Ghosts of My Catholic School

Ghosts of St. Anthony

On the field of desolation
I stand, still and lonely.
Like a wounded soldier, taking her comrade’s body
To the sea.

Malia was in pieces
And now lost to the wind.
We met in the hospital
And never spoke again.

Chad escaped to California
Still bearing his father’s scars.
Matthew’s corpse lay beside me
While I gazed up at the stars.

Dustin’s body is alive,
His mind fractured like a mirror.
He was made into a “Tribe of One”
For survival, obedience, and fear.

I escaped the country,
The Catholic school we shared
I escaped the family
That never, ever cared.

Now I walk, I drive,
I eat, most of the time.
My body bears the evidence
Of unreported crimes.

I have only memories,
I’ve broken through the lies.
I have nothing but my story…
To share, or to try.

Through my nightmares, through the pain,
When I hear the crashing sound…
Of men who said they spoke for God
Beating us to the ground.

Through the fog I’ve wandered in,
The demands that I forgive…
Into the present, I know one thing.
I must learn how to live.

On New Developments

I pondered whether to update this blog or remove it, as so many things have changed since my last entry.

My memories have returned, not just as the result of medical care, but due to reconnecting with people from my past who were able to confirm details for me.

There is no easy way to say that I now remember the full extent of my mother’s betrayal. It put me in crisis for a while, I even ended up in the hospital briefly. I will not burden my followers with the details. It is simple, straightforward, and painful to say.

I was talking to an online counselor…and a memory snapped into focus.

This was Glenda, the Active Narcissist mother. You know how messed up Glenda was?

Sometime after getting raped by a teacher…and his friend, who taught the older kids. Well, you can imagine how confused I was.

I started reading Memoirs of a Geisha. Great book, by the way.

Memoir

Glenda saw me reading it, and told me not to. She said, “Don’t read that. It’ll bring things up that…don’t need to be brought up right now.”

Yes. That actually happened.

Glenda knew everyone was fucking me, she just didn’t want me to read about it!

I read it anyway. It made me feel less alone.

Fuck her.

On Fan Fiction

The most embarrassing part of my life, in some ways, is how I coped with things. By writing.

 

But I now know that was my OCD running wild in response to trauma, so I can forgive myself. Better to write or type until you can’t feel your hands, and your knuckles ache, and Mick is yelling at you to get off the computer already. Better to do that, than slit your wrists or try to take too much Tylenol. I don’t remember when I stopped, or started, cutting my chest with razor blades. Thankfully they were small cuts and not deep.

 

I didn’t want my breasts to grow, on some instinctive level, because I didn’t want to be a woman. Women got raped. I wanted to be “butch.”

 

But it’s much harder to forgive the adults around me for never noticing anything. About any child, ever, most of the time…including me. And pretty much all of my friends. They didn’t see the dance of social isolation, bullying, mental illness, abuse and pedophiles…all lurking beneath the surface of what appeared to be middle-class America. After all, these were private school kids mostly. Though Baldwin was better, and Waldorf was best.

 

And Unity was called Unity Church. So it didn’t seem abnormal on the surface of things. But there was more weirdness around than I was old enough to realize at the time.

 

You just expect more out of an adult, you know?

 

 

Waldorf, Grade 5

 

A few of those Waldorf students were stuck-up rich kids, but they were hardly the problem. The problem, with an adult’s hindsight, is that Waldorf just didn’t have a bus monitor to keep the bullies off the weird kids like me. That bully dogged my every step some days, but the bus was the worst part…and I was just never able to communicate the distinction to Glenda between “hating the bus” and “hating the school.” I really just hated the bully. I don’t even remember the girl’s name now, just that she was physically large, in my class, and had a terrible glare. Her name began with an “A.”

 

The bully threatened to kill me a couple of times, and I was so young and brain-damaged and literal all the time that I thought she might actually do it. So I started throwing up in the shower.

 

This was the first time I’d ever rode a bus, so it never occurred to me that bus monitors even existed. I didn’t find that out until about 2013, when I saw a news story that involved a bunch of bullies who directed all of their taunts and attention towards the old woman who was in charge of monitoring the bus. They said some pretty horrible things, but I remember thinking, Hey, at least an adult was there!

 

And then I started shaking, and I didn’t know why. It was because a bus monitor would have allowed me to stay at Waldorf.

 

At the time, I tried to overcome my stutter by drawing a picture of the bully dead, and showing it to Glenda…it was just a ghost, nothing graphic or anything. A ghost, and a headstone with the words, “Rest in peace, for all our sakes!”

 

I had a weird sense of humor, even at twelve.

 

Glenda got confused by the drawing and said, “Why are you showing me this? Why do you hate people so much?”

 

I got embarrassed, and scared, and destroyed the drawing and never mentioned it again.

 

She had already built up a narrative in her head, and I just lay prone before it. Which I still regret.

 

 

From Waldorf, to Catholic Schools

The stories I wrote after that rape when I was 14, at St. Anthony…they were full of whipping, forced sex, heroic sacrifice, slavery, magic, and Star Wars imagery. Because I was just that far gone. I’m too embarrassed to dredge up the names of the characters or the stories, except for Shmi. I called her by a different name, but I pictured her the same way, and in more vivid detail than I care to elaborate on. Citrine, the stone, was involved somehow…in Unity, things like that had magic properties.

 

I hung onto that story for a long time. I shared my stories with friends, and with Glenda. Because that was just my way of communicating with the world at this point.

 

Everyone thought of my stories as weird, understandably, but just the product of an odd yet creative child.

 

I do know that I had Elena, a Mary Sue character. And she became a concubine or something, so that Shmi could be saved. Planets were destroyed through sheer human carelessness.

 

And there were alien rapists with a penchant for human women…oh, man, even now, it’s embarrassing to admit that I wrote such drivel, and I don’t know why it’s embarrassing. But from what I’ve been told, that’s pretty typical of people in my situation.

 

I was constantly enacting my own rape, in fiction…just to get it to go away. As I have done throughout my life…up until recently. Now I’m talking about myself.

 

In sixth grade, I was in Christ the King school. We wore green uniforms there–that is, the shorts were green, and the shirts white. I thought we looked like leprechauns. But hey, at least we were leprechauns together! And the kids seemed pretty friendly.

 

There was Charles! Charles was fat, so everyone called him Charles Colossal or Charles Cholesterol.

 

But I was so messed up in the head I gave him another nickname, the poor guy. I decided to call him “rabbit molester.”

 

Somewhere between the old hippie doing his thing and me writing “After Midnight,” Julia gave me a large-sized Lola Bunny stuffed animal! Because although no one was aware of my OCD, it was pretty clear that I loved Space Jam.

 

And that she was my favorite character. Glenda only allowed me smaller, cheaper Space Jam items, in a vain attempt to control my OCD. Or maybe it was cheapness; who knows at this point.

 

No one knew that Lola was my “imaginary friend,” the one I summoned up in my mind at night to protect me from the old hippie who had recently cornered me in a garden and licked my face. The old hippie…who my fractured brain called “Him” or “lizard-man.”

 

It was a very sweet gift, from a girl who was doing her best to make friends. The other kids were looking at it, and Charles took its shirt off and exposed the little stuffed-toy breasts!

 

Poor guy was just playing around, but I was so sensitive about that stuffed animal that I grabbed it out of his hands and ran from the classroom!

 

I hung on to that doll for years, like a port in a storm. Didn’t take it with me when I left Jonathon though.

 

At the time, I slept with that stuffed animal. I held it close and stayed up nights, as though Lola could protect me from the old hippie, somehow. I was twelve or thirteen.

 

We had mass in Christ the King, but I would get so bored I’d zone out for long periods, daydreaming and staring at all the stained glass. Still, it was peaceful enough, compared to later.

 

I tried to sneak in a Garfield book once; just to give my OCD brain something to do other than chase itself in a circle. It fell apart in my pocket because I tried to cram the whole thing in there! It was really old. And those pockets were quite large…but I overestimated how large.

 

The book fell apart, and I was such a shy kid I got embarrassed and tried to hide the paper remains in between a bunch of hymn books on the back of the pew in front of us. Amy, my best friend, handed me a big chunk of crumbling Garfield on the way out the door after Mass and called me an idiot. Well, we still got along.

 

The teacher, who we called “Mr. U,” because it was short for something like “Uetake.” It took me years to learn the variety of local dialects and inflections found on Maui, and then a couple years to unlearn them when we moved back to Oregon. My damaged brain learns deep, but slow.

 

He was an oddly under-qualified fellow–he played the guitar well, but could not spell or type! He taught everything except for “language arts,” which he outsourced to a younger teacher who taught the previous grade. Yes, grade five! She was blonde, Mrs. Lauden I think. Louden?

 

I would actually proofread Mr. U’s handouts sometimes! Because that’s how bad his punctuation was. Sure, my proofreading was an OCD symptom, but he was actually relying on a kid to spell stuff for him. A twelve to thirteen year old. I still beat myself up over letting Glenda think I hated Waldorf, when I was really just confused about it.

 

Then, when he made mistakes in the handouts that went home, Glenda wondered why I was correcting those! She just perceived it as me being overly critical of people. And I believed her; and beat myself up for it.

 

I stopped correcting his already-completed handouts, but I kept correcting his handouts on the computer before he distributed them!

 

He also threw temper tantrums. That is, the level of noise in the classroom would build, and he would say something like, “Hey, guys, you’re getting loud…” So of course everyone would ignore him. Then it would build until he couldn’t stand it anymore, and he’d start yelling. Then everyone would be quiet for a while.

 

Mrs. Lauden taught fifth grade. She wondered why I was crying all the time, and asked me if it was “something at home.”

 

It was a really insightful question from a well-meaning woman. It just wasn’t the right one. I was just so fractured that I interpreted the question literally.

 

If she had just asked if it was “something at church…”

 

Train wreck averted. But, that didn’t happen.

I have a name.

This will probably be my shortest blog post yet.

My memory is improving every day, thanks to the treatment. I mean that literally–every single day I remember more things, and write them down.

Well, I now remember names. And faces.

And I think that the (primary) religion teacher at St. Anthony Junior High who raped me is still alive. And still teaching there.

Well, I’m making phone calls.

I’ve been wrong about so many things, so many times in my life, that the last thing I want to do is ruin the life of a man who is not guilty. So I have no intention of singing his name from the rooftops! But I’m talking to someone at Survivor’s Network for those Abused by Priests, or SNAP. And some of their legal allies. I just want to get everything sorted out.

Because if he’s still there…well, so are other little girls. If there is even a ghost of a chance that I can save them, then my life will mean more than I ever imagined it could.

A Close Encounter of the Honest Kind

Author’s Note: As my treatment progresses, so will this blog, so I will be getting into memories in more detail. It may not always proceed in a linear fashion, so anyone is free to reply with any questions. I won’t mind. I’ve heard it all at this point! :-)

Image

After the rape, my life was lived just as much in books as out of them. But occasionally, I emerged for cult meetings. Unity was a kind of sanctuary, in spite of everything. That’s the nature of such things I guess, when you’re fourteen.

 

Even my first period at age twelve started the exact day of Unity Church Camp…and I went anyway, because I was kind of excited to casually mention it to Joel and Alana. It was only a weekend, but it was a fun weekend, because I loved those kids.

 

A period meant I was an adult now. It was a milestone! In spite of the cramps, I enjoyed the hikes. Joel and Alana were like cousins to me at one point.

 

A few months after getting raped at age 14 I was talking to a Unity Youth Group leader named Charlotte. She was a very sweet, middle-aged woman with a good sense of humor. I do not remember how often I saw her…but I wish it could have been more often. I might have been able to talk to her.

 

I’d read books in fantasy settings where blacksmiths, and other tradesmen, sometimes had apprentices. Even scribes had them if I recall correctly. We were just chatting before a meeting or something and I said that I thought that was a much better system.

 

Charlotte rested a soft hand on one of my own, a gentle gesture, but one of those, “Oh, the stories I could tell you, young one!” kind of expressions on her face.

 

I can’t remember her exact words, but she said something like, “Have you heard how tough it was to be an apprentice?”

 

I blushed, looked down, and pulled my hand back. I think I was staring at the floor when I said, “Oh, I think it’s worse on average to be a student.”

 

She looked puzzled, and I suppose changed the subject. Charlotte could never have known what was going on in my head. I thought that “punishment sessions” like the one I’d received recently were typical between teachers and students! I thought that students had to accept being whipped with belts, then anally and vaginally raped as a matter of course…not all of them, but the really bad or unlucky ones like me.

 

I figured that apprentices, long ago and far away, may have had it better. There’s no point in trying to explain my reasoning at the time. I was 14, brain-damaged, meat-starved and rail-thin. I’m surprised I wasn’t shitting myself.

 

Looking back on it, now, I can laugh about this a little.

 

I don’t recommend that course for everyone; you may not have reached the point of being able to laugh at your trauma yet And you might not reach it, for decades.

But for this person, at this moment, it’s helping. And that’s a good thing. :-)

Glossary of Terms

Author’s Note: As these are just notes for a memoir, they are bound to be pretty disjointed. But before I really dive into what it was like growing up Unity, I want to just make sure that everyone knows what I’m talking about. :-) 

Glossary of Terms:

When two people use the same word to mean very different things, a misunderstanding is inevitable. This was a hard lesson of my own childhood—one person can say “energy” and mean electricity, while another person says “energy” and means the Force from the Star Wars movies!

If word definitions cannot be agreed upon, then people might as well be saying, “How long until bleen? I said bleen, weren’t you listening? Damn it!” At each other until they just give up!

But if people can agree, for the purposes of this conversation at least, that “bleen” is the fourth day of the week (also known as Wednesday), then communication can take place at last.

I would not presume to place myself in the class of writers with Richard Dawkins, but reading his work has taught me a few useful tricks at least. He simply devotes a paragraph to redefining a word, and then he proceeds to use that word with his new definition.

He doesn’t suggest that the definition be adopted for everyone; it’s just a writer’s convention that one can redefine words like “brittle” or “islands” from time to time for metaphorical purposes. “The Sabbath was made for man,” Dawkins has said with a characteristic hint of irony, “Not man for the Sabbath.” This goes for the word Sabbath as much as the actual day! Just as long as one is clear, one is permitted to be quirky I think.

So, I’m going to err on the side of the caution and be clear. These are my terms alone; like in the glossary to Frank Herbert’s Dune. So let us cut through confusion with a crysknife!

 

Cult: Any organization that isolates its members to an unusual degree; this can be a religious organization but does not have to be. Better people than me have devoted longer books than this to exploring the finer distinctions. [I will include references to their works in later revisions, if needed. I have them lying around.]

In a cult, one’s whole identity is wrapped up in the group, and the group presents a skewed standard by which to judge the world. Without a person’s identity as a cult member…they fear no identity at all; as if they honestly wouldn’t know which way was up!

Cults keep their leadership in charge through promoting unquestioning authority, in-group loyalty and out-group hostility. So many things are to be questioned if they don’t fit the cult’s ideology; from the fundamental laws of nature to whether or not the leaders are molesting all of the children! That’s the heart of a cult, for present purposes.

 

Brainwashing: In this context, I am using the term as a close cousin of gas lighting—using some form of classical conditioning to make a person doubt reality as they perceive it and accept the leader’s version of events. This may or may not be intentional on the leader’s (or parent’s) part! Intention, in this case, is irrelevant to outcome.

A healthy, independent adult will be walking to a café on a sunny day in very gentle, mild weather, and then suddenly see an orange mass before their eyes. Only for an instant, then it’s gone. So of course they won’t know what to make of it.

If they mention it later, they might say, “Hey, I think I saw some orange blurry thing earlier.” If it becomes a recurring problem, they will discuss it with their doctor, because it could be anything! Too much vitamin D, age-related vision issues, a neurological symptom of something, synaesthesia, you name it.

But if either a child or a cult member is walking down that same street and they see an orange mass before their eyes, they will immediately run to whomever they perceive as an authority—a parent, “spiritual adviser,” cult leader, “life coach,” even someone who calls themselves the leader of a “Survivor Support Group!” Or they’ll just run to the group and everyone within it, because they are that dependant on other people to perceive reality for them. And they’ll say, “What was that? What did I just see? Please, tell me!”

It’s a very subtle process, and the language to describe it is very crude. But I would draw the line here, so to speak, and say that anyone who chooses the latter course of action is brainwashed.

 

Non-theist:Now this is a thorny one! There’s a lot to clear up, I think.

People will talk online until their fingers get sore, or talk aloud until I start to nod off, and rehash the same old arguments about what is an agnostic, what is an atheist, or even what qualifies as a religion. But I was once a polytheist, so I come from a unique perspective on such things…in that I could not possibly care less.

 

If you believe that zero gods exist in reality, you’re a non-theist. I’ll also use the term atheist, but that’s a matter of convenience, not an attempt to get involved in the absurd debates about epistemology, absolute certainty, doubt, and history that some people of a religious background will side track you with. Because that’s pretty much the intellectual equivalent of, “Hey, look over there!”

 

If you believe in a single god, you’re a monotheist. The most famous monotheistic religions at the moment are Judaism, Christianity and Islam, but there are many others and have been throughout history.

 

If you believe in multiple gods, you are a polytheist. This is a harder label to pin on some people than you’d think. Just as an example, some Buddhists regard Kuan Yin as a saint, others as a goddess. Hindus give all the appearance of believing in multiple gods, but if you ask them they’ll say that these are all faces of a single supreme being. A lot of Wiccans in America do the same.

 

If you believe that all living things possess a “life essence” of some sort that you can’t really define, you may be a vitalist. “The Force” and “Jedi” may ring a few bells here, but most people in the West don’t know that George Lucas actually based that entire concept on Taoism! Which is a religion defined primarily by vitalism.

 

Perhaps you don’t believe that a plant has a full-blown soul, but you might think that a sprig of mugwort can actually “like” something or “hate” something, or experience the world around it in some way. This also goes by names such as “primary perception,” or at least this was the case for a few decades after a brief media sensation that made its mark on pop culture in the late 1970s. [Should I go into this in more detail? Probably doesn’t matter.]

 

It’s called vitalism if you see some sort of supernatural force in the world that comes from things and people, rather than being granted to things and people by a supernatural being that is in some way higher in the supernatural pecking order. You know the Jewish legends about golems made from clay; only the world of God could bring them to life? Vitalism is the exact reverse. It’s also possible that you may be an animist if any aspect of this description rings true; the distinction is blurry and not worth getting into at this juncture.

 

 

Ghost: The umbrella term under which I place anything resembling a person or animal who has survived death in some incorporeal form. Some people prefer spirit or something else, but I see this as largely a marketing issue! They may go on to another place or lifetime sooner or later; but ghost is the label I’m sticking with.

Whether the person is terrified of the ghost or not is secondary—you may see wind in the curtains at night at age seven and call it a ghost, or you may just have a vague feeling that your deceased parents were looking after you and that was the only reason you survived that car accident. Either way, if you believe that anyone survives their own death (including you), then I would say that you believe in ghosts.

 

New Age: An exceedingly wide canopy of a term that goes by no end of names and perpetuates confusion by its very nature.

Is meditation a New Age practice? I would say no; it’s just a way to relax when you need to relax for whatever reason. I’ve been there; relaxation can be quite an achievement at times.

But if you believe that you can actually meditate really hard and find out the secrets to the universe like the Buddha, then mediation just becomes another form of “personal revelation” like in any other religion! At this point, mediation crosses the line into a New Age practice.

Is it called “spiritual, not religious?” Does Scientology qualify? Christian Science? Unity, Unitarian, Center for Spiritual Inquiry….I cannot keep track it all by myself, so I can’t answer this question. I can only tell my own story.

Is Oprah still infallible? Deepak Chopra still fashionable? Wayne Dyer is dying; Dr. Oz is going strong last I checked. Do you have to reject science or can you embrace parts of it? Is Jesus a huge part of the picture or just kind of a minor character in your internal decision-making process?

The line around New Age shifts constantly…even growing up in it didn’t give me a perfect picture of where this movement is going.

Certain places on the West Coast could not do a better job of blurring the line between what is valued because of its Chinese antiquity, its “herbal” nature, its homeopathic benefits, or whether it’s just something that West Coast Boomers like because it’s counterculture. I knew people who wore purple-tinted sunglasses because they were cute, and people who wore purple-tinted sunglasses because the local Co-Op sold them as a “natural” remedy for depression.

Well, they hung themselves anyway.

 

Guru—My personal term, used solely out of convenience, for anybody who talks about bullshit for a living.

Some people advocate things that genuinely need to be advocated for—clean energy, economic issues, and so on. But there’s a certain type of person who makes a living out of selling quackery to anyone who will buy it. A more familiar term might be “snake oil salesman,” though many gurus sell their performances/speeches/inspirational talks rather than any physical products. Although they can also profit from book sales.

In the West Coast world of my origin, men who sold quackery tended to wear the same white shirts.

Guru Shirt

They resembled this one. The pattern on the chest was usually more colourful, or varied, or was absent; but the cut was the same. Occasionally they would wear simple business suits, but these white shirts were the norm. I call them guru shirts.

I have seen women in similar shirts, but this was an exception to the rule. Dress code for women varied, but the following outfit would not have been out of place in the West Coast environment of my origin:

Guru Dress

 

The cut would at times have been more conservative for an older woman, but the style would be more similar than different. It was usually cotton, linen, or silk. Jewelry would include things like this:

chakra_crystal_point_225w

And that would be a much bigger giveaway than the dress! Crystals, pendulums, peace signs of some kind, esoteric symbols…it was all part of the package. But for simplicity’s sake, I’ll just call the whole thing a guru dress.

Within Unity a parishioner may or may not dress this way; it varied from person to person. But almost anyone who ever took a place at the front of the congregation did. As did the musicians and “Youth Leaders” and such, most of the time.

That’s why I call them guru clothes. When I saw someone dressed in such a way, I knew that they fancied themselves a spiritual leader of some sort!

“This outfit really brings out my omniscience, doesn’t it?”

I fear perpetuating the cycle of abuse; I’ve feared it all my life. But I just realized I’m not the only one.

I worked in a YMCA for a while in my late teens. This place served the function of drop-in day care, preschool, and half-day daycare center for toddlers, in separate areas of the building.

Image

 

It’s easy to see why they fired someone with no long-term memory at all, who couldn’t put a sentence together half the time, and who couldn’t remember anyone’s name or read their faces, who couldn’t understand their words in five out of ten conversations on average, and who had absent seizures while taking care of children! And who always, always made the wrong face to everyone. I could never get the tone right either.

 

Of course they had no idea why I acted the way I did, but they were normal enough to know that something was wrong with me. No one knew I had a traumatic brain injury at the time.

 

But I think the keystone reason that they fired me, if you will, was because I wasn’t the adult that the children needed. I behaved like their slightly older sister, not like a parent or caregiver of any sort. I was simply immature, and unable to “switch gears” in my mind to a more mature gear when I needed to. In other words, I was just too much like Glenda. Glenda is my estranged mother, and will forever remain dead to me in my mind. When she is actually buried is irrelevant; the important thing is she’s nowhere near me.

 

I didn’t touch them in any sexual way, hit them, or neglect them at all. If anything, I pampered them by cleaning up after them constantly because that was always my job in the past. I went out of my way to feed them and compliment them because I, myself, was so used to being the kid that everyone treated like shit. I always fell into the habit of not letting them do things for themselves, when they should actually be encouraged to do so from time to time.

 

And, of course, I blacked out. Absent seizures. Can you imagine blacking out at work and just standing there with a Sippy cup in your hand and a blank expression on your face, then next thing you know it’s five minutes later and everyone is staring at you? Man, was that ever confusing. But it wasn’t some kind of “movie blackout” where I suddenly turned into a monster. There was no hiding Hyde. The worst thing I could have done would be to fall over…and injure someone that way.

 

I never “roughhoused” with any child the way Glenda did with me. There were forms of “tag” that involved touching a person’s shoulder, but that was the extent of it. I remember putting a monkey puppet on my hand when I was working in the drop-in daycare department and babysitting a couple of toddlers, and using it to play a form of tag where the monkey was trying to eat their toes. Through socks!

 

Yet I still spent some evenings wondering if that was the right game to play for that age group…I was just one clueless young person.

 

The opposite thing happened, in fact. I was afraid to even hug the children. I accepted hugs from them and hugged back, but second-guessed myself for twenty minutes afterwards. I was terrified to change diapers. I would practically pass out from fear if a kid tried to kiss me in any way (like on the cheek or lips to say hello), instead of just deflecting the kiss to a gentle “shoulder hug” like a normal adult would.

 

I played games with the children as best I could, but I got the game wrong about 50% of the time. Still, I do have fond memories of that time, and I learned a lot from both the children and adults before they quite reasonably told me to take a hike.

 

I recommend parenting classes, group discussions (if they help), and all the support in the world for any abuse survivor who does decide to have children. It’s not an easy road even for someone with a perfect childhood! But at the same time, if you’re in that position…try not to doubt yourself too much. You’re not doomed to be a monster. I’ve begun reaching out to other parents who were survivors, and broke the cycle, so I know it’s very possible to do.

 

I also know that I don’t want to have any little kids of my own until I have my TBI symptoms under control enough to be responsible for a young person. But there’s time; I’m only thirty. I’ll prepare the garden fully before my husband and I plant any seeds. And we want two, within a couple years of each other; not a whole fleet! So, it can wait.

 

If anyone ever told you that you were doomed to turn into your parents…they either didn’t have the whole picture, they were trying to control you, they were assuming way too much, or they were just making stuff up. A surprising number of people are very good at making stuff up…and yet still wrong! :-)

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