I think that something people who have been abused or neglected find really hard to understand is the pull we still feel towards the people that hurt us in the first place. Am I right?
Have you ever watched a story about some horrible parent who is having their child taken away from them and as they list these horrible things that the parent has done, the child is screaming and holding their arms out to their mother? It is a heart-wrenching moment to watch.
It is a very clear example of how much we can love those who have abused us.
I am sure that it is very confusing on the outside for people who’ve never been hurt very badly or abused by people they love whether it be a parent, a spouse, or someone else who we have close ties to. How on earth can we speak of the horrible sins someone has put us through yet turn around and protect that person or express love that has not yet left us.
Although I do not discuss details of my traumas in my blog, I am sure it is clear that I’ve been very horribly abused. Most of the abuse was done by or created by my mother who ensured that every single day of my life was an unspeakable living hell.
My father never took part in any of her sadistic or psychopathic ways but he never protected me either.
My siblings were often abused as well and when they weren’t? They would often turn their pent up rage towards the youngest girls in the family. My sister and I.
This all went on daily every single day of my first 16 years until I ran away.
Then I came back to Canada (I ran away to Europe – Go big or go home! Right?) and met then married my first husband who was wonderful until that ring was on my finger and then his true colours showed. Another 6 years of abuse of every sort.
I guess that it might surprise you or others that I found leaving these situations VERY difficult. It had nothing to do with money or a place to live. It was the love I had for them that made me stay.
Yes, I loved them. I’d never known any better. They were the only family I’d ever had. Yes it was horrible but they were still my family.
Believe it or not, I actually allowed my mother, father, siblings, and ex-husband to be part of my life again long after I got out. I accepted the snide comments, the eye rolling, the screaming and yelling, I even accepted having the police and social services called on me MANY times with accusations from the people who hurt me that I was now hurting my own children. This was NOT true but rather than telling them all to f*** off? I tried to show them how good I was to my kids. I tried to prove I was a good person. I tried to be the best daughter, sister, or ex-wife there could be.
When they laughed at me and only made my life even worse? I assumed it was my fault and not theirs. I just wasn’t good enough.
Finally at the age of 34, my mother finally laid the straw that broke the camels back. She sat at my kitchen table and told me that never liked me but she most certainly did not love me. I wasn’t worth either.
I don’t know why something snapped that day but it did. I am grateful for that now. I wasn’t then.
I actually waited until the next day and called my mother as I did every day. I actually believed that she didn’t really mean what she said. Surely she knew that I was lovable and worthy of her kindness? She had never given me either but I still waited and hoped and worked my arse off to get both.
So I called her and asked her if she really meant what she had said. Her reply was that she did in fact mean everything she said and added that I was the most useless daughter God could have given her except for the dead ones. Seriously…
That was the last day I ever spoke to her. Good riddance right?
Not really. I was DEVASTATED! I could not figure out why I wasn’t good enough for her. I couldn’t figure out why she couldn’t see my worth. I did so much for her every single day. Didn’t she see that? She didn’t. 😦
I grieved her loss starting that day and I grieved horribly for 2 full years. I waited for her to call, I thought when she saw an ambulance taking me away as she was driving past that she’d rush to my side. I thought that she would eventually realize her mistakes and want me back but she never did.
This was the start of my free-fall in to a very deep depression.
Much more happened after that and her ability to still cause trouble for me even 10 years later is shocking to me. I was sure she’d give up eventually but she has not. The strangest part of it all though? I still want her to wake up and see me as a worthy human being. I still occasionally miss her and wish things were different. In a really weird way I still love her and care about her.
It actually isn’t so odd because I hear the same story over and over with different people I have met over the years. This total love-hate relationship with people who have hurt us so badly.
I will be honest, I felt like an insane idiot for having those feelings. I mean who one earth still cares about someone who was so awful? WHY do I want my mother, father, or family to love me and want me back in their lives when I should be running away as fast and as far as I can get?
I believe the answer is simple and I will only speak for myself here although I am fairly sure I am not alone in this…
I am not in love with them. I don’t really want them back in my life even though that is what my heart says it wants. What do I really want? I really wish that they could be the people that I want them to be. Not who they are.
I want a mother who loves me, thinks I am special and treasures me for exactly who I am. I want a mother who thinks I am just the most bright, talented, and capable human being she ever created. Exactly how I feel about my children.
I want a father who loves me enough to stand up for me and protect me from the crap that still continues. I want to be important enough for him that he will finally stand up and be my father. Maybe he could even say he is sorry for turning a blind eye all those years.
I want my last remaining sister and my brothers to care about what happens to me and send me sweet cards on my birthday about how I am the best sister and friend they could ever want.
NONE of this is ever going to happen. It never happened in the past and I assure you that the future holds no loving family picture perfect moments either.
Yet this is what my heart wants. This is why I miss them. Why I feel love.
It is not the truth of these people that I miss. It is my wants and wishes.
I am mature and mentally stable enough now to realize that none of this will happen. I am okay with it and I have moved on. I have created a family and a group of friends that I am INCREDIBLY fortunate to have. I have no wish or want to go backwards. I like… maybe even love my life now and the direction it is taking. I have worked incredibly hard to become more positive and begin to heal from my past. I am even taking baby steps towards trusting people. Its been hard getting here and I will never go back.
Then my heart says “What if….?”
I think my heart will always speak with hope but that is okay. I am allowed to be fully human and accept that the heart can want things that the brain knows it can’t have. The “what if” will just need to be quiet and sit at the back of the room while I continue to live my worthwhile life.