Friday, November 27, 2009

A simple hug, misunderstood

I hope everyone recieved the RAD Online Thanksgiving Ecard and I hope everyone had a RAD Tastic Thanksgiving. Today, as I enjoy my day off I am watching a trailer for a wonderful movie (It's one of my favorite trailers). I realized something very specific and special about it. The movie is about the sex trade, and in this particular trailer, there is alot of hugging as a way for the survivors to help cope and support eachother. I asked myself the only logical question that I could....... Why?


I never understood it and I was never comforted by them. As a child, I would clam up and become an "Ironing Board". I never understood what hugging another person actually did. As I grew, hugging was a completely mystery to me. As an adult I never really craved any kind of attention or love (past orgasms). So the actual need to hold or be held was something that I didn't need or understand. Human touch of any actually pushed me away and kept me wrapped in my shell. When I saw my friends hugging their parents or their friends I always cocked my head to the side and asked myself "Whats the point?".

The fact that never really needed any kind of human connection I believe is a big part of this puzzle. In retrospect I think that I wanted to be hugged or comforted and even if I didn't I wouldn't know how to recieve it. I never needed that kind of altruistic connection to another human being. Why connect with another human being and how does my connection to that person help them? That was always what my thought was. Why should anyone care about me and what does my physical touch do for them?? My answer always came up as a resounding "nothing".

I know what alot of you might think " He just wasn't hugged as a child ". You would be right, but I think it's more than that. I think those base connections that non RAD adults and children are privelaged to, RAD Adults and children don't. For us, it's about survival against those that might hurt us, or seek to harm us. To hug another person and feel love is so skewed and misunderstood, it becomes a defense mechansim to shy away from that kind of attention.

People in my life try their best to show me affection and I always ask myself "Why does this person need to show their affection towards me?". As a child I was the same way. Hugging and showing affection was a pointless endeavor. How do you comfort someone who cannot be

That to me is the saddest fact of my childhood. I couldn't be comforted then and even sometimes now. When I was hugged or when I am hugged now I feel my entire body just tighten up and go silent. I blankly stare ahead without any particular emotion

To look back on that fact and to realize it now is tragic. To know at that time and even sometimes today I just cannot be comforted is huge for me. To lack affection so much and to the extreme of locking up is a big step in understanding my current battle with RAD. For those that read my blog regularly (I know some of you do!) I am sure that this will come as no surprise. So the question that you may be asking yourselves is:

"How can I comfort my RAD kid or RAD Adult??"

The best answer I can give you at this point in time as an adult that has the benefit of hindsight, you probably cannot comfort them the way that you have been. That blank stare that your RAD Kid may show while hugging you, or when he or she tightens up like a board may be a sign that he or she just cannot give to you what you are trying to share with them. The best you can do for them is to listen when they talk about their experiences.

I envy those that are comforted by the touch of another human being. It's both a wish and curse for me at the same time.

I will write again soon!

Much love,

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

4 hours of talking which only scraped the surface

What a RAD Tastic event that was! I had written a huge writeup of my "assessment" last night, but the page crashed and I lost about 45 minutes of work. (NOOOO!). So, I am taking a break from work to talk about the experience and what from a RAD perspective and a Life perspective what it was like talking for the first time in 12 years.

Liberatation is a good word to describe what I felt. My life, my story, my depression, drug abuse, sex abuse, suicidal thoughts and attempts, everything just started flowing. Of course, there weren't any tears as those dried up years ago but as the clinician asked me more about my life and RAD the more apparently interested she seemed to become.

we talked for over 3 and half hours of my problems in life and that wasn't even the half of it. As the person delved more into my life, she seems awfully suprised that I had accomplished the things I have in my life considering the amount of damage that was done to me as a child and a young adult. She was amazed when I said:

"I would happily give my life to bring back the animals I killed". A RAD Adult that developed a sense of remorse. Almost unheard of. Well, I am living proof that change is possible. If a peice of sh*t like me is capable of feeling something, anything with a battle of RAD, ANYONE can.

We talked alot about the sexual experiences that I had that I could remember which was a babysitter at the age of 9. The therapist believes that much more sexual abuse happened much earlier because I describe in graphic detail what happened with my babysitter.

**Below is extremely graphic, so I recommend that you read with caution or you skip it completely as it is a detailed account of my first known sexual experience with a caregiver.**

I remember the babysitter lying on her side making out with me. Don't ask me how I knew what I was doing, but I definetly did. I groped her breasts and she continued to kiss me. She told my brother to head off to bed and I knew what was going to happen.

We continued to kiss and and one point I had her top off, but she wouldn't let me take her bra off and I wanted to. I wanted to take her jeans off but alas, she wouldn't let me. I don't know why she wouldn't let me do this but that was fine in my book.

I also remember going upstairs with her and continued the makeout session. more groping of course. She never really "touched" me. I seemed to do all the work and ironically it was like I was a robot. I knew exactly what to do, when to do it and how, I just didn't understand the ramifications and the emotional attachments to sex. All I knew was I was enjoying making out with this topless blonde. Even at 9 years old it was a challenge trying to convince her to take her jeans off. I remember putting my hand on the button of her jeans and she pushed my hand away while still kissing me. It made no sense.

Eventually night ended and I headed off to sleep.

I told my readers that story to excercise a point. I was a sexual robot at the age of 9 years old. The issues surrounding that and many other sexual experiences I had as a young child already programmed into my brain told me I was good for one thing and one thing only. THe other experiences I had with female teachers, babysitters and others was a pervasive and very profound experience in my life.

We talked about why I killed my sisters cat and made her life hell for 18 years. It turns out she was my primary care giver when my adoptive parents were at work. When she left for Greece while I was still a child, I saw that as yet another abandonment and I lashed out by killing her cat.

We talked about the animal killing, how my sister detests my existence. We talked about how much horror I put my poor family through and how many people I have hurt in many ways over the years. The therapist could see the true Mike coming out. The Mike that is still a child, that is still living in an existence of suspended animation.

We also talked about the inhalant abuse. The fact that I huffed paint thinner for 6 months of my life and started talking backwards. I had to learn how to speak all over again. We talked about the RTC that said I was magically cured once funding ran out.

We also talked alot about my life as a child and my adoption. Pretty much everything.

We talked alot about suicide attempts, both passive and real. We talked about how I tried to hang myself, but the belt I used broke.

She said a few things to me that I needed to hear. That I should be pround that I have survived. She told me that I have done some amazing things and have accomplished so much. To me, that's moot.

I have to earn my families respect back. I have to earn the communities trust again. I have to accept no matter how much I love my sister she will never love me. I have to learn that my accomplishments, while meager to me may be inspiring change in others. I have to learn while I have done DEPLORABLE things to others, I can still repay them and MYSELF to the best of my abilities. I have to learn how to forgive myself.

The biggest insight that I had from that first meeting however, was the following:

I have worth.

I will write again, very soon.

Much love,