Oh Goodness, here I go.
I'm 34 years old, the mother of four fabulous children and married to the most supportive husband you could imagine.
I'm messed up.
You would think that once you achieved this perfect family scenario that everything will fall into place. I come from a broken/dysfunctional home. I figured all of the childhood/teenage struggles that were all swept under the rug by an extremely dysfunctional family would no longer be a problem.
I come from an alcoholic/broken home and have been verbally and physically abused while growing up. I lack the ability to heal my past because I was never shown.
I don't even know where to start with these emotions that well up inside of me with no warning. I have wounds inside of me that haven't even started healing. These issues are pushed away and not given the respect or recognition they deserve. I am afraid of facing my demons, of hurting others, of not being heard, of rejection, and of what is lurking within me. I don't want to be responsible for awakening other people's hidden demons, making me responsible for their pain as well as my own.
I am struggling with motherhood right now. I always had this beautiful picture of us standing on a hill in Switzerland singing and dancing after we ran away from the Nazis. Okay, but seriously, I thought it would be much easier then motherhood really is.
Being a mom is so difficult at times that sometimes I lay in my bed crying while the kids are banging on my bedroom door. There are many events in the day that can lead to me crying in the fetal position. Milk spilling all over the table, chairs, and floor. One child pooping and peeing on the rug behind the bedroom door, then another child opens the door and smears it into the rug. Someone finding a pen and drawing all over the wall and themselves etc.
The feeling of being overwhelmed with the day's events is NOT my children's fault. How I react to these events is MY fault.
The problem is I've never been taught or shown how to deal with stress in any healthy way. I yell at my children instead of listening to them or properly defusing the situation. Better techniques sound so easy to do when I read them in a book, but in the moment it's almost impossible to remember what to do. I have never hit my children or verbally abused them, even when I need all of my self-control to stop reacting further. I love my children with every ounce of my soul, spirit, and being and I want and need to change myself so I can be a better mom and person.
I thank my children for everything they're teaching me about myself. They have forced me to confront my inner childhood demons. Hidden memories are flooding my mind with how my childhood was, and what I have to do to change myself to become a better parent.
Even now, at 34 years old, I still cry when my dad and stepmother don't include me in their "family photos." It sounds so petty, but it hurts me so deeply - like a scar that just keeps reopening just when it's almost healed.
Unfortunately, I have demons that are much bigger than just a dysfunctional family.
I want to shout from the roof top:
I WITNESSED MY MOTHER'S RAPE! DO YOU HEAR ME? I'M FUCKED UP FROM IT!
I want to ask the world, am I a victim of sexual abuse because of what I witnessed when I was a teenager? I need someone to tell me yes. I know the answer is yes, but I need someone to tell me "YES!"
It happened when I was 17. I don't want to type the details of my mother's rape. However, after this assault happened I completely unconsciously wiped it out from my memory - twice.
I was 17 living with my father and stepmother at the time it happened. My mom had come to visit, and she left to go back to where she lived. Once she was gone, the incident was erased from my memory.
About six months later someone called me to talk about what had happened. At first, I was confused and didn't understand what she was talking about. Then, like a dam being released, the memory returned violently and with haste. I had no control over it. I started crying and shaking, not really knowing what to say, but also not wanting to say the wrong thing. Really, what could be more wrong then rape?
I remember telling what happened... and that's all I remember. I don't remember how they acted or what they did. I do remember calling a very dear, close friend and telling her everything. She supported me and listened.
I confided in a counselor and told him everything. His response was, "So what do you want me to do? Clearly there is an issue with alcohol but I don't understand what you want me to do." Because he didn't help me, I unconsciously put the memory back into the vault.
I was 18, and had moved back in with my mother. My mom and stepfather were drinking until 3:00 in the morning. Suddenly, my stepfather roared my name down the stairs. I was terrified. I had no clue why he was yelling so hard. I quickly thought of everything I had done to figure out what had made him so angry.
I was also annoyed because they had been drinking heavily and fighting all the time and I was sick of it. I reluctantly walked up the stairs where I saw my mother drunk and crying hysterically. I thought, "Oh, great. What now?" My stepdad told me to sit down. His face was a deep color of red seriousness. He looked deep into my eyes and asked, "It is true? Was your mother raped? Did you see it?" My mother was hysterical and started hyperventilating as I responded, "YES."
He raged Not at us but at many things; not being told, not being able to do anything about it, not being there to stop it from happening. I sat there with a stone cold face in complete stillness. I answered his questions in a yes or no fashion while tears streamed down my face.
My mother told me no one is to know about any of this.
I didn't tell anyone.
Instead, ironically, I became promiscuous. How can one witness such an event and want to have sex with men? I wanted to be loved. I wanted to feel. I wanted to know that someone needed me. I wanted to be noticed. I didn't get any of that. I was used for only sex and made to believe that I was not worth more.
I would get really drunk and cry, like my mother. Sometimes I would drink to the point of blacking out. I fell into a deep depression. I got drunk or had sex to keep from feeling. I had abused myself enough times that I learned how to numb the pain.
So why are these memories haunting me now, when I could so easily hide them in the past? I don't want to remember. Yet, while writing this I feel that I am whining, complaining, and I can hear my mother's voice in my head, "You just have to put the past in the past." I feel selfish and unworthy of bringing up this trauma. I feel so fucking weak.
Wow, how can I go from, "My father doesn't include me in his family," to "I witnessed my mother's rape?" What is that connection? That he is somehow ignoring his intuition that his only daughter grew up in a fucked up life? I really do need therapy.
So I did it. I phoned and made an appointment with a counselor. I want to heal and teach my children inner strength.
I AM proud to say that becoming a wife and mother I am neither promiscuous nor an alcoholic or a drug addict. I have come a long way in this journey of life. I am so grateful that my children are not growing up in a dysfunctional family, and I have an amazing and supportive husband. I took me this long to take the plunge and seek therapy but I am seeking it, and that's what important, right? I have not finished growing.
If this post can help someone seek help, heal, find love for themselves and know they are not alone, then everything I have witnessed in my life is worth it.4 Comments