It’s not completely my story. 

After my first blog post went up, I was so excited. I wanted to keep writing and share things that I have held onto for years.  I believe this could be an excellent thing for myself… but how would it affect others in my life that were involved as well?

The answer isn’t a simple one.  I have three  sisters and a brother, who each have their own stories to tell.  As much as I enjoy this and can be open about my scars, not everyone can. Some scars will bleed, even for me.  And I’m okay with that.

How do I be open and honest about my life without including others’ pain? Lives have been built and forward movement has been the focus of us all. I am so proud of my little family, each of my siblings, for making their lives better than anyone had projected.

To keep their privacy as sacred as possible, I will remain as anonymous as I am able to. The events related to my own story are from my perspective alone, and may not reflect accurately what my sisters & brother endured during their childhood.

Featured post

Creative Therapy for Depression? 

Writing can be a release of pent up emotions.  Writing can free you of thoughts yet to escape your mind.  When there is no one to talk to, there is paper waiting patiently for words to take an inky form on its smooth surface.  

Still, those emotions, thoughts, memories can bubble up and linger in your mind after they have been released.  

Some of these blog entries have been extremely hard to get out into the world.  Some of these memories I have shared with no one until WordPress came along and gave me an outlet.  Liberating as it has been, it has also been one of the most difficult things I have done for myself. 

My last post addressed the time I was so low and hopeless that I contemplated suicide… no one ever knew about that.  My husband still does not know.  I haven’t shared this blog with him, he knows that I have been writing and also knows that I am not quite ready to share my writing with him.  

The last week or so, that last blog post has sat as a draft on my site.  I finally decided it was worth sharing, because it happens to many people.  Many people don’t get interrupted in their attempt, many people do not get the chance to keep going when they feel so hopeless.  I did – and I am forever grateful that my family came home early that day.  

Depression may not ever go away for me.  This has been a lifelong struggle, one I continue to conquor just to have it reach back up from the depths of my soul to drag me back down.  I am currently feeling pretty low, and sometimes I don’t notice it until I have lashed out and hurt my family with my mood swings and crotchety ways.  I hate what I become when depression rears its ugly face.  

Working hard to get back out of it, I am focusing on things that make me happy.  Writing being one of them, and my daughters the main happy-provoking things in my life.  I have began another site, What Wendy Writes, here on WordPress.  This is going to be a place for my creating writing, a place where I can focus on the happy writing- not the therapeutic delve into my past.  

I hope you can check it out, and I look forward to sharing many things with you 😉

One pill, two pills, three pills,…More

I was supposed to be cleaning.  The dishes hadn’t been washed in days.  They lined the counter, piled layers high.  The food stuck on and dried. The sink was full of hot, soapy water, some dishes soaking to loosen the bits stuck on them. 

Everyone else had gone into town.  I was left home to clean as a punishment, “grounded” for trying to stop him from making me have sex.  Except that wasn’t the reason verbalized to anyone… it was just something I knew in the deepest part of my heart.  Control.  It wasn’t enough to have alienated me from my sisters, from any family that was willing to talk to me or be a part of our lives.  It wasn’t enough to have stolen my mom away.  It wasn’t enough to take any innocence that I had once had.  Control of everything.  

It had become a nightly occurrence.  If I fought, I got grounded for something.  It didn’t really matter what it was, somehow it was my fault.  A reason to punish me, and then at night, he would sneak back into my room, mutter some bullshit about if I didn’t fight I wouldn’t be in as much trouble, and well… sometimes I had fight in me and sometimes I didn’t.  

This particular day, I felt that there was no steam left in me at all.  I didn’t know how I could keep living.  I was numb, void of emotion, I was in a dark, dark place.  All I wanted was out.  My mom didn’t seem to care what was happening to me, and if my mom didn’t care, then who out there would?  

Sitting at the kitchen table, not feeling anything but hopeless, I emptied the contents of one of my mom’s pill bottles on the table.  I counted them and determined that there were no where near enough to do anything significant.  I put them back in the bottle, emptied the next one on the table.  This one had plenty.  Then I thought, I will just take both bottles.  So I emptied the first one again, out into the pile of pills from the second bottle.  I stood and walked to the sink, numbly filled a large glass of water, and went back to the table.  I sat staring at this pile of colored tablets in front of me for a while, I don’t know how long.  

I was brought out of my thoughtless reverie by the sound of a car outside.  Crap, they were home.  I scrambled to put all the pills back into the correct bottles and act busy.  Why were they home so soon?  I was a bit disappointed, actually a lot disappointed. Another night of hell awaited me. 

That was the closest I ever got to trying to kill myself.  A week or so later, one of my friends in school was absent for the entire week.  Turns out, she had tried to kill herself with an overdose of Tylenol. I had never suspected it to be an issue for her, we rarely talked about anything related to home.  Hearing her story made me rethink what I had contemplated. As hopeless as things seemed, I didn’t want to be gone from everyone.  There had to be another way.   

Suicide should NEVER be the answer to anyone’s problem, there is always hope.  There is always help available out there.  Know the warning signs, it could save a persons life. 

Along for the ride

Riding down the road in the front passenger seat of an old raggedy car, hands folded in my lap and head bent down, I was trying to figure out how to tell my mom that it was happening again.  She let him come home months before after I told her what he had done.  I was unsure of what would happen, but I couldn’t keep going on like this. I had to tell someone.  They say to tell an adult that you trust if someone touches you in a way that you don’t want them to .  Well, my mom was the only adult that I had in my life, so I guess I would try to tell her again. 

Other than the sound of other vehicles racing down the two-lane highway, there was no sound.  No music playing on the radio, no light conversation, nothing.  My hands were shaking. I didn’t know how to say it.  I was embarrassed and ashamed to say the words out loud.  To say that I had let this happen, that I didn’t try harder to stop it.  This time he had taken my virginity.  He raped me.  How do you say that to your mother when it was her boyfriend? 

Just say it.  Blurt it out. That’s what I did.  “Momma, he raped me”…. silence…  I felt the need to say more.  So I started to tell her about what happened, if only to fill the silence when there should have been words.  Before I could say much, she interrupted me

I don’t want to know what goes on in your bedroom!”

Silence…. what could I say to that? The only thought I had was to open the car door and jump out, run away, get as far away as I could from everybody.  As the car rolled to a slow crawl at the intersection, I seriously considered it.  But too quickly, the car sped up and whirred past the stopped cars, turning onto the adjoining road.  I quit thinking.  My body felt heavy, like dead weight. I couldn’t move except to breathe. I couldn’t speak. I was now just a passenger, just along for the ride. 

Sleeping in the Past

I sit up, screaming, panic rising to the top of my throat and threatening to turn into sour bile as my stomach churns.  My heart is pounding in my head, the sound of each beat echoes in my ears.  I want to run, but it is dark and I know he is there.  Where can I run to? My breathing is so fast, my face is tingling.  My legs are instinctually kicking the blankets off of my body and aching to get away. I’m already on the opposite side of the bed…the bed – the bed is different, look around, where am I? 

And then I hear a soft voice “Hey, Honey…It’s me.  It’s okay. Lay back down.”I know this voice, and it brings me back to the present.  I am at my home, in my bed that I share with my husband.  I am safe.  I am safe.

Covered in a fine layer of sweat and heart racing, but no longer thumping against the inside of my skull, I scoot back over to my side of the bed and straiten the blankets.  Trying to make sense of what just happened, I lay there calming my self down.  My husband looks at me unsure if its okay yet to touch me.  I cringe a little as his hand comes towards my face.  I’m not ready yet.  Not yet. I’m at home.  I am safe.  He is not here.  I am safe.  Damn flashbacks. 

I cant seem to make it better for him or myself, time does not heal all wounds.  

Home is where the … Demons live

Some people long to go home, to be in a place where they felt safe and loved, a place where good memories are abundant. The old saying “Home is where the heart is” makes it sound like traveling back to “home” may be one of the sweetest things you could do. There are songs about going home, sung effortlessly by many popular artists (10 Great Songs About Going Home). What a feeling it would be to feel safe at home…

I think many young teens want to escape home. That is a tough time to be living in a world of rules and regulations, oversight and control by others. The teen years are the years when you begin to really develop who you are and shape the path for who you want to become. It’s a crucial time to anyone’s life. Even with all the dreaming of wanting to escape home at such a young age, if you feel safe and secure there, its always a comfort to know that you can go home for love and support.  

I never had that past the age of twelve. To me, home was where the demons lived. Home was the last place I wanted to be and I spent many nights laying in my bed plotting ways to escape. At times I had a knife under my pillow and would pray for the courage to either run away or use the knife. I felt abandoned by my mom, alone in my world, and scared to live. The knife was not for myself, though. It was for him – mom’s boyfriend, the father of my precious baby sister, the man who somehow stole the woman who took care of me and made me feel safe at night away. 

I missed my mom. After my dad was arrested for the sexual abuse of my two older sisters, life was hard. My mom worked hard to bring in money to pay the bills. I don’t think she was as successful as she would have liked to be in keeping it all together, because eventually she sold our house and we moved into a small apartment. But she worked hard for us, and I felt safe. Until she brought him home.  

I remember the first night I met him. He showed up at our little apartment on a Harley Davidson, wearing straight leg blue jeans, a white button up shirt buttoned all the way to the chin, white tennis shoes with curley rainbow shoe laces. His laugh was shrill and crazy. He brought candy to us – milk duds I think. My mom had the googly-eyes of a sixteen year old looking at the hot jock in school. She was so happy, it was hard not to be excited for her. But he was really weird, and the idea of change was scary. 
Things moved really fast with my mom and him. Before long, he was staying overnight and hanging around for multiple days. That summer, I was twelve years old, I found out that my mom was going to have a baby. She was elated. I was excited, too. Until I found out that he would be moving in with us.  

Rapidly, my family fell apart. My oldest sister, who had moved out and had a little family of her own, was disowned by my mom. I never really understood why, and missed her so much. But we weren’t allowed to talk. My next order sister eventually moved out and escaped the drama that came with him. Now, it was just my mom, my little brother, and myself…and him.  
It didn’t start right away. The abuse was something that gradually came about. But, the demons were there. One day, he had misplaced a “small baggie of baby powder” and was freaking out over it. We had to look the house up and down, inside and behind everything. I didn’t know at the time that this was drugs that he and my mom had comissioned my help to find. We never found it.  

One night, after he had lived there for a while and we were good and alienated from all of our family, he came into my room. That was really unusual, and I was scared. I was asleep on the top bunk, the bottom empty because he insisted that it was improper for my brother and I to share a room (a small storage closet was made into a bedroom for the poor boy). I lay there as still as I could, pretending to be asleep. He stood beside the bed, reached under my covers, and touched me. Not just touched me, but put his fingers inside me. I was mortified. I was petrified with fear. I dare not move. I dare not scream. I didn’t know what to do. I finally had the courage to at least turn over onto my side, facing away from him, creating as much of a barrier as I could. He left my room, and I couldn’t sleep the rest of the night. I cried. 

I told my mom what happened the next day. She seemed shocked and angry, but somehow, it didn’t seem angry enough. They argued. He packed up his things and he left. I was relieved, and felt like it was all going to be better. I went to school the next day feeling okay about things. I remember being happy, and hoping that everything was going to get better.  
When the bus rolled to a stop on the highway outside of the apartment complex, it seemed like my world crashed and I couldn’t bring myself to get off the bus. I was in slow motion. The only thing I could see was the pile of luggage and boxes at the front door to our apartment. It was his stuff. Back at our house. My mom met me at the door. 

“Honey”, she said. “He’s going to stay. But he promises it won’t happen again”.  

Well, welcome home…

Unrealized Childhood Dreams, and Why I’m Okay With That. 

Stuffed animals and dolls lined up in the best makeshift classroom possible, we were ready for school.  I was the teacher, and sometimes I could convince my older sister to be a part of this game.  But to me, it was no game.  I was going to be a teacher.

At the end of each school year, I would ask my teachers for any old workbooks that they could give me. I would pour over them deciding if I knew the material enough to teach it.  One year I hit the jackpot and got a couple of teacher key workbooks from my literature class. This was so exciting to me. I was going to have the best time with my sister.

Becoming a teacher was my plan all through school. I never considered how I was going to get there, or what was needed to achieve this dream.  I just knew that was what I had always wanted.  I’m not sure if my mom ever knew what my career goals were. I had withdrawn from her early in my middle school years, and moved out to live with my boyfriend at the age of sixteen.

Life was hard, this meant I had to work nearly full time hours and go to school.  I would ride the school bus to school and then to work at a local grocery store, then walk home at night, study, and repeat. There were times that I was sure I was going to fail, times I didn’t care if I did, and times that I dared to dream of making it out of my life and into one I could be proud of.

I graduated high school and entered into community college classes to obtain my associates degree, focusing on writing and literature.  I wanted to teach English literature, I had fallen in love with many beautifully written works of art. But I had also found that partying was particularly fun, and a lot of my free time was spent with friends drinking alcohol and occasionally smoking pot. I wasn’t doing so well in my classes.  I was losing sight of my goals. My dreams were beginning to get hazy in the distance.

I recall an uneasy feeling as I came to realize that the soreness in my breasts and my late period could only mean one thing.  I was suddenly more scared than I ever had been before.  I was going to be a mom. I was barely nineteen. I had accomplished nothing, and now I was going to have to care for a sweet, little, completely dependent being. Oh shit!

Yanked from the destructive party goer path I was recently taking, and sent down the rocky road of reality, my unborn child was probably my savior.  College classes were abandoned, and a new job as a Certified Nursing Assistant that paid much more was obtained. With a license and car, I was on my way… my way to adulthood.

My path had certainly changed.  My plans were altered.  And I found myself at the alter saying “I do” much earlier than I had expected to.  Life was now real.  I was responsible for caring for someone other than me. My dreams would be put on hold until I could afford to do for myself.  Now it was all about her… my baby girl who saved me from ruining my life and inspired me to create new dreams and goals.

What happened? Well… That little baby on the way and my new job as a CNA led to me becoming an emergency nurse, which I love! And there are so many teaching opportunities in this career.  I have obtained my masters degree in nursing leadership and management, something I never thought would happen fifteen years ago when I quit my college courses. Now, I can do things that I love both at work & at home in spare time, and be comfortable in life. Sometimes a change in dreams and plans, even when unexpected, is the best move to make.  You won’t know unless you work hard to get through the rough spots.

The End’s Beginning 

I remember when we had a family. Not just a mom, dad, and kids… but a whole family. I remember being happy and carefree. Playing outdoors on the side of a North Carolina mountain all day with friends who were as innocent as I was. Innocence was abundant and imaginations were wild. We had family visits to grandparents’ homes at Christmas and during the summer, aunts and cousins to go see, a seemingly normal family in all rights. Life was great, until… reality crashed down upon me. 

I don’t know when the change happened, exactly. I link the downfall of my family to the airing of dirty laundry. Something that was not approved of by my mom’s family. 

Looking back, I now know that it was a culture change for our family to have brought our darkened issues into the light of day. Some issues were just kept privat within a family and you were expected to deal with it. My father’s family were now just out of the picture, and my mother’s family were still there- but change was in the air. We didn’t sweep our problems under the rug or hide our skeletons in a closet. They were advertised for the world to see, a family shamed by abuse made public. We were slowly shunned from the rest of the family as this drama unfolded. 

My dad’s arrest when I was a mere seven years old was just the beginning of the end of my happy life.  

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