Where to Start and How to Keep On
It’s been hell!
I keep thinking of words such as “start” and “beginning.” I’ve been at Caregiving.com for a very short time, but just maybe I was intended to be. Where to start? Maybe with my story. What the hell! It isn’t that fascinating a story, but maybe it needs to be heard, read.
I have my headphones on. I’m listening to music, trying to make sense of it all. Each different song is me. They’re all me! Incredible! “The Shadow Of The Day” by Linkin Park is now on, “and the sun will set for me.” Will it? When?
Closure! I need closure in so many issues in my life. So very many! Am I depressed? Oh, you can be sure I am. I did download the care plan on Thursday. Just didn’t get the chance to do it. Once again, IT’S BEEN HELL! Am I screaming for HELP? Oh, yes, I am!
Do we hold back? I do. Why? Shame, maybe. Some things hurt a hell of a lot! We try to wipe them out of our brains. But at some times they just come back, and haunt, and scare, and depress and just make you want to sink and shrivel, so that no one will see you and know what you’re all about.
So, once again, where to start?
I wasn’t a bad child, even though I was told I was almost every day of my life. I got pushed, and hit, and mocked a lot when I was a child. I always felt so alone. I used to imagine life through my dolls: mums, dads, brothers, sisters, kids, holidays, perfect families. It wasn’t lived, just imagined.
Mums and Dads are never perfect! I told myself that from a very tender age. Mine surely weren’t. If I pushed my toys under the bed because it was late and Mum was telling me to go to sleep, when she found the toys she would hit me hard, with wooden spoons, or the broomstick, or just her hands. She broke quite a few wooden spoons on me. One of those times with the toys she chased me ’round the dining room table, trying to hit me. I just kept running ’round, hoping to somehow get away. So, she got the broom and banged me over the head with it. She came to when she saw the blood. I was six or seven years old.
My parents always had this love/hate relationship with me. They either loved me to death, or hated me to death. I was hit by my parents to the age of twenty-one. Whoa! The day my father found out I was no longer a virgin, whilst listening behind closed doors to a conversation between my boyfriend (now my ex-husband) and me, he hit me so much that I lost sense of who I was, and he told my boyfriend he was going to kill him. I had bruises all over me. I was eighteen years old.
Throughout my childhood and teenage years they told everyone I was bad. The whole family was almost always against me. They all thought I was bad. I actually convinced myself I was. I remember cutting my dolls’ hair saying that they’d been very bad and then my mother hitting me for cutting it. I also used to push my doll’s eyes in. Sometimes I think that all I deserved was to be dead.
Nothing was ever enough! I was always the best student in school and in my class in University, but I was never good enough. Everything I ever tried to do, Dad would tell me I wouldn’t succeed. I never have been very successful. I’ve always clung to the family, always tried to find what I never found. Dad used to say he was paying for my studies and that I’d never amount to much (everything is paid for in school and university in Portugal, from books to exercise books; everything). I started working and I got a scholarship on account of my good grades when I went to University, so he really didn’t pay for anything, even though he used to tell everyone he did.
I had no brothers or sisters with whom to share. I just learned to take it in alone, convinced I was no good. Before going to bed, when I was about four or five, and from there on, Mum used to sit me at the top of the stairs in the building in which we lived, when it was a full moon. She’d tell me to talk to the man in the moon about how I’d behaved and pray that he didn’t take me away forever, because I was bad.
Later, when I read Jane Eyre I really identified myself with the story.
I’ve stopped talking to my parents for short periods of time, trying to make them see how they really make me feel. But it’s no use. They never see. They just say I’m still bad.
So, Mum has been at one of those bad places since Friday. Saturday night I couldn’t take it any longer. At eight o’clock I left the house, had dinner with friends and my boyfriend (whom Mum and Dad hate, as did my ex-husband) and went dancing till 4 a.m. I thought all would be better when I got back. Wrong! It was even worse!
The kids are at their Dad’s and have been since Friday. Sunday was hell. Mum hardly spoke. And Mum and Dad have this relationship that is inexplicable! Dad doesn’t recognize me most of the time, nor does he recognize the kids, but he always, always knows Mum.
“How to Save a Life”, The Fray, on now.
So whatever happens they’re always together in everything. Today was actually the worst day. Can I begin to tell you? Will you believe me, since it’s unbelievable and you can’t even see the tears streaming down me?
Mum just ill-treated me all day long. All day long I managed to eat a slice of watermelon at breakfast, and one piece of toast at lunch. Mum didn’t want me anywhere. I thought of going shopping for milk and other daily needs, so as to get out for a while. But I couldn’t. And then I couldn’t take it any more. I told her she was bad. That she’d always been bad to me. That she’d never loved me like a mother should love her child. That I was going to leave, that they’d be alone for the rest of their days. Or that I’d put them in a home.
Mum went mad and wanted to leave the house. I stopped her by locking the door, because I wouldn’t be able to go after her and leave Dad alone. Oh! She threw such a tantrum! Oh! She screamed, she pulled her hair, she hit herself. Just kept screaming she hated me, that I was bad. I tried to cover her mouth to keep her from screaming. All the neighbors were banging on the door. I pleaded she stop. She wouldn’t. I tried to hug her, tried to calm her. She bit, and hit, and pushed me. Then Dad started screaming, shouting I was ill-treating them. He got up. I was afraid he’d fall over. I went to sit him down. He kicked and slapped me, over and over, saying, “Get away from me,” and, “You’re no good.” I didn’t know what to do. I went to get two Valiums. They just kept spitting them out every time I put them in. I can’t stop crying!
At one time I scratched my Mum’s mouth trying to put the Valium in. I opened the door to assure the neighbors it was just one of those days.
The neighbors called the police and two ambulances. I told the police about my parents’ illnesses. I tried to say they were ill, that most of the time it was really difficult, that I was trying to calm them down and didn’t know what else to do. Their illnesses are obvious — Mum is always shaking on account of Parkinson’s; Dad is completely incoherent, can hardly stand. But still Mum and Dad told the police I’d hit them! I’d hit them! Oh! A police report was indeed filed. I have to go in for questioning. One neighbor stepped forward, offering to be my witness, saying that it wasn’t the first time something like this had happened, that I’d never hurt my parents, ever. That I am always here for them, in spite of.
After the police and ambulances left, assured that all was well, Mum calmed down, picked up the phone, and called my kids and her brothers, telling her version of the story. My kids know what it’s all about. They’re obviously on my side. My aunts and uncles… well!
I feel so lost at this moment. I can’t sleep, I can’t eat, I can’t stop crying.
I am always here for them, but how can I keep on?