Tag Archives: blame

Personal Responsibility

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One of the recurring themes in my mother’s life is that of personal responsibility. She has always had a hard time accepting it. When confronted about something that she did wrong, she would always blame someone or some situation instead of just admitting that she was wrong. When confronted about not taking responsibility, she would always blame the fact that she didn’t have a mother to teach her right and wrong therefore she has a hard time recognizing when she is wrong. Ok, that’s sweet but it’s still a cop-out.

Once my brother and I both became adults, we really started to confront her about these issues. Of course there was always some excuse. One of the big things that I would push is just her overall worldview. I am a huge proponent of living in the moment. I have always had the attitude that your life and your world are what you make it. When there are people living in 3rd world slums but are very happy and people who live in multimillion dollar mansions that are miserable, that tells me that money has little to do with it and attitude is everything. So, when I would talk to her about her life and she would go on and on about how miserable she was and how it was all Dave’s fault, I would be quick to answer “then leave him.” She would always agree that it was a good idea. I even went as far as to find a 2 bedroom condo that was affordable for her just to get the ball rolling. She would stop that ball in its tracks every time.

The truth is, my mother doesn’t want to take responsibility for her own life. She loves the drama. She feels justified in putting the blame on someone else. When it really came down to it, not only did she not want to be alone but she couldn’t live without cable, internet, a nice car, a nice neighborhood, her cats, etc. She was not willing to make any sacrifices to save her relationship with her children because she knew that she would have to give up a few things in order to make it on her own.

When money finally got tight enough (she’s unemployed), Dave and her had to move out of their nice suburban rental home because they couldn’t afford the payments anymore. My grandparents allowed them to live in their investment condo for almost 1/3 of what they were paying in rent for the house. It was very generous of them but they had a condition: they wanted to leave all of their furniture and fixtures. My parents would have to put all of their things in storage. Understandable. They are in their 80’s and don’t want to be moving furniture back and forth. They had nice furniture anyway. Was my mother grateful? Fuck no. Up until I finally cut it off with her, she bitched and complained about goddamn everything.

I am a problem solver by nature. It’s part of my biological makeup. Ok, I don’t know about that but I am definitely a problem solver. I’m good at math and computers and organizing and all of that. So, when a person comes to me complaining about a problem I immediately try to help them find a solution. What is the point of suffering when there are viable solutions, right? My mother complained about everything from their furniture to not being able to get cable right away. I suggested that perhaps she could spend some time outside getting in some exercise by walking. It was spring after all so the timing was perfect. The neighborhood wasn’t nice enough so scratch that. I suggested that perhaps she should listen to music and read books and rediscover her inner artist. Well, there was an excuse for that too. I gave up.

It’s not all about taking responsibility for one’s actions but also their own life. If you aren’t happy but yet you have shelter, food and clothing, then find out why. If it’s depression then get help for it. If it’s not then try to change your worldview. I always told her that nobody will be happy for her. Nobody will live her life for her. That goes for all of us.

She even tried to blame Dave for her abusing me as a kid. I did confront her a few years ago in as loving of a manner that I could. I told her that she wasn’t a good mother. Yes, she fed me and clothed me and bought presents but that was about where it ended. She blamed him and told me that he was always coercing her to beat me and spank me and that he would tell her that is how parenting is done. I tried to sympathize with her but this just never sat well with me. She was still trying to play me on the fact that she just didn’t know any better.¬† I still have a hard time accepting that.

What I have learned to accept is the fact that I am an autonomous, responsible human being myself. I am responsible for not only myself but also my children which is why I had to make the heartfelt decision to cut my parents off. The welfare of my children is of utmost importance. Also, I consider my own happiness and life to be my own responsibility. While my husband and I are working hard to get a college education, I have come to terms with the fact that things might not always work out as planned. Even if we end up living in a mobile home on food stamps, I still have to be able to find pleasure and enjoyment in the little things in life. I think that I have achieved that. I consider myself one to have a “silver linings” type of attitude. It drives my husband up the wall but I really do try to be positive and stay on the sunny side of things. If I don’t, I find myself becoming like my mother which I promised myself¬† I will never let happen.

I also have the responsibility of ending the abuse in its tracks. I don’t care if it’s been a generational thing. It ends with me. I have caught myself a few times getting full of anger and rage and have had to find a way to stop it and level my emotions out. It’s necessary. I never want my children to go through what I did, even on a small scale. I don’t want them to have to recover from their childhood when they are adults. I want them to look back at their childhood and remember all of the fun, love, mischief, family and all of the positive things that a child should remember.

I may have missed out on my childhood but I have an inner child emerging and a responsibility to ensure that my children always remember a beautiful childhood.

My happiness is my own. My pain belongs to me. My life is a reflection of all of those things and it is my choice to turn it all into something beautiful.

Ages 26-Current

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After I got married and had my son my mother really seemed to calm down toward me. I heard from my brother that this wasn’t so at home. He stayed living at home after high school and chose not to go to college. My relationship was really strained with him because of my mother. He didn’t help though. He always complained about her and how difficult it was to live with her and she complained about him. I am pretty sure she put him in a bad situation financially to where he was so dependent on her that he couldn’t move out. They kept telling me that he couldn’t afford to move out. I called bullshit because he was making as much money as I was and I owned a house and had a kid to support. My husband only worked part-time in those days because he was a student. He said that she kept borrowing money and not ever paying it back which left him broke. When he needed to pay a bill, she would “loan” the money back to him then when he got paid she had to “borrow” it back. It was a horrible mess and he couldn’t get out of it. This was one of the reasons I refused to move back home because I knew this would happen to me. She never kept track of anything she borrowed from us and then would have a terrible habit of buying unnecessary things for us and take it out of what she owed. In reality, those things should have been gifts since they were asked for. She did this to me once when I was in high school. She “borrowed” an entire paycheck of about $300. When she got paid, instead of paying me back, she bought $250 worth of dresses and purses because she didn’t like that I was dressing so grungy. It was the 90’s and it was more hippy than grunge, but whatever.

I got to the point that I was begging my brother to move out to save himself. His girlfriend was even living there with him. When that relationship ended he finally ventured out and moved into a house with a few other friends. The house was really old and run down. He had been spoiled in my parents newer house. That didn’t last long. He was back in with them a month later. I swore to them both that I didn’t and wouldn’t sympathize with either one of them. I also told Scotty that he needed to cut off all financial ties to her like getting his own cell phone plan and car insurance. He had a hard time doing it because it was all so expensive. He also raced his car so he put (wasted) a lot of money on it. This was an issue until he finally moved out at the age of 25 because he was engaged.

Even though my mother was on her best behavior with me didn’t mean that she was at home. Dave also wasn’t on his best behavior. One year we went to visit for Christmas. Our son was down for a nap so we decided to go do a little shopping and get out of the house while my mother stayed home to watch him (I had mixed feelings about my parents with my son but will explain later). I got a phone call about an hour after we left that we had to get back immediately. A man had showed up on my parents doorstep asking to speak to Dave. He was also laying down for a nap but got up to greet his visitor. The visitor was the husband of a woman that he worked with. Dave had been having an affair with this woman. When he stepped outside, this guy roughed him up. He was punched in the gut and the face and told that if he didn’t stay away he would be killed. My brother had come home just before this happened. He had bought a handgun a few months before and felt that this just might be the time to use it. Luckily, no one got shot, my son stayed asleep and maybe, just maybe, my mother had seen the light and would LEAVE HIS ASS. Now, Dave swore up and down that nothing really happened. According to him, he had only been sending her suggestive texts. Also according to him, she was in a strained marriage and was being neglected by her husband so Dave took it upon himself to offer her some “therapy.” Whatever you want to call it, it wasn’t something that a married man should have been doing. It was still an affair even if they didn’t have sex which I highly doubt they avoided.

That night, my brother, his girlfriend, my husband and I all sat down with her and tried to explain that he didn’t love her and never did and that it was time that she did the right thing and go her separate way. Their lease was supposed to be up in April and she had a steady job so this was the prime opportunity to high-tail it out of there. Did she do it? Of course not. Not even after bringing up all that he did to me. A few months later she told me that he promised to be a better husband and was sorry and they were going to work on their marriage. UGH!!

She had a bad habit of trying to make me her best friend. I had to tell her several times that I wasn’t nor did I want to be. She would get upset and say, “well, I have no one else to talk to. You are all I have.” She wanted somebody to bitch and complain to about Dave. I couldn’t take it. Every time she’d open her mouth, it was about him. If it wasn’t, then it was my brother to which I told her to kick him out. She wouldn’t do that either. It’s like she fed off of the drama. She also wasn’t getting the hint that I didn’t want to be her best friend. Anytime she would complain about Dave, I would just tell her to divorce him. She started getting just downright oblivious about how I felt and would proceed to tell me about her sex life with him and how he now has to take Viagra. I would stop her and tell her not to speak about her sex life with me. She just took it as I was offended because it was my parents and not once realizing that she is talking about having sex with the man that sexually abused me. It was becoming very painful.

I was confused for years about my relationship with them. Now that I had a child, I knew it was my utmost duty to protect him. I didn’t feel like Dave would be a threat to my son because he wasn’t a girl and I was certain that nothing would happen. (Don’t worry, nothing happened!) I wanted a relationship with my mother. Who doesn’t? I mean, I wanted a relationship with a mother who isn’t crazy. I knew that was never going to happen but I was trying my best to hold myself together. The disdain that I had toward Dave was becoming stronger. There was no forgiveness there and the older I got and the older my son got, I really started to see things differently. I matured. I was changing.

I had been very conflicted about my past. I had a decent relationship with my mother and things seemed to be going fine. For the last 7 years, or so, she would tell me a few times a year that she was going to leave Dave. She had so much against him beside what he did to me. She pretty much blamed all of her life problems on him: money, depression, her weight, her relationships, and the fact that she abused me. Yes, she said that. A few years ago I had a heart to heart talk with her because I needed to get some stuff off of my chest. At that time she was receptive and listened. Our relationship was good. She ended up blaming Dave for being behind all of the abuse that she bestowed upon me. I had a hard time accepting that. She said that he coerced her into spanking and yelling and being downright mean to me. I had a hard time believing that because he was actually a very gentle person and despite the sexual abuse, he never physically hurt me and never spanked me. She also said that she didn’t have a mother, or anyone, to teach her how to raise children or the difference between right and wrong. I was really shocked by her comments because once again, she was denying any responsibility. I took it though and didn’t call her out on anything. I have always felt that she is, and has always been, so delusional that she doesn’t even know when she is lying anymore. To her, she was speaking from her heart and being truthful. To me, she was saying that she had nothing to do with anything and don’t blame her for any wrongdoing. This was her fashion: always blaming someone else for her problems and playing the victim. I wanted to believe her but only because I didn’t want to hurt her. There had been many times that I wanted to turn my back on her to live my own life but I didn’t want to be just one more person to abandon her either. I was really beginning to have a tough time because I was having kids of my own and I could never do what she did to me or allow what she allowed to happen.

Age 12 – part 1

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This is becoming increasingly more and more difficult to write about because I remember so much more and the closer I got to puberty it seemed like the worse it was getting. The abuse was really beginning to be different. He had different goals. I don’t know what happened or who called but DHS came […]