I wrote the following about my dysfunctional family in January 2021. It’s interesting how my thoughts have changed. I have added my updated thoughts in italics.
I was thirty-six years old when I stopped talking with my mother. That was eleven years ago. And I have not spoken to her since. That happens when you grow up in a dysfunctional family.
Are you surprised that, with everything I have written about her, I only cut her out of my life fairly recently? Yeah, me too.
Even as I write this, I am still surprised that when I left weeks before my eighteenth birthday, I didn’t cut her out then. But the world isn’t designed for children (even eighteen-year-olds) to be out in the world without parental support. No matter what horrors are going on behind closed doors.
Children have very little in the way of rights because children don’t know enough about the world to make informed decisions. Supposedly.
But adults do? Someone has to take care of all of the children born to parents who do not have their child’s best interest in mind.
I always have, and still do, somewhere I think (hope?) that my mother will become a healthy person. If she does that, then I will have a mom (so I hope).
I know that I can’t wish for another person’s healing. There is nothing I can do to help her. That has to come from her. I am NOT holding my breath on that.
I am still not holding my breath. But a part of me still wants to have a mom. It saddens me that she couldn’t do anything to help herself. But, at the same time, I get it.
The path I have chosen is challenging. It’s not for the faint of heart. And based on what I see in the world, not many people can handle that path. But, interestingly, what I do see is the people who grew up in abusive and traumatic homes are the ones trying the hardest to break the cycle.
Rebel With A Cause
Why couldn’t I be a good kid? Why couldn’t I be more helpful? Why couldn’t I listen to my mother? Isn’t my dad the greatest? The world saw that I had great parents and was an ungrateful kid. Shit, if only people knew.
I wanted to comment on this section the most. I remember originally writing that I was an asshole, a rebellious kid, but I realize now that wasn’t true. That was the narrative people told me.
I was a kid stuck in a horrible situation doing my best to stay alive.
I also remember ADULTS telling me that if I didn’t act so rebellious, my mother wouldn’t have reacted as she did. Um. Who was the adult in that situation who should have been able to navigate those situations and help me navigate better emotionally? I know now that my mother lacked the tools to do that.
I was made responsible for my mother’s abuse. Victims are never to be blamed in those situations. And yet I was.
And right now, somewhere in the world, a child is being abused and then blamed for it too.
So sure, if your definition of loser includes what I just wrote, I was a loser. So what?
Furthermore, I made it. I survived all of that shit. I wouldn’t categorize myself or anyone I know who has done that as a loser.