It has been a long, long time since I’ve set pen to paper to write a blog post that clears my range of vision and my feelings about myself in my life at the present moment. I am out of practice. I am out of focus.
The cover art for the book is completed and waits for my friend with his super camera to arrive at high noon to so kindly do what I cannot do. The room where the art construction sits is draped from ceiling to floor with white sheets and reflective foil. I can do no more now — but think about reasons why this entire book writing project means so much to me.
This work is my humble offering to the betterment of the world and to an eventual future when we will no longer allow infants and children to be harmed.
Yesterday I sat for three hours in conversation with a young woman who is one month from her 18th birthday. I will refer to her as Nan – for Not Any Name. I had never met this woman before.
I switch now to my computer keyboard. What is in my heart, mind and soul is so thick and dense I cannot pull and twist words out by pen in hand. What can I say?
Yes, perhaps this girl is using meth – and in consequence has fabricated an intricate array of lies about herself in her life that fit no form of reality. I do not know. Being trained as an art therapist it is my nature to listen and to believe reports of trauma. Even if what I heard from Nan is untrue, someone would have to be deeply, deeply troubled to arrange such a version of life.
Nan was kidnapped at a year and a half and taken by her father into hiding on the other side of America where she was severely beaten and repeatedly raped until she was six and some “Christian neighbors” became suspicious and made a report to Child Protective Services. The father was apprehended. The child taken into protective custody where her name came up on the national list of missing children.
The girl was returned to her mother who continued to bring string after string of violently sexually abusive men into her home. Three months ago Nan performed a strip tease for her mother’s latest live-in for pay to buy a phone with minutes on it – which she took with her when she escaped.
Nan dropped out of school in 9th grade. Her two older sisters are lost to meth use. Her mother is down to 85 pounds (she showed me photographs) and is very sick with an illness that so far cannot be diagnosed. Nan reported abuse in the home. CPS supposedly investigated, found nothing, did nothing. The “home” is riddled with violent abuse, sexual abuse and drug use.
There is no hope for this woman who is still at best a toddler. Her trauma-altered development has left her with severe Borderline Personality Disorder with rage blackouts within which she most recently beat up her 10-year-old autistic brother and broke his arm. Now she says she wants to get her own apartment to gain custody of this boy. She also wants to have children of her own.
She claims to have short-term memory loss disability from beatings. She sings, draws, writes and is quite smart — but typically cannot truly care about or listen to anyone else. She showed me her flesh cuttings hidden on both of her legs under jeans. She is often suicidal. She believes that not only COULD she murder someone (stating that she witnessed two murders while with her drug-dealing father before she was six), but that she believes she will eventually commit murder.
In this state once she reaches 18 there is no medical coverage for her. She has been in therapy with 8 therapists over the years. She described disastrous “boyfriend” relationship patterns of “being in love” only to have her “trust and heart broken.” She is petite and very pretty – engaging – and could not be more self-absorbed. She appears to lack any ability to hear let alone process any information related to her condition.
This young woman needs to be sterilized, in my opinion. In a right world she would be in perpetual quality care for the rest of her life. (In a right world she never would have had these experiences in the first place!) She and others would best be served if “RUN! RUN FOR YOUR LIFE!” were to be tattooed on her forehead. She will have nothing but trouble and be nothing but trouble until her last breath. She can access no therapeutic care.
I felt HORRIBLE as I left that conversation! I was instantly reminded why I cannot “be” a therapist. I care too much and I cannot leave my emotions out of my ongoing experience. It has taken me 24 hours to become clear enough to even write these words.
My friend’s 18-year-old grandson, who she has raised, is becoming involved with Nan. Horrors of horrors! This young man is very sweet and gives to feel better about himself. He is as much a perfect target for a severely mentally ill BPD woman as my father was. I told my friend everything I was told yesterday. I can do no more in that situation.
But I can publish these books. If I have anything of substance to offer – it lies in them. The cover art waits for its quality photograph….
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