How I Learned To Accept Intrusion As Normal

Sarah Saxby

Sarah Saxby

I'm an intuitive coach and visionary focusing on personal transformation and spiritual business coaching. I'm here to support your creative endeavors, develop holistically, and empower your highest sense of direction so you can see what you have been missing to achieve personal and collective potential.

How I Learned To Accept Intrusion As Normal, featured image

Intrusion. Yet another fantastic, relevant word that I’ve learned over the past few months of reading and writing about abuse, as well as healing from it. This word, in particular, fits my childhood family dynamic so well.

If you search the word “intrusion” in the dictionary, it comes up with similar words like “trespass,” “encroachment,” and “invasion.” Those words also hit home for me.

I’ve mentioned before that NOTHING in my childhood home was mine.

If something of mine was taken, it was just gone. The most frustrating thing about me using the word “taken” is that I really mean “stolen,” however, how can a person STEAL something from you if they truly believe it belongs to them?

Two realities, one situation.

I lived with a sibling, we’ll call him “Moe” who, I believe, genuinely had zero capacity to see the difference between his possessions and mine. He was somehow conditioned over time to intrude as a natural way of life. No boundaries, and no repercussions for his actions. After all, what repercussions would you have to undergo if this is just your normal existence?

young boy in the pool with part of his face above the water, looking straight into the camera

And, not only that – the person that would normally be responsible for enforcing those repercussions is the very person that is conditioning you to believe you are without boundaries.

Well, for sure, Moe had a lot of issues, I knew that. But as a child, I didn’t know how to define them, which was part of the reason for my internal rage. I knew something was very wrong in his brain, but it didn’t matter.

No one was there to hear me, to validate me, to save me. I could SEE all of the problems, the personality disorders, the absolute dysfunction, but I couldn’t explain it, nor was anyone there to listen.

Moe stole a very expensive sweatshirt from me once, a sweatshirt I paid for myself. He stole it and cut the neck out of it so it would fit him better. I screamed at him, at my mom – my sweatshirt was just gone.

Moe stole my brand-new bike once. When he brought it back it was dented, crushed, and no longer usable. I screamed again, but no one to listen – my bike was just gone.

Moe used to spit, yes spit, all over the inside of our house. There was spit everywhere – on the carpet, on tables, on the furniture. When I would be sitting in the front room watching TV he would spit on me, too. It would be on my face, my hair, my arms, my clothes.

I remember how horrible everything smelled. We just lived like this because no one told him not to. I’m sure my mom tried, but my dad wouldn’t back her up, so it continued. Sadly, if I was anywhere around Moe, I just had to endure being spit on.

Who was going to stick up for me? Regardless of how loud I screamed, no matter how I tried to put it into words, I was just told by my mom “what do you want me to do about it?”

And as for Moe, my fury and rage would humor him. My tears and anger would make him laugh. He thought everything was hysterical and that I was crazy to even be upset.

Many times, he would say to me “why do you have to be such a bitch?” If I tried to stick up for myself, I would be told that I’m a bitch. Being called something like that was worse than being spit on, in my eyes.

There was also a time when I was super young, maybe around 8 or so, and I really wanted a “fur” coat. Keep in mind it wasn’t really fur, but back in the 80s, I guess those coats were pretty cool. Nonetheless, my parents bought me one and I was SO excited.

Flash forward to a few months later and my mom decided to wash it – in the washer and dryer! Now, this might sound silly to some people, but I’m coming from a place where no one sticks up for me, I just have to take whatever situations are placed in front of me.

That coat was ruined. It looked like some kind of wool that was attacked by a vulture. When my mom showed it to me, I cried so hard. I assumed that we would either try to take it back or my mom would get me a new one. Neither of those things happened, my mom told me that I just had to wear it.

I was absolutely crushed, embarrassed, and broken. I took it upon myself to wear a spring jacket all winter and almost froze walking to school, but that was my choice. Maybe in some ways, it made me tough, I don’t know.

head shot of a a sad woman with her hair covering half of her face representing the article "How I Learned To Accept Intrusion As Normal" by Comfortable Hell

Today, as an adult, I have relationships with people that possess Moe-like qualities:

  • People that are truly unable to see me as separate from them.
  • People that believe all of my possessions are theirs and I am someone who just borrows them.
  • People that were conditioned to exist without boundaries and demolish any boundary I try to establish.
  • People that don’t have the ability to “feel” how I really feel (empathy), but can only use logic to try to understand. They confuse logic with feeling.
  • People that lecture me when I try to speak about my needs or disapproval of a situation (I’m a bitch).

I, like Moe, was conditioned over time. But for me, it was to expect and accept neglect when it came to anything surrounding me – my possessions, my emotions, my needs, my talents, my voice, you name it.

I am beginning to see how that plays out in current-day relationships. The lesser of two evils is just to bow down to the needs and demands of my partner, because if don’t, I will be told I am deficient, less than, not good enough.

I have been hard-wired to believe that powerlessness is the norm, speaking up is futile, and setting boundaries means you’re a bitch.

The difference is that I now have the eyes to see and the consciousness to make the changes. I will no longer accept INTRUSION as normal… BECAUSE IT’S NOT!

closeup image of a woman with her hands to the camera with text overlay of a quote from the article "How I Learned To Accept Intrusion As Normal" by Comfortable Hell

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