Life was really hectic, scary, and confusing for a very long time for me. I am sure that is pretty evident just by what I have outlined thus far. And what is very interesting about this thing called life, is that up until “recently”, like the last couple years I actually thought that some of the things that I experienced were just a normal part of life. Now I don’t want any of my readers to think that I am sharing these stories for any other reasons other than my own catharsis, and to try and portray and explain what I believe to a be very real and direct link: Trauma and Addiction. I am not sharing these stories from my life for your sympathy, and I am not sharing them to play some kind of victim role. I am also not sharing them to make my parents or relatives look bad. Are we all, mostly products of our environment, yes. But if we are going to play the blame game, then we might as well take it all the way back to Adam. To blame the parents is to blame their parents, is to blame their parents is to blame their parents. make sense? The more I learn and understand myself, the more I am able to understand that everyone is doing the best they can with what they have and with who they have and the circumstances that they were born and raised in to. We all live life pretty much according to our last mistake. And life is a constantly on going learning experience. I am simply doing my best to shed some light on how the experiences that we have shape us, from very early on especially. And hopefully, by me sharing such intimate details of my own traumas, I might inspire at least one person out there to get vulnerable with their own, and perhaps take that courageous step and finally commit to therapy, or treatment, or recovery: to finally open up about some of the things that they experienced themselves. Because, one thing that I have learned in my 37.5 years here on earth is that Recovery & healing both demand exposure. We don’t have to tell everything to everyone, but I believe that we all need someone that we can tell everything to. Trauma is a living and active thing. After all, it is a Noun. And if we cannot peel our layers back, expose the pains, and lean in to our secret places; why, as they say, “What we resist, persists.” And over time those dark and ugly parts of us will ultimately end up consuming us. By learning our selves, and re-processing our pasts, gaining new perspectives on our lives with trusted individuals, and really getting “naked” with someone who can point out things that we cannot see- that’s how we can learn ourselves. That’s how we can fully audit our lives, and take an honest and objective look at who we really are. We cannot change what we refuse to confront. I learned this the hard way.
And one of the many things that I have come to learn about my own traumas is that it kind of happened (in a very abbreviated way) like this: Isolated incident, isolated incident, isolated incident and the impact that is left on me was (in a very abbreviated way) the world is bad, people can’t be trusted, love isn’t real, people will only hurt you and let you down. It’s best to just keep my walls up, stay in the space shuttle, and push people away before they hurt me. But what is also very interesting, is that because I operated on this mechanism, I am the one who ultimately ended up suffering the most. I stayed lonely, isolated, fear driven, on edge, and relied on ego and control to get me through my life. The ego came from my shame and fear. My self esteem, self worth, and feelings of invisibility and helplessness also helped to create my over inflated sense of self, Ego, as a way to protect myself from vulnerabilities. And the absolute need for control came from all of the inner turmoil, grief, and helplessness I felt going on inside of me. The less control I felt on the inside, the more control I would TRY to have on the outside, seeking and using external sources for internal validation; and doing my best to arrange, design, manipulate, and control the world and it’s people. Some interesting shit.
I never had control. I never had control of really anything. I had zero control over having to go to six different elementary schools in six different years. I had zero control over having to ask my teachers to buy me lunch at those schools because I was starving. I had zero control over being left at one of those schools until 3 o’clock in the morning.
I had been in one of those after school programs, where we would play kick ball and stuff like that until the parents got off of work and would come pick us up, one by one. And typically I would be in the last percentage of kids to be picked up because often times my parents worked later than most. Well, on this particular day something must have happened, because I was sitting there in the cafeteria of my school with one of the volunteers until 3 a.m. This was obviously before the times of the cell phone. So we were at the mercy of whatever the fuck was going on. I remember rather well, the volunteers and teachers repeatedly referring to calling CPS and the Police, because no one had ever just left their child like this. I got totally Joe Dirt-ed at my elementary school and no one could find my parents. I begged and pleaded with them every time they mentioned calling the authorities, “No! Don’t! They’ll be here I promise! They’re Just working!” And they actually listened to me, for the time being. They actually didn’t call them. This one sweet old lady just sat there with me, and we colored and we played with clay, and we walked around the hallways of the school. And finally she ended up finding some of those mats that the kindergartners used for nap time, and stacked a couple on top of each other right there in the cafeteria and covered me up and I went to sleep. I remember being woke up as my dad was scooping me up off the mats, grabbing my stuff, and casually thanking the lady for staying with me for so long. Like it was just a regular old day. I also had zero control over the fact that CPS knocked on the door of our trailer the next day, and my parents wouldn’t answer the door until they had coached us on what to say to them to make sure that they got out of this. And we did. We did as we were instructed and we told the ladies who came exactly what we were supposed to say to them. They came and went, and things resumed right back to normal. You see, all of these incidents that took place in my life left a mark. They left and impact. They helped shape my sense of reality, of self, and of the world and it’s people. All of the uncertainty, the fear, the broken trust, the lack of protection, the abandonment- shaped my mind to believe that nothing is consistent, I need to constantly be afraid, no one can be trusted, I must find a way to protect myself, and everyone is just going to leave me anyways. So why get close? The world is violent and full of people who want to violate me, so I best really hone my ability to disassociate or learn how to violently fight back. But I didn’t really posses the heart to hurt another person, so to disassociate was my only plausible option. So I continued to improve my space shuttle.
The less in control my life was, the more chaos I was subjected to, the less control I felt on the inside. And the less control I felt on the inside, as I grew older, the more I would try and control on the outside.
“Though I am not without weakness, I will define what lies ahead. I’m not out of control.”
– “In Control” by Greensky Bluegrass