Originally I was going to post this yesterday but I didn't want to take away from any of the blogs relating stories of good parents. Hell, to be honest this wasn't anything I had ever planned to post but a few recent events really changed my mind on that.
I have considered sharing this a few times with a couple of people but putting it into words while actively talking to someone all at one time isn't easy. It isn't even easy to write, but I will. Some of you have shared things in comments and while talking to me that it isn't fair that I don't do the same for you.
The other has to do with the person that I know that is staring down a possible cancer diagnosis. I had never shared my story with her, and decided for some reason now would be a good time to share it. We talked for at least an hour probably more. She listened and was amazed at my story and she did what seemed like the strangest thing at the end of our talk. She said "Thank you for sharing that with me".
Those two things really made me rethink keeing things to myself and only saying parts of it. The more I thought about it, the more I felt it was wrong. If I throw out part of a story and not tell enough for people to understand, I think that may be a bit wrong of me. I am sure people would understand especially after reading this, but I have decided to tell it.
So here goes.
I guess I will start with my parents. There are four main types of abuse. Physical, Sexual, Mental and Abandonment. Mom and Dad decided they should hit a grand slam and cover all the bases. My father took the first two and my mother batted clean up.
My father was an alcoholic and when he was drunk he did terrible things. I remember very few things about him but my dread, fear and hatred of him is what I remember the most. Yes, hatred. I hated him so much that he could talk to me and I wouldn't hear a word he said. That was more than enough for another beating.
He wasn't always the Devil in my life, but he was that way so much that it is all I remember. My last memory is of him hitting me hard enough to knock me off my feet and be airborne until I hit a solid object. I had the marks from that one for a few days. Its a terrible way to remember someone.
I am not going to go into any detail on his other abuses, its not something I want to share with anyone, especially like this.
I am the oldest of their children and had it the worst but my sister is a close second. I hated what he had done so much that when he died I wasnt sad, I was kinda vacant inside. I didn't miss him, I was finally free, or so I thought.
My mother turned so hostile towards us after that. She wrote my sister and I off as lost causes and tried to save our brother. Thankfully, he was spared most of what our father had done to us.
For my sister and I, it seemed that her job became reminding us that we were worthless and would be monsters too. She pretty much left us on our own and chimed in to tell us that we were wrong on whatever we chose, that we would fail and at times, stepped in to help us fail. Mother's other gift to us was to forbid us to tall to anyone about what happened, to anyone. We were to lie or make up any story we wanted. Her gift was to make us ashamed of ourselves and I took her abuses the hardest.
Even beyond them we had the deck stacked against us. Our father's family refused to admit that he could do those things so they disowned us.
Many people in our mother's family disliked us because we were poor and a bit uncivilized and very uncultured. We had two aunts and uncles that cared about us. One set cared a little and would remember us at Christmas and another set that remembered us more often. They would be very important later.
For most of my life I was ashamed and did not love myself at all. I had taken all those things and made them who I was. I was a first class mess and truly believed that the world would be better off if I wasn't part of it anymore. I actually felt that I was to blame for what had happened to me. All of it.
It is because of those feelings that I was always one bad incident away from killing myself. To me, I had no value to the world and because of that didn't make lasting friendships. I didn't want to hurt too many people when I finally succeeded in killing myself. It wasn't an if, it was only a when. I knew that is how my life would end one day. I didn't hate anyone that I knew except one person.
One day about 10 years ago, I finally had the last straw. I really wanted to die. I was completely broken and hopeless, and couldn't fathom the idea that anything would ever improve. So I tried to commit suicide for real. I won't go into details, but I almost succeeded that time. If not for someone discovering what I had done before they were supposed to, and they got me to hold on and ultimately, survive.
During those couple hours I fought for my life, I realized so many things. Many of the them were how I was living my life backwards, by not wanting to hurt people, I was. Most importantly was that I needed help if my life was to get better.
So, for the first time in my life, I opened up to someone and let my grief go. After a couple of years I reached the end of my time with her. Much to her surprise, I made it through. While it is weird to have a psychologist tell you that they feared for your safety while in their care, I did appreciate her honesty.
Part of that process was to let go of what happened and to move on. For me, that meant forgiving the people who transgressed against me. Yes, I forgave my father for what he did. My mother is harder, it is easy to forgive someone who is dead, they can cause no more harm
Just like my father, my mother wasn't all bad. She did cloth us, keep a roof over our head, feed us and to be honest, put up with us. We were a handful at times, and when we weren't a handful, we were two handfuls. It's because of the good that that I still love my mother, just like my father. I learned long ago that I don't really hate either one of them. At this point in life, I feel more sympathy than anything else.
My mother has never apologized or asked for forgiveness for what she did and did not do for us. All she needs to do is ask for it. Instead when we all have family dinners at the holidays, there is an air of tension between my mother and I and my sister too on the rare occasion when she is around. My brother is usually around at these events and unfortunately, it makes him uncomfortable too. It's really sad to be honest.
In the years that have passed many things have changed in my life for the better. I have friends, real ones. Ones that know my life, know me, people who enjoy and value my friendship. I have a niece that loves me like nothing else. I have a good career. I also have other things that eluded me for most of my life.
Love of self and most importantly, hope. Have I done bad things? Of course I have. Is everyday sunshine and roses? Hell no, but even the bad days give way to good ones.
I also truly understand some things. One of them is just how much committing suicide kills part of the people who love you as much as it kills you. I learned that we are never as alone as we may feel that we are. I also came to appreciate just how much it means to touch another person when they have their rough times in life.
Thanks for reading, I really mean it.