Wednesday, September 21, 2011

"I feel so relieved now, yet..."

This story was submitted by "Marie."

My mother and father separated when I was very young, only six years old. My connection with my father was always strong (I'd be allowed to go visit him every other weekend, stay with him for weeks at a time during longer Christmas and summer breaks), and it was basically the only thing that allowed to keep me my sanity from when I was a very young child until we finally moved to Florida, where I was unable to keep these meetings up.

My mother was always verbally and emotionally abusive rather than physically abusive. As a young child, my favorite thing to do was always to read, and I gathered books from everywhere I could - old, falling apart books libraries and neighbors were giving away, or books I got for presents or books I bought myself with money I earned. One of the worst things she ever did to me was during the summer the year I was nine; due to the fact I had a less than very good report card (she considered high B's and A's very good), she wrapped up three full trash bags full of my books. Two bags went into the garbage. The third got donated...

I was brokenhearted, and shattered. She continued to belittle me through my elementary and middle school years about my love of reading and my lack of any true friends. I was 'fat', 'ugly', 'not sociable'. She broke my will to even go to school and attend the classes I had an interest in, if she didn't believe I'd succeed. In my ninth grade year, I ended up quitting classes and got into trouble for them and had to go to counseling and court. I was ordered back into school and I had to see this lady a couple of times after school every week so she could verify that I went.

I hated it.

That summer, we moved to Florida. My school was full of snobby, rich kids, the ones that typically are viewed as 'cliquish'. I didn't fit in with them anymore than I fit in at the high school with children I had grew up with; if anything, it was worse, especially since due to my problems in ninth grade, I was forced to restart ninth grade down there. As the oldest, newest student, I was definitely the outcast, and my mother wouldn't listen to me.

I managed to struggle through ninth and tenth grade, until eleventh grade when I just basically gave up again, as I did in my original ninth grade. None of my teachers were actually trying to help me, so I was skipping classes and getting after-school detention and in-school suspensions. After one too many missed classes, my mother finally did the one thing that I will consistently be thankful for from her: she filed the paperwork to officially withdraw me from school, nearly age seventeen.

Of course, now I was the 'unsociable high school dropout' who 'can't get a job' and 'does absolutely nothing' which was bull, because with my mother not working due to a degenerative disease and my sister full time at another job, I was the one taking care of everything. I was the one feeding our two dogs and five cats. I was the one doing the laundry of three adults weekly. I was the one cleaning our one room trailer that we all lived in.

We moved back to Ohio from Florida at this time, and the things didn't change. I was still, according to my mother, the 'elusive loner' who 'can't do anything'. She was pressuring me, and continued to do so until about half a year later when we moved to Indianapolis shortly before the start of 2009. There, I finally made the first cut of our relationship: I moved out to live with a friend. I had my own job. I was happy.

But, circumstances change, and they changed badly enough that I ended up moving in with a friend in Ohio again. Bear in mind that at this point I had managed to stay out of her clutches for at least a year. It had just passed my twentieth birthday when she worked her charms on me again and managed to convince me to come down to live with her again in Florida.

The economy was very bad at this point, so it was back to the same old cooking, cleaning, and general chores in a one bedroom trailer situation. The straw that broke the camels back was when I admitted to her that I didn't want to go to our local community college because it had none of the Bachelor or Associate degrees that I wanted.

She insisted on having me go for a Government program that would pay me to stay home with her as a nursing care aid. This would keep me in her grasp, where she could emotionally manipulate me as she had for years. I told her, flatly, 'no'. I like nurses well enough, but it was not for me. I cannot handle blood, or needles, and she knew this, and she kept pressuring me. I survived less than four months living with her again before I turned back to my depression.

Unlike before, I had nothing to keep me here on this planet. My friends were few and online. Fortunately for the my love now and the rest of my family, I botched a suicide attempt when I mistimed it and my sister came home early from work. With nothing better to do, I started cutting. Just light, little slashes.

Finally, two months later, redemption came. A friend paid for me to come stay with him, understanding that I had nothing I could do, that I was in a very bad place, and he didn't want to see me die. I stopped cutting, and I left a note for my mother on the computer the night I left. (I did not tell them I was leaving. I literally packed, and walked out at 2 AM into my new life.)

The message I left was this:
You are a demeaning, cruel, manipulative bitch. I love and have loved you so much ever since I can remember. However, I cannot withstand it anymore. I am cutting off my ties with you, and my sister.
I left no forwarding information, and avoid what contact I can via social networking sites.

I feel so relieved now, yet at the same time, I am still very sad. My internet friends have become in-person friends, and there is someone that I love deeply that knows what I need, and that I am in need of support and she has given that to me unconditionally without knowing my full story. I love her for that.

I still miss my mother. I always will. Yet, I refuse to go back into that relationship until I've proven myself to her - that I can be more than she always said I would be.

Maybe I never will.


  1. Marie, I commend your strength in telling your story. Your courage to leave, it's such an honor to you, to your future, to your freedom. I know those feelings, of not being enough, of having to prove yourself to someone to feel like you are worth something. I honor the conviction, the anger you allow yourself to feel. My heart breaks to read about your vulnerability, your consideration of suicide, the desperation and hopelessness in those moments. I hope you find the other side to them...your inner soul's freedom...the willingness to do and to be anything...for you and you alone. The best of life awaits...biggest of hugs sent to you today.

  2. The things you have already accomplished in your life, like starting over from scratch TWICE is proof enough that you can indeed do things. I hope you come upon a day where you no longer feel responsible for proving anything to your mother. Thanks for sharing your story.