Why am I here?

Why am I here?

It is truly a great question. I don’t really know. Why am I here? Why is anyone here at all? What is the purpose to be alive? This question always sends me into a tailspin of depression when I think about it for too long.

How do you find meaning in your life, in the future of it, when it is impossible to find meaning in the past?

Sometimes, I stand over a dark hole just teetering at the edge. Why don’t I fall in? Jump? It wouldn’t matter really. I could curl up, close my eyes and sink into the darkness and be gone.

Instead, I stare at a man. I look at him and ask, why are you here? He is old and frail now. He is waiting to die. His mind flits back and forth between the years of his life and one moment he is in the past and the next he is in a world that never existed. Why is he here?

You, my father – the decrepit old man who no longer walks. The man with the face of confusion and fear and helplessness.

I should laugh at the way your life is ending. I should rejoice in it. I should relish in the hand that karma has given to you. As I watch you die, I feel loss. A deep intense loss in the depths of myself. I’m losing my father. Not you. Not the one I have, but the one in my head. The one I hope for. The one that I hope will emerge one day and tell me he is sorry and it was all a mistake. I’ll lose my hope. My chance for answers that I don’t really want. I’ll lose that chance that one day you might wake up and realise you want me. I’m losing that part that maybe one day you’ll tell me it wasn’t my fault.

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But I am losing something I never had. All I am losing is things that I hoped for.

Why are you here?

I stare at you sometimes. You’re almost bed ridden now. Your skin hangs loosely where age and sickness has stolen your muscles. You have legs that don’t hold you. A mind that doesn’t guide you. You have frightened eyes and I a gaze that maybe I once had. One that’s innocent and lost and needing something, yet so many times all that stared back at me when I had that face, was you. You and your anger and your wants and desires. Not once did you stop. Not once did you look into my eyes and see my tears. Yet I do that for you.

Somehow it is the other way around and you are the scared one. You are the crying one. You are the one needing someone to come in the dark and make it all okay. You ask me to do it and I do. Guilt tugs so damn hard in my chest that with everything, I can’t turn away. I can’t do it. How did you?

After everything you have done, I cannot hate you.

Why am I here?

I have no idea, but why are you?

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Stolen Everything

I think as I go more and more through this journey in my life, I discover more and more has been stolen. Of course, I lost my innocence a long time ago, and maybe that was the worst thing to lose. Or maybe it was that I lost myself and who I was meant to be, but there are moments, things, that I never realised I had lost.
Sympathy.
Not mine. It’s a weird thing to lose. I sit here with my chest tight and my shoulders weighted down, but there is no one to really turn to. People’s dislike for my dad is stronger and they can’t see. They can’t see what is being taken from me.
When normal people’s fathers are sick, suffering with something like cancer, and the normal person sees their parent slipping away. When the adult who raised them suddenly needs help to fasten shoelaces, make meals or simply fill out a form. They talk to their friends, they get hugs and care and sympathy.
I find myself in this place I never imagined, where that has been stolen from me. I tell people my father is sick, and they say good. Inside, the child who is there, who loves his father, wraps his arms around himself for comfort. 231b6640ef7d79030ade6674b2b0185d
When I say that I am helping my dad, fixing his car, cooking his meal, I am told that I am doing more than he deserves. I end up finding myself torn between what feels right to do and what people think I should do.
When people ask me why I would help him, my answer is because he is my dad. I find myself envious of that normal person who wouldn’t be asked why, but would be asked, what help do you need.
I wish I was a normal person. Instead, he is my abuser and I am his victim. But I wish the world would see that he is my dad, and I am his son.
I never knew that this part had been stolen.

From Victim to Parent

I asked the readers on my Facebook page a week or so ago if there was anything that they wanted me to blog about. I have tons of blog ideas, but maybe I never really hit the spot. So I thought that I would put it out there. I should really make it a place people can ask and I’ll answer. I’m going to answer the ones I have over the next week or so and in no specific order.

The first one comes from Dawn. She asked: “How you managed to overcome all that you went through to become the strong caring father & person you are today. That’s one thing I’ve never really seen explained in any books written by people who were abused as children……how do they go on & function & be able to be caring, competent adults. It has to be so hard to overcome all of that….I can’t even imagine.”

Terrie also asked: “How you were able to raise your children when your parents did not pass any skills to you?”

There are quite a few questions in there, so I’ll break it down. How have I managed to stay a strong and caring father? Father and child

I didn’t start out that way. I became a parent at 16 years old. It was way too young. I didn’t have a clue what I was doing. If you read Scars, you’ll see that I did a lot of things wrong – a lot of bad things. I had to go right down before I could get up again. I ended up on drugs and almost lost my son to social services. My dad was going to get my child and be his legal guardian. That was the moment I looked at my life and at my son’s life and thought no, this isn’t going to happen. I had to make a choice to get clean or I was heading for prison, and my son was heading for my father’s house. This is what Scars is about; it’s the journey downwards, until I couldn’t get any lower in my life.

With my children now, I often try to judge what I am doing. They are the family I have and I try my best to make them happy. I try to give them the right guidance. I try a lot to protect them because my father is still around in my life and they don’t know my past with him. It’s easy to be a better parent. I just do the opposite of how I was raised.

Some of it is just an act, though. The functioning adult part is. I don’t think I will overcome things really. Not ever fully. A recent example is last night, at 3:30 a.m., I had to wake my friend up on the phone because I was afraid. I had had a bad dream filled with flashbacks and all kinds, and I couldn’t feel safe. I was sure the bad man was coming back. I could feel him. I was very afraid. The frightened child inside me takes over. I have so many fears because of this man. I have in the past slept outside or in my car because my fear has got too big. KCRG_news_depression-teen-boy-sad1

Every minute of every day is a fight, and my children help me with that. If they could see inside, though, they’d see I am not that strong. I suffer from OCD. Just getting up in the morning is a drama – what to wear, what to eat. I debate whether I should eat, because I have phobia of vomiting and bringing up my breakfast. I get afraid of being outside and want to go home sometimes, because I just can’t face people. At university, I can’t touch the doors, and I can’t touch people. I have to maintain a distance just so I don’t flip out. I actually have a support worker at uni and a provision that I am allowed to leave the lectures if I can’t cope. I use a Dictaphone to record all my lessons because I suffer dissociation, too, and sometimes I can miss the entire lecture. When I finally get home, it is hard to go inside if my house is empty because the children are at school or something. I look through the windows and check that it is safe.

I try not to have any friends because I can’t cope when they need to do things in their own life – even if it’s just something normal and simple, like shopping. I can’t cope with any kind of abandonment. I have one friend, and she has to cope very well with what to say to me and how to say it. She needs a medal some days. My fear that they won’t come back is so great. It is much simpler to just be alone.

I am a self-harmer. I have to hide that from my children too. So much of how I am with them is because I never want them to become like me. I don’t want them to have my fears or phobias. I want them to enjoy life. It really is because of them I am here. If they weren’t, I would have ended my own life a long time ago. I often wish my father had done it while I was a child and saved me from these years of torment.

Some days the only functioning I can manage is breathing. But I try.

I’m not really sure if this answers your question, but put simply, I use a lot of how I felt as a child to guide me with how to raise my own children, and I hide behind a façade of normalcy to hide what is inside. Only when no one is around do I allow myself to break down.

Facts of Shame

Sometimes I have to be brave when writing these blog posts. Sometimes I want to say things that I think might make people hate me or find me disgusting. Sometimes fear keeps me silent.
This one probably falls into the hate me and disgusting category, but I have tried to write it before and feel it is important, especially to those like me.
There are three facts that I have struggled with since I was a child. Three facts that used to make me think I was the evil one. That everything that happened was my fault and that in no way was anything that happened to me abuse. I want to write this post for those who still think those things, but it is going to be very hard to write, and maybe a little odd to read.
My body would react to what my father did. I enjoyed what he did. Sometimes I can find that thoughts of rape/abuse/incest arouse me.
That sentence was so hard to write. Even harder to see and leave it there. Will you think I am disgusting? Will you think I deserved what happened? Will you think I am sick?
For a long time I thought that about myself. People talked of child abuse and give this image of a crying or screaming child. And there I was with my father, and my body would climax. It had to be my fault, right? It had to be, because if it wasn’t, then I would scream and cry too, and I wouldn’t have this feeling that felt nice. I was 7 years old the first time it happened. After that I craved that from him. I went to him with the purpose of that feeling. I didn’t understand. Someone said to me once, “Congratulations. Your body works.” I stared at them as if they had gone insane. Was that really the answer? I wasn’t sick? I was shaking so badly that day.
I remember reading after that, having it likened to be tickled. No one really likes being tickled, but when they are, they laugh. Laughter is something of a pleasure, right? So why would you possibly have a pleasurable experience of something you neither like nor want…? Because the body is designed to have these reactions.
Does a child who orgasms during abuse, or an adult during rape, hold some of the responsibility? No. It’s exactly as I was told. Congratulations, your body works. shame-child-face-hiding

I also once read somewhere, and this was a post from a woman, but I think it still applies. She stated that the sex with her father was the best she had had. No partner since had ever come close to it. You’d be inclined to think she was sick? Twisted?
I stared at this when I read it. Is it really normal to feel the way I do? I took this then to a counsellor. He told me that we learn everything from our parents. Lessons that we take into our adult lives. These things become the “right“ way to do things. They teach us how to cook, how to write. They teach us what to believe in, the way we should act, the norms of the society we live in, and in our minds, these are right. So what happens when your parent is the one teaching you sex? It becomes the thing that you gauge every subsequent encounter with. If like me, the sexual relationship with my father is probably the longest one I have ever had, maybe it was the same for that woman too.
Perhaps the last part of the statement is the hardest to get across without sounding as if I will repeat what my dad did, because I won’t. It would never enter my head. In fact, I often feared dressing my own son when he was little in case someone thought that of me. But I know I am not alone in that violence and sex is arousing, even in the worst forms. There’s a whole world of BDSM and erotica out there that makes a fortune. It is just the same, except… I guess it links in with the first two things. My father was doing something that my body liked and he did it for a very long time. My experiences with him became the foundations. Most teenagers have this period in life where they explore. They take things at their pace, try things out, fumble, mess up. All the things that are normal. People like me, we never had that. I was taught that sex was violent. That it involved incest and secrets and shame. I still fight with this one. I don’t know how to put it across properly without sounding like I might be a monster, but I just want people to know they aren’t alone. And they aren’t monsters either.
Remember the child only had the tools he was given.

I Want to Show You Something

If you could zoom through space in the speed of light, what place would you go to right now?

Blogging 101 Day Two.

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I want to show you something. I want you to really see. I want you to understand. Not through your eyes, nor through mine, but through what I show you. I want you to look.
The room, it’s filled with shades of orange and yellow, warm sunlight filters through the curtain from the dusky autumn evening. The sunshine creeps in so much that the smell of the warmth permeates through the room. Evening motes dance idly across each ray that gets through, oblivious to what they are about to see. On the floor, leaning against the wooden box, just in front of a window, is a boy.
He’s sitting there, small and innocent. He’s almost silent, save for the small hiccups that make his body tremor from the crying he’s since pushed down. His tiny arms wrap around his legs, small hands and small fingers try to ease away the fear that’s inside. His head is down, he doesn’t want anyone to see him cry. He doesn’t want anyone to know that he is upset because he’s getting a new brother. He doesn’t want his mum and dad to be taken away. He’s five years old, his parents are his world.
He’s afraid.
Look at him. Look at his face, so small. Look how he bites his lip to keep it from quivering. He doesn’t blink to keep the tears in his young eyes. He’s trying so hard to make himself happy. His dad is happy, so he should be. His dad is happy; he’s going to have another son.
Watch the door. Watch it and see. Cruelty ascends from the darkness below. Hidden behind the face of an ordinary man. Covered in the mask of a love. He gets closer, the heavy footsteps approach, and his evil design in his mind.
Just watch.
Dark intent drips from him with every step. The walks over to the other side of the room first, he turns his back, but don’t look at the man. Look at the boy, look at his face as he swipes away his tears so the man doesn’t see. Did you see?
The man walks over to the boy, crouches down and enquires what’s wrong. He hasn’t been fooled, he sees the boy has been crying. The boy puts his head down, he doesn’t want to say. The man gives a loving sigh and smiles down at the boy. He reaches out and touches the boys hair, soothing him as he invites him to sit on his lap for reassuring comfort.
Maybe I could stop there. Leave it in a moment of care. I want to scream at the boy. I want him to put his arms down. Don’t fall for it. Don’t. Run away. I want to shout until my voice is hoarse and my breath is gone.
Do you see?
Does it not make your heart constrict?
The man had plans all along
Did he not care that it was wrong?
He lifts the boy, picks him up.
Turns him around, slams him down.
His hand over his mouth to stifle his screams
His clothes torn from him, to shatter his dreams.
Listen to the cries of stolen innocence. Listen to the screams as the man violates.
Listen to the sound. How can you stand it? The wail of agony. Pain so deep, it will stay forever. Listen to the sound of those falling tears, I can’t stand it. I cover my ears.
The boy is five
The man doesn’t stop
He doesn’t listen.
After, he stands victorious above the boy.
The boy, broken, bleeding and bewildered. Innocence never knew such evil.
I said I wanted to show you something. I want to show you the boy. Look at the child, curled in a ball. Look at him shaking. Look at his face. Look at his tears. Listen to the way he cries. Look at the way he tries to get up.
Watch as he looks at the man, not understanding.
Watch as the man leaves.
I wanted to show you a day, the say when the sunlight came through the window and evil came through the door. I wanted to show you when the man broke the boy and didn’t care anymore.
I wanted to show you the day a father killed his son, not the living and the breathing, but his soul that is within.
You dad, you are the man and I am the boy.
I wanted to show you.

Twenty Minutes in My Head

Twenty minutes of the thoughts from my head.

I think that my father cannot bear to let me have anything in my life. It doesn’t matter if it is good or bad. He becomes like some petulant child jumping up and down, screaming what about me?

Well what about you?

It’ll take me a lot to write this and to not allow the anger that is bubbling inside to come out and pour onto this page. I feel the anger from it and him and his words and his … I don’t even know the word to use here right now. But I feel it. I want ti cut it out. Nothing would please me more than to go upstairs to my bathroom and take out the blade I have specifically for my self-harm. letter-writing-pic

He did it again. Like always he comes in and lays waste to my already shaky foundations. He comes along and destroys what is there. It doesn’t matter how much building I do. How much protection I try to put between us, he knows how to shoot for my heart and he does it every time. He doesn’t miss.

I passed my first year of university not so long ago. I got a first too. I was very proud of myself. Of course my father felt he had to come along and claim his prize. Hold me up like some trophy and proclaim to everyone how hard it had been to bring me up. He bowed down graciously and received applaud for his efforts as a father.

I said nothing. It is terrible to say that I hope he has died by the time I graduate. The day I get my doctorate I don’t want him to be here. I don’t want him to take any credit. Even if it is fake. He had nothing to do with my education. I will have done it in spite of him.

He struck again a couple of days ago. Those who have me on facebook will know that there was a new addition to my family. A grandson. He is a little poorly at the moment. He was born early and his bowels were outside of his body, but he is recovering and coming along just great.

Naturally this meant that my attention was focused on my family and on this little guy and his recovery. My father thought or perhaps felt a little left out and along he came once more with his patheticness.

I had just come out of NICU when I received my father’s message. He wanted to know what he was to this baby. If he would have a part in his life. I want to ask him if he is joking. I know what he does with little boys. Does he really expect me to hand over something so innocent to him? He went on to tell me things about someone important in my life – things that I know are untrue. They still hurt to read, though. Not because I believed them, but because this is my father and this is how low he has to go to get my attention.

The closing part of his email was one of pleading. Asking me to end his pain, because apparently that is what I do. I cause him pain with how I am. He’s asked me to say goodbye to him. For him to be able to disown me. He won’t. I get this threat a lot, but it still hurts me every time I hear it. It still tears me apart to know that my father ever wants to hurt me. I don’t know why. I don’t know what I ever did other than be his child.

It all hurts inside and I am not sure how to get it out.

Numb

You’ll have to excuse me, it’s a little random.

It’s been a rather weird week, or ten days. I don’t really know, I lose track, things are so hectic. It was my mother’s birthday a few days ago. She would have been sixty. It’s a strange thought. In my mind she is still in her 30’s, that’s where she got frozen.

The weather has been horrendous, a lot of the weather sounds are very triggering for me, lying by the window when I was a child, afraid it was going to blow in, so of course when I lost half the roof to my house a couple of days ago, things like that went through my mind and I felt a little out of it as the parts inside me tried to comprehend things that were going on. numb

It seems like something every day this week. And there have been days I just wished it was over. The power went out for us too, because of the weather, not just my house but an entire two mile radius. I have never seen the streets so dark or my house and there was nothing I could really do about it. I don’t like the dark. I hoped that when I went to sleep, the lights didn’t go out again.

I hope as new storms begin, that my house doesn’t receive any more damage and that we are not plunged into darkness again.

My dad called me yesterday, while the power was out. I am not sure he was talking to me so much, he seemed to not be registering anything I was saying and he was crying. I hate when he cries, it makes me feel such guilt for the way I made the world see him with my books. I feel like I did something wrong. I look in the mirror and wonder how I could have told the world all of those secrets. What is wrong with me to do that to my father?

He was crying because his cancer has spread, he’s been told he probably won’t make the year. I’m not sure how I feel about this, I know many readers will think good, but he is my father still. I write this and all I want to do is cut, because I don’t know how to deal with whatever it is I am feeling. I don’t even know what that is.

All I can think is that he is going to die and he is never going to tell me that it wasn’t my fault. I need him to say it. I need to know it wasn’t me. Not from my readers, or friends, from him. I need to know for real that it wasn’t me who made him that way. I don’t think I will ever get that, though.

His stepmother died a couple of weeks ago and was buried. She’d been his stepmother, my step grandmother from before I was even born. He didn’t tell me she had died. He didn’t invite me to the funeral, even though everyone else went.

When he found out about the roof of my house being blown off, his answer was oops. Not once did he call to make sure we were okay, if anyone was hurt, were the children afraid?

All the evidence is there for me to see that I am nothing to my father, yet I don’t know how to let go.

My older brother contacted me a week ago, the one who was adopted out because my mother hurt him. I haven’t talked to him in years. We talked for an entire afternoon like we had only seen each other yesterday; he has been diagnosed with all the same things as me. He was able to sit and put blame for things in all the right places. I wish I could. I wish I could make the same break he did.

My hands are bleeding as if I have run them along a cheese grater, sometimes I cant move them they are so sore, this is my OCD. The parts inside me are switching so often that some days I don’t even know who it is that stares back at me in the mirror. I woke up this morning and self-harmed because just breathing and getting to the next moment seemed impossible.

Yet with all this. I feel numb.