Beyond Lady Pandora – Episode12a – The Men In My Life – Beyond Lady Pandora
I want to take just a moment to draw you in to my story. It’s one thing to hear or read about things happening to someone else from a safe distance and place but completely another to be inside of it. So, close your eyes for a moment. Just bare with me on this. Close your eyes and imagine that you are a child again. Now, instead of your childhood memories, I want you to imagine that your parents do not love you at all, they really do not care if you live or die and you know this to be fact. Now, imagine you only see your dad when he is called to hit you. He is big and strong, pretty much a stranger to you and he comes in and he grabs you roughly by the arm. He throws you across his knee and he exposes your ass. He is a stranger. Now, he hits you hard, he hits you so hard that your body actually moves forward with the force of each strike and you are crying and begging him to stop and he just keeps hitting your naked ass until he thinks it is enough. You are left breathless in your room, pulling up your bottoms to cover yourself. You feel completely at the mercy of the adults in your life, you are too small and weak to fight them. A stranger that apparently is your dad just hurt you and no one stopped him, they let him and wanted him to hurt you.
Now, let’s go deeper into this situation to really understand it. You were kidnapped by these people from school the day before your birthday. You and your brother were taken and you screamed and yelled and begged and you ran, but you were kidnapped from all you knew and no one helped you. You are in a city you do not know at all. You do not know anyone but these adults who hurt you. You have been told that anything that happens to you or your brother is entirely your fault. You are 7 years old. You are forced to celebrate the day you were kidnapped every year and it is called “kids day”. Now, remember, no one cares about you at all so you are hungry but the fridge is empty. There is cereal in boxes under the cupboard but sometimes, there are bugs in it. You have a bedroom technically but sometimes, other adults sleep in your bed and you have no say, no-one warns you because you do not matter. So, you do not really have your own spot anywhere. Field trips? Yeh, no, sorry. Someone would have to pay for that. Lunches? No. Clean clothes or new clothes? Only rarely unless you wash or fix them yourself. So, you wash your clothes in the tub which you have to clean first. The house is dirty, everything is dirty and gross. It will only get cleaned if you clean it. So you finally get your clothes scrubbed clean by hand as best you can and you hang your clothes in the bathroom or your room, wherever you can.
You are constantly told that you are bad but you are also manipulated. You are kept hungry for love and acceptance so when the adults want something they tell you that you are good and pretty, they call you a princess. So, there is a constant back and forth with no stability. You never know when they will hate you or like you and be nice. Now fill the house with drug addicts and alcoholics and pedophiles and criminals and street people who just come and go as they please. Now, imagine your mother has tried to sell you and send you away with a man, a stranger. You have a brother but he constantly attacks you for fun and laughs maniacally as you fight him off. You never know when he will attack you or destroy what little you have. You have to find a way to eat, to get food. Your entire life, everything you get or do not get, depends on your ability to get it. You are 7 years old.
Now, imagine the place you were stolen from, the life you knew. You went fishing and picking berries and nuts there. You had friends. You had food and a bed that was yours. However, those people do not love you anymore and they always told you that you were garbage and bad. It was not your fault, they said, but you were born to an evil person…their daughter. So, you have always been bad no matter how hard you tried and you went to church almost daily. You learned evil and bad people go to hell and burn forever in great pain. You are sure that is where you will end up because you were born evil. Everyone tells you that you will not amount to anything, you do well in your lessons and classes but everyone at home laughs at you for talking about your dreams and what you might want to be in life. They laugh at you and tell you that you could never do these things, you are only worth what a man will give you, you are just a pretty girl with no hope for anything else. You never have any money except at Christmas and it is a small amount. The men around you want your body, they want to touch you and you are so hungry, so lonely, so terrified.
Now, this is you, this is your life and you have to grow up and develop and live but you have to teach yourself, learn by yourself, and you get no help at all as you grow and age. You are trying to understand the world but you are hungry and scared and hurt and alone. You see other kids at school, sometimes but rarely you may get invited over as the poor smelly kid from school. You get to see, in those rare occasions, what life should be like. You get to see it all but you cannot have any of it and after a little while, you have to go home. Home….you do not really have one and you know it. You just are not important. You can be there so long as they get money for you but you know, if for any reason it stops coming.. you are on your own entirely. You will get thrown out, come home to finding the place empty unexpectedly and no one to tell you where home is. You are a child but you are alone in this world and you dare not tell a soul. Sometimes, you find them somehow and then, they call the police to send you away permanently and have you locked up because you are a bother, a nuisance that they get no money for. No one believes you when you finally tell, they lock you up and tell you that you are bad.
Now, tell me. That is just a glimpse into my childhood, a small glimpse but how do you feel with just that little bit? What would you do? How would you feel? Children cannot handle these things. It’s too much. People saw me. I was so skinny in grade 7 that my ankle could be held between my thumb and pinky in my small hands. Social workers saw me, teachers saw me, people on the street saw me. Everyone saw me but they looked away because they did not care. I was just a dirty kid. No one asked where my parents were. Not once. I was in a hospital for stomach issues due to so little food and my mother never visited and no one did anything. Even sleeping on a bench in a park, no one cared. You see, that is society in every city everywhere. They look away from the “drudge” at the bottom of their society, the homeless, the hurt, the disabled and yes… the kids. Everyone is focused on their lives, what they are doing, their kids… they do not stop to ask or wonder. The only ones who do are those who want something. They may buy you a meal and then take you home but then they will hurt you because you owe them.
People often say, pull up your big girl panties, let it go, get over it. Could you get over it? How? Tell me how to get over it because all I know is what I taught myself. I watched and learned. I spent a lifetime being dirt, just watching people trying to figure life out and doing so while being completely empty and shattered. So, please, tell me how to forget the nightmares every night, the fact I cannot sleep for fear someone will hurt me. Tell me how to get over the fact that I cannot remember important things in my life or people. Tell me how to deal with the fact that I have panic attacks every time I try to advocate for myself, I shake, tears flow and I cannot stop it. Tell me, please because if you know how I can just move on and make it stop, I will listen and I will do it. The thing is, you do not know because you were not there, you never went through this, you have no idea how you would react. So, please, go ahead and tell me.
I have severe anxiety about my dissociation because I was exorcised and told I had demons in me. So, even what should help me causes me fear. I have a panic attack if my family contacts me. I have everyone blocked on social media because even a text message will have me struggling to breathe. They trigger me in the worst ways. I cannot speak about my grandparents and father’s deaths without crying for hours, maybe days. Why? Because they all died hating me. They will never love me one day or work things out or change their mind. There is no hope any longer there. There will be no apologies, no justice. They are dead and I am here. You know, my life has been outright awful, it really has. I have survived by believing that it could always be worse because for some, I’m sure it is. I’ve survived by trying to find the small positives, the small lights in the dark. I try to focus on those lights because when I look back into the darkness, there is so much pain, so much hopelessness. I’m still learning things I should have been taught long ago. People say “So, your mommy did not love you.” and laugh but they never really think about what that really means. I mean, your parents do a lot, teach you a lot, provide a lot. You lose out on a lot and suffer a lot. Things just are not that simple. People judge but they do not know, they do not understand what they are judging. That is one thing I did learn early. People in general just do not understand because they do not care to. It’s a sad truth.
As you listen to my story, I ask that you put yourself into it, be present in the story, walk beside me so that you can understand. It will mean taking the time to care but you will learn as I did, that if you only take the time to understand… life looks very different. Your opinions may be changed forever, how you look at things and people may change. The more you understand, the deeper you go, the more you will be changed as a person, the more your priorities and your perspective may change. Understanding people and things around you, understanding the why, that is the key. So, walk with me, do not just hear the words. I want you to understand my mistakes, things I learned, but most of all.. me. I want you to know me because no one ever did. No one took the time. If my story accomplishes anything at all, it is my wish that it helps others learn to take the time in the lives, to understand. You can live with a person for years and never take that time to truly, deeply understand who they are at the very core and why. Real connection, it’s rare. So, I’m opening up for you and welcoming you into my story.
You can find blog versions of this podcast at fureverbeach.com, the beyond lady Pandora link is in the menu. You can send me voice messages on anchor if you like, I will try my best to respond. If you have a question or comment, get it to me via anchor or the blog.