Dissociation


Nothing is as simple as we hope it will be.

Jim Horning

Sometimes you just give up because you’ve had enough disappointment, wasted enough time waiting for things to change, taken enough abuse, gotten some self-esteem and realized you deserve better than this and you always have. Come to understand that the person you are dealing with is one sick puppy who is never going to change and the only thing you can change is yourself.

Grant me the serenity
to accept the things
I cannot change
the courage to change
the things I can
and the wisdom
to know the difference,
living one day at a time.

Sometimes you grow up and find yourself in spite of your parents.

B

Advertisements

What happened surrounding Michael’s wedding was the beginning of the end of my relationship with my mother. I realized then how much she manipulated my father and drove him absolutely batty in exactly the same way. He would beg her to tell him what was wrong just like I had and she would just be bitchy and negative.

To this day I don’t know if I had done something to offend her or what the hell was wrong. She wouldn’t talk about it. That was over and done. The past. We didn’t need to dwell on it. For fuck’s sake, Mother, you damn near ruined you son’s wedding. You certainly put me in a precarious position having to explain it all. Aren’t I entitled to know what the hell was going on? Apparently not.

I never trusted her after that. And I didn’t get over being angry. That incident was such a revelation. All sorts of shitty memories started flooding back into my concious memory of the abuse my brothers and I suffered at her hands.

How she had stuck my finger under the sewing machine needle and deliberately rammed the needle into it for a few seconds as she held my hand there because she caught me playing with her machine. I was maybe three when that happened. Maybe younger. My god in heaven that ain’t that woman was cruel.

It had always bothered me that I could not remember large parts of my childhood but now I think I don’t want to remember. No, I’m almost certain I don’t.

B

bl_unite-sept27banner.jpg

href=”“>Bless the beasts and the children
The Carpenters

There are so many ways we can abuse so much in this world. We can even abuse the planet itself as Al Gore has pointed out in his Academy Award winning documentary An Inconvenient Truth. I am not a Christian, I have made that very clear on several occasions in my Blogs but I believe the myths human beings tell to explain their occupation of this planet are powerful. The Christian creation story has a compelling message that I think that Christians and non-Christians alike can take a valuable lesson from regarding our role as stewards of this planet and its inhabitants.

I am going to use the King James 1611 Bible because I love the majesty of the Elizabethan Language. I don’t think it makes much difference which translation you use. This part of the story of “In the beginning…” is pretty clear.

1:27 So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them. 1:28 And God blessed them, and God said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it: and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moveth upon the earth.1:29 And God said, Behold, I have given you every herb bearing seed, which is upon the face of all the earth, and every tree, in the which is the fruit of a tree yielding seed; to you it shall be for meat. 1:30 And to every beast of the earth, and to every fowl of the air, and to every thing that creepeth upon the earth, wherein there is life, I have given every green herb for meat: and it was so. 1:31 And God saw every thing that he had made, and, behold, it was very good. And the evening and the morning were the sixth day. 2:1 Thus the heavens and the earth were finished, and all the host of them. 2:2 And on the seventh day God ended his work which he had made; and he rested on the seventh day from all his work which he had made.

This story is centuries old. It was almost certainly passed along as an oral tradition long before it was ever written down and there were many versions before it was recorded in this beautiful 16th century iambic pentameter. The main point that I want to dwell on here is that HUMANS have DOMINION over everything else in the world.

Dominion. That’s a strong word to use. We were to dominate or rule over all the animals and all of the fishes in the sea and the fowl that flies and all the creepy crawly things too.. We have complete charge of everything else in the world. The creator god gave it all to us. If you believe in this creator God I don’t see how you can fail to believe that you have been commanded by God to take care of his creation.

If you are a disbeliever perhaps you could take a moment to reflect that these supposedly primitive people back in the dark recesses of time recognized that it was OUR duty to take care of this planet. They believed that an almighty force, a supernatural being they believed to be the creator of everything around them, gave THEM the power to rule over everything. They recognized their status as the beasts highest on the food chain and understood the moral responsibility that that implied. Can we do any less?

Taking care of this planet and ALL OF ITS INHABITANTS, right down to the most seemingly insignificant species of fly in the muckiest marsh in the backwoods of nowhereville is essential to our own well being. This is it, folks, this is all we’ve got. This planet and its inhabitants depend on us to be good stewards. WE MUST STOP THE ABUSE!

Each of us can stop the abuse by choosing our own particular interest and taking a proactive part in being good stewards. Humananity has been thoughtless and cruel for far too long. There are many, many causes that need to be taken up and battles that need to be fought. You might find the destruction of our rain forests to be particularly reprehensible or you might have issues with substance abuse in your life or you might want to take up the cause of making sure that everyone spays and neuters their pets. There is something for everyone to do.

I have a particular interest in preventing child abuse. How do you prevent child abuse? You can make a determined heroic promise that you will never ever abuse a child and I will truly believe that you would never WANT to do that. But if you were abused as a child I would bet that the odds are better that 50/50 that you will abuse your own child in some way, shape, or form if you do not seek professional help.

Don’t believe me? Check the statistics on the ‘net.

I did. I hate the fact that I did. But I did.

I hit my children when I was angry. I said terrible things to them. Things that no mother should ever say to her babies. Eventually it got so bad I HAD to seek professional help because I was horrified by my behavior. I was horrified but I couldn’t stop. I was out of control.

I had to admit that I needed help if I was going to to end the cycle of abuse. If you are a parent who is in the position I was in, please, seek help. You can get help through your local Child Welfare Services, Domestic Abuse Crisis Lines or family doctor. The professionals you turn to will understand. You will not be punished and your children will not be taken away from you if you come forward. YOU are NOT a bad person but your behavior can and must change.

If you were abused as a child but don’t have children yet, PLEASE, seek professional help. Not only for your own sake, for the sake of your future children.

If you see a child being abused or know of a family where children are being abused DO SOMETHING. The child abuse hotline is 1-800-4-A-CHILD (1-800-422-4253) You can also help by getting involved in Child Abuse Prevention organizations

Make a decision to stop the abuse. Choose Hope.

Bless the beasts and the children
For in this world they have no voice
They have no choice

Bless the beasts and the children
For the world can never be
The world they see

Light their way
When the darkness surrounds them
Give them love
Let it shine all around them

Bless the beasts and the children
Give them shelter from a storm
Keep them safe
Keep them warm

Light their way
When the darkness surrounds them
Give them love
Let it shine all around them

Bless the beasts and the children
Give them shelter from a storm
Keep them safe
Keep them warm

The children
The children

Well they say the skys the limit
And to me thats really true
But my friend you have seen nothing
Just wait til I get through . . .

Because Im bad, Im bad-come on
(bad bad-really, really bad)
You know Im bad, Im bad-you know it
(bad bad-really, really bad)
You know Im bad, Im bad-come on, you know
(bad bad-really, really bad)
And the whole world has to answer right now
Just to tell you once again,
Whos bad . . .

Michael Jackson

I see someone has been googling Dr Israelstam again. What’s with that? It’s kind of creeping me out to get six hits on my pdoc. I think I know who it is and I don’t mind so much that he reads here. In fact, he’s more than welcome to read here. But geeze just book mark the Blog already.

Having all of this so/so information about who is reading your blog is kind of strange. Cool in a way but if you are the least bit paranoid it can get your antenna really quivering. I am more than the least bit paranoid On a scale of 1 ot 10 with 10 being so paranoid I would be dangerous if I had a gun and you were to walk up behind me and say boo, I am at least a 4 and maybe a 5. I don’t need any help in getting further up the scale, thank you very much.

Lots of good things going on in my life and lots of mixed blessings. #1 good thing. I am going to be a new Grammy. In fact, I sort of already am! My daughter who does foster care and has been waiting for 4 years to adopt a baby girl through the state has had a baby girl placed with her last weekend. She is 8 months old and her name is Trinity Rose. She came complete with a brother and a sister who may or may not be up for adoption as well. They have a different father than Trinity. In the meanwhile they are going to be in foster care with my daughter and son-in-law.

I am writing like a fiend and I am becoming something of a local “celebrity” or at least a known quantity. The Isthmus Daily Page must have me on a special alert thingie so that when I make a post on my Madison Blog they get notified and if it is Madisony enough and interesting enough they link to me. Dane 101 occasionally links to me as well. I am also writing at a site called Helium which is sort of like a contest thing. The short story I wrote for Gabe is #1 of 79. Wow!

This is a mixed blessing. I am having a hard time dealing with these successes. I feel like a fraud. I am sure someone is going to accuse me of plagiarism because I named the puppy in my story Yeller. I am scared to death that I will not be able to keep this up and my ability to write is really a fluke. It may disappear over night. I may not be able to write tomorrow. Gawd in heaven who ain’t help me.

I feel liked something bad is going to happen in my life. Some kind of doom is hanging over my head. I’m waiting for the other shoe to drop, for the sword to fall and cut off this happiness. I’m actually frightened by how well things are going in my life right now. Being this happy scares me. Something bad always happens to destroy it.

I remember journaling about that when I was dating Larry and damned if immediately after I started writing about those feelings the bad shit didn’t start happening. I now know that the vast majority of the shit was the Gremlins playing on my fears because they got at my journal and read about my insecurities but still… That bad fall I took at the Union wasn’t the Gremlins. Or was it? Was I pushed? I’m not certain. There were a lot of people there and they were crowding around us. I could have been…

I am juggling four Blogs and I may start another simply to put Gabe’s stories on. Good lord. Why have I taken on so much? Because I have so much to say I guess. I am going to try to get hold of the woman whose illustration on a card inspired the original story and see if she is interested in illustrating a book. I am going to write a children’s book. I’m scared to death but I believe I can do this.

My goal for my next session with Harry is to talk about why I feel like such a fraud when I am having this much success. Why am I so scared to be so happy and successful/productive?

B

When my children were small they would ask me to tell them stories about what it was like when I was a little girl. I told them funny stories about my brothers. They called them the Uncle stories. I don’t think they even noticed that I told them hardly anything about myself.

I wish I could remember good times. I’m sure there must have been good times. It couldn’t have all been bad times could it? No. It’s just that the bad times over shadow all the good times, drawing a dark curtain over what was good. I remember times that started off good but turned out bad.

Mostly I remember being afraid to be happy because if I was happy something bad would happen. I remember laying awake in my bed at night and praying that nothing bad would happen. I remember making deals with god about what I would give up if only he would stop the bad stuff from happening. It never worked. I gave up being happy but the bad stuff kept happening. I could never be good enough.

Why do bad things happen to good little girls? Because shit happens and there is no one there to care. Especially not an all-seeing, all-powerful god.

B

“I saw behind me those who had gone,and before me,those who are to come. I looked back and saw my father, and his father, and in front, to see my son,and his son, and all the sons upon sons beyond.And their eyes were my eyes.As I felt, so they had felt,and were to feel,as then,so now,as tomorrow and forever.
Then I was not afraid,for I was in a long line that had no beginning,and no end, and the hand of his father grasped my father’s hand, and his hand was in mine, and my unborn son took my right hand,and all,up and down the line that stretched from
Time That Was,to Time That Is,and is Not Yet,raised their hands to show the link, and we found that we were one, born of Woman, Son of Man,in the Image, fashioned in the Womb by the Will of God, the Eternal Father.
I was of them,they were of me,and I in all of them”

Richard Lewellyn How Green Was My Valley

I imagine that my 5th cousin three times removed or whatever relationship he has to me, Steven Fate would share those sentiments with Mr. Richard Lewellyn who shares my children’s father’s name. I called my Richard, Skip, as did everyone else who knew him. Skip used to make fun of the Fate family penchant for tracking down their ancestors. He went to exactly one family reunion with me and that was enough to last his whole lifetime. It was the last one I ever went to myself come to think of it.

What a bunch of fol-de-rol! My Daddy thought it was a line of bunk himself and never went to any of those prayer meetings either. I thought it was because of the prayer but now that I am older and wiser, I’ll bet it was the fawning all over themselves that he couldn’t bear.

It hurt to find out that the Fate Family genealogical site does not acknowledge my existence but in the long run what does that matter. I’ve had a few days to reflect on that and to realize that it doesn’t change one damn thing about me whether or not a bunch of nincompoops who are trying to prove they have noble blood realize I exist or not. Whoop-de-doo.

The Lewellyn blood line is probably far more pure than the Fate blood line. OK maybe not. OK, for sure not but at least the Lewellyn name is unusual. <heh> Really unusual. Even the Gavin name is more unusual than the Fate name.

I chose the presentation background for this blog because it reminded me of the old saw the only way to get over the pain is to go through the pain. The car driving through the tunnel is a metaphoric symbol of that. It also seems rather yonic to me. A rebirthing. One of many rebirths I have been through. I”ve always used Georgia O’Keefe’s paintings to meditate with in the past too and this reminded me of an O’Keefe painting. I like this, there is power here in the symbology of the journey of life and the rebirthing of the yonic passage.

I’ve come to believe that I arrived here in this time and place to make this journey with the people who brought me into this life and have come into my life for no specific predestined reason nor to fulfill some supernatural holy creator’s plan but just because that’s the way my life turned out. It was the luck of the draw. Random ppatterns of DNA coming together with other random patterns of DNA. Oh I think there are reasons my parents got together and why Skip and I got together but it has more to do with the make up of our psyche than any supernatural bunk.

My psychiatrist Dr David Israelstam tends to be new age and believes in the possiblity of reincarnation. I want to believe in it because I would love to come back and do life all over again even if it turned out I had to go through all this woe and horror all over again. People are surprised by that but I love life. I would make different choices if I could have a do-over.

For instance, I would pull a knife on my father when I was thirteen or fourteen instead of waiting until I was almost seventeen and I would tell my Grandmother Fate what the hell was going on instead of going to the Gavin side of the family. I believe she would have made a big stink and I would have been allowed to stay with her or she would have raised holy hell. I believe that’s what my mother was afraid of and not that telling Gran would have killed her as she said when it all came out when I was fifteen.

I was ready to run away to Lincoln to stay with my friend Sheila and her family who I believed would hide me when I told them what was going on. The problem was all my money was tied up where I could not get at it. So I went to Kathy Jo, my aunt who was 6 months younger than me and asked her to loan me the money to get a bus ticket to Lincoln. It was $8 for the bus fare and I thought I needed $12 for food and local bus fare and telephone money once I got there–funny what sticks in your mind.

Sheila and I actually had this planned out pretty well. We wrote long letters to each other twice a week. She had an older boyfriend who was in college and he would help me get a job. Once her parents heard my story they would understand and help me out. Her Mom and Dad really loved me. They thought I was such a good influence on Sheila who was pretty wild compared to me when they lived in Clay Center. <heh>

Kathy was unwilling to give me the money without talking it over with Tommy who was two years older. Tommy went and got Grandma and Grandpa and the shit hit the fan. Grandma went over to see my parents and in about an hour my parents showed up to get me. They picked me up in a pick-up truck with a deer rifle in the back window and put me in the middle and began driving around out in the fucking middle of nowwhere.

It was fall. The corn had been harvested and everywhere you looked it was barren and dead. My father was crying and my mother was very angry. I don’t remember what exactly they said but I know that most of what came out of my father’s mouth was bald faced lies. He had”Forgive me, Honey. You’ll forgive me, won’t you?” For doing whatever it was he was confessing to only doing once or twice. And it was because of my doll baby pajamas (which by the way he would demand that I wear). “Please, forgive me… Why won’t you forgive me?”

And then my mother said with such visciousness “Because she likes to see you crying and begging! She’s always been trouble! She’s hateful!” And she was partially right, I did like to see him squirming.

I watched the pheasants flying up out of the ditches and heard the gunshots in the distance and thought that if Ididn’t say I forgave him they woudll kill me. But a voice inside said if I forgave him for the lies he was telling I would die inside anyway and I didn’t say a word. I really was afraid for my life but I didn’t care at that point. We must have been out there for two hours with them badgering me and I just went away somewhere inside myself and watched them as they got more and more desperate to make me cave in to their demands.

I don’t remember getting home. I suppose I went away somewhere inside myself and simply refused to be present for the rest of the BS that was going on in that red and white pick-up with the deer rifle in the back window. Defiant. Hard hearted. Dissociated from my parents and myself. I wasn’t going to get away. Fuck it.

My Grand mother came over and asked me a bunch of questions. She wanted to know details about when and where. She told me Daddy had said I seduced him and I dressed too provacatively. I was anything BUT provacative. I used to walk around with my arms crossed over my breasts and hunched over so they wouldn’t stick out. My grandmother was constantly telling me to quit hugging myself and stand up straight and proud.

My mother eventually told me I had a choice I could go live with some distant relatives on the west coast who operated some kind of home for wayward girls or I could stay out of my father’s way and clean up my act. Quit dressing provacatively, quit being seductive around him, quit sitting on his lap, etc. It was my fault, I had seduced him. She had three sons to raise and I was just going to have to deal with it. I was stunned. I began to hate her in that moment although I would deny my hatred for years to come and turned my anger at her and my father in on myself.

My mother swears that it was my Grandmother Gavin who made the comment about the three sons and not herself. She can deny it all she wants but I can see her forming the words and hear her voice. I’m not crazy. My memory is not faulty. That moment is burnt into my memory as if it were emblazened with a branding iron, Mother. Grandmother may have said it first but you took it and made it your own when you said it to me as I was sitting on that ugly brown couch in the living room and you were sitting on the arm of Dad’s big recliner. Then you got up and walked nonchalantly into the dining room and said “Come and peel the potatoes.”

For that one incident in my life you can be branded a bitch mother. For the fact that you deny it and will not own it and say you are sorry you did it you can be branded a heartless bitch. For the fact that to this day you blame my Grandmother for your actions you can be branded a fucking heartless bitch and I can tell you to go to hell in a handbasket without guilt. For saying”I don’t know” when I asked you why you did not say “I have a daughter to protect.” if we play let’s pretend Grandma said it, you don’t deserve one iota of respect from me.
B

“Courage is resistance to fear,
mastery of fear — not absence of fear.” — Mark Twain

When I turned 11 or so and entered puberty my father became very jealous of the attention boys began to pay to me and became much more controlling of my free time. I also began to realize that the incest and other abuse was fundamentally wrong and became very angry about it and rebellious which of course, meant the abuse escalated.

My father began beating me with a belt much like one imagines or has seen slaves beaten in movies at every opportunity. I would have to remove my blouse and llean against a door jamb or lie spread eagled on the floor while he whaled on me with his heaviest leather belt which he sometimes doubled over and sometimes used as a whip.

At some point (when I was 13 or 14) I became so angry I made up my mind that I was not going to allow him or my mother to make me cry anymore. I had shed so many fearful, painful and sad tears from their abuse over the years that it occurred to me that they were feeding off them like some kind of sadistic monsters who needed me to express those emotions more than I did. From that moment forward, I refused to cry out. In time, I never shed a tear in their presence and eventually I took those beatings without even feeling a damn thing.

The mind is a wonderful thing when it comes to protecting itself from trauma. I learned to go into a safe place in my mind and just not be there physically while I was being beaten. When it was over and I had won that battle, I always felt a sense of smug satisfaction and triumph as I would lay there being lectured and not listening until I was given permission to get up and go to my room.

What I did do was begin to read very sad novels and cry my heart out at all the sad parts. I reread Flicka and began crying the moment she was born in anticipation of all the bad things that were going to happen to her. And I began helping the school science teacher take care of sick and dying animals which gave me another outlet for tears. I was one sad, depressed teenager most of the time. Had I lived in today’s world I would have been a Goth, dressed all in black with saftey pin mutilations everywhere. <heh>

I remember a few times my mother stopping my father when he was beating me and crying out “Stop Bill, you’ll kill her.” I was laying spread eagled on the floor with my bare back exposed and my brothers were lined up beside my mother watching while my father used his belt on me. I remember smiling when she stopped him because I knew I had won.

I remember once my father yelled over and over “Cry damn you, cry. That time was particularly satisfying. I remember once that one of my brothers (the other two were there as well and all three were crying begged me to start crying and making noise as soon as he started hitting me because it was so awful to watch him hit me so many times. I told them I was never going to let either one of them make me cry again, I didn’t care how hard they beat me and besides, it didn’t hurt so don’t worry about it.

It didn’t hurt even though I had horrible bruises that hurt like hell the next day. But I learned to deal with them by dissociating away from that pain as well.  I just wasn’t going to allow them the satisfaction of seeing me cry one tear caused by anything they did to me.  I simply sasn’t going to react to anything.

I don’t know how many beatings I took over that summer when I was 15. A lot of them. Every time I stood up dry eyed and looked him and my mother in the eye with a defiant smirk was a victory. Eventually they got the message and the beatings stopped when I turned 16 on September 5th or school started and they didn’t dare continue to leave those kinds of marks on me.

I asked my mother if she remembered when I learned not to cry and she said “Yes…” in a horrified voice.  I asked her what she thought about that and she said she didn’t think much about it.  I asked her if she remembered telling my father to stop before he killed me and she said that she remembered that too.  I asked her why she stood by let him abuse me so horribly in the first place.  She said she didn’t know.

I asked her if she knew she could go to jail for what she had done to me and my brothers as a child in today’s world and she stuttered out a “Yes but in those times…”  I cut her off and said  “There are no excuses for what happened Mother and if you were going to say everyone was doing it you are so full of shit you can’t even see.”  I told her the only reason she didn’t go to jail back then is because it wasn’t illegal to damn  near kill your kid (my eldest brother) and then humiliate him by hanging his sheet up on the front porch with a sign identifying whose sheet it was, making him wear diapers and locking him out of the house for peeing the bed.

Maybe I should be grateful my parents taught me how to cope with extreme emotional and pain. There are times when I am grateful I learned the art of dissociation because being able to detach from my body is what keeps me off narcotics and halfway sane. But my Psychiatrist says that I might not have developed this auto-immune disorder if it hadn’t been for all the stress my parents heaped on me for seventeenn years. Not to mention how ill equipped I was to cope with life as an adult in many ways.

Next Page »