I wasn’t going to go here next, but a few private questions sent me in this direction. My decision to cut ties with Carol was not hasty in the least. There was a long history of neglect, abuse and betrayal that came before. Before you get the wrong idea, I write it now so that it is known, not for sympathy or comfort. I am past it and it does not affect me anymore- seriously, I could care less. Except to embrace it. It helped to shape me into who I am today, and I love the person I am. I wouldn’t change who I am for anything in the world- so I wouldn’t change my past!
In truth there is one thing I would change, her current posturing while my brother lives there. She has to look like she cares- she has always had to look like the perfect one- and if it were just me that would be fine. But damn can a chick leave my son out of it? LOL! I guess not…So I am left with boxes of holiday and birthday presents that I get to give away. Luckily my neighbor currently has someone living there at the moment with a son my son’s age…until then the trash enjoyed most of the gifts. Ok….onto the meat and potatoes!
Hummm, but where to begin. Likely this will be a bunch of mini stories that will jump around- fair warning!
I remember a time just after my brother was born, so I had to be about 8, I got in trouble for something. I couldn’t tell you what I had done. But I was in my room crying and looking for comfort. She finally came in and instead of comfort she told me to watch and see, I would end up on the streets, whoring myself out by the time I was 18. I asked her then what I had done that was so bad, why she didn’t like me. Her response was something along the lines that I wasn’t meant to be born. That was the first time I remember the loving comments. It was, of course, not the last.
She asked me, after I went home from the station from turning HIM in, why I didn’t tell her what HE had been doing. My reply was to ask her what she would have done. (Remember I was 10 having this conversation-I look back and wonder how I was this adult!) She told me she would have had a talk with HIM. When I told her that wasn’t good enough, that I really couldn’t live under the same rough as HIM anymore, she asked how I could be so selfish. Why I couldn’t think more about her happiness. Later that night she came into my room and sat down on my bed to tell me she really did know what I was going through. She once had had a neighbor that looked at her funny and that gave her the creeps. She did say that she knew it wasn’t exactly the same since she didn’t have to go back- but she knew what I was feeling. That’s how she knew just talking to HIM would have been enough.
When we had to move from Va. Beach to Norfolk because her income was the only one supporting us, we moved into a 2 bedroom. The apartment was really cute though. My brother was still in his toddler years and could easily have shared her room, but instead she and I shared a room. Her reasoning was that he deserved his own room, and besides he was the only boy. To me this wasn’t that big a deal, but boy did it piss my Grandma off!
I suppose I should also mention that twice a month I was dragged up to the prison and made to sit in the car for 3 hours or so (no keys left with the car, no matter the season) while she went in to visit HIM. I remember one time I ended up drinking so much water because I was hot that I ended up having to pee so bad I was seeing yellow…of course there were no outside bathrooms….my brother was still in diapers…ya… I totally tried to pee in one I had to go that bad! Unfortunately it didn’t work…I was too programed to be going in a bathroom or squatting in the woods (camping people!!!) that I just couldn’t use his diaper no matter how bad I wanted to….Of course I got in trouble for wanting to when she finally came out 2 hours later, but damn I tried for those 2 hours!
Also, I wasn’t allowed to answer the phone anymore unless it rang once, hung up, then called back. If it just rang normally then it might have been HIM calling from prison. Of course the “secret” ring was hard to tell sometimes so I ended up grounded a few times when I answered the phone on the wrong ring and subsequently hung up on HIM. Nope, I wasn’t accepting that collect call, lol!
In my mandatory counseling sessions after I sent HIM to jail, I constantly learned from her and my therapist what a waste of human space I was. I was also told how everything going wrong in our house was my fault. Let’s see, what else was there…OH! Every fight was my fault, even the ones that started with me walking in the house from school and getting yelled at for not shutting the door the right way, or some non-sense like that. I was even told by the therapist that Carol’s verbal insults were my fault. You see, during this time (between when HE went to jail and got out) I was insulted and belittled on a daily basis. I was an unwanted child, I should never have been born, I couldn’t even serve the purpose I was born for right (to pull my Father into family life away from his computer), I was a slut, whore, tramp. I was the one that deserved to be in jail, etc. I think you get the hint. Carol had the therapist wrapped around her finger. Eventually I flat out refused to go; even my Grandma calling and telling the therapist off wouldn’t change the results.
During the same time period she abused me physically for a while. I have a few scars from her, actually. One under my hairline, one on my elbow, and one on my knee. Eventually I fought back with the best weapon I could think of. I threatened telling my guidance counselor, and she knew then she would lose my brother. That couldn’t happen. So back to the verbal/emotional.
Eventually the “choice” came and I moved in with my Dad. After I did I spent the next 7 years trying to have a relationship with her. Always reaching out to her, never having it reciprocated. It took me that long to have the heartache become to much. A child needs their mother; or so I thought. Really, it took me that long to realize my mother, my true mother, was living 20 minutes away from me and was a generation removed. My eternal heroine, my grandmother was always my Mother- it just took me until I was 19 to fully realize that fact. But I digress!
Carol… Every time I reached out to her I would write. It was hard for me to call there because I never knew if HE was going to answer the phone. Most times I managed to call when he didn’t, though. Every conversation was stilted, every time I tried to draw her into my life she seem to space out and not listen. It got to the point that I would write letters because I didn’t want my heart to break just by talking to her and hearing the lack of care. I would still call, because while I did write to my brother I wasn’t sure if she read him the letters and I was damned if I was going to let him forget me. Though we all know how fun it is to have conversations for young kids! lol!
When she continued to lay the blame at my feet year after year, regarding why we weren’t talking regularly, even as I showed her proof that I initiated every single contact I started to stop trying. I started to stop caring as much and contact her less frequently. I knew where the end of the road led, and I wanted it to hurt less when I got there. I was growing up, I wasn’t as naive as I used to be. The last time she rejected me still hurt, don’t get me wrong, but it was bearable and I walked away from it with my head held high. That was what mattered the most, that I survived….