Saturday, March 10, 2007

I have issues

Lately I've been thinking about different topics to write about and chucked them out the window when I came across a post about child abuse. Do I feel I was abused as a child? Yes and no. I suppose it depends on the day or perhaps even my mood if someone were to ask me that question. But I definitely have some issues that need to be worked through. (Please forgive the stream of consciousness style of writing, but it seems to be the only way I can get this down.)

First is what I would consider to be abuse. I was spanked many, many times for pretty much any infraction of my parents rules. Spanked hard with a leather belt, a hand, or a switch. I was spanked until I would cry, which for my dad could be 5 whacks or 50, depending on how mad he was (at least that's my guess). Then it became a battle of wills in which I refused to cry, no matter how long or hard he hit me. He said he did it because he loved me and it hurt him more that it hurt me. WTF? I was the one that ended up with bruises so bad I couldn't change clothes for PE classes. Yep, I almost failed Phys Ed classes in the 9th grade because I was spanked so often (and hard) that I was perpetually bruised from knee to neck...with occasional broken skin. This went on until they decided that grounding me was a better option. At least until I was 17 and dad decided to threaten me with a spanking and I promptly replied, "If you do, you'll end up in jail". Then walked away. He never touched me again.

By the time I was 16 or so, he resorted to verbal abuse. Pretty much a daily invocation of every single fault, whether real or imagined, that he felt I had. Once I was a senior and working after school as a waitress, so I wasn't getting home until around 11 pm or later, he would stay up and and keep me up until 2-3 am pontificating and expounding upon how horrible and disappointing a child I was. Hrmmmm, let me see. I was generally a B student, with an occasional lapse into C's and a few D's (gee, I wasn't getting any sleep, now was I). But I graduated with a B average, so I couldn't have been ALL bad, eh?

What suck is that I love my dad, but I will NEVER measure up to his standards. No matter what I do. I stayed married to a wife abuser because it was the "right thing to do". My dad's reason was that my marriage couldn't be "all that bad" since it wasn't as bad as my parents. Ahem. I'll just say a little about that for the record. My parents should have divorced when I was young, probably never gotten married. My mother put up with shit I can't even begin to think about right now. So, yeah, I married a person just like my dad and thought it was "normal"...until I finally got a clue and decided that I deserved better.

Yeah, if my dad reads this he will probably have a fit and even deny it, just like he's ALWAYS denied being an abuser. I think it's because he is insecure and has to beat everyone down to make himself feel better. One of the reasons I never wanted to have kids is because I am afraid I would do the same things to my children that my parents did to me. One has to wonder when a couple has 3 girls (like my family) and NONE of those girls wants to have children, even though they are married and capable of having them and hopefully smart enough to overcome the past.

The good thing is that I realised what was wrong with my previous marriage, and it wasn't me. My ex blamed me for everything. It got to the point where everyone believed that I was the horrible house keeper because it was easier than trying to refute it. I just got sick and tired of cleaning up after the jerk just to have the house a mess the very next day because he was so darn lazy and thought it was funny for me to pick up after him while he sat on his ass smoking weed and watching porn or leaving me at home while he went out spending my money (since he couldn't keep a job) on other women, drugs, and alcohol.

This is a sad story and unfortunately a fairly common one for many women. No matter how intelligent we are, in fact I think it's BECAUSE we are intelligent, men want to tear us down, make us feel less than what we are. Why don't they realise that if they accept us and our intelligence that it will actually enhance their lives and not make them look stupid. They are the ones that accomplish the whole "making themselves look stupid" by being abusers and taking advantage of weaker women. When I say weaker, I mean physically weaker and I'm not trying to demean anyone by that. Mostly I'm just writing from my own experience and from what I've seen with my own eyes - things that have happened to other women I know.

There's alot more to write about, but I think I'll just end this story here now. Later on I can go back and flesh out more of my childhood as I think I can handle it, this was just a demon that's been gnawing at the back of my consciousness for a while and I needed to get it out.

*Just a quick footnote, I don't want anyone to think that I'm writing this out of hatred of anyone in my family. I would never consciously do anything to hurt them. But I do need to tell my story because maybe it can help someone get out of a toxic relationship, whether it be parents, so-called friends, or a partner. Life CAN be better, no one deserves to live their life in fear and shame.


skinnylittleblonde said...

Your post here made me reflect...
Spanking, IMHO, has a time and place which usually does not include teen-agers or even pre-teens. Dads, again IMHO, can be the Kings of Denial. Children are sponges, taking everything in & girls are so deep...taking everything internally, even that which is seemingly nothing can mean the world to a young lady. As I look at a number of young mothers that I know, I see a new and scary trend evolving... women who are being held back or held down(emotionally, physically, spiritually, even financially) by their choice in partners. P&L

The Sacred Sister said...

I'm sorry you had to endure this... it's very sad. I can't believe your father was spanking you in high school! Amazing.
I was spanked as a child with a large wood paddle and a belt. My dad would pop us a few times, but we were usually crying before the spanking even started; anticipating the pain from the swat was just as bad sometimes. I think I was in 7th grade when he stopped spanking me. I don't feel like I was abused, but I made the choice not to spank my kids because I do not agree with it.
It really is a choice, you don't have to be your father. I would suggest counseling and if you really want a family, don't deny yourself that. I can't imagine anything better than being a mom; I love my kids. I raise them VERY differently than I was raised. They are free thinkers, strong, opinionated and able to be their wonderful little selves.
HUGS to you. I hope to see you around... :)

kitten said...

SLB: Women have been held back by men for centuries. Now the alarming new trend is women holding other women back. It's just amazing. We should be helping each other not tearing each other apart.

SacredSister: I love children very much and at this point in my life I know that I won't have them. Now there are many reasons for this, the biggest is that physically I could not do it because of my back (had surgery a few years ago). WHich is probably why I love my dogs so very much, they are a great substitute for me and I can be all gushy mushy with them and no one cares lol.

btw, THis post was not to garner simpathy. I just awoke a few minutes ago and thought about that. It's just a story I needed to tell. I knew when I started blogging that one day it would all come bubbling to the surface, and I suppose this is just the beginning. Sometimes I find it a little scary that there is much much more. THankfully I have a terrific hubby (C~) that is very supportive, and also helps me deal with the issues as they come up in daily life. Counseling, hrm yes, been there and it did help. Availing myself of if over here is a different issue altogether, and luckily with hubby's job we can both get it free...we just need to find out when we can start going.

Genilimaa said...

Excellent work there, Kitten!

Just writing about means that you're moving on and not suffering as bad as you would if you were unable to speak about it. Also, your concern for your family shows you're totally the greater person. To be able to forgive is an entry pass to heaven in any religion. (Or was I assuming too much there, on the forgiving thing?)

I was not abused as a child, as a matter of fact I can't recall ever having been hit by anyone. My father is very proud of his legacy, as his father (born 1890) was very unusual in his time by taking a stand against corporal punishment.

But, to reconnect to the topic of being able to speak: I was attacted when I was very young, out on the street in the evening while walking home from a friend's house, by a complete stranger who had been following me in the dark. It took me about 20 years before I could talk about it without getting nightmares all over again.

Also, I think you're on to something there while speaking about intelligence. I'm thinking women gave men all the power so they wouldn't feel bad about being the less equipped gender - and I'm speaking about communication between the brain halves. I think it has been shown a number of times that women treat information in a much more complex level than men do, only by studying brain activity.

This must be the longest comment I have ever written, and it goes to show that in my eyes this was your most important post ever, Kitten. I'm proud over you and proud to belong to your faithful readership!

Mooselet said...

You are very brave to put this out there, and I applaud you for it. My ex-husband, aka the Bastard, abused me for many years and it took me a long time to even be able to say the word 'abuse' - I used to call it 'the a word'. Even now it's tough. :-)

I think that to be able to put our stories out there is to give our abusers less power over us. Continuing to hide it, or to be ashamed because if it, allows the abuse to continue in some form.

Maybe I'll be as brave and put my own story out there someday. Good on ya Kitten for standing up!

IHateToast said...

no matter how horrible it was, it's a message to others that you can get out. i hope that someone who thinks it can't get better and they don't deserve better reads this and thinks...

yes. it does get better.

i cannot imagine the scrubbing it took for you to rid yourself of that ex. what a germ.