Stonger at the broken places?

When I write, “I laughed so hard my ribs hurt,” I am not kidding.

My ribs break very easily.

When they say you are stronger at the broken places, well, they are wrong.

My annual breast exams had always been complicated.

I have what they called, ‘dense breasts’.

It was not until I had insurance that my ‘dense breasts’ became more complicated than that.  At the free medical clinics the doctors, bless them, have little time to do more than a cursory exam.

Docs who are getting paid can order Tests. After a series of x-rays and an ultrasound My ‘dense breasts’ turned out to be covering layer upon layer of scar tissue. My ribs had been broken so many times that the scar tissue built up and could be felt through my breasts.

That lump which worried my doc and terrified me was nothing but scar tissue;

scar tissue on top of scar tissue on top of…

Nothing but scar tissue on top of scar tissue.

Thats all.

“You might want to ask your parents what happened. I have never seen an x-ray like this one.You broke your ribs..you  broke your ribs over and over.”  said the doc.

When you grow up with alcoholics you tend to block out parts of memory.

Memory.

The thing of life, the building block of the past and the stairway to a future.

When you grow up with alcoholics you don’t have the luxury of memory.

I did not have any very clear memory until 5th grade. I knew this and had come to realize, that most people had memories that started earlier. In therapy I had just begun to consider that there was something there.

I had more pressing issues to deal with at the time;  like my drinking. I was in therapy because I was a drunk; a very highly functioning drunk like everyone else in my family.

The difference was that I would do anything I needed to do to be anything but       just like them.

I asked my dad about the scar tissue, in passing, over the phone. My father began to cry and could not continue our conversation. He hung up.

He called back later.

“I got the call while I was on the road. The hospital was holding you and your sister and you would not be released until I arrived. I knew you were accident prone, Honey, I knew that. And I knew it wasn’t true. Your mother, your mother never held you. I could never understand that.”

Social services was called because my mother had been bringing me in to the emergency room on a fairly regular basis. I had so many X-rays that they felt I could not take more radiation without it causing damage.

They suspected child abuse.

My mother waited in the lobby for my father to arrive.

In my mind’s eye, I can see her;

outfit from Montaldo’s, Chanel lipstick and handbag at her side

reading  Vogue and smoking her cigarettes.

My mother was gorgeous and elegant.

My  elegant mother beat me.

My father quit his executive position at Texaco. He came off the road and bought a gas station with a house next door. We moved away and started over.

Or really,  we started. My life began.

I do have memories;

a door, concrete steps,

falling…

I am not stronger at my broken places.

I am just angry.

~ by Step On a Crack on September 12, 2011.

12 Responses to “Stonger at the broken places?”

  1. I love this part. You think that’s why your dad came off the road?

    I asked my dad about the scar tissue, in passing, over the phone. My father began to cry and could not continue our conversation. He hung up.

    He called back later.

    “I got the call while I was on the road. The hospital was holding you and your sister and you would not be released until I arrived. I knew you were accident prone, Honey, I knew that. And I knew it wasn’t true. Your mother, your mother never held you. I could never understand that.”

    Social services had been called because my mother had been bringing me in to the emergency room on a fairly regular basis. I had had so many X-rays that they felt I could not take more radiation without it causing damage. They suspected child abuse.

    My mother waited in the lobby for my father to arrive. In my minds eye, I can see her; outfit from Montaldo’s, Chanel lipstick and handbag at her side while she read Vogue and smoked her cigarettes. My mother was gorgeous and elegant. My elegant mother beat me.

    My father quit his executive position at Texaco. He came off the road and bought a gas station with a house next door. We moved away and started over. Or really, we started. My life began.

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  2. Yep. I know that after social services threatened to take us out of the home Daddy knew he needed to be home more. He was on the road all the time, literally. Daddy told me when he finally told me about the emergency room visits that he began to notice that mommy never touched us, or talked to us or got any joy out of us. He knew he needed to be around more. Reading old letters, I realized this is about the same time his mother, Mona, threatened to take custody of us. I know now that being a social worker, Mona would have noticed and been able to identify abuse. When he and mommy would fight about Mona and her threats, my dad never took my moms side. As a kid I wondered why he would think it would have been OK for Mona to take us to Los Angeles. I also suspect that the rift between his dad and he had more to do with Daddy staying with Mommy than with him leaving Texaco. I think that was a red herring. Now it makes sense. Daddy told me that growing up his mom would often show up from work with kids. She would ignore paper work and protocol when kids were in danger and just bring them home until she found a safe place for them. Mona may not have been a good mom but she was a Good Woman. The apple did not fall far from the tree there.. ehh?

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  3. Even tho I knew, I didn’t. Now we can say that with you, the apple does not fall anywhere in the same universe as the tree.

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  4. Keep it up!

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  5. Trish, You have NO idea what your words mean to me! Thank you from the bottom of my heart. You, my friend, have been here every step of the journey with my mom. I am grateful to you for your Love and Presence. ROC on! : ) xxx Jen

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  6. […] PTSD – Post Traumatic Stress Syndrome; I earned this Beast the hard way.. […]

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  7. […] I have a childhood of blackout. […]

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  8. […] before too many broken bones were shattered. […]

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  9. […] Stronger at the Broken Places? […]

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  10. […] Stronger at the Broken Places? […]

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