Home » anxiety » Where Childhood Ends- And Depression Begins

Where Childhood Ends- And Depression Begins

When I was little, I was very outgoing.  Very outspoken.  “Quite the little dickens” I heard, over and over.  I had a smile that never quit, unless I was thwarted in my evil plans to take over the universe.  I was bright, and sunny, and even had a pink bedroom. 

I was just the little girl my mother always wanted.

Of course, there were the mudfights, and the climbing trees, and the getting my clothes filthy 2 minutes after I got dressed… but still.  It was a near-perfect childhood.

When I was 11, we moved to North Dakota.  But, our family kept in close touch with another family, one that I’d known my whole life.  My best friend was the daughter, her parents were my parent’s best friends, and her brother was a good friend of my brother’s.  We spent pretty much all our time together growing up, until we moved away.  Even then, I would go down to their house in the summer, spend a couple of weeks, and come home.

Until one summer, when I was 15, going on 16. (Correction made, not that it matters to the telling, but it matters to me to tell the truth)

That summer, I went to stay at their house, like always, but things were different.  The brother was more aggressive, and more persistent in picking on, and teasing me.  I didn’t think much about it, except that he was really becoming a jerk.

One night, as I lay sleeping, I awoke to him molesting me.

In my shock and abject terror, I pretended to have a nightmare, so he’d leave, and I’d wake my friend, who was sleeping in the bed next to me.  After he snuck out, I ran downstairs, grabbed the phone, and called my parents.  At 2 in the morning.

My parents were groggy, of course, but told me to go wake up the adults in the house.  When I did, my mom spoke to their mom, who promptly dragged me upstairs, and forced me to confront her son, asking if he’d done what I said he’d done.  He faked confusion.  I was led, back downstairs, bawling, to be told by my parents that obviously I was just dreaming, and how dare I say such things.

I begged to go home, instantly.  Instead, I was shuttled from family member to family member, each taking me part way, until I reached home.

Once there, it was not spoken of again for 5 years.

In those years, I rebelled.  Getting more and more angry, more and more furious with my parents, and my mother in particular.  These were the people who were supposed to back me up, supposed to protect me.  And instead, they defended their friends and their horrible son.  I blamed my mother more than my father, because it was her opinions that carried the most weight in our household.  Her ability to apply guilt to everything, weighing it in the direction she wanted it to go, was overwhelming. 

I pushed the memories down deep, blocking them, even from myself, not realizing that they were where most of my rebellion stemmed from.  My desperate need to escape, to be different from those people.

The summer that I went from 19 to 20yrs. old, my parents finally got fed up with me running all night, every weekend.  Even though I never really drank at that age, they assumed that because I was out late, sometimes not coming home till the next morning, that I was on drugs.  Truth be told, most of the time, I was driving the other drunks home, and that’s why I was late.  I had never, and have never, taken any form of illegal or illicit drugs.  Even though they were offered many times, I had “control issues”, and couldn’t stand to think of acting the way I saw so many of my friends act while they were stoned.  Out of control, I couldn’t be sure of what would happen to me.  And I couldn’t do that.

Anyway, that summer, my parents (mostly the mother), decided that maybe I needed counseling.  They sent me to see a social worker, and when I arrived for the first meeting, his first words were “Your parents are worried about your behavior.  They think it might have something to do with you claiming you were molested a few years ago.”

Claiming.  Not admitting that it actually happened.  Just that I “claimed” it.

Needless to say, the counseling session went straight to hell, with me leaving in a ball of fury and tears.  All the memories came flooding back, causing a whole new batch of hot mess, which ended in me – hitting a spiral of bad behavior that I’d never seen before that summer.  I was told by my father that it was either join the armed services, or find a job.  I found a job nannying in New Jersey, and ended up there for 2 months, until I found out that I was – pregnant with Eldest.  I hadn’t realized it when I left home, as I’d been irregular all summer, due to drinking, and horrible eating habits.

To this day, I have never had any of the adults involved admit to what happened.

I have forbidden them to allow any of my children anywhere near “him” if they happened to take them back to Iowa.

He approached me a few years ago, wanting to “talk”.  I told him to get away from me instantly, and that if he didn’t, or if he ever touched one of my children?  I would kill him.  Myself.  And gladly go to jail for it.

The place where childhood ends, is not always at the initial abuse.  Sometimes, it comes later, when the people that are supposed to protect you, listen to you, believe you, and stick up for you….. don’t.  When you stop trusting that they’ll be there for you, you have to rely on only yourself.  When your life blows up, and there’s no one to catch you, hold you, and tell you that it’ll be alright, someday.  When your self-esteem disappears at 2am on a tearful phone call with your parents 800 miles away – because if your own parents won’t believe you, won’t stick up for you, then maybe you’re not worth it.

That’s where childhood ends.

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34 thoughts on “Where Childhood Ends- And Depression Begins

  1. Even though you’ve spoken to me about this before, it still renders me speechless. I am so sorry that your mother didn’t have the backbone to stand up for you, rather than sweep it under the rug.

    ~HUGS~

    • There will come a day of reckoning, when it all gets dragged into the sunlight, kicking and screaming. And I have a feeling that day will come sooner than expected. I’m going to be getting back to basics – shortly.

  2. My dear friend, I am so very sorry that you have had to experience this. I won’t go into all the nasty details here because this is your space for healing, not mine, but know that I know what you are going through, what you’ve been through, from many different sides. You are not alone in your pain and feelings of betrayal. That you have become the amazing mom that you are is only a tiny testament to how strong you are. {{hugs}}

    • I have the feeling that there are a lot of “broken bloggers” out there. This has been such a freeing, therapuetic thing for me – and I just hope that by speaking up, that others who’ve been through something similar know that they’re not alone.

  3. It was horrific and nothing can ever change the slap in the face you got when all you needed was to be heard. It pissed me off when you first told me and it pisses me off still. Reading your words makes me want to frickin’ punch someone…I am just so thankful you have such an awesome gift in your writing – you are HEARD and no one will ever silence you again!!!

    • Damn straight. You were the only one that heard me back then. Thank you, for all of it. Without you, last night would’ve been a whole other story.

  4. Oh my dear friend…I am so sorry. I have no clue to what to say in a situation like this. I cannot comprehend the amount of pain and anguish you have been dealing with all these years. It is a great testament to you, and YOU ALONE, that you have become the amazing woman you are today. I know you often see yourself as very flawed and full of faults, but through your writing, and our chats, I KNOW that you are an amazing lady and I would bet that your close friends who actually see you in person would back me up in that assumption. With no support from your family, YOU have made yourself into the person you are today. I know this had to be indescribably hard to blog about and then post. Thank you so much for sharing this with us. I have a much better appreciation for the sadness you have faced since your childhood. I won’t send you a big cyber hug…..I’ll wait till I see ya in person and then I will squeeze the daylights out of you! All my Love to ya Sis!

    • Mark, I’ll take that challenge of a hug! You’ve been such a big support for me, and the group as well, that *shrug* I don’t know if I could have pulled this off without you guys.

      Thank. You.

  5. The uncanny doesn’t end. I to had a pink room. I too was the “girl my mother dreamed of.” I too participated in mud fights with my brothers, climbed trees and buried my mother’s prized barbie dolls.

    I too was molested, and not believed. My mother actually said I was confused, that it happened to a neighbor girl.

    “Sometimes, it comes later, when the people that are supposed to protect you, listen to you, believe you, and stick up for you….. don’t.”….

    Children are mighty resilient, I know this from my son. He too was molested by a roommate I had, at a very young age. The difference between him and I.. I believed him. I went to the police. I did was a mother should do. . . He had counseling, but has bounced back; this was ten years ago and he barely remembers it.

    I, on the other hand, have many issues with sex, self acceptance, depression, weight, men, emotions… I could go on.

    Anyways, in all this rambling.. I hear you. I see you. I recognize the “you” in me. This allows me to be here and to listen even better.

    Love you Sistah.

    • “Shared Pain is Halved – Shared Joys, Doubled” You my friend are an amazing woman. I hear you, and see you – too.

  6. To everybody~ Thank you so much for all of your love and support. My “chosen family” is so precious to me, and you have all been there when I needed you, no matter what.

    Goddess bless you all.

  7. I can relate on so many levels that it’s frightening. Unfortunately childhood ends way too soon for a lot of us. I’m convinced that this is why we are the strong individuals that we became and why we are the parents that we became for our children. A “chosen” family is sometimes the best kind, as is in my case. You are not alone. Hugs to you.

  8. What a horrible thing to wake up to and then have to go through with your parents not believing you.

    I can’t believe the guy actually approached you to talk years later.

  9. I had a moment so much like yours that it brought me to tears reading your story… For you, for me… for my kids and my prayer that I never do that to them.

    I tell my kids they can tell me anything and that I’ll believe them, that my job as a mom is to always protect them. I still get shattered when I can’t get my own mother to understand that it’s always been and should always be her job to give me a hug and tell me it’s going to be all right and she tells me: “How old are you!? You don’t need me to be a Mother anymore – I did that for 30 years for you and your brothers and sisters!”

    I swear to all that is good in this world I’ll never turn my back on my kids.

    Thank you for sharing your story. It strengthens my resolve to strive to be a better parent than the one I had.

    I hope the boy that hurt you gets his due. And by that I mean that I hope he gets what “I THINK” is his due – and that’s a pretty nasty fate.

    • From what I’ve overheard, his life has not been easy. But… there are times when I wish I wasn’t a “good” witch. Nuff said.

  10. I had tears in my eyes reading that. I’ll never for the life of me understand how parents can so easily and heartlessly take the “easy way” out and let their children pay the price rather than dealing with the situation at hand. Congratulations on becoming such a strong and wonderful woman and mother despite the lack of parental support as a youth.

    • Thanks, Melissa. The friends that I’ve made here, in the blogosphere, have helped me to be this open. 25 years in the “dirty little secret” closet is long enough.

  11. I totally understand this all.
    Its horrible. Its the worst feeling in the world. Especially when you feel all alone. Parents are suppose react not act like nothing happened.
    Thats why I dont think about it … because I would absolutely hate my mother.
    This was descibed perfectly.

    • It’s difficult. There’s a lot of passive-aggressiveness in our family. And I learned at the knee of the master.
      But – my children know, unequivocally, that if they EVER needed me to believe them, or react, if something like this EVER happened to them – I’d be front center, and pissed.

    • Thanks, my friend. I think this is one of the reasons why “Drop Dead Fred” is one of my favorite movies. My most favorite scene from the whole thing, is where “Little snot face” is tied down in bed, and “Big snot face” frees her and hugs her, ending up hugging herself. It took me 25 years to get to this point. The hugging comes next.

  12. Brea,
    All has been said by others. I only add my own hug, and say that those of us who have been there, must hold our heads high, because we DID NOT ask for what happened to us. We must always be vigilant and willing to help others who suffer at the hands of those who should be loving not abusing. I’m proud of you.

  13. WHOA. This makes me want to shake the people that didn’t believe you until their brain cells rattled and then go shank that fucking molester. I also want to hug that little scared girl in you.

  14. Holy hell. I remember watching a movie called ‘The General’s Daughter’ and someone asked, “What’s worse than rape?” I knew the answer…betrayal. Betrayal by the ones you love and trust.

    My mother stood by and let me be physically and emotionally abused by two stepfathers. She wonders why I have issues with her. She has never once taken any responsibility for my state of mind and can’t figure out why somedays I want to set her hair on fire.

    I’m sorry your childhood was so abruptly ended, but I’m glad you felt safe enough to share your story.

    • I have received so much love and support through the friends I’ve made on this blog, and around the ‘sphere, I just hope that others that have been through something like this know that they are NOT ALONE.

      I’m sorry to hear that you had to go through that betrayal as well. It is one of the hardest things to get around, especially when it’s family. (HUG)

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