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.

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Happy New Year

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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.

 

Alley Kid Twelve.

I don’t normally post warnings on my posts. Especially not Alley Kid, but I think the contents of this I should. If you have read my books, you’ll know what to expect, except. this isn’t so graphic, but there are details of abuse.

 

I don’t know how much time has passed. It feels like hours. My head is heavy inside, and it’s still daylight. I’m laid on a makeshift bed on the floor with my mattress from my room. Maz is laid with me. She is asleep. I don’t know what woke me. I look around and try not to wake her too. The place seems quiet. It takes me a moment to realise he is still here.

I can see the door. He’s waiting. Hiding.  I see shadows and darkness; it’s where he likes to hide. I see his eyes in my mind. The wide open discoloured whites of them. The way his skin wrinkles underneath. The dark spots on his cheeks. I can see them like he is right in front of me.

Something touches my foot. It’s soft, like a feather.  I don’t know what it is, I have a cover on me. I lift it and look down, but there is nothing there. I put my foot back down, but it’s there again and I move my foot, reach down and brush off whatever invisible thing it is. I close my eyes and then open them again. I can’t keep them closed. He’s going to come at any moment. Maz is asleep, she won’t know and no one will hear me, no one will help, just like always.

Maybe it’s his hand on my foot. Maybe he’s about to grab me. I can feel it. Next will be his nails in my legs like when I was little and he would drag me down and claw at me. I try to move and get away. I can’t. Inside I feel dead and heavy. My mouth is dry and I can’t take in enough air. My throat feels constricted; my lungs won’t go deep enough. I start to gasp and Maz wakes and sits.

“What’s wrong?” she asks me.

I try to talk. I say the words. I hear them perfectly, but Maz doesn’t understand. She asks me to repeat them and I do, but still she doesn’t know what I am saying.

“You’re slurring,” she tells me.

I try to speak clear. I try and tell her that he’s there. I try and move back and get away. I’m shaking and crying because I can’t tell her, all I can do is make sounds that aren’t even words. I try and push myself back, but just hit the front of the sofa. I am trapped.

“There’s nothing there,” she says to me. “It’s just the phet, you took too much.”

Joanne comes into the room. She must have heard me. She has a bag and Froggy is with her.

“Is he okay?” She asks Maz.

Maz nods. “He needs to sleep it off, but he won’t.”

Joanne has cans in her bag. She pulls one out and passes it to Maz, Maz offers it to me, but I don’t want it. Maz tries to put it to my mouth and I try and push it away.

“You need to drink,” says Joanne. “It’s been days you haven’t eaten or drunk at all.”

“If you don’t drink something your body is going to shut down,” says Maz.

I take the can from Maz, but she holds it with me. My hands are unsteady. I put it to my mouth and as the drink hits my mouth I realise how thirsty I am. I don’t waste time. I don’t sip it. One gulp becomes another and another, each one is not enough. I can’t take enough to make the thirst go away and within seconds, the can is empty. I need more. I hold my hand out and try and say the words, but I can’t. Joanne knows what I want though and she reaches in her bag for another. She passes it to Maz and Maz opens it, but my stomach flips over. I feel the heat of it inside as it sloshes the juice I have just ingested. I retch but nothing comes out.  Maz gets off the mattress fast and I try to move.

She tries to help me get up, but in her position she can’t. Joanne tries to help, but its Froggy that gets me to my feet and I know that any moment the drink is going to come right out. I can hardly move. I try and steady myself on all of them and in a rush, they manage to get me to the bathroom. I vomit in the sink and collapse on the floor. My body hasn’t finished though, but I don’t have the energy to get up and vomit in the sink or the toilet. It’s down my clothes. I can smell it.

Joanne runs out of the bathroom and comes back seconds later with a bowl. I ask her for a cigarette, only managing to get the word smoke out. She reaches in her pocket for her pack and gives me one, but I can’t even light it. Maybe this is death.

My mind wants to sleep. It wants to shut down. I feel it pressing on the inside making my skull ache. My eyes try to close but I fight them. I smoke my cigarette and sit forwards to wake myself up, but then he is there. I see his shadow out in the hallway. I lean back and he moves too. I lean forward and so does his shadow. I do it over and over.

“What are you doing?” asks Maz.

I try to talk but say nothing.

“You’re rocking.”

I still don’t say anything. I stop rocking, but I don’t take my eyes off the shadow. Maz has the shower running. For me I guess. I just keep my eyes focused on him, but they keep closing. They close for minutes at a time and I don’t realise. I don’t want to sleep. Maz and Joanne are there. They take my top off and I don’t stop them. Joanne tells me to stand and I have to lean on them and she tries to unfasten my jeans, but I don’t want her to, not with him out there.drug

Somehow I am in the shower and I don’t know how I got there. I’m leaning against the wall and sat in the base. Time slips in and out and I don’t see it. I try to ask, but they don’t understand and my words won’t come out. I keep still as they clean me up, get me out of the shower and put me back in bed.

I try to protest at being in just my underwear. I am cold. But Maz gets in with me again. They throw more covers over me and I can’t fight it. Sleep takes me away and I am gone.

I see flashes of moments. I open my eyes and people are in different places. Joanne on the chair watching the television. Maz on the chair. Froggy sat playing my games console. I don’t speak, just reach for a drink each time. The bowl is next to me just in case, but I don’t drink so much.

Someone is shaking me. I feel them and tell them to stop it.

“Wake up,” he says and I realise it’s my father. I didn’t know he is here, I didn’t remember. Did I let him in? I don’t know. No one else is there.

“Do you have the money you owe me?” he asks.

“In my wallet,” I try and say, but my words don’t come out.

“What?” he asks me to repeat and I try. “I can’t understand what you’re saying,” he tells me.

He kneels down to me and I try and tell him again. He grabs my hair in his fist, pulls my head up to him, I can’t move. I try and get out of his grip but I can’t.

“You’re such a waste of space,” he tells me. He clutches tighter, pulling my hair and I can’t fight him off. “You’re nothing to me.”

There isn’t anything I can do. It all goes dark and I fall asleep again. I forget my father is there and when I open my eyes he is gone. It is dark again and Joanne is watching the television with Angela and Colin.

I need the bathroom. Something feels wrong. It feels like I got turned off for a few hours as though I were a machine. I didn’t dream. Just darkness. I ask Joanne what time it is, she tells me. It’s been hours and I don’t remember them.

I try to stand, but my legs are shaky. They haven’t stood for I don’t know how long. My underwear feels wet. I look at Joanne and Angela and Colin, but they aren’t looking at me. They have a film on and I wonder if somehow I managed to wet myself. I don’t want them to know I slept so much I wet the bed.

I pick up a towel that’s laid on the arm of the sofa and wrap it around my waist so I can go to the bathroom.

In the bathroom I take the towel off and then my underwear. I just stare at it. My mind expected just to see wet clothes, but the red glares at me and I stare at it as though I have never seen blood before.

I feel nothing. No pain, no bruises. I don’t know why it’s there. I don’t feel ill. I feel panic inside. Fear. I don’t want Joanne to see. I don’t want to know where it came from.  I get in the shower instead. I don’t care that it isn’t heated yet. I want to hide from my blood soaked shorts. Maybe I’m dreaming. Maybe they aren’t there. Maybe it’s from the phet. I shower, but I can see them through the door. I have to get rid of them.

They are still there when I finish showering. Part of me wonders why. Why didn’t they just vanish? I can’t sneak them out. I’m sure that Joanne will see them. She’ll come out of the lounge the moment I come out of the bathroom with them in my hand. I get the envelope that holds my needles instead. I tip those into Joanne’s makeup bag and then I put my shorts in the envelope.

The blood is wet, it marks my hands and I just stare at it. I don’t know where it’s from. I don’t understand why I am bleeding.

 

Birthday Wishes

I find that the people that touch us the most are the ones we don’t expect to come along. They pop up like surprise and leave you feeling great inside. Maybe that’s their purpose, maybe it’s our purpose to pop into each other’s lives and make them better. If we stay or go, I don’t think it matters, but as long as the footprint that gets left behind is one of love and kindness, that is what is important.

Last month I received an email that touched me in such a way, from a wonderful young girl who had read my books and taken to them so much that she wrote a fan fiction. It felt so amazing to mean that much to a reader, that she would spend time on something and message me about it.

Today is her birthday. I wanted to make sure that she knew how much I appreciated what she had done and loved what she had written. She truly is an amazing writer.

Happy Birthday Nafisa!!! 

naf

I hope that your day is as wonderful as you are and that you enjoy it to the fullest. It’s your day, this one and everyone after it. Make them your own and thank you for taking the time to write and to message me. I hope that you keep writing, you work was so great to read.

Happy Birthday once again,

Much love and care.

JD

Alley Kid Eleven

I can feel the phet beginning to clear away as the light of a new day comes in. It washes away the dark and takes it from the outside and puts it on the inside, like a dirty puddle in my mind.silhouette of man/male on wall, cast by orange light /sunset.

The lightness from the phet inside my head gets replaced by darkness. I can feel it; a weight behind my eyes. Suffocating me. Dying on the inside once more. Often, I wish I could close my eyes and never open them again. I don’t want to die; I just want to make it all stop. Something to fill the gaping hole inside.

Karla is in the bathroom while I get dressed in the bedroom. I wonder what I’m doing. Why I’m doing it. I have no desire to be with Karla, but then I have no desire to be with anyone.

I have to leave before someone in her house wakes. She lives with her parents. I don’t want them to catch me. I don’t want them to know my face; to familiarise themselves with who is sleeping with their daughter.

Part of me wishes she would leave me alone. She wants more than I can give. More than I am capable of. She wants the world and I am nothing more than a waste of her time. Yet I cant end it. Part of me craves the fact that she wants me. What if I was to leave fully and it was a mistake?

Karla comes back out of the bathroom and I tell her I have to go.

“Can I see you tomorrow?” She asks. I don’t really know. I give a non-committal nod. I’m not sure what I’ll be doing tomorrow. I just want to go home.

I say my goodbyes, but I don’t end it with a kiss. She waits for one. I feel it. But she’s just like everyone else, waiting for what she wants and not seeing what it is I want. Not that I know. Everything feels pointless.

I get back to our flat and Joanne says nothing as I get in and it’s after 6am. She doesn’t care either. A quick stop off at the fuelling station on my way home for cigarettes and she’s happy. Of course when I walk through the door it’s as though she didn’t notice I was gone. The place is spotless. She and Angela are sat smoking and chatting. The overflowing ash tray sits on the table. I throw her a new pack as I pop my head around the door before going to my own bedroom to gain my happiness again.

Its almost an instant lift as I take the phet. Like pressing a button inside my mind and everything feels great again. The adrenaline up along my spine clears away the darkness and I feel normal once more. Normal enough that I go and join Joanne and Angela. Normal enough that I can sit and talk and I don’t really care what we talk about. Usually men with Joanne. She laughs and jokes.

Between the chaos, the days just go passed. It feels as though we have sat there the entire time. I haven’t seen Maz, but that is not unusual either. She takes days of rest, days away from this life where she sleeps. I don’t blame her. Sometimes I wish I could do the same. To close my eyes and sleep the days away.

Five days I have been going on the phet. I can smell it on my skin. My body sweats it out. We just have a little left now. The money is all gone. Woody came around and gave us what we needed. He went away pleased with almost three hundred pounds in his pocket. I have cigarettes and phet, I don’t need anything else. Will is still at his mother’s. Colin is with us and he doesn’t seem to mind that we have been awake the entire time. Mark has been a few times to take his brother out. Part of me gets on edge when I see him. Maybe today will be the day the police catch him here. I haven’t seen Phil or Becci. I wonder what he thinks of his car.

Joanne and I sit in the lounge. It’s morning. That itself always feel strange to me. When I have been awake all night and we watch the new day come in, it feels as though I’m outside of the world. Like I am watching people on the inside get up and do normal everyday things. They missed the new day come in. How strange for them. They went to bed and when they wake, it’s all different.

“We have a bit of money left,” Joanne says. “Shall we get some more phet?”

My mind screams yes, I want to. I don’t want to feel the darkness. But I know I need to rest. Five days, my jeans are loose. I can feel my bones. Maybe another day and it could fix everything. Fight away the dark. Not listen to my father tell me I am fat.

I sit on the sofa and turn on the television. The week’s daytime television is just beginning. I can hear my cat, Sooty. I haven’t seen him for a few days. He’s crying in the hallway. Joanne is on the sofa opposite putting on her shoes. l go to get the cat while she goes out for more phet. But I turn to stand and he is there. Behind her.

I lose control in that moment. He’s right there. I see his face. Just as I did when I was a child. The bad man. The man of my nightmares. The one who came to my room every night. I scream and back myself away as fast as I can. Joanne stands up. She is screaming at me, but I’m not looking at her. I’m looking at him. His eyes, his smiles. The darkness that is there, it holds his intent. No one can help me. He’s blocking the door and I can’t get away.

I can’t breathe. I clutch my chest. It is tight. Joanne grabs my arms. She shakes me. Asks me what’s wrong. I pull away from her. I have to get away. I look at the door he has gone. I can’t hear sooty. Maybe he killed him. I remember the cat. The one in the woods. Just the same. Its black and it can’t get away and the man killed him.

I move back from Joanne. I can’t get the air in. I’m going to pass out. I know it. I can’t breathe. “I’m calling an ambulance,” she says as I clutch my throat to try and get air. I shake my head and tell her no. They can’t come. They’ll know about the phet.

“What’s wrong?” She yells at me.

I’m shouting. She can’t understand. I can’t get the words out enough for her to get them. I gasp for breath. I shout. “He’s there, and point at the hallway. No one is there.

I get to the window and open it. Joanne yells at me again. “What are you doing?”

“He’s here,” I shout. I can’t shout hard enough to make him go away. I can’t make Joanne understand that he is there. I can see him. In the shadows out in the hallway.

“I’m going to call the ambulance,” she says to me again as I try and hold myself up. The room is spinning. I need air, but I can’t get it. My throat is closing. I can’t breathe deeply enough. Joanne gets the phone and I take it off her.

“No,” I say. I smash it down onto the table so she can’t call. She can’t call anyone. I watch for him at the door. The bad man. I can see him.

“I’m going to get Maz,” she yells at me. She is crying. “Stay here.”

Joanne leaves, but I can see him there. His eyes in the darkness. The silhouette of him. Like in the dark when I was little. The way he stood at the end of my bed before he got me. When I was little and couldn’t fight him off. When he did what he wanted and no one came.

I’m crying and screaming and yelling at him to leave. He doesn’t move. I open the window more and get my foot out of it. I don’t care that it’s the top floor. I need to get out, I won’t fall. It’s a big ledge. I’m half out the window. I can hear him. He’s making sounds like before. Like a growl.

I hear all the noises in the kitchen. I don’t know what it is. I get more out of the window ready to jump. No one can get me if I jump. It’s better than him. Better than his nails and his teeth and the things he’ll do to me.

Maz runs into the room. She doesn’t come very close. She shouts my name, but I can’t come in. But he’s gone. I can’t see him now. Maybe he is hiding. Maz walks slow to me. She puts her hands out. She is crying too. “Please don’t move,” she says to me. Joanne is with her. She stays behind.

Maz moves forwards. She grabs my hand and pulls me in. She wraps her arms around me. I can’t breathe still. She sits me down, she doesn’t let go. She lies down with me and wraps herself around me.

“He was there,” I try and tell her, but my words don’t come out.

“Don’t try to talk,” she tells me. She runs her fingers through my hair. I close my eyes and let go. “You’ve overdosed.”

Whatever

Whatever.

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(Sometimes I just write to get things out, this is one of those times.)

I want to hurt because it’s there. I want to scratch it out and make it go away. I want to make me go away. I want to turn it all off. I can’t cry it out enough, shout it, say it, or do anything to get it all out and gone.

It’s anger and aloneness, all at the same time. I want to curl up so it will go away and leave me alone. Then I don’t have to feel it any more.

I want him to take it away, say he was sorry, and know what it feels like. I want him to feel it so he really does feel sorry, not just words, but for him to understand. I want him to go back and fix it.

I want to be normal, go back, and make me be normal then. Why couldn’t I have proper things like food or clothes or just to feel safe? I do not know whose fault it is. It’s a mess.

I can’t think. It makes me want to put my head through a wall. There doesn’t seem to be a point. I can’t undo any of this. I just hide. It’s all a secret. People think I am one thing and really, I am something else inside.

My brother said when he moved out of my father’s house that it would be the end between them, but instead, he gets a normal relationship. His father coming to his house to help with DIY projects. My brother pops to our dad’s for things, he has a key, and he just walks in like a normal son. He gets everything and I have nothing.

I keep my dad away and I feel bad for it, but if I don’t, then it doesn’t change. He touches me, he hurts me, he leers at me and reminds me it’s all my fault because I was a ‘nice’ child. It was me. I turned him on. I flirted. I was the one with the smile and the face that promised more.

That is how I get everything.

That is all anyone ever wants.

It was me who climbed into his bed and I never said stop, not when he started to remove my clothes. I could have. I wasn’t afraid. I could have got out of the bed but I didn’t because I wanted that and he knew it. He knew it all the time. When I would come home from school and get changed; the way I got changed and that he could see me, made him want me. When I took a shower or a bath and walked passed him in just a towel.

It was all me, not him. Not him, because he didn’t make me. I got him to do those things. Not him. Me. It was me.

That’s why I don’t get things, because I’m the bad one and my brother is innocent. I am hard faced and I don’t feel anything and I don’t care. I am bad.