A friend recently sent me a link to something that applies VERY much to my past, and it is actually a very helpful thing to read even if you haven't had an extremely dysfunctional childhood.
As I was reading through I wrote this out. It is long. Sorry in advance.
Wow. I.....don't even know where to start.
I guess my first thought is that there are so many people here who have things that have hit them hard. When you're there, you don't realize exactly how weird it is, how strange it is for the little things that just happen in your household that don't actually happen in "normal" households.
My mother is the only parent with whom I had a lot of contact as a child. My father passed away when I was 11, and they had been divorced since I was 5. Her husband was a trucker and really only was home a couple weekends a month. When he was home, he was constantly arguing with my mother, or rather, she was telling him how he shouldn't even be around as little as he was since it wasn't like he did anything anyway.
I'm the oldest of 4, me and my brother from my father and the two youngest from her husband. Things were ok (and by ok I mean I didn't really recognize it as anything being abnormal) until my father passed away. After that, my mother started to be malicious more often towards me and my brother, more violent and emotionally abusive.
She didn't leave bruises when we were young, and kept my brother on a leash of ADD meds even though they made him feel like he was suffocating in a sea of monotony and fog. She did more of the little controlling things. I don't remember going to anyone's house after 8th grade unless I had known them since kindergarten or I didn't tell my mother. My friends never came over after a few times because my mother would put on a face the first few times they were over, but then it was like they were family. They witnessed the things she did that I just expected, and didn't like it. My longest known friend was extremely confused all the time when we were over because after school we weren't allowed in the fridge, or even in the kitchen at all unless we were doing dishes. I'm still getting over not being allowed in the kitchen of my mother's house, and often I will forget to eat. I'm working on it, but it is hard at times.
On my 15th birthday, my baby brother was born. I love that kid more than I love most people. After that, my mother got worse. She started putting my brother in the detention home for the weekends because he talked back. She picked everything I did apart, told me that she wished it had been her who had died instead of my father since I was so horrid, told me that I had been raped by my father's brother when I was young (which I found to be false after asking people who had been there), told strangers who said I looked just like her "poor kid", called me fat, stupid, ugly and any other thing that you can think of. I tried to find someone who would make me feel better about it all, and started my horrid life of dating, which is too long to put here, but if you'd like to read it is here.
After the first guy I just did as my mother said as often as possible, still trying to deal with the random things that happen in high school that already make people feel like they aren't good enough. I never went to parties, was in honors English, the A Cappella Choir, and tried to do things to make her proud that also made me happy. At home, she would yell about the dishes, my room, how I needed to clean the grooves in the kitchen floor (with a toothbrush since it worked best) and how I wasn't doing as well in Math as I should be (when I had a C). Eventually we ended up getting in screaming matches when I couldn't take her pushing my buttons anymore, and she sent me to the detention home, claiming that I was the violent one and had hit her. One of the times when I had obviously been the one injured (parts of my hair were trailing down my back, and I was obviously disheveled) they took me to my longest friend's house, since her mom was like a mom to me. When I got there, she was surprised that the cops had brought me in the back of the cruiser. "Pam, they escorted you here. You were in the back of the cop car." Then she saw my hair and about cried. She woke my friend up, and we all sat at the table and talked about what we should do. I was broken already, and pointed out that my mother would just say I had done it myself because I had been upstairs when the cops got there (which she did, not that the cops ever were notified). She knew all the cops, and that made her pretty safe from them.
There were a lot of things that happened, and I'd be lying if I said I had the time to post even half of them. I try to not think about it, because I'm not that girl anymore. I grew up quick after my father passed away, because I had to in order to survive.
The week before my 18th birthday, she put me in the detention home again, because she found out I was leaving and moving in with my grandmother. I had taken the money from my checking account (money I had earned from my job that I never got to use, ever) and she threw a fit. My probation officer had told me earlier in the week that it was likely, and that I should try to not do anything to bother her, but that I shouldn't worry because it was safer in the detention home for me anyway. I had gone to see her because my mother had grabbed my arm so hard in one of her fits of anger that I had bruises.
The fit that sent me into the detention home for the last time was the most violent. She pulled me around the house by the hair and shirt, and my little sister called the cops after she got our baby brother out of the way. I woke up the next morning in the detention home and I couldn't move my arms because they hurt really badly. I looked and I had HUGE bruises under both arms and more fingerprints on my arms. I showed the director of the d.h. and he called children's services to come and take pictures. I was more worried about the kids than I was about them getting her away from me. I was going to be away from my mother anyway. The kids I still worry about.
I don't know. I didn't have a normal childhood. I didn't have a normal dating life. I still don't have normal eating habits. I am growing up though.
I was lucky in that I grew up with other motherly figures instead of just my mother, or I don't know if I would know how to love people, how to trust people. I would certainly not be married to someone who I love with all of my heart, who tries to understand even though it is hard, and I would certainly never be contemplating children in the (distant) future. I'm still concerned about having kids at any point because I am SO scared that I'll just do the same things to them that she did to me.
Things get better if you can escape the tower, but escaping the tower will always cost you more than you think you can live with at the time. I still worry every day that my youngest siblings will eventually have to deal with the things that my brother and I had to deal with, and I'm trying to have a connection with them, which does mean that I have to play nice with my mother, play the prodigal daughter if you will while constantly waiting for the other shoe to drop in, where her niceties will be replaced with snide remarks and violence again. I'm living on my own, so I'm pretty sure it can't get worse for me with her, but the kids I do worry about, as she often takes her anger out on people who can't fight back when she has no other outlet.
tl;dr :Life sometimes sucks, but in the end, if you fight hard, you can escape with your life, though sometimes you will have missing pieces.