He talked about how he’s seen adults crumble from the pain of caning, so why did my mother think a child could come through it time and again, whole. He said he had to find a way to get through it so while he was being beaten he began to think of more pleasurable experiences which included sexual contact with the girl next door. We were in the 4th grade she in the 3rd.
It didn’t seem odd to sit next to this girl and talk about what was being done to us by adults. It was our normal and didn’t seem like something we needed to hide from one another. My mother was well aware of the relationship. It was that experience and experiences with other girls that I tried to focus on when being beaten with a dowel rod.
Robert explained that the young girl’s uncle had been abusing our girlfriend and that one day while my mother wasn’t home the uncle came in our house. At the time, my sister and I were sleeping in my mother’s bed. He sat on the end of the bed for the longest time. He made a phone call, sat there longer and then left. I called my mother to tell her. She didn’t even bother to come home. She was at work and had the liberty to leave but didn’t. Another time this uncle stood in the window of my mother’s room and watched the three of us in bed together. That was my 4th grade year. Only when my mother and he made eye contact did she decide to call the police. She was mad because they used their sirens to announce their presence. She wanted them to sneak up on him. After that day I never saw the guy again.
My mother was just fine with abusing us with an audience as long as she didn’t look them in the eye. She physically abused me with the dowel rod while my girlfriend and her sister watched. I was being beaten because I refused to kiss my mother. She started hitting me then noticed the kids were in the window. She turned and kept going. She stopped and asked me if I was ready to kiss her on the cheek. How powerful she must have felt to force a 4th grader to kiss her cheek after being beaten into submission in front of her friends.
Dr. D asked Robert how it felt to talk about these things. He said it was frightening. It’s so clear in my head to this day. I can see her hand coming down. I can feel the rage. She didn’t yell, her rage was controlled. She dominated us.
Every time Dr. D shift in his chair Robert froze. Hardly every did he make eye contact with Dr D but he was aware of Dr. D’s every move. There isn’t the same level of trust there. Robert is very new to therapy of his own.
In reference to Robert, I want him to know that he is a quality part of our personality. Some of the positive things he’s done for us is to return the big fish tank to us, the one where we had goldfish. In a moment of self destructive impulse, it was torn down and gotten rid of. When PetCo had another dollar per gallon sale, Robert made sure we got a tank for goldfish.
Robert is great at keeping all the critters well managed. He made a hide for the firebelly toads by weaving blackberry vines. He made sure to get the right plants for their terrarium and to layer it correctly. He has successfully balanced that terrarium with isopods and has successfully managed the small cricket community we breed for food. He keeps the small worm compost / keeper well fed and balanced. He has done a lot to give us the things we enjoy.
Robert draws, too. A few people have noted in a negative way that our art changed to chaos that doesn’t have a happy feeling to it. Robert felt bad about it but he shouldn’t. Robert should feel free to do whatever he wants in his art.
Selling art is another subject spoken of in therapy. Why do we sell off art that is based on PTSD or art created in session with Dr. D? That’s simple, Post Traumatic Stress Disorder has robbed us (Robert didn’t get his name by accident) of sleep, of trust of a proper view of food, a proper view of family. PTSD shouldn’t just be allowed to rob me with impunity so yes, we sell off the images that pour from our head. It’s my way of getting something out of PTSD instead of it always taking from me. If someone is touched by what we created and can see some value in it other than our PTSD experience then it makes us feel like we didn’t suffer without cause. We get something out of this farce.
The last thing we talked about was the suicide of Chester Bennington. We were wrong about what age we were when we first heard the group Linkin Park. It wasn’t until around September 11th, 2001 that we learned of the group. We were hooked from there.
One More Light – Linkin Park
If they say
Who cares if one more light goes out?
In a sky of a million stars
It flickers, flickers
Who cares when someone’s time runs out?
If a moment is all we are
We’re quicker, quicker
Who cares if one more light goes out?
Well I do