Trauma: From child to adult

Part 1: Early Childhood

My very first memory…

My very first memory I have, I was maybe around 2 yrs old? I was hiding under a kitchen cupboard. Ears covered with my arms and hands. Scared. Not knowing what is going on. The only thing I did know, is my brain telling me that I must hide.

You see, my dad and mom were fighting. Yelling. Screaming. I couldn’t tell you about what. I don’t remember the words that were said.

All I remember is the fierce anger in the eyes of both parents, that cupboard, my hands and arms wrapping my head, and being scared, frightened, confused.

A lot of parents fight though right?

Why was this so significant to stay with me?

Because from within that moment, my brain connected the intense feelings, the fear, the heartbreak, the screams, the facial expressions and more. It connected it to the need for safety under that cupboard, to the survival mode of not wanting to hurt or anger anyone around you or you may feel these intense feelings again. And after that I didn’t see my dad for awhile.

I have some memories here and there of going to church with my mom and brother. Hiding behind my moms long flowing dress as people wanted to get me to talk or smile. Or running down the basement hallway of the church after hours when it was sort of dark and creepy.

The next memory is me and my dad in his truck, driving who knows where. Singing Shania Twain “any man of mine” at the top of my lungs and him smiling. He was probably picking me up for a visit but I’m not really sure as that is the only memory of that time.

From there I don’t know. There’s no other memories around this time that I can recall, unless it’s brought up by someone else that triggers a brief recollection .

My brain held onto all the hurt, the pain, the trauma. If there’s more negatives than there are positives, then positives get buried and drowned out because your brain adapts to only needing to survive in order to live.

It skips over years and goes to when I was around 6 years old.

I just remember moving into a guys house that was now my step dad. I remember his black work boots and white button up shirt he always wore to work. I remember his jokes and the prickliness of his face every time he tried to give me a kiss on the cheek and that he always called me baby girl.

Along with my new step dad, was also two step brothers. I remember the layout of the house and thought it was so cool they had a water bed. I thought, wow, You can put water in a bed? Lol just memories of random things like that.
I remember the vicious little dog that apparently hated kids. I remember my step brother Tyler and I being told to be quiet and go to sleep while still giggling. I remember my youngest step brother and I fighting over whether the light stays on or off at bedtime. Haha. I remember a bees nest in the clothes line pole outback. I remember both of my step brothers mom, thinking wow, she’s super taller than me. But she was nice. She gave me snacks all the time out of the vending machines at school.

We eventually moved into a place that was in a better area. I remember before moving I went to elementary school still and I had gotten upset because I had to tell my friend I wasn’t going to be there anymore. And then I tripped on my shoe laces on the pavement at recess and had to get stitches in my knee. (I still have the scar 🙄).

This new house is where I met my childhood best friend. She was a sister to me. Her mom, was a mom to me as well. Her house though became my safe place that was ultimately my saving grace. The place where I knew I could sleep. Where I knew the calm was.

This is also where a child’s nightmare turns into a reality. My child years of Where the deep seeded pain started to reek havoc on my mind and body.

I was troubled with not being with my dad of course. I cried a lot. Pretty much every night I went to bed I cried myself to sleep. Wondering about him and why I wasn’t seeing or talking to him. What did I do wrong? I want my dad. Does he not want me? Although my step dad had treated me like his own, loved me and took care of me, I was still filled with frustration, almost like my dad was being replaced. So It did cause some tension with me and step dad. But no matter how many times I told him he wasn’t my dad, he still loved me, he still hugged me when I cried. He still took care of me, or at least that’s what I had thought.

But this isn’t the end of my story. These are just the beginning memories of what development started as.

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