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.