The Drive

Shortly after we moved to MH (when I was 4) I fell over my own feet and crashed into a table. In doing this, one of my mother’s favorite china figurines fell onto the floor and broke in a million pieces.

She was extremely angry. She made me take off my pants and underpants and lay across the kitchen table. She took the wooden paddle (the kind teachers used to have) which was so prominently displayed next to the stove and hit me over and over again.

I tried not to cry. But after 10 or 15 swats, I broke down. I can still feel the burning after the wood hit my bare skin.

My tears only fueled her anger. She pulled me off the table and made me redress myself. She took me by the arm and drug me down the steps to the car. She pushed me into the back seat and slammed the car door shut. Then she started to drive.

I was still crying (but trying not to) and asked where she was taking me. She told me that she wished I had never been born and was taking me to an orphanage.

I don’t remember how far she drove before she turned around and took me home. When we got back she put me in my room and told me not to come out until she said it was okay.

At some point I had to go to the bathroom. She heard my door open and screamed at me to get back in my room. I had to go so bad, I ended up wetting the bed.

I don’t know how long I lay on those cold, wet sheets. I remember trying to not cry. I remember wishing she had taken me to that orphanage.

I sit here and I try to identify what I’m feeling. I remember the physical sensations more than the emotions. I don’t seem to be able to come up with the right names. So I’m looking at a feelings list right now. If I had to pick some of them that seem to fit, I’d pick guilty, frightened, embarrassed and sad.

I want to cut. I won’t. I made that promise to myself a long time ago. But when the memories hit, it’s what I think about. I hate myself. I can’t explain why, but I do.

12 thoughts on “The Drive

  1. You were taught to hate yourself, and it’s a really hard lesson to unlearn. We remember best the things we were taught earliest in life, and you were not taught to love yourself.

    It feels stupid to say, “That was horrible. I’m sorry you went through that.” But that is my response. I don’t understand how people can appreciate a figurine more than a child, but it seems that sometimes, that is what comes first to their minds. I’m very sorry you went through that.

  2. You are not clumsy or careless or naughty. People trip, and that’s okay. No china figurine is worth the treatment you got. Sure, someone can get upset when something they love is broken, but that doesn’t justify what was done to you. It was too much, and misdirected.

    Good job with the feelings list. What about angry? For me self-hatred is usually a sign that I’m angry at someone I don’t feel allowed to be angry at.

  3. The lesson of self hatred was learned early and learned well. I am trying to unlearn it. But it seems like when the memories hit… well I fall into the old patterns.

  4. Feels a little like self-hatred, except directed at someone else. My therapist went so far as to say it’s impossible to be truly angry with yourself — anger by definition is always directed outward, but we have learned to turn it inside instead because that feels safer.

    What else does anger feel like to me… makes me want to yell, hit things, makes me feel hot, my face scowls and tightens, feels like an adrenaline rush…

    A pastor of a church I attended once said that there are basically three negative emotions — fear, depression, and anger. When I made my own diary card for DBT, I used those categories, plus one category for positive emotions. Having just three categories for the negative stuff was often helpful in starting to figure out how I felt. Once I had the broad category, I had a bit of an easier time fine-tuning — i.e. depression for me includes shame, guilt, sadness, lack of motivation, etc.

  5. Jasmine says:

    My Dear Child Kathryn
    I see your every tear. I hear your every cry. I feel your every frustration, your every worry, your every burden, your every desire. I know everything about you–all your wants, all your lacks. I see your heart and all that is in it, and I deeply love you.

    I long to hold you and caress you and kiss away the hurts and heartaches, if you will but allow Me to. I long to comfort, to soothe, and to pour My balm of love upon your every heartache, your every heartbreak, your every worry, your every fear, your every tear, your every frustration. I long to blow away every cloud of confusion and to soothe your ruffled nerves. I long to melt away the bitterness and turn every deep longing into marvelous fulfillment and true satisfaction.

    I long to give you the sun and the moon, the stars in the sky, the ecstasies of Heaven, and a love that will never end. I long to pull you through whatever deep, dark experience, whatever dense fog you find yourself in. Whatever confusion or frustration you have bottled up inside, I long to melt it all away, because I love you.And if you truly seek me, you wil truly find my comfort and love.

    With lots and lots of love

  6. nadcesca says:

    When I read your posts… I cry…
    When I read your posts… I shake…
    When I read your posts… I feel ashame…
    When I read your posts… I feel scare…
    When I read your posts… I feel loneliness…
    When I read your posts… I’m mad as hell to think your parents tookk advantage of you…
    When I read your posts… I want to kill all the parents and anyone that abuse children…
    When I read your posts… I feel the strengh to go through life…
    When I read your posts… I feel bless to know a woman so strong as you…
    When I read your posts… I want to hug you and kiss all your troubles, fears, stress, bas memories away…
    When I read your posts… I know I will never let you down…
    When I read your posts… I know that I’ll be there for you when you need a friend!

  7. I am always reading your posts, by the way. I just can’t often think of anything helpful to say, but I thought you might like to know that I’m reading.

  8. Marcy… that helps. Thanks.

    Jasmine… thanks for the reminders. At times I feel completely cut off from God even though I know that’s not the case.

    Nadcesca… wow. That means a lot to me.

    Polly… thank you for reading. And thank you for taking the time to let me know. It helps more than you can ever imagine.

  9. Hannah says:

    You sound like a wonderful person. From reading your posts you have given me so much instinct into a survivors spirit. As someone else said, it seems stupid to say “I’m sorry that happened to you.” but I also am. I hope that you keep picking yourself back up. Keep moving forward.

    In some ways I relate to small things you’ve experienced. Mine are very minor in comparison. Due to a very nasty divorce I don’t remember a lot of my childhood. I never fit in with other children my age. I remember having a very hard time feeling things properly as a kid. I was always taught that if things were in the past you shouldn’t think about them because they couldn’t be changed. But it seems to me that things in the past may not be changed but they can be dealt with. I learned early in life to distract myself from bad things and thus ended up very emotionally confused about them later. Deaths of family members in particular.

    I came across your site through your fear of being touched post. It might sound insensitive to some but I was actually doing research for a comic that I’m working on. A lot of my characters I’m working with had very, very poor childhoods. I was actually researching for a character that was afraid of touch because he accidentally hurt someone as a kid, however your experiences have given new depth to another of my characters, a girl who suffered experiences a lot like your own. I would like to say thank you for sharing your feelings and story. Too often we forget that others have been in these situations, have seen and felt things they wish they had not. By reading your journal you’ve given me new perspective on things. You’ve given me and understanding I might not have had before.

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