TW: Bermuda's journal of memories.

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Bermuda

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Re: TW: Bermuda's journal of memories.
« Reply #45 on: March 09, 2021, 09:03:27 AM »
Memory and realisation.

Today I was sitting down with my toddler before school. He was watching videos on my phone. I was playing with his hair and found some crusty food in it so I started gently picking it out. I noticed his hair looked quite dry so I grabbed some lotion and his little hair brush, put some lotion in his hair and starting combing it through gently. After the lotion was spread out evenly I set the hair brush down on the bed.

My little one immediately, without looking away from the screen, passed the hairbrush back to me and patted his head to tell me to keep brushing. I smiled and said, "Aww, that's sweet, so many people love getting their hair brushed. I never really liked having my hair brushed."

That's when the memory struck me. Parenting is really triggering.


Backstory:
I was never taught anything related to personal hygiene or grooming, but was rather simply expected to do it, and when I didn't do it well enough or when my mother was feeling unkind, hair brushing was something that was used as punishment. My son's hair texture is ultra fine and delicate, fluffy, and dry. It's like candy floss/cotton candy. I imagine my hair texture was much the same when I was little. My mother has very straight oily hair. She complained often that my hair looked like I lived in a pigsty and I was the pig. When I brush my hair, it does not get flat and smooth, and one cannot simply brush through dry, fine, fluffy hair. It just doesn't work like that.

The memory:
One time we were on a roadtrip, I was maybe 6 years old, and we had stopped to have breakfast at a restaurant. After ordering food, my mother suddenly looked at me disgusted, tells me I look like a street urchin and accuses me of not having brushed my hair, grabs me by my hair and pulls me out of the restaurant. Everyone's eyes (I thought at the time) were on me, I was so ashamed. She pulled me to the car, and preceded to forcefully brush through and rip out my hair while I am crying in pain.

The realisation:
This happened so many times. My mother also complained about her hair regularly, saying she wished she had curly hair, and yet she hated me. She hated everything about me. My face, according to her, made her sick.

Now, as an adult, I don't like being touched and have kept my hair shaved or in a men's cut most of my adult life. I've never been lovingly groomed, not even by myself.
« Last Edit: March 09, 2021, 09:23:26 AM by Bermuda »

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Jazzy

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Re: TW: Bermuda's journal of memories.
« Reply #46 on: March 10, 2021, 01:16:17 AM »
That's a horrible memory Bermuda, I'm sorry. It is great that you are doing so much better than your mother did though, despite it being triggering. Good job! :)

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notalone

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Re: TW: Bermuda's journal of memories.
« Reply #47 on: March 10, 2021, 01:31:24 AM »
A very sweet moment with your toddler, although sad that a flashback intruded.

When you told about the restaurant, my thought was that the people were looking at your mother with shock at the way she was treating you. Of course as a child you thought they were looking at you with judgement.
Now, as an adult, I don't like being touched and have kept my hair shaved or in a men's cut most of my adult life. I've never been lovingly groomed, not even by myself.

I don't have an answer to this, but I wonder what it would look like for you to do something kind for yourself in that area?

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Bermuda

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Re: TW: Bermuda's journal of memories.
« Reply #48 on: March 10, 2021, 04:36:41 PM »
Thank you Jazzy and notalone, I wrote a long reply over-explaining why I have difficulty treating myself, but then I deleted it. It triggered another memory, and just seemed like waffling anyway. I'll write about that/those memories in my next post.

...but Jazzy thank you for telling me I am doing better. It's hard to see that sometimes. And thank you notalone, it was really a sweet moment. :)

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Bermuda

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Re: TW: Bermuda's journal of memories.
« Reply #49 on: March 10, 2021, 05:10:17 PM »
The backstory:

I have a difficult relationship with stuff. We were not allowed things as we were mere squatters in my parents' home. We moved a lot growing up, my siblings and myself were all responsible for our individual things, which were subject to immediate expulsion at any time. When we moved, we had to box up our own things, and unbox our things. Our things were not supposed to me seen in the home. Children were an insult to the home. All surfaces were to be clear. If we failed this, the things were destroyed in front of us or removed without word. It was only logical to have no more than a suitcase of items. Later in life I was homeless, and in the military. The military rule of being able to carry your own personal effects was never an adjustment for me. As an adult I do not have sentimentality and have had terrible panic attacks about owning things. After moving in with my husband it took me six months until I unpacked my one suitcase, and when I needed to buy more weather appropriate clothing the sight of those items had me in a ball crying in fear.

The memory:

My aunt was an artist. Since I was a baby she made porcelain figurines for me, and some we made together. One day, spontaniously, my mother decided that my room was below standard. My (first as I'd previously slept on the floor) bed was not made with hospital corners, and she could see dust on my floor. She made me redo it. I spent a minimum of an hour redoing my room, I arranged my collection atop a shelf, tightened the blankets on my bed to the best of my ability, checked my right angles, and did the floor as well as an eight year old child can. As I wasn't to be caught sitting and was not permitted to leave the room until finished, I called to my mother to tell her I had finished. I was quite proud and thought my room looked really nice. She stormed through the door, immediately stuck out her right arm and swiped across the shelf shattering my porcelain figurines, she ripped the blankets from the bed and threw them to the floor. She pulled the drawers from my chest and threw the items across the room. ...Then she smiled at me and told me to start over and this time to do it correctly.

That was the last time I felt sentimentality. Even then I knew that this had nothing to do with my room... That it had been her plan all along, but I had no choice, so I started over again but this time resigned to whatever fate should befall me, emotionless to the consequences.
« Last Edit: March 10, 2021, 05:48:29 PM by Bermuda »

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CactusFlower

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Re: TW: Bermuda's journal of memories.
« Reply #50 on: March 10, 2021, 06:20:16 PM »
Thank you for sharing, Bermuda.This resonated with me on a level. I was a military dependent as a young child and I well remember having to choose what possessions to keep based on what would fit in a 55-gallon shipping drum. I think I've gone the opposite as an adult, as I find it hard to get rid of things. But back then? It hurt to prioritize what I cared about.
 :hug:
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Bermuda

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Re: TW: Bermuda's journal of memories.
« Reply #51 on: March 10, 2021, 06:42:29 PM »
CactusFlower, I'm sorry that you had to experience something like this too. It's so interesting to see how us survivors take similar input and turn it into similar but often opposite output. You mentioning that you find it hard to get rid of things made me think about how as an adult I don't clean. I always equated this to my childhood in which I was often told that the purpose of having so many children was to outsource the chores. My brain has shunned tasks that were required of me as a child and has learned that possessions are a burden, but it could have easily been the opposite.

Thanks for the hug. :)

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notalone

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Re: TW: Bermuda's journal of memories.
« Reply #52 on: March 11, 2021, 12:03:09 AM »
The cruelty of your mother is heartbreaking. Her reaction did not have anything to do with your room. Amazing that as a child you knew that. Makes sense that you don't clean.

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Bermuda

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Re: TW: Bermuda's journal of memories.
« Reply #53 on: March 12, 2021, 08:59:39 PM »
This memory doesn't have a backstory, or any reason for it being triggered either. It just showed up to say hello. TW for emotional/psychological abuse.

The Memory:
One weekend morning, some money went missing in our home. Our mother brought us siblings into the family room, and started screaming and threatening. I don't really remember the specifics of the threats now. That's probably likely due to the fact that we all knew who took the money. There was only one particular sibling who would do such a thing. The scene was very dramatic, and we were all to be punished equally if one of us did not appear with the money. Us siblings confronted the one sibling, but they said they had nothing to do with it, of course. We searched to house for hours. The mood in the house got worse and worse. My mother became a tyrant and made further threats. At this point the sibling (whom we knew was guilty), declared loudly, "I know who did it! It was YOU Bermuda! I bet you hid it under your bedroom rug!" Then that sibling proceded to go into my room, lift my rug, and *wow* what a surprise, the money was indeed hidden under my rug. Now, we had searched the house for hours, of course that rug had been lifted several times, and we all knew it. That didn't matter, my mother decided to punish me publicly. I don't really remember what my punishment was, but I was screamed at and called names, while that sibling smirked. I was eleven years old, and I cried and pleaded during my punishment. After this, probably only 20 minutes after this ordeal ended, I heard my mother outside laughing with the neighbour. I broke the rules, and went out of the room to tell my mother again all the facts of the case, and prove to her that it wasn't me. She cut me off and turned to me with her twisted smile and said, "Of course I know it wasn't you, now get back in your room now."

I was continually punished for this event, and in front of my siblings the story was told repeatedly that I had done it, and that's why I was being punished. My siblings also punished me believing that I was the reason that it all happened.

Conclusion:

Because beating doesn't work the best way to torture a Bermuda is though social injustice, social ostracism, creativity and spontaneity.

...Since posting this about an hour ago it's as if my mind is rapid firing memories at me. I can't sleep. I feel so sick to my stomach.
« Last Edit: March 12, 2021, 10:14:56 PM by Bermuda »

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Jazzy

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Re: TW: Bermuda's journal of memories.
« Reply #54 on: March 13, 2021, 02:12:08 AM »
I'm sorry Bermuda, and I hope you feel better soon. It's so difficult when things are overwhelming like this.

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Bermuda

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Re: TW: Bermuda's journal of memories.
« Reply #55 on: March 23, 2021, 04:21:53 PM »
I have a lot of memories right now that flood my mind, I haven't had time to write them, because they flood my mind in the evenings when my little one wakes up in the night and I lay by their side.

I have been so anxious lately. I just feel like a ball of bad juju. I suppose that's a good metaphor, because sometimes it's as if I'm cursed.

Trigger warning: Animal abuse.

These memories are so triggering for me. Maybe it's as if these victims of my family were the least deserving. I felt that I was bad, and my siblings had certainly done bad things, but non-human animals could not do bad things deserving of harm.

The Memory:
The first memory that just repetedly bombards me is of my father. I don't speak of my father often, because typically he took the inactive role of accomplise, abettor, or instigator. This wasn't one of those times. We were on a roadtrip, the family dog was with us, and our dog travelled often with us. They were a former victim terrible abuse when we abused them. They had at lot of quirks. One was not relieving themselves at all during roadtrips. Even week long trips. Well, we checked into a hotel, and the dog deficated on the carpet. My father strung into a rage and started kicking the dog in the stomach at full strength repeatedly.

We all watched on, too afraid to try to stop it.

My brother abused animals from the time we were very little. I remember him laughing and showing off his lizard kabobs in the garden. I will not go into detail.

My mother often punished our animals on my behalf. I had kittens that I had rescued that she would have otherwise drowned. Because I had rescued them, they had to stay in my bedroom, and could never leave, and if they came into the home, or if she smelled them, they would be punished. I will not go into detail here either.

We had so many animals in our home who were witness and subject to abuse. We kept birds that were so stressed they plucked their own feathers out.

Often times I still feel like I'm the birds, like I'm the dogs, like I'm the cats, the ferret, the fish, the snakes, the iguana, the rabbits, the squirrels, the hamsters... Sometimes I find it difficult to tell if this is a ghost feeling, or if I'm still trapped albeit differently. I have this sick feeling like someone is kicking ME in the stomach.
« Last Edit: March 23, 2021, 04:25:02 PM by Bermuda »

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Bermuda

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Re: TW: Bermuda's journal of memories.
« Reply #56 on: May 01, 2021, 02:13:57 PM »
TW: I mention blood.

I'm currently having a mild panic. I am managing it, and I'm fine. My partner came into the bathroom behind me while I was bathing my little one. He stepped around me and I saw he had cut his hand, the surprise and sight of which made my heart sputter and my stomach turn. It was just a small cut.

The memory: My brother, the one I speak about most often who had the most difficulty... We were all playing separately one day. I was in the house. My brother outside. Our old house had decorative iron bars on the outside of the windows. My brother came in, he was bleeding seriously from his head. He was not crying, he was very quietly looking for a towel and going to hide. Another brother and I went to him. He had been climbing on the bars and was flipping upside down, and his hands had slipped, landing him head-first on the paving stone below. He told us not to tell.

My mother came in looking for us wondering why it was so quiet. She saw my brother covered in blood with a bath towel on his head and went into a rage. How could he possible think it's ok to use one of HER towels on his head? This towel is ruined, and he is going to have to work off his debt.

Thoughts: I don't actually remember what happened after the rage, I was only 5 at the time. It's just one of those life lessons that really stick with you. The fact that my brother knew he would be severely punished is so telling.

...So I haven't been posting, a lot has been going on in (my past) life, but I don't feel safe enough at the moment to talk about it. Maybe eventually, after I determine how it is I feel about it.
« Last Edit: May 01, 2021, 02:37:57 PM by Bermuda »

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Bermuda

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Re: TW: Bermuda's journal of memories.
« Reply #57 on: May 02, 2021, 12:24:23 PM »
Another post back to back. No trigger warning on this one.

I just kind of want to ramble and share a short story. After posting yesterday, I filled out this c-PTSD research questionaire and it made me feel a lot of things. As I worked through my thoughts throughout the night, this is what I concluded. My c-PTSD had nearly nothing to do with large traumas. Infact, it existed long before I experienced those events and when those events occurred they were not processed properly.

I have this memory that replays for me constantly that I want to preface with. It's not what anyone would typically consider traumatic, but for me, it was. My parents and I were shopping. My mother needed a new dress and my father needed something else, so they separated. Although my parents remained together until death, saying my parents did not get along is an understatement. My mother was angry and complaining about how horrible my father was, and me wanting to mitigate things, replied with an innocent smile, "Yes, those things may be true, but you love eachother."  I grew up being taught very traditional family values and it shocked me so deeply when my mother turned to me in her straight emotionless stare and said sharply, "Who said I ever loved him?" It was the facial expression that terrorizes me now, and terrorized me many times in the past.

This replays to me constantly as a deep traumatic event. The traumas that are listed in online questionaires, don't apply to my c-PTSD because my brain was conditioned for trauma at an early age. My c-PTSD undoubtedly stemmed from a lack of a consistent feeling of being loved, cared for, or having fundamental needs met, a lack of socialization, and a conditioning to minimize myself. In this way, I grew into a person who (in a sense) allowed other "big Ts" to happen to me because I couldn't even register them as traumatic. When life only gives you pain, you don't see pain in the same way. What is normal treatment to receive from other humans, how do you know what your needs are, and how do you advocate for yourself as a survivor or long-term mistreatment and abuse? Doesn't everyone face constant hardships? I know now nearly 20 years later, they don't.

I also now know that the things that happened to me, the big things, are big things. That's why those pop up from time to time, but mostly I am haunted by little things that shaped me as a person like, "Who said I ever loved him?"
« Last Edit: May 02, 2021, 12:26:37 PM by Bermuda »

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Hope67

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Re: TW: Bermuda's journal of memories.
« Reply #58 on: May 21, 2021, 01:54:03 PM »
my brain was conditioned for trauma at an early age. My c-PTSD undoubtedly stemmed from a lack of a consistent feeling of being loved, cared for, or having fundamental needs met, a lack of socialization, and a conditioning to minimize myself. In this way, I grew into a person who (in a sense) allowed other "big Ts" to happen to me because I couldn't even register them as traumatic. When life only gives you pain, you don't see pain in the same way. What is normal treatment to receive from other humans, how do you know what your needs are, and how do you advocate for yourself as a survivor or long-term mistreatment and abuse? Doesn't everyone face constant hardships? I know now nearly 20 years later, they don't.

I also now know that the things that happened to me, the big things, are big things. That's why those pop up from time to time, but mostly I am haunted by little things that shaped me as a person like, "Who said I ever loved him?"

Hi Bermuda,
I wanted to say that I found what you wrote to be very poignant and meaningful.  I related to it, and I wanted to send you a supportive hug, if that's ok  :hug: 
Hope  :)

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Armadillo

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Re: TW: Bermuda's journal of memories.
« Reply #59 on: May 24, 2021, 01:50:44 AM »
Bermuda, these are really tough memories to be reliving and I can totally see why the "small" stuff is as difficult as the big stuff.   :hug: