Not only do family members fail women, and I believe some men; when they are in abusive relationships. An abuser does not show himself to others. But I remember him slamming things around, and making holes in the walls, doors, holes in the carpet made and left behind by the metal legs of an Ottoman. I remember walking on egg shells, and all the efforts to make him stop being angry and for him to sop hurting me. I was alone, and lonely in that marriage. The one thing I had was my children! And he was gone mostly just at meal times and bedtime. There was no place to go, I did not drive for years. And then he did the unthinkable. In the mix was his anger and abuse of the kids because they took up my time and attention, away from him! I can’t shake to fear in their eyes, and the image of my son’s bottom where the whole bottom was outlined red, a white hand in the middle, his hand. My son had a diaper on. He pulled him off the floor and hit him. I rescued him and checked him. I vowed I would find a way to leave! I needed a car in my name. I began to talk to people at places that helped women. I finally got a protection order at one point which mean nothing! I left went to a safe house only to return to the situation again.
You feel so bad when you let yourself down that much, and you let your kids down. No one helped. I stayed for “the sake of the kids!” Not sleeping with him I did the best to avoid him as I could, yet counseling was a part of the mix___just living in the same house, then going to school happened. A huge carrot, a way out of the relationship so I thought. I would be able to meet my kid’s needs and protect them! An art degree does not do that, and then Bill’s counselor black mailed me into staying with his threat against me. “If you try to prove Bill abusive I will back him to the hilt!” He did, I found a file one day where he had a list of his supporters, my brother and his wife, my father, a neighbor who drank I stopped the relationship with rather than her come in and help herself to beer in my home, make cool-aid up and add vodka to it, That wasn’t me to be a drinking buddy she had a problem! But she was on his list and there was a letter from his half sister. He also began saying things that only the kids could hear! I would call up because I had to wrap up finals or I was too tired, I have packed the car to leave early in the morning. It all fell apart when I had to live away from home to finish my degree, the truth of my life hit me! The fact I had been shelving what had happened hit me and I could not return to it. I was redreaming what was done to me and waking up feeling the same way.
What the kids heard was “If you loved your kid you’d be home!” I would call to talk, he would tell me they were already in bed! I could hear them. So, when I planned to stop school and deal with the situation the counselor made his threat. My brother and parents had already said what they had.
I had to rebuild my life without two of my children. I managed it. Not without living with pain___hurt___anger. It took years for me to use my degree.
That tainted my life. It affected my health. Thomas listened to all my hurts. So it became a part of our lives together. Nothing I did or said made a change. Whatever was believed about me has been believed. Time went by. I reminded about them when things happen, the last time was their not coming to Tom’s funeral. Just another slam. What get you is that the abuser keeps rolling along and says and does what he does. My family became his, and what I was supposed to inherit and my brother was to inherit was taken too, He paid for the lawyer, my father willingly gave the house to my daughter. I think this was meant to deepen the wedge between my daughter and me with what we have managed to have as a relationship. The thing is I didn’t want the house and land suggested by my mother, my brother the rest. I wouldn’t be able to keep it would have had to sell. Happy enough for Clair to get it. It was how hurtful my father was about it. Calling me and telling me his plans___and how wonderful the ex was to help him___how little my brother did for him. The keepsakes my mother had were withheld.
People who do these kinds of things___they justify them for themselves. It make sense the ex was behind so much. My father’s death ended his involvement. And as long as he lives he will influence the kids. It’s too late to change things now. I lost them years ago.
You can survive many things. And you can become despite it all. You need to be true to yourself, have trust and belief in yourself, and you need to love yourself. This makes Tom’s death significant. Their not coming says a great deal about them and what they believe. I can’t get around that. It’s just one more thing, one more time. So why say anything? Because what happened to me is not right. I am not alone in my experience. My family failed me, and that was a big deal! My children were lost to me, I can’t bring any of that back. I am lucky to have one and her kids. There are times when you can not get the help you need because the right kind of help is not there and you fight for that as you fight for you sanity and for your children. And all that is left is to be all you can be. It’s a lot to mull o over. This is why taking the time so I could feel my feeling has been so important. It’s been something I had to journey through. I am not alone as I have my daughter. I just needed to not become overwhelmed with thoughts. It is time for a new perspective. I won’t live forever. No one does! But I was here! I loved my children! I loved Thomas, I still love my children but I don’t do them any favors to not say anything at all of my truth. I can only tell my story, what they do with it or my family___I have finally said what they did not want to hear. How they feel and what they think do not matter the same anymore. It becomes too late. Whatever someone can conclude from this so be it. I am ready to move on and one thing at a time I am, My heart can be lighter because I think I will be heard by others who can identify with my experience. The world does not allow time for us to digest so much. But who we are does truly matter!