Sunday, September 18, 2011

I gave away my heart...

11 years ago, as my world started to unravel, and in a desperate need to try an understand what was going on inside of me I went away for a week to a healing retreat Mayumarri , a safe place to explore the effects of childhood abuse.

For me it was the place that I stopped trying to keep the lid on my Pandora's box that I had held and hidden deep deep down inside, and let it burst open, letting all the secrets, fear, hurt and tears out. I wish I could say it was the place where I got all better... it was instead the place where the healing began.

A local craftsman had made beautiful wooden hearts, attached to a leather thong. They were about the size of a child's hand, polished and smooth, something soothing to run your fingers over. Excellent for someone suffering from anxiety. I brought two - one that was perfect, no bumps, or knots, or imperfections, the other - while as polished and smooth as the other, on one of its surfaces it had marks that were contained with in the wood. The two hearts represented different things for me. The one that was perfect, I gave to my daughter, who was 5 at the time. The other I kept for myself... It was representative of how I felt my heart was, beautiful, but a little bit damaged. I've carried around the wooden heart, hanging it on the wall in my private spaces of the places I have lived.

Commitment, or the representation of commitment to another person is traditionally done through marriage. I've done that one - twice... and well, neither, as far as me and the other person involved, proved to be very successful, other then producing my three gorgeous children - so I guess that is a success in itself.

I never wanted to give anyone the token that represented my beautiful, but damaged heart... ever. But for a little while now, the need to show this amazing man that has entered my life, just how much he means to me, how much I deeply care for him, and how much I trust him has been rattling around in my head. I tell him these things of course... but sometimes, a token, and what that token represents means more then a million words.

Last night I gave M my heart for safe keeping....

I love you... to the moon and back.

Saturday, September 17, 2011

digging deep

I'm finding it hard to write at the moment.

My heart is sore, and all I want to say is Life is fucked and continue on in my little pity party that I'm having.

My head said to me this morning "suck it up princess - you have more to be grateful for then a lot of people"... which made me think about gratitude, perspective and not giving in to the black dog.

so out of the heart ache that I have been feeling for the last couple of weeks what do I have to be grateful for....

- my mum. the irony of this is not lost on me...The universe works in such bizarre ways at times. my own relationship with my mother has been rocky to say the least - but I'm incredibly grateful that she has been here the last two weeks, to anchor me, and stop me from hurtling out into space... she kept the house going while I cried... tears for my own 15yo girl inside, and for my 15 yo daughter. I feel more connected to my mother now then I have in a very long time.

Me, Mum and Laura
- M... as is the case most of the time, men want to fix things. He knew he couldn't fix this, instead he gave me what I needed - comfort, a safe place to cry, love. For the first time in any relationship that I have had with a man I feel like someone has MY back.

Looking at the stars on the trampoline.

- my friends, for listening, for being empathetic, for being honest

- Aston, whose excitement at going away on holidays to Daydream Island is infectious. If I can view the world through his four year old eyes life looks pretty wonderful.

Daydream Island in Playdoh :)

Once again thank you Maxabella Loves for motivating me to look for gratitude - because it seems I didn't have to look very far after all. :)

Mira Narnie (I wanted to write Narnia!!) is hosting this weeks Grateful link up...

What are you grateful for?

Sunday, September 11, 2011

knowledge is empowering vs ignorance is bliss....

heart sore, body sore, head spinning - exhausted... physically, emotionally, mentally... in a state of disassociativeness

This will probably make no sense - but it does to me. I've been pondering this all day. I'm not sure what is worse.... having a panic attack, being triggered into trauma and cognitively understanding what is going on, or having those things happen and not understanding why or where it was coming from.

case of knowledge is empowering vs ignorance is bliss....

because right now - all the knowledge in the world isn't make any of this any better.

Monday, September 5, 2011

15 years...

The year I turned 15 I moved from living with my paternal grandmother - who started the day with a vegemite jar full of brandy, and would continue consuming the bottle through out the day - to living with my abusive father and his new wife and her children. Frying pan to fire....

I had hoped that because he was newly remarried that the history of abuse would cease... how wrong was I.

He loved an audience. Comes with the territory of being an entertainer I guess. Him and his wife would come home from a gig anywhere from midnight to 2am, and he would proceed to wake myself and her three children up. We would all have to sit and listen to the tirade for whatever supposed offence we, or his wife had committed that day/night/hour/minute.... then the physical violence would start, usually as a result of his wife telling him to stop, or to leave one of her kids alone. And we would sit in silence. This was new to them... for me, it was just a continuation of how it had always been. The only difference being the place, and the woman.

I had hoped that because he had a new wife that I would no longer be a target for sexual innuendo, or touch. It had been safer in the past when there was a woman around. The degree of sexual abuse changed, what would happen was to a lesser a degree, I wasn't raped anymore... but that was all that changed... After all "don't be stupid, I'm your father" was the common catch cry if I protested.

"Don't be stupid, I'm your father" apparently meant that it was ok to grope your 15 year old daughter's growing breasts, that it was ok to walk past her and goose her, at the front or the back... It meant that it was ok to come into the bathroom while she was showering, and open the shower curtain under the pre tense of getting the soap...

I only remember once being on the receiving end of my father's violence. I hadn't put the vacuum away quickly enough in his opinion, and because I spoke to him with attitude, I was promptly pushed up against the wall with his hands around my throat. I woke up, on the floor to him kicking me and yelling at me "who the fuck do you think you are?"

What's this got to do with anything?

I have spent 100's of hours in therapy... 17 days in the psyche unit... a plethora of anti- depressants and other meds, a committal hearing, a trial, and successful conviction for the historical sexual abuse that he committed against me. The continual fight to overcome Post Traumatic Stress Syndrome and Acute Anxiety Disorder. Read God know's how many books in the hope of learning how to parent successfully, because my own point of reference is so skewed, that all it gave me was the HOW NOT TO parent experience.

There have been many many times through out my daughter's life that I have been triggered by her femaleness... as she entered adolescence and the physical changes occurring in front of me were so visibly confronting that I went into counselling again, to learn what was 'normal' for a adolescent female to experience and show.

And here I am, heart sore. Because it feels like it was for naught. My 15 year old daughter, in the midst of her own teenage angst, has declared me the enemy, and is moving to live with her father. All the therapy, all the books, none of it can quieten the angry 15 year old in me, as my daughter tantrums at my answers of no, at boundaries being put down, at not getting her own way right here, right now.... the 15 year old inside of me, looks at her, aghast, and thinks ARE YOU FUCKING KIDDING ME???

Then, of course the mother in me kicks in, and says shush, Laura's experiences are relative to her, this isn't about you. Which tends to only irritate that 15 year old me even further, and I split, and oscillate between being Laura's mother and trying not to take it so personally, and being 15 again, when my world was so very different to the one my own daughter is in and feeling profoundly angry about it.

How did I so royally fuck this up?


12am my eyes shot open. My skin was prickly, crawling. I ripped off my jewellery in the hope of some relief... none came. The prickling, the crawling of my skin intensified.  I was wrapped up in the arms of M, and even this didn't provide comfort. I didn't want to be touched. I wanted to run... get in the car and drive. Where - it didn't matter.

I untangled myself from his embrace on the pre-tense of having to go to the toilet, where I sat, reached into my bag of tricks to try and stop myself from falling into a full blown panic attacked. I tapped at  meridian points frantically, slowed my breathing, ran positive affirmations through my head... until the prickly crawling feeling subsided.

Quietly I got back into bed and curled up against M's back, tucking my legs into the curve of his, breathed out and closed my eyes.

My last waking thought - Fuck. That old monster is back. God damn it to hell.


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