I’ve gotten hit so much in my life that I’ve started somewhat enjoying the way the pain feels. The wooziness, the entirety of my body aching, the nausea, the blood: all of it.
First my mother, then my father, then boyfriends. I’ve always looked for someone to protect me. No one ever has. My mother had vehemently tried to stand up to my father when things first started getting serious, but her all-round complacency about everything from her shitty work ethic to a partner who physically harms her kid eventually got to her.
We settled into the age-old rhythm of getting beaten the shit out of and then being apologised profusely to. Slowly the punches got harder and the apologies got shorter. My mother grew even more “resilient” or whatever the fuck other euphimism women like us are called.
The thing is, she is a victim too and I get it. But manipulation works in ways I can’t surpass yet, and over the years, she clearly hasn’t been able to either. Consequently, we started blaming each other for getting hit, me blaming her for not protecting me and thrusting me into a life of abuse because she couldn’t or wouldn’t leave and her blaming me for getting hit by my boyfriends.
She made sense, if I couldn’t leave my abusive partners of a couple of years, how could I expect her to throw away her marriage of decades? I still have no answer to that.
My earliest memories of abandonment include waking up in an empty bed every morning. I may have been four or five or older, it doesn't matter because it happened throughout my childhood. My parents would leave early morning, I would wake up in the middle of the day in an empty king-sized bed, in an empty room drenched in sweat and start howling because I missed my mom. I would cry and cry and just be devastated that she always leaves and I'm always left alone. It wasn't so much about my father being there or not because even though we were close, I had grown accustomed to the idea of seeing the men of the family leave for work, maybe I learnt that fast due to societal indoctrination or just the natural order of things made me accept that more organically. I never resented him as much, specifically, I never resented my father for leaving as much as I did my mother, I never needed him as physically close to me as I needed my mother. I resented my mother for leaving me then I resented her for not leaving my father, more on that later.
So they'd both come back from work pretty late, and I had no way of contacting them. The days they weren't home till 9pm, I'd start bawling again and curse myself and think that they'd gotten into an accident and that they'd never come back. I'd bang my little head and tiny fists against the wall because I was so helpless and anxious. When they'd finally come home, I'd want to be strong and pretend I wasn't just losing my shit and thinking that I'd been orphaned, but I'd fall so hard on my face trying to do that and end up crying again and telling them about all my fears. They'd reassure me that the roads were jammed, or that work was hectic and I believed them. They had no other way of making ends meet or in fact, to cater to a child as medically demanding as me than to work their asses off. I understood, I still do understand.
Another jarring memory that still makes my heart unintentionally skip a beat is from pre-school. So I would go to this montessori called "Little Stars", and I was three years old. Mom would drop me there and I'd never want to go, I'd latch on to the railings of the windows and cry out to my homebound mother. The teachers and nurses would take me into the school grounds and lock the doors as I tried to run away to my mother. She was asked to go away so as to not encourage "such stubbornness and dependence"?! I was three????!!?! So I refused to do anything throughout the entire work day and cried till my mother showed up to pick me up from school. Both my family and the school eventually decided to not force me to be there anymore as my three-year-old-ass had been caught sneaking some crackers from my bench-mate's lunch box because the bitch had refused to share.
Anyway, I needed to be held, to be tended to emotionally, to be loved as a child and the absence of that has left a huge gaping hole in my heart and I don't know what will or can ever fix that.