How Trauma Affected Me

True Story

How Trauma Affected My Life:

I feel I have had such bad trauma, to the point where I suppress it so much just to feel some what normal in the world. There's ways I do this. Some ways I do this is by thinking about other people who have it way worse than I do, which helps me feel like my problems are not even valid compared to theirs. Other ways I do this is by living through the motions. Trying to be a normal human being just so I can feel somewhat real in this world.

My trauma is so dark not coloured but the feeling such a shade of black that I never felt before. It is so dark that I am ashamed to even think about it, let alone feel it. Sometimes I have flash backs of my trauma but I always normalize it by saying to myself “it’s not real.” Or I tell myself that these thoughts are ideas that just came from imagination. I am the type of person that doesn’t like making things about me, I’m so used of worrying about other people, making sure they aren’t going through what I have. Sometimes I feel I am a ghost and I’m just watching through a lens. My trauma was so dark that it makes me feel ashamed and guilty for talking about it, because I feel I will sound like I’m looking for attention or pity.

I’ve sat in so many chairs with therapists who just try so hard to get my secrets out of me. I don’t even talk to them about it because I don’t want them to even know. I don’t want anyone to. That includes myself. It scares me because sometimes I’ll have moments where sexual trauma comes up for me and I’ll get a flash back but the worst part is I feel the sensations and it makes me feel so uncomfortable. It’s almost as if I’m reliving the experience again. I think being silent was the one thing I was all my life. It confused me because people say I’m so open about my feelings, and although part of me is, a huge part of me can’t even understand the difference between regular feelings and dark ones.

I believe there's feelings people have, and then there's lived experiences that detach from feelings. I’ve never actually been honest to myself about my trauma. I have lied to myself several times in order to be able to live.

I’m scared that if I tell anyone about what really has happened, that I somehow will forever be looked at as broken. In this I for the very first time will tell my story. Although I am scared and everything in me says to keep it a secret, my soul knows it’s been contained for to long.

Chapter 1: Mother Loses Her Sanity

It’s the night time and I’m a baby, I’m crying for love and food but nobody is responding. I keep crying and crying but nothing happens. Eventually I actually stop crying because I become so used to not being heard in the first place. I hear doors being slammed shut, and my parents having sex. I hear my siblings talking to each other but it never sounds like anyone feels safe.

It’s the night time, my mom's doing something wrong, so my dad decides to abuse her and put her in her place. I hear her screaming, she screams a lot in this house. Let go is her favourite words. Now as a baby people tell you, you can’t remember anything or understand. I’m living proof that this is untrue.

My dad was always a shadow to me. A figure that was tall and skinny, but if I had learned what the devil was it was learned most from him. I remember him coming to my crib and touching me in places that as a baby I didn’t understand. I don’t think he ever got caught because it seemed to happen to me more than just one simple time. I feel like every time I smell alcohol I want to barf at the thought of it, because I feel it’s a smell that I grew used to when I was young.

Mom comes home and she isn’t walking straight, she sometimes falls over. Dad is home some nights other days he is gone. There love was like watching a distorted movie play before your eyes. I don’t know what else to say. I know my mom had left me on a picnic table with my brother and I cried for food but there wasn’t any. At this age loud noises meant someone was getting beaten, and screaming meant someone was getting hurt. I don’t remember having a time where I actually felt I was in the world yet. I felt I was in a dream, or anything else that wasn’t the world. The reason I say this is because if this is what the world looked like, I don’t know how I’d survive.

Chapter 2: Foster Care

There’s probably 10-15 children, I don’t know who these faces are but at least this time I have other children to play with who won’t ignore me. This was fun at first, but I was confused as I didn't understand who my parents were. I was told Debbie and Dave the foster care owners were now my parents. I wasn’t sure why I had been tossed along and nobody gave me a real answer. We’d play and it would be fun, but there was a weird feeling that I had. I felt like the two older brothers were doing things they shouldn’t have been doing. I ignored that because at this point I didn’t know the difference between safe and not safe, I thought they were distorted. My sister was young and she acted very off. I felt like the brothers were doing things to the children but I was young and so I thought maybe this is made up. I know today though, that it wasn’t.

I was passed to other foster care homes, it still felt like I didn’t have any parents and I didn’t understand what the world really was still.

Chapter 3: Teenage-hood

This was the time where I started getting older and understanding more about my past and that was probably the hardest time of my life. My adoptive parents really wanted us to have a good life. I believe they tried very hard to give that to us but didn’t really know what possible outcomes could happen which was a problem. Life was strange, they took us to their home far away from out foster home, and as soon as we got out of the car we had all the neighbours come to the driveway and crowd around us giving us gifts and saying hello. It was really confusing because I wasn’t sure if all these people were my parents and that I had 4 sets of parents now. I just remember them saying how cute we were and that we are Cindy and John's new kids. I look back now to what I felt at that time, and I’ll explain what that really felt like. I felt like I was some special gift from a store that everybody wanted to see and now that I arrived I was the centre of the show. However I couldn’t see any familiar faces around me and it confused me of how I even got here. It almost felt like being kidnapped except it is legal. I don't think at that age I had the comprehension of saying no. I also felt my voice wasn’t heard. However I looked like this cute kid so that was what people liked about me the most right?

As I started growing up my neighbour's kids got really close to my siblings and I and we always hung out. This was for years. As we got older, I was the youngest and the older kids all wanted to hangout with my sister and brother but not me. However I didn’t want to left alone at home because I didn't know my parents well at all and the only person I really felt I knew was my sister. So eventually the older kids started being mean to me and would call me annoying because I just wanted to hangout with them in order to know I am safe. However nobody at that age understood that so my feelings were suppressed.

As I got older I was still feeling this way, but this time we had adopted my older brother which was fine at first. As he got older he had his own challenges. However this part I feel uncomfortable talking about because I don’t want him to sound like he’s a bad person, because he’s not.

At night time I’de be sleeping and then I remember opening my eyes and some cloth covered my mouth and everything would be really really blurry and dizzy, and I was unable to really speak and move. I just remember seeing him onto of me but not really feeling anything because of how blurry everything really was. This happened for a while I feel, and I get flash backs to it but I don’t ever believe them because I don’t want to believe that actually happened even though I know it did.

When I was really young and I’m talking age 4 I knew a lot about sex, but not in a way that 4 year olds do. I know what it was, I drew pictures of it and was confused as to why I knew about it and always felt so guilty and ashamed for even thinking about it. I realize now at the age I’m at, it’s because I had experience so much sexual abuse that of course at that age I knew what that was. However it always feels gross and still until today I hate when I am feeling any form of sexual sensations. I hate thinking that I want to have sex because I’m scared that it’s coming from a place of trauma rather than a place of actually feeling safe and wanting to do it from that space.

I feel guilty for even asking my partner to have sex, and I don’t know how to tell him that I want to in spiritual loving words, so I just say “I’m horny” because it’s short and doesn't involve me getting too close to him spiritually. He is the only partner I have had that I feel safe having sex with however the one thing I definitely struggle with is asking him if he was thinking about me. I guess what I feel is that all my life sexually, I was just a toy that was used and abused and I have the fear inside me thinking that he’s just doing the same thing to me.

Which is why when he slept with the two other men, I always get that weird tingle sensation down there, but it’s not the sensual kind it’s the you have been abused sensation. That tells me somethings wrong. When he slept with the two other men, I never was honest about how it actually made me feel. I felt like the 4 year old child that had been used, that nobody truly gave a shit about. It feels like death within. That’s what it feels like.

Growing up I told myself, if you love someone you make sure that they don’t treat you the way your mother, father, brother and strangers did. That you stand your ground, that you don’t let someone take advantage of you. That you don’t sit in silence when they have wronged you. Today I believe differently now. I don't think anyones perfect. I don’t believe you can have someone who sexually will respect you and honour you. Even when I thought I had that, it was stolen from me.

My gender, it was always confusing, I always wanted to be friends with the boys but in school they’d always treat me like the girl who was adopted and use my own trauma to bully me every day. I just remember being called a slut and walking into the classroom with slut written on my desk. While all the kids laughed, I sat at my desk and I disappeared. I never understood why people though I was a slut, did they some how know I was sexual abused? Could they tell by just how I looked? These were questions I would always ask myself. I never saw myself as female really, I just saw myself as someone that had a lot of more pain to go through, before I could ever get the chance to have a life that I deserved. I just never felt connected to my gender, and maybe abuse had an impact on that. However I feel, that it didn't matter if I was born male of female. Either way, I knew some day I’d know I’d be given a chance to really become myself without anyone stopping me from doing that.

Chapter 4: A Letter to My Mother

Dear Mom,

We haven’t spoken in some time now. A lot has changed since I last remembered. I may never end up giving you this letter. There’s some things I wanted to say to you that I’ve never had the chance to.

All growing up I wondered about you all the time, I thought about you constantly. I wondered if you could even hear me some how. As I got older I stopped thinking of you. For many reasons, some because the way my adoptive parents talked about you, and others because I needed time. I needed time to really process what you did. There is no doubt that we have to start here, you’re the one that gave birth to me and brought me into this world. I just wanted to say that I don’t blame you now, and I don’t judge you for your actions. What you chose to do and live as was your choice. However I have always felt guilty for ever feeling mad at you simply because I thought no mother could create such a life like this for their child. I’ve held in my feelings about it for years but I feel now is my time to acknowledge my feelings and not feel guilty for sharing them. I am upset that drugs and alcohol were the causes of what started my life to where it is now. However, I’m also grateful. All my life I wanted to turn to substances, however I didn’t. I turned to eating my feelings and cutting myself, to several attempts to end my own life. Although I thought I did better than you in the ways I coped, I realized my way was no better than yours. I would hide knives and razors and cut into my skin, and cry in silence. I would binge eat all my feelings. Turns out I wasn’t nearly as strong as I’d wish I was. 

Anytime a man entered my life I’d find a way to destroy it, because I just remember watching you stay to long with someone and how that ended up ruining a lot in my life and yours. I have troubles trusting because I feel I’ll be left behind the way you left me behind. That when I’m in need of love and support theres nobody there to help support me through my pain other than myself. I think of every possible thing that could go wrong in situations so that I find a way to stay safe, and that results in leaving people. When I have sex I get scared, I’ve only got to experience unconditional love sexual intimacy a few times and was only with one person. My partner is the greatest person I’ve ever known and he tries to be there for me in ways I never been offered before. I always want to push him away because I feel it’s too good to be true. For I don’t know a life where someone loves you and truly wants to stay. I’m so used of losing everyone that I needed in my life that I’ve detached myself from having that. A lot of the problems I have with my adoptive parents are actual problems I need to work out with you. You have never been constant in my life. You wouldn’t show up for visits that you promised us that you would. I was so young and I just wanted a hug from you and to know that you still care. You would call me drunk and every phone call we have had, you have never asked me anything about myself. It’s always about my brothers who I don’t even have contact with. The last words Raymond told me was that I am just like my mother. Which made no sense to me because I thought you were the last person I’d ever want to be like. Why did I deserve any of this? Why did you stand by and let Raymond abuse us sexually? Why couldn’t you take responsibility? Why do I have to STILL suffer? Why don’t I deserve a life where I can be loved and have reliable people in my life? I do. I deserve that. So do you. I’m just tired of feeling this way, I’m tired of carrying your burdens on my shoulders. I’’m tried of telling myself that I’m unworthy just because you treated me that way at times doesn’t make it true. And while I’m trying to redefine my own truth, a truth that’s outside of yours. Outside of Dad's, outside of Mark, Mel, Cindy, & John. I need my OWN truth. What I need to hear is you giving me answers, because these are answers that I have needed to hear for a long time now. Once I get these answers, I can understand you more, I can see YOU differently than I am right now and I want that.

-Skylar

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