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Sunday, 20 July 2014

Children learn what they live

The-grown-up was a powerful presence; sometimes the child feared her, loved her and hated her (as far as a child is capable of hate) all at the same time.
Children learn what they live. ... The-grown-up was a powerful presence; sometimes the child feared her, loved her and hated her (as far as a child is capable of hate) all at the same time. mentalillnessgodandme.blogspot.co.uk @stuckinscared
The child lived with criticism - she learnt to put herself down. 

The child lived with aggression - she learnt to be afraid. 

The child lived with shame - she learnt to be guilty. 

The child lived with strange (often terrifying) intrusive thoughts; anxiety, obsessions and secret compulsions. She knew what it was to fear her own mind. 

If the badness The-grown-up saw wasn't badness enough; she had a head full of badness she didn't dare tell. 

The child was hugged, loved, cared for; pulled around, raged at, beaten. She learnt vulnerability, confusion, resentment; mistrust. 

The child was often naughty; "bad" - "hard work" - a "LITTLE GIT!"
She asked for it. Sometimes she'd been - "ASKING FOR THAT ALL DAY!"... 

She asked for the huge, perfectly formed hand prints, red raised on her skin; for the slap, slap, slap, SLAP of the-dirty-blue-flip-flop against the top of her leg; for the welts that might never stop stinging.
She asked for the disorientation and pain that followed being hit full force (by adult hand) around the side of the head; to be pushed down (or stretched up) and whacked; to (on one occasion) be thrown out, shamed and sobbing, (naked bar a vest) onto the street.
She deserved to be raged at; the monsters face so close to hers that noses almost touched.
She asked to have 'Palmolive' rammed into her dirty little mouth; she'd learn from the gag inducing taste of it and the inevitable soapy spew!

The child would outgrow The-grown-ups hand. She never outgrew fear, or shame, or the badness in her head.

***

The child didn't know that The-grown-up (a victim herself of an abusive parent) was mentally ill; that she really was incredibly sorry after each meltdown, that she would carry guilt and regret into old age. 

How could she know? - She was just a child! 

Now; years on - The-Grown-Up is a very different person.
Her eyes; which (seemingly) once spoke "I hate you!" now cry, "I love you, forgive me; let me in, I'm sorry."
She is old now; healed, gentle, reaching out.  Mindful that she won't be around forever, she is desperate for reconciliation; for her child's sake as much as her own.

And the child now? - She hurts The-grown-up, pushes her away; though she tries hard not to.
With an adults understanding of mental illness she forgives but she 'cannot' forget.
She hasn't yet buried fear and resentment; she still feels incredibly uneasy in The-grown-ups company, and stands ridged in, (or pulls from) her embrace.

The child now knows how much past mistakes are regretted; she can see how desperate The-grown-up is to be embraced as a loving, caring parent... which indeed, without exception, she now is. This only serves to increase the child's own guilt and self loathing.

The child loves The-grown-up (at least she thinks she does; feelings contradict) but she is still vulnerable, confused, resentful in her presence. She doesn't trust her.

And the welts on her skin; now faded - they are still red raw in OUR head!  

No Harm Done... Poem. Poetry. @stuckinscared

***

POSITIVE THOUGHT
We're not there yet, but we're getting there.

PRAYER
Lord, I pray that by giving the child a voice, through my writing; I will one day feel able to expose her to her mother again, Amen.

Thank you for allowing me to share

God bless you and all those you love

Kimmie x

20 comments :

  1. This is so hard, and so brave, Kimmie. Your feelings toward your mum are perfectly understandable - and I am sure they are more complex and difficult at this time. You are doing the best you can, just as she is. Sometimes we have to live and love within the parameters of the things we cannot fix. There is grace there too.

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    1. Thank you Paula, You are right; things are more complex and difficult at the moment - Dads illness has reminded me that mum won't be around forever either - I'm aware that I don't have forever to fix things.

      Your words are always so reassuring - never judgmental, I really appreciate that!

      God bless

      Kimmie x

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  2. Although I see great pain here Kimmie, I also see great compassion, empathy and understanding that many could learn from.

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    1. Thank You 'H' - both for your empathetic comments and for support/kindness online this evening - I was very upset when I first came online this evening; chatting with you helped :) x

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  3. Oh Kimmie, you're so brave. It's hard to know what to say, but although it will never make up for her actions it's clear she's contrite and wants your forgiveness for actions which are almost impossible to forgive. Small comfort for a childhood of pain xxx

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    1. Thank you Jane, for reading, and for taking the time to comment.

      You're right, she is sorry and trying hard to reach me - I guess the rest is up to me.

      God bless you and yours hun

      Kimmie X

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  4. I remember all this and more (aged 10 I was a gift to one of her boyfriends) - I remember attempting to keep a family together in early adulthood, it all changed the day she took up her stick and tried to beat me when I was in my late forties, helping her get her life together after the death of her last man. She told me that she hated me and had hated me from the moment of birth. I then remembered again all that she had done to me and my siblings when we were young (I had buried it all so very deep) - how she gave us all to the state to be cared for that final time the eldest still 10 and the youngest a few weeks old.

    I did not hate her but from that moment when she took up the stick again all my childhood fears came rushing back - is it a wonder that none of us ever allowed our children to stay with her unless there was some one safe with her. I never saw my mother again - she was no mother to me.

    Until I had children of my own I never realised how warped my mother was - no maternal feelings, no love, when Edward died she blamed me for having done something to myself, when #Dani was diagnosed she told every one it was not serious, when she had cancer, she told people that Dani was malingering, even though she had not seen me for years she still passed judgement on me, as does one of my siblings now. I wish I could feel that there had ever been any hope between self and "mother" - you have a chance - that is a miracle.

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    1. Oh my goodness, your experience makes mine sound like a walk in the park, you poor thing, how awful for you!

      Thankfully, while my mum was prone to meltdown, aggression, irrational behaviour; she did/does have maternal instinct, and, as you say, there is hope for us yet; Though it does rely on my meeting her half way.

      I'm so very sorry to read what you went through - really I am!

      God bless you and all those you love

      Kimmie x

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  5. I grew up in a home that wasn't abusive, but wasn't filled with love. My mother had her favorites and I wasn't one of them While the relationship was cordial at best, the ties were cut 2 years ago after I had had enough. Not because of her treatment of me, but of her indifference towards my children. They were not the favorites either,
    and it was a chore for her to spend any time with them. Add that with a betrayal and we're done. Families are such a complex entity. At least with mental illness there is somewhat of an excuse. Sorry for what you have dealt with, but it sounds like you are positively working through all the pain. And it sounds like there is desire on both sides, where in my situation, my mother could care less. Best of luck to you.

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    1. Judi, Thank you, both for taking the time to read, and for leaving such a thoughtful comment.

      I am sorry that you also have a difficult relationship with your mum, I can relate to the pain that favoritism brings, my mum was gentler with my siblings, perhaps they didn't wind her up as much as I did, and my youngest sister was (and still is) a clear favorite.

      now years on her favoritism of my youngest sisters children over my own kids and my middle sisters children is obvious. It is hurtful,

      I understand why, after years of being made to feel second best yourself, watching your children be made to feel so, might be the last straw.

      I wish you and yours all the best

      Take care, Kimmie x

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    2. You are so brave! Please keep sharing your writing and thoughts with the world.

      Laurie Kozlowski

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  6. Aw Kimmie so many memories and so much to think about. No wonder you're so intuitive and kind. Being on high alert from early childhood has given you great powers of observation. Forgiveness is a healing process but how could you ever forget... xx

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    1. Hi Michelle, thanks for stopping by hun..

      You're right, there is healing in the forgiving....it'd be so much easier to do the forgiving bit if the forgetting bit was doable o_O

      However, like I said, I am working on it, and there is some progress :)

      Love to you and Marie, take care,

      kimmie x

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  7. Oh wow. So much tangled emotion.

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    1. Yes, Anna. Tangled is a good word for it. Thank you for taking the time to read/comment.

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  8. So true that what we experience as children shapes the rest of our lives one way or another. There are so many complicated emotions here but I can see that you are in there working to make sense of them. Brave you!

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  9. Very heartfelt and moving. You encapsulate so well how complex all these relationships, cycles and emotions really are for everyone involved. Glad you are able to work on the relationship and coming to terms with all that has happened.

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    1. Thank you. We are still a work in progress, but we are getting there.

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