what a husband should be, and I got lucky. I knew better than to settle for less. I guess I can thank my mother for that, but being unable to believe anyone can love you is difficult for relationships. My husband understands...thank heaven and I am still working on healing the wounds. Not whining...just being more honest than usual.

Christine said...

So, three for three...this IS interesting.

Jill P. (JSP) said...

My father was alcoholic and abusive, verbally and some physical. My mother could be cold and didn't really protect us from the verbal, though she did divorce him when I was eleven shortly after the physical started. I never feared monsters under the bed, but there was a serial killer in our city, and another one in neighboring cities when I was about twelve(CA Night Stalker) My grandfather made a big deal of securing the house and that scared me. From then on I was afraid of someone getting in. Fast forward and I met and married a good man and worked through a lot of issues. He was killed three years ago by a negligent driver and a lot of issues about how crappy people can be came up. It makes me feel like why me, why after the crappy childhood did I get more crap? Why do I get to see yet again that people can really suck and have no ethics? I am still working that out. I was afraid of a lot before he was killed, and tended to care what people thought. Now I really don't. It's just hard to reconcile living in such a random world where bad people seem to get rewarded and good people get die or get screwed over. But, a lot of my fear is gone. The only fear I have now is being able to raise my kids by myself. I have no problem telling anyone exactly what I think and believe me I have! Popular choices are now irrelevant since I figure I am the only one living this life I got handed.

I don't know if this helps, but I always like your posts and figured I would contribute to the conversation and tell you I am happy to see you posting. i guess my contributing my big fat mess shows I don't much care what people think, lol.

'Yellow Rose' Jasmine said...

You know pretty well what kind of household I grew up in and I have actually explored this issue a bit myself, in a way. 'Monsters' were never a worry to me, but I have always loved a good horror movie. At some point I realized that the appeal was in the idea that the movie was a safe encapsulated experience. You always know that no matter how scary it gets, it's NOT real danger. You can control it and hence how you react. I believe people who grew up like we did don't have the luxury of worrying about the little things or the pretend things. We're too busy fighting off the real stuff. And no, I don't tend to care much what people think when it really comes down to it. My friends know I'm a straight shooter and appreciate that I am also a bit of a 'tough bitch'!

Sean Anderson said...

I wasn't raised in an abusive home environment. It always felt like it was mom, me and my brother against the world, type of thing...where often the worries and influences of the outside world became scary--but always felt safe in our home with mom--and a sandwich of some kind. :)
Your theory/analysis, in my opinion, is so incredibly sharp--it's spot on.
My protective upbringing, although relatively blessed, did not prepare me for the real world--at all... and anything outside of my comfort zone was viewed as a major threat. And since I was always on-guard outside of the home, I projected my fears and expectations of bad--and attracted it in many ways...
Your ability to "go deep" is always mind opening, real and straight up truth.
Thank you.

Mary Ellen said...

I was not raised in an abusive household, but my mother always wanted us to appear to be an ideal family and, after almost 40 years of marriage, my parents still have not had a single argument. My parents had issues with alcohol, but that made them more aloof than abusive. Moreover, I was sick/having surgeries and in the hospital as much as I was home the first 6 years of my life, so I was around adults a lot and listened to a lot of conversations that really terrified me (about the cold war/nuclear war, sick children, parasites, the Jonestown mass suicide [that was how it was reported at the time], a mass murder that happened in our town, etc.). Thus, I had a lot of nightmares as a child that involved fictitious monsters as well as evil people.

So, I suppose I have a hybrid of fears. ;) I understand that people are the real monsters, but I can also empathize with many of these monsters because of mental illness, drug abuse, how they grew up, and/or events that have happened in their lives. These things do not excuse their actions, but they do make it easier to understand how many of these people ended up committing the acts they perpetrate. I consider myself to be a compassionate person who actually has trouble setting boundaries for how much I should be willing to do for some people (I had this problem in particular during my brief teaching career).

Yet, I also have an irrational (and I understand it's irrational, but have not been able to overcome it) fear of confrontation and of disappointing people--specifically, my family.

Christine said...

That's what I thought...I amfinding this more and more interesting..because I am coming out the other side of this thing relatively healed...almost 'normal'...and I find myself caring about things I didn't used to care about...but I have the wherewithal to hold off persistant negative obsessing with a good swift kick in the ass. Usually something like, "really, f*ck it sister..if they don't like you, they don't like you...you've lived through worse." And I realize that growing up like that gave me the ability to do that. interesting.