There have always been memories from my early childhood. It’s not like I have every moment from birth committed to memory or anything, but several key memories that stuck probably from when I was less than two years old.
– Family history –
I do not like sharing this information, but that’s what I am going to do – and this is the point of having this little blog!
Mom – got pregnant with twin boys as a junior in high school. Her father was a WWII vet dying from alcoholism. Her mother grew up in a poor rural home with an abusive father. She became a cold and bitter woman. My mom’s twin sister married an abusive man – but that abuse seems well hidden. Through the grapevine I heard this aunt’s retina detached three times within a month and my mom has the tenacious gullibility to actually believe this is “spontaneous” when she was told this!!!!!
Dad – his father was also a WWII vet. Both sides of my family are very quiet about their upbringing, but every so often somebody will almost accidentally say something about their dad being too rough. Heck if I know what that means! That could mean anything! But, taking into consideration the PTSD both my mother’s father and father’s father probably had – well, still, that could mean anything!!! My dad’s mom was an absolutely perfect grandmother. She loved to play and sing and dance with all the small children. She was a nurse – the very definition of a modern woman. She did what needed to be done, and did it perfectly. She had no problem running anything at all! Or at least that is how I grew up viewing her. She is the woman I always strove to become. My dad was 19 when he married my mom. He also became an alcoholic. He became sober about 35 years ago when I was very young.
My parents had a rough start, but they shaped up and really are not anything like they were when they were younger. In fact, my dad finally graduated from college. He took a psychology class, and one night during dinner he mentioned that he had no idea that kids are so sensitive and affected so much during the early years. He even said all parents should take a basic psychology class. I could hear regret and sorrow in his voice. He acknowledged lacking so much skill in parenting. This was the best thing I could possibly hear!
One night, when I was maybe 2 and we still lived in an apartment, my parents were having a party. I lay in bed, awake, scared, and alone. So, I decided to take a chance and look for my parents. I peaked out my bedroom door and looked down the hallway. The apartment was always full of smoke and kind of dark. Everyone was talking and having a good time. I could see a tall blond woman in the living room talking to a guy. Since I couldn’t see my parents I went back to bed, and lay awake.
I started thinking about my brothers. Maybe I could find them and get some comfort. But, they never had much concern for me. So, I opened my mom and dad’s bedroom door. There in the bed was that same blond woman in bed with a man. I was trying to understand what I was looking at, but that was pointless. So, again I went back to bed.
Not long after, that same man came into my bedroom. He was making comments about what I saw, trying to joke with me about it. Frickin’ idiot – I had no clue what he was doing with that woman and it certainly did NOT turn me on!!!!! Oooh that makes me so mad!! Guys will joke about sex ad nausiam and it drives me nuts! Anyway, this fried idiot gets out a leather case that he unrolls. And sitting on the floor next to my bed, he is offering to save a little of the drugs in the needle for me.
The next thing I remember was my dad being in the room talking to this guy trying to figure out what really happened there.
Only God knows now.
Occasionally, my mom would mention the police finding my older brothers and bringing them home. She said they got out a lot, and also said the cops came to the apartment quite a bit. But, that’s all she said.
Oh, so tight-lipped!
Now to the early memory of my younger brother and my mom’s mom. I will call her grandma #2 for now. This memory was critical and invalidated.
My parents had grandma 2 babysit us for the day. I always left the adult duties to the adults, but after my baby brother had been completely ignored, not fed, and left to cry until he stopped and then still ignored – I finally succeeded in getting somebody’s attention. My grandma told me that little bro didn’t need to be picked up and was supposed to be left in the play pen and that in fact, I shouldn’t even be in the living room paying him any attention! My big brothers didn’t want to be bothered with the baby, but finally they took a huge chance and went themselves to go make a bottle for the baby! They almost succeeded when my grandma noticed what they were doing.
Finally, my grandma made a bottle. But, did she pick up my baby brother and feed him? No, she did not. She bent over the play pen and without looking at him or touching him, she held the bottle to his mouth.
I tell you, people feed pigs with more tenderness than that!
At this time there was a lot of conversation going on among the adults who were there while this was going on. When I was little the conversation didn’t make sense, but I still remember pieces of the conversation. They talked about programming and training the child, grandma said “his dad’s an alcoholic anyway.” Somebody in the group didn’t support the idea, but the rest of the people there did support it.
My grandma rented out the downstairs bedroom to a man for a long time. He was there at this time. His colleague I guess walked over to baby bro and was testing him. I wanted to be tested too! Anything for a little attention!
As far as I know we passed the tests.
Later on when my parents arrived, I tried my best to tell them that grandma 2 didn’t take care of the baby at all, but both my mom and dad didn’t believe me.
Second grandma 2 memory – the man who rented a room at my grandma’s house brought me to his office. I was very shy and would not talk at all. He introduced me to his colleague. This man asked my name but I would not talk.
He sat down at his desk with folded arms and said,
“Let’s call you Alice.”
Interesting pdf file on Emotional Neglect and PTSD: