A Collective of memoirs by J.S. about Trauma + Mental Health + Abuse + Healing.
I have a confession.
I HATE the word queen.
I have never had a good relationship with my parents.
My mother was hardly ever sober and she was my residential parent after the divorce.
Sometimes, between blackouts and rage, would come out a fragile voice and tenderness that scared me more than the anger I knew her for.
When someone is constantly abusive, tenderness or kindness feels wrong. Unnatural.
She would call me Queen. And talk about how how I was her Queen.
And I grew up hating it. That fake kindness that would come out to play. It almost felt supernatural when that persona met with me.
And that word, it felt foreign.
What did it even mean to her?
Surely there was not a "human" part of her soul hiding beneath the illness, the anger, the alcohol.....
I grew up around girls who had moms that were their best friends.
Mine tried attacking me while drunk on the regular. Mine did not talk to me about life or boys or behaviors or habits. Mine did not warn me about the bad people.
People like her.
Unstable. But calculated.
She was not abusive or bullying towards me out of lack of willpower.
She knew what she was causing, she would see it in my eyes and my body language.
She would gas light and manipulate.
Guilt me. Gift me things I didn't want or need, that she charged and we could not afford. Then lay all the stress and problems on me.
Many episodes of alcohol and anger went forgotten because she maintained a buzz constantly and then would get so drunk I saw a void in her eyes.
This was my home life for years. 16.
Until I became pregnant with my h.s. bf and she kicked me out. Threw me out with nothing. And then changed the locks.
The only texts and calls I got thereafter have been incoherent or angry or illegible.
I'll never forget when she texted me 5 years later telling me she had a baby cradle and baby items in my bedroom. My childhood bedroom that she was still "cleaning" every season and keeping as is for me to return home.
With "baby queen".
The child she told me to abort.
The pregnancy she shamed me and abandoned me with, not minding that a family member on my birth fathers side had to take me in.
I never did return.
Or so I told myself.
For 12 years I disassociated with a memory that I unblocked this summer.
After I began my healing journey in May of this year, I began to practice shadow work and sit with myself to unlock deep seeded issues that were giving me nightmares.
Every dream was the same.
I was an adult, with my daughter being a toddler again, and I was TRAPPED in my childhood bedroom. Trying to figure out how to escape and get my baby girl who she had locked somewhere else in the house.
Nightmares of my mother trying to kill me slowly with torture and mental games.
Nightmares of trying to run and getting out the front door with such elation, only to turn back GREEN faced realizing my toddler was still prisoner inside and I could no longer see a front door.
So I dove into my memories right on my couch. And I journeyed through memories, going back to after the birth of my daughter.
I then remembered a day I went to visit with the baby. And ended up being coehersed into sleeping over with my month old child.
I remembered drunk fist fighting at 1 am.
I remembered bugs in my bed and dust on the furniture.
I remembered breastfeeding my newborn and crying on the floor. Sleeping with her in my arms on hard wood.
I remembered calling my aunt [who'd taken me in] the next day to come get me.
I remembered stealing my social security card and other documents from her bedroom closet in secret while my aunt distracted her in the living room.
These were vital documents so I could as a minor apply for financial aid, a bank account, school, medical insurance, and have proper I.D. for my new life without parents. And I achieved it.
I blocked out that memory of sleeping over, of my child crying hard when she held her, of the sleepless night when I heard China breaking and cursing until after 3am.
But the worst pain was the mistake I had made right before leaving those doors for good.
I had left baby clothing behind that had spit up on it.
8 months later my mother had that clothing in a bag and photographs of it sprawled out in my room along with other baby things I'd never seen before.
I had brought her and my birth father, who'd abandoned me at 15 to drugs, to court. At 17 years old with a 9 month old baby, I testified against all 3 guardians: my mother, her husband, and my father.
And though Ieft with freedom legally from them all, I had a heavy heart. No abuse charges were founded. No proof on my end was substantial enough to hold the case.
On their end my mother presented photographs of my room all clean and a full fridge of food [which was never the case], baby items in various places of the room and fresh laundry folded.
The pictures were dated and used as valid evidence to prove they supplied a loving, safe home that I was welcome back to with my child any time I wanted.
I declined and thankfully, lawfully was not able to be forced.
THIS IS NOT THE CASE IN EVERY STATE.
I realized I had blocked those memories because of how painful and shameful it was to have my own parent put me in such a bad position, this time affecting my own child.
And i rejected the memory of putting my own baby in danger because I was so upset about it.
Our brains are that powerful. We can rewrite, rewire or erase memories all together just to protect ourselves.
Until we unlock the memories and suddenly connections are made.
And Pandora's box is unleashed.
I remembered that my boyfriend during college called me his Queen during a vulnerable moment he had, promising to propose and get an apartment with me. Something I had wanted to have because we were dating for years and I had a child already + a future to plan out.
One that would not wait for him.
So he pulled out what cards he could to keep me.
For another year and a half I believe I stayed, until he left me finally via text announcing his affair with someone else.
I realized that QUEEN again meant prisoner.
It did not mean royal or special or strong.
And it was bestowed upon me by a person close to me who had no intention of keeping me.
Instead, I was cut loose and ghosted thereafter.
4 years just gone.
We are not supposed to view experiences as wasted or unwanted.
We learn best through struggles and overcoming challenges.
Overcoming abuse is not a life obstacle.
It is a deterrent from living life.
It is a prison cell.
A nightmare in which you feel trapped over and over again.
Even long after you are safe.
Starting Jaded Savior blog taught me so much about myself.
My spiritual healing journey has taught me, through light and shadow work, that my duality of good and bad qualities come from abuse.
That I am inauthentic.
Or rather, void of identity and self esteem.
How could this have happened?
When women call eachother queen on the internet, it is the absolute best compliment.
It is a symbol of sisterhood and support.
When I am called queen, I shrivel.
It does not empower me.
But that trigger comes from abusers programming me to lose my identity.
To create one for me.
As it turns out, I have not known myself.
The traits I thought were me were symptoms of anxiety and depression.
The good news is, I AM NOT MY ANXIETY OR DEPRESSION.
I AM NOT TRAUMA.
I am also not lost or lacking of identity.
Beneath the layers of experiences is who I AM TO BECOME.
I once was a JADED SAVIOR.
Someone chronically wanting to save everybody but myself.
It wasn't until I left abuse through awareness and action that I was able to become something new.
Not a Queen.
Not a Savior of the Narcissists and Sociopaths.
A path forger.
A dark sorter.
A light bringer.
J.S. Jaded Savior
art by lindsayrappgallery.com
#christmas #addictions #trauma #homeless #abuse #neglect #awareness
Today is my birth fathers birthday and I have no idea how old he is. Though I know his birthday, I don't care to do the math.
In many ways, it feels like his life ceased many years ago.
At least, for me.
As an only child, I grew up bouncing between divorced parents and had two entirely different relationships with them.
Cathy had full custody which meant she could dangle me over Charlie's head like a cat toy, while her hostile husband watched with scissors hanging low to his side.
Charlie did pills and heroine. On and off he tried to get clean throughout my childhood but it just never quite "stuck". No one in my family ever uttered the words mental illness.
It would take years and years after he abandoned me at 15 for him to overdose on heroine and be found unconscious only to be revived in the emergency room and sent to an 18 month program.
But rehab didn't stick either.
In my mid twenties, while raising my little girl as a single mom in college, I discovered he was in that program and finally diagnosed.
Schizophrenia, I was told. Mania. Depression.
Organ failures. Addictions. "Accidental overdose".
I was pretty sure it was very on purpose.
I cannot stomach the show "shameless".
My father is every bit of FRANK minus the hunger for cash.
He longs for appreciation and attention, apparently.
So Charlie kept himself constantly talking about anything to make himself sound good.
Charlie never got high in front of me.
Just like I never knew what high looked like, until I saw him at 16.
After Cathy and her husband told me to "go find my father" when I announced my pregnancy.
So I walked 3 towns in rubber flats and morning sickness in the summer heat to locate him.
All I knew at the time was his last job address, so I tried there.
The whole walk I stomped angrily and replayed the last voice mail I had sent him, about a year prior.
He had been jealous and angry that I was dating.
That his 15 year old CHILD had a boyfriend and that he was no longer getting "listened to" or "seen as much".
I remember screaming at him in the snow around 11 pm because Cathy had been black out drunk and done something horrible.
So I ran out and called him what felt like 100 times to pick me up because I was scared. And only in pajamas.
But he didn't -- No, he wouldn't, answer.
So I chewed him out in the allotted 4 minutes that answering machine allowed and I thanked him so very much for abandoning me when I needed him. And for not even having the decency to end our relationship with an apology.
Because he simply stopped showing up for weeks. And then months went by.
And every Saturday that i cried in his absence, Cathy made sure to rub the sand in my eyes.
Their entire relationship after the divorce had simply been a contest of who would build a better sandcastle.
Frank Gallagher reminds me of Charlie because he has only one commitment in this world. And that is to himself.
Though I am the only surviving child of his, I paid dearly for years as he lived in his own mind.
It did not matter finding out an actual diagnosis for Charlie.
I spent my childhood idolizing an addict who was childlike and had a broken personality.
Several of them actually.
When I arrived at his job the day I told him I was pregnant, I met one of them eye to bumper.
His problem solving method of discovering I was pregnant was to get in his big work truck and start the engine in my direction --- His eyes yellow and raging like a rattled snake.
He did not see me, but beyond me, that moment.
It did not give me relief to know he was also homeless.
For years actually.
The day after the episode at his job, the 4 brothers who owned the company and had daughters my age fired him.
They had been absolutely mortified at what Charlie did.
So he spent years after on the streets. Doing god knows what.
He then lived with a woman for a while and "helped" with her triplet teenagers.
One of them contacted me and we even met up at the mall.
As it turns out, we had something major in common.
We both hated Charlie.
After we met, I never heard from her again.
But I put to rest any ounce of sadness or curiosity I had of his existence. He was real shit to them. And did nothing to actually help provide or be a "dad".
But it was one of those things that just put the cherry on top.
He'd told them Cathy wouldn't let me talk with him.
He had made himself out to be a helpless hero who was stripped of his own child.
He had told them stories about me, ones he wouldn't have known ---> unless he made them up.
The breadcrumbs he had gotten out of my Nana that I was in college and a young parent, he used to his advantage.
Everything was always to make him look good.
To pass as sane.
He was back out on the streets not long after I met her.
Again on drugs. Homeless and jobless.
I found out last year he had been hospitalized for a heart attack. Twice. Also a stroke. Organ problems.
Still not wanting to seek help.
He had been brought in because someone called 911.
And like a FRANK, he made sure to take photos to soak up the "are you oks?"
He then reached out to me via social media.
He had a prepaid phone and would use Facebook to connect with old friends + distant relatives.
So he wanted to connect with me.
And when I WOULD NOT give him one -- yes, he meant me -- he got hostile.
But within a few weeks time and messages between us, I tried to be calm + patient.
It had been so many years and I was now married with 3 kids. In a safe space. Grown.
I thought I would handle it just fine.
Try my best to rationalize his mental illness. His addictions.
Not seek out a father. Or a friend.
Just accept this person and situation for what it was and trail away silently after.
But all the drama and stories came rolling back in.
The gas lighting.
The guilt games.
The clear delusions that I now knew were part of his sickness.
So I tried my best to do what I thought was "being a bigger person".
Over the years, on and off I'd wanted to reach out.
I can't tell you exactly what it was I wanted.
I did not "miss my daddy".
Growing up he had acted like a big child.
He would converse with me like so and want to hang out like we were friends catching up.
He was messy and dirty, often quick to snap or explode from confrontation of any kind.
He was poor but he made damn sure to let me know who made him that way.
What was everyone else's fault.
I'd heard years worth of why everyone abandoned him.
He would also ask me advice with women. He dated quite a few throughout my 15 yrs of him.
And each time they hated me + wanted him to move away with them. Then dropped him out on the street shortly after with nothing.
"Just like my mother did".
I learned from a young age that daughter meant "emotional consultant", "psychiatrist", "bullshit buyer", "punching bag".
He never hit me. In fact, he never hit anyone in his life besides the one hit that ended his marriage to Cathy, after he finally snapped at her for all she had done.
But I also learned young that words hurt much much more than hits. And so do "no show, no call" waits at the window.
I tried my best last year, before starting my blog or tackling my own emotional issues.
I hadn't thought into healing or facing my trauma yet.
I thought years passing meant healing.
That "time healed all wounds", because that's what trauma victims are told.
Go on. Laugh with me.
I was wrong.
It was painful to talk with him.
When he would be nice and friendly, I felt safe to keep talking.
When he would tell me the great details of his life, I felt pity. And sadness.
He was homeless, living for years on the streets in his favorite town.
A town his parents loved when he was little.
A town he had brought me to for years, when I was a kid.
So many fond memories had been since tainted by truth but were in that place.
Like a ghost, he wandered those streets and "built a life" as he puts it.
Playing his guitar on the streets.
He was doing something amazing, he said.
Charlie told me he was playing guitar for the youths of the town. And the great people at Starbucks.
He was talking with a youth leader at the local church theater program and would soon be teaching music.
A homeless man with addictions, health problems and no education or training what so ever.
He swore to this and said they all told him how amazing and talented he is. That he would be such a high value to the program.
And that this would be his big break.
So I said ok.
I kept the line open.
He soon asked how I was and how my kids were. Hesitant, I replied and told him my kids were well. That I was fine. And happy.
He said things like "you are so smart" and "you are so beautiful" to compliment where I was at in life.
He told me he was going to make slingshots for my sons.
And that one day we should plan to meet.
I knew I was brushing off something I should say NO to.
And I knew some children of addicts spent their whole life caring for their parent + not leaving them in spite of the abuse.
But I vowed to never live my life for my parents.
So when each let me go, it was just as necessary for me to let go of them.
To let adults live with the consequences of their own actions. To let sick people be sick if it was of their own choosing.
I was not aware of definitions like Trauma or Disassociation then.
I only knew the life of addicts and what mental illness looked like when it came knocking at my door for something.
Shortly after, Charlie announced via Facebook that he was in love and dating.
As a homeless addict, he was dating what Facebook checked out to be an 18 yr old high school senior.
He told me, searching for a congrats, and then told me she was a celebrities cousin. And she loved his music.
That she was in love with him too.
Days later he would message me again, this time asking for dating advice. Wanting to know my thoughts because as he put it "I was wise in this area".
Me, his child who dated way too young -- got pregnant and abandoned at 16 -- then dated an abusive sociopath for years mixed in with several NARCS in between.
His adult, legally emancipated and fed up daughter.
He wanted to know if they should have sex already or wait.
At that point, my head spun.
I was blinded by anger. We begun to argue via messages and I thought to myself "Why in the hell did I let myself even begin the contact with him?"
What I really needed to ask myself was why do I expect an unhealthy person to be healthy?
What would make me think that someone in his position could be any different without the help or the rehab? Without long term rehabilitation.
Longer than 18 months?
Longer than the few years he spent as a teen living at a facility after his father died...
He had been sick his whole life.
And I answered the door every single time chaos knocked.
And then scolded it for ruining the party.
I ended the connection that day. I blocked him and made sure to vent after about my feelings to my partner, whom I feel safe to confide in.
I felt shame, more than anything else.
Every year I had felt hurt. Not by the man who existed but for the man who never did.
I never had a real father figure.
I had something no one inherently wants.
Weeks later I would come to find out he was on the news and articles were published online.
He had robbed a car of Christmas gifts right in the driveway and the owner tackled him down til the cops came.
Today, one year ago, he thought it would be a brilliant idea -- while high -- to steal someone's gifts.
I don't know why but that article made me weep deeply.
Not for him.
Maybe for me.
Maybe just for the situation.
The idea that Charlie was and will always be a FRANK.
I decided to Google his name in May, when I was forming my blog and diving head first into what "trauma" actually looked like.
Charlie had been in the news twice.
Once as a criminal, once as a hero.
A duality shining light on his illness.
In the other article, he was interviewed about planned development of his beloved town.
"despite the project providing new income and growth for the small city, some residents are opposed to the project. [Name removed for privacy] is a street performer and aspiring actor in Glen Cove. For thirty years, he drove a tow truck until a heart attack forced him to retire. He feels that the redevelopment has some benefits but is more of a money grab."
I've wanted to talk about that article since discovering it.
To write about mental illness and its many faces.
I wanted to share with you how is got angry and commented on the news blog that they were incorrect and had quoted a homeless criminal. And actually got the comments shut off.
I was pissed. Again.
I realize only now that Charlie was a pain point in my life long after he left it because I lacked awareness and education of what he was and what I was for experiencing it all.
The flashbacks, the nightmares, the panic attacks.
The PTSD I did not know I had.
Outside of myself, the things wrong about his behaviors and the decisions he made...
He was not acting like a healthy adult because he isn't one.
He is likely going to leave this world in the same condition.
I've struggled with how to write about Charlie because I think people need to know what it feels like to be raised by addicts. To have a father that had an amazing father. Who then died suddenly. And left his family of 5 in poverty and extreme depression.
My father hovers around that beloved town like a ghost from haunted hill, repetitive in his steps and cyclical in his down fall.
It was his fathers favorite place.
In many ways, my father left this world when his father did. Emotional stability cracked.
He swears the day my grandpa passed he saw him in the mirror saying goodbye.
He knew before the telephone rang and my Nama dropped to her knees in grief that his father had left the world.
He said he told him.
Spiritual or practical, what I feel about that story is that my 14 year old father took the wheel.
And has been driving on autopilot ever since.
Drugs numbed and blurred the memories that haunted him but all he ranted about for years was the way everyone would abandon him.
How everyone always left.
14 year old Charlie was devastated.
And no one was equipped to notice.
I want to write about my experiences to raise awareness.
To invoke all different emotions.
There is no one and no right way to feel.
Not as the victim of someone else's abuse.
Not as the child who played psychiatrist to her parents.
Not as the grown woman who now has to get educated and understand what mental illness and addiction does to the brain, body, and soul.
All the while still feeling angry at the man who only ever let her down.
If everyone else idolizes their hero father but you loath him, does that make you wrong? Unaware? Apathetic?
When you are the abused person and you do not see the ailments, just the abuser --- should you have to stay quiet?
My journey now is towards education and awareness because I wish to be informed AND express my emotions even at the risk of feeling irrational.
Of feeling angry and sad and bitter and detached.
For weeping at the loss, no the absence of a healthy father.
Of a grandfather for my kids.
Of a parent to have given me off at my wedding.
As a father to have gotten out of bed at 11 pm to find me cold and shivering in the snow.
I expected more.
So I wont let anyone shame me for feeling like I got so much less.
Some of you may have a FRANK.
I had a FRANK AND MONICA.
"Shameless" [the series] gives me panic attacks and crying fits. But I can't look away.
I feel normal when I see or hear about situations like i had.
It was the loneliness that hurt me most growing up.
I don't feel good that more people struggle with abusive parents.
Or addict parents.
But if I don't speak out about it, or hear someone else's story ---> I will perpetuate my trauma and own struggles.
So I choose to process it all.
And to share it visibly.
Today is my father's birthday.
I don't know where he is or how old he is. I dont know much about him now that I created my boundary and honored it.
I would rather heal than extend a hand to an illusion.
I can't say if I will ever have closure. Or be able to breathe without holding my breathe all the time.
I don't know when my anxiety or depression will go away.
But I'm thankful for my life. For raising myself.
For learning what not to do and how to survive.
J.S. Jaded Savior
#selfproclamations #labels #trauma #anxiety #depression #ptsd #unworthy #useless #abortion #failure #abused #shame
These are my words.
The ones I see when I look at my reflection.
Whether I am glaring at my naked stare in the bathroom mirror or peering into my own eyes right before hitting that live button on a facebook video recording.
These are the things that terrorize me and keep me in a box, trapped like I am claustrophobic and have no way out.
These are the labels, the identities, the limitations I have put on myself.
These are the words that have brought me to my knees, screaming at the sky wondering "Why me?!"
Why was I born into a family of addicts, who's prerogative was a quick fix that only takes a lifetime to feel? To parents who chose a different dimension and disassociation from parenthood. A mental state that did not even include me in illusion.
Why was I loved by cold, callous men who could not sit with me, or sit with me in my feelings?
Why was I the odd one out at every table I ever tried to join, even when I arrived early to the party?
Why was I shunned from the ones I set my heart down with and believed were my "people"?
What was wrong with me every single time I set myself up in race for greatness but only after practicing cool knots on my laces, because creativity comes at the wrong times and running fast was never my thing....
These words have burdened me.
And the people who have wrote them, those people were ...well, me.
I was a different woman each time I took a sharpie to my skin. Chose to mark myself to remember the occasion, a tattoo to commemorate each failure for the books.
I was the one to write other peoples' false perceptions of me on my own body. To allow myself to pick labels that acted like hot acid on every single cut I tried to bandage.
Up until now, no matter what I did to cover up these words, wear enough so they would not show -----> every time I stayed in bed under the covers so no one could see me at all.
All I really did was avoid healing.
These words are very real to me but I now resonate with them in a completely different way.
As I uncover each one, as I invite you to see them all, i also invite myself to see what i look like wearing them.
I realized this week that I am finding acceptance with these marks ------> because I am finally understanding what each version of past me meant and felt when she wrote them.
How hard it was for her to etch each one into my skin, tear stricken and emotionally exhausted.
It was a message that I now get LOUD AND CLEAR.
Show them all.
Someone in the crowd sits still, yet so unsettled.
Someone out there just mustered up all the strength they could, to drag themselves out in the light of day -------> just to lead up to this moment.
Just to see your scars and your words.
And finally not feel alone at the table.
J.S. Jaded Savior .com
Content mention of Rape, Abuse, Neglect, Addictions, Mental Illness, Kidnap, Molestation, Child abuse, Teen Pregnancy, Abortion, birth, body image, gender/identity dysphoria, sexuality, personal trauma, domestic violence and other extremely personal stories. Please practice caution. I am not a licensed physician or mental health professional. No medical prescribing is provided on this site, Only personal insights, experience stories, and advice; All stories published have had prior authorization. Questions? Contact Jean at: email@example.com
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