Enable

This word makes me think of all of those people that enable abuse to take place. All those questions that weren’t asked, all those times a blind eye was turned, all those times it would cause too much hassle to pry.

It makes me think of our mothers.

sixty-four: departure

this makes me think of lots of things.

the first thing i thought about was when i was leaving for travel and a volunteer position overseas, in my early 20s. a few days before i left we had a huge going-away party at my house, all sorts of people from my past, families of kids i had nannied and their parents, current boyfriend, ex-boyfriend, high school friends, childhood friends. and it was fun but it was also really weird, because loads of people got really emotional and it surprised me (in my naive, youthful state) coz i kept thinking, um, i’m coming back, people! but what i didn’t know, and what some of them did, was that when i returned, i’d be an entirely different person. and they’re right, i was.

i don’t remember any tears that night of the party (very very close, though, when my ex hugged me before leaving and then started to cry in my arms…and i mean, really cry. hard.) and i’m not sure i even did when a cavalcade of people escorted me to the airport the morning i left, i was so anxious, so nervous, so scared about the assorted details of flights and luggage and would i be over the limit, etc.. it was only after i got through security, boarded the plane, took off into the air, and actually watched my hometown get smaller beneath me that it all came crashing down. the fact that i was leaving them, all of them, for an indefinite period of time. all my babies, my friends, my family…i cried the entire 2.5 hr connecting flight (which was unheard of then…more like my current version of me, although shit, 2.5 hrs is still impressive), with a sweet old couple next to me who passed me tissues and werther’s originals, alternatingly, while the tears continued to fall. once every 30 mins or so, i could feel one or the other of them, looking at me, and then they’d reach and pat my hand.

*

last week, i was pretty convinced that my departure from this earth would be a beneficial thing. one less burden for the people i loved, one less mess of a human being passing on her mess to others. i didn’t have a plan, not really, but i realized how much internal real estate these sorts of thoughts had been taking up, and i got terrified. angry and ashamed and terrified. i tried all sorts of things to keep everyone far away, i said awful things, i pushed them away as far as i could, i pitched my best case, but no one listened. they just sat with me, and passed me the equivalent of tissues and werther’s originals. wouldn’t let me leave. told me they loved me and would not be okay with a world without me in it. i fought it. but their love was stronger, it kept me here, again.

*

like so many survivors, i’m really scared about being abandoned. i’m pretty convinced that everyone will go, that i’ll wear them out entirely and they’ll have to. and then i’ll be alone, just as they always said i would be. the little one inside spins, even though she has always done it alone, why is it different? (i’ll tell you: because today’s me knows the sweet taste of presence, and it’s addictive. it’s like crack for trauma survivors). and somewhere in the eye of the storm, i realize that i don’t want to die. i just want it to stop. i want there to be quiet and days that are free from shame.

i want a departure from the usual order, please.

so, i’m still kicking. thank you for reading along. for responding. for patting my hand every once in awhile, to remind me you’re still here.

sixty: attachment

the fact that you only heard crickets in the wake of this word from both pocketbrit and i is no mistake.

it’s the hardest hardest hard.

i have loads to say but not enough time to say it. i will, though. perhaps in about 800 parts, coz it’s that huge. but i will.

fifty-nine: resolution(s)

[edited to add a content warning for strong responses to childhood sexual abuse/incest and general raging and sweariness]

i really don’t know what the resolution would be for childhood sexual abuse.

i mean, would it be having them say, oh hey sorry i was a pedophile back then or well, kiddo, i’m your dad, it’s okay to jack me off or perhaps, my apologies for putting my fingers up there, i guess that was a bit off-base or maybe, my bad, i thought five years old seemed a good time to introduce you to oral sex…?

what kind of apology could cover fucking up my connections and attachment to people for four decades? messing with my sexuality and my relationship with my body? ignoring the numerous yeast infections and bladder issues and stomach pain and sleep issues i had as a kid, chalking them up to inferior stock? instilling the long-time belief that i am a faulty, wrong, deeply not-okay and just basically inadequate person? colluding and nodding along with the diagnoses of depression and anxiety and panic disorder i’ve received over my life, while whispering behind hands about how pitiful and sad and unfortunate it was?

like, what if they offered to pay for the tens of thousands of dollars worth of therapy i’ve received? or somehow reimbursed me for the years of self-loathing that have resulted in damages to my body due to chronic overeating and, in the past, smoking and excessive alcohol use? would that resolve it?

what about the physical disgust i feel at the thought of my parents? my patent motherlessness, despite the fact that the woman who bore me is alive and well, continuing to send gifts in the mail and texts about how much she loves and misses me?  what resolution is there for the incessant, growling, monstrous shame, the shame, the fucking relentless godawful shame? that i can’t get over it, that i am not strong enough, that i can’t hold my little one through it, that i can’t hear any more about it, that i don’t want to do it anymore, that i am so tired of my own goddamn bullshit that i could puke, that i have hoped that i would be hit by a car/have a fatal heart attack/die quickly of a horrific cancer so i would spare the people in my life the burden of me without actually having to end my life at my own hand? that i can’t transcend my pain and forgive them, that i am still an inferior and wrong and faulty human for not being able to extend grace and compassion and understanding to them for their ‘mistakes’?

i’ll tell you the answer. there is none. there is no resolution to what happened. there just isn’t.

i’ve been trapped in the grief of this lately, the shame of it. i have been drowning in the mental and physical experience of being that child, that little, dark-eyed, serious-faced girl, alone and spinning and afraid. this last week, i’ve been pounded by memories of what they did, body activated, brain devolved and hijacked. unable to do anything other than sob and snot and wish i were dead. and terrify those who still manage to love me, despite my brokenness and deceit and despair.

i’ve been desperate to find the anger, anything other than this hurt and this gulf of sadness…and by god i’ve found it.

fuck them. fuck them. for the lack of resolution, for the lack of love, for the lack of safety. i will not actively hate them with this fury for always, because i have better shit to do with my life. but i will never forgive them, not ever, not my parents nor pocketbrit’s.

and i’m going to keep going, i’m going to make it and so is she, because we are a couple of belligerent, hilarious, strong, gentle, soft women, and they are never going to win, not on my watch. no fucking way. just no.

so yeah, that’s my resolution.

Resolutions

I’ve been searching, for years, for a resolution to the things that happened to me.

For years I placed it out of my mind. Don’t think about it, don’t feel anything, don’t acknowledge any of it. That was my resolution, and it was a necessary one at the time.

Then I moved out of my parents’ house and suddenly that was no longer possible. I couldn’t ignore it, even when I wanted to. So my resolution became to start talking (or try to) and to get over it without ever having to say a word to my family or friends.

Except that still wasn’t working too well, and one night I did tell a friend. Then we both ignored it… Didn’t know what to say so said nothing at all. Nothing had really changed, I was still set firmly that I would never tell anyone, never hurt my family and break us up. That that was no resolution at all.

Fast forward a couple of years and outwardly everything remains the same. Still set in my mind… I’ll never tell, never ruin everything. But inwardly I am a mess. I’m spending lots of time on a forum, I can’t shake thoughts of this stuff for more than 2 hours in a row. I feel unfixably broken. I’ve become extremely close to a woman that has done something I am to afraid to. She is brave and strong and amazing, even when she feels the opposite of all of those things. And I feel ashamed that I’m too weak to do what she’s done. That I can’t stand up and tell them.

Until one day I do. Without ever intending to. (and she’s the first person I tell). I’m a mess, I’m dissociative, I’m trying to keep everything together whilst it’s falling apart. And yet somewhere inside of me I had this voice saying that it was good, so good. That I’d told, that the burden and weight was lifted, that it would all be okay. That finally, I had my resolution.

Naive, right? Oh yes. No resolution, no nothing. Heartbreak and pain that the two people that raised me want nothing to do with this information. That I come last, yet again. That I am placed yet again in the position of keeping this secret, only this time with nobody to hold out hope for. Nobody to think that they would care and love me and put me first. Nobody to be heartbroken by the things that were done to me.

Now I don’t know what the resolution is. To stay here? To ignore it all and keep this secret to keep my family? To leave and lose all of them?

I still don’t have a resolution, and I realise that I won’t ever have a resolution that feels good. And this post is whiny and poor-me and annoying, I know. But actually, tonight it breaks my heart. It kills me that our mums did nothing whilst we were sexually abused by members of our own family. It kills me that after telling, years later, they still do nothing. The lack of safety, the lack of loving people, the aloneness. Jesus it hurts tonight. It really fucking hurts.

Can you imagine? A wee little pocketcanadian at 4 years old, in her bedroom, alone, after being shamed, alone and scared and trying to make sense of the disgusting things men did to her tiny little body.

I always felt disgusting. I blamed myself and I felt like I had to be the adult keeping our family together. I didn’t let anyone in, I tried not to let myself have feelings, except late at night, when i would cry myself to sleep. I wasn’t safe. I never felt safe.

There probably isn’t a resolution. I suspect its dumb to expect one. But I can’t seem to stop searching for one

***

Tonight pc and I have been messaging. I told her how sad I was, how I couldn’t bear any more hurt. And she said yeah, that’s what’s been hurting her so much, that she feels like she’ll never get over that hurt. I told her we will, we both will. Not get over it, but become more at peace with it. (Meaning, it will always be there, but we’ll be better able to cope with it, we’ll come to accept it easier, somehow. I don’t know, I can’t seem to adequately explain what I mean). Her response: no we won’t. But it will get less. It will inform our lives, it will make us so so strong and so gentle and so resolved to not repeat it ever again.

I feel like I want to save those words. I want to save the love and protectiveness and gentleness we are both feeling for little us tonight. And I want to save that knowledge, that the hurt will change. It will always be there, but it won’t be as strong as it is tonight, it will shift, and it will sit differently within our bodies.

And I want to cement that resolution. I will never do what our mother’s did. I will never sit back and allow those things to happen to a child. And should somebody let me in to their hurt and tell me of terrible things that have happened to them, I endeavour to always take it seriously, to be gentle and loving and present.

fifty-eight: endings

in the wordpress app at the beginning of a fresh new unwritten post, it always prompts, ‘share your story here’…and tonight, with this word, seeing that just made me so unbelievably sad. like disproportionately sad, half a box of kleenex sad.

i hope to be able to explain all of that soon but tonight, i can’t. i can’t touch this word and i can’t share my story here. it’s all a bit beyond my capabilities at the moment.

i know we have about three whole readers of this blog but if the three of you could please just send care or mojo or fairy dust or good vibes or anything similar this way, i’d be so so grateful. it’s hard right now over here, and i need all the help I can get.

fifty-two: longing

ugh.

i don’t think i can do this one justice today, it’s been a completely shitty day.

what i long for most is for this not to have happened. the possibility that somehow, i wasn’t a little girl to whom these things occurred. that i wasn’t really a receptacle for the lust and sickness of two grown men, that i was safe, that i was protected, that i counted.

secondly, i long for a lap, into which i can keen and sob and wail because it did fucking happen, all of it. so many disgusting things, to my small body, so many disgusting words, into my young ears.

and lastly, i long for the day when i don’t long for that lap, when my motherlessness doesn’t feel like a stone in my gut, when i stop needing so desperately and often. when i can hold her and me both, and know that we’ll make it through.

Creativity

 

I have packs of drawing pencils, I have watercolour pencils, I have watercolour paints. I have a billion sketchbooks, I have paintbrushes, I have pastel pencils, I have charcoal…loads of bits given to me by family members who used to paint. (I’m most certainly not a painter,anything involving paint remains very much unused)

I’ve always loved to draw. I’d draw all the time when I was little and there’s a drawer in my dad’s study that still has some of them in it.

I loved making cards… We went through a really long phase of doing that.

I love making things. I enjoy being creative and I like making things look nice.

But creativity wasn’t exactly the thing that was celebrated in our house. And somewhere along the lines, the comments, the nitpicking, the faults with what I produced got to me enough that I just wouldn’t do it.

Now I draw… But nobody knows I draw, nobody sees them (bar pocketcanadian). I enjoy it, but I have no confidence in what I produce.

But its good, its a good grounding technique, my t goes on about it a lot, always asks if I’ve been drawing that week.

forty-nine: hidden/hiding

i struggled with this one. because it felt ugly to put the two things i thought about in proximity to each other. in any case, i couldn’t think of anything better so i published it anyway.

  • the innocence of how our daughter used to run to a tree at the park, cover her eyes and lean into the bark of the tree, in full view, entirely convinced she was hidden; also, how she used to call i’m over heeeeeere! when we ‘looked’ for her
  • how it feels like i have this massive massive secret these days; that i am hiding this huge thing about me and my identity. that i have been dirty, violated, used. that i am hiding part of my true self, the part who now, fully believes the little one who lived it first. that i exist in this multiplicitous (is that a word?) matrix, where i am a capable professional, a mother, a wife, a friend, and at my core, a survivor of horrific gross things that were done to me when i was half the age of my daughter. in my darker moments i hate myself for keeping this secret. but i can’t risk telling it, you see. because no matter how much shame i feel for keeping her to myself, for guarding her, for keeping her tucked in, i am not bulletproof enough yet. all the #metoo and the media stories and the pain in the faces of fellow survivors still bring me to my knees, still make me tremble in awe and with grief. i am stronger than i ever thought possible but i am not strong enough, yet, to resist tearing them apart with my teeth if they were to hurt her again. we’re not ready. i’m not ready.

Pain #2

Reading pc’s post again tonight brings tears to my eyes. She writes beautifully about the ugliest of things and she’s put words to things that I had zero desire to try to write about yesterday.

I want to add some more. And I suppose there are two types to this. The physical pain, and far worse, the emotional. I’ll start with the former.

  • The bruises on a body from ‘kids being kids’.
  • The feeling of suffocating when your head is held underwater and however much you flail and try to get out of their grip, you can’t.
  • Or when their hand is over your mouth and nose, or around your neck and you can’t escape.
  • When their body is on top of yours, pinning you down.
  • When your arm or leg is held so hard you end up bruised.
  • When you are hit or pushed down or threatened without the requirement of words even leaving their mouth.
  • When their penis is down your throat and you cannot escape. When you gag and can’t breathe, and the only air you can get into your lungs is when they release the pressure of their hand on the back of your head and you can pull back just long enough that you can breathe through your nose again before they thrust your head back forward and you’re suffocating. Repeat. Repeat. Repeat x 100.
  • When you disappear to wherever you can, because the things they are doing to your body are more than you can cope with.
  • When doors are slammed on hands. Objects thrown at faces. Plates and glasses smashed on the wall behind you.
  • The sweet sharp pain that is self inflicted in order to try to bring yourself back to the present, or punish yourself, or just feel *something*. Or rather, actually, to so often feel nothing, to numb everything happening in your brain and body, to remove yourself from it all.

And yet, the actual physical pain and fear is short lived right? Ha. No, not really. Because the emotional pain brings them back all the fucking time. Periods become triggers where your body feels like it’s still happening, over and over, where your memories torment you. And all of these things come back, out of nowhere, when you least expect it, when you might be having a good day, and then SLAM. Hit in the face with this shit, out of nowhere, for no reason that you can pinpoint.

And as pc has said, all of the other shattering things.

  • The fact that they chose him, yet again. The fact that you’re not chosen. The knowledge that you won’t ever be.
  • The fear that has your knees curled up to your chest whilst you sit on the floor of the shower for half an hour hoping that the water will wash it all off of you.
  • The birthdays, the christmases, the fathers days, the mothers days, the lunches, the dinners, the family gatherings, the celebrations.
  • The never ending silencing.
  • The earth shattering loss of parents that can make you feel orphaned, and alone and like you won’t survive it.
  • The shame. The white hot, flushed cheeks, sweaty bodied shame.
  • The fucking ocean of grief. And the ocean of grief that you haven’t been able to cry for in years.
  • The years spent taking care of yourself because nobody else will. The putting yourself to bed and the crying yourself to sleep at night.
  • The feeling unseen, unheard, unappreciated, unloved. Unloveable.
  • The taking all of it on so that you can retain some semblance of control.

There are so many more. This list isn’t even close to exhaustive, but I have another post I need to write.