mckarlie

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

Holy child abuse

So another “celebrity” has been found out as a child abuser. Recently there has been Rolf Harris, Jimmy Saville, a couple of actors off Coronation Street, the Dad from Hey Dad, and now the Pastor Dad Stephen Collins from 7th Heaven. Yes it’s a crap show, none of the aforementioned men have the most incredible body of work, but for some reason this last one has pissed me off. Yes, it’s because I was abused as a child, and because I have children no doubt.

It’s been somewhat of a joke for a long time now that there are high instances of child abuse amongst Priests but can we now add actors and entertainers to that list? Why is there an apparent flourishing of sex offenders emerging from the entertainment sector?

I watched Hey Dad and 7th Heaven when I was younger and felt some affection for these men. I grew up without a Dad and the men that stepped into the Fatherly role in my life were not good experiences, so i would watch these shows and see these “Dads” and I would feel genuine affection for these fictional characters that were these great loving Fathers.

So sure, these men have an illness right? And we have to be understanding of other people’s mental illness’ but when a person’s mental illness causes them to act out in a way that destroys the lives of children, is understanding really what we have to be? Yes, my mental illness causes me distress, it has caused distress to those closest to me, but when i have a bipolar spending spree or whatever else i may do because i’m bipolar, it doesn’t destroy another person’s life. I suppose at the end of the day i do have sympathy for anyone out there who has urges towards children and is fighting them, but for anyone who has actually acted upon said urges, cannon fodder as far as i’m concerned.

Yep, cannon fodder. I know i should have respect for all life but i don’t. If you choose to abuse a child you lose your rights as far as i’m concerned, and the fact that i feel so coldly towards these people does make me question my morality somewhat, but it is what it is. I have so much love and respect for humanity, and i also fear for it at times, but i just can’t feel bad for anyone who acts upon these urges, it just does SO much damage to the victims.

Peace xo

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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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dear mum, i think you ruined my life…

i know my situation isn’t unique, i’m currently studying in the human services area and i’m finding a lot of people also interested in social work have come from broken homes, backgrounds of abuse and neglect, and now as a result have some sort of mental illness. but how much of it is from our formative years? i also know people with mental health issues who have supportive, present parents who genuinely care, not perfect parents (they dont exist outside of movies and tv) but good parents who give a shit.

when i was 13 and my mother started breeding with my abusive alcoholic stepfather (3 kids with him within 4 years) she started pulling away from me. mark (stepfather) and i clashed more and more and i saw her choosing him over me. carrying on a tradition from her first marriage, my mother liked to holiday at the beach foreshore for a good 5 weeks over the summer holidays, she started leaving me home alone when she did this. can you imagine the crap that went on with a 14 year old alone in a house with a penchant for self destruction? i had many parties, i was quite a novelty and my house became a drop in for whoever was around. i didn’t realise it at the time but i felt abandoned, and still do in some ways. and then i feel like an idiot, so my mother left me alone in the house when i was young, a lot of teenagers would love that kind of freedom, but ultimately i craved structure and some form of discipline, i think that’s why i kept choosing to go back and live with my grandparents, when i was with them things seemed to move slower, more stability.

so i was a hideous teenager, i got in all kinds of legal trouble and drank and did whatever drug my friends were into at the time. this culminated with my mother’s ‘new’ family and for years i blamed myself. i figured that if i had of been a better kid that i would have been included, if i had of been better in general people would have liked me more and i wouldn’t have been so lonely. and then a couple of years ago i did therapy for a while and in fine cliche form, i came out blaming my mother instead of myself. sure, if i had of been a better teenager things would have been a lot easier for me, but i was a “bad” teenager because of the years leading up to that point. my brain literally didn’t form as it should have because i didn’t have the stability and ‘safe’ feeling that children need to form all those clever brain connections that help people cope and become better adjusted.

i haven’t seen my mother, or the rest of the family, in about three and a half years now. when i got back from england i stayed with her and my stepfather and he was back to his own tricks within a month of me returning. i had a medical procedure done two days before i flew back to australia, it was one of the hardest times in my life and my stepfather decided i wasn’t doing enough house work (i was working full time and still struggling with my health) and told me he was going to beat me so hard i couldn’t call the police on him this time as i wouldn’t be able. he swung at me but was so drunk he fell down, so i collected my daughter and fled to my cousins place for the night. that was really awkward, my cousin acted as if i had overreacted and made me feel really unwelcome, so i suddenly felt like a 14 year old all over again, completely lost and no idea where to go. (to clarify, my hubby and younger daughter came over to australia about 4 1/2 weeks after myself and our older daughter as he had to finish up work). my mother turned up at my cousins the next day and assured me that mark was sorry, that this time he really was going to get some help and that i would be safe to go back to the house. honestly, i had little other option, so we went back and it was better for a week or two, and thankfully when my hubby turned up mark dare not try anything with me.not long after hubby and kiddo got here, we found our own place and moved out. we would mainly see my mother at family gatherings at my aunt’s place and she would occasionally cook a sunday dinner, but she was really hard to be around. mark had an affair about 6 years ago and they have been miserably married ever since, she told me she wanted to end it but every time i would try and make appointments with lawyers or look into info for her she would shy away and change her mind. i was also spending time with my cousin, and the whole lot of them (bar my aunt, she’s pretty awesome) are amazingly negative horrible people. every one would bitch behind every one else’s back, but be all smiles to one another at family gatherings. no one would ever dare say what they were really thinking to anyone directly, it was all passive aggressive and bitchy and literally started to drive me mad. so after my mother cancelled turning up to my daughter’s birthday (she’d done this three times in a row at this point) and broke her little heart, and my cousin’s husband went on another one of his rants at me, i decided to cut the lot of them off. they made me feel like shit, being around them, listening to them moan about their difficult EVERYTHING, it was just weighing on me so much it was making me a shitty person to be around too, so i decided for the sake of my kiddos they needed the best version of me, and the best version of me was not conducive to being anywhere near my family.

my therapist told me that healing would start once i let go of the anger towards my family, in particular my mother. now, i only just discovered this anger a couple of years ago and honestly, i don’t know how to let go of it. i know i don’t really mention much anger towards my stepfather mark, well, there is some there but in fairness, he’s an alcoholic. more days than not, this man was in a state where he barely knew his own name, and if a rabid dog attacks a toddler do you blame the dog or the owner? well, i blame my mother, she’s the one that had the onus of protection and safety for me, so as much as he’s the one that did most of the hitting and hurting, she’s the one i hold responsible for letting it span 15 years.

i’m not stewing in my anger, i dont wake up with an instant hatred of my family, but when i think about it, hell yes i’m mad at her. and i dont know how to feel a different way about her. part of me thinks i’m holding onto my anger because it’s the last connection i have to my family and i miss having my family, i miss the gatherings and the catch ups and having people there. we spend christmases with my good friend’s family and that’s great for my girls and for me as well, but i’m not part of their family, as good of a job as they do at including me in their get togethers and birthday celebrations and christmas etc, i still miss having my own family and if i let go of the anger, then i guess i feel there will be nothing left. they will just be people that i used to know.

who knows, maybe i’m just angry because i feel slighted and cheated out of a family, i don’t really know, but maybe i should try to let go. is letting go of pain that’s ingrained so deeply possible? just knowing that it wasn’t my fault was so freeing, will forgiving her be the thing that separates me from my pain? so many questions, no way of knowing for sure because i don’t know if i can.

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