childhood trauma - quotes and descriptions to inspire creative writing
When I came to you with a toddler's open heart you only saw an annoyance, another mouth to feed, a bottom to wipe. But I saw you as my only hope to fill the void after loosing my mother. She fought to keep me and instead I got you, you who counted the slices of cheese and totted up your balance book. My crying was “manipulation” and my sadness was “put on for attention.” Every day you looked at the kid in front you and killed him a little more. Killed him with “professional care.” All I am is hatred, all I am is rage, and I won't give you the God damn satisfaction of seeing me at the bottom of a bottle. I'm going to ruin you, I'm gonna see that you pay. But before you look down on me with your university degree and your government stamp of approval, know that I'm working day and night to become someone with authority over you. And when I am I'm going to be just as “professional” as you were.
For so many years of my childhood I had no bladder control and not a single person thought to wonder why. A wet bed meant being beat with a slipper, and no, over clothes wasn't nearly punishment enough. It was called a "slippering." With that came the mocking, the looks and judgement... as if I did it on purpose. It was the same at school, dry one moment and flooded the next. Funny thing though, it stopped when I left, control developed and remained. Just because people often can't remember violent abuse, it doesn't make it alright. The scars remain just the same.
Dakota was a sweet and gentle child when I knew her, though it may sound like a cliche, it’s true. Her hair was lighter back then, chestnut I suppose and she would braid it for hour in front of the mirror; but Dakota was already disturbed by the age of six. Though the toilet was only a few metres from her bedroom she would crawl under an old pool table and urinate on the carpet. No-one knows why she did it. It was as if some animal instinct drove her to do it, to hide somewhere dark, somewhere that felt safe. She played with her dolls and was kind to her siblings. She was a fighter, never staying down if she fell or got knocked. She would go out of her way to be nice to other kids at school, but mostly stuck to just two friends who didn’t mind how old her clothes were. Did I say she has freckles? She does. She was a skinny kid but mostly healthy. She loved animals, as most little girls do. She hated jelly and sausages. She was a teacher pleaser, always doing her best in classes and clever too, learning quickly. But her childhood was rough from the start, some kids have it worse, but her home was turmoil and violence; not constantly, but enough to make her less stable than she should have been. I wish I could have saved her from the years ahead of her, but I was only a teen myself back then.
Found in Are you awake yet? - first draft, authored by .
On a plastic hallway chair sat a child, legs kicking in the air, clearing the floor by several inches as they swung back and forth. James was mesmerized by the red rubber boots on his feet and blue duffle coat, somehow the kid reminded him of Paddington Bear. His face had unhealthy look to it and his eyes were hard open as he stared at nothing on the wall. James stopped. The boy's legs weren't swinging in the care-free way he'd first assumed. Each one was more like a kick, sharp and pointed. He crouched down in front of him, letting the boy see his white coat and stethoscope and brushed his blonde bangs from his face.
"Hey there, I'm Doctor James. What's your name?" The boy became still and was quiet for a moment, sitting further back into the chair.
"Ben," came out almost like an accident, spilling out of his drawn inward lips. His brown eyes lost their harshness, becoming rounder, more glossy. Then all at once his face buckled, his breathing stopped momentarily and tears streamed..
I'm not a child anymore; I grew up many years ago. Life was never easy with Mom and Dad, but after they both left it was hell. In some ways my life improved. There were good people who cared, enough food and clothes. But every time I saw a cut flower I knew how it felt. It had no roots at all, nothing to anchor it to this world; yet was still expected to give its beauty, to flourish and warm the hearts of others. No-one can see my vulnerability; they cannot see the roots I lack. I paint the world with the vibrancy of my laughter, hugs and kindness. I look forward to the future and work hard in everything I do. One day I will be a parent; will I do better? What will happen when my children reach the age at which my own parents walked away, abandoning this burden they no longer wished to carry? I vow to be everything they weren't and give what they did not - security and unconditional love. I pray to God to give me that strength, to help me funnel the love He gives me to my children.
"You wanna know what my childhood was like?" Nyx finally asks, looking broken beyond repair. I want to stop him right there, but I'm too scared. "My dad made me go to military school since first grade until graduation," he says simply, looking like there's more to the story.
"That's horrible," I say sympathetically.
"Yeah, whatever," he murmurs, standing up and leaving the room.
The love that had been inside Jimmy as a baby had been crushed. It's a lie that given enough pressure coal becomes diamonds and it's a lie that a child's love treated with disregard will self-repair. Each person Jimmy offered his God given love to left it to wither and die like a common garden weed. He hid behind a smile and reinvented himself, learning the keep his feelings inside. The hurt lodged in that sweet heart like a slow acting poison and before long he became a “problem child,” destined for a life behind bars. He hated the “parents,” hated the system, hated the government and the whole damn world. It burst forth in his speech, his actions, his attitude. He got close to people just to hurt them, power at last. Nothing pleased him more than to walk away from a new lover while she whimpered. To Jimmy people were “bad, dangerous, and they deserved what they got."
I was often over your house when we were kids. It was a place to hide and you knew it, but not once was I ever made to feel unwelcome or hurried out the door. It was a safe haven when the storm invaded my own home, my own space. School was hell every day and home just rocked back and forth between comfort and harmful. Without you, without the love you gave in that understated way, without the gentleness of your personality, I don't know what would have happened. I was never stable, not really, shifting from one place to another in my adult years, but always there was you. Sometimes I ignored you for months, lost in some new crusade, but never once were you mad when I remembered you again. Always easy with honest advice, but carefully phrased not to cause harm. You've never just been a good friend to me, you've been one of the rocks of my life - an anchor point. I live an ocean away, but if you ever need me I'll be there in mind, boy and soul. Just call.
I've never been afraid of 'monsters' per-say. I do believe they exist, I just don't think they are furry and live under my bed and in my closet. You see, I knew a monster once. In fact, I loved him. He played baseball with me, and he spoiled me with lots of gifts. He had deep brown eyes, and a smile nearly identical to my own. I thanked God for my very own monster, every night. My monster didn't have sharp talons. The only thing sharp about him was the knife that made this gash. My monster wasn't green or purple. He didn't even like purple; That's why he made me have all of the purple on my arms. My monster didn't come out and scare me after I had fallen asleep. No, my monster only scared me when he came home. My monster gave me bad dreams too though, so I guess there is that. But I didn't make my monster leave, like the case with normal childhood monsters. No, my monster made me leave. My monster didn't want me anymore, so he made me go...
The howling takes my brain and mis-wires all the synapses. Somehow I can no longer think and if I try to force it the result is scrambled logic. Every gale is the same one to me no matter where or when they occur; they are all on September 9th 1986, the night my father died trying to save some idiot who should have known better than to go fishing that day. In every wind high enough to rattle the garbage cans I'm six years old again and when the trees resettle to an upright position my nails are bitten to the quick and every muscle rigid, unwilling to allow my form to unfurl.
They say a bad parent was a traumatised child, caught in the fires of their own suffering, their thoughts more hurricane than poetry or soul. I guess that's right. In that exists a road to forgive, a way to see the bigger picture and move on with your own soul intact, head held high. When we see it we can learn to heal, learn to love anew and be a person we approve of in a way that is deep and calm. Then we can become the good parents and start a new cycle that is loving and healthy, plant a good seed in the rotten wood and watch the new spring growth.