You Were Supposed to…

Childhood is supposed to be innocent,1

But you stole mine.

You were supposed to protect me

But you didn’t come when I screamed, you sold me

You were supposed to keep me safe,

But you violated me

You were supposed to care for me

But you made me sick

You were supposed to feed me

But you starved me

You were supposed to clothe me

But you left me undressed

You were supposed to hug me

But you beat me

You were supposed to console me

But you laughed

You were supposed to comfort me

But you turned off the lights

You were supposed to teach me

But you scared me

You were supposed to praise me,

But you made me ashamed

You were supposed to guide me

But you broke my mind

You were supposed to love me

All you raped me.

Love was all I wanted.

I hate you.

 

If you don’t want to cut, just stop it. Simple

Yesterday I wrote a blog title Death, I can’t really explain what it is about because I wrote it out yesterday whilst thinking and can’t remember it that well. But I do remember that someone had commented on my facebook page and said that she wished I didn’t self-harm. She said she didn’t really understand it.

I like that she said that, so many people who don’t understand simply say, if you don’t want to cut anymore then don’t. That’s like telling someone, if you’re on a diet, don’t eat any more, if you want to quit smoking don’t smoke any more cigarettes, pretty easy answers I guess and true in ways, but if you have ever tried to stop doing something, you’ll know how hard it is and how much that thing niggles at you and you give in, always tomorrow right? To diet, stop smoking, stop cutting or whatever vice it is you wish to give up. 1044939_157099524476527_1254857261_n

I can’t answer why everyone self-harms, but I can explain why I do it.

Have you ever been lied to? I’m sure you have. I want you to bring to mind just one time, but when it was a real big lie, one that really hurt. It doesn’t matter who did it, mother, brother, wife, husband, children, best friend etc. Anyone’s lies can hurt us deeply.

Do you remember the pain of it? The way it smack you in the chest so damn hard you couldn’t breathe. The way your stomach plummeted and your heart contracted in agony, pain that shot so deeply it brought tears to your eyes and angry to your cheeks. For those first few seconds you can’t think or can’t hear, nothing but your own heart beat in yours ears.

I’m sure right now if you are thinking of a lie that did that to you, you can bring all of those feelings to the forefront of your mind once more and you can feel it and you feel angry and betrayed and for some reason still can’t fathom why you weren’t worthy of the truth.

Remember that moment. Imagine you couldn’t say to that person who had lied to you, that you knew and that you were upset. Maybe they were at work, it’s only a few hours right? But its endless, this lie and the hurt goes through your body in torturous waves and you have to say something. It won’t stay inside. Even if it’s just picking up the phone and ranting to someone else about how you just got hurt. Sometimes the hurt from it feels like it will never go away. How can your relationship ever go back to the way it was? How will you ever stop feeling this hurt? Does it sound familiar?

Now instead of a lie, change it to something else, bullying, parents who don’t understand you, or in my case, abuse. That one lie hurts so bad doesn’t it? Even now, days, months, weeks even years later, there is a lie you can recall that still hurts. I know I have one from last year and when I bring it to mind it cuts inside the same way it did back then.

But what about child abuse? When someone is hurting a child. A child is so different to an adult, they don’t have the skills to process hurt and betrayal. They haven’t grown into an adult who understands these concepts, but they can feel this hurt, and they don’t understand it. But its more than that, when it is the parents doing the abusing, how does the child let out that hurt? The same hurt that you felt when you were lied to. For the child it’s a new additional hurt every day. Given to them by someone who is supposed to love them and care for them, but their actions say they aren’t worthy.

Me and so many other children had nowhere to go with that hurt. There was no one I could tell it to. No friend I could pick up the phone. No person I could yell at and make them take it back. I didn’t have the same skills available to me to deal with betrayal. And like liars, if you have ever noticed when you catch them, they get defensive, tell you how it was your fault, they deflect the blame so that they don’t feel any guilt. Much like a child abuser. So suddenly there is this child with pain and betrayal bigger than any lie could ever cause and words that point back at them that tells them it is their fault. What do they do?

They look in the mirror and they hate the face that stares back. They get mad at it. All that hurt and anger and pain and betrayal gets pointed at that reflection. Maybe they hit them, bite, scratch, cut, burn, pull the hair, but that face in the mirror has to pay, because it is their fault that child’s parents do what they do.

Multiply those days by weeks and then months and then years and then even some decades. The child is still there, just bigger and older. The pain is inside, but now it isn’t just one time, its years and years of betrayal by the people who were supposed to do the protecting. Every morning that adult wakes up, carrying years of agony inside them. For me, so many mornings just waking up is more pain than I can handle, I’m bursting with it, and the only way I ever learnt to let it out was to let it flow with my own blood and tears. So I do.

The next time someone lies to you. Bite your tongue, don’t confront them. Take it away and let it go silently. Can you do it? Or do you know you would only last so long before you exploded?

That’s self-harm. Minutes and hours trying to hold in the pain and nowhere for it to go.

Its not attention seeking. It’s not something that can just be stopped. It isn’t even a cry for help. It’s that moment when all the things inside need to come out but can’t, physical pain makes it better. Like releasing the valve on a pressure cooker before it explodes into a thousand pieces.

Sorry this is long, but I hope it explains it.

1 day cut free

I made it one day without self harming. I know that isn’t much, but it’s good for me, recently at least. I also went out to dinner with friends yesterday. I didn’t want to. I was afraid. It was the 4th and I hate that number, still it bothers me, I know it’s stupid, but I went and it was okay.

Back to uni tomorrow, I’m nervous about that. But maybe it will be okay.

All these challenges seem so easy to everyone else, yet I feel like I’m holding my breath.

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Happy New Year

happy-new-year-2014

Happy New Year to you all. I hope you all saw the new year in with friends and family. I saw the new year in alone this time, it’s been a while since I have done that, but it was okay.

It’s been a while since I have posted here. It’s been a while since I’ve really bothered talking to many people. I’m not really sure why that is, I think about doing it, saying hi, nudging, inquiring how people are, but then I always come back to what is the point? I’m better off quiet I think. I thought very hard about shutting this site down and my facebook pages too, but then I know that those who support me need somewhere, and so I don’t do it. Perhaps there would be some way to fade into the shadows and not be seen, to just be there and observe, so that people could forget me.

I realise how depressing this post might sound, I’m not really depressed. Just fighting and tired from it. Fighting to eat or not eat. I can’t make my mind up which I want to do. Today is a not eat day. I ate so much over Christmas. I fight to keep my OCD down, from it’s torturous voice. That one is winning at the moment. I’m back at university on Monday and I’m afraid. The voice of my BPD confirms to me when I look in the mirror, why no one is around. Self-harm is winning. Three days of the new year, three days of self harm. At least my PTSD has been a little more under control recently. So many things to fight.

I wonder if when I see the next new year in, my father will be here. I’ll be surprised if he is. His cancer has progressed, although that doesn’t seem to stop him in his ways. My own stupidity on Christmas day saw that I turned my back on him, I didn’t think, it allowed him to grab my head and ram it down twice into the roof of the kiddies play house. Then he tried to kick me, but I moved and his foot only just brushed passed me. Some lessons I really need to learn.

I wish all my friends peace and happiness this year.

Take Care.

 

The Grass isn’t always Greener

About 18 months ago my father had asked to talk to me about birthday and Christmas gifts. He gave me some form of lecture, or rather speech, pleading his poverty to me and explaining how he couldn’t afford Christmas and birthdays anymore and that perhaps he and I should just leave them, because of course I am all grown up now and don’t need those things from him.

Whilst I somewhat agreed with what he was saying, it did make me wonder. What birthday gifts? What Christmas gifts? He doesn’t even know when my birthday is, I think he only knows Christmas because it’s an international celebration and there isn’t much escaping it, but these gifts? I didn’t ask where they were, I just said okay.

He has never sent me a gift. Well that’s a lie, when I was 31 he gave me a gift and then made me split it with my older brother whose birthday is a few days before mine. grass-greener-fence-iStock_000011126842Small-resized-600.jpg

However, It got me out of the yearly commitments that my status as son gives me. Except for father’s day, he still insisted on cards for those, but for the last two years I haven’t given him any. Since writing Teddy things like father’s day cards feel like a lie, and unless Hallmark brings out a range that says, “I only bought this because I was obligated,” this will be a yearly battle for me not to get him one.

It was his birthday just recently; I had to go around to his house to take something there. I hadn’t been for a good year after telling him to get out of my life. It’s always odd to walk into the house that I grew up in. I still go and stand in the spot as a child that I was only permitted to stand in. I still don’t use the bathroom without permission first and often I just don’t use it and I don’t under any circumstance venture into any other rooms in the house without permission or invitation.

I stand there, feet slightly apart, hands held together behind my back, quiet and watching, just as I did when I was a child. Waiting and on guard. Stood where I can see every angle. It’s an automatic thing. I didn’t go near my father as I placed the card down that was from my children to him to wish him a happy birthday, and I know maybe some readers will say he doesn’t deserve it, but he does actually bother with my children on their birthdays and as far as manners are concerned, I think the children should at least give him a card on his day.

My brother arrived as I was stood there, his arms laden with gifts for our father. He and his girlfriend wished our father a happy birthday and talked like normal people. I felt so out of place stood there. Once again not fitting with them, there was me, stood outside this family which I am biologically related to, but as always treated like I am stranger.  Such a stranger that I don’t even have a father I am allowed to with happy birthday too.

Sometimes it is the little things that I realise I had taken from me.

When I had gone home again, my brother called me, he asked why I didn’t get our father anything, not even a card. He thought I was being shitty, but found it strange because he knows that is not me. I told him, not the full story of course, but that I had been told I wasn’t allowed. My brother’s response was shock. He suggested perhaps our dad was in a bad mood that day or something. Of course my brother doesn’t know the things my father would do to me. He doesn’t know about the sexual abuse, as strange as that may seem.

I don’t know who has it worse, the son who has a father he loves and loves him back, but it’s an illusion, or the son who knows everything and aches for the father he never had, knowing and feeling that there is no love there.

The grass isn’t always greener.

 

Strangers with Familiar Faces

Sometimes I think of things to write about on here and then I don’t, I think I don’t want to sound as though I am depressed or only write dark kind of posts. I am not after pity, mostly support, and sharing my journey. I think sometimes I lose track of that. I post here to help me, but also to help those that might come across my words with the same issues. I know, realising  I am not alone and that one person understands means more to me than any form of sympathy.

So I think I lost sight of what I started this for and so have not posted many thoughts.

A few weeks ago, when the weather was great I had a barbeque at my house, it didn’t actually start that way, but it’s what it turned into. In many ways I am glad, what started to be something for one of my children became a day where lots of things happened for me.BBQ

For starters, I ate barbequed food. That’s huge for me. I love food cooked on a barbeque, but my OCD had stolen that from me and really it had been a good ten years since I have dared to enjoy food like that. I ate crisps with my hands (potato chips to my American readers).

I had people in my house and I didn’t watch what they touched, didn’t freak out internally every time someone wanted to use my bathroom. I didn’t freak out later that many people had used it and now I had to clean it.

I didn’t panic at my children eating food with their fingers. I didn’t panic when the children and friends took their empty plates and things into the kitchen or when someone other than me opened bread rolls or salad.

Maybe these are little things, but to me, these are things that would have sent me on some odd kind of anxiety day until I couldn’t breathe.

Perhaps though, the most important realisation was my father. I hadn’t seen him for the best part of a year, my choice really. He came with my brother and they sat away from everyone else. I talked to them and I was pleasant enough, but really, I didn’t fit there anymore. I didn’t want to. I realised that I didn’t belong with them. They were just strangers with familiar faces.

When he asked me how I was doing with my schooling I wasn’t afraid to tell him, maybe it was because there were a lot of people around and I knew that he wouldn’t belittle me then or maybe it was just because I’m happy and I wasn’t letting him spoil it.

Afterwards when he left and I saw him out, we stood around the front of my house and for the first time I looked at him, really looked at him. I thought to myself, I know what you did to me. That kind of thing has never crossed my mind before, I don’t know where it came from, but maybe that in itself was another achievement for me that day.

Covert Incest.

Covert Incest.

I had never heard this term before, not once. It’s also known as emotional incest, but because the name states the word, incest, I should clear up that it does not involve any sexual activity at all.hug

Often, a part of child abuse that is overlooked, is the emotional side. It’s hard to realise that the years following abuse, are usually far worse than the incidents themselves. However, the emotional side is much harder to understand. As a victim, it is more difficult to realise that this abuse is what had also occurred.

I learnt about this concept earlier this week. I read it with my mouth hung upon, my mind uttering, oh my god, several times, and the realisation that everything my parents did, was one form of abuse or another.

What is covert incest? Exactly that. A relationship between family members that shouldn’t happen. Be it mother and son, father and daughter, mother and daughter, father and son. It is when the child is not treated as a child, but an adult and is put upon by the actual adult and his or her emotional needs. Often, it’s a biased relationship on the adults side, with the child really having little understanding of what is happening or what is expected of them.

They play the role of the parent’s emotional support. It is the parent crossing boundaries that shouldn’t be crossed. Roles are reversed and the child ends up being emotionally responsible for the needy parents well being.

I realise that this is something I endured with both my parents. Perhaps, this added to my feelings of being responsible, and the idea that I cannot shift, of making my parents the way they were. They gave me the responsibility by putting an adult world into my child mind.

My mother often sat me in the bathroom with her for hours at a time, using me as her sounding board. When we were out, it was my job to look after her and when she was afraid, I would get her home safe, and reassure her that everything was fine. I tried to hug her when she was upset. I complimented her and encouraged her. It was I who made her feel better about herself, and listened day after day, to her imaginary affair with one of our doctors.

Where was she, for me? She wasn’t, and I was only used if the family needed a scapegoat, if something was wrong, or if my mother was feeling bad.

Of course, by doing this, I learnt that if I said the wrong thing, I was beaten. I learnt the answers she wanted to hear. I learnt what made her feel good, what got her up in the morning.

Maybe this is why I feel responsible for my father’s wellbeing after I have told him to leave me alone, because they made everything my responsibility and my fault. How do I undo that?

The Long Term Effects (from CovertIncest.org):

Relationship problems are endemic amongst covert incest survivors. They often fall for the wrong type of partner—someone who is a replica of their invasive parent. Thus, their emotional needs remain unfulfilled which leads to unhappy relationships.

 

Because of the conflicting emotions that result from growing up with an invasive parent, survivors usually find themselves both attracted and repulsed by members of the opposite sex (or same sex, depending on their sexual orientation and gender of the invasive parent).

 

In addition, since the atmosphere in which they were raised was sexually charged, it is common for survivors of covert incest to use sex as a means to intimacy. This can result in sexual addiction or other types of dysfunctional behaviors as an adult.