Stitched in.

This might sound weird but when I think back to my childhood and think about the lessons I was taught, I can picture certain adults sitting inside my body sewing things on to my organs in order to be sure they stay there and are secure. I don’t know why I have this vision but this is what I see.

My adult mind knows who I am and yet when speaking to my therapist this morning, I caught myself using a name for myself that is definitely not mine. I replied to a question about honesty and how I just can not allow even the tiniest of lies to escape my lips because “I don’t want people to ever find out that I am a sociopath”. After all this therapy, that word still comes in to my description of myself! Annoying!
I was only a very young girl when this word was sewn in to me for the first time. 4? 5? Maybe 6? Right at the age when I started noticing that my life wasn’t normal and occasionally said things that I shouldn’t have (according to my monster/mother).

“She can’t tell the difference between the truth and a lie yet. The other adults would nod and throw me a pitying glance.
Stitch here, stitch there. “I don’t know the difference between truth and lies.”

“Heather has a great imagination for sure!!! Hopefully she will eventually join us in reality.”
Stitch here, stitch there. “These things that are happening are not real.”

“Heather seems to have some deep-seated issues. She keeps hurting herself.” And the doctor who was kind to me the first 2 times I had severe bladder infections is now scolding me and telling me that I need to be more careful or I will cause real permanent damage.
Stitch here, stitch there. “Being hurt and in pain is my fault. If I was more careful, it wouldn’t happen. It is MY fault.”

“She just wants attention and will do or say anything to get it.” My tears, my pleading, begging, reaching out is now ignored by any adult who has contact with me.
Stitch here, stitch there. “My fear, my pain, my need for help are just my own crazy attempts to get attention.”

And when I had the courage to tell my father about that janitor at school abusing me? “He’s a family man. You don’t want to ruin his life.”
Stitch here, stitch there. “If I tell on anyone, I am responsible for whatever negative consequences they or their families suffer.”

Then add “She’s been diagnosed as a sociopath” to my teachers. “She’s been diagnosed as a sociopath” to my doctors. “She’s been diagnosed as a sociopath” to my friends and their parents. “She’s been diagnosed as a sociopath” was used to explain away ANYTHING that could not otherwise be blamed on me. Even to those who questioned such a diagnoses in a young child or early teen…. “Oh we’ve been to hell and back with her. We’ve done everything we can think of. This is the only diagnoses that the professionals have been able to state with any clarity.”
Stitch here, stitch there. “I am a sociopath.”

I didn’t even know what a sociopath was when I started telling people (professionals) who  asked me that I was one. Even at the age of 43, I went in to Homewood for in-patient treatment and I gave them my diagnoses of being a sociopath alongside PTSD, depression and anxiety.
It was sewn so deeply in to my core that even I did not know that it wasn’t true.
Stitch here. Stitch there. Sew her up. She’s convinced this is all her fault. A job well done!

Sociopath is not just a word to me. It is not just a diagnoses. I spent my entire life trying to be so honest and so transparent just so that other people would never learn my nasty secret. Honest Heather, kind Heather, thoughtful Heather, good friend Heather, educated/smart Heather, giving Heather… those were just elaborate fronts I made to hide the fact that I was a sociopath. I was more afraid of people finding out my real truth than I was of anything else so I lived my life proving that I was anything but all of that.
I knew the “truth” and was terrified others would see it too.
It affected every part of my life. I was afraid to get too close to people, I was afraid to tell them about anything from my past, I lived in constant fear, I could not trust anyone around me because I knew that if they ever uncovered my truth, they would dump me like a hot potato.

So here I am 3 years later. I understand now that I was brainwashed. I was force-fed the lie that everything that happened to me happened BECAUSE of me.
I’ve begun to really open up to others in a way I could not do before. I am learning to trust and I actually have a few people in my life that I can actually say I trust fully. That is incredible.
I know 100% for sure that I am not and never was a sociopath. My therapist actually says that I am on the total other end of the spectrum. I refuse to lie about anything and I care more about others that I do about myself more often than not.

So then why today does the sentence “I don’t want others to realize that I am a sociopath” still come flying out of my mouth? It was sewn in. Sewn deeply, fully, to many different parts of me. It became more than a word. It became who I was. I am Heather the sociopath.

So why share this? Well, if there is one thing I have learned over these last 3 years and especially in writing this blog? Everything that I have been through has also touched others.
Perhaps you are “the liar, “the attention seeker”, “the drama king/queen”, “the idiot”…
Maybe you are the “waste of space”, “the useless piece of trash”.
Will you ever get anything right? Are you the fat and ugly one? The horrible daughter, wife, mother or the male counterparts?

I have no clue what you were taught and I have no idea what was sewn in to you but there is only one way to work towards ridding it from your system after you are actually able to see that you are, and never were the real problem.
We have to open up those stitches. It might take a long time like it is for me or maybe you can just rip them out and move on but no matter how long it takes? You are NOT what was sewn in to you.
You are you. Amazing, incredible, fantastically human and therefore flawed yet still perfect. JUST THE WAY YOU ARE. I sit here nearly in tears because I just want to know you hear me and try to believe me if only for a moment.

I am Heather, the sociopath, the attention seeker, the idiot, the troublemaker, the cause of all bad events.
I am Heather, the writer, the artist, the good friend and amazing wife (just ask him!), the person others go to when they want the truth. I was told that I listen and offer suggestions with grace. That made my heart sing. I’ve worked hard on the graceful part. I am many things. Some good and some that still need work but I am NOT a sociopath or any of the other words that were sewn in to me.

I have a few stitch removers. Does anyone want to join me in removing a few unnecessary seams?

Have a wonderful weekend!

Stitch

15 responses to “Stitched in.

  1. Heather, thank you for your brave, healing words!

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  2. I am all you talked about. I am not all you talked about. I just found out that supposedly I can’t blame those people in my family for making me the way I am and the PTSD. My ex brother told me in a letter that he did what he did to me not because he preyed upon my nature to help others, but because I said yes. And he bribed me with a sucker. Now I am back to believing it would be better off if I were gone. I am tired. You make it so easy to understand some things. you give validation where it is needed. Thank you for your blog.

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    • I am told the same things Lynn. It really has nothing to do with you. They are just covering their arses and their legal status’s.
      A child can say yes every single time but that still does not give concent. Legally or morally. I said yes to the janitor… I thought he loved me. I was 7. I said yes to my brother… I thought I was special. I had NO CLUE that I was not capable to make that choice. I see that now and I work towards forgiving myself.
      My dear blogger friend, do not give them the satisfaction of your death. That just lets them off the hook and protects their arses.
      Keep getting stronger. STAY AWAY from your family if this is how they treat you. It will be a painful break because they are family but I promise you, it will be worth it in the end.
      Make a new family. Start with those who treat you well and build from there. I started with nothing and I am in a better place now with people who really care. My father called me again 2 years ago to remind me that I am a sociopath so do not think I am free and clear BUT as much as this hurt? I can now say “No, I am not.” And I am not that. Neither are you.
      I don’t care what you did as a child. I don;t care if you said yes or you said no. You are not responsible nor are you to blame. Children can not make adult decisions. Please go back a few blogs and read the one I did on grooming again. Read it 10 times if you need to. I believe it was only last week. It will help you understand WHY you said yes and WHY that was not your fault.
      Please stay in this world and please make a new family.
      The next time that you are told how what you did as an innocent child was YOUR fault? Please do tell them to go f*** themselves. That is all they deserve. Or ask your brother if perhaps the two of you should go check facts at the local police station. See if a sucker and a yes from a child is true consent. Just tell him to take his toothbrush. He’ll be staying while you will walk out free.
      It is not your fault.
      It is not your fault.
      It is not your fault.
      I hear you.
      I see you.
      I believe you.
      Please stay.

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  3. I am so glad that you have been able to move beyond this horrific brainwashing. You are such a truth-teller.

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  4. Ah, what a true and real image: the words are stitched in. It makes so much sense and explains how they truly feel like they are part of who we are. Thank you for this moving post.

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    • I appreciate your comment. 🙂 It was a hard post to write. Very raw and it puts my greatest fear out there. THat said? It has once again proven I am not alone… and neither are you. ❤

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  5. This blog is so honest and healing Heather. There are some terrible people out there; there always has been. We just hear about it more these days. But there are also plenty good people – people like yourself who are willing to share their traumatic experiences to help others. Thank you my lovely friend.💖
    Lynn, you are believed. Stay with us. Read Heather’s blog on grooming – it helped me understand so much. I hope it helps you too.☺

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    • Thank you Wendy! I was actually thinking about you a lot today.
      I really appreciate you chiming in to Lynn. Her comment tore my heartstrings. For her and for all of us who have been made to feel like what happened was all our fault. What a bunch of sick SOB’s. Cwtches my friend.

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  6. I love the metaphor of having these degrading labels ‘stitched’ into you.

    I am so sorry that you were abused like this. Words and labels are powerful weapons to use against a child.

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  7. I have had many things stitched in. I work towards removing these labels every day. Its hard work for sure. Thanks for such an honest blog. You are brave! ❤

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