2008-11-22 - 9:15 p.m.
I am writing a Letter to a childhood friend of my eldest daughter who is now in a Juvenile Detention Center.
I feel like it is important these issues are addressed here as well as what happened to the girl I will call Rebecca is a story of a child who grew up with an abusive Father in early years. What scares me so much is that her Mother's experience was analagous in so many ways to my own, and HER experience, analagous to my daughters' So perhaps that is why I have been having trouble sleeping at night dreaming of letters to her -some which I will write long hand, but others which I may post here (not only for Rebecca but all kids who might by chance come across them whom they might speak to.)
There are many children who struggle with the absense of a Father due to the severing of that realationship due to abuse. I also write FOR ALL THE MOTHERS WHO DID THE BEST THEY COULD FOR THEIR CHILDREN.
WE ALL ONLY CAN DO OUR BEST. AND AS A MOTHER WE LOVE AND PROTECT THE BEST WE CAN TO STOP VIOLENCE AND PROVIDE SAFETY AND LOVE AND SECURITY AND THAT IS ALL WE CAN DO. OUR CHILDREN WILL FEEL THE HURT AND HAVE TO WORK THROUGH THE FACT THAT SENSE OF SECURITY OF LOVE AND SAFETY WITH BOTH PARENTS WAS VIOLATED AT A TIME- EACH IN THEIR OWN WAY NO MATTER HOW WE CHOSE TO HANDLE ABUSE IN OUR FAMILIES.
I do have hope for my girls that they will not struggle as much as Rebecca now is; as there is the one factor which differs in THEIR stories from hers (depite the similarities.) THEY HAVE THE LOVE OF THEIR FATHER AND THEIR RELATIONSHIP WAS NOT SEVERED. A factor that I think can make ALL THE DIFFERENCE in a child's sense of security. Despite the periodic episodes of violence they witnessed from their Father and fear they felt in response to their relationship with their father- they have MORE experiences of LOVE from him.
I am going to write in long hand now as for some reason my computer is acting funky and the cursor is jumping all over the page... oddity. But these things happen! I am just happy to once again have a functional machine as it crashed after I watched "Executing files" run across my screen shortly after I hooked up my new internet service. It seems some of the files needed to run the Windows XP Operating System were mysteriously extracted from my laptop. But I have once again wiped the whole darn motherboard clean and started over again.
Don't you wish sometimes our brains could work like that? How I would LOVE to be able to wipe it all clean so I don't have those old files recur like a strange virus that I can't get rid of that interrupts the programming of the current hour?
The jumping cursor and skipping around of where I am writing is not so bad now... might have something to do with the resolution I set this machine at- I'll continue to write until its terribly annoying. The thing is, I have an ability to get used to annoyances like this and live with them.
I HAVE gotten used to having the annoyance of PTSD moments recur. I often can identify them, and talk myself through them seeing what they are. Today was a tough one though. Between news of my daughter's friend being a teenage mess who is "Lost" according to her Mother, and news from my girls that Daddy has bought THREE GUNS and they enjoy target practice with him on weekends, my anxiety was just a wee bit off the chart today.
We made it through the day well however. Cooked lots of pumpkin,the girls danced lots of dance, and played lots of games. I managed to get connected again so I don't feel unable to communicate to the world. (Another factor that makes me anxious.) I have long distance that WORKS WELL, and internet on again.
But it is irritating to have that FOGGY feeling of FEAR. Its like a veneer that is there and palpable to me which is invisible to the rest of the world. In the WEIRDEST Way, other's pick up on a heightened energy and I strangely get COMPLIMENTS left and right about how good I look, about how I am emitting this wonderful energy to others. I got three such complimets at work this week. Its very bizzare to me that its really a hypervigilant state of FEAR that I am combatting, and that others are ATTRACTED To the energy and see it as something wonderful.
IT IS NOT WONDERFUL.
It is like that virus in my system that I wish I could wipe clean and start over without it recurring.
Thus is live with PTSD. It diminishes in frequency and intensity and I think duration- but STILL recurs. ANd the weird thing is that the trigger can be a seeming small thing.
My daughter asking "Why can't we talk about guns at at school."
Now the thing is that I actually SUPPORT the girls learning to shoot for sport. I have no problem with the girls learning how to hunt. I know the inspiration is that the girl who grew up in our house was in training for the Olympics and my daughter said she is now #3 in shooting-- but she wasn't sure if that is in the world or in the U.S.
I have NO PROBLEM with girls being taught that as a sport. My roommate in College Kathy was on the rifle team. The six person team from Canisius which beat West Point that year! She grew up target shooting and hunting along side her Dad, who of course happened to have only girls and no boys.
I told my daughter "You ARE ALLOWED to write about that. THEY EXPECT THAT OF KIDS GROWING UP THE COUNTRY"
She asked "But why can't we pretend to use guns when playing"
She asked "Are guns bad?"
I asked her "What do you think?"
She said "I don't know."
I asked "What are guns for?"
She said "To shoot targets"
I said "But why does someone practice shooting a target? Why do they want to be good at shooting?"
I said "Any why?"
So my daughter, whom had likely never heard of guns used in any other context, thinks of them as a tool for getting FOOD. Which is what they should be used for. I think that is SOLELY What they should be used for (in a perfect ideal world which of course couldn never be!)
So I told her, "The thing is though they are very dangerous and people can get hurt from them, and sometimes bad people misuse them- so that is why they don't want kids pretending and playing about guns."
I Thought it was WONDERFUL that she had no concept of a gun as a weapon.
So I guess after that interchange this AM I DIDNT expect that to be a trigger for FEAR in me.
But the thought did occur that I don't feel as safe knowing her Father owns a gun.
The thought did occur that I never would have expected his hand to be a weapon, and others didn't even believe it had ever been so.
I just worry about possibilities of his anger not being resolved and still festering.
Last night when I picnked up the girls they were not dressed in appropriate clothing. I was fortunate to have had sweaters of mine in the car to put on them before we headed to a school function. Two had summer clothing on with only a vest on. I asked "Didn't Sadie have a coat to wear?"
He said "No"
I asked "What about the barn jacket"
To which he said "Fuck you ! I wouldn't send that to you!" with SUCH ANGER
The fact that there is still SUCH ANGER is what makes me afraid.
Writing however helps.
I think now I will be able to sleep. Last night was a restless sleep as I kept dreaming of letters I wish to write to Rebecca. I have whole letters that formed in my mind and only need to take time to get out on paper.
Funny how I tend to dream in songs, or stories, or poems or if troubled letters. I have fashioned many more Letters to the Editor in my head than I have actually have put pen to paper to actualize!
Somtimes that is sufficient to work through an issue and then let go of it. Trouble is that it sometimes works ALL TOO WELL and then I FORGET all about some issue I have emotionally resolved but should responsibly still follow up on!
NOw I think I REALLY am ready to get some sleep tonight. I had to ramble until even I FOUND this soporific....