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The sob story nobody is waiting for...Part 1

I started

this blog in an effort to purge my feelings in a healthy way, and maybe inspire others to do the same. The hard part, is getting to the core of those feelings, not just describing them. You see, I've experienced a lot of happiness in my life, definitely not all bad, but unfortunately the "bad" takes over most of the time. The bad has also had a huge hand in framing my outlook, my emotions, my core beliefs and I'm not always capable of making sense of it all as a result. The hard part is....letting it out. I know I have to in order to process and heal, but it is so much easier said than done. In fact, as I sit here right now about to type it all out, I'm clamming up and feel almost speechless, which if you know me is next to impossible - I talk, A LOT. Here goes nothing...

From as young as 4, I have vivid memories of my father and his "behavior". I would come to realize as I grew up just how bad it was but at the time, it was my normal as I had nothing to compare it to. He was an extremist in every sense. How do I describe this man...highly intelligent (intellectually, not emotionally), no emotional connection to anyone (including me), he thought Hitler was a brilliant man, he worshipped The Beatles, and frequently enforced that I memorize their lyrics (for hours at a time), as he likened them to scripture from The Bible, he once came home with a roll of canvas from a fabric store and asked my mom to sew me a shirt and pants out of it and have that be my every day uniform - I was a toddler. The list goes on but you get the jist of it. He was a terrifying man, and abusive in every sense of the word, to both my mom and I. We tried to leave many times, but he kept such close tabs on us that we never got very far. My mom was so scared of this man that she couldn't even call the police for fear he could he could somehow convince them she was lying and thus end up worse off than she was before. She protected me as best she could and she didn't know the abuse I suffered at his hands until about 2 years ago. Even as a kid, I just couldn't bring myself to burden my mom with one more thing when she was literally fighting for her life, so I kept it to myself. However, one of the incidents, my mom was there for. I was about 6 years old, playing in my room while he was making dinner. He asked me something generic like "How was school today?", and I said something a kid would say to that "Fine." He took that as attitude, and pulled me off the floor from my neck, breaking my doll bed in the process, and hit me so hard I was literally dizzy. My mom heard this and intervened as best she could, thus leaving her to be the punching bag. Shortly after this incident, my grandparents came to stay with us as a buffer. The idea behind that was, extra eyes on him would keep him on his best behavior and it did actually. The age old question of why didn't your mom just leave always comes up, but as someone who has experienced extreme levels of abuse and lived in fear for the better part of my childhood, I can safely say I get it now. You feel unsafe to stay, you feel unsafe to leave. The abuser has such a hold on you, that you are convinced there is nowhere to hide. By the time I was 10, my mom summoned the courage, got a plan together and we left - I haven't seen my father since but trust me when I say, he's left a lasting impression. As a result of those experiences at such a formative time in my life, I ended up with this hyper sensitivity of even the slightest shift in anyone's mood, trying to brace for impact, always predicting a catastrophe. I sense a hint of anger towards me, and I crumble pretty quickly - sweaty palms, elevated heart rate, anxiety through the roof. This is still current now, despite decades of self-help to try to undo it. Another layer, the real fun one, is sexual trauma. Try rationalizing your parent sexualizing you in a violent way, it's not easy - that kind of thing sticks with you. This trauma has absolutely had a huge impact on my relationships, unfortunately. I get a heavy dose of flashbacks sometimes, the kind you see and feel so vividly as if it's happening to you in the moment and it can be all consuming. Try managing that when you're in a relationship with someone who wants to do something people do in relationships. What ends up happening most of the time, is I do it anyway, and cry later. There is something in me that makes me feel like I need to suck it up for the other person, because if I don't, they'll be disappointed and my feelings "win." When the feelings are intense enough that I can't just "suck it up" it usually ends in hurt feelings, or disappointment at the very least. And then the guilt hits, and the shame that my "issues" are now someone else's. I don't try to pull away, but sometimes I have to. I have to work this out somehow, but don't know how to. How do you fix something like that within yourself? I have yet to do it and I've spent years in therapy.

Believe it or not, this is the tip of the iceberg....

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