The soundtrack: An inspirational speaker says you live your live with a variety of soundtracks. When he was younger he was wearing shorts and a group of boys described his legs and knobby and knock-kneed. So that was his soundtrack whenever he put on shorts....until he changed his soundtrack.
This A has brought back soundtracks I thought I had deleted and replaced. On Thursday, October 17 when H stayed later (with my permission) with friends but said he would call at 9:15 and I ended up having to call him at 9:45, all my old soundtracks came back. 30 minutes, doesn't seem like much, but it was, he forgot me, he forgot me.
Growing up, my dad and 2 brothers were not very nice to me. My dad was an alcoholic and a mean drunk. He was so unpredictable. One minute he would be laughing and seemingly happy and the next minute he would be trying to kick me in the head--he was also a black-belt in karate. My oldest brother was his step-son and he never let him forget it--was always calling him a stupid bastard. I didn't think much of it, didn't know that my dad wasn't my brother's dad until I found out on the school bus when I was in 6th grade. I didn't think much of it because my dad called me names too. Worthless whore was his favorite. Bitch, goddamn little brat. When I was in 3rd grade I had just read The Trumpet of the Swan and when my dad called me a strumpet I thought he might have said something nice to me. I couldn't find the word in any of the school dictionaries so I asked my teacher. The look on her face told me that he hadn't just complimented me so when she asked where I heard that word I told her I didn't know--maybe on the bus or something.
My mom would take me to the public library at least once a month when I was little. Typical egocentric little kid, I had no idea where she went at that time, but I headed right up to the second floor where they kept the magazine and college catalogs. Based on those catalogs, I decided I was going to live in Florida, North Carolina, Maine or Oregon. I wrote to one of the schools in Florida and one in Oregon to get a catalog sent to my house. So then I found out school is expensive. When I was in 4th grade my dad and I were out in the horse corral stacking wood. It was getting dark so we were going inside and I asked him how much he was going to help me with college. He said not to worry about it, but I was worried and I wondered if he was going to help me. He told me he would help me with my books. I hadn't even thought about paying for books--that wasn't in the catalog! That night my dad's dad (who was an indescribable asshole) called. Knowing that I was right there, they had a good long laugh about the little whore who thought she was going to go to college- she'll be barefoot and pregnant before she's out of high school (I graduated with 3.7 GPA and did go to college).
I had a hiding spot when my dad or brothers got mean. I could see it in their eyes. Sometimes I would leave, take off across the field and there was a little deer trail that led to the backwater and then to the river if I wanted to go there and I would hang out there for the whole day. I had a large toy box in my closet that I would hide in as well. I always had to take my pets with me. If I didn't I would come back and my dog would be bleeding because they had thrown darts at her or my cat would be missing a slice of ear. My best spot was behind my trundle bed, but I didn't get that bed until I was 10. The bed pulled right in on me if I smashed myself against the wall and my dog would just sit next to me completely quiet without moving once.
The summer before I was in eighth grade I found a house my mom could afford to rent. I had told her that my dad would have to pay child support for me and it would probably cover the rent. I made an appointment with a lawyer and we had a free consult. Turns out child support was only about $100 a month but she could still afford the rent. So we moved into town. It was the perfect house for us. My oldest brother, who was 20 or 21 at the time had a room in the basement. That's when we found out how serious my mom's cancer was. It had metastasized. She had had a hysterectomy and thought it was going to be okay. Turns out, she had tumors all over. She was getting one removed from the base of her skull and she had told me not to let my brother find out where the car keys were. So I hid them and I didn't tell him. He became enraged and told me he was going to kill me. He swung at my head with a hammer and I ducked. The hammer went through my bedroom door that I wasn't fast or strong enough to shut on him. As he was wrenching it out I ran and he, of course threatened my pets. So I grabbed my dog and my cat and I ran. I spent the night by the garage of my friend's house. They found me in the morning and told me my mom was worried. My brother had called her in the ICU and told her I had run away and he wasn't sure why.
When my mom got really sick we moved back in with my dad. The summer she was told she had less than a year to live I was just about to start my junior year of high school. I stayed home with her a lot. I watched her go from slowly walking to needing a cane, to needing a walker, to needing a wheelchair, to needing a hospital bed. By October, I had missed a lot of school. On October 19, I was desperately trying to make up work AND do extra credit to bring up my grades. She was hungry for a fish sandwich from McDonald's so I went to buy her one. When I came back I said to her, "Mom, please tell this is the last thing you will need for while. I've got to get some of this work done." That was the last thing I said to my mom. She took one bite and then started seizing. I though she was choking and I was trying to clear her airways but she kept biting my hand. She was turning more and more blue. I tried to give her CPR but she was so jolty and I couldn't. I couldn't save her. She died in front of me. When the Hospice woman came out I was curled around her body. Her long, graceful fingers laced through mine. Her hands were always cold so it didn't seem like she was even dead. I remember my dad asking the lady if what I was doing was normal. I had nightmares every night. My words repeated again and again and I watched my mom die again and again. I started taking her prescription sleeping pills and then I didn't dream, but I don't remember a lot about my junior year of high school either. I don't know if that was the pills or the trauma or both.
After my mom died my dad would be gone for days and sometimes weeks at a time. I didn't know where he was or when he would come back. I worked part-time at a dentist office and I got $200 a month in social security so I could buy my own food and stuff. He was always angry when he got home. One time, he had locked my mom's cat in his room before he left. I didn't know. I had stayed home on Friday instead of going out with H because I didn't feel well. He came home and was so mad. He was throwing things around upstairs. I just stayed quiet. Then he came downstairs and starting throwing cat poop on me, calling me a worthless whore that he wished had never been born. I was scared. I left and took my dog and two cats with me. I spent the night in a parking lot. After a few more incidences like that I decided to move. I moved in with my mom's brother and his wife. It was weird. They would eat dinner and then have me make my own. They were gone all the time. Then they told me I couldn't have contact with my dad's sisters who also lived in same town and who I considered my good friends (I was a bridesmaid in my aunt's wedding and later, she was a bridesmaid in mine). I went to talk to my dad's sister. She wasn't home but her husband was. I described to him how difficult it was to live with my uncle and his wife and how they told me I couldn't see my aunts anymore. He told me they didn't want me. He told me everyone was surprised that I didn't go live with my other aunt (my mom had written her a note asking her to take care of me and have me live with her), but she didn't want me either. "And you know my wife loves kids, but we don't want you either. You don't belong here. You should go home. Your dad probably doesn't want you but he's your dad and he's all you have." So I went home and 4 months later moved into an apartment with H.
So I don't trust people to like me, to want me, and I don't ask for help. I have one friend from high school and that's only because her mom hung on to me. I changed friends every year. Not just made new friends, changed entire groups and lost touch with the other group entirely. Every year. Then I met H. Our first date was at a bar. I was supposed to meet him and 2 of his guy friends to dance. I drove up and walked in like I owned the place so I wouldn't get carded--I was seventeen. I walked in at 9 p.m. and we stayed until 2 a.m. and then went to breakfast at the R and R. I don't know why I let him in. I immediately knew that this was someone I wanted to get to know and who I could let get to know me. I trusted him implicitly. We moved in together about 5 months after that first date, not long after I turned 18. We had our first Christmas in our first apartment my senior year of high school. We lived together almost 3 years before we got married and then bought a house together the next year, then a new truck, then got a new dog, then had a baby. Not through any of those things was there ever a nagging of doubt in my mind that we would be together forever and that I could trust him completely. Trust was my favorite thing about him because it's something I learned to treasure, having not grown up with it. I took a class every year for 7 years and the start of every class is an interview. One of the questions is- Who loves you and how do you know. I've always replied, "H loves me and I know because he always tells me the truth."
Now today, I am a person who has friends that I keep. Such an enormous part of who I am is because of the support H has given me over the last 16 1/2 years.
So, I am strong. I am forgiving-even of myself. But I have never experienced something this painful in my life. I can't even describe it. I can't name it and control it. I need help.
You are an incredibly strong person, to come through what you have, and to do it as such an articulate and mature person, I am just so proud of you. Truly, you are very special and unique.
I will briefly share my current experience. I am 3 mos 1 week out from Dday, and at a little over 2 months out, I just could not function for the amount of huge, life- sucking, never ending pain I was in. Crying, curled in on myself, saw no light in the dark for most of the time. I had never taken AD's before, and in fact would have preferred to avoid them. But something had to change, so I asked my Dr. For a script. I started taking Wellbutrin and within a week had more energy and began to feel better. Now, I am not consumed constantly by pain and am much more functional and able to care for my kids, get through the day, more patient, etc. the best way I can describe it is, that the pain and anxiety have been blunted. I feel like I can think much more clearly, I have a little " distance" on the situation. The only side effects are a little dry mouth, and if I take it too close to bedtime, I have trouble sleeping.
In summary, I am the type to try to white-knuckle through a situation on my own determination; but, I am SO glad I started the AD's. They may be at least worth a try for you.
You are a incredibly strong woman as evidenced by you making it through your childhood and going on to get your education and making a life for yourself. You CAN get through this, no matter what you decide is the best course of action. AD are just a tool to help, as is exercise as well as reading on SI that you are not alone (my 3 favorite tools!) You don't have to decide what that course of action is now either. Take care of yourself and your little girl.