Standstill

“I just don’t understand, how could a mother ever do something like that? You’re her child; she gave birth to you. I just don’t see how that can possibly be true. You must be confused or maybe you’re not seeing the things that you did wrong.” I got it all the time, being dismissed and not believed because the things I went through are unbelievable. No person in their right head could imagine the monstrous things she did but there are monsters out there and we hear about them every day. How is this any different? Because she wears the mask of motherhood? I still get dismissed. I have a right to feel angry. I have a right to hate her. I have a right to never forgive or forget. Someone told me, “Well, she has a mental illness so you have to understand from her point of view, she’s sick and she doesn’t know what she’s doing.” She’s sick alright but she knew exactly what she was doing. There is the depravity that borders on the spiritual, the mythical, and I feel it in my soul. I can feel that energy. I felt it from her and I feel it from her sympathizers.

I’m not a sympathizer; I have things that haunt me regarding the abuse of others. One thought keeps popping up in my head and I’m angry with myself for not doing anything. I think about that kid all the time. I wonder if anyone ever thinks about me, if the regret of not having done anything haunts them from time to time. It’s been nine years I think and I feel the pain of it as if it were just yesterday. We were at the creek, swimming at a popular swimming hole in Middletown, CA because it was a hot day. We had been drinking, having fun, socializing and passing the joint.

There was a family that came, hell we were all families, theirs was just one that had a man in it. They came up, a woman, a man, and a teenage boy. We were smoking weed with them and all of the sudden the guy punched the kid in the mouth. You could hear the pop of it, it was so hard and we all just looked at him, stunned. The man knew his power and he knew that we were not ready to take that on too in front of our children. So to save our own children we sat there and did nothing. I remember looking at his face, struck with grief, and paralyzed with fear. He had his head down, he was looking at the ground, trying to regain his composure, knowing that we were all powerless, and my heart broke for him that day.

As a group, we were all women that had been abused. We all felt like we didn’t have any power. That man saw an opportunity to display that power that he had and it made him feel good. What a piece of shit. If I had had a handgun with me I would have pulled it on him. I would have traumatized everyone. What’s worse? Just sitting there and doing nothing or standing up and scaring the shit out of everyone? The person I am now, the person that is free from abuse finally wants to go back and scare that man, to hurt him. Part of me wants to go back and hurt my mother too. What do I do with all of these emotions? I don’t know yet.

So I feel like my mother’s abuse doesn’t make it okay for her to have abused me. Then I think of my kid. I did not abuse her physically but because I was abused there were many times that I was emotionally unavailable. When it was really bad, I was either crippled with depression, anxiety, or binge drinking. Am I also unworthy of forgiveness? How do I heal from it? How do I help her heal from it too? I wish I could give that kid from the creek a hug and apologize. I wish I could hug my kid and apologize too. We are all where we’re at because someone else didn’t stand up and say something when things weren’t right. Some people can change for the better. Some people are just always going to be a piece of shit. I’m capable of change. I hope that talking about it, raising awareness can save someone else. I hope it can open up someone’s eyes so that they can talk about it too. I want to sit down at the dinner table and talk about this, about the real things, not what meme I keep seeing on Facebook. We’re so disconnected. Can we start being more open about abuse? Can we keep up with this discussion so it’s not so taboo and so that we don’t fear talking about the subject? It’s a societal disease, a family parasite that destroys everyone it touches in some way. We need to start dealing with these issues as a community. Will you join me?

Author: jessicaambateman

I am a survivor of childhood abuse on the verge of speaking out. I have waited my whole life to have the luxury of spilling my guts and blogging is going to become part of that journey.

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