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Lighting Up Melissa's Story

“Lighting Up Melissa’s Story” who is also a participant in my 10 week online supporting group HEAL program….

“Well this may explain why I am quiet and reserved. I know it’s like pulling teeth to get me to talk or share. But in all honesty – its because I don’t want the attention. I don’t want any eyes on me I would rather feel like the other person is heard. Maybe they will want to talk more and stick around longer. Well I hope my story explains things. Now where to start?!? I guess since this is for childhood trauma, I’ll start there. My childhood consisted of peeping tom/pervert type men. One of my first memories was in fact an inappropriate one. I can still remember how unsteady I walked to the bathroom where I caught him. I still can remember his smell. I wasn’t very old but I can’t shake that memory. Another memory was an uncle being inappropriate with himself and asking if I can help. I locked myself in the bathroom for who knows how long. When I came out my twin sister was skinny dipping with him. I don’t recall how old we were but I do remember my dad driving drunk to pick us up and asking us if he did anything to us. Terrified, but in unison, we both said no. That feeling in the back of that car still follows me today when I’m stressed. That uncle exposed himself every chance he could, but I am thankful that’s all he did to us. I’ll continue next with a family history. My parents have been married 42.5 years. They never slept in the same bed unless company was over, just to put on an image that things were good. But how can they be good? My dad was/is an alcoholic and my mom a narcissist with a food and shopping addiction. She’s always been around 3-400 lbs. My dad always slept on the couch in the basement and my mom upstairs. They fought/yelled/broke/threw things. It was a high stress environment. More so when my dad would get off work and would continue the disciplining. That usually involved a 3 foot wooden spoon or his belt and my pants/panties pulled down. Since they didn’t have a real intimate relationship, my dad looked for ways to relieve himself. But he was nothing like his brother so he thought it was ok. And in all honesty- I thought it was too since he didn’t “actually” touch me. He would just drill holes in the bedrooms so he could watch us dress, I woke up with my shirt lifted or my hand on him, or him standing there at our door, or watching porn in the basement. As soon as I could, I moved out at 17 and never looked or went back.

I kept my childhood a secret from my husband or ex husband. I didn’t want to influence their opinion. I never told anyone until 2 years ago when my world came crashing down. I had a miscarriage. I miscarried by myself at work. I needed an ambulance ride to get a d/c at the city hospital, after that was a broken leg puppy, a car accident that totalled my vehicle, health issues, then Covid which my work used to add extra duties to my over -flowing plate and my supervisor abused his title and made things worse when I asked for an accommodation. That was it, it was way too much. I quit work and I finally started counselling that opened up the “can of worms” that I can’t seem to get back closed. But that’s probably the point. What got me was when the counsellor said “there is no status of limitations” or when she got me to read “Running on Empty” – which brought out how much my mother played a part in my trauma. My mother was not innocent. She believed that kids shouldn’t be seen or heard. We lived in the playpen as long as possible. We had soap shoved down our throats if we spoke out. Her house had to be clean and people had to believe things were fine if they came over. But not many came over. We never had any birthday parties or friends over. I was blessed to be allowed to go around the corner to a friends house though. I considered her parents to be mine. I was devastated when her dad passed away when we were 9. I still call her mom my “other mother.” My parents didn’t know what the other parent was like so I decided to write them letters last year that exposed the secrets, confronted them and forgave them. My mom didn’t talk to me for 5 months and my dad for almost a year ( and it would have been longer if I didn’t make the first move.)

There was also not a drop of religion in our family so when I got baptized this past New Year’s Eve, it was like I joined a cult. It didn’t matter how much it was helping my anxiety or how much my faith was growing. There was always some hidden issue. And this wasn’t just with my family, this was with my husband’s family as well. His family wanted a family meeting to discuss how I was ruining the family. It stressed me out so much that I wanted to go to Ottawa like the convoy. I couldn’t sleep so I looked on facebook to see if there was anything local. I found a group that had 336 members and joined. I asked the owner if she needed help because I was good at that kind of thing and she said Yes Please! I didn’t sleep well after that for 13 days. But my convoy journey is it’s own story that I am proud of even though I think it had a lot to do with my recent diagnosis of bipolar. But the story reminds me how my trauma influenced my choices. There is a lot of family dynamics I could continue discussing but I do consider myself lucky for how I turned out and how things could have been worse. But it does explain how even I have roots in my past that need to be pulled so that I can continue growing and walking my truth. I appreciate the awareness and knowledge that this course is giving me towards that.”

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