I can't tell you my earliest or happiest moment as a child but I can share the ones that haunt me even now. Monsters are real. I lived with mine. I call them mom and dad.
My parents fought and a lot of times it was physical. The fighting was constant and I remember hiding in my room or under my bed too many times to count or spending endless nights at friends houses just to be away from it. I never felt safe at home because the violence would come out of nowhere. It was like no matter what was happening I lived on egg shells.
As an adult, I know many factors came into play but as a kid it was horrifying. I didn't believe then nor do I now that physical altercations were normal. With my parents having 4 girls it is hard for me to fathom why my mom stayed as long as she did. Sometimes I resent the fact that she raised us in an environment where we thought this was normal or how a man should act towards his wife and children. The fact is even as a child I knew this was wrong but I had no voice. When DCF was called we were made to lie and no one was ever the wiser. The last DCF visit was so traumatic that my dad was yelling at me afterward so loudly I was so scared I fainted. I never spoke about it again.
I was 12 when my parents divorced. Dad moved out but only for a short time and he would come back and live with us when he was on hard times. Those hard times seemed to come a lot because he struggled with addiction and moved his abusive behavior toward his new love interest. He would get into altercations with her and run from the cops only to be allowed to hide in our apartment because my mom always let him. Nothing like being told to lay still in bed while a spotlight was shining through your bedroom looking for your dad.
In truth I struggled with the after effects long after I moved out of my family home. If my husband raised his voice in animation when telling a story, I would get so worked up I would throw up. I never spanked my children because I was afraid that violence lived in me. I try to always be the peacekeeper despite the toll it takes on my mental health. This is my takeaway from years of enduring and seeing the abuse my mom took. My mom never healed from it and it has made her angry, bitter, and now she has become the abuser. Despite all this I have tried to remain a good daughter and be supportive and understanding as my parents age. Well, that didn't last because my mom is stuck in denial that her current attitude and behavior is abusive and just this past Saturday she pushed me away for good. I will not be abused ever again. I am finally safe and they can't take that from me.
I share this now, not for pity but to show my voice. I have been asked in recent years why I can't just get over what happened in the past. The honest answer is that the chemical makeup of the brain changes when one experiences something traumatic. That traumatic event or events will follow you through life. What I grew up experiencing with my sisters was not normal and it wasn't right, but how many of you have experienced or are experiencing this now? How many times can an excuse be made for someone that doesn't respect themselves let allow you or your children to stop themselves from being a monster?
Please don't stay. I know it is hard to get out. Say the word, a word and I will help you get out. I have the resources and I am more than willing to save you and your child(ren) the trauma that this will follow you through life. You didn't do anything wrong and it is important that you know that.
All my best,