Friday, 7 September 2012

Rock or Roll

And then it all went very wrong. 

I have to be very careful what I say; basically a close family member objects in very strong terms to what I've been writing.  It has been requested that I shut the fuck up, to put it bluntly.

When a child witnesses extreme domestic violence over a number of years, it does not go away because you become an adult.  The effects reach far and deep.  And yet it has gone away - it has been expunged from family history.  It remains only and very clearly in me.  It occurred to me yesterday that I've carried the burden of this knowledge and experience and abuse - for it is abuse - on behalf of the whole family.  Nobody else was there for the whole show, forced to witness such awful violence for years.   So not only have I carried this for the family, enabling them not to know, or to forget, or to pretend it was nothing, now I have been told to stay silent about it because it will upset the family.  I think this is quite common where one person has been regularly subject to something like this.  That person becomes the problem in the family because they rock the boat and everyone else quite likes the boat being still.

So I have the options either to brick myself up inside silence, to save everyone but myself, or to continue to speak the truth when necessary.  Neither option is easy.  But this is my life, my blog, my increasingly tenuous sanity.


  1. Hey Jane, this must be really difficult for you. What is the worst that could happen if you carry on?

  2. I don't know. I don't think I've felt this isolated for a long time. And that's nothing to do with geography (more history and biology)...

  3. I believe that for some of us there comes a time when we have to look outside of ourselves for help when it comes to what ails us (be it physical or mental).
    My personal opinion (for what it's worth) is that blogging alone is not going to help in this situation - you need to talk to someone Jane.

    Should you continue to write about this (and why should you stop) perhaps it would be wise to block any family connections to your blog?
    This is about you, not them.

  4. Whilst I echo Maud's wise words - your pain has been quite palpable in recent posts - I have no doubt that you are one of the bravest folk around. Not just for documenting your present life and its ups and downs, for choosing to take on so much that is new and difficult (and succeeding!) - but also for these posts where you describe, face and challenge the profound effect that your upbringing has had on you. When it mattered, you didn't have the help you needed - you should do what helps you now. I send you much love and good wishes. I admire you very much.

  5. I read your post before I went to bed last night and was going to write a comment then, but decided I wanted to think about what I said more carefully. So, after a night's sleep, when you have been on my mind throughout, I want to say a couple of things....probably not any wiser than they would have been last night....but at least I know they are not just off the cuff remarks.

    You have been amazing in establishing yourself in your new life, and you seem to be on stage 2 of that now, having eliminated the poo aspects. You are also very aware of your fragility, and for a lot of the time know how to deal with your up and down days, but sometimes, you know, or your writing indicates that you know, that things start to get too much. I think Maud has said some important things here...perhaps now is the time to talk some of this through, in your new life, with someone based in your new life. I dont know, maybe you had people to talk things through with in your old life. ( I also think blocking people from seeing your blog, if they add to your distress is absolutely the right thing to do).
    Sometimes when I've read your words, I've thought, I cant add any remarks to help, so I haven't left a comment at all...sometimes it seems to big. I feel like that now, so all I can really say is that to me it looks like it is time to seek more help than your blogging friends can supply. Like Annie, I admire what you have done, in setting up the new life, and with your blogging.....I hope you have the strength to get through this next bit, and seeking help just sounds like a really sensible next move.
    Take care, love Janice.

  6. I always read your blog but don't always comment. I am gripped by your honesty and have been rooting for you since you packed your bags for Belgium. I very rarely leave my comfort zone and can only admire those that do. You have done this on your own and succeeded. I can only think that your family member is jealous of you throwing off the cloak of secrecy and admitting that you had a shit childhood. You can't make an omelette without breaking eggs and you are creating a fantastic souffle.

  7. I can only say I agree with what everyone else is saying here. You are always honest Jane, and that is what makes your blog so real. You have shown much courage in your life. If you are anything like me, your blog is therapeutic. Often writing about things, no matter how unpleasant they may be to others, is our way of offloading. I do agree with Janice about seeking help. As far as blogging is concerned I think you should write exactly what you want's your blog...if anyone objects then they don't have to read it do they?

  8. I also agree with what others have said here. I hope you can block whoever you feel you have to be "careful" with on here - feeling you have to be careful in your own personal blog is another abuse. As a child you were silenced and afraid, and now someone is trying to silence you again. Don't allow it. Show them these messages if you think it might help.
    If they need to pretend it was all fine, or that they are part of a perfect family, then let them. But you have long ago broken out of that idealised nonsense, and good for you.
    Hey, you should hear my family stories!

  9. Thank you all for these very kind and well-considered thoughts.

    I don't wish to upset my family any further, although it's entirely possible I will.

    However, I have contacted someone about talking this stuff through privately. Probably best to go the traditional route.