Monday, April 23, 2012

Burning...




On Saturday night we had a camp fire. The weather was perfect for it. We’d had one the previous night when my daughter had a gathering of friends around. One of the benefits of living in the country is you get to do stuff like that.

Because this was the second one for the weekend, wood that had been cut was getting low, so it was decided that anything that was stored in the shed, waiting to be chucked out, could be burned. It would be good as it would reduce the size of the skip that would be required when I move. Cardboard boxes, old magazines, broken wooden toys, junk. You know, that kind of stuff.

Lying amongst the “stuff” was the album that had been gifted to me and Aston’s father on the day that we got married. The day that I knew with absolutely certainty that I had made a monumental mistake. The wedding itself was fairly uneventful.  It was afterwards, when R proceeded to get drunk, and aggressive, and very publicly abuse  my 8 year old sad and confused daughter by calling her a bitch. Hello Wicked Step-father.  The night got progressively worse when on the way home he continued to be abusive and proceeded to get out the moving car, terrifying my children. I think by this stage I was well and truly numb – left my body, watching it all from far above. Sweet disassociation….

Laura saw it, and asked me, “Can I burn that?” I mutely nodded, and watched as she threw it onto the fire, knowing that it was more than an album she was throwing on. I stood and watched the flames engulf it. Then Laura came out of the shed with the air rifle, and fiercely chucked it onto the fire, and my heart started to break.

I stood behind her with my arms around her as tears ran down her face, my own tears hot and heavy with shame, falling as well, both of us re-living the trauma of her being shot in the thigh. By a stupid man, who knew better than to ever point a gun at someone, regardless of whether they thought it was loaded or not.

On the first weekend of the first week Laura started high school, R, Laura, Nathan and a friend of Nathan’s were shooting targets with the air rifle. R was drinking, as usual. Of course, nothing I said was ever heard, or paid attention too. I hated the damn gun. Like I hated him drinking, and by this stage, pretty much everything about him. I was inside the house with Aston, when I heard Laura scream. You know, the type of scream that a mother knows without a doubt that their child is badly hurt. I ran to the door and saw her on the ground. R picked her up and carried her inside, all the while telling her to stop carrying on, that the gun was empty.

I looked at her leg and there was a very definitive entry point, an entry point that could not have been made by air. Which I screamed at him. And as always, because I could never possibly be right, he had to prove a point, and stood in front of us, Laura screaming NO! and promptly fired the air rifle at his own foot. Which of course did nothing, because by now it had nothing in it. That was embedded in my daughters thigh!  So, I was right – air cannot penetrate flesh and leave an entry point. Funny that.

He took her to the hospital, where they tried to get the pellet out, unsuccessfully. Consequently she was scheduled for surgery first thing on the Monday morning to have it removed. The whole time, Laura was more concerned about me losing it with R, then what was going on with her.  Which only enraged me more, and finally ignited within me the courage to do something about the nightmare my children and I were living. But that’s another story.

Having to see your child go under general anaesthetic is a horrible experience. Especially when the child is having a panic attack. Thankfully the hospital was wonderful and allowed me to stay with her in the theatre until she was completely under, and came and got me to be there when she woke up in recovery.

I really don’t know if I will ever be able to forgive him for doing this to my daughter. She has two 10 cm scars on her thigh, and constantly gets asked how they happened. It’s hard enough being a teenager without any other elements thrown into the mix.

Throwing the air rifle into the fire has opened up a wound inside her heart. Inside of my heart. No amount of prompting on my part to talk to someone about the incident, to help her process it, has had any result. This last week she has been crying a lot, and thinking a lot, and having flash backs. All classic symptoms of PTSD.

I feel helpless. And guilty, and burning with shame. I may not have pulled the trigger, but I brought him into her world.

14 comments:

  1. My heart goes out to you and your kids. Sending you a virtual hug right now ♥

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Katie, thank you. I needed it. x

      Delete
  2. Vick, you can spend the rest of your life feeling guilty for involving Richard in your childrens lives. At the end of the day, you wouldn't of had Aston. You can spend the rest of your life thinking "what if", but you know as well as I do that that will never ever make a ounce of a difference. Because if it did, then you and I would not suffer the anxiety we do.

    I honestly believe in my heart of hearts, that you chose Richard for a very good reason and in a way it was a blessing in which you met and married him. Sounds silly huh? Wanna know the method to my madness? Here's the epic part....

    Since BIRTH, Vicky, BIRTH, you have been in abusive relationships. Take a moment to let it sink in. You were in abusive relationships as a teen, you were in a abusive first marriage, not to the extent of Richard, but you know that mental abuse cuts just as deep. Not to mention the fact you weren't given the appropriate tools, growing up, that some people are/were fortunate enough to have. You weren't given the information on how to be a child, how to be a teenager, how to be a young woman, how to be a mother. You weren't given the information and support on WHAT to do in cases of abuse. You weren't educated on protecting YOURSELF. YOU are a survivor of sexual abuse, Physical abuse, Mental abuse. And you were given NO tools. No help. NO support. Richard was the last straw. You NEEDED to have that marriage. To have the break down, to have the abuse. You NEEDED to have that abuse, to not stop it when you should/could of. You needed Richard to make you see that YOU are better than that. That YOU deserve better than that. You needed it to show you the tools that you were never taught. Like i've said to you before Vicky, if I put a guitar down in front of you, and say 'play it' and you don't know how, who's fault is that? Yours for not knowing and not being able to play? or mine for not teaching you?

    ReplyDelete
  3. Every single one of us can sit back and go "well, I would of left him." "I would of done this, or I would of done that". But you know what Vicky? This was YOUR journey that you NEEDED to have. If you hadn't of met Richard, you would of continued down the same path, going through abusive relationships, raising your children in abusive relationships and showing your children that it is ok to be in their own abusive relationships. You are giving YOUR children the tools that you never had.

    In regards to Laura. I know its tough. I know, watching your daughter go through that pain is something that no mother ever ever wants to go through. And if you could of been the person who got shot that day, I know you would of put your hand up and gladly accepted it. But you also know, that sometimes we have to hit rock bottom before we can stand up and say I Need Help. If it were that easy to just do it, then we'd all be better off Mental Health wise now, wouldn't we? All you can do, is be there for her and support her and listen to her and be ready for the day when she says "I need help" and you be there. Cause thats what mothers are SUPPOSE to do. BE...THERE. Not sweep it under the rug, not make excuses, not ignore the issue, not blame other people. It takes alot of fucking courage to stand up and admit your own part in the problem. And yep, you may have been a part in that problem, but you have the chance to be apart of the solution. Laura will not suffer like you, or I did, with no support and no help and no understanding. Laura has grown up with a mother who has educated her. And it has made her wise beyond her years. Don't waste the rest of your life blaming yourself. Accept what has happend Vicky and be part of fixing it. You have the choice. It's YOUR choice. And only you can make it. Don't waste your life hating Richard. You know that it won't bother him. And at the end of the day you are only hurting yourself. Pity the fact that no one helped HIM when he was younger with his own mental health. Pity that he can't see his problems and doesn't WANT to get help. And feel thankful that he is no longer your responsibility.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Sometimes I feel like I'm standing right in front of a mirror with you girl. Thank you. xxxxx

      Delete
  4. You are not responsible for his vile actions. You were an innocent bystander. The main thing is you got out and you are okay now, is your family. We can't change the past.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. about two years ago I had a reading done. the biggest message that came out of it was Trust. Forgive. Let go. I'm trying. I find it easier to let go of things that have happened to me. But things that have happened to my children, at the hands of another, it ignites in me the lioness, where I would like to tear out his throat. which would not be productive of course... Right now, this is still feeling raw, and I hurt for my girl, and I hurt because I can't fix it. and all I want to do is fix it. I know that sometime in the future the reasons as to the "why" will be revealed. In the mean time I have to learn patience, and just be there to be beside my girl.

      Delete
  5. Love you babe. You have made Laura a strong young woman, one who knows she Dan always rely on her mum. This is the next step to the end. Kirsty is right, hating R only empowers him not that he'd be aware of it. Fire is very liberating symbolic and cathartic. Remember that.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you Anna. I'm ok. Just worried about my girl... patience is not one of my better virtues. xxx

      Delete
  6. Vicky, I know you are usually not the person to feel guilty and be the victim, but the moments of shame and guilt will probably come back every now and then. I know 'cause I've made my own mistakes (as we all do) and as much as I think I've forgiven myself and accepted that we all do the best we can with the knowledge and resources we have at the time... there are always flashbacks. I wish it was easier to forgive and forget. You've done well to get out of that relationship and be the person you are today with the wisdom and strength to give to others. I hope burning that album brought you some relief... they say fire does.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Tat, thank you for such a beautiful comment. Thank you for thinking that I have something to give to others too. that means a lot. x

      Delete
  7. Wow. What a story. Vicky you have been through so much. It sounds to me though that the cycle will end with Laura. So that's a job well done.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. thank you. really. thank you! I hope the cycle does end here. I pray that it does.

      Delete
  8. Laura, your amazing daughter xAugust 6, 2012 at 8:19 PM

    You are the most inspiring person in my life mum, I love you so much.

    ReplyDelete

Thanks for stopping by... Leave some love :-)

 

Blog Design by Sommerfugl Design