Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Skeletons can Leave Big Ole' Scars

Growing up... learning the many skeletons that may linger in your family closets, can give you that ah ha moment. Things can click together and make you "understand". They can give you that sense of figuring out the who what and why of things are the way they are.
They can also leave some scars.
The scariest skeletons are the ones that everyone doesn't want to talk about. The secrets.
They are the ones that can leave some of the deepest scars.
(I have a lot of skeleton scars... ).
I find it interesting how we discover some of the skeletons.

I had a Great Grandmother that I became close to. I would go over every week to visit her with my girls when they were little. She seemed quite comfortable with me and "shared" many stories and pieces of our history that I would never have imagined. Through her, I learned that she, her son, and her granddaughter all "had" to get married.  What? Oh my.. for her that was in the early 1900's, I imagine that was rather scandalous.
Another skeleton... She also "shared" secrets that she thought I might enjoy of how she and her friends would put the children down for bed and sneak down to the corner bar (yes while the children slept alone at home). As long as she got home before her husband, who worked 2nd shift. (Maybe that is why they divorced.)

I once gave my Mom one of those Memory Books to fill out and return to me.
Be careful for what you ask, you may not really want to know the answers. In this book I was told of a skeleton... 
Another Great Grandmother had a sister that was caught by her husband, with her ...lover. This Great Aunt & lover were shot & killed. Again early 1900's.   
Also mentioned in this Book is some of the abuse my Mother & her Mother endured from a Step-father she had for a short time.

Here's a  skeleton ... A cousin teen that can't fit in to the family (his father's idea's anyway), is left at the interstate by his father and told which way Indiana is, if he wants to try to find this side of the family. After hitchhiking over 1,000 miles this 15 year old found his way, but instead of a home with family, is taken to live in a home for runaways. I was grateful he spent weekends with us, but confused why he couldn't live with us...or one of the several aunts & uncles, or two sets of grandparents... 

I have mentioned family suicide attempts in previous postings. Of the ones I know of... an even dozen alone in my family, only one succeeded.  A horrible loss of a wonderful loving person. Truthfully I understand that kind of depression, after-all it seems to run in the family.  Growing up, knowing someone you love and depend on, that has tried to end their life is a confusing thing to understand, especially as a child. Especially when it becomes a skeleton in your closet. Who do you talk to and try to make sense of it all?

There are some evil skeletons of abuse and neglect.
The molesting uncle, a best friend (some best friend...likes to be inappropriate with besties daughters.).
The just turn and look away, forget trying to rescue and prosecute the bastard.

The financial scaring skeletons. Going without and too proud to ask for help...
Witnessing family fights. Verbal anger...
Tearing away at self esteem. Tearing apart values and understanding of what is "normal".

Have you ever witnessed someone you love suffer abuse and go back for more?  Think they are crazy? They probably aren't, they just live what they know. You wonder how someone can love an abuser? How could someone go from one abusive relationship to another? How can they understand it is an unhealthy relationship if they haven't experienced a healthy one?

I often find myself telling others, that are judging someone, without walking in their shoes, we can not possible understand. Things that happen to each of us, are experienced differently. Some of us are tough and can take more than others. While some are fragile and not able to cope with difficult things.

I don't think people fully understand how Skeletons often follow that person, through out their lives. They sometimes fade, but often never completely go away.  If you are lucky you learn how to control and cope. How to use these experiences as just that. Experiences that mold and create who you are... and who you are not.

Sometimes I remind myself that there are reasons for everything and we may not understand why good people, why innocent children, or random people are chosen to endure what they sometimes do, whereas  evil people seem to get through without a scratch. It doesn't make sense, but it isn't my job to question, curse or analysis they whys.

My job.. is to stay focused on what happens to me. How I handle things. How I process things. How I can turn things that may appear a negative into a positive. I have seen too many people I love let the past, and even the present overwhelm and be too much. I have seen it destroy not only their lives but those that love them. A vicious cycle with no end. I want to be the example of how to make things better for others. I want to make others proud. I want to live the life God has chosen for me, with no regrets, no questions to the plan He has for me to walk.


Shawn P. said...

Great blog, honest, well written open communications. Thanks for sharing and stimulating our own lives as it fits.... Shawn P.

Linda said...

Every family has skeletons. You might recall the story on my blog a year or two ago about my Great-Uncle who shot and killed a man during the 1920s in a real estate deal gone bad and who, though acquitted, ended up killing himself via cyanide a couple of years later. Then there's my Aunt, who was raped under sedation while at the dentist and her son who was the result of that rape. Some people though are able to just move along and not think about these things too much, whereas others may dwell on them more. I actually find all of these stories quite fascinating and view them more as an interesting history, rather than skeletons.

While I have my own experiences with depression, I am learning more and more that I am actually a pretty positive person who chooses to look beyond what happened in the past. I have to. I have my own skeletons - a'hem, Jim and I met online, remember, and I was not divorced when that happened....

Yes, I believe we all have our history and that with God all things are possible to overcome. :)

Praying for you and am glad I know you.


Vanna said...

Janis, i'm sending you love from Houston.

Although I enjoyed your post today I should have listened to the posted warning and not read it. Reading this has made me think of all the skeletons on my side of the family, and some of them are too deep and horrific to speak about (hense why I pay so much in therapy). But one part of this blog (abuse) made me think of Kelley (Uncle David and Aunt Debbies daughter)and all the abuse she suffered from her ex husband. I saw the aftermath and listened to Candice say things that she witnessed at her VERY young age. We all not knowing how it feels thought Kelley was crazy to go back to him after she left the hospital, but you are right, we just can not understand unless we have walked in those shoes. Now that she has left him and married a wonderful man she has healed and so have her children. Some people in that situation are just not able to do that unfortunatly. Everyone heals different from their scars, I am still trying to learn how to heal from mine.

Reality Jayne said...

Yes....All humans have skeletons...Physical and mental.
Some worse than others. Pain and suffering is human, and so is sin. Which everyone is guilty of.........I know i am not perfect, and skeletons?......I have lots. But I try to just live the best i can and make the most of what i learned from the bad. I know i make fun and take jabs alot ,but that is me
I hope you are feeling well and i still do wish to meet up for a cup of joe at some point...

Scott said...

Wow! You certainly have some incredible stories to share. I know my family has skeletons, too (e.g. the horse theif great grandfather, the aunt whose husband moved to Ohio and married someone else while skipping that little thing called a divorce, a family member institutionalized) but nothing on the scale of your family. Is my family more stable? I doubt it very much, I think they are just more tight-lipped and I never learned about it. As the family "genealogist" I like these stories because they add color to the family history, but I only want to see them in the past. I would hate to see a beloved family member going through such trials. Thanks for your openess.

Julie Harward said...

Thanks for your visit. And all I can say is...I am glad that God is the judge..I trust him to make everything and everyone right. :D

rosaria said...

Oh yes! Skeletons exist in every family. We wouldn't be human, otherwise.
Think, you don't have to invent any stories at all; you could write your novels jus by tweaking some family skeletons.

Mark Pressley said...

We all got-em, I do struggle with the line everything happens for a reason when discussing an innocent child though.

Nice blog!

Mark Pressley said...

The last two comments I left you on post are gone and the last one you left me on "Spiders" is too?

Any way the jest was good post.