Monday, April 24, 2006


It has been a couple weeks since I have posted. I have been thinking a lot. I went to a Survivors of Suicide (SOS) meeting in that time (which is facilitated by 2 therapists), and saw my therapist. It had been more than a month since I had seen my therapist- right before I sent those letters.

Most everything and everyone seems to support the conclusion that I have moved towards, that I need to make a break from my parents, and remove them from my life. My relationship with them was based on a fantasy that someday they would start acting like parents. That is not going to happen.

All the many therapists in my life have told me I will start grieving soon. I am grieving for my brother, as all the other crap is working itself out and now the sadness is all that is left. That, and the intense feelings of love and gratitude that he was the person who got me through a horrible childhood, and kept me from bitterness and hatred towards the world because he was such a good, decent, kind person who looked up to me, made me feel worthwhile, and made me laugh in the darkest times. It is so, so sad that he did not survive.

I'm also grieving my childhood and that I do not feel any respect for the people who brought me into the world, and were supposed to be my role models and supporters. Now that I have no more expectations of them, they are dead to me. That probably sounds stupid, but I never had functioning parents. They are 2 miserable, childish people who I am now willing to let live with their decisions, their crappy behavior. I am composing letters to both of them, letting them know that I will not be in their lives anymore. I'm also going to change my middle and last names.

Next weekend I am going to E. WA to visit Jeff's grave, and the grief that I feel is already heavy inside me. Nevertheless, I will get through it, and I will be able to move on. I am feeling freer in my life than I ever have, and I am ready for this to be over (and to stop writing about this in my blog! I want to move on to other topics, to write about anything besides my parents.)

Speaking of blogs, I am in the process of moving this one to another location. It's been brought to my attention that my blog is looking all sorts of screwy lately. What is up, Friendster? You have been great and all, but apparently, as your name suggests, you are better with friends than blogs. I have many, many fond memories of my blog on Friendster, but shortly I will post the address of my new blog, for your reference. Maybe I can kick it off with a posting about something other than my family!

I had a migraine/stomach attack last week, and in order to avoid a repeat, I am trying to get this source of stress out of my life. That is all it is at this point, needless stress left over from my old life. BTW, I got a new job! I start May 15. My life is full of amazing changes right now. I never would have thought 6 months ago that I was at the beginning of a revolution.

I am an incredibly happy person. I am also fortunate, maybe even blessed. Yes, I do not know by who, but definitely blessed.

Saturday, April 08, 2006

Now conscience wakes despair

That slumbered, wakes the bitter memory
Of what he was, what is, and what must be

-John Milton, Paradise Lost, Book IV lines 23-25

For me, the unfolding truth about my family- back when I was a kid, now, and what future it has, is like a horror film without the stylized running and screaming. Running is not an option, although it does not matter because there is nothing to run from. It is that moment when the main character realizes that this is not all in my mind, I am not over-reacting, this is really happening. Another similarity I see between this situation and a horror film is in the existence of the anti-protagonist, the bad guy, the malevolent forces of evil.

Yes, evil. Evil is a loaded word- primarily from associations with Satan, of course. I have concluded my dad is evil. I realize evil is the most black and white, intolerant term I could apply here. It brings up all sorts of issues of whether it is unreasonably judgmental and rigid to classify someone as evil when, as many people believe, all people have varying degrees of good and evil in them, as well as the capacity for both, and to condemn someone else is to condemn yourself. Am I the Spawn of Satan? Is it psychologically healthy or even possible to categorically reject the 2 people who are the source of your being?

I believe it is both psychologically necessary for me, and inevitable. I have no choice, because I cannot morally accept or tolerate my parents anymore. I have carefully considered the evidence, such as-

My dad has been bringing a 4-year-old girl to a child molester's home, the same one who sexually abused his own daughter. He kept this information from the girl's father and grandmother. When I told my mom about this, instead of reacting with concern or outrage, she whinnied about my dad having a new wife. Both my parents promised me they would have no further contact with the child molester, but not when I told them what he was doing to me. No, it was only after the police got involved 5 years later.

My stepbrother told me that my dad told his current family that my mom was such a bad parent that he was going to divorce her, but in those days the woman always got custody of the kids so he stayed to protect us. I am not even going to try to explain how disgusted it makes me feel that he would tell such outrageous lies, and not take any responsibility at all for the abuse he put me though during my entire miserable childhood. Now I really know that when he apologized to me and begged my forgiveness, it was a completely depraved manipulation to get me to go along with his “I am such a normal father, nothing is wrong” act.

My dad also told his new family that my mom drove my brother to kill himself (because she was such a bad parent). He did not tell them my brother was living with him at the time, used his gun, and that my mom was living 145 miles away. What kind of father would use the circumstances of his son's death to manipulate people in his little game of "if I can convince you that I did not destroy my last family, you will let me destroy your family. My own son's death means nothing more than an opportunity to control you with the most sickening lies and deceptions I can think up." And what kind of mother wants to pretend that her son never even existed, because his suicide makes her feel like a bad parent, who stood by while her children were abused by her husband, the husband who she finally left, but only after it was too late to protect her kids? Of course, the answer is my father and my mother.

My dad's wife never responded to the letter I sent. After talking to my stepbrother, it seems clear why. My stepbrother's dad was abusive. My dad is verbally and emotionally abusing his stepson and step-granddaughter, and if they do not move out soon, it will only escalate. Not only is she letting it happen, covering up for my dad, making excuses for him, and facilitating the abuse (sounds so familiar), but she told my stepbrother, do not make me choose between you (her own son) and my husband, because I will choose my husband. When I told my support group about this last week, the facilitator said, she probably wants them in the house to take his abuse, so she does not have to. She had better have her bags packed as soon as they move out. She is next in line.

That got me thinking. Why did my mom wait to leave my dad until after I was long gone and my brother went to college (he came back after a semester and that was when he was living just with my dad)? I know that plenty of couples stay together until the kids grown because they think it is better for them to have both parents around, but this is hardly a compelling argument for my family. Any idiot off the street could have figured out that my brother and I would have been better off with a single mother, not living with a violently abusive father. So if my mom stayed with my dad through the yelling, the threats, the insults, the hitting, the furniture throwing, the beatings, the sexual abuse, and the child abuse charges, what motivated her to leave my dad after all that was over? Could it be because her human shields, a.k.a. her own children, were not there anymore to protect her from my dad's abuse? What kind of a mother prefers to see her children abused rather than her, and will leave an abuse man to protect herself but not her defenseless children? Apparently, my mom and my step-mom.

This is how abuse perpetuates itself, generation through generation. My dad was the youngest in his family, and bore the brunt of my grandfather's abuse. My grandmother was in an insane asylum during 4 years of my dad's childhood. He resented his mom for not protecting and taking care of him, and his older sister because he felt she was the favored child in the family, but did not hate his dad, and spent his whole life trying to win his dad's approval up until his death a few years ago. In my family, he decided I was just like his sister. I was a 7 year old bookworm when I remember the abuse starting, so how much could I really have reminded his of his loud, obnoxious, insensitive red-headed sister who married a severe alcoholic who cannot stay out of jail. He took his anger and resentment out on me. My mom was his mom, only he could control and manipulate her to his satisfaction, and my brother represented him, only this time he was the favored child. He was the puppet master, controlling our family, giving him the sense of power he never had as a child. He tried to mold my brother in his image, and denied my brother the freedom to develop as his own person. My brother defied my dad's control when he took his own life.

In his new group of victims, his wife is his ex-wife. His wife's granddaughter is his daughter. His stepson is his son. He even told them that he disliked my stepbrother because he reminded him of my brother, and he is angry that his stepson is alive while his son is not. He keeps replaying the same scenario, because he is addicted to the sense of power he gets from dominating other people, and punishing them for other people's perceived wrongs against him.

My dad will continue doing what he is doing as long as he can find women who will abandon their responsibilities to their children for him, and accept his rule. After talking to my mom, I am convinced that she is still codependent with my dad, and will continue to defend, cover up for, and obsess over him. (Why does he hate me? she asks me. Why the hell should she care? They’ve been divorced for 8 years.)

I asked my mom to come clean with our extended family about what happened, but her dishonesty continues. Just like when I was a kid, she blames me rather than taking responsibility for her failings as a parent, and recognizing that my dad is responsible for my dad being abusive. My mom’s excuses: I would not go to therapy when I was 13 (not true. I did go, the therapist said what was happening to me was emotional, mental, physical, and sexual abuse. My mom never took me back.) I never told her that my great-uncle was sexually abusing me (this is a complete lie that she has contradicted several times herself, most notably when she said she believed me when I told her when I was 12, but thought I could take care of it myself.) She did not know why I kept running away from home on mornings before we went to the child molester's house. I told her I was okay while I was lying on the floor bleeding with a concussion so she took my word for it; if I needed an ambulance, I should have told her. Her therapist told her not to take me to the hospital. My dad only hit me that once, so it was not really abuse (which makes so much sense considering she threatened to leave my dad when I was 7 because he was abusing me.)

She thinks we should not talk about what happened because I get so angry and she is worried that is emotionally unhealthy for me (because put-downs, threats, and constantly being yelled at is so healthy). My therapist says my mom is very sick, and that she must have been abused as a child herself because her mindset is that of an abused child, which is that it is the child’s fault.

Nothing has changed, neither one of my parents will take responsibility for what they have done wrong, and stop doing it. Because of that, I cannot forgive them.

I was angry, but I am not angry anymore. I was depressed, but I am not anymore. I accept that my parents did not, and will not change, and even if they did, it is too late. I have paid a heavy price in this family, and I will never get what I wanted from my parents. The one person in my family who I trusted, who was there for me, and got me through what was a complete nightmare of a childhood, is dead. My childhood is over, I am left with 2 selfish, dishonest, and immoral human beings who are my parents in name alone. I cannot heal and break this cycle while they are influencing my life, so this is where I get off the bus. Goodbye, and good riddance.

Sunday, April 02, 2006

There will be time to murder and create

Have you ever had a time in your life where you saw your past and your future stripped away to the fence posts in your current life? It was all just things that happened, and things that will happen, that stand around you like inanimate objects that have lost their potency, and are just there. It is like waking from a dream full of drama and danger, and finding yourself alone in your bed, surrounded by the objects you have collected over the years, and the things you find useful to have around.

It's been hard for me to write, or think, or do anything but keep my eyes open and my self upright in the last 2 weeks. I have been trying to be more honest about my life, but I really needed to quit going along with my parents and their dishonesty to do that, and I have done that. The world looks different to me now.

I argued with my mom, and she denied that a lot of the abuse happened, and that they forced me to go to my great-uncle's after they knew he was sexually abusing me. She told me that she talked to her therapist the night she watched my dad give me a concussion, and the therapist advised her against doing anything, like say, call the police or take me to the hospital. I probably would not have believed her, except she dragged me to that same therapist, who wanted me to know that I was being mentally, emotionally, physically, and sexually abused, but never reported it to the authorities, as he is legally obliged to do. I always wondered, how did he think he was helping by telling me that, when I had no power to change the situation? I was 13. Who even cares what he said. She saw what happened.

My stepbrother emailed me, and tonight I talked to him for an hour and a half. He thanked me for sending the letter, and told me he was taking it very seriously. He is moving away in a few months. Him and my dad have almost come to blows- it sounds like my dad is treating him a lot like he did me. He belittles him, and yells at my step-niece. Obviously my dad has not changed at all- my step-mom insists that everything that happened in our family was my mom's fault. My dad has lied to them about our family and the circumstances around my brother's suicide. He controls their family now. It seems my step-mom is firmly in denial. My stepbrother is going to talk to her about it anyway.

Finally, though, the reality is out there. I've told my side of the story, and it is not my mom's story and it is not my dad's story imposed on me. The fear, the guilt, the power my parents had over me is dissipating. I am standing up for my brother, too, and telling the truth about our family and his death.

Sometimes, our dreams are about escape, and the truth exists as strange symbolism in the corners of our mind. We try to push it back, but it's only when we wake up that the fear lets go, and we can stand and walk away.

…We have lingered in the chambers of the sea
By sea-girls wreathed with seaweed red and brown
Till human voices wake us, and we drown.

-T.S. Eliot, The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock (the title too)