I’ve shared in a previous post, that my mother and I never bonded. We have an unusual relationship. Similar to two people who went through a war together, both tremendously hurt by said war, both have so much to say to each other but, one keeps avoiding the other.
My husband and I were having an emotional discussion stemming from a family member’s attempt to sexually abuse me when he told me that I hate my mother. I grew furious, how dare he!! I wanted to end the conversation immediately because, he had no right telling me such truths. Only I didn’t know how true his statement was, for I have been covering up so much my entire life. My husband is always trying to figure out ways for me to “deal with” the abuse and stop allowing it to control me. I have been controlled by abuse and betrayal all my life. I must admit though, that I am that friend who will counsel and advise others on how to take control of their lives and not let their abusers win. I will suggest the best self help books and quote Wolfgang von Goethe’s best lines to someone going through rough times. However, when it comes to myself, I find every reason and excuse why the same advice will not work for me. It has been killing me, literally. I have missed out on spending time with my family, I’ve missed out on friendships and I have missed out on living life. I have cause it to make me ugly, unhappy, fat, hateful, hurt and angry. One thing it have not yet caused me to be is pretentious.
I blame all the above on my mother. Had she played her role from the day I entered this world, my life would be better. My mother’s story is that I am a product of rape and that has been her reason for not loving me as a child. That was her reason for dropping me off to just about anyone to raise. All my childhood memories involve living at someone else’s home from time to time; like a nomad, I had no stability; I had no home. When I was five, mom moved to a new parish, got married and inherited a daughter from her husband’s previous relationship. I was never accepted by this family and neither was my mother. As much as she tried to pretend everything was peachy, I knew better. I was physically abused my step-father and sexually abused by his nephew before I was ten years old. I never told anyone when it happened because I knew they’d not believe me. My mother would have told me to keep quiet about it just to save her marriage. So I kept the secret to myself until years later when my younger sister came out and told us that the same nephew has been sexually abusing her from the age of 10 to 14. Everyone believed her and was sympathetic but, treated my news like it wasn’t relevant and I deserved it. I believe it hurt me more because I probably could’ve prevented my sister’s abuse had I told someone. I will not get into details on this post as I am trying to highlight reason why my mother and I are like strangers.
After learning all that nephew had done to her daughters my mother, months later asked me to drive her to a hospital so she could visit my abuser. She saw nothing wrong with it and used her famous Christianity quote about forgiving other as God forgives us. Like a fool I took her there, visited and told my abuser that we’d be back to see him and that we’re praying for a quick recovery. I knew what I just did was sick but, I was trying to save a non-existing relationship between my mother and I. This is just one of the hurts from the war that my mother and I have been through, we know the scars are there. I have made numerous attempts to discuss these events, how affected I am that my mother is still friends with my abusers and my mothers refuses to talk about and admit she’s wrong. She always brings up how we must leave things in that past and forgive.
One summer holiday my mother sent me to visit with her relatives in a different parish. This was a holiday ritual for me because I was raised by everyone, I had to return on holidays and spend a night here and a night there to show that I still appreciate them caring for me when I was a child. I visited with my mother’s uncle who was about fifty at the time. I wasn’t spending the night with him because he had limited space to accommodate me. I spend an entire day with him, his wife and my cousins. Upon leaving that evening he walked with me to the side of his house and asked me to sit on his knee. I was about 12 and thought nothing of it, I have never had an unusual or uncomfortable encounter with him before. I sat on his knees and he proceeded to ask me if I know what a secret is- I answered yes because I have been keeping secrets my entire life. He then said he’s going to do something and it’s only between us. I still wasn’t queasy at this point, I had no reason to be. He lifted my blouse and placed my undeveloped breast in his mouth, it was my right breast, I will never forget for even today, I become uncomfortable when anyone touches it in an attempt to pleasure me. I became numb when he did that, I searched for strength to get off his knees and run but felt paralyzed from shame and shock. He never went further that my breast, I think that was his way to test the water. I left his home that day confused and blamed myself. I knew for certain I would never go to his home alone again but, I also knew I had to keep that secret for no one would believe me. Decades later that same uncle of my mom was rumored to have sexually abused his daughter and another little girl in a church he attends. I figured it was the opportune time to tell my mother what he did to me. At first she appeared shocked and stated that she wish I told her before. Said had she known she would have ceased all communication with him and not visit with him. Fast forward two years and mother visits with him every chance she gets, he’s supposedly dying form AIDS and cancer now, she sends his wife money to help with his Doctors fee, packs a box with diapers and ointments for him. Recently mother and I were having a conversation about something my grandmother did that was upsetting. Mother became angry and started crying. I asked her why she’s never reacted that way towards the people who abused me and caused me hurt. She said she prayed and God is taking care of them.
I have become so far removed from everything that has to do with Christianity and religion because people use it for the wrong reasons. I also often wonder where God was when I was being abused, why didn’t he save me. Why has he still not intervened.