I talked to my mother a bit today. Our relationship is shaky on a good day. There’s a lot of moving tactfully around our issues so we can both pretend we aren’t despised by the other. I know a lot of our problems lie within me and if I could let it go things would probably get better but the thing is this:
She lives with my childhood rapist.
She’s the only person that tells me I’m bitter and “stuck on the past” and that I need to learn to “let things go.” Those annoying cliches she’s trying to pass as advice might be applicable if we were actually talking about my past. I grew up thinking that I was supposed to be a certain way because I was abused as a kid. I grew up trying to excuse away the abuse with different terms and phrases people passed on to me like “he doesn’t know how to love the right way” and “maybe you shouldn’t have walked around the house in your bathing suit top in front him. Most men see that as a tease, Kt, and Krank Ficken is a man, after all.” [<–I was 12 the summer that happened] What kind of mother says these things to her 14 year-old daughter who had been raped on nearly a weekly basis for almost 3 years?
And it’s not even that she stayed with him, because she didn’t. She “kicked him out” [because the law kind of did that for her]. She separated from him [because jail tends to say no to spouses being housed with their prisoners]. She moved us away after that and she never faced what happened [because my alcoholic dad offered her a place here in Texas].
It took almost 1o years thousands of miles away to learn that I can be any way I want despite the abuse in my childhood, and that includes normal. Of course, this realization happened after years of unprotected promiscuity and contemplating my sexuality which unfortunately resulted in a life long prison sentence known as herpes. It doesn’t matter; the point is, I learned through hard lessons that my past does not dictate my present and my future does not have to reflect my past. Her “bitterness” claims are invalid because I had not been bitter towards him since before I met Kasper.
After I fell ill and while I was doped up in the hospital she had decided to tell me that for the past year she lived with Krank Ficken. After 13 years here, she went back up north where she claims she ran into him and they’ve been “hanging out” ever since. There’s more to that but I won’t go into details. It took about 9 months for me to understand what she said to me in the hospital. I freaked out; Kasper wanted to have me committed and threatened to take the kids away. It seems dramatic how I reacted but given that I had survived a stroke and brain surgery followed by learning to accept the loss of half of my body, and then delivering a baby that I couldn’t hold or even take care of on my own…it’s a lot to deal with. To realize that my mother had admitted she is living with the man that forced me to question my being and purpose for so many years– the man that had stolen so much of me…it was like every act he committed and forced me to commit was fresh in my mind and what was worse was how clear her role was in all of it.
Everything was unfiltered and seen from an entirely new perspective. I had a major brain injury, one that didn’t provide the energy to stop thoughts long enough to build a wall and protect myself. And I had the opposite: A torn down wall. I’ve been questioning everything about my past and I’ve faced many demons in this time. Kasper has been there through it all, holding my hand, letting me scream and cry it out. He’s one hell of a man with such a wonderful, considerate heart; he let me talk through everything about Krank Ficken. Details were shared that I never told anyone and he accepted it all. I blame myself for so much and he’s right there to explain things in ways I can’t see them. And then I remember I’m an adult and I have an entire new set of questions. I’ve found answers to most of them, I realize fault in this is not mine to claim and I realize it is not mom’s though I do still question her role in this from long ago. I don’t even blame Krank Ficken entirely because I know he has a severe mental sickness but it honestly wouldn’t hurt me too much if he were to be put down like a rabid dog cornered in an alley….
One thing I learned from this whole experience is that my mother is one of the weakest people I will probably ever meet. She was quick to deny everything to a point that things were happening in front of her that she dismissed. It’s the change, the independence, and the strength required to make it all work that she fears. Confronting the truth would have meant taking action and with her low self-esteem that change would only come with loneliness in her eyes. I don’t know if I knew this as a kid and only came to acknowledge it on a conscious level as an adult when I realized that she made the choice to live with the man that raped and abused her daughter for years until he finally destroyed everything about their lives. Either way, my bitterness is aimed at her, not him. And it’s aimed at her presently, not her past decisions.
I tried being accepting but the more I thought about it the worse I felt and I told her this and why I felt this way. I’ve told mom multiple times. I’ve been gentle about it, blunt, and even patronizing but I’ve always been honest about how I feel about her decision to be with him. And she just doesn’t get it. Every time I talk to her I want to tell her to leave me alone because it stings to know that she might be talking to me in the trailer she shares with him. Yet, for some reason I don’t say anything to her. I do want her to leave me alone; every time I talk to her I’m disgusted and I do feel bitter but she’s still my mom and on a weak level so embedded in me that it’ll never be removed, I still love that selfish woman no matter how long she keeps trying to defend him.