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.