of me to say that I wished my grandfather would kick the bucket so that I could participate in this study?
It would be a favor to the world if he would…. Of course, then I would have to fight the urge to go interrupt his funeral and finally tell the entire world how sick and demented he was.
Emotional abandonment has been a huge issue for most of my life. When I was younger, I spent a good deal of time placating and pleasing those around me in order to ensure that they would not leave me. This behavior led me into a series of very bad relationships, which I would not leave myself due to the fear of loss and being viewed negatively by others.
During my journey to healing, I started learning how being alone does not necessarily mean lonely or unloved. I have also learned that leaving a negative relationship will not make me a bad person, or make others think less of me. Even though it has taken a great deal of time, I have also learned that different people have different levels of engagement when it comes to the world around them. Some people may be less engaged than others, but that does not always mean that they care less.
Even still, there are times that silence and distance eat at my confidence and make the internal dialogue kick in. My mind begins racing with thoughts I have sought to quell, like, “What did I do to make them not like me anymore?” “Why are they ignoring me?” “How can I fix it?” And although I KNOW that the situation may not have anything to do with me and it may not even be as extreme as I feel it is, I have the irrational (yes, I know it is irrational, but I cannot convince myself all at the same time) fear that I did something wrong. I want reassurance, yet I know that if it is not about me, I am being inconsiderate and needy…..
It is the seeking reassurance without being needy part that I seem to always get stuck on. How do I express what I think or feel without it coming across as all about me? How do I make someone understand that their silence or distance, while it may be nothing, is flipping me out – without sounding crazy? How do I fight the urge to throw my hands up in the air and say, “Forget it.” because I don’t know what else to do?
And once more I realize that there is much work to be done. My childhood comes back to haunt me, and I feel all of the emotions of my youth rushing in. One day I will overcome it all, but right now I am overwhelmed….
One day we went to K-Mart to buy a little yellow plastic bear chair. It was the only time I ever went anywhere with my grandfather. I remember thinking how odd it was to go with him, and how I liked my new chair, but not as much as I should have. I also remember that my younger cousin had a pink one….
New faces, new people, here we go again. Step on and let the world begin to spin.
Long lost feelings and broken memories….
At age 5 or 6, I worried about men walking in on me in the bath – but only in places where older men (my grandfather’s age) resided….
I can only remember tiny snippets of the one and only time I went somewhere with my grandfather….
Sometimes I worry that these small memories are a sign of something more. Although I tell myself they are probably nothing, there is a nagging fear that more memories are hiding in the darkness. I have recognized that I have been abused and the damage it has done. I hope to God that nothing else exists because I don’t want to remember more…
Can we stop this ride now? I think I’m gonna be sick….
So many times in life, I have heard people say that victims of abuse should just forget about what happened to them and get on with their lives. While I understand that these are ignorant words and have learned to ignore them, sometimes I wish that people could understand how small things can set in motion a flood of memories that we do sincerely wish we could ignore….
Like the smell of green beans cooking…
While I’ve smelled this aroma many times, for some reason this time it was different. As I walked into the kitchen last night to see how much longer the beans needed to cook, I took in the wonderful smell and suddenly remembered how it used to smell at my grandmother’s house on Sundays. That memory in itself was pleasant. However, it was quickly followed by the recollection that my grandfather did something bad on a Sunday, while this scent filled the air around me….
It is moments like these, when memories of abuse interject themselves into the present moment, that we, as survivors, realize that we will never forget. These memories are as much a part of our experience as the rest of our lives. Yet, unlike the rest of our experiences, these traumatic events are recorded in a completely different fashion, one which time and all the wishing in the world can never erase.