Facing my own demons

adoption, adoption loss, life,

Looking into my past: pt 4 the word “never” such power!

I was 17. That was the year that I made a choice that changed my life. I had no idea where that choice would lead. No way could I have known! I some times wonder who I would be today had I not decided to go live with a stranger, my mother, at 17. But then so many things that happened in the years after that were wonderful gifts that I know it was meant to be. The pain that I caused myself and others later are of little consequence because my children were born because of that choice. How can I deny their births? Those special little souls who needed to be born, the world needed them. I am in constant pain and guilt that their life had to be so hard almost from the beginning, but to think that it would have been better if they had not been born? NO! Never!

So I was 17, I lived with my Dad and my step Mom, R. (Dad remarried when I was 12) My older sister had long since moved not only out of Dad's house, but to another state. I think she wanted to put as much distance as possible between her and the "crazy" woman we now called mom. When K had still lived at home, she took the blunt of R's rage. I was pretty much left alone. Of course, I had chores as all children should have, but R didn't scream at me that I had done them all wrong, not while my older sister was still there.

I was, as a child, oblivious to what my sister had gone through. Until she moved away. … Then R focused her attention on me. And suddenly, I was in a some kind of alternate universe. I did what ever she told me to do, the very best that I could just to hold back her wraith. But it didn't work. The rules kept changing! One week she would scream at me for hours because I had not cooked the Sunday morning break fast before she got up, so the very next Sunday, I got up first, cooked a big breakfast and she woke up and screamed at me for hours because she had planned on getting Dad to take us out for breakfast. She never told me that! That is just a tiny example of how it was between R and me. Eventually I realized that I couldn't please her no matter what. So I did my chores that I knew I was supposed to do, which meant I kept every room in the house clean except Dad and R's bedroom because I was not allowed in there, EVER! (and of course, there came a day when I guess she couldn't think of anything else, so she screamed at me for not vacuuming their bedroom.) I think that was the first time I yelled back at her.  

That was the beginning of many screaming matches between R and myself. The house became our personal war zone. I didn't stand silently while she spit out profanities at me and told me how worthless I was. I yelled right back. One day, she was telling me how I screwed up her bathroom. "I hadn't hung the clean towels the right way on the shower. The rug was just thrown onto the floor after I half-assed mopped the floor…. Bla bla bla." I told her she was insane. Yep, I said it out loud. I didn't just say it, I yelled it at her face. "YOU ARE A CRAZY WOMAN!" That was when she shoved me. She shoved me so hard that I fell backwards into the bathroom and hit my head on the toilet. I saw stars! Not because of the pain, that came later, but because of the anger. But as I stood up to face her, I saw her eyes and suddenly I was afraid.

The story that got told to my dad? I cussed her and she threatened to slap my face and I tried to run from her and fell. According to her accounts, she never laid a hand on me and wasn't going to she just wanted to make me think she would. Dad believed her. I got punished. And that went on and on. Time and time.

Until the day came when my dad suddenly, jumped up from the dinner table. We weren't even fighting at the time. We were all quietly eating. But suddenly, Dad jumped up and left the room. I looked at R questioningly but she never said a word. And she avoided eye contact with me totally. When Dad came back into the kitchen he was waving around what looked like a hand written letter. Really! Waving it around!

"This is it!" he said, "Your mother wants to see you."

My mother? Where did this come from? Was that a letter from my mother? I wanted to see it. To read it. But Dad wouldn't let me. What it came down to was I was told, by Dad that I WOULD go spend the weekend with my mother. Then when I came back I would have one week to decide who I wanted to live with. If I chose my mother, then I would not come back to His and R's house again. If I chose to stay with him, I'd follow R's rules, never talk back and pull my own weight from now on. And this was a one time offer. If I chose to stay with my dad, I would never ever be allowed to mention my mother or never be allowed to go live with her again. If I couldn't follow the rules, he'd have me put in a juvenile facility. "This is it!"

Of course I went to live with my mother, I knew I couldn't keep R happy no matter what I did. What choice was I really given? Dad had always taken R's side of things but he had not been around when we had our arguments. He didn't really know the truth… But this, this threw me into a whole new world. A world where my Dad told me I could never come home again. Never! That word would reverberate in my mind millions of times in the year that followed.

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June 14, 2006 - Posted by | past

4 Comments »

  1. What a horrible choice to have to make, and in so frightening a way! You grew up in a crazy-making environment. Everyone in your family may have been coping the best way they knew how, but it put a tremendous weight on your shoulders! I don’t know how you did it.

    Comment by cloudscome | June 15, 2006 | Reply

  2. I also wanted to tell you that my computer is not working well, and I can’t get online many days. I am trying to keep up with your posts and I am sorry if I miss anything… I am praying for you in any case.

    Comment by cloudscome | June 15, 2006 | Reply

  3. Cloudscome, thanks for coming by and visiting with me. I don’t always answer each comment. And I read visit you every day, even though i rarely comment. I’m so multitasking most of the time now. So much so much to do and only the rest of my life to do it.

    But I just want you to know that I do appreciate your kind words and thoughts as I do the kind words and thoughts from all the women who have come to my side. and suported me.

    Comment by sheribat | June 16, 2006 | Reply

  4. Wow, it’s so hard to believe that your father could force this “choice” on you like that! I’m so sorry you had to be subjected to R and that your father was putting her above his own child!

    Comment by Overwhelmed! | June 26, 2006 | Reply


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