Today I had a safeguarding session on child protection and it was so intense I had to run out of the lecture hall before anybody could see my tears.
I’ve been finding it particularly difficult to stay stable this week and as I sobbed in the toilets I realised that I may never forgive my parents for what they’ve done to me. At the age of thirty, I am STILL dealing with the consequences of their sexual, physical and emotional abuse. And they’ve both left me to deal with this alone.
Yesterday I saw an advert for Macmillan charity in which the tagline is:
“you shall never walk alone.”
Sometimes I wonder, if I’d had cancer instead of Epilepsy, would my family have been more sympathetic?
Would they have stuck around to help me deal with the fallout?
If I’d lost the use of my legs would they leave me to push myself around? Would I be left to manage the stairs on my own? Or would they direct me to the lift or better yet, carry me instead?
Every time I think that I can begin to forgive my mother and sister in order for me to move on, I remember so many reasons to hate them:
- My sister thinks that I do things for attention. To believe that I’m faking my epilepsy is bad enough however to also believe that I’m lying about being abused by our father is unforgivable. That she would rather side with a paedophile than her big sister is unforgivable.
- My mother knew what was going on because she admitted to me that she guessed. Yet she sides with my sister now and has the audacity to send me birthday cards telling me that she loves me as if that can make amends.
- They know how sick I am and yet they don’t care. They have my address. Yet they don’t care.
- I risked my life as a child to protect my sister from our father; taking the blame for things and taking beatings. At times she would blame me for things knowing what would happen to me. I sacrificed my own childhood to protect her and look after her. I comforted her when we used to hear our father beating our mother.
- I sacrificed my childhood and adolescence to help my mum keep home and raise Camilla.
- My mother told me that nobody could ever love me.
- My mother told me that I’m demon possessed. Not sick, but possessed by the devil and it was my fault because i watch horror films.
- They showed complete lack of respect and gratitude for me.
All of this without an apology.
As I sat in that lecture hall this morning, listening to that woman explaining effects of abuse on children, it suddenly hit me how messed up my childhood was; how useless, spineless and selfish my parents were (and still are). And I’m finally beginning to relinquish self-blame for that fact that I crumble from time to time; when you’re built upon a foundation of sand, it’s pretty certain that you’re going to crumble.
These posts, I guess are beginning to get slightly repetitive which is a reflection of my thought process at present. I think that I’m moving on, walking through forgiveness and learning to deal with the pain as I try to forget, and then days like today hit me and I’m back to feeling like the little girl who’s fallen down the well.
And at the age of thirty I’m still struggling to get out!
And I know that forgiveness is a slow process; I’m known for my impulsive impatience: I want to be well, I want to be whole, I want to be free, all NOW. I’m tired of waiting.
At my GP appointment this morning (yes it was all going on this morning!), my GP advised me that unfortunately mental health conditions can take years to heal.
It’s hard for me not to feel bitter, because within those years I’m expected to form relationships, have a career and perhaps one day have children, all while I’m still suffering under this dark cloud and waiting for it to dissipate.