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.     

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!

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.