Thursday, February 14, 2008

What Valentine's Day Means to Me - An Anniversary

With the way that many victims of childhood abuse feel about holidays, it's hard to know what to post on holidays of any kind. It's also hard to know even if Valentine's Day fits into that category as a holiday for victims or not. Maybe there are people on both sides of the fence.

I know that for many years for me Valentine's Day was just another reminder that I didn't really belong or feel loved by anyone in this world. Even though I've known in my head for some time now that I am loved, I still struggle with feeling that love. I guess that is one of the prices I pay for remaining a multiple. Nonetheless, Valentine's Day has many times been just another day to me.

However, my feelings about Valentine's Day have changed. Not because I now miraculously feel loved because that's not happened yet. No, it's more because of what happened on Valentine's Day. Who would have guessed that this simple fabricated holiday would turn out to be an important day to me. I have actually been looking forward to it all week! I even want to celebrate.

Last year on this day, it was the same old thing for me, or at least I thought it was. It wasn't until the following day that I learned it's new significance to me. The phone rang early (for me, it was 10) in the morning and the caller id showed a familiar name. I picked up the phone and heard, "The bitch is dead!" snarled in nearly unrecognizable tones.

My brain struggled to put the sound of the voice, the name on my caller id and the sentence I'd heard into on recognizable thought. Out of nowhere I heard my voice call my youngest brother by name. I was stunned by the connection some part of me had made and even more stunned to hear his affirmative response. If this was my younger brother,this could only mean one thing. My mother was dead.

I remember trying to get my mind around those words and around my brother's rage that she was gone. He had expected her to say she was sorry sometime before she died. Those words had not come. He had hung his hopes on hearing those words. In his eyes she had wronged him yet again by leaving this world without taking responsibility.

I did my usual through that conversation. I talked to him about his feelings and tried to comfort him and be supportive. I love my brother a lot. It hurts to see him in pain but it's pretty clear that's probably where he will be for most of his life. I did what I could for him without getting sucked into his world. I was saddened to know that even in death she tormented him.

I asked him about "the arrangements" and asked him to let me know if and when he heard anything. I knew that none of my other siblings would make contact with me. I've known for years... that was part of her legacy. I have long accepted it. But what did her death mean to me.........

If you've not been a reader from the beginning of my blogging career on this blog, you might not know that my mother was probably my most influential abuser. Certainly she wasn't primary in regards to my time with the cult, but she is the one who sent me there.

She is the one who taught me not to cry before the cult ever got their bloody hands on me. She is the one that profited from my prostitution starting at the age of two. She is the one that taught me I would never fit in. She is the one who named me Two Ton Lil. She is the one that taught me I was too big for a woman and too ugly to be even human.

She is the one who used me to raise her children. She is the one who turned those children against me. She is the one that needed and used me to survive the loss of her spouse. She was the one who knocked me to the ground and stood with her foot on my head grinding it into the ground both literally and figuritively. She is the one that I worshipped.

I had often wondered what would happen to me when she died. Was it going to throw me into a tailspin and bring up all kinds of old issues? I know I have unresolved issues floating around up there still with those memories I don't want to work through. Would this bring them up? Would I be devastated like my brother, finally losing hope at some kind of resolution? Finally losing hope of ever having a "real" mother.........

All of those things had crossed my mind over the years, those and just one more. During one of my groups I had spoken about having a big party and inviting all my friends from therapy. (Who else would understand having a party to celebrate the death of anyone, let alone a mother?) The idea received a very warm reception. Lots of people wanted to be there to celebrate the death of this woman who called herself my mother.

To be continued..........

Part 2


Kahless said...

Good for you.
Your mother didnt deserve to have children.
I feel sad for your brother.

Enola said...

Kahless sent me over here to specifically read this post. Wow - I feel/felt all these things this past week with Toilet being so sick. Thank you for posting this. I am looking forward to Part 2.

katy said...

I hope you had that party and i hope you celebrate her death every year.

Rising Rainbow said...

kahless, you are right, my mother didn't deserve to have children but then that hasn't been reserved for those who will be good parents.

And I feel sad for my brother too, he tried therapy for a short time and ran for the hills.

enola, yes I thought of you and Toilet as I was doing this post. I hope it is helpful for you.

katy, no party as such but I do plan to celebrate each and every year.

jumpinginpuddles said...

loss of an abuser parent is hard we are sorry for the pain she inflicted on you and the grief of a year later we have also lost our mother and she was also our primary abuser and the feeling it still entails four years later are confusing to say the least

jumpinginpuddles said...

oh and we eat sushi on the say each year she passed away why because she hates sushi and we love it ;)

Carroll Farm said...

Hi, you commented on our blog, so I thought that I would check yours out. It is sad to hear of your past. My husband and I do foster care and deal a lot with bio parents and different issues. I am glad to see you have found a light in your tunnel and that you stick with it. Our goats and dogs, and hopefully my hubby and I, have been that light for some of our kiddos. I will be back to read more!