Welcome!

By registering with us, you'll be able to discuss, share and private message with other members of our community.

SignUp Now!

A Chain of Broken Links - My Life in scattered fragments (beware the swears)

CrackDown29

Well-known member
Joined
Nov 21, 2020
Messages
108
Gender Pronouns
He, Him, His, Himself
Gender Identity
Female
Oi, friendly neighborhood freak here! Thanks for dropping by. My name is colliejayj-- no wait, wrong spot.

Ahem, anyway. I just have a lot of shit to sort out, and having stopped on one therapist and trying to figure out how to approach my Catholic therapist about this issue-- fuck I'm already going on tangents.

Simply put, I just need to sort out my life up to this point. That's going to include dysphoria, depression, PTSD, and good old fashioned hormones and identity.
Follow along if you dare.


Imma try and do this in loose order, but I'm already expecting to be all over the place.
 

CrackDown29

Well-known member
Joined
Nov 21, 2020
Messages
108
Gender Pronouns
He, Him, His, Himself
Gender Identity
Female
As anybody who's met me on the meet knows, I'm a not yet 20 y.o white AFAB from the US.

I always hated the fact my main bloodlines were Irish and Italian. I also hated the fact that all my names (yes, I got 5) had french influence. Seriously? I really hate french culture. I love Latino culture, but I'm scared to meet any poc/bipoc people now cuz I am white and that means I'm trigger to their pasts. One more dream crushed. Anyway.

I guess I've always had identity problems. My mom and dad fought over which name would be mine. She wanted Anne, he wanted Colette. Thhey settled on the compromise that Anne would be on my certificate as first, but I would grow up being called Colette. (this is where Collie comes from btw, until I can find something better)

For over 7 years I grew up blindly reciting my full name with Anne at the front, not understanding why it was there. One of my family friends (friend of my dad's) asked me once why I had Anne as my first name and I told him I didn't know. He asked if I would like to be called Anne. I thought it was cool/odd so I agreed. He called me it for one full afternoon, and I kinda liked it. It was like our special secret.

Of course, Dad found out, explained the story which I never knew, and said I was only to be called Colette.

So that was the end of that.
It was always weird whenever I went to the doctor, or the dentist, or the court systems when I was 12, to have someone call out Anne, and realize after a few awkward moments that they were referring to me. As I got older, it felt embarrassing almost; I'd find myself scrambling out of my seat trying to answer to the name I never used.
I guess that's what it feels like a little bit with a deadname.
 

CrackDown29

Well-known member
Joined
Nov 21, 2020
Messages
108
Gender Pronouns
He, Him, His, Himself
Gender Identity
Female
I also grew up thinking I was the second youngest of 8 kids. Tech I have a little brother, but as my memory is so bad (I have hardly any memories before 8 and 10 years old) I can't really remember life before he was born. I believed we were a medium-large Catholic family living in rural Virginia, destined to become saints. We weren't allowed to have any other goals in mind; whenever the average, well-intentioned but undeniably ignorant adult would ask "so what do you want to be when you grow up?" the answer always had to be the same: I want to be a fucking saint. Well, obviously not the f*cking part, I didn't know about swearing. Besides when taking God's name in vain required you to whisper-shout "blessed be God," swearing was considered a heinous sin. hah. Little me would be terrified of me now.

But I digress. I thought I was at the bottom of 8 kids until Christmas of oh, say, 2006, 2007? One of those years, so about 5 or 6. My dad gathered us kids around and said our older brother Bill was coming over for Christmas.

There was a rave of excitement among my siblings, so I giggled and laughed along, but inside I was wondering "I have an older brother? I thought Maya* was the oldest. And he's got kids?" I felt like one of those kids in a soppy Dickensian rom-com, learning suddenly that I had family members erstwhile unspoken. I seriously had never heard of any siblings above Maya in my life.

Turns out my dad had disowned and kicked out my three oldest brothers when I was at the fully cognizant age of 7 1/2 months. So yeah. Totally unrealistic that I would have not remember said siblings. It was like they were ghosts, coming back from the dead to enter my life

I guess that's kind of a theme in my life - ghosts. The ghosts my dad made us talk to; the ghost that I made to present myself to the non-cult world; the ghost of a family we tried to preserve during ten long years of separation and divorce. And the ghost of me. Hollowed, empty, numb.

Shit, I'm going off the rails again.

Anyway! A Christmas soon after (or was it the same? I really don't remember), we also learned we had a stepsister, Savannah*. At that moment, another simplistic childhood notion shattered. Mom was not Dad's first wife. He had married before, in the sixties (shotgun wedding, I figured out later), and had a daughter from that union/separation. I guess they'd fallen out of contact, his son-in-law was the one that found him, and us. Good news was we had a house and playmates we could visit every so often. She lived on the border of Maryland so we didn't go that often.

It felt like life was getting better, more exciting. Granted, dad and mom's fights were getting longer, more intense, louder. All eight of us kids gathered around while dad berated mom for something arbitrary or insane, mom sitting silently then shouting back.

I remember one fight, close to the end. We had been outside all day helping make mom's dream garden in the backyard (a bigger challenge than it sounded when your backyard is on a flipping hill). I remember walking up the porch to see my autistic brother Jerry* wearing sweaters and socks. Dad saw it too, and a fight began between him and mom.

Apparently he had expressly ordered Jerry not to wear socks? or the sweater? The details are hazy but I remember being cooped on the couch, my siblings and my dad's friends spread throughout the open floor plan, listening for hours, watching as dad raged and mom retorted. Hours. I just wanted to eat dinner and go upstairs and play.

That was close to the end.
 

CrackDown29

Well-known member
Joined
Nov 21, 2020
Messages
108
Gender Pronouns
He, Him, His, Himself
Gender Identity
Female
(Asterisks mean I changed the name for privacy reasons. I don't think any of my fam would go on here, but still I wanna respect and boundaries )

I remember the turtle.

It's funny what the brain chooses to remember when tragedy strikes. You'd think I would remember more of my dad's punishments, slamming a wooden spatula on the highchair in an attempt to scare my nonverbal little brother into drinking water, or his constant threats of a contest to "pray god removes the worse parent." Or the famous fight with mom and dad on the stairs, mom dragging him down by the hair while he tried to carry the baby into the bedroom. In her defense, he was going to locking himself in there with the baby, a bottle of water, and a wooden spatula. In my defense, I was in bed and probably slept through it.

I don't like to think about what would have happened to my brother if dad had lost balance.

No, instead my brain chooses to remember the turtle.

See, my sister Maya loved turtles. Turtles and horses. So when a turtle lambered up to the front yard on my sister's 20th birthday, she was overjoyed. We brought it to the porch, cuddled it and fed it bananas. It liked bananas a lot.

After an hour or so, (or 15 minutes? Time's different when you're seven.) we set the turtle down in the grass again. After a very, very long time, it ambled away.

I remember watching it as it crawled under the parked car in the side lot, slowly making its way to the street. And I wondered if I would ever see it again.


Many times I wonder why that turtle memory is burned into my brain. It wasn't the first or last turtle to visit our home. What made that one so special?

I think it's because five days later the police took my dad away.
 

Monica

Fight for self love!
Joined
Feb 1, 2020
Messages
2,254
Gender Pronouns
She, Her, Hers, Herself
Gender Identity
Female
For over 7 years I grew up blindly reciting my full name with Anne at the front, not understanding why it was there. One of my family friends (friend of my dad's) asked me once why I had Anne as my first name and I told him I didn't know. He asked if I would like to be called Anne. I thought it was cool/odd so I agreed. He called me it for one full afternoon, and I kinda liked it. It was like our special secret.

Of course, Dad found out, explained the story which I never knew, and said I was only to be called Colette.


LOL Collie, confusing! My father's name was Thomas and everyone called him Tom. Except my mother always called him "Al." It never occurred to me that it was weird. Apparently, he introduced himself to her by his middle name. In the same conversation sometimes she would even use both names at different times.

I'm really glad you are telling your story here!
 

CrackDown29

Well-known member
Joined
Nov 21, 2020
Messages
108
Gender Pronouns
He, Him, His, Himself
Gender Identity
Female
LOL Collie, confusing! My father's name was Thomas and everyone called him Tom. Except my mother always called him "Al." It never occurred to me that it was weird. Apparently, he introduced himself to her by his middle name. In the same conversation sometimes she would even use both names at different times.

I'm really glad you are telling your story here!
That is odd, I also find it sweet. ALmost like it was her pet name for him ^_^

I'm pretty sure I'm glad I am, too. I know there never will be the time in a zoom meet, but I want to provide a little a lot of context about me. I'll try not to get too drama queen in my writing style, although with my backdrop that will be hard lmao.
 

Monica

Fight for self love!
Joined
Feb 1, 2020
Messages
2,254
Gender Pronouns
She, Her, Hers, Herself
Gender Identity
Female
That is odd, I also find it sweet. ALmost like it was her pet name for him ^_^

I'm pretty sure I'm glad I am, too. I know there never will be the time in a zoom meet, but I want to provide a little a lot of context about me. I'll try not to get too drama queen in my writing style, although with my backdrop that will be hard lmao.
It's helpful to be open and important to be honest, especially with oneself, when we are figuring ourselves out. It sounds like you have seen abuse and have been abused yourself. I am genuinely sorry you have dealt with that. Figuring out how that figures in to who you are and hope to be is really important. I'm honored you are sharing it with us.
 

OzGirl

Global Moderator
Staff member
Joined
Dec 24, 2019
Messages
2,309
Gender Pronouns
She, Her, Hers, Herself
Gender Identity
Female
I am enjoying your writings Collie, you have a great style! My dad’s name was William, but everyone called him Mick, because he was a catholic. If he’d been a protestant, everone would have called him Pat! My childhood was also one of fights, but because my dad was an alcoholic. I hated the fights so much that when I was 10 I threw up a lot of blood. The doc said I had literally twisted my stomach with anguish and torn the lining. My children never witnessed a fight between my wife and I.

Hugs,

Allie
 

Linde

Adminstrator
Staff member
Joined
Dec 10, 2019
Messages
4,385
Gender Pronouns
She, Her, Hers, Herself
Gender Identity
Intersex
LOL Collie, confusing! My father's name was Thomas and everyone called him Tom. Except my mother always called him "Al." It never occurred to me that it was weird. Apparently, he introduced himself to her by his middle name. In the same conversation sometimes she would even use both names at different times.

I'm really glad you are telling your story here!
I think we all have those funny name events in out lives. I knew that my mothers name was Giselle. However, each time when her friends came to visit her, they called her Maria. when I was young that really puzzled me.
I later found out that my mother was a Jewish orphan, who was adopted by a catholic couple. They wanted to make sure that she had a very fine Christian name (Jews were not very liked in northern Europe at that time), so nobody could say or do something negative to their child, and they called her Maria. However, even this name change did not keep her safe from being interned in a concentration camp. somebody who knew about her background told the GESTAPO about it, and they came for her, but she survived.
She later used her real name again, but her friends still called her Maria.

Hugs
Linde
 

CrackDown29

Well-known member
Joined
Nov 21, 2020
Messages
108
Gender Pronouns
He, Him, His, Himself
Gender Identity
Female
I am enjoying your writings Collie, you have a great style! My dad’s name was William, but everyone called him Mick, because he was a catholic. If he’d been a protestant, everone would have called him Pat! My childhood was also one of fights, but because my dad was an alcoholic. I hated the fights so much that when I was 10 I threw up a lot of blood. The doc said I had literally twisted my stomach with anguish and torn the lining. My children never witnessed a fight between my wife and I.

Hugs,

Allie
JFC that's awful. I'm really sorry you had to go through that :/

My dad was an alcoholic, but that was before I was born. The older 3-5 kids had to deal with that, not me. By the time I was around, he had shifted to heavy smoking.
 

CrackDown29

Well-known member
Joined
Nov 21, 2020
Messages
108
Gender Pronouns
He, Him, His, Himself
Gender Identity
Female
I was planning on writing straight into the divorce but I would be skipping over one of my first encounters with the fragility of gender presentation. So my paranoid, hyper-organized mind needs to move aside for the scatter-brained part of me that needs to tell this story in its inherently random and fragmented order. There is a pattern, okay brain??

When I was late 6, early 7 years old, my mom gave me and my sis Emmy* a haircut. (Emmy is the sister right above me, 4 years older, and my closest sibling and possibly friend.) We never got our hair cut at a barber or salon, cuz that would have been both too expensive and too vain in my dad's mind. The first time in my life that I went to a barber was when I was 18, and a salon when I was 19. Very interesting experiences indeed.

Anyway mom cut our hair. Normal. When she finished me and my sister went to the bathroom mirror to check it out. Also normal.
What wasn't normal was my dad's reaction. He, to use present me terms, flipped all hell and shit. Screamed at us for being such vain horrible creatures, and that such vanity would surely end us up in hell. As punishment, and to make an example of us to the rest of our siblings, he took us onto the back porch and hacked up our hair randomly. It didn't matter what or how it was, it just had to look bad.

Suffice it to say, he succeeded.

Now, I was not an overly girly child. I was not one of those kids who pranced about in princess dresses and heels, making sure nothing got dirty. On the contrary, I have a memory of walking through tons of mud in a thin skirt that was too big for me, and coming inside seeing the bottom of the skirt ripped and a good inch muddied beyond repair. I didn't usually care about my looks as long as I was having fun.

But when Maya escorted me into the bathroom to look in the mirror, I could have cried. Instead I grinned, telling Maya how much I liked the haircut and thought it looked cool. I could feel her disappointment, and my dad's. Even at that age, I knew how to take back a little bit of power.

Once she left the bathroom, I stared at the alien in the mirror. And I cried. I didn't know who it was, except for the eyes, the confusion and terror in them must have been mine.

My most prominent thought: I don't look like a girl anymore. People will think I'm a boy. What is happening?

It's become a hallmark moment of my dysphoric journey.

~~~
A humorous afterside to that story: when we went to a farm a few days later, I remember trying to hide behind my two sisters cuz I was scared the lady at the check-in wouldn't let me in because I looked like a boy and wouldn't recognize me. Luckily no such disaster happened and I was able to head in with my mom and siblings :ROFLMAO:
 

CrackDown29

Well-known member
Joined
Nov 21, 2020
Messages
108
Gender Pronouns
He, Him, His, Himself
Gender Identity
Female
Btw this pic gives a good ideamish boy.jpga of what my hair looked like:
Except I didn't have fine blonde locks, rather thick chunky brown/black hair. ANd the cut was sloppier, without the curls. ANd my face was chubbier 😅
 

Katie

Administrator
Staff member
Joined
Dec 10, 2019
Messages
2,572
Gender Pronouns
She, Her, Hers, Herself
Gender Identity
Female
I worked with a guy who had six names. All French. We called him SPLVG3.
 

CrackDown29

Well-known member
Joined
Nov 21, 2020
Messages
108
Gender Pronouns
He, Him, His, Himself
Gender Identity
Female
If I've learned one thing in life, the most eventful days always have the most ordinary beginnings.

June 10, 2008. That date is burned into my brain.

I ate lunch and was sent upstairs with my two sisters to play in our room until dinner, same as usual. It never occurred to us once how odd it was, to be practically locked in our room for hours at a time. I remember hearing dad shout up the stairs "Save your cups, well be having ice cream for dessert tonight!"

(we had a policy that if a dish could be reused, it was better to do that than to risk washing it twice. I think it came from a mix of laziness and paranoia about wasting water.)

Not long after I was settled upstairs, I heard that my brother Mick* had come over to visit. I glanced out my bedroom door as I saw dad walk downstairs to greet him, still wearing his dressing gown.

He never came back up.

Soon after, my older sister Tessie* came into our room wild-eyed, saying "the police are taking dad away!!"

We were in shock. He hadn't done anything wrong! Why was this happening?? Unfortunately Tessie didn't know any more, and when we tried to go investigate, our mom ordered us to stay in our room.

How many times has that happened, now? Three times, four? People ripped out of my life without question or thought, and I'm given the barest minimum of an explanation, best case scenario. A life changing event occurs yards away, but I'm not allowed to be there, as if that will somehow make the separation a little less painful.

Clearly they never heard of saying goodbye before going to war.

Slowly, bits and pieces emerged. Mom had called the police, and had dad thrown out of the house. Apparently the oldest three boys had been involved as well, heavily involved.

I cried. Loud and hard. All of us girls did. I remember the 5 of us huddled on the couch, crying and begging for an explanation from mom, asking her to stop, pleading with her to have sympathy.

I can still see the cold look in her eyes, staring into the crying faces of her children.

She packed us all into the car and brought us to her mom's place. As we pulled out of the driveway, not knowing when I would see my dad or my home again, I thought to myself:
We never had the ice cream!

The five of us girls were packed into one bedroom. Four of them slept on the bed, and I, the youngest, had to sleep on the floor.

-- you know, this is the first time in my life that I've ever questioned the justice of that decision. Who on earth would put the youngest kid on the floor? The oldest sister was 20, why didn't she sleep on the floor? Oh right, I rolled around a ton, and they didnt want to be inconvenienced.

I don't think they realized how deeply isolated and unwanted that I felt that night.

What the fuck, Collie, don't start crying yet. We've got a long way to go...
 

CrackDown29

Well-known member
Joined
Nov 21, 2020
Messages
108
Gender Pronouns
He, Him, His, Himself
Gender Identity
Female
Perspective is a funny thing.

looking back on the events, it clearly was for the best my dad was removed from the house. I've come to agree with my older brothers for the decision they made to intervene.

But I can't seem to get rid of the shock and pain over dad getting thrown out. Even using that term, "thrown out," is my brain's silent refusal to back down on the injustice of the pain we felt.

There was no explanation for years, nothing but simplistic blank vilifcation and "issues you wouldn't understand." Forcing us to act like life was normal when the world had just been turned upside down, threatening to separate us into even smaller groups, terms like "foster homes" being thrown around. It made the six of us cling to each other. The other two boys being nonverbal were swallowed up by mom, which served our purposes. We couldn't console them, so we didn't need to feel regret.

The first week, we spent no two nights in the same place. In hindsight, mom must have been making sure dad didn't follow us. She shouldn't have worried though; he didn't have the balls to risk himself for his kids.

The third night we spent at a homeless shelter. It was a strange experience, and we were all on the edge, cautioned against kindness from strangers. The poor woman who helped us that night! She was probably used to sullen, snappy kids. Poor Maya was the diplomatic ambassador between us and mom, us and the woman, us and the world really. That week shaped a lot of roles for us.

I remember Emmy and Tessie scheming how to break open the roof-facing window so we could run away. Maya told them it would be pointless and it would just make dad look bad. I remember the wooden dresser that held our few belongings, I rember crying against... Maya or Anton? That detail is fuzzy, all i know is it was a long, strange night.

I was disappointed when we left.

After that week, mom brought us back to our house (so we weren't moving away for good, it seemed.)

That house would be the backdrop of the next 12 years of my life, a total of 16 years and practically all of my memories. It's funny that I only miss two or three rooms out of a four-story house. I guess sixteen years is enough time to corrode even the most positive memories.

Still, it's hard to remind myself that I'm never going back there, that I had less than twelve hours to say goodbye to my residence. I see pictures of the attic and forget that it's off limits, no more can it be a place to lock out the rest of the world. No more can I dance to songs on blasting from the Wii system in the den...

But that is far, far in the future, when I've changed far beyond seven year old me could comprehend. Right now, I'm happy I'm not being forced to move, and I'm terrified of the future.

Right now I just want my family back together.
 

CrackDown29

Well-known member
Joined
Nov 21, 2020
Messages
108
Gender Pronouns
He, Him, His, Himself
Gender Identity
Female
Jumping to the present... (I warned y'all this would jump all over :p)

Today's my little brother's birthday. Sis and I sent him a card a couple of days ago, it should reach him today. I don't expect to hear back, in fact I hope he doesn't. I can only manage to hang up on his calls through mom's phone so many times...

God, it stings. Not hearing him bound up to us declaring it's his birthday, implicitly asking for birthday wishes. His glee at being able to play videogames before the weekend, picking what kind of cake to have tonight...

It's almost like he's dead. Or maybe it's that I'm dead. That ghost effect again; he's going to be doing all those things, just I won't be there. Cuz I can't, cuz of some pervert renting our house...

The worst feeling was looking at my phone this morning, seeing the date, and realizing I hadn't made the connection. How can associations be forgotten so quickly?

What would happen if I was changed by the time I ever saw him again? How would he feel? Would he hate me? Does he hate me now, for never answering his monitored calls? Would he not believe it was me?

I know I need to put myself first but growing in a hive mentality for years, that's insanely hard.

One of my best friends just got attacked in an anti-mask protest. She was just trying to get through and the protesters wouldn't let her pass. Now she's in the hospital with broken bones and seven stab wounds, 3 in her lung and liver. It sounds like the surgery went okay, but she's going to have a long recovery process.

She isn't even that old... only 29... And she's already had 2 other instances of PTSD. 😞 I hope she'll be okay.
 

Katie

Administrator
Staff member
Joined
Dec 10, 2019
Messages
2,572
Gender Pronouns
She, Her, Hers, Herself
Gender Identity
Female
One of my best friends just got attacked in an anti-mask protest. She was just trying to get through and the protesters wouldn't let her pass. Now she's in the hospital with broken bones and seven stab wounds, 3 in her lung and liver. It sounds like the surgery went okay, but she's going to have a long recovery process.
Oh, my goodness, that is the first instance I have heard of angry mobs trying to kill people over having to wear a mask!
 

CrackDown29

Well-known member
Joined
Nov 21, 2020
Messages
108
Gender Pronouns
He, Him, His, Himself
Gender Identity
Female
Oh, my goodness, that is the first instance I have heard of angry mobs trying to kill people over having to wear a mask!
Yeah, apparently someone tried to take off her mask by force. When she resisted and fought back, they attacked her.

This wasn't even in the US but in Germany. :/
 

Kenna

Well-known member
Joined
Jan 26, 2020
Messages
873
Gender Pronouns
She, Her, Hers, Herself
Gender Identity
Female
Wow Collie! There's so much there! It's so different to my experience I'm not sure I understand it all. My mother left my abusive and occasionally very violent father when 6 month's pregnant with me and I've grown up with just her and me, then a boy's school, boarding from year 7. Consequently I've had to learn to be OK being alone and to be very self-reliant. It would be so wonderful to have supportive siblings! The complexities of your relationships with your parents is beyond me; not that I need to understand any of the detail - just that you're a survivor. Well done!

And your friend so seriously attacked for wearing a mask! That level of lunacy is astounding. It worries me.

Hugs,
-Kenna
 

Monica

Fight for self love!
Joined
Feb 1, 2020
Messages
2,254
Gender Pronouns
She, Her, Hers, Herself
Gender Identity
Female
Collie, I read with my mouth open for all you have been through. Like Kenna says you are a survivor. My father was an abuser, mainly to my older siblings, but it affected me also. My family was split when I was thirteen, my older siblings being many states away. It left me with an empty feeling, a very sad and lost feeling. Your circumstances were far worse. I guess it became for me, coming to grips with, what was, will never be that way again. It forced me to build my life in another direction. You will build your life from here also. My hope is that you choose positive directions to go in. So many copy the mistake of the people they see in their past. You, are the painter at the canvas of the rest of your life, make your plans and create something of beauty.
 
En Femme 728 x 90
Top Bottom