We all have our inner demons, happenings that have shaped the way we are, the way we interact, the way we allow others to see ourselves.
It’s whether we choose to let them in.
Growing up in an extremely dysfunctional environment (my parents divorced bitterly when I was 9, the family home was sold and we moved far away from everything I knew), we were placed by the courts with my father (due to my mother’s mental breakdowns) a custodial rarity in “those days” and this meant that a new arrival in the suburban close was treated with surprise. Everyone else had a mum and dad, we stuck out like proverbial sore thumbs.
School was “interesting” too. People would try to work out where my mum was, why she wasn’t with us, who this housekeeper was that collected us and whether or not she was in a relationship with her employer (usually was, as I discovered on more than one occasion).
He was also a workaholic which meant that we rarely saw him. Tap, tap, tapping away on accounts in what should be our dining room but was turned into his office, we weren’t allowed to go in there
Eventually we were deemed old enough to become “latch key kids” and the live-in help stopped. By then my dad was in a relationship with another single parent and would often be out in the evening (when he wasn’t working). He would get a phone call and go out.
The phone…the reason why my landline is on silent. That is one of my demons from that time.
One night the phone rang and, as my dad was out, I answered it. It was someone who said he was one of my dad’s clients. Even at the age of 10 or 11 I knew that these were people who “paid the bills”, people who we had to keep “sweet”. So I chatted back to this voice who had quite a soft tone, quite mesmerising. And then he asked me a personal question, “what colour p**s are you wearing, J?” Instantly something inside me knew that this was not a nice person and I should put the phone down. I remember feeling scared that this person might know where we lived and also that somehow this was my fault. I hadn’t said anything to prompt that question but he’d still asked it.
I didn’t talk about it at the time, I was too shocked. Years later, I spoke to a family member and it was dismissed.
Even today, I hate that “p” word. If I hear it, it takes me back to how I felt.
The silent landline
That is my demon, my reason why our landline is on silent, why calls go to answerphone. My reason why if someone phones me and instantly goes into a security check (name, birth date, address), I stop them and phone them back because then I know I’m speaking to who they say they are.
I don’t want T or D to go through that. Call me over protective but I don’t.
Another inner demon concerns when I was assaulted a few years ago, in broad daylight, pushing a buggy with a child-minded child inside. Five minutes from my front door. I had to confront and overcome this “demon” quickly as my children still have to go to school, they need the routine that autism craves. We used different routes for a few months though and everything I was wearing that day was either charity-shopped or burnt, once the police returned it. I/We walk past that spot sometimes 3 times a day. It’s the reason I wear my ear worms if I’m walking on my own, because the music stops me thinking, wondering if whoever it was is still out there, waiting to assault someone else.
That “demon” I’ve told to p**s off, the first one is taking longer.
I’m married to a wonderful man, who’s parents were together for over 50 years and who only moved house twice in his life, once to start living with me and once more when we moved to our home to accommodate our growing family. He has lovely, happy memories of growing up, that’s what I want for T and D too.
Social media is very clever, we can all choose the image we want to portray. We choose the information that is sent out and choose who we want to see that information, within reason.
The loss of a life
Like many other parents, I felt extremely sad when I heard the news that Peaches Geldof has died and history was, apparently repeating itself, another generation losing their mother at a young age. The news that drugs have played a part only saddened me further. How sad that stories are now appearing concerning alleged addictions, what a shame that no one could successfully intervene whilst she was alive.
I guess the inner demons proved too powerful, overcoming any other reasoning.
I am not making any comparisons, please don’t think that I am. This is not a pity party, just a post that has been building up for a few weeks and one that has hopefully been a bit therapeutic, for me anyway.
Life is for living and here’s why, for me. My two little pickles, who don’t look like they have autism, until an anxiety overcomes them, but they do.
I am over the moon to be shortlisted in the Health category of the Brilliance In Blogging awards, it feels a natural place for my website as I’m always unsure where it “fits”
Please consider clicking on the badge below and scrolling down to category 15 and giving me (AutismMumma) a vote, before May 16th 2014, thank you.