Emotional abuse


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

That family genealogist found these blogs and contacted me. He told me he’d be happy to update our family information if I cared to give it. I told him to contact my mother and tell her how he found out there was an error. There have been a few hits on the site–two yesterday specifically for Phyllis Ann Fate Gavin.

What can I say? Welcome to my world, Mom if you are the reader. If it’s my brothers well hey there bro. Welcome to your world as well. It wasn’t always happy was it. Thanks to the sheer neglect that went on we managed to make it happy though. You three banded together and did all those crazy things that might have gotten you killed. I was so lonely watching the three of you sometimes. I felt shut out.

Well, that’s the way things were, It’s today that we should be living in. We’re all estranged and everything. I wonder what you think about that. I wonder if you give a rat’s ass. I wonder if you even know the reason why or care to know.

It might be other family members. If so, welcome to the Incestuous abusive story of one of your family members. Actually it involves a number of us. Right off hand I can’t say how many since I’d have to count all the ex-wives, girlfriends and husbands and children and their significant others. You get my drift right?

I’m tired. This shit makes me even more tired.

B

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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

The first time ever I saw your face
I thought the sun rose in your eyes
And the moon and the stars were the gifts you gave
To the night and the empty skies my love
To the night and the empty skies

Roberta Flack

The pain of my parents’ betrayal lies deep in my Psyche. It’s hard to talk about how deep the wounds my mother and father inflicted go but especially my mother because she was the supposed sane one. My father was certifiable, in and out of psychiatric wards from the age of 17 until his death at age 47.

My Mother didn’t “go crazy” until I started talking to her about how hurt and angry I felt about some o the things she did. Then she had a “nervous break down,” effectively shutting me down and protecting her status as the victim. It’s hard to write about it. It’s hard to think about it because I get so angry at her for manipulating me for so many years and for continuing to try to manipulate me now.

The closest I’ve come to actually talking about the ways my Mother abused and betrayed me is some abstract poetry that really doesn’t tell it all. It just hints at what happened and how I felt at that moment. None of my therapists have really wanted to hear about what my mother was up while Daddy was putting his filthy hands all over me.

That was secondary and she was not at fault. My father was the offending parent. Like Harry they aren’t listening to what the hell happened in that situation. They aren’t hearing what I am saying. This woman told me she wished I had died instead of her first born son. She told me this repeatedly for 17 years.

God damn-it, I’d rather had my father’s beatings and his hands in my panties than that refrain echoing in my head for 55 years. Why can’t these crazy therapists understand that?

Truth be told, I feared my mother more than I feared my father because there was no end to the torture she inflicted upon me and my brothers. Daddy was violent at times and he was crazy heavy-handed. Mother had good reason to say “Stop, you’ll kill her!” He could become that enraged and he drew blood on more occasions than I care to count but once he stopped hitting you he was done.

Mother’s psychological warfare never let up though. The guilt at not having been the child she wanted when I was born still haunts me even though intellectually I know that this was one of the most patently ridiculous guilt trips of all. There was nothing I could have done to alter being who and what I was at birth. Had she said this to me once or twice, I might have remembered it and felt grieved but this was a litany that I heard at least once a month for 17 years.

And then there is the complicity and her actual participation in the sexual abuse. Perhaps this poem expresses it best. I don’t think I can write about it without becoming overly emotional and giving our perverted lurkers too much gratuitous information. This is my first memory of the incest.

Complicit

Three…I am three years old and it is dusk
the last few moments of daylight cast feeble shadows
across the white counterpane of my bed;
the sky is glowing pink fading to gray and
I can smell newly mowed grass and the bitter green
of dandelions gone to seed, the sweet yellow roses
blooming on the porch trellis beneath my window
and the faint whiff of Daddy’s Pall Malls.
And I, fresh from a bath, wearing only cotton panties
smell like ivory soap and baking soda
dabbed on mosquito and chigger bites that still itch.
My hair is damp and your hands are harsh
brushing out the tangles, warning me
“Sit still! Don’t wiggle! Be quiet, you’ll wake up the baby!”

I have this memory now, I’ve brought it up
from the cellar where bad dreams and the sad tears
of little girls are kept when it’s too hard to remember.
I’ve claimed it now even though I’d rather push
it back to that time and place when I was only three
and freeze myself in that chair getting my hair brushed free
of snarls and your hands are impatient and tired.

It came to me in bits and pieces at inconvenient times
in inconvenient places as if it had a life of its own,
refusing to be denied, ignored. It came and insisted
that I recall every single moment, every single
assault on my senses, every single thought and emotion
that ran through my three year old mind that night.
It comes again and again insisting that I recall this information
And when it comes I am, for the duration, three again…

Listening to you walk wearily down the stairs,
the soft murmur of your voice and Daddy’s
deeper and louder, the thump of the screen door
and the heavy tread of his weight on the stairs.
The smell of oil and grease on his blue jeans,
stale cigarette smoke lingering in the fabric of his shirt.
The heat and humidity, sweat on his hands
when he rubs my back and whispers, “Turn over, Baby.
Give your Daddy a kiss goodnight.” The thumping of my heart
as I turn and give myself to his hands and meet
the vacant stare in your eyes as you stand,
watching from the doorway before you turn and walk away

Barbara Gavin-Lewellyn

B

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

Tuesdays are Harry the shrink days. Man, I dunno if I should stick with this guy. I was telling him about Jimmy losing his eye today and really getting into the emotions of the whole thing and he came in as an apologist for my fucking mother. I have the most godawful feeling that he’s going to be the next one pushing for reconciliation. That thought makes me want to puke.

He was going on about how holding on to these emotions wasn’t doing me any good. Well hell, I know that asshat. That’s why I’m sitting in your office abreacting. I need to express them. Once I do that then I can get on with my life. So let me express them and quit making excuses for the bitch who made my life hell.

I think I might need to dump this ex-Catholic priest who is into forgive and forget. Fuck that shit. That bitch has never said she is sorry and she won’t ever say she is sorry because she doesn’t believe she did a damn thing wrong. She will forever point the finger at someone else.

Harry ought to read this website about forgiveness. This quote is pertinent:

You cannot forgive someone until you have fully felt the pain he or she has caused you.

I can say I forgive her all I want but there are 17 years worth of daily abuse to overcome and according to Doctor Arndt and Dr Shriver (cousin to Maria Shriver married To “Governor Ahnold” of California–no kidding, he told us so.) who treated me when I was in that fancy schmancy 28 day treatment program for adult survivors of child abuse in Rogers Hospital over in Oconomowoc, there are sometimes when it just isn’t possible to come to a place where you can forgive. The sins are just too many and too big. You keep working towards that but… shit.

B

The summer I was 13 there were two very traumatic events in my family’s life. I started the wheat field next to the Verona Grain Elevator (which my Daddy managed) on fire on the 4th of July and made the local news and my baby brother Jimmy Dale lost an eye. It wan not a good summer.

I don’t remember much more than those two events from that summer other than bone crushing boredom and being pissed as hell at being stuck in a ghost town isolated from my friends. For some reason my father had gotten it into his head that Mother and us kids had to accompany him to work every day. I suspect that my mother was virtually his prisoner in some ways.  But she was his assistant and book keeper at the elevator.

I know my brothers and I were. He would get very paranoid and imagine us being up to all sorts of no good.  Me especially.  He was certain I was chasing boys around and I spent most of my time that summer confined to a small camper trailer, hidden away.

Mother’s rule of thumb was to do whatever Daddy said and don’t complain. Don’t ask questions. Don’t make trouble. Don’t fight back. I fought back. At least often enough to be a big PITA. But that isn’t how or why the fire got set. <heh>

The fire got set because Mother told me to go out and burn some trash. Handed me the matches. Harvest was in full bloom. The trash barrel was about 2/3 full of ashes and I wasn’t overly cautious about making sure everything was securely inside the barrel. It was a hot, dry windy day. I set it ablaze and went back to the camper trailer to read my book.

I got to see what a prairie fire might have looked like. Horrifying. Luckily the wheat fields that burned had been harvested that day and they got the fire out before it spread to the acres and acres of pure gold in the surrounding fields. It could have been a horrible disaster. It was nightfall before they finally got that blaze put out and and every last spark extinguished.

One of my classmates, Jimmie Dedrickson was there when it was finally all over. He turned to me and said, “Boy, Gavin, you really know how to celebrate the 4th of July!” A few of the men standing around chuckled and I laughed.

Out of nowhere, my father grabbed me by the hair and threw me on the ground and started kicking the shit out of me screaming at me about starting fires and then laughing about it. There were all these people there and news reporters from as far away as Lincoln and Omaha and he went berserk. They stopped him, of course, but he got away with assaulting me in front of at least 50 people.

The county Sheriff was probably even still there. He’d come out to investigate and ask questions as to how and why the fire started. I remember my mother was angry that ultimately they blamed her for the whole thing because she told me to burn the trash. According to her I should have known it was too windy to burn the trash. I was always supposed to know things without being taught or told. If I hadn’t gone out and burnt that trash, if I had argued with her that it was too wind, you can damn well bet I would have caught hell for that.

B

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