I feel horrible (LONG, but I need to get it out)

addictedtorosesDecember 21, 2006

None of y'all know me, and I'm really sorry to load this all on you in my first post, but I really need to just get this out. This is probably going to be very long, so a big THANK YOU in advance to those of you who are willing to bear with me and read it.

My mother was the 4th of 5 children (3 girls and 2 boys). My grandfather was apparently very abusive to the oldest girl (2nd child), but not to my mother, though she did witness this abuse. When my grandmother was 36, she went through the change of life and had her first (of many) nervous breakdown, and was sent to a mental institution. All five children were distributed to various relatives, as my grandfather could not and would not raise the children while grandmother was away. Their oldest boy joined the military shortly thereafter. The oldest girl had been dating a nice boy for a few years, and was very in love. She got pregnant at 17, so my grandparents let them marry. (They still have a happy, successful marriage today). Well, the two younger girls saw this and caught on that a pregnancy would get them out of this bad situation. So they got pregnant and my grandparents let them marry the boys responsible. But their relationships lacked the commitment and history that the first sister's marriage had, and both ended badly. My father cheated and did alot of drugs (he was 16, my mother 17 when they married.) When I was 3, my father died of a drug overdose, and my mother and I moved in with her sister for a while, and then into our own 1 bedroom apartment, with Jimmy ( a boyfriend of my mother's.) This is the start of my wonderful memories.

Jimmie used to make me drink beer, at 4 and 5 years old. I hated it, and told my mother, but she would just pooh-pooh it, laughing and telling him not to do that. I remember him touching me, "spanking" me while I was naked (but it didn't hurt and he was laughing.) My mother even told me of one time he left three large hickies on my neck. When it was time to go to a state funded preschool, my mother and grandmother sat me down and told me how important it was not to tell anyone what went on in my house. My grandmother would tell me all the time that Mommy needed a man because one day I was going to grow up and move away, and she needed a man to be with, but if I told what they did to me, somebody would take me away. I became a withdrawn, clingy child who would hardly talk to anyone except my family. I would have rage attacks which I would not remember later, several times hurting children in the preschool. At this time my mother began what would start years of beatings, probably because she was frustrated with my behavior. She eventually kicked Jimmie out when she caught him having sex with a 14-year old girl, not over anything he had done to me. It was too late anyway, our pattern was already set, and I had had to be sent to a special school for emotionally disturbed children (and those with severe disabilities) I was finally let out of the special school when I broke the silence and told the psychologist I hated her for trying to make me talk. I finally expressed emotion, so they let me go on to first grade at eight and a half. My mother dated many men but they never lasted, until Jack. He hit me on their second date, so I guess she felt she foud a keeper. One day about six months into their relationship, they said we needed to go to the courthouse, but they didn't say why. I waited outside on a bench, and when they came out they were married. A few days later, he started forcing me to get up in the middle of the night to watch pornos with him. I was 11. I knew better than to tell anybody by then. By day, he was mean and hateful, hitting me, throwing dishes at me, etc, but by night, you never knew.

My mother gave birth to the prettiest baby girl I ever saw, 10 days after I turned 13. I was in charge of babysitting her, after shool, on weekends and during the summer. I was watching her, then 2 years old, while my mother and grandmother went grocery shopping one day. I was trying to get her to take a nap, and my mother had told me the only way she would go to sleep was if I laid down with her in my mother's bed. She was almost asleep when jack came in, and he was on top of me, touching me. Don't get me wrong, he NEVER raped me, there was never penetration, but I was begging him to stop so I could get the baby to sleep. My sister was jumping on the bed, scraming "NO! NO!" (which would be the only word she would say for the next year.)

When my mother and grandmother came home, Jack told them that the baby didn't get her nap because I was a horrible babysitter. That was it, for me. I exploded with the truth, and was sent to my room. The next day my mother told me that I could go, but she was staying with Jack. I spent the next year with my father's parents, whom I had never met before, but it was honestly the best year of my life. Not saying much, but it didn't take much, you know? After a year, my mother tried to take me back, but I felt like I was fighting for my life at this point. With my grandparents' help, I got a guardian and my mother gave up her parental rights.

I kept a relationship with them because of my sister. I really loved that baby, and I was convinced that I needed to be in her life in case anything went wrong.

My life continued in a silently out of control spiral. I was in a very dysfunctional realationship with a control freak (who I later learned was Schizophrenic).We both did alot of drugs, until I became pregnant. That changed everything for me. I began living my life for my son.

The pivotal point was when my baby was six months old, and I met a wonderful, stable father of two. I feel that God sent him to me, I really do. I am not a religious person, I don't believe in church but I do believe in God, there have been too many times in my life where He has saved me, not to believe.

After I married, I tried for years to have a relationship with my mother. I went from being a young single mom with one young baby, to being a stay at home mom with 3 under 3. There are things that a young mother and wfe needs to be able to talk to her mother about. We would go through periods of everything being fine, to fighting because she wanted me to say that I lied about Jack molesting me, to not talking at all. We went on this merry-go-round for years, until four years ago. The last time she hung up on me, I went through my usual depression, and finally realized that no matter how much I wanted the mother-daughter relationship I envied that other women had, it was never going to happen for me, and I needed to come to grips with it. Subsiquently, my relationship with my sister ended because for every 1 time I got to talk to her, I got at least 8 phone calls from my mother.

Recently my mother wanted to start up that dysfunctional cycle again, but I'm old enough to know that it's not good for me emotionally to go through that anymore.

She started with letters, which I ignored. Then a Christmas card with a check for $80 last year, which I did not cash. Then lately the phone calls. Each time she called I was purposefully distant. Not mean or angry, just resigned and short. The phone calls stopped, so I thought it was over. This is not the life I wanted: I still envy other peoples' relationships with their families, but this is the life that is best for me.

Then two days ago we wanted to buy a desk for one of our boys for Christmas. We looked around but the best idea was a desk at one of those rental places. They have to have references, and one of the references has to be a relative. Hubby assured me that they would not check the references (he had done rent-to-own before and they didn't check his references) so I made a stupid mistake. I don't have any relatives, and my husband's only relative (my dear MIL) passed away in 2003. So I listed my mother. I know, I know.

My mother called today. She sounded confused, and hopeful. So hopeful. She wanted to talk. And I had to tell her that I don't think it's a good idea for us to have a relationship, because it's just no good.

And now I feel horrible. It's my fault she called. I am so, Sooo Sorry that I listed her on that application. She was not a good mother to me, probably because of life circumstances and frustrations. She didn't have good role models either. I think somewhere in there, she wants to be my mother, but she just doesn't know how. I wasn't an easy child, I didn't go along with her life plans. Life didn't go the way she planned. I was the child that was supposed to get her out of a bad situation, not somebody that would make life harder. She resented me because life didn't go as she planned it, and that's why my childhood was the way it was. I think that my sister got a better mother, I have to believe that. She was married (still is) and she didn't have all the frustrations to deal with that she had with me. Jack is older and not in wonderful health, so I tell myself that he has never touched my sister. I think she had a good life.

Please forgive the long book of a post, I just needed to get it out. I'm feeling horrible today.

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I read your tome, and I think its good you got all that off your chest. Do you feel better, happier, now that you have said it all ?

I wish you a happy Christmas, with your little ones, give them a big hug and lots of kisses. Be 'IN THE MOMENT' with their joy on Christmas Day.

All the best to you.


    Bookmark   December 22, 2006 at 2:05AM
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I think getting it off your chest (in a relatively safe, anonmous way) was a good idea.

I, too, have envied the close relationship that I've seen other women have with their mothers. My own childhood was not as tragic as yours, but my mother was not a loving, motherly type. She made it very clear that her profession was her priority. A long time ago, I came to the realization that I would never be that important to her, and I came to terms with it. I send her cards on her birthday, Mother's day and Christmas (and include pics of my grandchildren). But I leave it at that. She now has Alzheimer's disease and doesn't even know who I am anymore.

If you feel that you need to keep your distance for your own peace of mind, then that is what you need to do. There's is no reason for guilt.

I hope you and your family enjoy a wonderful holiday!

    Bookmark   December 22, 2006 at 11:07AM
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Popi and Grandma, thank you both for taking the time to read and respond to my post.
Yes, I did feel much better after I let it out, and was able to get some sleep. Felt much better in the morning.
Grandma, I'm sorry that your mother was not the motherly type, but I hope that you have a better relationship with your children and grandchildren. I'm not the warm, motherly type either, but I do hope still that my children are getting what they need from me. I hope that maybe since they're boys, that the love that I'm able to show them is enough. Neither my husband nor myself are the touchy feely huggy types, though I do admire that quality in others.

I hope both of you have a wonderful holiday!

    Bookmark   December 22, 2006 at 5:01PM
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Thank you for posting your story. I'm sure there are many people that will learn from it. You are so fortunate to have made a good life for yourself after such a tragic childhood. I admire you. I hope you have a wonderful Christmas and a joyous 2007.

    Bookmark   December 22, 2006 at 5:16PM
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Congratulations on surviving your childhood. You are a victor in this. I'm sorry that your mother is such a disappointment. Just remember that you are not responsible for her dysfunction. You have made it, despite what she allowed to happen to you.

I can understand your sadness, but remember - she fostered her own dysfunction. It's not her fault - she had a dysfunctional upbringing. She probably just didn't know how to do any better. But you don't have to continue the cycle of that tragedy. You seem to have risen above and made a good life for yourself and your family. That's not an easy thing to do and you should feel proud of yourself.

Good for you!

    Bookmark   December 22, 2006 at 7:08PM
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I totally agree with the others that you should feel very proud of yourself for overcoming the horror of your earlier life. And best wishes for you in the future - you must have a great deal of strength or you would not have come so far. I hope it will continue to serve you.

Of course you know that putting your mother's name down as a reference in NO WAY compares to the things you suffered. And so long as you make the payments it does absolutely nothing to cause her harm. So I think your guilt there is misplaced. In fact, I think the guilt you are feeling is on account of the childhood situation you have gone through and the totally understandable anger you still feel toward your mother. It makes no logical sense but it is typical for those who have experiences like yours to feel guilt - both for what happened and for the perfectly justified anger at the adults who did not prevent it. Unfortunately, it is impossible to rewrite history. You can't change what happened but you can learn from it. I hope you can work through it and make peace with yourself. IT WAS NOT YOUR FAULT. Never believe that it was. Reguardless of anyone's reaction to what happened...it was not your fault. Your mother was weak and made some bad decisions. If it helps, I would be willing to wager large amounts that she is already suffering far more exquisite sorrow about that than you could ever invent for her. It is your choice to forgive or understand or not. You can choose whether to have a relationship with her or not. At this point, you can control your situation to a great extent. It's only important that you understand it as much as possible so that you don't continue to suffer unnecessarily. Counseling can be good if you find a good counselor. Reading about the subject can help. But always remember to be very gentle with yourself. You have come through some very hard times - and you appear to have done it very well. Give yourself a lot of credit for that.

The important thing is that you are a survivor. And that is a real blessing.

    Bookmark   December 27, 2006 at 12:01AM
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Thank you everybody. I hope you all had a wonderful Christmas! I'm glad it's over, LOL!
Well, the rental place called the next day. Seems that before my mother even called me, she told the rental place that she didn't know me and wouldn't verify any of my information. ROFLMBO! Hmmm. I guess I really, REALLY didn't need to feel guilty. So I simply supplied two more references (coworkers) and our son was really excited about the desk on Christmas day. We'll pay it off with our income tax, and it's a much better desk than what can be found at the local WallywantstotakeovertheWorld, LOL!

    Bookmark   December 28, 2006 at 7:13PM
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I really hope you have been in therapy or at some point will get some.I have been through similar things (although probably not as bad) I was also molested (by a cousin).In my teens I was pretty promiscuious and got mad when people called me a slut because I didnt think I was.In hindsight,I know It was a reaction to all I had exprienced.
My mom kicked me out of the house alot and always put her loser boyfriends first too.They never tried anything with me,but were alcoholics and abusive to my mother.
My relationship with my mom and sister has been a disaster for the last 15 years.Neither one of them has been there for me at all,and have only made my life more stressful.
So I finally went to therapy because it was causing all kinds of problems.Severe anger,depression,anxiety...I learned alot.My therapist said it was more healthy for me to not have them in my life.Of course,they make that impossible,but I have learned to shut them out more and not let them interfere with my life.
I think you are doing the right thing.Obviously your mother hasnt changed if she still has Jack in her life.Dont justify your mom's actions by saying you were supposed to help her have a better life.You didnt ask to be born.And unless your a moron,everyone knows having a baby doesnt make life easier!
I'm really surprized you turned out so good considering.I have too only because I try to do the opposite of my mom at all costs.
Just think how it good it felt to get it all out here.If you had a therapist you could really dig up those issues and even free yourself of all (or at least most) guilt. If you cant afford it,most counties have some kind of free mental health plan.Or on a sliding scale of much money you make.
My husband has kinda saved me too.He has been the most stable person I have known.He has put up with alot from me because I was so "flighty" when we met cuz of all the drama.I essentially went to therapy for him,because I didnt want him to have to constantly hear about it or put him through any grief.
It sucks to have a crappy family life.I'm sorry about all you have been through.But in a way it's nice to know I'm not the only one.

    Bookmark   December 29, 2006 at 5:04AM
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