A Few Questions

I was asked some general wonderings, too, when I asked what people wanted to know. I guess that these are things I can’t quite cover in the book, so I’ll answer them here. Anything else I might not cover, just ask on my page or here, or message me. 🙂 I try to answer as best as I can.

These come from Kimberly:

 

“What happened to Nathan? “

 

We were friends until I was around 27. I still see him on Facebook, but we don’t talk that much really. He doesn’t live far away. As far as I can see, he is happy. We drifted apart because as my mental health got worse, I started to cancel things and eventually, he stopped asking. I miss him a lot, though.

“Are you still friends with anyone from college? “

 

No, aside from Facebook, I don’t see them anymore.

“Do you still live in the same area? “
I don’t live that far away from where I grew up. Probably just a 15-minute drive.
“How are you doing without being in therapy?”
I found therapy useless to be honest. I do better alone. My last one, last year, was pretty bad. He wouldn’t let me talk about anything. He’d say, What does it matter? It’s in the past. And had me down as having low self-esteem issues, which I don’t.

I did have CBT for my OCD at one point, but it didn’t cure it, just helped me to calm it a little. I needed that back then. I was living in a bubble.

I went to one therapist about my PTSD and the badman. He pretty much accused me of having an overactive imagination and said we’re all afraid of the dark when we’re on our own.

So, without therapy, I cope as best as I can.
“Do your children know anything about your abuse?”

 

They don’t have a clue. They know little things, like me not having a bed until I was 9, but no, they have no idea really, and I am glad about that.

 

“I’m also curious why your brother hates your dad so much. Was he aware of the things going on maybe, and just didn’t say? Was he abused in some way? Do you have a relationship with either of your brothers?”

 

I don’t exactly know why my brother hates my dad so much. I think it’s just a bad relationship and that our father is selfish, and he sees that. They fell out really when my brother asked me lots of questions, like whether my Nan used to beat me, like our parents had claimed. He realised it had all been lies and that made him angry. I don’t think he was abused, but he has issues from living in that house. Maybe he saw things. He was in the same bed as my father and I. He doesn’t live too far away. He comes and goes, but we talk. My older brother lives abroad now; we talk on Facebook. I have other siblings from later in life. My youngest sister is 12. I don’t really have contact with them, though.

 

 

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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.

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.

Sometimes I Miss You

Sometimes I miss you

Sometimes I miss you so much that it makes my breath catch and my pining heart beat faster.

Sometimes I miss the sound of your voice so much, that I can still hear it.miss

Sometimes I miss the touch of your hand in mine, that I can still feel it.

Sometimes I miss the sight of your face, but then I open my eyes.

Your absence makes me see the real you, more than your presence ever did.

You blinded me, made it so I couldn’t see.

Sometimes I miss the lies I believed.

Sometimes I miss the fake comfort I had in the illusion you created.

Sometimes I miss what you only pretended to give me

Love

My heart still feels bruised

Because…

Sometimes I just miss you.

Day Two!

Day two. Yes, day two of no self-harm, quite an achievement, especially when I didn’t start the day that way. I didn’t want to get out of bed. I didn’t want to face the day today, but I did, I got out of bed before that harming feeling took over. I wanted to share something today, it’s from a reader, he gave me his permission to share this. If all my books ever do is help children like the one he speaks of, then they were so worth writing and sharing. I’ll paste it below. I wish everyone in the world could have this kind of insight.

It took me a while to realise he was talking about me and talking about that little boy from long ago. I had to read it a couple of times before I understood, but here it is. Thank you Colin, and everyone else for the bundles of support I receive every day. I hope you all know how much it means to me.

Hello James my name is Colin. I don’t know where to start… It feels like I’m sitting down to write an essay… I’m 43 living in a small town near Shepparton Vic , Australia.. I’d like to tell you about a small friend of mine.. He doesn’t know me but I feel I know a small piece of him and his life.. He decided to write about himself and published a series of books. He wrote in a fashion I could understand about his misfortunate upbringing and day to day life….. I’d like to tell you how much I cried and still cry on a daily basis of the horrors this little friend went through and I believe still goes through every minute he breathes.. I can’t understand and I never will how he feels. He doesn’t know how much his books have changed my life forever…. I have lived in a gay relationship with my partner of 12 years, He’s a GP and has been there for me in the past month for when I felt really down and helpless reading my little friends books.. I couldn’t help him and I got heavily depressed… But that was ok, My feelings were nothing compared to what this boy was going through. My partner was very understanding and I feel for him too as he has to try and diagnose people with their own problems.. Recently my bike was stolen from my house by a 14 year old boy, He was caught and charged. I thought nothing more of it until I received a phone call one day.. I was requested if I had the time to be apart of a group conference for the young lad. I find out later this boy is living in a foster care type of accommodation and is only allowed to see his mother for 2 hours a week. I thought long and hard about doing this, I was in the middle of reading my small friends book at the time and took a different view of this young thief. I did go to the conference. I’m a funeral director and to be honest with the job I do I really couldn’t care less about my bike. What I was more concerned about why had this kid got into the state he was in… The funeral industry has changed my views on a lot of things, one being, life is too short as it is to worry about material things… I explained this to the kid and how in the first few months of doing the job I had to prepare a 14yo girl who had suicided for her funeral… I explained how I cried and that she had made a bad choice, he on the other hand still had his whole life ahead of him.. The long story short he seemed like a nice enough young man and had been influenced by the conference. I got a good feeling from it as well but then heavily saddened by what life he has gone through to get where he is. I would like to help this kid so I’m making a few phone calls to see if there is anything my partner and I can do for him. We have to be careful as some of the public are still on the belief that all gay people are perverts… Anyway It brings me back to my own plight, While reading the books I felt there was a heavy bearing of my own life in them.. I too sniffed petrol from a very young age and from a broken family of alcoholism on my father’s side I had my own questions to ask. As a child of around 7yo I remember overnight stays with one of my mother’s male friends of the time. I don’t recall any bad doings from this man except sleeping in the same bed. Confirming this with my brother and sister I think I was fine. My mother has passed away so I couldn’t ask her anyway. I’m sorry I hope I haven’t rambled on.. James I think you know my little friend very well, I’ve started to cry again as usual while typing this but he has taught me that’s ok.. please cut him some slack and give him a big hug for me.. That’s all I can do.. I still feel helpless but I hope for the best for him and yourself.. One of your photo’s say “sometimes when you see a person cry…….. I am here!…..” You can re-blog my letter if it makes any difference

Please tell our little friend how much he means to me… Thanks Colin

 

I know you all can't hug me, but when you send messages, even when I am too sad to reply, this is how it feels.

I know you all can’t hug me, but when you send messages, even when I am too sad to reply, this is how it feels.

Haha, you’re mentally ill.

Today I asked a deaf man to listen to this great song and then I laughed when he couldn’t hear it, I also asked all my friends on my facebook to laugh too. Then I put something too high up and asked a crippled man to reach it down, it was so damn funny when he couldn’t (please note I didn’t really). Sounds horrendous doesn’t it? Yet this is how I feel when I see such stupid things as the picture I have posted at the side. I hope it creates a good laugh, and then I hope those who laugh realise how cruel that is. This illness is an illness, it is serious and debilitating and certainly not a joke. It makes me sad when I see such ignorance. 1379856_10200784363384001_904517282_n

Perhaps you want to tell me to lighten up, it’s just a joke. Have a laugh. Take it easy?

I saw on an Asperger’s awareness site a post saying put OCD on your profile for a laugh. I was disgusted, not just at that, but for something that raises awareness for an illness, can belittle another one in such a way.

Today I reach day eight of not eating. This is due to my OCD, maybe it’s funny. Maybe I should be laughing.  For me it’s a nightmare. For me I am living with a crazy person inside my head who is so afraid to eat.

I bought a coffee this morning, pretty simple thing, but for me, I try not to watch the person serving, because I know if I do, I find a reason not to drink it and to pour, probably a perfectly good coffee away. I nearly did that today when I saw the young girl pig up my cup from the top. What if her hands were dirty? That’s what my mind started at, and then onwards it went to the many disastrous things that could happen if I drank that coffee.

Sometimes I am rebellious, it is like my OCD is a separate person to me, I havre to do things to annoy it. Like put my cup to my mouth and take a sip and then laugh at my OCD as it clutched its evil little head, because now it was too late, any form of harm or germ in that cup was in my mouth, so I might as well drink it all.

I saw this also today in a group, Obsessive Compulsive Cosmetics. What an awful name. Perhaps they will instruct as that poster said, Nike, to make running shoes for the paraplegic.