It has been two days since Angel has gone away.
I no longer have anger, that has dissipated into a sadness of sorts..an emptiness..
I decided to make a list of all of the things taken away. Most were directly related to Matt, some indirectly.. I thought that maybe then you would understand why I feel this way.. No one understands.. Maybe my younger brothers.. But these things are too painful to talk about.
The items on this list are things that were taken away, some things forever and some just for a little while.
Things taken away/prohibited items:
- Christmas trees
- Candles (only allowed on birthday cakes)
- Hair spray
- Nail polish
- Anything scented, such as shampoo or lotion.
- Tooth paste, for awhile we were only allowed to brush our teeth by dipping our brush into peroxide then baking soda.
- House pets
- House plants
- Cleaning products
- Auto exhaust, the cars had to be parked at the bottom of the driveway so the fumes would not come into the house. All clothes items with exhaust fumes had to be removed before entering. All windows needed to be closed if the wind was blowing exhaust fumes towards the house from the road. Following semis was prohibited on the highway.
- We got rid of our wood furnace because it was too toxic
- Curtains; curtains contain formaldehyde. The curtains were removed and replaced by old blankets.
- My dolls, they were taken away for a semester in grade school because I couldn’t focus and got bad grades.
- Dairy products, Matt’s food was separated from ours and we were not allowed to eat his. We generally didn’t have snacks, sweets, or foods with artificial colors (anything unhealthy) in the house.
- Napkins, they make Matt gag.
- Lawn mowers, for a time we had to use a non-gas push mower because of exhaust fumes.
- School, we were home schooled for 3 years when Matt’s behavior was too violent to attend school. He had a teacher come to our house.
- All childhood friendships.
- The ability to relax and feel safe.
- Time and attention.
- Getting my medical needs met. Matt’s needs were more urgent and important. He required hospital stays, doctor trips to specialists across and out of our home state, which brought on a lot of medical expenses.
- Family vacations, technically I never lost this because we never had this.
- The use of pesticides of any kind. We were not allowed to wear bug spray. The use of wasp spray was strongly discouraged. The local farmers were told to call us an hour before spraying their fields. After they called, we had an hour to pack our bags and head up north or to grandmas to hide out for a couple of days. If they didn’t call before spraying, we would lock down our house for 2 days or until it rained. Rain purified the air from chemicals.
- Going out to eat as a family, I don’t remember this ever happening.
- Having both parents attend events because someone had to stay behind and care for Matt.
- The freedom to live like a regular teen. I spent my time as a caregiver. I even gave my brother showers.
- Permanent markers, glue, stains, and paint.
- Bleach, fabric softener, and dryer sheets. I had to scrub my brothers dirty socks in vinegar or lye.
- Anything new, new items had to gas out their fumes before being allowed in the house. We also had to run an air purifier and sometimes Matt needed to wear a charcoal mask if there were still toxins in the air.
- Newspapers, they had to gas out before coming into the house.
- Pipes, my dad used to smoke a pipe in the 70’s every once in awhile. That was no longer allowed.
- Teflon coated pots and pans.
- Strong emotions, that set Matt off.
- The ironing of clothes.
- Toys or plastics with toxic scents.
- Sometimes we would leave to go somewhere, then have to turn around and come back home because Matt would have a meltdown.
- I had to drop out of a play I was in because Matt was in the hospital.
- Having my boomboxes destroyed.
Then there were other things…things not easily categorized. Sometimes Matt would run away from home. He would run off into the woods and we couldn’t find him. He would hurt himself and hurt us. We have bled and were bruised. He turned on the water faucets and flooded the house. He kept my brothers up at night and sometimes slept all day. He would have uncontrollable fits of rage.
People called Matt demon possessed..
That is why I hated my life. I wanted to be normal, boring even..
Is there anyone out there who understands?? Anyone at all? I didn’t think so. I feel so all alone.
There are just some demons that can’t be outrun.
I can never look back and consider anything about my childhood normal. Looking back is painful. I avoid telling people about this part of my life..
Why am I telling you?
I want someone to understand my tears.
But more than anything, I would love to erase it all and pretend none of this ever happened.