POST TRAMATIC STRESS DISORDER – PTSD – THEN AND NOW

I was born in 1957 to 2 American parents of Armenian descent.  My father fell in love with my mom at first sight and my mom married him two years later to escape her parents desires to have her take care of them until they died. I was born six years later to a mother who was overprotected except when it came to my jealous and angry father who did everything in his 43 years of knowing me to push me away emotionally. Jealous of my mom’s love for me, an only child, jealous of how I “came between him and his wife”, my father used me as an mental punching bag as well as a physical one. He never raped me physically but he might as well have since he raped me emotionally and rarely came to my defense with boyfriends and male friends who I had disagreements with over the years; often taking their side against me. I remember at 15 I kicked him in the balls and he dropped to his knees, his hands holding his slipper and his belt dropped these objects to hold on to his pants groaning. He didn’t hit me again until I was 25 years old. I was visiting my parents for dinner when he got pissy and used an open hand to slap my head. I retaliated by spitting at him and yelling at him while he laughed at me. He stopped laughing when my mom threw a very sharp knife at his head. It hit the wall behind him – and wobbled in his ear for a few minutes. He sat open mouthed slack jawed at her and rose from his seat. Defiantly my mother who was 5 feet 4 inches tall stood squarely in her stocking feet, stood up to him as he threatened to smack her. Her words “go ahead asshole. it will be the last thing you do in your miserable life”.  He never hit her and the way he got to keep her in her place was money. His point – he had it all – she had nothing but a Social Security check for $300 a month in her own name from the times she used to work in their marriage. My father held all the cards – and the bastard used it to keep  my mom in her place.

When my mother died in 2001 it was I who gave her permission to leave her pain and it was he who tormented me for 2 years afterwards when I couldn’t find a job and all hell had broken loose during 911; it was my father who selfishly tried to imprison me in the apartment I had been paying for to keep him inside the abode he had lived in for over 30 years. It was the family home and it was full to the brim with my mother’s depression and my father’s anger; two things I tried to escape but couldn’t.  To this day I hate my father and the only reason I helped him when he was dying was for my inheritance which is now spent on a house in NJ that is something I should never had bought. I should have moved to NJ and rented. If you make money you have to spend it on food, clothing and shelter – might as well rent.

I made a grave mistake when I was 40. I was living outside NYC and came home when I heard my mother had cancer. Who told me? My father. He asked me to come home to help while I was working.  After a year I realized my mom shunned the cancer treatments because she wanted to die; having had tried suicide many times in her past before she met my father and after she married him; before I was born. She had severe depression all her life because she was not permitted to do what she wanted and was forever answering to someone who had something over her – her father who was rich and offered her a beauty salon when she wanted to be a teacher and go to school instead and then when she registered to become a WAC – a woman officer in the war – her father got her and tore up the papers. She was 30 by this time, unmarried and GROUNDED. Her wings were clipped so she laid eyes on my dad and married him. She was a virgin who went from the fire into the frying pan so to speak. It took my father 2 weeks to sleep with her in a sexual way and afterwards she often told me “it was nothing”, which surprised me considering she used to tell me when I was a teen that it was a beautiful wonderful expression of love. I used to think she was a lesbian and even now I think so but she was often in total denial about her sexuality but she used to threaten me about mine.

She knew everything about me; even when I wasn’t living with her. She knew the first time I got high, drunk, my first kiss, my first date but for some reason she had no idea that I had gotten deflowered at a reasonable age and she told me 4 times in my life over the span of 43 years “If I EVER FIND OUT YOU ARE GAY I WILL DISOWN YOU. I WILL NEVER LOVE YOU AGAIN”.  I knew I was gay from the age of 10; only long haired pretty boys like JIM MORRISON of the DOORS and girls peppered by walls. I was totally devoted to loving women but forced myself to date men. I never liked dating men and hated sleeping with them. Frankly I was a bitch to sleep with often throwing them out in the middle of the night. I loved to do this especially in the winter. The colder the weather the colder I was towards the other sex. Finally, I just dumped them altogether and started hanging with gay guys and men who I knew didn’t matter to me at all.

My father didn’t care about sexuality – he had best friends who were gay or bisexual and he didn’t care. He only had eyes for my mother and never strayed on her nor she on him. I never had that loyalty with men except one guy who I loved at 19 years of age and you killed me emotionally. We tried to date again for 2 years until we both gave up. Since losing him I realized I could never love another man and it’s mildly amusing that my father thought this guy was gay because he played Lacrosse and not Football and his hair was long and beautiful and he had a beard. To me, this man was the perfect guy for me. He was very effeminate and I loved him so much.  After we stopped dating I felt like a piece of me had died inside and I only got that piece back when I dated and finally married my life partner; a woman who is my equal in every way imaginable.

The last year of my living with my parents was a shock when my father had a stroke and couldn’t walk again. He was doomed to sit in an automatic wheelchair and go about his day where he tried every day to mow me down in that chair. I guess it wasn’t enough to do that my entire life – he had to do it again in his older life.  My mother lasted a year, they were both in hospital at the same time, I bopped from one ER to the other. He was in Columbia Presbyterian uptown and my mom was at the former ST. VINCENT’S.  One of my first cousins came to stay with us – he was used to bumming off relatives, twice divorced and a ruthless asshole, Robert had stolen money from another cousin and was living under the radar.  So he “borrowed” $1500 from my father while my mom lay dying and never returned the money. In fact he never saw my dad again after my mom had passed.  My mom’s dissing her cancer treatment was Robert’s fault since my dad was in hospital and unable to take my mom to her chemo treatments; it fell on Robert since I was working. Instead of taking her to chemo, Robert allowed my mother to take him to lunch and she gave him money because she loved him. Robert used her and because she failed to go to her treatment she passed away. I think about that often but hating Robert is stupid since Karma took care of him by killing him slowly and with a great deal of physical pain. I hope he had tons of time to think about all the harm he caused other people but I doubt he would even recognize anything wrong he had ever done. He had a hard heart and was a devil until the end of his existence.

My mom’s last Christmas was in the year 2000 and Robert had been thrown out of our house by my dad. Robert pressed his eldest daughter, SAM who had been estranged from him for over 30 years, to write to my parents so she could bring over her two sons to meet my dying mom. She had over 25 years to do this but she picked Christmas so she could get my parents to give her money, for her father who wanted my dad to give him more than the $1500 so he could invest in some bullshit scheme he was hatching to screw someone else. His daughter wrote her letter and I told my parents I’d take care of it and I wrote her back telling her NOT TO COME. When my mother died Robert and his youngest daughter Fannie showed up without Sam and they both completely ignored me. Not even one kind word about my late mother. Money is their god.

Robert died one year after my father from Leukemia; in pain, penniless and alone. A good ending for a bad guy.

It took my mom one week to die. She was in hospice at NYC Beth Israel Hospital, one of the last great hospitals in Manhattan. Before she went into coma my mom told me that she loved me. I believe it was her way of acknowledging my sexuality and my single status in life. I was 43 when she passed away, I had no one to love me outside of my parents and I was, for all intensive purposes – alone.  My father cried and cried at her bedside she was uncomfortable on Monday and Tuesday. I took off from work and went to her bedside and sat with her all day and all night. She was holding on for my dad who pleaded with her to “get up and go get my pills”. Really! He asked her that. I know she heard him and that is when I grabbed him by the shirt and threw him into another room and told him. NO, I believe I yelled at him to tell her it was alright to leave. He finally went back into her room and told he he loves her but he wants her out of pain and it’s okay to go. Opera was on a radio in her room but she didn’t want to hear it. Her body was curled up fetus style and she was gurgling that death rattle. I can still hear it whenever I remember – I try not to remember. I spoke to a close friend of mine, MELANIE who I grew up with when she was a cop living in Boston. She told me to play the guitar for my mom. The next day I did that. I sang and played for 3 hours straight. Several people died that night. My mom died too, at 1:30am April 6, 2001. I will never forget my dad crying and holding her, kissing her face that didn’t even look like her anymore.  Death had taken a hold of her face and all that was left was a swollen belly and a face that looked like an O only. He cut a piece of her hair and saved it in a piece of paper. He had done the same thing to his late mother when she died when I was five years old. He then looked at me and told me to kiss her. I refused and he grabbed me to pull me down and I shoved him with my foot. “She’s not here anymore. Don’t touch me”, I told him. He was angry at me; he always had to be angry at someone.

1 month later my job merged with another company and I was let go. I tried in vain to find another job other than the one I was doing but 911 had hit by that time and NY curled up and died job wise. We are still in recovery and it’s 2013 – jobs are scarce and few and I’ve been lucky.  In 2003 I found a new job and moved out of his house while he begged me to stay. I refused. Between the time my mom died and I lost my job and the year after I was forced to call police to the house because of his domestic violence against me. Because of the things he was doing to me after my mom died I was forced to move out and get a roommate which didn’t work out and then I found Myqui and we moved out together into a mouse trap of an apartment in the Spanish part of Washington Heights. 3 years later my father had died, Myqui and I had reconciled with him, he left us my financial inheritance and all was well except for one thing.

I still hate my father. I will always hate his family. His brothers were alcoholics, gamblers, bad husbands, rapists and pedophiles. For every generation of my dad’s family there was a pair of sisters/brothers who were involved with each other – incest. The Bonjukian family name in Troy NY was the same as being a bully, a troublemaker and a criminal. My father did not go through shell shock in a war and in fact to avoid going into WW2 he put peanut butter up his ass and told the military he was gay. They didn’t believe him and put him into boot camp. He never went overseas because he made sure he got a bad back while his entire platoon died. I would never have been born and frankly I think that may have been a good idea except for the fact I gave my mom a lot of joy over the years. My father was proud of me in his own way and what that way was is beyond me. My partner loved my dad and I loved her dad as if he were mine. My dad was angry at that when he found out and he was angry when Myqui and I got our domestic partnership and did not invite him. What did he think? He was going to roll me down the aisle? I did not want anything to do with him by then. For 5 years I saw him on and off – mostly off – until he called from hospital and told Myqui that a black woman he knew in the building, a woman I never liked was executor of his will. That woke me up and I stepped up to the plate.

Granted when I died I cried but I was crying for the kind of father I never had. I never knew a dad who would just pick me up and throw me around like a rag doll because he loved me even if he had a bad day at work. He was a singer and an actor and he was constantly working, traveling doing stuff, he sang at the Met for over 35 years – he had pensions from over 4 entertainment unions. he was the richest guy ever even in 2001 he made over $2000 a month from all these pensions. He was doing alright so I didn’t care too much. But I didn’t want to see my inheritance given to this black woman because I knew what he was doing – buying a way to heaven.

I’m not too sure he’s even there but I do realize this – that my father was a survivor of PTSD from his terrible family life. When he was 3 years old his older brothers knew he had a good singing voice. They put him in a sailor’s suit and stuck him on street corners’ singing literally for his supper. He’d be rich with a 10 cent coin that would last him a week while his older brothers took the bills and spent it on themselves. Bloody bastards the lot of them – the two older brothers had been born in Amastia Turkey and had been witnesses to the Armenian Massacres that the Turks imposed on the Armenians from 1915 to 1920. My uncles learned how to rape and pillage women from the Turks. Later in life they did these same things to their wives, girlfriends and daughters and encouraged this kind of violence with their sons to commit atrocities on their own family members. I’m not sure what my father knew but 1month before he died his niece admitted to him that what I had told him about his family was true. He came to believe me and acknowledged his PTSD problems by apologizing to me for the way he acted in life. It was too late really but I appreciate his gesture even though forgiving him was not forthcoming in my lifetime. I did verbally forgive him but not in my heart.

It’s really hard to turn the other cheek. I cannot do it but I too suffer from PTSD and I have been through 2 years of therapy for it and it helped somewhat. I want more therapy – I need it so until I do get what I need – I will write about it if for nothing else but to help others reading what I write who may have gone down my same path.

Attached please find a video of actor PATRICK STEWART talking about PTSD and how he discovered that his father had it and had made his childhood a misery for both him and his mother. I can relate, Patrick. This is for everyone who has ever lived in a household with a bully or a person who treated them less than fatherly.