Steff aka Liz, page 2

ok here is some writing i did last night.

Last night: (Adrian is step father)

Mom you’re pathetic
Me: thank you
Adrian: very pathetic
Mom: thank you

Got sent away, no idea what I did “wrong” cos I said thank you in a really emotionless way so as not to make it show that they hurt me. Thought it would be better than saying “no I’m not!” but obviously proved to be just as bad. Nothing is good enough.



Dad: I have only seen him drunk about once! And it wasn’t even bad! Tends to be quiet when friends round etc and can hold his drink well. Gets a little arrogant but not blatantly drunk-acting.

Mum: Legless on two or less glasses of wine or one beer or something small. Very, very loud. Seen many times, seen things that happen including something that shocked me when I was younger. Giggles a lot, messes around, generally loses inhibitions and ends up with a bad hangover.

Funny you should mention manic-depression, was thinking today about my “mood swings”. Mother wants me to take some magnesium and zinc pills to control them. Noticed lately how go through periods of being really depressed when everything being bad and cutting and stuff and feeling suicidal to times when I am really happy for no reason. It takes the slightest little thing to make me happy or bring me down. For example today was feeling very bad, especially after checked my phone cos I was waiting for a call I didn't get, then someone said something funny to me and I laughed, a genuine laugh, but as soon as he was gone I felt bad again. So yeh I know I’m not manic depressive but I have noticed recently about how I go up and down. Just remembered a few weeks ago, was in town with Lydia, feeling completely euphoric for no reason and was runny around and stuff saying “come on Lydz I want to go and break a law! I want to do something daring!” Stupid I know.


I hate being laughed at. I guess maybe I am too sensitive about it. I just don’t want to be laughed at. I don’t want any unnecessary pain, because it does hurt me.


Just a thought about why I’m not like really into drugs and stuff: Mostly Lydia (because she has more influence in this area cos she is here with me everyday) Lydia doesn’t do anything! She doesn’t drink or smoke or anything. So whenever we are out I feel like I have to “behave” because she is really against all that stuff. I drank just one sip of alcohol in town the other day and she said she thought it was pathetic and stupid and she wasn’t going to go to the mound (where I was going to go with Eddy to get drunk and do acid) so I didn’t. I never did do any acid after that. Oh yes and once they were dealing speed I was so tempted to get some but me and Lydz argued about it and besides she had other stuff going on that she needed to talk about. Later that day I found out it had been jacked anyway so I wouldn’t have been able to get some. But do you see? I’m glad really cos it’s so easy to get pulled into all of that, it’s all around me, and I don’t want to. I don’t know if I can trust myself. I mean, I really worry that I’m going to end up some 30 year old virgin or something ridiculous like that. No one will ever want me. I thought it was going ok with Fergus but I haven’t seen him around for a bit. He sent me a message that said “hi steff how’s the weekend I’m single” lol and said I was sexy and gorgeous. But he was probably making it up. And I’m not even sure if I like him still. I just worry that I’m never going to get a boyfriend cos no-one will ever want me. But then I think, well of course they wont, not when you’ve got no self-confidence and no self-esteem! Do you think that’s attractive? No! It shows, you know, when you have those things! Lol. So maybe I need to work on thinking that I am good enough for someone, that I will get a boyfriend, and all that. It is kind of hard when I feel down though.

Control, manipulation and influence

To control someone is to directly impose rules or orders. It is usually easy to identify when one is being controlled or controlling someone, something or a situation because the controlled are aware of restrictions and the controller knows what they are doing, whether they are under any obligation to do so or not. A very important factor that defines control is that the person controlling someone, consciously, actually wants that person to feel controlled. If this person does not feel controlled then the control obviously is not working as intended. One might want to control a person to stop them from doing certain things. For example, a mother may feel she needs her daughter. She needs to have someone who needs her back, or someone who she feels needed by back. She needs a lot of things and one way she can feel fulfilled is to stop her daughter from being friends with certain people. This mother needs the control, so she tells her daughter she cannot talk to this person. This is direct and obvious control, or an attempt at control. If it is to be effective the daughter feels very upset by her mother’s decision but will do as she is told. She feels somehow indebted to her mother, who has done so much for her. I must respect her feelings, the girl thinks. Her mother doesn’t listen to her daughter’s wishes yet her daughter accepts this. She accepts the control. But not every daughter would accept control. Many would fight with their mothers, try to make to make them change their minds, but many would also back down in the end, still not accepting but having to “obey” because of the consequences if they did not. They may get punished if they talk to this friend so eventually learn to do what their mother says to avoid this. The control is not working, however, if the daughter does not feel controlled. She wants to make her own decisions and resents the fact that her mother is trying to control someone else’s life other than her own. She realises that she doesn’t have to obey because it is something she wants. She wants to feel accepted by her mother and wants her friend to feel accepted too. Her mother may try many ways of punishment, may try many ways of stopping her daughter from talking to and seeing her friend, but she cannot ultimately kill the feelings the girl has for her friend. So her daughter constantly “breaks the rule” and there really isn’t much her mother can do about it except to learn to accept that her daughter has met someone she really likes and wants to see. But, even if this girl’s mother succeeds in breaking all communication, the girl will still want to see her friend. She will never accept the control and will probably feel extremely depressed and miss her friend terribly. She will feel over-controlled by her mother and may not feel the same way towards her, for she has broken up a relationship she was uninvolved with, one that was not ready to end and may never have been. This girl may have found a true friend, someone who really understands her, so it seems quite likely she will feel various strong feelings towards her controller. But no matter how hard she tries, her mother can only control her daughter up to a certain point. Sometimes, someone may want a reaction of some kind from the person they are trying to control so they feel more powerful. For example, they might want them to express some kind of negative emotion such as crying or shouting about the things they are not allowed to do. If someone does not display any kind of emotion it does not reveal whether they feel controlled or not, and this could confuse the controller.

Manipulation is in many ways similar to control, but there is one fundamental difference: the manipulator does not want the manipulated to feel it or to be aware they are being manipulated. They may not think of this point consciously but it is always there. Manipulation is not as direct as control and takes time. We are all probably guilty of some kind of manipulation; it is very likely that one time we might have perhaps said things, such as compliments, in order to try and help something go our way of push someone away from something, even if they were small things. Manipulation can be used on a much larger scale, however. As mentioned before, manipulation is similar to control. A manipulator is trying to make someone think or do certain things, things that have come indirectly from them, or stop them from thinking in a certain way. A manipulator, if successful, has control over the mind of someone. Manipulation may be used to benefit the manipulator. For example, take a new employee. He and another employee both work for the same boss, and the other employee has been working at that company for a while. Both of them share the same job and are working towards a promotion. However, only one of them can get it and they must have the approval of their boss. So, the new employee starts to slowly befriend his boss. He always works hard, or at least appears to be, and frequently makes sure he shows up his colleague both in the work place and out. This new employee is confident and sure of himself and gets on well with his boss, with whom he regularly goes out for drinks with. The boss feels he has made a firm friend and does not realise that his employee has only done this so he feels he is in a position to comment on his colleague and “advise” his boss while at the same time slipping in hidden references to himself compared to the other employee. Of course, were the boss to choose his “friend” for the promotion it would not entirely be because he has been manipulated by his employee. Indeed, if he were fair he would consider both his employees’ work regardless of any personal matters between them or may not even get emotional involved in the first place. Manipulation needs the mixture of a strong, intelligent and very aware personality (the manipulator) and a slightly more vulnerable mind, one that perhaps is disturbed in some way or is weak because of emotional issues (the manipulated). If this person’s state of mind is in the position of vulnerability and where it is open to something, anything than what is around it, it is not really important whether they are intelligent or not. One might think that a highly intelligent human would never be able to be manipulated but this perception is wrong. It’s emotional, not intellectual. Manipulation is used for more sinister purposes such as luring girls into bed with them holding the belief that this person really does love them when all that the guy wanted from the start was sex. It can be extremely difficult to escape from being manipulated and also quite traumatic. For example, if there was a young woman who had recently discovered she had been taken advantage of, it might damage future relationships with men and she may not be able to trust them or herself to get too involved, for fear of getting hurt again. Someone who has been manipulated may find it hard to accept that their mind had in fact been “taken over”. For a while they will not believe everybody else and will keep wanting to go back to this person they trust. No matter how many outside opinions they get from people who are not involved and form people who explain that they can clearly see the manipulation, the manipulated will not see. They truly believe they have continued acting and thinking of their own free will and this can be dangerous, especially if they are being used in some way by someone and this continues to happen. It can also be upsetting for the family who feel they are losing their son/daughter/whatever and also frustrating if they cannot get them to see the manipulation. Manipulation messes with people’s heads and can be completely evil.

Influence, in my opinion, is generally quite a positive thing although I am sure there are times when it is not. Teaching is influencing in a positive way. A teacher, any kind, not necessarily an academic teacher in a school, passes on knowledge in the hope that the student will someday apply it to his/her life and tries to influence students on intellectual, social and emotional issues. Sometimes people describe others as being “influential”. This may be because someone has done something in life or taken a certain job because of their influences who do similar things. Take musicians. Often, when asked to in interviews, they give lists of other musicians who have influenced and inspired them to become musicians themselves. They may say they grew up listening to jazz and therefore have a strong jazz-like style in their work or perhaps punk was always played in their house so they have drawn from this and included a personalised style of punk in their music. They may list the names of their influences, ranging from big stars, old and new, to people and influences closer to home such as family members or friends. No matter what, people always seem to feel influenced by people they admire and have learnt from. I believe that influence is neither control nor manipulation. It a lot of cases it cannot possibly be because the influential person dos not personally know people who admire them. People choose whether to take advice or use knowledge from a teacher; it is not forced upon them directly or indirectly. The person giving, teaching, trying to influence, does not want to control or manipulate. They want their students/followers/fans etc to be free and have free choices, and hope that they will be helped and influenced and guided in the right direction. Someone might feel someone else has a huge influence on their life. This may get a little unhealthy as free opinions or thoughts and ideas may be lost due to the amount of time someone is being influenced with someone else’s.

To conclude: I feel influenced mostly by you in a good way and feel inspired by you and a few other people (Kat included…I really need to tell you about Kat…she fascinates me, she is so interesting and so different and individual). I feel manipulated occasionally by certain people and have learnt just by experience to realise when and how I am being manipulated. I feel controlled most definitely by my parents and my school.


If I had a daughter I would...

Treat her differently to the way Susanna treats me just about sums it up, lol

Not shout at her when she did things I didn't like

Let her be herself. If she chose to wear clothes I wouldnt wear myself I wouldnt stop her, I'd accept that she wants to dress like that and she is being individual

Hug her lots and let her know I loved her

Let her make her own decisions without saying things trying to pull her in a certain direction

Encourage her to learn

Take her out frequently so we could talk and have fun and stuff

Not put limitations or restrictions on her

Accept her for who she is

Never, ever, abuse her in any way

Protect her, but not overprotect her

Know that she is going to do things I don't like, or make mistakes, but accept this and encourage her to learn from these things

Never punish her

Make sure she knows that it's ok to show feelings and cry and stuff

Never push her into doing or saying anything she wasn't comfortable with

Listen to her

Try to make sure she feels understood, loved, worthy and many other emotional needs

Love her unconditionally


Susanna thinks I should...

Live with her

Make decisions based on what everybody else wants, not what I want

Work as hard as I can at school

Not voice my opinions

Share everything with her (feelings etc)

Respect her and accept everything she does because she is my mother and legally has control over me

Not question anything she does or says

Never "answer back" or argue with my brother or sister

Conform. She believes in fucking conformity. No way am I going to conform. She thinks I should follow the crowd


One of the ways Susanna would make me doubt myself was...

Tell me I don't deserve anything from her

Tell me that I wasnt grateful for everything shes done for me

Say things like "Use your intelligence to work it out..oh, wait, I forgot you're not that clever after all

Comment on what I was wearing, or how I did my hair etc, saying things like I don't think that skirt goes with those shoes. I'm not taking you out like that

However good my grades are at school, she always found something to criticise about me.

(I am open to suggestions and want to learn from things I may not be doing right but the way she commented was so disapproving, as if all the hard work I had done paled in comparison with this fault)

Go on and on and on about something I'd done that she didnt like, even after she'd "talked to me about it" (ha ha), until eventually I'd get so frustrated I would ask her not to keep going on about it and she would get angry again, and go through it all again (half the time I wasnt even sure what I'd done wrong in her eyes)

The way she would always walk all over me, making feel completely worthless

When she would tell me not to cry. When I did, she would shout at me, so I began thinking it was wrong to show feelings and cry

Say things to try and push me in a certain direction, not directly though.

Go on and on about what she thought, what she believed, what she thought about people then make me think I was strange to have different views.

She always contradicted herself so I was always confused and therefore doubted myself. For example, she often said things like I want you to grow up having your own beliefs and be your own person but then whenever I would say my opinions and views etc she would argue and stuff.

Whenever I would try and talk to Susanna about the way she was making me feel she would always invalidate my feelings. Whenever I would point something out to her or ask her to stop doing something, she would be in complete denial.

She really believes she is a good mother. My stepsister is scared of her. Once, Susanna was shouting at her so much because her room wasn't tidy so Georgia (the stepsister) called her mum. She told her that she was really scared. Susanna found out and got even angrier and called Georgia's mother a bitch and told Georgia that she had every right to be angry and shout and that was just the way she dealt with things. She was really mad because Georgia had called her mum. Can you believe that?! Maybe she felt worried that Georgia thought her mum was better or something than her. Maybe she felt insecure that Georgia might possibly not like living with her. Of course, Susanna tried to justify being mad at Georgia's mum. She kept saying things like "I'm the one bringing you up, buying you clothes and looking after you while she's down in Brentwood (a place that is a couple of hours away). She's not being a mother to you" and "Of course I am angry that you called your mum. I am the one who is responsible for you when you're in this house, as well as your dad" (Adrian, her husband). So I felt betrayed. I understand completely why Georgia called her mum. She had recently moved in and wasn't used to this behaviour, a woman screaming at her. Georgia was never shouted at. Susanna was being so scary, I saw it. Sadly, Georgia is now used to this. I've talked to some of my friends about Susanna and they've all admitted that they're scared of her but don't want to say anymore in case she hears about it and gets angry at them. How sad is that. I stopped having friends round the last couple of months I was there. It always ended with Susanna criticising me about something or having a go at me as soon as they were out of the door.