This is kind of an attempt at continuing my thoughts from my last post. I went in a direction that I didn’t really intend, but I still hope someone finds it useful and helpful.
This quote, which the internet attributes to Mahatma Ghandi, is one that takes most of us years to learn. For some, it takes a lifetime. Our choices matter. How we treat others, matters. How we allow others to treat us, matters most of all. It’s how we respond to bad treatment that will dictate how we, our children, our friends and peers will react toward us.
I can’t speak for everyone here, but I for one thought I had a long time to settle on a life ambition. I had a lifetime to “do” and to “be”. I spent most of my younger years, placating abuse and the abusers. In the meantime, time was passing and I didn’t see it. Time is precious. Life is precious. YOU are precious, as am I.
If we placate abuse and or the abuser, what will that create for the rest of our lives? More abuse. When the abuser is our child, that enables THEM to continue to abuse. Placating that child doesn’t mean (at least in my case) that I turned a blind eye. It meant I could see no way out of the abuse. I had a duty to my child, to raise her the best that I could. My daughter was so “over-the-top” with her perceptions of life, and of others around her, she could not see the big picture surrounding her role. She was unteachable and Incorribible. I would ask for help from several sources, including my parents who told me, “Mine are grown”. That was the extent of the pearls of wisdom I would glean. I was entirely on my own. Perhaps I stopped asking too soon? I’ll never know. I resigned myself to that life. I would still try to discipline and correct her, only to be hit or kicked again. At one point she spit a loogy on my back, hacking it from 5 feet away. I was stuck in “mom” role, and stuck in “victim” role at the same time. I went from being at a loss of what to do for her, to being entirely afraid of my own daughter. I still had a duty to her, to make sure she was “taken care of”.
I never lied to anyone about her behavior, her tendencies or her potential-good or bad. But I didn’t stop her, either. I thought I had done all I could do. Short of knocking her ass out, I did everything I could think of, to help her. To help me. I remember a time that for a while, I was afraid to fall asleep at night out of concern of being killed by my own daughter. There comes a time when you have done everything you can, prayed as much as you can, and when nothing works, you learn to “deal with it”. In doing that, I wasted away. My daughter wasted away, into the vindictive psychological tyrannical being she has become.
I was molested as a child. I believe it started when I was 7, but I really don’t recall how old I was. I do know it ended when my family moved to a neighboring town. I was, then, 14 years old. It went on for years. I was soon, old enough to say something. To DO something about it, yet I chose to be silent about it. I should have fought for myself, simply out of knowing I didn’t want to be there. I didn’t. It continued. He was able to continue in his disorder and pedophilia, while I was placating the abuse and abuser. Trying not to offend. I knew I wouldn’t be believed by my parents if I said anything. I didn’t want to hurt the man’s feelings either. It was just easier to be quiet, believing it would be over soon. Fact is, it was never over. It just changed faces, years, and days, yet never ever completely ending…
Abusive husbands, boyfriends, peers and parents. Teachers too. I stayed silent through everything. Placating abuse and abuser. Enabling the abuse. I was part of the problem, though thinking I was protecting myself from the aftermath of speaking out.
I set the playing field for the rest of my life, and ultimately, the life of my daughter.
Then, enter my year with the Psychopath. He destroyed me, or so I thought. Damage was there. I would never be the same again. I’m still under the effects of that time, though becoming healthier by the day. The unseeable and undiscernible happened, instead. The part that wasn’t obvious in that experience was that the slate had been wiped clean…sort of. He broke me away from myself. He shattered my foundation, whether that was a solid foundation that was healthy, or a disordered foundation. I was completely broken from it, left to redesign myself, my life, my beliefs and perceptions of others around me. Of how I would react to any input or threat to me or my family.
In order to ultimately become healthy, that NEEDED TO HAPPEN!! I just wasn’t open to the fact that I just might not have had a healthy view of myself, life or others, before. I walked into that relationship, believing I was just “fine”, then leFT it as a pile of smelly, gooey goo. Not at all “OK”.
I walked away from that time totally paranoid, shattered and broken. But I also walked away with the knowledge and basis I would need to renew and rebuild my life. In a sense, he allowed for a great thing to take place inside of me. I would NEVER recommend this type of process to anybody. I had to be shaken from my core, in order to really see what I needed to.
What was the cornerstone that I used to start rebuilding? The thought that “no one will ever EVER treat me like that again! I will NEVER go through THAT again!”. As time went on, I started noticing certain behavioral parallels in my own life. I looked into the past, and noticed some interesting things that I hadn’t noticed before. The initial approach by abuser + my silence and allowance = abuse. We will always be approached by someone who is only out for themselves, choosing us to use as a means to an end. Why did I allow the abuse? I doubted my own feelings, intuition and discontent. I didn’t call a duck, a duck. A sick man, a sick man. The more I visualized what I could remember of my own life, the same patterns showed themselves. The future I allowed for, then, is what I’m dealing with, now. I created my own present, by placating abuse and abuser, and refusing to stand up for myself.
I learned to change my responses to mistreatment or obvious attempts at manipulation. I speak up now. As I have had to do recently, with tears flowing as I write, I cut another abuser out of my life. She cannot hurt me anymore. I’m afraid for my granddaughter, as I am probably the only stable person in her life. She’s already showing signs of dissociation, at the young age of 5. I can only pray that God bring her to me, and protect her until then. Given the opportunity, I will not hesitate to fight for her. I will always fight for her.
The story isn’t over, yet. There are still blank pages of our lives that need to be written. How do you or I want that “book” to be written? Do you want it to include more abuse, whether that be from a colleague, child, lover or work-mate? Or do you want a happy existence? Where you are respected and admired? Where you have room to respect and love yourself?
I haven’t given up on my daughter. I’m just choosing to end my part in the cycle. I will always love her. I will always be a Mommy to a beautiful, curly-haired, blond little girl…who as a baby, refused to sleep. Who was always so energetic and full of emotion… who’s hair stood straight up, looking like a brush, and so thick that it would break adult-sized barrettes. Who was full of laughter, studying the lights around her as a baby. Who I will always love.
Pretty girl, you will always be in my heart and prayers…