child abuse, dad, family, mental illness, writing

No More Wire Hangers 2

i have cut myself off from my maternal extended family entirely. i stopped talking to them before i stopped having a relationship with my mother. all my blood relatives there are as crazy or crazier than me. we’ve all been in mental hospitals, we’re all on long lists of meds. we all get really psychotic from time to time and we’re all full of rage because each one of us, including the adults, are victims of child abuse and are mentally ill. they are toxic and every word they say is a trigger.

i decided early on that i was not going to have children because   i want to break the evil chain that has been passed down for generations. my great grandmother came here from ireland. her last name is my middle name. she and my great grand father abused my grandfather who abused my mother and her three sisters. all four are very mentally ill and the three that have children abused their kids.

i knew from childhood that i didn’t want to have children. in the end it’s kind of ironic because i was always so super careful about not getting pregnant because i didn’t want to carry on the tradition. the ironic thing is that i had endometriosis (i had a hysterectomy and it’s gone now) so i probably couldn’t have gotten pregnant regardless. it was an epic case of better safe than sorry! i was very safe! but i couldn’t have been sorry!

thus  far it’s gone down through my cousins, the mental illness, but i don’t think any of them abuse their children, but who knows.

i had a psychiatrist to said my mother was “crazy making.” i knew he’d really hit the spot. in the previous post about child abuse, i talked about how my mother lied to me all my life, about huge important things and that she told me things that were the opposite of what they were.  she told me my father still loved her, she told me what a great relationship she and i had. i didn’t know what to think. i knew, or thought i knew, or suspected that it was a lie or a delusion on her part. i was a confused kid, bipolar coming on and even though she was mean and manipulative, she was my mom, so i believed her.

along the same lines, she preceded every criticism or rant she made about my father by saying, your father is a wonderful man and he loves you so much. i would never say anything to make you feel bad about him. then she would launch into a speech about something he had done or said wrong. she did that about a lot of people, people i loved or liked–sneakily try to turn me against whoever had made her angry.

later, as i figured out more about her  through therapy and learned more about her life from my father i began to realize that some of the people i thought i “should” hate were really nice people with nothing wrong with them. she was twisted and the way she twisted me up made me  scared about everything.

nothing i knew was solid. there was no one i could trust.  sometimes even now i stop myself from thinking about something because i can’t forget that she told me she could read my mind.

and now because of that birthday card she sent me, i am thinking about it a lot lately.

no fun.

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bipolar, child abuse, depression, mental illness, writing

no more wire hangers!

day before yesterday, i got a card in the mail from my mother. it shook me to the bone. i haven’t had any communication in with her in 10 years, my choice. she was abusive, cruel,  a chronic liar, bipolar (not something to judge about, it’s just that i am too, and a combo of a bipolar parent raising a bipolar child is a disaster), OCD (same as bipolar no judgement on OCD, i have it too), a child of an abuser, alcoholic (me too), full of rage that came out all the time, and just plain mean.

as an adult i realized a lot of what i believed my whole life were lies. my mother told me that my dad still loved her (they divorced when i was 15) and that he told her he wanted he told me he hated her and felt like an abused spouse, and said they could have worked it out. what was i supposed to think of that??

then my father told me that my mother cheated consistently throughout their marriage and threw it in his face. i have always loved my father and wanted to be just like him when i grew up. when i found about that, i grieved for my father’s suffering. he’s a quiet, gentle man (he swears a lot though.  lol) how could i have not known? i lived with them both in a pretty suburban neighborhood. you could see the playground at my grade school from our house.  i thought we were the perfect family, honestly! i disassociated virtually everything about my mother, my father was great when he was around. our house was nice, my father was a university history professor and my mother taught at a high school.

i was confused my whole childhood and early adult years because neither my father nor i came clean about our life with her. she treated me nicely in front of him and they had raging fights that they hid from me.  she often said to me, we have such a great relationship, don’t we?! by the time of the divorce i knew things were seriously fucked up, i just didn’t know any of the specifics. when she said our relation ship was awesome i had to answer yes with glee or she would grab me by the shirt front, hold me up to her face and say, i know what you’re thinking, you think i’m a bitch, don’t you, don’t you? i had to agree with everything she said or boom, rage, screaming in my face. i still have have the feeling she can read my mind, even though i knew it’s not true.

i’m going to stop for now, i’m not staying on topic or putting things and order or whatever i should have done.

back to the card for a moment. her hand writing is beautiful, unmistakable.  i hadn’t looked at the return address and when i opened the card i saw the writing and the words, repair our relationship and threw it away immediately. i thought i was going to be sick. 10 years i’ve been trying to pretend she wasn’t alive and then i get this bullshit. i see my psychiatrist on Tuesday, so we can work through it.

this has been hard to write and i have so much more to say, but i’ll put it in chunks so i can handle it and so you don’t have to read a huge block of text!

i don’t think many people blog openly about child abuse, and i’ve never talked much about it to anyone  but my husband, my shrink, and my dad. i’ve told a few people that i hate her and didn’t explain. so here it is, at least some of it.

child abuse is something you never get over and for me,  it ruined a lot of my life.

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unhappy anniversary, mom and dad

divorce. it’s something that never goes smoothly, that affects children and adults, that  leaves mental scars and that ruins people’s lives for at least a short period of time, or much longer for others.

my parents divorced when i was 15. they were married 20+ years, most of which was filled with anger, tears, and resentment. my mother was abusive to me, and you don’t hear about this much, but she was an abusive spouse as well. i couldn’t have been happier that they were splitting, hoping i’d be able to escape from my mother. no such luck. my father was in my life even less than when he was married to my mother. she was so angry and devastated by the divorce that she had to take it out on someone, or at least that was what was in her nature. she took out everything she would have liked to have done to my father, to me. she lied about every bit of their marriage and her life before and after the divorce.

we all suffered and everybody pretty  much ended up hating the other parties in the disaster. it was a messy ugly divorce, not that there could be an easy divorce ever, but this was epic.  i could go on and on but the fact of the matter is that they needed to be divorced, despite the pain we all felt.

i didn’t escape though. my father sunk himself into his relationship with my stepmother (their affair was what sparked things until the divorce was inevitable.) both parents were so involved with their nervous breakdowns to notice me or try to help me get through the nightmare. .

today, march 26, is their wedding anniversary, or what would have been if they’d lasted this long. *shiver of horror*

i talked to my father about it last week and he’d forgotten all about what day the anniversary was. i told him how upset i was and he seemed really surprised. am i the only one who got divorced? people tell me i’m too old to feel this way about it. it’s lodged in my mind forever. i haven’t had contact with my mother since i realized how the way she acted and the way she treated me was unacceptable. that was about 10 years ago.

today is a painful day for me. my dad and stepmother are leaving for their trip back to their house in england, brighton to be exact, today. it cuts me to the bone. i feel like mourning, there is so much wrapped up in this date. i hate it.

unhappy anniversary, mom and dad. :/

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old thing, 2013

old thing

this is a abstract photograph that i took shortly after i returned from a trip to england and france. my dad lives in brighton (UK) and when i went to visit him we took a hovercraft from the southern coast of england to Dieppe (france). we spent the day wandering around the town, taking a bus ride to see the sites of historic interest, and going to a bakery and using my pathetic french to ask to buy a baguette. it was delicious, unlike any bread you’d get outside of france. at a particularly warm part of the early afternoon we stopped at an outdoor cafe and drank a few pints of french beer. nom!

after more walking to stopped at a little place where you could see the marina from. we had ‘moules frites’ (mussels and chips/fries), a strange salad and red wine.  we shopped a little after lunch, making a lucky find of a herbalist/Buddhist/spiritual store tucked away in  a dark. cool, courtyard. it was very small and packed full with cool stuff.

i found the subject of the picture there, marked down 70%. it’s a carved wood buddha statue, about 8″ tall and 5″ wide at the base. the wood is solid so it was very heavy. it was quite expensive even after the huge price reduction, but it seemed meant to be for me. i bought it and lugged it all the home on the plane.

it’s beautiful, full of details and wonderful designs. i collect buddha statues and i liked this one especially much because it was an Indian buddha, thin and serious, unlike chinese buddhas which tend to be rolly polly and happy. i like the indian ones better, they seem more respectful and holy.

i thought it would make a good abstract photo with all the detail and the dappled light it was in.  i think it turned out pretty well. the statue sits on my desk and is a reminder of a great day i had with my dad. 🙂

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my secret brother

i have a secret brother. not secret like made up, but secret like nobody knows.

i’ve never met him, i know nothing about him other than that my mother got pregnant right after she graduated from high school. the father was an older man that ditched her when he found out.

my grandmother sent my mother to a calthoic home for unwed mothers. she had the baby there and never even got to hold him. when she left the place to go for a walk or outside to have a smoke, neighborhood children would call her a slut. it breaks my heart to hear that. i’ve never had a baby, but i can imagine a little bit about how hard it would be to carry a child in your womb for 9 months and never get to see or touch him. would she have been a better mother if people hadn’t treated her that way?

after all of that, she returned to home and they told everyone that she was away at school.

when i was a child i remember that she and my father talked about me being my mother’s only child and that my birth was the first time she’d ever been in labor. my father knew the truth and went along with it.

i got the  big talk about birth control and sex,etc. etc. when i was 15. it was a shitty conversation which ended with my mother breaking down and telling my about my secret brother. i was shocked. they lied about it for my whole life. i wanted to meet my brother, i didn’t have any other siblings.

my mother didn’t want to find him, didn’t want to hear anything about him. she handed me a bunch of documents and said, you can try and find him if you want.

i never did. i didn’t want him to know how awful his mother was. i have no problem with the unwed pregnancy part. i think she was taken advantage of, didn’t know what she was getting into. i say she was a horrible mother because she was abusive, and i didn’t want him to know that.

i often wonder where he is and what he’s up to. he’s about 10 years older than me and sometimes when i see guys that age i wonder, is that him?

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a happy story!!

when i was a kid i loved to hear my dad tell stories(i still do!) about his time in the navy. he was in the service in the mid 1950s. we have photos of him in his uniform. he was so handsome!

he told a story about the rivalry of the soldiers in the navy had with the army soldiers.

he was on shore leave in Tokyo one night, getting wasted with his buddies.  they were careening back to the ship when they ran into a bunch of drunk infantry men. the biggest one stepped forward and punched my dad in the face as hard as he could.

my dad is anything but aggressive and trying to think of him in a brawl makes me giggle. but he wasn’t quite in the brawl, he was the beginning and the end of the fight.

when the big guy hit him he stood stock still and didn’t even flinch! he didn’t throw a punch, he didn’t fall down or cry out. the other guys turned tail and ran.

he said it was a fluke or maybe it happened just because he was drunk. but i love to think of him being that bad ass!