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Day 147: Mother F-ing Letter Part 2 - How I Felt About It (Major Trigger Warning)

Posted by intrepidshe , in Healing Work 06 May 2014 · 218 views

May 6, 2014 Intrepid Age = 76 Days:
 
Extreme Trigger Warning
 
Mom,
 
It occurs to me as I face this second section of the letter that you do not deserve the title, "Mom." You were an egg donor, you were an incubator, you were a restaurant (some of the time), you were a landlord (most of the time), but a mom?? Not really. And, I accepted your limitations, your flaws, your weakness, your fears. You made it my responsibility to deal with them for you, to tell you you did not have limitations, flaws, weaknesses, or fears, you were a "great mom." How many times did you wheedle that sentence out of me with your self-pitying statements?
 
But, again, I digress.
 
I know you're not reading anymore and these words are visible only to the flies in the trash bin. That doesn't matter. Once again, what matters is my need to say them. My need to speak my truth, no matter how reprehensible to you. This section of the letter is about how I felt about the things you did at the time. This part of the letter is the most daunting for me because I learned not to feel my emotions so thoroughly I genuinely cannot feel them. I can peek at them from around the corner. I can see them in action in unexpected ways. But, I cannot allow them to surface or show them, not to myself or to anyone else. And I am working HARD to fix that. Because, it turns out, I need to feel them. I need to show them. I need nurturing and comforting. I need these things like I need oxygen, water, food, and shelter.
 
I have had issues come up at work because of my inability to feel my emotions. I have been cruel or responded in an unfeeling way to people on many occasions. This happened again just today . . . to remind me I NEED to learn to feel and express my emotions. Because I am innately kind. It is my true north to be loving to people. But you don't know that. You know my distance. You know my reserve. You know my rage. And, sadly sometimes other people do as well, for no fucking good reason. Thankfully I have learned something you never learned. I have learned to apologize. And I did. Today when I cut someone down because my temper got the better of me, I apologized.
 
And I am trying, with everything I have, to change this about myself. I am improving. But, there is a wall in front of me. That wall is my frozen emotions. I will knock down this fucking wall and it will land on you! HA!! "Land on you!" Remember that fucking phrase?! Well, it's your fucking turn! "I'm going to land on you!"
 
This is how I felt about it at the time:
 
I can't remember what it felt like as an infant to not be held. I can only imagine the abiding loneliness, fear, anger, and deep sense of loss I must have experienced laying in a crib or a box. Thank goodness there were other relatives around sometimes. I was held at least some of the time. But, your inability to hold me is why I didn't imprint to you, why I couldn't connect with you, why I was standoff-ish. I had to be in my head because it hurt too fucking much to be in my body! I was in pain almost all of the time as a child. Of course, to you I was just trying to get attention.
 
It is very hard for me to say how I felt about your abandonment, because you abandoned me so young. You were done with me almost from day 1. Maybe even literally from day 1. How would I know? I can tell you how I felt later in life. When I was 12 and you admitted you were done raising children, I felt relieved. I was relieved to know the score. Do you know what I thought at the time? (Of course you don't and you don't care.) I thought, "Oh. I get it now. It's not us. We're not the problem, they are." I understood at 12 fucking years old when my mom abandoned me that she was the problem. It was a miraculous eye-opener for me. You were always distant, angry, exhausted, drunk. You would sigh so heavily whenever one of us called for you, it was clear we were nothing but an unbelievable bother.
 
We didn't want to be a bother. All I wanted was for you to look at me with affection. To gently brush my hair instead of ripping my hair out in a fury. To run your hand down the back of my head or sit next to me and talk. To look at something I did with interest. To go to one of my concerts and pay a compliment. Oh, what I would have given for a compliment! I longed for you to tell me you were proud of me. I didn't need to get first place or be the very best (or the "best of the very best" as you said). Why did you hold such standards? Was it because you are a genius but didn't get to pursue your dreams? Was it because you were always number one at everything and so anything less was unworthy of praise?
 
I needed your praise. I craved it. All I ever got, at best, was dismissive, and at worst was minimizing or mocking me. I had a full scholarship to college and you never said a word about it, other than to tell me I wouldn't have gone to college otherwise, you wouldn't pay for it.
 
Damn it!!
 
I am only realizing right this minute you fucking owe me that college money back! With interest!! Fuck!!
 
OK, enough about how it felt to be abandoned, to never have your approval or attention.
 
I don't remember what it felt like when the baby sitter raped me. Blessed amnesia has erased those memories. I can't remember your reaction. I only remember you shoving medicine inside me. I also remember feeling terrified. Terrified isn't even close to adequate to describe how I felt. It was singularly the most frightened I have ever been. Something in your demeanor made it horrifying. You had no compassion for me, no concern for what I was going through. You just had a job to do. You took no steps to help me. You probably never even talked to the doctor about how indescribably awful it would be for me to have that medicine shoved into me after having been raped. You were just angry with me for making it difficult, for being unreasonably afraid. FUCK YOU! Of course I was afraid. It was the worst thing that had happened to me in my life up to that point. Anyone would have fought you, tried to escape, begged you, "Please mamma, I don't want the medicine. It hurts." You only cared about what it was like for you, not what it was like for me. You could have reached out for help. You could have asked for advice.
 
But, no, that's ridiculous. "Doctors only take advantage. They just want your money." Beside, I wasn't raped. I was making a big fucking deal out of absolutely nothing. The baby sitter just "messed" with me. I was freaking out and kicking and running away for no good reason.
 
That experience was a major turning point for me. I knew with grim resolve you didn't care at all how I felt. You couldn't recognize it in the slightest.
 
 But, god, I didn't give up yet. Not completely.
 
You let your husband sexually abuse me for five years (he programmed me for three years before that). Fuck, for all I know he was abusing me before age 11 but I don't remember it. My memory starts to be more complete at about age 11. Still I have many gaps, but at least I remember more than just occasional flashes.
 
I gained a huge fucking memory last night about the time he was taking naked pictures of me when I was 9 years old. I remember asking you to make him stop. I was so desperate for you to care about what I felt. I was literally shaking like a leaf. But, I showed no emotion. No tears, no begging, just a single sentence. "Mom, please tell him to stop." But that bounced off you completely. You turned on me. You told me I was just a child. It wasn't wrong, he is a photographer.
 
It never fucking occurred to you he undertook that hobby as a means for getting sexual pleasure from me! You handed me to him on a silver platter!
 
And, incredibly, when I was with him a lot of the time I felt happy. He paid attention to me. He listened to me. He was interested in my interests. He told me I was talented and encouraged me. He told me I was smart.
 
Then when he started taking me to the woods, it became indescribably awful. All of the things he celebrated about me became things he turned into sexual pleasure. He took pictures of me with my guitar (a guitar I worked for an entire summer to buy). He attached horrible shame to music (my one pure and reliable joy). And you saw the fucking pictures. You didn't care how it affected me. You never said a word. You never asked.
 
There is no word I know of to describe how that feels. You had no belief in me to pursue my dream of writing music, and you allowed him to make it into a sick perversion. And, I was so damned confused that I felt fucking good about him paying attention to me. I thought it was a huge compliment that he took pictures of me naked with my guitar. I was sick to my stomach, but told myself it was "art" as he claimed.
 
How could you have seen those pictures and not become enraged with protectiveness for your child?!
 
Years later when the police called me for a statement I felt so ashamed I threw up for almost an entire day. I feel sick to my stomach right now remembering this, remembering what it was like to tell them, to answer the question, "Why did you let him take the pictures?" That fucking moment talking to the sheriff is emblazoned on me like a brand. I didn't understand how wrong it was, how creepy and sick and vile, until I was asked that question. And then I felt wrong, creepy, sick, and vile. I was the one who "let" him take those pictures.
 
That's how you think of it too, isn't it?! That's why you never stood up to him, never asked me about it, never made any attempt to protect me at all. And, I am sure you wanted him to come after me for sex, to let you off the hook. It was a relief to you. Remember when you told the State counselors that sex was the most important thing to him? I remember what you meant underneath that. You meant that you had to let him have your daughter. Who cares? She's strong. She can take it.
 
FUCK!!
 
And even still I wasn't angry. I was mortified. I was ashamed, unbearably ashamed. I have always been unbearably ashamed of just existing. I shouldn't have ever existed. I was the worst thing that happened to you. I ruined your life. I always felt completely worthless, or having value only in so far as I could be a sexual object or a care taker for others. I had no value myself.
 
I felt unimportant, small, cold, dark, lonely, empty, and sick. I felt like a waste of flesh. I felt demented and putrid.
 
But, no one could ever see that. I knew how to act. I knew how you expected me to act, how you demanded me to show the world a happy face. I learned to put on a mask. That mask eventually became a suit of armor and it eventually replaced nearly all of my emotions.
 
When I was responsible for my siblings most of the time what I felt was tired and afraid. I couldn't do for them what was needed. I didn't even know what was needed because I thought all a child needed was food and shelter. I learned that from you. So, I was no different to them, at least in terms of showing affection. I couldn't do that. But, I was there for them to protect them. That part I got, even though you  didn't. I did my best to protect them.
 
But I failed. And that was probably the most painful thing of all. I wasn't able to stop him or you. I buffered, and limited the abuse, but I wasn't able to stop it. I tried so hard to put myself between him  and them and between you and them. And I succeeded many times. But, not always. Still there were times when the beatings would commence. I wouldn't be able to stop him by provoking him or distracting him.
 
I feel horribly ashamed of myself for using my body to draw him away.
 
And, it didn't even work. In the end, he got to my younger sister. Because I couldn't sustain it. I couldn't fight him off again. I couldn't take another knock-down-drag-out fight. Three times this happened. I just couldn't do it any more. So, I abandoned them too. I left. I left them in your care.
 
I should have gone to the police instead of protecting the fucking secret. I was so desperate for your approval, so loyal, such a "good girl" I didn't even consider telling. So I did what you did. I turned to alcohol. Then I turned to men, so many men. I turned away and then he had them. He beat them. He sexually abused my sister. And I let it happen.
 
The absolutely worst thing of all is that in the end I became you. Are you proud of me now?



Oh, Intrepid,

This just tears my heart out, all that you have been through. Really incredulous...incredible.

You tried so hard to find a way to have a good place in your family, and it just was not allowed. And then you were so exploited and neglected. Sleeping in a box, for starters. How contemptuous and demeaning. UnMothered.

 

I empathize with feeling the utter worthlessness in the eyes of others and then yourself, from being so devalued. And your despair at trying and then not being able, to protect your sister. That last part is extremely painful, too. Your unwanted  helplessness is painful and palpable.

 

You are so good inside, so loving and kind. And you were so mistreated, by both of your parents.

 

I can see how the last line may feel true, but your core heart is not the same as hers, even though your despair led to seemingly similar behavior, because you were overwhelmed, overtaxed, and really just a child. Your regret and remorse signal the difference between you and them. Your despairing helplessness is in no way equivalent to her cold-hearted, selfish, drunkenly blind eye.

 

Never, please, see yourself as anything like her. You are the opposite, and she missed it. Completely, by a continent.

 

I care about you. I am so sorry you had all this pain. I would love to be able to help you lift it off yourself. All I can do is stand in awe of the true you. I am sorry you never had a mother. You truly deserved one and a good one at that!

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outside_the_box
May 06 2014 10:23 PM
My dear friend, Again you amaze me with the harsh reality you survived. You are so right that your mother does not deserve nor has she earned the title of mother. I really do not understand how a mother could carry a child in her womb for nine months, give birth to a miracle and then neglect and abuse it; she served up a mere child and gave her to a predator to be devoured by evil. She is the one who should be ashamed of herself for such blatant disregard for human life. The fact that she treated you and your siblings so deplorably and then was kind to others is even worse. All the while blaming you for her miserable life. I do not think this woman deserves your respect or love or anything else. She doesn't deserve to have any part of your life. You have proven her wrong time and again by surviving, even thriving despite her thwarting attempts. You are not to blame for what she allowed to happen to your siblings. You had to leave if there was any hope of your survival. You did save your siblings from as much as you could. Please remember you were only a child. Because of the horrific abuse since infancy, you emotional state was drastically stunted. Instead of taking the blame for your mothers bad behavior and lack of caring, give it all to her. Lighten your load. You have carried it far too long. You might even find that your neck and back and shoulders do not hurt as much. And, if you are lucky, maybe your heart will not ache so much. I hope that by writing this letter, you can let go and get some much needed rest. Good night my friend.

I wholeheartedly agree with everything jiva and outside the box said.

 

You told me I was just a child. It wasn't wrong, he is a photographer.
 

What????

 

How could you have seen those pictures and not become enraged with protectiveness for your child?!

 

Yeah. How????

 

You meant that you had to let him have your daughter. Who cares? She's strong. She can take it.

Who cares? I care, Intrepid. I care. I'm sorry your incubator didn't. Some people breed only because pairing up is a biological imperative, and then they treat the result as an inconvenience. Not cool. Animals know how to care for their young.

 

You fought like a soldier, and then when you could fight no more, you fled. It is inconceivable that you would have had the resources to continue to fight him by going to the police, especially after being shamed by them already.

 

You didn't abuse your sister. He did. You did not become your mother. You carried the burden of doing what she should have done for as long as you could possibly take it. You were more of a mother to your younger sister than she ever was. It was not your burden to carry but you did your best to carry it anyway. Don't shame yourself any more for having limits to your strength.

Short on words. :hug: One thing - you are NOT your mother. Tgc Mand.

I agree completely with what others have written here, so I won't repeat it, but there was one other thing you wrote that got my attention:

 

"Because I am innately kind. It is my true north to be loving to people."

 

Yes, you are - I have felt that kindness  hug.gif

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yarnfoolishness
May 07 2014 12:42 PM

:hug:

:cuppa:

:blanket:

Oh, Intrepid,

It's been said above, and said better, but -

You are not her. You should never think of yourself as like her - that's so unfair. Sometimes, we're not as strong as the abusers, especially if we have no support and no protection. And it's sad - we'd give our very hearts to go back and be stronger but we could never have been expected to be. You couldn't have protected your sis, the person who could actively taught you to defend the abuser and disempowered you in every way. I'm so sorry. And I hope these letters help you free yourself of misplaced guilt.

:hug:
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intrepidshe
May 08 2014 08:21 AM
Max, Mand, Allegro, Yarn, and Q: I want you to know you touch my heart and give me strength. I am struggling with all the emotions this project is inciting. I know it is what I have needed to do. But I am short on words to tell you how much I appreciate you!

About Intrepid She

This is a moderated PUBLIC blog. This blog is a therapeutic tool I am using to help me get over my fear of doctors, which is made difficult by a history of abuse by them, to learn to grieve, and ultimately to integrate my dis-integrated heart.

 

View postings specific to health care.

View postings specific to touch.

View postings specific to crying.

 

The content of this blog is not appropriate for children or for anyone who might be triggered by reading about sexual abuse.

 

To the many others walking your own version of this path, I wish you well on your journey. -Intrepid

 

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