When I was a little girl of one and two years old, I existed inside of a perspective attached to my sister’s hip. She is four years older than me. It seems I was always either hiding behind her hip or holding onto a part of her belt loop or dress so I could feel safety. Staying beside her, I had a constant guide who would always know what to do next. My father was gone a lot because he worked as a military contractor. My mother was busy giving over her time being slowly love bombed into a destructive cult.
So, my older sister was my anchor, and my older brother was our body guard. My sister took on a mothering role, and my brother, a protector role, available to whip some ass if any other kids in the poorer neighborhood we moved into, messed with us.
Then, in the blink of an eye, our lives were turned upside down, and we were all ripped from each other when my mother decided to take us to one of the most brutal of all the compounds owned by Sam Fife’s Move of God cult. As a three year old child, I went from the safety of my sister’s love and my brother’s protection to never seeing my brother, and not being allowed to speak to my sister or my mother. Overnight I went from safety, to terror. abuse, isolation and fear.
I could only catch sight of my sister when we were out working in the fields. Or when we were in the dining room, we could have telepathic conversations through sneaking eye contact with each other. She holds the memories of my screams when I was beaten. She saved my life once, putting herself in danger to stop a beating where I had passed out and dissociated when I was somewhere around five years old. My sister and I have a connective strand of trauma survival that is unique only to us. There is a deep wound of abandonment and isolation that these experiences created inside of me.
They had a deeper effect on me because I could not process what was happening to me. I was only three, and at seven and nine, my sister and brother could only see me being abused, see each other being abused and helplessly stand by. It would remain this way for years.
When my family’s love is ripped from me on any level, I am deeply triggered to the emotions of that childhood trauma. When I am left by the way side by a family member, not spoken to or responded to, I feel disregarded and reduced to ashes. I am three again, feeling confused, terrified and abandoned, ripped from the only love I truly trust. I am left inside of the unknown. I trust too little or I trust too much. This creates an end result of me not trusting at all.
When these types of situations arise, it does assist me in moving through them when I am able to connect the emotion I am experiencing to the trauma that the situation is triggering. When I can understand that I’m weeping uncontrollably because I feel the pain of the disregard, in the least I can bring about resolve for myself.
I feel the strong emotional trigger of the isolation and abandonment. The tears I flow are no different than a wound which must seep in order to heal. It’s squeezing the infection out. It is me learning to deal with loss, the exhaustion of it repeating itself and somehow figuring out how to maintain acceptance of it.
Recognizing my triggers can be difficult. I have to piece these fragments together, sift through these thoughts and open my mind to understanding their impact on me. I am fragile, yet I have to continue living in spite of the loss. It takes time to figure this out.
Every time I experience it, I ask myself if I have the strength to deal with loss anymore. Each time I am unsure. I don’t know if I can. Each time, I do regain my strength, yet I feel just a bit more tired inside.
Life moves on and each time I am used or feel abandoned, it leaves pieces of my love ripped from me. It changes me. It molds me differently. I become more silent inside of myself, where acceptance leaves me in a state of constant observation and a feeling of not really wanting to connect with most things human, outside of children who havent learned to be cruel yet.
It makes me feel distant and shut down into myself, to continue accepting this solitary path, away from the victim blaming and the sick minds who can attack us with our own traumas, to be the silent writer in the attic, seen occasionally carrying groceries; isolated from the rest of humanity because humans represent the possibility of loss, and loss has stripped me to bone.