What I Never Told You

I'm very excited that I'm going to my Grandmother's house this year for Thanksgiving. I was pretty sure that we weren't, but my mother decided not to be there, so I'm going. I don't talk to her any more, and figured she'd be there, but since she's going to be elsewhere, I'll go where I always have. My aunt didn't want to go to my grandmother's either, because SHE doesn't speak to my mom, I think because of an incident that happened earlier this year.

In April, at my bridal shower, my eleven-year old cousin was having an eleven-year old meltdown. My mother threatened to "beat her to a bloody pulp" if she acted this way at the wedding, and yes, that's a direct quote. Charming, right? When my aunt called her later that week to set her straight about being mean to her kids, my mother hung up on her, and, for all I know, still feels perfectly justified in threatening physical violence on one of my shower guests. Then, a few weeks later at my wedding, she hit my dad (the black one) with a closed fist, while he was dancing. She said it was because of something he said that she didn't like. He says (and the two other people who saw it say) that she just hauled off and hit him while he was dancing, randomly, and without provocation. Being that she was on her God-knows-what number martini at the time, I tend to believe them, not her. (And who cares if he did say something to her? She punched him!) Then she got into a screaming match with her boyfriend, causing a huge commotion. Then she called my other dad (the white one) an "Asshole" to my bridesmaids and Jen's sweet, conservative parents. Later she passed out drunk, with her head thrown back, her mouth hanging open, and her bare feet propped up on the chair next to her. It was so, so low-class.

When my parents split in November of '06, I told them that I didn't want them to even ask to bring dates to the wedding, and they agreed that would be best. I thought that would have settled it, but I later found out that I was very out of line with etiquette. So, after talking it over with my dad, I fixed my attitude and cheerfully extended an invite to my mother's boyfriend of six months.

"Of course" I told her, "he won't be sitting with you in the front row for the ceremony, as those seats are reserved for family."

She had a huge problem with that, so I offered to put her and her boyfriend, should they truly not be able to be separated for the twenty minute ceremony, in the third row. Nothing was acceptable, however, and she called me horrible names, leaving me screaming voicemails that Rob listened to for me, so I wouldn't have to hear them.

Hearing her scream is this horrible, soul-crushing sound. It reminds me of the days when I was growing up. She would get so mad at my childhood shenanigans that she would attack me, slapping me while I sobbed and tried to run away. She would catch me and throw me to the ground, and her face would go beet-red as she leaned over me, calling me horrible names while I was pinned to the floor, flecks of spit splattering my face as she screamed in rage. Then she would start hitting me, over and over, in the face. I would throw up my forearms up to protect my head, and my arms would get bruised and scratched up from her wedding ring as she hit around and through them. She claimed it wasn't abuse because she didn't hit me with a closed fist, but I disagree. I'm NOT an anti-spanker, but this had nothing to do discipline. When she got like this (several times a month), I was helpless, frightened, and had no advocate to help me.

I've opted not to speak to her any more, and it's been very healthy for me. I didn't even intentionally stop talking to her; it was just something that happened gradually a few weeks after my wedding, and it's been great. I'm not a person to hold grudges, but she's hasn't apologized and still maintains, to my knowledge, that the abuse "wasn't that bad" and it was "my fault, too".

No, it wasn't! No child deserves what I had to go through, and no one can tell me any different, now. It took me a really long time to realize that I'm NOT a horrible, bad person like she told me I was. I'm a good person, and there's nothing wrong with me; it was all her and her twisted mind trying to pin her own horrible self-image on me. I'm done trying to hide what I went through anymore, too. Not to sound all proverbial, but darkness fades when you bring light to it, and thrives in shadows. No more shadows for me. I'm leaving free, breathing easier, and loving life. I don't need to be enslaved by this anymore, and it's a brilliant thing.

Wahoo for progress. Ever onward.