Borderline Girl Song Week 7: New Order “Blue Monday”

July 19, 2012

The Abused Becomes the Abuser

********

I’ll never forget the time he pushed me so hard I fell out of my chair. His palms hit my chest like a grenade going off.

SMAAAAACK.

then

BOOOOM.

I fell straight back.

It’s a good thing I was near the ground already. That’s the thing about having OI, you can break a rib by simply sneezing, but sometimes you fall out of your wheelchair and you’re perfectly fine like a non-disabled kid might be. Though most times it’s the former and not the later that happens.

I lied there in confusion. He actually hit back this time? He actually hit me?!

After the shock wore off, I sat up from the carpet, trembling. He knew never to lay a hand on me–or rather to be exceptionally careful– because if our parents got home and found out he’d hurt me, he’d be in trouble. He broke my arms and legs on several occasions but always on accident. This was the first time he’d put physical force to my provocation. It must have been difficult to play and deal with your little Tasmanian-devil sister who has a brittle bones condition and a serious anger management problem.

****

“Aaaaaah! Motherfucker! You could have broken my bones! And my back! You could’ve snapped my back!” I yelled. I was still trembling.

“Well, how do you expect me to act when you’re so fuckin’ mean all the time?! HUH?! Always hitting and scratching me, yelling and cursing at me and throwing shit at me! HOW SHOULD I FEEL!? How do you think I feel?! You need to calm down! You treat me… I’m just… sick of it. You treat me like shit, so how do you expect ME to feel and react?”

I listened to his lecture with burrowed brows, pursed lips, flaring nostrils and a lowered head. My heart beat faster and faster with every word and I just wanted to attack. But I listened to him go on about how I’d end up an old, lonely, bitter woman if I went on like that (yes, he was saying this to a thirteen-year-old Negative P). I listened to him go on about how he was sick of my abuse and how I needed to change. On and on he went. As his voice droned over me, I began to stare down with a passive, stark look as if it didn’t faze me. As if I didn’t care.

“Are you done?” I looked up.

“No I’m not done!”

“Well, why don’t you just hit me then you fucker, push me again and you’ll see! You’re not my dad! And you’re not my mom! You’re shit!”

“See what? What the fuck P? What’s your problem? Man, I ain’t doing shit to you! I’m only trying to make you see clearly! And you’re not even listening! I’m trying to teach you something so you can learn not to act like this.”

There was a painful silence as we both stared at each other in the hallway.

“You don’t care do you?!”

I didn’t answer.

He sighed and squinted his eyes as if to search for what I held so tightly in my chest. I would not let my pain show, not even in my eyes. The tears would come later when no one could see. He stared at me with indignation until the spell in him passed. Then he stormed off to his room and I was left sitting there alone with my thoughts and overwhelming feelings.

****

I went to my room. I cried and cried and hurt myself all evening–scratching, biting and banging my head against the dresser. I had to make up an excuse for the bruises when my parents got home. They actually bought it, or so I thought. I don’t recall much of that part.

And I didn’t apologized to him until many years later, but then again, neither did he. He was only trying to do his best as an older brother, despite the futile and misguided attempt.

I was in middle school then. And with middle school came rejection and isolation. I was a tiny bottle of nitric acid, fuming at the edges, bubbling at the brim ready to spill and corrode anything I touched. It was a matter of time before I’d self destruct–explode or implode and consume anything around me like a black hole.

****

Shortly after, sometime that same year, I discovered the band Orgy. They had just made a remake of New Order’s “Blue Monday” and I would get all giddy when the music video came on MTV. This week I chose that song because it reflects the transition I made from being the “abused child” to becoming “the abuser”. I’m sure my mother had the same transformation after years of being devalued, beaten and watching her parents nearly kill each other with kitchen knives, furniture and broom sticks. I don’t blame her for the violent ways she dealt with me; I know she had been traumatized, was a child herself. It still doesn’t make it right though.

****

We all have a punching bag. Some of us only need a small punching bag. I needed one much, much larger than myself, especially those years–my angriest, raging years–so I chose my brother and myself. Even that wasn’t enough for the beast that lay within me. Then Eloise came to live with us and, to an extent, I made her my psychological punching bag too. I’m thankful the two of them are still my friends.

And that’s how the abused becomes the abuser I suppose. How does it feel? Like fuckin’ shit.

********

Oh, I included both versions of “Blue Monday”. The first version represents that little abused and angry, explosive and bloodied thirteen-year old mouse bordering on psychopath-to-be mouse. It will forever remind me of that time he pushed me and the many times we fought and how he would often lecture me to no avail (it was the first time he pushed me but definitely not the last). I even made my poor brother cry on numerous occasions. If only he knew how much I was hurting though… If only someone had known, had told me I wasn’t a bad kid for feeling so angry, self-loathing, sad, suicidal, empty and alone.

I sat there with my bruised head thinking, How should I feel? No one asks me that. How the fuck should I feel? Everyone tells me how I should feel but no one really asks.

********

Orgy’s remake, 1998

New Order’s original version, 1983

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7 Responses to “Borderline Girl Song Week 7: New Order “Blue Monday””

  1. You know I have a daughter with BPD and this song, the Orgy remake was her song back in 1998 and beyond really. Her abuse from her dad was pretty much a thing of the past before this song came out, but the hurt was still there and she would sing this song with all her might! Her, me and her brother ended up going to see them in concert in Chicago (we live in Kentucky, it was the closest venue). The whole floor shook when they did that song. I thought it was going to cave in. So many kids getting out their frustrations of the hurt they had been through. Thanks for sharing.

    • PAZ said

      Thank you so much for sharing this! I only found out about my diagnosis in April. I’d been seeing a therapist for 2 years and she’d never told me. Early childhood abuse takes a toll on you and a long, long time to get over (if at all). I sang this song with a passion. All those “sad kid” songs. heheh. It’s so awesome you went to see them with her! I would have loved to back then, but nope, never got to see them live.

      Be well
      Paz

      • it was an ordeal getting into chicago from Kentucky lol. That is the worst city I have ever drove in and I used to live near Detroit. ButI had promised her that I would take her as soon as they were close and that was as close as they got lol. I was raised so strict, I had never been to a concert before, so I was so excited about being there myself lol

        • PAZ said

          My mom took me to see Incubus for my 16th birthday. I was so excited. Then we got into a fight just before the show (ha!). And I almost didn’t get to make it but it worked out in the end thankfully. To this day it’s very memorable to me.

          I’m sure your daughter cherishes that memory as much as you do. 🙂

          • yeah, we had a fight on the way home from the concert. I lost it because of all the complaints after I had drove all that way, slept on the floor that night and did without any food (I could only go if they and their friends could provide their own food and I had no money) so I just snapped lol. AFter that the car was so quiet. I finally lit a cigarette and then everyone that smoked lit a cigarette at the same time as me. It was like they were afraid to move until I did. But we never talk about that part. They understood how I felt in the situation and all was forgiven. This trip was only about a year or two after my breakdown. They knew I wasn’t well. But it was worth it!!! One of our best times together lol

  2. the howler and me said

    THAT my friend, takes guts. Good job.

    • PAZ said

      Thank you THAM. 🙂 Means a lot. It’s difficult to write some of this but it’s liberating and hopefully someone who’s dealt with the same reads it. Funny enough, my brother harbored a lot of resentment towards our mother for some time. I think I did too, even more-so, but in a more forgiving way because, for one, I had to deal with her more often being more dependent and all, and two, I understood where she came from more.

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