I started therapy a month or so ago, and I am not sure starting therapy right before the holidays was such a great idea. I find myself having flash backs of things that happened when I was a kid. And periodically I feel like crying. I have been pulling my hair out.
I have fairly significant anxiety. I have had this thing called trichotillomania since I was little. This is a weird form of OCD where you pull your hair out, which somehow relieves the anxiety. When I was around 4, the left side of my head was bald. I still do this weird behavior, but I control it fairly well so that people do not notice any thinning of my hair. I also had terrible panic attacks in my early 20s, at which time I started medication for anxiety and did several years of therapy which helped control it.
When I was little, I did not actually witness any violence, but there was always this undercurrent that my dad could blow at any second. My mom did everything she could to shield my sister and I from my dad. We were not allowed to talk in the car. We were not allowed to talk when my dad was in the room, which was a pretty rare occurrence as he spent 99% of his home time in his bedroom. Weird things would set him off: chewing grape gum, coloring with crayons, crying.
Some memories I have:
· My dad was a germophobe. When I had pink eye & started crying because I had to stay away from people, my dad followed me around with a bottle of alcohol and a q-tip, rubbing every spot where a tear fell, which made me cry even more
· When I was 7, my sister got a toy locker that had a real combination lock on it. It was blue. I wanted one so I started to cry that I didn’t get one. My dad was pissed, so he grabbed my hand and marched me to the store to buy one for me to “get me to shut up”. Mine was red.
· When I was 10, I witnessed a fairly significant violent act perpetrated by my dad. I do not like to talk about it, it was extremely disturbing. It was during Christmas break from school. All of our Christmas decorations were ripped up and broken, which was the least of the violence. That was the time my dad told me he hated me. I am still deeply disturbed by this incident, which I will not describe in this blog. This particular incident is a huge part of why I have ptsd.
· My dad treated my sister, mother and I like we were stupid. Nobody was as smart as my dad. He would make fun of us in a joking way
· My dad ate his dinner in his bedroom
· We rarely had company, my dad could not tolerate it.
· My dad would not let my mom get her ears pierced. When she did it anyway, he tried to rip the earrings out of her ears.
I still do not know how to process all of these things. People often ask me why I have not spoken to my dad is 13 years. The answer is above.