I am letting myself out, my inner thoughts, on this long journey of life that is too short for people to suffer in silence. I am sharing in the hope that others out there will share their experiences too, that I might at some point touch another person's heart out there and let them know that they are not alone. Through the vast expanse of internet space that brings us closer together though often times can lead to the Computer Blues due to the distance it can bring between us as humans, interacting with devices and shutting each other down. You are not alone, not in your experience, not when you feel most isolated or lost along your path. You have your inner voice, the thoughts that speak out strongly to you and assist you with your decisions. The voice that is so often beaten down by others, by parents, by friends, lovers, loved ones. By socially accepted alcohol abuse, fully functional or not, drug abuse. Crashing into walls, cutting ones own skin, running into self-destructive patterns of behaviour or relationships. Hiding the reflection of what is so visible in the mirror with excessive pruning of those protective feathers, behind which are the walls that we build to hide ourselves from the cruel, cruel world.
And yet, there is hope, there is a light at the end of all of those dark tunnels. Silently looping thoughts and feelings, the ones acted out through dreams or behaviours in reality, they will come and they want to be listened to. You are your own guardian angel, it is that which calls to you, asking you to take heed, to learn to listen to the signals. It is you who is the Superhero, the Batfink with Wings of Steel who is protecting themselves from the bullets shot by others, the Batman, Superwoman or Robin who has innate skills to help you through those darkest days. Otherwise, you would not be here. Doctor heal thy self can be a hard pill to chew on, it is possible, for those who are lucky enough to be that strong, and it is possible for those who are strong enough to share with a friend, a stranger, the random passing ship or the steadfast supportive and trusted therapist. Through, art, music, poetry, screaming in the middle of a forest and not caring if someone hears you, through the things that make you feel positive. Time, practice, soul searching, changing behaviours and adopting those which are truly good, non lecturing, that you can wear as comfortably as a soft pair of socks or a cosy jumper that makes you feel relaxed, safe, snuggled up and lost in that 'glad that you were kind to yourself' sort of way... we can all get there in time.
I am rare. Despite the circumstances of my childhood I am an atypical statistic. I went to University twice. I am both extroverted and introverted and a well functioning person. I refused to go down the avenues which led to my birth and allow the situations which I experienced, dictate who I am.
No doubt, I heard all the fighting, screaming, shouting and felt every slap or punch that was given or received from the time I was in the womb to actually living through the tragedy and pain of being a literal Middle Child. The middle child who's mother, for whatever cause, possibly Post Natal Depression and PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder) as the result of being the victim of Domestic Violence, completely hated me. She was physically abusive towards me, I was often in Hospital from intentional stamps on my tiny foot, excessive punishment for spilling sugar as a toddler to emotional abuse, complete neglect and rejection including the often stated "I told you not to look at me!". Not listening to that, doing what all children do; not being unable to stop loving ones carers, had a terrible consequence.
The way our parents treat us in those essential early years can turn into a life long affair of forgiving the wrong type of people, and forever choosing abusive partners, cruel friends, mind twisting manipulators who say that it is your fault or that there is no problem as though their behaviour only existed on another plain or in The Matrix. We can end up being thrown or throwing ourselves subconsciously headlong, out of the frying pan into the center of a volcano. What did I do, I still looked, I still loved, I still turned around wanting to see how my mum was dressed and tell her that she looked so nice. And that resulted in her death.
Or so I was lead to believe for most of my childhood. Until in fact I was 17 and saw the newspaper clippings about her death and how my father had stalked her, waited until he thought she was alone (as she had left him and moved to her mothers) and then, having gained access to where she was living, beat her black and blue, stripped her naked, raped her and then stabbed her 24 times. I thought her death was my fault. I carried my father's guilt for him for all of those years because he placed it on my little shoulders the whole time. He transferred his pain as though I had been born to be his personal psychologist, to heal him from his childhood abuse, from his bad choices, from killing his wife. From 7 and a half years old, the time when I recall being able to process and argue and stand up for my point in such a manner that I was always told that "You should be a Lawyer" he transferred all of his guilt and blame upon me.
"It took me a long time to get you out of care" (foster care). The cost of which was several years of rape, which we call child abuse. It sounds softer doesn't it, less imposing some how because there are so many forms of child abuse, where as with rape, no one is confused about what that means, what it involves, without having to ask more questions, without having to expand their knowledge because it really is that bad, that horrific, that cruel, for an adult to behave in such a manner towards a child, teen, adult. To rape them several times a week so that they count the days when it doesn't happen with 1 finger, so that they take joy when the abuser is absent, doing shifts, when they are free at school, when they are allowed to leave home and socialise with other people, family members before being isolated in absolute hell, lies and a labyrinth of secret behaviours and being shamed, scared and terrified into silence.
That beginning, the family that I had no choice about, two abusive parents who loved their other two children so much, who impacted upon me so that despite my ability to save myself, they still managed to leave invisible scars that I am healing. They taught me that being treated badly by other people was normal and a sign of love. That the more they rejected me through passive aggressive behaviours, that me turning the other cheek was a good judgement when all it does is leave me with a very sore face from the emotional or physical abuse they dealt out. They normalized incredibly bad behaviours and ways of being that it is indeed a miracle that I am resilient and live, love, have good relationships with people, am happy and am lucky to have an almost Nelson Mandela mind, to be able to attach and let go of the people who pass through my life in a healthy manner and make healthy choices.
The road less travelled can be a very hard one, but it does have a happy ending. I didn't drink my problems away, my personality didn't split though it should have under the circumstance, I didn't go off the rails on drugs, I didn't end up in permanent psychiatric care. I experienced every day of the pain, I cried, I was suicidal but rationalised my 10 year old mind out of it because back in those days people didn't talk about Child Sexual Abuse and who would believe that my "Oh so nice" socially acceptable Superhero of a Dad who looked after his 3 beautiful, intelligent and well mannered daughters, worked full time, while encouraging them to learn languages could be a pedophile. He wasn't worth dying for, hiding the consequences of his actions would help him and not me. I tried to tell people, I wrote to Prince because his music was my lifesaver, that and art. I wrote about it in a poem and showed my friend when I was 17 and at college. I then told a teacher, who advised me to call the NSPCC or a therapist. I tried the therapist who wasn't available but was glad that, despite the turmoil it would cause, I was brave enough to speak to the NSPCC and they took the appropriate action, supporting me all the way through having to leave home and going to court. The police helped me too. They believed me 110% and never once made me feel that it was my fault but that I had done the right thing in reporting the abuse to them. They had 13 pages of detailed information. And thus, I am still here and able to share, and heal and care, and remind you, your best friend, your wife, your son, your husband, your daughter, your stepchild, your grandchild, your best friend's child, you are not alone. You will survive. They are not alone, and I hope you hear them when they call out in ways that they can only express non verbally.