Far be it from me –

Back Where I Belonged – Alienation In The Birth Family

on July 6, 2020
Writing a memoir in one’s fifties can be liberating, cathartic and even therapeutic.
But to experience the isolation that emanates from enforced alienation can be as painful as the traumatic events that led one to write the memoir in the first place.
First comes the numbness, and the shock, that the truthful account that is now accessible to anyone who cares to search for it, is actually offensive to certain members of the family you were born into.
Next come acutely painful feelings of rejection, as family members shun and ignore.
Night terrors follow.  Screaming in the night.  Sleep walking.  Aborted, and abortive
therapy.  Nobody understands your truth.  They say it’s all a fantasy or all lies.  
Branded as a fake, there is no where else to hide.  Panic ensues.  Short gasping breaths and horrid flashbacks, smells, sights, sounds, odours, blood, mucus, slime.
The clang of the hospital trolley the alarming pressure of the blood pressure monitor.
The terror cannot be controlled or silenced.  The noise of the silence is deafening in my ears.  They call it tinnitus.  But it’s my brain going into sensory overload.
Then come the tears.  Pouring, dripping, seeping slowly, sprinkling quickly.  The exhaustion of crying is strangely comforting.  
But now, I’ve come back to my true self.   The little girl, shuddering in fear, lower lip trembling.    Fists clenched.  I must not cry.  I must not breathe.   I must not be.
Here I am seven years later.  I finally psyched myself up to make the call to a bereavement counsellor.    I almost needed a stiff drink to make the call, but through dry lips I whispered my grief to a kind lady who promised to post me a leaflet and said a specially trained counsellor will visit me in about three weeks’ time.  
I’m clinging on, hour by hour.   Saliva is returning now as the neuroleptics leave my system.  I’m ready to talk now.  I hope they listen.
© Judith Haire 2015

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