mckarlie

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

25 songs – Day 3

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A song that reminds me of my parents. Tricky, I consider myself to have two sets of parents really: my Mother and Stepfather, and my Grandparents who are no longer with us. But I will stick to the more traditional definition and go with my Mum and Stepdad, and this is their song.

 

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Do you feel like life owes you?

My upbringing was a bit of a clusterfuck. Not the worst of stories but not the best. Half of the time I was with my Mother, she had me when she was 20, my father ran off, apparently he was a drug addled sociopath. The other half of the time I was with my Grandparents, religious, consistent, steady folk who would do almost anything for me and loved me immensely. My Mother treated me more as a best friend, a handy accessory to keep her from being lonely. I was a glorified puppy, taught to do tricks in front of her friends, spell big words and cook my own breakfast at 7. Her first husband molested me when I was very young, her second husband beat on me and called me every name under the sun, she then abandoned me effectively, so I have my lion’s share of issues.

I know that the reason I have a mental illness is partly because I inherited it from my Mother and partly because when a child grows up without feeling safe, their brain doesn’t form as it should. When a child has to watch every word and every action with dire consequence, synapses don’t form as they should.

In my twenties I formed the opinion that I deserved what happened to me when I was younger, I made excuses for my abusers such as ‘i was a difficult teenager’ and ‘i was out of control’. In my late twenties I saw a therapist who really got me, and we made some great progress before I stopped seeing him randomly (as I tend to do with a lot of things). He got me to see that no matter how badly behaved a child may be, they NEVER deserve abuse, and the abuse was probably the reason I acted out in the first place. This lead me to a place of anger, I had had this anger throughout all of my twenties, but it had been directed at the general populous, but now, now it was directed specifically at my Mother. Why not her husband? Well, he’s an alcoholic, he has a rampant disease, and while his actions shouldn’t be excused, the duty of care was squarely on my Mother’s plate.

So throughout my twenties I was angry, and this made me act irrationally, with little thought of consequence. I felt like I’d been dealt a shit hand and everyone could go and fuck off. I was only concerned with kindness when it concerned my inner circle, which was ever changing (as so happens with us bipolar folk) but I was fiercely caring of those I chose to be my inner circle and felt great loss when either they moved on or I ran away, I often ran away from people in anticipation of my perceived rejection forthcoming.

Since my revelation that it wasn’t my fault I’ve started caring much more about people in general, but I still feel like I got a raw deal. I see families, hanging out together and looking after each other and my soul feels empty, I feel so cheated. I see people with loads of money and fancy things who seem together and beautiful and I feel envious, sure I have my own little family and boy are my kids amazing, my man is a good man and i’m not hideous looking or anything like that, but i see these beautiful fancy people and feel entitled to their life. On the odd occasion I buy a powerball ticket, part of me secretly believes I deserve to win more than some people because of the shitty life I had as a child, ha! I’m serious, this is what goes on inside my head.

I think some of us with PTSD, bipolar, trauma, whatever it may be, I think we can often get concerned with what we don’t have instead of focusing on what we DO. I have enough money to pay my bills and feed my family and even go on the occasional holiday, which is more than a lot of people can say. I have a steady relatively drama free relationship with a man i love, i have two amazing children who love me dearly and are amazing people, yet i still often get caught up in what i don’t have, what i deserve etc

Even if you don’t have the things I have, you have the things YOU have. Each person is different, but just the fact that we made it through these things is a beautiful thing, there are so many people out there who don’t make it through. There are kids who don’t get food every day, there are kids out there being beaten bloody right now and no one cares about them, there are so many shitty things happening in the world at any given moment that we have to take pause and put things into perspective, yes what i went through was bad but by no means do i have the monopoly on pain, by no means is my pain more important than anyone else’s and when I start feeling sorry for myself and feeling entitled, I need to remember those things.

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Socially accepted racism

My two daughters each have a vintage style cabbage patch doll. They like to take them out with us sometimes, last night i saw my pdoc and in the waiting room a woman reached over to me and said “good on you for getting your daughter a brown doll” – i simply smiled instead of getting into it in the doctors waiting room, but afterwards my daughter questioned it. she asked ‘mum, why did that lady say that’ and i told her it’s because she thinks mummy was making a statement about race equality by buying you a doll that is brown. my daughters big blue beautiful eyes looked up at me and said “i never even thought of her as brown, she’s just tasha” – this is because i’m teaching my children not to see colour in the same way that my generation was taught to see colour.

I’m 32, my mother and her husband are somewhat racist, my grandparents were typical australians, they would never discount a person on a one on one basis based on their race, but they did tend to generalize racial groups, which is something rife in australia. When it comes to “boat people” or immigrants, it’s very much us and them. A lot of people think these people are coming to our country and stealing our resources and getting government hand outs, they don’t pause for a moment to think of the situation these people have left behind them and that they deserve to be here, they deserve to live in a place where they are safe and don’t have to worry about militia or where their next meal will come from or any such issues.

The fact of it is, most middle class australians try not to be racist, but it’s hard when the media shows Aboriginals in the light that it does, when the stories that get reported on them are never positive but always relate to alcohol and substance abuse, incest or child molestation. True, in some areas these issues are rife, but it’s not something an entire race has to answer for, just as much as there’s a bunch of gross old white men out there looking at child pornography on their computers every day, as a caucasian person i would never expect to be held accountable for the acts of these men, yet a lot of people view the entire race of Aboriginals as drunk child molesters, it makes my heart sad.

I was in England when the London bombings occurred and suddenly anyone wearing a turban or a hijab was viewed suspiciously. I moved back to Australia not long after the bombings and found the same mentality here, most not even realizing that those wearing a turban are an entirely different religion to those they think they’re hating. I have worked with quite a few Muslims and have found them to be much like anyone else, sure they have different religious holidays but they laughed at jokes like anyone else, cried when they were sad like anyone else, treated me with kindness and if you look at the structure of their religion, it’s actually quite beautiful, much like most religions, their true point isn’t to segregate and alienate but to spread love and generosity amongst people. It’s easy to get caught up in the negative aspects of any race/culture/religion, all of them have negative aspects, but perhaps it’s time we look further into the positive aspects and try to respect each others differences for what they are, not a choice to be unlike one another but simply differences.

A school mum recently congratulated me on “letting” my children have play dates with kids from a vietnamese family, i told this woman i had spent time with the parents just like i would with any family before letting my children go to their house, found them to be very nice people, so why wouldn’t i let them have play dates? she responded ‘oh you know, they do things very differently’ to which i told her ‘different isn’t bad, it’s just different’ she hasn’t spoken to me much since then, but in my opinion that’s for the best, if a narrow minded person dislikes you, then you must be doing something right.

 

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Picking at repressed memories

I’ve found myself in a crisis this last week, and it’s mainly because i picked the proverbial scab of repressed memories and didn’t take the care necessary when doing such a thing.

One of the problems of being bipolar is you sometimes feel like you can take on the world, invincible. This is when you are ‘up’ of course, when you’re down it’s a whole different story.

For a very long time I knew that ‘bad things’ had happened when my Mother was married to her first husband, but that’s as far as I would let myself think about it. I wouldn’t identify with sexual assault victims, I didn’t class myself as a victim of sexual assault, I didn’t recall the details of what had happened, I just knew that something went on and that I didn’t want to know about it.

Recently when I started writing, a poem pretty much fell out of me, it was a detailed account of one of the visits my ex Stepfather paid to my room as a child. At first I felt strangely numb then empowered, I was slightly manic at the time I wrote it and decided to confront the whole thing head on, believing it would define me as strong.

I would urge anyone considering such things to do so with great caution, it’s true that we have to eventually deal with any repressed issues if we’re going to gain happiness but do so carefully. I decided I was super human and not only recalled all of the abuse but I wrote a letter to my Mother talking about it, wrote poems about it, thought about the details at great length, analyzed it all and then SNAP, it overwhelmed me and I spiraled out of control and wound up in the hospital on suicide watch.

I’m still feeling pretty weak, leaving the house is hard at the moment and I feel kind of empty and sad, but I’m piecing myself back together. The flashbacks are pretty intense and at the moment it’s just a matter of distracting myself when they happen, but with each day I get a little stronger than what I was a week ago and I feel a little more able to deal with what happened to me and the memories that are drowning my brain.

So for anyone dealing with similar issues, do tread carefully. Know your limits and be careful not to dig too far too fast, it’s a very brave thing to confront your issues so don’t get carried away like I did, thinking the more you do the faster you do it the better a person you are, it just doesn’t work like that and you will end up out of your depth and in trouble. The way I felt when I went to the hospital last week is something I wouldn’t wish upon any person, even those who have harmed me in the past, I was desperately and devastated and barely tethered to my sanity, each moment of being hurt, and it was through my own actions that it happened.

I’m not beating myself up for what I did, I’ve learned my lesson and am sharing it in hope that anyone else currently going through this kind of thing can learn from it too. Dealing with it at all makes you strong, don’t try to rush ahead of where you are, go slowly and remember that you are the victim, these things were done to you and you did nothing to deserve it.

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Stained Memories

I fell down and grazed my knee

Saw my beating heart in front of me

It was black in parts and broken

From holding onto pain unspoken

I took a shovel and started to dig

I couldn’t have known what I’d find be so big

And once I remembered just a little bit

Once I opened the door just a tiny slit

All the darkness came flooding through

All of my memories, painful and true

The things that man did to me

When I was a small human unable to see

The damage being done to me

Would later cause insanity

But I won’t let this be my plight

I may be down but I will fight

I still have much life left in me

I wont let him define what I am to be

The flashes haunt me every step

In healing I am not adept

But I will somehow find a way

And I will somehow reach the day

When the memories are faded and gone

And I don’t feel small and all alone

I will beat this pain in me

I will pass these memories

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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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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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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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Fight for your happy

She floats through life in constant pain

She bathes in memories, stays the same

Flashes come and flashes go

She’ll never admit all that she knows

When she was little he had his way

It sometimes happened every day

Touched in a way no child should be

Haunted to this day by the depravity

Then her next “Father” he liked to hit

It chipped away at her bit by bit

She kept calling out for her Mother

But her Mother would never bother

So she accepted that she was worthless

She gave up on life and all it’s tests

She merely accepted her illness

And her absolute lack of wellness

She forgot she had the option to fight

She forgot to try for what was right

It all got lost along the way

She made plans for another day

A day that would never, ever come

Because she felt broken and undone

Until one day she remembered her voice

And on that day she made a choice

To take her stories lay them bare

Not caring of others would mock or stare

She shined a light right deep down

And found that people gathered ’round

To also tell tales and comment and share

She found that others truly care

And from the shackles she finally shook

All the broken pieces they took

And wiped herself clean shiny new

It’s something that was hard to do

And still she struggles to this day

But she has found a different way

Take the darkness and shine a light

And for your own happiness, you must fight

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Dear Mum, this one’s on you

A Mother is a lovely creature blessed with warmth and heart

A Mother is the person who loves you from the start

They’re there for you when you’re sick or down

And in your darkest moments can always be found

It’s an endless love that’s given, from a Mother to a child

From the moment she holds you in her arms a Mother is beguiled

True love emanates from a Mother’s every pore

Just seeing her baby happy, she couldn’t ask for more

So what happens when a Mother lets harm come to her child

What happens when a Mother finds her love grow colder, mild

What happens when a mother cares more for getting laid

Than if her child goes to school or if the bills are paid

What happens when a Mother lets her boyfriend beat you blue

And when a Mother stays silent and he puts his fingers inside of you

From what I understand, a hole forms deep inside

You try to fill it with boys and drugs but the hole keeps growing wide

You feel as though you’re broken, you’re damaged underneath

You think that you deserve it when he breaks your jaw and teeth

You accept that you are worthless, that you were born this way

And with that comes a pain that makes it hard to go on another day

But Mother I have realized that the fault does not lie with me

You knew everything that was happening but you chose not to see

So yes now I AM angry and I can’t look upon your face

For I am still trying to fill the hole your love left in it’s place

I’m not the one who fucked up Mum, I’m not the bad one here

So don’t pretend it’s my fault that I am nowhere near

 

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