The Sacred Monster: (Part Two): Blue

“Mothers are only good when other people are around.” ~ Sybil

Being able to come out of denial and look at the very real possibility that my mother had sexually violated me, was a long process that took years to materialize. It takes a tremendous amount of strength and clarity to be willing to accept the fact that a mother can involve herself in heinous sexual offenses against her own daughter. Yet, transforming the possibility into truth was a bit easier to accept. I think allowing the possibility was like walking a steep and narrow cliff side trail, with rocks and waves below, but no end in sight. I just wanted off that trail.

Once the trail began to become a bit wider and less dangerous, I eased into the journey with less resistance, and less of a need to run back to total safety at the trail-head.

There is a strong opposition in most everyone’s mind to think that a mother would want to have sex with her daughter. So, even though I was experiencing unrelenting physical symptoms beating me down at that time of my life, I found myself thankful for the psychosomatic suffering because it had become my guide to the truth. The horrible physical manifestations, which were impossible to invent and practically unbearable to deal with, began to disappear as I faced each emerging memory, and by healing them in each therapy session by using my subconscious mind to take my power back from my mother.

As I wrote in part one of The Sacred Monster, the very first memory of having been sexually abused by my mother, was a dream where I was being given oral sex by her.

Although the dream was, at first, highly disturbing to me, I dealt with it in my therapy sessions, by allowing Butch to say and do to my mother what Blue had wanted to do as a child but was too oppressed to do.

Blue was the part of my psyche that needed a mother, that would do anything to gain my mother’s so-called love and attention. Blue craved her mother’s nourishment and would do anything to obtain it –even if only for a short time, and if it meant being forced into sexual acts to fulfill her mother’s sick emotional needs.

Blue was the silent, fearful part of me that I always picture as having carried all of my deepest, darkest shame –all the shame that was connected to my mother.

Blue always wears a little blue dress in my mind, which symbolizes that she is the feminine part of that inner child, with Butch being the masculine side –the Tomboy.

As time passed, and as the physical symptoms began to lift (especially some of my intense issues with food), I slowly absorbed the ugly truth about my polite and tidy Catholic mother.

As I began to assimilate the memories, and the truth of them, I gained clarity into my life-long, nagging feeling that there was always something wrong with me deep inside. The odd and disturbing feeling was nothing I could ever pinpoint, but it always quietly hovered over my existence, and it caused me to shed many tears –tears which never had a conscious reason.

It was Blue who always shed those tears.

In a therapy session which was aimed directly at finding the memory connected to feeling as though something was wrong with me, time slipped away, and I suddenly found myself as a young girl, in a hotel room with my mother. We were in the bed together, and there was oral sex between the two of us. I screamed out in severe emotional pain that it was her degeneracy, not mine. I then envisioned stripping myself of the skin that she defiled, and which made me feel worthless. In my mind, I threw the tainted skin at my mother, and then burned it in my mind, cleansing myself in a fire of purification.

It was around this period of time, that I had just watched the story of Greg Milligan, on Oprah. Greg had been terribly sexually abused by his own mother. She used to beat his genitals when he could not bring her to climax. I remember how hard it had been for me to watch that program, especially when Greg told Oprah, “it was very difficult to come to terms with the fact that I was my mother’s lover.” I remembering wanting to die inside when I heard those words, because at the time, although I was not yet willing to accept it, or to speak it, I knew that I too was made to be my “mother’s lover.”

That last sentence was a little difficult for me to write for all the world to see. This is liberating for me to write about, and at the same time, a huge awakening has begun. I think for the first time in a decade, I truly and fully believe myself, and don’t give a shit if no one else does.

…Part Three coming some time in the near future.

For Part One Click Here

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37 Responses to The Sacred Monster: (Part Two): Blue

  1. Why Not? says:

    Alethea: I could not post to your “I’m sorry” comment because the comment thread had run out.

    Forgive me for not stepping back, pausing and looking more closely at whether I am being ABSOLUTELY TRUTHFUL with myself and those here. I am in a process in this whole thing and am learning a lot about myself here because of your courage and efforts to allow your sub-conscious its essential role – and sharing about that openly, as you have.

    So, let me just say this – I’ve spent the last six days and nights giving voice to “What lies beneath my Swan’s Story.” (My swan being… looking good on the surface while vigorously paddling to keep from going under from the weight of the anxiety I go through – especially when attempting to go further in recovery.)

    Here is the result, so far: I am finding ME – with a clarity and ability to speak without FEAR about specifics of my mother’s abuse. AND, I believe I have FINALLY identified the figure in a recurring nightmare that I’ve had since a child (a bear – its body so huge and its enormous head with flesh, blood and stench coming from its mouth, chasing me – as my family ran and and hid without me – it chased me into the attic alone – trying to kill and eat me. I’ve always thought of it as MALE in gender – a repressed memory of a male abuser.) The dream not only terrifies me, but I know from past experience that is has been a precursor to my slipping into a depression and/or struggle with dissociation to escape talking about the sexual abuse.

    I had the dream, once again, two nights in a row last week. I didn’t tell my therapist and acted like I was great! I started to sink – from both its aftereffects and the fear that it meant I wasn’t getting better, like I had thought. And, so the book…

    I recommended the book only because it facilitated my SEEING for myself how everything – everyone’s lives, were twisted, bent, broken down and forced to revolve around her – her illness – no matter how OBVIOUSLY TWISTED it was – everyone adapted to her vulgar displays and raging, vile, vicious outbursts. I now even recall how many times she acted out in front of other outside family members – lifting her dress, having no underwear on – exposing herself directly to my male cousins – in front of everyone in the room. My whole family knew what she was capable of – yet they would leave me at home alone with her, being the youngest child, my father to work and brothers to school. When my middle brother was home, she would use him to taunt me, punish me per her orders and later, at will. He later sexually abused me right under their ears and eyes. He went on to abuse every woman that came into his life, stalking them, taking them hostage, sexually abusing them.

    She (her illness) had absolute control – even now, I’ve discovered, in how much I struggle to TELL IT LIKE IT WAS FOR ME WITH HER – come to terms with how my father coped with it all – by violently taking it out on her and his already traumatized children.

    Her slobbering kisses, her nude, erotic dancing, touching herself – grabbing my hands forcefully rubbing her breasts, buttocks and vagina with MY HANDS – playing Mario Lanza’s “Be My Love” over and over and over, day in and day out – dramatizing MY childbirth, with horrifying screams, threatening my life – my pets… on and on and on.

    After a lifetime and 30 years of therapy – because of you and this blog – since Sunday, I can not only say all of the above out loud – I realized – I KNOW – that it is My MOTHER – her mental illness – that is the BEAR in my nightmare.

    So, thank you, Alethea, for respecting and participating in my process. I come back here because I am learning a lot, learning to share, learning to consider, question, own what I am saying and even open myself further to hear what I am NOT saying. I am not offended in the least by what I take as you caring enough about yourself, me and others to question, challenge or even confront what isn’t resonating with what you’ve learned about yourself in your journey – this journey to recover to wholeness.

    I found ME Sunday – the ME who can learn how to become and be my own TRUTH-SAYER. It is a direct result of your speaking your truth – this blog and the others are speaking up and giving me the courage to claim my right to do the same.

    • Why Not? says:

      P.S. – Alethea, I am so, so sorry that you are going through some struggles too right now. Thank you for apologizing for being ‘curt.’ Unnecessary for me – I think I would tell you now if I felt shamed, hurt or confused by something you said to me. I trust you, Alethea, and now I am even trusting me more to speak up and not out sideways.

      God, I feel angry and sad that we are STILL dealing with effects from what should have NEVER, EVER happened to you, me or any of us. My Heart is with you… and all others here today… I truly understand what it is like to go through the moments, hours, days, symptoms… We CAN make it through it.

      • Alethea says:

        Why Not, thank you for your compassion. I did a regression therapy for those symptoms and they were connected (just as I suspected) to being punished over liking what was given to me by my abusers, and silenced with a fist when I was on the telephone (probably trying to communicate some aspect of the abuse. The memory is not yet clear).

        My symptoms completely vanished after that session, and have not returned. That is the magic and power of the therapy I do. I am so grateful to God for guiding me to my therapist.

        Remember to change your thoughts of anger and sadness when you get them. The minute you notice the thought, cancel it out of your mind and replace it with one of beauty, love, gratitude, or joy. Remember to alter the chemicals and cells in your body by using the power of your mind.

    • Alethea says:

      Why Not, your comment to my “I’m sorry” comment showed up just fine. The thread is still open for comments and replying to comments when I visit the page, so I hope this is the case for everyone?

      What a matter of self-realization and self-awareness on your part. You are much more healed than you might think you are.

      When I saw that you wrote: “What lies beneath my Swan’s Story.” I immediately thought of the film The Black Swan with Natalie Portman. That film really triggered me. The mother was insidious in her abuse of her daughter.

      It was difficult for me to read the descriptions of your mother’s vulgar obscenities and abuse. This is a clear indication to me that I need to do more healing in the area of my mother’s sexual abuse of me. (I am going to post more of The Sacred Monster later this week).

      Although I am grateful and beyond joy to know that my Blog, posts, and comments have helped you so much, remember to give yourself most of the credit. YOU are the one who is healing yourself from within by allowing such ugly truths to be known by you. YOU are the one doing the work and suffering out the emotions.

      You are such a respectful and open-minded soul Why Not. Thank you for opening yourself up so deeply here, and for looking at possibilities here that you never thought of before –possibilities that can aid in your healing journey.

      What a beautiful thing that you have found YOU, and to become your own TRUTH-SAYER.

      Thank you for that, because by doing so, you help me and many others who read these comments.

      In Peace,
      Alethea

      • Why Not? says:

        Thank you for that comment, Alethea, and the one before it. I needed to be reminded that, yes, I am doing the work, too, and how important it is to give myself credit for that – and the reminder to use healing words and imagery: “change my thoughts of anger and sadness… with one of beauty, love, gratitude, or joy. Remember to alter the chemicals and cells in your body by using the power of your mind.” I need to create a reference list for doing that and practice it as a discipline until it becomes, as they say, “a working part of the mind.”

        Alethea, I know that you and others here don’t expect this from me, but, please forgive me if I triggered you or anyone else with some of the more graphics parts of my story.

        Reading your stories (like Alethea said above happened when she read parts of mine) brings a pain sometimes that I don’t think I can stand. Stand for you, I CAN and DO imagine what you’ve been through and KNOW how much work it has taken you to be able to come here and share your wounds and healing with us; for me, knowing that, like Alethea said, I’ve come too far to allow my capacity for such empathy – for you and me – to stay lost in, consumed and driven by the despair of repressed and unhealed memories.

        The poet, David Whyte, said: “Human Beings are the only part of creation that can refuse to be itself.” (A tree cannot NOT BE a tree, nor can a bird, dog, flower, cloud, raindrop… not be what they are created to be.)

        Thank you, from the bottom of my heart, for allowing me to come here and BE ME.

    • little nel says:

      “she would use him (my middle brother) to taunt me, punish me per her orders…etc.”
      This set off some similar memories for me. My mother used my middle brother the same way and my brother got his cues from her to shut me up.

      It is my middle brother that still poses the danger of violence to me today. He violated a protective order to assault me in a nursing home while I was visiting my mother. I had to hire body guards after that.

      • Why Not? says:

        Oh wow, little nel, that sends chills – then anger – through me. Yes, I know exactly what the constant looming threat and actual violent behavior from a “brother” is like. For abusive parents to turn their children – siblings – into accomplices for inflicting more abuse on their already victimized children is sick beyond sick. It creates psychopaths, in my opinion. What a way to live – under the threat of the hate-mongering, sibling soldier of our abusive parents – huh?

        Darn LN (if I may use initials for short, if not, let me know) I HATE THAT for you – us both!

        • Why Not? says:

          I haven’t told you how much your recent comments have helped me, little nel. Thank you, again. (What’s his address? :wink:)

        • little nel says:

          The “sibling soldier” grew up to be an army captain. He has been violent to all his six children and his four ex-wives.

          Thanks for all the emotional support, Why Not? You really called it straight.

          • Why Not? says:

            You’re welcome, little nel. Thanks about ‘calling it straight’ – It’s pretty easy to do that knowing that you’ll relate to just about anything I have to say on this – having lived it yourself. I think I’m going to give up my line: “I know it’s hard to believe, but…”

            When you said that he came after you at the nursing home when you were visiting your mother, my jaw dropped. Mine came after me, threatening to tear MY home apart, while our father was in MY home on hospice. The day after he died, he came back and, yep, assaulted me. Sociopath – no control or conscious, driven by an undefinable, inconsolable jealousy and obsession to destroy me or my life.

            (Seriously, 😉 Give me his address and I’ll send an anonymous note to mine that says: “Hey, this is the address of the love of your sister’s life.” or something. :smile:)

            • little nel says:

              “Sociopath – no control or conscious, driven by an undefinable, inconsolable jealousy and obsession to destroy me or my life.”

              I believe that my brother was feeling a need to control me, so he could resume his total control over my mother and her assets. I had interfered with his personal agenda and had won a victory in a court of law in his home town. His masculine image of himself and his arrogance had been challenged and damaged so he needed to prove that he was a real man by making me cower under him. He went to jail for his contempt.

              Physical abuse is a tradition in my family.

              If you sent him a card, his blood pressure would sky rocket all the more. I feel sorry for him because he has no real tools for living a happy, joy filled life. His whole life has been filled with tragedy and loss. I could not possibly make him suffer anymore than he has already. He is his own worst nightmare. A man who has contempt and resentment as a constant companion.

              • Alethea says:

                “He is his own worst nightmare.”

                Boy Little Nel, that’s a great statement to remember for those of us who will never receive love, an apology, atonement, or truth from our abusers. They are indeed their own worst nightmare and their soul will end up punishing them the rest of their life, in one form or another. They will always suffer inside.

  2. shanakd9 says:

    I cannot imagine ever getting any kind of real apology from my mother. She spent her time convincing the rest of the family that I was a liar, false memory, personal axe to grind, crazy and that I had a brain tumor. She also told them that they had to choose between her and I, and they of course had to choose her because they are all liars, pedophiles and addicts. We are estranged and although it is sad, it is good and right, and my mother like Alethea’s was a sociopath. She also I am pretty sure had a lobotomy, but was a pedophile and evil beast before she ever had that. . I think that if she would have had some kind of remorse and tried to make it right it would have been easier.

  3. little nel says:

    I had a love-hate relationship with my parents. I loved them with a child-like devotion, but I hated their embarrassing, angry, and unreasonable behavior. I hated their reckless indifference to the needs of their children and their selfishness. I hated their obsessive-compulsions to blame others and use others. I hated their constant need to exercise their sexual prowess to feel good about themselves. I hated it that I was expected to validate their lies and personal preferences.

  4. little nel says:

    I slept in the same bed with my mother starting at age 10 until I was 16. I don’t remember any sexual abuse but I do remember a lot of physical abuse.

    • Alethea says:

      Any thoughts of the heebie jeebies about sleeping in bed with her at such an older age?

      • little nel says:

        We had a three bedroom house. She gave one bedroom to my older brother who was 14, she put my two younger brothers in another room. I was in the master bedroom in a king size bed with my mother. She slept on the right side and I slept on the left side of the bed. When my older brother moved out, I got his room.

        Before that time we had a two bedroom house. My brothers had one room and my mother and me shared the other room.

        No heebie jeebies, but she would disappear and not come home a lot. That’s how I knew that she had a new lover. When she would come home the gifts would start arriving and it confirmed my knowledge of a new lover.

        Many of her boyfriends gave me the heebie jeebies. She had lots of men after her.

  5. shanakd9 says:

    I know that must have been really hard to write, but I am so glad you did, and I loved the “I don’t give a shit,” line, I love the anger, because I have it too and it is good to hear it expressed here by you and others. I too have had so much compassion and related so much to Greg Milligan , I got to meet him in person and talk to him at Sienna University about a year and a half ago? He is wonderful. I asked him how he felt when his mother died, and he said, as he bowed forward with his hands at his chest, “Relieved.” and that is how I felt when my beast mother died, Relieved.

    • Alethea says:

      It was VERY difficult to write. With each sentence, I knew that soon I would be hitting the “publish” button on my Blog site, and knew that everyone would suddenly know my deepest secrets…well, most of them anyway.

      It’s simultaneously embarrassing and liberating to expose myself in such a way.

      Greg is a very strong and courageous man. You Shana, are also a very strong and courageous woman.

  6. Why Not? says:

    Alethea, I can only appreciate how difficult this part of your journey has been to come to terms with. Even the most painful of the abuses I went through as a child pale in comparison to the remembrances of the insane behavior that my mother felt justified in inflicting upon me, her only daughter and youngest child.

    In my case, while I am fully aware that my mother was mentally ill and a self-medicating binge drinker, which seemed to be what would set off her bizarre, erotic behaviors in our house – including her sexualized assaults on me when I was home alone with her – the mental and emotional turmoil I go through when attempting to talk about it, makes me physically, mentally and emotionally ill.

    I, however, have never interpreted what my mother did as attempting to ‘make me her lover’ – but more as an object of her acting out onto me something I will never be able to fully understand – because I simply don’t know what drove her to those specific behaviors, considering the obvious anger behind the things she would say. She seemed to be trying to “prove” to me some kind of her own ‘sexual suffering’ endured, to the best of my ability to interpret it all, at my age-range at the time.

    After the personal assaults, she would “convict” me, so-to-speak, by calling me all sorts of horrific names – p****licker, whore, daddy’s whore – sometimes in front of my brothers and father.

    I remember nothing as “painful” as some of the other abuse – but, it scared me in a way I still cannot adequately describe in words – yet – I think because it caused me to detach from her at some deep emotional level. I seemed to have a different kind of fear and confusion about her – having no clue how to interpret her sexual behaviors towards me or how “bad” it could get. I knew the names she was calling me were something bad – which continued even after the physical abuse mostly stopped – especially when she was drinking. I just didn’t know how bad until I got older. It’s still hard – so much harder than the rest to accept, in part because she labeled me with all of those names – early on – as deserving of everything that happened to me.

    When it comes to this issue, I find myself wanting to say over and over and over: “She was mentally ill, she was my mother; I loved her.” (as if I simply cannot bear to associate “my mother” with “that woman” – trying desperately to hold on to some sense of identifying with her as “my mother.”)

    I had a very rough night last night. I’m glad you and others are here, telling your stories, sharing your courage, fighting for and/or sharing your freedom from what I have also referred to, quite often, as: “The Pits of Hell.”

    • Alethea says:

      Did you love her Why Not? Did you truly love her? If not, don’t try and convince yourself that you did. It’s okay if you did not. It’s okay if you hated her. It’s okay if, as a child, you wanted her gone. It’s okay to feel hatred towards your mother. Allow yourself to grieve that out of you.

      I call my mother by her first name, I refuse to call her “my mother” other than on this Blog (I do it here so there is no confusion about who I speak of).

      She is not my real mother anyway. My real mother is the female aspect of God. For Catholics, that is The Holy Virgin Mary.

      • Why Not? says:

        You know, Alethea, I think I’ve had every emotion imaginable about my mother. I somehow knew, from an early age, that she was a tortured soul – later confirmed as largely attributable to her own traumatic childhood during the 30’s.

        Love her? She couldn’t stand that from me, so I spent most of my life learning how to love her by not loving her, accordingly. So yes, I loved her, she was the mother assigned to my life.

        At the onslaught of serious medical problems, she was finally diagnosed as schizophrenic, placed on medication and stopped drinking – while at the same time, I started into recovery (John Bradshaw, The Family.) Knowing she was on borrowed time, she spent the last seven years of her life, trying to show me love and affirm me as her ‘beloved daughter,’ to the best of her ability. I still have all of her cards and letters to me from during that time. I read some of them this past week.

        One night, a few months before she died, she held my hands and looked me in the eyes and said she knew she had been a horrific mother to me and didn’t know how I had survived all that she had done to me. She didn’t talk in detail about all of the abuse and even spoke about how she wish she could cry out all of the pain from the regrets and sorrow she felt (the medication made that almost impossible, I not only understood that, I felt so sad for her that she couldn’t cry and release some of her pain.)

        I hadn’t yet faced the abuse in detailed memories myself at the time and couldn’t, apparently, until after she was gone. Honestly, I ‘m grateful for the way it all unfolded – I couldn’t have stood it, with her death – and I don’t have to regret the way I would have probably treated her. Unfortunately, that all started to come out later.

        It isn’t “hatred” for her that I struggle with. It’s allowing myself to grieve the suffering, damage and toll on our lives and other’s – all of the time lost in the horrific struggles, unraveling, recognizing, healing, recovering and repairing the damages now, as much as possible, and learning how to do that with every ounce of love and grace I deserve to now experience… forgiving myself for blaming myself – and others – for all of the pain within me that I was struggling so to heal.

        I’ve had enough of living in fear, shock, anger and pain – and seeing that for all it has been is huge for me now. I have no clue – other than what you, little nel and others are saying is possible, what happens from here. But, I do have HOPE.

        • Alethea says:

          Schizophrenia is common in mothers who sexually abuse their children. I am not surprised.

          You are pretty lucky to have received some form of an apology. I do not think I will ever receive one from my mother, who seems to be a bit of a sociopathic personality. I do not think she is capable of empathy or remorse.

          I have to be honest with myself in that I do not have love for my mother. I do not recall ever feeling love for my mother. Probably because, since the day of my birth, and maybe even at the knowledge of pregnancy, she never loved me.

          I have cut the emotional umbilical cord from my bio family. I do not hate them, and I do not love them. I would help them in an instant if they ever needed it, but I do not have any emotion connected to them except compassion.

          • Anonymous says:

            You’re so strong, Alethea

          • little nel says:

            “I have cut the emotional umbilical cord from my bio family. I do not hate them, and I do not love them. I would help them in an instant if they ever needed it, but I do not have any emotion connected to them except compassion.”

            Wow! You have stated exactly how I feel and think about my bio family.

            My father was diagnosed as a paranoid schizophrenic. He was hospitalized more than once to avoid prosecution after a violent attack on those living with him. He sexually, physically, and emotionally abused everyone around him.

          • Why Not? says:

            Completely understandable, Alethea. I’m sorry that your mother is still incapable of interacting with you in honest, loving and fully supportive ways. It is impossible to change without first becoming aware of the “symptoms” we are exhibiting and an intention to change them.

            Yes, I do recognize now that I am lucky for my mother becoming stable enough to become aware of how damaging her relationship with her children had been – and grateful for her making the efforts to change what she could, despite her major health problems.

            I, like her, am now attempting to get beyond my story, which has taken thirty years to piece together, in order to make positive changes in how I interact with myself and others.

          • Why Not? says:

            Alethea, I think I mentioned the book: “Will I Ever Be Good Enough – Healing the Daughters of Narcissistic Mothers”

            It gave me great insight into areas I was still struggling with – identifying their origins, given my mother’s illness and its domination of our family’s focus, thus energies. It deals with most all personality types of narcissistic mothers, those subtle, as well as, those in the extreme.

            It truly helped me – and I thought I understood my mother’s illness and how it dominated much of my life pretty well.

            • Alethea says:

              Hi Why Not,

              Thanks so much for the book recommendation.

              My therapy has liberated me from any past needs, desires, insecurities, feelings of worthlessness, or emotional ties towards my mother.

              I don’t have desire to understand her either because she does not want to understand herself. I cannot get inside her mind and know what she operates from, and a book will not tell me the answers to that.

              Each soul is completely different, and has experienced unique situations and lives. I am in peace with no desire to change her, understand her, or to be emotionally connected to her.

              • Why Not? says:

                Appreciate, better today, than even a few days ago what you said… more to come.

              • Alethea says:

                Why Not, I am so sorry if I sounded curt earlier about the book recommendation. I am going through a couple of physical symptoms and repressed (but consciously aware of it) anger today about having to pay and being punished as a child for getting into the abuse with my abusers. I apologize, I am just having an off day.

              • little nel says:

                “I don’t have a desire to understand her”

                All my life, I think that I had a desire to understand my mother. For some reason, I wanted to understand her, so I could fix her. I wanted to prove that she was at fault and not me, like that would change things. It proved to be an internal war without an end.

                Today, I have access to the “perfect” parents within my heart. These “parents” are custom fit to meet my needs when ever I need them. Who’d a thought it?

              • Alethea says:

                That’s how our therapy works Little Nel, we are able to replace, in the subconscious mind, our real parents with our perfect parents. For me, it is Jesus and The Holy Virgin Mary –the two aspects of God, the male and female sides of Our All Powerful God of LOVE.

                After much work in the therapy, we are able to let go of the NEED to understand our biological parents, to have them love us, or to have them be any different than what they are/were. Because it is our NEEDS that cause our suffering, frustration, discontent, anger, psychologically-driven impulses, and unhealthy bonds.

        • little nel says:

          Hi Why Not?

          You are very fortunate to have received an apology from your mother.
          I did not get apologies from my mother or father. Both of my parents went to the grave after a lifetime of blaming their problems onto their children and denying or minimizing their abuse.

          • Why Not? says:

            I’m sorry, little nel. There is no doubt that the few years I had with my mother taking responsibility, to the best of her ability, making consistent, conscious efforts to interact with me differently – as a mother who valued and loved her daughter – helped me. There is no substitute for teaching a child that they are valued and loved (she proved that it’s never too late) – which is why we will struggle a lifetime to learn that about ourselves, from ourselves, if even those two elements were absent or inverted into abuse.

            I’ve just fully accepted that, myself, recently and started working to integrate affirming that for myself into my thinking and actions.

            I could not, however, effectively start dealing with the reality of all that had happened and how it was playing out in my life until after both parents had died. My father never fully got there, either, and my remaining brother and I are completely estranged. We simply cannot emotionally, safely talk about all that happened. I have accepted that now.

            Shortly after my mother had died, my aunt (whom we had lived with) sent me childhood drawings that I had made of my parents. The drawings were a major trigger of memories of the worst aspects of my parents’ abuse. Still, it took me years after that (after my father had also died) to piece together the actual abuses that my drawings of them were screaming out – before I could even begin to recognize how they were driving my behaviors.

            Suddenly (snark,) just in the last week, a shift is occurring. It’s finally becoming no longer about “them,” but about working towards changing me, MY beliefs about myself and my behaviors, as a result. There is no longer any doubt in my mind how essential Grief Work is in reaching the turning point in the healing process toward wholeness.

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