Home Sweet Home.

Things I remember as a kid.

We lived in an old house, and from a very early age my parents would leave me alone, unsupervised.

I snooped through drawers and cupboards.  I knew every nook and cranny.  I found and ate food my mother had hidden.  I knew where my dad hid his porno mags, and where mum hid the Christmas presents.
One day as they were going out my parents said to me “See that power outlet?”

I saw it.  It was the old fashioned kind, black bakerlite – real old school dangerous.
I nodded “Yep”
“Well, don’t stick a fork or anything in it, because you’ll get electrocuted,” my dad said.

The instant I saw the car reverse out of the driveway, I was straight into the kitchen to find a fork.  I climbed up onto a chair and I poked that fork into the socket.

I can’t remember what happened next exactly, but my parents came home many hours later, and my arm still hurt from the electric current that had shot through it.

Another time we went to family barbecue.  There was very little for the kids to do – you know because it was the 1980s and kids were still expected to be seen and not heard- so me and some other kids were just wandering around this person’s garden.

Then my dad pipes up “See that bush over there?” And he’s pointing at the biggest chilli plant I’ve ever seen.
All the kids nod.
“Well whatever you do, don’t pick one of the chillies then touch your eyes or mouth or nose….”

Well, I think you can guess what happened next.

My little faced burned and tingled for hours after.

You might think the common factor here was me doing stupid shit repeatedly.  But I think, that’s a thing all kids do.

No, in fact the commonality here for me is that even at that very young age, I knew that if I made a mistake, even one that put me in harms way – there was no one to tell.

I never said a word, and no one ever asked.

I’d learnt how to keep secrets.

 

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You’re the victim.

I am no mere victim in my own life.

I have been harmed and in being harmed I have harmed others.

I’ve shouted.  I’ve lied.  I’ve hit.  I’ve hated and hissed venom.

I’ve wished for and said the most awful things to those closest to me.

And often I’ve felt nothing but justified.

Remorse is hard.  It’s a thing I have to work on.

I’ve never really seen it.  I know people apologise.  I know it’s an integral part of any relationship.  But the words often sit like a lead weight in my throat.

I’d rather drive my car into a lake.

Is that a fear of being vulnerable?

Or is it really that deep down/right below the surface, I’m a despicable, self centred ego maniac, just attempting to be human?

I’m trying to fit in.  I want to be the good person other people see I am.

But maybe I’m a wolf in sheeps clothing.  Maybe that’s all I’ll ever be.

 

 

 

Dream a little dream of me

Last night I dreamt about my parents

I was visiting with my kids and we were all walking by a large pond of water.  The water was clear and I could see large objects, covered in green leafy matter, sitting on the bottom.  As the kids ventured close to the waters edge I asked my dad

“What if there’s crocodiles in the water?”
My dad shook his head and said “nah, crocs would be on the surface.”
In an instant, one of the objects rose to the water’s surface.  Not a crocodile but a huge basking shark.  It’s mouth was constantly opening and closing as it ate anything and everything that was in the water.

I called my children away, warned others to stay away from the edge.

I called to my mother – “be careful!”  It was suddenly so noisy.

“It’s fine she said, you’re over reacting”
“I’m just trying to be cautious” I pleaded.  I was standing so close to her, shouting in her face.  “That’s what you do for people you love, you look out for them.  You be concerned!”

But she just looked at me blankly, and in my dream heart I ached.

Later, knowing she had hurt me, she offered me endless beautiful silk scarves and gifts she had picked up in her travels.

I rejected everyone.

It was too late.  I was already packing our belongings to leave.

I was going away.

I was already gone.

Fly fly little wing.

How do you balance being the person you are, right now – with the person you were raised to be?

You see, I am who I am.  A grown woman with three kids on her second marriage.  The choices I’ve made have lead me here.  Every choice I make counts.

I get that.  I get it right down to my bones.

I hold myself responsible for everything.

And yet in kindness, I can see a small lonely frightened child hidden away inside.

And that child has also directed who I am and where my life has gone.

Can I escape being the kind of wanker who blames everything on their unhappy childhood?

Can I continue with this introspection and still retain a shred of dignity?

When will enough be enough?  When will I know when I’m done?

Right now I trying to hold myself in this place of no judgement.

Right now grown up me (the mother) holds the scared child close and tight.

I love her unconditionally.

But one day, I hope to be able to let her go so she can journey on her own.

Time and Tide

I’m trying to be kind to myself.

I’m a good person, but am I?

Sometimes I don’t care about other people’s shit.

But sometimes I really do.

I don’t steal or lie or hit.

But maybe one day I could.

Maybe one day I will lose it and lash out.

And then all the goodness will come undone.

What do good people do?

Do they give to charity?  Help old ladies across the street?

Do they knit scarves for homeless hamsters?

How many lives am I expected to live, to be able to fit in all the things I’m supposed to be doing?

There’s not enough time.  There never seems to be enough.

I’m running out.

A difficult child

My parents considered me a difficult child.

Sometimes I stole stuff.  Sometimes I lied and made up stories.

Sometimes I wouldn’t talk to them.

Sometimes I was defiant.

Sometimes I wouldn’t help out.

Sometimes I was angry and resentful.

Sometimes I pushed their boundaries.

Sometimes I was lonely.

Sometimes I felt invisible and irrelevant.

Sometimes I felt like the little I asked for was deemed too much.

Sometimes I just wanted to be seen.

Sometimes the squeaky wheel gets the grease.

And sometimes it’s cast aside, not worth the trouble.

Hold me, thrill me, kiss me, kill me.

Self harm is an interesting beast.  It bubbles up from nowhere parading itself as suicidal ideation, when in reality it is a sometimes more insidious beast.

Self harm wants us to strip down to our bones, to flay our skin, to twist and pinch and punch and slap.  It wants us to feel crazy, then sated by the sight of our own blood, our own pain.

It’s a thing we hide.  Shameful.  We wear long sleeves to cover our own bruises from loved ones, and remain silent when our hairdresser notices large clumps of our hair is missing – like it’s been pulled out.  It has been.  I did this.

We feel childish and half finished, because we can’t find the words, can’t make ourselves heard.  We can’t get through life like grownups do.  Instead we punish ourselves and cry for help in secret.

Judge me if you must, but see by my bruises, my cuts and blood, that I already judge myself more harshly than you ever could.

Self harm is a whisper.  Please help me.  Please hear me.  Please.