Christmas Eve–Holy Terror

TRIGGER

Every Christmas Eve from ages2 to 12-13 i was raped. One can say all the platitudes in the world about how that was then and this is now and it can’t happen again and it’s only a date on the calendar and i have coping and blah di blah nothing can change the stark factset.

It is a horrible day for me. With the added pressure of family members calling me to wish me merry christmas and wifey trying to constantly distract me out of a serious funk.

Guess what? I don’t wanna be distracted out of anything. Horrible things happened to me on that day and i deserve to give them their due. My main focus is on staying alive and that’s that. Frankly my life means nothing on that day. I just want to be left alone.

But it’s Christmas Eve and one must be festive. So i strap on a smile and sink. Somebody else will appear i just habe to hope it’s somebody who has that brave face.

It so completely sucks. Why not every Flag Day or any other spot on the calendar when i can just stay in bed all day and feign the ‘flu or something????

Pedophiles, especially violent ones, love this kind of thing. And mine was very good at his job.

Whatever. Is what is. Everybody has their shit and this happens to be mine. I know I’m just whinging, it’s a hard time for so many of us. This is just my little piece.

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All Roads

May trigger, be respponsible. It’s all just shit anyway.

It breaks my heart everytime I wind up here. That place where I am unseen, invalued, nonexistent.

It breaks my heart because I have had to work so fucking hard my entire life to just keep living. And in the end I can say that I might have felt ok for awhile–but it’s all just illusion.

I am of no value. Any chance that i may have been was stolen from me at a very young age.

I have lost the point of all this effort. It’s effort that seeks to make my life tolerable? Why live then if that’s the only purpose?

I could say that my life is about learning my karmic lessons. To be better, to heal. Maybe I have kbown my lrsson my entite life and that this is it. That i am unseeable, unable to be truly recognized or valued. In this case the best thong to do is to just start over and learn what i need to for the next time.

I am so tired. I am so over all this shit. I’m tired of banginv mh head against a wall so that i can achieve a few short time periods in which i don’t want to be just dead.

There are a few people who would be sad if i left. But they’d likely just be relieved in the end. I contribute nothing. And frankly i can’t keep breathing for the sake of anybody else.

To live for living’s sake makes no sense. There is no intrinsic value in existence bound by space and time.

All roads end here. I can expend every bit of energy i have to try to do this Healing thing but i never will be on that road. It’s just too much. There is too much fear, too much anger and confusion. Too much pain to handle.

I should have died so many times. It’s just pkain cruelty that I was left alive. Like keeping a serial murderer alive in prison for the rest of his life rather than granting capital punishment

I can’t keep doing this. I can’t keep fighting and fighting and fighting anymore. It is just not worth it. Existence is killing me. I have tried. I have given this one all that I had. I have given people all i had and more.

And in the end? I’m exhausted and beaten and i just have nothing left to offer. Nothing left to give myself or anybody else. All roads eventually end up here. It’s been just too much pain.

Flashback Grows Up

Weirdest thing happened to me last night. Usually Xmas is a very rough time for me, stuffed with flashbacks and nightmares. Tgis year it’s been going swimmingly–none of that stuff until last night.

It was one of those dreams that go on forever, i hate that. Anyway, this dream started out like it has pretty much my whole life, chock full of incidents in which i am being sexually abused in one form or another…

And then, suddenlt, i was an adult. The other kids in the dream, various cousins who had witnessed these events over the years, were all adults as well. And Uncle Norman was both dead and in the room at the same time.

I was saying why doesn’t anybody get that this was wrong? My cousin Nornmie says it happened to all of us. I say it’s still not right and he shrugs his shoulders, says yah well it’s Christmas, look at the pretty tree.

It goes on like this forever. I, the adult me, says why isn’t anybody getting how wrong this was? Indifference in response.

Here’s how I am going to interpret this dream: I am an adult. Nothing is happening to me anymore, even though it’s Christmas Eve. I am safe now. My main concern is that nobody gets it, how horrid was the whole shebang.

Was. Past tense. I keep asking until I finally say well enougg from u people. It’s still wrong.

And then i wake up. It’s a big step I think, changing preoccupation in my sleeping mind from what happened to what is wrong with u folks that u won’t see it’s vileness. Deciding that it doesn’t matter if they get it or not. Still was wrong.

So yeah. Flashbacks do grow up. Cool.

Dancing Candle, Dancing Mind

I’m sitting here in meditation, staring at a candle flame, trying to just be within each moment. Just sitting there, watching this little flame.

It’s an unusual candlelight, this one. Although there are no drafts or fans or otherwise air movement about, this little flame is dancing about like crazy. Up and down amd left and right. Nearly sputtering out then bursting forth ablaze again.

As I sit here I realize that this little candlelight is doing exactly what my mind is doing just now. Nearly going out into dissociated haze. Jumping alight with this slim thread of what feels like peace that I’ve been chasing all day. Dancing left dancing right. Am i under threat or not? Do I cut my losses and run, to never see my therapist again? Or to go in tomorrow after a three-week absence and spill my guts about how much I have been struggling and how even though i know it’s only a case of the transference bug I still have the feeling that she will be going away from me soon?

Up down left right dance Splinty dance.

And then as I sit here I realize that despite the wild machinations and meanderings that this little flame is going through…..it remains lit. There is a commitment to itself, as if to say hey I may be a crazy little flame and I may be all over the place, but I am still giving off light and color and warmth. I’m still here.

And so it is with me. Banged up as i may be, as anxious as I seem to need myself to be, I’m still here.

So I will be jumpy and twitchy and be unable to keep still–yes. But I made it. I know that this show is just the drama queens’ (the Teenagers’) way of saying we don’t like this this is just like all the rest. But it’s not.

It’s 2010. I am a grown woman. I have chosen to remain here. I may be dinged and the Voices may be screaming but my light’s still on.

Now the only remaining question is what do I do with the next 25 hours. Really–ya gotta laugh.

Dancing Candle, Dancing Mind

I am humbled and feel tremendous gratitude toward the courage, compassion and wisdom in the submissions posted for this month’s Blog Carnival Against Child Abuse. I know well how much guts it takes to put out our stories and the work involved in helpful steps we can take in order to gain and regain our lives. Thanks so much to all of you for sharing your stories, your wisdom, and your artwork. Ok, I’ll stop my ramblings now–on to the good stuff!

POETRY

I’m starting with the artsy stuff first because, well, I’m an artsy person.

Susan Kingsely-Smith gives us a work of great beauty. She says: There is hope there is Light. The Road to Freedom from the Past is full of potholes and yet there is hope TITLE How do I? I will

RIck Belden tells us of the pain in nogt being validated when we told. Heartbreaking TITLE scapegoat’s cross

ART THERAPY

Amanda Kobeshimi submits some beautiful photos that accompany a description of a survivor with a compelling tale of life with DID TITLE Season’s Greetings from the Demon World

HEALING/THERAPY

Always a popular topic, especially so during the holiday season, when so many of us struggle.

Laura aka Simply Green tells us how to use compassion to help your abused child TITLE Compassionate Parenting: Meeting Needs

One of my favorite writers, Darlene Ouimet, gives us a blog from Emerging From Broken on the beginning of her emotional healing. She tells it like the process thru healing was for her. I identify with and learn so much from her–if you don’t follow her you really should. TITLE The Beginning of Emotional Recovery :: Emerging From Broken

Pandora, a dear friend, says: This is a discussion about a therapy session in which an alter of mine came out, bringing with her all the hideous and abject horror of her experiences of systemic child sexual abuse. TITLE Child Minder – Paul:Week Four

Paul from Mind Parts says “here are some thoughts on what are the essential tools to healing from dissociation and trauma” TITLE Cultivating Skills

Darlene Ouimet shares one of my favorite blogposts as well. It’s a hot-button topic and one that puts me up on a soapbox quite often, too. TITLE Forgive The Abusers? A bit of a Rant :: Emerging from Broken

ADVOCACY AND AWARENESS

From Tracie fills us in on Awareness of new and obtrusive TSA procedures, a very hot topic for this busy holiday season TITLE Vacation Choice: Naked Pictures or Federally Mandated Molestation

The wise Patricia Singleton asks: “Are you aware of who you are because of your struggles in spite of your struggles? Now THAT is a good question! Read what she has to say TITLE A Short Biography – Who Am I?

Joanaa Tiger talks about the senselessness of violence giving us ten instances wherein warning signs could have been acted on to avert horrid crimes TITLE Criminal Justice Degrees Guide

AFTERMATH

VoicesUnsilenced is a very powerful writer of the aftermath of child abuse. She tells her story with courage and fortitude in the face of trauma. Here’s what she has to say TITLE won

Nesher gives a great informational piece on the aftermath of trauma. TITLE Childhood Abuse and Clinical Depression in Adults

SURVIVOR STORIES

My bud Hope For Trauma talks about the stress of the holiday season on her alters. I put this piece in this section because her words echo throughout the year. TITLE 5k’s & Turkey Burgers

From Tracie says “This is a great project for survivors to participate in.” It’s yet another way to speak out, tell your story, and obliterate the silence” TITLE My Name Is Project

Patrticia Singleton talks about choosing a position of gratitude throughout the year, not only during the holidays. Strong piece! TITLE Thanks Giving

Tim Fischer gives us a compelling survivor story. Spend a few moments with his powerful images and notice what your mind thinks about it TITLE The Ghost of Halloween Past

My dear DragonHeartSong takes a courageous look at multiples and their struggles TITLE The holidays approach – good news; bad news

IN THE NEWS

Paul at MindParts gives some thoughts on the recent Oprah Winfrey show with 200 men who have survived child abuse. Interesting TITLE Why I Did Not Appreciate Oprah’s “200 Men” Show

Steven and Debra give us a fabulous poem on recent changes at the TSA. Read this twice. TITLE Opt-out to the Beltway TSA and Their Airline CEO Cronies: Take Your Planes and Shove ‘Em

AND FINALLY…..HOLIDAY TRIGGERS!!!!!

Patricia Singleton says sometimes shutting down is all that you can do to get through the Holidays. Hear hear. TITLE Shutting Down To Get Through The Holidays

My buddy Sharon Sanquist gives us some survival tips on how to deal with moment-to-moment stressors and triggers during this challenging time for so many of us. She’s a great writer and has a way of bringing clarity to just about any confusing issue. Go down to Comments to read her valuable help!

Lisa Kift the ever-wise creator of the Relationship Toolkit also gives us some survival tips. If you haven’t been to her website–do so today. Skip down to the comments section to see what she has to say. If you’ve not been to Lisa’s Toolkit on her website — you need to go!

My good buddy Ravin has been through so much in her life. She has more compassion in her soul than any ten people I know. Read her story of what the Holidays are for her in the Comments section below. I prize her life and so should you!

I personally did not write a blog for dealing with the holidays because I lost track a day or two before Thanksgiving. Meaning I just faded away. Apparently some of the littles were out and about, why I do not know. Since I have been seeing the Mighty C, I’ve been co-conscious. My personal history is that Christmas Eves I was brutalized more than any other time of the year. So–I lost a few days. Could be worse, could be raining. I get used to it as the weeks pass, but it’s always a bumpy ride at the beginning of the season. My wife is great, she knows it’s a tough time for me. We always end up doing all the fun stuff that’s plentiful here. And it ends up being a good time as I get involved as an adult. But it’s a rough go for awhile.

Again, thanks so much to contributors here. It has been an amazing opportunity for me to be allowed the privilege to read and consider their strength, wisdom, and compassion. Happy Holidays where you can get them! And remember–it’ll be over soon 😉

LiarLiarLiarLiarLiarLiarLiarLiar

I have always thought that there was really no saving me. Because secretly in my black heart I knew a secret: I’m a liar. None of the shit I have described had ever happened. Even though the flashbacks are so vivid and specific and repetitive. Even though family members correlate some of my stories. Even though I have scars all over my body. Even though I have had to have several surgeries to correct damage–damage during times I flash back to. Mom said I was a liar, so. I must be way fucked in the head to come up with these horrid images–what thew hell is wrong with me?

It hit me the other day. I have heard more times than I count that this is a very common phenomenom for survivors of child abuse, but never applied it to myself. Because I was lying, I am lying.

It’s just another level of acceptance. That shit could not have happened to me, I won’t let it be so. The odds that I would survive it all, well pretty big against it. It just cannot be.

So I’m sitting here writing this drivel, thinking to myself maybe. You know it’s all true. There is just too much collaboration, too many medical issues too many scars. You remember just too much.

Am I just a sick fuck liar? Or did it all happen to me? Yes, no, yes, no. No, it just could not have been. But I don’t lie about anything else. It’s one of the key behaviors in my religion for Christ’s sake. Speak rightly, truthfully. Right Speech.

Oh god. I have such self-hatred around this. I can actually see the walls of hate that surround me. Very thick, inpenetrable.

If it’s true there’s no reason for me to despise myself like this, which means I have no idea of who I am. Not a clue.

But God. I keep trying to think it happened to you, you know that all of it did. You know it. And each time I end up rejecting what I know to be true for the convenient song, liar liar liar.

Because if I am not some fucked up monster just coming up with shit, then any sense I have had of control is gone. I somehow got through it, yes. Time after time after time. But I had no control. No wonder I gave up any sense of power when I was six. On a bad Christmas Eve.

No control? No clue of who I am? Oh man. Lost. I think I will go away for awhile, at least until C gets back into town. Because this realization is killing me.

The Holidays in Haiku

The holidays are upon us. Hellidays in my mind. There are so many IUDs and triggers lying about that i am constantly running into them at this time of the year. I’m not of a monotheistic faith so there is no attachment. Basically i see Christmas as a tradeoff to get the Druids to stop celebrating the Winter Solstice debauchery and move over to Christianity.

In any event, i thought i’d write a few haiku addressing the immense internal stress of this time. Not in any particular order, just little vignettes. So here we go

Holidays just suck
Perpetrator went insane
Ev’ry Christmas Eve

I didn’t have fun
The Christmas celebrations
I was always hurt

Santa Claus would come
With dozens of gifts for me
Ev’rything but love

Mom would lose her shit
Too much pressure I suppose
Guess who made dinner?

I would always cry
Internal bleeding hurting
Dad losing HIS shit

I have learned to cope
With happy happy joy joy
Some girls are having

My wife into it
(Recovering Catholic)
So we make our joy

Wife makes Peking Duck
I wrap most of the presents
On Dread Christmas Eve

Bacchanalia
Of the in-laws, not so much
They’re not a bright group

We’ll go to the Zoo
And see A Christmas Carol
Our traditions now

Lots of great presents
Reindeer antlers on the cats
Send out Christmas cards

But i hate this time
Usually fade away
A hybernation

January comes
And i will be back again
For now–toodeloo

;).

The Night I Lost All Hope

May be mildly triggering.

So i was sitting in therapy, telling C that i’m feeling pretty darn well. That i had gotten myself out of my Black Pit of Depression and how it worked.

Then, because i had had my first Christmas Eve Flashback prompted by seeing the first christmas lights of the season, the conversation naturally ventured there.

I have had this repetitive flashback for what seems my entire life. It frustrates me because it’s far from the worst that was done to me. I’ve gotten pretty good at dissembling holiday-related triggers and flashes–but never understood this one. I don’t think anyone other than my wifey knows this one. Maybe, i just don’t recall it.

So, after a couple of minutes of C saying open ur eyes sweetie look at me sweetie jesus look at your posture look at me be present with me…i launched into it.

Every year we would go to visit Uncle Norman’s house on Christmas Eve for several hours. I think this one time i was maybe 6 or 7, whenever kids lose their teeth. I am looking at it now and i look like about 6ish.

Anyway, Uncle Norman had gotten to me earlier in the day but it doesn’t matter really what happened. In this flashback there are around 15 people or so, very jovial atmosphere Xhristmas songs on the radio blah blah. Uncle Norman is sitting in his recliner across the room from the tree and the presents. He motions to me and says come here, sit on my lap. No that’s ok i reply and try to leave the room. Mom catches me by the wrist and says You’re Very Rude, go sit on Uncle Norman’s lap. No, i don’t wanna. She swaps me on the butt and drags me over to him. Mind you, i had told her the previous summer what he had been doing to me.

So i’m forced on Uncle Norman’s lap. Actually i am sitting on his hand and he’s movung his fingers around under me. I say he’s like diddling me. Fifteen people are in that room, everybody jollying it up, and he is messing with me. He keeps sorta readjusting himself and i can feel his hardon.

I have two parts to this flash i tell C. There’s a sound in my ears like a Swooosh and i alternate between seeing the Christmas tree across the room in a sort of tunnel vision, like a kaleidoscope. The lights were blinking and reflecting off the gobs of tinsel. Then i hear swoooooosh again and i am looking at myself, sitting there on his lap. Just like watching a movie.

At this point in the telling of this story my thoughts become very disjointed. All those people around. I can hear all that laughter as if it was far away down a long tunnel. Mom knew, yes my mother knew but she did nothing, just laughing aling with the rest of them. Ho ho ho.

I say all those people and nobody did a thing. Jesus. It’s silent in the room then this pops out of my mouth:

That’s when i gave up. I learned about absolute powerlessness and futility and utter lack of control at that moment. I gave up that night. I lost all hope. Wow, that’s right.

That is when i lost all hope and realized i was utterly alone.

Silence. C says wellthatwasthenthisisnowlookatmehonwyit’s2010nowrighthellloooootherewhereareyou?

I hear myself say that is the Black Pit exactly. When i get that complete depression this is exactly what it felt like on that Christmas Eve. That’s where it comes from.

C looks at me. Wow honey that is really something. So when you go down that black path…..it’s really something that happened 44 years ago and you’ve juat now realized it? Yeah you’d think….No says C. This deserves incredible congratulations this is a huge, huge connection. Don’t go blowing off your acconplishment.

Ok. Silence for abit as i sit there, srunned. It’s exactly the same feeling, man. Wow.

C starts talking about how pedophiles do these things etc etc get off on the power etc etc i’m not really able to focus.

Then she says i want you to know something sweetie. If i had been in that room i would have broken every one of his ten fingers. This was a horrible thing blah blah and on we go from there.

The day i gave up hope. It’s so important to figure this shit out.

Call for submissions-Carnival against Child Abuse

I will be hosting the Blog Carnival Against Child Abuse for November. Our theme, which you can choose to address or not, is….what else….ta daaaaaaa…..drumroll please….. HOLIDAY TRIGGERS! It’s a tough time for many survivors and thrivers. We’re shown all these images of perfect, happy homes, fried turkeys Santa Claus and dredles. Which for so many just didn’t ever exist. Oftentimes the abuse was ratcheted up a notch. Happy Holidays, indeed.

Feel free to say whatever the heck you want to about the Holiday Season in this month’s Carnival. Ranting and raving is allowed, please add “trigger” to rough stuff. It’s also a great time to talk about how you cope with it all (hint for you professionals out there especially!).

Your submission doesn’t have to be original, you know. You can submit something you wrote five years ago that works for you. Participatiuon is the buzzword here. Of course, you can just ignore this month’s theme and talk about any of our regular monthly topics:

-Advocacy and Awareness
-Aftermath
-Healing and Therapy
-In the News
-Poetry
-Survivor Stories
-Art Therapy

The purpose of the Carnival Against Child Abuse is to raise awareness about the serious issue of child abuse. All forms of abuse – physical, emotional, sexual, spiritual, verbal – are discussed. We highlight blog posts from child abuse survivor stories, survivor art and poetry, child abuse as a topic in the news media, as well as PTSD, dissociation and other areas of the abuse aftermath that adult survivors are forced to deal with. We link to hopeful posts about therapy, recovery, and healing from abuse. All forms of child advocacy and awareness are included.

I’m looking for new posts that you have written specifically for the carnival, or an old post from your archive. You are not limited to just one submission! I know that (surprise) I have alot to say about all of this stuff, so expect to see it. Again–participate! It’ll help you feel better!

You can submit your posts here using the form, or you can email your links to me at splinteredones@gmail.com

I’ll be taking submissions until midnight Tuesday November 23rd and the Carnival will be posted on Friday the 26th.

Thank you! I’m excited to read all of your fabulous submissions this month. Namaste _/|\_

Battlestar Galactica

My mind has been waging a huge war over me in the past ten days or so. The primary issue has had to do with whether it’s my duty to stay alive, slogging thru the shit for some unknown reason, or if I have an obligation to just go ahead, kill myself, and start over with the next life.

Frankly, it’s a tangle. Kenny Chesney the country weatern singer has a great line in one of my favorite songs. “For all the answers and the reasons why I’m at this crossroads in my life and I don’t really know which way to go.”

This is where I’ve been. It has seemed like a time for decisions, though. I did the research had the plan. Wrote a current will and fascinated myself with the perfect goodbye letters.

Once all the glam was done, I just waited. For ten days I let unedited thought pass thru me. It was a heavy time of flashbacks and exhaustion.

Ihavenovalueihavenopurposenobodywouldmissmeforlonghoqgreattojuatbedonethisonehasbeenaclusterfyxkfromthebefinningiwillpayahugepriceinjarmadorthosehorriblethingsrhathappenedbutijusycantdothisanylonger.

I got off the strict diet I was on (to support my wife who’s just been diagnosed w/diabetes) at the command of my therapist, the omniscient C. Within a day I was regaining my strength. I was becoming able to do a couple of my coping things and felt a tad better still.

It was said to me that even though my life to date has been this huge clusterfuck that it needn’t always be that way. Then she said these words: “your purpose in this life is to learn thru your rough life whatever it is that your karma needs to learn. Probably healing many lives’ worth of lessons. That is the purpose of this life for you. Healing”.

Oh yeah. Hummm, well. Bad Buddhist, bad! So I meditated on that for a day or so, during which time it became as clear as crystal. Yes I have a purpose in this lifetime. And yes–healing IS what it’s about.

I don’t know what has happened during earlier wanderings of my soul. But I can honestly say that I don’t know much about healing myself.

And so I see that I can do good to my own personal karma, which will improve the wisdom of the Collective. I have been so lost. But now I’m found thru my faith. Was blind but now I see.

Battlestar Galactica is over for now and I’d like to think that Universal good has won. I am not naive, I know that I have a long painful road to walk. But at least thru this round I have a purpose. Heal to teach others how to heal. I like this.

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