Wednesday, December 2, 2009
My Mother's Madness - In Short
I could be graphic, but my point is not to share the gruesome moments of my childhood in detail --- only to brief you, and help you (and me) rise above those moments -- not envision and repeat them.
I was 12 or so, the next "major" event that I remember. I had taken a deposit into the bank for my mother and not gotten a deposit slip in return. (not that I would've known that I should at that time) Upon returning to the car, she slapped me. Within the ranting and raving I distinctly remember hearing her ask me, "Do you want to die?" It wouldn't be until a few years ago, but I finally understood that madness. I hate myself for understanding it -- but I do.
When I was 16, she locked me out of the house for being 3 minutes late. It didn't matter that I had proof I had been driving all of my drunk friends home -- and I was sober. It was the midwest, and it was summer. I don't remember that it was 100 degrees, but it was hot, and I had nowhere to go. I called my girlfriend's mom, and they agreed to let me stay with them. I cut through the deadbolt with a hand saw -- yes, it took 3 hours. Got some of my clothes, and left. I hated myself for a long time. I felt like I was lost - abandoned - left to fend for myself. But, as I know now, it was the first decision I would make that changed my understanding of "love".
I was raped when I was 17. It was in the newspapers and I allowed the media access to my story. It was what I wanted to do -- help others not find themselves in the same situation. My mother (to this day) thought that was the most ludicrous thing I had ever done. It was an embarassment to her.
When I was 23, I found out I was pregnant. I struggled with keeping my son, or giving him up for adoption. I was doing fine, financially -- but emotionally I was a wreck! I hated who i was, and didn't want to take a child "down" with me. I ultimately decided to raise my son. (without his father to this day -- a story for later)
My son was just over 1 yr old the next time my mother made a huge impact. He had been hospitalized (at the hospi9tal where my mother worked) in the middle of the night for pneumonia. I hadn't slept much that night, and was confronted (with my son in my arms) by an angry, looming figure. My mother was ranting about how horrible it was that her co-workers knew before she did that my son had been admitted. She rose and shook her fist in my face. As I sheltered my son from her threatening advance, I realized that my life - my son's life - was never going to be "normal" as long as I was in the crosshairs.
Just before my son's 2nd birthday, I moved several thousand miles away from my family and began therapy.
Now, 11 yrs later, and many thoughts of giving up - on myself - I am raising a loving, respectful, beautiful boy into a man.
We struggle - and sometimes it is all my fault. But most days we are happy and healthy. I think the greatest story to be told here, is the story of how my son's unconditional love and acceptance keeps me pushing forward. Granted, it is horrible not having a family. But we are fortunate to have loving friends that have taken us in. (and seen the destruction of my family - and helped with the fallout)
My first "true" thought upon blogging was, "Why do I want everyone to know my story?"
My next thought was, "Will it help to get it out?"
I guess I think it will. I hope you find information that you can use. I know that I don't have a degree, and I don't have the only angel child out there. What I do know, is that there have to be others out there that have wondered how and where to start raising a wonderfully adjusted, and well behaved child in the midst of the rubble of your mother's (or father's) madness. That is what I hope to do -- show you the tricks I have learned, and learn more as we go.