Some days I want so badly to scream my story from the rooftops and just throw every sordid (and possibly boring!) detail into the air like confetti .
Other days, I wish there were even one person in my life who knew it all already and I wouldn’t have to struggle with words and sordid (or boring!) facts and stories at all. I realize at this late stage in the game after all the damage has been done and my eyes have finally and painfully been pried wide open to the truths of it all,that is no longer a feasible possibility or option.
So I challenged myself to try to wrap the whole thing up in one sentence…just one solitary sentence that might somehow encompass the feel of the whole thing. The entirety and bitter irony of my entire life to this exact point in time.
And this is my sentence:
They cut off my wings then crucified me because I couldn’t fly… and blamed me that I couldn’t grow them back from their mangled feathery bloody stub-bits that were left behind.
I read an article that made sense of my specific experience with parental alienation. My children were turned against me at 13 and 15 and while quite vulnerable due to the recent sudden loss of their beloved Papa. I know the level of pathological narcissistic qualities my mother and their father have. I realized while pregnant with my first child that I had indeed gotten into a relationship with the male version of my mother. They are cunning and confusingly efficient narcissists.
I grew up in desperate fear of turning into my mother or of sharing any similar traits as she. For many years I vowed not to even have children when I grew up because the fear inside me of being a mother like she had been was not worth the risk. I would rather die than treat any child the way I had been treated! For many years, I wanted to be a nun, thinking if I devoted my life to serving God, I could never hurt anyone like I’d been destroyed by her.
I’ve pondered so often if sociopathy is genetic. How much of narcissistic personality disorder is narure versus nurture. When I become unexpectedly pregnant and realized my baby’s father was pathological like my mother, I really worried. I worried that I would have a narcissistic child. I vowed daily that I would love and protect my child at all cost; that my child would know joy and understanding, fun, compassion, kindness, security, self esteem, encouragement, and love, love, LOVE.
So although the sequence of events was more horrific and painful than I have words to describe even, I have never once blamed my children for their cruelty and lies intent on destroying, demeaning, and tearing every single thing about me to shreds. I know the evil that was pulling them to do such things. I know it personally and I know it well.
I also know my children after raising them alone for 13 and 15 years. I know their hearts and their souls, their struggles and their loves. Or so I thought…
After the extent to which they have gone to assist in crucifying me, my character, my parenting, my career, and even my own childhood, I’ve had terrible moments when I wondered if I created monsters. Had I loved them too much?!? Was that even possible?!?? No. I just can’t believe you can love a child too much. You can’t possibly give children too much understanding or compassion. They’re children! Perfect, innocent, loving, amazing children whom are entitled to all the love, compassion, and understanding in the world!
Maybe the vicious streak was severe parental alienation and narcissistic brainwashing? Maybe it was genetically predisposed for them to be cruel and discompassionate? Maybe all the love in the world wouldn’t have been able to soften their souls when they got old enough to think like their father and grandmother that kindness and emotion are nothing but weaknesses to prey upon? Mere vulnerabilities of “weaker” people who are to be destroyed if possible and perhaps for no other reason than that you can destroy them because if they’re foolish enough to trust and weak enough to love another more than they love themselves, then they get what they deserve when you stomp on them and laugh in their face as they cry in pain?
That’s how narcissists certainly think. I’ve researched a great deal on nature versus nurture with narcissistic personality disorder, but I’ve come to no definitive answer. I only know my children weren’t abused or ever shown anything but love and compassion and accepting their actions against me has been the bitterest pill I could have fathomed ever having to choke down. I’ve rather believed it was brainwashing and survival mechanisms for them. That they were victims of this abuse exactly as I and maybe worse.
It’s hard to fully accept that when I see that my oldest is possibly a pathological liar with a vicious streak of cruelty that I’ve only seen in her dad and my mother before in my life. A hateful, punishing, extremely selfish nature combined with a quick and easy willingness to lie to get whatever she wants.
It’s painful to realize the level of this. And it’s been much easier to blame the narcissists that abused me in my past for her ugly behaviors than it is to blame her and allow myself to wonder if she is a sociopath as well.
I’m just not so sure anymore though. She has embraced cruelty and manipulation and lying at a rapid and efficient rate as to actually be frightening and deeply unsettling to my soul and wrenching in my heart when I picture her the first 15 years of her life… so precious, so kind, so sweet and loving, so easy going and sweet natured that I literally thought of her many times as an actual angel on earth and I couldn’t believe after so much abuse and terror and heartbreak all my life that God had deemed me fit to raise a child so perfect and precious and angelic like this one. And then one day a few weeks after burying my daddy, she was my abuser.
This beautiful, amazing sweet child of grace and love like I’d never known in my entire life, lies without conscience for no purpose other than to hurt and smear me as a human being, as a mother, and as a daughter. She is cruel and vicious and literally laughs at my pain. She seems to actually think watching me suffer loss as a mother is funny. She has crucified me like Jesus and burned me at the stake like a witch in Salem without a trial or even honest accusations. The more I hurt it’s almost like the more it feeds her fury and cruelty!! I’ve known two people like that in my life… two sociopaths… her father and my mother.
Then I read this article and suddenly it all became painfully clear.
It’s 1995 and MD, my live-in boyfriend, has checked himself into a 30 day rehab for sex addiction because I’d caught him lying and cheating one too many times and I was leaving him. I was 3 months pregnant with our first baby and had just taken maternity leave from my job as a cocktail server due to hardcore nausea, vomiting, and pregnancy precautions due to other issues. I had no money or income. After the first week with MD in rehab, I ran out of food.
When it had been 6 straight days with nothing to eat, I was physically weak and had a chronic splitting headache which I assume was due to my hypoglycemia issues plus developing pregnancy. I was sleeping like a bear in hibernation, constantly throughout the days and nights, to escape the maddening cravings for food. It was all I really could do. I had been isolated from my friends when we started dating and here I was unplanned and unexpectedly pregnant by a man who not only treated me worse than dirt on his shoe, but couldn’t keep his dick in his pants or tell the truth to save his life. I had only my precious cat, Porsche, for my best friend, my confidant, my snugglebuddy… Porsche and the tiny baby inside me were my whole world.
In my excessive sleeping, I’d recently begun having chronic wildly scary nightmares about the affect this malnutrition was going to have on my growing baby. I’d learned from my What To Expect When You’re Expecting book that the first trimester was a critical time for baby’s development. So my subconscious was working full force to descriptively show me in great gory detail all the horrifying possibilities of the damage being with done every famished second that passed.
Determined to find something in that kitchen to eat, whether it was an old beaten up can of kidney beans, an ancient forgotten can of creamed spinach, or whatever, I made a diligent, open-minded search! There was nothing left in the pantry, so I scavenged through the refrigerator like I had on many occasions in the days before, only this time my nightmares had scared me into an open mind for anything…literally. Anything.
Voila!! I see the leftovers I already picked through the same day MD had checked in to I Can’t Keep My Dick In my Pants rehab center. Now, these leftovers are about 2 weeks old. It’s a tuna casserole I’d made awhile prior to him leaving. I’d seen it before but had been a little scared to eat it because I wasn’t sure how long it stayed edible. I did a haphazard food inspection. There wasn’t any obvious mold; suddenly it was a casserole gold to my eyes…a delicious feast!!
I didn’t bother heating it up. Fork in hand, I stood right in front of the fridge with the saran wrap pulled half off the glass casserole dish and shoveled a few forkfuls into my mouth. It tasted horrible, dry and bland, but not yet rancid, so I figured it would do the trick.
After these bites of food, I grabbed the needle point I was working on (learning) and sat in a comfy chair in the living room with Porsche, my devoted cat curled next to me. After a while, I got very sleepy and dozed off for a few minutes. Suddenly I abruptly woke. My stomach was churning and flipping and I felt vomit quickly rising. I ran to the bathroom and puked. The vomit was mostly watery mixed with some chunks of tuna and chewed pasta shells. I wiped my face down, rinsed my mouth with some water right from the bathroom spigot and lied down in the bedroom. Still feeling terribly sick to my stomach, my mind started wondering. I had a scary thought: What if the food actually was spoiled and I had just poisoned my baby? If a pregnant woman inadvertently ate something poisonous, would it kill the baby? I didn’t know!
I started crying from fear and guilt, apologizing out loud to my stomach, rubbing it and saying, please be okay little baby, please be ok? Your momma is so sorry! I felt destitute and afraid for my baby so much that I telephoned my mother. My mother who had been angry, disappointed or downright disgusted with me for as long as I could recall, most likely since the day of my birth. It wasn’t an easy call for help to make. However, my mother married a wealthy business owner when I was little more than a toddler and enjoyed bragging of her luxury and financial comfort. And after all, she was a mother and would at least know if I should call 911 for the baby, right?
So, I phoned her, trying not to let on how hungry I was; I didn’t want her to insult and criticize my baby’s father. I made casual conversation at first. , during which she began explaining her latest car purchase, a flashy little red sports car. After listening earnestly and ooh-ing and ahh-ing over her latest indulgence for long enough that I felt a subject switch was appropriate, and still trying to downplay my desperation, I finally asked nonchalantly about eating spoiled food while pregnant and if that might hurt my baby. She wasn’t sure but she thought probably not, she thought that my body would most likely rid itself of the bacteria and only the nutrients would go to my baby. Okay, I thought to myself, I can eat that last bit of casserole very slowly each day. I felt much relieved… until I remembered there wasn’t much left of the spoiled tuna at all. I walked into the kitchen on the phone and peeked again at the dinner I’d been so proud to prepare for my boyfriend only a short while ago, which today felt like years, not weeks ago, and saw there was maybe 4 or five tablespoons of it left. Could I eat around 2 shell macaroni’s each day? No, even at that meager amount, I’d run out soon. It wouldn’t last three weeks, even if I could get it down as it spoiled more and more each day that would pass.
I knew I had no choice. My baby deserved food. Even if I deserved to starve to death, this innocent child inside me did not, of that I was certain!
So I sucked up my pride and asked this woman who had carried me inside her body 25 years ago, Would you please send me $50 for groceries ? It’s only three weeks til MD will be out of rehab, I just needed a little help to get through til then.
No, she says. Go get on welfare.
Ok, could I maybe please borrow $25 and pay you back in a few weeks?
No. You can get on welfare.
What? Welfare? I knew nothing of welfare and certainly didn’t feel entitled to it. I was living in MD’s decent 3 bedroom, two bath house! Welfare was for homeless people with 5 starving kids, not a 25 year old newly pregnant college student with a boyfriend in sex addiction rehab. I mean, I didn’t eat much anyway. I only needed bare food necessities for a few weeks….some milk or rice or maybe a bag of apples would do me. I could make that last a really long time! That wouldn’t be fair to ask for welfare! I wouldn’t eat much…At 5’8 “ and 106 pounds, I had already lost 7 pounds while carrying this baby these three stress filled months of domestic violence, mind boggling gas lighting, and cheating. Gosh, I didn’t need much. I don’t want to apply for welfare!! I’d even be fine without food for a while longer if I wasn’t pregnant, in fact I was sick so much lately, I actually preferred not to eat at all. But this growing guilt and stress of what it could do to this tiny heartbeat depending on me for its survival was causing these horrific nightmares of crying babies and distorted newborns. The guilt was eating my brain alive, just like my body was slowly feeding on my muscles to survive. (And in one particularly nasty dream I’d had, my body actually had fed on my fetus! EEK!) I may not deserve diddly squat for putting myself in this situation, but this innocent baby deserves food!!!! It’s not her fault! I just needed enough to give basic nourishment to this baby growing inside of me. I of course said nothing to Mother about these thoughts.
This rejection of even basic humanity and compassion from my mother hurt in a place I’d forgotten existed since I’d been out of her house and on my own….this strange, hollow place of pain, reminiscent of a piercing sharp hunger ache, only it was in my chest. I still don’t know exactly what that acute pain was, I clearly remembered feeling it as a little girl on many occasions, crying quietly to God in my room , begging Him to tell me how I could make myself good enough to be loved by my mother. Make me good enough to deserve love and affection. I’m not much of a prideful person per se, but after the second “no”, I quickly realized there’s no shame or pride involved in the “please help me keep my innocent baby from severe deformity or death” game! At this point I knew for certain, if anything happened to my baby’s health or life from my neglect of feeding it while it shared and depended on my body, I would wish for death. I could never survive that unceasing life-long guilt and shame….letting down this teeny living creature depending on me for its every comfort or survival. No, this, I could never live with. I would lick dirt off someone’s feet right now if I can just get food enough for two weeks! No, in this very moment full of these fears and hunger, sickness and nightmares, I would have gladly done that or anything really, for help.
“Mom, please?” I pleaded.
“That’s what welfare is for…people like you”, she answered with an unmistakable sneer in her voice. That tone of voice people use when it becomes evident that they are getting immense pleasure from the power of punishment in whatever they’re saying at that moment; I mean deep soul pleasure as though they’ve just been granted a fervent lifetime wish. I was all too familiar with this tone; it was a staple of all maternal communication towars me since my earliest memory. Hearing that so clearly in her voice, right now in this circumstance, I thought I might need a shower afterward to wash the filthy joy of cruelty this conversation was obviously giving her and I had this strange hopeless feeling that I had just called up Satan for help and offered to temporarily sell my soul for grocery money.
Ok, I said. I hung up the phone and looked in the phonebook for welfare. When I figured out the correct agency, I called to see if I could just get some temporary food assistance for a few weeks. I applied. I was eligible!! Due to my pregnancy and recent lack of nutrition, it took only a few days til the food stamps came through and I carefully rationed the leftover-leftovers of tuna casserole to get baby and me through those few days.
In hindsight, I realize my frame of mind here. Like a captive who doesn’t even run for freedom at his first chance. I didn’t even think to call my dad to ask him for fifty dollars or for help at all. Although I now realize how crazy that frame of mind was! He would have gladly sent me $100 or whatever he could afford! And still worried it may not be enough and would have called regularly to check on me, caring how baby and I were doing.
But mother had said no and I knew from experience, no meant no. And if your own mother doesn’t think you or your baby are worth loaning $25 to, then you must REALLY not be worth loaning grocery money to. You and your baby must not deserve help or food. I went instantly into my well-trained “accept your punishment quietly (or you’ll get it worse!)” mode even though I was technically an adult now. I don’t know what “worse” than possibly starving or deforming my unborn baby was, but I was trained VERY effectively to take my knocks and accept responsibility for my situation. No matter what it was, it had to be my fault, had to be exactly what I deserved. So if mother said no then clearly, my baby and I didn’t deserve anything but 4 tablespoons of spoiled tuna casserole for the next three weeks or …welfare…. After all, mommie dearest had said that’s what it’s for – for “people like me”.
Just thought I’d share a teeny tiny little piece of the “crazy” pie of my life these days. Btw, just so I leave nothing vitally pertinent and ugly about myself out of the slice of crazy pie I’m sharing here, my other pathetic unforgivable faults in addition to my disgusting “low self esteem” are drinking wine at 3 am in my living room while talking on the phone to an ex boyfriend after my dad died, and having sex 9 years ago with said ex- boyfriend after we had broken up!
Pathological narcissism y’all… it’s not a joke or a trendy insult. It’s devastatingly real and frighteningly, senselessly cruel. #WelcomeToATinyGlimpseOfMyNightmareThatNeverEnds
One man today actually compared this to a bad date. You know, when he goes on a bad date with a gold digging bitch, he doesn’t make a fuss. He just takes them to an expensive restaurant and leaves after they order an expensive entree, then just never talks to them again. It’s that easy. Just be quiet and move on!
Yeah, that’s such an accurate analogy of trying to heal from narcissistic abuse and reclaim and rebuild your life after mass destruction! Just walk away from those people. Just don’t let them in your life . It’s THAT simple!
You need to just let it go and move on quietly with your life.
Meanwhile, I was quiet growing up abused, then I got free and decided to work on myself and my own shortcomings and faults rather than blame Mommie Dearest for how fucked up my head and heart and self esteem was. I quietly moved on. Straight into the arms of another pathological narcissist just like her. You know why? BECAUSE I JUST LET IT GO AND “MOVED ON”… because every fucking stupid mindset I’d learned came full circle back to everything my sociopath mother had spent my life convincing me: I’m unworthy of love. Love is only real if it hurts. But I must have deserved it. I’m only lovable and safe when I’m quiet and don’t complain and accept my due punishments, whatever they are. I just have to try harder to be better and if I try to be perfect then maybe I’ll have earned a tiny right to be loved and accepted, maybe I’ll get lucky enough even to see a flash of kindness if I’m really super convincingly quiet and accepting…a second of kindness perhaps for my fake persona that I have to wear convincingly in order to be loved at all…even cruelly “loved”.
Why can’t you just let it go? Ummm… like I let it go when he pinned me down on the floor and spit on me and choked me when I was 3 months pregnant after he came home from being out all night screwing another woman and I dared to ask him where he was because I’d been up all night scared he was injured or dead ?
Like I let it go when he spit on me and my infant child as she nursed at my breast for asking what a woman’s clothing receipt had been for? After he had told me months earlier that he “needed me to start holding him accountable for his actions ” if he was ever going to “learn how to be faithful”?
Like i let it go when he admitted to his sex addiction counselor that he even though he’d told me I was crazy and paranoid for months, that yes, indeed, he had been cheating the entire time and then coming home to abuse and belittle me after he did it? And confessed that he was so scared we were having a girl because he might be sexually attracted to her or her friends once she was a teenager?
Like I let it go that I didn’t have food for almost two full weeks when I was 3 months pregnant with our child and that wasn’t his problem because he was in sex addiction rehab and was “dealing with hurtful childhood memories” that had caused him to be an abusive cheater all his life?
Like I let it go that I asked Mommie Dearest to loan me $25 for groceries when I was 3 months pregnant and hadn’t eaten in almost 10 days and she told me, that’s what welfare is for…?
Like I moved on and left him asking for nothing but my child and my freedom to prevent her from seeing a man ever treat a woman with the disdain, disrespect, and cruelty like her dad treated me?
Like I just moved on and didn’t enforce child support so that he could have an easier time seeing his kids in another state? So that I wouldn’t make him resent and punish his kids for having to pay child support to their mother for them? So I struggled and fought to raise two kids by myself without his physical or financial help while he bragged that the amount of money he made was “obnoxious “… while I was trying to decide if I could splurge on name brand macaroni and cheese for the kids this week? All so his life would be easier and I could convince myself I could keep my kids safe as long as I didn’t rock the boat or upset him or force the issue of responsibility, truth, or child support?
Like I just walked away and “moved on” when my mother came to my hospital room in the ICU when I wasn’t able to speak or move on my own after a massive stroke and told me I “deserved what I fucking got”? 4 hours after having a brain blood clot, going without oxygen for an hour, and finding out I was pregnant, all while lying on an emergency room table not even understanding what in the fuck was happening ?
Like I let it go and just moved on that when I was hospitalized for three full months unable to walk or feed myself or sit up in bed on my own, neither my children’s father or my mother (who love these kids sooooooo much) stepped up to help with my 18 month old baby at home? That my 60ish dad had to take care of my baby himself alone? Plus take care of me too, like an infant when I was released 3 months later? That no one but my dad stepped up to help during a severe physical trauma while I was pregnant and the years of physical rehabilitation it required afterward just to develop the skills movement and brain cells to reconnect in order to just be able to pick up my child and hold her in my arms?
Like I just walked away and “moved on” to find another place to live after my children’s father deceived me into trusting him and then deceitfully stole my house that was never his and that he hadn’t paid for at all? Like I just replaced everything we’d ever owned after he told me I had “30 days to get the kids and me back to our home, forcing me to choose between everything we’d ever owned and the home we loved so much … just to go ahead and take our home anyway when we arrived 3 days later in plenty of time of his threat? So then my children and I forfeited everything we owned in the world and still he scammed our house from us anyway because I’d trusted him earlier to have his name on the deed even though we weren’t together? Because I’d stupidly trusted that he cared if his children had a roof over their heads more than his fury to punish us for not doing what he wanted us to do? Which was allow the very abuse I had left years earlier to protect our children?
How many times are you supposed to walk away and just “move on” from the horrific abuse and terror and devastation these people go out of their way to inflict upon you, your life, and everything you love…. EVEN WHILE YOU’RE QUIETLY JUST “MOVING ON”?
The abuse never stops. Somehow they find a way to keep hurting you as long as you live and you’re quietly trying to just stay out of their radar of torture and cruelty?
But for fucks sake, start talking about it and it’s not 5 FUCKING minutes before I’m defending MYSELF for perpetuating the “drama” by not just shutting the fuck up about it and moving on…Again .. and again… and again… from their destruction, lies, and abuse.
Watching Grey’s Anatomy, where Meredith is discussing what’s happening with her pregnancy with Derek, (“the baby’s eyes develop this week”, etc etc) and I remember… And I’m jealous because I never got to experience that – talking about our baby’s development and the fears and worries and excitement that should come with that. Unless your child’s father is a narcissistic douchebag.
I remember buying the book What to Expect When You’re Expecting so that I could know what was happening with my baby and be aware and excited about her progress . I didn’t have a mother to discuss these things with.. My mother was too pissed off that I was having a baby with this man at all, to discuss pregnancy and momma things. So I had this book to be my guide through it.
I would get so excited to read every week what was happening with my baby. I’d read it to her and talk to her, baby girl!!!?? Your heart/fingernails/hair/liver/brain is getting such-n-such this week!!! You’re so amazing!!!
My boyfriend was rarely home, so it was just me, my book, and my cat Porsche discussing these exciting wonders of my sweet baby’s progress. And when really big milestones were occurring or fixing to occur soon, I’d get super excited and call her dad or try to tell him about it when he got home (whenever that might be) so he could know and share the excitement of our baby’s development.
And he would say, For God’s sake can’t we ever talk about ANY thing else?!??
And so I would shut the fuck right up and go back to reading silently and listening to him talk about his recent job drama or whatever most recent coworker had caught his attention (and usually his dick in her vag or mouth or whatever too). Because this baby, our baby, just wasn’t interesting enough in his world to listen to what was happening in her world or body or little tiny life…
Yeah… I remember those days.
Last night, I made macaroni and cheese. I’m not telling you this because anyone on earth cares what I had for dinner. I’m writing of macaroni and cheese because it should contain a warning. That’s right. Macaroni and cheese provokes some serious emotional baggage, I’m telling you. That deliciously rich silvery packet full of golden cheese viciously smited me; locked me smack in the old memory bank I strive daily to keep myself locked out of.
I live alone now and I have little interest in grocery shopping these days. Cooking (the way I love to cook) for one just seems superfluous, so I scoured through my pantry for something on hand that would be quick and filling with minimal cleanup required. Lo and behold: a lonesome rectangular box of mac n cheese! I love mac n cheese and I’ve not had any in years. Literally, years. So….. ummm…. Yay!
Clueless as to what this sneaky little pre-packaged solitary supper in a box was capable of, I put the water on to boil. Innocently, I tore open the box still filled with eager delight that I had the little forgotten treasure on hand. I struggle with opening boxes, but that’s another story and nothing could burst my mac n cheese bubble of gratitude I was floating in at this moment. I managed to open the box and then – only then – did it hit me.
…a f**king tsunami of long held back memories flooded my eyes instantaneously with tears when I caught that first glimpse of the shiny silver packet of cheese inside peeking out at me among the flecks of pasta shells trying to bury it as though to protect me from the acute pain this cheesy treasure would bring. I’m immediately blurry eyed from bushels of salt stinging my eyeballs and instant asphalt-hot tears streaming like two waterfalls down my face. My hands shaking, I carefully pulled out the silver demon of painful nostalgia, regret, and furious anger all tossed together in this silly little cheesy packet. At this point, I’m still fairly confused about the spontaneous cry baby tsunami hitting me. Fuck, I just wanted to whip up some mac n cheese, for the love of God!
But my brain…or was it my heart? My soul?? my spirit???!? I can’t even know, I just know I’m overwhelmed so much that I couldn’t even catch hold of one individual thought/memory/feeling long enough to fathom what shard of my brokenness was cutting the deepest. They all started to cut and dig and the salt in my tears seemed to be scattered instantly inside a billion winds of unidentified mac n cheese puncture wounds.
It was all too brief visits to Daddy’s safe haven where I was so very little and so very safe and happy, gloriously excited for daddy to set that plate down in front of me. I’m only 4 and mac n cheese is my favorite and Daddy actually made it! I never get this at “home”… I’m sitting right next to him on the nubby red loveseat with tv trays in front of us that I can barely reach from sitting, but I wanna be like Daddy and we are watching re-runs of Hogan’s Heroes while we eat. And it’s my favorite because Daddy laughs at the tv so much that I laugh too, even though I don’t even understand what’s funny. I just know I love that sound and I want to hide right there inside those notes of laughter forever. this is the only address for joy and laughter i know. It’s the only residence of the safety to feel at all, much less to allow my very own laughter to bubble up and explode from my belly in uncontrollable giggles. It’s safe to be happy here. It’s safe to be silly. Laughter echoes on these walls long after the literal sound has stopped. Macaroni and cheese is visits to Daddy’s. It’s safety. It’s laughter. It is the home of momentary security and still being young enough that all there was was then, was right NOW. So in those moments, although just flashes, thoughts of sadness and fear and the knowledge that this was only a flash in time before I’d have to return to the real world could not co-exist. When you’re that little, now is all there can be and now is strong enough that all the fears and hurts and worries your 3 year old self normally carry are literally flushed away…in that moment. That moment is all there was…while a 3 year old is in it. And sometimes there was Mac n cheese in it too.
It was a brief flash of college years and making it for my entire meal just because I could… And the childhood memories of comfort it brought back even then while far away from home’and having no friends and no daddy anywhere near. Reminiscing on the flashes of Mac n cheese laughter that thankfully spotted the otherwise chronic pain and confusion of my childhood as spurts of temporary relief from the excruciating loneliness of my reality back then. Reminiscing about those little breaks from the tortures of the cruel prison of childhood and still young enough to almost believe your daddy will live forever, just because he just must.
Mac n cheese was raising two beautiful little toddlers all alone with a physical disability in subsidized housing. It was stretching the pennies of a fixed income to afford to try to feed them the stuff they liked. It was the excitement I felt on the rare days when I splurged to afford the “good brand” for $2.69 rather than the powdery generic .34 cents kind I usually had to buy while their perfectly physically-abled, healthy father made $800k+ a year, lived alone in a gigantic house, drove fancy new cars, enjoying the fortune of freedom and good jobs, and the fun party life of a healthy single man who took his kids for weekends and vacations whenever it suited his fancy or his work and personal schedule.
Mac and cheese is the pang in your gut at the grocery store of the life a traumatic brain injury resorts you to when you’re affected at 26 years old. It’s not having the strength, coordination, or balance to play normally with your little children who so desperately want you to play with them, or bathe them without help from your dad, or run with them on the playground, or brush the tangles out of their hair using both hands to make it easier for their tender scalps.
Mac and cheese is the cheap stuff you feel guilty for serving your children when you know their perfect little grins and glorious giggles, hugs and tiny “I love you Momma’s” so deserve the rich, creamy, delicious kind. The guilt of not having the physical strength to raise them the way you’d always dreamed and work a regular full time job. its not having the strength to pick them up when they reach their tiny arms out and say “hold me momma!”. It’s having the strength to pick them up on good days and fearing you’ll lose your balance and fall with them in your arms, and maybe scar their sense of security or faith in you as a momma, thus creating trust issues you swore your children would never have to battle It’s your words slurring with fatigue on the second bedtime reading of Winnie the Pooh because your brain is unable to formulate words well after a long day… and you can’t hold them both at the same time like they deserve and hold a book too, but they so deserve to hear it a second time.. And they also deserve to be held tightly with two strong arms until they drift of to sleep feeling adored, loved, secure, and safe, the way you never did as a child … Except during the rare Mac n cheese visits at your daddy’s house.
This Mac n cheese was the childhood my children deserved rather than the one I was able to give them.. The one I’d always dreamed of giving them when i had played with dolls as a child and fantasized about what kind of momma I could be someday, promising myself I would you’d be everything my mother never was. My children would not know fear or insecurity. They would not know the desperate longing for a momma that played with them every day and read to them and laughed with them and chased away their bad dreams and allowed them to know security in their environment and security of faith and love in and outside of themselves.
This Mac n cheese was the regret of feeding my children cheap shit so that I’d never have to depend on their dad for money to survive. Not caring about child support rights or entitlement or all the money in the world if it meant having to raise my daughters watching their dad cheat, lie, and abuse me. It meant going without just to not even risk fighting legally or otherwise with him about custody when I knew I didn’t have the money for the battle because he had all the time, freedom, and money while all I ever wanted to have was my children and the ability to raise them with love and understanding, peace and security…and joy. It was choosing to encourage their relationship with the man who abused me after I left him and he had destroyed my dreams and who didn’t care about much other than sex with “strange”, job power, and making money to buy nice things for himself. It was passing on child support for 15 years no matter my disability or how much money he was free to go out and make because love and peace for my kids’ home life seemed more important than buying the good kind of Mac n cheese for them.
Mac n cheese was the ache of remembering when my children loved me in spite of my disability. The excruciating torment of recalling countless nights of guilt at being poor, being disabled, being single, and being afraid of not ever being even close to everything I had always dreamed of being for them… Of the hurt at wanting to give them so much more but literally not being able to. It was The indescribably deep wound that comes from unexpectedly losing the only parent who had loved and wanted me as a child or as an adult.
Mac n cheese is the endless sting of betrayal that my children turned against me, lied about me, negate me as ever being their mother even, crucifying my every flaw and every life hardship, magnifying every mistake big or small, denying any good I brought to their lives. All on top of the years of guilt at already not being enough, not being worthy, not being anything but a disappointment to every one … To Everyone except my dead daddy who has abandoned me once again and finally for forever.
I will never make or eat macaroni and cheese again. That stuff is just vicious.
Abuse by proxy, child abuse, Cruelty, Darlene Higgins, Domestic violence, gaslighting, heartless, Lies, Malignant Narcissism, manipulation, Mark DeDeaux, monsters, narcissists, parental alienation, Predatory, Sick Fucks, Thieves, triangulation
To whom it may concern:
I’m somehow to try to understand that the people who have destroyed my life, my mother, Darlene Higgins, and my children’s father, Mark DeDeaux, are hurt and angry at the destruction they allege I created in their lives.
Apparently, these people of whom I have zero (read zilch, nada) recollection of having done any damage or inflicted any pain upon were able to convince my children of what a horrible, awful, undeserving, worthless human being I am.
I haven’t seen either suffer or lose material property, or finances, loved ones, jobs, or their dignity at my hand. I’ve not been at all aware of this “destruction” which has caused their hate for me. Hate so big that they relentlessly poisoned my children against me, apparently because of the awful things I’d done to them? These things I’m totally unaware of and can’t find a single memory of…
I’ve wanted to understand the hate, the burning desire to punish, the massive cruelty… God, I’ve wanted to understand.
Being that I’m that person who once got angry at a virtual stranger and merely said ugly words to her… and still carried the memory, guilt, and remorse for those words 20 years later. Being that girl who accidentally ran across this virtual stranger twenty years later and immediately apologized for this misdeed I enacted upon her so many years earlier. I apologized to a woman who didn’t even recall what I had said, so futile and apparently non-damaging was this “heinous abuse” I heaped upon her of which the guilt I carried twenty years later still. I guess the “cruelest” I ever intentionally was, was not only enough to cause all those years of remorse and regret inside me, but not even close to enough for this woman to even recall. It is flabbergasting to try to wrap my head around the awful things I must have done to my mother and my ex to make them both hate me enough to destroy me. How can I not recall what I did?
I recall being a child. A desperate for love, desperate to please, pathetic for approval little girl. I remember that. I remember praying every night that God would show me how to earn and deserve my mother’s love. I remember not getting any answers and I remember trying everything my little mind could think of : I just had to be perfect. And after all, my mother was perfect in my eyes, so I could be perfect too, right? I came from the goddess of perfection so if I tried hard enough and never quit trying to be pretty, funny, smart, polite, obedient, loving, sweet, and deserving, I could get her love. I remember that not working. I remember lying to protect myself from punishment and getting in big trouble. I remember telling the truth because my mother “hated liars” and still getting in big trouble. I remember trying to be pretty and getting in trouble. I remember trying to be intelligent and getting in trouble. I remember not lying for her when she cheated on her husband and getting in trouble. I remember painting my nails and getting in trouble. I remember shaving my hairy legs like every one else in my gym class did and getting in trouble. I remember forgiving my friend for being mean to me and getting in trouble. I remember sticking up for myself with others and getting in trouble. I remember not sticking up for myself to others and getting in trouble. I remember being noisy no matter how hard I was trying to be quiet and getting in trouble. I remember trying harder to be even quieter and still getting in trouble. I remember missing my daddy and getting in trouble. I remember a babysitter giving me a piggy back ride and getting in trouble. I remember writing my aunt a letter telling her how much I missed her and getting in trouble.
I also remember sneaking to use the phone to talk to friends and getting in trouble. I remember sneaking boys over on Halloween to play Atari and getting in trouble. I remember having vaginal discharge in my panties before my period and getting in trouble. I remember trying to overdose on alcohol and getting in trouble. I remember having people over when mother was out of town and getting in trouble. I remember getting a C in geometry and getting in trouble. I remember asking for help with my math homework and getting in trouble.
I remember using the wrong tone of voice and getting in trouble. I remember having the wrong look on my face and getting in trouble. I remember defending my sister and getting in trouble. I remember not defending my sister and getting in trouble.
I remember letting my first boyfriend beat me and getting in trouble. I remember smoking cigarettes and getting in trouble. I remember not eating for 12 days while pregnant and being told to “go get on welfare” I remember caring about the father of my child and getting in trouble. I remember getting sick because I was pregnant again by the same man and getting in trouble. I remember wanting to have the same last name as my two children and getting in trouble. I remember almost dying and getting in trouble. I remember the psychiatrist who was supposed to tell me I was worthless defending me and telling mother she had serious parenting and mental illness issues and getting in trouble.
I’m not sure what I’ve forgotten. I’m truly clueless as to which of these awful things I did as a child made me deserve hate and cruelty; made me deserve to have my whole world ripped from me; or made me deserve to take the only love I had in the world. I’m not sure of the damage I did with these horrible acts. I must have done some serious damage, though to spark the punishments I received and continue to receive.
I would like to apologize for my worthlessness, for my awful acts which caused unbearable pain and destruction to my mother, but I can’t figure out where/what/how I caused any damage to her. I would gladly take responsibility for being born, breathing, being a child, being immature, being lost, being desperate for love except that I did not cause any of that. Please tell me what to apologize for? Once upon a time I was just an innocent child begging and desperate for my mother’s love and acceptance. I suppose I could apologize for stopping the begging? Only, I never stopped begging or trying. My mother decided at my second pregnancy that I no longer existed. I begged for a few weeks after that and finally had to stop begging because I was trying to raise two children with a handicap all on my own. I had to accept that nothing I ever did would make me worthy of her love or else I would have killed myself and left my two children with no mother at all.
In spite of the hatred you had toward me, I remember wanting my children to have the chance at you loving them. I remember Christmases and Thanksgivings alone so that you could be a grandma even though I didn’t have a mother. I remember my dad suddenly and unexpectedly dying and thinking she would care about me maybe then. I remember trusting her out of desperation again (like when I was a helpless child) and her filling my children’s heads not only full of shit, but fabricated half-truth shit…not even shit that was mine to own and take responsibility for. I remember meeting your first husband at the funeral (the one you told me all my life “beat you”) and feeling uncomfortable that after hating and punishing me for accepting and allowing myself to be abused by men all my life, that she would bring this man who “beat” her to my dad’s funeral. If I punched him would she love me? or would she hate me more?
I remember her hating everyone who made me feel loved. I remember her hating anyone who made me feel hated. I never understood what I needed to do/be/say/feel to be loved. I still don’t.
But most of all, I don’t see where all these horrible things I supposedly did ruined her life? Or even hurt her? Or how I knew what might hurt or upset her on any given day, as it changed so fast and often, I could not make sense of it. I would like to apologize and own my mistakes because I acknowledge I’m fucked up and worthless, but I honest to fucking god don’t know how I caused damage, except for being born, being a child, being confused, being desperate for love…. I wasn’t born with those things and I didn’t want them, how do I apologize for them? And if I do, will I finally deserve your love?
To the father of my children: What did I do to destroy your life? Please dear God tell me because knowing you has ruined everything I ever dreamed of. I lost my hopes, my dreams, my dignity, my health, my possibilities, my house, my lifetime memorabilia, and ultimately my children…. Because? What was it I took from you? What did I destroy and damage so much for your life? I gave you two children. I gave you 24/7 total access to them. I gave you holidays with them. I gave you carte blanche to their lives and their hearts. I gave you good stories to them about our past (which were lies). I gave you my last hope of my childhood innocence. I gave you my health. You took my house and every happy memory I had from before or since I knew you.
What was it I took from you? Where is the misery I caused? What did I do to you? Yes, I left you. I left you after you destroyed (what I then thought was total destruction at least) and tried to save my children from growing up watching their mother be treated like a worthless, useless piece of shit. Yes, I did do that. And I still gave you 24/7 carte blanche access to their lives, their love, their time.
Please tell me what I took from you? Please tell me how I’m an awful person? Please tell me where the damage I did is that destroyed your hopes and dreams, your health, your past, present, or future? PLEASE????? Please tell me???????????
Because I’m not prideful or stubborn about being wrong or making mistakes like some I know. I actually prefer to address and acknowledge my errors, and apologize, especially if they’ve hurt someone or damaged their life in any way. I would love to apologize for all the things I did but I can’t bring myself to apologize for trying to live, for breathing, feeling, or wishing to be loved rather than abused. I would love to say I deserve every bit of what I’ve gotten. The strange thing is, these people can’t seem to tell me what cruel, awful, unforgivable things I’ve done to them. Not a single thing. Not now and not in my entire life. Yet their hatred flows and flows…and no one seems to think that’s abnormal except for me. Apparently, I’m the awful person because I can name what’s been done to me…to my children…to my health…to my life… I can name every single thing.
To the father of my children: you were lucky after all you had done to me that I even was willing to move to Vegas with our children and give you that chance. From the first week, our children were crying about your treatment of me and them. They hated it and I wasn’t going to subject them to everything I left you to protect them from. You didn’t pay for our house in advance. You didn’t lose any money. We lost all of our lifetime belongings, the innocence my children had for what kind of man they’d been raised to believe their father was, our car, and our home when you stole it “for our own good” in spite of the fact that you hadn’t been paying for it.
So if my big “crime” against you was leaving you back in 1997, again in 1998, and a third time in 2009 in Vegas after “only 3 months”, that’s bullshit. The third time my youngest came home from a day with you bawling and putting herself down was the final straw for me. That, after my oldest had cried her heart out the first weekend we’d arrived and was devastated we came all that way and you’d planned a weekend rendezvous with your latest flavor of the month for the day after we arrived from moving our lives literally across the country, leaving the only home and friends and family and foundation we’d ever know in our lives, because “you wanted your children closer”. Then told me “her heart was NOT broken” and that she could just “get the fuck over it” and she’d cried her heart out nearly every single day after that, hurt and miserable at how you treated us and at moving away from her friends and family at your whim just to be treated this badly by you , as well as watched you insult and belittle me, her mother, for what I wore inside my own house to clean on a 102 degree day in the desert, even though you’d entered our home unexpected and uninvited…apparently just to hurl insults at me and our daughters for the type of clothes I was wearing to clean in.
I will never apologize for your choices. You had choices to hurt us or not to. You had choices to treat us with the respect we deserved for uprooting our entire lives for you or not to. You, on the other hand, gave us only two choices: the choice to stay and put up with being disregarded, devalued, and mistreated or leave and protect ourselves from more.
That was on you and I will not apologize for it or own responsibility for how much it “hurt you” that we left. You gave us no choice. None. You cared only about your latest girlfriend and having all of us in your control at your beckon call or whim to play daddy…or not to play daddy. I didn’t do that “to you”. You did that to us. All three of us. Savannah and I definitely got the worst of it, but it hurt Lexi too, watching you do that to us
Although you like to play neurologist and tell people why I had a stroke when you’ve no clue why I had the stroke because even my actual neurologist couldn’t discover why I had the stroke, you know nothing. And you surely didn’t step up to the plate afterward when I was severely handicapped and rehabilitating so I could give birth to a healthy child and be well enough raise our children while you climbed the ladder to your success. You didn’t step up to the p[late to lend a hand with our children. You were too busy chasing money and women. Darlene didn’t step up to the plate. Only my dad stepped up to the plate to help us.
And for the record, the cause technically given for my stroke was stress. I’m sure in no small measure stress which stemmed from years of abuse at the hands of the very people who run around crying what an awful person I am. Stress from the fear of having to tell Darlene who hated your guts that I was having a second child with you. Stress at once again not having a mother to hold my hand through my pregnancy. Stress at being dependent on you as the co-parent to my two children. Stress at the disappointment of not giving my children or myself the one thing I most wanted for them: a mother and father raising them together in their home…a happy, loving home with both their parents for my children. Again, due to your choices of sex addiction, cheating, and abuse. Darlene’s hatred of you and shunning me from her life because of my relationship with you in addition to your abuse, lies, and cheating in our relationship was the stress I had that caused me to have a stroke and become disabled for the rest of my life. I do not owe you an apology for that. I did not do that “to you”. Once again rather, you assisted in doing that to me. Leaving me with two options only: to stay with you and let my children grow up watching their mother treated horribly or to leave and protect myself and my children from growing up in that environment. As usual, you were the one with the ample choices. I will not take responsibility for how that “hurt you”.
Stress from a literal lifetime of abuse at your hand and the hand of my mother are what caused my stroke. I do not owe you or anyone an apology for that.
I have to wonder how your life is exactly what you wanted. Darlene’s life is exactly what she wanted. Yet, I’m the bad guy who’s worthless and awful, with some string of alleged “crimes” done against you people…the very people who have taken everything I ever worked to have. My family, my health, love, jobs, future, hopes, and dreams.
Please do help me to understand how I’ve done any damage whatsoever to your lives? Where is the abuse I heaped upon you? Where is the place where I screwed you over to get better for myself? Where is the fucking place that you needed or wanted me for anything and I did not show up? Where in the fuck is it? Where in the fuck are these damages done for my plethora of heinous crimes against either of you that you claim as you ripped my heart from my body, my children’s love from my life, and my life belongings, my home, my happiness, my hope, and my only joy left out of the desolate destruction of life I had left in the wake of you both?
Where the fuck is it?
Because I don’t believe in love anymore, or dating, or even trying to find love. Or God, or words, or hope, or reading, or romance, or putting on makeup to feel pretty, or showering, or wearing cute clothes, or sex, or drinking to numb the pain and prolong the inevitable.
Because I don’t believe in happy endings, or good defeating evil in the end, or that telling the truth matters, or that people actually care about others.
Because I don’t believe in life, or being forced to suffer emotional anguish for 42 years then to be ripped of the only thing from those 42 years that mattered enough to keep you going.
Because I don’t believe in innocence, or music killing the pain, or cooking, or eating.
Because I don’t believe in writing, or talking, or watching movies.
Because I don’t believe in buying your dad’s house to feel love that is no longer there and probably never existed really anyway, or believe in the beauty of nostalgia, or laughter, or even the memories of laughter.
Because I don’t even believe in my memories anymore. They have been raped, pillaged, and destroyed by the same mother fuckers who shit on the first ones I had. Because their lies trump my truths, and because their abuse doesn’t count any more today than it ever did.
Because I don’t believe in reaching out, or the fleeting hope that a stupid astrological forecast might even bring some hope or good news.
Because I don’t believe in mothers, or children, or protecting those who can’t protect themselves.
Because I don’t believe in art soothing a broken soul, or art for beauty, or beauty at all.
Because I don’t believe in anything.
Because I feel more stupid than ever that it took me 45 fucking years to face how stupid believing in anything ever was while living with the life I was given, which has done nothing but repeatedly prove that hoping for better is a fantasy as silly as unicorns and Santa Claus.
Because I don’t believe in rebuilding hope from the rubble again…a-mother-fucking-again.
Because I don’t even have the pictures or letters or memories of once-upon-a-time believing I was loved.
Because I don’t have the precious artwork and baby photos of me as a momma with my children…the artwork I could never bear to throw away…because anything made with even the possibility of loving me was fucking precious, even if it was a scribble of pen on scrap paper…
Because even those were taken from me…taken from me because I did not protect myself from the monsters who took all of this from me before I rebuilt, and rebuilt, and rebuilt again.
Because every love I carried for 9 months in my body to protect, hug, hold hands, feed, bathe, and love for always was taken too.
Because every evidence of that love even maybe being real at some point is gone. Gone for our “own good” along with the home we created with it, taken from us with lies and deceit for our “own good”.
Because my every love and every hope for love and every fucking memory of love I had saved for my whole fucking life was taken from me “for my own good”, by a monster who’s never had a fucking thing taken from him his entire life. A selfish fucking monster who has to have EVERYTHING for his mother fucking self…ALL of it. Even the tiny threads of hope that I had, the tiny momentary precious memories I had amassed, the love I thought I would really have at last from my children, the love I thought God gave me for my own with my children. Because the fucking monsters had to have that too.