Monday, 16 November 2015

Memories of a Scapegoat: The Lost Child

I often try to think of a reason for why people did what they did to me and I try to convince myself that they weren’t all that bad but sometimes I really can’t find anyway to remotely justify what they did to me and the fact they did it on purpose.

Mother liked to teach me a lesson especially if I reacted in anyway to the pain she inflicted on me and when I have mentioned the abuse I grew up with they would remind me of all the holidays we had been on and yes it was great to see other countries but there was always an undercurrent of fear when we went and certainly always a drama.

Lost In Epcott

 We had gone to America and we were in the Epcott centre, we had been walking around for hours and my legs were getting really tired I was around four at time and I started whining that my legs were burning I desperately needed a rest. Mother crushed my hand in hers and gave me that look that told me I was going to be in for it so I pulled my hand away from hers to stop the pain. I was rubbing my hand to ease the pain and then the lights went out for the space show to begin.  I freaked out and looking back I can see was having a panic attack. I grabbed for mother's hand again needing some familiarity in the strange dark place, I needed to feel safe. She took my hand and held it throughout the whole show but then the lights went up and I looked up only to see I was holding a strangers hand. I freaked out completely then and started screaming and crying. I thought I was lost in a strange country and I must have screamed and cried for a long time getting more and more distressed before mother eventually came to get me. She must have known the whole time I wasn’t with her and she wasn’t standing that far away to not be able to hear me crying which meant she knew I was in great distress and let me think I was lost, she had enjoyed the whole show knowing I wasn’t next to her knowing  I was on my own in a room full of strangers in a very strange country at a totally vulnerable ag. Later on after I had gotten lost for the nth time she told me it would teach me not to defy her.

I went missing quite a few times on holiday which led to a big fear of abandonment, the last time was when we were in the lake district I must have been about ten. It started with me annoying Mother for some reason such as daring to exist and she started crushing my hand really hard. Hand crushing  was her favourite thing to do as it wasn't obvious to anyone around , easy for her to overpower me and if I shouted out in pain I knew  there would be another punishment coming my way.  

I yanked my hand away had as I could to escape her unbearably painful grip and lagged behind trying to subtly nurse my sore hand trying my best to be invisible lest bring attention to the injury caused by Mother and somehow end up sullying the family name in  public . 

To expose our dysfunction to the outside world would  incur more of Mothers special brand of cold wrath and quietly inflicted pain .

 As  I walked behind my parents trying to stop the tears running down my face (I had already been traumatised out of being able to openly cry by now)feeling deeply sad and angry I got distracted trying to ease the pain of my throbbing hand . After a short while I looked up for my parents and they weren’t there. 

 I started having a panic attack,  I was utterly convinced I was lost forever and I was so scared and untrusting of people by this point in my life I felt like I was surrounded by sinister strangers and living with monsters in my own home. I couldn't trust my own parents or siblings so who could I trust?

I decided I should look for a really old couple to help me, My reasoning was that they would have less chance of  hurting me. I hadn’t ever been hurt by old people . I was afraid of everyone whose was my parents, brother or sister's age I knew nothing but mental abuse and physical pain from these people my whole life I expected nothing better from strangers. 

I Eventually found an elderly couple who looked friendly to me . 
I told them  I was lost and by this time was crying my eyes out. 

I tried to explain which campsite we were at , I knew the lakes pretty well so  I was able to give a good description and then I had to get in the car with them hoping to god they were trustworthy.

 I was scared shitless of getting in  the car with them but they looked  kind and I had no other choice, there was no way I could have found my own way back to where we were staying .

They drove me straight to the campsite where I was staying with my parents and when we got there my parents were already at the caravan relaxing  on deckchairs having an afternoon drink. They had left me in the middle of Keswick and buggered off to the campsite without me completely unconcerned. 

The couple who found me explained I had been in tears and was really distressed when they found me and my parents were really casual  about me being lost it was like they couldn’t give a shit and they gave me a really cold angry look that out the fear up me a good part of me wanted to run off with the nice people who found me. I felt my gut drop that horrible familiar feeling of wondering what the hell I was  in for . 

Mother had a habit of waiting until you thought it was all forgotten then punishing you unexpectedly. For example when  I had started running away instead of waiting for them to hit me like a good little scapegoat. I would run away for Mother before she could hit me and run far away from the house and spend the day knocking about the streets, hanging out with mates . 

I would get home at night hoping to god it would be forgotten about and Mother would greet me, start making my tea put it out all nice on a tray and bring it through to the sitting room. 

I would tuck in watching TV and suddenly out of nowhere she would slap me across the back of the head hard as she could and say, I told you I would get you back after a few years of this  I became quite jumpy and twitchy when eating which went down great at school as you can imagine.

 Getting back to the story,  after the couple drove off my parents  told me how disappointed and angry they were with me and proceeded to ignore me for the rest of the day, silent treatment deluxe pretending I wasn't there except to snap at me or throw another furious look my way now and again. They really didn't care I had been lost or frightened or Mother had really hurt me all they cared about was that they might have looked bad to the couple who found me.

 In our family the family  name and reputation is absolutely everything. 

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