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Who Made Me?

by Karin Venables 5 months ago in Childhood


Who Made Me?
Photo by Priscilla Du Preez on Unsplash

There are so many who have made me into what I am now. Where do I start?

Let's start with the babysitter from hell who told me he'd hurt my baby sister if I didn't do what he wanted. Who would hold me under water in the bathtub until I lost all will to survive other than concentrating on when I would be able to take my next breath? Who touched me in places no child of five should know about? He taught me how to retreat into my mind and live in that magic place that is safe even when your body is begging to give up.

My imagination was my best friend. I didn't tell a soul what was happening. My sister's life was safe. Eventually mom and dad turned to another neighbor's daughter for someone to watch the two of us and the abuse stopped. Garth never stepped into our home again. That imagination is what gives life to my stories today. And now, as an adult orphan, I'm glad I never told my parents.

Mom, who I knew loved me beyond the stars and back, was also an unpredictable monster at times. She was both the sweetest most caring adult in my life and the angriest monster. We took care to never bring the monster out. She taught me control. I learned how to keep my emotions in check and please her no matter what. Less chance of being told how useless I was and how stupid and then end up with her coming to tuck me in and crying herself as she told me how much she loved me.

Dad, who was also an expert at avoiding angry, mad mom, taught me about betrayal and how to survive the sting. No one cared that it was my birthday, on the evening of my fifteenth natal day, I took a babysitting job. Seems to be a theme there.

The father was slightly drunk when they got home, and the drive back to our house, was endless. And I made another trip to my safe place. I was crying when he dropped me off, but Dad was irate. It was my fault that we were late, his wife had called and woke up my mother, and it was all because, I didn't make a man who was drunk and stronger than me take me straight home. Dad never even asked if I was okay. I hope I don't have tell you all what happened, you can guess.

I don't tell you these horrific memories for sympathy. No, I tell them as a survivor who learned all those events gave me the strength and courage to face all the other challenges tossed at me by the whims of life. They shaped me into a compassionate, kind woman, who leads with love. Don't get me wrong, it also gave me a spine of steel. Take advantage of the kindness, or see it as weakness, and you'll find out exactly what I'm made of.

The sisters I met as I healed my soul, are those who completed my transformation into the me I love today. Together with Hope, our therapist, I learned I was a survivor and not a victim. That fault lay with the perpetrator, and not with the child who trusted them to do the right thing. So, to Michelle, Diana, Rhonda and Deborah, the sisters who helped me turn the corner when these memories I'd suppressed returned full force, thank you.

And to my husband, the love of my life, who patiently held me through bouts of weeping and anxiety ridden nightmares, I can't wait to see you again. I miss you, and even you taught me a lesson in survival in our last years together. Depression is as hard on the ones you love as it is on the one who suffers. You succumbed to your disease as I struggled to survive mine. You are forgiven as well. You taught me I can stand alone, even after losing the love of my life twice. Once to death and once to the deep pit of blackness that turned you into another thing to survive.

This hasn't been the happiest of stories to tell, but it has a happy ending. I'm in love with myself the way I am. And I'm doing what I always wanted to do. Authoring the stories racing through my mind, and allowing the characters living there to tell their stories. I'm going to be a published, respected author. I know it.


Karin Venables

Karin Venables retired after a long career with the City of Calgary to live her dream She is about to publish her first book and has works in progress in every form of writing.

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