mckarlie

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

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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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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Monster in my bed

I hear my Mother leave, so I pull the sheets above my head

The floorboards sound their warning ‘he’s coming to your bed’

Creak and creak I hear, step after step after step

My body goes still all of a sudden, and tightly I hold my breath

The door slowly opens, slithers of light pierce through the dark

I peak through the sheets and see him, his eyes wide and stark

He turns on the lamp – I see his body amp

“Hello precious” he murmurs, as he slithers across the floor

Pausing for a moment, he’s forgotten to shut the door

He makes his way over, I whimper “no” but it’s too late

Now his eyes are blazing, he’s chosen me for his plate

He sits himself at the end of my bed and quickly yanks the sheet

I see him rub his trousers then move his hands onto my feet

I hear his fettered breathing, moving his hand up my leg

I let out an infant whimper, he tells me not to beg

He puts his finger somewhere soft that it makes his hand feel rough

Now he’s laced with great enthuse, he cannot get enough

He seems to expect me to like it, but all I can do is cry

None of this seems right to me and I cannot figure out why

This man is touching part of me no one’s allowed to see

All I hear are tears and breath, it feels like something’s inside of me

In one foul swoop he jumps up, and lays right by my side

Moving me into position, I feel him move something along my thighs

It’s hard but soft and frightens me, he’s moaning in my ear

My body stiffens like a board, silent and frozen with fear

Suddenly he shoves back, letting out an unholy grunt

Standing up and wiping down he says “not a word you little cunt”

“Do you think Mummy would love you, if she knew how you’re a naughty girl

So keep your little mouth shut or I’ll destroy your whole damn world”

He leaves my room and shuts the door, sitting down to watch tv

I curl up in confusion and cry, what’s just happened here to me?

I’m scared so I stay quiet, I did not speak a word

And so for years and years it’s been, his sins have gone unheard

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