I am exhausted emotionally.

by PaintedToeNail 35 Replies latest jw friends

  • PaintedToeNail

    I have been reading Ashley Judd's 'All Things Bitter and Sweet' autobiography, and it has exhausted me. She paints a picture of neglect and abuse from early childhood on. As I sat reading, I realised I was identifying with so much of what she wrote.

    Why, when having an emotional breakdown as a teenager, major obsessive compulsive disorder, obvious depression symptoms, would you refuse to get medical help for your child? Instead relying on untrained men who asked if you commited some secret sin?

    Why did I feel I could not tell my parents that I was molested as a little child? What, at the time of occurance, caused me not to be able to have a voice to tell them?

    Why would parents drag their little kids across the country to preach the word? Especially when the parents had no job prospects in their area of relocation? It was so scary, being told that we couldn't afford anything, because there was no income.

    Why would a mom let her 6 year old kid come home from school to a locked house with no familiar faces to nurture the little one? Why would the mom think that the anonymous people in the 'territory' were more important than the well-being of the locked out child? That these anonymous people were more worthy than the little girl?

    Why would parents, weekend after weekend, load their kids into an ancient Buick Wildcat, with faulty exhaust system pouring carbon monoxide into the back seat, to preach the word to strangers, as their own children got physically sick in the back seat? What made these strangers so much more worthy of well-being and health than the children?

    Why would parents load their kids up on a -15 F degree X-mas day, children dressed in crappy, cheap, thinly lined dress boots, and a dress and force these freezing children to knock on doors of happy, warm families to tell them they were wrong for celerating X-mas, and we had something better to offer, a free home bible study. The girl's feet would be so cold, they were bright red and throbbing with pain, they hurt so bad as they warmed up, like needles would be being stuck into them. When the girl complained of the bitter cold, it was always, we just have one more door, one more block, one more half hour, one more call. Why didn't the parents care enough about the child's voice, which said, "I am miserable". Even cattle are put indoor in weather like that. The Humane Society would be called and the person cited if an animal were exposed in such conditions. Why were these happy strangers so much more important than I was?

    Why would parents let their daughter be attacked by a fierce rooster, being repeatedly pecked and scratched, and just stand there talking to an idiotic householder, doing nothing to protect the 11 year old? Did we stop to let the terrified kid recouperate? No, we must reach more people, it isn't noon yet.

    Why, upon telling your parents 20 years after the fact, (they knowing the mental break downs you have had, wishing that a car would hit you so you would be put out of your misery) that you were molested as a 3 year old, would they act like you just told them you ran of out bread. There was no reaction on their part. They didn't listen to my voice. It was just as if it weren't important and didn't mean a thing.

    I had Hepatitis A, picked up at a congregation picnic from contaminated food, I was so weak with exhaustion. When I told me dad I just couldn't load another piece of firewood into the truck, I was so tired, he didn't care. On the way home, I had to hold my baby brother, there wasn't a car seat for him in the cab. When I fell asleep holding him, my dad punched me, yelling "Stay awake, you aren't holding him straight!" Why didn't he believe that I was so very tired and sick? It took me three months to recover enough to stay awake during daylight hours. They only believed I was sick when I actually turned yellow, everything from my eyes to my skin. Why wouldn't they believe me?

    There are so many other things that I am remembering. Ashley Judd said she didn't have a voice as a child, no one listened to her. I didn't have a voice either. No one cared. Her book caused me to start weeping, like her I realise I am filled with grief over my lost childhood. So many bad memories. So much loneliness.

  • Chariklo

    Dear Toenail, I am so very sorry. I know how when childhood hurts, which means the deep hurts at the root of ourselves, come flooding back, it can be as if the tears won't stop.

    Nothing I can say will help. I just want to give you a huge hug.


  • jgnat

    Forgive yourself for not speaking up. Adults are supposed to protect their children.

    You survived, which is huge.

    Mourn the little girl and what she missed out.

  • sickandtired

    (((((PaintedToeNail))))) I am so sorry you were put through all that.

  • aSphereisnotaCircle

    You did not speak up because your instincts told you it would not be safe if you did.

    From the rest you have described, your instincts were correct.

    The JW's have never been a kid friendly religions. The only thing they have ever done to cater to children is write a couple of books and finally create a nursing room at assemblies so mothers dont have to feed their babies in a toilet.

    According to the society parents are always good and always right, children are always bad and nothing but a burden.

    The JWs are excellent at rasing children with no feeling of self worth, that is what the society has taught them to do.

    You deserved so much more....

  • MrFreeze

    Just keep in mind that none of it was your fault. I'm sorry you had to deal with such a miserable childhood. Nobody should have to go through any of that.

  • nancy drew
    nancy drew

    Sometimes you just feel helpless i wish you didn't have that childhood. i fantasize all the time that I'll turn on the news and see the governing body in handcuffs being led out of the headquarters by the police for all their shady dealings. Maybe one day. i hope you heal and move forward and find happiness and love.

  • happy@last
    [email protected]

    PaintedToeNail, please know I understand your pain. One of the biggest issues I had was blaming myself for not having spoken up as a child, however my psychologist showed me children don't act and react like adults, and I was looking at my childhood from an adult perspective, which was unreasonable.

    So please don't worry or wonder why. As to your parents behaviour, it is typical cult behaviour, this is not an excuse but is an explanation.

    Keep grieving, it is a necessary part of your healing. Thank you for sharing, it helps people like me realise we are not alone or wrong in feeling the way we do at times.

  • PaintedToeNail

    Chariklo-you are so right when you say 'the deep hurts at the root of ourselves' it is so very true. My whole body is completely sore, every muscle is screaming, and I'm at the verge of tears again today. I thought I was dealing well with myself, then I started that book and realised what was my core problem: No body listened to me, no one cared how I felt, no one heard me. I had no voice.

    jgnat-I am mourning now, probably for the first time in my life. The picture of that life is getting clearer. There are so many things I haven't any memories of, many of the things were good, like riding horses bareback through the Andersons field, canoeing in the clear rivers running through the beautiful northern woods, flying across the ice rink on figure skates...but my parents weren't there those times, so I was free.

    sickandtired-thank you!

    aSphere-How about the kiddie spanking rooms? They gave us that too!

    MrFreeze-thank you!

  • sizemik

    PaintedToeNail . . .

    I know that feeling of not being believed or valued. It's as bad, possibly worse, than the abuse itself. It's a terribly lonely place when the one source you thought you could always trust, thought you could always rely on, just isn't there when you need it most. That too is not your fault, and not your burden to carry. But as the book also tells you . . . you are not alone . . . in time you will shed this weight and refreshment will follow. Best wishes.

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