Wednesday February 06, 2008
During a recent phone conversation with my Grandmother she said, “I hope I live to see you successful.” Her limited view of success consisting of nothing more than me finding a “good office job” and buying a nice house, a nice car.
No regard at all for my emotional success or well being. Or understanding that the reason I’m such a wreck– the bouts with depression and PTSD, were due to never truly being loved as a child while her daughter allowed a man that wasn’t my biological father to beat and slap me around like a rag doll whenever I stepped out of line or the mood suited him.
It sickens me to think of that skinny, young, defenseless girl fearfully crying out as an adult man repeatedly beat her, for years.
And now Grandmother, with such indignation–“How dare you speak against your mother. She did the best she could.” If that was ‘her best,’ god help her.
To now be told, “That happened a long time ago, get over it, move on.” And the favorite comeback line, “We all got beat as a child.” As if that revelation somehow justifies the inhumanity.
It’s insane how out of touch with reality they all are. Yet, I’m the one looked upon as a leper. They don’t want to be held responsible for their actions, yet have no problem throwing my failures in my face. Most of my failures being a direct result of their neglect which lead to my inability to trust and form loving adult relationships. My body permanently scarred for life. No one ever considered me a human being, that one day I would become a woman, that one day I might want a husband and family of my own. No one ever thought to respect me or my body, leaving it blackened and scarred to ensure no man would ever want me, just as they never wanted me.
I was property–not a child with my own talents, likes and dislikes and dreams. Any promise I showed was dismissed and eventually beaten out of me. I was property, regarded as no more useful than a dog, probably less.
They have some nerve. To be treated like shit as a child and then as an adult told to forgive and forget–they have some nerve. They refuse to acknowledge the physical and psychological effects of the damage inflicted upon me. They don’t know the meaning of compassion or empathy–they aren’t the Christians they claim to be. They hide behind religion, throwing out god’s name whenever I speak about the past. Where was ‘god’ when I was getting my ass kicked?
I realize now that being angry isn’t productive. Anger has been a boat that carried me away from who I want to be. I don’t need to be angry any longer. They have controlled my life far too long. I see them for what they are–ignorant, weak creatures whose main concern is self survival and preserving false appearances. What can I do, but laugh at fools. They actually deserve my pity, not hate. As an adult I realize that they fear me. I represent TRUTH. I am willing to delve into the pain of my childhood and work to heal it. They appear content to mask and deny their own pain which is their right, but do not tell me that I should cower and accept the status quo. What I’ve realized most in the past year is that I don’t NEED them. What they think no longer matters and too be honest, they aren’t worth the heartache. What hurt most as a child was being unwanted and helpless, but as an adult, those labels need no longer apply to me.
I ACCEPT that I didn’t have a healthy childhood. I ACCEPT that I didn’t have parents who knew how to genuinely love me or themselves. I ACCEPT that separation from them is the key to my success. I was born to be an Artist, not someone’s secretary. My success is dependent upon Truth, Acceptance and Love of myself. Choosing to be absolutely nothing like them is the greatest success I can imagine.
As an adult, I am “moving on,” but with TRUTH as my guide, not denial, not lies, not fear. TRUTH.
Many Thanks to you, Alice Miller, for the work that you do.
AM: You write: “My success is dependent upon Truth, Acceptance and Love of myself. Choosing to be absolutely nothing like them is the greatest success I can imagine.”
Yes, it is the greatest success we can receive in life, but we can’t acknowledge it until we have achieved it. For that reason there are not many who know it.