Thursday, October 27, 2011

Past Memories - Suppression or nothing?

I've had a lot of time to think the last 3 days being without power and heat. It was a good reflection time. Every few years my past creeps up on me and I need to journal and find myself again, remember where I've come from and where I am now. Journaling is the best therapeutic process I've ever known. It's funny to me how we suppress memories and others flood our minds. I'd love to hear how you deal with these memories, and how do you recall them, even the ones you don't remember?

Would the real BK Walker please stand up....

I have one memory that sticks out in my mind before the age of six. It's not a great memory, but it is one of my first memories of my real father.

He was wearing a white football jersey with red numbers. I remember the night being fun with a movie and laughing involved. I'm not really sure of my exact age, maybe 2 or 3. We arrived home to a dark house and it was dark outside. He carried me in his arms and we walked through the door. My mother walked out from beside a food cupboard she had been hiding behind and snatched me from my fathers arms. Instantly I cried, grabbing my dad's jersey holding on with all my might. Screaming over and over I pleaded, "Daddy don't leave me!" "Daddy don't go!" He pulled my hands free of him and walked out the door.

Later I found out he had been cheating on my mother, and had me to the movies with his woman and her two children.  My mother was no dummy and just wanted her only child away from the floozie and cheating husband.

How does a child cope with that? That being one of the few memories remembered of their childhood?

I never really had a male role model as I grew up. My parents divorced and my father always walked away. Sure my Mom had boyfriends, they came and they went. None ever stuck around long enough though for me to consider them anything other than "Mom's boyfriend".

What I believed for sure, and always expected, men in your life will always walk away.

My mom is and was a good woman. She always tried to give me what she wasn't able to have herself as a child, including my first horse, but when things got rough - she'd send me to my grandparents. The exact place she couldn't wait to get away from, and the reason she married my father right out of high school. Silly woman.

From the age of 8 until I was 13, that is where I stayed. I'd go home on the weekends, sometimes not. I guess it would depend on whether my aunt was able to come home with me or not. Those memories are a little foggy.

Now I bet you're wondering what was it that was so bad to drive 3 children and 1 grandchild to count down the days to when they'd be free to leave my grandparents house,  right?

It was my grandfather.

Grandpa was a man straight out of the 50's. He married, he worked, he had kids, and he was an alcoholic.

He provided for his family, sure. Gram didn't have to work, there was always food on the table, but all that came second to his drinking. That brings me to my next set of childhood memories.

Grandpa drank every single day. Sometimes he would make it home for supper, which was expected to be ready and waiting on the table, other times he didn't and would go straight to the bar.

I remember how tense the house would become as we waited for him to arrive. If he showed up, you kept your mouth shut and ate your dinner, all of it, in silence. If he didn't show, we'd all breathe a momentary sigh of relief and discuss our day.

Then later, after Gram was called to pick him up at the bar because he was too drunk to drive, all hell would break loose. Grandpa was a very mean drunk.

My aunt and uncle lived there too, though I can't exactly remember when my uncle left home. After he left though is when my aunt and I would be woken up in the wee hours of the night to with Gram to pick him up - drunk. When my aunt could drive, she'd have to drive Grandpa's car home while Gram drove him home.
We'd get home and my aunt and I would hurry off to bed, burying our heads under our pillows while Grandpa screamed his demands on Gram to fix his supper and let us know how worthless we all were.

After my aunt left home, I was left to deal with it all on my own. I became a very angry person.

The only time Grandpa talked to me was when he was drinking. He would tell me I was no good, I would never amount to anything, I'd be just like my father and I was going to burn in Hell because I was a sinner, and Jesus hated sinners.

I know, it seems weird to throw religion into the midst of all this love, but my Grandmother was a God-fearing woman. I think that is how she endured so much, because of her belief. I don't know how else she made it any other way.

She tried to raise us right, always preaching to us on how to be right with God. I can remember her teaching me scripture (John 3:16 For God so loved the world that he gave his only son that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life) and singing hymns (Jesus Loves The Little Children) with me, but I just could not get past how she lived. I always asked her why she married him and why she didn't divorce him. I don't remember her answer, but I'm sure it had to do with the bible.  She sure put up with a lot of crap.

With that said, my anger only festered. I began to hate my grandfather, resent my Gram for not leaving him, resent my mom for sending me there, and mad at my aunt and uncle for leaving me alone. Oh, I was excited when they left at first, only because I now got the big bedroom in the basement, but when Grandpa came home drunk again - I was mad again.

I remember one night laying in bed. I was probably 8. Grandpa came home drunk and yelling, throwing things around. I had to go to the bathroom so bad, but was too scared to go upstairs. I couldn't hold it anymore and peed my red footed pajamas, laying there until I heard my grandfather's car pulling out of the driveway when he left for work at 5am the next morning. I then went upstairs crying and told Gram what I had done. She was very patient and did what she did best, took care of me.

When I turned 13 I couldn't pack my things fast enough to go back home for good. My Mom felt bad and I knew it. I was penting up so much anger though, I just didn't care. I was free of him.

A new life, a new (not so good) path.

Stay tuned for the next self therapeutic session....if you can't wait and want a good idea - check out Death Upon Me.

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