An orphan in the middle of a family…..

Have you or do you feel like you are the only one alive that acknowledges you ever existed, or that you matter at all? Have you let go of toxic family and those who choose to speak against you as you tell the truth of your life? Do you feel the heavy isolation around you, especially during the holidays? Are you the one like me who, as an empty nester, have no friends from the past or family you connect with at all?

It was very sad as I helped my dear true love with the passing of his last living parent today. It brought up tons of emotions for me and I felt so selfish discussing them with him, but I couldn’t hold back the tears.

It was and is wonderful to see his friends from school and his younger days of fun and hanging out, all reach out to comfort him. It was such a tender moment to see all those that cared and were concerned of his wellbeing.

Then there is me……

You see the kids are all grown and moved away, on with their lives as kids become adults and follow the cycle of life. It’s all good to see them in their days of laughter with their family and having those moments of joy with their children. It is beautiful to watch it grow.

About four years ago I cut off the connection with my mother; the toxic parent of my past. I was the only child born between her and my father, but sadly when I was five and she married the devil; she allowed the monster to control and cut off any and all communication with my dad and his family. Not until I was eighteen and my grandfather passed, was I permitted to have letters or talk on the phone with any of them. It was an instant and complete dissection.

There was a brother I grew up with from her first marriage; she had left her other two boys with their dad when she ran off to marry his best friend, which was my dad. She took her youngest boy of the three, who was only six months old; married Dad and then had me. In the marriage with the devil, the two of them had a daughter. As the three of us all grew up in the alcoholic fueled dysfunction; the severe rage, violence, sexual attacks and neglect were all directly aimed at only me.  Not exactly sure of the why, but it is of no real concern I guess. I was the target of this madness and the others in my family knew, watched, heard, but they too were only children. Mother doesn’t count because she only saw me as her housekeeper, cook, babysitter, and caregiver; a replacement for when she didn’t feel like doing her duty as a parent or wife.

So not to confuse you, there were three boys my mother had, then me, then my younger sister. Dad remarried and he had three daughters and a son. I’ve only met the daughters once a very long time ago at Grandpa’s funeral. After the funeral however, I never heard from any of those relatives again. Thankfully I finally tracked down my dad and shared about four or five phone calls over the long years, until about I was about 38, then he was taken by cancer. However, no one bothered to search me down and let me know. It was as if I never existed. When I found an uncle about 10 years ago and he let me know Dad was gone, I spent the night curled up like a baby in bed crying like I had just seen him in the casket.

Now here I am, turning 50 next Friday, and I’m looking at my life; especially since publishing ‘My Justice’ and finally being able to speak the truth of all that happened. It is heartbreaking to see that my kids still deal with the emotional impact of living in the pattern of acceptance in my relationships. Believe me, if you don’t think your kids will be impacted by the violent attacks between you and your partner, the ongoing court and custody issues, the crying, yelling and begging for mercy; you need to then talk with an Adult Survivor of this type of family violence. You will clearly see and understand how it always passes forward to invade the next generation, even when you do all you can to keep it from them.

Don’t get me wrong the kids are not a total mess, but they are hurting in relationships and child rearing; this is clearly because of all they were forced to deal with and accept as normal in their world.

So moving on …….

It is hard to accept that I have all of these blood related siblings out in this world, a total of eight. There are some of whom I’ve reached out to and even directly emailed. All the blood cousins out there related on my dad’s side of the family, whom I’ve never met, but have also reached out to communicate; all of these blood relatives and NONE OF THEM WANT TO EVEN ACKNOWLEDGE THAT I’M ALIVE!!!

They don’t know me!! Many have never met me!! As much as I have tried reaching out through networking sites; still no one I’ve found has responded or shown any interest in getting acquainted!!!

It is extremely painful. Marjorie, my therapist, and I have been working on this for a while. We have come to the conclusion that even the abuse and neglect that I endured, the complete shunning from any relatives and family; it is all connected TO THE ORPHAN IN THE MIDDLE OF A FAMILY!!!

Of course, it is during the holidays when this bothers me the most. Now with the kids all out on their own, Robbie’s parents gone, knowing it is just he and I moving forward, as he is my Angel and Saving Grace; it is still so tearfully lonely.

It makes me long for some form of connection to my past existence; a friend, a relative, anyone who is willing to accept me as I am today, but be amazed because of what was then. It would be comforting to have a call from a friend or a message or card to say, “We know you and we also knew you then”

“Why do they all turn away? Why do they all act as if I’ve got the plague? Why do they act as if they’ve never heard of me? What did I ever do to be so completely shunned?”

It’s depressing to know I have all these blood siblings, but when God chooses to take me home; there will be no one there to connect with my children. No one related to me they can turn to. No one who will comfort their loss and be their friend; their connection to their Mom. My children are still paying the price for what others have done. This I cannot understand and it leaves my soul with a heavy  darkness.

“How can we, the children of the parents that once were, knowing what was and how it all got so screwed up; how is it my children will pay the heavy burden of complete doneness when that time comes?”

I know that many have walked away from toxic family; have you anyone from your past that acknowledges your existence? Do you feel that heavy isolation still encircling all that you are? How can we simply brush it away without ever feeling so completely abandoned?

As heartfelt and tender as it was to witness all Robbie’s friends reach out to comfort him, I was surrounded by the dark thoughts of NOTHINGNESS!!!

Nothing and no one who is blood or history related to be in my present existence. We build family from the virtual friends from across the world, but does it really ever replace that sense of loss. Unfortunately for me it is still a work in progress and acceptance. I am who I am! The strength I have comes from what was. The knowledge I’ve learned I share to help others. The pain I’ve carried is almost healed. The shattered soul is almost repaired. “How can I complete the puzzle and put the emotions in place without having anyone around that validates all that has been?”

My hope is one day I will get there. I am on the other side of all the tragedy, but this is something much deeper than all those years of violence, evil, and scarring neglect. This is my DNA, it is what makes my ‘Six Degrees of Separation’ from all of those who should be connected.

Should you feel this heavy darkness and complete abandonment by those related, build on what you have, enjoy the moments you can, connect with the life you have in the present, then let Creator and His wonder handle the rest. My best for the holidays and beyond to each and all of you!!!

Find comfort in your strength to endure 🙂

(c)Patricia A. McKnight

Author/Advocate/Speaker/Blogger/Radio Host/Survivor

‘My Justice’

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http://www.patriciamcknightsjustice.com

http://www.facebook.com/triciagirl62

Published by @Trecia_Ann

Recently, Facebook locked and removed my decade long creation of work and public profile, which focused my work as an advocate, speaker, mentor, and creator of more than a few programs used throughout Illinois, but also shared nationally and some have reached international platforms. So.... let's start fresh and see where it goes! Please see the writings on this blog dating back into 2011, created after the publication of 'My Justice'. There are two specifically, which have been tagged and shared by many....."Judging Eyes" and "Triggers; what they are and how to handle them" I am a survivor of over thirty years trapped inside the silence and brutality of Family Facilitated Violence, Torture, and Child Sex Trafficking. In Feb. 2011, I chose to publish the secrets and the horrors endured; the many levels of destruction and decay which the community around me witnessed, ignored, condemned and blamed regardless of the injuries and tortures endured. It all became the learned patterns of self-hatred and tolerance which was a huge factor in my adult life. Have you endured childhood harm, or endured terroristic types of abuses? Did you feel unworthy of life, breathing, love or respect? Did you feel as if no one ever really saw you, heard you, or seemed to care about the silent cruelties of your existence? It wasn't until I honestly began a strong focus on healing myself, which took years of researching credible data and published research surrounding the lasting effects of abuse, violence, sexual harm, and human trafficking that I began to understand who I was and why there were many traits and tragedies that influenced my adult choices, relationships, the chaos deep in my soul and the behaviors used to survive. It seemed to control everything inside me and it was filled with pain, and tragedy. The research became my rebuilding journey and my road to advocacy, creating legislative changes, sitting as an active member and providing testimony in the creation of area task force operations, victim/survivor services, trauma informed awareness for law enforcement, educators, social services, healthcare and community providers. I began that research of understanding myself in 2008, wrote the memoir "My Justice' in 2010, began working to change statutes in my home state in 2013, became a Certified DV Advocate and Panel Member of DV Offender Education Program in 2015, which then initiated a decade long career as a trusted, confidential advocate, and a highly skilled and knowledgeable speaker/educator on the topic of Assessment, Family/Survivor Rebuilding, Trauma Informed Care & Response, with the primary focus on family/relationship acts of terroristic abuses and/or human trafficking. Beginning in January 2010 there have been developed programs and connected resources for men, women, children, and families who endured these same types of tragedies. Unfortunately, our human society still has barriers to seek help or speak openly about these types of tragedies, especially if it happened in our homes and families. The laws to protect from such harms were enacted for children in 1963, as an amendment to the Social Security Act. Domestic Violence was not a topic until 1995, when then Senator Joe Biden introduced the Violence Against Women Act, which has since been adapted to provide shelters, counseling, protection orders, and rebuilding services for ALL persons regardless of gender or identity. Although slavery was brought to an end by the historical act of President Abraham Lincoln, we unfortunately have millions of human beings still being traded, sold, controlled and trapped in a hellish evil, which often begins by a parent or intimate partner. Legislation didn't arise regarding the term 'Human Trafficking' until the turn of the new millennium. Protection for victims of human trafficking was signed into law as the 'Trafficking In Persons Act of 2000', which with modern day social media it quickly became a new hot-topic point, which then sparked the creation of Trauma Informed Care, Rebuilding & Trauma Therapy, and thus adult survivors began speaking out about the dark terrifying reality of Child Sex Trafficking. Today many use the term, Modern Day Slavery, and we have multi-faceted task force operations and rescue resources working around the globe to end this new form of human slavery. We also have a few hundred thousand or more who are adult survivors of histories involving Parental Child Sex Trafficking. In one recent study from 2018, they found 85% of these victims were trafficked by parents in trade for drugs, family needs, or basic human survival. As I look back on the career that grew from my own personal need to understand the chaos in my head, the constant failed relationships and almost murderous acts committed against me; as I deal with increasing health problems that includes multiples of head and spinal cord traumas; the most important goal for me from day one of this extremely personal experience; the healing and rebuilding of my own children and grandchildren who were all continued generational victims of the trauma influenced behaviors and choices that resulted from the destruction enforced by my mother and stepfather many decades ago. The little girl, 'Trecia Ann', she survived pure evil as an entire community witnessed, shamed, blamed, and dismissed the visible decay and rot, stench and filth covered, battered and intoxicated body of a young girl who was publicly exploited and shared in the bars of that small town, in her home with boys she attended school with and adult men from the local coalmine. It was as if they all got a thrill from watching her respond to the ring of that little brass bell. They laughed, molested, raped, and purchased for a few bucks or a few beers the sexual use of that young girl right in full public view! Her mother held the power to stop it all, but rather enjoyed having a 'slave' to cook, clean, care for the family as well as entertain the sadistic alcoholic man she chose to marry. Today, I'm so honored and proud to have that little girl's spirit with me. It is through the use of my lived experience, along with a decade of research, and at least five certifications in prevention, response, and trauma; I've assisted a few hundred survivors through the multilevel process of rebuilding and reclaiming their voice, their safety, their freedom! I've trained law enforcement, healthcare, childrens service investigators, our school educators, and co-presented in trainings with some outstanding experts in the field. For the many I've assisted or empowered, they continue becoming thriving survivors, advocates, authors, speakers, and most important of all; they are healing their children and grandchildren! It is a truly beautiful experience and I am so amazed to have been a spark, a resource, or a friend in their life reclaiming freedom. The adult children of generations past have broken through the glass ceiling and finally there is a hint of change in the world. "A lifetime filled with daily torture, tragedy, and pain creates someone completely different than we should have been. We feel that person inside, but our lives are altered by the emotional and physical suffering. We cover it up and hide it deep inside through substance abuse, which falsely helps us believe we are doing fine. The extreme physical and emotional injuries leave our mental and physical selves terribly impacted. Thankfully there is more information and resources of help available today for all types of adverse or traumatic experiences. We have specialized therapeutic help and healthcare professionals developing new ways to identify and assist persons harmed or at risk of harm. We have so much more to do, so please help by having casual open conversations with your friends, family, coworkers, leaders, and especially our kids. Teach them early how to avoid both online and in person harms. Encourage adults and kids both to use the BDA Buddy Skills 2.0, which you will find through my list of assessments and prevention strategies. "My Justice' was written through my own beginning of acknowledging and releasing the personal destruction of the girl once known as 'Trecia Ann'. It is not an easy read, but it has opened many eyes about the reality of evil that occurs inside our homes, against those too small to protect themselves or understand what's happening. It was published to release the thick layers of trauma, sex trafficking, and disfiguring neglect. It is the voice of the enslaved child who existed only to answer the ring of 'his' bell, and the enforced burden to keep my own private terrorist alive. 'My Justice' is NOT SUGGESTED FOR ANYONE UNDER 16 years of age. It discusses the permanently wounding life and the cycle of destruction that held me in tolerating ridicule, control, and violence in my adult relationships. This truth was published to inspire others to take an in-depth look at their life and behaviors as a result of their past, in hopes they too will better understand their suffering today, the continued relationships with the parents and family who inflicted those harms, and finally breaking free from that pain so they can reclaim their voice and their true sense of freedom! We always have the opportunity to learn that we are worthy, capable, incredibly strong, compassionate, and filled with endless possibilities. It is a choice. It is a conscious decision to dig into our trauma, take ownership of our own failures, the harm our choices have caused, and the work we need to do to change it and succeed for ourselves and our families. It is such an honor to have 'My Justice' used at the collegiate level for psychology classes, upcoming therapists, and educators. Today my life is very blessed. I'm finally safe, feel truly loved, finally feeling the magic of life! Always choose to see your star and how it shines on others in your journey. My greatest power only began to show when I first made the choice to end the violent relationships and behaviors around my children; to give them something better, something SAFE!! In choosing to share my own story, I've also gone the serious extra step to educate myself through years of research, attending training opportunities, and collaborating with other advocate resources focused in human resilience and healing from abuse, sexual harm, and sex trafficking. Today there are experts digging deep to recreate help and healing. I've chosen to use my past as a way to inspire a greater good and; hopefully, somehow change the cycle of tragedy in our homes so that we empower our kids to live a more positive path. The best education we can give is healing our survivors of traumatic experiences so we understand what they felt then and what they wish they would have had available; those who could have and should have said something. We can change things for our life today, but best of all in healing our wounds, we give communities a supportive working strategy in assisting the people in our lives. One step at a time, one caring soul at a time, we can give them a path to changing our human society as a whole. This is a tell-all, which was written in the midst of my third nervous breakdown as I struggled to put all my distorted pieces back together, and help my children understand how the violence I tolerated against me invaded their well-being. My children have always been my world, but my behaviors, lack of healthy parenting and life skills, and an inability to remain stable have caused another generation of suffering for my grandchildren. This is a very difficult thing to watch and the continued tragedies that seem to keep affecting the choices in my family. Writing this book was only the beginning of trying to release all that has haunted me for so many years. I have finally removed his thick, cruel, coal-stained hand which trapped me in fear for decades. Those hands and his evil, her housemaid and caregiver; created a slave, and that slave submitted to horrific and brutal attacks but always felt it was her burden to bear. I lived with that hand holding me down, continually terrorizing and silencing, stealing my voice to protect their pure evil. Throughout decades the dysfunction caused by the chaos inside my head would affect every relationship, my children, and cast a shadow of darkness on everything good in my life. Living in the true spirit of freedom, I have now become a strong advocate against the life cycle of human destruction. If we want to control our life and achievements today, then we cannot live stuck in the tragedy of hardships and pain. Life is meant to be lived, to be enjoyed, to see what you can do and what you can achieve, to find out what is important to you. We all become adults. We all have a burden to bear. Stand up and keep moving, keep living, keep dreaming. You have two choices in recreating and rebuilding yourself. Do you stay stuck in the dark shadows of your past? Do you dig deep and find that spirit that kept you alive so that you can become the proud, strong, capable, resilient, kind human being? Which do you choose and how will that choice affect your children and theirs? We can be supportive, and provide resources and suggest help so that families suffering from addiction or past trauma can find a recovery balance to rebuild their family into a more positive life pattern. We will recover, we will rebuild, we will conquer the pains of yesterday to live in the true sense of life, freedom, and safety today. Patricia 'Trish' McKnight Author: 'My Justice' Fndr/CEO: Butterfly Dreams Alliance, NFP Mentor/Advocate/Speaker/Survivor

7 thoughts on “An orphan in the middle of a family…..

  1. Trish, I am so so very sorry for how everyone has deserted you. It is so unfair of them. But I think that one reason they may do this is because they are scared of the past, knowing what happened to you and don’t know how or the words to respond to something that was so horrific. Sometimes they just don’t want to know that this took place in their family, that someone could be so cruel and heartless and do this to another person.
    But you are also right, they don’t know you, they don’t know the beautiful, wonderful Trish that turned into this wonderful woman, who overcame the barriers and tragedy that plagued you. Trish, my parents are both gone now, and for me that is a blessing. My brother who was also adopted by them, won’t talk to me about any of the abuse that happened to me. When I was put in the hospital once for overdosing, he came to see me, and asked me what I was doing there. I told him about what dad did to me, he just shook his head and walked away. We are close, but we never speak of it. He doesn’t want to hear it, and I know that he probably knew about the abuse, because the one time he was home down in the basement, and I was screaming in pain in the kitchen, and he never came up to see what was wrong. He was a teenager then. So it is my silence with him. When I found my real dad, who I still keep in touch with, I had an immediate family, 2 half sisters and a half brother, and a biological brother. This side of the family accepted me. My mother (my dad and her never married) had told my dad and real brother that she never wanted them to ever tell her if they found me. My brother had a relationship with my mother, as he stayed with her, but I was put up for adoptions. She has 5 daughters and I have contacted one of them on facebook, and at first she was great about meeting me, and put me down as her sister, but then questions were being asked and she took me off as her sister, they didn’t want it getting back to my mother that they knew me, they didnt want to upset her. I pm’d another one of the sisters on facebook a few weeks, ago, and she said she has nothing against me, but that they felt it in the best interest of their mother not to acknowledge my existence. So Trish I can relate in a way, with you here. It hurt me too. I know its not the same, as I do have family still. You’re kids will have each other Trish, sometimes that is all they need. They will comfort each other. The others? Well its their loss, they are missing out on knowing a wonderful caring beautiful person that you have become. An advocate for the abused. It’s sad yes, so sad, but Trish, God will give you the answer to these many questions, I wish I could but I don’t have all the answers. Just know that I think you are the most inspiring person I know, and even though we have never met, I feel a closeness to you, and always will. I know that it’s not the same. You will get through this Trish, and maybe one day the others in your family, will open their eyes, open their hearts to meet you as you are, that wonderful person Patrica Mcknight. God bless you Trish, I love you my friend ♥ ♥

  2. I am the oldest of three…and have the fortune of being close to my 2 siblings…and I live with my brother…still the caregiver! 🙂

    What happened to us all? I read your story about family and the empty nest…a lot of those feelings are much the same…even though our over-all stories are different.

    Much love to you…

    1. Debra dear, thank you so very much for your kind words, many blessings to you and yours throughout the holidays hon, hugs 🙂

  3. Trish, How very brave you are. The mere act of your sharing is healing because you let us know that we are not alone in the world. “have you anyone from your past that acknowledges your existence? Do you feel that heavy isolation still encircling all that you are? How can we simply brush it away without ever feeling so completely abandoned?” Poignant questions. I suffered deeply from being rejected, condemned and thrown away by those of whom I loved most dearly. For years I thought, “If I don’t exist for them, then I don’t exist.” “If I am worthless to them, then I must be worthless.” “If they can’t love me, then who could possibly?” I thought that I would never ever pull through, but, strangely, I did. I was so wrong in my conclusions. I got to the point of beginning to design my life as I wished, on a soul level. The more I value and celebrate myself, the less I need approval or love or acceptance or existing to anyone else. Things make me sad, but they no longer devastate me or keep me from living as fully as I am capable of doing in each moment. There are struggles and there are downs, but I don’t take them so seriously. God loves me; I love me; and my partner loves me. Anything besides God loving me and me loving me is icing on the cake. Works for me. Big hugs to you and thank you for opening your heart so beautifully. Another thought: I used to think that no one can replace the love of a family remember. Maybe not, but the other loves I share are so beautiful that the need for people who don’t love to me to love me is greatly diminished.

    1. What you’ve said is so completely true, SO LONG AS WE LOVE OURSELVES, ARE GOOD TO OTHERS AND GOD ABOVE LOVES US, the rest is icing on the cake, beautiful, thank you 😉

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