Sunday, September 21, 2014
Time after Time
What I've been told starts with my own father. He broke my mother's wrist just as they were divorcing. Mom said that she "couldn't work" so she let dad take custody of my sister and I.
I don't remember "confronting" dad about this, but I do remember him telling me that they were fighting and mom pulled away and banged her wrist against a car door.
I do think it matters which story is true. I wish I knew. I was only four and there's no way to tell honesty. Both my parents failed to give proper care to me.
It's a mixed up thing. I love my dad. I don't give him a pass for any of this. It's a simple scale, mom physically and emotionally hurt me more. And, if dad's that much of an ogre, why on earth would you leave your CHILDREN with him??
Okay, so mom hooked up with husband number three. I don't know anything about husband numero uno, he left her. I do know mom got kind of shot gunned into that one.
Anyway Dick the third (or turd depends how yous see it) beat mom so bad he ruptured her spleen. She told me later, she didn't want us living with him because "she knew he was an animal." Um, yeah. It's okay for him to be an animal around her, but not her kids. Way to teach your kids how to love and value themselves.
I don't know what broke them up. She told me a story but they were still together after it happened. She said that she broke up with him after a trip to Florida where she caught him in bed with another man. Never mind that he had sex with her daughter, age seven, but GAY??? GOD NO!
The truth is, I don't remember any of his violence against her. I remember them arguing loudly when they were drunk. Usually after getting home from the bar.
I did see step dad number four kick the door as she was leaving a room. This cut the tip off her finger. I saw them get into slap fights and he lived his life in a state of pickled, bleary eyed, slurring stuporhood.
One night, he decided mom was cheating and I lay in bed listening as he got out his guns and sat there grilling my mother about her cheating ways. The idea of a super drunk guy with loaded guns, he was a security guard, scares the shit out of me. I am deeply sorry that my mother had to go through that.
That guy, Art, confused me as deeply as my dad. He loved me nearly as much as dad. Even came to visit me after they divorced. Though he was never sexually inappropriate. He just liked kids and thought I was special.
Abusive jackass number five lasted only a few months. No big knock out drag out physical fights, but that jealous slap around jealous drunk phase started pretty quick. He was a bit happy go lucky when they weren't fighting. Though with that troubled drunk stuff lurking just below the surface.
Before husband number five, she did have a long time boyfriend who could have been the poster child for alcoholics anonymous failures. I have no idea if any of them went, he just drank so much he could barely function. He knocked her around too. I didn't see it though. I heard them once in a while and it was all very low key. Not hidden so much as, he probably passed out before he could get too violent.
The boyfriend taught me to play chess and was generally nice to me. His intelligence could have rivaled a genius, if he could have found sobriety. Same with mom's last husband.
Dennis died last year in hospice care. My mother is now in poor physical health so it's unlikely she'll marry another guy.
She married Dennis for his GI bill. I suppose they got on okay. She abandoned me after she hooked up with him, though that improved my life a lot. My older sister and I lived together in our own stable apartment. I was 15.
Wow, she stuck it out with Dennis 35 years. His abuse involved more of a slapping and never quite keeping steady and responsible work. He got fired for being drunk at work and mom defended him. Then, he hit her and she called the cops. They made him go to anger management. This just made him angrier.
I suppose a lot of my mom's story is about her picking the devil she knew. She couldn't seem to ever find someone nice, so she found someone who didn't put her in the hospital. How sad that she couldn't decide different.
OKAY, now here's the simple reality that I learned from all that. Pick your mates from a place that meets YOUR VALUES. I would never go to a bar to meet a guy.
Decide before anyone ever hits, that you will not tolerate that even once. If you want to help someone, go to college and get a counseling degree. You don't bring home a sick person and try to learn amateur doctoring in your spare time, so why do that with the mentally sick?
Caring people ask you what you want, abusive people tell you what you want. Passive aggression is aggression. Even trained counselors cannot "fix" another person. They only guide those who want help.
They say NEVER take meth, not even once. I say, never try abuse. Not even once.
Long post, I felt it needed all the details to know where I came from. Kind comments encouraged.