Daddy’s Girl, Defective Girl

My mother loved repeating to everyone, "It is a wise child that knows its own father." She took pride in an extreme feminist stance that denigrated the status of men to that of "sperm donors" and not good for much else. She would tell me how mysterious and powerful women are and “how men fear them.” But, of course she could use this against me in two ways.

She knew she created me with my father yet often suggested that I may have been switched at birth in the hospital -- a “changeling.” More frequently she reminded me, "You received all your genetic garbage from your father's side of the family. You are your father's daughter." Either way, my mother was then in no way culpable for my multiple "defects," physical or mental.

I take comfort now, realizing she cannot take credit for my talents and all other things that are worthwhile and good in me. With this realization I find she has lost some of her power over me. I prefer being "Daddy's girl, defective girl."

Nature - Predisposition (I do not believe in the “tabula rasa”)

  • Only child
  • Intelligent
  • Gifted in The Arts, music, and writing
  • Introspective, overly analytical about self/world
  • Overly sensitive, and a worrier
  • Emotionally volatile to extremes, great joy, great sadness,
  • something of a "drama queen," then at times extremely shy
  • Very sentimental
  • Both anxious, depressed and prone to depersonalization from as far back as I can recall
  • Great desire to please/sensitive to the needs of others
  • Perfectionist
  • Stubborn
  • Easily frustrated

Medical Problems
  • Poor eyesight, "lazy" left eye. Corrective lenses at 2.5 years of age, eye patch, eye exercises, surgery
  • Weak arches/ankles. Orthopedic shoes, foot exercises required
  • Asthma and allergies. My father stopped smoking to help, my mother did not.
  • “Buck teeth” from “sucking my thumb too much.”
  • Vitiligo - developed at age 15. My mother made fun of this and called me “pie bald”
  • Retinal detachments at age 24 - more proof of “genetic garbage”

Family History
  • History of mental illness in both parents -- anxiety, depression, and paranoia. My father was a hoarder/clutterer and gambler
  • History of mental illness in extended family both maternal and paternal -- schizophrenia, schizoaffective, depression, and anxiety.
Nurture - Significant Life Events: Newborn to Age 8
  • Chaos at home, parents constantly arguing, yelling
  • Loss of first housekeeper, Janie, who quit on our “family trip” to Florida (and stayed there!)
  • Father moves out, I must "keep this a secret"
  • Eye surgery for "defective eye." Fear of abandonment in the hospital
  • Early deaths of maternal grandparents and remaining paternal grandparent. Isolation from extended family
  • Decline in school performance, attacked for "laziness"
  • Mother returns to work/studies. New housekeeper, AnnieBelle, becomes my "mother"/nanny
  • Rage from mother, "crazy making,” screaming matches over my "disobedience"/"laziness"
  • Endless denigration of my father. Implication I caused his leaving us
  • Father unable to withstand attacks from mother withdraws emotionally
  • Mother observes signs of my emotional problems, the "ultimate defect" and withdraws little remaining love and comfort
  • Extreme rage at mother. Screaming, crying, cursing at her, reinforcing her concept of me as a "bad seed"
  • Constant, unremitting hyper-arousal, anxiety, fear of abandonment, overwhelming sadness/loneliness. Increasing withdrawal and emotional numbing. Creation of my own private world
Loss, chaos, confusion, abandonment, feeling defective, inability to placate the source of my survival -- my mother, constant unremitting hyper-arousal or "fight/flight" mode.

"I looked up at the tallest building
Felt it falling down
I could feel my balance shifting
Everything was moving around
These streets so fixed and solid
Ah, shimmering haze
And everything that I relied on disappeared
Downside up, upside down
Take my weight from the ground
Falling deep in the sky
Slipping in the unknown

All the strangers look like family
All the family looks so strange
The only constant I am sure of
Is this accelerating rate of change

Downside up, upside down
Take my weight off the ground
Falling deep in the sky
Slipping in the unknown

I stand here
Watch you spinning
Until I'm drawn in
A centripetal force
You pull me in

Pull me in....
Pull me in...."

- Peter Gabriel -
From the album,"OVO"

Return To Top