There was never a safe place for me when I was a child, at my home. Things that were out to get me came in the form of a parent. I was naïve to a fault. I got into the normal trouble others would at my age and always got a spanking or grounded or some form of punishment. My parents believe in the Biblical saying, “Spare not the rod, spoil not the child”, Spare not the rod and I felt every bit of their compliance to adhere to that. I thought sometimes that my parents got joy from punishing me, because they did it so much. I know now though, that was not the case. Spanking kept me, for the most part, on my better behavior rather than not. The reason I mentioned that was to say that they were strict and it mattered to them what people saw when they looked at our family, such as well-behaved kids, etc.
Anyhow, back to not having a safe place…
My parents worked a regular first shift job. They took me and picked me up from school since I attended a private Christian school. Usually it was my mother in the morning, and my father in the evening. I was never took or picked up by both. It just worked out that way for several reasons. One was that my mom went the way of my school, early enough she could take me, and my father got off first so he had time to pick me up.
I am grateful for my school, even though it was a strict Baptist one. It was really special to me because I practically knew everyone in the grades below me and most of the students in the grades above mine. It was a close-knit group. Almost everyone knew each other. My graduating class was just 13 students. It was very small, but there was other graduating classes smaller than that. I’d say the time when I attended there was 300 students from grades pre-k to senior. The teachers acted like they generally cared for us and wanted us to be good people. There was certain students that because of getting in trouble at another school, they were sent to mine. They were the so-called, “troublemakers”. I made some of my closest friends from that group, what does that say about me, haha. My school was a good place for me to be myself and feel safe. Actually, it was the only place I could possibly feel safe.
I say that school was my where I felt peace, where I felt if I needed help I could get it. My home was not like that. My home had more secrets than a mystery novel. My mom was the really hard-core disciplinary. My father was the one who sat on the sidelines until my mother sequestered his help with disciplining. So, needless to say, I knew if I wanted someone lax I went to my father. My father and I had an unhealthy relationship. I believe his knowledge of me being adopted turned him into a different kind of person towards me than a healthy father figure. He had affection for me and not the kind I wanted. This made my home life not a safe place for me. I felt trapped and scared most of the time, more than loved.
Sometimes we do what we can to cope with our worlds, for me it was journaling. I wrote my emotions in notebook, after notebook and I even color coded my “emotions”, words. I kept my journals in various places around in my bedroom. I thought I had them pretty well hid. My mother was a very noisy mother and she would without warning go through my room, almost like she was on a mission to seek and destroy. No kidding. I think my mother’s first instinct was to think the worst of me without knowing if it was warranted first.
I remember this one day I walked into my room, and was wanting to write in my journal when I noticed it was not where I put it. I frantically looked for it. I had noticed that my room was moved around some. My thought went to , “uh ho!” I just knew my mother had it. After looking for my other journals, I could not find them. What I did find was my mother standing in my doorway. She had a look of anger on her face. She proceeded to tell me that I needed to stop writing lies in my books about my father and everyone. I was in shock. Without hesitation she started asking me what the different colors of ink was for. I told her, when I was mad I used red. When I was sad I would use blue. I said that yellow was for feeling sick inside, and pink was for my favorite things, etc. She looked through my journals that she had and started ripping out the pages where she saw something she did not like. I was devastated.
All the stuff I had so meticulously wrote in them was gone. I felt betrayed but mostly hurt. I think I will never get over that feeling of being completely and utterly exposed as well as betrayed. I don’t think my mother ever felt the same about me after reading my journals, in fact, I am sure of it. From that moment on I was a good for nothing liar and in her mind I hated them both. I have not kept a journal since, instead I write poems and quotes and short stories. In doing that, I can again express myself but never again will I , in a journal.
“What I have learnt from that chapter in my life is to find a way to express your pain, your fears, your thoughts if you really need to. Find a person you trust and talk with them, but be careful not everyone wants to hear about the true life you lead. Remember not everyone is your friend. Also, if you are being abused, mistreated, or you are scared of someone or something happening in your life, talk to someone, or seek help. Don’t let anyone keep you silent.” ~MwsR
Childhelp National Child Abuse Hotline