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’

Authorhouse.com/Amazon.com/BN.com/Lulu.com

http://www.patriciamcknightsjustice.com

http://www.facebook.com/triciagirl62

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Calling on Your Angels…..A Great Coping Skill!!!

***Warning: May cause triggers, but I’m sure many will find this particular blog uplifting and hopeful in many ways!!!***

This is a lighter side of the blog “He’s Back Again…”, which you will find below. I know it’s been awhile since I’ve been here, somethings been flying around that I couldn’t quite get a grip on, but here it goes anyway.

So, as I shared in the previous mentioned blog, I have been sucked back into the darkness a bit and actually went running to my wonderful therapist Marjorie for some help to get through. She’s been a blessing in my life at giving me coping skills to stay in my present and work through the darkest of moments, so I couldn’t go without her expertise; I just wouldn’t be this far without her in my world.

As I sat in her small, but quaint decorated office, with pictures of Oriental Art placed about and hung on her walls. You can look into these works of art and wonder about those who created them. They tend to pull you into a world of opening up your spirit and touching base with what lies within.

Many times, as survivors of child sexual abuse, we carry a feeling of extreme violation in our hearts. This can only be described as evil but your soul still carries the innocence of a child. There is and will be a life long impact from child sexual abuse. It does rewire your perceptions; re-align your normal behaviors; it will be scorched into your memory never to be forgotten. You will have periods in your life when you feel surrounded by the darkness and you may even feel your life invaded over and over with the fear from these particular events.

“This is normal. You are not insane. You are one of the many who’s lives have been impacted by the very personal violation of child sexual abuse.”

These remembered events are the darkness that hovers around us, it challenges us, cages us. When these events are play out in our heads, we become that panicked child all over again. Often, as we grow older, we are distraught with the ups and downs of re-living these horrific acts. None of us ever forget these moments!!!

A victim who has gone through such attacks will often go through a cycle, which I commonly refer to as the Rollercoaster of Memories. You may have those off and on again reactions that seem to haunt. At time we think we cannot conquer over them, we fear not being able to just live and exist in the present; appreciating all of the small moments of joy that have crossed our paths.

Recently this is what’s been going on in my head. I feel a bit overwhelmed; flashed back into the memory of when stepfather used the shotgun barrel to rape the little girl. My head has been swarming with a vivid motion picture of that horrible night. I’ve questioned, cried, stomped and prayed; all trying to extract the remembered emotions of terror. I have been in the huge spiral of a downward racing coaster.

As a survivor who puts forth a continued effort to help empower others and inspire them to chase after the life of happiness they deserve; this leaves me feeling like much the hypocrite since I couldn’t seem to help myself. However, I’ve been blessed with some pretty amazing folks who have showered me with prayers, love, little jokes, and tons of well wishes. Still the Demon would not leave me.

The other evening I did the best I could to help myself break through the dark storm. Going to see Marjorie was the best I could have done for myself, as I said she has played a huge part of where I am today and helping me to gain some sense of peace in my world. She has kept me living in the present and filled my soul with the belief I can indeed help myself, so long as I use the coping skills and truly focus on what I aim to achieve.

“Don’t we all have to do this in some way? Isn’t this a very common place of self-doubt that every human endures at times? Isn’t this the basics of living and achieving? If we do not focus on the end result, on the goal at hand, how will any of us ever battle against what holds us back?”

These past two years, since truly being happy and with finally finding my voice; also relating with so many other amazing advocates and survivors, I have found one common strength between us all.

“We all have a belief in some greater power that has kept us alive and guided us to where we are.”

My particular belief, my hope, my continued strength to battle onward, comes from faith. Faith there is a God and He did not intend for my life to be stripped away by the evil of my parents. I believe the few who have loved me, who now exist as Angels, are still around me and will protect me. This is the power that helps me hang on and move past this dark storm. The aura of stepfather with the gun, the pain of him tearing me apart as I lay there silent on the royal blue quilted bedspread; this is my most darkest haunting and I’m sure you each have your own particular event that seems to never leave.

So what is the amazing coping tool that my dear Marjorie has given me this time? The power, the belief, to CALL ON MY ANGELS!!!

My particular Angels are the three main people in my past who have loved me, but who God has taken.

The first of these is the one I feel closest too, the boy who came to live with us at fourteen and suffered through many of the outbursts of rage from stepfather. His name was John and he did all he could as a young man to try to protect me, show me kindness, and be more of a brother than my real blood brother could have been. He was and always will be the brightest moments of my life from age twelve to twenty-five. He never let me down. He distracted stepfather many times from getting to me with those raging fists. If it weren’t for John, I would have been killed at a very young age.

The second of these Angels is my Grandma Ellen. I remember still the power of that last beautiful hug she gave me. I can still feel her arms wrapping around the small child and letting her know that she meant the world to her. Grandma Ellen was given my baby crib, for why I’m not sure, but she kept it in that old ragged farm house on the top of one of the many mountains of Southern Missouri. The road to her house was a golden red gravel and it went up and down a series of five or six hills to get to her drive way. The farm house was made of old tattered barn wood and the linoleum floors were worn. The last night I spent in that house with her was on my fifth birthday and she still tried to put me in my crib. I remember telling her that I couldn’t fit, even though I was very small, there was no way I could sleep without fearing falling through the bed. It’s a funny pleasant memory that I hang onto and one I use to fill my head when the dark seems to threaten my day.

The next and last of the Angels I treasure is my father. I don’t have many memories of him, but those I have are all pleasant and I know he would have rescued me if he had known that such evil was murdering the little girl he created. He didn’t CHOOSE to leave my life. In fact some of my memories are of him coming to visit after he and mother split up. He’d swing me in the backyard, he’d pick up mother, brother and I to take us for drives in his beautiful red convertible. I’d get to sit on his lap while he drove and he’d work the pedals I couldn’t reach. I got to go watch him drag race and he was a winner with that car. When he’d win I got to keep the trophy, but my collection disappeared when stepfather moved us into the house he wanted.

This is my spiritual coping tool. You see stepfather has me somewhat terrified of even my afterlife. A part of me, no matter how silly I think it is, still believes that somehow he is going to be waiting for me there. He is going to be there and keep me from having peace. In reality I know this is very doubtful, but unfortunately, the fear of having to face him again; the fear of the evil he spoke coming true, this is part of my dark storm.

So now as I chase out the feeling of this demon once again, I know in my heart that these three Angels are fighting with me, circling me, protecting me and they will indeed carry me through to my afterlife. They will get out their powerful swords and conquer the dragon that swoops down to grab me. My Angels will protect me and I know if you think of your Angels, they will swarm in, circle and protect you, carry you through to the life of peace and happiness you deserve.

I hope as you read this you feel the power of connecting with those you’ve lost but who were most special in your life. Feel their love for you. Remember the happy moments spent with them. Allow them into your thoughts and see how they chase away the bad, the evil, the demon can no longer control, there is no space for him now. In this battle you have protectors and those special protectors will never leave you. They are always with you. They will create a castle of safety for you to spread out your wings and fly with them to the magic of your life.

Feel the magic of your Angels!!!

**In closing; if you do believe in the power of spiritual healing, I want to give you the other half of this coping skill. As you bring in your Angels to circle around, think about what power the demon has in your thoughts. Once you’ve got hold of it, throw your arms outward and say to yourself: “Me and my Angels now chase you away. You (say the name) have no more power here. You are banned from this castle and you will not return.** If you are one who believes in the aura of a bad spirit hovering around you. This coping skill gives you control over that aura and you can banish it away whenever you feel its presence. The power and control belong to you, the living, not those who hover around in our thoughts or who make their person felt in our homes. It is our safe castle and we say who crosses over the moat and who is banished to be eaten by the gators below if they return.

This tool has given me a renewed sense of strength. It allows me the power to push away any bad and call my protectors in to circle. Give it a try for you, hope it gives you that same sense of being in control.

Good luck, peace within, always in strength & in spirit!!!