Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Writer's Workshop Wednesday ~ I Will Break This Cycle, by Kimmie

Welcome to Writer's Workshop Wednesday!  This is my way of paying it forward to all the people out there who want to start writing, but don't have their own blogs yet, or who are established writers that are looking to appeal to a different audience. I have also opened this up to those who would like to post anonymously about topics that are too difficult to write about publicly. Each week, I will host one or two posts by different writers.

I hope that you enjoy this series, I hope you find some new writers to follow, I hope this helps them out and I hope we can all learn something from them.

Today's piece was submitted by a fan who reached out as the result of an anonymous post about surviving an abusive childhood. Though she had felt alone for much of her life, like she was the only one who had the types of experiences she had, she realized after reading that piece that she wasn't. 

None of us ever are, even when it feels that way.

This person has since become a trusted confidant and friend.

With love and respect, her story.

I Will Break This Cycle

This is my story. My mother is a toxic abusive person. It’s taken me 26 years to accept that she abused me, 26 years for me to start breaking the cycle. I will never completely forget what I have been through but I will not allow it to rule who I am today.

I have a choice. I can continue to be the victim or I can be a hero…I choose to be a hero.

I have always butted heads with my mother, for as long as I can remember we have never seen eye to eye on anything. EVER. Growing up my cousins and my sisters called me Kimberella… sweet nickname right? But it’s what fit… I was treated like Cinderella; sweep the floors, do the dishes, do the laundry. It was never good enough; I was always made to feel that no matter what I did it wasn’t good enough. I would eat for comfort; I would withdraw from friends and get told by my mother that I was fat and lazy. I would go out and ride my bike and get told I didn’t do a chore or didn’t clean my room right. The imaginary goal line that I strived all the time to meet was constantly moving further away, forever unattainable.

My father worked construction, so he was gone a lot working to put food on our table and keep a roof over our heads. When he was home things were good. I wanted him to be home all the time but I knew that it was impossible. After working his fingers to the bone he would come home and have a beer to relax and the arguing would ensue. My dad was my mom’s target when he was home. She would leave me alone and I felt a sliver of relief. Sad that I would rather have my dad endure the wrath of my mother instead of me but I was just a little girl. 

When I was 6 or 7 my parents decided to separate; my dad had a girlfriend on the side (and honestly I don't blame him). We tried to get my dad to stay when they were separating but it was for the best that he left. I tried to go with him. I begged to go. 

After my parents’ separation my mother decided that was a good time to confide in me what a horrible father my dad was and how his drinking has tore the family apart, she shared information with me that was not something I would deem appropriate for any child to hear. I was 7 for god’s sake. What kind of person would subject their 7 year old little girl to that kind of information?!

Fast forward to high school. I threw myself into a sport (dance team) just so I wouldn’t have to be home, I worked at Dairy Queen long hours; double shifts on the weekends and days I didn’t have school just so I didn’t have to be treated like a slave or be told I was a piece of shit. 

I had the opportunity to join the military at 17 and I jumped at the chance. I wasn’t just going to work down the street or hiding at the school, I was leaving the state! Sign my ass up – peace the eff out! Unfortunately my ankle didn’t agree with my military endeavor and it was short lived. I had to go home. I begged the Sergeants to just let me stay in Texas I didn’t want to go home. I missed my dad and my friends but if I flew home that would mean I’d have to face her.

Fast forward another 6 years. I now have 3 kids of my own. I’m not living under her roof, she can’t control me or tell me what to do I am grown…or so I thought. She has called child protective services on me numerous times (at least twice a month) just to try and take my babies away from me because she didn’t like how I was living. Each case was unfounded and closed. Who does that kind of crazy shit?! Who calls CPS on their own daughter or child for that matter?! 

She tried on multiple occasions to run my life and force me and my kids to do things we didn’t want to do. 

When my grandmother on my dad’s side got sick and was on her death bed, she told me she was proud of me. No woman had ever said they were proud of me. Then the sledge hammer dropped when she said, “I knew your mother was wrong when she said you would never amount to anything”.  At that time I was an office manager for a small collision repair shop, I ran that bitch like nobody’s business. I was something, I was important, but hearing those words crushed me.
 
How could this woman who carried me so close to her body for 9 months and gave birth to me not have any faith in me? How could she not hope for a good life for me or at least give me the opportunity to have a good life? I can’t fathom not believing in my children or not helping them achieve their goals.

My mother has constantly stepped on my toes as a parent, she has belittled and berated me in front of my children; she has made me into this horrible person in the eyes of my extended family. I feel uncomfortable and judged at family functions because of the stories she has told and the things she has convinced others to believe about me. When I stand my ground with her, she insists that I am on drugs or I am an unstable parent. 

Just the other day I realized (after being told multiple times) I am in my own process of breaking the cycle my mother has sucked me into. I realized that I was constantly putting myself in toxic and damaging relationships with people who would belittle me and make me feel like I had done something wrong. For years I sought counseling, medication and therapy and any other form of help I could find only to find out that I subconsciously craved these types of relationships because of my childhood. I needed them to feel normal. It’s taken me 5 years to realize that those types of relationship are not the norm and that not every child lives like that. 

I realize now that I am a mother collector. I attach myself to my friends’ mothers and crave the attachment that I should have with my mom. I get jealous of the relationships other people have with their moms. I will never be able to go to lunch with my mother because of the unhealthy fear of not being good enough or being told I probably shouldn’t eat what I ordered. I can’t go get pedicures or manicures because later it will be held over my head that she did something for me and I owe her. 

It’s sad and unfortunate that I can’t have a trusting unconditionally loving relationship with my mother, but I think I am finally able to admit and accept that this is not my burden to carry; this is not my issue to fix. 

I have done all I can to try and heal myself and “fix” what I thought was broken within me; only to find out that my reactions are completely normal and that anyone put in my situations would react the same way.

I am recovering. 

I am stronger because I was abused. 

I have the greatest relationship with a strong man who has helped me realize I am not the one who is crazy.

I am breaking the cycle. 

I will not subject my children or others to the toxicity that has had a hold on me my entire life. I will not allow her to project her issues on to me or allow myself to project my issues on to others. 

I will end this vicious cycle of mother/daughter abuse.

2 comments:

  1. My Mom had a traumatic relationship with my grandmother, and it was my Mom who broke that cycle, in part by talking about the things she had been through. I have a great relationship with my Mom because she took such a proactive approach. You are doing the best thing you possibly can for your kids and family, and even more importantly, for yourself. It won't guarantee you sunshine and rainbows (I'm sure you figured that part out already), but it gives you a good chance at a positive relationship with your own children as they grow.

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  2. I am so proud of you! To walk away from the paradigm placed on us by our Mothers is mind splitting. You have done it. You kids will be stronger and braver because of your example. Gold stars for you!!!
    We are a sisterhood of the bizarre.

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