Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Summertime Blues

I have been reading several bloggers who have mentioned summer being a tough time in their childhood (Beauty & Cassie to name two). It was in mine too. Summer is when the bad abuse happened (as if there is any good abuse?) Summer means so many things to abuse survivors - often not good things.

Summer means a change in routine. Routine is important. I timed my alarm clock specifically to awaken at a certain time when I knew I could run through the shower quickly. If my sister and I conflicted over the shower, then a fight arose, which caused Mom or Toilet (or both) to start knocking on bathroom doors and turning off water - which was majorly triggering. In a normal house, we might have left the door unlocked and Sister and I shared. For many years I woke at 5:30 to shower and then went back to bed for another hour.

Summer means the pool and sunbathing. It means never getting to fully relax in the sun. Having to be on guard with eyes half slit to see who might be coming home or watching. I relished the trips to the Lake because I could truly relax in the sun and on the water, with nothing more sinister to worry about than a cousin who might splash water on me.

Summer means shorts and short sleeves. These mean access. 'Nough said.

Summer means no school. It means being at home more. Toilet was a truck driver most of the time. A school bus driver other times. Summer meant being at home with him, often alone.

Summer means beer. Not sure why that is. But summer means drinking more beer. More beer means less control means more abuse.

Summer means hot weather. We often didn't have the money to turn on the AC. So you couldn't bundle up or be under covers. And you either left the bedroom door open and window open, or sweltered. I often sweltered. Summer means the windows are open. Which means conversations normally held in private can be overheard by lurkers at the window.

On the other hand, summer also meant going to the lake. Being able to structure my day around Toilet's schedule. Being able to stay outside when he was home and sleep when he was gone. Summer meant being able to live at friends' houses without regard for schooling. It meant being able to spend the day in the woods, reading books and being safe. It meant camping trips, which I enjoyed. When I was older, it meant having a job and not being home.

Even though there were some positives, the big issue is that summer means a change in routine. That was a big deal as a child.

Now summer also means changes in routine. I don't do well with routine disruptions. Munchkin was to play T-ball. I got my mind around that and the effect on our schedule. Then she broke her foot which means no T-ball. Husband typically plays church softball but is not this year - he's playing basketball at the church instead. Basketball is on Tuesdays which is typically my free night, instead of Monday which is his. We have the windows open which means different noises. Then we shut them and have the AC on, which is a different noise. The attic fan cuts on and is loud. It makes me jump. There are new wardrobes. New chores - I have to accomodate Husband mowing. He has to accomodate me taking care of the flowers. This being the first year with Bugaboo means we have to adjust again. It's the little things like this that throw me for a loop.


Cassandra said...


I totally understand what you are saying and in reading your post about summer and all of the changes that happen. Id neglected to realize or remember some of them as I posted earlier on my blog. Im sorry that summer is a hard time for you also, but in some small way neither of us are alone and I can take some comfort away from that and I hope that you can too.


Anonymous said...

I always greet summer with mixe emotions. On the one hand my wife is off from teaching school! Yaaayy!

On the other hand I see (in my mind's eye) all these little children flying unaccompanied to the non-custodial parent's home... where they are more like strangers than children.

Just my opinion.

Ethereal Highway said...

It's amazing how often it is the 'little things' in life that set us off.

jumpinginpuddles said...

we also have problems wit hthe warmer months and now we are in winter we relax a bit more.
We definately got the lack of clothes bit which is why we love feeling jumpersn ad jeans on

Enola said...

Mssc - from my years doing custody work I saw way too much of what you mentioned. Sometimes it's the fault of the custodial parent moving away and other times the non-custodial parent. In any event, it's the kids that suffer.

Anonymous said...

I find transitions and change challenging, too, especially when unexpected.

beauty said...

Summer, blah!

Paul said...

Enola. Great post. And I'm glad I found your blog. Yes, change is difficult. I so experienced that on Tuesday when the weather here was in the 90s. I had huge problems with it. It was like I was on some other planet. This past weekend was also warm and I suddenly realized that my "cold weather" excuse I had for staying inside really wasn't valid anymore. But I wanted to stay inside. I think I have Summer Affective Disorder! ARGH!!! Paul

Mary said...

I agree with you that summer can be a hard time,I used to feel that way too, too many bad memories..take care..Mary

austin said...

the noises would get to me. if there's always a new noise to get accustomed to i'd be on edge and never relax.