She was fifteen years old when it happened, & he left her for dead. This was in 1988, she didn’t have the emotional capacity to comprehend that trauma & when she realised that her menstrual cycle was very late, along with noticing other symptoms, she was terrified. So terrifiedd she couldn’t tell her parents, my grandparents, until it was far too late for anything to be done about the pregnancy. And so I came into the world on the thirtieth of March 1989, thirteen days before her sixteenth birthday.
My Nan basically raised me, however I knew that my mum was my mum & I yearned deeply for her to love me, to even like me & want to be around me. She partied my whole childhood, at times she would love me & take me out of school to go “party” with her & then randomly drop me off at family friends & family members homes, eventually putting me into the waiting net of a predator every second or third wkend so that she could go nightclubbing with his wife (her best friend). She would disappear for days, weeks, months on end more often than she would ever be at home. She used drugs, drank, smoked, had different men in her bed every weekend almost.
My mother used to brag about how I would smell every thing I was given before drinking it for fear of consuming alcohol & would set up cups for me to show her friends how I knew the difference between alcoholic & non-alcoholic beverages. Like a 5yrs olds fear was something she could make a party trick out of. I was six years old when I was woken by her cousin because she was overdosing on heroin while she laid in the bed beside me. Of course, I wasn’t aware of this at the time, she told me years later.
Two of my only cherished memories of her unfortunately became tainted when she confided in me, one night when I was seventeen & we had both been drinking, that she was tripping on LSD during both of those times she spent with me. And when I was twenty four, & in the grips of a harrowing addiction to methamphetamine, she said when I was three she had been having a “compression session” in her bedroom when I threw a tantrum insisting on being with her, which she allowed. She looked distressed as she relayed to me that after awhile of being in the smoked out room with her, my uncles & their friends that I started looking around, flapping my arms & crying that I couldn’t see her, saying “Mummy, where are you” over again. The whole time she had been right beside me. She had allowed her toddler to become affected by the drugs she was using, she says she took me out to Nan as she returned to her room.
My childhood was no childhood, I had zero discipline, zero structure, zero guidance. A psychiatrist once said to me that I ought to be grateful for having been born female as I’d have had next to no chance not becoming abusive & violent towards women if I were male.
My Mother has told me she hates me more than she has ever said she loves me. I remember vividly how cold she looked when she drunkenly slurred to me one night, “You have his eyes. You look just like him.”
Growing up, I didn’t understand what a normal family was. I would ask about my Dad & would coldly been told that he didn’t want anything to do with me, that he didn’t care I existed. I would throw tantrums at this, screaming at her that I hated her & I wanted to live with him. She’d be so angry, literally physically pushing me away from her & screaming back at me. Telling me I was a little bitch & to get over it.
I figured out how I had been conceived by confronting her in my early twenties. I pieced together the bullshit the family had fed me for years, having always been suspiscious as to the circumstances, I set about searching for the man who was apparantly my father, with nothing but the name she had given me.
Vincent Wheeler. He did not exist. Not one record of him, nor any man with his name & general age bracket could be found in the locality & surrounding areas that she lived in when pregnant with me. And I took the evidence (lack of) that I gathered to her, only for her to verbally abuse me, threaten me & threaten to harm & kill herself. Disgusted, I haven’t spoken to her since.
The devastation & guttural ache of my upbringing including the trauma of my conception*, has left me with a clinical diagnosis of a severe cluster B personality disorder, an adjustment disorder & riddled with guilt. I do not know how to give love nor receive love as I was not programmed to love. Learning how to has been & will continue to be a battle I endure every day, one that I will have to wage war against for the rest of my life because of the immature psychological defence mechanisms I developed in order to trust what could not be trusted & depend on the undependable as a little girl totally incapable of protecting myself against any of it at all.
Children & babies are sponges. They absorb & are aware of everything. I knew what alcohol was before I could write my own name. I had called the emergency services number so many times before the age of seven that I could calmly relay all the information the dispatcher needed without any trouble. A child still learning how to read & write should never have to do that.
I turned twenty-eight this year. My Ma is forty-four. We have gone through years without speaking at all. I hated, loved, yearned, resented & detested her for far too f**cking long. Blamed her for so much. Yet in the past year, I’ve begun understanding how the fuck she felt, what she went through & ohhh god, it utterly horrifies me that this innocent young girl had to go through what she did & lost her goddamn chance at a life, a childhood, the whole transition from being a young girl to a grown woman was forced upon her & she buckled under the weight of it all. Her high school even made her leave because they did not approve of having pregnant students enrolled. She lost her education. She lost her childhood.
And I’m having a hard time not blaming myself but therapy helps.
A childhood spent hearing & inherently believing in how much I was hated, that I had not been wanted & was an accident, that I looked like this man who made my Ma’s eyes fill with a hollow hatred as they bore through my own have utterly destroyed my mind, & almost took away my own chance at having a healthy, happy, hopeful life at all.
The first almost three decades of my life have been nothing but intense, traumatic & distressing. I went through HELL, ended up on the streets at fourteen, an addict by seventeen, working in the sex industry by eighteen, living in a brothel & a heroin addict age twenty-three before jumping from the fry pan into the fire & becoming a methamphetamine addict by the age of twenty-four. I beat heroin in 2013. Meth is something I have struggled with since first introduced to the devilish thing. And I only stopped sex work this year, however I plan to return to it this Summer – one last stint.
Nobody wants to be a thirty year old whore. No little girl grows up dreaming of this life I have lived, & I am accountable for most of it. I was hellbent on self destruction, consumed by hatred & self loathing; the punishments I subjected myself too fully believing I deserved every horrid experience have me heartbroken over having never learned my worth.
I don’t blame her anymore. I feel her pain, if I could erase myself so that she could go back & actually have a goddamn chance I wouldn’t hesitate. She wanted to be a primary school teacher. She is still an addict, living off welfare, in government housing with my Nan & slutting around the local tavern. Last I heard she still takes off for weeks on end. I would wholeheartedly give up my life for her to have hers. I still love her, thankfully the yearning for that love to be reciprocated has come to a dull ache now.
I forgive her, now I must learn how to forgive myself.
© AleCat 2017