The Hell to Pay

Last night I had a long involved flashback.

Blame it on Mozart.

I haven’t watched an opera in over 25 years.

Nor sat in a theatre.

And suddenly for a part of me those 25 years never happened, because that part stayed cryogenically frozen.

The part that somehow existed independent of the family from middle class, respectable hell.

I loved theatre, opera, music, literature, architecture, figure skating.

That part of me wasn’t very happy, but it had hopes, dreams, ambitions.
That part had preferences, tastes beyond survival.
That part could use leisure to advantage.
That part could and would listen to opera or choral work and soar with every note, learning to fly slowly on the same wings, aided by an alto/mezzo voice that had world class potential. I was marked as “gifted” intellectually, but the voice was the gift I had that was just for me.

The “world class potential” was not interesting to me, the possibility of perfecting it, and pushing the range into full soprano, with the power to fill an auditorium was.

The power to fly.

Now all that is left is like a scratched 78 rpm record. Choked and cracked, for almost all the time between, it’s mostly a mental block, I’ve come across it in one other person.

Last night even snubs and faux pas (I had many) over a quarter of a century old, were as fresh as yesterday, things any other middle aged woman would not even remember, still crushing and unresolved.

For all the time in between I have been thrust behind the glass wall, into the world best described by author Andrew Vachss. Where the only aspiration is survival, and there are no rules and no shelter, except from those who draw close to you, yet, for me, made worse by a complete lack of the interactive skills that would have drawn anyone close.

From there I was allowed no way back, because there IS no way back.

I don’t care who wants to try to contradict that I’ve been there, and spent a quarter century looking for a way back, and I know.

No way back to the world, no way back to my self, no way back to my potentials, hopes, dreams.


Because I left, aged almost 14 I broke all the rules and rejected the “respectable, middle class family” who destroyed me slowly as part of their way of life.

I left because I would not have survived another summer there and I knew it.

Which rather negated the scholarship education*, the singing lessons. How much I had wanted those things did not count, because the price would have been my life.

I tried to do it legally, asked for help, even ran into a police station distraught one night, genuinely too scared to go home, and asked to be taken into state care for my own protection.

I was all but laughed at.

People knew, I was seeing a psychiatrist who knew enough, and covered it all up.

I was beaten up by my father every Saturday, without fail, and as I grew older it was escalating, it wasn’t just Saturdays, but the Saturday beating was one I could count on (the ice skating on Sunday covered much) and in the time in between…..

….I never knew what it was to be loved, cared about, the quantity and consistency of the verbal abuse, lies and mind games was awesome. There are forms of brainwashing, and psychological interrogation techniques that are kinder and milder, most cults are far more rational.

Yes I have explored some strange avenues try to find an equivalent as a jumping off point from which to unravel the mess and undo the damage.

Trust was unthinkable in that house, a form of self inflicted injury.

Underneath the appearances, in that house I was a servant to be used and abused, a whipping boy to be punished and ultimately sacrificed.


So I left…..

……and the system “processed” me……

By stealing my life, my identity and thrusting me behind that glass wall with no way back.

The fact that my family were “connected” enough to cost a Social Worker his job, and determined enough to try sealed my fate.
My family went on using “the system” as a tool of abuse for decades, remorselessly, as for some time before they had used it as a threat…..

…..and the system was easy to use that way. Even without the “special circumstances” of my family, I watched helpless as that same system ground one young innocent life after another into dust before my eyes, as an inevitable by product of it’s modus operendi.

I never found anyone who came through the system whole, or came out at the
adult end without terrible damage.

So I paid, and I go on paying…..

For the sickness and callousness of others.

  • There is no excuse, not for abuse, nor for callous indifference.
  • There is no excuse for anyone who makes generic claims that the victims are, in effect, as bad as the perpetrators.
  • There is no excuse for those who understand our damage and vulnerability and exploit it.
  • There is no excuse for claiming that we seek and crave that exploitation.

Does it occur to anyone that from outside the social networks into which humanity pours the best of itself there IS no perceptible difference between the psychopath and the normal?

They refuse to see beyond or outside the “charmed circle” they live within.

We are not disordered, we are clinging by our fingernails to a partial survival, mental, physical, emotional and spiritual, as the only way of life we are allowed.

There is not enough room to maneuver to allow for anything as complex as
a pathology.

The theories take every factor into account except reality.

Implied stigmatisation is an effective and impenetrable shield against any attempt reality makes to intrude.

Whereas we the victims/pariahs/outcasts can never hope to escape reality.

We pay, and we go on paying…….

*If anyone ever checks, and you SHOULD check all the life stories given out in this issue, I am happy to provide my specific details to the school, upon request.


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