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A key word that you will see:

Fragmentation: a mental process where a person becomes intensely emotionally focused on one aspect of themselves, such as “I am angry” or “no one loves me,” to the point where all thoughts, feelings and behavior demonstrate this emotional state, in which, the person does not or is unable to take into account the reality of their environment, others or themselves and their resources. This is a term that my therapist and I use and is on the continuum of dissociation.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Hidden Pieces: Always Second


I decided to begin retelling what I wrote in the Winter/Spring of 2007 after four years of intense flashbacks and repressed memories emerging. [Current commentary is in brackets.]  I wrote my seventy page "biography" because I needed to write out what I remembered and what I experienced to make it more "real" rather than a "story."  I am ready to take the next step and putting more of it in my blog.  This was the original reason for starting my blog and using my journal as a starting point.  I am still struggling with believing that the following is the truth of my life:

When I was a teenager and my aunt, who was more like a sister or mother as we are only ten years apart, was over frequently, sometimes, she would physically intervene. I remember her getting in front of my mother or grabbing her arm saying, “S, calm down! Stop it!” Sometimes it worked and sometimes it didn’t. I appreciate my aunt for trying.

[I also know now that I hated to be teased.  When I was younger and living with my grandparents and my aunt that it would get to the point where I would cry and start to kick.  My aunt said that she had to pull me away and then ask me what I was upset about and comfort met.  However, the teasing even continued even when she moved me away from the situation..."I was to sensitive."]

Whenever my mother was angry with me, my step-father would also be calling me names and telling her that I was a spoiled brat and needed to be taught a lesson. My mother would joke about slapping me the next morning showing me how her hand had been bruised “by me.” She would also without warning assault me by slugging me usually in the back knocking the wind out of me.

The last time she slugged me was when I was in college. Again, just continued doing whatever it was I was doing, didn’t make a sound or even begin to cry and never spoke about it. Also, she would beat me with my bottom bared most of the time, or on my back, legs, shoulders or head with an electrical cord, a piece of wood, ping pong paddle, vacuum parts, yardstick, wooden spoon, etc…scared me so much I thought that she could kill me as she seemed so full of rage and out of control…it was like I didn’t exist anymore. This stopped somewhere near the end of high school. The height of the verbal and physical abuse was between three to eight/nine years old.

When I was older, my mother continued to slap me in the face, slug me and scream at me or throw things at me. And, she last spanked me with a yardstick with my pants down when I was fifteen. I’m still embarrassed talking about it or even putting it down on paper. We were all playing Monopoly and I did not want to negotiate with Gene, so he became angrier and angrier as each turn I wouldn’t negotiate, he began screaming and me and told my mother that I was a spoiled brat and that she need to teach me a lesson.

They both sent me to my room and my mother later came up with the yardstick and demanded that I take my pants and underwear off and turn around. I think, I was more humiliated than hurt. But, it did hurt. At this, point I gave up any hope that she would ever choose me over Gene. Not that I had much hope at this point, but I realized that even though at least a few times per year she would talk to me about needing to move and change our life style as she was going to divorce Gene was never going to happen.

My friends no longer believed me anyway because I had talked about it so much; however, each time my mother would talk about it, I would become excited, anxious and sad. Felt like an emotional rollercoaster and everyone stopped listening to me and I stopped talking. Everything else felt like a roller coaster too. I felt very alone and had no one to talk to or help me sort out my feelings…I don’t think I really knew what feelings were.

(“My fantasy of her choosing me over Gene was annihilated. Wasn’t for attention…deep depression...Major Depressive Episode at fifteen without any support, resources, help and was not talking to anyone.”) I felt humiliated and betrayed which I had felt most of my life about her.

I was really, really angry, and sad, confused, overwhelmed and felt so alone. I ripped to shreds one of my favorite t-shirts that I was wearing at the time. That evening all I could think about was killing myself. I bruised my leg with a piece of wood and my fists, used razors to cut my legs and started to make lateral cuts on both my wrists which were just superficial.

I told myself that if I did not feel better by the next morning that I would take the Tylenol. Any hope that I had left that she would ever choose me over Gene was annihilated. I felt so absolutely alone and hopeless that she would ever intervene, protect me, comfort me, be able to talk to her, that she would ever really listen to me, that she would want to do so, ever understand my side, or want to, or really care about me. Right now, I’m feeling an overwhelming sense of grief, loss and sadness. I lost all trust in her and knew that she would never have the strength to divorce him…I felt so trapped. It also confirmed that she would do to me whatever my step-father told her to do…maybe even kill me. She was still threatening to do so, at times.

[I don't know if I write about this later or not, but I'll explain a bit about my taking the Tylenol. It was really a clumsy attempt, but I thought I could at least harm myself.  I took them in the morning and then my friend and her mother picked me up for church.  I told them in the car and was taken to emergency.  When my mother and step-father arrived, they began yelling at me about how stupid I was, etc.  My mother asked it the school would be notified because she didn't want anyone to know...more explanation in a later post.  I saw a therapist once and said all the right things and never had to see him again.  It never talked about it again....again my pain goes unnoticed or ignored.]


Just Be Real said...

CC I am so very sorry for your upbringing in such a violent home. I was also slapped by my mother and I thought that was ok, until my t. this year told me that was physical abuse. I never ever looked at it that way. Appreciate you sharing your pain with us. ((((CC))))

Dr. Deb said...

Writing things out is VERY helpful.
Teasing is very destructive as is ignoring or never addressing someone's pain.

Shen said...

Beating a child is wrong. Baring a child's bottom is humiliating,. There is not reason for it except to humiliate. It is obvious to anyone that removing someone's pants is going to be embarassing. It is done to make you more uncomfortable, emotionally, and it works.

I'm so sorry you had to deal with so much. I hope you really do know you are worth so much more than they led you to believe. They did not know how to care for a child. Being sensitive is GOOD.

It's very hard, but (as in my "Hole in the Soul" story) you are the only one with the power to heal yourself. It isn't fair, and it isn't easy, but you really can come out the other side. I'm getting there. I am so much better than I used to be.

Even so, having been around my father for the last week (see my latest post) I really am falling back into that wounded child more than I expected. Eventually I will get to the point where I can stay in my adult all the time... and I cant wait.

Clueless said...

Thank you. When my therapist told me that slapping was violent, I was quite argumentative and taken aback. Thank you for your hugs.

Dr. Deb,
I am finding out how distructive teasing is and how good it feels to write this out on my blog.

Thank you so much for your comment and encouragement. I've come a long way. I want to go visit your blog. I follow it regularly, but I've been a little more depressed the last couple of weeks due to things at home.

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