My whole life I struggled with anxiety or as I call it now the Dragon. As a child I never realized that the dragon was there. Well maybe at first but as time went on I became conditioned to the dragon. I accepted it and it became part of my life. To this day I cant say for sure when it started some say its genetic others say its brought on by trauma either physical or emmotional.
What I can say is that I believe at least most if not all is a direct result of my childhood. My parents argued alot it was never physical between them but when me or one of my three brothers did something wrong the punishment was ten time severe then it should have been. I guess I can sum it up like this.
I have two children a daughter who is eighteen and a son who is thirteen. In all the years of raising them I can count on one hand how many times I spanked them so far. As for me and my brothers I cant begin to tell you how many times belt marks were left on us or how many times we had our mother march us down to a tree and we had to pick our own switch for our impending punishment. Now dont get me wrong I believe in disciplinary action. But considering my own two children’s history and my own I can see the dragon began to emerge around this time in my childhood.
By the time I was five my brothers were in and out of the house. All three were older and so there were long periods of what I call the only child syndrome. During this time my parents would argue pretty much on a regular basis. Names were called and I was between them. My mother would pack her things and take off a hundred miles away to my grandparents in southern Ohio usually in the summer to escape my father which she blamed for everything. This was a good time no arguing and I could be a kid again if not for the first time.
But eventually either my father would come to get us or my mother would go back due to a lack of money and the cycle would start over.
As time went on and as I look now I realized that I was feeding this dragon this anxiety. I was numbing myself,slowly conditioning myself that the way my parents acted was ok and it was normal. The feeling of fear right before the belt or switch hit me became normal.
I never knew it was wrong I honestly thought It was ok to feel this way so I started to suppress my feelings. This occurred so long ago and I transitioned into it that I cant give you an exact time period. Of course I had some feelings but most disapeared. Crying was a rare thing I just went numb.
As my teen years progressed I spent less time at home but the mental abuse I had seen and the physical abuse I endured was still in the back of my mind. I didnt know it and even now I am not completely able to talk about how this traumatic childhood shaped some deep psychological issues that linger to this day. Perhaps in a future post I will be able to share some of these things but for now they will sit in my closet of skeletons.
Anyway as I stated the teen years came by now I was interacting with other my age. I found this to be difficult I had trouble conversing and yes even today I still have these issues. My parents were very strict christians I was forced to walk a very narrow line. More on religion later but for now it was so narrow that by the time I was twelve anxiety started to show its ugly head and by the 5th grade I was put into a very small private Christian school. We had moved further into the country by this time and I had no real friends for years and I became my own best friend and developed a wild imagination to entertain myself. I became that awkward weird child no one wanted to associate with.
At the time I had no idea what was lurking inside me. This emotional fear controling monster this dragon. But as I reached the age of sixteen and started driving and working some of those fears went away or so I thought.