Measles

I never remember my dreams, but last night, I woke up at 2.30am in a state of panic and fear. I’d had a nightmare, only this time, I remembered it vividly. I have no idea where it came from; I hadn’t been talking to anyone about my experience, and it wasn’t in my mind yesterday. I’m left wondering why I would remember this now. As I wrote this, I was shaking, recalling every detail as if it were yesterday. These are my memories of that time.

I remember when I was five.
and only very small
I got measles and constant nosebleeds
and had to go into hospital

It was called ‘The German Hospital’
It treated contagious infections
I was scared and wanted my teddy bear
At five, I needed affection

But it turned out to be a prison
and I was shut up all day in a cot
and when Mummy and Daddy left me there
I was only a little tot

Hardly anyone came to see me
I was in total isolation
Even the nurses who came every few hours
just gave me nasty medication

I couldn’t get out of the cot
though I’d stand there and call and cried
Surrounded by four solid walls
and trapped in there, inside

And I added my own tooth marks
to those that were there before
on the cot rail, in utter despair
hoping someone would walk through the door

Not another child did I see
the whole time I was in there
Mummy and Daddy didn’t visit much
and nobody seemed to care

Not even an ounce of kindness
did I get in that awful place
and I stood for  hours, rocking my cot
with tears streaming down my face.


A Formidable Man

Yesterday would have been my father’s 93rd birthday. He has been gone for ten years now, and although it doesn’t sound very kind, I really don’t miss him. He was a cruel, mean and bitter man, who made our family life a misery for as long as I can remember. There was nothing charming about him at all ……

My Father was a formidable man; Mum called him difficult
She was right; love was never on his radar, and we knew it
He made sure we knew it, day in, day out, speaking cruel words
Any self-esteem I may have had was smashed to smithereens

He earned very good money; yet kept us all short
Our food was scarce while he dined like a king
Our clothes from jumble sales; his, only the finest
Holidays were non-existent; he jetted around the world

Meals were taken separately; us in the cold kitchen like servants
Him in the comfort of the warm living room, waiting to be served
“Are you coming down for dinner today, daddy”, I was sent to ask?
“NO!! Go down in the kitchen with your mother,” he yelled

It was like we didn’t exist in his world; our company was not required
He preferred the cricket while puffing on his stinking pipe
Balkan Sobranie (only the best), drinking scotch and eating peanuts
He stank of pipe ash and alcohol as he demanded I kiss him goodnight

I lay in bed alone in the room above the kitchen – filled with dread
Waiting for the screaming and shouting to start, the bangs and thumps
I clung on to my teddy, called Peter, and cried with fear, face in the pillow
I knew Mum would make excuses for her bruises and cuts in the morning

She wanted to protect us from the worry, fear and distress
It might have worked for the little ones – I knew better
She told me she’d fallen off a chair changing a light bulb
She had a cauliflower ear – lost her hearing in that ear

He died in 2012 – a grand funeral; kind words abounded
His friends in high places said, “so sad, such a lovely man.”
“His family will miss him greatly.” Feeling guilty, I felt nothing
Who was this man these people spoke of?




(Photo by Ron Lach : https://www.pexels.com)








Little Boxes

Tie it up in little boxes with a ribbon and a bow
Tuck it all away inside, so nothing is on show
What to do with all the trauma creeping through my brain
Without support, where can I stuff down this amount of pain?


Secure those feelings firmly behind closed cupboard doors
Hide away from peeping eyes; they’re not wanted anymore
I thought I might be winning; I’d almost passed the post
Having to lock it up again while I haven’t got a host*


C* said the time has come now for me to put it all away
Leave sleeping dogs to lie rather than come out to play
Waiting for the next in line could be a year or more
Counting down the days while my brain keeps the score


The bonds we built between us were kind but very strong
Boundaries as they should be, respectful; nothing wrong
I should be feeling tougher, but my heart and soul cry out
I should have trust in myself, but no, I’m full of doubt


She said I could leave notes for the one who’s coming next
Just in case my mind’s in hiding and my memories repressed
I’m dreading the goodbye day; I mustn’t make a fuss
I’ll just be left with me alone and not the both of us.

NOTE: This poem is about a conversation I had with my counsellor this week in reference to my counselling coming to an end. She was suggesting that I try not to explore my childhood trauma too deeply in the few weeks we have left for fear of it becoming overwhelming again, and then having no one to process this with. She described it as putting all the trauma memories in a box until I see the next counsellor, whoever that is going to be. The waiting time could be up to a year. I can’t lie and say I’m not terrified because I am.

I’m so very grateful for all the support I’ve had from my blogging and real-life friends regarding alternative ways of finding low-cost therapy. I’m still searching this out, but at the same time, the thought of starting all over again with someone new is extremely daunting. Time will tell …

Love Ellie xx 💙

(* C and host refer to my counsellor)


(Image source – Pexels Free Images)

My Day (Today) – Update

Yesterday, I wrote a post called, ‘The Day Before‘. So many of you (my friends and blogging buddies) were encouraging, kind, thoughtful, and caring, sending me your love and best wishes. I can’t tell you how much that support and love from you meant to me. I thank you all from the bottom of my heart. However, as I had feared …

BAD NEWS

I got home at about 3.30 pm (it’s now 8.15 pm), but I’ve been trying to get myself back into a space where I can communicate without breaking down again. I could hardly see the screen on my laptop through my tears. I feel totally exhausted from crying so much.

The counselling with my lovely counsellor, C., is definitely ending on 21st December, and there is absolutely no chance of continuing to see her again after that date. I’m devastated and heartbroken 💔. I have been through so much despair and heartache with her trying to come to terms with the frequent child sexual abuse and rape that I suffered from the age of eight until I was twelve. I haven’t said those exact words on my blog before, apart from the odd mention in my poetry, but, there it is – in black and white, as that is the truth of what happened to me.

I’m only part of the way through working on this awful trauma, and now I will be completely alone and without my counsellor. We spoke, in between my tears, about going onto the waiting list for general counselling, which I would have to pay for. Up until now, I’ve been treated under the Eating Disorders’ umbrella, which has been free. General counselling would be less specific and, although, my eating habits aren’t as bad as they were, I definitely can’t say that I’ve recovered from those issues.

C said she would speak to the organisation’s manager to see whether they would even accept me under the general team. She said, as I feared, there is a long waiting list. As it is, the counselling offices are closed from the 21st of December until the middle of January 2023. So, I know I’m in for a long wait. I feel panic-stricken at the thought of going it all alone until a place comes up (that’s if they accept me). I really don’t know how to cope with this situation. If I’m accepted (and I won’t know this till December), I’ve got to find the funds to pay for it. As I said in my last post, I can’t afford to heat my home this winter (I appreciate the ideas that people have suggested that might help). Something is going to have to give. It’s a case of whether I heat my home or eat decent food.

Assuming I am accepted, it will mean starting all over again with a completely new and unfamiliar counsellor. I don’t know if I can face going over all those painful memories once again. I feel despairing. My doctor is phoning me on Friday; I will have to update her. There is nothing else she can do. I’m exhausted with all the emotion and will have an early night accompanied by two Diazepam to attempt to give me some respite from what feels like being in the hall of crazy, distorted mirrors at the funfair. It just sums up how my life feels today – crazy and distorted.

Please forgive me if I missed reading your blogs today. I can hardly keep my eyes open. I will catch up with some, or I may have to miss today’s blogs and start afresh tomorrow. Thank you for listening. Until tomorrow … Love Ellie Xx 🖤

#Me Too*

Can’t read
Can’t write
No rest
Hard fight

Can’t hear
Feel fear
All alone
No one there

Big smiles
All day
Great acting
Run away

Feeling pain
Not numb
Silent now
Staying dumb

Giving up
Too much shame
Held inside
Played the game

Being good
No escape
Dirt shows
Child rape

So soft
Weak-willed
Too tough
Justice killed

Can’t see
Don’t tell
Keep quiet
Gone to hell


* #MeToo is a social movement originating among women, advocating for survivors of sexual harassment or violence to speak out about their experiences.


(Image source – Photo by Shamia Casiano: https://www.pexels.com)

Scarred

(Image source – Phoebe Kay – Pinterest)

NOTE:
Just to reassure my readers that I don’t self-harm anymore. Unfortunately, I have scars that will never go away, which I have to live with for the rest of my life. It’s not easy – I carry a lot of shame for them, although I appreciate that was my way of surviving the intensity of the agony at that time. My scars are sadly worse than those in the image. I get judged by strangers who stare sometimes. It makes me want the ground to open up and swallow me. I can’t say I’m never tempted to do it again at times when I’m desperate, but I know that I won’t. I owe it to myself, my children and my ever-curious grandchildren. I have a tattoo across some of my scars – it says, “THIS TOO SHALL PASS,” and I know it will in time.

I want to heal and my writing is my way of beginning that journey. Thank you for bearing with me and supporting me with my recent outpourings of grief.

Tramlines embedded

permanent reminders

in soft, yielding flesh

disguising the pain of existence

~~~

The beginning of the slippery slope

the agonising journey

following tracks

side by side by side by side

~~~

Ensuring her instruments

gleaming in the moonlight

spotless from the flame

as she attacks with ferocity

~~~

Pearls of crimson gathering

on her lily-white skin

offering relief

from the shame and guilt

~~~

Never speaking of his sin

holding it all within

brain freeze

a blade on the skin

~~~

Silenced with threats and blame

memories, flashbacks abound

cutting the evil and torture out

of the time when cries went unheard

~~~

Child of her child’s curiosity

she tells of a fall on broken glass

submerging her truths

hoping the child’s thoughts will pass

~~~

No surrender of life or sanity

She needs no permission to write

expressing her pain in words

she’s not giving up on the fight.


Brittle

Image taken from my Pinterest posts

I wish I could tell you I was different then
That I was happy, content, just a child
But even in those early growing years
I knew something was brittle
~~~

I wish I could tell you it’s because of a divorce
Or a car crash, a scene, a fight in between
But even when the day dawns, and light filters through
There was too much on my mind
~~~

I wish I could tell you it was society
Put it down to one event, let it be
But there is reason behind me
I am just this way; I was made brittle
~~~

I was brittle before I reached the age of one
Before my first dark, grim nightmares
Before the death of my fragile spirit
I was already brittle in my mother’s belly
~~~

I try to soothe my mind with my music box fairy
Broken promises, dusty, stained wishes
But I am brittle
So take my hand, gently, as I am liable to fracture.

Image source Google Free Images


Whispers to the Soul

“This was me before I knew about anything hard, when my whole life was packed lunches and art projects and spelling quizzes.”

― Nina LaCour, Hold Still


Rage screams out in silenced moments

Beating in her shattered heart

Muted words tell of her truths

Ripped her childhood years apart

~~~

Pain seared through her fragile figure

Like a sword sliced through her gut

Agony cut trenches in

To stop the screams with lips sewn shut

~~~

Innocence is lost in moments

Sins shut from the outside world

There she sits with guilty bruises

In a corner, tightly curled

~~~

She trembled as the torment came

Spoke whispers to her sacred soul

Crying out in stolen voices

Filled the gaping, bleeding hole

~~~

Keeping secrets nearly killed her

Suffocates her choking voice

Trapped and twisted honest truths

Ignoring pain, she had no choice.

Passage of Time

Please forgive my indulgence in sharing this poem with you. I thought long and hard about publishing it, even writing it initially. This post follows my two previous ones, Dissociative Healing and Brave. They are all a part of the process.

I’m aware that my posts, mainly poems, of late, have been dark. I’m currently working through my thoughts and feelings about this with my counsellor. She is helping a lot, and I know I will get through this before too long. However, today, I needed to write this straight out of my heart, which is where all my writing comes from. It’s the only way I know how to write.

My intention is not to cause distress to any of my readers, although I’m aware that others may possibly have been through such traumatic experiences.


Tick tock, tick tock, tick tock, tick
The metronome ticks the minutes away
Tick tock, tick tock, tick tock, tick
It regularly beats without a delay

She hears it, hears it, hears it now
All the way from childhood days
No choice for her but fear and pain
To come and go from this toxic place

Come day, come week, come every month
Nothing ever changed
Come birthdays, Christmas, year on year
Becoming more deranged

She trod on the cracks along the road
She’ll be punished for that, to be sure
Nearer and nearer she’d get
Ringing the bell on the the door

Waiting, waiting, waiting for time
Knowing she’s headed downstairs
Panic, fear and desperation
He’ll be seated on one of the chairs

She’s greeted by the metronome
Knowing what’s in store
She’s swallowing down the terror
And tightly clenching her jaw

She’s beckoned within, the time has come
The door bangs behind her – it’s shut
The bolt is shot, and she’s trapped inside
As she’s made to be the slut

Come, come, come sit on my knee
Just you do as you’re told
Her heartbeat faster and faster
She’s only eight years old

Don’t tell, don’t tell, don’t tell a soul
They’ll be trouble if you do
So she silenced herself right there and then
Not knowing this was taboo

After years passed, the news got out
Not from her but another source
Someone else told their story
He denied it all, of course

The police were called immediately
Spoke to her Mum and her Dad
She was frozen solid to the core
Because she’d been told she was bad

She didn’t want to cause any trouble
She silently tucked it inside
The grown-ups shrugged their shoulders
While she crept up to her room and died.