Childhood Memories

I know we are all used to those posts filled with bright green grass, sapphire green pools and brightly colored hair ribbons hanging off perfectly curled ponytails swinging behind the gossamer curtains of childhood memories mixing with the smells of vanilla and strawberry and all those special things which take those writers back to perfect childhoods.

And those are very good posts…they’re just not MY posts and, really, they never WILL be MY posts.

I thought a lot about it today. What is my favorite childhood memory? Do I even have one? Do I have ANY happy memory?

While it’s well-known I don’t have a lot of memories of the years between 4th and 12th grade (and thank Gd that my best friend Christine keeps those memories very much alive for my son Evan for me…and keeps them for me when I am ready for them) – I have memories of my young childhood. I remember where we lived, where I went to school, the kind of saddle shoes I wore in third grade (black and white as opposed to brown and tan which is the kind I REALLY wanted), my brownie uniform that I wore every week to school and then walked to the Methodist Church in town for our meetings.

I remember the house we lived in, the year we lived with my grandparents and everyone forgot my birthday and then got me an old applesauce cake from the Thrift Store after we had supper. I hate applesauce cake to this day.

I remember the year I had a skating party for my birthday and I got beaten afterward. Beatings on my birthday were kind of expected. That particularly birthday I was also raped by an older boy who was visiting us. Later I was beaten for that too because, of course, it has to be a just-turned-8 year old little girl’s fault right?

And along with that I remember the same house and brutal beatings, the blood and the police who came as the sun rose and the broken glass and the screams going unanswered. Cries for help echoing in the subdivision in which we lived, blood curdling screams as faces were broken, glass was shattered and little girls were scared into silence.

Yes, there were happy times I suppose. I have seen some pictures that other people have. I don’t have any. My sister took all the pictures long ago and never gave any to me. She says I don’t belong to her family and so I don’t deserve any.

Whatever.

Maybe if I had happy pictures I’d convince myself it was all happy even though in my heart I know it really wasn’t. But I am also not so jaded as to think it was all bad. I know that everything is not so black and white.

But could I pick out a sunshine and rainbow moment of happiness that was all encompassing that involved time with my immediate family? Let me just say I qualify this only because I did spend so many happy moments with my grandmother and it was only with her that I can say I ever felt truly safe and happy. So my question then becomes and the question I have been framing is…

Do I have a happiest moment from the childhood I spent with my mom, dad and sister?

Sadly, the answer is no. I can’t for the life of me really think of one. And yet, there were opportunities. The Harlem Globetrotters Game, Disney World, so many opportunities.

But each opportunity that I think of was tainted either by a violent fight or by some other situation that had no business happening.

I don’t really know how to say this other than to just come out and say it. I can allude to it and it’s hard to just say. I can’t freely talk about it yet but if you want to know why I have no favorite childhood memory, this is why – being molested can ruin everything that ever comes after it. No matter what that “everything” is…nothing will ever be happy again no matter how happy it seems.

Remember that.

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The Biggest Disappointment

I have been thinking a lot the past few days.  Usually this leads to a very dark place that I have a hard time coming back from.  I so very don’t want to ever go back to that place ever again.  Often when I find myself headed to this place these days, I just shut down the thoughts and go to my happy place and lalalalalala…..it doesn’t matter anymore.

But sometimes the dark side creeps up on me.

What I am thinking about is my biggest disappointment.  That, of course, is and always will be having to leave Jerusalem.  Despite all of the wonderful things that have happened since, and I don’t want to say they are any less amazing or wonderful, leaving that city will always be the biggest disappointment of my life and one I can never fix.

Of course that leads directly to a situation of lashon harah (something very bad which was said about me by someone else to many people, regardless of whether it was true or not, who then believed it carte blanche without question because the person telling them wanted them to – take it from me, as our sages say, the evil tongue, lashon harah, does kill a person when it spreads and it never should.)

The worst case of this spread of lashon harah is when it was told to my father.  Today I had to accept that without question, without asking me, without any doubt whatsoever, my father believed it.  I had to accept today how very much this has hurt me…how truly deeply it sears my soul to not be believed by my very own father and worse, to have him automatically believe the worst of me without ever even conceiving that he should even believe the better.

This takes me back to when I was 17 years old and some piece of scum walked into my father’s nightcluband told him I was “the best he ever had.”  My father came home and beat the living shit out of me with a razor strap.  It happened without warning so quickly I barely even knew WHY I was being beaten and defense?  Absolutely none.  And mercy.  Really?  I was guilty without a trial.

And that’s how it remains today.

Guilty without a trial.  It’s just like it was when I was 17 – and my father’s opinion of me has never changed.  For a man who molested me, this is actually….well, I don’t even know what it is.

Today I had to accept all of this.  And obviously I need to act on it but I don’t have any idea what to do.  I didn’t have therapy so I didn’t have a chance to talk to my therapist – that will have to wait a week.  In the meantime, I am just going to process it and not worry about what to do about it.  I am going to let it sit there.  I am not going to roll it over and over and ride with it under my arm to the dark place.  I’ll just wait a while until I can talk to Kellye and then I’ll know what to do and I’ll act on it and send it on it’s way.

This is something I really don’t want to think about.

This is betrayal at it’s very worst.  It’s betrayal, lies, deceit, it’s a whle lifetime of what I had built up in my mind as support from my father that never was and all that “never was” just crumbled away….I guess.

But as unreal as all of that was – the hurt is VERY real.  I am devastated.  I am shot through with devastation.  I am lying on the floor, curled up in my grief for what I thought existed and never did.  I am once again afraid to trust, afraid of people, afraid of the world.

And I know it had led to both a setback and a step forward.  Hopefully they will cancel each other out.

Time will only tell.v

#BlogELUL – End

I haven’t been really good at doing these Elul posts but I am not going to get all over myself about it.  I am here today right?

Today’s topic is END.

I ended a relationship this Elul and maybe not in the best way possible.  I decided that I couldn’t continue on with my therapist anymore.  It had to do with two things.  First it had to do with that I perceived as her blind devotion to the nurse practitioner she had me seeing for my medication checks.

I had told her at least three times that I could not stand this woman.  That I felt demeaned and not listened to.  That she messed up the medication scripts and then acted as if I was a medication seeking junkie when I tried to discuss my real issues with her.  When I told her I couldn’t sleep, she told me to do kegel exercises to I wouldn’t wake up at night to use the bathroom (really?).  The next visit she told me to eat a huge meal before bed so my blood sugar wouldn’t drop in the middle of the night (REALLY?).  I was getting half fills of medications and no refills on others I needed.  When I discussed ones that I’d had at the hospital just weeks before, she told me I wasn’t going to be continued on them anyway so I should just stop taking them before I ran out before I got attached to them.  This caused great angst and panic and well, a massive breakup.

And when I would tell my therapist all of this she would staunchly defend the nurse practitioner and this went on through three months of appointments…until it became clear they both had to go.

And this made me sad but I also knew I had to do it but like the Doctor (you know, The DOCTOR (Who)), I don’t like endings.  So being the super coward I am, I just called and said I was going in another direction and to cancel my standing appointment and thanks for the memories and bye.  I mean it sounds worse than it was simply because you can’t get anyone on the phone anymore so leaving a message is the only choice anyway.

But I also know not only does it sound bad, it was bad form.

So my resolution for Elul is to send a little card.  Not a great big one which would put me out of my mind but a little one and just say I went to another place and I am being taken care of by good people and a great doctor and not to worry.  That I appreciate all she did for me and I think of her often.  I think that would say all I want to say.

There’s another person  in my life that I lost through the divorce – the loss of whom saddens me.  We used to be very close friends.  As with all of it, it was a matter of whose story got to her first and she has chosen not to listen to mine at all, which, of course, is her choice.  But I would like to tell her how much I miss her, how sorry I am if I let her down or hurt her and how I valued our friendship very much.

I don’t want to get too far into it because I know it’s not all my fault and maybe it’s not my fault at all but I think it’s a good time of year to just say this and to never have to worry about it again so I will.  I don’t expect anything to come of it but my own peace of mind that I told her what she means to me and that I miss her.  I am not even sure I want to put a return address on the card.

Sometimes I wish I could be more like my son.  I raised that kid with such a powerful sense of self and right and wrong.  He knows his boundaries and he knows when someone treats him in a way he finds disrespectful.  He doesn’t accept it.  I bow to it and take it and ask for more of it.  I think the only situation where I haven’t in recent memory is this situation with my therapist…and of course, it weights heavily on my mind.  Did I do something wrong?  Will she still like me?

I have been having a rough week accepting my limitations due to my illness but hopefully I am moving in the right direction as we journey together towards Rosh HaShanah….a new year and a new beginning for us all.