Monday, April 18, 2011

My Mom, The Deceiver (Part 1)

As I sit here looking out at the grey sky of Seattle, the dark clouds are kind of fitting for my mood. (at the moment its  grey, the next minute it could be blue sky...this is the bipolar weather that confuses all Seattleite's) But I have GOT to drag myself out of it. I WILL drag myself out of it. My life is too good.
I'm eating two of my favorite things; chocolate and cheese (A piece of Tillamook sharp white cheddar...something I allow myself to have when I am REALLY spoiling myself, my two c's... chocolate and addictions’) Hey...I'll walk it off later.
I am sitting here thinking back on this last weekend and how, in just one sitting I have read through my mom’s old "Journal". How can a journal be 30 pages, JUST ON ME? Co incidentally my sister told me our parents have what my sister calls"files" in a file cabinet that she’s seen on ALL of we girls. With our names on them. How twisted.)
This past week has taken a lot out of me, and yet, I've learned a LOT about myself, and why I did what I did.
How did I get my mother’s journal?
Years ago when I was in college, I took a course on home and family. The teacher there had us watch a documentary. I think it was from PBS. It was called "John Bradshaw "On The Family" I think.
John Bradshaw said that if you were in an abusive family  "If you didn't get help, studies showed that if you didn't get help in many cases the abused became the one abusing their own children". 

This scared the HELL out of me. Me like my father? Me beating my own children? I would rather cut off my own arms then to do such a thing. Even back then, the thought dawned on me that for my future children (Or daughter in my case) in order to be whole and not turn into even half of the monster my father was, I would  need to start work on it NOW, not later.
So I went up to the teacher afterword’s, tears in my eyes ( I DREADED The thought that I could become ANYTHING like my father.) and said to him "Is it really true, what you said about children of abusers becoming abusers themselves"?
He answered by giving me the counseling centers phone # and a big hug.
That began my relationship with the first counselor I ever went to.
The first one to tell me it wasn't my fault as I sat in her office crying like a baby.
This is a woman who drove over 4 hours when I lived in Boise to try to get me to prosecute my father for attempted murder. 

She handed me a thirty page journal my mother had given her, ALL written on ME, to try to "help" my counselor see how messed up "I" was. 

My mothers intention? To try to turn my councilor against me. My councilor saw through her act, and instead, being as wise as she was, she knew I needed to know how my mother, the one who I thought was my confidant, in reality was really just another perpetrator.

So, my counselor gave it to ME.
I didn't know it then, but she did me the biggest favor anyone had in my young life.
She was showing me the TRUTH.
And here I am, 20 years later, finally brave enough to REALLY read it. Not just read it, but see the truth behind what my mother ISN'T saying because she can't hurt me anymore. 

Years ago all I COULD see was how painful it was to read. Years ago all I could see was betrayal. Tears streaming down my face, my heart broken; I just stuck it in a drawer and almost threw it away.
Years ago I couldn't see what I see now.

Its almost easter.

How fitting that I'm writing this now.


A new awakening.


I am learning what is true, and what is not.

What is betrayal, and how do you move past it?

How do you write about how your own mother betrayed you?

It rips my heart out all over again and drains me to the core. 

This week I have been dreading going over my mothers journal. (Even though its only 30 pages) 

I have pussy footed around the subject, even avoided it, and yet there is a part of me that says you can face this. You MUST face this.

Writing down my thoughts for my life story has me beating a path to the computer room at all hours of the night.

The worst thing is that the only documented history comes from my mothers journal

And I  don't even know if its the truth. In fact, I'm sure its not. There are too many holes.

When I was young she told me to only write positive things in my journal with as you can imagine left a lot of empty pages in my journal.

The first thing I see in my journal entries on my is that its ENTIRELY negative, and only on me being the problem.

Did she tell me not to write anything negative knowing all along she was writing what she did? 

I believe so.

I believe she was trying to lay the groundwork to cover up the fact that my father was severely beating me in the event that it ever came to light.

Well guess what mom? ITS COMING TO LIGHT

I'm being tortured by thoughts, waking me up int he middle of the night.

Remembering old hurts, as if my mind is saying "FINALLY! NOW I can unload.

Its a relief and a torture all in one.

Old monsters coming out of the closet, and yet maybe I feel protected from the monsters that it feels safe to come out.

But I am looking that monster in the face (that little girl fear that it was all my fault- that I'm worthless) and saying, honey, you don't have to be afraid of her anymore.

I am realizing that the monster is not a monster at all. I am realizing she is just a scared little girl in the closet with a costume on, wanting to be loved.

My mothers journal has made many trips from one side of the state to another, from one box to the next. More that once with me almost throwing the journal away over 20 years, until I finally threw it in a box, shut the lid and didn't look at it.

I didn't want to deal with it.

Just last year I was cleaning things out of our garage and putting stuff into boxes and labeling them. I found the journal again. I stood there, journal hovering over the garbage can, hating it, so much!

My husband came into the garage and told me not to throw it away and bugged me, as he always did, AGAIN about how I should write a book.

I just rolled my eyes and shrugged it off.

This month, I FINALLY decided to dig it out. I looked through every box.

All day I did this.


Then I had a thought as I was digging through the last box.

Something said "That journal you're looking for is in the computer room. I have had moments like this, where I KNOW things are somewhere, and I knew it.

I love those kinds of moments.

I looked till I was done with that box and was getting up, when my husband came in "guess what I found!" He had the same idea and looked in the computer room!

The journal looks like a copied spiral notebook. It looks like something that could have been written in one day.

It even has headings in some places. Who writes headings in a journal?

My sister Ava brought up that when I sent her a file for her with the journal so she could read it.

And whats with the same handwriting through the whole thing? It looks like its in the same ink all the way through. The same handwriting. I know that when I write in my journal its with whatever pen I can find, and I write differently depending on how tired I am.

So why does it all look the same?

Was my father there dictating to her?

There SHOULD be a post about the first time I was beaten when I was 9. My beautiful pink nightgown being splattered with blood as I cowered in the the bed, my blood spraying all over the beautiful blue walls of my room. And them making me clean up the blood afterwords on the wall. 

As if the beatings were my fault.

A post in my mothers journal about my father forcing his foot over the bathroom door where I had barricaded myself every time after a beating where he would "try to clean up the mess he had made" saying he was sorry the while time but ALWAYS doing it AGAIN. His "I'm sorry's" were as empty and phony as he was.

What about a post on my father bashing my head against the wall until I passed out? (Numerous times while I was growing up)

Strangling me?

Throwing a microwave at me?


The fact of the matter was, I was being beaten between every week to a month.
The TRUTH is, its literally a miracle I made it out of there alive.

I thought my mother was safe to confide in. My mother would always come and sit with me on my bed and talk to me. She even told me how much she hated my dad, and then she would make excuses for why he hit, bad day...she told me how much she hated him yet she would never leave him.

That's why when the counselor  gave me this journal I was so confused. How could I be her confidant (I thought she was mine) and instead shes saying I'M the monster here?

An interesting patters emerges here in every entry where I'm sure there was a beating. 

My mother always says I hit first. With my sisters, maybe sometimes, but I was terrified of my father... WHY would I hit first???

I cried HARD when I read that for the first time. HOW could she lie like that? How could she make me into such a monster to cover up for my father, who was the real monster. 

It made ME the target instead of the real monster, my father.

 It broke my heart.

I DO remember once, as a senior in high school they taught  self- defense for a week. I was dead serious about learning it because I thought for once, maybe I could  defend myself against my father once he started to attack and then maybe he would stop hurting me. Looking back...having to feel like I had to use it on my own father. I realize how sad that is.

The one time I fought back harder than ever with the tactics I learned from self- defense class while he was beating me was the time I almost lost my life.

Although things are so serious as I sit and write about this, during the whole thing life is throwing me little intermissions from these horrible things, knowing I can't handle writing all of this in one LONG drawn out sitting.

There are times old memories wake me terrified, but today the thoughts were funny.

Today I woke up laughing.

What made me laugh?

The phrase "Kicking against the pricks" was in my mind when I woke up. I was kicking against the pricks. Not biblically , but literally, in my mind. HAHA.

Even with all of this going on, there's still a quirky side of me that STILL sees how funny life can be, even when its not.

Even better now that I'm looking back seeing how bad it was that I can laugh anyway.

Kind of like giving abuse the finger if you know what I mean.

No matter what anyone throws at your, you can just laugh in the face of it, no matter what they do to you, even if you feel like crying.


  1. I think she left a few rather important chapters out of the WHOLE story, I'd say. There wasn't much in there about him striking you, or attempting to kill you. Kind of changes the picture, doesn't it.

  2. Oh, and you just go right ahead and eat your cheese and chocolate for a while. Being gentle with yourself right now is a very good thing. Whatever you need, girl.

  3. YAY!:p Thanks for your thoughts Ame...I really appriciate seeing you here.:)

    Its a strange kind of combination, (Cheese and chocolate...:p) but I'd eat the cheese on a few crackers and then get a hersheys malitol (sugar free) chocolate caramel its the dessert or something:P...I'm not diabetic, but it makes me feel a bit better about eating it.Then I dole them out to myself 3 a day...each one after I finish writing(Or like today...before:p lol) I also ADORE Josephs sugar free malitol too)bite sized brownies. YUMMY!

    Oh MAAAAN...for a SERIOUSLY special treat...the ones I REALLY love are Trader Joes french chocolate truffles. Joe and I can go through a package in a day if were not careful. Good thing the bags not too big:p

    When it comes to cheese though...nothing but the best. Tillamook white sharp cheddar.
    OH. My.GOOOOOSH!!! If we moved somewhere where we couldn't get it I think I would die. Lol

  4. So much that could be said regarding the 30 page Journal. I am absorbing it all.