Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Dear Baby Michelle ages 0/10 Part II

Originally Posted: Date: Sat, 4 Dec 2010 02:44:06 -0500

Dearest Babygirl,
I'm back!
Again, there's so much to say, but we'll start with K this time. She
cries alot. A whole lot. She sits on the couch & wallows in her pain.
You know about those days, before you started school & after you
started school, during the summer months of vacation, because their
the days she doesn't play with you. As you get older, you'll find
yourself flopped in front of the TV with her, watching all kinds of
grown-up stuff. This isn't all bad. Who doesn't like some Sally Jessie
or Oprah, or Montel? Even some Phil D, Jenny & Rikki are in order on
ocasion, or some Leeza or Maury *especially when he has Jack Hannah on
his show! Those are your favorite episodes*! Anyway though, this
really isn't about TV, though those memories are good ones & should be
remembered. This is about K. She has this thing called Clinical
Depression & she takes medication for it. She told you once that her
brain wasn't producing enough of a happy chemical called serotonin.
Unfortunately, the meds go through phases where they seem to work,
then quit & she has to change them. The hardest part for both you & I
is to reconcile the woman we loved with the woman who exists today. I
wish I could tell you that she loved you, though looking back, signs
definitely appear to point to another conclusion. Either way, this is
what I can tell you, though it'll probably confuse you more then help
you. K did play with you, on occasion. She used to have this alter ego
*if you want to call it that* named Egbert. Egbert was your friend & a
little boy. You could tell him anything. I'll be honest, I don't
remember alot of what was said, so I can't tell you. What I can tell
you is that he had a distinct voice, & he came out when you asked
because to him you could talk & share everything with. He was an ally,
a confidant & someone you trusted. It seemed K could get out of her
body then, be playful & goofy, things she couldn't always do when she
was inside herself. Speaking of playmates, there was one more,
Turpentine. Don't ask me where that name came from, you came up with
it! Lol. You would sit under the kitchen table, it made lots of noise,
because it had these hinges so you could lift the table up & make it
longer that way *instead of having to add another leaf to it*. Anyway,
you'd sit under there, it was also situated over the heating vent in
the old house, so it was nice & toasty under there in the winter!
Anyway, you'd sit under there playing with Turpentine for hours. I
don't recall much more about Turpentine either, other then it was just
someone you played with & talked to. The funny thing is, if Turpentine
were a name, I'd guess it to be male, but you never really discussed
that with him, he just was, so it could have been a girl. For purposes
of this discussion though, we'll say he, because I don't like
referring to anything as an it. I think that makes them lose their
quality of being, whatever state of being that might be. K never
seemed to mind Turpentine & she didn't ever bother you about him. That
was another of her good qualities, she just let things be. She also
never told you that you couldn't do something. I've been avoiding this
because it's still painful for me to write, I'm crying as I write it,
but she used to bounce you on her knees. She'd sing:
'This is the way the ladies ride, the ladies ride, the ladies ride,
this is the way the ladies ride so early in the morning. . .' As she
got past the gentlemen & the farmers to the soldiers, she would sing
faster & faster & bounce you higher & higher! You loved that about
her. You also loved how she could sing all the words to other songs:
"Billy Don't Be A Hero", "Mountain Soldier", "Mister Bojangle", & "I
Don't Wanna Play House". You admired her ability to remember entire
songs & wanted to grow up & be just like her in that respect. You used
to sit at her feet while she got ready in the bathroom, putting on
makeup & the like. You would sit outside on a blanket in the summer &
listen to her read while Daddy did yardwork. She would do yardwork to,
but she'd finish before he did & come read to you, or read later on
when the night was cool & all the crickets were out, but before it
became to cool. On Sundays' you'd all go on bike rides & get back just
in time for America's Funniest Home Videos with Bob Saget! The
grandmother lived with you all for a while & would read you bedtime
stories at night. Daddy loved to listen to his Spanish music or
oldies, so you grew up with a healthy appreciation for all things old
& Spanish! K on the other hand, listened to the now music, so you also
developed a healthy liking for people like Brian Adams & bands like
Bon Jovi. Seal, Gloria Estefan, Paula Abdul, The B-52's & Debbie
Gibbson were also on that list thanks to your cousins M & C. They had
healthy appetites for the music of the late 80's & early 90's, which
contributed greatly to your musical education. One time when K got
sick *it was when she found out she was pregnant with baby sister*,
Aunt KD took you to McDonalds while K went to the doctor. I don't
remember much, but I know she did it to comfort you & you went to the
park afterwards. The grandmother took you to the park to. She would
chase you up the slide pretending to be the big bad wolf & you'd
squeal & run off as soon as you hit the end of the slide! The step
grandpa danced with you, your little feet on top of his big ones. He
also gave you piggy back rides & would carry you around the room
asking if anyone wanted a sack of potatoes! Usually someone would
invariably take you. He told grandmother he had some bad news for her,
he'd fallen in love with someone else. When she asked who he said her
granddaughter! Lol. They got married not long after that. You were in
the wedding, those little shoes with the boe & the non-heal that
clip-clopped making you feel all grown up! I tell ya, I wish I could
wear those shoes! Lol. I've been all over the map here I know, but
this is just how memories come to me. You'll forgive me if they aren't
in chronological order, what's important is that you know everything I
can tell you, but with the proper message this time around! Now I must
get a couple big confessions out of the way. When baby was born, you
were thrilled!! Absolutely thrilled!! Having said that, you were also
very jealous & the household was very unsettled. Daddy & K had only
been back together a little over 9 months & there baby was! You didn't
feel stable. You hated it when K would tickle Daddy because you were
afraid it'd turn into something bad *you'd already seen arguments &
separation, even if the big fight hadn't come yet*, so it was only
natural that you'd be afraid. K hated it & would yell at you to quit
being so upset & making a mess of things. Anyway, a year after baby
sister was born, a little over a year because she was walking & able
to move about, & after the Memorial day fight where Daddy ended up
with the broken leg, you had an argument with him. It was a Saturday
night & K was at work. I don't remember what the argument was about,
but you were really angry with him. You stayed up real late waiting
for K to come home from waitressing at the bar. Not long after she'd
come home & you saw her, baby sister woke up from a nap. They let her
come into your room & she tried to take one of your toys. At that
point, you weren't in any counseling or getting any help for your PTSD
or anything else. In fact, you hadn't even been diagnosed with PTSD
yet. Anyway, you grabbed her by the throat & choked her. I remember
that sound she made, the gurgling & gasping, & I remember how you felt
after that. You let her go & she ran crying to K. Neither of them came
to ask you what happened, they just let it go. You didn't though. That
night was the first time you went looking for a rope, the first night
you'd ever try to kill yourself. You had Daddy's recliner in your
room, & though they woke up & asked what you were doing, you lied &
said nothing. You abandoned the rope & went back to your room. Sitting
in that recliner watching "Three's Company", "Webster" & then whatever
came on CBS at 4 AM on a Sunday morning, you felt hot. If there was a
definition for hell, you felt it, new what it was. Your insides burned
from deep inside. Your soul & spirit were what really seemed to be
burning. It was akin to burning alive. K & Daddy didn't find out til
almost a week later. It was a Thursday when they found out *your
Braille instructor D called them in to school to tell them what had
happened because you couldn't bring yourself to*, & when they loaded
you in the car to bring you home, you just kept sobbing: 'I could have
been a murderer, I could have been a murderer, I could have been a
murderer!!' They got you into counseling not long after that, but you
sat around playing Hungry Hungry Hippo with your counselor N. At some
point, N would tell K that you were afraid of her. K used to grab you
by your arms & shake you when you really pissed her off. I don't
remember being afraid of K, just of wanting to show her that I'd fight
back, but the truth may never be completely known. We can't go back in
time to get 'the truth' of a situation, so all we can do is make our
best guesses. Either way, what's most important here is this. You
decided to take responsibility for choking baby. Responsibility is a
good thing, not a bad thing. Honesty & truthfulness are also great
things. However, you are a child. As a child, you don't have the
coping skills I do & even I have a hard time coping sometimes! So in
this situation, while the idea of responsibility & honesty are great,
here's the truth. As I said, you are a child. You were 6 years old
when this happened, & it was K & Daddy's job to show you coping
skills. They didn't do their job properly & because of that, & because
you couldn't express your feelings of rage, guilt, & pain, you lashed
out at someone who was smaller & ill equipped to defend herself. That
DOES NOT make you a BAD person! That does not make you evil or
horrible or anything else you thought it did. What it does make you is
someone who didn't know how to cope at the time. It makes you someone
who at the time, was unable to speak up & say what she was feeling.
You felt helpless, alone & isolated. You felt unsafe & like your home
environment was unstable. After choking baby sister, you started
choking & squeezing kittens instead. You were constantly asking K if
she & Daddy would get divorced & she would get angry & say: 'Go ask
your Father!' You'd go ask Daddy & he'd say everything was fine. You
were constantly asking him if he remembered 'when we were separated?',
K said you liked it when they were separated, & looking back, maybe
that would have been better, but it didn't play out like that. You
still weren't figuring out how to articulate what you felt, your fears
of abandonment & unsafety. Hurting baby sister made you feel guilty,
but it didn't stop the behavior because you still weren't being given
the tools you needed to get better. I hate to say it, but those tools
wouldn't come for a long time. You did however, quit hurting the
kittens & I will spend the rest of my life in service to the animals
trying to help them. I don't even hardly ever get after our pets now,
so I've gone a bit to far in the other direction! Smile.
I'm telling you these things not because I like telling you, believe
me, they still make me sick. . . but you need to know & I need to
know, this wasn't on purpose. You have a deep abiding love for people
& animals. That love will get you into all kinds of trouble, but it
proves that you ARE NOT the things you do. Just because you've done
something awful, doesn't make you awful. It makes you lost & misguided
in that moment, but it doesn't make you a permanent screw up or
anything of the sort. You were introduced to hate at a very young age
& you hated yourself for a long time. To be honest, I'm writing this
to you because it's part of my healing. I'm not even fully there yet,
in love with our body or who we are, but I'm working on it &
explaining to you the truth of what happened to us is part of that.
I keep saying these things are not your fault because you need to know
& believe it. These things that happened, ARE NOT your fault! You've
spent so much time looking back & hopefully after I've cleared the
decks for us, you & I can both look forward. I don't see myself ever
losing you, I need an inner child after all! I need someone to play
games with & create fairytales with & play dress up with! But all
these things that happened, the fights, the separations *3 times in
total before they finally divorced*, these things aren't a reflection
on you. They happened around you, & you were part of them, but you
didn't choose them or create them. You simply lived through them.
The problem is, that K & Daddy MADE you part of their relationship. K
would say that it was difficult for her to make love to Daddy because
of the abuse she suffered as a child. Daddy meanwhile, would bring you
in when they were having an argument & say: '"This is what your mother
says, this is what I say. Which one of us is right?' So you were in
the truest sense of the word, a third person in what should have been
a 2 person marriage.
There's still a bit more to say, but for now I leave you with the
knowledge that you are! You are smart, talented & the most beautiful
little girl I know!
Big Michelle

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