Category Archives: physical abuse

surviving is my life’s work…

march 7, 2011

surviving is my life’s work.  thriving is my life’s goal.

it is what i do, my day, my life is spent in every way possible to rid my body and my psyche of the wounds of of violence, betrayal and daily torture. imminent death was always around the corner, three times that i recollect right now. i didn’t know that kids didn’t grow up like i did until i was older and actually had contact with the outside world.  i’m thinking probably high school at some random athletic event where our dump of a town would meet up with another small town to match our team against theirs.  i’m comparing notes the entire time, assessing and noting the behaviors of their best and brightest so i can compare against myself and my peers.  once i had concluded the fact that my growing up wasn’t the healthiest way around and that my environment sucked,  it became my mission to change that.  it gave me a goal, a drive, something to work toward instead of stagnating in that cesspool of a town.

i was born in ignorance, poverty, rampant incest.  after spent a good part of my adolescence and beyond being pissed for even being put there which i did, i spent a lot of time medicating my anger with alcohol, pot and white cross cursing the universe and god and the goddess and whoever else was responsible for putting me in this hellhole.  obstacles were everywhere, relief was nowhere…my beautiful, insightful thoughts could be interrupted in a flash by me walking outside for some sun to find my 300 pound brother, flipping out his partial plate of dentures for inspection and swatting flies.  oh yeah, he had a cigarette in the ashtray on the picnic table where he parked his fat ass with a cup of coffee that my mother made him.  oh yeah, he’s almost forty years old.  what the hell is he doing here?  why isn’t he working or living somewhere else, that is a whole nother chapter.

i craved intelligent life forms, people who read, who thought, who did the right thing, those who made a life around taking care of their bodies and health and families, i willed them to come to me, relying on the sheer desperate hope that life had to be better and there was something out there that could show me what better looked like.  i searched everywhere for the new life forms and while it took me a while to find them, i finally did.

i spent every minute like a hypervigiliant animal protecting its nest, with my eyes catching every behavior, every response, down the littlest detail so that i could review it later and file it away in its proper category.  i was margaret mead, i was jane goodall, i studied the apes and their idiosyncracies but it just so happens that they were my parents and siblings, not monkeys. i knew that i was tense and unhappy but so was everyone.  i modeled and lived my life like i  watched the elders live theirs, in a state of blank, empty dudgery.  they walked in their sleep through chores that had to be done, animals that had to be fed, social obligations that needed a covered dish.  we would all attend, stay our allotted time, eat, clean up and start packing up.  it was almost customary in my family to know when you were leaving an event before you even got there.  it was like a rote, mindless church service, the minister opens the doors, pray, sermon, sing, pray, leave.  quick, no frills, no room for creativity, just done, check it off the list and trudge to the next thing. the rare exception to the blankness was the occasional and poorly disguised sexual innuendo, reference to getting drunk or having been drunk, or a piece of gossip that encompassed both.  it was then that i saw some flicker of personality, albeit freaky and unhealthy, but it it blipped off the radar when it happened and certainly got my attention.

unfortunately because i wasn’t a seasoned researcher, my data was accurate but my conclusions erroneous.  i came to believe that engaging in drinking, carousing, sexual activity, getting high was the answer, the outlet, my salvation.  for it provided an opposite and polar action to the numb, blankness of the holy and meek.  acting out became my religion, and rightfully so, it provided an outlet, i could be noisy and rowdy,  spewing all the angst that i felt from years of torture and assault on my soul.  now i know it wasn’t healing but it was at least movement.

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he cut my hair

March 2, 2011

today after spending the whole day really happy, running around with one of my high school girlfriends and her husband, going to the museum and out for dinner, i came home and was working in the kitchen.

husband was at the computer reading about the recent abduction of Alisa, a four year old girl who was kidnapped from her front yard by a registered sex offender. husband came into the kitchen to tell me some of the incidents leading to the police going after the guy after the girl was released and home safe. the little girl recognized her abductor on tv and even pointed him out saying “thats the man who cut my hair“.

when husband said those words out loud to me, the hairs on my arm stood up literally and i shivered…i even remarked back to him “that made me shiver“. within minutes i was wheezing and coughing. after a few minutes of trying to clear my throat and breathe, i used my rescue inhaler for relief, …as i regained composure, husband casually stated that he believes i reacted to the information about the sex offender…and it hit me like a ton of bricks…i was fine until i heard the words that came from a 4 yr. olds mouth, “he cut my hair“. he was right and i was learning the impact of words and how quickly they transported me back to my own childhood horrors.

this child’s story had mesmerized me during her disappearance as most kidnapping stories do for me. usually, i can’t think of most anything else for days and thank goodness in this case she was returned very quickly. i felt almost giddy when i heard she was returned…but when i replayed that scenario and pictured that little girl recognizing and verbalizing those words, i came unglued. my heart started racing, i got dizzy, my throat closed up, my lips were burning…lots of reactions…those words were so familiar, why did i keep replaying them in my head when it occurred to me that i had said those same words in regards to my father who angrily cut my hair…i went to my journal and on 9-30 was my notes about the dream that i had and i woke up with the words running over and over in my head….he cut my hair, he cut my hair, he cut my hair…and he did!  that mother fucker grabbed me in anger by my hair and chopped it off and i have the picture to prove it. long hair in kindergarten and short, chopped, seriously uneven hair in first grade. this washes over me so fast that i have to stop and sit down…

i am gasping, i’m so instantly and completely full of rage…looking at this innocent child and picturing myself the same way made me even angrier. what kind of freaking monster would assault a child sexually and then hold her down and cut her hair as punishment for fighting back and resisting. i hate you so much, you fucking monster…so now i remember and now i will tell, you are dead but i will kill you again for good measure in my mind and then i will tell some more. you can’t keep me quiet any longer and guess what, mother fucker, i’m growing my hair out…

PS–i’m grateful to my husband’s insight and willingness to point it out to me so we could clear the negative energy from that incident while i still have the awareness and presence of mind…i must remember that violence especially to children takes me to a place where i am so fearful and frozen. i must be gentle with myself and this child reassuring her that i will protect her and we are now safe. i take the rest of the evening to wrap myself in blankets and pray to feel safe again in my own skin.


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