Hiding and Survival

HIDING ~ 7.31.18

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.

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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.🙏💛✌

6 thoughts on “Hiding and Survival

  1. Excellent post Jen. Hiding for a child is usually a fun game they play. I’m sorry your case it was to survive, however I am so glad you learned and survived. I don’t think that as an adult, hiding is necessarily a bad thing either. If you need a mental pause or just can’t deal at the present moment with a person or situation – hide if you must. The difference to me is how long you choose to hide. Taking a few moments to collect yourself and decide how to proceed is still ok in my book. I believe that you did indeed learn some healthy coping back then – seeking nature/water to soothe you, losing yourself in music and reading…all you still do today 😊

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    1. Yes. I was talking with my husband a few weeks back about the very point you made about me growing to love those things – like water and gardening – even in adulthood and that it helps me smile and feel calmer.

      Did you do anything like that in your childhood that stuck with you even into adulthood?

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      1. Water has always soothed me as well. Spent a big big part of my childhood playing in creeks and in/on ponds and lakes. Writing/journaling has been my savior in life since 1983, and even before actually. I have every journal I’ve written in since the 1983 one. I also grew up working in vegetable and flower gardens – though I don’t grow veggies, I go to the Farmers’ Market for them, I do have flowers and plants. I have always, always always loved photography and making videos.

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    2. My therapist said the same, by the way. What you said about the *hiding* still being of benefit in adulthood and okay.

      I think you’ve helped me distinguish here. I mean that I can’t hide, avoid and run. But to use it as you said, more of a “pause, recollect and then act,” I think can be healthy.

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