Solitude

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Frozen lake in South Dakota. Solitude can be a wonderful thing. Peace of mind and all. Picture by T. Smith

How is it that in a room full of people one can feel so utterly alone but then when actually by themselves in the solitude of their mind, nature, and a good book one feels not alone and very much at peace?

This tends to be the case with me, especially when around my family. I am the black sheep there is no doubt about that. I have a rough past that most of my family can’t even begin to grasp or understand and so I have a different mind set then them and sit there and observe. I observe a family that acts like everything is okay, like nothing has ever happened and feelings aren’t hurt. I watch a family where a lot of the relationships are built on lies or half truths. Every family may have skeletons in their closets but mine seems to have more than most. Some of that is my fault because my mother felt like we couldn’t tell people about the two things she does know about in my life. That or that once it has been dealt with we can’t talk about it anymore.

I think that is the hardest part for me, I know it was when I was trying to heal over my abortion. I needed someone to be there for me. I needed someone to tell me it would be okay and I did find that, but in the wrong places, and that ended in an abusive engagement. When someone tells you to keep a part of you a secret, even if they think its for your safety or to keep you safe its hard. I felt like I was a horrible person because of what I had done. She wouldn’t let me even talk to her about it so I was closed up inside myself, beating myself up. Wondering and asking all of the what if’s to myself.

Being able to let it all out and realizing that yes I hate when people bash abortion and its uncomfortable for me is my fault. But talking about it is healthy. Talking about it can help others. When I found my mentor in college, a college professor over a paper on cognitive dissonance it was the best thing to have ever happened to me. She told me her story and I knew I wasn’t alone. When you go through something traumatic you always know that you aren’t alone, yet at the same time you can still feel utterly alone. Knowing that you aren’t alone can help you heal, knowing someone is there for you where you can speak openly and get advice from someone who has dealt with it and coped helps.

When I write blogs like this or one of my very first ones over what happened to me I know there are people who read it and think the worst of me but if my situation taught me anything is that yes you can have beliefs over something and think a certain way about things and judge people but until you are put in a situation where you have to make some of those hard choices you honestly don’t know what you would ever do.

I wouldn’t change anything from my past. It has made me who I am, brought me to the path I am at in life of helping other. It has showed me what I want to do in life and what I deserve in life.

Sometimes I have learned the solitude a person experiences when being alone is for the best or when curled up with a good book, even just sitting looking out over a frozen lake. We need those times to compose and think and realize that who we are is okay.

Life will always be as okay as you let it be. If you let the bad control you then you could be miserable for a long time. Wounds heal and leave scars that are reminders but that is all they are. They don’t control who we are or who we can be unless we let them.

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Never Will I Ever…..

Yesterday I wrote a blog post about the daily prompt which was to write about your number one influence in your life; tonight I think I am going to write about the one person I hope I am never like. I know it is not very jolly with the holidays and all but its been a rough night and this post just seems to fit right now.

Never will I ever be like my father…

I know that sounds harsh but since I can remember my dad has never been there for me and was hardly there for my family. As I describe this it may seem like I am making it up, like its something you hear about in books or movies but it was my life.

When I was younger my father was never around, he was always traveling for “business” (I will explain the quotation marks later), and just was never hardly home. Then as I got older and we moved to a new town, he moved out of our house for “work”, then once he moved back in my parents started fighting, being little a lot of the time I thought it was about me and a lot of the time it actually was. When they would fight it would be over a plethora of things, sometimes it would be over the fact that he’d put me in holds that were restraints he knew for work and make it so I couldn’t breath, sometimes it would be just because. Then after they would fight he would storm out of the house and yell that he was never coming back and he would be gone for hours on end and we wouldn’t know where he was but he always came back.

Finally in middle school they separated but my parents were trying to “fix” their marriage, then my freshmen year of high school they divorced. They divorced because for the seventeen years of their marriage my dad had, had a million one night stands, on top of his multiple long term affairs. So when he was traveling for “business” it wasn’t really business or if it was there were one night stands.

My father has no empathy for others and it is also how my sister is and that scares me for her, but if something is wrong with others she has no feelings but if something is wrong with her we have to jump to fix it or take care of her. He has disowned me from his life multiple times and pushed his family away so they didn’t know what he had done to end his marriage. He is also a pathological liar and that scares me also. He has rubbed off on my sister in the way that she hates everyone around her it seems like and she has no filter and that is how my dad is and I just don’t want to be like him.

I want to be someone who is completely different than him. I want to be there for my family, dependable, and respectable.

Daddy Issues

I would say the one thing about the major I am in is that as I sit doing reading for classes that I think oh yeah I could see how this event has effected my life, so the evidence is correct, or yeah my dad could have these issues with how he is. So I think I am going to talk about my daddy issues today and maybe someone who reads this will have some advice cause I sure could use it.

Where to even start with the daddy issues. I guess the best place to start is at the beginning.

My dad was never around much when I was little. We lived in this small, po-dunk town called Colo when I was little, I wasn’t even 2 yet I don’t think. It always amazes people how much I can remember from back then, but I can describe things that happened to me in that house and things we had, it is kind of weird. Anyways, my dad wasn’t around very often because of “work”. We all believed this we didn’t know any different.

We eventually moved to Mason where I grew up for most of my life. Shortly after moving to Mason my dad moved to an apartment in either Hampton or New Hampton, I can never remember which. We would see him on weekend and what not but my sister and I were young enough that we thought he moved because of work, but my parents were really on a break (found this out about 8 years ago when they divorced). This was hard on me, because as a little girl I was very much a daddies girl, eventually he got this huge, blue, toy phone that had big yellow buttons, he put a recording of his voice in it that we could listen to when we were away from him.

A few years later he moved back home and that is when I would say a lot of my daddy issues started. Things went pretty well at first but then my parents started fighting, a lot. They could get pretty bad, my dad never hit my mom, that I know of, but he would get so mad that he would slam out of the house and say he was never coming back. I am and always have been someone who tends to take the blame for stuff and the burden of things even when it wasn’t really my fault. But as a little girl, sitting at the top of the stairs listening to this happen, I always thought it was my fault that he was little.

This is a good spot for a side note for parents. When fighting in ear shot of children, especially little ones, they don’t have the mental capacity to understand really what you guys are fighting about, just that you guys are angry and yelling, not all but some children will blame themselves because they will think that they have done something wrong.

That was exactly my problem. Then as I got older I wasn’t so much a daddies girl anymore, I was very much a mama’s girl and still am at 21 years of age. At bed time when I was still pretty young I wouldn’t cooperate. I’d run around the house not wanting to go to bed and my dad would catch me up and put me in these holding restraints (him holding me) in his lap and arms. Then my parents would fight because of me. My mom would yell at my dad for being so rough with me and I’d get sent up stairs and they would fight and he would storm out. I felt like I was tearing my family apart.

Things seemed to calm down for a little bit, my dad started going on more “business” trips, so he wasn’t around very much.I got into soccer and he started coaching my soccer team and I loved it, but eventually even this tore my dad and I apart. I practiced even more then others before and after practice because my dad was the couch, I was never fast enough or anything. Then I started volleyball and I loved that even more than soccer and was extremely good, but he tried to control me with that too. One year in soccer we were playing against a guy team and I got my knee kicked and it caused issues. i played on it for a long time after that, but I would go home from games and practices with a knee the size of a grape fruit, my leg started to shrink because it was trying to protect my knee, but he expected me to keep playing. It wasn’t until I was told that I couldn’t anymore that he finally let me quit.

Next thing that caused issues was in 8th grade I was severely depressed. I had been raped by a semi older person at age 14 and then my grandpa died, my home life was a mess, I couldn’t play sports, which had been my outlet, so I just didn’t know what to do anymore. I took over  100 pills, a cocktail of them actually, and then my sister came home and found me almost unconscious on the couch and I was taken to the emergency room. My dad didn’t care that I was depressed, apparently wasn’t okay, and that I could have died. He was mad at how stupid i had been. The next day i didn’t feel good, I had been throwing up all night the night before and I didn’t want to go to school because I thought people would know what I had done. He took me to work with him and made me work. I felt like crap, he had to go to a meeting and had left his phone in his office, I called my mom and she came and got me at lunch.

Things just slowly kept getting worse, my dad was gone more and more. Finally my freshmen year of high school my parents divorced. My dad came out and told my mom that he had been having affairs for their whole marriage. He is now currently married to the one in which he met in Sturgis, South Dakota. He met her at a bar during Sturgis.

So there are some of the issues that i have with my dad. Now lets take a look at what this has caused for me emotionally and mentally now or how I cope with these things.

I have abandonment issues to a point. My dad always saying he was going to leave and not come back, the fact that my junior year of high school he did disown me, just because i told him how I felt about him cheating on my mom and how I felt like he didn’t only betray her but my sister and I. This has been hard for me to work through.

My home life affected my behavior for sure as a child. I snuck out, told my parents I was going one place when I was going to another, I drank, I looked for comfort in things that weren’t healthy, in relationships that weren’t healthy. I actually had problems with being in unhealthy relationships up until about a year ago probably. I finally realized what I deserved in life and that my past is my past and it has made me who I am. i have an amazing mentor to thank for that actually. She has been my saving grace since I came to school.

Lets talk about the holds he would put me in when I was younger. My mom would get really mad at him and I understood why to a point when I was younger but never completely why until this year. A few months ago I worked a residential treatment center, where kids with severe behavior issues lived and I had to get MANDT trained. For those of you who don’t know what that is, it is a set of holds and ways to get out of having your hair pulled and what not. The reason we are trained in it was because these children do act out violently and/or harm themselves and if it gets to a dangerous point we have to be able to restrain them. Well now I realize that my dad was putting me in MANDT holds which is not okay. These holds can be dangerous when someone is in supine and prone position, because it can obstruct their air flow depending where the hands are placed and what not. It is also just dangerous because it allows the hormones for adrenaline to be released, and if this happens for to long it can even cause death.

I don’t trust men, partially because of the bad men I have dated, but most of that comes from my dad. If your own father can lie, treat you like crap, and walk out all the time…then why would I believe that other men wont do that or the same?

I believe that a father in a girls life is that one man that will never hurt her, who she can always count on her to be there, who shows her what nice guys are like. Yes I know that there are girls out there that have it way worse, but I don’t think parents realize that how they treat their child does effect them in later life. I don’t trust, I work on not being so jumpy around angry men but that is hard, I went to counseling because of things involving him and things from my past, and its just hard. My dad found out about my abortion about 6 months ago and hasn’t asked me about it or anything. It is like he doesn’t want to get to know who I am at all. That hurts. I have had to figure out how to not let things bother me so much, which has made it easier for me to realize that I do deserve to be treated well by people, but especially men.

So guys treat your daughters right and be there for them. Let them know they are loved and that there is a man in her life that they can count on. Dads, teach your son’s how to treat women right.

And men in general and just anyone, think before you act. Men think before you do something to a girl and ask your self how you would feel if someone did that to your daughter, sister, mother, close friend, just anyone in your life. If it would make you mad or upset you..then don’t do it to them.