Breathe, Peggy, Breathe

I am so tired, I can not even contemplate how tired I am. It is a very emotional tired. It is probably irrational at this point. 
     I was recently very nicely admonished about using the word ‘boundary’ or ‘boundaries’.  It is a ‘trigger’ word as it was explained to me. People don’t like it.
     Same such person, when I tried to explain the reason why I come out with my boxing gloves on during a dispute shut me down and began to tell me about how his dad spanked him every single day. No one had it worse than him.
     Talk about a trigger. Do NOT bother to try and shut me down EVER again. DO NOT WASTE YOUR TIME TRYING TO BELITTLE MY EXPERIENCES. I am too old to listen to it and to sit there and even begin to absorb it. You are wasting your time, and mine. 
     I have spent the last few days working very hard to be rational and trying to understand why I am reacting to this ‘very nice’ scene where I got put in my place (they think). 
     And two of them used my health to get me to try (i.e. force me) to comply. I went into the meeting that was called feeling betrayed (but not realizing it yet). I had told the #2 about the heart failure and asked him not to tell the others yet. I needed some time to absorb my reality. I think it was a very reasonable request. Shortly I found out he called EVERYONE involved, using the excuse that I needed protecting. 
     I am very aware that a society is bigger than myself or any individual. It would not have taken me long to tell each person, alone and individually about what was going on. I knew I needed help.
     Really? with as big of a mouth as I have, do I need any more protection than I have. No one in this world watches my back better than I do. But, I will tell you, Clyde runs a very close 2nd, and NO ONE else comes near! Anyway, almost immediately, I was telling people who I felt needed to know, “don’t tell ***** any secrets, he doesn’t keep them.” It was a reaction to a perceived betrayal. 
     I knew I was angry over the betrayal of the information pertaining to my health, and my body being distributed before I was ready. I also knew I had the right to privacy. This was a man that I trusted, as if he were……. (for those who truly know me this comes as no shock at all) (drum roll)…my father!! I’ve been trying for most of my life, to find a father I could trust. This morning I got an email, that didn’t say he was sorry, but said, Jesus loves us both. Thank you for that! (I am quite aware, thank you.)
In what seems like a completely unrelated matter, this morning, in the waking hours (not that I got any sleep), I remembered the awful scene where my father basically fed my pet rabbit, Blackie, to his Greyhound. During a dog race, the dog is chasing a ‘rabbit.’ These days not real ones. But, in those days, and probably today too, they are taught to chase the rabbits with REAL rabbits. 
My sister also had a pet rabbit. My father did not touch hers. 
The problem at the time, is that I was home and was not ignorant of what was going on. I heard my pet’s screams. I knew what the dog needed to learn. But, I was by that point already a master of hiding the truth from myself. I cried. I was heartbroken. And I brushed it aside. When I finally asked where my rabbit was I was told a dog jumped into the yard, opened the rabbit cage, and killed the rabbit. Little girls have school, and friends, and other things to do. Life went on. Because of that experience and many others, my mind is very compartmentalized. I can look you straight in the eye and tell you my childhood was very good. And I can look you In the eye, believing it both ways, and tell you my childhood was very, very bad. I rarely, and not until recently did I say both view points in the same conversation, but they are both the truth in the moment that I speak them. The fact that both statements in this essay, shows that to some degree, I have integrated the reality of that situation.

This morning I got an email, that didn’t say he was sorry, but said, Jesus loves us both. Thank you for that! (I am quite aware)
     In what seems like a completely unrelated matter, this morning, in the waking hours (not that I got any sleep), I remembered the awful scene where my father basically fed my pet rabbit, Blackie, to his Greyhound. During a dog race, the dog is chasing a ‘rabbit.’ These days not real ones. But, in those days, and probably today too, they are taught to chase the rabbits with REAL rabbits. 
     My sister also had a pet rabbit. My father did not touch hers. 
The problem at the time, is that I was home and was not ignorant of what was going on. I heard my pet’s screams. I knew what the dog needed to learn. But, I was by that point already a master of hiding the truth from myself.  I cried. I was heartbroken. And I brushed it aside. When I finally asked where my rabbit was I was told a dog jumped into the yard, opened the rabbit cage, and killed the rabbit. Little girls have school, and friends, and other things to do. Life went on.

     Because of that experience and many others, my mind is very compartmentalized. I can look you straight in the eye and tell you my childhood was very good. And I can look you In the eye, believing it both ways, and tell you my childhood was very, very bad. I rarely, and not until recently did I say both view points in the same conversation, but they are both the truth in the moment that I speak them. The fact that both statements in this essay, shows that to some degree, I have integrated the reality of that situation.

     At age of 32 after major betrayals by step father, and husband (at that time)- memories came flooding back (PTSD!). I remembered the sound of my pets screams. Probably as she was ripped to pieces. (I really don’t know that part though). I asked my mother about it. She confirmed the memory and added more to the story. She boiled my pet rabbit down and used it for a college project!!!!! I believe she thought she was protecting me as a child. I wasn’t supposed to know any of it at the time. 
This morning, I came to the realization that part of the issue with the pet rabbit is that at the time, and at age 32 I felt betrayed by both of my parents. Then this morning, I realize, that I probably ate my pet rabbit, because knowing my mother and father, why waste the damn thing!

     Want to talk about a TRIGGER?! We NEVER KNOW what another human being has experienced. Nor do we know how well the experience was processed. Was it handled with love and compassion or was it flat out ignored and denied. What in the world is a child who is unguided to make of a situation like that? And who can blame the adult who unwittingly as a child protected herself with her mind — the only defense she had!

     I have said it before and I will say it again. I have found my voice. I will NOT comply when I am pretty sure that I am on the right track, especially when I have bounced off others and they feel that I am heading in the right direction. Nuff said.

About PeggyAnn

Professional PC Consultant, Researcher, & avid people watcher, Peggy Ann Rowe started into her genealogical quest at age 15 after watching the mini-series, "Roots" with her parents. This new obsession has fueled her love of history, & study of cultures & societies in every epoch. Today she is 55 years old with four kids who are all grown up. In between her 'gigs' with clients she volunteers at the Floed-Lane House Museum (Douglas County Pioneer Museum), in Roseburg, Oregon. This website is an attempt to share the knowledge she has gained about her family ties with others who may be interested in the same things. She does not guarantee 100% accuracy and does hope that you will send corrections to her. To learn more about her, click the "about" button in the page menu. Thanks!
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