Maelstrom143, By Sun or Candlelight
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2011-01-25 16:11:28 (UTC)

Funny the things that trigger the past...

So often I think I am done, I am in the clear...and then the past
catches up with me, sneaking up on me unawares, whispering in my ear,
breaking my heart all over again. I have been contemplating calling
mom since December. I actually did try several times, but the number
did not work. I now have the right number, but due to triggered
memories and the ensuing chest pain I find I am unable to pick up that
phone and call her.
I love her. She is my mom. I do not hold anything against her. Yet,
every so often I find myself back again, feeling the pain of the abuse
she inflicted, the blows and, even worse, the horrible things she
said, and I find I am not strong enough to break away as easily as I
should. How do you reconcile the lovely woman who used to sing to me
at night when she was happy with the monster who hurt me so terribly
that I wanted to die to get away? How can the woman who took me to the
hospital when I was so sick be the same woman who would keep me up all
night praying, kneeling on hard rice, until I could no longer feel my
arms or legs?
What hurts the most, though, is knowing that, in order to survive, I
had to strike back. One should never have to protect oneself against
the ones who are supposed to be there to protect us. It breaks
something inside, violates a trust that can never be replaced. The
pain never goes away. We hide from it and we live with it. We learn to
work past it to survive and live in fear of becoming what we fear.
It is so funny. I met a social worker recently, working with a psych
patient. We were discussing children and these ill individuals and I
told her how my mother was paranoid schizophrenic and this lady was so
happy. She felt that, if I had turned out so well there was hope for
all those children out there being brought up by severely ill
psychiatric patients. Deep inside, I cried. I did not have the heart
to tell her that, sometimes, we don't really escape. We grow, we
become more, better, but we never completely leave the shadow that
haunted our childhood. We live, always remembering, always touched by
the darkness we grew up in. Our lives are wonderful, but the shadow
gives everything a tinge of regret for lost childhoods and innocence
that should never have been stolen from us.
Maybe that is why so many of us become healthcare providers, cops, and
other careers where we help others. We could not help ourselves, others
may have failed us, but in attempting to help others we are...time and
again...helping ourselves.