I’ve never considered myself “abused”.
I always had a bed to sleep in, clothes on my back and food in my stomach.
I can count on one hand the number of times that I was spanked.
But, the more I thought about it, the more long forgotten memories came flooding back.
Hours spent alone in my bathroom as punishment for some small transgression. [I got smart and started hiding books in my bathroom cabinet]
Months of hardcore grounding [ie, no tv, no phone, no reading, no visits with friends] for things that actually only deserved a couple of weeks of punishment.
To make matters worse, what I was supposed to “learn” was never explained to me and by the time my “restriction” was over, I had usually forgotten what I had done.
Oh hell, why not be totally honest?
I think that sometimes Mom couldn’t help it.
She was doing methamphetamine, in a physically and emotionally abusive marriage and I honestly believe that she had good intentions. But, you know what they say about the path to Hell and all of that.
Don’t think that I’m trying to excuse the mean, thoughtless remarks about my weight.
I’m not letting her “off the hook” for making me constantly worry if I was being “good”.
I still haven’t forgiven her for all of the years of screaming or for kicking me out on my ass for over loading the washing machine.
What I am doing is looking at what happened through eyes that can finally see all of the elements that led to the “abuse”; I have to understand it to get past it.
I started writing this to speak out against emotional abuse [something that I feel is largely ignored]. But, as I write, I realize that this is about so much more.
This is not only about me, it’s also about Mom. It’s about the vicious cycle that abuse creates.
She was abused by my father and step-father and she passed it along. The abuse had become her reality and that was all she knew.
In some sick and twisted way, I’m almost thankful for what I went through.
I may not know what kind of parent I want to be, but I know what kind of parent I don’t want to be.
I guess you have to start somewhere…