Sunday, June 19, 2011

Today Is Father's Day

A part of me really doesn't want to write this post.  I thought I would write it last night but that didn't happen. To postpone writing this, I spent time on emails and reading blog posts that others have written on Father's Day.  Last night I was on Facebook and became involved in a conversation that turned out to be over 60+ comments long about fathers and incest.

What I am feeling right now - fear, confusion, anger, sadness, grief - all started just before Mother's Day.  I have been on a rollercoaster ride of emotions since then - up and down and scattered all over the place and when things got too intense eating uncontrollably at night.  I have no problems with overeating in the daytime.  It always starts after 6:00 p.m.  I just got the thought "That was when Daddy got home from work.  That was when the fear and tension walked into the house.  Would it be tonight? Would he find some trip back to town was needed to pick up something that he forgot?"  I always had to go with him and that meant sex in the truck on some isolated road or field before we would go back home. I would feel sick to my stomach before and afterwards.

My son just called to wish his dad Happy Father's Day.

My mother never questioned why my dad couldn't go by himself or why I was always the one who had to go with him.  I was the oldest but men usually do father son things.  My brother was only a year and a half younger than me.  By the age of 9 or 10, he should have been doing things with his dad. We were grown and I was away from home before that happened.  I can only imagine how my brother felt, aways being ignored.

My stomach is tied in knots and I am feeling nauseous right now.

I recently decided to do some inner child work again to see if I had any open wounds left that needed to be healed.  I bought a book which has mysteriously disappeared this morning.  I have searched the house twice for it.  The book is a workbook by Cathryn L. Taylor.  I think the title is The Inner Child Workbook, if not it is something similar to that.  I have been reading just a few pages each night.  I haven't gotten to any of the exercises yet.  I guess the fact that I have "lost" the book tells me that one or more of my inner children are afraid to do the exercises.

My feelings and thoughts are really scattered this morning.  Part of me wants to hide from the world until today is over.  Another part of me is mad as Hell that I am feeling all of this again.  Another part wants to go eat and never stop.  A part of me wants to throw up.  Another part is getting a headache.  These are not separate identities like with DID or multiple personalities.  These are all my wounded, scared inner children.  All of us who were wounded by incest or any form of child abuse has these inner children.  They are the parts of us that stop developing at certain times in our lives when the abuse was happening. 

Doing inner child work means going back through each developmental stage of life to find out what needs to be learned to finish each developmental stage of childhood.  What inner child needs to be nurtured and taught to trust the adult me?  Which ones need to be loved and hugged and played with?  Which ones need to know that they can't control the adult me with temper tantrums or other childlike behaviours when we are in crisis mode.  The adult me needs to be the one in control during a crisis in order to keep all of us safe.  I need to learn to love them and trust them as much as they do the adult me.

I am going to try an experiment right now, totally unplanned previously.  The adult me is going to step out of the way and let one or more of my inner children tell you their thoughts about our father and Father's Day.  Here goes.

Tears.  Anger.  Rage.  Sadness.  Crying inside with tears coming to the surface. 

Tears because daddy didn't love us or he wouldn't have hurt us.  Anger because we are supposed to honor daddies on Father's Day.  (Having difficulty letting go of the control and letting the words flow.  Husband just came in and interrupted thoughts.)

Rage because anger is too tame a word to use for what I am feeling.  Overall sadness which has been with me, it seems like forever.  (Husband goes back to work in an hour.  Will come back and finish this when I am alone and it is quiet again.)

In that hour I found THE INNER CHILD WORKBOOK:  What to do with your past when it just won't go away written by Cathryn L. Taylor.  I asked my Higher Self where the book was after searching the house twice trying to find it.  I immediately picked up some papers next to my computer and the book was under them.

I don't know if I even want to go back to the exercise that I started above or not.  I bet you are thinking "Just get on with it."

Dear Daddy, you were never the daddy that I needed you to be.  One of my earliest memories of you is of you making my little brother who was less than 2 years old smoke a cigar until he was so sick that he was thowing up.  You said it was so that he wouldn't smoke when he got older. You laughed and thought it was funny.  Even at 3 or so, I didn't laugh or think it was funny.  You were mean to him and scarey to me.  I thought you would make me smoke a cigar too but you didn't.  I didn't like you for making my little brother sick. Daddies aren't supposed to do things like that.

During that same time period I remember my brother sleeping on an army cot in the same room where I slept at the foot of the bed with you and momma at the top of the bed.  What was that all about? Was I in the bed when you and momma had sex?  Did you fondle me during the night after momma was asleep?  Is that part of the mystery that I don't remember?  That I have forgotten on purpose in an effort to protect 3 year old me from dealing with something that was just too big for a 2-3 year old to survive in her mind.  Why did my 2-3 year old mind shut out any memories of sexual abuse?  What was too painful for that child me to be able to remember and deal with?  This is where the sadness, grief, fear and anger is coming from.

I hurt but I don't know why.  Inside the child of less than three hurts and cries and wonders why no one loves her or protects her from you or whoever else hurt her.  The memories are locked away.  They do exist in some area of my body or mind.  They are why the three-year-old called herself an adultress. This is hard to write and I know that I am still keeping some distance between me and all of this.  Some part of me is not willing right now to get any closer to the feelings or the memories that those inner children still carry to this day.  The body is still holding on, also afraid to feel the pain of those childhood days.  Instead the body gets an upset stomach, indigestion, ulcers, coughing attacks, headaches because it doesn't know how to let go.  It is more afraid of being empty without the stuffed feelings.  It is so easy to just disconnect from it all rather than feel the emotions.  I am surprised that it still hurts so much.  That is all that I can write today.  The adult me is too afraid of what the inner children might reveal.  The adult me doesn't feel very strong just now. 


Lynn C. Tolson said...

Patricia, I'm sorry you are sorry. You wrote, "The adult me doesn't feel very strong just now." Wow, the burden is too much to bear! I'm often afraid to do "inner child" work because of what might tumble out. I hope peace can fill the empty.

mother4justice said...

Hugs for the inner child x

Patricia Singleton said...

Lynn, I said that I was sorry because I don't know if anyone can make sense of all the things that I said. I was sorry for not being able to stay with the exercise or the feelings. I feel like I probaby let myself down by not sticking with it.

The post doesn't feel finished to me but I was getting more and more upset and confused and scattered, or that is how it felt to me. I don't like confusion or feeling scattered, they both feel out of control which is a scarey feeling for me.

I am beginning to look at the younger areas of my life where there are more mysteries than answers. For so long, I thought that I knew all there was to know about the incest and then the 3-year-old adultress steps forward. I have always had that memory of calling myself an adultress. I guess that I pushed it to the far recesses of my mind until this last year when I was willing to pull it out and look at it. Except that lately, that 3-year-old adultress terrifies me. I want to know her secrets and then I don't.

In the post above, I couldn't tell whether it was inner child or the adult me talking at times. I guess it doesn't matter since it is all me.

Deb Estep said...

Dear 'Little' Patricia,

What an adorable child you are. You have the most beautiful eyes.

I'm sorry that the adults in your life have failed you. They did not treat you with the love and care that ALL children deserve.

Many years from now sweetie, there will be a woman on TV. Her name is Oprah. Little Oprah had a very hard time too. She did not feel loveable or pretty enough because some of the adults in her life did the same thing and did not take care of her.

Oprah has learned some STUFF along the way.... Recently she said...

'You are worthy because you were born' ... 'You alone are enough'.

These words might not make full sense to you, but to grown up
Patricia they will.

In fact, just like Miss Oprah who has reached out and shared her story to help others...
You too will do that one day.

YOU ROCK Patricia.

Ohhhhhhh and would you please
tell Patricia that Deb thinks she
needs to be drinking MORE WATER. :)

Love you !


Lynn C. Tolson said...

Oh, I thought the "sorry" was to the father. I'm glad you clarified. The confusion makes more sense now! It is strange to hear "adulteress" in context to a 3 yr old.

Patricia Singleton said...

MOther4Justice, thank you.

Patricia Singleton said...

Deb, little Patricia and adult Patricia say thank you so much for your words.

Oprah has been a wonderful role model for me as an incest survivor. She surprised me recently when she said that she has never had a day of therapy in her life but that she uses the information from her many guests on her show. We both needed to hear her words that you spoke to us today.

You are a keeper yourself, Deb. You always tell me what I need to hear. You always offer me words of encouragement and support.

I drink more water than most people do. For some reason, my body doesn't absorb it very well.
Love and (((hugs))) to you Deb.

Patricia Singleton said...

Lynn, glad I cleared up the "sorry" for you. I learned a long time ago to give the responsibility for the incest back to my dad. The 3-year-old me calling myself an adulteress is the only clue that I have that incest may have been happening long before my memories of it starting at age 11.

@sheepfoldcarer said...

I felt very close to you reading about your inner 'children' and the courage you have to allow them to speak,
I find I cannot approach mine directly, and they only have voice through my poems.
I feel so encouraged, having so many different'caretakers' myself from aged one, it is hard to find all ot these inner selves, you show it is possible. Thankyou.
Sorry for rambling!
I wish you joy on your journey.

healing_within said...

Let me cry one more time for the child deep inside
Let me hug that little girl who still feels she must hide
Let me weep giant tears
let me cry for all the wrong
That this little girl knew and held for so long

Let me not be afraid let me finally speak out
Let me jump, let me scream
let me let my voice shout
All these emotions
she had to keep in
The little girl's
letting out so healing
can begin.

joy pachowicz

my day is really hard too but i unite with you and perhaps your little girl can teach mine.

Patricia Singleton said...

SheepFoldCarer, thank you for your words of encouragement. You weren't rambling at all.

Joy is something that is possible for us as we heal. I do experience laughter and joy with where I am in life right now. The trip to get here has been worth the struggle and the effort.

When I am struggling as I have been since Mother's Day, I know that I am just bringing up new stuff to heal and that is okay. That is why I write - so that I can see my own thoughts and patterns and to help myself and others to heal from their own wounds.

You have just as much courage as I am. All of us who take on this healing journey have much more strength and courage than we realize. We all need to be reminded occasionally to be gentle with ourselves. This isn't easy work. Thank you for stopping by today.

Patricia Singleton said...

Joy, thanks for sharing your beautiful poem with me. I feel honored by your words and your friendship. Thank you for being here today and for sharing. The words of your poem fit extremely well with my feelings right now.

From Tracie said...

Patricia, I'm sending hugs to the adult you and the inner child you.

All of you is amazing.

I'm sorry that you are in the midst of a dark time right now. Even though you don't feel it....I know you are strong.

Patricia Singleton said...

From Tracie, thank you so much. Tomorrow will be better.

Darlene Ouimet said...

Hi Patricia
I have had my biggest breakthroughs from realizing what i had come to believe about myself because of the events. The tough part is that the MIND (our minds) believe that we can survive better if we don't figure that out, so there is this constant fight within. Eventually, I did face it though, the beliefs that I had about me because of abuse so often at the hands of my own parents. (or that my parents didn't protect me from abuse at the hands of others) and that lack of protection aslo caused me to believe false things, such as that I was not worth protecting. (because if I was they would have protected me ~ never realizing that it was never about ME but about the things THEY did wrong)
You are on a growth spurt Patricia! I feel your pain, but I am also excited to hear about the breakthrough!
Hugs, Darlene

Anonymous said...

My stomach twisted into tight knots as I read what you wrote, darling woman, and I felt and related to so much of what you said. Oddly, when you said you couldn't find the workbook, my mind said "it's somewhere on the desk" because that's where all my self-help stuff is, under a layer or two. I can't assume to know your pain or its depth, but I read your words and I weep for us all. All of this damage didn't happen in a day, don't beat yourself so badly for not being able to do all the self-work that needs to be done in a day. Its time will come. My arms enfold you, my heart embraces you.

Patricia Singleton said...

Darlene, thank you my friend for sharing your journey of healing with me. Your encouragement and support is important to me. Your strength and courage help me to be strong and courageous. Today will be a better day.

Having so many people read about and acknowledge my pain helped me tremendously yesterday. Knowing that I am not alone is a good place to be.

Patricia Singleton said...

Anonymous, today my enthusiasm for life is back thanks to everyone's encouragement. The fear has left for now.

I am sure Fear will return at some low point since I am beginning a new chapter of healing or maybe I should say that I am revisiting a previous chapter. I will be gentle and patient with myself as I take these next steps.

Fear of the unknown is still a big thing for me. I think it is for most survivors and maybe for people in general.

Taking a step into the unknown brings up trust issues, fear of going it alone again, fear of pain and possible death if I take the wrong step. The adult me knows that this is an exaggerated fear of death but the inner children have lived constantly with the fear and threat of death if they told for so long that anything new brings up that particular fear.

I feel sad that my post affected your peace of mind and your stomach. It sure affected mine yesterday. I had to take a timeout yesterday afternoon and laid down and took a short nap to give my stomach time to settle and the dizziness time to go away. Today I am doing well. I hope that you will soon feel better too. Thank you for taking the time to offer me support with your words of kindness.

David Brannem said...


I don't think your post was rambling at all. It's good and important to share these struggles with us - so that when others start to struggle anew they know they are not alone. It is very brave of you to share this and to let us in on the things you still struggle with.

Holiday's like Father's Day and Mother's Day are difficult when one has not been protected as they should - it's supposed to be a day of celebrating those that delivered you safely to your current self - - - but if that didn't happen for you, it's not a great day, more of a reminder of something you lost.

Thanks for all that you do. I send my love and hugs to little Patricia and big Patricia.


Patricia Singleton said...

David, thank you so much for your words of comfort. It is always good to know that I am helping others by sharing my experiences. I appreciate the love and hugs.

Sheryl Matters said...

A day, one of many, in which we remember the importance and significance of fatherhood

Patricia Singleton said...

Sheryl, so true. Thanks for stopping by.

Colleen said...

I never do well on Fathers Day. It took me years to understand why! So I focus on my husband having a nice Father's Day. It is either that or hide. I have done that plenty of times.

Patricia Singleton said...

Colleen, thanks for the visit. I am doing much better today. I did try to focus on my husband, son, daughter-in-law yesterday. My husband wanted to grill hamburgers so our son and daughter-in-law came over in the early evening. I did hide for awhile in the form of a nap. Then I felt better.

Shen said...

Father's day is always hard for me too. It's so important to do the work you're doing... you have great courage.

Hold Fast said...

I know I am really late in reading your wonderful post but I didn't have the strength to read anything about father's day until now. The day brings so much hurt, sadness and bad memories.

This was beautifully written. I think I need to journal a bit and maybe the bad dreams that keep occurring this week will go away.

I really just want to cry awhile with you. Thank you for being you.

Patricia Singleton said...

Hold Fast, I feel sad that you too had such a hard day on Father's Day. Feel free to cry if that is what you need to do for you. I do understand. I probably would have done better if I had cried. Instead I got sick and went to bed for an hour or two that afternoon. I hope that you are doing better soon. I am in a better place now.

Patricia Singleton said...

Shen, thank you so much. You have a lot of courage of your own.