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"Do you need a Valium?"...."Always."

 

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“Run. Run and don’t look back.”

These were the words of a very accomplishment psychiatrist which I attended for a session at the request of my Mother. My parents had been going to counselling sessions there and she had asked if either of their daughters was willing to come for a session so that she may explore a child’s perspective of the dynamics of our family.

My sister declined. She avoids conflict wherever possible and hold all her cards remarkably close to her heart. I have only seen her lose her shit perhaps a couple of times whereas I on the other hand, bare my heart and soul on my sleeve and lose my shit whenever needed.

I was happy to oblige the request – but I was not paying the therapists bill for that hour.

I suppose every family has their secrets. Every family would like to be perceived from the outset that they are that loving, picket fence perfect, always there for each other type family. Facebook photos are there to show you this all the time. Ha!

Speaking about Facebook, I was officially disowned by my father the other week. Officially you ask. Well being unfriended is a declaration to the world, isn’t it? I was even blocked which is next level. Kudos, Tata – did not know you knew how to block on social media.

Admittedly, I shouldn’t have been surprised at the least. Our last real conversation was in January of 2018. I was rolling a cigarette on the side of the road where I had parked my car. It was next to a fruit block full of Vines for Table Grapes. It was a hot afternoon and the vines were bursting with hanging grapes. We had gone for a quick drive so I could get some tobacco and he asked if he could come along. So, I’m puffing away on my fag, and he asks me if I could give him my honest perspective and opinion of him as a father.

Well, that opened pandoras box.

Still, there was civil conduct between us for the following 48 hours and only months later I would come to learn that he was expecting and demanding an apology from me for what I had said.

If you ask for an opinion, you shall receive one. End of story.

The psychiatrist briefly asked me about my childhood, my opinion of my parents as individuals and as parents. She delved a little into destructive behaviours, alcoholism, narcissism, manipulative behaviours and fight and flight modes of coping.

Yes, lady – I only know too well of fight and flight modes of behaviour.

I probably get my tendencies of leaning to alcohol from my father. They do say that it is a heredity illness. I am not an alcoholic, but I can definitely see how easily I could become one if the stars aligned that way.

“The child should not put out the olive branches.”

Lady, the amount of olive branches that I put out over the years would total the number of actual branches I have on 8 olive trees on my farm now.

“A child should feel loved and feel protected”

Lady, how is that possible when you come home one afternoon in your teenage years and find a locksmith van in the driveway changing the locks to the house and 2 bags of your belongings and told you aren’t welcome here anymore?

“You shouldn’t have felt abandoned.”

Lady - explain then to me how until I met Steve, I only relied on myself. No one else.

“You may have some PTSD from the events of your upbringing.”

Lady - no shit.

I ended up at my Godmothers house. If memory serves me correct, I think it starting drizzling with rain as I got off the bus. She opened her home. It was warm inside. No questions – made a bed up and after a few days gave me $400 to help me out. I never had to pay her back.

I went into a destructive whirlpool of self-disgust, self-loathing and feeling of intense inadequacy. I found solace in drugs. I tried to finish school and even re-enrolled myself into a public school. Attended most classes while holding a part time bakery job and paying $80 a week for a room in a share -house.

Cocaine was my favourite. And if it wasn’t for me getting a whoopsie pregnancy result, I can assure you that I would have ended whoring myself out for the next hit and would probably be 6 feet under somewhere where the plaque would have most likely said “if only she had listened.”

“Who can you rely on? “

“Ummmmm, repeat the question?”

When my baby boy was handed to me after an agonising 42 hour labour a month after my 20th birthday, I looked down at him and I promised, safety, love, unconditional love and sanctuary for all of his days.

Nearly 17 years later I still tell him – we tell him, that no matter what, he will always have sanctuary at home. He will be welcomed with open arms. He will be told how much he is loved and how much he is valued. He can come home with blood on his hands and will be taken in, cleaned up and we would work out the next step together.

No locksmiths are ever welcome at my home.

“Is there something wrong with me?”

Lady – “No. Not at all. I am surprised that you’ve come out as well rounded as you have. Most people would be fucked up by now.”

“What do I do?”

Lady – “Run. Run and don’t look back.”

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