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To Mother

We all have letters we’d like to send, but know that we can’t. A letter to someone we no longer have a relationship with, a letter to a family member or friend who has died, a letter to reclaim our power or our voice from an abuser.

Letters where actual contact is just not possible.

Do you have a letter you can’t send?

Why not send it to The Band?

 

 

This is what I would like to tell my mom, and probably would if she weren’t in a fragile state. She’s been wheelchair bound since my second child was born and my daughter is now nearing junior high school. How she ended up in a wheelchair isn’t at issue at this point. Needless to say, she is simply too weak to hear this stuff.

 

Mom,

Did you ever wonder why I was so angry as a young man? Or why I only had a single friend when I was going through school? You should remember the angry tantrums that I used to pull. The anger I showed you was caused by a deep, horrid certainty that I was useless and doomed to failure. That I could never trust people or achieve anything of moment in life.

While a lot of this is standard fare for a teenager, you never informed dad about any incident as far as I can tell. He was never the kind of man to sit still for such nonsense. Did you stop to think when you told me as a very young child that I was a “surprise?” It didn’t take me long to figure out that “surprise” meant accident, and that you didn’t intend to make me. From that time on, I wondered if everyone would be happier without me, or if I even was truly wanted in the home.

What about the grades, Mom? You know, when I began failing in high school and you would hide the facts from Dad. Of course a child would accept help in such a way. I didn’t want to be in trouble at home AND school, after all. It’s a repeated pattern with you.

Consistently, you would “shelter” your little boy from Dad’s wrath, which was rather corporal, yet never over the top. Yet you failed entirely to protect me from sexual predators. Yes, mother I was molested as a child. I, your little boy, was fucked by a teenage girl belonging to a “trusted” family. My innocence was gone by fourth grade, Mother. Then, listening to your gossip, I learned that you never really even liked that family and thought their mother to be disgusting and immoral. Why, then, was I allowed to mix with them? Did you never wonder why I didn’t have any friends or why I quit playing with the other children from that family? I really believed that my molester was my girlfriend. You have no idea how confused and hurt I was when I saw her with a boy her own age. I had no one to confide in, and as children who are abused often feel that they would get into more trouble.

You were already struggling with demons of your own, of which I had known a little from the time I was in second grade when you were first hospitalized for “stress.” Junior high came around, and while I seemed to be okay, inside I was dying. I felt completely alone, as sex abuse survivors often do. I went through those three years with one friend who I met in fifth grade.

Then, you decided you were divorcing Dad. We moved out and lived for a few months in another town. You went back to father because, as I later found out, he bribed you. Yes, he cashed money from his retirement account and gave you a lump sum of cash to spend at your discretion. That caused me to lose a lot of respect for you. That was a single summer and back to the home. It was fucked up mom.

Junior high progressed. Even then I would have horrid angry outbursts of hopeless despair which should have caused some questions. Mom, why didn’t you do anything to get me help then?

High school came along and I gave up my choir aspirations. I didn’t have the confidence to try out for the high school choir, even though I had pulled straight A’s in all my choir work for junior high and earned a place on the Honor Choir. Indeed, I began to give up on everything then. I didn’t have many friends and had no visitors or invitations during summer breaks to anything. You never wondered why I never went steady with a girl, and asked only one out, and only then after repeated assurances that she would say yes? I pushed away my best friend in this time, in favor of what I thought were better friends. I’m lucky he forgave me, when I asked for his forgiveness.

I joined the Navy, only to flunk their psych evaluation and be sent home after five or so weeks. So there I was in the airport, defeated. You were so out of it, Mom. Dad was obviously exhausted. Apparently, it was getting near to another stay in the hospital for you. Not that they did you any good, except for to get you to decide to pretend everything was okay, so you could get out. Do you remember that ride home and the crazy things you talked about? In any case, Mother, you couldn’t handle your little boy leaving and broke down again. I needed some strength and real help then, Mom. But you, once again, were in trouble. I felt guilty by even thinking, “Dammit, I need my parents right now!” But Dad was dealing with your outbursts and insomnia. And so, once again, I kept my secrets and felt an utter failure. I know you’ve had difficulties Mama, but this isn’t about you right now.

You must realize that I was neglected by you in a few ways. Sure, you kept the house clean and meals on the table, but you never would inform my father of things that he had the right to know, like my failing grades. I was allowed to withdraw unhealthily into fantasy-like video games and television. You didn’t make me do the the things that I should have been doing, Mom. Dad could have helped you with that, if you would have let him. But I knew you, and I played you to keep the bad grades secret, just like any teenager would do, given the chance.

You did all that shit with my older sister, to the Nth degree, keeping her from facing the music for so long that she’s now a drug addict with no job, car, house, or self-respect. I escaped that because all along, since second grade, I have resented you. Yes. Resented that I couldn’t have a mommy that didn’t pick crazy fights with dad as we were watching a baseball game, eating dinner, or whatever. A mommy that wouldn’t freak out at tiny problems and scare the shit out of me with lies fashioned to keep me safe, that only served to inhibit my sense of trust in the world. A mommy who didn’t get so tired she wouldn’t talk to me or Dad and had to be taken to hospital on regular intervals.

I love ya, Mom, but you sure fucked up bad.

Four kids, one alcoholic, another a depressed, self-loathing mess (me) and a drug addict forever child. My oldest brother is the most well-balanced of the four of us, and I truly believe it’s because he spent the greater majority of his time with Father. Why did you “protect” us three from Dad so much? I have a good relationship with my father now, but my brother and sister haven’t spoken with him in years, in any meaningful way.

Do you know why dad was so grumpy all the time, mom? Because he slogged his ass of in a coal mine for twelve hours a day, six days a week and came home to either a batshit crazy or a sweet as pie wife–he never knew what to expect. He paid your way, Mom, and you resented him for it! He never made you stay home, you could have had your own money. Instead, you spent him into debt with secret credit cards, on more than one occasion. I remember the fights. They were the only ones that had any kind of justification. In other words, Dad was right!

You even kept him from forming decent relationships with the majority of his children.

Mom, I love you, but you have messed up three of your kids. That is a fact. I am now thirty six and struggle daily with feelings of empty, horrid loneliness and depression. These things are only bigger for me now, and I resent that you had every reasonable signal that something was very wrong with your child and you did …nothing. NOTHING!

I am now a father, and if one of my children began behaving the ways that I did, I would most certainly get them to someone for help. It’s not normal to rage the ways I did. Now I know it’s because of the injustice of abuse and the feeling that I wasn’t really wanted in the home.

I’m fixing these problems now, Mom, and without your help, just as before. It’s fucked, and I’m still kinda pissed off that all the signs were there. Sure, it was the early nineties. You watched enough talk shows to see at least one child psychiatrist telling parents signs of trouble in a kid. This fucking rock I’ve been toting for so goddamned long is a big bastard now. I’m pissed that I’ve had to do that carrying for so long. I’ve learned so much in my reading that I know that things wouldn’t be so bad NOW, if you would had done more THEN. Maybe you could have found yourself some decent help along the way, too.

I’m taking action now, Mom. I’m a big boy and have been taking care of myself. I’m getting the help I need, but my problems are compounded now by a failed marriage and the breakdown of my little family. This isn’t easier. Time didn’t make this shit go away. Indeed its only become worse.

I will overcome.

I love you mom. I hate you too. I don’t like it, and certainly this is going to be something that I address in therapy. But I’m doing it, finally, and that’s the point.

The Empath And The Narcissist

Hi, The Band! Thanks for offering this site.

I am trying to wrap my head around what is currently happening in my life, in the hopes of gaining some guidance and support here. And perhaps someone else will gain, at the very least, the notion that they are not alone in their suffering.

I broke up with a narcissist three years ago, and had no other choice but to move in with my mother. From the frying pan into the fire. I knew at some point in my life I would have to deal with the root cause of my issues, and have gone at it pretty much full bore, but continue to experience bullying situations again and again that leave me stymied. I know, “what we resist persists,” so I must have a lot of baggage to unload, since I feel I am trying my best. At least I am more aware of what’s going on as I become healthier.

I suffer from PTSD and perhaps that’s part of it. I also live in America and work in a very competitive profession. I am very good at what I do, and that again, may be part of the problem. I don’t know how to play the game, and I stick out like a sore thumb. I am very good at moving beyond crisis to get myself more on track.

I lived and supported my Mother for a year before moving on with my own life. New jobs, new town, new friends, but nothing seems to be working out. It’s like the trauma has reduced me to a little child, who knows no defense and was not defended back then. Things keep getting worse.

I was recently fired from a job, and I believed …no, I know it was because I took the means to stand up to my bullying boss. The Human Resources Department is not there to protect you, but rather to protect the company. I am fighting it, but it’s so demoralizing. I was an exemplary employee, and hence, a threat to someone highly insecure, who abused his power.

This happened after a year-long struggle with a therapist who ended up being equally inconsistent in her connection with me, and sometimes outright abusive. My longtime therapist had retired, and again, I fell into the fire, and perhaps because I was still in crisis, not reading red flags soon enough.  I did get out on my own and found a better therapist, who I continue to see.

Throughout all of this, I have tried to take care of myself. Meditating, using body healing modalities to release my frozen trauma, exercising, etc. I know that this kind of work can dredge up long-seated problems, and in my case, child abuse and neglect, but this dark night of the soul is taking its toll on me. This might be what happens when you were not allowed to develop a sense of self way back when, but instead were an instrument for others getting their needs met.

The key here is that I do have an authentic self, a connection with my soul, so to speak. It was tucked away, and I’m trying to integrate it into my life. It is a gift and a curse. I have a bullshit meter a mile deep, but I don’t know how to live with all I see. I am the child who saw the emperor with no clothes on, and keeps getting beaten down. Maybe it’s my desire to individuate, and standing at that bridge, outside of the cave, I am stuck, too afraid to take the next step. I want so badly to get there, but it seems like I was given no ego support for such growing up, that I am scared as hell.

But I know I will do it.

It’s hard being a sensitive, empathic person in this world we currently live in. Pressures are greater, and those who chose narcissistic behavior are freaking out- perhaps the old rules aren’t working. I need to have faith that, as I slough off these abusive entities, that my true self will emerge from the ashes.

My Daughter Is In An Abusive Relationship

My daughter is now 25 and has three children. She has been raped and was hospitalized because of it. She has been strangled to near death and is emotionally and physically abused.

She has been married to her abuser for six years now and believes she loves him. He has isolated her totally from all family, friends, any past acquaintances, and moved her to another state. He abuses their children too, who are 7, 5, and 7 months old. He has forced alcohol down their throats, shot them with a BB gun, left them on their own at 6 and 4 years old for hours at a time.

He now owns a gun and is a convicted felon.

My daughter does not communicate with me now. I love her and my grandchildren so much, but do not have any way to tell them that.

I am looking for advice on how to deal with this, help her see what is happening or how to stop this. I have tried to educate myself so I can help her, but she won’t let me help. I guess it has to be this way until she decides differently.

Any advice you can give me would be much appreciated. Thanks, The Band, for listening!

Saying Goodbye

Mental Illnesses are prevalent in our world. They greatly affect not only the individual involved, but the people around them. In the month of April, we focus our spotlight on Mental Health, in order to heal together and break down stigmas.

We want your stories. How has your own, or someone else’s mental illness affected your life? How are you rising above stigmas?

Please share your stories with us during the month of April.

Mum,

I am supposed to be heartbroken.

…and I am, but not for the reasons other people think.

When you go – I will mourn the life that could have been – the life you could have had, the life WE could have had; not the car crash it was – leaving nothing but broken people and devastation in its wake.

I will be sad for the “what if” and the “what could have been,” not the actuality. I’m not sad for the reality.

The reality is that your passing will set me free – to a certain extent – from my ‘you’ prison. I’ll still have to continue contending with the prison I built for myself, I know that, but, the direct pain of you will be no more.

People try to share with me, which is sweet and kind but, it makes me squirm and knocks my very thin rope of sanity a little. They tell me about their own experiences of losing a parent or grandparent and how sad they were and how they are there for me. They share things with me which they think will make me feel better – and it would – in an alternate universe, where you weren’t so horrible, and I wasn’t so messed up.

I kind of lie, and say ’“Thank you,” and pretend that I’m cut up about it, like they are about their own relatives passing, and I lie, and I lie, and I lie. Once again, I’m the weird outsider watching the world be normal while I’m in my own little weirdness bubble. What else can I say to them?

“Thanks so much for your kind words and your thoughts and wishes but, please – don’t waste them. She never loved me, and in turn, I’ve built a wall 7 feet tall. I spent my whole life trying to make her love me and it never worked, no matter what I did. This is not a normal ‘daughter losing her mother’ thing, so please – don’t hurt yourself remembering something painful to you in order to help me. Please, please don’t. ”

Sometimes I think I should cry, to look normal.

I nearly did cry the other day. I couldn’t bear to touch your skin with mine so I held your hand through the blanket, and you squeezed it. You squeezed my hand.

It was like throwing a starving person one sugar-free mint. Something wonderful and warm and meaningful but, at the same time empty – and too little – and far too late.

You hang on. Wasting away. I can almost identify every bone in your body. You rarely speak. You rarely wake now. Your body is breaking down, and even the nurses are praying you pass before the really ugly stuff starts happening.

But, you hang on …and on …and on…

I’m sorry you never got the life you wanted mum. I’m sorry it was so hard. I’m sorry you struggled with your own mind from childhood, and I’m sorry you made such awful, terrible, harmful choices. I’m sorry you experienced horrific things, and I’m sorry no one was ever there to protect you.

But, I’m angry you left me. You abandoned me whilst still being in front of me. I’m angry, sad, lost and hurt that you ignored me and chose others so much more favorably over me. The things you did to me, and said to me, and put me through were unforgivable. Some of the things still make me gasp a bit when I remember them because they were so cold and hard and callous; designed to hurt me and humiliate me and separate me. How could a mother treat their child like that?

I guess I don’t want other people’s sympathy because it’s not right. I’m not grieving over the prospective loss of you because, I’ve already been grieving your loss.

…since forever.

Safe journey, Mum.

A Warning That I Wish Came With My Life

To the 2 year old little girl, Allison, with brown eyes that love everyone and everything you are perfect never change.

3 year old Allison:

The dog bite and 120 plus stitches you will need in your face will only hurt for a little bit. It’s what comes later that will really hurt you.

4 year old Allison:

The daycare teachers and other kids at daycare will call you the ugly duckling. Don’t cry to much about it because at the end of the story the duck ends up being a swan. But that’s just a story and stories aren’t true. Right?

5 year old Allison:

Now is when you should try and run away from people. Here is when you change schools for the first time and you have to deal with the bullies again. Now is when you will have to talk to the state police about your aunt sexually harassing and sexually assaulting you for a couple of years. But that’s okay because that’s how you show people you love them. WRONG!!!! Now is when all the nightmares will start and you won’t sleep for the next couple of weeks and, sleeping the next couple of months without waking up screaming will be a miracle.

6,7,& 8 year old Allison:

These years will be different right? Wrong! These years the bullies get worse because they make new friends and become “Popular”. Don’t worry about what popular means you’ll find out within the next couple of years. But on the plus side you make a few new friends too. The downside to these friends one will steal your things when you have her spend the night, one will hate you most of the time, and the other is a boy that only has you for a friend.

9, 10, 11, & 12 year old Allison:

Those boys who always “pick on you” as the teachers call it only do it because they like you. Let me tell you how wrong that is. Those boys don’t like and probably never will. They are rude and can get away with murder because their dad is the big man at the school. You will be hurt emotionally, physically, and spiritually because of these boys and the fact that no one will help you because their daddy signs everyone’s paychecks. The teachers will say money is more important than you. You can’t get help.

You’ve made it this far through hell. Don’t look anyone in the eyes and don’t speak unless spoken too. You will break down in tears because now the boys are sexually harassing you and it brings back the nightmares. But still no help.

13 year old Allison:

You move schools to a place where no one knows your name. You will feel relief but only till a group of girls start to bully you. Those girls don’t matter though because later on they will become so of your closest friends. What really matters is that at the end of the year there will be a boy who takes his junk out in science class and measures it to see how manly he is. He will blame you on telling even though you didn’t. He will tell you that he is going to make small but deep cuts on you after he beats you so you will feel pain and slowly bleed out. The nightmares will come back but now you have him and his “manhood” threatening to kill you after your aunt takes advantage of you. You start to cut.

14, 15, & 16 year old Allison:

You’re in high school. The first day will go okay until you run into him in the hallway and you have a panic attack. You will have a panic attack at least once a day and will end up with a few new cuts for every panic attack. The nightmares will start again and for every sleepless night you add a couple of new cuts. Your wrist will be stained red for awhile but that’s okay because you realize how poetic black is and you wear it almost every day.

17 year old (Present day) Allison:

You have stopped cutting and hopefully for good this time. You never see him at school anymore but that’s because he is in a different building now. You’re a senior in high school, have panic attacks, social anxiety, and migraines often. You are falling apart and you shouldn’t be. You’ve been through so much that you will be up one night at 12 writing this warning because the nightmares wont stop and you haven’t been able to sleep all week because of them.

Thanks to all the crap that has happened I don’t feel. The only time I ever feel anything truly is when I physical hurt myself or when I have the nightmares. Other than those times I don’t know what’s wrong with me. It’s not normal for a 17 year old girl to not feel emotions. I talk to my mom about all of this all the time; she just doesn’t know how bad all this actually is. 

Am I the only one who feels this way? Am I the only 17 year old who questions life, God, death, and emotions?

Still Alive and Thriving

After going through what was quite possibly the most difficult year I’ve had so far, Things are finally settling down.

I’ve lost a child, was denied access to a child and have fought all year through to get it back.

I faced some of the most horrific gas lighting abuse imaginable,  I work in a position of trust and have done so for many years and my former abuser decided that they would try and get me fired with some of the worst false accusations you could imagine.

I’m now at a point where child protection services no longer believe my former abuser and have some solid boundaries in place to protect myself.

They tried so hard to pretend they were the victim whilst I watched them send constant mixed messages, cheat on me, control every aspect of my hard earned wages, my professional life and personal life alike, and I watched my friends disappear everyday, then when enough of my support had gone they turned on my family.  They were constantly redirecting the blame for everything onto me and making me feel responsible for every bad situation they created by abusing others as well.

The final straw was when I recognized that they were trying to set me up to make the biggest move of gas lighting abuse imaginable, I’ll be the first to admit that it didn’t go as far as accusing me of Satan worship or cults where children were sacrificed, but it got pretty close and was all to try and control and limit my access to my child.

I then identified defining factors of Munchhausen by proxy in their behavior and had no choice but to try and protect my child as best as I could whilst fighting off these organizations that she used to further victimize me.

My child was ill, in accident and emergency or was at emergency appointments almost every week.  I noticed that the universal factor was that my former abuser would always press for me to have contact with HER, not my child.  When I tried to be there for my child without seeing them even under the supervision of medical professionals, I was told that it’s unacceptable and I have to see my former abuser.

I am still clearing up the shrapnel in my life but it’s back.

MY LIFE.

I’ve been studying the past year to help real victims of domestic violence as a McKensies friend, as well as help both mothers and fathers hold onto their children when courts become involved, offer practical and emotional support for the men women and children whilst maintaining my own contact with my child and jumping through those hoops.

I’m in a fairly successful band and still retain my job in a position of trust, I’ve trained as a volunteer children’s speech therapist and rebuilt all of those broken bridges from my friends and family and I’ve brushed up on my cooking skills a great deal, and I still donate blood as often as possible.

If I had tried any of this over the past years during my victimization I would of crumbled and broke under the pressure.  But now,  now I can do all of this with an ease that belies my former victimization.  Now it’s all as natural as breathing to me.

I received a shock on valentines day, It was an act that helped me realize how far I’ve come and how much stronger I am.

My former abuser sent me a valentines card…….

Are they sure about that?

I suspect that they have either the final screw has come loose, lost the ability to exert their manipulation of others and want to try again with me, or want to try and set me up again.

Well, Not Gonna Happen.

I did not build all of this to watch them break it again.

Not this time.

Find someone else to fall victim to you’re disillusion, faux perception and toxic miasma of a personality because I am free.

Thank you to The Band and Aunt Becky

I’m sorry for my silence since my last post I’ve just been so busy.

Until next time,

Stay strong all of you