She Doesn't Know

When I was 8-9yrs old my parents started having marital problems when my mom caught my dad cheating on her. For the next year or so I watched my parents literally fight. Of course, my dad being larger he was usually doing the hitting and my mom fighting back in self defense. Finally they separated for good and filed for divorce. My dad was the "bread winner" so to speak. So when he moved out my mom was left with me and my older brother (my dad was his stepdad) to support on a small income. My parents continued to argue on a regular basis through phone calls and such and since we had moved in to an income-based apartment I could hear all of it. Finally the divorce was finalized with a custody agreement granting my father visitation with me every other weekend and 2 nights during the weeks when I would be with my mother the following weekend. My mom had found a mobile home that she could afford the rent on, so we moved from our apt to the mobile home....at least i think this is the correct sequence of events. Somehow a custody battle was introduced around the same time. This is where my mental/emotional abuse began. My mom hired the best lawyer she could find. To be able to afford this lawyer on top of everything else, she began working two jobs which added to her stress. I would ride the bus to my baby sitter's house after school while my brother would walk to our house or ride the bus that passed by or to our grandparents house. I guess from the stress of having two children depend on her for everything, my dad not paying his child support, my dad still degrading my mom (telling her she was ugly, his new wife which is the woman he cheated on her last with was much prettier and telling her in depth details of their sex life etc), working two jobs and being in a custody battle caused my mom to be on the brink of a mental breakdown. I don't remember how it started, but I remember little events. My mom started telling me that I didn't love her and wanted to live with my dad since I said yes when she asked if I had a good visitation. She would tell me I was pathetic and other degrading things. I remember coming home from a weekend visit with my dad and her being mad that I had given him a hug before I got out of his truck and in to her car so when we got home she took the picture I had of my newborn baby cousin, born to my dads sister whom I absolutely adore to this day, and ripped it to shreds while yelling that since I had hurt her she was going to hurt me. The first Christmas after my dad remarried, my stepmothers parents were trying their hardest to make me feel accepted into their family and she was trying to make me accept her and not completely hate her for "stealing" my dad, I received a bunch of porcelain dolls as gifts from that part of my "new" family. I told my mom about them, thinking she would be happy for me since I was all about porcelain dolls at that point. Well...I had this one porcelain doll that I absolutely loved. Mom had gotten her for me from a interior design company she really liked and the doll had the same name, spelled exactly the same as me. When I told my mom about the dolls I had gotten for Christmas she got very angry and told me that the dolls she had gotten me weren't good enough, so she went to my room and grabbed my favorite doll, and took her into the kitchen while I ran behind her begging her to stop, and shattered my doll. While I picked up pieces of my doll she told me that's what I deserved and I now felt as hurt as she did. She would tell me to be mean while I was at my dads house, especially to my stepmom. I was always a "good" kid ya know? I was never the type to be mean to anyone and especially didn't act up on purpose. My parents had always been quick to put a stop to that behavior as soon as a hint of it started. So for a long time, all I did was basically ignore my stepmom and do anything I could to push her away. I remember her buying me a pair of jeans all the girls that attended the school she worked at were wearing. She showed them to me and I snarled my nose (very unlike me at that point) and said I didn't like them and the girls at my school weren't wearing them. She looked very disappointed and upset but I knew if I had been happy and gracious when my mom found out she would yell at me again an break something I loved again. But that wasnt enough to please my mom. The vicious cycle continued. At some point, to keep mom from yelling and hurting me in some way, I gave in to her demands. So on one of my weeknight visits after my dad and stepmom had went to bed I snuck into the kitchen and stole a knife and went back to my bedroom. Then one by one I took the dolls I had received at Christmas and cut the porcelian limbs and heads from the cotton bodies. I put some of the pieces of the dolls in my bag to take home so I could show mom I had done it. I put the remaining pieces behind my dresser so dad wouldn't see them when he came to wake me up. I showed mom the pieces of the dolls when she picked me up from the baby sitter the next day and she was happy with me. I had done well, or so I thought. Once we got home she started asking questions. When she found out I hid the rest of the doll parts she forced me to call my dad and tell him what I'd done and where the pieces of the dolls were.

This is all only a portion of what all I went through. I was made to see a psychiatrist by court order since they thought my actions were caused by the stress of my parents divorce. The psychiatrist only diagnosed me with depression. I don't remember everything since my mind has blocked it. I do remember my mom making me pack half my clothing upon my return from my dads house because if I loved him so much I must have rather lived with him. She changed her mind after loading half my clothes in her car. I also remember her telling me that the dog she had gotten me to make up for one of her rages had been picked up by the animal shelter and they called her to come get him but I didn't deserve the puppy anymore since I didn't loved my dad more so she told them she didn't want him. I vaguely remember hiding from my dad when he came to get me from the babysitter because if I didn't go with him, she couldn't get mad. I made my dad cry that afternoon because I told him constantly on the drive to his house that I hated him and didn't want to see him....

My dad was no angel in all of this. I very vaguely remember him Telling me my mom was a b!tch and that he was taking me from her soon. I remember him getting mad one sunday when my stepmom was taking me to meet my mom and go back home with her. I don't remember why exactly, I know it had to do with mom though. He got the evil look he always got when him and mom would physically fight and said "of course the b!tch does no wrong in your eyes, only me! Sometimes I wish you both would just die!" I felt tears stinging my eyes and turned away from him and left without another word. My stepmom tried to tell me the whole way to meet my mom that he didn't mean it, he was just mad and he loves me and doesn't really want me to die. He called and apologized and all that just before my mom arrived to pick me up. So he was a part of my mental scarring, but not as much as mom.

To this day neither of my parents know the harm they left me with. This has been very hard to write through the tears that've spilled throughout most of my writing it. My mom has told me she knows she was horrible to me and she is very very sorry for it, she didn't realize it then because of her mental state at the time. I can't handle arguments well, even in my own romantic relationships. My first instinct when I get mad at my boyfriend is to slap or punch him...in the face. I have hit my ex on several occasions durin arguments. Now most of the time I just punch something solid or throw something. I tend to "remove" myself from the world around me when anything emotionally painful happens such as a break up and I still deal with random bouts of depression.

I'm sorry this is so long, but it does feel amazing to finally tell the whole story, the parts I remember at least, to someone. I honestly believe that this emotional abuse also possibly caused some other mental disorders, possibly a dissociative disorder since around the time all of it started I began to forget a lot. I still have a hard time remembering things even now. I get told a lot by customers at work that I'm too young (22) to have a memory problem. If I ever have it officially diagnosed, I will tell my mom and dad both the reason it was triggered. If you've made it this far, you're amazing and thank you so much for reading.
Realornotreal Realornotreal
22-25, F
2 Responses Sep 10, 2012

I don't know what else to say except... it's good you let it out. You are not alone and it must've been a very confusing situation for you.

I'm very glad you wrote this.

I feel bad for what you had to put up with. Parents should be more careful of what they say and do. I feel like I act that way sometimes around my kids...maybe not as bad, but close. I'm glad your mom recognizes what she did to you and I hope you can forgive her.

I have been able to forgive her. Now that I'm older I kind of understand that she had a lot on her and was kind of "losing it" at times from all the stress. I've never told her what it actually did to me mentally. However, I know that when I have kids I will be cautious of her actions around toward them. There have been times, especially with my niece because she's here more, that they will get her angry or something and her actions then remind me A LOT of how she treated me during the past. I've tried telling her in a round about way that she should try to tell them a little calmer because the way she does it scares them but she doesn't understand. I think even if I never see a therapist about my issues I will end up telling her that she is potentially causing them to have lasting damage emotionally and explain to her why.