“Little Blonde Girl – Looking For A Family.. Will Do Chores!”

One of the most important moves of my life was when I was 10 years old.  At the time I was living in the Eileen Corbett Center in East Vancouver.  Basically it was like a jail for kids. By this point I had moved a total of 62 times since I was apprehended at seven years old.  So in a period of less than 4 years I would have moved over 60 times. Eileen Corbett  was a bad placement, they were apart of my lawsuit that took place starting in 2009, settling in June 2005.

Eileen Corbett was a placement that had each child in their own small locked room, with a window that was also locked so that it didn’t open wide enough for even a child to escape.  I did manage to gain quite a record of AWOL’s from E.C though.  I ran every chance I could.  This “home” was a terror for each child that was forced to reside there and to endure the ongoing sexual, and physical abuse.   I have a pretty clear memory now of what I went through there.   I didn’t remember fully of the terror until I was in my late teens when I suffered very intense flashbacks, and visceral reactions.

Some of those “homes” were simply a couple nights here, and a couple nights at another… I spent quite a bit of time sleeping in the Emergency Services office in New Westminster as well.  Many nights.. it got to the point that they wouldn’t even look for an emergency shelter for me to spend the night at – they would point to the leather love seat that was located in the lobby of E.S and tell me that I was just going to have to sleep there for the night.  Usually my social worker would then come in early and get me either back to my home – or start the task of trying to find me a new foster home.  Other times I would just get up and leave after getting myself warmed up, and got some food inside my belly.  More often than not I would convince myself I needed to run again.

I knew towards reaching age 11 that my luck was really going to be running out soon.  If they (Ministry) couldn’t find a permanent home for me – at least before I turned 12; well that could mean that I was going to be put into a locked facility long term.  This is something that Karen had been telling me over the last couple of years.  At one point they were so desperate to find me a home – they had actually posted an ad in a couple local newspapers for foster me.

One day I received a visit from my social worker to say that they had found a group home to move into.  It wasn’t going to be permanent, but it was supposed to be the last placement before my forever placement.  The place I would call my home for the next 18 months; Morley House.  Morley house was one of 5 group homes run by Browndale Care Society.  It was based out of Vancouver, BC.

 

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Morley House would be a life changing place for me.  It’s where I would meet my future “Mom” Anj.  I met Anj very soon after moving into the group home.  I remember it being around Christmas time, there was still snow on the ground.  I remember the day a little bit when I first met Anj.  She was a resource worker for Browndale Care Society – she was not a foster parent – and hadn’t thought about being one until the day she met me she said.

It’s kind of a sweet story – Anj said on her way to Morley house that day she was pulling up onto our street and saw this little blonde girl walking up the side of the road with a large sign made out of cardboard with writing on it that said; “little blonde girl wants family, will do chores!”  Anj said she was both heartbroken and filled with love at the same time.  I guess now looking back I feel sad for her too – I was so willing to try anything!  I didn’t know it then, but 18 months later I would officially find out that Anj wanted to take me in and foster me permanently.

 

April 19, 1988

The following is an excerpt from my Ministry File, no words have been changed or altered.   

April 19, 1988

Dear Mr. :

Thank you for referring nine year old Carrie Bush.  The child is seen in the office for a period of just over three hours.  She was brought to the office by her social worker, Karen Zilkie.

INTERVIEW

Carrie is a very pretty, blonde haired child.  She seemed quite comfortable in the office.  In interview , she was direct and forthright in responding to my questions.  She co-operated fully when taking the psychological exam.

This child is tense and nervous.  She has a low frustration level.  Like may disturbed children, she reports that she often feels angry but she does not know why.  She experiences stomach aches and headaches.  I asked her when she gets these symptoms and she responded, “When I run too much or eat too much my dad punches me”.

Carrie reports before she was apprehended, she lived in a house with her twelve year old brother, Jason.  She states that a girl named Jude lives in the basement of the house.

According to Carrie, her older sister, Teresa, was taken away and adopted because she was beaten by her parents.  Carrie stated that her parents used to lock Teresa in a cupboard.  She said, “I used to let her out”.  Carrie reports that she has been in foster homes three times before her parents beat her.  She states that her parents also beat her brother, but that her brother does not want to leave home so he “will not tell” .   She states that her parents have told her that she should not tell either.

Although Carrie reports that both parents beat her, it seems that Mr. Bush is the most frequent offender.  Carrie says that he is “real mean”.  She states that he beats the dogs too.

This child has been in an environment where there is a great deal of marijuana smoking and alcohol drinking.  She says “we would have a lot of money if my dad didn’t smoke drugs”.  She reports that friends come over to the house and her dad buys drugs from them.  She names Jude downstairs and a certain Luke and Susie who bring the drugs.  She calls the drugs “pot”.  She reports that one day she got beat because she did not look for “roaches”.  I asked her to draw a “roach” for me and she drew what looked to be a cigarette butt.

There does not appear to be much money or food in the home of this child.  She reports that they hardly ever eat anything but sandwiches or Kraft dinner. At her foster home she says she gets sandwich meat and lettuce and other things.

When I asked the child where her parents got their money she said, “that’s a funny thing, they phone someone and say “that need money because they have three children, two , four, six , and they have no food to eat”.  The child states that she does not understand this.

In my opinion, this child has also been sexually abused in her parent’s home.  Using the anatomically correct puppet dolls, she demonstrated how her parents have sex on the carpet in their living room.  She says, “they are drunk and out of their minds”.  When I asked her if her dad hurt her mom she said “no, they like it”.  She said that she and her brother watch.  She reports that her brother says “wow look at that”.  Then when her parents are out of the house, he forces her to have sex with him.  He takes her clothes off and holds her down and inserts his penis in her vagina.  She says it hurts. When I asked her if she got wet when this was happening she said “sometimes”.  When I asked her where she got wet, she said, “where he puts it”.  She does not know the correct names for the genitalia.

When asked if anyone has ever done to her what her brother does, Carrie responded that a man names Claude who was baby-sitting her did it.  She demonstrated how she was lying in her nightie watching TV when he came and rubbed her on the perineal area.  According to her he also penetrated her vagina digitally.

A technique I use to determine the person to whom a child is most closely bonded is to ask them to draw me a picture of their most favorite adult.  This child was not sure whom to draw but eventually she drew a picture of her current foster mother, Heidi.  This indicates that she is not strongly bonded to anyone for she has not know Heidi for long.  There is some emotional bonding to her parents however.  When I mentioned that she had recently had a birthday she said that it was a terrible birthday because she was not with her family.  She said, “I’m going miserable without them”.  However, she does not wish to return to a home where she is beaten.

PSYCHOLOGICAL TESTS

WECHSLER INTELLIGENCE SCALE FOR CHILDREN REVISED (WISC-R)

The WICR(R) test results indicate that Carrie of average intelligence.  Her full scale I.Q. score is 96.  Her I.Q. on the verbal part of the WISC(R) is 95 and on the Performance part is 100.

There is no significant difference between the Verbal and Performance I.Q.  but there is significantly low score on the Information subtest of the Verbal part.  This suggests that the child is not learning in school.  She told me that she is kept home from school “when I get child abuse”.  When I ask why, she replies, “because I have bruises”.

SEXUAL ABUSE INVENTORY (SAS)

The Sexual Abuse Inventory is an 81 item true/false questionnaire which has been designed for children ages seven to seventeen.  the questionnaire was designed to elicit information about the child’s feelings of tension, self worth, family support, moral development and sexual involvement.

Responses indicate that this child is experiencing emotional tension and anxiety.  She reports depression and worry.  She feels that she  needs more love and attention than she gets.  She does not believe things will turn out well for her.

The child reports no support in her home.  She did not trust her father.  She answers “true” to the question, “I wish I had a different father”. She indicates that she would rather have been raised in a different family.

Her responses to items about specific sexual acts indicates that she has been involved in sexual acts which include fondling of the breast and perineal area and penetration of the vagina.

As a result of this child’s moral development, she feels guilty about the abuse.  She feels that children should not have sex until they are at least sixteen years old.  She does not enjoy talking about sex.  She feels that she has been used by others.

SUMMARY

Carrie Bush is a disturbed youngster.  She is anxious and depressed.  Feelings of anger sometimes overwhelm her.  She does not understand the reason why she feels this way.  She is not strongly bonded to anyone.  She looks for affection and attention where ever she can find it.

It is my opinion that this child needs protection from the physical and sexual abuse which I believe she has experienced in the home of her parents.  At the present time and for the next few years of her life, her emotional problems will require special attention.

Please call if you have questions.

 

Yours Truly,

Monica D. Angus, Ph.D

Consulting Psychologist.

 

 

Lost Entry

It`s been a few weeks since I have been able to get my ass in front of this computer to blog – I was feeling overwhelmed by my previous post regarding a former foster parent (Wayne Haydamack) and the sexual abuse that started at the age of 8 and lasting another four years.  I have no memory of what made Wayne finally give up with me- however I do know the abuse lasted 4 more years before the ministry was finally able to sever all forms of contact between Wayne and myself.   More importantly however is that my previous blog on Wayne is the first time I have ever written, talked or openly shared my memories pertaining to any sexual assaults on me – as a child.  I can’t believe sometimes that I am so afraid to write and talk about the sexual abuse, I thought I was fearless, I was a survivor? Yet many years later my mind, heart, body…fingers even fight with the keyboard to get the words out. 

Funny thing is,  I used to think and share my opinion to others that I really was not that affected from the numerous sexual violations I endured as a child.  In fact, for the first 30 years of my life I truly made light of the act of rape.   I had made a complaint sexually assaulted many times over, and over again – I do remember But, four years is a very long time for an eight year old girl I feel like I have been really struggling lately.  It`s almost as if I am lost in my own skin .  Not many people in my life know the battle going on inside my brain, body and soul lately, or how bad it has really gotten.  I feel unfocused in my goals, where I was so clear for most of my life.   I was always confident that I was going to have any life I worked for.  I always had big dreams that started as a very young child. 

I`m finding myself feeling lonely a lot lately, in fact I would say that the past 3 years have been the  saddest times in my adult life.  Even though I have had friends and family that have been there for me.  Those that love me , those that I love so dearly in return; amazing husband, three beautifully delicious children, can’t leave out our little pooch “Rosco“ – all tidied up in a bow…so to the naked eye out there, I bet you would start praising me right away.  OK , I made it technically.  Saying that I ‘made it’ is usually what people say when they hear even a  fragment of my story. 

I am very blessed, and recognize how lucky I am to have loyal, loving husband that works very hard to provide for our family.  He helps to ensure our children grow up in a safe, supportive, and loving home. My children never go without.  They even have their very own beautifully furnished and painted to their liking.  For example; my oldest daughter has a beautiful pink room, with a white canopy bed (with the actual pink canopy) and the dresser and side table to match.  Each has their own color, at first it was what I wanted, however now that the kids are getting older they have more say how their room looks.  I digress.

What I really want to say is that I am very aware of how blessed I am to be in the situation that I am.  When I start to show weakness, others are quick to remind me of how lucky I am… you know, considering.  Well, I do know.  I am currently beating the odds – and should be celebrating all the cycles I have broken all the while remembering to thank god that for my unwavering sense of resilience.  It was always one of my best qualities; the ability to get the fuck back up on my feet and keep fighting.  I did it because I could.  I refused to allow myself to become a part of that cycle.

At a young age I started to compare my “resilience“ or as I understood it to mean my strength in coping and healing was to one of those blow up clown, that no matter how hard you try to knock that fucker down – it just keeps popping back up really for another blow.  That’s me, that clown balloon. 

But, at times I feel as though my family made the easy choice.  They just get drunk, high and have very little respect for themselves – but mostly they just don`t give a fuck about what anybody else feels about who they are or what they do.  They don`t work.  In fact, they feel entitled to say the government, and everyone in the fucking world owes them.  Then they can spend up an entire lifetime spewing hate and anger to the very ones that are after all – paying their living expenses.  All of my immediate family has been on welfare from the get go.  Their clown balloon deflates though, it`s covered in masking tape, trying in vain to keep them in the game and able to fight for their own existence. 

But they were weak, all of them.  Sometimes I just think that being weak, and allowing myself to be broken, shattered so badly that I gave up – well that’s the easy route.  My sister gave in.  My heart aches when I say that, I have guilt that weighs heavy in my heart that I am sure will be with me until I die.  She is broken, completely shattered, leaving her empty inside and unable to see the beautiful soul she really is.  She is an IV drug user/addict (crack, meth, heroin, crystal meth, cocaine…) and a sex worker in various towns throughout the lower mainland, such as Surrey & DTES Vancouver.  

Then there is my brother, J, who is four years older than I am.  By the time J was 21 years of age he already had a murder conviction along with several sexual assault convictions.  But even before those crimes, my brother was sexually abusing me when I was 7 years of age.  I always say that my parents raised him to be a killer. They raised him to be cold.  Never cry.  Fuck them before they fuck you.  He began to enjoy the suffering of the vulnerable.  There should be no surprise that my brother ended up being so violent giving the extent of abuse that he was forced to endure for the first 18 years of life. They broke him.  The last time I saw my brother in person he was being tried for murdering a man in Maple Ridge in 1995.  Even though my brother was in custody, in shackles behind a very thick plexi glass; I was terrified.  At one point during the trial Jason noticed I was in the courtroom watching and this made him very angry.  He glared hard at me; I knew he hated me already because I told on him for sexually abusing me – but this was so much more intense.  He made a very clear ‘slitting of the throat motion with his cuffed wrists looking dead at me. 

To be honest, I did not realize his trial was being held at that court room or courthouse before getting there with a high school law class on a field trip.  Some of my classmates started coming up too me shortly after arriving at the courthouse saying that they believed that my brother is in one of the court rooms.  Students were already in seated and silent, in amazement that they knew the sister of the defendant that brutally murdered someone just to see what it felt like to watch someone die.  I myself couldn’t believe it was happening. 

I need to explain as well how the hate and or punishment were dispersed between me and my siblings.   From the age of approx.…4 years of age I have reoccurring memories of the clear biases that my parents had in terms of us; their three children. This is something I can say for sure though; my brother was treated differently from my sister and I entirely.  My parents often referred to my brother as a ‘King’,  this was simply due to the fact  that my brother was a male. I don’t ever recall hearing my father say this – but I do have several memories of my mom explaining to me how she and our father felt about each of us.  Our brother was a boy, therefor he would be excused from a variety forms of corporal punishments each of us would receive from either parent.  My mom would say that boys do not need to be hit as often, as girls are naughty and they don’t always understand how important it is too listen.  She would sometimes say that girls were more sneaky, conniving and more inclined to rat out their family.  From as early as I can remember my father has always despised my sister.  I have flashes of conversations between my natural mother and I discussing my sister.  I was always very cautious talking about my sister to anyone of my family members; but especially my mother and father.  Many, many times throughout the years I can recall both my mother and father making snide comments when referring to the time she was forced to live in a closet and bet tortured without any sign of mercy.    

When T was at the age of 7 she ran away – she was quickly found and apprehended permanently from our mother and father. For the following seven years I always wondered and worried over how my sister was doing.   I worried about her. I missed her, and that’s hard even for me to understand because all my memories are with her both locked in my parents’ bedroom closet, and slivers of flashbacks to the many beatings and even witnessing her being forced to eat her own feces.  She was made to eat her own poo because she went to the ‘toilet’ within her small bedroom closet that was her world.  I know that she would be in there day and night.  Sometimes they would allow her to come into my bedroom, but usually that was too standing in the corner and wait for her next ass whooping.  After nearly two years of horrific abuse that my sister endured, she was finally supposed to be safe.  I remember believing that she was doing so well.  My mother told me that she only went there because they offered horseback riding, ballet, and other fancy activities and belongings that we for sure would not be able to enjoy if we were still in our home.  

The way I see it is that my sister has a target on her back.  How can my mom and dad already have decided that Teresa was more of a burden than they had planned? My mom has said too me several times when I question why my father hated my sister SO much.  I can honestly say that to this day I still do not understand where this deep rooted resentment and hate stemmed from.     

The Creature

 

 

The Creature

In the dark my tears fall

this is when

the creature calls.

As he comes closer I start to cry

getting down on my knees

I pray to the lord in the sky

knowing he is watching me.

I’m wondering when or how

death is coming for me.

The creature is not a man

but terrifying coward

only hurting what he can.

I wont give up, not without a fight.

I know I can make it

even for just one more night of

touching and thrashing all day

only makes me think,

only makes me say

Feeling this way makes me sad

for you wouldn’t believe…

the creature is my Dad.

 

I found this random sheet of old lined paper with a poem written by me when I was a teen. It’s nothing fancy – but it shows my inner struggle back then that is still so relevant and painfully present in my life today.

Here’s The Thing Though…

I want this blog to be more than just the “boo-hoo” bullshit – I want to encourage not just surviving but thriving.  But honestly, that is just so hard right now.  I am going through a tremendous amount of stress.  It’s not the regular everyday kind of stress you know?  It’s the kind of stress that most people don’t understand.

I started this great job just shy of a year ago.  It’s the first time that I feel like I fit you know?  I feel competent, useful and able to do my job very well.  I absolutely love talking and supporting people, especially during times of difficulty – I think I am really good at it.  Before working in the hospital as a Diet Clerk I had been working in Social Work in the DTES for nearly ten years.  I loved that work as well – but just like all the other Social Support Workers – I got completely drained emotionally and physically.  The job was a daily, hourly – minute by minute trigger for me.  I think I did that job because I understand and empathize with the broken people down there.  Every shift I would remind myself – even out loud at times, Carrie – this could have been you.  In every statistic I have heard I am a complete anomaly.

Just look at my brother and sister… My brother is a convicted murderer and sexual offender.  My sister has been neck deep in drugs and crime since a teenager.  They are the statistics people are talking about, comparing me too.  Most don’t survive what we went through.  And, please don’t think that because my siblings have heartbeats that they have survived.  They are still in their nightmare.  They just never had whatever it took to break away from it all..to believe in something else, or themselves.

I’m made of something different…I’m too fucking resilient if you ask me.  I’m fucking Teflon.  At least I know for sure I was.  I got myself out of that – early on I began my fight for happiness and freedom from hurt.  I am happily married with three beautiful healthy children.

Here’s the problem.  My family, my abusers are still out and around.  They are in my world.  My mother and brother have showed up at my work – for a legit reason, but my mom saw me and has been trying to contact me since.  I’m absolutely terrified.  My brother has been in the same building as me.  My brother wants to kill me.  My brother hates me so much.  My brother used to sexually abuse me when we were young – I told the school staff and they reported it.  My brother has hated me since, he blamed his sex crimes on the fact that I had ratted him out when we were younger.

My brother is a killer.  He has been involved in at least five sexual assaults.  He is out in this world – free to hurt someone else.  Before his release after serving a ten year sentence for the murder of Donald Keats of Maple Ridge, BC – the people who were assessing him had said that he had expressed his desire to slit my throat from ear to ear.

I am afraid.  I am tired of being afraid.

Here’s the thing though…I’m not giving up!

It’s Not A Pretty Story…

I am up late like most nights of course, it’s incredibly difficult for me to shut my brain off most nights.  Going to sleep also means facing the unknown – or the forgotten – all while I am supposed to be resting.  As I have mentioned before, I have the worst night tares – most of my nights.  My dreams are so vivid, painful and mostly exhausting.  They have the ability to absolutely ruin my whole day, week or more…  My therapist tells me that while I dream I am actually working through my shit.  I am more able to go through that trauma while asleep – it’s near impossible to really get into it while I am awake.  It’s too painful.  Mostly, it’s too real and unbelievable at the same time.  I hope I am making some sense… Other survivors must know what I am describing.  They often cause a visceral reaction when I wake up, and sometimes throughout the day the feeling of filth, dirt, and shame sit on my skin and fresh in my mind.

Today one of my nightmares was real, and it was in my face.  I left my work after a long twelve hour shift.  I was exhausted and looking forward to the next few days which I have off. I wasn’t paying much attention until she got my attention.  As I was walking towards my vehicle I looked up and saw my mother standing across the street from me smoking.  I don’t think I have ever turned my body so fast.  It was seconds that had passed that I went from feeling peace to feeling utter fear.  My body immediately began to shake from the inside out…I felt as though I was going to either puke or pee myself.  My mother scares me like no one else.  I know that she is capable to anything… and I know that I bring out a special kind of anger in my mom.  I was afraid that she would say something too me like she always done when she gets the opportunity.  No matter what my mom says – it’s guaranteed to instill fear and a deep routed feeling that I am worthless.

As I was making my way back into work – into safety – my mind and body started to play flashbacks of when I was very young.  The memory was so intense I swear I could smell it, I could feel it.  I was remembering when my mom was attacked by my father with a large knife.  I can see my parents in front of the TV – it was one of those old big ones that had mostly wood around them, that sat on the floor. I was sitting on the couch watching the TV, watching cartoons.  It was very early in the am.  No one had gone to bed yet, they had been up the entire night drinking and partying.   I can remember the living room and dining room was full of stinky empty beer bottles.  This is not a “new” memory, but I have never remembered it like this before.

My mom and dad were on the floor in front of the TV that I was watching cartoons on.  I was told to sit there.  Sometimes my parents made me watch them while they had sex or watched porn.  When a social worker talked about this with my parents – of course they denied it with a strong warning that I was a fucking liar.  But, my mom knew I wasn’t lying…and eventually the workers knew it too.  I knew too much, more than any kid my age should know.  When I was questioned how I knew they were actually having sex I remember replying with a description of how my mom always had her leg positioned during the act.  As vulgar as this sounds – my mom ALWAYS lifted one of her legs in the air.  Every time I saw them doing it – my mom was always on the bottom with her one left straight up in the air.  I said this once in front of the social worker and my parents.  The look on my moms face was clear.  She was humiliated.  She laughed, tried to make it all seem harmless – and sometimes she just blamed it all on me.  I was the pervert.  I liked to watch.

I know I just went off track a bit – but I think it’s really important I explain myself so you can’t read this any other way – other than how it was.  My parents had no boundaries with us.  We saw and heard too much for our young selves. We were forced to be apart of horrific violence and ongoing abuse.  I sometimes feel like no one in my life could possibly understand the level of violence and trauma I survived.  I survived – but over thirty years later the memory stops me in my tracks.  It makes me feel alone, ashamed, angry, sad…and hopeless.

As I walked away from my mom today I flashed back to that morning.  I see a lot of blood.  I can smell it even.  I know it’s strange to say – but as my brain recalled the memory, it’s like my body went right back to that moment.

They were having sex… then for some reason my mom started to fight with my dad.  She often talked down to him and I would say even tried to provoke my dad into a fight.  I cant remember what set it off – but I know that while my dad was still on top of my mom he grabbed a large butcher knife that was on the coffee table beside them with his right hand and swung it over his head and down onto my moms face.  I can remember my mom trying to stop it and screaming at him..I see her arm trying to block the blow.

My dad had stabbed my mom right between the eyes.  To this day she had a deep scar between her eyebrows.  I am actually grateful for that scar – it’s lets me know that my memories are real.  That as insane as the whole experience was – it was real.

My dad stood up, I can remember him doing up his belt.  He was still drunk, not steady on his feet.  He was breathing heavy, and telling her to look at what she did.  For her too look at what she made him do.  I can recall my dad snickering too himself and my mom started to panic and scream.  My mom was wearing a night gown that was white with red sleeves, with a black drawing of snoopy.  As I remembered this today it was as though I could smell the blood, that I could feel the cold and wet nightgown rubbing against my arms.  I remember as I dragged my mom from the house and out onto the front lawn of our home just in shock that she was covered in blood.  What was once a white nightgown was now drenched in bright red blood, the fabric sticking itself too me as I dragged her to safety.  The blood was squirting from her face.  My mom was screaming..my dad was no where to be seen at this point.  I know my brother was inside the house with him.  He always staying with my dad, he was always on his side. In fact he often laughed and cheered on my father as he beat our mother.  I can recall hiding in one of our bedroom closets while the violence escalated – I was crying, shaking – I was terrified.  Jason was laughing… he was enjoying it.  I guess he was a lot like my father in that way.  My dad often found it humerus how we flinched or begged for his mercy.  And, when I was a lot older I had conversations with my dad about how he used to beat my mom pretty bad – and he still thought it was hilarious.   He would brag about how her head sounded hitting the wall, floor or against his boots.

My next memory of that day was all the people from the neighborhood coming out of their homes to watch the nightmare unfold.  No one ever helped…I think they saw it too often, and it was also a time that people didn’t get involved.   What happened behind peoples doors what their business.  They were just there to watch… I remember the police taking my dad away, and the ambulance taking my mom too.  I know that we were not removed that day – so I know we went back with our parents.  My mom didn’t leave my dad from that…she always went back..and scary enough – so did we.

I don’t know why that memory came to me today when I saw my mom.  Maybe it’s to remind me that she is not as powerful as I allow my mind and body to believe.  I have no idea.  In all fairness though – like she kinda is all powerful!  All the evil she has done and she is allowed to have a great life – despite the fact that she has three kids out there that are damaged and suffering still.  Each time I see her, or hear from her  I am right back to my child self – afraid.  Every time I see her I only feel fear.  I feel it with all of my being.  She represents all that I have tried so hard to escape, that I am still trying to escape.  I want to feel free of my family, I want them to let me go.  I don’t want to see my abusers walking about in my world…as cliche as it sounds – it’s just not fair.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Me Too…

Some thing happened to me.  It changed who I see – I no longer see me.  I hate who I see when I look at myself…  It has literally been years since I felt the unwavering faith I used to have in myself.  I would give anything to feel that way again.

I miss the person I used to be in so many ways.  I miss being confident and sure of my chances in survival, success and happiness.  I long for the days I felt useful, powerful, and capable.  Now I am drained.  The fog has lifted – and now I am forced to face the truth and it’s painful to see.  Now I find it a challenge some days to even convince myself I’m worth sticking around, that its going to be OK.  I feel like the very last monkey in the barrel – all the other monkeys escaped to bigger better lives – and I am left at the bottom too fucking weighed down by guilt and self hatred.  No one can get out of the barrel thinking that way.  And yes by the way, yes I know how pathetic and dramatic I sound.  Doesn’t change it though.

Since a young child I believed that I was damaged goods – to gross and dirty for those pearly gates.    If I am too truly believe in God’s expectations from us – then I have already failed a million times over again and again… I believe this even more strongly since I have gone through the Catholic classes and got baptized in a catholic church.  On the day of my baptism the priest felt so afraid I would show up with my breast exposed – and in his words  – he was afraid I would cause weak men to lust after me.  The feeling of filth and dirt that I have carried throughout my life from very young was triggered that moment.   I have been trying to rid myself of that feeling since the first time someone touched me sexually.  I want to literally scrub my body raw of the filth.

What is it about myself that makes even a priest feel that way about me.  I can promise you that I NEVER showed up to a catholic classes with my breast exposed in any manner.  The conversation with the church representative that day managed to taint my whole experience once again.  Just when I was starting to believe that it really wasn’t me that caused those awful things to happen I was reminded once again what people ultimately think when they see me.  I used to be better at  fighting off that filthy feeling. However in the past few years this has been an impossible battle to conquer.

Something happened to me nearly five years ago, and it’s changed almost every thing in my world.  Mostly, it’s changed the way I feel about myself.  I guess we could say it was the straw that broke the camels back.  Everyone always talks about how strong I am, how I can survive anything.  I agree, it’s been a true blessing how resilient I have been.  I have survived – and up until this horrible incident I was thriving.   Now I am stuck.  It’s gone on too long, I’ve lost so many friends and “family”… Most of my tight circle of loved ones and supporters ceased to want to be around me anymore.  Not because they were bad friends – but because I let them down.  They were used to the Carrie that would jump back up and keep going in the RIGHT direction.  Not the Carrie that just seemed to give up – act out – and constantly be numbing herself.  In the past 5 years I have been in the business of numbing out myself.

Five years ago I was sexually assaulted in my home.  I feel overwhelmed even just writing that down. It’s not the first time I have been sexually abused in my life – but it was the first time as an adult.  To describe it would be to say that when it was happening too me I was transformed into my child self.  I felt utterly powerless.  Mostly though my brain thoughts and the ability to cope through the entire experience just stopped cold.  I was terrified and felt responsible.

I kept feeling angry with myself that I must have somehow brought this on myself.  Then I tried to handle it myself.  Worst mistake ever.   I acted like it wasn’t a big deal to myself when it started.  I would have conversations with myself about how this is not something new, I have dealt with this before – I can handle it just like I did many many times during my childhood.  After all, if I was able to handle violent rapes as a young child – surely I could handle AND move on from what was happening now.  I’m the girl that can survive anything, I’ve proved it time and time again.  I felt ashamed.  I felt afraid.  I was embarrassed that I handled it poorly too…

His name was Pedro.  He moved into our basement suite with his wife and child two months prior to this incident.  As far as we knew – Pedro spoke very little English.  At the time of the incident his wife and child had gone to Chili a week prior for vacation – leaving Pedro at home alone.  It was January 1, morning time.  I was home alone when I received a call from Pedro on my cell – he said in very broken English that he needed me to come fix the Fuse Box – as his power went out.  We had a history of having to do this for our renters because our house was older and had a pretty shitty wiring.  So I didn’t sense any danger or concern.  However, almost seconds after entering the suite I knew something was not right.  The fuse box was located in a tiny slim nook at the back wall in the kitchen.  I was already half in the area when I could hear the door shut and lock.  Before I could fully get out of the nook I felt Pedro on my back.

As I allow my thoughts to return to that moment – I can recall being stunned.  So many thoughts were racing through my mind in so little time.  I was confused, scared .. EVEN at this moment I though it must be a joke.  He can’t be serious I thought.  With my back to him his had his hands on my face and waist.  He was grabbing, groping with what felt like heavy, hard hands.  He was so strong I thought.  I quickly realized when I could turn that he was completely naked.  I tried to push away from him, but I was frozen in fear.  I could feel myself shaking.  He forced me up against his kitchen table, all the while groping at my body all over – he kept saying how much he knew I liked what he was doing.  In his broken English he said “I like your body, come on let me do it… oh your so beautiful…” I kept saying No, please NO… I don’t want this..”  He wasn’t listening.  He was getting more excited I think just by me fighting him.  He was laughing at me struggle.  It was not long after this that something in my mind just hit me.. This man is going to rape me.  I can remember saying to myself, your going to be raped – and your a grown woman.  Snap out of it Carrie.  I was so afraid.  As a child I learned that fighting it was the worst most scary choice – because I was little, and no one was ever going to save me then.  I had to survive the only way I could – to live through the experience, to take it.  But this time was different.

Something in me snapped.  I was able to remember that I was an adult, this didn’t have to be the same.  Adrenaline took over and I was able to get angry…I pushed my back up with all my strength and turned to push him as hard as I could.  He fought me a bit, he was able to grab my arms again – he shook me screaming “NO”.  I told him to get the fuck off of me, I screamed NO again ripping my arms from his grip and again pushing him as far back as I could, as hard as I could.  I was able to get to the door and unlock the door and escape.

As I was running towards my back stairs so I can get into my home he yelled at me – but this time with excellent English.  It stopped me in my tracks actually.  I looked back at him as he said “Carrie, I know your secret…now you know mine! Keep your fucking mouth shut!”  That statement changed the way I dealt with the entire situation.

Pedro was referring to him catching me a few days prior secretly smoking a joint on my back deck.  He came home, and saw me before I could hide it.  He smiled at me, but didn’t say anything as usual – I thought because of his supposed poor English.  I just smiled back, and made a shh should while putting my finger on my mouth – trying to convey it was a secret.  I said “husband doesn’t know…he would kill me.” He smiled back, nodding his head.  “OK.”  That was the most conversation Pedro and I had ever had with each other.

I can tell you that I was extremely afraid for my husband to find out that I was smoking marijuana.  Not because I believe I was wrong for doing it – I used marijuana for my PTSD, anxiety, and fibromyalgia. I know there is great debate and opinions from many – that are see marijuana as a bad drug, this includes my husband.  He is against it, and would not tolerate even talking about it – let alone allow me to use it for medicinal purposes.  I feared ultimately that he would divorce me if he found out.  He did after all say that to me when I did try to approach the topic.  So I was doing it in secrecy, praying that I would never get caught.

I don’t want to dwell too much on the Mary Jane issue…but I need to explain why I would be so scared to tell my husband.  I knew – well I should say I believed that he would be more mad at the smoking issue than he would be about the fact that I was attacked.  I was more afraid that after all this – I could end up not only attacked but also single.  For some reason I couldn’t trust that I could tell my husband the whole truth and he would still love and support me.  I believe these fears along with my long history of sexual abuse is what kept me from speaking out immediately.  Instead, I chose to try to manage it on my own.  Honestly, I thought it was over.  I never knew that he would torment me for the next two weeks until I was forced to report.  I thought if I kept my mouth shut and stayed clear of him it would all just go away.

The only soul I told was a girl friend of mine that I was pretty close too at the time.  We texted several times a day, visited several times a week even. Right after the first attack I texted her.  I told her what happened.  She called me and tried to convince me to tell someone – my husband especially.  I was hysterical, shaking and convinced I had no other option but to try to just ignore it – I was afraid he would not believe me, that he would find out about my mj use and that he would or could really hurt Pedro – and ending up in jail himself.  I was in shock.

I wanted so badly to tell – not telling was inevitably going to make this entire situation much more dangerous, and much worse for everyone involved.  For the next two weeks there were several instances where Pedro was still harassing me.  He wouldn’t take no for an answer…looking back at it now I can see how by my not telling right away he was able to gain a larger sense of power over me.

During the whole ordeal I continued to correspond with the friend I had originally shared with.   In the end, this was the only proof I had with the Police, Crown Council and my husband to show that I was not lying.  With each interaction I was forced to have with Pedro over the next two weeks I had told my friend about it via text.  The police also had mine and Pedro’s text/call logs.  It showed that I NEVER called Pedro, or responded to his texts other than to ask him to stop, please leave me alone – that I was not interested.

If Pedro knew I was home alone – he would often shut off my power using the breaker box that he previously acted as though he did not know how to use.  He would text me that if I would just come down stairs he would turn it on, or stop the harassment all together.  One time my son came to my room and said that Pedro was at the back door.  I told him to go play in his room, while I went to talk to Pedro.  By the time I got to the back door – Pedro was standing there completely naked, holding his red shorts and tank top in one hand while jerking off with his other.   There were more instances where he would knock, call or text me.

I was afraid of what would come next with Pedro.  It didn’t seem to be dissipating at all, in fact he seemed to becoming more aggressive and demanding each day.  Towards the end of the two weeks of on-going harassment he had sent me a text saying that if I was willing to send him a tit pic – only then would he back off.  It’s incredibly hard for me to even write out – but I was feeling desperate – I sent it.  It didn’t stop anything, instead he continued the harassment – and now I was left feeling attacked again.

I was feeling stupid, hopeless, angry with myself…terrified at what this meant now.  Even though there was a trail that showed all the conversation where I was begging him to leave me alone, and that I didn’t want to do any of what he wanted from me – I felt trapped.  I realized when even after the pic – after he promised to leave me alone forever – that he had no plans to back off.  He had threatened me that he would tell my husband about catching me smoking pot if I didn’t agree.  He was in a way blackmailing me.  I couldn’t see a way out, regardless of how simple it seemed to all others.  I just wanted out of the mess.  I wanted to have my life back.  I was afraid to be home. I was afraid of what he was going to do next.  I was afraid to tell my husband and loved ones how far I had let it get – knowing they would be so disappointed in me.  To everyone it seems so fucking obvious that I was wrong to try to handle it on my own, that I do in fact know better than keep a secret let alone to try to placate or appease this predator.  And, when it came out – a lot of people were very angry with me for how I handled it.  But no matter how angry and disappointed you were – I was double that on myself, I can assure you that.

I ended up disclosing the incident to two dear friends of both me and my husband.  They are RCMP officers – so once I disclosed I was immediately driven to the RCMP dispatch to file an official complaint.  I was so afraid of coming clean about the marijuana, and how I had so stupidly tried to handle Pedro’s unwanted advances.

Fortunately, the RCMP were more than good with me.  I could tell that they genuinely believed my statement.  They immediately arrested Pedro.  I asked my husbands friend (the RCMP officer) to tell my husband what had happened.  He tried explaining to my husband that I had not done anything wrong, that I was the victim in this.  My husband was angry with Pedro for sure, but he didn’t know what or how to feel about me and my actions in this whole thing.

All my friends and family kept asking – or drilling into me was why would I let it get so out of control? Why didn’t I tell?  Why would I send that pic?  Someone even told me how stupid I was to do so…like I didn’t know that.  I knew it then even, but I also was reacting out of fear.  I can say again that I feel as though I was handling the situation as though I were a child again.  I just wanted to make it go away without making anyone angry with me.

Pedro’s wife came home the next day from Cuba.  She came home to an empty home, and a message on her cell from Pedro stating that he was in jail.  She was very angry with me.  I had not gone home yet, I was staying with my mother in law at the time until Pedro would be completely removed from the home.  My husband was at the home gathering some items for us at home when I guess the wife approached him.  She was very angry, and telling him that I was having an affair with her husband – that I was just a scorned lover in this whole thing, not a victim of sexual assault and harassment.  My husband was so confused and distraught – and angry already with how I chose to handle it that he called me from his cell phone crying and yelling at me – asking how could I do this too him?  He questioned my story – stating that the wife was there and was telling her that I sent the picture during a love affair.

My husband then allowed Pedro’s wife to talk to me on his phone at that moment.  She called me a fucking whore, a liar, a bitch.  Over and over again she insulted me.  All the while my husband just stood there and let her say all those things.  He really didn’t believe me.  He just could not understand why I had handled it the way I did – so it seemed for believable that I was having an affair on him and made the whole assault, blackmail, and harassment up.

My husband did not fully believe me until the crown council reported that everything I was saying was backed up by the text messages sent back and forth with myself and pedro and myself and my friend.  I also had gone to see my family doctor after the assault and reported it there so they had that evidence as well.  To be brutally honest, I still don’t know for sure if he believes me 100%, though he says he does.  I took my husband to see my therapist after this whole incident took place.  I needed for her to explain why an abuse victim might deal with it differently – how especially in my case why I would be more afraid to tell… We also went there to process the whole mj topic.  I felt that he was in fact more upset about the usage of mj than the attack.  He just said that he didn’t want his wife around drugs, that he didn’t want his children around drugs.  He did not want to know why – just that I would never do it again.

So… that’s it.  Those are the events that transpired nearly five years ago that have deeply impacted my life since.  So much about that whole ordeal traumatized me – so much more than I ever expected it too.  After all, I had already survived so much sexual trauma since a very young child – I felt as though I should be used to it.  I thought I would be able to put it away, and move forward with my life.  It has been the exact opposite though.  I am drenched with that sickening dirty feeling now…it has not dissipated at all.  I hate myself so much for how I handled it – how I made it seem like I deserved it in a way by not telling, by sending a pic that I did not want to… It also changed my marriage.  I did not feel safe to disclose what happened when it happened for several reasons, and I don’t think how people reacted to it afterwards made it any different for me.  I would still be afraid to tell.  I don’t think I could handle another confrontation like the one I had with Pedro’s wife and my husband that day on the phone.  I still play that over and over in my head to this day.  It made me feel disgusting.  It made it harder to forgive my self.

Even though it was nearly five years ago, I still think about it every day.  I still cry to myself thinking how I wished I was braver then – that I had done things differently.  I can’t seem to move on.  I am so sad, and angry.. It makes it hard to not be able to talk about it with my partner.  It is too hard for him to hear about it, if and when I bring it up it is quickly squashed and swept under rug.  It has kept me in this lonely space…  I’m not giving up though.  I’ll keep looking for the silver lining in this whole thing, always trying to learn something even if it’s from an awful something.  I’m trying to forgive, especially myself.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I Saw My Father in My Dreams Last Night

I saw you in my dreams Dad. We were in a school gym. I was sitting up in the middle bleachers. I was by myself but as I looked into the bleachers around me there was a few friends seated about. As I waved to my friend I was smiling. It’s then that I saw you. You were sitting at the front row by yourself. No one was on the whole bleacher but you. At first I was wondering why he was the only one on that bleacher when the place was packed. Then I felt a jolt inside my heart. “Dad! It’s my Dad!” I screamed. I was confused. I looked back at my friend as screamed “Jan, that’s my father – he’s here, he’s …he’s alive!”
She just looked at me. I think this is when I must have had some idea that something here wasn’t right. What were you doing here? You died. Your dead. Everything around me seemed to go quiet. You never got up. You just turned your head to look at me. You looked better than the last time I saw you. You were wearing the all familiar black / grey plaid jacket over a black t-shirt. I could see you had a pack of cigarettes in your front pocket. You were wearing your blue jeans and your favorite black Dayton’s. You smiled a little at me.
In that moment I was conflicted. I was excited, but afraid. I was physically afraid, I remember that my body wanted to jump forward and make my way to you –but my body was just stuck. I couldn’t move. I just stood there feeling my body begin to shake. Then I woke up.
I saw you Dad. My dream was so clear. It felt as though you were here with me again. I was happy, I was excited – but mostly I was afraid. When I awoke I could feel the fear still inside my body. This is how I felt even when you were still alive Dad. I was always so happy to see or hear from you – but I was always so afraid. You were equivalent to holding a grenade with an already pulled pin. I never knew when you would blow up leaving behind broken and damaged wreckage beyond repair.

I know you too were damaged by people who should have taken care of you. I know there was never any true peace for you on earth Dad. Your world was full of pain and hurt. When I saw you in my dream I could still see the pain in your eyes. Everything still felt heavy… I wish for the burdens to be lifted from you Dad. I wish you peace, wherever you may be.

Love from your Daughter,
Dumplin’

To Believe or Not To Believe… It’s About More Than That Though.

Oh, so you don’t believe me?

I think one of the hardest parts of being a survivor of any or all the horrific and traumatic abuse I endured is the fact that most of the people that I share my story with rarely believe me.  Sure, they give me the usual head nod, “omg” … but then it just turns into a sarcastic disbelief.  Most times they say they believe you 100%, but soon you find out they thought you had to be making it up all along.  Then, to top off calling me a liar in so many words – they say something else so infuriating; “Well, it couldn’t have been that bad – look at you now..”  Oh, so because I found resilience and strength it is no longer possible to have gone through any or all of it? How is that fair? And then because I am living my life the best I can – although I am still struggling every day – just because I am not in jail, a junkie or worse then someone can not imagine how that is possible… sometimes they say that they could never survive an ounce of what I had to bare.  In which I always respond – it is incredible what our bodies and soul can actually heal from, and I am forever blessed to have been given the balls to do so.

I have 8 large boxes that are full of my life story – provided by the Ministry of Children and Families, and then all the extra research that was done by my lawyer who took on my case against the Ministry.  It is full of doctors reports, social worker notes/reports, court documents, police incidents and so much more that took place in my life dating back to when I was nearly six months old.  Those files are so important to me because of the fact that they provide solid tangible proof of my history.  Regardless of what anyone thinks – I have proof.  Regardless of what ever I may tell myself sometimes – I know that I can go into my closet and pull out my files and see for my own eyes that it was all true.  And, regardless of what anybody thinks there is a reason I continue to talk about what happened.
I did survive it…it was not ever just a sad story I would share to get sympathy or attention.  Or as my mother has been telling me and anyone else that will let it slip through her lips that I have been lying all this time just so I could get put into the system in order to get “things”.  She says I wanted toys, new clothes and all the things I must have seen other people get.  So I came up with this elaborate story to be able to find a parent who would buy me things.
I guess one question I have for her story – and so many others who think I am flat out liar; how the fuck does a 6 year old know about sex?  Sorry for the anger in my tone…but really… Do you know a six year old fluent in blow job techniques?  How did I end up with so many bruises, lacerations, rips and tares that were shown in pictures and doctor exam forms?  Did I make those up?  All for toys?? All for a fucking haircut??
I know this is an old issue, and at my age why should it matter what people believe or not.  However recently it came up in a very real painful way and it’s left me feeling freshly wounded, raw and angry even.  Let me explain…
A few months ago I was in the middle of an argument between my husband and his Aunt.  It was a silly argument, but at the time it was very heated.  During this argument I said that she was flat out lying about something she had JUST said moments before – which is when she blurted out that I was a liar too.  I said tell me what I lie about, because I knew there was nothing I had ever said to this women that was a lie.  This is when she said it.  Her next statement to me would rip open every half healed trauma that lived in my body, soul and mind.  And she was so sure of herself…smug even.
She said, “We all know you lied about what happened to you in your childhood, we know that couldn’t have happened to you!”
After being a part of this family for nearly 17 years, I can honestly say her statement shocked me to my core.  I felt like the whole world just dropped all around me, that I was left standing there all by myself.  I could hear my husband asking her how she could say such a thing, after all we had been through.  I heard him bringing up the fact that I had been to court, been on the news – evidence heard and seen to prove I was not lying…  Yes, I thought.  Exactly.  How could she say such a hurtful and cruel blanket statement like that?
Truth is … she still has no idea how painful her words were to me.  I know they are just words.  But I thought they knew me, really knew me.  My husbands family are incredibly important to me.  And I can honestly say I thought they believed in me, and my story.  It was a different kind of heartbreak for me this time.  And the aftermath of the fight just solidified how I feel about myself and my role in my “family”.
Unfortunately, I responded poorly to my aunt-in-law after her comment to me.  I called her a fucking bitch.  And, even though she tried to take back her comment once she saw how much destruction it ultimately caused, the damage was done.  And, even worse – once the rest of the family heard of the fight, it was clear they only heard that I had called our Aunt a fucking bitch.  Her damaging words seemed to go unnoticed besides for my husband and myself.  Sure, a couple members said they understood how upset I would be, but then I was told several times over that they couldn’t and or wouldn’t get themselves involved.  I was even told that because I was not real family, not blood family – that they would not be able to stick up for me either.  Another stab in my heart.  Not that they could see that.  All they wanted from me was to kiss and make up with her so the “family” could get back to normal.  But for me, nothing was ever going to be the same – even with some kiss and make up bullshit.  I now knew what they really thought of me. It made me feel kinda foolish having so much faith in their faith in me.
The thing is I have evidence.  I have photos, police reports, social worker notes, court documents – even video.  But, it’s not enough.  Mostly because ignorant people rarely want to be educated about what they believe they know about.  My in laws don’t want me to talk about my past or my struggles.  They tell me to forget about it, don’t talk about it – it only makes it worse they say.  I say, no it only makes it uncomfortable for them.  People would rather not hear about it, not know the truths – stay ignorant in their safe bubbles.  People like myself make them uncomfortable.  So – they call me a liar.  They whisper among themselves instead of talking to the one person that could clear up any questions they may have.  I have always been an open book – but rarely am I picked up and truly read and understood.
So this question of believing or not believing is a very sensitive one.  I ask – what is it that I have said that would make you not believe me?  Usually it’s just that it’s so unbelievable one could treat another human being so poorly, especially one they love, or a child.  Of course, it’s that I apparently look like I have all my shit together – so it’s couldn’t have been that bad..right? I ask, what gain do I get from sharing these stories?  Clearly I don’t get pity, or money or sympathy.  I’ll tell you why.
I share my stories because that helps me heal.  Simple.  If I am quiet, and secretive about my struggles then they become too hard to manage.  My past eats away at my soul when I stuff them down.   But, when I am able to talk about it I am free’d of shame, disbelief and guilt.  When I share my really scary stuff – the shame is taken off of me and put where it truly belongs; on the abuser.  It helps me feel less alone, less crazy, less afraid to talk about it.  Talking about it can remind me of how far I have come.  It can sometimes me feel a sense of pride and accomplishment to share my story, that feeling of “see I did it, I survived when no one thought it possible!”  I have to say too…just because it was years ago doesn’t mean it’s over.  It’s never truly over.  I am still having flashbacks, anxiety, and depression.  The scars I carry on the inside also spill over to the outside of my body, and seeing those can sometimes send me into a PTSD downward spiral. It seems impossible, but some memories come as though I was remembering them for the very first time.
I also share my life stories because I know it helps others who may have gone through the same or similar experiences themselves.  Those who are not able to talk about it, or are afraid to talk about it.  Those who have been told like myself to be silent.  Those who hold all that shame inside when they should never feel one ounce of it – I tell them my story as to support them to unleash that burden.  When people ask me how I have survived, how I have ultimately flourished even – I tell them “I talk, I talk and talk and talk… ” When I talk about it I am healing myself.  I know it hurts sometimes to talk about it, but in the end it makes me stronger.  It allows me to be bigger than all that horror.  I want the same for others, I want people too feel OK, even brave for sharing their stories.  As they should be.  Even writing this blog I feel better, I feel proud.  I feel like if even one person gets it – I am on the right track, I am fulfilling my purpose.  I didn’t survive all that horror just to keep quiet and fit in where I can.  It’s impossible.  The moment you can no longer hear me is the moment I have let myself give up, and I wont.
I will not allow the fact that people refuse to listen or believe me change the belief I have that knowledge is power.  The more people that know exactly what has and or is still happening in our world will help others to escape from it, or survive it.  They will see the signs they need to see in order to help others.  They will know that even when it seems to unbelievable – it’s not.  It takes courage to share your story, especially the unbelievable ones.  Be courageous and brave.  Most of all have yourself be heard!  Keep talking – I know I will.

“How did she get to leave, but not me?”

Remembering my sisters escape…and what it felt like afterwards…

It was like she was in a constant state of punishment. Some mornings my father would come in and laugh and make a joke with us…but she would still not leave her post in the corner. Other days he would come in angry and pull Teresa out of the room, into their room. The screams and cries would soon be heard.

When Teresa was locked in the closet – my parents locked the door with a pad-lock. They used to keep the key on top of their dresser.

One day my parents had company over – they we occupied in the living room, drinking and laughing with their friends. I was coloring in my bedroom alone, when for some reason I went into my parents room to talk with my sister. I remember that it was sunny that day.  In my flashbacks – I’m always surrounded by the light of sunshine.

I don’t know why I went in there, maybe she called me in – or maybe it was our plan all along. I can’t remember what made me go in there. It was absolutely forbidden, I knew I would receive a beating if I was caught.  I usually tried not to do anything that was going to cause violence.

I can remember reaching up to grab the key from the top of my parents dresser – listening carefully for my parents to be sure they weren’t coming down the hall. I unlocked the door…

Next I remember she was standing in front of me asking me if I wanted to go with her? I see myself looking down at my feet.   I was four – to me that was too scary of a thought.  I said no by shaking my head.   I remember thinking how much trouble I would be in if I were to get caught, and where would we go?

Before Teresa left she asked me to go into mom and dad’s room again (right across the hall) and grab her something to wear. Teresa was naked, that’s how my parents kept her in the closet. They used to say it was easier to beat the shit out of her if she didn’t have the clothes on. In fact, each time we received a beating we usually had to be undressed. It was almost a part of the ritual.

When my sister and I reunited years later she was so full of anger towards me.  She had told me once she left it was easy for me. Apparently she was under the delusion that once she left my parents learned their lesson and stopped beating, neglecting and torturing us.   Easy is not the way I would have described it though.. Who the hell does she think got it next? And, why was she so blind to our mothers deception after her first hand knowledge.  And we both knew our brother would not receive the same fate as us.  He was treated differently from us.  He was still considered a human, a person…someone worth putting their love and effort into.  My brother rarely received corporal punishment.  Although, he was still a victim of my parents.  He was tortured in other ways.   However, even my brother was welcome to eat at the table for dinner.  Even he was allowed to eat food and eat with mom and dad.

My sisters belief that I had it easy when she left; is just simply not true.  I had to stay. She got too leave, too what I thought at the time was going to be a safe, loving home.  I could never have imagined what was in store for her.  In my eyes – she was saved.  She got out!  Having my sister gone just meant it was now my turn.

Just think – at the age of four I already knew that I was going to have to fight to survive.  I knew what was happening and I believed there was only a slim chance that I too could be saved.  If people let me stay after what they saw happen to my seven year old sister – them knowing just how bad it was for her… and still returning my brother and I back?  How bad did it have to get? This was a terrifying truth that I had to face for many years ahead.

Before my dad would start the beating phase – he would torture the crap out of us by asking us millions of questions, over and over about the bad thing we had done. He would ask us why? Why did we do that? And, we would answer. At least I know in the beginning with me I would always tell my dad the truth, even if it meant I was going to get a beating over it. At least it was the truth, and I think I believed my dad would some how catch me a break if I told the truth. Not the case. Even though it was the truth – there had to be more to it. This is what my father would say.

Once Teresa left us and was permantly removed – the police and Ministry of Children and Families decided to allow my parents to continue caring for Jason and I. In fact – my mom was charged with the abuse on Teresa but the court system gave her weekend jail time, that way she could still care for us. Oh – and they said my parents had to go to Parenting classes. Guess those didn’t pan out.

I don’t remember what happened – or exactly where we went from there. We were in Prince George I believe when Teresa was removed. Either way this is when we I’m sure this is when we moved down to Mission, BC. We stayed at a friends house; we slept a couple of nights on her living room floor. I remember one morning before my mom and dad were awake, Jason started poking me…teasing me. It went like this; Dad, Mom, Jason, then me. All laying on the floor. All of a sudden I saw my fathers fist come down on my face. My dad was just reaching over my mom AND my brother to get to me a beat my face in. He beat the whole left side of my face for what seemed hours – couldn’t have been more than a few moments though – otherwise I guess he would have killed me. While he punched me he kept saying – “Yah, you fucking like that, you fucking loud mouth…” My mom and brother didn’t say a word.

What I remember the most about that beating was actually post-attack.  My dad always thought of me as a rat.  He called me a “fucking rat” daily for years. The thing is – I guess technically I was a rat.  I could understand even then that every time I would tell someone about what was happening to me at home and anywhere else something awful did occur; I told the first person I felt remotely safe to do so.  But this day I was making my dad proud.  My father said that he would be proud of me if I made sure no one could see my face.

We ended up moving up to Kamloops after this – and while we were moving there was this moment when I was inside the trailer that we were moving into – and my father was outside. When I went to talk to him out the window I made sure that my bruised side of my face was not showing. My dad was so proud of me. He even called me “boo-boo” that day.

See, now Teresa always said that once she left it was easy for me. Easy is not the word. Who the hell does she think got it next? Certainly was not going to be Jason; he was the golden boy. Even Jason was allowed to eat food with mom and dad.

Once Teresa left – it was my turn.  All the rage was aimed at me.  And, honestly it wasn’t because my parents found out that I was the one that helped my sister escape – in fact I don’t even know if they know that I did at all…they were just angry at me for being alive.

So…how did she get too leave, but not me?  How could the Ministry of Children and Families drop the ball so badly?

My Sister’s Apprehension: Actual Social Worker Notes from Ministry File, Dated in 1983

July 22, 1983
This worker was on weekend duty this date.  About 7:00pm, I recieved a
call from Constable Mike Hawkes of the R.C.M.P.  He said they had a
seven year old at the police station.  The child, Tereasa Bush,
apeared to be badly beaten.  Hawkes requested I attend the family
residence with him when he returned Tereasa and confronted the
parents.
Because my house was close to the Bush residence, Constable Hawkes
brought Teresa over.  When they arrived Teresa was sitting in the
front seat of the police car drinking a soft drink.  She has on a very
short flannelette nightie, panties and Constable Hawke’s sweater.  She
smelled strongly of urine.  As chatting was difficult (the car motor
was running) we went into my house.  Once inside the following was
noted: Teresa was bruised on her forehead, the area around her eyes was
quite blue (lack of sleep?), her hand and foot were bruised.  I
checked her back, there was bruising from the waistline to mid back
with an obviously belt mark mid-rib cage under her arm, also a
distinct bruise mid-back.  I pulled Teresa’s panties down, her behind
was black, blue and red with some distinctive bruises.  Teresa said
she was very stiff and sore.  She was also very dirty and smelled
strongly and urine.
At this point the decision was made to have Teresa medically examined.
Constable Hawkes phoned the hospital to advise them of our arrival
then contacted the R.C.M.P  Identification Officer to have him meet us
at the hospital for photos.
I took Teresa in my car to the hospital.  As we parked in a gravel
section of the parking lot, I carried Teresa over the gravel to the
blacktop (Teresa was barefoot).  One of my arms was under he back, and
the other behind her knees.  Teresa cried out that my hand was hurting
her back so I adjusted my arm to higher on her back where there were
no bruises.
Once in the hospital, we were taken to the admitting clerk’s office.
The clerk asked Tersa where she lived to which Teresa replied;
“I don’t have a home anymore, my parents don’t want me”.
A few more questions were asked then Tersa abruptly asked if she could
use the bathroom.  The admitting clerk ran and brought back a jar for
urine specimen.  I accompanied Teresa into the bathroom.  After a few
moments of what I thought was peeing, I asked Teresa to wait and would
help her collect a urine sample.
“I’m not peeing, I have diarrhea”. Teresa replied.
The diarrhea went on for some time and Teresa was in obvious
discomfort.  I went and brought a nurse who checked and said there did
not appear to be any blood. Teresa said she had diarrhea for two to
three days.  By the time she had finished the diarrhea nearly filled
the toilet.
We went to the emergency ward and were shown into a small room off the
ward.  Dr. Fike arrived and began a detailed examination of Teresa.
He the began a stick man type of drawing illustrating the injuries.
Teresa was fascinated by the art work and made comments about Dr.
Fike’s artistry (or lack the of).  A short time later the R.C.M.P
identification officer came into the room.  Teresa was naked under a
hospital sheet.  The officer told Teresa he wanted to take some
pictures of her.  It was at this point Teresa showed the first real
sign of fear.  We talked for awhile.  The constable assured Teresa
that he had seen little girls naked before as he was a father of three
lettle girls and often helped them bathe.  Teresa became more relaxed
so the officer took some flash pictures.  He then started a game with
Teresa about how many stars Tersesa saw everytime the flash went off.
After the Identify Officer’s departure Tersa had to use the bathroom
again.  This time she did urinate and we were able to collect a urine
sample.  While we were waiting got Dr. Fike who was busy on another
part of the emergency ward, Teresa and I talked.  This is when I got
her version of events as follows:
Over a period of a few days, Teresa was beaten and belted by her
mother, booted by her father and picked on by her brother Jason and
Carrie.  During the afternoon of July 21, 1983 she had gone to Mc
Donald Park without permission.  Jason told his mother and Tersa was
beaten again upon her return home.  During that night (or early hours
of the next morning) she left the house by the door.  It was dark so
she had gone to McDonald Park and slept near one of the buildings.  It
was cold (she had on only a short nightie and panties) so she walked
around and found a yard with shrubbery where she slept until morning.
tersa said the shrubbery was warmer than a tree in McDonald Park.
Early friday morning she walked to a store on Tranquille road.  She
met some other children who gave her money.  She went into the store
and bough a drink and some candy.
She wandered around all day and then went back to the yard where she
slept.  There she knocked on the door of the residence and asked the
lady who answered if she could come in and live forever.   The lady
took Teresa into the house, washed her hands, fed her supper and then
called R.C.M.P.
During the wait for Dr. Fike some x-rays were taken.  Later when I
spoke with Dr. Fike he indicated that Teresa would be admitted to the
hospital for observation.  he was pretty sure there were no broken
bones or internal bleeding but he wanted to be sure.  I asked dr. Fike
to make it standing orders on the ward that no one visit Teresa except
myself or andother MHR personal, or the R.C.M.P  I left Teresa about
10:00pm as she was waiting to be taken up to the pediatric ward.

I went to the R.C.M.P Station afterwards.  I accompanied Constable
MIke Hawkes and Corporal Wilf Bells to the Bush residence in my
vehicle.  Before our departure, Constable Hawkes advised me that he
and another member had been over earlier while I was still at the
hospital and had both Carrie and Jason strip down to check for
bruises.  Both children appeared ok.
When we arrived at the Bush residence, I advised Carla that teresa had
been apprehended by myself due to what appeared to be parental abuse.
Carla then refused to discuss the matter further with the police
officers present.  She asked them to wait outside, which they did.
While the officers waited outside Carla admitted having slepped and
spanked Teresa, saying the child was a problem and always had been.
Carla said she was gald we had Teresa as she was going to phone MHR
and have Teresa taken.  Carla said Teresa was always getting into
trouble with lying, that Carla had to go to school every other day as
Teresa had told the teacher some great tale.  I advised Carla that
neither she nor Blackie were to visit Teresa on the ward at Royal
Inland Hospital.  Carla then made some confusing remarks about Blackie
not really living there but she told the police he did for bail
purposes.  I asked Carla to contact me Saturday afternoon if she
wanted to enquire about Teresa or discuss the apprenhension further.

July 23, 1983
During the afternoon the 911 operator contacted me on behalf of Carla
Bush.  As I was on my way to the hospital at the time, I asked Carla
to contact me around 5:00pm.
When I visited Teresa on the ward she appeared rested and in better
spirits.  She indicated that she had had a bath and lots to eat.
Again, Teresa told me her parents didn’t want her anymore.  I then
went to a store downtown and bought Teresa some activity books and
crayons.  I had also given her some of my old costume jewelry.  She
was particularly pleased with this and wanted to wear most of it at
once.  We visited with another patient on the ward and then I left,
promising to visit Teresa again the next day.
Later that day, around 5:30 pm I received a 911 operator on behalf of
Carla.  I returned the call (payphone).  Carla inquired about Teresa
and I assured her Teresa was better but still stiff and sore.  I asked
Carla to bring a change of clothes to the office as Teresa would need
something to wear upon her discharge.  Carla agreed then asked if she
would be stared at by the office staff when she came in.   I replied
that I had no idea but I had doubted it.  She then asked how many
would know about the apprehension.  This type of questioning went on for
sometime, until I told Carla to put the clothes into a bag with my
name on it and have a friend deliver it to the office.  Carla the
inquired about court and what happened next.  Would she be charged?  I
indicated that I did not know if she would or would not be charged, it
was up to the R.C.M.P and Crown Counsel.  I advised Carla to phone me
Monday at the office and we could arrange a time to meet, probably on
Tuesday, and she could then discuss proceedings with the social worker
assigned to the case.

July 24, 1983

I visited Teresa today in the hospital.  I took her garden flowers for
her bedside table.  She was pleased as everone else seemed to have
flowers except herself.  We chatted and visited around the ward before
I left.  Carla had asked me on the phone the night before to give
Teresa a hug and kiss for her.  When I told Teresa of this, she put
her arms around me and waited to be kissed.  I left the ward promising to visit the next day.

July 25, 1983

Upon arrival at my office, I advised the District Supervisor of the
happenings on the weekend.  Marty Lovick was immediately assigned to
the case.  As we were discussing the case we were interrupted by a
phone call from the R.C.M.P advising us that they were on their way to
arrest both parents.  The District Supervisor instructed Marty and I
to attend with the R.C.M.P and apprehend Carrie and Jason.
We did this, and returned to the office to arrange foster placements.
The children were dirty and obviously hungry, it was noon and the
children had said they had not yet had breakfast.  Both children were
very talkative and gobbled candies left in the staff room.
Jason and Carrie were later placed in the Larson Foster home on Stardust St.

Later that day, I visited Teresa in the hospital.  the nurses advised
me that Dr. Burkell of the Burris Clinic had taken over the case and
wanted me to call him regarding some additional tests for Teresa.  I
advised Teresa that her mom and dad had been picked up be the R.C.M.P
and were now in jail.
Teresa said, “I think I am going to cry”.
I gave her a hug and cuddled her and assured her everything would be
okay.  She bounced back quickly and asked about seeing Carrie and
Jason and the home she would be going to when she is discharged.

July 25, 1983

I spoke with Dr. Burkell.  he wanted me to run a few more tests on
Teresa before her discharge.  Dr. Burkell indicated that he had copies
of all the hospital charts and was prepared to follow up with Teresa
as a patient.  Apparently, when Dr. Mabee had visited Teresa in the
hospital over the weekend, Teresa had told him she was afraid to go
home.  Dr. Burkell commented that Teresa appeared to be a bright,
cheery little girl but he recommended a psychological assessment.  I
made the appointment with Dr. Burkell for full examination of Jason and
Carrie for July 27, 1983.
Jason and Carrie were apprehended.  All three Bush children were
ordered retained by Ministry of Human resources pending a hearing on
August 29, 1983.

Carrie and Jason originally apprehended after Carla and Walter were
charged regarding abuse of Teresa.  All three children have gone on vacation with their respective foster parents.

Plans are now:
Provide supervised visits with Carrie and Jason after August 8, 1983
Complete court documentation including notices
Plan with Lawyer Carter as to how we will proceed and what we will ask for
Keep contact with the R.C.M.P regarding charges

July 28, 1983
Conforming with Judge Blair’s order, there is to be no parental access
or visitation with Teresa and only supervised access with Jason and
Carrie.  A previous order restricted Carla and Walter from entering an
MHR Officce for harassing MHR Workers.
File now opened and assigned to Social Worker, Marty Lovick.

-Marilyn Brooks, Social Worker

August 29, 1983

Court was held today regarding the custody of the 3 Bush children.
Evidence was heard, with our lawyer calling all Ministry of Human
Resources, witnesses etc.  Judge Simpson adjourned the proceedings
until September 12, 1983, 9:30am.

-Marty Lovick, Social Worker

September 12, 1983

Judge Simpson’s order regarding the Bush family is as follows:
Jason and Carrie to be returned to their parents and their C.I.C files
to be closed.
Teresa was made a permanent ward by consent of the parents and will
remain in the current foster home while further plans are made
I will return Carrie and Jason the afternoon, September 13, 1983.  I
will keep a F.S file open while planning for Teresa.
-Marty Lovick, Social Worker

So from here onward my sister would never return to my parents, but
they saw fit to return my brother and I.  This is where the nightmare
would really begin for me.  Now that my sister was gone it was me that
was in their way.

Fight, Flight or Freeze

 

Fight, Flight or Freeze… these are our natural coping mechanisms that happen to us when we are faced with extreme fear.  So, lets just say that someone comes up behind you with a gun saying that they are going to rob you.  What would you do? Or a stranger comes at you to try and take you away from your safe existence?  Or, if someone you may love, and trust makes inappropriate and unwanted sexual advances towards you, aggressive or not – what would you do?

Most everyone I have ever talked about this topic with has said they are sure they are “Fight”.  My favorite is when they start it with; “Obviously! I would fight!”

Most people, including my children firmly believe that they would have the wits about themselves to over power an attacker, say even to kick them in the balls and run away.  That’ s my eight year old speaking there.  When we talk about stranger danger with our children I always stress yelling as loud as possible and run, run, run.  But with each attempt to talk about some of the “evils” in the world – my son especially is more and more convinced of his strength and speed being his ticket out of a situation.  Inside my brain I am screaming – it’s not like that, it’s never like that!  At least not for everyone, and definitely was not for me.

I’m a freezer.  I totally freeze, not just physically but mentally.  I even find myself regressing to a much younger age rapidly.  My body has the same physical reaction it did when I was little.  One thing I notice is that my bum will shake, then my legs…and I feel as though I am literally seconds away from peeing myself.  I will find myself trying to get small, often ending up in a fetal position rocking back and forth to self soothe.  I more so freeze mentally now than physically as an adult.  Even when I don’t want to do something that will make me feel horrible, dirty, worthless, and ashamed I have extreme difficulty saying that. I feel bad for saying no.  Since I was just six years of age I can remember sexual abuse being not just a part of my life – but for years and years it felt like that was all my life was about.  I was groomed very young, and by many different abusers.  I was groomed to not say no.  To not question, or refuse.

At the age of 8 I was in a clinic in Mission, BC with my mother.  I have a very clear memory of that day.  I was getting my first PAP.  Most girls would not have a need for a PAP until at least they had started their menstrual period or had become sexually active – and that was for sure not before their teens I would hope.  But I was getting one because I had recently reported that my brother was raping me.  For some reason I was in the dr’s office room with only the male doctor and my mother.  I can remember being terrified.  I remember how tightly I was trying to hold my legs together while my mother and the doctor talked frankly and it seemed annoyed at the whole situation.

My mother said something to me that day that stayed with me through all the abuse that my body would take in my lifetime… While the doctor was examining my private parts, and talking about my hymen – I squeezed my legs together again.  My mother took her hands and pulled my knees apart angrily and said, “Carrie, what is your problem?  It’s not like it hurts, pussy’s are meant to be fucked!” That statement is what told me it was ok.  Why was I crying?  I would say that statement many times over the years to myself, and others when they might try to harp on how sad it was that I had been or was being sexually abused.  And, I would think back to that day in that fucking doctors office.  Too me, it made sense.  Yes it hurt, but I was young and small.  People told me it would get easier, one day I would get to liking it too maybe even. That stuff got easier on my body physically than all those beatings.  I just told myself it was apart of my identity.  This is what my body was for.  At least, most times I wasn’t getting my faced pounded in.

I did finally get it that what my mother said too me that day was dead wrong.  But it took until I had my first daughter.  Up until then I still thought that all the sexual abuse that I endured wasn’t really that serious, that I didn’t really have any right to cry about it.  That I deserved to feel dirty for the rest of my life, because I was a dirty slut – and I thought I had been that way since I was very young. Even during my lawsuit against the Ministry of Children and Families back in 2005 I still had a hard time acknowledging the effects it has had – and still continues to have in my everyday life.

But, when I saw my beautiful daughter, so innocent and full of life – I almost couldn’t catch my breath one day.  I was aghast at what I was telling myself.  Could I ever tell my daughter that her pussy was meant to be fucked?  Never.  No.  I remember feeling sick to my stomach and running to the bathroom to throw up. Flashes of horrible memories came flooding back to me… I was done with denial.  I knew that I would do anything to never have my children go through anything like what I and millions out there endure.

So, I freeze.  I don’t fight, or run.  I get through the moment and just try to fucking survive.  Even though I know – even when the moment is over I will have to relive it for the rest of my life.  I don’t have a day where I don’t find myself sicken by what I have had to do – what I wasn’t able to fight or run from.  But I survived dammit.

a memory…

We may not have had a lot of money, friends or status…but my parents had their crazy things  they made sure we did in case anyone else saw us. I say that it was crazy because it wasn’t whether or not my siblings and I had shelter, or food … but it was whether we had combed our hair and brushed our teeth properly enough each morning before we produced ourselves in front of the world.

My mom and dad made a big deal about his ritual. Sometimes my father would make a joke about it, when asking me if I had combed my hair…and I replied yes – he would always joke and ask “which one?”… Dad… I would say. Of course all of it. Which, of course I had. I would NEVER not do it. Why would I risk the back lash that would occur…that was just about to occur.

I was sitting in the back seat of our Nova, with my brother Jason. We were parked in the gas station; my dad was positioned to get gas. My dad had his arm stretched out behind my mom’s back, as she sat in the front seat, listening to my father. “Did you brush your fucking teeth Carrie?, cuz it sure as fuck doesn’t look like you have brushed it in days!”
“Yes Dad, I did. This morning when I woke up…” I replied terrified. Of course I did, and he knew I did. There was a hair brush beside my pillow for when I woke up, and I knew that right after that – I would go across the hall and brush my teeth. Why would I ever take the chance that this would happen?
I’m not sure how long this conversation went on. However, at some point my dad explained to me and Jason how the next while was going to play out.  Dad was going to drive Jason and I home right after he finished at the pump, at that point Jason would time me for exactly 15 minutes. At which time I was to brush my fucking filthy teeth until they were fucking bleeding. I had only 15 minutes, and that’s fucking it. My brother was to watch me, and make sure I didn’t get a second longer than the fifteen minutes my father so generously was giving me. If my teeth weren’t fucking white when my parents go home my dad was going to kick my fucking teeth to the back of my fucking head.
I can remember standing in my bathroom brushing my teeth franticly. My brother was standing at the door staring at his watch the entire time, all the while giving me the count down. Whether my father was home or not he was going ot make sure I only got the 15 min I was allotted.

Usually when my brother was left alone with me he took the time to hurt me in a more intimate way, but this day he knew our parents would be returning very soon… he just didn’t have the time. I remember looking in the mirror and asking Jason over and over if they looked white enough to him. Jason never reassured me…and made sure the water was off and brush put down at the 15 minute mark.
I waited for my parents return, shaking and terrified. When my father returned he was already upset about something completely different. He never brought up my teeth again that day.

True Heartbreak

It feels as though my heart is truly broken.  Like all those things people have said in the saddest of love songs – a heart can break. I’m not speaking of a  romantic heartbreak, too be honest I have been blessed in that way.  It’s a deeper heartbreak.  A much darker kind of break stemming from years of abuse and neglect. From the dozens of times that my belongings and self were left at the end of a driveway for someone else to have me.  From the age of six months I was being tossed about as though I were trash on consignment.   Nothing broke my heart more than losing my mom; my foster mom Ang that I lived with since the age of 12 years.  Not even the “loss” of my biological mother did the damage that was done when Ang walked out of my life. 

You see, I had to walk out on my biological mother’s life for the sake of my mine and my family’s safety.  My real mother, Carla, she is not a good person.  Honestly, she terrifies me to my core even today.  Ultimately, I didn’t want my children to ever meet the real her.  I would never trust her with my children, so how could it work? It’s a choice I will never regret making, but I do still struggle with missing the idea of having a relationship with my real mother.  I miss the fantasy of it – because it was never real. My mother always has an underlying disgust for me.  She has hated me since I was in her womb, she has told me that herself.

Technically I lost my mom the moment I came into this world. I have just been fighting to be whatever it was that she needed me to be as to attain her love.  Someone that would be worthy of protecting.   This just never happened.  Until I met Ang.  This little brown lady with a heart of gold – well she saved my life.  She always said that it was me that saved my life, I was the one that made the choice to stop the cycle.  She said I did the work – I have fought for my own life.  Ang is the one that tought me about my resilience.  She is right that I was never given a silver spoon throughout my childhood – but I could never, ever have done it though without finding shelter from my storm.  Ang gave me shelter.  She gave me peace.  She NEVER hit me.  And she NEVER sexually exploited me.  Really, that’s all I needed.  Actually, she also gave me love.  Ang made me feel safe.  She allowed me to have a voice.  She believed in me – and eventually got me to believe in me too.

She promised me year after year that she wasn’t ever leaving me.  That I would always be her daughter, nothing could change that.  It took me till I was in late teens to completely let my guard down and believe her.  I thought out of everyone in my life that the earth would have to swallow us whole in order for her to stop being my mom.  But, I was wrong.  It’s been almost three years now that she is pretty much out of my life, yet the ache in my heart is as raw and heavy as the first realization of what was happening.  I was losing my mom.  I have lost my mom.  Sometimes, when she see’s me on the street she doesn’t even recognize me.  She will refer to me as her old foster kid.  Not her daughter as she ALWAYS did in all situations.  We used to talk every day, especially each evening before bed.  Now we can go months witSometimes I Wonderhout speaking to each other.   The worst heart break for me is the fact that she didn’t just walk away from me…but also my three beautiful children that loved her dearly.  She would be their first heart break as well.

I always thought nothing can make me from living with my full heart; may it be crumbling – I can always rebuild.  Now I am coming to the realization that I may have been wrong…and that breaks it just a little bit more.  Now what’s left? How do I find the key to living the life I always dreamed of? I was dreaming of it in the middle of a tragic storm that practically swallowed me whole, leaving me exposed like a raw wound in the salty sea.  

But I fought.  The only way I knew. I dreamed of what could be.  Sometimes I wasn’t sure that there would be a future longer than hours – but I dreamed there would be.  That I would find whatever strength I needed to get me through each traumatic moment to the next.  I just believed.  I knew from very young the only way I could survive was to find faith in something.  Even if it looks impossible- believe that you can survive anything, one moment at a time.  I’ve always said – and I used to believe it wholeheartedly; NO DREAM IS TOO BIG! I just had to keep believing in the good -even when it would take nearly all the courage and strength my little body could take.  And, I never relied on just one thing or most definitely never just one person. 

Growing up the only constant I could count on was knowing that peangine and I 2ople leave.  Everybody leaves… I did receive a reprieve from that belief being with Ang for over 14 years, but just as I was no longer waiting for my bags to be on the edge of the driveway it happened again.  I have to believe that I have some ownership in the fact that I have lost the love of two mothers in my lifetime.  In the past year I was in a fight with what I thought was a very close friend at the time.  One of the last things she said to me before the end of our friendship has really stuck with me.  I hate too admit that I let it take up so much space in my heart – but I think what she said to me had a lot of validity… She said “Don’t you get it Carrie? Both your mothers didn’t even want you – doesn’t that tell you something?” 

Growing up various people in my life have explained all the heartache and trauma that I went through as simple anomalies.  It wasn’t normal what I had endured, in fact most say my story of survival is rare. It’s unbelievable, and it couldn’t possibly happen more than once, especially not to one person. Right?  People tell me over and over again that all that heartbreak is in the past.  That I should let it all go, move on.  But, the heart breaks that I suffered as a young child – well those weren’t just anomalies like I thought.  I kind of think I must have really fucked up in a past life – and that all this is for punishment.  I’m supposed to learn something from all this, I’m supposed to become a better human being.  I don’t know that the heartache will ever go away. I’m beginning to believe that pain is going to be my cross to bare for years and years too come, if not forever. 

 

wayne part one

Wayne Haydamack came into my life when I was approximately ten years old.  I do have a clear memory of that day.  It was a Saturday morning, around 11 am.  Wayne was the birth father of the three children residing with me; Mellissa age 8, Sandra age 14, and Danny age 18months.  One each and every weekend Wayne would show up either on the Friday or the Saturday to pick up his children.  Usually he would only take Mellissa – but occasionally he would take Sandra as well.   A few weeks into my placement there, Wayne took notice too me.

Within a few days Wayne had put in a letter requesting that i be allowed to go with the Haydamack family on the weekend visits.  Wayne was approved even though he himself was not yet approved as a foster parent through the Ministry of Children & Families.   would become VERY rare that i would miss a weekend with Wayne Haydamack  during my eight months in the care of Darlene Haydamack.  Wayne would end up being a very big part of my life during the next four years of my life.

Even though I have not been physically and sexually abused by Wayne since I was 12 years of age – there has never been a single day that i have not had horrid flashbacks that come to me without warning that leave me feeling completely filthy, dirty and damaged.

I remember Wayne and what he did, what he said me, when he touched, talked, and so much more with me for over four years.  Wayne was kind, gentle man towards me – all the while grooming me, making me believe we were to be husband and wife – that god chose for him to be my  husband – even at my young age.  Wayne would make God a big part of our time together – especially after Wayne had touched me sexually,  or even went as far as making love to me as young as 8 years old.  After Wayne had his way with me – he would clean us up and then perform a baptism on me where ever we were at the time.  Wayne has baptized me in various locations; his home, his camper van, a couple public pools; Canada games in New Westminster, and Bonsor Pool several times.  Wayne would always say the same things – that god was cleansing my soul – cleansing all my  dirty sins – forgiving me of my sins… Wayne made me feel dirty.  Like I was causing him to sin.

Years later actually during a court procedure – Wayne made reference to me being very seductive towards him – ultimately causing Wane to act inappropriately, sexually towards my child self years prior.  He believed – and wanted the judge to believe that I , as a 8 year old was so seductive to both him and his birth mother – that I caused them to act out sexually towards me for the next four years.

 

My Abuser – Wayne Haydamack

I can admit that I was aware of Wayne’s obsession with me.  I had been sexually abused for years before this – and honestly Wayne treated me like a princess. He spoiled me.  He made me feel special, and said it so – which is not something I had been at all used too hearing.   And, even when he was being sexually intimate with me — he was always gentle and kind – telling me he loved me.  He made me believe that i was his wife, I was his lover. What him and I had was naughty he would say  – and not right which is why he would baptize me after he would make me filthy again…  over and over again he would do this for the four years he was in my life.

http://www.tricitynews.com/news/bridge-a-labour-of-love-1.648297

I can’t honestly handle any larger of a dose of “Wayne” right now.  This is the first time I have ever really put it in writing… it’s exhausting, scary and also very empowering.  I acknowledge those that are on this journey with me together.  I recognize that what I am sharing is overwhelming, sad, shocking… but having my story heard gives me back my power, allowing for me to heal more and more each key stroke.  Thank you again for reading my stories…

 

FEAR – Living With It Each Day

There are many unfortunate, sad and difficult consequences left for a victim for the rest of their lives after a traumatic event.  I know from my experience I was able to find moments of peace…though far and few in between – with little time to work through the trauma that my parents had started exposing me to as early as when I was still in the womb. I was forced to face a string of various types of abuse ranging from but not limiting it to;  physical, sexual, spiritual, neglect – and the perpetrators were the hands of the people with a duty to keep me safe, protect me – someone that I was supposed to trust.   I can not remember a time in my life  that I was NOT afraid, or  time that I felt totally and completely safe. That reality is heartbreaking .

I have to imagine that even from the womb I have had a fairly intense level of fear running through my little body…afraid of the unforeseen strikes coming my way.  Sometimes it was the things my parents would yell at me that could leave bigger bruises than a whole day of whips, strikes, and blows to my body.  Those words have left invisible catastrophic scarring.   My mother told me stories of when she was pregnant with me and my father would beat her belly with his belt – buckle end hitting her baby bump.  Shit, I probably didn’t know what I was more afraid of; staying in there – or coming out!

My mother also shared her opinions of what she thought of me from the moment I was born often throughout my childhood. “You were ugly honestly, and we really didn’t want you, your father really didn’t want you…he hated girls.”  I would always ask her why he hated girls, what was it that made us so horrible in his eyes.  Why did he think we were such bad girls?  She would never have an answer for me.  She was usually quite flippant about it, acting as though she was just caught off guard for a moment… My mom was the queen of manipulation.  “Oh, I don’t know… who knows Carrie.”  My mom did know why my father hated girls and women in general. She would rather we believed he was just evil, and a sick man.  However eventually truth seeps out of the cracks.   So, years later as an adult I wanted to learn more about my fathers upbringing and the more I did learn – it was very easy to understand where his anger was coming from.  You see, my father lived in fear for his entire life as well.  It was all he knew.  Soon it was all our whole family knew.

I can’t imagine that even to this day, that either my mother, brother or sister feel safe.  I don’t.  The terrorizing anxiety and fear that lives inside me is the worst symptom of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) I face every single day.  It is not unusual for me to afraid in my own home, car or work place.  I am most afraid of course when I am alone.  I hate closed windows, drawn curtains, dark rooms, and hedges that cover a home.  It reminds me of things my parents made sure existed in our lives. They made sure we were afraid of them, always.  There was ALWAYS a consequence, there was no room for error or stupidity as he called it on our parts. And most importantly, it was stressed that we needed to keep our family matters private at all times – my Mom or Dad would say “So Carrie, that means you shut your fucking big mouth!  You understand me?”  We were never to talk about what happened behind our doors.

So my dad would try to seal the sounds of screams in with those little tricks…and now I can’t have the windows closed, or drapes drawn…and don’t even think of having a large tree or hedges surrounding our home!  Most of my husbands family think I am crazy to have everything always wide open – where everyone can see me.  “That’s the point.” I would say.  Exactly.  I am always trying to be sure it’s at least possible to have someone see me if I was being hurt – and this time save me.

I think about this scenario practically daily really.  I feel better in numbers.  I like crowds, I like downtown… I don’t like being in my home alone.  I am almost always incredibly scared, and I know realistically I am more than safe.  But, I don’t believe that. I know better.  I know better than to ever think I am safe.  I know not to start feeling sure I won’t ever have to face unspeakable hurt again.  Too me, that is just baiting the devil to come show off one more time with me.  I am so afraid I will not have the resilience and strength to live through another attack again.  And now, that I have been blessed with three beautiful, innocent children that fear has only been escalated too massive proportions.

The very thought of my kids having to live like I did makes me feel sick to my stomach.  I never really thought of it this way before the kids, for some reason I was able to compartmentalize the stories from the actual realization of how horrible it really was for us young children.  Now I can see for myself how innocent, tiny and helpless we really were.  As a child I really felt like I was at fault – I had obviously been so out of control, so ungrateful, spoiled… I felt that I had pushed them into hitting me, hurting me…  Most of my abusers had me sure that it was my fault that they were sexually attracted to me. That even as young as six – I was just slutty.  I was the one that brought the bad, dirty and wrong doings from these individuals.  There was something in me bringing out the evil in them, causing them to hurt me.

There was a court hearing once that involved one of my foster fathers; Wayne Haydamack where he was being charged with historical sexual abuse.  One of his arguments about why Wayne may have been sexually inappropriate with me – IF – he did – it was simply because I was teasing him, flirting, and seducing him into it.  He was a victim of my seductive ways.  This makes me fucking sick each and every time I think about it. Even if I was displaying sexual behaviors towards him – that is NEVER ok or normal. I have too feel sick when I think of how I was so comfortable being taken advantage of that young.  I remember too that although I found it terrifying each and every time – I also found it too be a normal part of my life, like one of my duties of growing up.  I remember how awful it made me feel too, how dirty I thought I was, and how incredibly afraid I really was.

There is not a day that goes by that I don’t have flashbacks or get triggered by a smell or sound that takes me right back into those moments that still cause me to be afraid.  I don’t have many memories of restful sleeps, or being able to close my eyes and feel  my body completely relax…and just letting go … Usually I am trying to shut my brain down from all the scared thoughts I am having; can anyone get in? Are my kids safe? What if someone tried to take them?  I find myself sometimes going through the entire scenario, getting myself all worked up thinking of the worst things possible – I fight hard to leave those thoughts and fall asleep.  I think of when I was a young child, how strangers would come into my bedrooms while I  was asleep and hurt me. Ripping me from my dreams – leaving me in a nightmare for the rest of my life.

Each and every abuser that took liberty with my body in unspeakable and disgusting ways; ultimately took a piece of my innocence with them when they finished. They all had a part in making me be so afraid and unsure of myself and my worth.  They all hurt me in different degrees – but still leaving me with a lifetime of fear, anxiety, and an ongoing battle with self-loathing and self-worth.  No matter how many times I can tell myself that it was not my fault – some shit has a hard time sticking. The fact that I felt responsible and dirty for being apart of it is something my abusers were counting on.  They groomed me, some more than others.

I have to believe a huge source of my fear comes from the fact that I have dozens of my abusers out there, free to roam the world, free to hurt again.  I am afraid of running into any of them.  I am very afraid of my immediate family; especially my mother and brother.  I have seen their form of evil and I am sure I have not seen the last of it.  My brother grew up to be a convicted rapist and murderer.  My brother is free now – having served his time fully.  He is on the sex offender registry, but is not required to report to a parole officer.  On one the reports I received from the Prison staff before his release after serving ten years for the murder stated that he was at a high risk to reoffend. There was also a note in the report that my brother had made a statement of how much he hated me, and if he were to see me again he would slit my neck from ear to ear.  I am afraid of my brother. I have a very clear memory of my brothers eyes, they were always empty – scary.  He had the same smiling eyes when he was hurting me or an animal sometimes when we were younger.  My dad worked hard making him tough.  He inevitably made his son a killer and a man that like his father – had a special hate for women.

You know, I am mostly afraid this feeling is really never going to ease up.  I am so tired from being in that constant state of acute awareness to all the bad in the world.  I wish I didn’t know that it was real and that it always is lurking and waiting for it’s opportunity to take advantage and hurt me or someone I love.  I do though. I am really clear that the monsters that most people are afraid of look nothing like a monster at all.  They are blending into our communities, developing relationships with us – earning our trust so that we will let our guards down and forget to be afraid just long enough that they can hurt us again.  it s a terrifying reality that I worry, fear and at times unreasonably obsess over every day of my life.

People see me as tough.  They say that I am so strong and resilient, and that they believe I can survive anything.  And with each tragedy or trauma I have survived it seems they feel their points have been proven. I’m fine.  Its over, it’s all in the past.  They sometimes try to push me towards just forgetting everything – telling me that if I just let it all go I will be better.  I agree with one thing.  That “event of trauma” may be over – but that’s about all that makes any sense too me because there is no magical let it go button.  I don’t try to think about it each day – it is like someone slamming a pie in my face out of no where when the memories come.  more like a smack in the face. A lot of my wounds may have years of skin regrowth, scars have faded – years and years have passed – but my mind and or body can’t forget it sometimes.  I still have pain, physical and psychological… emotional pain.

I can still hear the hardwired messages of disgust, hatred, and disappointment that I heard throughout my childhood.  And, I am still fear the bad monsters will come back into my room one night and try taking another piece of my soul – testing my strength and ability to stay a good person.  So far – regardless of what has come against me – I am still here, working on it…but for now I live with fear every single day of my life only hoping something will ease up in my subconscious and let me be in that paralyzing reality less and less as time goes by.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I Hate February! Some Anniversaries Are Too Painful…

I hate February.  I used hate Wednesdays just the same.  There are also many dates throughout the year that I may not be able to share off hand – but I know that when that days hit, every year – I fall apart.  And, sometimes by the end of the day I will remember why this day is so horrible.  What special “anniversary” is my soul celebrating? It is not always just a date actually; sometimes it’s a smell or sound. Or if I run into one of my abusers too.  But the two anniversaries that stick out so much that even my friends and loved ones have bear witness to my pattern.  Wednesdays are not so bad anymore. 

When I was a young child, I would say it probably started around age 9 that I can remember – but I am sure if I looked back into the records from the Ministry of Children & Families that it would show that it was happening long before my mind remembers.  Every Wednesday was my parents visit day with me.  I can remember clearly sitting on the end of the driveway at a couple homes for what seemed hours.  I was sure they were going to come this time.  Every Tuesday I would eagerly call my SW and ask if my parents had picked up the money from the Ministry Office yet? They always did – but they rarely used it too come visit me.  Of course in the records they would always have some song and dance regarding why they couldn’t come after all. But towards the end – it was just that they didn’t fucking give two shits too see me, I was a fucking rat.  But, they would gladly take the money.  As far as they saw it – it was their money regardless.  Even if they did have to kiss a SW’s ass the next week in order to convince them enough to hand over the money for the next visit. 

It was while in Eileen Corbett that I really felt the heartbreak.  It was also here that I really started to grow up enough to realize this was just their con.  They were just using the visit as an opportunity to make some easy cash. 

My mom spent a lot of her time with me just driving the message into my head over and over, ingraining it not just to my brain – but into my bones, into my forever memory.   She always said I was worthless, that she hated me.  “You’re even not worth the drive Carrie! Remember Carrie, you are nothing but a fucking rat! Why would we come see you? You are a fucking liar.  All you want is things Carrie.  All you want is to hurt people, mostly ME!”  She would sometimes tell me this is a calm, controlled tone – seething with anger, disgust, and absolute certainty that what she was saying to me was nothing short of the truth.  When she was angry with me – her mouth barely moved… you could just see a peek of her yellow stained teeth caused by smoking and drinking coffee…  That is, unless she was smiling.  When my mom was angry and smiling that was when the true fear would set in.  Both my parents had that same terrifying trait – they enjoyed it sometimes.  They found humour in my pain – whether it is physical or emotional…  

For me though, there is something bigger going on.  Every February – like clockwork my world starts to fall apart.  Each year is different, the damages are different – but there is always some kind of painful, self-destructive, consistent behaviors that occur each and every February of my life so far.  Years ago, with the help of a consistent foster parent, and my social worker I was told that there was a pattern here.  Could I see it?  Could I do something to change it even? This was something I could change for myself.  Much like I was the one that would decide if I wanted to be like my family or if I wanted to be healthy and happy?  I was in charge of my destiny – just as I have been all along.  I am the one that got out, I saved myself.  But for whatever reason, I just haven’t been able to master this 100% when it comes to February.  I am still struggling – even today – in the month of February. 

It’s not just an emotional feeling of incredible deep sadness…it’s a visceral reaction as well.  I feel horrible in February; I get tummy aches, headaches, night terrors that are worse than my regular variety of horror, terrible mood swings, flash backs, and I always have the feeling of being dirty.  Not with mud, germs and such.  But – that I am a dirty girl.  A dirty slut that is essentially a worthless, embarrassing human being.  I feel very ugly – inside and out.  

In my earlier years as a young girl I was promiscuous, loud, abrasive, self-loathing, and self-destructive the most in February.  I would lose friendships, get into major out of control fights with my caregiver(s), get fired – or get kicked out of something I cared for a lot.   Now as an adult – being aware of the pattern – knowing the consequences; I try hard to not give into that cycle.  But, I still have not figured out why.  Why is my world turned upside down for this period no matter how many years have passed? Isn’t it supposed to get easier?? But my mind is still blocked – I can’t remember what I am reacting too.  I have asked my father a few times throughout the years but even when he has been willing to go there with me, he can’t pin down the actual even that has caused this re-occurring trauma.  It could be something I already remember but have not put together yet in the timeline, or it could be something still waiting for me to unsurface.  I would go with the latter – only because during those conversations with my father he disclosed that there were things that were done to us that no one can repeat, would want to repeat – and that he hoped I would never have to remember.

So for now… I am left scarred, damaged and ultimately changed forever. So much that I have a deep set pattern of self-destructive melt-downs each year, same month…every year.  I am better now, this month has so far (knock on wood) having been able to keep my behaviour in check.  I have a lot of conversations with myself, telling myself I am feeling this sadness and anger because of something deep inside of me – and that I have to remember NOT to allow it to ruin all that I have worked so hard for.  So I may eat more than I wanted too – and I cry a shit load more than I wish too… my night terrors make me not want to sleep some nights – so instead of fighting it I just let myself do what I need to do to survive through the moment, hour, day and month.  If I don’t think I can face the dreams – I write, or play games on my phone.  I’m not out drinking, getting myself high on whatever will take me from my feelings.  I tell myself – this will pass, I will be ok.  So far, so good.  I’m ok – and it’s already almost over the halfway mark of February. 

But I was brave…

I have often felt like people  regretted having me in their lives, eventually.  Like I ware on people.  I come with a shelf-life… 

Even my foster Mom of over 14 years quit … in the end .. She will today say I used too be her foster daughter, or i pushed my way in, or that I tried to adopt her, not her wanting or trying to adopt me. 

My birth mom always said how much she hated me, wishing that I had never been born .. and in my later years my father screaming angry at me on the phone telling me he how fucking pissed he is because he should have just snuffed me years ago.  

Only feeling brave with the safety I felt from being on the phone , I replied – ya, you blew that one didn’t ya! I hung up so angry and a sense of relief.  Ok he’s just acknowledged a memory I had of my father holding a gun to my head at the ravine next to our home in Heron Street.  

I have rushes of hot and searing cold go throughout my body.  I remember some of the feelings of that walk with my father who had just woken me out of bed practically dragging me down our stairs and out the door.  No jacket, no shoes.  I can remember it was late.. I had been asleep for at least an hour before he woke me up.  The sounds of mash … my mom was sitting on the couch watching mash when we were on our way out.  I don’t have as clear of a memory of the incident as my father does.  He filled in the blanks for me when I started to dream about it night after night, night terrors, crying – same repetitive scenario playing itself over and over while I am supposed to rest

My therapist at the time said why didn’t I just flat out ask what he thought of my memory/dream.  He was able to tell me a couple things about that evening I needed to hear.  First he said, he couldn’t forget how strong willed I was through the deal.  I have pains in my knees .. now I can remember the crispy leaves from fall taking form. I feel twinges of pain in my knees from the twigs digging.  I do remember that both my parents absolutely hated crying – no snivelling she would say, her face full of anger and disdain. 

First off , my dad acknowledged my memory rather than to deny as per usual in out family.  He let me know I wasn’t crazy.  Holy fuck, this actually did happen.  Oh my god.  

Secondly, my dad said that I just didn’t move an inch – while he used the tip of rifle to aggressively taunt me, poking my head.  He said I didn’t cry.   

Even with out all the hurtful, demeaning, words dripping from his mouth.. surely I was to believe he was really going to harm me.  He said I didn’t start crying till we were almost back home.  

I remember the smoky smell, and the sound of cheers on the TV.  My mom cranked her head to see us coming back up the stairs.  I never forgot what she said .. scared-to-get-close-to-anyone

“Oh, she still alive? Fuck, Blackie.”  

Sometimes I think about what made me so brave that night? And what did those sobs as coming home mean ? Was I relieved? Or was I terrified of what was going to happen next.  If he couldn’t shoot me, then will he just beat me some more.  I think I cried in terror. I know I cried often afraid that I wasn’t going to make it out alive. That night, I believe I cried out praying someone would hear my pleas.  But I was brave…

My First Memory

My earliest memory is of my sister.  At the time she would have been seven years and myself four years old.  I can remember standing in my parents home, it’s hallway outside their bedroom door. I was standing silently watching the horror taking place inside.

My sister was crying, my mother and father yelling at her. My mom is holding up a dust pan to my sister’s face, she keeps yelling at her to “eat it!” My father is saying some of the same, with every word instilling the fear of god into her. It was poo. My sister was being forced to eat her own poo.

I can remember weird details about this closet, and my parents room.  I remember the bed being in front of a large window covered with dark curtains – that were always closed to keep others from seeing what was happening.  I remember looking inside the closet and seeing my moms pair of mint green high heals on the floor next to a pee stain my sister had left from being in there too long.  I can remember the sounds…the musky smell.

My sister spent most of her time in my parents bedroom closet.  This had been her punishment for past couple of years. My mom and dad said it was because she was a bad girl, that she was a thief and and liar. If she shit herself while being in the closet – she would be forced to eat it. How dare she shit in my parents closet… this is what they would say to her. I can remember watching this, thinking how gross this was, how awful this was…my poor sister. Seeing my sister being held by the back of her head by our mother and my father shoving a dustpan full of my sisters own poo was my first memory.  I can remember that no matter what – she was always in trouble.  For some reason they just hated her so much.

My mom and dad beat her frequently, and for no reason that I can remember witnessing. When I was older I would be told that she was a “fucking liar, and a thief…and Dad just can’t stand either!”

When she was allowed to sleep in a bed, instead of my parents closet – she usually shared a bed with me. We only had one bed in our shared room.  And, in my parents eyes – she didn’t really have a room.  She didn’t deserve one.  Each morning she would wake up immediately she would stand in the corner  with her nose facing the wall, as directed by my father prior.  He didn’t even have to tell her any more.

But most times they would just take her out of the closet and start a beating.  My dad always made beatings like an interrogation. He would ask us over and over why we did what we did wrong, and he would never accept the answer – even if it was the truth. Sometimes, we genuinely did NOT know what we did wrong.

He would smack us, punch us or flick us in the neck with his fingers hard and ask us to try again. This was a game, a very painful and exhausting game to play with my father. I can remember coming up with lies just to be able to come up with something in the hopes that my father would accept the story and give my body a break. I would hope for him to find some humor or empathy in my efforts and imagination and that he mchild-abuseight somehow magically change his mind this time.  Not likely. And, never for my sister.

Each time we give an answer he would look us with this horrible, terrifying, angry look and he would say something like “how can you be so fucking dumb, you fucking little lying bitch!” He would then slap us, sucker punch – or my favorite, flick us in the neck – hard.

Once he went over this, if he hadn’t gotten too mad and started the beating already, my father would then send us to our rooms to get ready for the beating. He would tell us to undress and lay facing down on the bed and wait for him. I can remember waiting for hours sometimes, only once can I remember my dad changing his mind after the long wait. All the while, from the beginning to end my ass is shaking uncontrollably with fear and anxiety. I always wondered “how bad will be it be this time?”

 

 

 

April 19, 1988

hickorysticks

via April 19, 1988

April 19, 1988

The following is an excerpt from my Ministry File, no words have been changed or altered.   

April 19, 1988

Dear Mr. :

Thank you for referring nine year old Carrie Bush.  The child is seen in the office for a period of just over three hours.  She was brought to the office by her social worker, Karen Zilkie.

INTERVIEW

Carrie is a very pretty, blonde haired child.  She seemed quite comfortable in the office.  In interview , she was direct and forthright in responding to my questions.  She co-operated fully when taking the psychological exam.

This child is tense and nervous.  She has a low frustration level.  Like may disturbed children, she reports that she often feels angry but she does not know why.  She experiences stomach aches and headaches.  I asked her when she gets these symptoms…

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April 19, 1988

via April 19, 1988

April 19, 1988

The following is an excerpt from my Ministry File, no words have been changed or altered.   

April 19, 1988

Dear Mr. :

Thank you for referring nine year old Carrie Bush.  The child is seen in the office for a period of just over three hours.  She was brought to the office by her social worker, Karen Zilkie.

INTERVIEW

Carrie is a very pretty, blonde haired child.  She seemed quite comfortable in the office.  In interview , she was direct and forthright in responding to my questions.  She co-operated fully when taking the psychological exam.

This child is tense and nervous.  She has a low frustration level.  Like may disturbed children, she reports that she often feels angry but she does not know why.  She experiences stomach aches and headaches.  I asked her when she gets these symptoms and she responded, “When I run too much or eat too much my dad punches me”.

Carrie reports before she was apprehended, she lived in a house with her twelve year old brother, Jason.  She states that a girl named Jude lives in the basement of the house.

According to Carrie, her older sister, Teresa, was taken away and adopted because she was beaten by her parents.  Carrie stated that her parents used to lock Teresa in a cupboard.  She said, “I used to let her out”.  Carrie reports that she has been in foster homes three times before her parents beat her.  She states that her parents also beat her brother, but that her brother does not want to leave home so he “will not tell” .   She states that her parents have told her that she should not tell either.

Although Carrie reports that both parents beat her, it seems that Mr. Bush is the most frequent offender.  Carrie says that he is “real mean”.  She states that he beats the dogs too.

This child has been in an environment where there is a great deal of marijuana smoking and alcohol drinking.  She says “we would have a lot of money if my dad didn’t smoke drugs”.  She reports that friends come over to the house and her dad buys drugs from them.  She names Jude downstairs and a certain Luke and Susie who bring the drugs.  She calls the drugs “pot”.  She reports that one day she got beat because she did not look for “roaches”.  I asked her to draw a “roach” for me and she drew what looked to be a cigarette butt.

There does not appear to be much money or food in the home of this child.  She reports that they hardly ever eat anything but sandwiches or Kraft dinner. At her foster home she says she gets sandwich meat and lettuce and other things.

When I asked the child where her parents got their money she said, “that’s a funny thing, they phone someone and say “that need money because they have three children, two , four, six , and they have no food to eat”.  The child states that she does not understand this.

In my opinion, this child has also been sexually abused in her parent’s home.  Using the anatomically correct puppet dolls, she demonstrated how her parents have sex on the carpet in their living room.  She says, “they are drunk and out of their minds”.  When I asked her if her dad hurt her mom she said “no, they like it”.  She said that she and her brother watch.  She reports that her brother says “wow look at that”.  Then when her parents are out of the house, he forces her to have sex with him.  He takes her clothes off and holds her down and inserts his penis in her vagina.  She says it hurts. When I asked her if she got wet when this was happening she said “sometimes”.  When I asked her where she got wet, she said, “where he puts it”.  She does not know the correct names for the genitalia.

When asked if anyone has ever done to her what her brother does, Carrie responded that a man names Claude who was baby-sitting her did it.  She demonstrated how she was lying in her nightie watching TV when he came and rubbed her on the perineal area.  According to her he also penetrated her vagina digitally.

A technique I use to determine the person to whom a child is most closely bonded is to ask them to draw me a picture of their most favorite adult.  This child was not sure whom to draw but eventually she drew a picture of her current foster mother, Heidi.  This indicates that she is not strongly bonded to anyone for she has not know Heidi for long.  There is some emotional bonding to her parents however.  When I mentioned that she had recently had a birthday she said that it was a terrible birthday because she was not with her family.  She said, “I’m going miserable without them”.  However, she does not wish to return to a home where she is beaten.

PSYCHOLOGICAL TESTS

WECHSLER INTELLIGENCE SCALE FOR CHILDREN REVISED (WISC-R)

The WICR(R) test results indicate that Carrie of average intelligence.  Her full scale I.Q. score is 96.  Her I.Q. on the verbal part of the WISC(R) is 95 and on the Performance part is 100.

There is no significant difference between the Verbal and Performance I.Q.  but there is significantly low score on the Information subtest of the Verbal part.  This suggests that the child is not learning in school.  She told me that she is kept home from school “when I get child abuse”.  When I ask why, she replies, “because I have bruises”.

SEXUAL ABUSE INVENTORY (SAS)

The Sexual Abuse Inventory is an 81 item true/false questionnaire which has been designed for children ages seven to seventeen.  the questionnaire was designed to elicit information about the child’s feelings of tension, self worth, family support, moral development and sexual involvement.

Responses indicate that this child is experiencing emotional tension and anxiety.  She reports depression and worry.  She feels that she  needs more love and attention than she gets.  She does not believe things will turn out well for her.

The child reports no support in her home.  She did not trust her father.  She answers “true” to the question, “I wish I had a different father”. She indicates that she would rather have been raised in a different family.

Her responses to items about specific sexual acts indicates that she has been involved in sexual acts which include fondling of the breast and perineal area and penetration of the vagina.

As a result of this child’s moral development, she feels guilty about the abuse.  She feels that children should not have sex until they are at least sixteen years old.  She does not enjoy talking about sex.  She feels that she has been used by others.

SUMMARY

Carrie Bush is a disturbed youngster.  She is anxious and depressed.  Feelings of anger sometimes overwhelm her.  She does not understand the reason why she feels this way.  She is not strongly bonded to anyone.  She looks for affection and attention where ever she can find it.

It is my opinion that this child needs protection from the physical and sexual abuse which I believe she has experienced in the home of her parents.  At the present time and for the next few years of her life, her emotional problems will require special attention.

Please call if you have questions.

 

Yours Truly,

Monica D. Angus, Ph.D

Consulting Psychologist.