This should be me! – a.k.a Gone Baby Gone

Photo Credit: Wikipedia

There was a terrible situation yesterday night. I went to the kitchen with mom and in passing I looked through the door to the living room and caught a glimpse of a scene from a DVD dad was watching, Gone Baby Gone. I have no idea what was going on, but the scene was in this shabby house with a woman who was, like, a drug addict or a boozer or something. You could see from the way she looked and talked and behaved that she was really fucked up, unstable and unpredictable, able to turn violent and stuff.

It was the way my mother used to look. Except my mother had brown hair and that woman’s hair was blond. Like mine.

The resemblance to how my mother had been was horrifying. My heart beat like crazy, I felt frozen to the spot, instantly detached from reality, and I couldn’t look away from the screen even though what I saw made it worse.

Mom noticed I hadn’t followed her into the kitchen, so she came back and got me. She’s really quick to pick up on stuff like that, so I never needed to explain what had happened, she could already tell I had been triggered and was in a bad place. So instead of taking me to the kitchen, where we might have overheard stuff from the DVD, because the living room is right next to the kitchen, she took me back upstairs, and helped me come back to reality and calm down.

Which worked for a little while, and we snuggled, but then I got this thought that this woman I had seen should be me. I mean, really, it should. That was exactly the kind of home where I had grown up. Our house had looked cleaner, because of my mother’s OCD, but the whole atmosphere was exactly the same. I got this overwhelming feeling that this was the life that had been planned for me. That this is what I ought to have become: A fucked up drug addict and alcoholic who has a shabby home and a pathetic, miserable life.

But instead of that, I live in this really nice house, with people who I’m not even related to yet call mom and dad, exploiting them, messing with their lives, taking all those things they give to me that I don’t deserve, because the life that I was chosen for was never this life, but the kind of life I had seen on the TV screen.

The noise in my head was unbearable: This should be me. My life should be like that. How dare I exploit good people. I deserve a life like that, not the life I live now. I took something that I had no right to have. I should get punished. I must leave them. I do not deserve people who love me and care for me. I should be doing drugs and alcohol and have a shit life, just like my mother had . . .

To cut a long story short, the night turned into drama. I wanted to hurt myself and screamed and cried and it took a long time until I calmed down again. Most of it is hazy to me, but I think dad stopped watching the movie when I started screaming and helped mom with keeping me safe, because I have half a memory trying to kick him because I was so angry that they wouldn’t let me leave. Which in turn meant that I woke up several times during the night in a panic over losing everyone. Mom didn’t leave me during the night, so it was okay-ish, because I wasn’t alone, but this morning I feel exhausted, because of the bad night and waking up early, and awful about giving everyone such a terrible night, after it turned out to be me, who ended up “gone baby gone”.

Feeling exhausted and guilty is a dangerous mix for me, so that even when it has the potential to make me feel even more guilty, I’m also grateful that mom keeps me close by today. Crisis watch.

Mom insists I skip today’s part of the Sexual Healing Journey and I can’t argue that. I’d be a mess today. So instead I’ll do something a little more uplifting and try to make a list of things that I like, to get my thoughts (and hopefully my feelings, too) into a good direction again.

I hope you all had a nicer start into your Sunday.

I’m gonna get up and try, try, try!

Yeah, that’s me singing my own version of P!nk. And it’s me being stubborn and refusing to cave in. Refusing to be defeated. Refusing to be a victim. Refusing to be a slave of my history.

I had a crappy New Year’s Eve! Midnight gave me a flashback and I screamed my heart out. I watched dad’s fireworks from inside the house with mom by my side because I couldn’t stand going outside in the dark, or being alone. – So, so what! I’m still a rock star!

Fuck you, abuse! – Fuck you, stepfather! – Fuck you, mother! – Fuck you, mental health issues!

You can knock me over and kick me down, but you can not prevent me from getting up again, from rising! I survived this far, I’m not going to give up now! I’m prepared and ready to fight. Not with violence or dirty tricks, like you did and still do.

No, I’m going to fight by being disobedient to your sick rules.

DisobedienceForMentalHealth

I’m going to fight back by being strong-willed. By holding on to what’s good and right. By not accepting to keep playing by your rules. By reclaiming myself. By using my skills and resources and support. And by getting up one more time than I fall, even when I fall a lot.

I’m gonna get up and try, try, try!

So despite the rocky night, I’m feeling good and all-in-all it was a good start into the New Year. Because I got up. Because I am determined to make it a GOOD year for myself! I wish you all a very good year, too! Get for yourself the best possible 2013!

Childhood Sexual Abuse – a picture poem

The upcoming holidays are triggering for me. I know it and in recent years I tried to hide from it. That didn’t work so well. So this year I have decided to look it in the face and get ahead of it, maybe. Who knows, it might steal some of the thunder. And if not, at least my therapist is going to be proud of me.

That’s a childhood picture of me – one of the few G-rated ones in existence, and the only one where I didn’t know I got my picture taken. The look on my face is 100% genuine and mirrors the way I felt better than words could.  I scanned the photo, edited the background out and put it along with a little poem I wrote to go with it. (It reads top, bottom, left, right.)

 

Child Sexual Abuse 3

Have a Merry Scary Christmas

ChristmasTreeLightning

Christmastime is a bittersweet and challenging time for me.

On the one hand I like stuff like Christmas lights, and how pretty and sparkly and festive everything looks. I like that mom makes Christmas cookies and that there are stockings and we make gingerbread houses and in a way I also like that I see my siblings and that everyone comes home for Christmas.

At the same time, every year anew Christmas brings a merry bunch of challenges. I can name those more easily than the nice things, in fact. The most important ones for me are:

1. Painful feelings. Ever since I can remember Christmas gave me a feeling of want and need and missing out. On TV, at school, at stores, everywhere are pictures of what could be and should be. Suffice it to say that Christmas never even came close to living up to that at my childhood home and that I always felt abandoned at Christmas. I can still feel it today and it’s a weird, painful feeling.

2. Missing my birth mother. Well, okay, maybe not missing HER, as in her real self. More like missing what could have been. Mourning that I don’t even know if she’s still alive. That I lost her for good. I guess a piece of my heart still belongs to her, for what I always wished we would have had, and Christmastime reinforces that she’s not there for me and never was. That hurts.

3. Flashbacks. I can only guess that Christmastime must not have been all that merry for me in my childhood home, because random Christmassy things give me flashbacks of the real scary, threatening kind that give me physical sensations and feel like I’m about to get killed. I absolutely DREAD those flashbacks. If I could get rid of only one thing, this would be it.

4. The house bustling with people. I kind of like that everyone comes together and that everyone enjoys seeing each other and being with the family. I like that there are proper family dinners and that things are quite like I always figured they were supposed to be. But having all those people around stresses me and the Borderline part of me wishes they’d never show up in the first place, because for sure everyone will like everyone else better than me and mom will forget I’m even there when she can also be with them.

5. Family traditions. It makes me sad that my family has so many of their own, that I am not a part of, because they have a much longer history together than with me. It’s not so painful in everyday life, but on special occasions like Christmas I can feel it clearly. It makes me feel like I’m not really a part of the family in the same way as they are, even when mom assures me that they all started out the same way when they were born into the family. I guess having been “born” into the family only three years ago, I still have a lot of catching up to do.

6. Gift giving. I really wish we could skip that part. I have a persistent voice inside my head that tells me I deserve nothing, can give nothing that would be of value to anyone and that whatever people give me, they don’t mean it, and that if they act like they like what I give them, they lie. With my conscious, rational mind I know that’s not true, that it is just what I was trained to think when I was little, but shaking the feeling off is a whole different matter!

What makes Christmastime scary on top of the unpleasant moments is that any of those things can pop up anytime, with no or little warning. Right in the middle of something nice or fun, any of those nasty crap things can strike like lightning. (Get my picture up there? 😉 ) There might be a brief rumble in the skies that makes me aware it’s coming, then it strikes. That makes me reluctant to enjoy myself and Christmas in the first place, because all the time I run the risk that something crappy spoils it all – for me and then for others as well when I act like the crazy person or become bitchy or make a scene.

But I am determined to try really, really hard this Christmas to make the best of it. I even feel like I am reasonably well prepared for the crap parts. That is new. And also I really, really want to get to a point where I can be aware of the crap and feel the crap, yet not get thrown off track completely, so that I can still see good things as well. Who knows. Maybe this Christmas.

Scarry Sky

Mom and I just got home from grocery shopping. I actually like grocery shopping, especially when it’s not so busy and we have time. Anyway, at the store there was some kid with her mom. The kid was three or four years old, maybe. She was sitting in the fold out kiddy seat and watched her mom put stuff in the cart. Then she turned around and picked a bunch of scallions (at least I think that’s what they were) up from the cart. When the mother saw it, she yanked them from her daughter’s hands and hissed: “Take your dirty fingers off that!” before throwing the scallions back in the cart and proceeding shopping.

I froze and had to blink back tears. Such chilling words. I heard them in my mother’s voice. I heard those exact words so often, and they are so cold and embarrassing. They literally froze me to the spot with my heart pounding and me feeling hot and cold at the same time.

My mom noticed, put me between herself and our cart and, after making sure I had seen and recognized her, hugged me – very calm, like it wasn’t a big deal at all. In a soft voice she told me that we were in the supermarket, that I was with her and what we had done so far and were up to next and after a while I calmed down. Even so, we finished shopping in a glum mood and I was glad when we were out and finally arrived back home.

I still feel shaken. Like when you startle over someone standing in the corner, only to realize it was a floor lamp, so you’re not afraid anymore, but still on adrenaline from the jump it gave you. I picked new hairclips at the store but can’t focus on enjoying them yet.

Anyway, looking out the window I saw the sky and found something nice on a crappy day. Fitting, too. Even when the planes are long gone, the sky is still scarry.

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