Tuesday, September 1, 2015


I was in middle school when I finally realized I had no skills. Kickball was what showed me just how different I was. 

Kids on the bus talking about how they played outside after school. Walked to the corner store together. Played wall ball, jumped in the water from fire hydrant on hot days. Spent time playing together. 

Well there was none of that for me. Go home stay in the house. Clean the house and try to stay out of her way. The cleaning was to look busy so if she was in a bad mood maybe I would get brownie points for doing my chores instead of in trouble for simply being alive. 

Kickball was a fun sport I enjoyed playing in gym. Recesses would come and sometimes the kids would play. There were two teams and two team captains. Kids didn't like me enough to make me team Captain and because I couldn't kick the ball far and high no one picked me...if they picked me ... I was last or next to...and then they picked me because they needed to make the teams even in players. 

All the other kids had some skills because they had grown up playing this in their neighbor hoods. My experience wasn't that and basically my skill was to punt the ball which often resulted in me being out. Not something anyone wanted from a teammate. 

It hurt to not be picked. When they didn't pick me? And it was often ... I'd go to the bathroom and stand in the stall and cry...alone. 

My mother was right I had nothing that anyone wanted! That feeling still follows me today. I don't fit in. 

Sunday, May 25, 2014

The Visit

So I went ... I decided to go and visit my mother. The woman who gave birth to me... The one who abused me as a child. 

My reasons for visiting were simple. Her son, my brother - the child she loved best or at least better than me, seems to have been charged by her, with her welfare. Guess what? He's not doing his job. Woman is living in dire conditions and he's of course, no where to be found. 

I drove to her house on a Sunday afternoon. My god sister was there visiting with my mother. She let me in. Nerves? Anxiety? Ill feelings .. Yep I was feeling them all that day. Haven't stepped foot in that house in over 12 years. Haven't seen or spoken to her to the same amount of time. 

She looked old. Tired. Worn by time. However... She .. That nastiness... That raw manipulation... That was always present with her during my childhood, quickly showed that it still survives. She started with the " I don't know who you are?" Routine. The reason I say routine is the woman I have known to be my mother manipulates... I've seen her do it with my own eyes. How could she not know me? I'm her child. Lived with her the first 20 years of my life. The fact that we haven't spoken or seen each other in years shouldn't have any barring on recognizing me. She let my daughter in weeks before and she hasn't seen her in the same amount of years and she was a child the last time... So basically I'm not buying the " I don't recognize you"... Statement.

The conversations were strained and she played her games in the conversation for the sake of my god sister whom is present. 

The visit is brief.... I wanted her to know I was there to help her if she needed it... I didn't want anything .. Money? House? Car? Nothing! I was there because my father worked too hard for her to be living in the conditions she is currently in. I am my fathers daughter and he would not be pleased to know that all he worked for is going down with my mother. I was there to offer an olive branch ...

I meant every word! I would help her.... Nothing in return....

She made her position clear... Told me to leave her house... I was not wanted there.... 

My God the pain! 

I always knew she didn't want me as a child. Somewhere I guess I had hoped she would want me as an adult... I was/am wrong! 

This was a few months ago... Since then there has been Mothers Day and time to work on healing. 

I'll never go there again! She will mostly likely die in her residence. I left my phone number just in case she ever wanted to reach out...

You see ... I am "truth" if I am in her life then she has to deal with what she did to me as a child. She doesn't want to deal with that.

If I am around then I may expose her for who she is. Because again, i know who she is/was... When no one else was around! 

I wish her the best! I hope she has people in her life who will love her... everyone deserves that. 

She doesn't want me.... Those words hurt my soul even more as an adult with children myself. 

 I am broken... Like glass... Shattered into many pieces....

I'm putting myself back together one piece at a time... One fragile piece at a time ... 

Oh .... I will be ok ... Time is on my side 

Sunday, October 27, 2013

It's time to admit it... I've made mistakes as a parent....

It's time to admit it...
I've made mistakes as a parent
Not the same ones my parents made but mistakes never the less

I came from a two parent home where my survival was my responsibility. My dad worked and my mom was In charge and I was the mistake she needed to correct. I was beaten and battered both emotionally and physically and I swore I would never treat my kids like that.

Scroll forward ... My kids are now all almost grown.... 
I didn't treat my kids like my mother treated me. I tried to correct my childhood by giving my children what I wanted as a child. 
So what's wrong with that? 

My children aren't me. They didn't grow up in a family of abuse. Where fear was your first feeling. They didn't grow up with a parent who argued in front of them... They didn't long to be safe first loved second..... I did.

My greatest mistake was not seeing my children for who they were and the situation of which they were living.

Giving them what I didn't have ... Has it's positives and negatives...
But I have learned they are not me ... Their world didn't include the pain and fears mine did as a child but their world did include disappointments due to me not seeing their experience for what it was... Their experience.

I wanted to correct the past... Instead I wish I had forgiven my past for being anything more than what it was so that I could have been free to see what was in front of me.

So I made mistakes as a parent and I ask my children to forgive me ....I am sorry. To say I did my best @ the time would be accurate but to say that I wish I had done much better is the truth. Love is where my actions started from, though sometimes they got mixed with my baggage and the fear of just not knowing what to do.
I am not perfect... Wish that I was... You deserve that! 

In closing, again I am sorry. My wish for you is to take what your childhood was like with me... Make your children's life be about them not about the correcting of your own... Get to really know the children you have ... Do what they need ... Not what you think they need based off of your own baggage.

In the end I believe love will prevail and one day all my children will understand that I'm their mom but really just a person... A woman trying to figure it all out... 
Love you my children always

My heart is burned on my arm...

My heart is burned on my arm...

It's on my left arm above my wrist. It's shape, is that of a heart with an arrow thru it. How appropriate. 

Some have thought it to be a tattoo that went wrong - it is not ...it is a scar.
It is a symbol. It is a reminder. It is my legacy on display. It is a big part of my story. It is my silence, my pain, my joy , my fear, my strength, my loneliness, my individuality... It's better than a tattoo as I didn't pick this to have put on my arm... It was a result of my reality as a child that is there and it is permanent.

Sunday morning breakfast. My Uncle who adored me...an visited infrequently...was at our house. My father, mother and brother were all eating breakfast in the kitchen.

We had a micrwave. One of the first microwaves available. It was so new to people that with the purchase of a microwave, there were free classes offered to teach you how to use it. We had all gone to the class.

We were most impressed with the microwave, because it could heat water in a cup, in 1 min, to boiling. Beat having to fill up the hot water pot on the stove and waiting 5 min for it boil.

I had put a cup of water in the microwave. I wanted a cup of Postom... A coffee like beverage that we as children were allowed to drink. Pushed the button for 1 min of time, and waited. The microwave did its thing and rang the bell when it was done. The door to the microwave opened from right to left. I opened it and reached in with my left hand to get the cup, which was full of hot steaming water. I grabbed the cup, and at the same time the door to the microwave swung back towards my arm, causing me to spill the water on my arm. 

Hot boiling water hit my arm wetting my white Oxford shirt sleeve. It hurt but I didn't say a word. I flinched but didn't yell or scream or react. Somehow in a matter of seconds I had processed that showing a reaction wouldn't be good. (Apparently I this is something I must have learned) 

I took the cup, sat it on the kitchen table by my plate, and sat down to finish my breakfast. My arm is on fire! I can't believe the pain! I excuse myself to the bathroom so I can look at it. Once in the safety of the upstairs bathroom,  I unbutton my sleeve and take a look at my arm -the skin has already started to swell. It hurts like hell. I run my arm under cool water ... It helps a little but as soon as I stop,  the severe pain is back. I use wet toilet paper to wrap my arm where the burn mark is and I wet the paper so as to help with the pain... Button my sleeve, and go back down to breakfast. Over the remainder of breakfast, I will have excused myself a few more times from the table so that I could check my arm. I even put butter on it. That set my world on fire, the pain was so bad.

The burn was severe and goes through all the stages it had to go thru to heal... I'm not sure how long it took... A few weeks?? but I hid it from the family the entire time...

One day my mother noticed. Asked me what had happened to my arm? I do not remember giving an answer but somehow one got developed...better than any lie I could have come up with on my own. 

My parents put together that it was a tattoo that I had let someone put on me and there were chemicals in it that had scarred my arm Wow! Apparently the heart shape helped them develop this reasoning .... Problem solved. 

I got punished for letting someone "tattoo" me...by my mother. 
But the true punishment I didn't understand until later in life...

When I was grown I had another instance of pain that was an accident ... I had used a hot curling iron to curl my hair. It started to fall off the dresser... I grabbed it by the hot curling barrel to prevent it from falling.... It hurt like hell! I got dressed and went to work. At the time I was working as a sign language interpreter in a school. My hand blistered... I worked all day that day... Went to the emergency room after work was over... That's when I was enlightened.....

That current injury to my hand was a first degree burn ... The scar on my arm was shown that it was most likely a second degree burn. 

Now, here is where I started to understand the level to which I had been taught and punished as a child....

Pain! Somewhere, somehow I had learned that I wasn't allowed to show pain. My pain was embarrassing. I was embarrassed to show it.. To tell someone. I didn't want to be seen as not strong enough or that I was stupid because I couldn't handle the pain. So I would hide it and often mentally beat myself up if I cried because something hurt.

I had a second degree burn on my arm that was caused by an accident and I never told the people who should have been there to take care of me... All because somewhere somehow I knew that telling of my pain was worse than enduring the pain of the injury. I endured the original pain, then the pain of the supposed lie "tattoo" and the pain of the punishment of the lie...

My tears had no value! 

What my mother had done to me caused me to know my tears had no value! OMG how those words hurt now reading them and knowing the depths of what that means and ment for me as a child growing up... Now as an adult!

Fast forward to today. Old habits die hard. I don't like people to know of my weaknesses. I don't like people to know of my pain. If I'm feeling bad...I still try to hide it... Trust,  in these moments, is still tough. But at least I'm aware, and I try to use words to let people - who I care about,  understand  when I'm hurt or not feeling well. I am a work in progress. 

I learned my survival method by the results that I got as a child...

What survival methods did you learn? 

Sunday, October 6, 2013

The Language of My Son

The language of my son--Being a single mother of 3 - two girls and a boy there were many challenges to say the least. All the children are two years apart - my son the youngest. A huge challenge for me was how to really communicate with my son as he seemed to communicate differently than my girls. 

The girls? Well this seemed easy. They were like me .. They were little girls. I understood their childhood interests. Playing with baby dolls, dress up, Barbies etc... I understood their emotions and how they communicated them... From happiness to sadness I found I could easily predict and understand their emotions and how they got to them.... But a boy? What does he play with? cars? GI Joe? Etc? How is he going to express his emotions and how does he get to them? How do I direct his communications and emotions into what a man is supposed to be? I felt lost....and I hoped through time I would figure it out...or at least that's what I told myself to get through the days..

The differences were noticeable and tough to handle as my communications to my son didn't always seem to be well received by him. He wanted to be cuddled, but on his terms. He was often very quiet and didn't say much. He also wouldn't repeat himself so when he spoke I had to be listening or I missed out. He played, but alone, and didn't really want to have to explain his thought process to us girls so that we could play too. He was my son and he was his own person. He was a calming force in a house of raging emotions and drama that the girls seemed to have just as a part of their nature. But there was something missing a real communication... A true understanding. 

Nighttime was a chance for me to check in with him and chat before bed. I often wanted to communicate in his language but couldn't seem to break through his wall of being the only boy. I had to get creative. He loved his "little men" toys these were Digimon, and some other popular characters that he played with ... He also loved stuffed animals... His bed was full of them. We would have nights in the summer where we would " camp out " in the living room. He would participate but only after moving all his stuffed animals into the living room first. His love for his stuffed animals helped cultivate my communication skills.

One night I thought and thought how I could express to this little being that I loved him,  that I loved that he was my son ... My only boy ...and that made him special beyond compare. Yes the girls were like me, but he was cherished because he was my only boy! Well, it came to me....

Tucking him In one night I asked him did he know how much I loved him?. He just looked at me in silence as he often did ... The silence sometimes seemed to be his communication...
I said "if you were a toy @ toys r us.... I would buy all of you that was on the shelf" (toys r us is our local toy store) he looked @ me and smiled the biggest smile... He sat up and gave me a hug... And there started our special communication... Whenever I would say that phrase to him he would smile... I finally broke through his wall of communication... The fact that he was a boy and did things different and thought differently? I had finally found a way to connect.  From that day forward I realized I had to learn to speak his language... His language on his level..it was a challenge and made me have to be more creative ... But I figured it out and I am still figuring it out... :)

He was around 4 yrs old when this happened.
He is now soon to be 18... That line doesn't work now....  I'm still working to speak his language. I call it the " language of my son" 

Thank you for reading my blog.
Please share your thoughts and experiences. 

Sunday, August 11, 2013

Advice to listeners

If a survivor of child abuse wants to or needs to tell you their story... 
That's it... Just listen. The person needs to be heard. Not healed. 

I have read many survivor stories and blogs and unfortunately there is a repeated pattern of people either not knowing what to say or responding with  blame or guilt aimed at the survivor. 

I have gotten the "people change" or "you should forgive" or my favorite... "God loves you... Turn your life over to him" responses.

Yes people change and can change but have you ever seen a leopard change it spots? It's spots are ingrained in its fur... Permanent. Just like the personality traits of many abusers.  Forgive? I have forgiven. Forget? I can't. My nightmares are full of the fears and experiences I had as a child. When I'm awake... I am constantly working on changing the messages my abuser gave me as a child either thru action or deed. I am growing in a positive manner as an adult. Mainly because I have forgiven the past for not being what I needed it to be and forgiven the past for never becoming what I hoped it would become. As for God, faith, belief, whatever you wish to call it. I have God. I have faith and I have a belief. For anyone to assume that a survivor doesn't, is judging them. Trust me, judging a survivor is the least sympathetic thing anyone can do.  Faith, belief and God is the only reason Im still here. For some survivors this is true as well. Again don't assume. 

So what does one say when being honored with the trust of a survivor who is sharing their experience...

First, listen. Just listen. There is pain, agony, shame, fear, hurt, and a host more emotions behind the words. Behind the experience. Listening with your heart is necessary.

No judgment! Meaning- dont clarify the experience for the person. ( Are you sure you didn't misunderstand  what happened?).  Uh you weren't there. The experience is not yours to judge or interpret.

 Don't excuse the abuser ( she was probably having a bad day... she didn't mean it). Again,  you weren't there in that moment in that experience.  Don't tell someone how to experience their experience! It's their's ... NOT yours!

Don't tell the person how to react now. ( That was a long time ago... Just put it behind you... Live for today.) Trust me you have no idea how the person feels. If they  could they would put it behind them. You have no idea how much they wish it never happened in the first place. 

There are so many more positive responses that you can say or do....

A hug- although some may not want to be touched. Positive touch can be very reassuring for those that are open to receiving this.

Verbal Reassurance - that you care about the person and appreciate them opening up to you. Confirming that you are there for them. How do you do this? Tell them using words of meaning and purpose. Be direct. Letting the person know that they are still loved and appreciated and accepted by you. There needs to be clear communication. The stress of sharing their experience with you can cause a survivor to get lost in the emotion of the past. This is why clarity in communication from you to them in this moment is necessary.

There are many other ways too....

These are just a few of the responses that can allow a survivor to be able to open up and trust you with their pain....

I know I appreciate being validated by being heard and not judged. Actually doesn't everyone. It's that the basic essence of acceptance and love?

If you are a survivor? Can you relate? What responses have you had when you told someone your experience? What responses have you had? 

I thank you for reading this... It's part of my experience! 

Saturday, July 20, 2013


Over the years i have had people stop me in conversation and ask me who is "we"? I would have to stop and think and then I realized that sometimes when referring to myself in a situation i would use the word "we". It was an honest mistake nothing to big to worry about I thought... Just me talking fast and trying to keep up with the conversation. It wasn't until recently that i realized that the use of the word "we" came from a lack of that " we" in my childhood.
Through all the beatings, unusual punishments, degrading  and methodically planned control tactics that my mother used on me I developed a serious need to feel not alone. Being scared all the time as a child of what was going to happen next. Being worried about what might set her off. Being on pins and needles from such an early age and never feeling like someone cared enough to save me made me have a longing need to feel that I was not alone. No one ever came to save me from her methodical torture... Horrific beatings that went on for long periods of time... Her hours of degrading lectures prior to the beatings and after. 
One example of what she was capable of was she used to make me write a page a night of how I was a bad girl. I had to list in paragraph form of everything that I had ever done that was bad. I had to list in great detail of all the things that she said I had done. It had to be perfect grammer and written neatly. I was not allowed to duplicate what I wrote in the past... It always had to be new stuff. If I accidentally wrote something that I had wrote in the past she would beat me the next day. I had to write that I was a liar and had manipulated my dad into loving me. These were her words. This went on for months. I don't know where those papers are now... I wish I could find them. 

She used to beat me for what seemed like hours... Striped down naked. She had a belt that she had shredded and she would beat me in the living room with the front window shades open so that the neighbor hood kids could watch. I wasn't allowed to scream or make a noise or cry....I was the one standing there ... Then laying on the hasset bent over it. Shamed because I was naked... Shamed because she would make comments about my body that made me feel bad. Shamed because I hadn't done anything to deserve this. Shamed because the kids could watch me and hear her. She raised her arms all the way back and would swing with all her might. She would say don't put my hands in the way, don't move, don't cry and don't scream.... She would hit and hit and hit and hit.... I had welts and bleeding and excruciating pain. For moving, crying or screaming or putting your hands in the way the penalty was 5 more hits. This could go on for hours. She would allow break for peeing and she took breaks because she was "tired" but then she was back at teaching me a lesson. What could I have ever done to deserve that?
But it was me alone standing there shamed... Taking all the pain and degrading words alone. Later it would still be me consoling myself through the pain, embarrassment and hurt in the aftermath of her wrath.

No one came... No one saved me... No one stopped her. No one shared in my pain... No one ...
my childhood taught me that I was alone and that no one had my back...no one...
To compensate for the need to feel that someone somewhere walked with me through my life I accidentally added the "we" to my conversations. It was a hope ... A dream.... A wish.... It still is.... 
The difference is I'm now very aware that I long to have someone walk with me in my life... Share my life with ... Pains as well as joys....one day maybe the use of the word "we" will actually represent two instead of one....