Sunday, July 24, 2011

When my bark is as bad as my bite!

I have struggled with un diagnosed PTS for most of my life and you can't heal what you don't know, understand, and accept. When I was a little girl and my mother was married to a really awful man I went through hell. They weren't married for long, but the damage he did took a life time for my mother, my brother and I to recover from... and I don't think we ever did. My brother went into denial in a way but perhaps he didn't remember much because he spent a lot of time away in boarding school and during the holidays he was with my cousins on a farm in Zimbabwe. But, I do think that what little memory he may have, he pushes those memories down deep down into his subconscious.

My memories on the other hand are vivid. He made my mothers life a living hell and at 6 years of age, I went where my mother went at all times of the day or night. We often seemed to be running away from him. This man caused me personally, so much fear that I had night mares for years, during and after the relationship he had with my mother.

He was charming always seemed to be smiling when people were around and he was life and soul of the party, but not to us. When we were alone with him, he was an angry, shouting, accusing evil man. He drank a lot and beat my mother regularly. His behavior with me was also highly inappropriate. I really hated him. I remember for almost two years having night mares. I would wake up crying and screaming but I was always affraid to wake my mother up... because it would mean seeing him.
I used to lay in bed for hours with my blankets over my head and I could hear myself breathing deeply. It was hell. I couldn't focus at school had very few friends and it was a lonely time for me. We didn't rush off to therapists in those days so I just learned to live my life with all the anxiety that went with it.

My mother divorced him after only 2 years but the damage was done. The impact of that man in our lives affected my mother and I for many many years. Several years later my mother married another idiot who was the same personality type as the previous one, and the roller coaster, of heart ache started all over again. I wasn't living at home by that time, thank goodness, but I saw what my mother went through.

Yes.... you guessed it... I went on to make the same choices my mother had. I don't want to go into why that happens, because it does... over and over again... the children make the same bad choices their parents made. What I do want to mention here is the TRAUMA that we all go through at the hands of these abusive men.

In the past 6 years I have worked hard to heal my own life and that of my children, but as the layers are peeled back from years and years of abuse, so the pain becomes worse and worse, which is why so many people resort to substance abuse to escape the pain.... but trust me... it soon catches up. I am thankful that alcohol and drugs have not been my choice of escape route... but I do have my own addictions.... art funnily enough. Now that sounds fine and dandy... art! but the impact is much the same. I become isolated, live in fear and deny all the pain that has been burried for so long. I just paint and paint somemore.

I don't think we are meant to live with pain in any shape or form. I am busy dealing with mine head on at the moment.... and my instincts make me want to close the door and stay away from people, but I know that if I am ever going to be free... I have to TRUST and that's the hardest part of all.

I know who I am in the deepest part of me... a very kind and gentle person... and when I growl and snap something inside is hurting. I have only bitten a few times in my life... and I live with that regret. The recipients have mostly been my children... who I love with all my heart and soul... but they did get the bites which should have been targeted at the perpetrators of all my pain and not them....! I know where I make mistakes and I try hard to make things right... but sometimes when people have been bitten... they don't come too close in the future.

I am always a work in progress, willing to appologise when I have been wrong, but why do people find it so hard to say... I AM SORRY I HURT YOU.

If we all knew at the end of our lives what was important and what wasn't, who is important and who isn't..... perhaps we would be kinder to one another.

My struggle has always been, not to bark and certainly not to bite, so I was only kidding when I said my bite is as bad as my bark, but I knew it would get your attention.

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