• Quote of the Day
    "Don't let what you can't do interfere with what you can do."
    John Wooden, posted by David Baxter

Eunoia

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I remember being scared of airplanes flying over, b/c I thought he might see me- and come and get me. I really thought if it were him he would land the plan nearby and come and get me. I remember sitting on the floor w/ my sister, and something went wrong- I don?t remember what it was, and he took our heads and crashed them into each other. I remember the pain was almost unbearable but what was greater was the confusion. I remember seeing him explode time after time, yelling so much that I would think he would have to faint- but he never did. I remember hiding in my closet until they were done yelling, knowing no place was safe. I remember lying awake in my bed, hearing them scream at each other late at night, crying myself to sleep. I remember crawling on the ground to the room they were in, trying to hear more of what was being said, sometimes alone, sometimes with my sister. I heard a lot of accusations, a lot of rummaging in the past, a lot of put-downs. I remember hiding behind the kitchen counter, trying to make myself invisible, while the screaming went on. I remember literally hiding in a room, alone, sometimes w/ everyone else, like prisoners until he would leave. I remember dreading the days he would be home and yet feeling guilty about feeling that way. I remember how I would make sure everything was in order, clean up, hide things only to minimize any potential of him getting mad. I remember him screaming so much that his spit would roll down his cheeks, his eyes would be all white, his face flushed red. I also remember sometimes standing up to him, throwing myself in his way, after verbal pleas and begging did not help, to prevent what I could prevent. I remember sitting in the car, wondering whether the people in the other cars couldn?t hear him scream- surely they could. I remember him stopping at the side of the road, inviting one of us, mostly her, to get out of the car and walk. I remember watching her pick up the phone, holding it far away from her ears, pretending like she was listening, but knowing if she would let him scream for as long as he wanted, eventually he would stop or hang up- what was the point of having him scream in your ear about nothing and everything? I remember how one moment everything was wonderful, and suddenly it was hell. I remember and even though this was then and not now, I still remember. Things still escalate, blame, guilt are still his best friends. But you learn to avoid it, you learn to be ?diplomatic?. I?m not putting blame on anyone, I?m just remembering all of these things.. But what do I do w/ all of this now? Remember and forget? Pretend like none of it ever happened? See it as a normal part of growing up or (family)life? Does any of this even matter, or is it just making a big deal out of nothing???
 

David Baxter

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Re: remembering...

My hope is that one day we will find a way to ensure that no child ever again has to be exposed to this.
 

ThatLady

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Re: remembering...

Sweetie, what you describe is certainly not part of a "normal" family life. Life with a bully is anything but normal. I, too, can remember lying awake at night listening to my parents argue, but there was never any violence...just the interminable yelling. That was bad enough. I can't imagine how it must have been for your and your sister.

I guess, over the years, I've lost my ability to be "diplomatic" with this kind of individual (if that was ever an "ability"...I'd consider it a curse). There ain't nobody, nowhow, no way, who's going to lay guilt on me because they can't deal with their own freaking issues.

There's no way you can pretend it didn't happen, luv. It did happen and you remember it. What you can do is allow those memories to focus you. It's not you that's out of line. It's him! If you live at home and need to stay while you finish school, I can understand the need to just shine it all on and stay the heck out of his way. However, he would rue the day I graduated and began to make my own way. It would be the last time he EVER bullied me. I have a feeling you're going to be much the same. You're not making something out of nothing. You're making something out of yourself by using the past to direct your future. That's an asset, hon.

As David said, I long for the day when no child will ever have to go through such things again. It breaks my heart to think that any child must suffer so. :(
 

poohbear

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Re: remembering...

Nearly one million cases of child abuse reported every year. I wonder about all the unreported ones. How many of those are abused and no one comes to help us? I'm like you. I remember much of the same. I remember my sister and I cleaning the whole house before my dad would get home and my mom saying how long it took her to do it. I remember being awakened at all hours of the night to do various deeds for one or the other. Or being awakened because the kitchen wasn't cleaned enough. We scrubbed floors, toilets, walls. We cleaned out drawers, closets, garages. We were the hired help, with no pay. We were the punching bags when dad got home. Mom would make a mountain of a molehill-- something we did wrong that day, and there'd be the ineveitable beating. I have very very few good memories. Infact, I remember next to nothing before the age of 8 or so. I have come to terms w/ the fact that my parents weren't there for me. And, even though, now they try like crazy to be great parents, it's too little, too late. I have come to not depend upon them for anything. In fact, I do not believe I have ever asked them for anything. (you know how kids ineveitably ask for money at one time or another--) I never ask for gifts, in fact ask them to not get me or my family anything. They are trying to buy affection now. I just have decided they will be who they are now. I accept them now. Although, I remember who they were then. I will never be able to trust them implicitly. I will never have that close relationship that kids should have with their parents. That's why I have my "wall" we were talking about a while back. It's easier to go on in life when you don't expect anything from anyone. You're not disappointed. It's a hard road, but I chose it because everyone in my life has hurt me-- very deeply. I've chosen to not let them do it again. They've shown their true colors.--Poohbear
 

Eunoia

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Re: remembering...

I wholeheartedly wish for the same thing- that no child has to go through any of this ever again, and I didn't and don't even have it that bad compared to so many others.

poohbear- I know what you mean.. too little, too late. I don't know how many times I have told them I don't want their $ or great presents, I want one day without fighting, I want one holiday without arguing, I want one day of being accepted for who I am and supported in every way they know how except w/ materialistic things. They're not bad parents, they tried their best considering the circumstances. I feel like I owe them a lot, and feel guilty even thinking of them in bad ways. You're right- you come to not depend on them or anyone for that matter, you try to do it all yourself. It's self-defeating though, it can't work forever. It's a really tough cycle to get out of, to learn to be strong enough to stand up to people and find some value in myself for who I am and not for what I have done or not done. So many days I feel like that little kid again, sitting at the dinner table having them yell at each other for no reason, again, lying in bed listening to their fights, trying to study during the day and not being able to concentrate on anything, having my mom call me up sobbing about what happened. Luckily, those times are less frequent than before, but they have the same effect on me, and for whatever reason I feel like I only know one way to deal w/ any of this when it happens, usually a self-destructive way of some kind. I guess I just feel helpless in those situations...
 

ThatLady

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Re: remembering...

I think what makes us feel helpless in those situations is that we ARE helpless. There's really nothing you can do. You can listen, but that's about it. If your mother lets him treat her like this, you can't change it. To call you, sobbing, is to involve you in something about which you can do nothing. I used to have that from my mother until I informed her I didn't want to hear any more about it until she decided to do something for herself. That worked.

I guess the trick is to realize that this isn't about you. It's about the two of them, and they're the only ones who can affect a change.
 
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Re: remembering...

ThatLady said:
I guess the trick is to realize that this isn't about you. It's about the two of them, and they're the only ones who can affect a change.

True.

And you were and still are an innocent victim. And one day I hope so much that these horrible things will become smaller and smaller in your mind and replaced with wonderful, beautifulness because that is what you deserve. And I think when you get away from them and through therapy this will be possible. You won't forget, but it can be something that becomes less and less inside you.
 

Eunoia

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Re: remembering...

thanks for all the support- I know you're all right... and that's a very good point, that it isn't about me only that I'm in the middle of it. I don't know, I wish they would try to do something about their lives, instead of complaining about life or living in misery. It's difficult to seperate their problems from my problems but I see why that's necessary. It's so hard to accomplish anything in that kind of environment and I can't make them change anyways, so I guess it's up to me to make the best out of my own life.... :?
 

comfortzone

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Re: remembering...

Eunoia,

Eunoia said:
so I guess it's up to me to make the best out of my own life.... :?

Wise words to live by...hard some times but so true. You must have been a capable and courageous young woman to get through what you described. You are in my thoughts and prayers.
 

ThatLady

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Re: remembering...

Yep. Since we can't change others, the best we can do is to live our lives to the best of our ability. I've always sorta thought, in cases like you've described, success is the best revenge. ;)
 

Lana

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Re: remembering...

I remember the last time I spoke with my mother and confronted her about all the abuse she inflicted I like to deny that it was severe (because of shame and don't want pity), but I am told it was. The last beating was when I was 23 and it was last because I lost it and hit back...which probably hurt me more then taking a hit.

Several years and therapy sessions later, she (my mother) was calling me, demanding that I call back or better yet, visit. I avoided her calls but knew that eventually, I'd have to face up to her. I remember her fury and every word that she said sounded like a hiss. She kept saying "why don't you come over here and talk to me for the last time" It dawned on me later that it was more of a threat then a request (I know she would try to hurt me if I did go over). But, I remember telling her that I don't need her ill treatment anymore and that it stops right there and then. To which she snapped, "you deserved all you got and even more" calling me ungrateful. She said that I should thank her for becoming the person I was that without her I am nothing. (this was her usual speech) To which I replied, trembling like a leaf with so much energy inside I thought I was going to explode: "I didn't become the person I am because of you, I became who I am inspite of you." She spit a few more comments to me and then said that we're through that she no longer had a daughter and hung up. I think I sobbed for a couple of hours (that day...few more hours after) but strangely, I felt so proud and happy to have been able to say what I did to her. It's one of those most profound moments in my life. It felt good to stand on my own against my scariest and most powerful influence.
 

David Baxter

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Re: remembering...

Parents, no matter what and in spite of everything, do seem to have a special influence that no one else can ever have - and when it is a negative or destructive influence it is an incredibly difficult one to escape.

It sounds as though you took a courageous and significant step toward health in the interchange you describe, Lana.
 

Lana

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Re: remembering...

This is for the readers:
It may help to know that between that last incident at 23 and the day I stood on my own, were years and years of ongoing tumultuous relations and episodes. This February, marks a 3rd anniversary since the day I took a stand. I am 38. To those struggling, please don't give up. Hang in there, one day at a time.

David:
it was a breakthrough needed to continue working my myself, my attachment problems, and everything else that stemmed from it. It was an experience and a half...LOL. Every now and then I have hard days, but they get easier and easier to pull through to the other side. So, I'm still work in progress. :)
 

Eunoia

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Re: remembering...

between that last incident at 23 and the day I stood on my own, were years and years of ongoing tumultuous relations and episodes. This February, marks a 3rd anniversary since the day I took a stand. I am 38.
how do you get through that? all those years, it seems like such a long struggle even after everything that has already happened. how do you hang in that long? how did you hang in that long?!

thanks for sharing Lana.
 

Lana

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Re: remembering...

How do you get through that?hmm?.I haven?t thought about that, but if we?re taking about from 23 to 35 then there are several factors that come to mind:
1. I met a man (in college) that eventually became my husband (almost 10 yrs) ? although my condition to him was that school came first?lol
2. I was in college, working towards a future that would give me ability to do things and not remain her victim or survivor.
3. Stubbornness, determination, and anger?she was NOT going to win.
4. Desire, more then anything, to get out of there to succeed?I refused to give in to her, no matter what it took.
5. Healthy doze of fear that I?ll become just like her.
6. I didn?t focus on what has happened, I was fixated on what I wanted to happen in the future
7. Moving out at age 28, with my husband to be, which infuriated her to no end and it was an ugly battle that lasted a long while where I actually experienced an anxiety attack (and realized that I was going to need help if I am going to tackle it)
8. Therapy that started when I was 31?a lot of work there, hard and at times very painful work (I can?t stress how important therapy has been and still is..an absolute MUST )
9. NLP ? Neuro-Linguistic Programming?I took a course to learn how to change habits (which had a very profound effect on me) and continued on to become a practitioner.? ?(I highly recommend it.)? This actually crossed over well with therapy by bringing on several breakthroughs, one of which was ?OMG, I was abused!? (I actually believed that I had a normal childhood)
10. And just plain wanting to be free of her and to get on with my life.
11. And then there were days, where the best I could do was just get through one hour, one day?one at a time.

Writing this has reminded me of a quote that describes the process nicely:
Courage doesn't always roar.?
Sometimes courage is the little voice at the end of the day that says
I'll try again tomorrow.?

~Mary Anne Radmacher
The important thing is to just keep trying.
 

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