I'm crying because I'm watching my mother leave. She's left me alone with him again. I'm bathing, and I'm scared. I'm lying in bed, and though I've giggled, it's a nervous giggle. I know what's coming.
I'm pretending to be asleep. I'm trying to make sure I'm breathing evenly, deeply. My heart is racing, my palms are sweaty, I want so badly for my mom to come home. I know she won't be home for hours.
He's coming down the hallway. He's in my doorway. Between slanted eyelids I can see his shadow in the doorway.
This is my nightmare.
I don't want to keep secrets. I want to feel. I want to feel like I'm normal. I don't want to be shattered. I don't want to feel like I'm never going to reach. I want you to know that I'm still here. No matter what you do to me, I'm still here.
I'm hurt. I'm sad. I'm scared. I'm all that, but I'm still here. There's got to be a reason why I'm still here.
I'm strong. I know that there will be an end. There will be a day when this doesn't hurt, where this doesn't destroy me, when these thoughts won't wake me up in the middle of the night.
I've spent the last few months in a stupor, one way or the other. I've drank until I can't clearly remember what happened the night before. I've stayed up until all hours of the night babbling about nothing in particular, or watching movies because I'm afraid to sleep.
I've brought my children to bed with me because I can't bear the thought of sleeping alone. Sleeping alone terrifies me. I'm using them as my barrier. I'm letting them be my excuse for not carrying on. For not facing what I need to face to move on.
I'm stuck. Again.
I've slipped from my track of thinking about myself positively. I can't see any beauty. I'm avoiding mirrors. I'm not letting pictures of me being taken. I'm hiding out at home. I'm not going out, facing the public. When I do go out, I put on that mask. The mask that I need to hide behind that makes me feel worth the life I'm consuming.
I'm so deeply afraid that if anyone knew just how much turmoil boils inside of me that they won't want to associate with me. I'm afraid that they will tell me what I'm so deeply afraid to hear.
I want to cry. I want to hold it in. I want to forget. I want to pretend it didn't happen.
I'm lying on a bed, in a stupor. I can hear the crowd in the other room. I'm trying to sleep off what I've consumed. We were all having a great time. I thought I had found people to trust myself with. I didn't.
Monday, February 21, 2011
I'm crying because I'm watching my mother leave. She's left me alone with him again. I'm bathing, and I'm scared. I'm lying in bed, and though I've giggled, it's a nervous giggle. I know what's coming.
Monday, November 08, 2010
***Usual family disclaimer. Graphic and detailed, leave or read, but don't mention it to me***
I'm finding it difficult to look in the mirror these days.
I'm thinking it may be time to pick my camera up, and look for that beauty I always seemed to find with my timer. I miss the self-exploration, and the freedom it gave me. Haven't really done that a lot over the past few months. Really, there's just not many pictures of me from the past 7 months, and that says a lot to me.
I've always had a tough time trusting men. From what I grew up with, who can blame me?
I'm going to go through some details from a point in my past which I truly try to forget. They've been preying on my mind lately, because of an issue that arose recently.
Right now, I know I'm back to square one. I don't care for this fact, not one bit. It really feels like it's just been done so many times, how many more fresh starts can I possible stand to do?
I was complaining today, the past month, in fact, about not having my usually collection of decorations, both for Halloween and Christmas, that I'm accustomed to. Normally this wouldn't deter me, but As I'm starting over again with learning this self love, I really feel overwhelmed by the fact that that's just another thing to add to the list.
Anyways, on with the memory purge...
I'm 10 years old, and my Great Grandfather is visiting my Gramma. It's the middle of the day, but he's drunk. He's getting ready to go hunting, and he insists on kissing all of the girls goodbye. When I kiss him he gropes my bum and shoves his tongue in my mouth. I can taste the beer he's been drinking for hours afterwards.
I'm 12, and my friend invites me out to drink. She's a scungy person, in a run down home with no adults present in it...ever. She takes me hitch hiking with her around in Kelowna. One night this guy picks us up, offers to buy us alcohol, and insists on driving us up onto the back forest roads to polish of a bottle of whatever it was he bought for us. Eventually he manages to split us up. I've lost my friend in the woods, and it's starting to get dark. Somehow we find each other, and convince him to take us back close to her home and escape without him being able to find us.
I'm 13, it's summertime. I'm at a random party, which another street girl has led me to. There's drugs everywhere, and somehow, the girl who brought me to the party disappears. I'm left to sleep curled up alone on a chair until the sun rises, and I run out of the house because the few remaining partiers are trying to drag me into their bedroom.
I'm 13, and I've hitchhiked down to Penticton from Kelowna (A 45 minute drive away) for no reason. I wanted a change of scenery. I walk the streets, veg on the beach in the night, and eventually make my way to their Denny's, as it's the closest landmark I can think to walk to that's open so late. I wind up hooking up with a group of people (a girl and two guys). They invite me back to their apartment, and I go along. I don't recall how many days I was there for, but I know I was panhandling for money to buy myself a meal or two while I was there. The girl eventually leaves because she knows the guys are fighting over me. I've not shown any preference for them, as I wasn't interested. One night we partied, and they got into a fight in front of me about who's going to get down my pants first. I leave the next morning and never see them again.
I'm 15 and I'm spending the evenings at a trusted friends house. I can't recall why I'm so upset, but I feel safe going to his house and spending many a night there. I've always slept in the bed with him, and felt safe. Maybe that's why I go so often. One morning I wake up to find him grinning, and not able to keep it to himself. Eventually I ask why he's grinning so much. Just as I'm climbing on the city bus headed for home, he whispers in my ear that I have really perky breasts. I look at him quizzically, and he grins and says he couldn't resist copping a feel in the middle of the night. I never go and visit him again.
I'm 13 and have spent a glorious summer night next to a bonfire at a friends' house with a guy friend she had over. We talked, and he held me while we stared at the stars all night. The next day my friend teases me because he told her we did it. I vehemently deny it, but she says she knows I did it with him because I'm a slut. I felt betrayed because I actually thought he liked me.
I'm 14 and I've spent a few nights having "phone sex"with some random guy my cousin introduced me to (with cousin giggling while she's watching me, and me covering the phone whenever I need to laugh). I somehow manage to get invited to go camping with his friend and him. I go with them for the night, but in the middle of the night I step away from their fire to go pee, and he follows me. He pins me on a hillside and gets my pants down. I'm struggling and asking him to stop. Eventually his friend pulls him off of me and lets me sleep in his truck with the doors locked.
I'm 14 at a party with my friends who live in the complex where my home is located. I've had too much to drink and smoke, and am on the verge of passing out in my friends bed, knowing I'd be safe if I did. A few of my friends climb into bed with me and begin to kiss my neck. I'm disgusted by the fact that my body responds, and one of the boys calls himself my little brother, and quite often looks to me for protection.
I'm 19 and have broken up with my first husband. I've polished off a big bottle of whiskey before I head to the bar and convince someone to buy me more, even though I'm under age. He takes me to his truck, and while we're drinking in the backseat, he excuses himself. He's gone a long time, so I lie down in the backseat and pass out. I wake up to him on top of me, rutting like a bull, and grunting in the most grotesque way. I'm so drunk I just let him finish, rather than try and fight him.
I'm 19 and I'm signing myself up to be a model. When I arrive, I find it's just some sleazeball looking to take pornographic pictures. He pays me $100 to take my picture in lingerie he had stuffed in his closet. I'm so high I don't care, but when I get home and tell the people I live with, they ask me to show them what poses I did. I polish off a box of wine before I comply, and come to to find two men sucking my nipples and masturbating on me before I come back to my senses and break for my bedroom.
I'm 19 and I'm stripping at a bar about 30 minutes away from where I live. I'm showering and getting ready for work when a roommate of mine leads in a group of his guy friends in to watch me shower and shave. I'm high again, the people I've moved in with have me on a steady stream of cocaine that's really strong. I didn't realize the group of guys was there until I'm almost finished. I yell at them to get out and leave me alone, and struggle to remember how long they had been watching me.
I'm 29 now. This shit is supposed to be over and done with. Turns out, it's not.
I'm back to not trusting men.
It takes all I have in me to talk to my clients' significant others, to meet my co-workers gazes, and to chat amicably with my Mr's friends without bolting and making a break for the door or cowering in fear. Thankfully, my children have been there when that happens, and I use them as an excuse. I know that won't last. I'm working my way back...to trying to trust men. To finding that safe ground. I feel violated, demeaned, and like I'm never ever going to find a sanctuary again.
I'm faking everything outside of my own home. I'm making sure my kids don't see my anxiety. I'm medicated. I'm back to square fucking one and frustrated as shit and the injustice of it because it's just not fucking fair that I am who I fucking am.
Sunday, November 29, 2009
I made a pointed trip to the library last week with H on a day off that I had. I checked out what books they had on Sexual Abuse Survivors (a small amount, surprisingly). I've been browsing, reading, skimming, and skipping my way through them. Gathering information on what seems to be a usual process.
I keep flopping back and forth between "God why is this taking SO long??" and "I don't think I can do this", and "Ok, what's next on the checklist?".
I can see myself failing in the communication department. I feel pushing all around me, and when I don't want to move quite so fast or try quite so hard I clam up and run away.
That is my cycle.
When I don't want to rush something, and just take my time to deal with something and I feel pressured to go faster, I just stop.
I was pregnant with H, and my boss wanted me to work straight through until I didn't get a clear ok from my Dr. I didn't feel up to the task of doing my job as a home care aide anymore after reaching a certain size by a certain time. I literally just stopped going to work. I stopped taking her calls, emails, and snail mail. I just stopped. I stayed at home and slept a lot, and I didn't really get anything done.
While trying to work my way through my marital problems a few years ago I was feeling pressured to discuss a certain topic and rather than dealing with it I loaded it on the forget it pile and shoveled it away.
While volunteering for the PAC in Ohio, I was supposed to send out Thank You letters as soon as I received a donation from a company, and instead, I waited until just before we left Ohio to ship them off.
Obviously, I'm in need of a new coping mechanism. it's not my intention to shy away from things, I just sort of let it happen. I keep saying "I'll get to it" and then with each new reminder I just keep saying this to myself.
This is an emotional cycle that I keep dredging up, and I'd really like to change it.
I have, in the past, used physical cycles as well. Take the cheating behaviour I exhibited in past relationships and the rampant promiscueity.
I used sex as a tool to both temporarily make myself feel better, and to degrade myself. I did it dangerously too. If I had to count the number of partners that I can remember that number would be far too high for me to want to admit out loud. Add to that the number of folk who were aware of what they were doing while I was not, and you've got a significantly higher number. I did it because it made me feel special in the moment. That special and accepted feeling never lasted beyond their climax. I did it because it made me feel just as disgusting outside as I did inside. I truly wished I could match them up, and did my damnedest to make it happen.
By the time I had dropped out of high school in my 9th grade year (14 to you folk who don't get that term), I had a most horrendous reputation that led to sexual harassment in my own school halls. Word had spread about my behaviour, and the guys were always bugging me, not to mention their popular girlfriends. I gave up trying to fight people off, and instead decided to drop out. I decided to run away from the rumors, and behaviours, rather than stick up for myself. I decided to get as far away as I could...and then I met my 1st husband.
I've been talking about cycles here, and how I really just don't want to keep repeating past behaviours. While I don't see myself honestly repeating the behaviours, I can totally see myself trying to repeat the emotional cycles here. I'm shutting down, and diverting my attention elsewhere, which is kind of alarming, and sort of disappointing on the same token. I'm having some toruble working my way up to contacting someone for help. Come to think of it, I've always found it difficult to ask people for help (whole 'nother story).
D & Mr were supposed to be away for the weekend to go to Cub Scout camp but came back early because poor D was sick. It was the first time he was throwing up in his 7 years (he's don't it sporradically after motion or chocking) and he was kind of traumatized by it. I actually wound up taking him to the ER, but that was because all of the clinics were closed. He's ok, we figured maybe a swiftbout of food poisoning got to him. Sending him off to school again tomorrow.
Gotta find time to sit down and figure out what I'm buying ppl for X-mas this year, or maybe what I'm going to make them.
Distraction distraction distractions.
Monday, November 23, 2009
I've been absorbing the events of the last post, and I've come to settle on pondering my perspective of friendship.
I've never really had a lot of "friends". I have a lot of acquaintances, but not a whole bunch of what I would consider real friends. The friends I do have are loyal, reliable, and true blue.
See, when I decide to call someone my friend, and actually mean it in that sense, there is nothing I wouldn't do for them. I'd give them my last dollar and the shirt off my back, and have on occasion. When I decide to devote myself so much to one person who isn't my spouse, I expect that much in return. It sounds like a lot, but really what I'm demanding is that they be capable of listening, and to turn out to be worthy of the trust that I put in them.
I am an open book. As if you couldn't already tell that by the posts that you find here. ;o) It's true though, that there is a certain amount that I hold back from my blog. Surprising as that may seem, I choose to keep a part of me from everyone in the world.
At heart, I'm a honest, kind, generous, a perfectionist, and sometimes insecure person. I don't mind my insecurities, they remind me I'm human. All that being said, it took a lot for me to get where I am today.
In the years following the Scene with my stepfather, I ran through loads of people I was trying on as friends. Street people, homeless people, drug addicts, high school drop outs, straight A students, adults, kids my age, teens, boys, girls. I was spontaneous in who I chose to talk to because I had chosen to ignore the intuition that told me when someone wasn't worth my time (which I've always had, BTW). That got me in to trouble, and also led the downfall (even more so) of my ability to trust and have faith in those around me.
There were a lot of situations where my trust was betrayed. Trust that a secret I told someone was going to be kept, that I thought I would be safe if I stuck close to someone, that I could hang out with people who liked me, that I could leave my personal possessions with someone for a minute while step away and know it wasn't going to go missing. Those times I was proven wrong.
I know better these days, and am extremely wary of who I place my trust in. I know when a business person I'm involved with is going to screw me over, I know when a person my Mr is chatting with (through some new organization here or there) is going to take advantage of us, I know when I should just not talk to someone simply by the way they look at me.
That all being said, it's extremely difficult for me to make friends, and the ones I do make are for life. Those people make up a small core around me, and I know I can call them at any time of day or night if I need help. Seriously, only a small handful of people have ever met these standards.
I've often moped and moaned over why people don't meet my standards for friendship, and yes, even shed a tear or two...maybe out of frustration, maybe out of self pity, who knows. It's hard to go through life without a wide base of supports, especially when you're as expectant as I am.
There have been many times where I've wondered how some other people can be so lucky as to have a full address book of friends, a party that's always happening, and never be left alone on a Friday night unless they choose to be. I envy those kind of people. I'm also baffled by this ability.
So, this whole situation I find myself surviving right now leaves me wondering, if I work hard enough, can I gain the skills to be like this, or will I make the conscious choice to remain as reserved as I am now. It should be interesting to make the comparison in any event.
Remind me to blog about surviving.
Friday, November 20, 2009
**Usual Family Disclaimer**
I've been absorbing what my ex said to me lastnight, along with what old friend tried corroborate.
It didn't paint a pretty picture, and I feel that it could be true, though I really don't want to admit that out loud.
According to them, I always had my way. We partied together, we had fun, and sometimes...they pulled me out of a tough situation.
As far back as I can remember men were always predators to me. I've had a difficult time finding just one that I could trust. No matter which ones I chose, they could never be trusted...except one.
That one would be old friend.
When I found him on Facebook last year I was ecstatic, and phoned him the first chance I got to catch up on each other, and find out what was new, what I had missed, and to find a connection in the universe that I needed. He remains the sole man in my life (asides from my step-father right now) who has never betrayed my trust. That is a huge thing to me.
I've always hated when people call me beautiful, because I couldn't perceive it as anything other than a note of distrust, envy, or desire in their eyes and it has never been a genuine compliment to me. The result of spending time with folks like this is something I'd like to call it a death wish. It's a wish that people treat me the way I feel about myself. Disgusting, filthy, and just plain fucking stupid. I've hinted before on here about my feelings towards myself, and I can admit that they've always been there as long as I can remember, but after the scene with my Step-Father leaving, it rocketed out of control, and took me on the road to hell from which I've never fully recovered from.
That road led me to believe that I wasn't worth anything, to anyone...least of all myself, and my actions showed it. I drank heavily, and started letting the users in to my life, and eventually run it for me because I truly believed I wasn't worth saving. With that belief, I was also desperately looking for someone to prove me wrong. As cliche as it sounds, I have a hard time watching (but also seem glued to it once it starts) the movie Georgia Rule because it hits far too close to home.
There were a number of really bad folk in my life during this period of my life.
I lost my virginity because I got drunk. This was the first in a series of alcohol induced bad choices, and choices that were made for me because I had had so much I had passed out.
I was an unfaithful person. I was dating a guy and went to a party, and had sex with this revolting human being in a basement bedroom of an empty house. For weeks afterward he hounded me to sleep with him again, only in the light of day and sobriety, I couldn't stand to look at him. Still dating same guy, and we partied at my house, and a friend of his came over. B/F slept in my bed with me, and friend was on the couch. I'm not sure how it happened, but I assume I instigated it, we wound up having sex on my couch. I can remember going to parties and having groups of guys hound me. Touching me, trying to kiss me, hugging me, teasing me, all with the same goal...to get into my pants. I've been wondering for a while why that was. Truth is I've been hiding memories deep down so I don't remember them, so that I look like the good guy in the images I do recall. In my mind, I was an angel. It's become increasingly clear to me that I was not. It's really coming clear just how fucked up I really was.
There was a party that I went to with a friend of mine. I remember she was dating this asshole who used to get into fistfights with her, and I didn't care for either of them much. I went because there was going to be lots of alcohol, and as much pot as I could get my hands on. I don't recall what happened, only that they kept handing it to me, and I obliged by drinking and smoking each time it came my way. Eventually, I don't know what happened, but I remember we were outside (in the middle of winter) and her b/f was hitting me and calling her a bitch. I don't know how I got home, or what happened, only that I lost some of my items because I never went back to get them, like my winter jacket.
Ex told me lastnight that he pulled me out of there with old friend. He also told me with a sincere amount of passion exactly what he did to the folk who were there that night. After he was done telling me about that, he proceeded to tell me about the condition he found my body in when he got me home. The whole conversation left me feeling truly ill. It left me feeling ill because after he started talking, I began remembering what had happened.
When he finished talking, I told him I was sorry for all of the stuff I must have put him through. I felt horrible. I felt horrible because I know what it must have been like for him to put up with me. When we started dating, I asked him out because there was no one better at the time. It sounds awful, but I had wanted to date his best friend, and when he refused to give me the time of day because he was loyal to my Ex, I just gave up and went with my Ex. I wasn't loyal feeling. Often times I remember just wishing there was something better. It was a pointless relationship, and was just for show. While I did come to love him, I had no idea how to function in a relationship and continue down the path of distruction. So, he was just shoved to the side every time I wanted to continue. I feel horrible admitting that, because I know how much he loved me.
The purpose of this post, is the beginning of me accepting that I did what I did. Learning to find out why I did what I did, learning how to properly deal with the resulting emotions about what happened, and to say I'm sorry to those I've hurt.
I told y'all this was going to be a hell of a journey. While this is mainly about the past, it all connects to how I live, and function in my relationship right now. I'll get to that in another post. Right now, I'm going to go and have a good cry, and finish processing the bulk of this.
Monday, November 16, 2009
I'm almost beginning to think I should start up a separate blog just to follow this story away from my family's prying eyes, LOL
I'm anxious. Have been for over a week now. After doing some research online, I now know that the statute of limitations regarding child sexual abuse if going to leave me free to pursue charges right now.
I'm going to take a deep breathe, gather my thoughts, and attempt to go through with this.
There's just one problem. In order to do this, I need to tell my mom first, and have the talk before I can feel free to pursue the matter further.
This is going to kill me. I'm quite certain.
I've come to the conclusion that there is no "good time" to bring the subject up. There's no getting around it.
As I said before, I can't hold it in any longer. Though I long to just forget about it, as I've done for many years now, it just can't be done. It's been years since I've seen that man, and just the thought of what happened between us, leaves me unable to have any intimacy with my husband. I shrivel at his touch, and shut down when he only wishes to have a conversation with me. I yell when he wants to discuss our responsibilities because there's no room for it in my brain, or in my heart. I'm being swallowed alive...again.
I have to do it...but it scares the hell out of me. I'm terrified...clammy, sweaty palms, nervous glances behind my back, and nearly unable to sleep or be alone.
I have to dredge the courage from somewhere. The courage to go on living, because I truly think it would be a great thing to find something to numb me right this second, and every second following, until I die. I need the courage to look her in the eye, and ask directly, regardless of the answer. I just want to be able to say that I asked.
I'm scared. I feel like I'm a child again...little, confused, and not comprehending anything about how the world operates.
I can't take it...the pressure from folks who think they know exactly what I should do, the thought of hurting my family, the thought of anyone treating me differently.
I'm going in a million different directions, just so I can avoid what's glaring me right in the face.
It's time. Time to let it all go, and get on with the life I worked so fucking hard for. It's time to let me believe that I'm worth more than just some person's whim. It's time for me to re-define beautiful, and free.
It's time, and I'm terrified to take this leap, but somehow...I think I can.
Saturday, November 14, 2009
***Add my usual Family disclaimer here. If you don't want to be involved, please stop reading***
It felt like my stomach had bottomed out.
I was chatting with family members, and somehow my stepfather was mentioned. When I expressed disgust at his name, they asked why I disliked him so. My response was "Well, anyone would be disgusted with a person after what he did to me". They gazed at me blankly, and it dawned on me that they had no idea what I was talking about.
I could feel my head spinning, my visions was blurred, and my heart almost stopped beating. I whispered that he had ruined the word beautiful for me. I said he hurt me, and made me feel like a simple piece of meat, who was only there for a man's whim. They asked me to tell them why. I started at the beginning on my memories of him.
My step-father was in my life as long as I could remember. He and my mom met in a group setting, and began dating when I was about 4 years old. They married in a civil union in our own home with a Judge present when I was 8. He left when I was 13. That's a huge portion of my life with him in it.
When it was all over, I was still young. I had no comprehension of just how deeply this would affect me. I was still a child, and wanted more than anything to just forget about it, like I had done for so long. I wish someone would have explained it until I understood what it would mean to me as a person...but I can only move forward, they say.
I remember speaking to police about it, and being at the station with my mom over my shoulder. When they asked if I wanted to press charges I heard a little voice say that there was no reason for that, because nothing had really happened. I let that voice tell me this was all being blown out of proportion, and that I was being over-dramatic...like a typical 13 year old girl. I listened to it, and denied pressing charges.
At the time I had only a few memories, and not a whole lot to go on. I remember more of what happened now, and since this has come to light again, am considering going ahead with charges.
I curious now, in the aftermath of that conversation, just how many of my relatives know what happened to me. It's true though, that our demographic has sexual abuse rampant in it's history, so I know I'm not alone in it...but I want to know now, how many of my family members were involved with this particular man, and how many knew. I'm burning. I had two aunts and an uncle live with us for a time, and we're all rather estranged. Sure, the love is there, but since the time of the split, they seem to really be more distant. We were the best of friends as children.
It hurts to know that no one may know. It hurts because I know now, what my family must have thought of my behavior, and me, in the aftermath of the split. I was experimenting with drugs a small amount before they split, to escape pain. Afterwards I was in a daze nearly the whole time. I chose to keep myself high, and I began binge drinking. I began having random sex with random people. I was even arrested for shoplifting. I truly went on a downward spiral, and I can clearly see that in reflection, though at the time I had no idea what I was doing, or why. I ruled over my mother. I'm ashamed to admit that, but it's true.
That first year, after I came back from running away and making sure he was gone, I don't remember that Christmas following. I do remember that that New Year's I was alone, and invited friends over. I spent the major part of the evening being too high to move, and the rest of the night having sex with my boyfriend.
My mother spent the holidays and such at my great aunt's house. I later found out that he had moved in with her for the time being. I can only speculate that they were hoping things would calm down, and that he would be allowed to move back in, because during the time he was there, he had at least 2 visits with me. I always made sure we were never alone together, but I rarely had anything to say to him, and despised even being in the same room with him.
All in all, I've been thinking a lot. I'm trying my hardest to find the best way to approach this. Charges, asking the question no one wants to answer, and finding out the reason why no one may know what happened to me. I want to know if this changed how people look at me. It's changing the way I look at myself. I'm trying to figure out if this will only hurt people along the way, and if it's worth it to even ask. Is it worth hurting those members that I love most, by asking them the "what happened" and "why" questions? If it is, will I be satisfied with the answers I receive?
I've also been trying to explain it to my Mr. It's difficult to admit to him just how much this is consuming me. It's difficult to explain that I don't want to talk about the responsibilities we're facing right now...financial, vehicular, children. I have no space left in my brain for anything but this. My mind is digging. Digging for more memories that I didn't know I had. Digging for more instances to see if anyone else was involved. Digging for the ability to do this with dignity and grace. Digging for courage.
Thursday, November 12, 2009
***To my family members. I understand if you don't want to read this post. It's explicit, and would be painful for you to read. Unless you'd like to include yourselves in my personal crises, I suggest you stop reading here. I'm sick of burying it, and it's time it came out in the open.***
Hold on to your keyboards folks, this is the beginning of a journey that you will be taking with me.
I can't hold this in anymore. I can't just let it sit. It's rotting me from the inside. It's forcing me to loose the will to live.
Over the weekend whilst visiting with family members, I had a very frank conversation that turned my world upside down.
I feel stupid, and lost, and angry...and after it's all died down, I've come to the realization that sometimes there just aren't any answers. The answers that could be there if I asked, would probably not satisfy me in the least, so I'm unsure if I even want to ask the questions. The only solution that I could come up with was to write about it.
I'm 6 years old. My mother is on her way out for the evening. I'm begging her not to go. I don't want her to leave me alone with him. She leaves anyways, and I'm devastated because I know what's going to happen when it's time for bed.
I'm 8 years old. My mother is out for the evening, I think she had a night job. It's a bath night for me. He runs me a bath, and then insists he sit in the bathroom to watch and "make sure" I wash myself up, instead of just play. When I play for too long, he comes over and washes me himself. I had that feeling. I remember being scared when I finally get out and get to bed. I'm praying he won't come and tuck me in too. I'm trying to count the seconds until it's over.
I'm 8 years old, and I'm terrified that my step-father is coming to tuck me in. I remember him taking the Alf doll that I had and making me giggle...and I don't know what happened after, only that my heart was racing, I was frozen, and I was trying not to show my emotions because I was scared. I was praying that he would leave. I remember his voice smooth and sultry when he told me how beautiful I was to him.
I'm nine years old and we're on our way across the country, moving to Nova Scotia where he's from. I remember having a conversation with my mother about him. In child terms I told her that he wasn't a very good man. I remember feeling disappointed and frustrated that she couldn't understand why. I remember not being able to tell her exactly why.
We're playing in the living room of the little two bedroom house we're renting. It's summertime, and really hot. My step-father always wore cut off jean shorts. He sitting with just these on, on the floor, watching tv. We're playing not far away, and I realized he wasn't wearing anything underneath because I can see his penis. He caught me looking and adjusts himself, so I can see the whole thing.
I remember while my relatives were living with us during this time, that I woke to a shadow in my doorway more often. I also remember that that pulsing, burning feeling came...the one that lets me know just how terrified I really am.
I'm 9 years old, and we're in Nova Scotia. I kept getting "growing pains" in my calves. It's a cold night because I'm wearing a flannel nightgown with slippers, and I've been complaining about my legs hurting. I keep pestering my mom about how much they hurt, hoping she'd give me some relief. Instead she gets him to massage them. Then suddenly everyone goes to bed and I'm left alone with him. That same feeling comes back. My heart racing, blood raging in my ears, I'm terrified. He's massaging and I can feel him working his way up my legs. He rubs in small circles between them and tells me that I should never let anyone touch me there. He continues rubbing and I see a funny look in his eyes. In what felt like forever he finally stops and laughs and says "Did I scare you?". I can hardly breathe.
It's spring, and we're playing in the hallway. Our room is directly accross from theirs. They're making love, and through the crack of the open door, he's watching me the whole time.
He's getting me ready for a bath, and he tells me in that voice how beautiful I am. I'm wondering why every time he says it I feel so ugly and dirty.
We were never really well off people. My step-father was a loser. He was often without a job, and chose to while his day away by smoking cigarettes and drinking coffee. When we moved back to BC, we lived with relatives until we got back on our feet. Each time we moved we shared a room. I was painfully aware of when they had relations, because I knew he was watching me when he did it.
I'm 11. I've begun experimenting with smoking. He tells me to get into the bathtub. I don't want to. He runs it for me, and tells me again to get in. My mom isn't there. I finally get into the bathtub. When I come out and go to my room, I discover my underwear drawer is open, and I immediately walk in and close it. I turn to close the door behind me, and I discover him there, hiding behind the door. He's waiting for me to let go of the towel. When he realizes that I'm not letting go, he starts asking me about the lone cigarette in the bottom of the drawer. I tell him it's a friends'. He leaves the room.
I'm 11 and having nightmares. I wake up one night and go into my mothers' room and crawl into bed with her. I wake up to him stroking me, with my mother sleeping between us. I know he's realized that I'm awake, and he moves his hand over me. I roll out of bed and go back to my own.
This is just a snippet of what's been on my mind since this past weekend. I'm dreaming about shadows of someone in my doorway again. I'm dreaming about that awful, scared feeling. I feel like a child again. Like I have no power over what happens to me and my body.
My world turned upside down, when I realized that nobody but the three of us involved, knew.
Tuesday, April 07, 2009
Music has always played a significant role in my life. I can measure my life by it, I can listen to a song and remember something clearly from my childhood. I can identify so strongly with a song my moods change with it...crying one moment, angry the next and wistful when the song changes.
Pondering this today as I'm by myself, here's a few songs running through my head along with this line of thought & what's on my stereo:
Hey Jude - The Beatles - I remember being in Salmon Arm, we're visiting my great aunt M, and I'm in the car. It's playing on the radio, it's dark out. I'm tired. When we arrive at her house we go inside and it's playing on their radio too. I found comfort in listening to the song, and the clinking of coffee mugs, along with the smell of tobacco smoke as I head to bed.
I Have A Dream - ABBA - I remember clearly when listening to any ABBA songs the basement suite we lived in in North Glenmore in Kelowna when I was 10 years old. I shared a room with my mom, separated by dressers. We had a record player in our room and I used to rifle through her albums a lot. I used to put this album on when I was going to sleep, or when I was just relaxing in the room by myself. I used to think about the words, and picture my mom singing them.
Stand By Me - Ben E. King - We drove across Canada to this movie soundtrack. I can still picture us four kids (My youngest Uncle, my two aunts & myself) sitting in the back with the wind blowing in our hair singing along to it, and the rest of the songs on this sound track.
Purple People Eater - Another song from our cross country travels that we listened to on 8-track. It was a funny songs tape that also included Itsy Bitsy Teenie Weenie Yellow Polka Dot Bikini.
Part of Your World - Disney's Ariel - I remember loving The Little Mermaid. As a child I fantasized about escaping to another place where I would be untouchable by my abuser. It was such a strong fantasy that I would sing this song when I played by myself (which was often) and pretend I had left my family and gone far away to someone who loved me and would never hurt me.
Anything by Dwight Yokam - My grandmother was an avid fan of Country music. I recall only hearing this played when they were partying, but it could've been more often. That's what I think of when I hear his voice...a big party where us kids were shooed out of the room to watch movies, or play video games. We ran a risk of listening to the drunk talk if we entered the kitchen for anything...you know, the one about "Do you know how much I love you?"
Achy Breaky Heart - Billy Ray Cyrus - I bought this tape when it came out, and I loved it. My gramma copied it and each time I hear this song I remember being in her kitchen in Chu Chua looking at her plants on the windowsill, and playing with all of her containers of glass beads.
Keep Talking - Pink Floyd - The summer between 6th grade and 7th grade I went to the coast (Vancouver) for the summer...my 2 aunts & 1 uncle & myself split up, two at one relatives, two at another. The first relative had this album (The Division Bell), and I fell in love with it because of how mellow it was. When I hear it I can still remember his apartment, walking to the store with my aunt, and playing Final Fantasy (insert appropriate # here).
One - U2 - I'm visiting my Gramma's in Chu Chua again, and my aunt K is listening to this album, and I'm mesmerized by this song, and Mysterious Ways. The words had a profound effect on my young brain, and brings into mind the world and how we function as a race.
Just a glimpse, this list could go on forever, and I may just need to make a series of them. I can judge my life by music, or by significant events during a time frame. How do you do it?
Monday, March 09, 2009
Surprisingly, this month's mental assault is not anyplace near ToM. Must be stress.
Mom, family members, you know the drill...this post contains TMI, if you read it, please don't bring it up in conversations, if you don't want to worry about that sort of thing, don't read it.
I am 15 years old. I'm single, must be the break we were on, my older B/F & I. I've been spending my evenings at Denny's (where they give free refills on coffee & I can sit for hours writing poetry in my book) and tonight I didn't feel up to going home yet, even though it was late. I'm walking to Tim Horton's, past my house. I'm walking, and a man pulls his pick up over to ask me if I wanted a ride. I accept. He drives me the 10 blocks to where I'm going, and parks behind the building (where the entrance to the parking lot is). We're chatting, and out of no where, he pulls his penis out, and begins to masturbate right in front of me. I bolt from the vehicle, and run inside the store. I must be shaking and pale, though it's not registering until the clerk asks me what's wrong. I tell her, and she phones the police, only by now he's driven away.
I'm 19 and single. It's after the break up of my first marriage. I'm bar hopping, and I've discovered the ability to pick men up at the bar. I randomly pick someone out, take them out for coffee, and chat all night. I'm desperately searching for meaning in life, proof that life goes on when your heart is broken. I've noticed, by now, that the hot steamy guys aren't interested in me, and I feel it's plastered all over me that I'm a divorcee and a complete loser. I pick the ones sitting alone, strike up a conversation and go with it. I'm at my favorite night club, and pick out a guy. I persuade him to go to a nearby gas station to buy me a six pack of beer. We sit in my car and drink it together before heading back in where he introduces me to his friends. A week later I head to his house to hang out. I do the same thing next week. I know he's interested in me, but the feeling really isn't mutual. On the last night I'm there he gets me drunk, which was rather easy as I hadn't eaten that day. After downing a few beers he convinces me to smoke a joint with him. It puts me over the edge and I throw up over the side of his porch. I sleep it off on his grandmothers (who's he's living with) living room couch. As I'm in my car getting ready to leave the next morning, he reaches through the window on the pretenses of grabbing a piece of garbage he's left on my passenger seat, and he kisses me. I never speak to him again.
I'm 13. My mother has had it out with her spouse about the abuse. She's having trouble gathering courage to kick him out. I've been on a binge of drinking & drugging with some dangerous girls (one of which will later go to jail for murder). I come home to tell my mom that I'm going on a road trip with the girls to the next province over. She tells me I can't go. I tell her in some sort of fashion (I imagine it had swearing in it, but I really can't recall) that I'm going whether she likes it or not. The spouse, my abuser, steps in and tells me not to speak to her that way. I turn around and walk out. My friends are waiting outside for me, and I'm headed for safety. He chases after me, and on our front stoop, grabs me by the shoulder, and slams me back against the wall (my memory wants to tell me that it was by the neck, but I can't be sure), telling me to get inside. I storm to my room upstairs, and in the midst of it all, my friends fear for my safety and phone the police. I'm upstairs in my room, and a policeman comes in to see if I'm ok. Both folks were glaring at me, and I tell them all to leave me the f**k alone. The policeman has gotten the back story from my friends, but I can't bear to say anything against my mother, so I choose silence instead. I get a lecture from abuser, and when I tell both he and my mother off, they leave me alone in my room. I pack a bag and sneak out my window. My friends catch me when I jump off the roof. I spend the next two months in hiding. I only return to my home when my friends assure me that my abuser has moved out.
I'm 13 and I'm spending my summer downtown. I've voluntarily put myself on the street. During the weekends I party with strangers and anyone who can lead me to drugs & a party. I only go home during the middle of the week to grab fresh clothes & bathe. I meet another homeless teen who calls herself "Missy". She's petite, shorter than I am, and curvier. I can't tell how old she is, but we meet frequently on our wanderings downtown. One day when I'm with a gal pal, we all manage to hook up with this guy who has some cocaine. He gives us each a line, and we spend the day with him working on the Eight Ball he has with him. It's my first time snorting cocaine, and it seems to make everything too intense. It's too bright out, so I wear my sunglasses. I want to go swimming, but am somehow afraid that I'll drown. It felt really good. Later on in life, I'll find myself seeking this drug again.
It's the summer between 6th grade and 7th grade. My mother is in the hospital, and rather than staying at home with my abuser alone, I spend it at my friends house. I get my first menstrual period. I've never received the birds and bees/puberty talk, so I have no idea what to do. I'm walking home with friend and her older sister. She tells me what I need to do, and marches me home to show me. It will be years before I understand fully my responsibility and learn how to manage it.
I don't know how old I am, early teens. I'm friends with a large blond. I don't know why, she has a tendency to be cruel. We spend our time hitch hiking. One night we end up in a town 45 mins north of my home. We've been picked up by two black gentlemen. They buy us alcohol, get us drunk, and take us back to their hotel room. They choose which one of us they want, and we have sex. The experience repulses me, and I never find myself attracted to black people after.
I'm 14. I've broken up with my boyfriend, but still find myself spending time with his friend. He's never shown any interest in me, so I feel safe spending time at his apartment alone. I trust him. We watch movies, listen to music and hang out. I spend many nights there drinking, getting high, and sleeping over without incident. One night, I bring alcohol with me, and we drink. I have the same amount as I have every other time, only this time I black out. After half bottle of beer I can't recall what happened. I wake up the next morning naked in bed. He's lying next to me telling me what a beautiful body I have. He's drugged me, and raped me, and he told me I asked for it. I leave his apartment, and don't tell anyone because I feel it's my fault. I see him on and off for years afterward, but I can't bear to say more than a cordial hello and nod my head in his direction.
These thoughts have been bouncing around my head for days now. Once again I haven't been able to get them out. Better on paper/computer, than in my brain.
Tuesday, January 20, 2009
Ok, to clear the air before I begin, for those family members who read this, please, let this subject be, and don't bring it up to me...A simple hug will do :oD
There is a pattern to the way I'm thinking, happens every once and a while. Yes, it usually tends to happen close to, or during ToM. TMI? I warned you...
It's been known to happen that during these times I suffer and become a Mental Hostage. Yes, my memories take me hostage. There are so many experiences I'd love to erase permanently from my memory bank. I don't wish to un-experience them, just forget they ever happened. I know I've learned from them, but I just don't care for them to assault me quite as often as they do. They invade when I'm in this quirky, not-quite-me mood. I find myself constantly shaking my head, like that will rid me of the images. "I don't want to think about this" seems to be my mantra during these times. Simply because I have no other way to get them to stop, I have to blog about them...getting them out usually does the trick, usually lets me sleep peacefully and forget about them until next time.
Tonight I'm being assaulted, and they won't leave me alone, flashes and pictures of times where I had my most embaressing moments, my most degrading moments, and all of those mortifying thoughts that I want to leave behind, because I'm a better person now.
Are you ready to read them? I'm not even sure I'm ready to type them...
I was young, probably about 11. I was at my grandmother's house for the summer, as usual. She was partying, and had rented us kids a bunch of movies to watch. A few of us had fallen asleep in the living room watching movies till super late. I was asleep on the floor in front of the tv, with my older male cousin in next to me. My aunt was sleeping on the couch, and I was out of her sight because there was a coffee table between us. I woke up to my older male cousin, running his hand up my leg and resting between my legs. Not knowing what to do, I pretend to wake up and run to the room where my other aunt is sleeping, and crawl in bed with her, crying as quietly as I could, wishing I could just die. I still have trouble treating that male cousin as a human being whenever I'm forced to spend time with him. I never told anyone, until my Mr.
When I was 13 I had my first boyfriend, even though I had a fair amount of people in my grade who had a crush on me, I chose a most unlikely candidate to actually "date". Over the summer between 8th & 9th grade we dated, and there were many pleasant memories to be had. One night we had sex in my basement, it was my second time, and it was his first. He was the first person I had ever thought myself in love with. Puppy love, of course, and after we did the deed, he stopped talking to me. Dropped off the face of the planet, and he moved before the start of the next school year. I never found out why things happened that way, but I was very hurt, and vowed never to date anyone in my school again, and I never did.
The end of that summer I went to a party at an aquaintance's house and got completely, black-out, loaded. I got beaten up, by a group of people who were there, two sisters, and their brother. I woke up the next morning with a hangover, a concussion, and a backseat that needed to be cleaned of vomit. That year I dropped out of school because the boys in the cool group sexually harassed me at every opportunity, and even a few of the teachers sneered at me when I was in their presence.
Flash forward to the year I was married to my first husband. Things weren't working out for us after we got married, and I asked him to send me home for my 19th birthday so I could think our relationship over and take a break. I began going to nightclubs alone (mainly because I didn't know anyone who would go with me) and dance the night away by myself. I met this guy named Jason, whom I eventually slept with. All I can remember about him is the way he ran his hands through my hair, and him asking me me if I was finished yet so he could climax while we were having sex. I've never felt so degraded in my life. I remember thinking, this is the end of marriage, and it was.
My marriage is breaking up, and I hook up with a college guy after a night at the bar dancing, and after we finish our business, the van I had been driving that belonged to my first husband, has been towed. I had to phone him in the wee hours of the morning to come and pick me up and pay the impound fee to get it out, with my neck covered in hickies from the other guy, clearly stating what I'd been up to. I felt so deeply ashamed I couldn't meet his family members' eyes again after that.
After I got a job (under the table) and got a room from one of my co-workers, I began sleeping with a roomate who lived with us. I attatched myself to him, and almost felt like I loved him. He was my rebound victim. I got loaded one night, plenty of drugs, plenty of Tequila & Whiskey. I was partying with he and his friend (who happened to be the oldest son of the person who I was renting from), and when I woke up the next morning I was naked in my bed. When I asked them what happened they said I wanted it. A week later I tried to kill myself with a bottle of pills and some liquor, only to have said guys dump the rest of the pills before I could finish them, and keep me awake with them the whole night and the next day by watching movies and going for drives in the fancy racing mustang buddy had. They kept telling me nothing that had happened was worth dying for. Not long after that incident, I had blocked those actions out of my mind and started heading to clubs again, after getting dressed one night, I asked him how I looked, and he replied that I was the most beautiful girl he'd ever seen, and then he turned around and walked out to go be with the mother of his daughter whom he was trying to reconcile with, as she'd forbidden him to ever look at me.
Forward again, I've met my Mr, and we're slowly working on dating. He's brought me over to his friend's house to play pool, and I was still trying to function in a normal way, where I didn't need to use my body to impress people. I do a dirty little dance up on my Mr, while he turned twenty shades of red, in front of his friend, that floored them both. No clothes came off, but I'm mortified every time I think of this memory, as I can't believe I was ever that uncouth.
It's a rough part in my marriage when I was clubbing with my "best friend". I had met this guy at the bar, where we exchanged emails after a full night of conversation. Nothing dirty was present in that conversation, not even flirting, but after I sent him the first email, he began sending me suggestive messages, and even though I asked him to stop, he kept sending them. All I wanted was human companionship, and he bottomed out. Not long after my Mr read those emails and accused me of cheating on him. I got pregnant with H in the aftermath, and we couldn't decide whether we wanted to stay together or not. A tormenting time for me.
After saying good-bye to my "best friend" because of another incident, I phone her on impulse one night, and not long after, we head out dancing again, in celebration of her sister's 19th birthday. She gets loaded, and I stay sober. When I drop her off at home, she begs me not to move to Ohio with Mr. When I get home at 4am, I confront my Mr, and all I can remember is the look on his face when he says "I knew this was going to come back and bite me in the ass". I felt that I got what I deserved, considering how my last marriage ended, and proceed to loose 20 lbs in a month because I'm so stressed I can't eat.
It's the day we leave BC. It was raining out, and the week before Thanksgiving (in Canada). We're saying good-bye, and my step-father is crying as he's hugging the boys. I remember thinking, Oh my god, my daddy is heartbroken because I'm taking his grandchildren away. I couldn'tve loved him more if I tried, and I've never been so disappointed in myself for not being more of a firm person and telling everyone I would never leave Canada to live elsewhere with my kids. For the next four months I do nothing but mope about how disappointed in myself I am, and begin to find ways to try and move on, when I feel heartbroken myself...for failing me. Even in the aftermath I would rather follow, than make a stand and deal with the consequences, terrified that I may have made the wrong decision and scar my kids for life.
Here and now...I'm tormented by these thoughts, and though my life (and relationship) is volumes better, and everything has worked it's way out for the best, these thoughts have somehow worked their way back into my life to assault me and keep me from sleeping peacefully. I'm having nightmares where these incidents are nearly robbing me of my sanity. When I wake up I'm feeling agitated, and depressed. I don't want to think about them...I want them to go away. God, I hope when the hormones have run their course, I will be able to sleep peacefully again. I'm praying that I can remember what kind of a person I've become, and that it will pull me through.