Why do people feel the need to tell their stories? I have been thinking about this because I have such a story. I have spent a lot of my life wondering why things happened as they did. What happened affected me as a mother, and a sister, and as a daughter. There has been a great deal of hurt and anger, confusion, shelving of feelings because it was overwhelming to feel them. It has been a life of shutting off feelings so to live life despite the big hole in that life.
It begins when? In childhood, but I am not going that far back only to say life was dysfunctional. The breaking point came though and I found myself alone and unsupported. That hurt, I already lived a life of protecting myself from what hurt me. This hurt just piled on top. And it numbed me even more. I cried out for help only to be turned down.
I expected my parents and my brother to be there for me, to help me to understand my experience, and give me a safe place to be as I sorted it out.
The experience? I was very sick with flu, the kind where it hurts to lift your head off the pillow. So I went to bed before my husband returned from the barn. I was a farm wife then. He came home, finding me in bed, he must have gotten aroused. I told him “No, I don’t feel very good!” But he said, “Just lay there!” And he proceeded to keep kissing me so I would not talk, and undressed himself pinning me down so I could not get out from under him. I cried and he did not even notice. So I gave up struggling and laid there. He just rolled off and went to sleep as I cried. I finally got up and went out into the living room crying until I was tired. Nothing from him, now I am sorry or reasons for his behavior. He did the same thing 2 ½ months later telling me to just lay there again. It was too much! I kept thinking about how I could leave! I had just got my license. I hated going to my parents where it was so much dysfunction, that I had moved away from, dysfunction and control. But I thought they live in the trailer, there is the big old house I could live in a couple of those rooms with the kids, heat them. That would allow me to figure things out. When I went to my parents and started to talk about my experience I was cut off with, “There is no room in our home for you and your three kids!” That was shocking. I just turned around and left. Then I went to my brothers and began my story to be cut off again, this time I was told that, “It takes two to tango, and I love ____like a brother.” I went to a cousins and she let me stay overnight. There was no choice but to go back to my home with my ex-husband. So I made a deal with him that he would get help through counseling if I were to come back. He made promises he never kept. I avoided sleeping with him, I wanted to throw up when he tried to kiss me. His idea of sex was to turn the clock so he could see it, he had sex and rolled off slapping my bottom like I had seen him do with the cows when he was done milking them. Well, I watched the clock too, 4 to 7 minutes and he was done.
I don’t understand why my being the daughter and the sister did not matter. The rationale is that these people believed something about me___ They did not consider me or show love or concern for me.
The counselor we got involved with threatened me telling me if I were to try and prove the ex abusive he would back him to the hilt. He and the ex became friends, he gave him money, they met for coffee, toys movies for the kids___. So much more than this. When I stopped working with him, he told the kids that I didn’t want to solve the problems. When it came to the divorce he told my middle daughter it would hurt the ex more than me to not have them. That college was more important to me. College had represented a way out with my kids, it finally registered an art degree would not give me a job. All the years that went by I was not embraced, my two younger children bought into the estrangement created by my ex. To see them meant going to his home, or my parents. They refuse to come regularly. I lived to far away. Then they wanted out, after the divorce so I bit on, it did not last they returned to him. Nothing I said or did matter. I lost their belief in me because of a cruel angry man who they think is the best man in the world. Life went on for everyone up there, my brother and his family, the ex and kids___ and I did not matter. What had happened that made me want out of the marriage did not matter. I learned to survive, and I took the higher road to see my kids. Their believing as they did and do. The thing is they were too little to explain such a thing too.
It was finally explained to me what my experience was. I did not understand material rape and what it was. And I was not supported there was no way out. He did not love me to do that. He made less of who I was to my children. I was told he had Borderline Personality Disorder. That he had narcissistic and sadistic tendencies. That my experience was his forays into verbal abuse and physically threatening. Two accounts of marital rape. That explained some, then the counselor explained the system I had tried to get help from and my family had failed me. That what I needed to do has become all I could be for myself, and that one day the kids might return to me and see me as their mother. They don’t really, its rare to have contact. And for me to put in the effort is painful, Yet I have tried. It’s too much to have him be a part of it every dam time. He continued his relationship with my father, best friends! His father now! And my mother in the mix. My brother never reached out either. It’s too late for I am sorry!
My father failed to help my mother get help when she had the last stroke, she died. They could not wait for me to come before starting her funeral. That was nothing but a mess. I did not go to my father’s funeral, I could not bere the ex being there and hearing how wonderful my father was! It was not my reality. What really brought it all home is my brother and his family, my two younger children did not come to Thomas’ funeral. This is how little I mean to them. It is time to let them all go. Leave it up to them to make efforts that won’t mean much to me.
I have one daughter and her family who survived the ex’s abuse of her. And she has filled my life with love, and respect, trust in her, and belief. Thomas and I helped her with a good loving foundation. She loved ThomasI am not alone. I am a Grammie and great Grammie. And all the stories about me, are what they are cruel. My children are adults now and not little kids to be protected from my truth. I can’t worry about what happens regarding my story. My father is dead, I let my brother know my feelings and told him what I did not understand. I have every right to hold them accountable for their words and actions, and lack of words and actions. If I as a sister and daughter ever mattered it should have been a long time ago. As loving a wife and mother as I was, that should have mattered too! My daughter is a survivor of abuse by her father and of her son’s father and family. That story is hers. My point is you can survive, it will cost a lot because you can not control what others chose to believe. They don’t want to get involved. Whatever it is____. You are affected deeply. All you can do is let it go, spending a life that you might be heard? I did that. It robbed me of happiness___. And gave me nothing in return.
When Thomas came into my life it was so different. So much love and laughter. But our life was tainted by the dysfunction. My regret is that. At least with my father’s death, he can’t call and tell me how wonderful Bill is, and how well he is being looked after by my daughter rather than me.
So why tell my story at all? Because it happened to me. And I want closure. Whatever life there is left for me to live will be one where I expect nothing from anyone else. I had the courage to survive their turned backs, etc, and be all I am. If was hard, I loved all my babies just as much as they have theirs, yet I never got to be the aunt, and that was the one thing my ex could do, rob me of my babies, and my family, my inheritance? The family home? The thing is that he didn’t rob me of a family home, or of parents or a brother. And he did not destroy me! Sure some people may realize who these players in the story are. I have not given names. Why should I care? My story isn’t the only story like this where families don’t act like families? How is it different for them? Stories about me have filtered back. Not true just someone’s belief that has been elaborated on. Eluded to as if so, gossip. It’s impossible. People believe what they want to. If I say nothing no one will ever know they will continue to assume they know. And that is a lesser me that I am.