Monthly Archives: June 2013

Damage Control

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I got to speak to my aunt/god-mother the other day. It was so sweet to hear her voice. We had been corresponding on Facebook for a while but I decided that it was time to reach out to her. I sent her a message just informing her that I was no longer in relationship with my parents and that I’m sure she knew why. She did. She messaged me back that she had some information for me and would call me in a few days.

It’s come up in conversation and in comments as to why other family members didn’t make the call to social services if they knew that I was being molested. I think that it’s a little complicated and I hold no hard feelings toward those people and here is why:

If you read my story from they beginning then you are already aware that around the age of 6 or 7 DFS (Department of Family Services) received a report that I was being abused. They called my parents and scheduled an appointment to visit us and talk to me. Unfortunately for me, this gave my mother the time to “tidy” things up. I got the lecture about foster homes and was told to lie to the case worker and such. I later found out that a family friend had made that phone call. She was a friend of my grandmother (Dave’s biological mom) and my mother’s step-family (Dave and my mother met through friends of their families). This woman had been sexually abused as a child so when my grandmother confided in her, she wasted no time getting that report filed. Right after she filed that report, she flew out to the east coast to visit my aunt/god-mother. My aunt didn’t know anything was going on but she was also a thousand miles away from me. The family friend told her what was said about me and that she filed a report.

Not long after that visit, my mother called my aunt in hysterics telling her that someone was saying awful things about her family and that they were being visited by social services. This is the information that my aunt wanted to tell me. The part that I didn’t know was that my mother had called the family to do damage control. I guess she thought that the social worker would be calling other family members to see if they knew anything so my mother was trying to beat them to the chase. She is a very manipulative woman and if you question her manipulation she will get “offended and hurt” so then you question yourself and end up believing her because why would anyone in their right mind go out of their way to do this if what they were saying wasn’t true? Well, what a lot of extended family didn’t understand was that she was definitely not in her right mind. Needless to say, my aunt left it in the hands of the social workers and thought that if they didn’t suspect anything then there probably wasn’t anything to worry about. After all, what could have been done otherwise- legally?

I’m not sure who or even if she called anyone else but it sure is interesting finding out more and more information about my mother and her antics. She certainly didn’t want anyone to think that anything was really going on. I’m curious about that second visit- the one where they came to my school. My aunt suggested that it might have been the same family friend but I wonder if it was someone else that had their suspicions. Next week, I am making it a goal to call DFS in OKC and see if they still have records of those reports. I know it won’t tell me who but if I can get a year then I might have an idea.

I’m starting to get really upset at the statute of limitations laws. I really feel that I should take action to at least get my parents put on the sex offender registry but that won’t be possible with current laws. My aunt suggested that I contact all family, especially family with children, and warn them not to allow their kids around them. That’s not necessary because nobody in the family speaks to my parents much less visits them. I don’t know anyone else with kids that I would need to tell.

She went on to explain to me that Dave was most likely molested and that we know that my mother was raped and such by her father. I don’t know about my mother. I know that she was abused, there’s no doubt about that. She has just always had such a problem with lying and trying to get sympathy and pity from others that I just don’t know if that was the case. I remember hearing from someone, don’t remember who, that her father had told her for a long time that she needed help. He even got to the point of telling her that she was demon possessed and should be locked up. He was an atheist so if he did say that it was more for shock value. AND… he disowned HER. Yeah. Even when he died, she was so upset because she wanted a relationship with him but he wanted nothing to do with her and she spent all that time and money dealing with his estate and still has his ashes. If the abuse that she went through was that severe then why bother? She had told me once that she needed to come up with the money to fly back to Hungary to spread his ashes. I was pretty blunt when I asked her why she would put herself through that when he was so abusive toward her. Maybe it’s just me and the fact that I have no belief in the hereafter but I don’t think that everyone deserves a proper burial. She didn’t really say anything in response just a “yeah, ok” and changed the subject.

I really wonder about that relationship and just how abusive it was. I would think that if he molested and raped her, wouldn’t he want to keep her close especially since she had me? According to the story that I have gathered from several family members, it sounded like he was trying to get rid of her and when he finally did, he was done. My aunt/god-mother was also his step-daughter. So he was in my life as a child during his marriage to my aunt’s mother (that’s why she’s my aunt, lol- sorry if that was confusing). They divorced when I was about 8 or 9 and were married for 7-ish years and she left him because he was abusive but his abuse toward her was more verbal and emotional. He was very controlling but I don’t think he was physical with her. He was just an asshole. He might have been, I don’t really know the whole story. He was physical with my biological grandmother, that’s why she left him.

I am starting to get a clearer picture of my mother and the events surrounding my life. I absolutely understand now that she is a sick woman. I didn’t understand this for a long time. I thought that she just had a social issue or a personality disorder but I think it goes deeper than that. I have no doubt that she was abused but I just wonder how much of the hysteria about her life was her own doing.

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A Head Full of Regret

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Recovery from abuse is a process. It’s like grieving the death of a loved one. Right now, not only am I coming to terms with what happened to me but I am also having to face my own regrets surrounding the abuse and grieving the “death” of my parents. They aren’t really dead but in my heart they are. That part has been hard. When I first sent my mother the “break-up” letter I had regrets about it. It was difficult and took me almost 30 minutes to hit send. I cried and was sad for a couple of days after that until she went public denouncing my brother and I. Then I didn’t feel so sad about it and knew that I did the right thing. Now my regret is the fact that I waited so long to come forward about it. Those that are close to me know that I was molested by my step-father but most don’t know to what extent. I really didn’t talk about it other than just saying that it happened. Just like my mother, I was trying to paint the facade of a functional normal family but I couldn’t keep up the charade any more. This week I have been flooded with questions that I have asked myself. Some of them I disregard because I know that it wasn’t my fault while others I am beating myself up about them a little. Some of the questions are the “what if’s.”

What if I had not lied to DFS when I was little? My parents threatened me and told me that I would be taken away and put in foster care with families that wouldn’t love and would beat me more than I was already being beaten. I realize now that probably wouldn’t have happened. I know now that I have always had a family that loves me and given the opportunity they would have probably taken me in. I highly doubt that any of my grandparents or aunts and uncles would have let me go into the foster system without putting up a fight. So, if I would have just said something, would I have had a better life? Would my brother have had a better life? I don’t know. I was so young that making that kind of decision back then was 100% my mother’s responsibility. I had another opportunity when I was 11 or 12 and again, I was too afraid to say anything.

Why didn’t I cut them off when I was finally and independent? When I was 21, I was finally broken free from them and lived about 5 hours away. I didn’t really speak to them for about a year but it had more to do with my mother trying to control me than about the abuse as a child. I had the opportunity to just say “sayonara” and be on my merry way… but I didn’t. After a while I was still trying to maintain a relationship with them. I think this time it goes back to the fact that I was a Christian and was trying to do the right, Christian thing and that would have been forgiving and forgetting.

I left the confines of religion when I was about 27. At this point, Christianity wasn’t holding me back anymore but I still didn’t change my relationship with my parents. I think that I had just gotten used to what we had and at that point I was married and had our son. I always had that underlying guilt of letting my mother go. She would always ask me, “If I don’t have you, then who can I talk to?!” She always made me feel guilty for not being there for her even though I told her several times that I didn’t want to be her friend. She really had nobody. She had no parents or siblings. She did have a couple of cousins and her aunt and uncle but they were in California and Pennsylvania which wasn’t close enough, I guess. I was conflicted, there’s no doubt about that. I always felt uncomfortable being around Dave or allowing my son around him but I disregarded those feelings by trying to convince myself that he wasn’t a danger to anyone and that my mother deserved to be a grandmother. After writing almost 40 posts on this blog I now wonder what the fuck was wrong with me! Why did I find this relationship necessary? What took me so long to cut them off??

My main regret, right now, is that I allowed this relationship to go on long enough that they became a part of my son’s life. Luckily, my daughter is young enough that she will never remember them but my son is not. Every once in a while he asks when he can call his grandma or when we are going to visit. I just say “sometime” and change the subject. He’s only 7 so he is way too young to share with him. I feel bad for dragging my husband along when I should have been done with this before I got married.

The good thing is that I have so much support from family and friends. I am so grateful for that! I feel like that have spent a lifetime running a marathon, I’m at the last mile and here is all of my family coming out to support me. I guess I could say that I am lucky. I know that many victims of abuse get shunned by their entire family but that’s not the case for me. Instead the perpetrators are being shunned. Sometimes the support is overwhelming but it is what is getting me through. If it wasn’t for them, I probably would have just shoved all of this back down and not gotten the healing that I deserve. The professionals are right when they say that it takes a good support system to heal. Everyone in my circle (and beyond) has been wonderful. I don’t think I have ever felt more loved than I do now! 🙂

Making Connections

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I decided to make a solid effort to get back in touch with some family members that I hadn’t seen since I was a teenager. Recently, I called my other grandmother (Dave’s step-mom). I adore this woman. She is just a sweet, little country lady. I always remember how her and my grandpa (passed away) smoked and drank beer and just lived. They gave no shits of what other people thought of them but they were good sweet people. I know that she was expecting my call because my cousin told her that we had been in touch and that I would be calling. I really just expected the phone call to be me catching up and telling her about my life, etc. However, she wasted no time telling me all the things about my parents that she kept quiet for so long. It was no surprise to me that she couldn’t stand my mother. Most people can’t. She is an overwhelming, dramatic person who has a problem with lying. Gran told me that she always thought that my parents to were like two peas in a pod because they were both liars and couldn’t tell the truth if their lives depended on it. Most people only see my mother as the one with the problems because she is more outward about it and has some serious bitch-face going on. I inherited it from her, hehe. Dave always gave off the impression that he was a “gentle giant” or a “big teddy bear.” He made himself seem like such a trustworthy, honest, hardworking person even though that wasn’t the reality. Unfortunately, people fell right into believing this about him and thus felt bad for him because he was married to such a horrible person. The truth is though, he isn’t any better than her. They are both deluded and have issues. So, this comment actually made me chuckle with relief because she was the first person to verbally acknowledge this fact.

She went on to tell me how she always thought my mother was abusive. When I was about 3, we were at her house for Christmas. I had finished opening all of my presents and wanted to sit with Gran and help her open hers. My mother screamed “bloody murder” at me and made me sit in a corner while everyone else finished opening their gifts. My mother always knew that she wasn’t liked on that side of the family but she couldn’t figure out why. Just this story alone explains why. They didn’t like the way she treated me. She went out of her way to humiliate me and viciously punish me in front of other people. After my brother was born, I was forced to eat his leftovers. I couldn’t remember if this happened repeatedly or not. I have one vivid memory of her making me eat his leftover, hour-old, soggy, slobbered in cereal… because I poured him too much. My parents were still asleep but all of us kids were up with the grandparents. My grandma didn’t have an issue with the cereal but for some reason my mother did. lt was embarrassing and I wanted to throw it up so bad but she threatened me not too. She normally wasn’t abusive in front of other people but for some reason she was in front of family. I’m not sure if she thought that she had to look like she was trying to be a good parent or what but she was definitely doing it wrong. Gran told me that the food thing actually happened on more that one occasion. My parents would also fill my plate up with food and force me to eat all of it. She said that they were beginning to get concerned for me because every year that I came to visit I was just getting bigger and bigger. She was absolutely correct.

I had never really thought to attach my weight problems to my abuse. I wasn’t real heavy when I was a kid but I wasn’t skinny either. Looking at pictures, I’d say I was probably at a healthy weight. I remember my mother always squeezing my thighs and telling me how skinny I was and how she wished she had skinny thighs like me. At the same time, Dave had me neck-deep in porn, Hustler magazines, and sexy women galore. I was being taught that the women in these magazines were beautiful and hot. My mother has been overweight for as long as I can remember. When she was a teenager, she was thin and attractive. I guess she put on weight when she got pregnant with me and my brother and never lost it. Dave would always make fun of her to me behind her back. He would say that she had cottage cheese thighs and too much blubber and that she was like a beached whale in the summer. As far as I was concerned, Dave was not attracted to her at all. He thought she was disgusting. My mother also ridiculed other women for their weight (behind their backs of course). She would make comments about how some woman should be wearing that because she was too fat. She also ridiculed skinny women that they should eat something. It was confusing as hell as a young girl. I became very self-conscious about my weight.

My 7th grade year was the year that I ballooned the most as a kid. The outfits that were bought for me at the beginning of the year couldn’t even be put on much less zipped or buttoned by the end of the year. I graduated in the late 90’s so being obese wasn’t as normal as it is now. I was referred to as “heavy-set.” I wasn’t quite fat but I wasn’t a healthy weight either. I wanted to be in sports like soccer or track but I wasn’t allowed to register. It was always about money and time, the two things that my parents never had enough of. They didn’t even want to try. It kills me when I hear stories of kids from the ghetto, whose parents went out of their way to get their kids in sports or arts or something. Not my parents, it was too much of an inconvenience. So, I was pretty sedentary when I was young which didn’t help my burgeoning weight problem. I was taught to “eat everything on your plate” so I probably over ate a lot. As I was beginning to be more self-aware of my weight and was exploring how to control it or lose it. I don’t think my parents liked this at all. When we would go out for fried chicken, I would peel off the fried part and only eat the vegetables as a side. Dave would ridicule me that I was ruining the meal. My mother always prided herself on the fact that she never used Hamburger Helper and she always used real butter not margarine. This wasn’t entirely true because I clearly remember there being tubs of Country Crock in our refrigerator BUT I never had the Hamburger Helper, canned vegetables, or Ramen Noodles until after I left home. That doesn’t mean that what we ate was healthy. She may have avoided that stuff for dinner but breakfast would consist of anything from cereal to pop-tarts or even cake. Now, some people might be reading this and wonder what the big deal is. I’ve studied a lot of nutrition in the last 8 years and this is what I have learned. Starting your day off with foods that are high in sugar and processed carbohydrates causes your blood sugar to spike and then plummet leaving the person not only hungry but feeling nearly sick and famished. I’m not saying that this was child-abuse but rather just pure ignorance. What it did cause was my metabolism to get even more fucked up than it already was.

I kept these eating habits well into adulthood. When I graduated high school, I was about 175 lbs. By the time I was 23 I was almost 200 lbs. I got up to 207 by the time I got married at 24 but that was because Todd and I ate out all the time and he really liked frozen custard (ok, I did too!). I wasn’t learning self-control and the overabundance of sugar and carbs in my diet left me feeling sick all the time. I’m pretty sure at a few times in my life I was pre-diabetic. After I got married, Dave was diagnosed with type 2 diabetes so my parents changed their eating habits to better control it. When I was 29, Todd decided it was time to get active and lose weight. His father had also been diagnosed with diabetes because of his weight. There was also heart disease and high cholesterol that ran in his side of the family. At this point we had adopted a more organic way of eating but it still wasn’t healthy since it was still high sugar and empty carbs. Todd started running and I started eating more vegetables. One day he mentioned how he wished that we could be active together. I agreed. It was going to be hard for me since I was never active but it was necessary. Our son was turning 3 and I needed to set a good example for him. I also wanted to live long enough to watch him grow and flourish as an adult. I was also always in pain and never felt good so I was up for it. I started a regimen of eating better and working out and dropped about 15 lbs. I had already lost some weight just by leaving a high stress job and going to work for a natural market. My sister-in-law was getting married that year and I was one of her bridesmaids. She didn’t order the right size so the dress came in too small but it was from one of those companies that takes 4 months to make and there are absolutely no returns or exchanges and the wedding was 6 weeks away. Todd helped me find a diet that was proven to work quickly. It was the Scarsdale diet. Some might say that it’s an extreme diet but it worked. I lost 25 lbs in that 6 weeks and I learned more about healthy eating and such. The dress still didn’t fit but it wasn’t as big of a deal to get it taken out as it would have been before. I got down to 160 lbs and a solid size 10. I was smaller than I was in junior high and high school. I felt amazing! I looked great! This set me on track for a new lifestyle. I wasn’t going back.

Unfortunately, I never got below the 160 and I did put some weight back on but I was much more knowledgeable about nutrition and knew how to manage my weight even if I couldn’t lose it. That November, we went to my parents for Thanksgiving. I was pretty explicit with my mother that we were eating healthier and I had no intentions of gaining 5 pounds because she likes to cook like Paula Deen. She acted like she understood and was going to cook healthier because of her and Dave’s health too. The truth was that she had no intentions of slimming anything down. I was helping her cook and she seriously put a stick of butter in everything. When she got to the mashed potatoes I asked her to slow down with the butter and lighten it up a little. She got upset with me because this was a holiday and we should let lose and eat whatever we wanted. The truth was, I didn’t want to eat 5 lbs of butter. She just couldn’t comprehend this at all. I explained that I had to work very hard to lose the weight and i still had another 30 to go. I wasn’t about to get set back because of a holiday. She acted very offended and put off that I would be so judgmental of her cooking.  Damn straight I was getting judgmental. Dave was an obese diabetic and my mother was at least 100 lbs overweight and probably pre-diabetic. She never took responsibility for her weight. She always blamed it on a bad thyroid or whatever. It was obvious that she was very jealous at my weight loss. She made comments about how she wanted to lose weight so I offered my “expertise.” I would tell her that the first thing she needed to do was to start getting some physical activity, even if that meant just going for a walk. Her rebuttal would be that she either didn’t have the time or that her knees hurt. We it was pretty obvious why her knees hurt and she did have the time, she just didn’t want to move. Then I would tell her about the dietary changes that she needed to make by cutting out sugars and refined carbohydrates. Well, they were already doing that because of Dave’s diabetes. Hmmmm…. I found this interesting because Dave lost weight but my mother didn’t. I confronted her about this and told her that if she is eating like she says that she should be losing weight… at least some. Again, she would get angry and offended. She then started blaming her thyroid. Ok, I can understand if a person has a thyroid problem. She said that she would only eat a cup of yogurt and a banana all day and then a diabetic friendly dinner and still couldn’t drop a pound. What I learned about having an under-active thyroid is that it typically will only cause a person to be about 10-15 lbs overweight from the lack of hormone alone. I didn’t believer her when she said she barely ate anything. I know her and I know well enough that she was making a shit-load of excuses. She just wanted it to seem like she wanted to lose weight but the truth was that she didn’t. That was fine. I began to realize that there was no help for her. I was offering the help based off of my research and what worked for me and she would get offended over it because it required her to work. I eventually got tired of her shenanigans and just quit talking to her about it.

When I got pregnant with my daughter, I let go and gained all of my weight back. It was a delicious process. I ate a ton of cheese and cupcakes. I was a little depressed about it after she was born but I took responsibility that it was my fault and felt confident that I knew how to lose it again. As of writing this post, my daughter is 18 months and I am down to 175 but I have much more muscle than I have ever had. My husband and I are adopting an active and healthy lifestyle. I still have issues with food and I tend to mask it by saying that I just love it so much but I don’t think that’s it. I don’t know what it is really. I don’t turn to food as comfort but I do tend to overeat. Sometimes I’m afraid of getting sick or a headache from low blood sugar even though I know that I’m eating foods that don’t cause that. I do have a fear of being hungry. I’m not really sure why.

 

It’s Father’s Day

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It would be so easy to be filled with disgust and anger today since it’s Father’s Day but I won’t allow myself to do that. It’s good enough that I don’t ever call him or send him cards on this day. Father’s Day is reserved for good fathers that do the right thing and nurture, care and protect their kids. The last couple of years my mother would always text me, “don’t forget to wish your dad a happy father’s day.” No shit. Well, really I had no intentions of it. Up until this year I have really just been to weak to just say no to her so I would at least just send a text- no phone calls or cards.

Today, however, I really don’t want to focus on him or my abuse. I DO want to give a shout-out to all of the GOOD dads out their. YOU GUYS ROCK!!! My husband is one of those guys. He is a wonderful father and husband. I think that it’s good for those of us that are victims of abuse to use days like today and think about the people in our lives that have been good to us and deserve a day like today. For me, some of the great men and fathers that have been in my life and left a good impression were my grandpa (paternal) who died when I was 16, my youth pastor (even thought I am not a Christian any more, looking back I realize that he was a pretty great guy), Phil (the husband of the couple that helped me get on my own at age 21), and of course my husband. There may have been one man who did horrible things to me but there have been plenty more to show me what being a good father is all about.

My Step-Father

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He was always considered my father because I never knew my biological father. He is the only father that I ever knew. He officially adopted me when I was 9 and gave me a 2nd middle name so that I would be named after him in some sense. He is actually a pretty nice guy. Unlike my mother, he comes off as a gentle giant. I’ve heard several people refer to him as a “big teddy bear.” He is about 6’3″ and has always had a pot belly. He gets along with everyone that he meets. On the outside, nobody would ever guess what he had done to me behind closed doors. At times I feared that people wouldn’t believe me because of their preconceived ideas about him.

He married my mother when I was about two. She was his 3rd marriage. He had been divorced for just over a year when they got married. In that marriage, he had two kids. His daughter was just a few months younger than me and his son was 4 years older. I think he was only married to her for about 5 years. The marriage before that was only about a year. She had two girls from a previous relationship. He never spoke of them and as far as I know, never had contact with them after the divorce. He lost custody of his kids from the 2nd marriage. I had never put much thought to his previous marriages until recently. My earliest memories of sexual abuse start at about age 4. I realize now that might not be the earliest it started but just the earliest that I can remember it. I wonder now if he had been abusing the children in those previous relationships. I asked my grandmother why his 2nd marriage didn’t work out. She stuttered a bit when she answered. I felt like she knew something. All she told me was that his ex-wife had been working 2 jobs because he was barely making any money. They had just had their 2nd child. I would be pissed off if I was in her shoes so I can’t blame her at all. Grandma also told me that he just wasn’t a good father. When she said this, it seemed like there was more to it than not being a good father. Considering that there were two girls in his first marriage, I wondered what happened there.

I began to really question these marriages because I recently found out that I definitely wasn’t his first victim. I won’t get too specific but I recently found out that a female family member who is a little younger than him was also molested by him. This part really makes me shutter. When I was younger, one of the ways that he convinced me that this was “normal” was the story about the relationship that he had with this family member. He had told me that he had sex with her as a “favor” to (shutter again) stretch her and get her ready for sexual activity. It now sends shivers down my spine even thinking about it. When I was younger I didn’t think twice about it because he made it seem like it was consensual. I recently found out that it was in fact not consensual and happened for a long time. She had a daughter when she was 18. I am still in contact with that daughter. This person is very dear and special to me. She opened up and told me that she thinks that Dave might be her biological father. After this eye-opening conversation, I really began to wonder if there were more victims. I could easily contact my step-brother and step-sister but I question if I should. I realize now that he was and still is 100% a pedophile. This is a very good reason to keep my children away from him.

My mother swears that he has changed and is working toward being a better person. I call bullshit. I just don’t think that he wants to go through a divorce again and my mother does such a good job taking care of him that he would actually lose a lot if they did split. I know he hasn’t changed. He is still a pervert. I was briefly friends with him on Facebook but had to call that quits after a couple of months. He kept liking and friending porn stars that were very young. These things would pop up in my news feed. It pissed me off. It grossed me out. It proved to me that he hadn’t changed and didn’t care. This was only a couple of years ago. I made sure that my mother knew about it. I told her ALL about how I felt. She didn’t really react. It was like, once again, she didn’t want to be faced with who her husband really is.

He never thought he would live passed his 50th birthday. He is now in his 60’s and quite frankly, I wish his time would come. He has been close to death so many times because he doesn’t take care of his health. He always said that God gave him a second chance. Bullshit. He had insurance and good doctors.

 

Forgiveness

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Back in my Christian days, forgiveness was a major player in my faith. I had a hard time with it because I had some pretty big atrocities that needed to be forgiven. Anytime I opened up to Christian leaders, I was always told the same thing, “forgive just as Jesus forgave you.” I made sense back then because I was naive and gullible. I was also hoping for that magic formula that got the heavens to move and God to work in my favor. Well, it didn’t work. I can’t even really say that it gave me peace. Whatever peace that I did have was superficial. What it did do was get my parents off the hook. When I was 18, my step-dad asked for my forgiveness … in front of about 5 other people. This was when I went to my church pastors about the abuse. I felt like I didn’t have a choice but to say yes. Truthfully, at that time in my life I wanted to do the right, Christian thing and this was supposedly it. I was so conflicted and confused. At 18, the statute of limitations would have been in effect and he could have been thrown in jail. I did not know this at that time. Forgiveness was no skin off his back but years of emotional suffering for me. It wasn’t fair. What did I get out of letting him off the hook? Nothing? Should I have gotten something? I don’t know. It would have been nice for my mother to divorce and start a better life with her but that’s not what she wanted.

They say that forgiveness isn’t for the “sinner” but for the person “sinned” against. I can see that. I don’t think that it should be the way it’s portrayed though. In my case, forgiveness is just recognizing that I can’t change what happened to me. I can’t change my mother or her choices. I have to move on. I have to forgive myself for the guilt. I have done that. None of this was my fault. It wasn’t my job to insure my mother’s happiness. It wasn’t my responsibility to keep my family together. My responsibility lies in myself. It might seem selfish but where would we be if we weren’t selfish to some extent? I have a responsibility to take care of my own health and raise my children to do the same. It’s my job to make sure that I’m happy and fulfilled.

Forgiving others isn’t necessary. Some people don’t deserve forgiveness. When I mess up and do something that hurts someone else, I understand that they are mad at me and have every right to that emotion and feeling. Sometimes I don’t deserve forgiveness. It’s not something that we should expect out of other people. It’s not something that should be expected to be given out freely. As civilized humans we all have to take responsibility for our actions and accept the consequences of those actions. For my parents, they never wanted to take that responsibility and they expected my forgiveness of them to be abundant and free without any price. That wasn’t fair to me. I don’t forgive them. I’m ok with that.

It’s ok to harbor bitterness for a while. It’s all part of healthy healing. We just can’t let that bitterness eat at us. Admitting that I don’t forgive them has actually made me feel better. It has lifted the load and allowed me to begin the healing process. Living a life of forgiveness toward them would mean that they must have an active part of my life which I can’t allow. Some might say that I’m wrong, but I say, “you don’t know my mother.”

 

 

My Mother

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My mother is quite a peach. Just kidding. My mother is the source for a lot of my anger despite the fact that my step-dad sexually abused me. I have had an on and off relationship with her. Things had actually been alright for the last 9 years up until the big fall-out. I didn’t realize that I had so much anger toward her until I started to write this blog. There were many times that she was faced with the fact that her husband was molesting her daughter and she did nothing about it. She was abused by her father growing up so when I became an adult, I tried to be understanding and forgiving. Something else that I’ve learned about myself recently is that I am a people pleaser because of her. This isn’t necessarily a good thing. This personality trait is the reason why I kept a relationship with her at all. I was always afraid to let her go. I don’t know why. I felt guilty at the thought because her mother abandoned her and my biological father also abandoned her. I didn’t want to be one more person in her life to leave her. I sympathized with her. The older I got, though, the more I couldn’t keep doing it. Having children of my own really opened my eyes.

She wasn’t a nice person to me. Not only was I abused sexually by my step-father but she also was abusive toward me. Her preferred method was with words and violence. I don’t know what is wrong with her but whatever it is doesn’t allow her to be disappointed or criticized. She absolutely can’t handle it and will lost her cool especially if she is already under any kind of stress. I don’t have any good memories involving her from my childhood because all of the bad ones overshadow any of the good ones. She was always yelling at me and demanding me around. I was forced to care for my brother to an extent that I shouldn’t have been. Nothing was ever good enough, either. I was a really good kid. I didn’t act out (generally) in public, I had good grades, and seemed overall very normal in the public eye. As a child I was still treated like I was just a piece of property. As I grew closer to being an adult, she tried to convert me into her best friend and shopping buddy. When I wanted no part of it, she couldn’t understand why. She still doesn’t understand why I don’t want to be close to her.

My mother has always had a problem with denial. She tries to play off our family secrets as normal and then tries to put up a facade that we are a “white picket fence” family. My brother had behavior issues as a kid. She would either play these down or just put the blame back on him. She never would take responsibility for him but instead would put all the blame on my step-dad or the school. As I got older I realized that a lot of the things that she did for me was only for this facade. Behind close doors where nobody else was looking or listening, she was a bitch to her family. If it was something where others could see in, she would go out of her way. She did this for birthday parties, my prom, etc. I understood wanting a decent place to live and a decent car to drive, but she got into the habit of living outside of her means to support the idea that things look good on the outside. She was in denial about her own health too. She had been told by several people that she needed to consider getting on meds. I remember one time she was prescribed anti-anxiety medication but she never took it. This was the obvious problem in dealing with my abuse from my step-father. She didn’t want to face what was going on which would force her to divorce and be on her own. Instead she tried to pretend that nothing was happening and convince me of the same.

She isn’t a horrible tyrant of a person but she isn’t the most pleasant either. She can be nice and is to other people. Hell, she was nice to me for the last 9 years for the most part. She was trying to be a decent person, as long as nobody brought up the past and treated her with respect. My childhood was the worst with her. Really, what I dealt with as an adult was her constantly trying to make me be her best friend. She wanted that perfect mother/daughter relationship but I just couldn’t give it to her. I gave in a little but I still had to have my boundaries. I needed her to not talk about my step-dad. She tried to bring up their sex life and how he needed viagra. I didn’t want to hear any of it. She just wanted all the normal things in life like a relationship with her daughter, being a grandma, etc. I couldn’t give her these things anymore because she chose to stay married to my step-father and disregarded what he did to me. She wanted to stand by her man so that’s what she ended up with.