It wasn’t a good weekend for me. At least at night it was not very good. Had my lucid dreams about my past. But it was Sunday night after I woke up from the dream that it really hit me hard. When the key was revealed was to me.
To most people it would just be a brown bucket with a white lid. Not anything like a key at all to them. But to me in my mind it is a key. A key to memories that have laid dormant for so long. Not only memories but emotions also I felt at the time.
It is the key because it was there or symbolized the worse parts of my childhood. It would sit between the bathroom dresser and the wall. Often hidden from view when the bathroom door was open. When the bathroom door was shut though it was something I would see.
Something I would see as I was on my hands and knees on the floor with my father. The anger I felt not only about what my father was doing to me, but the fact that I didn’t do anything to stop it. Just looked at the bucket.
Later when that stopped and my fear of bathrooms took hold it held something. That was where the soiled underwear from me was put until it could be washed. Often reminding me by its smell of how much a coward I was for not using public bathrooms. That I rather piss and shit myself than walk through the door and use the facilities.
Even later as I grew up and it became a less of a problem, it was there to remind me of how much of a coward I was inside. Given that mom never threw out anything, it was still there to remind when I come home and use the bathroom. It was only when I move to Australia and rarely came home that I would no longer be reminded by that bucket.
But now that the bucket is back in my thoughts through the dreams, I don’t feel the same anymore. It is just a bucket. There was nothing I could do about what my father was doing to me. He was so much stronger than me. I was just a young kid. I learned fast that telling anyone about what was happening was a waste of time. No one believed or cared about was happening to me.
The same thing with my fear of public bathrooms. I had good reason to be fearful and exposed in them. If my father would do what he did to me in a bathroom, what would some stranger do to me. There was no way I was going through that again. Just deal with my bodily functions and my hygiene the best I could.
I had to deal with the fear the best I could. When I became a adult, I could have gone to therapy to help deal with the fear. But what would be the point? Eventually it would come up in therapy about what my dad did to me and that was the basis of my fear. Another fear would come up that I wouldn’t be believed again and my fear was groundless.
So I did deal with that fear the best I could. Found ways to feel safe and eventually have the fear lost its power over me. Now as I look back at those memories using the key, I do so with a better understanding and empathy for what was going on. There was nothing I could do about my father. That my fears where justified and it was not a reflection of my character.
Just a person dealing with traumatic events the best they could. That I did deal with them and made something for myself. Probably not anything that books will be written about or anything like that. But to me it was something to be proud about not shameful. To go from being on the floor on my hands and knees to where I am now is something. That I do have strength of character to make it as far as I did.