Letting go of my parents’ projections about who I should be…

It’s been a long journey, but I’m doing grand. Really.

Lucy the Oracle
8 min readJun 4, 2024
Photo by xiaokang Zhang on Unsplash

I have finally come out of my shell… After years upon years of brainwashing that there was nothing of value to see outside of it.

The most mind-boggling thing is: I’m not even an introvert. Never was. (I’m saying this matter-of-factly. Long-time acquaintances from childhood all say that up to the age of 5, I was known as a talkative kid who would approach anybody). The thing is, you could be the most outgoing person in the world… If you had trauma as severe as what I went through, you too would “cosplay an introvert” and hide in shame for the good part of your youth. It’s not really introversion, it’s a matter of survival.

What hurts the most is actually not the memory of my mother’s control and passive-aggressiveness (sometimes not so passive), not even my father’s enabling of it all… But the lies she actually succeeded in making me believe about myself from an early age. Lies about things she considered desirable and good… But which from my soul’s perspective, I wouldn’t ever have come onboard with, had I only grown up healthier.

For instance, she used to go on and on about how I was a lady (in the most disgusting, WASPy sense of the word) with “refined manners” and “a distinguished taste, unlike other kids”; Conveniently forgetting to mention that she would do anything, anything at all, even threaten to abandon me to an orphanage if needs be, in case I DARED making my own choices. So, sure, I did in fact look like a snobbish rich kid with her choice of clothing, hairdo, toys, and all else — which doesn’t necessarily mean I ever wanted any of that for myself.

But you see… An image is worth a thousand words. Even if I told other kids I was a regular person who just wanted to mingle, visually I was telling them the very opposite. And she knew that. And she used it against me.

Fast-forward to today, 3 decades later, and I’m still finding my sense of style which not only feels good to wear but also conveys an approachable message the way I’ve always wanted. Meanwhile, the people I keep meeting who are like my mother— the “nice guys” and “lovely ladies” who smile widely and convey a love-and-light message everywhere they go whilst underhandedly picking very carefully who they’re willing to talk to or ignore and snob to hell and back — “coincidentally” keep trying to convince me that reputation doesn’t matter, non-verbal communication doesn’t matter, we’re all equal and human [and race doesn’t exist, social class doesn’t exist, the world is a twee utopia straight out of a middle class suburban fever dream]. They never mean any of that, of course, and I’m sure most people are able to tell that right off the bat — except me. And why? Am I dense? Uhhh no, not exactly. What I’ve come to realise is, instead, I was groomed as a child. Groomed against learning to trust my instinct. Only now I’m catching up with that. Of course I’m easy prey for the wolves in sheep’s clothing.

I’m sure I’ve already mentioned this elsewhere: I was brought-up by far-right military dictatorship sympathisers. I’m not talking about the idiots of today who “don’t know what they’re supporting”. I’m talking about the motherfuckers who actively supported a dictatorship while it was in full force, knew of all the horrors FROM THE FUCKING INSIDE and still chose to be on the wrong side of History — and called it “normality”. I only found out we had just come out of a bloody dictatorship when I was at school. At History class. I gasped while other students barely bat an eye.

She knew what she was doing. She knew all along. And I will never forgive her. But even so, I can let her go from memory.

In order for that to happen, though… In order to fully emancipate myself (energy-wise) from her… I need to have a good grasp on my own individuality.

This includes knowing who to trust and who to literally discriminate against from the beginning because they’re radical nutjobs too far gone already. Am I talking about aggressive people who wield torches and pitchforks, tattoo swastikas on themselves and scream offensive nonsense against minorities?

…No.

Instead, I’m talking about the friendliest, warmest people. They’ll make me tea and enthusiastically talk about permaculture and spirituality. They’re a group of so-called “intellectuals” (although that’s debatable. Their only in-depth knowledge is about… Selective things cherrypicked because god forbid they ever touch “human rights” or “intersectional activism” with a 5-foot pole). Oh no, it’s so much more convenient for them to “focus on the positive only” — because the negative, the subjects they AREN’T willing to engage with on a regular basis, are things they just conveniently stay silent about when anyone brings up these topics (or sometimes they only join the activism from a distance, preferrably in the most high-brow way possible, because “it’s safe to do that now and everybody is doing that” — cue Gaza fundraisers, only after the genocide restarted though, not since 2010, oh no, at that time it was “only for the far left. Ugh. How unclassy”).

Are you surprised? Click here and you’ll see how common and unsurprising it actually is.

Indeed, it’s super easy to put on a facade of calm and collected with a stiff upper lip, when you’re cowardly hiding in the nest during the crucial hours of any kind of fight for justice… And only come out once it has become a mainstream thing which is mostly danger-free and low-stakes.

With that kind of “ally”, who needs enemies?

My mother was like that, too. If you met her without actually knowing her, you’d think she was the most progressive, lovely, agreeable lady with a heart of gold. Look, she donates to the poor every Christmas! She volunteers at a holistic health centre giving people reiki. She definitely wouldn’t say a word in support of right-wing dictatorships or animal abuse today… But it’s not because she’s “such a good girl”. It’s just because, today, unlike in the 80s and 90s, people no longer go around wearing fur outside tribal societies in the north and south pole, Patricia. It’s become passé. It’s safe to conveniently cosplay as a do-gooder because the wider population is doing the good thing. If the sheeple weren’t [coincidentally] doing the good thing, she would just turn a blind eye to the fashionable bad thing — or support it without a care in the world.

Oh, but, look, she’s such a sensitive medium who feels the pain from the trees when they get cut. What a pure soul! She loves telling people how exacerbated is her empathy. She can’t stand walking down the street and seeing what “the barbarians” did to innocent local trees! What an angel. What a spiritualised woman who understands a wider ecology of interconnectedness. (Meanwhile, if you lived with her behind four walls, you’d occasionally see her reprimanding me for even thinking of visiting — let alone befriending! Oh no! The horror! — kids from the local indigenous tribes. “Freeloaders”, as she put it).

You know… Sometimes, in life, I have these flashbacks to what I endured as a child. That’s because I try to see if there are genuine people offering a LEGIT version of my mother’s fake do-goodery. And you’d think I should know better! But I’m a bit foolish, and I hope that somewhere, somehow, people who are genuinely into certain philosophies exist and await my support.

This article isn’t to say there aren’t. Maybe there are. Maybe my hope holds a nugget of truth.

However… as I’ve now come to realise, it is not the right time for me to ressignify certain experiences. I’m putting the cart before the horses. (Speaking of that… Oh god. There’s the horse imagery too. She was obsessed to the same extent. What the fuck, are these people in a secret society or is there some Poseidon theme going on in the background? One has to wonder. But that’s a tangent for another time). Truth is, I can’t exactly ressignify some of my memories just yet, even though my intuition tells me there’s gold behind all this mud somewhere.

But I can’t. Not for now. Not for the next few years. There’s a danger that some of this urge is just coming from a subconscious need I still have — even after all this suffering — to find the good in her.

When in fact there is none.

I choose to give up trying to understand her. Instead, I’ll ignore these people who show up in my life from time to time. I am very fortunate, actually. I’m grand. Most people who remain in my life at this stage are nothing like that. They don’t guilt-trip, don’t control (and especially don’t try to “sell” even more control and more of their presence when I say something isn’t working. Perhaps because, unless these fake people, those who remain in my life know the meaning of stepping back and allowing me to go look elsewhere. In other words, they put the emphasis on giving help, not on who is giving the help and “it better be just him/her”. Right???).

Beyond that: those who remain in my life now, I’m pretty sure, care about getting things done regardless of how many acts of kindness they can brag about; That’s very different from caring about “what others are saying” about them in conversations and testimonials — not outwardly, but it’s encumbered somewhere behind certain actions and gestures, isn’t it? After all, who on earth and in their right mind would even brag about having “too much empathy”, other than to try and get me to talk about it with others, or have a high opinion of them myself? Who in their right mind would brag about animals trusting them, if it wasn’t with the intention of getting me to admire them? That’s not too different from the rich who brag about money and designer clothing. Just because the object of someone’s bragging is spiritual, that doesn’t make it okay.

This goes hand in hand with bragging about how humble you are. I’ve met quite a few on that front, too. An oxymoron. And of course, they never admit to bragging. Oh, no, they say, “I’m not bragging. I’m just fighting the good fight. Promoting the values everyone should uphold”.

Yeah. Right. What’s next? Canvassing from door to door?

I know politicians. Some of them are… kind of corrupt (but not nutjobs, at least!) so we occasionally talk to them to see what’s up. And believe it or not, I would trust these people more than I trust certain members of the spiritual community.

I’ve realised now that, back when I got a feeling that “I hate everybody” and “this planet is rotten” — which, of course, one of these love-and-light people tried to guilt-trip me against — I wasn’t talking absolutes. I was talking about “everyone” I was currently focusing on and trying very badly to “decipher”, at that time (which means I put a lot of energy into them. More than they deserved). Because all these people reminded me of my mother. And I wanted, very badly, to see them being BETTER than her. So I could ressignify what I went through.

But all I need to do is shift my focus. Easy as a snap.

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Lucy the Oracle

Oracle learner / spirit worker based in Ireland. Buddhist/polytheist. I don't read minds. I don't change minds. I don't sugarcoat. Take my message or leave it.