The idea of broken parts doesn’t seem to make sense as kids. In my life, the words weren’t part of the vocabulary. Unless we were speaking on something mechanical. Some kind of part was broken on an engine. There might have been a broken piece on my bicycle. A part needed replacing before advancement could be made. The broken parts on my mind today feel different from mechanical pieces. They have been pieces inside of myself, which got bent out of place. Like any broken piece, they seem to get worse over time. One broken cog inside the wheel could eventually impact the entire wheel. As to, the broken parts inside myself would continue causing destructive behavior. The only positive action to take was the seeking of help. These parts didn’t call for any specific tool. Such as the screwdriver that tightens a loose screw. Causing the squeaky wheel to heal with a couple of turns. The broken parts inside of me would require more time. Time of exploration to begin understanding how the broken parts came to be injured. There would be mounds of denial to attempt peeling back. Because as time went by, actions became adjusted to make up for broken parts. Unwanted aspects getting hidden from the world to the best of my ability. Behind those shadows appeared the troubles, with the shedding of light guiding me into important revelations. Helping me understand how to move forward.
Denting and dinging, leading to the breaking of valuable parts started early. Injury might start with a small dent here or there on the exterior. They wouldn’t be cutting deep into walls in the beginning. Those initial dents probably maintaining the ability to heal if spotted early. Everything introduced by the simplicity of uneasy emotions. Feelings letting me know something wasn’t remaining intact. The little dings were happening too early in life. Possibly before it was occurring to anyone that something was taking me sideways. Before long, there became evidence of building fear. The kind of fear where any kind of joy becomes stifled. It ends up enveloping every part of daily life. Causing feelings of isolation from the world around. Similar to keeping secrets, no one was supposed to learn. The hush of my feared world was slowly becoming complicated to maintain. The weekends holding the scariest of roles. Wondering all week if Friday and Saturday nights could be survived this time. It was these nights, each week, when overwhelming chaos entered into my life. When the emotion of abandonment was shown over and over again. Even with the tears of a child, leaving when darkness descended was acceptable. After all, the tears were falling from an overly emotional kid. The upsets were a direct reflection of my oversensitivity. The uncontrollable tears were my fault, not his.
The weeks had enough uncertainty for this boy. Junior high school had become challenging to navigate daily. Cerebral palsy was showing impact on my life more than before. Causing the development of an unhealthy strategy. The strategy of running away then, continues to impact aspects of life today. Back then, running was more of a literal action. Remembering being dropped off at school. Getting out of the car, only to turn, and begin walking down the road away from the school. It could be seen as the dramatic attempt at finding solutions. The solution for an overwhelming fear of entering those classrooms. Another day of feeling weirdly different from other kids. Cerebral palsy was slowing me down in ways seemingly all too real. Causing me to fall behind others in most every activity. No matter how much effort was being given. The growing disparity couldn’t be stopped. The feelings of desperation and isolation were creeping in, like small dings. There wasn’t much relief to be found from the troubling emotions. The optional places to fit into the social world were challenging to locate. With peers moving in every different kind of direction. It didn’t seem there was a direction for me to move. The feelings of victimization were entering my world. Anger toward everyone was taking flight, as the dents deepened. Causing an unshakable feeling of deep, persistent loneliness over being different.
Wondering where true happiness might originate. Most things around life took on feelings of sadness. Chaos was becoming part of every small window my eyes peered through. Without places to run and hide for safety. Presenting seemingly unmanageable challenges around dealing with social structure. My identity was turning into a daily attempt of survival. The joy of playing sports had dissipated with the accelerated ability of peers. While attempts of finding myself inside the academic landscape felt like they were being met with skepticism. As additional time was required to perform much of anything academically. For the first time, life felt desperately unfair. Longing so profoundly for the functionality seen everywhere my eyes ventured. The thoughts taking place inside my brain had me feeling unequal. Like cerebral palsy made me less than everyone else. The sadness and anger was turning small dents into more profound dings. Coming home from school, wanting to lock myself into my room. The first threats of my own being made to those around. Something negative would transpire if they didn’t allow me to be alone. There wasn’t anywhere for my anxiety to be released. The frustration with feeling like the weird kid was turning into anger. I didn’t know how to explain why my walking and speaking was different. It seemed easier to try ignoring the comments. Allowing myself to run away with untamed frustration with those who weren’t disabled. There didn’t seem to be much attempt at understanding my disability. My goal was attempting to fit in, like everyone else. But, the concept wasn’t going to work as planned. So, the frustration and anger continued to build.
There was a continuous feeling of being controlled. Cerebral palsy robbing the ability to feel physically free. It felt impossible to execute physical tasks to my liking. Looking around each day at school. Noticing the relative ease with which everything appeared to be happening. Things around me seemed to be moving so quickly. While my body was attempting to find an alternate way to perform the tasks being requested. Everyone was onto the next challenge being placed before them. The tasks were taking me so much more time to complete. Each instance my head raised up to look around, pings of frustration would flood my senses. The school days found me being behind at every turn. Leaving me, simply wanting to survive the physical challenges accompanying the day. The social aspect of those early junior high school days presented another obstacle. Feelings of being beyond the spectrum of acceptability to other kids. Left me, walking through the halls with my head slightly downcast. The anxiety of feeling isolated was often just below the surface. In my mind, looking down was blamed on the struggle with balance. Believing things would be made easier if my entire focus was planted on the surfaces ahead. But, peering downward wasn’t just about watching my next step. The action was also employed to avoid eye contact with those standing around or passing. Averting my eyes from accidently running into an inquisitive look. The possibility of someone who might point and stare. Which could be followed by a seemingly demeaning chuckle. Adding heartbreak to days already filled with feelings of unfairness. Even the innocently asked question about cerebral palsy caused unsettling emotions. Everything felt like it was a battle.
Questions from peers, surrounding cerebral palsy were challenging to handle. They became difficult to interpret. Leaving me wondering why the questions were being presented. There continued to be varied responses to my disability. Seemingly following me even to this day. Junior high being the first-time in memory that cerebral palsy became a bother. Snickers over the movements of my body, or mimicking the slurs in my speech were most impactful. Hurting me at the core over situations beyond my control. While the actions carried over to causing sensitivity relating to most anything about my disability. The most frightening part about those expressions of bullying became their unpredictability. Walking through the halls and sitting in class without an inkling of where the next painful message might originate. The unavoidable circumstances turning into emotions of almost constant fear. Fear over the emotional impact I struggled to handle. Running away from the potential of those happenings was the main tool developed. The threats of self-harm being borne in the midst of the unpredictably fearful world. Doing anything possible to escape the possibilities of experiencing emotionally harmful situations. My defensiveness over anything involving cerebral palsy had become so real. Even the innocent question about my physical movement or speech couldn’t be accurately received. It could send me into the downward tailspin. Cerebral palsy had me living in daily fear. I couldn’t find ways of easing the pain being endured at school. Anger was starting to become a controlling mechanism, as the dents were slowly giving way to pieces breaking.
Other moments during the week, only perpetuated the emotional harm. With the slow discover the themes like narcissism and objectification. School wasn’t the only place providing feelings of isolation. Male figures inside my life were slowly disappearing. Holding themselves away from being found for hours. Concentrating only on their narcissistic needs. The fear accompanying each day at school bled into the evening hours. When home was becoming stricken with emotional instability. The needs of one individual had become extremely important. An interference with the satisfying of those needs would be greeted with emotional harm. Causing an impact that continued the emotional harm experienced from school. While taking the impact to an even deeper level. There wasn’t any form of protection when bullying didn’t stop with the bell sending me home. But, this form of bullying took place through complete neglect of emotions. Rather than, the snickers, pointing, and questioning from earlier in the day. At least they were paying attention to me, even if through negativity. The amount of crying and pleading, attempting to gain emotional safety, couldn’t have mattered less. The only person capable of holding his attention wasn’t in the home. So, escaping became his mode of getting through the evenings and onto the next day. Resulting in the emotional feelings of objectification. His life would be improved without myself inside of it. The phone calls of worry, before he returned home late each night, going completely unanswered. They were most likely to be mocked and chuckled about. The first taste of feeling objectified. As I felt like no more than an inconvenience and oversensitive nuisance. The damage was taking place, as parts inside went from being dented to broken. Learning sensitivity wasn’t acceptable, but bullying and emotional abuse were perfectly okay. So, my anger had found the outlet it needed.
Life had divulged into a hellish place. Each day came accompanied with some kind of emotional pain. It could be pain endured at school. Revolving around something cerebral palsy was placing on my plate. Even if getting through school without emotional upset from my disability had occurred. Home was always providing further possibility for pain. When phone calls looking for him went unanswered, or secretaries lied about his whereabouts. Sometimes admitting his departure during the early afternoon. Only to result in my peering out the window in tears until he finally pulled in after the dinner hour with another excuse. Never comforting my worry for hours that something horrible might have happened. The fear and hurt from uncontrolled chaos spiraled into anger. Without the ability to comprehend the narcissism happening. It was far too much emotional abuse for anyone person to endure. With cerebral palsy only adding to the complications. The circumstances resembled being involved in emotional bondage to seemingly many individuals. Somewhere inside was jealousy over their ability for complete emotional control. Kids at school had their way of exercising emotional control. They had the ability to talk or snicker about cerebral palsy, causing upset so fierce, tears of anxiety would flow. Resulting in my tendency to run in teary frustration. The feelings of isolation were everywhere. All that made sense was desiring the kind of control they all seemed to exhibit. The ability to make people feel scared. At home, he was in such control of me, he would never be alone. Life was all about what he desired and I was learning how to put my anger to use. There was plenty of it building up inside. The parts finally became totally broken, I no longer could feel, or cared, who was getting hurt. I wanted to manipulate and control, so I wouldn’t be alone.
Out of all the emotional aching, seemed to come an addiction to objectification. Fueled by feelings too complex for my understanding. Today, it feels as though I began blindly following the pictures placed in my mind. As fuel to guard against becoming isolated in the future. It was the path he seemed to follow. Resulting in complete control of my emotions. So, it was about finding others who helped strengthen the beliefs he planted. If objectification and bullying was going to be on my doorstep. Then, it made sense as the way to conduct myself. There were little to no feelings of self-worth to be found anymore. Life was becoming a battle against emotional pain. The controlling of people through anger and manipulation would be my attempted social path. Objectifying their emotions with a never-ending series of assumptions. The listening had stopped because I already knew what they were thinking. They would be manipulated and bullied for their thoughts about my CP. Thoughts they wouldn’t be given the chance to share. I already knew they were going to bully me, making me angry. The assumption feed my justification for angry, controlling behavior. All perpetuating the bondage of control, allowing me to get away with whatever I wanted. Emotions of others didn’t matter much to me, the more pain inflicted, the more control gained. Understanding the dynamic, by feeling it in childhood. Playing the victim would draw people in, then seizing control with angry threats of harming myself. The vicious cycle of abuse working. Until the confluence of events began making things appear differently.
It became important to release my responsibility for the impact of cerebral palsy and his actions. There wasn’t anything that could have been done about those two concepts. Working harder at cerebral palsy improvement wouldn’t have made my disability go away. Being a better son wasn’t going to stop his abusive treatment. These were some of the parts inside that had become broken. The anger from them only seemed to be doing further damage. Closing off the air for self-worth to grow. While thoughts about myself declined. Concentrating on the years of pain endured during youth, led to mistreatment of others during adulthood. Until words began cutting through the anger and resentment. Helping me understand my effort needed to be increased. The only optional path to furthering the healing process. The fear being levied on me during childhood was similarly being applied to people I love through my actions. There wouldn’t be any way to understand how similar or different it might be. But, any form of anxiety over being around me started feeling harmful. Coming from emotional abuse, leaves me all too familiar with how it feels. Whether from the hallways of school, or his treatment inside the home. The permission to release myself from responsibility over the actions of other people changed the narrative. Allowing myself to let go of the pain and better understand my impact on others. Hopefully, over time the broken parts might be healed. Becoming part of the solution, rather than an instrument of further emotional abuse.
2 thoughts on “Broken Parts”
Your self awareness is amazing, Pete! I’m glad you have started to release yourself from the responsibility of other’s actions.