It took this last act of pure evil violence to make me really look at my life and discover patterns and choices. I take no blame for what has happened to me, but I never learned the tools to protect myself. I was brought up in an “old fashioned” type environment where I was taught the man ran the relationship. I don’t believe my family taught this knowingly. It was learned through the observations of a child, and things were never openly discussed in front of us as children. When my parents fought or disagreed, it was never in front of us. I knew my mother was unhappy but since we were sheltered from the inter-workings of grown up relationships, I only sensed the unhappiness and never understood why it was there. Until much later in my teen years.
As I grew older, I began to see things in my father I really didn’t care for, but, I saw my mother, ever smiling, making excuses for him, keeping the reality of the relationship still closed off from us. My father was not physically abusive. It was mental control, degrading, controlling, financially and mentally. He was selfish to the point of disgusting. I love my father and now accept him as he is, but I am stronger than my mother was and don’t take his crap.
My mother did come from a very abusive background. She harbors very bitter feelings now stemming from her childhood and from my father. I will tell a little of her story because I think it is important in establishing patterns that sometimes we are unaware of as we grow up. Everything my mother went through in her childhood directly affected me as to how I was brought up. Whether she chooses to realize it or not. I don’t think she understands and if I did manage to explain it to her, it would be one more thing she would take on as her failures. I don’t see it that way. I see her as damaged and she did the best she could, but because of her own up bringing and abuse from my grandfather, my mother always saw herself as a failure and everything she did was wrong. I don’t believe she will ever get past these things. My father pretty much reinforced everything my grandfather did. All this without raising a hand. It is scary how much we can do to our children’s future without even realizing it.
My grandmother married my grandfather when she was only 16 years old. My grandfather was 27 and an alcoholic. My mother was the reason for the marriage and I sometimes wonder if my grandfather reminded her of this as she was growing up. I loved my grandfather but he was a mean man when he was younger and apparently, as I look at the age difference, a pedifile.
My mother was the oldest of twelve. She remembers the things that went on in the home that my aunts and uncles were too young to understand and to this day, they deny anything happened. I did have a chance to speak to my grandmother before she died and she confirmed some of it without directly admitting to it. My grandfather would beat my grandmother in front of my mother. He controlled who my grandmother talked to, how long she talked, where she went and what she did. He told her it was her place in life to do as she was told, run the house according to his instruction, and raise babies. His job was to work and provide, which he did well. It was also to drink, hang out with his buddies in the bars, which he also did well. At some point when my mother turned 15, my grandfather stopped drinking cold turkey. I never got to find out why but it really isn’t important anyway. His meanness, however, grew. He also stopped physically beating my grandmother, but his controlling ways continued well into his 80s. My grandmother stayed with him her entire life. She did as her family trained her to do.
My mother was in charge of her brothers and sisters at an early age. There were so many that the help was needed. She was also a favorite target of my grandfather. My mother was born with a slight physical deformity and my grandfather always saw her as “not right” and maybe blamed her for being the reason he got married. I don’t know for sure, this is just a guess on my part from the history I have learned. My mother developed a very large hate for my grandfather, but never dared show it until she was in her 50s. That is when she told me some of what took place as she was growing up. I guess she now holds him responsible for how her life turned out. She is extremely bitter and anti man. In some sense I still see both my father and grandfather controlling her as she cannot seem to get past these things and holds on to her anger and hate. I have no hope for her to change.
I have one brother and one sister. They are very different from me in so many ways. My sister married young. She got pregnant at 18 and has had two children. She married a wonderful man and has been luck in that respect, BUT her children and how they behaved growing up is a different matter. My sister was an “oops” baby. My father was not physically abusive to us, other than the occasional spankings, but he was mentally abusive. He always seemed to make my sister feel invisible, I think. It’s the only thing that seems to make sense as I watch their relationship now. She will do anything to please him and goes out of her way to do so. Lately it does seem to be changing though. After her and I have had a few conversations over the years, she has learned to call me when he is pushing her and she will ask me what is really up with him. So it has been a little better for her.
My father was always openly cruel to my brother. My brother has a very high IQ. He never had to really study in school and is a very good person. He has major self esteem issues and has had a difficult time forming adult relationships. He turns 50 this year and has yet to marry. He has a very bad habit of choosing women that are abusive to him and make him feel like garbage, as my father did to him growing up. I believe his choices are a direct result of my father’s abuse. My brother has also developed the same “victim-I can do no right” outlook my mother has.
I didn’t go either of those directions. It’s so strange that three people growing up in the same home, had such different experiences and lives. My father always treated me well. Not spoiled, but did not do the mental things to me that he did to the rest of the family. I attribute this to the fact I look so much like his mother. (There is another huge abusive background that I will get into later). However, just due to the fact of being overly protected from the reality of adult relationships, and by watching the things done to my brother and sister, I still developed poor choices, social stunting, and was an easy target for bad adult relationships.
I was sexually abused as a child. Not by one person, but by two different people. One was a family member and one a neighbor. These incidents overlapped each other and went on for years. At the time I was very young and even though I was told not to tell, didn’t understand the impact it would have on me later in life. I still have not told my family about the abuse. It would do no good now and I don’t believe in hurting people if I don’t have to do so. I am over it and choose to let it go. I only bring it up to share my history and possible patterns.
I met a boy when I was only 15. He was my first true love, or so I thought at that age, but that is pretty normal I guess. We never did more than hold hands and do the puppy love stuff. Kiss and pass notes and roam the halls together at school. He was a senior and after graduation, he moved away to college and I continued on with growing up. I had a few boyfriends while I was in highschool, but dated older guys that were already graduated. Guys my age usually got on my nerves. I met my first boyfriend again when I was 23. It was funny. He had not changed but he didn’t recognize me at all. I got pregnant and we married. Our daughter died at birth, after we were married and the marriage was never the same after that. While I was in the hospital having her, he had an affair. He still denies it but his family told me about it. Of course they waited until we were divorced to tell me. Anyway, our days pretty much went like this:
He stop at the bar with his buddies after work everyday. I was busy hounding my doctor because I wanted to get pregnant again. During this time, the marriage was getting shakier everyday. He would go to the bar. Finally wonder home. Lay on the couch and go to sleep. Never really talking to me or looking at me. The doctor finally relented and gave me fertility pills and we had two beautiful children. When my son turned one, I had enough. I had ballooned to 300 lbs because I had turned to food to make me happy because my sweet husband would not look at me, talk to me or take me anywhere. He on the other hand, would go to strip joints, bars, where ever with his friends, whenever he liked. My husband actually helped with my weight. I had become easier to control and stopped asking to go anywhere because I was embarrassed. He would bring me pies, cakes, whatever, just to keep my weight up. I didn’t shop for clothes, nothing. Just stayed at home and took care of all his needs (minus the sexual cause he didn’t want it. I was too fat), cooking, cleaning, washing his clothes, and taking care of the kids. One morning when he thought I was sleeping, he climbed on top of me, being careful not to wake me and pretty much raped me. I call it that because he thought I was asleep and unaware. I was very much awake and that was the last straw. I had become less than human at that point for him. He never talked to me except to tell me what to do while he was gone with the boys. He never looked at me. He stopped saying I love you and showing affection, and then he did that. He controlled all the money. My name was allowed on nothing. He controlled everything we owned. I began to worry about what would happen if I left. I finally decided being alone and being miserable was better than being with him and being nothing. I began to secretly diet and lost 190lbs in 9 months. This mad him mad as hell. He kept telling me I was too skinny. HA! It was the same size I was when we married so I knew he was just trying to get me back into the low self esteem mode. I had him served with divorce papers the next week. I walked away from everything though because he had me convinced I would lose my children in court. I had not been allowed to work or make friends and I was going though it all alone. He had his family telling me they would testify I was a whore and having affairs left and right. He even had friends willing to testify they had slept with me in front of my children and all this other crap, if I tried to take the children. I still didn’t have enough self esteem left to fight. I still left him and moved 3 miles away so I could see my children everyday. He moved on to wife number three very shortly after.
I stayed single for 5 years. I became an alcoholic. Big surprise, but I was still happier than I had ever been. I quit drinking and went to AA. Still happier. Then I met husband #2. He was a con man and I really got taken in. I still had that stupid small town trust thing and was ripe for the picking.
I have to go to work now. Will continue this little saga later. I didn’t realize this was going to go on so long but I feel it is important to tell it from the beginning.
Enjoy your day and let no one tell you that you are not special!