Monday, August 1, 2011
Please note there may be triggers in this post… Please make sure you are safe before continuing. Your safety is the most important thing.
“Stop crying before I give you something to cry about”
“every time you move or put your hand in the way…. You get 5 more”
“Stop crying or I’ll give u something to cry about”- unfortunately this is a popular phrase used by many parents. Emotional pain, Physical hurt, disappointment, and fear just to name a few feelings that can produce crying. These are just some of the feelings one feels when they are being taken apart by someone they trust. She was my mother… She gave birth to me.
I was already crying as the statement shows. I was already experiencing something that was producing sorrow enough to produce tears but I was being told to stop feeling. I was told that my pain, hurt, sorrow, fear must be put away. Moved to somewhere else and if I didn’t get rid of it and quick… I was going to be hurt more as outlined by her comment “every time you move or put your hand in the way…. You get 5 more”…..Do you know how difficult it is to not feel pain? She would hit with all her might. Drawing blood. Leaving marks on the walls, furniture and floors when she missed her mark. Her mark being me……..I eventually found the strength to not cry, make a sound or move from the pain……. it took years. I would disassociate – leave the scene. Disappear, die. It ultimately became my victory that I wouldn’t cry in front of her. Since when does holding in your emotions become a victory?
As I grew up I learned to push my pain down inside, stuff it away, don’t feel it. I then didn’t know when it was appropriate to feel pain and express it. I experienced a second degree burn from scalding water that I accidentally spilled on my arm as a teenager. It happened as I was removing a cup of boiling water from the microwave. I was in a room filled with adults, my uncle, mother, father and other guests. I never made a sound. I remember it was excruciating pain. I was afraid to tell anyone because I thought that they would see me as stupid for spilling the water and dumber for crying. I have a permanent scar on my arm from that incident as well as a scar on my soul. I never learned it was ok to feel pain and it was ok to express it. My pain was never validated. I never learned when it’s appropriate or how it’s appropriate to express when something hurts. In stead I learned to take it, accept it,raise my pain thresh hold. My pain was invalid. Her goal was to make me invalid.
I am not invalid today. I am not invisible. If something hurts I have learned by testing the waters … That it’s ok tell someone. Its small things that I can express safely. Deeper feelings of hurt or disappointment are more difficult to share and often don’t get shared ( I’m working on this with some success). I have limited experience in expressing my pains, my sorrows in a safe environment. It’s going to take time and trust. I have learned to be able to say ” this hurts my feelings”. What a wonderful thing to be able to say ” I’m hurt ” and feel that and know that someone has heard you.
A child deserves the right to express their emotions. Say what they feel. Be validated as a feeling expressive individual. If one gets to do that as a child … They don’t grow up looking for validation as an adult. They feel because they do. They are because they are. Today I know that I feel because I do and I am because i am. One can heal, one can become valid after being taught that they are invalid. One can learn to breath in a moment and breath it out and not feel like they will break or shatter into pieces of broken glass. Is it easy? No. But I am learning that the same strength it took to endure the pain of my childhood… Is the same strength it takes to release the pain now… To get back that which was stolen from me.
I am because I am….. You are because you are
God bless those who can relate …. Know that we are not alone