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.     

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.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

“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?

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.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Mommies Special Lessons

I think one of londley-childmy biggest problems is that I have so many memories but due to the PTSD I can’t remember things chronologically.  Things come to me in jumbles.  And, when they come to me I want to talk about it.  Honestly, sometimes I feel like I am remembering something for the first time – when really I have gone through this memory time and time before.  I know this because people around me will tell me that I have shared that story before, or my foster mother would tell calm me down sometimes after I have remembered something – something I believed I just remembered for the first time.  And the memory is so horrific that I relive the trauma over and over again.  An example of this is the burns on my arms.  Not crazy huge burns or nothing… but little circular scars on both of my forearms. 

I will find myself sitting on the toilet on any random day, I will be reaching for the toilet paper – it’s  like a flash that causes a visceral reaction from me.   My tummy hurts, instantly I could feel sharp pains in my back…  I can see an iron pressed up against my arms.  I hear the sound of the iron burning against my flesh. I smell the burning flesh…  Me pulling back, my mother pushing me forward; telling me to shut up.  “Shut your fucking mouth!” 

I was being punished.  About 3-4 hours before this moment my mom called me into my room.  “Where’s you barrettes?” she asked me. I knew something was up by the tone in her voice.  I could tell she was angry, but she was smiling.  That’s how I was sure this was going to be bad. 

“They are in my jewelry box.” I point to my small white box that I was re-tracing over and over in my mind putting them back in the box.  I was sure, I knew I did. 

“Show me Carrie” my mom crossed her arms and never took her eyes off of me. 

I opened the box – it was empty.  My body instantly began to shake. 

“Look at me.” She said.  Her voice was changing.  I could feel the smile had disappeared; I didn’t want to look up at her. 

“I said – Look at me Carrie!” her arms came apart. I backed up.  She laughs.  I look up.   I was expecting her to hit me in the face.  She didn’t. 

“Well I guess you better find them.  When was the last time you had them?”

“Yesterday, I was wearing them at school.” I replied with fear.  I tried to sound sure, because I was sure.  I knew I put them in my jewelry box just like my mother asked me to do when she gave them to me.  I only had one pair of barrettes – I always took care of them. 

“You better get your fucking ass out there fast and find them – don’t come back until you do!” My mom wasn’t holding back now.  When she was mad she would grit her teeth while she talked.   

I quickly walked out of the bedroom and out the door.  I started re-tracing my steps frantically.  I knew the longer I took, that meant the worse the beating.  I was going to get beat no matter if I found them or not.  And how was I going to find them anyways?  I remember that it was sunny as I looked on the ground, searching in the grass and the dirt gravel side of the road for my two white barrettes.  I went up and down the street time after time; I was gone for a couple of hours. 

I didn’t want to go back home without my barrettes.  I knew the consequence for not taking care of my things. I mean – even with my own hair.  My parents give me a beating if I didn’t comb/brush my hair before I leave my bedroom.  It should be the first thing I do – then I have to brush my teeth.  These rules have literally been beaten into me.  I know the rules, and I don’t dare break them for fear of the punishment.  My dad would usually start it with a joke. 

“Did you comb your hair this morning Carrie?” my dad would ask me.

“Yes…” I would reply – immediately knowing what was about to happen.  I am kicking myself inside for not doing a better job.  Don’t I know that he will inspect it? 

 “Which one?” he laughed as he asked.  My dad had this crazy laugh.  I wish you could hear it.  It was loud, and funny.  I have the same laugh now as an adult.

“All of them Dad” I replied. Hoping this was a day that he didn’t feel like being angry with me, hoping he would just continue laughing with me.

 “Get to your fucking room, pants off – lay and wait!” his tone was different from the funny dad.  He was angry.  My immediately began to shake.  I turned around and walked back down the hallway towards my bedroom.  I slowly began taking off my pants, then my underwear.  I knew dad always wanted us naked.  Easier access.  I think it mostly depended on what he was going to beat us with; his hands, belt, boots, wooden spoon, horse whip… the list goes on. 

 I remember lying on the bed, legs hanging over the edge, shaking.  I can’t give a play by play on the beating.  However, I can tell you he used his hands this time.  He put me over his knees and spanked my bum over and over again.  If I cried he hit harder.  If I fought the spanking he had tenancy to call my mom in the room to hold me down.  This was much worse.  So I would tense my bottom up as much as I could, squeeze my legs together – eyes closed tightly.  I remember after this beating I was in such pain on my backside and back thighs.  My dad told me to stay in my room until he told me different. 

 I would lie on my bed, on my back with my bum and legs up against the cold wall.  I would switch my spot to a cooler one every few minutes trying to ease the stinging from my backside. Sometimes I would sing to myself quietly or I would spend my time talking to god.  I would ask him to make my mom and dad not hate me so much.  I would beg him not to let my mom and dad get mad at me again today, at least. 

This day – looking for the mysterious missing barrettes I can remember praying all the while looking for my lost barrettes.  I know mom was going to be angry with me.  She scared me the most.  Mom always said how she couldn’t stand my fucking sniveling face – how the very look at it makes her want to puke.  How would I tell her I couldn’t find them? What was she going to do to me when I returned without the barrettes?

This is what I cachild-crunching-up-into-ball-in-fearn recall.  When I think back to that day… I came home terrified.  My mom was sitting at the kitchen table smoking and having her coffee.  She was smiling.  She told me to follow her back to my bedroom.  I figured she was going to make me lie on my bed and give me a spanking to remember.  But when we got into the room she just stood there looking at me, with an evil smirk. 

“Are you sure you didn’t lose them in here?” she asked

 *as I am writing this I am getting anxious.  In the past 30 minutes I have started getting a headache, and eaten a box of KD with tomatoes on it.  I’m what I call emotional eating… stuffing those feelings down as far as I can, then shit them out! It’s just interesting to catch myself doing it, calling myself on it – but still going through with it.  Now I feel sick, disappointed…

I don’t know how I responded to my mom.  All I remember is that she had asked me to check under my bed.  My room was really small, there was a dresser very close to my bed – the only way I could look under it was to crouch down and feel it out.  But when I looked under I didn’t see them.  I did see a couple irons under my bed.  Unusual.  Terrifying. My mother noticed my hesitation – it angered her. 

She pushed me down so that I was basically on my stomach – face down.  I can remember her pulling my left arm out and waving it back and forth under the bed.  There was searing hot pain with each jerking of my arm.  I cried out.  I remember my mom just kept asking me over and over if I could feel the barrettes. 

I couldn’t feel anything but intense pain.  My mom didn’t say anything about the irons to me; in fact she acted like nothing was happening to me. As though she was just assisting me in trying to find my barrettes.  Why was I screaming in pain?  Why was I irritating her? My mom always had a strong grip.  That day was no different.  She squeezed my arm – held it against the irons with force.  She smiled.

“Get up! Stop you sniveling… nothing happened.” My mom was standing now waiting for me to get up.  I didn’t know whether the punishment was over or just beginning.  The pain in my arm was incredible.  I didn’t want to show her how much, I knew that would make her angrier.  She would probably want to show me what “real pain” was.  If I ever acted like they were hurting me while they were hurting me – they would anger faster and more intensely.  I learned the skill of holding it back early.

My mom had one hand on her hip, the other was holding something.  She opened her hand and showed me my barrettes. 

“I hope this teaches you not to lose your things.” She stated flatly. 

She had them the whole time.  My mind was racing.  I had this sense of relief – but then this sense of overwhelming anger.  This was all a game to my mom.  She was smiling when she put them back into my jewelry box, and then walked out the room.

“Clean yourself up before you come out of your room.” She said.  My arm was red, skin was peeled back.  It hurt to touch.  I changed my shirt.  At the time I was wearing a t-shirt, but I knew what my mom meant by clean myself up.  She wanted me to hide any sign of the punishment.  Before going into the bathroom to try to cool it off I put on a long sleeved shirt.  I can remember how much it hurt, how sensitive it was to wear a shirt over.  I didn’t have band aids or medication to care for it.  I can remember just running cool water over it, and keeping it covered.  I also remember constantly be peeling the dead skin off and re-opening the wound.  This was one of my moms lessons. She had many.