Our Sentiments

Mothering and Life in General

So I Am A Statistic…

This a warning of physical abuse and violence is the topic of this entry. This might be a trigger for some readers, so feel free and use your discretion. As with everything I write, it’s not the entire story, it would be way too long. So I tell what I can and what I feel is important and respect your reading eyes as much as I can.

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To shed a bit of light on a bit of who ‘Our Sentiments’ is, I would like to open you up to something that has eaten me for more than 10 years. What haunts and frustrates me the most in my adult life is the fact that I am just another number, just another damn statistic. Now, I don’t know if one would include me among the 360,000 ‘children’ who witnesses abuse, since it was not my father and I did not grow up in a physically abusive home like these children. But I know that I am included somewhere in this fact.

My mother stays with and loves a man who I have seen the after maths of his handy work, twice. I have been on the other end of the phone talking to a broken down women, who once was my mother. I don’t know her now, nor do I understand her. I try, but I can’t, maybe it’s more like I wont? It’s not just the, ‘Why don’t you just leave?’ even though that is on my mind and the first thing I think of when I hear stories of the abuse. But I can’t understand her, because she raised us differently; NO person has the right to touch another in a violent way, no excuse and absolutely no forgiveness.

For well over 10 years and counting she has not only been with this man, but have put herself into harm. She has done things I know in a normal mind frame she would be ashamed of. But what I want to blow of steam about is my choice to put boundaries up and have her excluded from my life in a great deal. Some might think, “Well, Our Sentiments, it’s your mother and you need to help her, she needs it!” I have, but I can only do so much.

The breaking point was when my grown adult mother lied to us, received shelter for abused women, had a restraining order, was charged for defending herself, had us (my sister, DH and myself) over anytime she needed, had my sister and I feared for our lives, and to find out she was still seeing him! He stalked her, stalked me, and ended up waiting for me in the parking lot of my place of work. Do you know how embarrassed I was to tell my boss about what was really happening? He, of course, drove me home and I was safe. But it should not have been like this.

It began when I was 19… 19 and I was scared, I could not imagine how a child living in that environment would feel. At least I was lucky because I did not live with them. They were on their own, but hearing the stories, seeing her at the hospital and feeling helpless, is something I can never forget. It was like I was in a twilight zone, that this is not real, that I will wake up and everything will be our dysfunctional norm again. I still wait…

It was a year before I  became pregnant that I found out about my mother’s lies; that he was not gone. That he was coming in after we left, it was a joke, or at least seemed to be. Now he has it all, a one bedroom apartment and a shell of woman to control. Of course I am still, to him, spoiled rotten child who is ungrateful. She knew damn well that if the courts found out she breached the mutual restraining order that she could be jailed (again). But she loves him, people make mistakes, he says he will change, how dare I judge and you don’t know until you walk the walk.

I felt stupid, helpless, and betrayed. I helped this woman, who was my mother. Took days off of work because she had to be chaperoned, and almost loosing my job, my sister almost got kicked out of school for the same reason. We stopped living our lives, dropped everything to be at her needs, when she needed it. And she goes behind our back and sees him all this time saying she needs the help and still knowing very well we lived in fear. This knife dug a little deeper, this knife will stay.

It’s been over five years since I have been at her home. She can come here without him, with boundaries like not saying his name or looking like she is abused (marks, bruises, cuts…). Not because I think it should be hidden, I don’t; but because I don’t want our daughter to witness this, she is only 3, she deserves more and I don’t want her to think this is okay. What bothers me is the periodic phone calls that, years ago would leave me guilty, that now leaves me with the “how dare you” disgust.

It’s these calls that she states that I created this distance and the time can never be taken back. That if she had us girls that she would not have gone back with him. She hates the fact she can’t see our daughter, which is farther from the truth, and our daughter will never see her home. She will state clearly to me that I lack the daughter role and I am a disappointment to her. But what inferiorates me, is I don’t give a shit. I turned hard and cold. To be quite frank, for more than 10 years I have waited for that call. The call that states she is in a bag and that I have to try to identify her.

I have tried so many things with no avail. I feel it’s a loosing battle if she just can’t help herself. I know that people is these situations need their family, but what if you have a young family of your own that needs you more? I have listened to her as my heart pounds, I have helped move her into the home she was safe in. I did errands so she would not worry about bumping into him. I have even tried to commit her. You might have thought something not listed, believe I’ve done it or tried. You can’t lock up a free will. She can choose to go back or in her case never really leave.

It gets me mad that I could not save her. That I was not more to her. That she is no longer my mother. I get envious of friends who have mothers they can turn too, that can help them. I have no mother, I am a motherless child, my mother is gone and all that is left is a hollow eyed look-alike. I fear that I will be or do the same to our daughter. I fear so much. But I also hate even more.

I can’t imagine how children feel growing up in a home with abuse happening around them. Where they hear cracking of skin and the gurgles of someone being choked. It happens every minute, where a child sees this, and they feel powerless too. I am adult looking from the outside, but I am also her child seeing this for the first time. It’s my mom and I am just as weak as a child to help, to fight off and defend. I seen where her head met the bricks and the welts and bruises but it can not be fixed. A hug can not fix, and being around becomes enabling.

I am the adult, but I am also a child. It’s said that 36,840 children seek refuge of our Canadian Shelters, but there is no shelter for us, the adult children, who are forced to look from the sidelines. All we can do is hope for the best, protect our own children, be ‘there’ but put barriers up, stand our ground, and pray we don’t get the call. Because you just know you will get that call. It’s just a matter of time.

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2 responses to “So I Am A Statistic…

  1. baj4life July 22, 2010 at 2:24 pm

    Thank you for sharing that raw glimpse into your life. I hope your mother eventually finds a path toward healing however she can’t be helped until she comes to a place where she wants to be helped. I hope you are able to maintain some self-care in this situation and your own path toward healing.

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