Lavender was my grandmother’s favourite. I can remember how the smell would waft through every room of the house. It’s funny how something you see or smell can take you back in time.
Sometimes in life, strange things happen, and there is no logical explanation other than it must be spiritual. As an adult you realise this, but as a child, those strange things are reality, and they can impact you, especially if you have no one to help you understand what is going on.
Remember how I said last Instagram post that I was told never to speak about the secret or they would die. Well, I did tell once … and guess what … the person died.
Here’s what happened. So, I was at my grandmother’s house with my brother and sister. It was 10 days before my 9th birthday. She was looking after us while my mother went into town. My grandmother and I were really close and she knew that there was something wrong. She asked me, and I don’t know why, but I told her.
And she said to me, ‘Don’t worry, I won’t let him hurt you again.’ I was so happy, but the second that she finished saying that, the phone rang. It was my father telling her that he was coming down to pick us up.
She told him that she knew what he had been doing and she wasn’t going to let it continue. Then she told him where he could go, how to get there and what he could do when he got there. And the last thing she said as she hung up the phone was ‘It’ll be over my dead body before I let you hurt her again.’ Then she told me to go outside and play.
A short time later, my sister who had gone inside, came out and told us that she couldn’t wake gma up. We said she was probably sleeping, but we went inside. We couldn’t wake her. At that moment, our mother returned, and we told her that we couldn’t wake her. She told us all to get outside, while she checked. The next thing we know is an ambulance turns up.
We have no idea what’s going on. I was crying because I knew that something terrible had gone wrong. I went from being so happy to being really sad, and then my brother says for me to go inside and have a look, see what’s going on and then come out and tell them. So I went inside.
Now from the back yard, you went in through the back door and you were in like a back verandah area, but it’s been enclosed, then you go through another door into the kitchen, which led to the passageway and the other rooms.
So, I go in through the back door, and I’m in the area before the door to the kitchen. As I’m going in, my father is walking out of the kitchen. I had no idea of why he was there, or how he knew, but I knew by the look on his face he was mad. He looked at me, punched me in the face, and sent me flying. As I lay on the ground, he stood over me and yelled ‘Shut your goddam mouth, crying is a sign of weakness.’
That was the day, that I shut my emotions down. That was the day I swore never to allow myself to feel anything, because if you can’t feel, you can’t be hurt. I had no idea of how much damage not allowing myself to feel would do, but at the time, it was my way of surviving.
No matter what he did, I refused to allow any sign of emotion, and he did some really terrible things. It was to elicit a reaction. I had worked out that if you show any reaction then what was being done would continue, if you didn’t, then whatever was happening would stop.
Anyway, as an adult I know that my grandmother died from a blood clot that lodged in her heart, but as a child, all I knew was, that I told and she died, and so I swore never to tell anyone, cause I didn’t want to be the cause of their death.
Shutting down my emotions helped me to survive my childhood and it helped me to survive the Domestic Violence relationships, I wound up in. When I left, and started anew, with the promise of I’m not going through that again, it was an interesting period.
People would say ‘How are you?’ or ‘How do you feel?’ and I would answer ‘OK’ because, I couldn’t feel whether I was good or bad, so it was always ‘Okay.’ A few years after I had left, I found myself starting to feel emotions again. Not a lot, but I was starting to feel and so I could figure out whether it was a good feeling or a bad feeling, but I couldn’t pull any words to describe what I was feeling. So, whenever anyone asked ‘How are you?’ I would say Ok for if it was a good feeling or not too bad if it was a bad feeling.
I did do a bit of counselling, and worked out I had a bit of PTSD, which the counsellor was surprised it was only a bit and not full blown considering the stuff I went through. But as we talked about emotions, I said I don’t understand them, I can’t even name them and then she gives me this list with all these words on them under positive and negative emotions.
I had no idea there was so many, and although I took the paper, it didn’t mean a lot to me. I still didn’t get emotions. After a few more years, there was a period where, it was like a door opened and I could feel emotions, and they totally sucked.
But, I was starting to put more words and emotions together, but sometimes when people asked me how I was, I would say ‘I don’t know.’ They didn’t understand that I could feel something, but I couldn’t pull the word for it, but I knew there was a word for it. The thing is that when I said I didn’t know, and even now, if I say that I don’t know, it’s because I literally don’t know.
I connected with @michaelnultyauthor on Twitter and Instagram, and I understood so much from the things he wrote. He gave me an emotional scale and it just seemed to make everything click so much clearer. I still struggle to pull the word to what I feel, but I am able to figure some of them out.
It’s a huge learning curve, and I’m slowly getting the hang of emotions. I still think they totally suck, but I’m getting used to them. And I’m even starting to cry. Not often, but a few times I have, and that totally messes with me, because those times I have, I have no idea why I cried.
#DomesticViolence; #BreakTheSilence; #PhoenixEmerging; #Abuse