Posted by: ourlifewithmpd | September 29, 2010

A bad time of year

People say things like this all the time: “this is a bad time of year for me”, or talk about “anniversaries” of deaths or things like this.

For us, it’s more about good days. Here’s why.

When people have bad things happen … say, they have a death in the family … there will be things that remind them of that person, dealing with sadness, remorse, and grief, dates like the dead person’s birthday that remind of the loss … just ask anyone who’s gone through losing someone close and they’ll tell you it takes a long time, sometimes decades, before they really get over it.

And the younger they are at the time the worse it is, because often someone like a parent, a pet, or friend was that child’s whole world.

Other traumatic things leave their marks as well. A friend I used to know got in a multi-car pileup a long time ago. He broke both his legs and one arm, and was in the ICU for a week, the hospital for a month, and rehab for three months. While the pain and disability is gone, he still doesn’t drive on the anniversary of the crash, and it’s been almost twenty years.

And this is in pretty normal people in pretty normal families. In families where there is constant abuse, not only are there more traumatic events, but the “stress” of having to be normal for things like holidays, birthdays, etc. seemed (at least to me, and a lot of multiples have said similar things) to drive the volume and severity of the abuse upwards.

Holidays, birthdays, parents’ anniversaries, family pictures and other “special events” are not remembered as happy times, even if our family looked outwardly like the Cleavers. They were times of being forced into clothes we didn’t like, having our hair pulled in the guise of “brushing”, hours of being screamed at and randomly hit, being molested at drunken parties (Christmas was particularly bad), emotional manipulation, and often going hungry (like when we dared to speak an opinion and the whole Thanksgiving dinner went into the trash).

So most days are “anniversary” days. Most days are days where things remind us of abuse. Some are worse than others.

And because sometimes the front person doesn’t know what trauma created the other alters, overwhelming feelings happen and we don’t even know why. Why is today a bad day? I have no idea.

I don’t take these days as frightening anymore. The most difficult part is trying to explain to others about it, because everyone wants to know what exactly is wrong, and don’t get it when I tell them I got triggered four times in the past 24 hours and need to be away from people for a while, because no one “gets it” and no one can “fix it” and no one really cares anyway.

If they did, bullies would be separated out into special schools for therapy instead of the victims being told they need to “toughen up”.  Parenting classes would be mandatory to graduate from high school. People with mental health issues wouldn’t have to hide, or be told they are faking it. Rape and molestation victims would be believed.

But no one cares, and so a larger and larger percentage of the population is walking around, just like me, not knowing why most days are “a bad time of the year”.


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