Many many times I have stayed up all night with my children. Sickness, new teeth, heartache and loss. My fondest memories are always of them after they fall asleep. Even now, seemingly unneeded and often feeling unwanted by my son Jay, I peer into his room and for just a moment I watch him sleeping. He’s so calm, not a bit like the teenager I see briefly wander down the hall to and from his junior man-cave.

I have made a lot of mistakes in my life as a parent, and I’d like to think that I have learned from them. I keep reminding myself that this too is merely a season, all be it a really rough one.

Jay has anxiety (GAD). It’s a thorn in his side and an ache in my heart. We butt heads constantly and I am forever trying to reach out, let him know I’m here. His symptoms are so similar to mine at his age, but unlike my mother, I have refused to give up. I will never disown him. I can’t begin to describe what it feels like to be told that I was owned, and then thrown out time and time again….

I was given to a family at around 9 years of age, just down the road from my mom, and my brother. I remember the family very well. Both of their girls were adopted. For the first time since my dad had left I felt whole again. It was for lack of a better word ‘normal’…how I thought a family should be. I know my mom would stop by, usually to start a fight with me, eventually with the mother and then she would disappear again. Then after about six months I was back home – devastated. I remember thinking how bad I must be if they didn’t want me either. Then again at 11. When I was twelve I ran away from our tiny home (or as it was once called ‘the servants quarters’) to the home next door where my friend lived. I stayed there two nights, in her closet. A window in her bedroom faced the walkway to our door. Hearing my dads voice I crawled slowly from the closet floor and listened…

“What the hell is going on?” He said.
“She just wants attention.” My mom growled.
“I don’t have time for this shit, I have a life.” He walked away.

I was right there. Heart broken. Too afraid to say what had happened, what had been done to me as a child, I was frozen in time. Lost. Alone.

I left the closet a few hours later and walked through the alley-ways to my school, terrified I was going to jail… Or possibly to burn in hell. I walked straight into the office. The counselor greeted me. (I had talked with him a few times.) My mom arrived soon after. They disappeared into the back room and I was left toiling over the infinite possibilities for punishment. I knew it would be bad. A door ripped open, and my mom stormed out. She didn’t look at me once. Not even a glance. I was sent to class after I gave the counselor my reason for running away.
I didn’t want to go back. Home wasn’t home for me.

Again I was told I had no right to feel, and that I wasn’t forgiven though I pleaded with her to do so. She told me the school counselor was a fraud, a fake, and stupid. He had told her she was a terrible mother. Her anger grew and I felt this immense need to flee. Run. Anything. She swung at me and I hit her first. I was in shock having never hit anyone other than my brother…which usually led to mutual destruction. She froze. I screamed as loud as I could in her face…

“Don’t ever fucking hit me again! Evvvvverrrr!”
She didn’t.

After a few months of battling with her, watching her turn her anger for me to my brother, I stepped between them so she would stop smacking him, so hard, so loud it sounded like paper ripping, with a wet cloth, cornered behind our front door. Once again I shouted for her to stop. Face red, eyes filled with both rage and fear, she grabbed one of my arms and threw the cloth at us. It was fall, my favorite season. On Thanksgiving day she kicked me out.

This was my childhood, and eventually my brothers, although he seemed to be accepted more as a human being instead of a worthless, dirty piece of trash. I know our mom loves us, and she has taken steps to get help, taking medication for depression (possibly). To this day she stands by the claim that God told her to let me go, that it’s my fault. She has told my son she hates him. She had told me to send my son away.

Through the years, I have asked myself how I could not know I was suffering from Anxiety, OCD, PTSD. Why didn’t I see it. I suppose it’s hard for someone to wonder why I had a family at all. My answer is this –

You can’t know what you don’t know…and I thought, with every bit of pain, every heart beat, every skipped meal, that I was normal. It’s all I knew. It’s all I had.

I have a family because I’m worthy of one, and I love deeply and forever. Unfailing, unfaltering…My little bit of heaven.
Beauty is in the eye of the beholder…and my family is the most chaotic, loud, beautiful masterpiece I will ever create.


18 thoughts on “Answers

  1. My mother once told my sister that they (she and my sister) didn’t need me. She also told me if I ever got raped, she would hope I wouldn’t report it because I would know I deserved it. She always thought it was my fault that I was not married and always asked me what I did wrong. I never knew she had been proud of me until I was an adult. The thing is that no one loves their children more. She told me recently that she really wanted to be a good mother and I believe her. My mother has done a complete change but sadly, I am beginning to wonder if its real or if she is just being who she thinks people want her to be. But as the saying goes, “Fake it until you make it.” I think I come off as fake as well due to my people pleasing nature and having been the victim of domestic violence so who am I to question. I really love your blog site.

    A kindred spirit,

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      1. I think we people-pleasers need to internalize what the airline stewardesses tell us about the masks “put yours on first and then your child’s”. If we are not whole, we cannot be of use to our children. That being said, I have been through so much counseling, medication and research and I still have issues. If I can stay in the moment and focus, I can do the right thing but my spontaneity gets me in trouble.😈

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  2. What a place you came from to become the positive you who you are today. [Did that sentence make sense?] My childhood had its weirdnesses, but nothing like what you describe here. I find your ability to tell your story in an honest way to be uplifting. Dare I say, thanks for sharing it.

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    1. Why thankyou. It’s all part of rehearsing it into the wild open air. It’s hard to push publish but very healing. My mom has changed a lot, but her abuse was actually emotional, verbal more than it was physical. I just remember this time so vividly. Isn’t that weird how some moments stick to you like glue and the ones you try like hell to remember fade?

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        1. You know, that’s more so how I feel. My anxiety caused me problems last night for example…because I have a baby and I’m exhausted and my husband was talking loud on the phone…so I started crying because the baby woke up….then for unknown reasons just felt like I fell off the bed with panic. It makes sense, yet it doesn’t. I don’t really try to understand it anymore lol…makes me anxious!

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            1. It’s okay to let me know you laughed, as it’s truly the best medicine. I make fun of my anxiety all the time. I have to. And losing my keys every day is both funny and an event when I pay my kids to find them…Easter egg hunts before every trip. It does lurk. Sometimes it haunts me, but I’m so thankful to be thankful, if that makes sense πŸ˜‹

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  3. Oh, how I love those last few lines, and I hope, because you’re able to say it (write it?) that you’re equally able to feel it.

    I haven’t been exactly where you’ve been, but I’ve been somewhere similar. There’s was a lot of violence in my childhood home, though mostly between my parents. Sometimes, it was reenacted between my sister and me. Most of what we experienced was neglect. I know my mother was resentful at times to be a mother (I found a letter stating that almost verbatim, actually), and my father, given the choice to do it all over, would never have had kids. (He drank so much, he tells me now, that he doesn’t remember much of any of that time.)

    But here grown children like you and I are, capable as adults of loving our families. And at our best, maybe we’re capable of believing we deserve their love back. (At least that’s true for me; I hope you’re able to, at your best, believe you deserve your family’s love, too.) Your son Jay, like your daughter (Birdie, was it?) is lucky to have you.

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    1. You know, I have many memories that were good as a small child. And my mom always told me I was a good little girl, and I don’t know when I became bad. My dad left because he just couldn’t be around my moms constant screaming, and ‘Christ-like’ belittling. I will say this…mom never uttered a word about my father after he left. And she has always told me he never talked down to her, called her a name, ever. They were married for 17 years. I’m so thankful for those truths. My mom broke after dad left, and he did too. It’s when he started drinking. I hope one day my kids can say they saw me try, and that they knew they were always accepted, always loved. I can handle the mistakes, but I can’t fathom becoming the worst of my parents.

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      1. I agonize. πŸ™‚

        Because I know I can’t change them, I never reread my comments. But with posts, the flaws are sometimes like a scab I have to pick (and go back and correct).

        Other times, though, I give myself a pep talk to leave them as is, telling myself it’s important for Lily to see that everyone makes mistakes.

        There’s a post right now of mine, for instance, that says “mental facilities” instead of “mental faculties.” I saw it in rereading it, and I know it’s there. It’s killing me, but I keep telling myself not to “scratch it” so to speak. To leave it there. To keep focusing on the future and the next post. To let myself make mistakes.

        I also tell myself someday I’ll go back and proofread and refix everything. There’s a Great Someday in my mind when I get to a lot of things. πŸ˜‰

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