Looking For Gold
We all break at some point in our lives. Unfortunately for me, mine came much too soon and for all the world to see. It began very early with the silent and subtle hairline fissures inflicted deep within me from the invisible wounds of my childhood. I grew up in a family where the state of my existence in a large part was much like that of a quantum particle. Popping in and out of reality only when I was observed or measured in the eyes of others.
And in those times in between when I wasn’t I felt like Schrodingers’s Cat suspended in a never world of quasi existence. Feeling transparent most of the time had its uses though. As it allowed me to quickly disappear back into my own imaginary world whenever my father erupted into one of his temper tantrums immediately followed by the emotional hole he crawled into. Each time however it would cast such an oppressive pall over my whole family. Naturally, I quickly learned to walk on egg shells around him hoping to avoid setting off another one of his emotional bomb shells.
As if by some invisible force my family seemed to be held captive in a union of co-conspirators living under an oath of silence. Nothing was ever overt or transparent in my family, every important discussion and decision was made under the cloak of secrecy which was in fact the permanently closed door of my parents’ bedroom. It’s so strange to describe but I really struggle to recall a real heart to heart with either one of my parents. We could talk about intellectual topics but anything to do with our feelings was virtually taboo. I suppose because my sister Glennis and I excelled academically my parents must have assumed that our lessons we learned at school would be sufficient enough for us to get ahead in life. It was like growing up with your neighbors, you know, like discussing the weather or the latest news or sports score… Ironically nothing has changed… It still remains just the same today….
Through the power of my family’s subconscious agreement to uphold the silence and keep the secrets locked away from us was definitely a psychologically toxic environment which could only sow the seeds of a similar kind. Surrounded by the many whispers and the constant secrecy of my parents meant one thing to me, there must be a lot to be afraid of. Using the pretence of protecting us from the world they actually made me more fearful of it. This whole element of fear which I grew up in was so very implicit and subtle. It was so intangible in nature but nevertheless pervasive and real to me. Nothing was directly implied or expressed I simply picked it up by osmosis. Not once was I ever threatened or physically mistreated but then again it was completely unnecessary as obedience was in my DNA.
This unspoken and unaddressed fear which took up permanent residence within me was so insidiously dangerous because it festered far below any level of my conscious awareness. So much so that when I was only 3 I fell off a table which I had just climbed onto and in the process broke my left elbow in 2 places. Instead of running to my mother I immediately rushed off and hid fearing that I would be in trouble. My mother eventually found me whimpering in a closet with my left arm dangling down at a strange angle…