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This is a moderated blog is a project of the Ruth Institute. Have a story to share? We're listening.
by Still Paying for the trauma.
I was 8yo when I first found out my parents absolutely hated each other. They argued & fought late @ night after they thought we were asleep.
Being the oldest & female I sided with my mother against my dad, who had only ever been a father by name to me. (The boss, the one to be feared, the last word & the executor of punishment after torment & threats from my mother.) As a child I felt very unloved. My brother was my mum's favourite, my sister my dad's. I actually thought I was adopted. But I found out later that my mother's pregnancy with me, was what sent her back to the husband she hated. (SO, it was all my fault.)
I was 12,it was NY's day 1971, when after an argument in the front yard, my Father threw his car keys @ my mum so she could move his car (because he wouldn't), to let her get her car out. I literally chased my mother up the street, running after her car, screaming to her to stop, not to leave me, & pleading with her to take me with her. "I'm coming back for you". Lie No;1.
My brother was 9, my sister 7, I was entering high-school (year 7). I became little mum to them. I had to wash & clean & iron & cook. I was the recipient of whispers & side-ways glances as the only kid in school from a divorced home (& God forbid, the mother had abandoned the kids).I was not allowed to see my friends outside of school, I went from the top end of my class to the very bottom. No time for homework or study. I saw my mum every other Saturday for about 2 hrs (apart from the times I ran away from the house to go see her).
She sat us down & tried to explain to us, that the reason she hadn't come back for us was because she couldn't, as a single woman, get a home loan. Lie No;2. Because she managed to rent property & later buy property with her Lesbian friend.
She told my sister that she had just needed to get away for a while, that she had intended on coming back to the marriage (when she saw that my dad
had moved on to another woman--3yrs later). Lie No;3.
My father dragged us to PWP (Parent's without Partners) events every W/E. I hated it, sleazy men abounded.
He "rescued" a woman from a bad relationship there,(her 2nd) & she became my step-mum eventually. But for 3 yrs we were picked up after school & taken to her place for the W/E. I slept on the lounge, my sister on 2 armchairs joined together with a sheet, my brother on the floor of our soon to be stepbrother's bedroom, then later, the car (station-wagon in the carport).
That marriage lasted 2yrs tops. She was in & out of hospital with "Nervous breakdowns"(??) She hated me because I refused to call her "mum". She accused me of horrible things,& while in the beginning she was stepping between my fathers corporal punishment (for years I went to school with whipping welts across my legs from him), in the end my father was pulling her off me as she attacked me in a jealous rage. She even confronted me in the corridor of my workplace to yell abuse at me.
My mother accused my dad of infidelity & other sordid things, my step mum accused him of incest. But they both left 3 kids with him. Go figure the justice.
My mother said as justification of her decision to leave my father, I would have killed him had I stayed, then you would have no parents, because I'd be in gaol.
Both my parents were from loving close knit family homes, but 2 people who should never have ever got together, produced 3 kids & then proceeded to physically, emotionally & psychologically destroy them.
My brother is an alcoholic with 2 broken marriages under his belt. My sister & I both single, with failed relationships. I didn't finish school because my home-life was unbearable.
My father conveniently has blocked out those horrible years, saying he can't remember. He has married 3 times all up. The 4th/5th, last & longest relationship of his life, he didn't marry & supports her to this day. My mother stayed with her Lesbian friend till her death.
I have a son of my own & unfortunately he was raised in a single parent family because his father decided he didn't want to be one. (He was from a normal family that was happy & together). So who knows the reasons why.
We are all damaged goods due to circumstances beyond our control & as children we paid for our parent's selfish & ultimately abusive decisions.