Thursday, November 11, 2010

Questions For My Mom

Posted by Anonymous.

It’s been over six years now since you left this world. I think about you every day. I wonder what you would think about the grandchildren you left behind and the grandchildren who’ve come along since you left us. You definitely loved your grandchildren no doubt. I used to watch in wonderment at the interaction between you and the grandchildren and wonder why you never felt that way about me. It’s amazing how a grandmother’s love can be so different from a mother’s love. It’s also amazing how you as a mother could show your love between your children so differently.

I came to know and love you better as an adult. I could actually understand your actions better after you finally disclosed your sexual abuse as a child by your relatives.

What I don’t understand is why you chose me as your target when I was a kid. Why was I called names and insulted, slapped in the face so often?

Why did people allow you to call me “fat, lazy heifer” instead of my name for weeks on end? Why did the school allow you to send me to school with just a cold hamburger patty and an orange in my lunch box for weeks on end because you thought I was too fat? I look at the pictures of me when I was 8 yrs old and I see a normal sized child. Why were you frequently over feeding me and then either making fun of me or denying food to me? Why didn’t you care that I was humiliated by you every day? Do you think your name calling and insults could have something to do with me being 75 lbs over weight today?

Why were you so violent? Did you enjoy seeing me cry? What about the welts and bruises?

Weren’t you embarrassed for people to see me? I was told that when I learned how to act right, you wouldn’t have to do that to me anymore. Why would a mother ever NEED to make her child bleed or bruise? You could try to make me believe that I deserved whatever punishment you dished out, but when other adults questioned me about who left the marks I knew that it wasn’t right. I knew other kids’ mothers called them by their names and not insulting, hurtful names.
Why did you have to degrade me when I started my period? Why was every new aspect of puberty an excuse to belittle or embarrass me? Why was it my fault when an uncle tried to molest me? I never said I enjoyed being “manhandled” as you accused me. I was 12 years old! Couldn’t you remember when you were molested as a child and no one helped you?

Why did you upturn my room and empty my closet and drawers out onto the bed every time I left the house for years? What were you hoping to find? I was too scared of you to ever drink or do drugs! You would have killed me if you’d ever found anything.

Why would you leave me for days on end with the people who abused you? Did you want me to be abused, too?

Why did you love my sisters and not me? What was wrong with me? Did you have me too soon after the first baby? 20 months apart was just too much for a 22 yr old, I know. But it wasn’t my fault! Why did you have more kids if you didn’t have enough emotional capacity to love them all equally?

Why did the other kids get to take piano lessons and have friends spend the night? Why was it ok for them to go to camp? Why was I ALWAYS on restriction? I remember, my grades! When I got behind in school, did it ever occur to you to help me? You were a college grad, you could have helped a 3rd grader with math homework before it got so bad that I got so discouraged that I could never recover. But, no, your solution was to put me on 3 months TV restriction, until the next report card. Did you honestly think that would help me understand multiplication and fractions?

When high school came around, why did you discourage me from going to college? Why did you refuse to help with filling out financial aid and application forms? When I told someone my dream of being a physician’s assistant, why did you laugh and tell everyone, “She’ll never make it”? Why did you make it easy for my sisters to go to college and refuse to help me?

What was so different or unlovable about me? Why was I your target? I think I could have peace in my life if I just understood your reasons and motivations. Unfortunately it’s too late now. I’ll never understand or get the answers I crave. I do try to look ahead and be the best mother to my children that I can be.


Anonymous said...

Oh, honey. You didn't do anything wrong, you were never unlovable, and it's not your fault. My mom was abused as a child and in her family she was the scapegoat. Maybe it was the same with your mom, and she made you the scapegoat for whatever reason. Maybe she identified most with you? In any case, I'm so sorry that happened.

My mom didn't abuse me, but she wasn't a great mom in many ways, and it's been odd to watch her as a grandma. She's MUCH better with my kids than she was with me, and I think it's because she's more removed. Parenting can be very triggering for people with abusive backgrounds. Every time your child is the age you were when something traumatic happened, it brings up a lot of old emotional junk. As a grandma, she can swoop in and enjoy the fun parts and then go home.

Huge hugs to you. I highly recommend therapy. It won't give you the answers, necessarily, but it will give you some insight and some peace.

Cheryl said...

In my house we were all abused but my younger brother got the brunt of it. There was a lot of drama surrounding that pregnancy and somehow she blamed that little boy.

My mother was and is an addict with serious mental illness. Perhaps your mother was mentally ill as well?

In any case, it's not your fault. I do urge you to seek counseling so you can maybe one day forgive and have peace.

Anonymous said...

Please don't feel like the Bad Kid/Good Kid parenting tactic is the product of anything you did. It's painful, but it happens all the time.

In our house I was the Bad Kid, but my little brother had to watch everything knowing he was too little to do anything to stop it, and now I think the guilt from that eats him up as badly or worse than the abuse gnaws at me. I don't know if there's any comfort in that, but at least you aren't alone with all these awful questions.

Anonymous said...

I was abused as a child, and now I am mother of two,
one of whom reminds me of yup, myself. I am much harsher on the one who reminds me of myself. I am fearful of what the future holds, and sometimes yell at him to get him to conform with ridiculous outside assessments of the "right" way to approach schoolwork, discipline, you name it. I think I'm a mini-version of your mother
All this to say: It had NOTHING to do with you. That can be a sad truth; sometimes humans find comfort in finding a reason they suffered. but there is no good reason. you did nothing wrong. you probably just reminded her of herself. that is just so sad.
BUT it sounds like you avoided the worst outcome:
you have not applied this behavior to another generation. Pats on the back everyday for that.

Anonymous said...

I'm sorry to hear this babe. So sorry. You were blameless and innocent. Believing that is so much easier said than done. Good luck :)

Anonymous said...

Can anyone comment on how to forgive? I think if you can forgive you can let go of some of the negative emotions / anger. We all know that emotions that you don't process DO NOT go away...they stay with you and cause you trouble.

How does one forgive such acts?

Anonymous said...

I always wonder why people continue to tolerate and have relationships with the people that treated them badly as children. I finally had the courage to completely break off all contact with my mother ten years ago, and it has brought me nothing but peace. I feel no regret or need to reconnect. Of course, I had a good relationship with my father and stepmother, so that helps. But, still. Once you are an adult, there is no reason to tolerate abuse.

Jamie said...

It wasn't your fault, it was hers. i went through almost the exact same thing. I never got answers instead I was blamed for everything that has ever went wrong in her life. I can only chalk it up to my mother making a poor choice to sleep with someone who was a sore excuse for a human and then when she wound up pregnant at 19 she realized she'd never be anything (and she hasn't) AND she'd be bound to this person for 18 years. On top of that, I possessed traits that she was jealous of. Who knows if your mom saw things in you that she wished for herself?
I broke ties with my mom several times over the last 16 years but she always managed to squeeze back in - she wouldn't let my dad or sister have a relationship with me (they are brainwashed) so if I wanted to talk to or see them I had to talk to her first. Eventually that deal got old and I just severed ties with all of them because they took her side when she physically attacked me in front of my children. My life is drama-free and I am at peace for the first time in 20 some years.

You might want to try counseling to see if that helps you to gain closure and come to some sort of agreement with your self that will help you move on (Since I am a sentimental person, I had to convince myself get rid of all physical reminders of my parents and sister - photos, gifts they had given me, etc). Surround yourself with good friends and family who backs you (easier said than done but I have one aunt who couldn't stand my mom and she is my family support.) and who can help build you back up to be confident, self assured and who can handle anything! It is a process, but it's possible!