Tuesday, December 28, 2010

It was my problem I needed to get over.

            Nothing puts a damper in something then finding out that someone you know has been touched by the same abuser as you. While growing up, there were several of his fiends involved it becomes pure shock to find out children left in the care of my Mother were abused as well. It becomes a realization that in fact no one was safe and as long as it met his personal needs, there was no regards for anyone’s feelings or what it would do to their futures.

Photobucket            Last night I spoke to a very close friend, although we don’t keep in contact faithfully, the relationship has always been like a younger brother to me and when ever we run into each other it’s as if we never loose contact. We became friends on the social network, Facebook and he happened to be on the chat so we started talking. With everything I have been through over the last ten months, I could not help but to ask him if my older brother had ever touched him, I had questioned it because he had grown up with the family since he was born and mother started to babysit him. I had my opinion it may have happened to him, just as I suspect it happened to other children that she babysat I never understood why I was so convinced it had.

            During the conversation, I gathered the muster to ask and although I had questioned, I was not really ready for the answer I was about to be given. All he said, and all that was needed to be said, was that the topic was a sore subject along with a frown face. My heart sank, because not only could I relate to how he feels, but what might happen if he does not deal with things or begin to speak to someone like his parents. It is good that he does see a doctor and is on medication for depression, but he admitted that he cannot and does not talk about it. He does what I have done most all my life, and that is to keep the silence where now I am breaking the silence and chains that has bound me to the past.

            It has stirred up a few of the emotions inside me and I feel sort of like when I ended up in the hospital the first time, confused and hurting. That empty pit, the lump in the throat has come back and basically it really stinks because I know there is more out there, so much my wife said I could start a whole support group with just his victims, and that she is right. I wish I could contact a few others I have in mind just to inquire because I am curious but maybe it is better that I don’t know. Like a hurricane leaves a path along the coast, his path goes from NJ, NY all the way down to Florida and back. We may never truly know how many were touched by him and he will never admit that he did anything wrong, like he told me “It was my problem, I needed to get over it”  

Monday, December 27, 2010

I will break free from these chains..

Photobucket            When I was abused, it was not abuse but rather something that I asked for. When I was abused, it was not abuse because I always made myself available. When I was abused, it was not abuse because I never told so I must have liked it. When I was abused, it was not abuse because they loved me and when someone loves you the things they do can’t be bad it has to be good. When I was abused, a lot of the thoughts I had were just that and for that reason for years I felt dirty, ashamed and worst of all I felt I was to blame. I lived this way for many years, never telling anyone about my abuse, hiding it from the world because I did not want to be labeled something I was not and besides, my abuse was written across my forehead for others who wanted to abuse me. I was put on this earth to serve, to keep quiet, keep secrets and was never to go outside the family ring or else.

            These are real feelings and thoughts I carried for most all of my life, including well into my adult life. The first time I was to change my daughter’s diaper it hit me that something was wrong with me and the feelings were now being put into question. What I learned, I suffered from a syndrome that went undetected until the late 70’s. When the abuse first started I was told that if anyone was to find out my life would be in danger, and since he was in karate classes I had every reason to fear him. The syndrome I refer to is known as the Stockholm syndrome, in which victims become attached to their abuser in several ways which allows the abuse to continue longer. Even after knowing what it is that I suffered from and the reason it all continued, knowing that this syndrome exists and how one succumbs to the power of the abuser it is something that is very hard to overcome and really hinders the healing process.

            I can look back and remember many of the attacks on my body, sexual, physical and mental abuse by the people who I loved and trusted. It becomes so very hard to admit, understand or deal with the fact that the love that was given was actually conditional love based on personal gain of those who I thought were the ones who loved me for being me, a son and a brother. The road to recovery for me is plagued with confusion and misunderstood actions that reactions now become questions of everything that I have become and I really have a hard time answering the basic question of who I am. Every day of my life up until now has been based on a lesson, an experience or the way I was raised as a child. I wonder if who I am, where I am and what I am are all supposed to be what they are or should I have been something else. It really places a huge damper on thoughts that are needed to progress in getting past this and healing.

            I realized tonight that I started to work towards a goal of becoming free of the pain that I carry, but in order to truly reach my goal I have a lot more work that needs to be done and it needs to start out with a plan of treatment together with my counselor, doctor, family and myself and work feverishly to reach that final goal no matter how long it takes. I will break free from the kind of thinking I have carried all these years. Once I do this I will break free from the chains that hold me to this wall that is slowly starting to fall. I will be free and I will know without any question that I am a survivor. Until Next Time.

Sunday, December 26, 2010

When did we do that?

            When did we do that, seems to be the question I keep asking a lot these days, especially now that I have started my Electroconvulsive therapy (ECT). In fact, not only do I ask that question more often now I seriously have lost days from my memory as little as four days prior to my first treatment. It was something they said could happen, and I heard that everyone goes through it while having ECT but I did not expect how it would affect me or feel once it started with me.

            On December 7th I was admitted to the hospital around six o’clock in the evening, from the time I woke up till the time I arrived at the hospital is a total and complete blank. It is so blank, it is as if the whole day never happened and if it did I was not a part of it, or so I remember. Yet, everyone tells me what I did, I know we did purchase a snow blower, from where I have no idea, how we got it home is a nope either and getting it into the truck and all…. No way!! If not for the machine in the garage and the video I played with on the way I would not believe it even happened at all.

Photobucket            Yet as I said, the only memory I have of December 7th was the hospital. All day we looked for a snow blower as the one we had did not work and I did not have the time or recourses to repair the machine prior to me going into the hospital and the next major snow fall here. On the way to Home Depot, about a 15 minute ride I let my video cell phone record the trip from the house to Home Depot’s parking lot. Even though I do not remember the trip I can play it over and watch as I pass cars along the way, change lanes, carry on conversations and even park the truck, messed up because I cannot remember it at all to save my life. I am told we called ahead so they put one together and on hold for us to pick up that day, told that it was cold and snowing as we put down the ramps and pushed it onto the truck. I could have been dressed as a big pink duck, because none of that can I remember. It really is like someone telling me a story from when I was a child to young to remember something, like my first step or something like that. And the feeling you get listening to it and trying with all your might to remember it and there is absolutely no memory what so ever is the most eeriest feeling you can have, worst then waking up from a heavy night of drinking because you don’t feel the ill feelings that go along with that. I mean, there is just no memory of it at all, and little things in-between then and even now are blank spots including a few days prior to that day. It really is weird to feel this way, almost like amnesia has set in and it’s like a little nightmare.

            So far, this has been my experience with the ECT which is only a side effect and not a treatment. My depression is still present and I still have the lack of desire to do most things however I was able to attend Christmas Mass without having to be on total meds just to control my anxiety. I was still shaking and afraid to look around but as long as I was sitting close to family and they were holding my hand as a way of comfort and support I was able to stay the whole mass which is something I was not able to do weeks prior. So, I would have to say that from only six treatments there has been some improvement which two days before I did not think there was any. So my chin is starting to look up a bit and I am actually looking forward to the next four treatments to see how much further I can progress. Monday is number seven and my first out patient treatment so I am wondering how that is going to go. I do not expect it to be much worse, aside from coming home and falling asleep and not being taken to a floor should be about it. Of course I will blog and fill everyone in on how it goes then. Until Next Time.