An anxiety disorder associated with serious traumatic events and characterized by such symptoms as (but not limited to):
Reliving the trauma in dreams,
Numbness and lack of involvement with reality,
Recurrent mood-altering thoughts and/or images; or
the recurrent and persistent memories and recollections of a traumatic event or experience.
Given an anticipated “predisposition” of mental instability attached to my very existence, since birth (my mother was a severely unstable, drug-addicted, drunken Shawnee Native American who was also still, an untreated schizophrenic when she gave birth to me in 1979), I believe my father and clan of brothers expected a mental instability just as severe from me someday. I have somehow always harbored – what was for a long time: an unidentified – fear of growing up into a schizophrenic drunk, just like the estranged and elusive Mom from my childhood days.
During preadolescence, I used to pattern-dream (a Shawnee term used to describe the attachment of one’s sub-consciousness to another’s through dream scape – away from the waking world of reality as we know it) about my scary and unpredictable mother often:
I was always a baby again – literally a yearling – wearing a soggy diaper, behind the lovingly hand-crafted bars of a wooden crib – alone in an unfamiliar room; and I am crying my lil’ heart out for someone to open the door and come pick me up, to hear me. Nobody would come for what felt like days, maybe weeks – to me, to a youngster ‘s warped perception of time…until SHE opens the door and stands there in the shadow cast by the hallway ceiling bulb – its greyness seeming to wash out any color as it beams down around her like a canister of smoke; I begin to cry again – loudly and more boisterously as to be noticed by her, I’m unafraid of her presence in the dream; I see her as my “savior” in my current-day recollections of its detail, I want her to come in and pick me up – I want her to hold me and clean me up and spend time with me. I don’t want to be alone and crying in this room any longer and she is my ticket out of there. I start screaming her “Mama…Mama!”, and I swallow small gulps of my own snot and tears in the process, I’m so desperate to catch her attention. “Mommy!”…she turns to her left and leaves without a care in the world.
It was also during preadolescence, I should note, that my father decided to confide the truth behind the obvious strain in their relationship that went beyond the differences they blamed for their divorce: the fact that my mother had tried to “smother” me with my own pillow when I was an infant, still in a crib. Needless to say, this spun my world around a few times before throwing it off kilter for a few rounds, too; I was really caught off guard by this confession by my Dad, it explained so many countless mundane mysteries of my entire life – this horrible little secret of theirs. Who else knew? He said only “the older boys”, meaning my older “set” of brothers (typically referred to as “the Originals” in my writing), and my Papa (my Dad’s father) knew about the incident.
Um…okay, so you mean my Mom’s not only crazy as Hell, but she actually tried to “off” me when I was too little to defend myself?!…God damn, that was an eye opener for me at age eleven…it hurt deeply to learn, and never quite let life feel the same again after knowing this fact.
It wasn’t until I was at least sixteen, and still trying desperately in vain to keep my baby brother (who later committed suicide) from falling mentally apart as a result of the same kind of schizophrenia that afflicts my mother, that the question hit me like a ton of bricks:
Why in the Hell did my father get my mother pregnant and have yet – ANOTHER – child, with a woman who had been put in psychiatric detention and “treated” for the attempted smothering of the most recent child that she bore him?
Of course, my father had passed away by that time, as the story goes; and I never got the answer from HIS mouth on that lingering query of mine. I have come to harbor rather strong beliefs about the intrinsic “rights” of certain women to bear children; I do not believe it is fair for those who are historically mentally unstable to pro-create as freely as those who have not shown any repeated inconsistencies in sound thinking and behaviors. Such instances create humans like me, or my late, little brother – or, the older one in my set of full-blooded siblings – we’re all challenged in some majorly handicapping way when it comes to social behaviors and/or mental illness. I’m still shocked that it was my baby brother and not me who ended up with schizophrenia as a very young adult.
I waited…and waited…and waited – waited to one day wake up and be “crazy” like my mom or just downright miserable and confused, afraid and aimless like my little brother had become. My brother was the natural kicking post in my family (natural to the Originals, at least) because he was the last in line, of a long line of boys (with the one exception of me) who are Scandinavian and Native-American by heritage and behaved much like a clan of cavemen, given the absence of any adult female in our household. I was the only one there to protect my little brother for, well – forever, since I can remember remembering. I was the only buffer between them and him, and I innately sensed a dire need to execute my power in this position day and night, all the time. Despite my fond recollections surrounding my childhood, it was filled with the constant stress of worrying over my little brother’s well-being. This lasted until the moment he committed suicide in 1999, at age 19.
I begrudgingly buried JJ while I was still a domestic hostage to “the Ripper”, never really being able to openly or worthily mourn his tragic ending because “the Ripper” would become enraged by jealousy if I showed any sign of emotion for anyone other than Him. It was one of the very darkest periods of my existence, to my recollections…a very, very guilt-ridden and deeply sad time for me.
Sometimes still, I catch myself pondering different things that do not matter anymore anyway; I often wonder if JJ ever used to have recurring dreams about our Mom turning her back on him, also….
IMPORTANT NOTE: I am currently in my umpteenth attempt at making my own amends to, and forgiving past discrepancies of: my Shawnee, medicated, therapy-involved, clean and sober Mom.
My family has struggled mightily with the suicide of our clan’s ‘youngest brother’, my one and only little brother: JJ (1981-1999).
After learning of our brother’s tragic suicide and the horrid details surrounding his final hours alive, we, as a family – were forced to accept several realities that were likely the most unwelcome any of us had seen previously. Our departed sibling not only killed himself; he also killed a female police officer in the process.This was something that made the entire situation of his suicide, the aftermath, the social stigmas, the judgment of others, etc. – much, much more complicated.
My brother had been off of his medication for some time, and had been playing the cat and mouse with me as well; I had not been successful in locating him for several weeks (a task that was typically hard enough by itself, as I was still a hostage to The Ripper). His ex-girlfriend (who has become part of our family since that time) had just told him that she was pregnant with his child, despite their recent breakup; he was likely spinning out of control for many reasons, but this put him over the edge.
JJ never thought much of himself, in contrast to what he actually was…to me, at least.
Me and JJ, back in the day
I can imagine that finding out he was not only going to become a father, but a father to a child he would undoubtedly anticipate being kept separate from, for whatever reasons (that’s just how he was); I can imagine how big of self-fulfilled Failure this made him perceive himself as having become rather quickly, as a result of these thoughts. He didn’t pick up his gun and just shoot himself, and that was it…
He found his way to his very best friend Jeremy’s house (Jeremy is the next best thing to a little brother for me – we all grew up together), and honks the horn out front. When Jeremy goes outside, he sees JJ in an unfamiliar truck and asks him wtf is going on; he says that JJ was in disarray emotionally, and he obviously needed some support. He gets in the truck, likely against his better judgment, and agrees to ride with JJ to “SouthWest for a while”. During the drive, the police take chase and JJ leads a high speed pursuit through the massive clusterfuck of the city’s expressways – picking up more and more units along the way, of course.
Inside the stolen truck, Jeremy is trying to calmly talk to him and get him to pull over so that they don’t get in any more trouble than they’ve already found – to no avail. JJ is beside himself; not making sense and very agitated; Jeremy feels afraid of him for the first time on all of their years together as friends. They wind down into the loading dock behind a Wal-Mart, where Jeremy assumes JJ will finally park the car and get out. Somehow, a police cruiser had slipped in behind them in the dock, against the roll up door, unseen by either of them. JJ is still talking gibberish and making no sense – completely embodying a maniac. They become surrounded by a barricade of police cars and trucks one by one as they arrive to the loading dock.
I’m very unclear of the details, and always have been; but right around this moment, my brother threw the truck in reverse and floored it – smashing backwards with the force of a jet plane – instantly crushing the police officer between her vehicle and the solid concrete wall to his rear-right hand side. Jeremy says that he realized at time what was happening, and began to holler at JJ to “Stop the truck! Stop the truck! Stop the truck!”, to which my brother’s immediate response was to abide by.
*Jeremy’s Version of the events that followed:
JJ turned around in his seat, after putting the truck in PARK, and realized in the most raw and surreal sense what had just occurred, though he was still “incoherent”, in comparison with his true nature. The reality set him off to a point beyond retrieval; and he withdrew a .357 handgun from inside of a small cooler in the back seat. At this point, Jeremy is very afraid for his life, somehow – which tells me beyond the shadow of any doubt: the severity of JJ’s temperament and agitation, as they grew up like brothers together. Jeremy says something like,
“Dude, what the fuck are you gonna do? Shoot the rest of ‘em, now?”
He remembers the look on JJs face then: betrayal – like, ‘How could you say that to me?’. Before there was even time for another word between them, and amongst the background of megaphone voices, sirens and a helicopter overhead, JJ put the gun upward to his chin, and fired. TWICE. The coroner later described how a person often has all kinds of reflexive mechanisms that fire after a brain trauma like a fatal gunshot wound; they explained this as having been a reflex in his finger to pull the trigger again, merely reflexively, in death. But in the cab of the truck, in the moment, Jeremy was riddled right alongside of my brother’s body by the barrage of gunfire that immediately followed in response to the discharge of a firearm inside of the vehicle that just run over an officer.
In Jeremy’s mind, in the moment, he was shot by the second bullet that JJ fired at himself. He survived his tragic injuries: 8 gunshot wounds, 2 that should have been fatal. He swam for a long time in the states between awareness and hopelessness, in a hospital bed, for nearly a year. The most painful aspect of the entire thing for him was his perception of who had put him there, and how. It was over two years before I actually saw him face to face afterward, as my own traumatic injury happened within a few months of my brother’s suicide (and Jeremy’s traumatic injury). When I did see him, he was awkward and stand-offish, which I thought I understood already, being empathic.
Finally, he asked me “Why?”
He wanted to know why JJ had shot them, both of them, in the truck that day…
I was dumbfounded, needless to say…my heart ripped from my chest cavity all over again, sensing the horrible struggles that Jeremy had been swallowing in regard to believing he had been shot nearly to death by his very best friend on Earth; I found no words to offer him through my stunned affect.
“JJ would never have shot you…” I managed to whisper through my disbelief. “Nobody has bothered to tell you that, Jeremy?”
He collapsed with relief, as if he had been hoping my response would be exactly what I had said, and cried – he said, “Nobody needed to bother to tell me…”
It’s only now, since Jeremy’s passing recently, years and years after this conversation…that I think I finally understand what he meant by that, in its intended context. Days when I am yelling at my JJ’s twin sons (Jeremy and Joshua), as they run amok everywhere and back…the “Hellions”, reborn and growing old together once more. JJ and Jeremy REALLY were closer than brothers.
IF YOU ARE A SOCIAL WORKER READING THIS POST (OR ANY OF MY BLOG FOR THAT MATTER):
Spare me your high and mighty remarks about the excellent jobs you all do in helping kids. The only effect that those posts ever have on me IS FAR from the one that you’re shooting for by defending the corruption within the terroristic agencies attached to the notion of child welfare. I don’t care who you are or what you’ve done. You’re ALL the same to me by now, tried and true Robots of the system.
Okay – So I’ve always been looked at as an “exception” to the unwritten, unspoken rule amongst the “professionals” of the dread Juvenile Court, the rule that proclaims any parent who comes through there is automatically 110% guilty and totally questionable in every aspect of life – until or unless the court becomes officially convinced otherwise. At the beginning stages of Juvenile Court proceedings, any misidentified (as an abusive) parent unfortunate enough to be included should prepare to spend a while being strung up from a tree under the scrutinizing microscope of the DFCS and juvenile judge.
The act of actually officially convincing the courts however, is yet, another obscured and confusing – almost childlike, in a fifth grade student council kinda way – element of the shadiest corner in the Superior Courts of every U.S. state. The people who operate these courts are a breed like no other: cold hearten and turned into creatures so artificial in existence, that the ability to achieve REM sleep on a regular basis does not evade them at all – EVER. Anyway, I have been tied to that hellhole of a courthouse for over five years now, and have maintained my “parental rights” on paper, which is nothing more than the right to be notified by the Department of Family & Children’s Services learns of her death or whereabouts before me; it’s just another safeguard in place for the social services case workers, court-appointed attorneys and other useless entities to cover their’ chicken shit asses after someone down the line fucks up and ruins a young life or two – but hey- shit happens, right? These people are mutants in the most raw form of mutation – these people are role players on stage – being paid to destroy lives and break apart struggling families through brute force of the most mysteriously veiled legal arena in existence.
Social workers and case workers have safeguards galore; immunity in court for the things that do or do not do for the kids who are forced to depend upon them for safety and security. In fact, the notion of immunity for all“professionals” of the child protection community seems to hover over the courthouse building like a veil of dark and deceitful mist.
Safeguards…what a joke if you are the natural parent of a child who becomes entangled with the system to any degree; because in this courthouse – Nationwide – the right hand doesn’t know what the left hand is doing; and nobody holds themselves or each other accountable for the many irreversible damages created by the social welfare system. Nope, on the contrary, these drones have been professionally trained to pull the ol’ ‘Look at the birdie’ decoy maneuver and redirect the fault toward the already overly-persecuted natural parent. This circumstance can easily become enough for even the most steadfast and stubborn of parents to lose their will in the faces of so much collective evil. And often, that is what happens to the pleasure of the courts. That way, they can adopt the kid out and earn the funds available for that process, which is a substantially larger amount that those available to the kids limbo-ed in foster care.
The circumstances as they were in our particular case, being that it had ALWAYS been the child(not the parent) in the situation, that was profiled in official court documents as being “high risk”, “mentally unstable and unpredictable”, “self-destructive and violent with the tendency to escalate to extremes”, my unusual legal standing as the natural and rightful parent to a ward of the court – was apparently quite rare. The uniqueness of our case was an element that I didn’t quite grasp until those absent ” legal safeguards” came into play a few years into my enslavement to the juvenile court who held my only child ransom – and technically still does. In the easy majority of cases heard, decided, and monitored through the Juvenile Courts, the legal parent or guardian of the child has been stripped of any and all rights pertaining to said child within the time frame 18 months, given the courts’ propensity to “terminate” parental rights alongside of the termination of what they refer to as “Reunification Services”. If the parent has not jumped perfectly through each and every hoop held out by the hand of the judge and DFCS (‘Department of Family & Children’s Services’, but I have altered it to ‘Devil-Faced Child Swallowers’), the odds of them being reunited with their kids in a legally acknowledged way are nearly obliterated then and there.
Because of Federal Government stipends and locally funded program incentives driven by the money-hungry notion of “permanency” ( in other words: a “permanent”, consistent place and a so-called family environment for children in foster care), the time frame for a parent to reunite with his or her own flesh and blood kin is now only 12 months long. And if you haven’t made the DFCS and judge happier than a fag in dick tree by then – your babies are as good as gone. Just like that.
I learned all about the complete LACK of these “safeguards” when mydaughter was sexually assaulted and abused by a mental health support staff at who worked at the COURT-ORDERED treatment facility to which my little girl (then 11yearsold) had been remanded.
Now, let us NOT forget the fact that she had been remanded there to begin with, due to her behavioral and social struggles – she was supposedly there to get better. When she was brave enough to tell on him, the response put forth by the collective of the “professionals” involved (including law enforcement, the ombudsman and the fucking city council) was despicable beyond words. They openly doubted her. They officially deemed her allegation as “unfounded”. They sent her to a different place…six fucking hours away from me! They isolated and alienated her during a serious trauma in her young and vulnerable life. I still strongly want someone’s head on a hotplate for that, and always will.
It was during that crucial and pivotal circumstance, that the very community entities that claim to protectthe kids and their “best interests”, the DFCS and Juvenile Courts, blatantly and corruptly disregarded everything about my only child’s best interests in ANYTHING – past, present, future. It was then that my baby was destroyed and left alone to try and manage with so much doubt and betrayal by so many people with authority over her life.
Sickeningly, the pedophile remained on staff for three more years and continued his ways until another VERY YOUNG, and very brave cut-throat came forward and had an accusation so similar to the one made by my daughter years prior, that the notion was finally (but way too late for many kids) taken seriously and investigated.
The child predator in question now awaits trial on 27 counts of lewd and lascivious acts with a minor under he age of 14 years. He has plead not-guilty to each and every count.
His parasite lawyer intends to put a string of little girls who were victims to her pedophile client on the stand and smear each one somehow, to discredit them one at a time. I’d like 2 minutes alone in a room with that bitch.
In my case, all hoops has been satisfactorily jumped through in the eyes of judge, thank the Gods; because the case worker (who is always referred to as Shiva the Destroyer in my blog posts) on the hand – has had a raging hard on for me since my kid got sexually molested and mindfucked by a man who called himself a “counselor” on the county’s watch. Like it was MY fault that the industries of Child Protection, Mental Health and Welfare could care less about the kids in actuality.
My entire existence feels quite strained and stretched past its own ability; my thoughts and feelings have been going through a change that’s so unprecedented and foreign to me, and my objectives in life have seemed to alter themselves as a result. I am going to once more, try to explain, try to describe, to convey in accuracy, my current state of being – without the fear of what someone else might think about it…because the need that I harbor for support and guidance always outweighs the shame and embarrassment….my desire for sanity balances out my habit for unhealthiness.
My only child, my daughter, age 16.5, has returned again as of late last night; she was picked up by the local police and then taken to the Emergency Room, as usual – from which, her tragic pattern has proven, she will leave once more and return to the world of Roulette, where she has chosen to live an insane life on her own.
It’s happened – finally…my heart and soul has gone cold and totally robotic towards her now…from so many years of preparing myself to lose her in a horrible, murderous way to some psychopath she’s willingly running around with; all of my tears, enough to fill the driest basin – for naught in the end. She has been dead to me for a short time now, I recognize – hence my current mourning period and the loss that I feel in every ounce of who I ever was. A genetic loss, a loss deeper than anything possible. A beautiful, delicate legacy, lost to the darkness of drug addiction and exploitation, trafficking and human madness.
So many many instances in which I have been the captive – a hostage to the absolutely appalling decisions made by others. It’s time for me to write this out loud, after all these years of chaos, of chasing a normalcy that was elusive, of fighting tooth and nail against the puppets staged to fight me – all while the invisible opponent slashed and cut at my heart from my womb.
How many times did I saveyou? How many of your “wolf!” cries did I answer and walk you out of safely? Each time, only to be spat on by you in the end, when you grew bored of normalcy and made the sale. You continue to cry “wolf!” so regularly, even still…unable to see that the effectiveness of its meaning has long left the repetitive noise it creates. Ineffectiveness is a state that is lost on time and effort; and it is a concept that has sadly and tragically come to define our relationship.
I can’t keep swinging back and forth like this – it will drive me as insane as the retched people my daughter lives amongst in the Nether-wastelands she seems to love so much.
Its as if, after helplessly watching her drown, unable to save her, and then, after finally accepting the defeat of losing her – I’m walking away to grieve her loss, only to be shocked by her sudden resurface and renewed plea for my help – help that she doesn’t really want at all. So goes the gut-wrenching cycle that no sooner is she is fitfully dragged to shore and renewed breath, the girl unfailingly belly-crawls herself back into the depths and sinks without a fight. Over and over and over and over.
My own brothers tell me to let her sink and move on…my own brothers!…
my therapist tells me the same thing! A therapist!
p style=”text-align:center;”>My heart tells me I can’t win, and that I am better just mourning the loss as if its real, because it is.