It took all the strength I had not to fall apart

Fact 12: I’m a survivor of sexual violence.

Before I fact it up for today… can I just say how much I love “House”? Because oh my god I do. Hah. And for today’s fact – a warning. I’m sticking with the serious theme of facts I’ve been on lately.

Fact 12: I’m a survivor of sexual violence.

When I was 4 years old, an elderly lady owned the house next door. She often had Ricky, who lived down the street, come over to take care of her gardening — mow the lawn, keep the bushes trimmed, etc. One nice summer day, she was out at the store, I was playing in the front yard by myself when Ricky walked by. He invited me to help him with the plants in the backyard, and I decided it sounded like fun. I don’t know exactly how old Ricky was, but he was at least 10 years older than me. My neighbor had her backyard porch surrounded by a 8 or 10 foot wooden fence & bushes that were equally as tall, so if you were on the porch, no one could see you from any other yard. While we were back there, watering the bush beside her back door, he sexually abused me. I will leave out the graphic details, but it was mainly touching me in my private areas, and encouraging me to do the same to him — no intercourse. I kind of thought it was a game, but at the same time I knew there was something bad/wrong about it. I can only recall it happening that one time, but, he made me promise not to tell, and I didn’t, pushing the memory to the back of my mind.

When I was 13, my best friend (the one mentioned in fact 11) was dating a guy, Dan who lived two blocks over from us. The side of my house has a mini stone wall that juts out, so you can’t see the side of the house from the front. We had always played behind the wall for as long as I can remember, and I was back there one day when Dan cornered me. He started coming on to me, telling me how badly he wanted me, and attempted to rape me. I somehow managed to get away from him (my knee making contact with his groin helped my escape) and he stayed away from our block for a few weeks … he even broke up with Becky so he didn’t have to come around anymore. When he finally did come by again, he began to taunt me some, but he picked the wrong day to do that. He didn’t notice that I had been working on some wood — that I had a small handsaw in my hand. My previously mentioned time-bomb temper flared, and I took off after him, slashing at him with the saw. He managed to get away with only a few scrapes, and I got grounded for a month … but I still wouldn’t tell *why* I had attacked him — I thought if people knew what he had tried with me, that they would think I was “bad.” I did finally get some counseling a few years later, though.

I don’t know why you gotta be angry all the time

Fact 11: I almost killed my childhood best friend.

This ties into the entry from yesterday, to an extent. The reason I was medicated for my ADHD as a child wasn’t because the hyperactivity was too much to deal with, but that the impulsivity caused me to have a very short fuse, and I would lash out when frustrated, angered, etc. I’d have screaming fits, wrestling matches with my mother, throwing things (remotes, cups, etc), etc; all kinds of improper behaviors when angered. They’d been through several doctors trying to find a way to manage me before medicating me, trying to get a grip on my temper. One doctor even advised them to dump a soda over my head at the dinner table, when I had an outburst there!

One of the most potentially dangerous outbursts I had involved a disagreement with my best friend. I was roughly 9 at the time, I think. (I could be wrong.) She and I were playing with matchbox cars with my little brother in his room. We’d been in there a while when my mind wandered, and I noticed a wind chime my brother had in his room was broken, and I decided I had to fix it right then. I ran off and got a pair of pliers, then came back to start repairs. The light was off in the room because it was supposed to be nighttime in the game of cars, but I wanted it on so I could see what I was doing. That light sparked a big argument between Becky and I, and it came to blows. She was by far the stronger of the two of us, and had forced me down to the floor. I was talking back and tried to get up, so she kicked me in the nose, causing it to bleed. I managed to get up, grabbed the pair of pliers I had been using, and hit her over the shoulder as hard as I could. I wanted to hurt her as bad as I could, as bad as (if not worse than) she’d hurt me. That ended the fight, and she ran home. After she was complaining of hurting for a day, her parents took her to the doctor about her shoulder. The doctor informed her that I’d fractured her collarbone. He also told her that from the way I’d hit her, and how hard, if the pliers had been turned a fraction of an inch I could have killed her. I don’t know if that’s possible or he was just pulling her leg to scare the both of us.

I’m a lot better with my anger issues now. At least, I’m less likely to take them out on someone else. I’m more likely to internalize them and take them out on myself. It’s no healthier of a way to deal with them, but at least someone else doesn’t get hurt in the fall out?

Now that she's back in the atmosphere

Fact 10: I have ADHD.

I have a very very short attention span, and I get bored very easily. My mind wanders at the drop of a hat, and it’s hard for me to see thing through to completion. Hence, me already struggling with this meme, and I’m only on fact 10! 😉 I was diagnosed with ADHD back in mid-1983, and was put on Ritalin. (Back then, I was diagnosed as ADD, but what I have, today, is called ADHD Combined Type.) Yes, I was a Ritalin kid, but that was before it was so commonly over-prescribed like it is now.

I was only on Ritalin for about 9 months, until school ended for the year. My mom, brother, and I were going to England for a month (June 84), and my mom didnt want to mess with the prescription. (If I recall correctly, I would have run out mid-way through the trip, and the pharmacist wouldnt give us an advance on the next refill just because we were going to be out of the country.) I dont remember the reasons, but I went back on Ritalin for another year in 1987. Again, that only lasted the school year.

Like I started to describe at the last paragraph, Im pretty my textbook ADHD. Constantly fidgeting either my legs are bouncing, my feet tapping, hands moving, something. I have to be in constant motion. Im disorganized, cant focus, always restless, rambling, difficulty finishing what I start, and I take on too many projects at once. Im impulsive, hyperactive, …and probably repeating the same things over and over. Chalk that up to my easy distractibility. 😉

I often live in a little fantasy world in my head, because of the ADHD. My mind races through situations, reenacting things, creating ones, jumping from topic to topic and idea to idea. People sometimes have told me I seem standoffish, or like Im on a different planet. (My favorite to visit was always Pluto. Poor little guy.) And my mind already wandered too much to know where I was going with this paragraph. Yes, Im writingthis one kind of the way my mind works, which is jumbled and all over the place. Hah.