I want to call attention to a post written by my friend Kim at invincible summers and then I’m posting my response to her. Read her whole post here for context. It’s about trauma and brings up a lot of good issues.
My response to her first was to highlight something she wrote:
Although I was raised in a home where I felt loved but misunderstood. But, and most importantly, there were rarely any expressions or emotions allowed-we didn’t talk about anything of substance. Pretty much everything was swept under the rug. If you’ve seen the beautiful film “Ordinary People” you’ll have a better picture. I don’t blame my parents for this-I have forgiven them-they were raised this way.
And then I responded to that snippet with this this:
THIS is your trauma…it is traumatizing and inherently abusive to sweep stuff under the rug and to not take feelings seriously etc.
This is where we all go wrong. We, in general, are not cognizant of the fact that our society is deeply sick and abusive and even those we love have hurt us inadvertently. It’s appropriate to have forgiven them, yes. BUT the trauma remains and most likely needs to be addressed…sometimes that means getting back in touch with the rage of how your parents were not there for you. IT DOES NOT MAKE THEM BAD PEOPLE..
the reason we have so much “mental illness” is becasuse NO ONE is willing to take responsibility, least of all family members…
we’re all in this dysfunctional, crazy making party together…it’s not a blame game…it’s about learning how to heal and STOP the cycle.
We are now open for comments.
I am close to coming to terms with, being at peace with the fact that I may never remember those gaps. thank you for your comment. much love to you!
well there you go dear, a layer of denial gone…a step towards healing. Sounds like there was A LOT of pretty overt abuse…again, it’s relatively normal and no one need be demonized.
It’s very important that you realize you CAN’T expect your parents to help or change…you have to figure things out for yourself. Often when we change for the better old relationships improve…occasionally they go south…it can go either way.
Anyway, in terms of memory, I have massive gaps too and I simply don’t know the extent of my own abuse either. I also don’t think it really matters. That’s my personal opinion. I think there might be people who disagree strongly and they might have some good points to make.
But I don’t really care whether I remember or not. If I do, fine, if I don’t that’s fine too…I’m still shooting for the same thing good health in body/mind and spirit.
peace to you.
I just woke after a night full of many bizarre dreams. At some point during the night I remember removing my shirt because I had been sweating profusely. Anyway, late last night my husband read my blog, watched the video and he said, “you need to be very careful.” And then he added (in plain speaking here because he is so much smarter than I am) don’t go making up your past or trying to come up with something. ie. molestation or another abuse. I responded with, “but what about my sister wetting the bed until her teens and who she is today (frozen, emotionless) and my creepy uncle and his f**ked up kids?” I told him I guess I am struggling because there are so many GAPS in my childhood.
He agrees with you that my trauma prior to my rape was my dysfunctional childhood. I guess my problem is and something I didn’t really voice at my blog: I FEEL like there is something else. But I do feel that because there are so many gaps. My husband reminded me that after my rape, since I did suppress it for four years and still do not remember everything, it is completely possible that I then went on and suppressed the majority of my childhood. and then I added, or I simply cannot remember it due to the many psychiatric meds I have taken. And that possibility saddens me, although, I think he is right and I think you are right.
So, I will begin the path of healing the trauma(s) of my childhood. I will note that I have tried repeatedly over the last 20 years to talk to my parents-even as recently as one month ago. My mother likes to say, we do not discuss religion or politics and I remind her (almost every time she says that) it goes waaay beyond that, mom. Oh damn, I should just write another blog because more is coming up-there was definitely emotional and some light physical abuse from my mother. I remember she used to throw things at me. I remember many screaming fights. So, not everything was swept under the rug, but when we would fight she was not addressing issues in a healthy manner. At some point when I started “rebelling in my teens” I remember my mother sat me down (after finding a pack of cigarettes in my coat) and said: I know you’re having sex and you should NOT be smoking. Unfortunately she then went on to tell me about her “hidden” past- in the 60s (surprise) she smoked a lot of dope, had an orgy, got pregnant and had an abortion. After sitting there with my jaw open, she screamed, “I don’t want you to end up like me! And at this rate, you’re probably going to grow up to be a prostitute!!!!” She then slammed my bedroom door and left. We never spoke about that day again. I also remember her reluctantly visiting me in the mental hospital about 14 years ago for a family group therapy session. There was some reverse role play which upset her and she never returned and never talked about it again. Which is why, in my mind, she was never emotionally supporting me, at the hospital, in my life, etc. So, yeah, major dysfunction, trauma…and I can’t talk about it with them so I must heal what I can in my own time, in my own way and GO SLOW.
thank you so much and all my love…