I’m nearly 50 years old, but I feel near on 90 on a good day. This past week has been absolute HELL on earth.
I’ve been triggered back to being a child, around her age. Losing her felt like losing that innocent part of myself years ago. I was so traumatized I thought about ending it all.
But to my credit, my common sense and my will to survive intervened,
giving me a serve. My man became a man in my eyes. Not just another man. Not just any old man. But my man.
I love him to my core, him loving me back tenfold. Trauma has an ugly side, it brings people to their knees where they may as well be pissed on while their down there. I am so worried for her.
How to reach me when I’m in that state is almost futile. Almost. I hear them knocking, butting their heads up against my brick wall, the double thick English brick kind; multiple layers of insulating red. I pretend it’s nothing more nothing less. I don’t care.
But then my beautiful man sat with me drawing a diagram. A shoebox to be precise. He explained how pain lives in a shoebox compartment in my brain. Overwhelmed with pain and grief, I go inside, lift the lid and relive the dark past over and over, ruminating from the beginning again.
I felt ashamed. He lifted my chin to meet his gaze, he held me there, he loved me more in that moment and I trusted.
“It’s no good” he said
I’ve been looking after my man and her for nigh on 3 years, in my own way. Not in a traditional way. I’m a hopeless cook, I don’t appreciate housework, so I’ve been neglectful at being the proverbial ‘good’ housewife.
My desire to grow flowers, fruit and vegetables is my compromise. I’m at least growing something edible to put in the kitchen – for someone else to cook.
I have been holding us all together in other ways though. Collating, copying, pasting and writing what he wants me to say, listening intently, focusing on keeping her safe and sound, staying consistent, loving her with gentle kindness, building a nurturing garden for us both (her & I) to enjoy, complete with Minions!
I’ve been renovating our home so that it will become beautiful. So that everyone will see, find that remembered piece of themselves there so they have a sense of belonging my own children lack. I want them all to say “I’m coming home”. I want my beautiful, bitter, twisted, naive, angry children to come home too. I don’t think it’s ever too late to love and to be loved in return.
I’ve helped us all to get to here, each doing their own part but at the 11th hour, I failed. We were let down and we had no voice. We were all mute, blind, deaf and dumb in one single sentence.
The system of things is definitely flawed. I could go so far as to say corrupt but that would be making an unjust statement. I feel for those in the hot seats, being forced to call the shots knowing many lives are at stake.
But I have no sympathy. Our truth was not heard. Our fatal flaws not even our own, but did the professional explain her actions? A resounding NO echoes through my shriveled neurons finding dead ends. My synapses have nothing left to ignite.
My family is broken. My family are in shock. My family is slit right down the guts. My entrails have threatened to turn me inside out. We are apart. They with themselves, only I am here in my beloved home – away from home.
He said to me I was no longer going to carry the torch through to the next stage. He will. He said that for my sake, and for the sake of my family who cannot watch my fire fade to black, my candle flickering in the wind, me sinking lower and lower into grief, watching my abyss dragging me into its depths. It’s time for me to heal.
I am broken. I can no longer hold all my pieces together. In my mind I let go and disperse like millions of stars on a clear night. I let my inner self die that day a little bit more.
I retreat to my room with 4 walls, no windows and no doors. There is no light in there. The world out there ceases to exist and everyone in it.
He gave me hope and understanding beyond anything I have experienced through years of therapy. He wrote down 5 mathematical equations.
1. PROBLEM: My problem is being torn from my beloved stepdaughter who may now be placed in danger I have no control over
2. INTAKE: Difficulty coming to terms with the interim decision. Fear for her and risk to her mind, body & soul. Fear of losing her altogether. Fear at reliving her trauma when she comes back. Fear of listening to more disclosures. Fear of not knowing where to get help for her. The bottom line is I’m afraid.
3. PROCESS: Allow myself to grieve, feel the pain of the last 3 years. Express my anger appropriately through my poetry. Talk to people who will listen; this can not simply be fixed. Seek comfort from my husband, stepdaughter, my mother-in-law aka Granny, accept love and support from selected friends. Gather strength, wisdom, hope and positivity
4. STRATEGISE: How to turn my breakdown into a learning experience, into a chance to heal my past hurts and injustices. Trust that she is resilient and loved unconditionally. She will rise above her trauma and see the same light we all shine for her. Me, I will have more therapy, learn to forgive but never forget and give myself time to heal by tending the earth, ripening my fruits, finding pride in harvesting my love and feeding my family
5. EXECUTE: Eat regularly even when I want to heave, to sustain my body. Drink water to nourish my mind and organs. Routinely sleep by reading with a cup of Milo, regenerating my dreams. Waking with no nightmarish thoughts but finding more I can do to make my garden grow. Knowing she is being loved all the while.
Right now I need peace. A chance at laying to rest my traumatic past. I have so much to live for and I need to be well to achieve my hearts desire.
I love my family. Jason, La Donna, Whisky, (Carmen), Madison, Granny…even my beautiful, spoiled selfish children Leisa & Karmin who are still too young to see the wood for the trees or realise that not all flowers smell delightful – except the Rose.
By realising that the world doesn’t owe me a God damned thing, my children will learn a much harder lesson than I. I forgive them, and I always will, over & over. The thing about trauma is that it can only hurt us if we let it. I refuse.
Myles will remember he said something similar. I hope you are smiling wherever you are my friend.
© Copyright 2015, Jodine Derena Butler. All Rights Reserved