Wednesday, March 10, 2010

And The Beatings began...

I tried to spare you some of the gravity of the issues of my last post, but I am not sure I accurately described it all. I think I wrote a watered down version to spare you the imagery and the true pain. I imagine that you know that I am working through some hard issues with my childhood. A re-telling of my childhood memory to memory. Some good memories and some not so good, but truthful and from the heart. This next post is difficult for me to write because of the nature of the abuse and how long the abuse went on.

I started wetting the bed and I could not stop it or control it. It would be a while before they figured out that I was born with a congenital birth defect in my bladder. While I stayed at my grandma's, when I wet the bed she would clean and wash the mattress and then drag the mattress out side on the front yard to air it out. Everyone saw it and the neighbors did ask questions about that mattress. I didn't know what was wrong, only that I repeatedly wet the bed. Wet the bed then drag the mattress outside repeated everyday of my life. The embarrassment was horrible. It never ceased, in fact it slowly grew to anger and resentment.

Enter the BIG plastic table cloth. I was instructed to place it under the sheets to protect the mattress. I soon came to believe that the mattress was more important that me. Very rarely was I allowed to spend the night out. If I went to spend the night with anyone, out came the plastic table cloth. The look on my friends faces was devastating to me. They had no insight to draw from to understand this. The few times I went to daddy's to spend the night his new wife made such a big ordeal about the bed, the mattress and the plastic table cloth. My step siblings did not understand why I wet the bed. I just stopped going to spend the night with them. It was too painful and humiliating.

Everyone thought I was doing it on purpose even my grandma. Loved ones can say horrible and hurtful words. It rolls off the tongue with great ease and no sympathy. What I gleaned from it was "You are no good", "If you wanted to stop bed wetting you could","You are making my life miserable with how you act." and "Why can't you stop it?" These were just a few of the remarks I heard over and over. It really damaged my opinion of myself and my outlook on life. And then the beatings began.

So now we have moved out of our daddy's home, moved in the first time with my grandparents, moved into an apartment, then back to our grandparents for the second time. Next we moved out of my grandparent's home and into this old creaky house. Moma worked, but she also liked to go out and party and dance. She seem to have little regard for us. She constantly brought new men in and out of our young lives. Little kids just know what their parents are doing and I knew it was wrong. Sure she tried to cover it all up with fun, picnics, and her drama. but I knew what she was doing. I just did not know why she was doing this to me.

The best thing she ever did was to hire this wonderful black woman named Ophelia to watch us and to care for us. She was real jewel and my life was better because of her. I loved her and begged to go home with her to her family. She was the one bright spot in my life. She had a great imagination and would play with us even when she was busy. Once I got stuck in a tree and she bent over and told me to land on her back. She was crippled, yet she put herself last. She made the best macaroni and cheese. Baked until it was a little bit burned on the edges. She was a caretaker, she loved us and we loved her. Why couldn't our mother love us?

On the few occasions she did spend the night with us she stayed on the couch. I would wrap my arms around her. She felt safe. Moma had a sewing mannequin and my sister and I would dress her up and pretend that moma had come home. All the while, Ophelia went along with the joke and pretended that it was moma. She carried on a conversation with her until we burst out laughing. When we moved, she still cared for us. Ophelia brought short term security to me, but mostly love. It odd that total strangers could love us, but not our own mother.

They tried everything to make me stop wetting the bed and when everything failed they would beat me for it. Moma had met a new man, Bill. She met him at Arthur Murray Dance Studio. She was a dance instructor. They were going to be married. When the doctors said I needed surgery it coincided with moma's second marriage to Bill.

The doctor ran all sorts of test that were painful and frightening to me. Then he said I needed surgery. It was the beginning of December when I had my surgery. When they came for me they had to catch me. I hid under the bed refusing to take any medication. They caught me and tied me on this gurney to take me to surgery. Everything was this green color. The walls, the equipment, even the people's scrubs were green. I fought so hard, but then they held me down and placed this big black mask over my face. They said to breath in and it tasted like onions.

The next thing I knew I was back in my hospital room with a huge glass bottle attached to me. It was for the catheter to drain my urine into. No plastic bags in those days, just the giant water bottle which fit underneath my wheel chair. I am not sure which was worse for me, having surgery or finding out that there was no Santa. I was devastated on both accounts. I was in the hospital for a month. My teacher came to see me with a big card made by my class mates encouraging me to get well. I liked that and appreciated it very much.

I had a little Christmas music tree that would spin around playing Christmas songs. The nuns came around with gifts from a fake Santa. All I wanted was to get out of that place and be normal. Every Friday I would go to the urologists office to be dilated. They put this purple liquid into your bladder and when you voided, it turned bright orange. Not cool, but necessary to kill infection. I felt so violated in so many ways. More about that in future post.

By now, this is the sixth place we had moved to in three years. Bill built us a new house and Ophelia came with us to take care of us. I was in the first grade. I lived in fear of wetting the bed. Moma would wake me up in the middle of the night for me to go to the bathroom. I could not go then, only when I relaxed enough could I go. Every morning like a drill sergeant moma would throw back the covers to see if I had soiled the bed. If I had then she would beat me with this big belt. Me...crying and promising to not wet the bed again and her shrill screaming voice scolding me over and over. This still makes me sick to my stomach and shiver in fear. She was a bully.


I thought of a cover up for the situation. When I wet the bed I would get up and put towels on top of the wet sheets, then add another sheet over that to cover up my accident. I never slept because of the fear and the abuse. It went on for years even after they knew I could not help it. I soon learned to hold back the tears from the beatings. If I didn't cry, then she couldn't really hurt me.

As this chapter ends I am in the first grade.
To be continued...




28 comments:

Rudee said...

What a horrible childhood for you. I'm so sorry you had to endure what you did.

I hope that by journaling you experiences, you can let go of the hurt from your past and heal.

Big hugs, Pam. Big hugs.

Finding Pam said...

Rudee, thank you for your understanding and compassion and especially the extra big hugs.

dawn said...

Big Hugs from me too Pam.
I wet the bed until I was 14. I know the shame and humiliation of something I had no control over.

DeEtta said...

Pam, {{{{{{{{{{{{{HUGS}}}}}}}}}}}}}
I don't know what to say except "I Love you" and pray by writing these experiences will help heal you.

Finding Pam said...

Dawn, we have so many things in common. How do you get over it? Hugs back to you my friend.

Finding Pam said...

DeEtta, you made me cry. I have told more to my blog friends than my real friends even know.

Please keep me in your prayers. Now you see why I love you and your blog. You are a wonderful christian lady. I wish I had had a real family like yours.

I am only at the first grade, I am not sure if I should continue, but I pray it sets me free once and for all.

Thank you my friend for your support.

Melissa Mashburn said...

This makes me sad, but I am glad that you had the courage to share it. Share what you feel you can share,do not worry or think about how people might react to it. Do not worry about trying to spare anyone anything you feel the need to write. Not only do you benefit from sharing what you can, we benefit from what you share.

I love the courage you have shown in what you have posted so far.

Gail said...

HI PAM-

Oh my - such horror and abuse and barbaric mean treatment. My heart aches for you/and the little you. 'Annie' (my inner-kid) is sad and mad for you -
Do something nice today for you and the little you. It is well deserved. k?

Love to you
Gail/Annie <3
peace.....

SandyM204 said...

WOW, I read this and weeped. I am so sorry you had to go through this as a child. My abuse was from a man as an adult, so I can't relate to what you are feeling, all I can do is pray that this sets you free once and for all.~Sandy~

Finding Pam said...

Melissa, thank you for your words of encouragement. There is a lot more to say, but it will be difficult. I appreciate your understanding attitude of my story.
I still do worry what people think.

Finding Pam said...

Dear Sweet Gail/Annie, When I read your story I wept too, but somehow your words gave me great courage to overcome.

God bless you,
Pam

Finding Pam said...

Sandy,I am sad that you had to go through such horror as an adult. Thank you for following me and for the prayers.

Nice to meet you and I will come visit your blog soon.

Blessings,
Pam

Servant of the Most High said...

Hi,

Here is a blog that serves for your spiritual needs...
It has messages from the Holy Scriptures that teach us how to have GOD in all the aspects of our lives, and allow GOD's rule in every matter.

http://www.holyoneofisrael-reconciliation.blogspot.com

Have a blessed reading.

God bless you.

Debra said...

God bless you for this courageous post Pam. Hugs and healing thoughts being sent your way!

Mouse said...

WOW, what a post. Very very well done Pam on finding your inner strength to not only write those words but relive them in your mind. I imagine many tears fell before you sent this to publish. While we can heal from our experiences as adults, unfortunately we can never change the past, therefore some things (whether that be memories or reactions) may never entirely disappear from our *repertoire* as it were. Sometimes it is enough to bring them out and acknowledge them so as to move into a less painful place. I hope you are moving to a place where your inner child is more loved and accepted, and I hope after writing this post, you went and gave yourself a present for being so wonderfully courageous!

Many hugs & much love
x Mouse

Akelamalu said...

Oh my dear I'm so sorry you had such a terrible childhood, and suffered things that shouldn't happen to any child. I hope by writing about it you can put it in the past. x

May said...

I was visitng over at "Everything and Nothing" and I stopped here. Love reading new blogs. Your blog is very pretty. Thanks for sharing your story and I know that it was difficult to write about it. I pray that you will be able to let go that pain and continue the healing process. Many blessings to you.

Finding Pam said...

Servant of the Most High, thank you for stopping by and commenting.


Debra, I appreciate the hugs and healing thoughts. Thank you for caring.

Mouse, you are so smart. I am thinking you must be a therapist or someone in that field. Yes, this post was most difficult to write. So hard, that I don't know if I am ready or even if I should continue the next chapter. My life does get worse.

As for me, I am in a good place right now. I am thankful that I have a Heavenly Father that watches over me.

Akelamula,I am finding out that a lot of people had horrid childhoods. You are always so very kind and thoughtful. Thanks my friend.xx


May,Thank you so much for the well wishes. Nice to meet you, and I will stop and visit your blog.

Thank you all for your comments of love, prayers and support. You will never know how much your acceptance means to me.

In His Hands,
Pam

barefoot gardener said...

Sorry things were rough, and hoping that writing about it helps you come to grips with the past....

(((((((hugs))))))

Nessa said...

The things we do to our children. i am so sorry to hear all of the hurt you experienced. i hope that by speaking about it, you can heal from some of the pain.

Book Review - Moving In

jennifer said...

Oh Pam, my heart breaks for that little girl who didn't want to wet the bed who then began to actually fear waking up wet. I'm so sorry. People fail. They are flawed. Some terribly so. It wasn't you, it was them (I know you know this now).

Big hugs Pam.

Mouse said...

LOL, thanks for the compliment, Smart isn't the first word I'd apply to myself :D. Not a therapist but speaking from life experience and travelling a healing path for the past few years. I'm now actually learning counselling skills at night school, which I've found, so far, to confirm my thought processes that I've accumulated through healing :)

Very glad to hear that you're in a good place at the moment, and you'll feel it when the time is right (or not) to post any more. One thing that may (or may not) help is to know that you are very likely helping others with your words to not feel so alone, especially if they have yet to acknowledge to themselves what they've been through :)

Servant of the Most High said...

Hi,

Here's a blog that serves for your spiritual needs, and will surely be a blessing for you.

It has messages from the Holy Scriptures, taught by the Spirit of God.

These messages teach us how to have God in all the aspects of our lives and have God's rule over every matter:

www.holyoneofisrael-reconciliation.blogspot.com

Have a blessed reading and gladly write back if you need any prayer help.

God bless you and your family.

Finding Pam said...

Sara at Barefoot Gardener. thank you for stopping by and leaving those nice hugs. It is much appreciated.


Nessa, I will be Ok for a while and then a memory pops up and I write about it. When my son wet the bed I never made him feel bad about it. After the stuff I went through I would not want him to suffer like I did.


Jenifer, I appreciate your comment. I just want to feel healthy and normal. I still feel so damaged. Thanks for the hugs.

Mouse, your night school is paying off. You are an excellant therapist. How long does it take to get over the pain and the effects it has on my adult life?


Servant of the Most High, Thank you for the scripture at your blog. It is most beautiful.

Mouse said...

Thank you Pam :)

As for your question, I'm afraid I don't have a clear-cut answer for you. Every person is an individual and even if two people undergo the same situation, are therefore very likely to experience it differently. I would ask whether you are seeing a therapist at the moment to help you through this, and if not, whether such a step may be beneficial, as they would be able to provide a safe and supportive environment for you to explore some of this a bit more in-depth, and on a one-to-one basis :)

Finding Pam said...

Mouse, I am back in therapy now. I felt like I needed a tune up. I have been in therapy before,but it was a long time ago.

When my mother died that night I wet the bed. It really freaked me out.

I still have issues with safety.

Mouse said...

Hugs xx

Mimi Lenox said...

Again I say, you are braver than you know. What a horrible thing to endure.

I am glad you are getting this out but it must be incredibly difficult for you. Is it helping to post these?
I hope you feel freer each time you do. Do it for you and no one else.

Don't worry about what others think. This is your space and you are reclaiming your life.
Brave girl.