Many months ago, I became completely engrossed in the series Stranger Things; it stirred up some painful memories for me and not for the reason you think.

For years I was not able to watch a whole movie, let alone follow an entire series, because it pulled me away from what Mom needed and wanted. She demanded my total attention; I was not allowed to focus on anything but what she wanted.

Recently, someone very dear to me pointed out that I’m coping with Post Traumatic Stress Syndrome. Only now, do I believe him.

Since 2006, my entire life was dictated by my mother (but the family history of toxic codependence has existed for as long as I can remember). With her, it only got worse with age.

I was told asking for help was a sign of weakness; I didn’t need friends because family will always tolerate you and take care of you.
As she got older (lost her leg and was confined to a wheelchair) I was desperate for help, and she told me:
“You are just so weird, you make everyone uncomfortable, they don’t understand what you’re talking about. They can’t relate to you, never understand you. You run everyone off, my friends don’t want to be around you…you are just so weird.”

If someone is told that for years, over and over, you start to believe it.
It’s why I struggle to make friends; if anybody gets to close they’ll realize I’m completely damaged and to damn weird to be around.

I’ve been absolutely paralyzed with fear for over two years. I have to sell this house and find a new place to live, the memories here are killing me.
I have to clear out 41 years of family clutter and move on, but I need help.

The only way to truly start my new life is with a clean slate, a place that’s truly my own. Even just a small apartment would be my place to work.
Then the writer and performer I know I can be will emerge. I need to dump this house and all the memories attached, to become the artist I’ve always dreamt of being. I know my potential, what I can do…
when I’m finally out of this dark hole of a house.

But now, due to unforeseen circumstances and unexpected expenses, I am broke.
Like “can’t afford to eat” kinda broke.

I don’t know what I’m going to do, how to silence all that verbal abuse, then find a way to eat, until the house is sold.
I’m a 53 year old woman and it still feels like I should ask for permission to do anything.
I need help and I’m terrified to ask for it.

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