Wednesday, December 2, 2009

My Mother's Madness - In Short

One of the first things I remember (vivadly) as a child, was the day my sister and I woke my mother from her nap.  I must have been about 6 yrs. old.  My mother, angered and tired, demanded that I retrieve a shoe.  I can still picture my small hands shaking as I clutched that black, pattened leather heel in my hand.  In a matter of moments, my  body was beaten and blistered.  Always on my buttocks and thighs, but it hurt, nonetheless. 
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.


  1. Pretty strong stuff there. I think blogging will help you and help others who read you. You will find you are not alone.

  2. Whoa, my sympathies and prayers for your difficult story. God bless you for having the courage to raise your son, you will never regret it. Forgive your mother, and God will look very kindly on you for all your hardship.

    Joe Cap


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