Tag Archives: Sickle Cell Anemia

Never A Daddy’s Little Girl…. Part 1

15 May

It is said a little girl loves and idolizes her father as he is the first man she knows, respect and loves. Psychology says and proves a father paves the way in nurturing, loving, instructing, guiding and influencing their daughters… Well my dad did all the above just Not in the conventional way it was intended, there is so much to be said about this man I called daddy, like the fact he never wanted me!!!

My father had and still has no idea the pain, the torment and trauma I suffered at his hands (well mouth) for although he NEVER inappropriately touched me, the names he called me over the years (bitch, slut, whore) the words cut deeply…With each utterance of one of those derogatory words from my dad, I felt the harshness and cruelty one would feel when slapped hard across the face or salt being thrown on a freshly scare wound. My heart bled, my heart broke and something ripped on my insides each time he called me stupid! He would frequently say “You’re the eldest yet the dumbest of my children”, he’d say even my baby brother had more smarts; he was more intelligent than I was. I know he knew that he was WRONG…I am a very intelligent woman!!

I questioned myself over the years because whenever he uttered such words, it felt he possessed some unique super human ability to look within and see my inner anguish. I often questioned if, somehow my dad knew I was sexually active even though I was being violated and tormented without my consent. Could this be why he called me names? Did I in some way want these men to violate me? Did I lead them on, did I enjoy it? Did I display certain behaviors that warranted them do this to me? Today I know the answer to those question is a resounding NO! Nothing that an underage child does should lead grown men to have sex with them!!! 

From a very early age I realized I was anything but the apple of my father’s eye, in fact I was like a thorn in his side. My dad wanted boys the more boys he had the better it would have been for him but God threw a monkey wrench in his plans. My father never wanted me because I am a girl. He is the definition of a true narcissist! I love my father and for years I fought to gain his love and affection, but I could never measure up to his standards…well what standard? It is my dad’s belief that a woman’s role was to lay on their backs and earn their keep.

The lessons he taught some good and some bad! The lessons were many, and boy do I have stories to tell! One of the lessons that resonated the most is one he unknowingly taught me, he taught me how to be independent, relying on no one for anything! Independent I became! My dad taught me independence in two ways…

1.     Observing the relationship between him and my mom, the system between my dad and my mom was orchestrated so that my mother had to ask his permission before she spent HIS money.

2.     At the age of seven I recall an incident where I had asked my mom for school supplies and she told me to ask my dad for the money, upon asking my father, he looked me directly in the eyes and said “I am not too particular to give you anything, because you a go breed by 11”. At seven years old, within that second, that minute, that hour, that day, as the seconds ticked away, I made a conscious decision never to ask my dad or any other man for that matter for money! It’s a rule I live by to this present day. Needless to say, this rule has caused issues in relationships. My father made his belief and his feelings for women known, he didn’t down play it, or sugar coat it, “A woman’s rightful place is in the home. All women are good for is to cook, clean, service men and breed (have children).” This is why still to this day he has no idea his girls where sexually abused! Isn’t life a bitch?! While I have mixed emotions about my mother’s choice in not telling him, knowing his temperament and the fear is that he would do to us what he did to her…eventually using his knowledge of the sexual abuse against her.  

For years I lived with conflicted emotions on one hand I couldn’t allow myself to be the woman my father envisioned and expected me to become and on the other hand, I was that woman, because for years while I was being sexually abused and years after the abuse I believed deep down that I was the woman my dad had predicted I would be, that all I was, was an object of pleasure and desire for men and boys. This constant battle added to the emotional and psychological trauma I lived through as a result of the different types of abuse and my life with Sickle Cell Anemia.

I succumbed to my greatest fear (I’m the worthless woman dad said I would be), I was tormented mentally and emotionally because I refused to have a relationship of a sexual nature with anyone for fear of being what my dad deemed me to be, yet here I was being sexually violated over and over and over again by a man and his son who should have been looking out for me, protecting and teaching me …It’s as if I couldn’t escape the wretched clasps of narcissistic men! With each violation, my thoughts were how badly I wanted to save myself for the one I loved, I wanted the option to give myself to whomever I pleased or desired, I too wanted the option of making the poor decisions of finding my FIRST true love and losing my innocence to him. I didn’t want it to be ripped from my grasp by family members!!!

My dad had his moments when he was kind, he had somewhat of a giving heart, which was seldom displayed. My dad’s good qualities were overpowered, overshadowed and tainted with sheer ugliness! He gave expecting something in return, he loved demanding to be loved, he claimed he cared however if at any time something didn’t go his way, he would have a hissy fit like that of my two year old son! The world was out to get him, God was testing him, and people entered his life to use him. He often compared himself to Job of the bible…He could not see past himself! I often heard friends, associates and strangers alike long for their fathers, some wishing they had a father like mine, to that I would and still smile awkwardly because if only they knew! I believe, some are much better off without their dads. I feel that God was shielding and protecting them from years of mental torment! It hurts me, for no matter how I tried to please my dad, I was never good enough, I couldn’t do enough and more was always expected. I realize no matter how I tried I was never and would never be daddy’s little girl!

 For years I made excuses for my parents, in my quest to understand, explain and rationalize their behaviors. While I now realize and accept that they are human, I often wondered about their mental state. How and what did they think about? Are they aware of their actions and behaviors, the implications? If brought to their attention would an attempt be made to reverse, repair or change?

I hated my dad at times, I experienced moments of extreme and intense hatred! I would sit and will myself to remain angry at him, (I couldn’t pull it off) the abusive nature of this man, the things he would do to my family, to my siblings in the name of discipline. My dad was physical (though seldom), verbally, and emotionally abusive. Verbally relentless, emotionally draining and mentally it was never ending. He threw one of my brothers down a flight of stairs, physically pulling him back up only to throw him back down, beatings were with whatever was in his reach. I despised him for hitting my siblings; I would go into protective mood time and time again for my mom, my siblings, myself.  All this would take place at home yet WE would walk out the door as a family pretending all was well with the world.

As I write my blogs and work on my book I realize these are the very reasons it took me this long to get these things out… Because they hurt, I have never sat down and really allowed myself to process or feel the various emotion because I always had to be in action mode, and, it was safer not speaking about it all. My dad made sacrifices for us, and he showed in many ways that he loved us, though tainted at times… (Whether out of obligation or duty) but he never had the rationale to see or understand the negative impact his actions had on his family. It was these actions that warranted his dismissal from our family home. I didn’t know what I was doing or how we would have survived, but I knew I had to protect my brothers from the negative teaching my dad was providing to them about women.  “Women are walking dead; no woman is to be trusted especially the pretty ones.”  Even with a wife and two daughters he felt the need to constantly bash women. My dad’s issues which I now know are his issues impacted me in a very negative way but…

” I am not that wimp of a child anymore and I refuse to carry the shackles of my parents, forefathers and relatives sins, their past experiences has influenced me enough I’m breaking free, no more chains holding me, its heavy… I want my freedom thus I’m taking my freedom, forgetting others expectations of me…I am being that which God wants, needs and intends for me to be…Join me as I/we journey to free.

 

From my heart to yours

Larissa

Confessions Of A Twisted Mind!

6 May

When I began my quest for freedom, I knew that I would be in for a long and tedious journey. I am braving the elements, constantly questioning myself and refraining from writing or expressing myself truly, as I am still in a weary state of trying to please my family and friends. Trying to protect the feelings of others! Thus, it’s been an even harder journey. I convinced myself that I must be authentic, but how authentic can I be if things are sugar-coated and I am not forth coming? I am still reeling from the negativity of others because I choose to speak about my journey, it has gotten to the point where, I have had to block, ignore or downright remove myself from certain individuals.

Throughout my life I have gone through great lengths and done a great deal, all in the name of family. I have gone above and beyond the call of duty, I have made consorted efforts to remain true, gone distances to socialize with family members, some of whom were involved in hurting me, stretched myself beyond my own limits of any rational reasoning mind, all for the sake of bringing family together and maintaining peace. For too long have I lived assuming the roles and responsibilities for other people’s feelings, emotions, comfort and happiness, while I sat there in great turmoil and discomfort, uneasy in my own damn skin. Time after time being asked to bear a little longer, speak a little quieter, suppress even deeper, act friendlier, smile a little broader, and pretend forever, accepting more and more…I prided myself on being an overtly family oriented individual. Whatever was asked or expected of me I did without question.

Now I am beginning to feel anger and resentment build inside me like a crescendo.  I am angered because as I continue this process not knowing what to expect or even how to feel, I am realizing, my journeying to free is emotionally taxing. This, this…I don’t even know what to refer to him as, one of my abusers was recently told that I have begun speaking openly about being sexually abused by him for years and though I’m not sure what I was expecting to hear from this man…I am still amazed that I allow myself to be triggered by him. Upon being told that I and others are coming forward and voicing our plight at his hands. I was told of a comment he made “My eye water will fall on them; they will suffer for what THEY are doing to me!!!”…

How truly sick and narcissistic can this man be to utter these words? How starved for love and affection could you have been to not see anything wrong with raping, fondling and kissing a child? I ask myself “How can he truly justify and rationalize his actions?” How dare he believe that you should have these feelings of entitlement? How does he arrive at the conclusion he had the right to deface, defile dishonor and derail my destiny? Who granted him the right to alter my childhood? Smearing my innocence, smudging my character, taking my pride, my dignity, making me into a woman before I had the chance to be a GIRL? How dare you?!! You hurt us without having a thought or an afterthought of how I and others would feel, think or be affected?!!!  How does he not see anything wrong with what he has done to me/us? This man has/had absolutely no remorse for his actions when confronted!!! Yes I AM ANGRY!

When I think about my constant battle with Sickle Cell Anemia and how ill I would be during the times he violated my frail body, I am angry, hurt and resentful of all those who do not or choose not to understand the pain I felt then and the pain I am feeling now. The PAIN I feel each time a memory is triggered about an incident with this man, in combination with my battle with this health demon of an illness that is always looming in the shadows, threatening to derail me at every turn. Does anyone even understand this pain, the raw undiluted pain I have carried and continue to carry because I was so brutally debased?  I am pissed, truly angry, and livid! My gut churns, I am puzzled, and in amazement …It truly boggles my mind, to think that this sick perverted bastard would have the nerve to think or feel I/we are out get him or that he is innocent! I find myself fighting, trying to find the balance between continuing the work I have begun in search of my happiness, finding my self-worth and simply just letting them all win by remaining silent like I did for so many years.

Why was I and others not protected by the “Family”? Some of them knew but no-one made him stop! At this very moment I can feel the anger filling my entire body, wanting to explode like a volcanic eruption of hot lava pouring down on the heads of all those who could have done something to stop this heinous atrocity but stood by and simply watched bowed head and lowered eyes. I am angry at myself for not speaking out sooner, now I ask myself “Why did I wait this long to finally realize what I needed to do for my process of healing to begin?”  As I reflect on the truth of “Why I waited this long?” It angers me that I sat around for years and did nothing because I was seeking the validation and acceptance of others to do so! But sexual abuse, an incurable illness and child abuse will do that…it will rob you of your senses, your confidence and your voice. I’m taking it all back!

This issue of my sexual abuse is difficult to deal with, there are days when I restrict my own thinking, for fear of going back to that place in my mind where the hell unleashes. I heard somewhere the best predictor of future behavior is past behavior, simply if it’s done before, it will be done again! And what do you know the son of a bitch did it again, and again and again!!! Now that the secret has been reveled and victims have come forward, this bastard expects that people should show him empathy, sorrow, help him lick his wounds like a wounded dog! He and others just like him, they blame everyone it’s never their fault! They lack the ability or they refuse to take responsibility for the things they have done. He’s unable to see beyond himself, he displays an air of arrogance, lacking the ability to feel, to show empathy for his victims, incapable of feeling remorse or guilt and he really doesn’t care about the impact his actions has on the lives of those he violated! He never has and never will! Each conversation/confrontation has been about himself, this sick perverted fuck, that for years threatened my life and the lives of my siblings, if I opened my mouth and spoke of his vile acts, to this day he hasn’t sought my forgiveness! So tell me why, Why,  and how is it that I am being asked or expected to be sympathetic towards him because he’s now old and ill? I say “GO TO HELL AND ROT!”

To all the others who have taken from me! Your actions were not and are not OK!! I’m reclaiming that which was stolen! I DON’T CARE how my story affects your twisted little world…cry if you want to, hurt if you want …that is not my concern! I still cry as a result of the things you did to me…How many tears have I shed and will continue to shed?!!!

I am angry, I’m pissed, and I’m furious, frustrated and petrified YET, yet… I am compelled to speak my truth so others may draw strength and inspiration, knowing that it is indeed possible to rise above the ashes of what once was. My story is unfolding and not expected to be kept a secret and I’m going to shout it to whomever will listen, (or read…leaving all on paper!) I’m no longer an island, I no longer stand alone, I’m NOT shouldering this burden ALONE anymore!  No longer will I live in silence, afraid of who may or may not be offended…Yes you bent me, but I didn’t break! I’m not going to remain the sheltered, helpless, bruised, tortured soul, I am taking my power back…and I’m fitting the pieces back together!

I was bound and en-caged by mental slavery. I do however know that the freedom which I seek, the love and the forgiveness I am searching for, though evasive I must continue on my path. It will not be this way much longer! We are responsible to share our struggles and stories of survival, It’s our duty to uphold for the betterment of humanity and mankind, in addition it is our right and our responsibility to be the best we can be, to be our real and authentic selves, to be happy and live a life free of disdain and judgments placed upon us by others.

Therefore I/you have the power to sever all ties if needs be from those who inflict pain, causes harm, unjustly speak or act whether you share DNA or not. It’s my Gods-given right to do and be the best version of myself, likewise everyone else as long as you are not causing harm to anyone.  If you try to put an end to an injustice, break free of the chains and bondage of self-hatred, mental anguish, or to fulfill your dreams, walk into the path of God’s leadership, and people you are directly or indirectly tied to thru DNA or not tries to conceal horrid injustices or simply hamper or hinder your freedom, stop your progress or can’t just be happy for you that you can finally get to a place where you no longer hang your head in shame, drown your sorrows in a bottle or drugs, remain a victim, defeated and depleted… in the name of family, reevaluate, drop, sever who needs to be severed and do what’s been placed on your heart. Join me as I/we journey2free…

From my heart to yours

Larissa

A Moment Of Reckoning…Living with a Chronic Illness

29 Apr

I am approaching the mid thirty year mark with my son by my side, all my body parts still intact, in good mind and spirit. As I reflect on all the things I have been told I can’t and should not do, I can’t help but marvel at my survival…They said I should have died at five!!!

I was three years old I remember…I began feeling excruciating pains throughout my body, unexplainable pains. The kind of pain that no three-year old child should ever have to feel, the pains were so awful and it was everywhere within my body. There were times when I cried uncontrollably from the intense pains I felt, other times being unable to cry, all I could muster was a groan. I would ask my parents why does it hurt so badly and all they would do is simply look on in horror.  They didn’t have the answers to give or render any assistance.

This sudden illness and the frequency of these crises called for speculations of all sorts. My parents took me to the doctors many times, however they were unable to diagnose the source of all the pain I was feeling, I went undiagnosed for years. I was ten when I was first diagnosed with Sickle Cell Anemia.

Now having a name for the illness didn’t really change much just the fact that we now knew what to call it. Living in a third world country and having this chronic illness was a challenge. The medical community had very little knowledge of this disease, therefore my family and I went through a process of trial and error constantly. I spent days, sometimes weeks in the hospital at which time they would stuff me full of drugs, however the pains remained or would return as mind numbing as they did before the medicine.

We knew there was no cure for Sickle Cell Anemia. My parents who were full-fledged Christians would call upon the church to pray in an attempt to combat this illness. They resorted to taking advice from folks in the community in an attempt to provide some form of relief from the pains. My parents tried several natural remedies provided by the elders in the community, friends, family, neighbors, and strangers alike, some remedies so disgusting in taste that for years I could still taste some of them. I remember loved ones offering my parents to take me to various types of folk doctors, spiritual healers etc.

I recall being in this hospital for over six weeks, the nurses would inject pen insulin injections in my bum daily.  When they ran out of room on the right side, they proceeded to inject the left cheek, when there was no room on my bum, they began to give me the shots on my thighs. The process had become unbearable for my mom and one night at midnight, she stole me out of the hospital without consent from the doctors. I vividly recall that night because it was the first time I saw my mom stand up to someone to the point of physically warding the staff off. LOL

During my early childhood years, I always had something to care for, various pets and or plants which ironically with each major crisis something would die. My parents would simply replace whatever had died in an effort to try to maintain normalcy in my life.

A week ago an associate of mine lost her battle with Sickle Cell Anemia. Quite honestly I get a little rattled each time someone dies from the disease (yes, I’m fully aware my demise could be from other causes) but my worry intensifies when I hear the reason or the age. I find myself worrying about these things because I have been told or heard so many times that I won’t make it past a certain age, and with each defiance of beating the odds another five years is added to my supposed life span, as another part of my body is physically altered, I’m encouraged to add another drug, or do another procedure for the expansion of my life.

I migrated to the US some years ago, and while I was ecstatic to be reunited with my parents I was more excited and hopeful to know I would receive better health care. (I was in for a rude awakening) it’s been better in some cases on the part of care, but, and it’s a big BUT to my surprise only a few doctors have in-depth knowledge about Sickle Cell Anemia, as a result I find myself having to educate the medical staff about the illness. The worst part, being in crises; everywhere hurting and having to have a lengthy conversation informing a medical professional of what to do or what I need. Sickle Cell Anemia is a chronic illness that has and continues to alter the lives of so many and still in this day and age it’s only known or recognized by a handful of doctors.

Since I decided to begin this journey to freedom, talking about these issues, blogging and writing my books has been forcing me to revisit unpleasant places, remember the pains, deal with the issues and this journey has awakened memories I had suppressed, stirred up feelings and emotions, caused me to laugh and to cry. The overwhelming emotions I have experienced since embarking on this journey has forced me to question if I should continue on this path to free me. It has been a lot and a lot to process but I KNOW I have to do this!  I have had some major setbacks throughout this journey people are curious as to why I am baring my soul, my innermost feelings to the world…

I have had conversations with God over the years asking why, why was I exposed to these things, why was I dealt these cards, why? Well apparently I was and am being prepped for something bigger than me, it has not been an easy under taking. The average person may not have been able to cope, for in addition to being born with a hereditary disease, I was exposed and experienced other issues no child should have to deal with, “but, why not me? For years I convinced myself the reason I survived was the drive I had and the passion to push on because my siblings needed me. I couldn’t give up or give in until “after they passed the worst,” I had to be here for them.

There were many moments when I wanted to die, and in those moments I would repeat their names like a mantra, not a bible verse, not a prayer, but the order of birth of my siblings. Nemmy (Horace) John, Ricky (Ricardo), Candy (Candeesia) and Sam (Samuel). The pain that one experiences from Sickle Cell Anemia is excruciatingly mind numbing. There are times when I feel so ill, I can’t move and with pains shooting through every cell in my body it’s unspeakable and unexplainable. Even as I write, it’s rather difficult to explain the depth of the pains I have felt and continue to feel. I can only express it as being on the NASCAR track and seeing cars zooming by at such speeds that it is difficult for the eyes to follow and the mind to conceive, that’s what the shooting pain feels like when it hits. It’s rather unpredictable and most times comes on unexpectedly, in these moments I simply will myself to smile, especially if I’m out or anywhere but home, I simply pray and ask God “please just allow me to make it home.”

For years I hid the knowledge of my illness from everyone around me. School mates, class mates, work colleagues, teachers, professors, friends and even boyfriends. I was embarrassed to tell, I was made fun of for missing days at school I was looked at funny, questioned, I had friends and potential boyfriends shy away from me as if I had the plague, most important I refused to speak of being ill or any other trauma in my life because I do not, did not, nor ever want to be pitied!

I hate/hated the thought of being treated differently, or have the ewes and awes directed at me. I didn’t want to be a side-show or a spectacle and surely didn’t want to be treated as such. LOL. I recall using being sick to my advantage as a child a couple of times, that too was short-lived, because I soon realized whenever I told my parents a lie to get out of something, surely soon thereafter what do you know? I would get sick. So I stopped that quickly!

This path has been a tumultuous one!  I had my moment of reckoning, my life-changing insight at the dining room table recently…The insight was simply, I am alive, He kept me, and sustained me simply because my time has not yet come. I have not done that which I am meant to do, I have not even began, the experiences I had, the things I have been exposed to are so much bigger than me, I just could not see it!  Yet at the table with my sister, I was awakened to the fact, I’m not here because I really willed myself to be, I’m here simply because God has a grander purpose for my life and he wasn’t and is not through with me yet… after many years of making excuses after excuses, rationalizing and procrastinate like hell, I realize there a few things I need to do! with His guidance and leadership I’m accepting and walking boldly…. Join me as I/we journey2free…

From my heart to yours

Larissa