By the age of eight years old, I had to figure out, quite abruptly and quickly I might add, how I was going to survive. Not physically; rather, mentally, emotionally and spiritually. I can’t recall what I did at that young of an age, but something existed within me that said, “No, you will not be beaten by this situation.” The situation was a stepfather entering the picture.
By age the age of 12, I can say that I was very good at hiding.
I would get up on weekends and in summers and do my daily three hour cleaning and gardening, then pack a drink, sandwich, some snacks and a portable cd player, and took off to the creek and small lake not far from our home (house, actually…two different things) as well as the empty bottomed-out river beds full of limestone.
I would have lunch down there, listen to music, wade in the water, and quite often I would take a book to read that day.
I was down there by 9-10:00 a.m. and would have to return home for dinner and cleaning afterwards.
Dinner was seasoned with nightmares – the kind that occur while you’re awake. I would get through all of that as soon as I was able and go to bed, pretending to sleep and blocking out screams with that blasted cd player. The bedroom door had no lock.
During the school year, I left for school early each day, offering the excuse I needed tutoring. I became involved in extra-curricular activities and sports so that I could go home later. As soon as I was legally allowed, I began working. And when all of that failed, when I was going to be stuck in the house alone with him (him is the stepfather) I hid in the bathroom acting as though I was sick, or taking a long time to get ready to go out somewhere, etc.
Ultimately, what I’m trying to say here is that in order to survive that time period of my life, I hid. I got to the point at which I excelled. At that point, it was a coping technique – a way in which I survived.
As an adult, is hiding the healthiest strategy? Probably not. However, you know what? It allowed me to survive. Currently, working on more healthy coping techniques.
Take care and treat each other with love, guys.🙏💛✌