She did let me that night I think it was because I was unable to calm down. At some point, my step-dad came home. There were many nights that we did not know where my step-dad was, he would suddenly be home at any hour of the night. That night he smelled of alcohol and cigarettes. I do not care to share what happened, but I heard how he talked to my mom. I snuck out with him not knowing I had been there. I went to my room and cried. I remember asking God where he was and to please help my mom. I did not know how to help and I felt so inadequate. I asked God a lot things during my young life.
I do not remember receiving any answers for my specific questions.
I believe this started my obsession with spirituality and my constant question, “Who is Jesus?” Everyone talked about him in my family circles, but I never saw him. I did not understand why he did not help when I cried out to him or why he did not talk to me. I assumed it was because I was so evil and wrong. I do remember thinking that if only I could do the right things Jesus would take my hand and help me. I am not sure I know where I got that line of reasoning, but I am almost certain that it came from the times I did go to church as a child. The messages were always telling me what a sinner I was and if I kept sinning Jesus could not come near me.
I digress that is another issue, I do have triggers with all of that, but I feel comfortable where I am in that area.
The last thing I remember about that man (step-dad), I do not even really have a last memory of him. I do have the last memory of him ever being in our home. It was in the middle of the night, I was sound asleep, (a rarity), and I awoke to my mom carrying me out to the car whispering, “Be quiet, do not say anything.” My eyes were fogging and she shook her head, when I started to open my mouth.
She sat me in the car.
I will never forget her face; she looked right into my eyes and said, “Mommy has to go back inside for a minute. If you hear anything, I mean anything you run straight to the neighbors and tell them to call the police. I will be back, DO NOT COME INSIDE!” He had pulled a gun out on her several times. He always had a loaded gun, he was ridden with paranoia. He had beaten her when I was gone on the weekends. She never told me until I was an adult. I wonder how much of the “feelings” and “emotional abuse” I had felt without knowing it. That night he went too far for her, he pulled out the gun when I was in the house. She took the opportunity when he went into the bathroom to get me out of the house.
She went back before he would notice.
She had tried to call the police, but he ripped the phone out of the wall. I am not exactly sure how or when she got out of there. I remember sitting in the car, looking at the porch light waiting for my mom. It was so dark outside; it had the cold damp summer night feeling. I watched the door begging for my mom to come out and be ok. I had no idea what could happen, but I had a horrible feeling. She finally came and we took off in the car. She said we were going to my grandparents. That was the last I ever heard of him, and for many years, my mom refused to acknowledge that she was ever married to him. She made him vanish from her memory and all of the things that had happened vanished too.
We could never talk about it.
It was in this past year that she shared with me. She let me know many of the things that happened, as much as she could without getting emotional herself. I did not press it. It brought some healing to my mind and it did stop some continual loops that I had. I had no answers for the confusion I had all of those years. When she explained to me what was going on and what he did to her it made my life make more sense. He never hurt me in any physical way, my mom made sure of that. I do not know if he hurt me emotionally. I cannot recall any words he ever said to me. It took some time for my mom to realize that he was abusive. She really did not know until later years.
She had not associated it with abuse.
She thought all men were like that because in her life from childhood to my dad, they were. She is an Aspie and I do believe she was unable to discern many things. I discovered that she struggled with feeling as if she was the problem or in some way, she deserved it. However, she and I both have a trigger that at some point kicks in and says, “I don’t think so! This is going to stop!” We have taken control and stopped those relationships only to fall back into slightly better, but similar tendencies. Physical abuse we know to get away from, emotional abuse has been much harder for us to detect, in any type of relationship.
I cannot share anymore.
I feel like I needed to do this for my healing. I feel vulnerable and outed in some ways. I also feel that I am over keeping secrets out of fear. If I truly want to recover, I need to write about some of this. I cannot be afraid of what others will think of me, or that I will lose people. I am tired of the voices of people throughout my life telling me that I did not have it that rough. I am tired of feeling as if I should not be upset, hurt, or even angry for a while because of what I have gone through. I have valid hurts and trauma that I should be allowed to express without others saying things to me to make me feel bad. Or having them bring up all the others who have suffered more than I have. I have thought of all of those people, I have cried for them and prayed for them. (I am still affected by others traumas and pains, I care deeply.)
I have tortured myself for even allowing a moment of emotional expression about my “issues.”
I am allowed to feel these emotions, talk about my memories, express my feelings about them, without fear of someone attacking me for being selfish, lacking faith, or accusing me of feeling sorry for myself. I do not feel sorry for myself. It is what it is I went through a lot, for me. I need to allow myself to acknowledge that, feel it, and deal with it properly. I do not pity myself or look for pity from others. Sharing about some of this is part of the process. These things have hindered me and all of my forms of escapism no longer work.
In reality, I am not letting myself escape – I do not want to anymore.
I am taking control over my fears and hurts and turning them into something purposeful. I said several months ago that I was “broken,” unfortunately those words have been used against me on a few occasions. I have been thinking, I do not think I am broken at all. I think I am more like a grand afghan blanket being crocheted together with multicolored yarn, and tons of geometric shapes. I am not broken only being crafted into a unique creation. Maybe I sound cheesy, but afghans carry a great deal of significance to me.
I had no idea I was going to write all of this, if you made it through the two posts, thanks! (And just so you know I am smiling.)