I've been telling my story for so very long

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all4peace

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I've been telling my story for so very long
« on: January 09, 2018, 11:56:55 AM »
I was looking for my kindergarten photo last week and found a stack of old papers instead. I had forgotten how much writing was an outlet for me as a teen and college student. Stacks of papers from high school and college. And soooo many of them on parenting, sexual abuse and physical abuse. Also religion, racism and other topics meaningful to me.

When I read them, and the comments from my kindergarten report card, I just sobbed.

I have been trying to tell my story for so long. I told about the violence in our household. I told about the day my dad left for the first time. In college, I took a horrific 2-day course on sexual abuse followed by another 2-day course on overall abuse, and my papers from those are heartbreaking and full of anguish and rage about the topic.

As an adult, I'm left to wonder...was nobody listening? Was nobody connecting dots? Was there not mandatory reporting? Why did nobody ever come to me and ask if all was ok?

I got so many As on those papers, comments, notes. But nobody ever talked to me directly and I do not understand why.

The one that broke my heart the most was a paper on parenting. We were supposed to review and comment on several methods of parenting, weighing the pros and cons, deciding on what we thought was the best one. My innocent chirpy teenage voice comes through in the writing, my convictions, my sense of justice. And I veered off course and came up with my own special brand of parenting that I perkily named "Be a Part of Your Child's Life." I describe this method as really seeing, knowing and understanding one's children, in caring enough about them to pay attention to their interests, and listen to their problems. I describe the need for affection and unconditional love, boundaries with consequences, but most of all seeing them as a real person. And I end it with "This would lead to a beautiful parent-child relationship."

It's hard to explain why this hit so hard, but it did. At 17 I was trying to tell my parents that this would work better than beatings. I was telling my teachers this. And one day i would grow up to be a mom, completely forgetting this paper I had written, and I would try so very hard to be exactly this kind of parent.

We talk about the inner child. Sometimes seeing a photo or hearing our voice from those years brings it back more viscerally than memory ever could.

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moglow

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Re: I've been telling my story for so very long
« Reply #1 on: January 09, 2018, 03:11:08 PM »
Your post hurts my heart, All4. I hurt for you, me, and all who have known for so many years that *this* is not and nowhere near normal, that there has to be more, that there really are better ways to parent - and be parented. The scars left from what we survived are knotted and painful.

When my Daddy passed away, I found letters I'd written him when I was early teens - begging him to get me out of there. Telling him that mother hated me and I didn't know why. Going back to that time - to that abused, confused and neglected girl - was so painful. It brought it all back, and conversations with lifetime friends confirmed it. I even found out later that my situation had been discussed within those families, that they reached out to and basically rescued me where and when they could.

I share this because I honestly believe that people do and have listened all our lives. We weren't always aware of it and may have rebuffed their efforts thinking we were doing the right thing. I know I kept the family silence and refused to acknowledge what was clearly very wrong. I hid. I stayed silent. I buried myself in books.

But it's there, in that unsmiling child in years of school pictures. Mother has mentioned here and there that I was an unhappy child ... Ya think???

Hugs to you, sister. Keep talking. Keep writing. Keep getting it out so the darkness can heal.
"Expectations are disappointments under construction.  ~ Cap'n Spanky

Stop Stinkin' Thinkin'!

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Obliviot

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Re: I've been telling my story for so very long
« Reply #2 on: January 09, 2018, 04:00:05 PM »
All4Peace, so sorry you're experiencing this!  Just one word of encouragement along the lines of what Moglow said - twice in my life I was going through some really tough things and acting out accordingly, and I found out after the fact that in both situations someone had been advocating for me behind the scenes to help me.  I don't know why they didn't talk to me directly either. 

You are heard now, by both the posters who support you and the silent readers who you've helped by sharing your story.  Even when you share painful things like this you might be influencing someone to intervene in a situation whereas before they read your post they might not have done so. 

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louisebt

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Re: I've been telling my story for so very long
« Reply #3 on: January 09, 2018, 05:35:40 PM »
I read some old diaries a while back and it makes so much more sense now. even age 8 the predominant theme is 'what mood mummy was in', plus purely factual information about me 'We went to the beach and mummy got very upset' type stuff. And then just this sense of confusion about 'mummy's moods' and writing out trying to work out what I must have done to make mummy unhappy/upset/angry in an attempt not to do it again.  :stars:

your paper on what parenting should look like is heartbreaking, but also inspiring. you knew even then what the right things were to do, despite that never having been modeled to you. Amazing!



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Fightsong

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Re: I've been telling my story for so very long
« Reply #4 on: January 09, 2018, 06:14:33 PM »
A4P, standing with you as you weep. You were telling , without so many words. It's so so hard. It's hard to see ourselves back then from where we are now. And sad. Too sad. Offer comfort and safety and seeing  to that  righteous girl and her parenting plans. She knew!  Bring her in, see her, welcome her, I'm sure you already have. See her strength.  And yes why ever did someone not join the dots??? I think
It too of my little one . Why did no one come for us? For you? Grief.
« Last Edit: January 09, 2018, 06:49:32 PM by Fightsong »

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Dinah-sore

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Re: I've been telling my story for so very long
« Reply #5 on: January 09, 2018, 06:41:27 PM »
I am so sorry that you went through that. It amazes me how much thought and articulation you had growing up. You must have been very emotionally mature and intelligent. I feel proud of the little girl that you were. She was brave, smart, and open--despite the confusing, and painful reality she lived in. It must feel so strange looking back at your past so clearly. I hope it leads you to greater peace as an adult. <3

 :bighug:
"I had to accept the fact that, look, this is who I am. I have to be who I am, and all of us have a right to be who we are. And whenever we submit our will, because our will is a gift, our will is given to us, whenever we submit our will to someone else's opinion a part of us dies." --Lauryn Hill

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Bloomie

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Re: I've been telling my story for so very long
« Reply #6 on: January 09, 2018, 07:11:04 PM »
all4peace - These glimpses of your childhood emotional experience have sent you on a pain-filled full circle back to the child/young woman you were as you were stuck in a pit of your parent's making. Vulnerable to their whims, harmful ways, brokenness, and abuse.  Desperate for a way OUT. I am so sorry that your parents were unreliable and cruel and that someone in a position to intervene and offer you some hope and help, did not do that!  :'(

That precious child, that insightful young woman, that young college student pursuing knowledge so that she could understand how to avoid her parent's path of destruction, is an overcomer who has grown into a strong and courageous woman. Who is loving, kind, honorable, and is crushing the cycle of abuse -  while at the same time, giving your own children a stable and powerful foundation that is the "beautiful parent-child" relationship you envisioned!

Lean into it all. There is great validation and healing in this. :hug:


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biggerfish

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Re: I've been telling my story for so very long
« Reply #7 on: January 09, 2018, 07:30:08 PM »
all4peace - These glimpses of your childhood emotional experience have sent you on a pain-filled full circle back to the child/young woman you were as you were stuck in a pit of your parent's making. Vulnerable to their whims, harmful ways, brokenness, and abuse.  Desperate for a way OUT. I am so sorry that your parents were unreliable and cruel and that someone in a position to intervene and offer you some hope and help, did not do that!  :'(

That precious child, that insightful young woman, that young college student pursuing knowledge so that she could understand how to avoid her parent's path of destruction, is an overcomer who has grown into a strong and courageous woman. Who is loving, kind, honorable, and is crushing the cycle of abuse -  while at the same time, giving your own children a stable and powerful foundation that is the "beautiful parent-child" relationship you envisioned!

Lean into it all. There is great validation and healing in this. :hug:

 :yeahthat:
I couldn't have said it better than Bloomie did.