Tuesday, April 16, 2013

A Family Undone


I've been talking a lot about researching my family tree and those things left in closets.  Some have said that sometimes things are better left there... in the past, on a closet shelf collecting dust. 

To that I say; "You are WRONG!"  If we don’t understand our past, we can’t learn from it and we sure can’t correct the future.

When a child is abused and no one talks about it that child may see abuse as normal and find themselves doing the same thing years later to their own children.  Not knowing why they do it or how to stop themselves.
 
I once mentioned to my mom that I only remembered one time when she hit me.  I was 5 and back talking her in the car just before school.  It was a mad rush to day-care or perhaps she was taking me straight to school.  I don’t remember the details, but I do remember vividly her hitting me across the face with a wooden brush. 

I never remember her hitting me again…

What she said next opened my eyes to my own denial; 

“God is certainly good if all you remember is the one time.”  

She told me the reason daddy always handled the disciple wasn't that she wanted to make him the bad guy but because he could control himself and she wasn't sure she could.

The problem is her solution did make him the bad guy and created tension between him and me as well as my mom.  Because she was unable to discipline me and wasn't comfortable talking about much of anything I lacked respect for her.  Eventually I began to hate my dad and what felt like rules made to punish me instead of guide me.

Years later, with an open mind, I started researching our family history.  I had heard the family rumors of my mom’s mother dying from an overdose of pills at the age of 35 and about a year later her dad dying of a heart attack.  His 3rd in his 39 years of life and one that came shortly after numerous court cases with allegations of him murdering his wife, sodomizing his nephews and the start of custody battles for his 5-daughters. 

In the end all the charges were dropped.  But it was too late.  A wife and mother who couldn't bare the humiliation of her husband’s sodomy charges chose death.  He, having seen how his wife’s family regarded him made sure they didn't raise his daughters.  And because his family was unable to care for all 5 at the time, he named a couple as their guardians.  An older couple, no kids, questionable character but to him a safe place for his girls during all this mess.

He would have no idea that his decision 
had made a bad situation worse…

So no, I won’t shut the door and toss the key.  I’m yanking those doors wide open.  I’m dusting off the past, finding where the demon hides and with the help of my family and much prayer, we'll expose him to the light and let him know he’s not welcome any more.

The hate, the abuse, the suicide… it stops here!  

11 comments:

  1. You are a brave lady. God bless your journey.

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  2. If you understand the pain from the past you can do a better job of keeping it there and doing better in the future but also in understanding of what others went through, your relationship with them will be stronger and healthier :) good luck in the search and in repairing the damage

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  3. Oh sweetie. The skeletons. Someday I may open my closet. You are brave. I hope you know that. xo

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  4. We have got to repair it or our family is doomed to repeat it.

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  5. How brave of you! And because you're so brave, you are saving your children from a similar fate. BIG ((hugs)) to you, lady! <3

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  6. I'm so proud of your strength. Take those secrets out of the closet, brush them off and kick their ass.

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  7. Many similarities with my own family. While I learned from the past and am a good mother because of it, most of the bridges have been burned with extended family and don't see redemption happening there.

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  8. Wow, powerful! I hope you can dust off those cobwebs and keep the love. I think sometimes I am in the habit of not going down that particular rabbit hole for fear of alienating some of the people I love the most.

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  9. How brave and strong you are! And remember, being brave doesn't mean something isn't hard for you or that you're not afraid; it means it IS but you're doing it anyway. Rock on, girlie.

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  10. I admire you for doing this for our kids...and us. I adore your courage and spirit. Our family wouldn't be the same without you! Love you cuz, YOU ROCK!

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  11. There are no good closets. Throw open the doors and let the sun cleanse it. *hug*

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Thanks for takin' the time to read my stuff. :)