Sunday, January 22, 2012

Too Young to Know Part III

Sexually charged by age 5, I played doctor with most of my friends. We put objects in our sexual orifices. I looked at pin-up pictures of women and was aroused. It all felt normal to me to be curious about the private parts of girls and boys. I was caught kissing a boy in kindergarten and was publicly shamed by my teacher in front of my classmates.

I had no conscious knowledge of what was taking place in my own home to destroy my innocence !

Our home was a tiny old 600 SF beach cottage with two small bedrooms and one bathroom with a claw-foot tub and pedestal sink. The few furnishings we had were old and the kitchen curtains were torn. No one else had these worn relics in their home thus I felt poor. I hated to bring my friends home because I thought my father would walk in anytime and embarrass me in his drunkenness.

Because of his alcoholism, dad couldn't keep a job. He worked odd hours and came home during the afternoon, making my life miserable with his intimidation. I stayed outside as long as I could until mom arrived home from her full-time job, trying to support the six of us.

To help out, my older brother had a paper route and did yard work. At times we had no hot water, electricity or food. Our church often left paper grocery bags on our front porch. When we visited my mom's relatives they gave us crates of avocados and tangerines. When my father did bring home food he boasted about what a great cook he was and repeatedly told us that mom couldn't make toast. He frequently fished in the ocean across the street and traded some of it for treasures like abalone and lobster. Feast or famine !

During dinner dad intimidated all of us. We weren't allowed to talk at the dinner table. His philosophy of "divide and conquer" worked well to keep us separate and distrustful of our siblings. My mother never said anything and kept distant and uninterested in me. I continued to have fits of rage and fought him, though it only isolated me more from the rest of my family.

At school I felt inferior to everyone around me because I had very few changes of clothes; when I had no shoes to begin second grade I had to wear flip-flops. The only reason I had any nice clothes was because my older sister got a job at a local bakery and bought things for me with her meager income. My feelings of inferiority motivated me to compete in every aspect of my life.

My musical abilities helped give me a sense of accomplishment and self-esteem; I was the vocal soloist at school and church. At age 9 my mom paid for me to take piano lessons for $3/week; I rode my bike to my piano teacher's home and easily all aspects of the piano. Mr. Diano was a jazz pianist at a local bar. I often had a queasy feeling being in his home though he never did or said anything inappropriate. One day when I arrived, Jo Ann Castle, a talented TV pianist frequenting The Lawrence Welk Show was visiting him. Mr. Diano told her that I was his best student; he asked me to play a piano piece for her, She was delighted and encouraged me. Her support was greatly needed and appreciated. My musical confidence escalated; I continued piano lessons through college.

Next, early puberty . . . . .

Friday, January 20, 2012

Lion's Den Part II

"Jesus, please take daddy home or take me !"

The suffering three-year-old, Eileen (my birth name) wanted to be safe, didn't want to be terrorized by her drunken, raging father anymore.

The answer came in a gift.

I heard music and went to the old upright piano in our tiny living room. I began to play a song by ear. My voice opened up and I sang like an angel !

Not only could I sing but I began to stand up against the raging lion in our home. When he came in during the night and began fighting with my mom, I found new courage in my heart. I tried to protect her even though I was so small.

Because I fought back verbally and physically I acquired the name of "brat" by my mom, and "pest" by my older sister and brother.

Nothing deterred me from speaking out; a new level of hatred brewed in my heart. I wanted my dad removed from our lives.

My prayers and wishes didn't change this frightening environment.

In its place I received another gift.

Learning to read in a week at age four, I sailed above all my classmates in school. My teachers adored me and I them. Because everything came easily and quickly I was easily bored, hence given all errands to keep me occupied. I often stayed after school, calculating huge math problems on the green board in my classroom.

I found freedom and a safe haven at the beach and bay that encircled our little town; I felt safer outside than I ever felt in my home.

My energy level produced another gift, athletic ability; none in the school could outrun or outplay me at any game.

The dark side was my competitive and extremely volatile personality that clashed with my closest friends as I often fought with them to confirm my superiority.

At home I threw huge tantrums and often beat my head on the wall trying to get my mother to show interest in me. She was annoyed and walked away; our only connection was a prayer before bedtime.

My only respite was washing dishes because I was left alone unless I didn't scrub the wrought iron skillet good enough after a fried chicken dinner. Then the monster bullied me as I seethed in silence.

I was living two lives by age 5; the pretty little green-eyed blond with the cheerful personality who could do anything; and the tortured, angry child trying to change my mom's decision to stay with my dad.

When I went to the little church right across from our home, I was praised for my angelic behavior and musical talent. There I won all contests for most Bible verses memorized and received positive attention from the teachers.

My life was already a complex dichotomy.

More to come . . . 

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Road Signs Part I

A friend informed me that my child was suffering from and eating disorder; I didn't see any signs.

Another friend gave me a book on INCEST, saying that God told him to give it to me; I was in denial.

I read it and trembled in fear, no longer in denial.

While making love one night I screamed for my spouse to get off me NOW !!! I thought he was my dad.

My first counselor said that he could feel the spirit of sexual victimization as I sat in his waiting room.

At the dinner table I felt a hand on my inner thigh and smelled a repugnant odor from my dad.

My counselor asked me to SEE who else was victimized; I saw many family members in a circle in the dark.

My grandmother made a blood sacrifice for my soul.

I couldn't sleep, had night sweats, nightmares filled with dark figures, demons, all chasing me.

I stopped seeing my first counselor because I couldn't talk about sex with a male.

I no longer could function outside of my home; I stayed in bed most of the day for months.

I told my sister what I remembered in my dreams; she said, "They're only dreams!"

My niece was hospitalized in a children's psychiatric facility for threatening her sister; I talked with her mom about my memories.

My brother said that my father had been molested by his father while in the bath tub.

My sister came to see me; called me a witch and crazy.

My older brother came over and said that I had better stop talking; my life was threatened.

I was referred by another friend to a female counselor.

My new counselor asked me what my nightmare was about the night before though I hadn't mentioned that I had one.

The ceiling was dripping with blood from a cat on a rope; I was strapped to a table in a dimly lit room.

I thought I was going crazy, hallucinating, shaking, frightened, not sleeping, developing phobias.

I checked into a women's facility because I could no longer function as a mother, wife or business partner.

Three weeks in, I started screaming due to deep, horrifying fear.

All I saw and felt was utter darkness.

I prayed and prayed and prayed to be rescued from my internal torture.

LOVE was with me all along; I found comfort and respite at times during the storm.

So the journey begins . . . .

Sunday, January 1, 2012

The Familial Disease

I have been in emotional pain for the last four days.

My mother 91, fell and was taken to the hospital, suffering two lumbar fractures. I wasn't informed for over nine hours until I received a call from an administrator at her assisted living facility asking to authorize pain medication for her. I was distraught to think that mom was in pain and hadn't received any relief.

I was angry when I discovered that my sibling was notified, didn't go to the hospital and didn't pass along the information to the rest of the sibilings. Lack of communication is a chronic, negative effect of our family disease of incest.

As the messenger of the truth regarding my father as my perpetrator, I was immediately accused of lying, and promptly ostracized from the family. When I did have the courage to walk into my parent's home uninvited 10 years later I was accepted back with lingering unforgiveness from most of my family members.

When my father was dying of cancer God gave me the knowledge and love to take him to the hospital and set up hospice assistance. I stayed with him until his death eight weeks later, sang for him before he died, and sang AMAZING GRACE at his memorial service.

Three days before his death my father told me that I was the only person he trusted because "I know", and asked me to take care of mom. My mother lived with my husband and me for two years until my sibling removed her with his own ulterior motives. Shortly thereafter his spouse didn't want her and placed her in an assisted living environment which did not meet her medical needs of increasing frailty and dementia.

After my husband visited her residence and insisted that we be called in an emergency, the next night she had another fall. Because I was sick with fever, my dear husband got up after midnight, drove to the hospital and called all of my siblings on his way. She was returned to her residence in the early morning. He came home, slept two hours and got up for work. After my siblings found out what had transpired, mom was immediately removed from her residence back to my sibling's place rather than to a skilled nursing facility.

We are in crisis mode unnecessarily; two siblings made the decision to move her without consulting me or my other sibling. This is so typical of my family and so painfully disrespectful.

Yesterday my husband and I helped move her belongings because I didn't want all of her precious possessions thrown around without regard.

I have cried myself to sleep for three nights now because I know my mom is suffering and I have no control over her living situation.

This is a direct result of the devastating damages of incest in our family.

I have been very irritable, guilt-ridden, frustrated, discouraged and angry; unfortunately for my husband, my anger has been misdirected.

Right now I feel like I am never going to completely heal from the emotional damage of incest.

Thankfully, I know this is NOT the truth; I will overcome this !