Is the sky blue or orange?
Imagine growing up in a cult and being brainwashed into believing you have no worth or value to anyone and nobody likes you or cares about you. Every day for the rest of your life, you’ll be rejected, and everyone will wash their hands of you, eventually.
Spending time with people outside of the cult, confirms that you’re different and you have no worth or value to anyone and nobody likes you or cares about you. They keep telling you that the sky is blue, but you’ve been brought up to believe it’s orange. Who are you going to believe? The ones you trust to love you, care for you, have your best interests at heart and know what you’re really like? Or the ones who don’t know what you’re really like? Now what colour is the sky?
I’ve never been a member of a cult, but I was brainwashed into believing I have no worth or value to anyone and nobody likes me or cares about me. I’m bad and horrible and deserve to be physically punished. There were times when my Mum wouldn’t let me leave the house until the bruises went down.
“Do you want the neighbours, the teachers and the whole school to know what you’re really like?”
I was twelve when my brother’s friend came into my bedroom. He didn’t need to tell me to keep quiet as I was too scared of being punished for having a boy in my bedroom. He made me do things that I didn’t really like or understand, but I had no right to stop him because I have no worth or value to anyone. Nobody likes me or cares about me because I’m bad and horrible and deserve to be punished. When he had finished with me, I ran downstairs crying.
“Mum, he just came into my bedroom ….”.
That’s as far as I got before she interrupted.
“I’m not interested Kelly. How many times have you been told? You know full well he shouldn’t have been in your bedroom”.
Further validation that I have no worth or value to anyone. Nobody likes me or cares about me because I’m bad and horrible and deserve to be punished. I had absolutely no idea that I was the victim of Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACE). It was only a few years ago that I realised that my brother’s friend had raped me, because I have no worth or value to anyone. Nobody likes me or cares about me because I’m bad and horrible and deserve to be punished.
Until a few years ago, I didn’t have a clue that I’d met all the entry requirements of the school to prison pipeline; Physical, sexual and emotional abuse, neglect, expelled from school twice, attempted suicide twice and street homeless. I’m one of the lucky ones who dodged the bullet.
I’ve only ever been to prison as a visitor and my criminal record begins and ends with a speeding fine in 2007.
However, my brother served a number of custodial sentences from the age of sixteen and yet, I was the one with no worth or value to anyone. Surely that can’t be right. We grew up in the same house with the same parents and yet we’d had a completely different upbringing. My brother was the uber talented golfer with a glittering future ahead of him, but when my Dad moved out and took the glittering future with him, he drowned his sorrows with the other bad boys drinking themselves into oblivion.
My future was entirely dependent on doing well at school and getting a good job. I was fifteen and homeless, long before they separated and without a job, I believed I have no worth or value to anyone. Nobody likes me or cares about me because I’m bad and horrible and deserve to be punished. I lied about my age to get live-in jobs for a few years; chambermaid in a hotel, a barmaid at Pontins and for a couple of years I was a DJ on a cruise ship.
I’d love to tell you that my parents were unemployed alcoholics, drug addicts or addicted to gambling. But they both worked full time, completely tee-total and hated pubs.
Deep down, I still believe I have no worth or value to anyone. Nobody likes me or cares about me because I’m bad and horrible and deserve to be punished. I find it challenging to trust anyone because they don’t know what I’m ‘really like’ and they’re just setting me up for rejection. I don’t have the ability to regulate my emotions, I find it incredibly difficult to socialise and I don’t understand how friendships or relationships work.
There are times when I’m so ashamed that I can’t leave the house and risk anyone finding out what I’m ‘really like.’
I was 32 when I was diagnosed with Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD) and discovered that my childhood ‘brainwashing’ had caused permanent damage to my mental health. I’m resigned to a lifetime of mood stabilisers, anti-depressants and the occasional sedatives and sleeping tablets.
Forty years later and the school to prison pipeline is still going strong. No child should be brainwashed into believing they have no worth or value to anyone. Nobody likes them or cares about them because I’m bad and horrible and deserve to be punished. Every child should be kept away from the school to prison pipeline.
Nobody should ever spend every minute of every day of their life trying to convince themselves that the sky is blue.
Author: Kelly Breakspear
Epione wants to personally thank Kelly Kelly Breakspear (Missus of a Reformed Man) for courageously speaking about her trauma and writing her story to inform, challenge and agitate that we must do better. Kelly also shares her experience of living with a loved one in prison and the reality of serving prison sentences on this side of the wall after her younger brother joined the school to prison pipeline in 1987, and served his first custodial sentence. Since then, Kelly has served a number of prison sentences over the past four decades, but only on this side of the wall.
If you would like to collaborate with us and share how you have experienced trauma and how you have been recovering, please get in touch with us at email@example.com – We look forward to hearing from and seeing you in 2021!