For a very long time, I have always believed that I am beyond my years. This basically implies that I feel, see and am older than my age. I watched a Facebook live today of a girl who went on her platform and was incredibly angry but needed to address her Father about how she had 27 years worth of anger built up inside of her and that she was completely over the way that he would rub that in her face, instead of supporting her and her journey to recovering from the mental and emotional abuse. This struck a nerve with me and I found myself tearing up, because she spoke about how he would constantly blame her mother for brainwashing her against him and that he had tried to reach out multiple times, only to be rejected. She spoke about how he was abusive both mentally and physically and basically rejected her throughout her life. This has been titled what it has because after watching that, I felt like I needed to write something on my own platform about me and MY STORY, so here goes. . .
I would have been about 7-8 when I asked my mum why we kept coming back, to which she would reply saying something along the lines of “because he’s your father, I love him and he loves us”, I clearly remember me looking at her and saying “you don’t do these things to people that you love”. I hadn’t even hit double digits yet but I knew that what I was experiencing as a child and what my family was experiencing was NOT normal and was most definitely not LOVE. It broke my heart to think that this is what I was being role-modeled as love. Do we hit the people that we love? Do we let the people we “love” feel scared in their own homes? None of that makes sense to me and I suppose my idea of love has always been tainted. I should have been worrying about running around too much and triggering my asthma OR whether the fucking feijoa tree was fruiting, yet here I was at the tender age of 7-8 worrying about whether I was going to be sleeping in my own bed or in the back of the car because we had to run away again. I spent so much of my childhood between the ages of 0-10 traveling between Dargaville and Auckland, as well as other places occasionally such as Whangarei. I remember having to fly down to Palmerston North to a Women’s refuge and my siblings, mum and I were there for literally one night and one day and then we had to leave again. I remember attending school down there for one day. I had been to at least 5 different primary schools within the North Island and the first 10 years of my life. To me that shit is insane and I can only imagine how much harder or how much different I would be today if that had continued to be my life going into intermediate and high school. As a child, I was constipated and I didn’t quite understand why I refused to go to the toilet and as I got older and grew out of it, I think I began to realise and understand that it was how I used to deal with the trauma I had been exposed to. I quite often laugh about it now and make comments like “I am not shitting, this is the only thing I can control” and although I laugh about it now as an adult, it was very much my coping mechanism and how I chose to deal with my life as a child because this was the one thing I could control. The older I got as well, I then put up a mental block in regards to what I saw happen to my family and so now some things are a blur to me and the majority of things I remember about my childhood were incredibly traumatising.
I just want to get something off of my chest as well, whilst I am here writing heart on my fucking sleeve, my father only ever hit me ONCE. Which may seem like I never really experienced anything, however, my Mum and Older Brother were at the hands of my dad’s wrath ALL of the time. I say all of the time because they literally were the victims of my dad’s abuse and come downs. I do not know if it’s because I know first hand what it’s like to experience the anger behind a “Step” parent when a child isn’t theirs, but I felt and feel for my brother and I have so much love and protection over him now. My brother got everything from my dad. Beating after beating and even for things that he didn’t even do. When the physical wasn’t enough, he then had to endure mental and emotional abuse. I remember him having to stand out on the side of the ride in the middle of nowhere and do the haka because he was told to. I also remember him being beaten with a cactus by my mum, as she cried her eyes out because my dad told her she had to. Witnessing that is much more traumatising to me than ever being physically beaten. Mental and emotional abuse affected me much than being beaten. I would have much rather endured being beaten up by my father, than HAVING to watch my Mum and brother get it all. My heart aches even writing this, but I feel like this is a step that I need to do in order for me to grow. I have done everything in my power to move on with my life, from substance abuse both alcohol and drugs, I have gone to psychologist meetings, I take antidepressants, I write, I vlog, I do yoga, but I really do feel as if this is one massive step to releasing all these emotions that I am feeling.
Growing up I was told quite regularly by my aunties and uncles that my nana would have loved me and I would have been her favourite if she were still with us today. I never understood that as a child, but now as a 26-year-old, I really feel that in my heart and soul. I quite often find myself thinking about the kind of man my dad would have been if she were still alive and it makes me extremely emotional. As a teacher, I am a firm believer in the whole biological wiring affecting the overall growth and development of a child, which is funny because if I look at it from that perspective, everything about my biological wiring would entail that I should have been just as fucked up. I put it down to the whole because I have been through it, I don’t ever want anyone to feel that way and I will do my best to be the best person I can be whilst I am alive. Where was I though. . . Oh yes, I find myself thinking about the kind of man my dad would have been if my nana were still alive and I think about the stories I was told as a child about how my dad was such a happy boy and it makes me both happy and sad. Happy because I am glad there was a part of his life where he wasn’t so angry at the world and that he was able to experience what it was like to feel loved, even if it were only for a short time of his life and then it makes me sad because he also never got to experience the love of a mother, as their child goes through teenagehood and I think if the roles were reversed and I had to experience what I did as a teen, without a mother I would be just as holistically fucked up as he was.
For years, I was torn on how to feel about my dad after my Mum decided to leave him. For a while, he kept trying to come back and was asking for forgiveness, and I am glad after 13 years of abuse, Mum made the decision to finally leave. My dad blamed my mum for a lot for things, his anger, his absence in our lives, his addictions and although I never believed him or the words, lies and, threats that ever came out of his mouth, for years I sat there letting him think that I believed him. It wasn’t till we had reconnected after 13 or so years when I looked him in the face and said, that the only thing stopping me from seeing him was HIM. For years, I never knew how to feel about him and whether it was worth rekindling our non-existent father/daughter relationship. There’s that whole saving grace thing that emphasizes on the whole “there is only one man a girl can rely on and that’s her dad” and part of me wanted that to be how my relationship was with my father, doesn’t every girl. I think that might have been what made me believe that my dad could change and be the father that I wanted him to be. I wanted him to be the male figure in my life that I could go to and ask for anything and get it, I wanted him to be the only male figure in my life that I could rely on. Like a lot of things in my life though, I was the only one left feeling disappointed and hurt. I never expected anything from him as a person, not even as my dad, just as a person, but I had hoped that he would turn around and be everything I had wished he would be.
I used to hold a lof of undealt with trauma, anger and, emotions in general towards him and anyone that came into my life and threatened my safe spaces because I had never been committed to working through that bullshit until I got into my early twenties. From the ages of about 14-23 I was either high as a kite or drunk as fuck, this is how I chose to deal with my inner demons. It’s funny looking back at it, cos I’m currently sipping on a vodka and cranberry drink as I type this, but things are different now. I no longer drink to bury my sorrow, I drink to celebrate my life and myself as a whole. Substance abuse was my escape and it literally welcomed me with open arms. As a 14-year-old, I was only getting high recreationally and that was on just weed alone and then the older I got, the more that started to turn into harder drugs. Mentioning this is important because there are so many people in my life, who are funnily enough blood-related (cos you know blood is apparently thicker than water) that have thrown the fact that I have done drugs in my face. I never understood that because I never ever dreamed of putting them in that position. Mentioning this is also important because if I write about me doing drugs and putting this online for the world to see, no one else can use that against me. As an adult I used to think I was the victim of a lot of things and yes I may have been, but that isn’t true, there were multiple times that because of the way I dealt with my childhood and past, many people were the victim of my bullshit and to this day I will forever be sorry for the people I hurt because I was hurting.
Writing this entire post was/is important to me because as mentioned prior this was something that I needed to address as part of my healing process. I was able to write this post in tears, in laughter, drinking, singing and it had me feeling all kinds of ways. It was important to me because I don’t think I ever as a person acknowledged the mamae in my heart and to me that speaks levels. I have always wanted to be the kind of person that was able to influence people in a good way and to support their overall growth and development, but how was I ever able to do that if I hadn’t dealt with my own raruraru. And so, at the end of the day, this is me releasing all those emotions and feelings I have towards ever wanting my dad to be part of my life, all those feelings of ever thinking that I was never loved regardless of him being there or not. This is me releasing all my past trauma. This is me releasing all the anger and sadness I have ever felt towards anyone. This is me releasing all my bad coping mechanisms and habits. . .
With that being said, I would like to end this post with an introduction of who I am today in 2020. . .
Hi, my name is Hinemoa Reremoana Hall. I am 26 years old and I am a loving daughter of a beautiful woman who goes by the name, Libby. I am a sister to 3 siblings; Klarissa, Duke and Te Rangi . I am an aunty to a handful of related and non-related nieces and nephews. I am a good friend. I am an amazing teacher. I am a writer. I am a poet. I am a reader. I am a spiritual being. I am ME.
Ko Tutamoe te maunga
Ko Opanake te awa
Ko Mahuhu ki te rangi te waka
Ko Ngati Whatua te iwi
Ko Ngati Kahu te hapu
Ko Tama Te Uaua te marae
Ko Hinemoa Reremoana Hall toku ingoa.