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.

 

Forgiveness, The Afterthoughts.

Yesterday I wrote about forgiveness and how to do it, almost after I had posted it and replies came in, it occurred to me that perhaps it isn’t my father or even my mother that I have to forgive. Perhaps it is the little boy himself that needs the forgiveness. 

I’ve hated him for a very long time, to the point if anyone asked me I would say, I would happily push him down the stairs and hope it hurt for the things he did.  But I have to ask myself, if he were a real child stood in front of me, if he was anyone but me, would I do that to him and no of course I wouldn’t  I would never hurt a child.

In a way it is like I am on the side of my mother and father, I help them to abuse him even more because I blame him. I get asked many times if I think I could confront him about the things he has done and I can’t, not that I am afraid of him, but if I confront him, then he will know that he abused me and I don’t want to hurt him. How strange is that? But it’s what I feel and I think, points to I actually have to accept that what my parents did was abuse, because I don’t, and I only call it that for the sake of here. When I was in therapy I could never say it out loud, it felt like I was lying, not about the events, but about the label.

I found myself nodding a lot to the replies I received yesterday; one of them was from someone named Lil, her words were so very true. Especially about my recent issues. I have a very hard time right now sticking to the decision of having my father out of my life. He doesn’t make it easy because he keeps emailing me and messaging me, of course none of them are nasty, in fact most of them are so nice its heartbreaking, because he is teasing me with exactly what Lil mentioned the answer to my craving for a parent.  He’s showing me what I have longed for my entire life, but part of me knows that if I go back, he’ll snatch it right back again.

And here I am, full circle in my thoughts, I don’t accept that what they did was abuse, I don’t accept it because it’s my parents., I can’t let go of the belief and hope for the parental love back. I blame the little boy for what he did and making me who I am today, because if it wasn’t for him, I wouldn’t have been abused and would have the relationship I so clearly want.

I need to forgive that child. I need to forgive myself.

Truth in Anger.

I haven’t written for a couple of days, I guess I can feel it and it’s probably that, that feels like its weighing on me somehow. I always feel better when I have written, so far now I am doing it here and saying whatever comes to mind and hoping that somehow I can lift this silence I feel right now.

It would seem that my father has actually got the message to stay out of my life, funny really, I thought he would be upset and hurt, but he’s quite the opposite, he’s angry and telling anyone that will listen how bad I am, and what awful things I said to him, which I didn’t of course. I simply told him that I was tired of being hurt and because of that I didn’t want him to contact me anymore.

My brother has just moved house, just over a month ago into his first home. My father has told him that he isn’t allowed to invite me to the house warming party. I’m not to be there as part of his family and at Christmas myself and the children can get lost and they get nothing because he washes his hands of me. He has told people that it is him that made this choice not me.

I thought I would be bothered about him doing something like this, but in truth, it’s just made me angry at him. I’m angry that he would dare to tell my brother he has to stay away from me. I’m angry that he thinks he still has some control. But I am happy to be angry, it gives me focus. It removes the guilt that I felt about walking away. He makes me see him properly.

Thank you father, for letting me see the real you.

The End Perhaps.

Maybe now it is time for the end.Image

Maybe now I have to say, it’s done.

Too many times I have tried. I have waited but it’s always the same. I get crushed.

I realise I am waiting for something that won’t come. It would be far easier to touch the stars than it would to reach out to you and for you to understand what it is you have done.

I have never harmed you; I have never hit you or beat you. I have done everything you ever wanted me to do and always you deny me the one thing I wanted. A family and a father that would love and not hate me.

But you don’t. You beat me down every chance you get. You call me names and let me know my place in your family.

I ask you why? Why am I still here? Why did you keep me? What was the point? You deny it and tell me I’m imagining things; that if you didn’t want me, I would have been put up for adoption. I wonder what it is that you thought you gave me in life.

I’m done now. It’s over. I hurt too bad. It breaks my heart to walk away, but what else can I do? There isn’t anything like I hoped. You are cold and there is nothing. I will always be an enemy in your eyes. I realise this.

I could call you names and give you my anger, but what would be the point? You wouldn’t listen. You would turn it back on me and tell me how it was my fault.

I feel sorry for you. Your life is sad and you miss out on so much because of your hatred. Your grandchildren, your family, and children that would love you and be there when you needed. But that isn’t enough for you. I’m sorry your life is so poor that you have to bring me down.

You may look at me walking away as nothing. You may call me names, swear at me, even try and hit me for it. I have no doubt all you will feel is anger. But I can’t stay. Not with you. I can’t be here.

I feel so bad to walk away. It hurts so much. But it hurts more to stay with hope, and listen to you. I can’t do it any more, I’m sorry.

I feel guilty to leave you alone when you don’t have anyone. I wish you could see why it is that you are alone, but you are too blind to notice that you got rid of everyone.

Maybe I’ll be back, I don’t know.

Maybe I’ll pick up the phone the next time you call. Maybe you won’t even care that I’m not here any more.

But, I have to do this for me. I hope I have the strength. I hope I can stand alone and do what is right for me. I hope I will be better than you. I hope one day you’ll be able to live your life without all this hatred.

I am your flesh and blood. Your son. You tore me apart once more. I am broken.

I’m sorry you’re my father.

Goodbye.

Turmoil.

Some days, I wish I could confront my father.

Not with the past; even as much as I want to beat him with the question of why until he is down on the floor, and because I want him to be sorry for what he’s done.

What I wish is that I could take hold of him and not say look what you did to me as a child, but rather, look what you’ve done to me in my life now. Today; when everyday is a constant battle. I wish I could give him a day of it.

Most days, I think I have gone somewhere in my mind. Apart from writing, my voice is still missing. I still cannot bear to look in a mirror any more than I have to. I hate the face that stares back at me. It is not mine. I wish I could cut it away.

My father was very nice to me this weekend. He had to have his cat put down. She was actually mine and he came to my house to drop her things off. He was concerned I was okay with her passing.

She had not been my cat for years, but this side of my father is the hard one to deal with. He’s nice and caring and I’m walking over a pit on a broken plank waiting for it to give way.

I have to remind myself of the reason he had my cat. I had to leave everything behind to enable myself to recover from drug abuse, and the reason I was doing that was the because of the life he had given me.

He has thrown me into turmoil once more.

Goodbyes.

 

It’s been two days since my brother died. Two days of feeling something strange. I made it to Monday and he didn’t. He stopped walking.

 

I never know how to handle grief, I’ve never been taught. The only thing I know about things that hurt, is to not feel them. I was stood in the queue at Starbucks in Manchester when my father called me. He could barely get his words out as he told me. It’s been a long time since I have heard my father cry, at least I think I have heard him, I am not really sure.

 

I realised as he was talking that I really felt nothing for his grief I detached. I was listening to his words, and my mouth was saying all the right things to him, but I had stepped out of myself. Each sentence that came from his mouth, my mind took it and pointed at his behaviour. When I asked how he was doing, he told me he felt sick and couldn’t believe it. Then he went on to tell me about my other brother and sister being upset by it all. His words were, ‘we are all in a state of shock about it, and we have been just sat all morning,”

 

I got clarity. I saw it right there. I am not a part of that family. He has never allowed me to be. I keep trying and keep getting the door slammed. Maybe it is natural to him to do that now.  Perhaps he has made it natural for me too. I felt nothing for him. Not even pity, he had just lost a son, but he might as well have been a stranger telling me. Perhaps my emotions decided to take their own line of revenge on him. I remember when my daughter passed, she was still born and I understand that it is not the same, my father didn’t attend her funeral, because in his words, “what did it matter, she was never alive.” Those were the words that struck me this Saturday.

 

He’s grieving to the world for a son he had with another woman, a son he denied was his so many times. It leaves me somewhat torn I think. A battle within me, which side of me is going to win out. The man who just lost a brother or the son that feels anger towards his father.

 

I didn’t sleep so well on Saturday night, not because I was upset with my brothers passing, though I am, but because my mind was on the fact, would my father even tell me when the funeral is. Would he allow me to go? Would this be just another event when I am not allowed to be part of the family? When his own father passed away, I did not get told. He was dead and buried and I never heard a word about it.

 

Today I see clear.

 

To my brother. I wish we’d got around to that beer. I’m glad I knew you.

A Wolf in Sheep’s Clothing.

Wolf in Sheep’s Clothing.

I have a picture of a man, laid in bed with his baby son sleeping on his chest. He is reading the paper. I look at it, and I wonder what happened to make that man hurt that child.

My abuser – My father.

I hate to call him that. I hate to label him.

He is my dad. The person that helped to create me. The person whose genes I carry. Whose reflection stares out at me whenever I look in the mirror.

Yet he is the one who took from me. The one that beat me. Starved me. Committed countless assaults on me for over a decade. Sold me. The one who broke me. The one that made me a mess and left me with all these shattered pieces to pick up.

I should walk away but I can’t. I think maybe that is hard for people to understand. Perhaps those that are fortunate enough to have real parents. We see child abuse in the paper, on the television. Hear about it on the radio and each time often peoples thoughts and even my own sometimes. Is why didn’t someone take the child away and do something?

Why didn’t the child leave?

Why do I still keep my father in my life?

I was asked once by a teacher if everything was okay. She had put up with me for months coming into the classroom and sitting at my desk and just crying. Of course I tried to hide it, but I could never stop it. It would just happen. I don’t really know why. Maybe it was because I was safe and I could.

I’d cry because I was hungry, because I had a new bruise or it hurt just to move.  I’d cry because I was tired and hadn’t slept or I was sick because my mother had given me more medicine and still I wasn’t good enough. Sometimes I’d cry because I was alone in my world. I was ten.

My teacher saw me crying again one morning and took my hand. She walked me down to the library. Gave me a drink and a tissue and sat with me. She held me when I cried and then she asked me ‘is something bad happening at home?’

I froze. I stared. I stuttered. I had no idea what to say because I realised in that moment I had given it away. I had shown my secrets.

I lied to her. I said no. She asked me why I cried and I lied and told her that I was upset because my brother had more toys than me and didn’t share. It was partly true, but a lame ten year olds reason.

I lied because I didn’t want my mum and dad to get into trouble. I didn’t want them to go to prison. I didn’t want to be taken away. I didn’t want to live somewhere safe. I just wanted my mum and dad to stop what they did to me and love me like they did my brother. It was that simple for me.

After that day I never let what was going on at home show to the outside world. I had to protect my parents. People wouldn’t understand. People would think they were bad. They would think they were evil and they weren’t.  People didn’t know my parents like I did.

I realise that I still hold that same hope. That’s what keeps me from walking away. Nothing has changed. He called me a week ago, and within twenty minutes had sunk me. Not with anything malicious, just the gentle hints of manipulation that remind me I am nothing to him. I am nothing more than the scrapings of a child he helped to make.

Yesterday he called me again. He was happy and excited. He talked to me about his grandchildren like a real father and grandfather. He gave me a glimpse of the dad I wish I had.  I held onto that. I fed it to my guilt. I told myself I was wrong for being upset with him. I was wrong for even having Dear Teddy out. It was saying bad things about him and he doesn’t know of its existence. I felt so guilty for the way I have treated him. The no father’s day card. Everything bad that I had done towards him came crashing down in my mind, because for a few minutes he gave me hope.

A friend of mine whom I talked to. She told me to look at it. See it for what it is, because if he was the father I was wishing for. The one I was waiting for then he would show remorse too. He would apologise. He would feel bad for the things he did.

He doesn’t.

Maybe the wolf dressed as the sheep and I believed it.