Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Childhood Memories

Written on January 27, 2005 at 1:00 a.m.

When I was born, I wasn't supposed to have survived being born. I was told this by a Seer in India. My Mom had built up so much grace in her past lives and she really badly wanted a child, her request was granted and so I was born.

Like most children, at some time in their lives, I used to wonder if I was adopted. I didn't fit in my family. I was nothing like my brother or my sister. I always felt smarter and older than my Dad. I was my Mom's protector. Mom taught me that to feel hurt too much. I don't think I was ever allowed to be the child with either of my parents. So, little girl, I don't know how to play.


One is alone, crying, dying, surviving.

Two is alone, trying to be quiet, afraid of and wanting someone's attention.

Three is calling myself an adultress.

Four is a little girl in an Easter dress.

Five is starting school too young, a week-long ear ache, learning to whistle really, really, loud just for the wonderful sound of it.

Six is my first boyfriend and girlfriend and love of a teacher, being Mother Mary in the school Christmas play.

Seven is when my Grandma's house burned down and everything changed. I don't know how or why.

Eleven is loss of innocense and childhood. I become Woman---Wife---Mother---for my parents.

Do I have any happy childhood memories? Probably, but if I do, they are well hidden. With 2 angry parents, can the children be happy? If you have happy memories of your childhood cherish those memories and hold them close. You are blessed.

When you suppress bad memories, good ones also get lost in the process. The mind doesn't destinguish between good and bad. It erases memories that you want it to plus some that you don't want it to. The subsconscious does not distinguish between the two. That is probably why so many abuse survivors don't remember much of their childhood. The few good memories that I do have were always time spent at my maternal grandmother's house, not the house of my parents.

This was not written to depress anyone. It is written to let other survivors know they are not alone in what they feel and what they remember or don't remember about their childhoods. As an adult, I have built many good memories with my husband and my children to make up for those that I don't have of my childhood.

Sometimes, we forget just so that we can survive the abuse. I have conscious memories of the incest happening for six years from the age of 11-17. I have art work that I did in counseling that suggests that the incest started when I was much younger. I have a memory of when I was three years old and called myself an adultress that suggests the incest may have been happening as early as 2-3 years. For two years, it bothered me that I could not remember why I called myself an adultress. The implications are there but that is all that I have. Then I realized that the mind of a three year old does not having the coping skills of an eleven year old. The way that the mind of the three year old dealt with the (possible) abuse was to totally block it out except for this one memory of labeling herself as an adultress. The mind does protect us in this way. Another way that some incest survivors take is to become a multiple personality. It is just as valid of a survival tool as forgetting or blocking memories.


Patricia Singleton said...

There are some good memories in that list, aren't there. I do need to acknowlege them. They do exist. I wrote the first part of the article over a month ago. The rest of the article was written today. It was posted today because my finger hit the wrong button before I finished writing it. So it has been edited from the first posting.

Anonymous said...

It's an amazingly brave Soul that chooses to be incarnated into such circumstances.

When I read stories like this, I marvel at how harsh our physical lifetime can be - and how committed the Soul is to grow and evolve out of that very harshness. It is miraculous that your Soul was courageous enough to say "This is what I will transcend, and I will blossom out of these experiences."

I hope you marvel often at your own strength!


Patricia Singleton said...

Andrea, I don't very often "marvel at my own strength" as you put it. I don't usually think about it because it is just part of who I am. I know the strength is there. It is what has enabled me to survive and never feel defeated. I don't see myself as any different than other survivors who have come out the other side and now have relatively happy and successful lives. I do know how blessed I am. I do know that not all survivors have come through to the other side. I do know how much courage has been required for me to get where I am today, not quite whole but definitely mended. There are still some pieces that need repairing. By writing these articles, I have discovered some areas that are not completely healed that I thought were. Life can be a rollercoaster journey sometimes and I know that I have the tools to deal with it now. I didn't always. Have a glorious day.

Jen at Semantically driven said...

Patricia, I don't really have the words for any sort of response to this except thanks for sharing your really deeply personal story. Those of us who haven't suffered incest cannot imagine what it must be like and you sharing your story gives a bit of insight so we can try to understand and empathise if we meet anyone who has been in this situation.

I guess writing this down, for you, is helping and that's great.

Patricia Singleton said...

Jen, I started writing my Incest Series to reach out and help other incest survivors. I wanted them to know that you can heal and lead a relatively normal (whatever normal is) life. With knowledge, child sexual abuse can be stopped. Speaking out is my way of contributing to the knowledge that incest does exist and can continue to affect the survivor into adulthood.

As I have written these articles, I have found some areas that I choose to heal today. With awareness comes change.

Thank you for saying that you can now have empathy for any survivors that you meet. I have accomplished what I hoped to if just one person reaches out to a survivor with love and understanding.

CG Walters said...

May the writing bring healing, freedom from the pain and the impact.
Fortunately, you are now the guardian of that child...
Many blessings to you and all you hold dear,

Patricia Singleton said...

CG, thanks for your words of encouragement. I definitely write to heal for me and hopefully others who read my words.

Unknown said...

Thank you for this Patricia. I think a lot of CSA and abuse survivors in general have to work on finding happy memories. Me too:)

Patricia Singleton said...

Susan, you are very welcome. As we heal, may we both find more good memories coming to the surface.

Brad Rickerby said...

I have no memory of huge portions of my childhood, good or bad. Sadly, the most vivid recall I have is of being raped and tortured. I'm told that my father was a wonderful man and that he loved me to distraction. But he died when I was 12 and I have no memory of that about him.

I do, however, have myself and my actions. The positive part of me is a direct reflection of what he was and how he treated me. I carry him around inside of me and know that he existed by virtue of my existence.

The rest of my childhood, well, what I do recall I wish I didn't. But even if I didn't, I would know what happened just by examining my current thoughts needs and desires. Like you Patricia, calling yourself an adultress, I know a lot of what happened to me from indirect cues.

What you write is so similar to how I feel. I am certain that it is something that many, if not most, survivors go through. You are strong. You continue to survive. In the end, I guess that is what counts!

Patricia Singleton said...

Brad, yes, surviving so that we can heal is what counts. Sadly, not all abuse victims do live to call themselves survivors or live to get the opportunity to heal. Thank you for your well thought out words. Thank you for the courage to share your story. In sharing we do help others to learn to speak up and tell their stories too. I am so glad to see you in a good spot right now.