mckarlie

I have happiness in my heart and a thorn in my soul

Can you replace a Mother?

Anyone with a mental illness will know what it’s like to feel alienated from the people around you. I used to have a lot of friends, not real friends you can count on but friends I’d socialize with and other crazy endeavours. So over time I have learned to get along without many people to count on, I’ve learned that my man and kids are the only ones that I really can rely on. I have a best friend who would be there for me if I needed her, but she is heavily pregnant at the moment and occupied by that so I have been giving her space to sort all of that out. Even though I have learned who I can count on and who I cannot, I still crave this unattainable relationship with my Mother. The smallest slight on her part and suddenly I feel like that ten year old again, completely out of control and hurting, rejected and abandoned. I can be completely fine, having a great day and feeling completely on top of my shit and BAM, my mum cancels or does something kind of crappy and I’m reduced to this emotional creature.

Will I ever stop wanting a Mother? Will I ever be ok with things the way they are?

My Mum was a single Mum, she lived with her parents and had support from them but she was only 20 when she had me and ill prepared to cope with looking after a baby. She married a man when I was 7, she left him abruptly when I was 9. Her first husband sexually abused me. We have never spoken about it but we both know it happened. She met another man when I was about 11, he had moved in with her within a few months and a few months after that they were expecting a child together. He was quite nice for the first little while but soon enough he showed his true colours. He is an alcoholic and when drunk he would physically emotionally and mentally abuse me. My Mother never stopped it so I moved in with my Grandparents to get away but they ran out of money and ended up moving in with my Grandparents too. So i couldn’t get away, the abuse continued in my Grandparents home. I ended up getting on the first bus leaving spencer st station just after I turned 18 and I never really stopped traveling til I moved back to Australia from England 6 years ago.

My Mother had three children to him in three years, my sister, the first to be born…the day she was born I came home from school and no one was there. They had forgotten about me. After a while I went a bit nuts and broke the back door down, it was basically a show of things to come. My Mother established this new family with this man and there wasn’t a place for me in it. I was edged out because I was difficult and didn’t fit into her new family.

Now, my Mother and I have been speaking again for just over a year. Before that, we hadn’t spoken in a bit over 3 years because the relationship was making me crazy and she kept cancelling on seeing my girls and disappointing them and so much passive aggression, I just couldn’t handle it anymore so i cut my family off. But now we are trying to work on a relationship and I keep thinking that it’s just not going to work out, it keeps making me feel so utterly terrible, I don’t think we can attain a relationship that’s healthy.

My Mother runs around after my half siblings, my sister is 21 middle brother is 19 and the youngest turns 18 in a few weeks. She will pick them up from work at 3am or run around to the other side of the city to get a school book or what have you, fairly normal parent behaviour right? Well when I see this, it makes me crazy that she wont do a damn thing for me, it makes me crazy that she was apparently able to be a proper parent to these three people but not to me, why doesn’t she want to be my Mum? I keep seeing her doing all of these things for them and I can’t even get her to do a few tutoring sessions for my kids even though she is accreddited as a tutor and that’s her frickin job! I’ve been asking her for months to do some tutoring for my girls, I even offered to pay her normal fee but she keeps arsing around like it’s too hard. And recently I’d loaned her some money and then I had to chase her up on the day she said she’d pay me back and she advised me she didn’t have time to get to a bank to pay me back as she was too busy watching my brother play netball.

It now seems that she’s even more of a mother to my insane cousin than she is to me. My cousin was another family member I cut off when I initially stopped talking to my Mother. She is three years older than me and we were both looked after by my Grandmother when we were growing up so there was more of a sibling bond for a while than a cousin one as we were both only children and got along fairly well. As an adult I do not care for my cousin one bit. We spent a lot of time together and she is just the most negative, self absorbed abomination of a person that I’ve ever known. She married the biggest douchebag I’ve ever met, the kind of guy who started making good money from selling crap on Ebay and then would brag to people about how much cash he had and how well off he was. Yuk. He is a bully and a creep, the daughter she had when they got together is treated like shit by him because he has ‘his own’ children with her now and he admits freely to not loving her as much and this is why he treats her poorly, and he gets away with it. He used to love picking fights with me too, he’s just a really unpleasant man with double standards for everyone else. In the time that I stopped talking to my cousin she has been on a campaign of talking shit about me to whoever she can, I hear random gossip from mutual parties and the girl is just a sad case, it makes her feel better to think my life is in shambles and judging from the gossip I hear, my life is just a mess! Haha, but yeah she is an alcoholic and just loves getting off on my misery apparently.

My Mother always does something for Melbourne Cup Day, it’s a big race here in Melbourne and many people have bbq’s and what have you. I kind of knew that my Mother had planned something at her place because she always does, so I decided to poke the bear. I’m regretting that I did it now because I feel like shit, but that’s what I get for playing games. So yeah, knowing that she was probably doing a big bbq for the “family” I sent her a text saying ‘Hi, what are you doing tomorrow?’ then I got back, oh i was thinking of doing a family bbq I’m just waiting to hear back from Aunty Jane. Then another text – you’re more than welcome to come if you want. Then another text a few hours later ‘we’ve decided to have a big family bbq, you’re welcome to come after 1230 if you want to. warning you that your cousin and her husband will be here though’. Now my Mother knows I dislike my cousin and her husband, she knows that I refuse to have my children around these people, but her version of a family bbq doesn’t seem to involve me. She wouldn’t have invited me if I hadn’t of prodded, I was being passive aggressive and just wanted to shine a light on the fact that she hadn’t even invited me because that’s all i wanted, i wanted to be thought of and liked i guess. Feeling that your own mother doesn’t like you, it makes you feel like the most defective person on the face of the earth. If she doesn’t like me then why would anyone else?

So yeah, that’s my crappy situation and I really don’t know what I will do. My heart aches for a Mother, I just want someone to love me and guide me and want to be there for me like a Mother is. But this woman who is my Mother, she doesn’t seem to want that with me. I don’t want to give up but I can’t keep trying and getting nowhere. I can’t keep my heart open to this woman who doesn’t take care of it. I just don’t want to feel like such a loser anymore.

Peace xo

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I’m baaaack!!!

Hello my lovelies. As you may well know it’s been a few months since I have posted. Unfortunately I spent some time in hospital, then after coming out we had issues with our internet and got fed up with our ISP so we changed to a different company who then screwed us around for 8 weeks. Then we found out the place we’ve been renting for five odd years is about to be sold so we decided it wasn’t worth getting the internet back only to pay an exorbitant fee to move it to a different address so i got myself a dongle to access the internet. It’s a bit like going back to dial up but at least I can do basic browsing and keep in touch with all of you dear souls.

So, the last few months have been a bit of a roller coaster for me and the family. My hospitalization was crazy and intense but after I came out I was deeply inspired and started writing my novel. I’m still not done but happily I have interest from my friend’s literary agent already so I’m feeling really positive about that. It’s my first full novel, I’ve started a lot of projects over the time but such is the bipolar mind that many tasks started go unfinished, but this has been a labor of love. While I was ill i spent nearly every possible moment I could reading, that was always my issue with being a ‘writer’ – i wasn’t sure of my identity as such, could never decide on exactly how i wanted to write and what message i wanted to purvey. After reading dozens of books and spending time with some of the most amazing ‘characters’ i’ve ever met in the hospital, i finally had a clear voice and started with my story outline and started to fill it in. I wont go into the details of it at the moment but I’m feeling really positive about the work. I know so many people who want to write just so they can call themselves a writer, and I suppose I can understand that but I find it brings me more joy than anything else in life (aside from my lovely kids of course) – i’ve been writing poetry and songs and short stories since i was a wee one and it always pours out of me and provides such catharsis.

Now, my Mother. We have had our ups and downs over the past few months but I’m most pleased to share that things are going quite well. Writing that letter was the best thing I could have done, and I’m so pleased I didn’t send the first version of it, the one laced with disdain. She is still a passive aggressive nut but her heart is in the right place and she knows she let me down in the past and has been trying her absolute best to make it up to me. She still has a bit of denial as to just how much she neglected me when I was younger and some of the atrocities that happened under her watch, but there has been SOME acknowledgement from her and even that is a miracle and more than i could have dreamed of. We are both flawed individuals and have realized we need to cut each other some slack. I do admit I get pangs of jealousy when I see her interact with my half siblings, but i’m also delighted that she saw the mistakes she made with me and corrected them with my siblings, she has been a much better mother to them than she was to me but she was 13 years older when she had my sister than when she had me and she had a partner there unlike with me, albeit a drunk partner but still, she had a bit of support. So my sister is 20 now, my brothers 18 and 17. It’s been so lovely spending time with them all, we are slowly rebuilding the relationships we lost over the past few years I hadn’t seen them and they are really sweet and quirky people. We’ve even taken to having Sunday roast dinners at Mums, how very domestic and functional of us! Unfortunately my Stepfather is still drinking, and my Mother is still miserable in their marriage, but I don’t think either of them is capable of the change it would take for them to be truly happy together. It breaks my heart watching my mother scrimp and scrape money together because he is spending hundreds a week on alcohol. He has had a long history of being caught drink driving and recently got his license back after losing it for 12 months and copping a rather huge fine. Because he is a consistent repeat offender he now has an interlock device attached to his car, is that how you spell it? I don’t know, I’m only aware of them because of some reality show I occasionally catch on telly. Basically, it’s a breathalyzer built into his car, and he has to blow into it to start his car and if he has any alcohol on his breath it wont operate. It also gets him to do random breath tests while driving, and if he doesn’t breathe into it it causes his horn to start beeping and his lights to start flashing and then once the engine is off it wont start again. It’s demoralizing that it’s taken such an extreme measure to ensure that he doesn’t drink while he drives but it is what it is, he got into an accident when he was about 20, he was drunk and driving in a rural area with his then girlfriend and he crashed. She passed away and I think he’s been trying to drink away the memories of that ever since. It’s such a shame because he’s almost two people, sober he is a very quiet and kind man who works hard and loves kicking the soccer ball around with his grand children or picking tomatoes with them in their garden but when he’s drunk he’s an absolutely vile creature full of hate and vitriol. I will never forget the abuse I suffered at his hands but I have finally forgiven him because it was eating me up inside and holding onto it just wasn’t worth it. I think it will always hurt a little but I had to let go of the hate, and slowly healing has started to occur.

Anyway, that’s the highlights. I have really unreliable internet at the moment but will be checking in with as many of you as I can. I’ve missed interacting with you lovelies. Peace xo

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My own little miracle has happened

I know some people know the story of this, but to give a brief run down: I haven’t seen my Mother in years, we had a falling out and I felt really disappointed by her because she let a lot of bad stuff happen to me when I was a kid and then alienated me from her ‘new’ family. She met my second stepfather when I was about 10, great things hadn’t happened with the first, she dated a fair bit between stepfathers but then she met Mark and within a few months we were spending every weekend with him as he lived a fair way away and didn’t drive, we would pick him up every friday and then drive him home sunday nights.

My stepfather has a bit of a jekyll/hyde situation happening. When he is sober he is a quiet man, quite respectful and would help anyone with anything, when he’s drunk he’s a feral nightmare, and he drinks every day. He singled me out often and we would have violent fights, he would knock me around and verbally attack me. It wasn’t super fun.

I realized through therapy a couple of years ago that I didn’t deserve this treatment, for years I had made excuses for my abusers, saying I was a difficult teen and that I was a nightmare to deal with, but during therapy I realized that no child deserves abuse and I matter, that even if  I was difficult it didn’t make the abuse ok. After this, I got pretty pissed off at my Mum. I didn’t really blame my Stepfather, he has a disease and will never stop drinking, he has issues and I can’t hate him for having a disease, like I said it’s confusing but he’s a nice guy when he’s sober so it makes things with him complicated. However, I felt my Mother had a duty of care and she had failed me terribly, so I got mad at her.

Fast forward to a few months ago, I had heard bits and bob through mutual friend and the like and basically my family were claiming that I was crazy for just cutting them all off and they were all innocent bystanders while I cut them out of my life. So I wrote my Mother a letter, the first one I wrote I sat on for a few weeks not sending it, then my therapist helped me realize I hadn’t sent it because it was too angry, and I realized I didn’t need to be angry at her I just needed to ask why, and how she could let her child be abused and then force me out of her family. I felt abandoned by her and then as an adult, I felt that I could never do anything good enough. (fot perspective she visited us in england 3 weeks after my daughter was born by c section and then came home telling people my toilet wasn’t clean enough and i didn’t sweet the kitchen floors enough, i mean shit i could barely walk after complications from the csection but by all means bitch about my floors lol)

So I wrote this letter saying how sad it made me and how all I ever wanted was a mum who loved me and had my back. How disappointed that I was that she let me get abused and instead of standing up for me she edged me out of my family because she chose my abusive stepfather over me.

Fast forward to this week. Part of my bipolar is that I can spend without thinking sometimes, and with christmas coming I went and got presents when i really should have waited for our next pay and now i’ve left us quite short on funds for the next couple of weeks. My Mother called me at the start of the week to ask how I Was doing and i told her about how short i am and how it’s just annoying when the bipolar sets in and i bust my budget. so out of nowhere she turns up at my house with a bunch of groceries for my girls and she gave me a tearful, genuinely beautiful apology for the way she has treated me and the things he let happen. I think the groceries were a guise, an excuse to come, but i think the gesture was sweet. I still have money to get us food but i wont say no to a few snacky things for the kids.

So here we are, both of us in tears, her finally acknowledging how much she’d hurt me and APOLOGIZING! i couldn’t believe it. I’ve never actually wanted to bear a grudge I just couldn’t let go of the pain that was deep inside me. I was maddened by my family claiming i was the one in the wrong and not accepting any responsibility, but finally we are moving forward. I just needed her to say sorry and actually mean it, and she really does. We have spoken a few times this week and things are going well, we both realize that things aren’t going to instantly be just ok, that we need to talk things out and work on them before we can have a mother daugher relationship, but we are on our way and i’m both surprised and deeply deeply happy that things have turned around. She’s been really supportive and understanding of my bipolar and how it can cause me to act, she has after all suffered depression herself for most of her life, so we have been bonding over that.

She wants to bring more groceries which I have told her is unnecessary but I think the gesture is her trying to make amends and I can understand that, it’ coming from a good place so I’m going to let her feel like she’s helping because it will make her feel important like she’s helping me, and i can tell she’s truly sorry and ‘helping’ me in her mind makes her feel a bit better.

I didn’t think my Mother and I would be able to arrive on the same page but with complete honesty and a bit of time to heal old wounds, we are working on the future and how we can move forward. I feel like the hole inside me is slowly filling up with love and good things instead of despair and emptiness, it’s such a lovely feeling. We have a long way to go, but if we can do it then anyone can.W

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So I spoke to the root of my issues…..my Mother

We recently went on a family holiday, it was a seven hour drive. We packed up the car the night before and at seven thirty the next morning hubby myself and the kids left for a beach on the south east coast of new south wales. Somewhere in the middle of nowhere my clutch went on my car and i panicked, i had to pay $250 for roadside assistance and $380 for a rental car, plus the rental car company held a few hundred on my account, add to this the actual repair of the clutch (normally around $700) we were pretty screwed. Stuck in the middle of nowhere in australia is a pretty bad place to be stuck, the RACV van turned up after nearly two hours and loaded my car onto his truck, advised me he had a battery to start a few miles away. A few miles turned into half an hour towards our destination, he then got another call out and another, we ended up being in his van for about four hours before going backwards about 80 kilometers from where we broke down. We got the rental car at about 7 at night and because we were so nice about being in his truck for so long and the kids were so well behaved, he agreed to knock a hundred and fifty off our repair, but we were still not in a great situation financially, we just didn’t have enough budgeted for all that had gone wrong.

In my panic on the roadside i called my mother. I think it’s an innate thing, when you feel like you’re fucked beyond belief you reach out to those who are MEANT to love you and be there when things get truly messed up. I called her and asked her for help and she wasn’t able to, but it opened the door for her to correspond with me so that’s been interesting.

In the end i asked my best friend, i really didn’t want to ask her for different reasons but she really came through for us and was brilliant about it. Didn’t make me feel like shit for asking, didn’t make a fuss over it at all (like my Mother did) she just said yes and asked for account details. She’s like the sister i wish i had, and at a time when my Mother had me feeling like a piece of shit she made me feel a bit better by showing me she cares.

The holiday itself was a bit of a nightmare, the kids had a good time which is what’s important, but i had to reign in spending a fair bit and was stressed for a lot of it not knowing if my friend could come through as i hadn’t yet asked, and dealing with my mother, it was hard. Not long ago i sent this woman a letter outlining how she’d broken my heart by letting multiple and repeated abuse occur to me throughout my childhood and by judging me so harshly as an adult, then in my hour of need i call her asking for help! WTF right. I felt like a trapped rat and i was desperate to make the holiday happen for my kids, we’d already paid for the holiday park so it would have been pissing away even more money if we’d have somehow turned around and gotten home. Something new to us as well, in this region of australia, they have things called paralysis tics, small blood sucking creatures that look like funky head lice that burrow into your skin. The first night there was a write off as we arrived just after 9:30 at night, but the second night we went into town and had dinner and when we returned my eldest daughter came out of the bathroom complaining that her head hurt and she had a lump and red mark on it. I asked if she’d bumped it and she couldn’t recall doing so. I looked closer and it was a lump with a red rash around it with a white mark in the middle and a brown dot in the white mark, I had a look at it and i thought she must have had some tree bark embedded in her head or something, i got my tweezers and pulled it out and was shocked to find a small critter in my tweezers. OMG! I had just pulled an insect out of my child’s forehead, it was so so freaky. I called my friend in melbourne and she googled tic bites for me, so i called the local hospital and asked if she needed to go in and they said yes, bring her in.

We arrived at this tiny hospital and by the time i had finished filling out the form a very handsome doctor brought us through to emergency. I took the little tic with us and they inspected it to conclude i had gotten the head out of her (apparently getting the head out is very important and if you don’t it causes all kinds of issues) – they told us she should be ok but if she had flu symptoms within a week to see a doctor. She was quite unwell the next day, tired and somewhat grumpy, not wanting to partake in activities and what not so i hung out with her while hubby and our other daughter did activities run by the holiday park. She perked up the next day and had a bit of fun before we packed up the rental car and left.

So now i owe my friend money, still have to repay a small loan we got last month when my sister emptied our account and have my mother making contact. I’m not spiraling or anything but it’s not an ideal situation. This is when i use all of our spare money for christmas for the kids and i just don’t know how i’m going to pull it together this year. So that’s a worry as well.

We really liked the place we went on holiday though, it had kangaroos all around our cabin and other adorable wildlife, under better circumstances we would love to go back. We would better plan the 7 hour drive, although on the way there it took 14 hours to get there all up so it couldn’t take that long again lol OH MY!

I hope all of you are doing well and dealing with a bit less shit than i am, and if you are, share! It helps to talk about things. I hope none of this has come across as whining because yes, i hate financial issues and it’s shit, but it’s showed me i have a good friend who loves me and will help me out in a jam, my kids had a good holiday except for the dirty tic and my car has a new clutch, so there are some positives that have come out of it. Usually this kind of thing would have my bipolar flare and I’d spiral into a depressive issue feeling overwhelmed but i haven’t broken yet and i’m kind of proud of that, especially considering how tentative things were just last month for me. Mwa xo

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The Letter

Recently I wrote a blog entry about a letter to my Mother. I was uhmming and ahhing over whether to send it or not. I got so much great feedback from a lot of people and I’m thankful to all of you who contributed, it helped me decide that I was in fact going to send this letter. For anyone who hasn’t read the post, I cut off contact with my family about 3 1/2 years ago as it was extremely toxic. My Mother let a lot of abuse occur while I was growing up, and since I’ve cut off contact I’ve heard a lot of bitching get back to me, basically my Mother and cousin blame me for everything and think i cut them off because I’m essentially crazy and they had no part to play in it.

I sat on the letter (not literally) for a few weeks, not entirely sure why I wasn’t sending it. I knew that I needed to send it, I knew that for my own piece of mind I had to say all these things to my Mother. It basically outlined all the things that happened in the past and how I feel she abandoned me in favour of my abuser, that she chose him over me and edged me out. She had three children to him in three years and essentially started a new family in which I had no place.

I spoke to my therapist about the letter on Tuesday and we discussed why it was still unsent. I figured out it was that it was too angry, as I wrote it I got more and more angry and it was laced with hostility. I don’t want to be mean for the sake of being mean, my reason for writing this is not to make her feel bad but for her to see my side of things and understand some of the damage she has done. I have asked her to stop bitching about me and that we both need closure. So, I wrote another letter. I feel much better about this one and after I write this blog I am going straight to the post office to send it.

This letter still addresses the sexual abuse at the hands of her first husband when I was aged 7-9, the craziness that went on in the student house we lived in after she abruptly left her first husband and how we went from being ‘besties’ to me being insignificant after she met her second husband, Mark. It addresses how she let him repeatedly abuse me and instead of protecting me or giving him a choice between quitting the drink or leaving, she edged me out instead of him.

It addresses how she made me unwelcome in my grandparents home, how when I’ve been at every low point in my life she’s not only not supported me but made me feel isolated and alienated. Because of my Mother making me unwelcome in my home I started moving around all over the place the moment I turned 18, every time I would return to Melbourne she would be more and more hostile to my presence. Her husband would still abuse me and she would claim the next day that he would get help or things would change, but ultimately she decided I was the problem, not him.

So i’ve written this letter, outlining all these things but I’ve done it in a more positive constructive way. I’ve found my voice and said what I have to say to finally take steps I need to take to have closure on my Mother. For so long I have had this gaping hole in my heart where her love should have been, she has been this almost mythical figure in my mind, the source of so much pain and shame and regret for me. In this letter, I removed a lot of the emotion from the first letter and was more factual, outlined things and asked how she could do that to her own child, why she didn’t protect me and what I did to warrant her being so hostile towards me. An example is, my Grandmother paid for her and my three half siblings to come visit in England 3 wees after I’d had my first child. I was only 22 and had a c section with some complications and was extremely sore. She wanted us to travel to northern ireland to see an old family friend so I went with her, she didn’t help me much while we were there so when we flew back to england i told her I wanted to go home so my husband could help me with the baby instead of flying onto paris with her and the kids. She was angry that I didn’t go to paris. When she got home to Australia she bitched to the family that my house was a mess and my kitchen floor wasn’t clean enough. That really hurt, I was 22 and could barely walk and had a newborn baby, of course my house was a mess! I’ll admit it was a mess but not dirty, just messy. Clothes and what not, dishes that didn’t get done immediately, as for the kitchen floor I have no idea what she was talking about. It really hurt that instead of being supportive or understanding that I had post natal depression and other medical issues, she came home and made me seem like a bad mother.

Another example is when we moved back to Australia. We didn’t have much money at the time and she agreed to loan me my the money my nan had left me before it came through and she would keep the money. On top of that money she loaned me about $1000 for airfares for myself my husband and my two children. Now, when I got to Australia and was staying with her, I started working full time within a couple of weeks. I paid her $3oo a week for four weeks, I also paid $200 for my half brother’s camp and nearly $200 for some netball shoes my sister needed. I also found out from my cousin that the money from my Nan was in fact more than my Mother had told me and she had kept more than she was meant to. So in my mind, I had more than paid her back, but it got back to me through my Aunt that my Mother had been going around telling people that I still owed her money. WHY? why did she feel the need to fabricate things like this to make me look bad? All i wanted was a mother who loved me, I’m not saying I’ve never done anything wrong, I’ve never claimed to be perfect, but she was making shit up to make me look bad and make her look like this patient saint. It just hurts so much that according to her, I have to be the bad guy. And even if I have done nothing wrong she’s perfectly willing to make things up to make me look like an arsehole.

So i’ve written all these things to my Mother, I also wished her well. I said it’s clear that our versions of events are so different that we will never be able to have a healthy relationship, that every time I’ve tried to be open and honest with her she has shut me down, every time i’ve asked for details about my real father she has lied to me about him. It’s all in there, but it’s not attacking her, it’s just asking her why and pointing out that I’m not in fact this bad guy. I think because of all the abuse and trauma and shit that’s happened in our history there has to be a bad guy, and for my mother it can’t be her, she’d break into pieces if it was her, so she has to make it me. But I’m hoping that telling her the truth, putting the truth out there and being as positive about it as i can will afford me the healing i so desperately seek.

I know that I wont get instant closure once it’s sent, but i believe it’s a step along the way. An important step. For so long I’ve felt angry that they have been sitting around claiming me to be the bad guy, claiming to be perfectly innocent. But I told her she has to see how toxic the family is, I pointed out why it’s toxic and it’s all true, she will have to face a lot of truths and that makes me feel really good. My Mother lives deep in denial but when she reads this letter, that small part of her that knows what she’s done to me, I know there’s that small part in her i’ve seen it in her eyes now and again, that small part will know the truth.

Thanks to all who have been a part of this journey with me, this blog has meant so much to me and finding people who have been through similar things has made me feel so much more sane than i’ve ever felt. And there’s many people who haven’t been through similar things but still show they care and I’m so thankful for all of you, you truly make such a difference in my life and it’s the first time I’ve ever been strong enough to face all of this. To address the sexual abuse at all, to talk openly about the abuse and neglect and abandonment.

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Holding onto pain from the past

In a previous blog I speculated that I am holding onto the pain of my past because it is the last tie I have to my family, the last thing that I have that connects me to my Mother. Since starting my blog I have dug up repressed memories of sexual abuse that occurred when I was aged between 7-9, I have written about the physical mental and emotional abuse that went on from age 11-25, I have written about the feelings of betrayal and abandonment I have towards my Mother because not only did she let these things happen to me but she chose the abuser over me and edged me out of her family, she had three children with him within three years and effectively started a new family in which I had no place, I was too difficult and didn’t fit her picture perfect family unit anymore.

My Mother and I were very close before she met her two husbands, we lived on and off with my Grandparents but she treated me very much like a best friend. She married a man out of the blue when I was 7, it wasn’t a happy household and he took great advantage of me when my Mother was working long hours. Somehow she met a much younger man and we moved in with him, she didn’t explain anything to me, we just left one day after a ballet class. I’m still not sure what she knows of the abuse that happened in that house, but I’ve assumed she knows something…based on how she left, but it’s entirely possible she has no idea and she left because she was unhappy in the marriage and had found a new boyfriend.

After her boyfriend left for a job on an island off the north coast of australia, she and I became best friends again. There was a revolving door of men she would date but no one stuck around too long. It was she and I, she would often pull me out of school and we would go on little adventures, staying at beach side cabins mainly.

She left her well paying high stress job for a part time job at the local video store, I think her depression had gotten out of hand and she needed less responsibility. She met a tradesman who was working on the video store and within a few months they were practically living together. He had a penchant for excessive drinking, and she started to ignore me in favour of her new man.

Within six months of meeting she fell pregnant to this man, and he was actively abusing me. I was a chubby teen and he would call me a fat fuck and throw me around, then things got more intense and the verbal and physical abuse escalated. She would yell at him to stop and then tell me the next day things would change, but they never did, and I ended up moving in with my grandparents. They followed a little while after as he would piss all their money up a wall, he drank a great deal and they just didn’t have the money to pay for rent and expenses.

When I started writing my blog I started healing, facing these issues head on was incredibly liberating, but I fear I went too far too quickly, I think I delved too far down.

I cut my family off a few years ago, they are incredibly passive aggressive, always nasty behind each others backs and bitching about each other but then nice to each others faces, my Mother and I always had a strained relationship and my cousin who i grew up with more as a sister always turned our past pain into a competition, discounting my trauma as an exaggeration. I’ve heard through mutual friends and what not, that they all think I’m in the wrong and they did nothing wrong, that I simply went ‘off my head’ and stopped seeing them all. This has bothered me greatly for the few years it’s been since I have seen them. So I decided to write a letter to my Mother, outlining the facts of the past and what i felt actually happened, my mother is a perpetual victim, nothing that ever happens is her fault, it’s always someone or something happening TO her, she never accepts blame or fault. So i wrote this four page letter telling her how it harmed me that not only did she let me be abused for years but she let me down whenever i needed her. that every time in my life when i hit rock bottom and needed her, not only was she not there but she made me feel unwelcome and crazy. An example is when I was in an abusive relationship in new zealand and i managed to sell a painting and get my fare back to australia, i turned up on the doorstep of my grandparents home, my grandparents had always made me welcome there, but the look on her face when she saw me, oh my. She made it clear that i wasn’t welcome there, that i could only stay briefly and had to find somewhere else. I mean, it wasn’t even her house, I had just been through a really traumatic experience and instead of offering me any form of comfort, she made me feel like an absolute piece of shit. Due to this, I kept moving around, relationship after relationship, i would hang onto my partner and often live with them prematurely because i couldn’t live in the family home without causing my mother grief because she knew her husband would get drunk and abuse me, and she’d let it happen, instead of holding him accountable for this she forced me out.

I thought writing this letter would be cathartic, but it’s been over a week and it remains unsent. I want to send it, I want to send it and have her know what she’s done and move on. But after I wrote it i spiraled into a depression that caused me to not write or blog for a week. I’ve barely seen friends, i’ve just been ‘functioning’ not interacting or really living or creating, just being.

Now i wonder if the letter is a mistake, or if it was just traumatic to face and write down all the things she’d done and let happen to me. Will i find peace in sending it to her and closing the chapter? Will it in fact close the chapter? I’m so unsure.

I know that i will never have a relationship with this woman if she doesn’t change dramatically, and honestly i can’t see it happening. So it’s not like i’m holding out hope of a reconciliation. She contacted me just before christmas via facebook and told me she missed her family and wanted to put things back together, we sent a few messages back and forth, I said that i had made some mistakes and there were things i would do differently, and instead of saying sorry or admitting any fault of her own, she said ‘yes you have, i guess i could have been a better role model’. I told her it wasn’t the role model factor that was the issue, and that if we were to have a relationship it had to be positive, that i couldn’t handle the backstabbing and the toxicity of the way the family interacted. She ignored this, and on christmas day sent a message saying ‘merry christmas, your sister will drop some presents by for the girls’ – that was it. It broke my heart all over again.

So, if anyone has had a similar experience with moving past things then let me know. A lot of people say just let go, and believe me i’ve tried, but i need her to know my side of the story, i need her to feel some kind of responsibility, or at least read the letter and know that I think she should feel some kind of responsibility. I’m a grown woman who can barely function most of the time and it’s because of the broken way i grew up. I take responsibility for my mistakes, of which i’ve made many, but now i’m just trying to find some peace.

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Burn it down

I am a puzzle with pieces askew

I am a knot that you cannot undo

I am the voice you hear in your bed

You are the void that creeps in my head

I was a child when you broke my bones

I was a child when you left me alone

I was a child when you threw me away

I was a child with no words I could say

Now I am grown I don’t fit your mold

Now I am grown I am strong I am bold

I will not wither and wilt under your will

You will not take from me your fill

You did your damage long ago

I’m full of secrets no one knows

Crimes that you have committed

Tales you’ve never ever admitted

But now I have my own loud voice

And with it I have found my choice

I will not hide and I will not be quiet

I will burn it all down, I will start a riot

Your house of lies you carefully build

Your dishonest palace you carefully filled

With perfect pictures and memories fair

You will not find me anywhere there

I live out here in light and truth

And while you may have taken my youth

You cannot touch me on this day

For I have found my own damn way

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I remember

I remember staring at the pink skirting in my bedroom

I remember the look he’d get on his face as I’d sense my own doom

I remember the sinking feeling when she’d call to say she was late

I remember knowing that this meant the most unfortunate fate

I remember him telling me he worked so hard that I was his prize

I remember him heaving against me till I bled between my thighs

I remember how angry he got when he caught me in his study

Bent over his work desk as he thrusted making me bloody

I remember the fire in his eyes when he came for his claim

I remember the noises he’d make, whenever he came

I didn’t know what he was doing as it happened to me

But I knew that something wasn’t right, I sensed depravity

I remember him covering my mouth to muffle my screams

I remember the heat off his body as he wiggled and he reamed

I remember the friction burns I’d get all up my legs

I remember how angry he’d get if I bothered to beg

I remember every little thing, that man did to me

Like it was yesterday, I remember with such clarity

The monster came and the monster had his meal

The monster never considered how the little girl would feel

The monster always got his way and once he’d had his fill

The monster would remind me not to tell – “you know the drill”

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Undeserved affliction

I hear his car pull in the drive

I run to my room and try to hide

I don’t yet know of his demeanour

But yesterday he was certainly meaner

Than I’ve ever seen before

He knocked me down onto the floor

I remember it in flashes and stills

He’s been out drinking he’s had his thrills

I turn off the lights and lay silent

I hope he’s too tired to be violent

I hear him yell from the door

Please God I can’t take much more

Thud thud thud, his boots up the hall

I hear him fall against the wall

He swears as he corrects himself

It looks like the beast will show itself

I hear him crash against my door

I hold my breath and count till four

On five he falls into my room

And in the air I sense my doom

He stumbles over and grabs my hair

I scream for help but no one’s there

He smiles as he yanks me from my bed

Punched first in the stomach, then in the head

I try my best to fight him back

He laughs at me while my tears they track

Down my swollen cheek so red

He kneels down and hits me again in the head

I feel so weak against his might

What did I do to warrant this fight

Somehow time starts to speed up

Soon he will have had enough

He kicks me as he calls me shit

Tells me I’m not worth one bit

He wouldn’t drench me if I were on fire

He kicks my side and starts to tire

I lay on the floor, weeping and heaving

Soon enough he stumbles, he’s leaving

I’m bruised and battered, left for dead

Help was the only word I’d said

But somehow he made me believe

I deserved the things he did to me

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The one who was meant to love me

Mother you were meant to keep me safe from harm

When he came at me you were meant to disarm

But you couldn’t be found anywhere

And after the damage you’d avoid my stares

All those nights you heard me cry

I needed you but you didn’t try

Instead you hid and let them harm

Your baby by your lover’s arm

Now that I am grown

You don’t call me your own

They hurt me so much I cracked

You say it all happened behind your back

So all the violence left scars

And you were never very far

So I wont wear a smile for you

You feel sorry for yourself is what you do

What an ungrateful child you had

From the day she was born she must have been bad

She should thank you for all you’ve done

You taught her to drink and how to have fun

Some children would kill for that

I just want my childhood back

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