“To the child who grew up in the realm of ‘cant’. To you who lived ‘never enough’. To the one who came home to no one there, and there but not home. To the one who could never understand why she was being hit by hands, words, ignorance. To the one whose innocence was unceremoniously stolen. To the one who fought back. To the one who shattered. To the never not broken one. To the child who survived…..
Somebody failed you but you will not fail. Somebody looked in your eyes and saw the sun – blazing – and got scared. Somebody broke your heart but your love remains perfect. Somebody lost their dreams and thought you should too, but you mustn’t….” – Alison Nappi
Do you ever get the feeling when you read something that it was written for you, about you? When I read this excerpt by Alison Nappi I immediately thought this is me, this what my life was’, this is how I felt for many years and if this can be written as a replication of my life then maybe I should never have felt that I was alone, because out there someone was going through and feeling the same as I were.
From the family environment that I grew up in to the environment that became my marriage my confidence and self esteem were destroyed by those people who were meant to care and love me. It is any wonder that I grew up with the methodology surrounding ‘can’t’ and ‘never enough.’ For a long time it was the story of my life, I can’t do something or other, or I was never good enough or I didn’t do enough. I’m not sure that I have truly ever said ‘yes I can do that’ or ‘yes I am enough.’ Once confidence and self esteem are beaten out of you in most aspects of your life it is easy to fall into the attitude and behaviour that you ‘can’t’ do something and that what you do will ‘never be enough.’ I was trapped here for a very long time, and to this day it affects my mindset.
I know that when I started and completed my degree after I was told by my Mother I would never make it through a degree and therefore had to wait until I was a mature aged student to do this I started to some degree to come out of my shell and believe that I can do something that in some aspects of my life I was enough. However, things soon changed when work environments brought me down with their discrimination, bullying and harsh criticisms of me as a person, worker, and someone living with depression. It was so easy to resort back to past attitudes and behaviours.
I never grew up where there wasn’t someone home, my Mother was always home, but to say it was a home would be incorrect, it was physically and emotionally a house that we lived in. For it to be a home would be to have love, affection, communication, and relationships with those members that make up a family. The same would go for my past marriage where I would come home to someone but it wasn’t a home environment for me.
I grew up in a house that physical and mental abuse existed, the same happened when I got married, I guess my life was predisposed to have these elements in it and while I could never understand why I was being abused by the hand, harsh words and ignorance to the problems that were there I did believe that my understanding was that this was normal, this happened to everyone. I guess in this regard my innocence was stolen as much as it prevented me from knowing that what was happening wasn’t normal and happening to everyone, that it was abnormal, it wasn’t what others did, and it was wrong. My innocence and belief that people do the right thing got in the way of me seeing that the environments I grew up in and lived in were not appropriate and not healthy for me.
I always fought back, I guess that is why I always ended up the victim of someone’s hand or words. In response to something that was said, an action or a behaviour I always would say something back, disagree or argue the point because I believed that what was happening at that particular time was wrong. In most situations my Mother’s response and my ex-husband’s response were physical and mental abuse to instil in me that I shouldn’t fight back, that I was never right and I should just be quiet.
It was for many reasons that I constantly felt shattered and broken from my life experiences, and over time it was these devastating moments that built up to culminate into a fight to survive, a fight against the Black Dog, a fight against people so that I could be me, and a fight to be me despite the battles I had with my own demons. However, one thing that I did do was SURVIVE, I have done it hard, extremely hard at times, but I have survived the cards that have been forced upon me.
The biggest people to fail me in my life have been my parents, or more to the point my Mother, unfortunately my Dad has been controlled by my Mother for many years and he has become the person in the background, he is definitely under my Mother’s thumb and she definitely wears the pants in the family if you want to use analogues. While they failed me, despite my hardship and the battles I have and continue to face I don’t believe that I have failed.
I am not sure that anyone that has looked into my eyes has been scared, however I know that what has happened to me because of depression has certainly scared the life out of my soul mate, my little boy, and the family that are left around me. That is the thing with depression and suicide seeing what it will do to those around you isn’t something you comprehend when you are so sick and suicidal thoughts are all that comes into your thinking. It is scary and a place where nobody should be in, unfortunately that is depression, and what as a society we all need to work on to ensure that people aren’t left in this situation.
While in many areas of my life I have had my heart broken, my heart has now been healed by my soul mate who has shown me what true love is and that despite what people have said to me in the past and the way that I was brought up that I am a beautiful person, and his soul mate. Yes our love is perfect! I think that the very actions of those around me growing up, in marriage and the life before I met my soul mate I lost my dreams, caused me to lose my way but I have always found the courage and the persistence to get back up and fight back, to dream again, and to work towards those dreams. I don’t know from what depths my determination comes from, I don’t know how after so many times of falling down, breaking, being abused, living the way that I have that I have been able to keep going but I have, and I have survived.
All this is how when I read this piece by Alison Nappi I thought this is me, this was written about me and it is these reasons that I have become who I am. I now know that through Alison’s writing that I shouldn’t have been alone, because there are others’ going through what I was and still am going through. That is why my blog has become so important to me because if I can reach out and engage with parents and young people about the signs to look out for, depression, suicide, bipolar and anxiety, and they know from my writings that they are not alone, that there is some light at the end of the depression tunnel and my writing allows people to find the strength to get well, seek treatment or just get through the day a little bit easier then I have achieved my aim, and hope that if I can change just one life then I will be happy that my writing has achieved what I hoped for.