mckarlie

I have happiness in my heart and a thorn in my soul

Rock bottom again

So i’ve had a crazy few days. I spent the night before last in the hospital, on suicide watch. I’m not being treated as an outpatient by what they call the “CATT team” here in australia.

How did i arrive at rock bottom? Well, all these years I knew deep down that I had been sexually abused when I was young. But i have opened the proverbial pandora’s box and thought i was dealing with it, but i wasn’t keeping up.

The flashbacks of the abuse started to fill my head constantly, i could almost feel his breath on my neck, i could almost smell his smell and feel his moustach against my cheek. I took some old oxy that i had laying around from my back issues, trying to block it all out, it gave me temporary peace, as anyone who has abused an opiate knows, the good feelings you get when you take it, you end up paying for later in bad feelings.

Then, on wednesday of this week someone close to me screwed me over badly and put me in a difficult situation, and it made me spiral. I ended up hysterical, wanting to end my life. A close friend took my children for me and i went to hospital, i collapsed in the waiting area and was rushed through with heart palpitations and an extremely fast heart rate. It’s all a bit of a blur, There were nurses and doctors all around me, stripping me off and attaching sticky pads to all parts of me, there were questions asked, many questions. I can’t remember a lot of it, i was in and out of consciousness, then my heart rate settled and i came to. They moved me to an emergency ward bed and had a psych consultant come by. He said he wouldn’t be able to see me that night but that i was first on his list for the next morning and that then nurses would be there to help me with anything and keep an eye on me, which was true to the point of them knocking on the toilet door when i was more than 3 minutes.

For anyone who has spent a night on an emergency ward, you would know that sleep is sparse and noise is plenty. So many people coming and going, so many  machines making so many noises, i managed to get a few hours sleep until a patient came in screaming in pain, she was right next to me in the next bay. It’s all quite grim really, but if you are worried that you may harm yourself it’s better to be there than not be there.

The psych consult came back the next morning and we had a talk, we decided that i would be treated as an outpatient by the catt team. Basically they are social workers, nurses, case managers those kind of people, they come out to your home and sometimes provide you with medication to get through a temporary situation. The urge to do it is still there but my husband took a couple of days off work to be home for me and with him and my kids around, i know i will be safe. I know that if things bubble up too much again i will either call the CATT team or go back to the hospital.

So here I am again at rock bottom, it’s not a nice feeling and each moment is quite painful, it’s hard just to get through. It feels like i’m moving through time but time has become a thick jelly like substance and i can’t move freely or with ease. Almost every time i close my eyes i see his face, my abuser, i hear the things he would say to me in my head, i remember how small and insignificant i felt while i was being abused and it all rushes back to me, i feel small and empty.

Suicidal thoughts are nothing to be taken lightly, i sometimes find myself slightly frustrated with those who constantly say things like ‘i’m just going to end it all i’ve decided to die it’s just a matter of time’ – it’s posturing really, not to say their pain isn’t real but if you are seriously worried you may kill yourself, get yourself to a hospital, like i’ve said, it’s not the most comfortable environment but it’s important to hold onto life, because as much as things hurt right now, i know they will get better. i know i will get better and be able to function again and put positivity out into the world again. i know i can make positive changes in the lives of those who care about me, albeit small it doesn’t matter, i have to hold onto these thoughts and the hope that i know it will get better. Never use suicide as a threat to get attention, if you want attention just ask for it, just say what you’re feeling and you will get attention. As someone who has genuinely been scared by my own thoughts and possible actions, i implore others to take it as seriously as possible.

I owe a couple of my fellow bloggers an email, I’m sorry i fell off the radar this week but as you’ve read, things have been quite intense for me and i’m sorry if anyone feels let down. I’m always here for you as much as i can be, but sometimes i’m not able to look after myself and need help too.

I hope all of you are doing well, i can’t wait to get better and start to write more poetry again and contribute more positivity.

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The Letter

Recently I wrote a blog entry about a letter to my Mother. I was uhmming and ahhing over whether to send it or not. I got so much great feedback from a lot of people and I’m thankful to all of you who contributed, it helped me decide that I was in fact going to send this letter. For anyone who hasn’t read the post, I cut off contact with my family about 3 1/2 years ago as it was extremely toxic. My Mother let a lot of abuse occur while I was growing up, and since I’ve cut off contact I’ve heard a lot of bitching get back to me, basically my Mother and cousin blame me for everything and think i cut them off because I’m essentially crazy and they had no part to play in it.

I sat on the letter (not literally) for a few weeks, not entirely sure why I wasn’t sending it. I knew that I needed to send it, I knew that for my own piece of mind I had to say all these things to my Mother. It basically outlined all the things that happened in the past and how I feel she abandoned me in favour of my abuser, that she chose him over me and edged me out. She had three children to him in three years and essentially started a new family in which I had no place.

I spoke to my therapist about the letter on Tuesday and we discussed why it was still unsent. I figured out it was that it was too angry, as I wrote it I got more and more angry and it was laced with hostility. I don’t want to be mean for the sake of being mean, my reason for writing this is not to make her feel bad but for her to see my side of things and understand some of the damage she has done. I have asked her to stop bitching about me and that we both need closure. So, I wrote another letter. I feel much better about this one and after I write this blog I am going straight to the post office to send it.

This letter still addresses the sexual abuse at the hands of her first husband when I was aged 7-9, the craziness that went on in the student house we lived in after she abruptly left her first husband and how we went from being ‘besties’ to me being insignificant after she met her second husband, Mark. It addresses how she let him repeatedly abuse me and instead of protecting me or giving him a choice between quitting the drink or leaving, she edged me out instead of him.

It addresses how she made me unwelcome in my grandparents home, how when I’ve been at every low point in my life she’s not only not supported me but made me feel isolated and alienated. Because of my Mother making me unwelcome in my home I started moving around all over the place the moment I turned 18, every time I would return to Melbourne she would be more and more hostile to my presence. Her husband would still abuse me and she would claim the next day that he would get help or things would change, but ultimately she decided I was the problem, not him.

So i’ve written this letter, outlining all these things but I’ve done it in a more positive constructive way. I’ve found my voice and said what I have to say to finally take steps I need to take to have closure on my Mother. For so long I have had this gaping hole in my heart where her love should have been, she has been this almost mythical figure in my mind, the source of so much pain and shame and regret for me. In this letter, I removed a lot of the emotion from the first letter and was more factual, outlined things and asked how she could do that to her own child, why she didn’t protect me and what I did to warrant her being so hostile towards me. An example is, my Grandmother paid for her and my three half siblings to come visit in England 3 wees after I’d had my first child. I was only 22 and had a c section with some complications and was extremely sore. She wanted us to travel to northern ireland to see an old family friend so I went with her, she didn’t help me much while we were there so when we flew back to england i told her I wanted to go home so my husband could help me with the baby instead of flying onto paris with her and the kids. She was angry that I didn’t go to paris. When she got home to Australia she bitched to the family that my house was a mess and my kitchen floor wasn’t clean enough. That really hurt, I was 22 and could barely walk and had a newborn baby, of course my house was a mess! I’ll admit it was a mess but not dirty, just messy. Clothes and what not, dishes that didn’t get done immediately, as for the kitchen floor I have no idea what she was talking about. It really hurt that instead of being supportive or understanding that I had post natal depression and other medical issues, she came home and made me seem like a bad mother.

Another example is when we moved back to Australia. We didn’t have much money at the time and she agreed to loan me my the money my nan had left me before it came through and she would keep the money. On top of that money she loaned me about $1000 for airfares for myself my husband and my two children. Now, when I got to Australia and was staying with her, I started working full time within a couple of weeks. I paid her $3oo a week for four weeks, I also paid $200 for my half brother’s camp and nearly $200 for some netball shoes my sister needed. I also found out from my cousin that the money from my Nan was in fact more than my Mother had told me and she had kept more than she was meant to. So in my mind, I had more than paid her back, but it got back to me through my Aunt that my Mother had been going around telling people that I still owed her money. WHY? why did she feel the need to fabricate things like this to make me look bad? All i wanted was a mother who loved me, I’m not saying I’ve never done anything wrong, I’ve never claimed to be perfect, but she was making shit up to make me look bad and make her look like this patient saint. It just hurts so much that according to her, I have to be the bad guy. And even if I have done nothing wrong she’s perfectly willing to make things up to make me look like an arsehole.

So i’ve written all these things to my Mother, I also wished her well. I said it’s clear that our versions of events are so different that we will never be able to have a healthy relationship, that every time I’ve tried to be open and honest with her she has shut me down, every time i’ve asked for details about my real father she has lied to me about him. It’s all in there, but it’s not attacking her, it’s just asking her why and pointing out that I’m not in fact this bad guy. I think because of all the abuse and trauma and shit that’s happened in our history there has to be a bad guy, and for my mother it can’t be her, she’d break into pieces if it was her, so she has to make it me. But I’m hoping that telling her the truth, putting the truth out there and being as positive about it as i can will afford me the healing i so desperately seek.

I know that I wont get instant closure once it’s sent, but i believe it’s a step along the way. An important step. For so long I’ve felt angry that they have been sitting around claiming me to be the bad guy, claiming to be perfectly innocent. But I told her she has to see how toxic the family is, I pointed out why it’s toxic and it’s all true, she will have to face a lot of truths and that makes me feel really good. My Mother lives deep in denial but when she reads this letter, that small part of her that knows what she’s done to me, I know there’s that small part in her i’ve seen it in her eyes now and again, that small part will know the truth.

Thanks to all who have been a part of this journey with me, this blog has meant so much to me and finding people who have been through similar things has made me feel so much more sane than i’ve ever felt. And there’s many people who haven’t been through similar things but still show they care and I’m so thankful for all of you, you truly make such a difference in my life and it’s the first time I’ve ever been strong enough to face all of this. To address the sexual abuse at all, to talk openly about the abuse and neglect and abandonment.

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Lost and Unsure

I have this pain inside my soul

And my heart it has a gaping hole

I try and try to fill it up

But nothing seems to be quite enough

I fall so far I can’t see day

I fall so deep I lose my way

I wish that I could figure out

What this life is truly about

I try to be kind and share my love

I’ve tried to be aloof and watch from above

 

I have tried all different ways

To make it through my twisted days

But it feels like I’m lost in an endless haze

 

I hold onto pain from my past

I worry for all of my days it will last

All I want is love and family

But it would seem it’s not destined for me

I need to know what I’m about

I need to let the grief flow out

But I lock it down deep in my heart

I want to heal but don’t know where to start

One day I hope I’ll find the peace

And soothe the inner savage beast

That haunts me from the inside out

It tears me up it, I hear it shout

I cry out for some piece of mind

I hope and pray one day I’ll find

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Holding onto pain from the past

In a previous blog I speculated that I am holding onto the pain of my past because it is the last tie I have to my family, the last thing that I have that connects me to my Mother. Since starting my blog I have dug up repressed memories of sexual abuse that occurred when I was aged between 7-9, I have written about the physical mental and emotional abuse that went on from age 11-25, I have written about the feelings of betrayal and abandonment I have towards my Mother because not only did she let these things happen to me but she chose the abuser over me and edged me out of her family, she had three children with him within three years and effectively started a new family in which I had no place, I was too difficult and didn’t fit her picture perfect family unit anymore.

My Mother and I were very close before she met her two husbands, we lived on and off with my Grandparents but she treated me very much like a best friend. She married a man out of the blue when I was 7, it wasn’t a happy household and he took great advantage of me when my Mother was working long hours. Somehow she met a much younger man and we moved in with him, she didn’t explain anything to me, we just left one day after a ballet class. I’m still not sure what she knows of the abuse that happened in that house, but I’ve assumed she knows something…based on how she left, but it’s entirely possible she has no idea and she left because she was unhappy in the marriage and had found a new boyfriend.

After her boyfriend left for a job on an island off the north coast of australia, she and I became best friends again. There was a revolving door of men she would date but no one stuck around too long. It was she and I, she would often pull me out of school and we would go on little adventures, staying at beach side cabins mainly.

She left her well paying high stress job for a part time job at the local video store, I think her depression had gotten out of hand and she needed less responsibility. She met a tradesman who was working on the video store and within a few months they were practically living together. He had a penchant for excessive drinking, and she started to ignore me in favour of her new man.

Within six months of meeting she fell pregnant to this man, and he was actively abusing me. I was a chubby teen and he would call me a fat fuck and throw me around, then things got more intense and the verbal and physical abuse escalated. She would yell at him to stop and then tell me the next day things would change, but they never did, and I ended up moving in with my grandparents. They followed a little while after as he would piss all their money up a wall, he drank a great deal and they just didn’t have the money to pay for rent and expenses.

When I started writing my blog I started healing, facing these issues head on was incredibly liberating, but I fear I went too far too quickly, I think I delved too far down.

I cut my family off a few years ago, they are incredibly passive aggressive, always nasty behind each others backs and bitching about each other but then nice to each others faces, my Mother and I always had a strained relationship and my cousin who i grew up with more as a sister always turned our past pain into a competition, discounting my trauma as an exaggeration. I’ve heard through mutual friends and what not, that they all think I’m in the wrong and they did nothing wrong, that I simply went ‘off my head’ and stopped seeing them all. This has bothered me greatly for the few years it’s been since I have seen them. So I decided to write a letter to my Mother, outlining the facts of the past and what i felt actually happened, my mother is a perpetual victim, nothing that ever happens is her fault, it’s always someone or something happening TO her, she never accepts blame or fault. So i wrote this four page letter telling her how it harmed me that not only did she let me be abused for years but she let me down whenever i needed her. that every time in my life when i hit rock bottom and needed her, not only was she not there but she made me feel unwelcome and crazy. An example is when I was in an abusive relationship in new zealand and i managed to sell a painting and get my fare back to australia, i turned up on the doorstep of my grandparents home, my grandparents had always made me welcome there, but the look on her face when she saw me, oh my. She made it clear that i wasn’t welcome there, that i could only stay briefly and had to find somewhere else. I mean, it wasn’t even her house, I had just been through a really traumatic experience and instead of offering me any form of comfort, she made me feel like an absolute piece of shit. Due to this, I kept moving around, relationship after relationship, i would hang onto my partner and often live with them prematurely because i couldn’t live in the family home without causing my mother grief because she knew her husband would get drunk and abuse me, and she’d let it happen, instead of holding him accountable for this she forced me out.

I thought writing this letter would be cathartic, but it’s been over a week and it remains unsent. I want to send it, I want to send it and have her know what she’s done and move on. But after I wrote it i spiraled into a depression that caused me to not write or blog for a week. I’ve barely seen friends, i’ve just been ‘functioning’ not interacting or really living or creating, just being.

Now i wonder if the letter is a mistake, or if it was just traumatic to face and write down all the things she’d done and let happen to me. Will i find peace in sending it to her and closing the chapter? Will it in fact close the chapter? I’m so unsure.

I know that i will never have a relationship with this woman if she doesn’t change dramatically, and honestly i can’t see it happening. So it’s not like i’m holding out hope of a reconciliation. She contacted me just before christmas via facebook and told me she missed her family and wanted to put things back together, we sent a few messages back and forth, I said that i had made some mistakes and there were things i would do differently, and instead of saying sorry or admitting any fault of her own, she said ‘yes you have, i guess i could have been a better role model’. I told her it wasn’t the role model factor that was the issue, and that if we were to have a relationship it had to be positive, that i couldn’t handle the backstabbing and the toxicity of the way the family interacted. She ignored this, and on christmas day sent a message saying ‘merry christmas, your sister will drop some presents by for the girls’ – that was it. It broke my heart all over again.

So, if anyone has had a similar experience with moving past things then let me know. A lot of people say just let go, and believe me i’ve tried, but i need her to know my side of the story, i need her to feel some kind of responsibility, or at least read the letter and know that I think she should feel some kind of responsibility. I’m a grown woman who can barely function most of the time and it’s because of the broken way i grew up. I take responsibility for my mistakes, of which i’ve made many, but now i’m just trying to find some peace.

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Burn it down

I am a puzzle with pieces askew

I am a knot that you cannot undo

I am the voice you hear in your bed

You are the void that creeps in my head

I was a child when you broke my bones

I was a child when you left me alone

I was a child when you threw me away

I was a child with no words I could say

Now I am grown I don’t fit your mold

Now I am grown I am strong I am bold

I will not wither and wilt under your will

You will not take from me your fill

You did your damage long ago

I’m full of secrets no one knows

Crimes that you have committed

Tales you’ve never ever admitted

But now I have my own loud voice

And with it I have found my choice

I will not hide and I will not be quiet

I will burn it all down, I will start a riot

Your house of lies you carefully build

Your dishonest palace you carefully filled

With perfect pictures and memories fair

You will not find me anywhere there

I live out here in light and truth

And while you may have taken my youth

You cannot touch me on this day

For I have found my own damn way

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I wish I could believe in God

So many people I interact with on wordpress have faith, they have a relationship with God and talk often of it. I grew up in part raised by my Grandparents who were deeply religious people, especially my Grandfather, though they went to separate Churches, my Nan went to a quieter Uniting Church (under the anglican banner) and my Grandfather went to a lively Baptist Church. I was even a Sunday school teacher for a while, and believed in God without doubt. All the while, I was being abused by my Stepfather, I was being abandoned by my Mother and losing all my friends. I always felt like I was letting the side down when I was at Church, I saw all the godly people having these great personal relationships with God and I just didn’t feel it. So somewhere in my mid teens I became agnostic, I came to believe there could be a spiritual being out there, but I don’t believe there is an omni present God. I learned of all the contradictions in the bible, that being gay was a sin, so were many other things i consider to be normal parts of life. The bible was written thousands of years ago when life was very different, it was written by people who looked at the Romans and thought their ways sinful and wrong. It was written about Jesus by people who didn’t meet or know Jesus. And yet people base their whole lives on this book.

Don’t get me wrong, I fully respect everyone’s right to believe in God and I respect faith, it takes great strength to have faith in something that there is literally no proof of, and I’ve studied enough psychology to know that a collective reality is comforting to people, without God a lot of people would feel aimless and would break knowing that there may be just nothing, that when you die it’s possible you just die, that’s it.

I believe there are many great messages in the Koran as well as the Bible, be kind to one another, do unto others etc, and I try to live by these standards, but I just can’t bring myself to believe that God exists as the Church would have you believe, that if he truly loved us as much as he is meant to, that he would allow all of this suffering and pain that goes on in this world. I know as a parent, I give my children free will but if something was hurting them or someone was hurting them, there’s not a damn thing on this earth that could keep me from intervening. I also know that people are born Gay, it’s not a choice it’s just how a person is, it’s as natural as a man loving a woman, it doesn’t directly result in procreation, and the Romans were into it, so it must be bad….right? No. It’s not a sin.

I hope I’ve not alienated people, I genuinely wish I could believe in God and have faith. I recently started a friendship with a religious man who I thought was a good man, he got me thinking that God might truly be watching over me, but when he turned out to be a sleaze, it made me believe in God even less than before I knew him. I was the one that kept asking him to tell his wife of our friendship and he was the one that kept saying he couldn’t, yet in the same breath he’d speak of his love for his Lord. BLAH!

Anyway, just my thoughts. I’m sure faith is a great comfort to those who have it, and if God does exist and I’m wrong, I’m ok with that, I just can’t believe as things are.

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I remember

I remember staring at the pink skirting in my bedroom

I remember the look he’d get on his face as I’d sense my own doom

I remember the sinking feeling when she’d call to say she was late

I remember knowing that this meant the most unfortunate fate

I remember him telling me he worked so hard that I was his prize

I remember him heaving against me till I bled between my thighs

I remember how angry he got when he caught me in his study

Bent over his work desk as he thrusted making me bloody

I remember the fire in his eyes when he came for his claim

I remember the noises he’d make, whenever he came

I didn’t know what he was doing as it happened to me

But I knew that something wasn’t right, I sensed depravity

I remember him covering my mouth to muffle my screams

I remember the heat off his body as he wiggled and he reamed

I remember the friction burns I’d get all up my legs

I remember how angry he’d get if I bothered to beg

I remember every little thing, that man did to me

Like it was yesterday, I remember with such clarity

The monster came and the monster had his meal

The monster never considered how the little girl would feel

The monster always got his way and once he’d had his fill

The monster would remind me not to tell – “you know the drill”

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The one who was meant to love me

Mother you were meant to keep me safe from harm

When he came at me you were meant to disarm

But you couldn’t be found anywhere

And after the damage you’d avoid my stares

All those nights you heard me cry

I needed you but you didn’t try

Instead you hid and let them harm

Your baby by your lover’s arm

Now that I am grown

You don’t call me your own

They hurt me so much I cracked

You say it all happened behind your back

So all the violence left scars

And you were never very far

So I wont wear a smile for you

You feel sorry for yourself is what you do

What an ungrateful child you had

From the day she was born she must have been bad

She should thank you for all you’ve done

You taught her to drink and how to have fun

Some children would kill for that

I just want my childhood back

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Screaming from the inside

I want to scream and shout

I want to get it out

The pain seeps to my bones

I’m convinced I’m all alone

And this way I shall stay

Until my dying day

I want to tear my skin away

I want to find the words to say

I want to find my slice of peace

I want to calm this inner beast

I want someone to understand

How it feels when it’s all crammed

Deep down into all your spaces

Darkness fills in all my hidden places

I try to shine a light down there

But more able am I to see the despair

There has to be an end to how I feel

When pain is all you know it’s all that’s real

Someone put my soul to sleep

Find me joy that’s mine to keep

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My North Star

When you were little, I wrapped you in my arms

Promised to love you and keep you safe from harm

Safety is not something, I knew when I was small

I thought that being abused was how it went for all

The things that happened to me, still didn’t seem quite right

But I didn’t have a choice in it, I had no place to fight

And the things that happened to me, the touching and the harm

Were by the most trusted of all, by my Father’s arm

Two different Father’s two different threats

One like to touch and one liked to hit

I can’t comprehend how a Mother, could stand idly by

And let her child be used this way, her lack of interest high

But I have made my promise, of how not to behave

Just ’cause these things happened to me does not make me a slave

I treat my Mother’s actions, as a guide: what not to do

Because you are my babies, I prioritize all else below you

You give me strength and keep me whole, your little hearts my life

Peace reigns over this home now, no violence here be rife

For my love makes me protective, as a Mother always should be

Protect the life you created, it just makes sense to me

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