60 Minutes

If you missed 60 Minutes last night, you need to watch it! I cried through the whole segment regarding trauma as a child, some happy and proud of myself, because I know I shouldn’t be here as I am, and my daughter certainly shouldn’t be here as who she is, based on my horrific chaotic violent unstable childhood home. This is based on research too, facts, not opinion. I also cried sad and defeated tears, wishing I could have known all I know now by education to have been able to help my brother. He really never had a chance. None of us really did. Having my daughter at 17 was my sole motivator, making sure when we got here to her 25 years of life, she was the best whole person she could possibly be, a clean slate, if you will. I absolutely love what they said last night on 60 Minutes. It is no longer the question, “What is wrong with you?” It is now presented as, “What happened to you?” I cried like a baby when they said that too. I’m such a damaged person. I have always known this, because all my life I could be triggered at times, triggered to a place you wouldn’t know me, rage, screaming. Even if the house got out of order, I would come in and raise hell. It wouldn’t even be messy, or dirty, things would just be out of place. This used to make me flip out when things were out of place long. I understand it all now. My brother told me a few times that I reminded him so much of our step mom by my behaviors. Makes sense, I grew up around her. It is only a miracle that Barry and my daughter learned me so well, and they did everything possible to help keep my triggers at bay. I was triggered a lot from 2004-2011, because my mother lived with us that whole time. I love my mom, I truly do! Dearly! She will always have what she needs too. I would see to it if she couldn’t. However, my mom is one of my greatest triggers at times, especially living together. Of course, hers goes back to her horrific violent and chaotic childhood too.

I literally panic thinking of where I should have ended up, and my daughter. To think of how well I handled my life, and my daughter’s life. I would be so scared to be 17 and pregnant knowing what all I had to do to get here today. Truly, I don’t know how I did it. Just to function in this world has been a challenge for me, most of my life. Some of the hardest parts have been dealing with how I feel, knowing it is real, and people like my neighbor telling me, “You crazy fucking mental case bitch, get off the computer and you might feel better.” In the presence of a school teacher, our other neighbor. Mean people suck, and that makes it harder to deal with. People who criticize us that we play the victim. Hey, dumb ass! We are the victim! It has also been hard because mostly, people don’t get it unless they deal with it. They think it is a switch you can switch on and off. I wish! I would keep it turned OFF! There have been times when I wished I could leave my own self.

When I was five years old, I hid from my father under my bed, him raging through the house with his belt. He got everyone but me that time. I walked out, thinking the coast was clear, and froze dead in my tracks, my eyes meeting his. I was always so scared of him. I was always so humiliated by him. So.very.humiliated. by him. There isn’t one negative descriptor I left out describing myself to myself, until my 40’s. He made me see myself as such a worthless piece of garbage, unwanted trash. I never even thought I could pass college, let alone with honors, a 3.9 GPA. I excelled in every job I ever had, but still struggled to see the good in me. I never thought someone like Barry, or my first husband would have chosen me. All because of my trauma in childhood, and not just one trauma. We lived in constant trauma, turmoil, chaos, violence, drug addiction, alcoholism, moving a lot, rape. We had multiple traumas. We were always on high alert as a result. The worst times began when I was 12, the hardest stage of childhood. I had sex for the very first time at 12, unprotected too. I dated the guy. I didn’t just have sex with him. He was 18. I would have hurt an 18 year old very badly who even tried hooking up with my 12 year old. I was so scared that night that I vomited. I didn’t want to have sex with him. I only did it because he wanted to.

I know I have said this a long time. Trust me, I know. I have been writing since 1990, planning a book. You will see my book published this year, This Side of Then. You will see several books published by me in my lifetime. Please, if you know anyone who deals with shit, mental health issues, struggles to feel happy, or even good and worthy, anxiety, anything that deviates from healthy behaviors, put your arms around them, and tell them it’s going to be okay. Ask them, what happened to them, and just listen, letting them talk. Tell them it wasn’t their fault. Healthy relationships are so vital to being better. They talk about that too on the 60 Minute segment. I can tell you for sure that the healthy relationships in my life helped me keep pushing. Those who did love me along the way, even if only for a season. They impacted my ability to feel worthy and good, and deserving of good things. We need so much in this world currently to help so many kids right now, who as I type are being subjected to horrible environments. That is not okay. The kids get labeled as bad kids, but it isn’t the kid’s fault. It is the fault of the adult who made the mess of their lives, who did not provide them with love and stability, protecting their environments. They act out because of all the chaos in their brains from their unhealthy home environments.

Last time I watched 60 Minutes until last night was 1988. I was in Charter Winds Hospital in Athens, because I constantly ran away. Sometimes, we were just homeless. I missed so much school at times! I skipped school in Auburn one time, all day. I got off the bus and ran across the street, sitting all day on stairs at the church across the street in the back. I got caught during the last period of the day by a police officer, and had to go sit in the classroom where people made me feel so unwanted, further making me feel shitty. Truly, I shouldn’t be here as I am. In that hospital we were only allowed to watch television once per week. It was 60 Minutes for an hour. Every night, we closed our day laying face down to relaxation music. When our leader touched us on the back, that was our cue to get up, and go get ready to be in bed by 11pm. We woke up at 5am, every single day. I was not allowed to wear my shoes, they called it elopement precautions. Not having on shoes told the counselors I was a high risk to run. It was my duty to stay within arm’s reach of a counselor at all times. If I didn’t, I would be sent to a “time out” where if I didn’t process out by talking to the counselor, you went to a padded room. I never went to that room. I only didn’t stay in arm’s reach one time. Where there was order and stability, I always followed the rules. My counselor stepped away as I fixed my drink at lunch one time. I had no idea if they walked away, I was supposed to keep up with them. I processed out fine. Also, because I was on elopement precautions, I had to drag my twin bed mattress out to the hallway each night, sleeping there so counselors could keep a check on me. I was on suicide watch, which meant I had 20 minutes every morning to use the bathroom, shower, brush my teeth, then getting dressed, all in the presence of a counselor. I had to be ready for our day which started promptly at 7am, after breakfast, and continued until 11pm each night. It was further humiliating.

My mother literally wrapped me up in a long metal dog chain tied to both of us to take me to this hospital. She meant well in doing that, and truly had no idea my behaviors were such because of my home life. The man who derailed her was with us this night. I hated him! I could see right through him, from the start. I begged my mom to get rid of him!