The anger and rage are deep, at times not even thought of…. until a situation comes up and the reality that someone else has lived what I have.
I grew up too fast, I was forced to. A young girl of 7 years old, a father who passed away. No funeral where we were allowed to attend, no closure given. We couldn’t speak of him if we had any questions. You expected us to move on, just as you had. I remember owning a doll, Thumbelina, she became my friend, as was Snoopy. To this day, anything to do with Snoopy or the Peanuts gang, I smile at fondly,they help me to get through my worst days. Especially the ones where I hid under the bed, or behind my dresser. Avoiding the belt or wooden spoon. Barbies are not something I remember having. The neighborhood we lived in, one of 3, the ones where we could play kick the can, hide and go seek, or swing on a swing set, we moved from, no longer did I have that little bit of childhood. Sleep overs, I don’t remember, I was too shy to think someone would want to. I was too scared you’d say no.
My anger runs deep within my veins. I fight it every day, I’m tired of having it run my life. For causing bad decisions, for hurting people instead of loving them, for keeping people at arms length, so they couldn’t hurt me.
My whole life, I’ve tried to get you to see me. To realize I exist. To the anorexia and bulimia, to the food scale, weight scale and endless exercising in my room. Quiet, so no one could hear me. Now I fight the shoving of emotions back down, so I don’t feel them. Only now I do it with eating, I eat the moment I feel stressed, or I feel any emotion that is uncomfortable. The cycle doesn’t stop, neither does the anger.
You said it was their fault, that they wouldn’t let him die, that they lived in the past. To me they allowed me to be a child, to play and not think of grown up duties. No meals I was expected to make, no expectations to watch over anyone. We fought you and I. Yet, I remember. I remember the letter you wrote me when I was 12, asking for the happy girl you remembered. Meanwhile I was asking myself, where did you go?
At one point you came to me and my sister asking what we thought of you marrying. I said that it was for the best, I didn’t want you alone. You don’t know I cried in the bathroom stall, afraid I’d be forgotten, you no longer needed me. Yet for 7 years, I was your right hand, I did it all and then in a blink it was gone, the expectation was I was to go back to being a child. I had no idea how to do that.
Our lives changed dramatically when you married. No longer were we 3, no longer a family of origin.
I feared so many things, when we fought. Many times I turned to my grandmother, she was my rock. She held me together, when I knew you wouldn’t. I called from our garage, desperately screaming. Her voice always calmed me. I have never forgotten the fight I had with my sister. I’m not proud I pushed her down two stairs. However, I did not deserve to be pinned by your husband and you watching saying “I deserved it”. I felt abandoned and confused. Who does that? I wanted to believe that no matter what happened, you would always be there, but you weren’t. More anger and resentment grew inside me.
As an adult, I have blips of moments of memory. Not all bad, but unfortunately, the bad outweighs the good. I remember coming home from being out with friends, drinking and drunk. You kicked me out of our home an 18 year old teen, rebellious and mad. You gave me “the speech” and then told me I was to move out and once moved out, I was never to return. Yet, my sibling had different rules; she always did have different rules. Never on equal ground, she and I. She grew to be the accepted one, always accepted, always forgiven.
I lived a life of domestic violence, verbal, physical, sexual, emotional, and mental abuse. I know the life of an alcoholic and overcoming and walking away from that. No, not I, I lived the life of a binge drinker until one day I blacked out, bruising my cheek and jaw, an x-ray was my wake up call.
I remember my wedding, where bets were made on how long I would be married. My step father said 6 months. I felt embarrassed and insulted. You never liked my step children, you thought they were crass. Yet, to this day, each of them in their own way are still in my life, forever grateful am I. My ex a friend where he was in the beginning, not that I can say that for you or my family.
My nephews know so little of me. Yet, I have chosen to believe they will ask for me when they are ready. I am restricted to Facebook status updates and photographs. The belief is my mental illness is “contagious” and I guess it is, through genetics.
I realized today, I am still stuck to you by a root; a root that connects me to you. That root holds me to my past with you. A little girl comes flying out in rage, especially if she feels for one moment that she has been forgotten, ignored, and abandoned. I have told her it is up to me now to look after her, to show her what she didn’t get. If I could only catch when she comes out, she is sneaky that way.
I have a diagnosis now. No longer an inconvenience or “pain in the ass”. Being Bipolar 2 as well as Borderline Personality Disorder, means there is a start. A start in learning who I am, no longer made fun of, or inappropriately commented that I was miserable or “did you take your meds”. To inappropriate comments of my physical appearance upon entering a hot tub. The comments to this day, make me feel so uncomfortable, I don’t enter a hot tub.
I no longer ask why. I no longer yearn to have you in my life. I no longer sit by the phone, wishing it would ring, you would be on the other side, asking how I am. I no longer cry when I see postings that there is a family get together, no asking to be included, no asking if I had time to stop in. I am skeptical now, skeptical that any sign of concern from you, there is an ulterior motive. A gossip of my life shared without my consent. We were the house where on the outside, you would never think there was anything wrong, but inside the chaos and insanity raged on. I’ve never forgotten your neighbor not realizing you had another child; let alone no photos of me in your home; only those of my sister in various stages of her life.
I remember my first and only time of staying in the hospital for my mental breakdown. I remember you being called to come and speak to the medical team. You left shortly there after, claiming you weren’t going to be blamed for my being there, that you loved me, but didn’t like me. I stayed on the ward longer as a result of that. I have done years upon years of therapy, group therapy, psychiatry as a means to figuring out why my brain wouldn’t retain anything I had learned in therapy. You never came when there was a “family day”. Yet my close friend did and so did my former spouse. But the only one I really wanted was you and my sister, but I was let down, yet again.
I’ve learned resilience and perseverance; I had to, I had to learn what the “system” offered when I had no where to go. Each time I left an abusive relationship, I learned about support and help from people who are trained to help. I spent 6 to 8 weeks in a women’s shelter. Scared and ashamed I quickly learned, that there are good people who really wanted to help me get back on my feet. No questions asked, no expectations demanded, just those who truly understood what I had lived through.
When I moved back here, you were surprised. Not a comment of happiness, a comment of expectation I would have stayed where I was, because I always liked it there. Imagine how I felt when you said that. The next time I heard from you was when I had my settlement, suddenly you wanted to know everything about how that came to be. Yet, me in my desperation wanting to feel a mother/daughter connection, desperate to feel love from you. I told you how everything went. When I found my now home, you again showed interest, you even went so far as to suggest who to do my renovations. I knew in my gut this was a mistake, yet, again I wanted to feel the connection of a mother and daughter; so I said yes. The regret of the reality of why it was offered, stings to this day.
I find it ironic that as members of family have become ill or passed away, you seek me out for information on them. Yet, as a child, you tried to keep me from them. Why is that?
I could ask why the mementos you said you wanted to send to me months ago, have never arrived, but why bother? I don’t believe I will hear the real reason, perhaps another tale.
Purging is very hard work, and my hope is I will release this knot in my stomach that has surfaced. My other wish is someday I will remember what true emotions for those not an animal or child, will come. A life of apathy is not one I want in my senior years. I want to live a life of harmony and peace.