This is Day 9 of the 30 Day #LinkYourLife Challenge – My bruised child.
Sorry, I took a day off last night! I had the blogging blues!
Day 9: Describe your child (real, imagined or inner) and I’m going to describe my inner child
My bruised child
They say your inner child manifests between the ages of one and five. Those are part of the most important years of your life. Your child can basically make or break you. I’d love to go into more depths but that’s not what this post is about. My Child was developed in Russia, behind the Iron Curtain. My Child was taught the being yourself wasn’t OK. My Child was battered and bruised and suffocated. My Child was choked and trampled upon and was treated SO harshly that it felt the need to stay out until at least the age of 26.
Having a broken Child can destroy the very fabric of your life.
Abusive Childhoods can kill.
There was a lot of propaganda in the eighties and nineties during the cold war about Russia being this harsh terrain of cold, wet, and mountainy awfulness. And the people were built like Dolph Lungren on a good day. Yet that wasn’t the case.
Russia had such a land mass there were places we’d visit for a holiday, because in the summer, the weather was so hot it was in the 40’s. And on the other side of the coin, it would get so cold that we’d have to wear super-warm coats and hats or our breath would freeze. No joke, I remember one day looking out and the snow was up to my window, one storey up!
Russia was a mixed bag. And the people, they were lovely. I was the centre of attention with the kids in Russia. They loved playing with my toys. I often wonder if they actually liked me. I couldn’t tell. Nevertheless as a little boy, swamped with friends eager to play with his weird and wonderful toys, I was happy. And that’s not to say some parents hated it. You see, like us, The Russians were telling everyone the West were evil. We ate babies and the likes. Of course we were evil! So at times, but not often I found myself at the butt end of some cruel Russian jokes.
It was My Dad that made life hard for me. The man of the house should always be a loving and empowering example for his Son. After all, the child is going to grow up mirroring his actions when he’s older.
The faintest memory I have as a child. It’s like a little vague flutter in the darkness.
I was three, or thereabouts. It’s pitch black and very early in the morning, perhaps five am. I tentatively scuttle through the marble-floored house. A quick and eager scuttle towards my Mum and Dads bedroom. I had just had a bad nightmare. It had scared me. I had been having lots of nightmares recently and I wanted some warmth. Warmth sprinkled with some love from my parents as a child of three does. I ask,
“Muuum, (faint cries) can I come into bed with you? I’ve had a nightmare”
Just as she was about to answer me in her own loving way an angry voice shouts, no, screams at me from beneath the covers.
“No! Get back to your fuckin’ bed you wee shit”
I can’t remember much after that but I expect it caused an argument between Mum and Dad. Dad was an absolute cunt to me as a child. Part of it I believe that he thought I was another man’s. Mum was never unfaithful to him, though. That wasn’t her nature. But Dad, he had seriously low self-esteem. And he upped himself by sleeping with a ton of women. Who better to validate his worth than a shed load of women right? So when it came to me, obviously I was another man’s. Because if he does it, then so does my Mum, right?
Dad wasn’t a believer in himself, let alone other people. Dad always had to have at least three women on the go at once.
Mum saved me from that. Yay her.
I have another horrific memory of Dad and me.
It was getting late and we were in a pub. Mum and Dad liked pubs. So do Russians believe it or not! And the noise was loud, it must have been at least 10pm and I started to cry. I howled. I couldn’t stop. I was tired, I wanted to go home and sleep. But, I couldn’t communicate it to anyone. I’m only three!
So Dad takes me behind the curtain and wallops the shit out of me. I really mean it. He gave me a good spanking that day. He then proceeds to tell me that if I cried again he would give me something more to cry about. So I sat, in silence, sniffling.
What angers me also is that years later, when I met up with my Dad at the age of 12, we would joke about those stories. As if somehow I was validating his disgraceful behaviour. I guess a young boy would do anything to please his Dad. One that he looks up to.
So my child was pretty messed up. My child thinks that affection is given through abuse. My child has a completely fucked up idea of what love is. And my child has to be good all the time. Because my child is not OK being himself. He has to put on a mask to the world, or, god forbid that he shows his real self. He’ll get kicked in the teeth again.
My child was the single, most destructive entity in my life, growing up.
My child infected everything I touched and loved.
But, luckily, in the end, my Child healed.
Of course, my child didn’t one day just wake up and go, “heyyy, I’m awesome. We’re all good.” It took years and years of massaging that poor little man. Gentle caressing, and massaging, and soothing those little kinks and bruises over. It took a long time. It took a lot of work. Professionals, family, friends and my wife. But eventually, it did. My inner child fell at peace with itself. And probably the biggest battle was over. My Dad had died. So the person that constantly infected that poor soul was no more.
My child healed. My Dad died.
Quite a sad story when you think about it. I would have rather have had both. My Dad and my Child. However, Dad never wanted to get better. He had many, many people try and help him, try and encourage him to get help. Professionals, friends, family. But nothing worked. It never did. In the end, he died peacefully in his bed with a half glass of Lambrini on the bedside table.
And me? Well, I healed completely. And I exist now as a person that hopefully helps others ease their bruised childs.
My bruised child. Thank you for reading.