Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Day 203: Experiencing Trauma Part 3 | Death

Continuation from:

"Looking back at that whole situation now I again cannot fathom why these people did not send me to a child psychologist. I remember for months I was still traumatised by the 'weather' and I remember I would over the weekends refuse to leave the house if the weather looked unstable. If I was sitting in class towards the end of the school day I would simply stare out the window at the clouds. Just watch the clouds like a monster that was slowly, painfully turning from its dark corner to pounce. I would just sit there 'praying' to the skies, to please not storm on my way home. I was petrified that a storm might break out as I was leaving the school and I had to go 'out there' where I had minimal cover while I waited for my buss. "

Note: in relation to this previous comment where I said ' I again cannot fathom why these people did not send me to a child psychologist' - in a conversation with my mother yesterday -I was telling her that I was writing blogs about these 'childhood traumas' and asked her why they did not send me to a psychologist. She replied that they did send me to a school councilor for a few sessions and that in the end it was the councilor that said 'in time it will sort itself out' and therefore they sent me to school where the incident with the headmaster happened. So this does not instill me with a lot of confidence when it comes to child psychologists/councilors. Any way moving on -

A few weeks before my eleventh birthday I was sitting in my bedroom one afternoon doing homework and my mom walks into my room. She tells me that my father had a heart attack and is in hospital. We were planning on visiting him that evening but I found myself just getting angry instead of feeling upset or sad. By the time we got to the hospital and my sisters and mother were hugging him and crying I was like a fuming demon lol. I refused to give him a hug and I simply stood just inside the door glaring at him. I was pissed.

The next morning at 3 am my sisters wake me up to tell me that our father had died. He had 2 big heart attacks. So from there on out my experience shifted in various ways. The trauma of knowing my father was going to die had obviously taken an immense toll on my young mind. Now after my fathers death I started considering into my teenage years the reason for his death or at least contributing factors. It turned out that my father (who's heart was obviously quite weak) was under a lot of pressure at work because that morning that he had his heart attack the bank that he worked at - a whole bunch of bank employees were going to be retrenched. My father was the bank manager but did not know himself who would be retrenched and whether his own job was secure (his bank was merging with another bank). By the time he was preparing to go to work he was already having the first heart attack. My sister noticed that he was looking very pale and sweaty and asked him what was wrong, to which he replied 'nothing' and that she must please not say anything to my mother or sisters because they would just get worried. By the time he got to the bank he collapsed.

The reason why I shared this whole story with you is because this information created immense guilt within me towards my father. When I found out that he had the heart attack probably from worrying over potentially losing his job I realized that he was probably concerned for his family - to be able to provide for his wife and 4 daughters. From this I created immense guilt for being the reason why he died. Over the years I also considered that if it was not for our existing money system a man (or woman) would not have to die out of fear that they cannot provide for their family.

So, from there what developed in me was my father's depression - where I basically made the decision to 'take on' my fathers depression in 'honour of him' - yes I know it sounds weird - it so often does when we look back at the things we do and you're like 'what??' But yes I was pining myself to death in his honour - feeling his sadness from his life and my sadness for losing him. A few months after my father's death I started having strange dreams about him. The one was where I would see his coffin inside the crematory. The flames would start up and I would be trapped inside this dream watching at first the coffin then his body starting to burn. I remember inside the dream I would feel the trauma within my mind pulsing inside my mind, something which I consciously knew at all times was there but would never speak about. I was also to embarrassed to speak about it because we all tend to know that death is something that happens and it is something that you are supposed to 'get over'. Therefore, I knew that something was 'off' so to speak about the fact that I had never dealt with my fathers death and that this sadness constantly stayed with me. In the dream it would switch from him in the coffin to me - where for a few second I would be lying in the coffin feeling the heat of the flames increasing around me...

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