Day 110: More to the Incest Confrontation
A community member here in Pandy's gave me some guidance on feeling, which I am going to use here. I will orient feeling statements to some information I got from my sister today. I have a list of emotion words from my T I will use to help me find the words to name the feelings.
I visited with my sister today for a couple hours. We live on different continents, so we don't get to visit very often. We get together over Skype when we can find the time. I asked her about the family confrontation. I wanted her memory to help me understand the sequence of events.
I was reminded how terrible a memory I have. I remember almost nothing. She kindly serves as a memory trace for me.
- I feel distressed about my memory because I am reliant on someone else to construct my understanding of what has happened in my life . . . so very much flows from that!
- I feel frustrated because I can't bring up my own memories even when she recounts to me what happened.
- I feel bewildered and frightened because I don't know what else I have washed out of my memory, what else happened to me.
- I feel uncertain about my interest in retrieving any other memories because I believe they have been scrubbed for a good reason.
In fact, it was quite a series of events that led up to this moment of her being caught drunk at school.
Our step-sister had a boyfriend who was at our house a lot. By this point in time I was living on my own a fair distance out of town. All of my siblings were heavy partiers and were almost completely unsupervised. But, our step-sister broke the only rule. No sexual activity in the house.
- Holy f*** do I feel angry thinking about that one! I just read in a book about incest how the abuser will have insane jealousy about the child's relationships. I think my step-father couldn't tolerate any of us having relationships, but the rest of us never had anyone over to the house. Our mother couldn't stand it because she had some horrible revulsion to the idea of us as sexual beings. There is something deeply horrifying about this I can't quite reach.
My sister leapt back in and eventually our mom stopped and left the room. My sister doesn't remember what happened exactly. Her memory is foggy at this point.
She called me and our brother and he and I went over to the house. Our step-sister moved out that night to live with her boyfriend. She never went back. I spoke briefly to our mother through her bedroom door. I told her I still loved her. We all left. My brother took my sister with him to stay at his place. This didn't work out well because there was late-night partying and my sister needed to be able to get up for school. I remember my mom telling me later that my words through the door are what caused her to seek treatment for alcoholism. (Another round of putting the power on me.)
After this incident our mother admitted herself into inpatient alcohol treatment. My sister and I both remember having an appointment with a counselor with our mom. Neither one of us remembers the substance of that meeting. But, we determined it must have happened when our mom was at this treatment facility. It must have been part of her treatment.
- I feel nauseated about the number of times we encountered external services meant to protect us and they never did! Instead, our parents were protected!
The thing I remembered about the counselor saying the problem was not drugs, it was our parents, was true. But, my sister told me I wasn't even there when that happened. So, obviously, this is a memory I adopted from her telling me about it later. Her telling of this moment made us both laugh today. She asked me if I remembered the scene in the movie Rocky when he jumped up and down in victory. She said that's what she did when the counselor said our parents were the problem. She was "redeemed." That was her word, "redeemed." She screamed at them.
Nonetheless . . . and this is absolutely incredible to me . . . the counselor sent her home with our mom. I have a lot of feelings about this one!
- Betrayed - more than anything, I feel betrayed. Our parents and the system betrayed us over and over again!
The dark room.
The horrible representation, the physical manifestation, of our abuse. They retrieved the few items that remained and then my sister took a knife to a pair of our mother's pants. She cut them up and stabbed the knife through them into the dining room table. She felt an impotent rage after having reported everything that had happened to her and being release into the custody/care of her abusers. Honestly, I'm kind of surprised she didn't do more than that.
She ended up homeless, as I said in my original posting. But, I had some of the details wrong about what happened next. Our step-father was investigated twice. The first time was associated with this incident of my sister being hospitalized. I don't remember what my sister said instigated the second investigation.
But, my memory about the outcome was right. No charges. No action.
The other thing that came out of the conversation today was my sister's affirmation of my judgment that he did stop abusing. She believes the same thing, for the same reason. She said he's a weak, broken man. So, between her affirmation and the comforting words posted in comments yesterday I feel very much relieved, not crazy or weak, or pathetic, as I did when I wrote the posting!
This leaves she and I both with a certain amount of acceptance of him. Neither one of us has the sort of intense feelings of betrayal toward him that we feel toward our mother.
And THAT is a topic for later writing. I'm not ready to go there just yet.