Work went along smoothly on the slides once my friend came out today to help me. We certainly did not get through all of them this time around, but at least I could stomach the job for 2 or 3 hours.
Now I will have to continue this task alone. I feel bleak. And I feel ANGRY as I visually take in just a little more information about what such a terribly painful childhood can look like when snippets of it are captured on film through the eye of the camera held by Mother, my abuser.
I do not grant myself permission to feel anger about what happened to me, and I never have.
A long time ago when I sought my first outside assistance for my troubles as an adult (31 years ago when I was 29), I was told that depression was ‘anger turned inward’. I know now that was an extremely simplistic statement, but it at least is a start at recognizing that anger and sadness are linked to one another.
I see picture after picture of group shots of my siblings happy together with me left out of the picture. I see entire rolls of film devoted to birthday celebrations for them. I tell myself on some level that none of what happened to me MATTERS! If it didn’t matter to anyone else, why should it matter to me?
Such a sense of unreality comes if I begin to know my own truth. It seems much ‘better’ to try to simply accept somebody else’s version of what happened during those 18 years with a vicious mad woman for a mother. Forget about Linda. Forget about everything except the fact that I survived. Isn’t that all that matters? That all six of us siblings survived?
How nice it would have been if someone had told me anywhere along the way that the aftermath of that kind of childhood trauma would affect every single decision I made in my blindness leaving that hell of a home of origin. EVERY decision, every thought and feeling I had about myself and about others. How nice it would have been if someone would have told me that I was fundamentally and absolutely sculpted as a human being by that abuse.
As my friend and I worked through jumbled piles of slides today I was struck many times by the stories those slides reflect. Can I somehow reach a platform of objectivity that will allow me to truthfully tell the stories WITHOUT my having to be engaged emotionally with their content as I write them?
And if I do experience emotions as I do this work, can I allow myself to feel angry? I see reminders of the pampered affections and attentions given to my other siblings while I was hidden away somewhere isolated and abused. How do I think I stood the same chance as they had/have for a happy fulfilled life given all the favoritism shown to them against all the tortured horror shown to me for 18 long years?
No, life is NOT fair. My whole life could have been a whole lot worse — but so what? And not only my life, but, yes, the lives of my siblings could have been a whole lot BETTER! It is all done. It is all in the past. Or is it?
That abuse began the instant I was born. It’s not like there was EVER a moment Mother’s psychotic belief in my hopeless evilness didn’t color every moment of my life in those 18 years. If the abuse had started when I was two, even, I would not carry the traumatic changes that early stress created in my physiology that I suffer from today.
So – if it does no good to talk about ‘it’ — all we survivors from infant-childhoods in hell should just be good boys and girls and keep our mouths shut? How is anyone going to learn a thing about what abuse feels like so that as a society we care enough to STOP IT if nobody speaks the truth?
Ignoring infant-child abuse lets it continue. It is the mute inner silence of myself during those first 18 years and my own mute inner silence about so much of that abuse now that angers me most. The message from our culture is that if nobody else cares about child abuse, then the victim better not dare to care, either. We are to pretend it never happened, that it doesn’t happen, that it does not damage a survivor in critical ways for the rest of their lifespan, and that infant-child abuse doesn’t really happen NOW.
I will NOT pretend it never happened, and I will NOT pretend it isn’t happening to thousands upon thousands of infants and children today.
Post from earlier today: +ON THE SLIM CHANCE I WILL FEEL BETTER