I am not feeling well at the moment; nothing major, a small chest infection, but it is causing me to not overload myself at the moment. This is definitely not a bad thing lol.
And so I am watching Dr Phil. I think most of my healing as an adult has been through Dr Phil and Oprah. They deserve medals lol. They have both championed the rights of people like me for as long as I can remember; I am grateful to them both.
And in this particular episode there is a fifteen year old girl who screams at conflict. I cried when I saw her do it because it triggered memories of when I was her. And at the same age. If there was conflict at home I would just start screaming. Not screaming like a scared scream. It was a scream from deep, very very deep within my soul. And it carried with it everything I could not give voice too.
And it scared my parents.
It also terrified me.
I didn’t understand it. I didn’t know where it came from. I didn’t know why I did it. One time it resulted in my father dragging me by the hair up the hallway to get me away from where I was so that it would stop. Remember – it scared my parents. It didn’t stop me. He called my mum and by the time she arrived I was crouched in the corner of my bed against the wall still screaming. I saw her fear too.
But watching Dr Phil today, seeing my fifteen year old self on the screen through this other girl, I started to understand.
And then Dr Phil articulated it.
Kids who have spent their lives living abuse almost every day try many different coping strategies. They also try different things to make sense out of the chaos; try to find the sanity in the insane. Invariably over time when none of these work, a guttural scream arises. And at the very least it is something the child can control and it provides the soul with temporary quiet, ironically.
I have spent most of my adult life trying to sort out the wounds from my childhood and attempting to minimize their impact on my life, well the negative effects.
Some of what has assisted me has been confronting my parents and not backing down when excuses were given, but more significantly I think, from them after this, their ability to say to me what they never did or could when I was growing up. They have said ‘I love you’ and more importantly, ‘I am proud of you’.
The parents on today’s show are nowhere near that point, might never be, but I am proud of my parents for their ownership of their mistakes and their ownership in finding solutions.
They both grew up in a very different time in a different world. Understanding their contexts moved me closer to forgiveness. It also opened communication channels because they were my only source of finding out about their lives as children. I have good relationships with both of my parents these days and the screaming girl no longer screams.