As I mentioned, my mother had a tough childhood and a rocky family structure. As the story goes, her parents would get paid, buy alcohol, drink and get drunk and then get into violent, sometimes even physical fights that the neighbors would come out and watch. The neighbors could even schedule these events as they happened weakly on my grandparents’ payday. My mother is a very private person, and this was humiliating for her growing up. Who wouldn’t want to escape such a life?
She met my biological father when she was 21. He was a car salesman at the time and sold her first car to her. From what I was told, he was a smooth talking man who could sell you the shirt off your back. He was supposedly very charming and charismatic. A real ladies man. My mother fell in love. She refuses to talk about that time of her life, and it’s her life and memories, so she has that right, but I can only imagine she saw him as a way out of her parents home. She probably began it all with a hope and a dream.
She had me three years after meeting him and my brother another three years later. My only memories of him and their time being married were them arguing violently, him holding a gun to my mother’s head, him threatening to steal my infant brother, and alone moments filled with his molestation of me. Granted the latter memories didn’t return to me until I was 15 and started dating. Getting deeper into a relationship with a boy would drudge up visions and gag reflexes for me. Nightmares that I couldn’t fully remember in the morning but horrific images remained. A musty smell plagued me. Confusion and worry filled my mind.
My biological father was a bigamist, something I didn’t learn until I was an adult. My mother divorced him soon after the gun situation (actually I believe they were in the process of divorce when that happened). She moved us, got an unpublished number and kept us hidden. She didn’t even care that this meant she wouldn’t receive child support, not that he would pay it. Because she refused to talk about her life with him I don’t really know what caused her to finally leave him and divorce, I do know that she had her suspicions that he was a bigamist.
Fast forward to my teen years and my remembering about the abuse. I told my mother, but she thought I was making it up, something my imagination made up from watching television or something. I can’t blame her, as a mother you don’t want to admit that someone could have hurt your child and you had no idea it happened. In my early adult years, social media developed, classmates.com and other types of sites developed. Without thinking much about it, I joined them thinking it would help me stay connected to high school classmates.
Little did I know that it would help his other children find and attempt to contact me! Little did I know he had other children! The first one to contact me was ‘C’. She didn’t grow up with him as a father and seemed excited to get to know who he was and his family. Unfortunately for her, I didn’t have much information to give her. She is younger than I am but older than my younger brother and proof he was having affairs on my mother, so she certainly didn’t want to talk about it, or of anyone contacting me as one of his children. ‘C’ got information on his family and even spoke with some of them, but I didn’t want anything to do with any of that. For me, at that time, a monster comes from a family of monsters, and I didn’t want to have contact with anyone like that. ‘C’ and I don’t really keep in touch. We have each other on social media, but she isn’t very active.
The next to contact me was another daughter, ‘K’, also born after me and before my younger brother. She contacted me about a year after I had last spoken to ‘C’. It’s not fair to these women, but I suffered severe anxiety and a bit of PTSD being contacted by them. The man died in 2007 but my trauma lived on. ‘K’ could probably most relate because she had the longest relationship with him, and also had an abusive relationship that she was strong enough to speak up about and send him to prison for. It would seem he was married o her mother (after his marriage to mine) at the same time as being married to my mother. He was an over-the-road truck driver and spent his time between our two households and states. We lived in adjoining states. After my mother divorced him he went and lived with them I suppose.
I wasn’t as open to a relationship with ‘K’ as I could have been. Hearing about her abuse and being able to find the court documents about it proved that I wasn’t creating “false” memories. It brought another layer to my trauma. We keep in touch a little on social media as acquaintances, and I don’t think her family knows we are sisters.
I’ve had to have therapy to understand my trauma and begin to heal. But what helped most was asking God to heal me. I went from crying to God, Why? Why did you let this happen to me? Why did you place me in this family for this to happen, for this life, these traumas? To, understanding it is not my place to ask. It’s not my place to question why God sets us on the path he sets us on. It’s for us to ask for his guidance, support, and love as we walk that path.
I would one day like to have a closer relationship with ‘K’. Even a sisterhood with her. A sisterhood we create for ourselves and not what was created for us by the monster that tied us together biologically. I’m still healing, but I understand now that having this relationship doesn’t have to bring the dark shadows of storm clouds back, it can bring the rainbows that we create ourselves, together.
And hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out within our hearts through the Holy Spirit who was given to us. Romans 5:5