12.04.2013

The Secrets That I Have Seen. NSFW.

I'm sure my sappy happiness over the Christmas season and my wonderful life in Sweden has really put a few people over the edge.  I see people everywhere complaining and getting holiday sadness and my heart truly goes out to those people.  It does.  My own sister is going through this right now and sometimes I wish I could swim across the Atlantic and give her a good old fashioned hug so that she knows her big sister loves her even if our parents were royal shithead assholes.

I have struggled with seasonal depression and suicidal thoughts around this time of year since I was in foster care.  I will talk later this month about some of the wonderful reasons Christmas is special to me but before I get as sentimental as a Hallmark card, I want to talk for a bit about my mother.  If you're not in the mood for some grimey Alex stories, I suggest you flip back a few entries.  I just feel like if I talk about the good without going over the bad, then I'm one of those peppy positive people who glosses over life and that's so not me.  I also want people, and my readers, to understand why I often use the phrase "my mom is a grade a class act queen of homecoming bitch."

 With my Dad, the crazy was visible. Unstoppable.  Completely inarguable.  He chainsawed couches, burned down bars, gave me ex-convict babysitters (one, his name was Lefty), sold drugs and was a cockfighter for money.  You knew exactly when he was angry, what it was about, and he was even considerate enough to tell you where you were going to get beaten, and sometimes for how long.  He was a maniac who lived in a maniac village from a long line of maniacs and raising maniacs. 


my mother, left, and me, right

Then there was my mother, the youngest blond-haired blue-eyed child from a well-to-do family and a loving marriage and a beautiful house in a nice neighborhood.  Some of this story is my own but the others were told to me by family members when I made my miserable trip home in 2011.  It's taken two years of tears, therapy, medicine, and a hell of a lot of soul searching to come to terms with all these things.  I have never talked about most of it though. 

Despite her cozy life full of dance lessons and wealth, she was a rough kid.  Tattooed at 14, drinking and smoking at 12/13, stealing her father's prescription pills at 12.  Apparently, she sold them for money.  Threatened to run away and elope if her parents didn't let her marry at 15.  Married at 15.  Pregnant at 16.  From there it's god knows what kind of antics, and then she had me. 

My Brother Trampas

When my mom married my father, they both had older children from previous marriages, and my dad had one son, Trampas.  Trampas came to live with us and I remember being thrilled.  I was four or five years old.  I had a big brother! WOW!! He was a teenager and seemed intensely uninterested in me.  I bugged him to draw with me and play with me and he always sighed aggravatedly or disappeared mysteriously.  Then one day he was gone.  I had no idea why.  I was five so it didn't matter too much--after all I was used to my dad going away periodically to jail (classy) but I hardly ever saw Trampas after that.  I wouldn't find out why until 2011.

My Cousin Adam

Let's backtrack for a minute.  I was three.  I have never told this story in any published form and I'm actually shaking because I don't know how to say it or how to be even mildly cynically amusing while saying it.  My beloved aunt Doris had one son, Adam, my older cousin, also a teenager.  There was one instance when I was three years old when Doris, my Mom, and my grandmother went shopping and left Adam to babysit.  

I was only three and I remember him molesting me.  I remember everything in very, very vivid detail.  He made me undress, he told me that we were playing house and were husband and wife.  I knew something was wrong but had no idea what to do or say.  Twenty three years later and I remember the pattern on the couch we laid on, and I remember knowing in my gut afterward that I had to tell.  I chose a quiet time when my mom was doing some craft in the bedroom.  I told her everything and she stared at me with a blank slate face.

After I finished talking, she said, "Don't tell anybody about this, and don't let your dad hear it, or he'll kill Adam."  She was probably right.  I wasn't hugged, I wasn't consoled, I wasn't helped, I wasn't offered a doctor's visit or a therapist or anything.  I hid everything from my family and we never spoke of it again.  I decided when I rekindled my relationship with Doris that I would not tell her about this, because it would have made her completely miserable.  She only had two children and her other died in a car wreck when she was 24, so I didn't want to be the bearer of more grief.

So, in 2011, I was driving around Georgia with my aunt and she asked me a strange question.  

"Did Trampas ever molest you?"

..."What?!?!?"

"I wasn't sure if anybody ever told you this...but when Trampas, your brother, came to live with you, Dana (my mother) didn't like him and wanted him gone.  Your dad tried to fight about it and then one day Dana told everyone that Trampas had touched you and told you that you guys were playing house and husband and wife, really gross, sick stuff.  I don't think your dad believed it, but he sent Trampas to go live with his mom so that he wouldn't get in trouble.  Did that really happen?"

I am pretty sure I whispered a no, and the rest of the conversation is a blur to me. That night I cried for hours.  Not only had my mom done nothing about my sexual abuse, she stored the information and used it to tell a lie against my older brother just because she didn't like him.  

Then, I began to question myself. HAD Trampas ever touched me?  I was young after all and memories of him were fragmented.  What if I had been abused not only by my cousin, but also my brother?  What kind of disgusting, inbred freak was I?  People have suppressed memories all the time about stuff like this.   

My Aunt Doris died without ever knowing the truth about her son.  He's still alive, and has stepchildren of his own.  I don't know if my dad knows the truth.  I don't know what he thinks about any of this.  I know that my mother's reputation is so bad that even if I asked, there's a 100 percent chance she'd make up some fucking life to pacify me with.  

The way I figure it, IF my brother molested me and I don't remember it, I'm lucky.  It's bad enough that I remember what my cousin did to me. That pain and scar will never go away.  Even today it affects my sexual health and relationship.  If my brother didn't molest me, then that's another reason to hate my piece of shit mother.  She was more upset about the idea of my dad going to prison for murder than any emotional damage that might have been inflicted on her daughter.  Actually I doubt she was worried about me at all. 

There's no question in my mind that my mother never loved me and that any nurturing she might have done was instinct, or hope that I would turn out to be something that pleased her.  I didn't.  But the miserable bitch doesn't please me either, so I guess that makes us even.  

My dad used to beat me, he's broken my finger, he's called me Horse face and retard and he's starved me, broken a broom over my legs, choked me, thrown me across the room as a toddler, and other unspeakable things that make him no better than dust on the bottom of my shoes.  But maybe out of some desperation to find something positive in this fucked up situation of my life, I can say that he never manipulated me, never used me for lies, and if he knew what Adam did to me he would have probably, actually, really killed him because my dad recognized the "line" somewhere.  Somewhere in his insane drug-addled head.

My mom could not have cared less.  She proved that. 

5 comments :

  1. I like that you're honest and open about the uncomfortable shit. I'm sorry you had to go through any of this, it sounds awful!

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  2. I had heard that some foster homes are terrible, but had never known the actual abuses. Atrocious. What boggles my mind is that, at least in Utah, the paper work and the trainings and the inspections and the hoops that people have to jump through to become a foster parent is a huge undertaking- if you don't want to properly care for someone why on earth would you think being a foster parent was a smart idea? Good grief. I found your blog from I Ate Skinny. You are a wonderful writer!

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  3. Sue // As It SeemsDecember 7, 2013 at 3:59 PM

    When I read this I want to give you a giant hug while simultaneously punching your mother in the face. Before I was a mom this experience would have made no sense to me. Now it makes even less sense. There is nothing I wouldn't do for my daughter and it breaks my heart that you didn't have that love from your mother. I love you Alex!

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  4. Though my mom is a different person now than when I was growing up, (she was an alcoholic and has since been sober 10 years and has had years of therapy) similar things happened with my sister and I and she didn't do anything about it either. I understand why she let bad people around us as a kid, considering she was too drunk to even notice, but when we were older and she had already been sober for a while, she still knowingly brought bad people into the house on the rare occasion when we were visiting her. I remember one guy in particular that was just a total creep, and I told her about him multiple times. He never actually made a move, but would come into our rooms to look at my sister and I (I was 9 or 10?) or when we'd all be watching TV, he would just be staring at us the entire time, looking his lips or literally touching himself under the blanket! I told my mom this and she denied it, saying he was a great guy, etc. (And she wasn't even dating/screwing the guy, they were legitimately just friends.) A few weeks later, my dad told us we weren't allowed to see my mom anymore for a long time, and turns out that he WAS a child molester and my mom knew it. He was convicted of molesting his own son and wasn't even supposed to be around kids! Anyways, after that and after what had happened to my sister and I when we were younger, I just lost any trust or respect for my mom, and it's definitely something that is still with me to this day that I don't know if I can ever forgive. As soon as I found out I was pregnant at the beginning of the year, all these thoughts went through my head and it made me realize how fucked up my mom really is (and any mother who lets someone molest their child) if they are ok with their baby being hurt. It made me realize that there really is something chemically/emotionally/physically wrong with people like that because it's not normal, you know? It goes against human instinct to protect those you love. So in a way I let my mom off the hook for it because I know it's something that she can't change, but at the same time it doesn't mean I love or trust her anymore. It's just to the point where I know I wouldn't be able to say anything to change things.


    Anyways, super long comment. I've said this many times and will continue to say it, but sometimes life is just shitty. I think it's great that you are able to overcome it in your own way and still find your own sense of happiness, even if it's clouded with sadness at times.

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  5. Wow, Thank you so much for writing this vulnerably. I honestly have never heard this perspective on adoption/foster care and you've given me so much to think about. My husband and I were talking about this very thing yesterday and I'm guilty of thinking all those things about what adoption would do for them and us.

    Having been a mental health case manager in Tennessee for children on Tenncare, I have seen terrible, terrible situations in a terrible, terrible system- many of them in homes that were supposed to be safe havens for those children. The entire system is so screwed up and it is amazing to me the kind of people who sign up to be foster parents. I know it won't mean much to you to hear sorry from me, but I truly am sorry that it happens at all. I hate with my very core that things happen to innocent children and dirtbag adults get away with it. You are brave and courageous for sharing your story and bringing your perspective to those of us who really don't have any idea.

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