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Delayed shock


Ralph

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The following contains some frank discussions of subject matter that may trigger susceptible individuals. Please do not read further unless you accept this risk.

Woke up today with memories that I had long buried. Guess my system thinks there is finally enough space to deal with the shocks of what I could not deal with then. The rough part is that I am now looking back on it with my adult understanding, so instead of being an 8 yr old kid watching what happened, I am an adult looking back at what happened to my older sister as something adults did to a 12 year old girl.

And I did nothing to stop it. I could have told, but I was too afraid. They said that if I told then the government would take us away and put us all in different homes, so I shouldn't say anything to the cops or the social workers who intermittently showed up. Having a few classmates in foster homes at that time, I believed them. Even though I hated the violence at home the unknown of being put into a possibly worse situation was more frightening than the hell that I knew. But they forced me into a false dichotomy. It was either them or unknown and uncaring foster system. My sister got away to live with the bishop, but I was not so active in the church so I didn't have that kind of connection.

Except there were other (trusted) families who I am nearly certain would have provided shelter if they only knew what was really going on. I know this because I had one offer based on just what could be seen in front of my house from a neighbor - but again I was caught up in fear of telling that I downplayed the extent of the violence to keep my friend's dad from calling the cops. Hell other neighbors called the cops but nothing good ever came of it. Asshole got release after an overnight stay and came home more pissed off than ever and guess who bore the brunt of that anger.

I am so upset with myself. More than anything I feel guilty for allowing myself to be cowed into obedience with what I clearly could see was wrong, even as a kid. Maybe as an 8-year old I wasn't blameless, but as time went on and the violence got worse, and I grew physically, then by the time I was 15 I should have asserted myself to protect my siblings and my mom. I was big enough by that time to take him on but I still felt powerless out of force of habit, and to this day the concept of exercising personal power is foreign to me. Which is really unfortunate for my career because it is a competitive world out there and by not having any sense of what I want, recruiters/managers are unable to see what value I bring to the table even though by objective measures I am highly clever and moderately talented.

I guess this is a confession of some sort, but at the same time I am trying to figure out why I still live in that hell nearly 20 years later. In a way that is the worst part. I would have thought that time would have healed these wounds by now but every day they keep reopening and bleeding more. I have a vague sense that I know how to stop this but just like the kid I was back then I don't properly understand what my options are. For lack of a better way to put it I think this is why I can't stop thinking of suicide - not only would it expiate my self hatred for failure to stand up to abuse, but it would also free me from the flashbacks and the bitterness.

But I am not giving up. The people who care about me are not privy to this perspective and it would be kind of selfish to exit before I have explored all options that I can reasonably detect. I see my partner in a week and if things are still stable on that front then I still have a thread to hang onto.

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