You know those commercials you see all the time on TV, that are just stating over and over that “depression hurts”. Well, yeah. It does hurt. But life goes on, and you can’t just sit there on the couch staring off into space. It just doesn’t work like that. Or maybe it does, if you’re not a mom. I’ve been struggling with depression for quite a bit lately, and with my way of coping- I just don’t leave the house unless I have to.
Let me give you a little background here.
On the outside, growing up, it seemed like I had the perfect life. I grew up in a quaint little house, with a white picket fence and an American flag hanging high. It was always decorated in the most gaudy decorations you could buy from Wal-Mart , Home Interiors and Longaberger. I had parents that were still unhappily married, and a younger brother who was “disabled”.
Bottom line of this situation- I was the “unwanted one, and wished they would have gotten rid of me when they had the chance”- quoted from (what you would consider) my mother. Emotional and physical abuse was a daily part of my life. There was not a morning that went by without being hit or yelled out. From the point where I can remember up to the day I moved out as an adult. My earliest memories of childhood are of me being beaten. I remember having to lie about the bruises and marks, and when I finally told the truth (when the abuse got to it’s worst point) to a school counselor, I was told that I had an active imagination, because she KNEW my parents, my mother in particular.
I was a good kid. I never got into trouble. I never smoked, drank or did drugs (at least until I got to my senior year of high school-which was me trying to end what little feelings I still had). I did everything my parents told me to. I was in dance lessons 8-10 hours a week after school and on the weekends, which I hated. I volunteered within the city, and even held a position on the commission when I was 14.
All of which was forced. My mother was trying to live a life she could have never had, through me. She took all of her hate, her anger towards other people out on me. I was her legal punching bag. And I say legal, because she got away with it so many times.
I remember my brother, being oh-so-little, walk by my mother and in a fit of rage (unprovoked mind you), picked him up and threw him into our tv. And her first instinct was to tell me “tell the truth and I will kill you, no one will miss you”. Her second was then to call an ambulance for my brother who was bleeding from his head. I remember the police coming, and I remember lying.
I wish I would have told the truth.
The saddest part? My mother had been a school teacher.
You read that right.
Your child could have been taught by this monster. She hated her own kids. How do you think she handled yours? I’m not trying to scare you, but I’m just trying to show you that you might not really know who takes care of your child’s education. Really. So if your child tells you that something isn’t right with their teacher- listen to them, and look into it seriously.
My father (who was a very well-known and respected man in our community) was mostly oblivious to the situation. Sure, he saw some of her bits of outrage, but he was mostly at work, working 24 hour shifts, then heading to another job for another 12 hours. Come home, and repeat. He was a damaged person too, which is what I think attracted him to her. He didn’t know who his biological father was, and was adopted by one of the most stoic people I have ever met in my life. His mother had so many other kids, he was lost in the shuffle.
My paternal grandmother added to my mother’s hatred of me, because she already “had another granddaughter, and certainly didn’t need another”. I remember over hearing conversations with her neighbor about me, as she referred to me as the “spoiled b*tch”.
The rest of the family in the area knew my mother was insane. They knew how she treated my brother, and especially how she treated me. They never did anything to help us. No one cared. I do hold most of them to blame for most of my pain. How on earth can adult turn their head the other way, when it’s obvious a child is being treated so horribly? I was always covered in bruises, and it’s not because I was clumsy- no matter how many times she told people I was. I was an ABUSED child. I was helpless. I was in need.
In her opinion I was never pretty. I was never smart. I couldn’t amount to anything. I’d never make it to college. My dreams didn’t matter. Anything I did was a waste of time. What I wanted was never factored in to the equation.
I was to be a robot. I had no feelings, except little moments throughout my teenage years where I would just cry for hours. For no apparent reason.
I would be beaten for those moments as well.
I was woken up in the middle of the night, just to do chores and be beaten. On school nights.
I was an average student. Never the popular kid, and only had one friend. They never knew the truth either.
As you can imagine, this is a big recipe for one damaged adult. I joined the military because it was the one place I thought I could be taken care of, and get away. I also felt it could turn into a suicide mission, and I didn’t care to live anyway.
Then I was in the tornado, and lost my hearing. At 17, I went deaf. Which ruined my career in the military before it started really. It was heartbreaking, but looking back I feel it was God’s way to STOP the insane path that I was on.
In college I was terrified to get married, or even worse, have a child. I was a product of two heartless people. How could I possibly have ANY love in me, to share with another person?
I had one failed-and short- relationship after another. Some were abusive as well. Most, I was just using them to make it seem like I was happy.
Then I went off the deep end.
And J came into my life.
After having a “2 week vacation” I ran into J. He asked me for my number. I said yes. He came to get it a day later. I said no. You can have my e-mail. He took what he could get, and we instant messaged each other that night for hours. I kept my family life a secret.
We dated. I invited him to meet my parents.
And I know what you’re thinking. How could I go back? How could I even speak to them at this point? Bottom line- I was never taught to be on my own. I was terrified that I couldn’t support myself. I can honestly say that I was scared of the outside world, because if home was so bad, how could the rest of the world be?
surprisingly, they showed their true selves to him.
Long story short… After involving police, an insane 3 page letter my mother wrote to my future mother in law filled with lies about me, a cancelled wedding, a new wedding and years and years of intense therapy that J paid for me to go through, I was able to function without a cold, black heart filled with hate and fear.
I was no longer like my parents.
I knew that I could be better, and give my husband and daughter the kind of life people should have. Everyone should have a caring, loving and warm home. No one should be scared to go to bed each night, not knowing what the next day will bring. No child should worry about getting beaten to DEATH.
Which is why I will NEVER hit my daughter. I would never want it to get out of hand. I will never allow myself to become the ugly monster I was subjected to most of my life.
I always want my daughter to be happy, healthy and know that she is loved. I want her to know that her opinion is important and I will never make her think that what she cares about isn’t worth while. I will support her no matter what, even if it means I don’t agree with her.
I am NOT nor EVER will be the parents that I had. I am better than them, and I always will be. And even if it kills me, I will do anything and everything in my power to keep them away from my child. She is far too precious to ever be subjected to their evil- which might seem melodramatic, but it’s the only way I can describe these people.
My daughter and husband are the loves of my life, and I credit them with my life. Without them (and Christ), I truly feel I’d be dead by now. I am so fortunate to have J and his family come into my life when they did. I can’t thank them enough for it.
It’s been over 7 years since I’ve had contact with my parents, and I am so much happier. I’ve been in contact with some family in the recent, but for some reason, they stopped all communication with me with no explaination. It seems as if they are all cut from the same cloth. It took that last moment to make me realize that I have the family and friends that I need, and I certainly don’t need any of my “family” in my life. I am so much better without them, and happier than I could ever be.
This doesn’t mean I still don’t have my “down moments”. It’s hard because all those years of therapy can’t erase your memories.
*Everything I have written here is the truth,and from my point of view (obviously). While some people are in denial, I refuse to lie about my past. I have written this in an effort to bring light to children who are abused- mainly the ones you would NOT expect to be treated this way.
**I will be leaving comments open, however will be moderating them. Think about what you post- if you wouldn’t say it in front of people you know- then don’t post it. Hiding behind your keyboard does not make you anonymous. Remember that.
I will be deleting all inappropriate comments.
***A very special thank you to J, J2 and H for their support during this writing process. Even though this is a short “tid-bit” of my life, it was the hardest thing I have ever written and honestly took tears weeks to get through. And of course, thank you to you, the reader. If you’ve gotten this far, I owe you some cookies.
If you’ve noticed, I’ve changed the title of this post. This time, it’s more fitting.