Tuesday, October 5, 2010

why can't i just be normal

i remember one day, when "A" was little and i was with 'captain stupid' still. we had decided to shampoo the carpets and fumigate the house. so we set about to get the dishes out to the garage and start with the carpets early since we rented the cleaner and had it only for a short time. this was an ugly little house with green carpet throughout. even in the kitchen. i hate carpets in the kitchen to this day.

back then when 'captain stupid' told you to do something, it had to be done. now. so he told me to start taking the stacks of dishes out to the garage. fast. well the walk to the garage was dirt and on that day it was mud. we lived in Michigan. a little town he took me to called Ionia and it is pronounced, 'i own ya' and i know he thought he did. his father was in the Michigan Militia, sick stuff. anyway i began to run the dishes out to the garage, getting my feet muddy from the back door. we also had a front door and i thought that naturally he was going to start cleaning the carpets from the front to the back, since i was running in and out. he decided to start in the kitchen. while i was running dishes out i got mud on the carpets.

he saw the mud and got very, very angry. he started screaming at me, then hitting me. he threw me on the ground it was so fast. i was screaming 'I'm sorry, I'm sorry'. he thought i did it on purpose. i didn't know what he expected me to do. next thing i know he was on top of me and he came down on my face and bit my eye. i heard this crunching sound. then he jumped up and ran to the bathroom. i cupped my hand over my eye and there was blood everywhere. i was wearing his shirt and my main concern was to not get any blood on his shirt on purpose the repercussions would have been awful. he got me a towel. i did not spill any blood. when i got to the mirror, you could see his teeth marks from my cheek up to my forehead and going into my hairline on the left side of my face. that was it. there was no hiding it and i was a manager at the local K-Mart.

we came up with this elaborate story of moving furniture, and it was big wood framed and it fell on my face. i know it sounds stupid now, but that was my story and i was sticking to it. back then he had a way of interrogating me, from the time i got out of the car until the time i stepped back into the car he would have every word that came out of my mouth during the day. and he would start interrogating me as soon as i got into the car.

this incident, was the last time he hit me in the face, or anywhere any one could visibly see. i remember a time after that when we were living on his fathers property in a town called Fenwick i believe it was something like that. anyway the baby had a puppy and we kept her in the bathroom, she was little and teething. she chewed on things. well this was his step mothers trailer. the dog chewed up the linoleum in the bathroom. Captain Stupid was furious. absolutely livid and he went into that bathroom and we could hear the most God Awful screams from that puppy. the baby started crying because daddy was killing her puppy. i held her tight and she was so upset and looked up at me in fear. fear. So i went in there and tried to stop him.

when i got into the bathroom i saw him ripping the dogs teeth out of her head. i lost it and started screaming at him and pounding my fists on his back. he whirled around and gave me a right hook to the chin. i saw a white flash and fell backwards. he then grabbed me and threw me on the bed. he grabbed the baseball bat. i blacked out after the first couple of hits to my back. i don't know how many times he hit me. i woke up a couple of days later still on the bed and i couldn't move. there were welts all down the back of my legs and my back. about a year ago i learned that i have osteo-arthritis in my lower back, the doctors say it looked like i was in a massive car accident at some point. but there was never any car accident.

it took me 5 years to get away from this man. that was 14 years ago. the only thing good that came out of that relationship is graduating high school this year.

the man i am with today is kind and gentle and for the most part doesn't get upset. he is not perfect. he has adhd and it is pretty severe. and somedays he is not happy. it is on those days that i over react. through no fault of his own he is stuck with my over reactions to getting flooded with emotions that tell me i need to run. fight or flee, as my therapist calls it.

i felt much better after i left therapy last night. though i was still scared about getting to the point that i did last week i asked him what do i do when i get that upset. we talked about dealing with anger. and why i get so upset and flooded. he gave me a couple of things to do before i get angry.

it is very, very important to practice mindfulness. to be mindful of my feeling and catch it ASAP. then to work with action and do the opposite of the urge of anger. he told me the urge of anger, when i am angry my urge is to attack. the opposite of that is gentle avoidance.

this is all strange and very, very new to me and i hope i can practice. i wish i didn't have to practice but my therapist tells me i will have plenty of opportunity to practice. it is humbling. i try to get it perfect the first time, so i don't fuck up. sometimes i fall way short of perfection, in fact sometimes i end up way over in left field.

all i know right now is i don't want to be angry. i don't want to over react to normal situations. i just want to be normal. my therapist says that with the horrible and extremely difficult living situations i grew up in and continued into my adult life, that my brain has taught itself to be in this survival mode. and when i feel like i am in a situation that looks like the past, i react as i do.

i don't want to be a reactor any more. i want to be fixed. i want this roller coaster to stop. sometimes i am just tired of trying to fix it. thinking of how fucked up i am makes me sad. and i forget all the progress i made and that i am making.

i do feel so much better today. i am glad i went to therapy last night, i needed to process the guilt and shame of last week out. i had been carrying it all week and i think i can move forward with my thoughts today. i am going to the gym, of course, and getting ready to focus on this weekend. there is so much that needs to be done. thank you, if you are still taking the time to read this, i appreciate it. i am going to make me some wonderful coffee and check up on all of my peeps. i hope everyone has a great day.

today's thought; 'If I only had three words of advise, they would be, Tell the Truth. If I got three more words, I'd add, all the time.'- Randy Pausch


kristi said...

OMG, I literally flinched many times during reading this post. If I were there, I would wrap my arms around you and give you a big hug. I am so glad you got away from that awful man.
I don't deal with things very well and I go off on my hubby lots. I know it is because how I saw my own Mom get treated, it was NOT good.

Dad and Mom said...

Haven't you heard, the old line, "I'm fine it all those other people that are f*****d up." That is usually said by a guy holding an automatic weapon with a thousand rounds of ammo standing in a clock tower. ;-)

Don't be that guy, but he did have one thing right, WE ARE ALL F*****D UP! In our own way. Although I'll never get to the point that I would hit and bite someone like that, not a man and especially a woman unless it was to save myself, wife or child.

I cringed when I read you accounting of your first marriage. I have dealt with battered woman at times in my job. Human Resources is more than paperwork and hiring and firing people. I've had women come to me before for employee assistance, I've confronted women visibly battered and offered company assistance, I actually turned a man over to the police when they showed up at our office looking for him becasue he beat his girlfriend. I had no idea, he was always a straight up guy at work.

Sorry but I cannot phathom the circumstances of a man hitting their wife and mother of his children. Even with my experiences it is a shock to my reality when I find myself in the middle of those circumstances. I don't know, is there such a thing as a "bully gene"?

All through your post you use one word over and over, "perfect". Ain't none of us perfect. Once my wife put it in perspective for me. When I work in my shop I try to pay attention to the smallest detail but with everything I build there are always mistakes and even though others look at the beauty of the work and function of the piece I see the mistakes, it is not perfect.

Darlene watched a TV show once about craftsman ship in the Amish community by the men and women building things and making quilts. She told me in all their work they put at least one small mark or missed stitch in their items. They do this to make sure there is no perfection, perfection is the sole right of God. They do not want to consider their efforts or things as an equal to God.

Get off the perfect train and get aboard the good enough train. The ride is smoother and the scenry is much more pleasing. For me it was really, really hard getting off that perfect train and getting a ticket to the good enough train but it is worth the effort.

Syd said...

I too was sad and shaken by this post. I want you to know that I value who you are and your strength. No person needs to be treated with such violence. I know that it will take time to get over the hurt and anger associated with the abuse you suffered. But just being aware is a good thing. I am glad that you have Wes who loves you and is a gentle man. Gentleness is the way to treat yourself.

Mama Zen said...

Don't think of it as being fucked up. Think of it as unlearning survival skills that no longer serve you well.

Jackie said...

I know that feeling from therapy and wanting to be fixed and how much we didn't learn earlier in our lives.
I was saying that to my therapist once and she said "but look at the new toys you have!". And, that works. Everyone else takes these things for granted. For us, they are a new gift. And, we were strong enough to make it to this day when we get to play with our new feelings and behaviors.

We can't have a better before but we do have a better now and will have an even better tomorrow and our children will have a better chance than we did.

Kelly said...

It was obviously important to you to share this. I'm not sure if you will ever know how important it was to others that you shared, as well.

I want to be fixed, too. I think it would be nice.

Kim A. said...

I visit my past in order to learn, or re-learn, and grow. I cannot dwell there too long or I slowly forget that it IS the past. My therapist is my biggest cheerleader now and I know she is really an angel working p/t as a therapist :-D I am so glad you got this stuff out where it belongs. Be kind to yourself, your are priceless.


Akelamalu said...

OMG I was hyperventilating just reading what you've been through so God alone knows how you survived it all. I'm so sorry you had to endure such horrors and pray that life will be kind to you from now on m'dear. xxxx

magiceye said...

holding good thoughts for you...

Jess Mistress of Mischief said...

My sister lived in Ionia for a while.

I'm from Michigan so I know the area well.

So sorry that this was your experience, I'm glad people are moving more and more to tell their experiences openly and with the Power of God they're moving to allow women the understanding that they have a choice today, and that more advocates stand at the ready to house and help them as they come away from those experiences, and God willing someday they won't wait 5 years to make the decision and have the power to leave.

Glad you're in recovery now and living in a foundationally spiritual relationship with your man now.

I was, in my past, in bad relationships where hitting and puppy abuse occured. I have to say, I wasn't the most responsible dog owner in the world, and I also yelled screamed and hit. I also didn't even consider leaving as an option until other circumstances that presented themselves gave me the anger and power to leave.

Glad you live today in that wonderful light of the spirit!

sydney said...

Wow, this post was so graphic, I had a physical gut reaction. Good writing here. I feel for you, and also am so proud of you that you DID get out.

Me said...

What a moving post. I'm at a loss for words...I feel like I have to say more, but I just don't have the words.