The Scars of Who We Are Part VIII

Dreams become shattered memories,|
The earth crumbles beneath my feet,
My heart creaks and cracks,
As my knees grow weak,
And the words assault me.

Boy Standing Along a Fence

 I used to cry alone in my room, so that no one would see or hear me, I was the kid with a story that no one would believe, praying every night for God to please send me someone who would just love me and  often wondered what love really meant, because my parents’ divorce was a nightmare and I speak from experience when I say it’s never easy on a kid. Ideally I believe parents should always try very hard to work things out before calling a marriage quits. But I understand, sometimes things just fall apart and you can if you’re not careful fall out of love. In this case if divorce is inevitable, they need to find some common ground and put the hurt feelings aside, out of respect for the children who by no fault of their own are also involved. Be civil and fair to each other, don’t worry about what you think you deserve, or what you want, because it’s the children who suffer, it is us who you end up hurting. We hear all the nasty things you say to each other and about one another, we understand more than you think and we’ll always listening, even when you think we’re not.

When it comes to any kind of separation  it’s important not  to get caught up in a whirlwind of hate, no matter how much you feel like you may be justified. Try to remember your spouse and the good times you shared, try to become something more than bitter words, arguments over who gets what and who deserves the most in the divorce. Because in the end, it’s the kids who have to cross the battlefield and it’s unfair to force, or manipulate them into choosing a side.  Both my parents tried painting the other as a horrible person, never taking into account what it does to those who are caught in the middle and feeling like a weapon one would use to try and hurt the other as much as possible.

The worse thing about my parents splitting up was how the divorce had pitted me against my father and his side of the family against my mother and hers. My mother’s side often had the tendency of treating me with borderline neglect and more often than not had looked upon me as if I was an incredibly dim witted fool, who had on more than one occasion would ask me to do something (In one particular case it was getting my grandma some ice water, and wouldn’t let me go, until I heard her explain, precisely what ice water was, what it consisted of,  how to get the ice from the freezer, etc.…I was eleven) Suffice to say, I knew how to prepare a glass of ice water. Which lead to me on more than one occasion informing my mother’s side that I wasn’t an idiot, nor was I mentally handicapped, (although forgive me, I actually said, “retarded” no offense, I was eleven)  Granted I was incredibly backwards and shy, with a bit of a speech impediment, but that didn’t mean I was stupid or least not in my opinion. (also in my defense I had buckteeth, which sometimes made things a little difficult to enunciate certain words.)

Dinning on my favorite food. French Fries!

Dinning on my favorite food. French Fries!

Then there was my dad and his side of the family, who always did their best to win my favor, always incredibly outgoing, supportive, loving and caring. (Which I took somewhat for granted, because over the years I saw that I already had their love and respect, I didn’t have to work for it. So I devoted much of my time, too much of my time, trying to win the favor of my mother and her side of the family. And now there’s a subtle divide between my father’s family and me, we don’t talk much anymore and not from lack of trying on my part. I don’t blame them though. I often chose my spend most of my time with my mother’s family, making them feel like second best, or that I didn’t love them as much, which is untrue. I only wanted my mother’s love and to become a part of something bigger, with a big family. A lot of it came from how much I seen how they spoiled my brother, always showering him with praise and gifts, something that was always in short supply whenever it came to me. I don’t know if that makes me selfish, or a bad person or what. But I longed to hear a few kind words from them, words that sadly never came)

              But I digress, the battle between my mother and father continually broke my heart, it wouldn’t stop, every week was the same thing; my mom would always be so quick to tell me how my own father didn’t love me. Insisting that he was only good to me so that I would make the choice to live with him once I came of age to choose and he only wanted me so that he would no longer have to pay child support. She often described my father as being selfish, cold and greedy. Telling me that despite how he never so much as raise his voice to me, that he was really masking his cruel and abusive nature. She often told me, he wouldn’t put up with my shyness, my struggling grades, my being a picky eater or really just me in general, swearing that he would put me up in military school the first chance he got just so that he wouldn’t have to put up with me.

She could easily turn anything kind or good thing my father did for me and paint it as some elaborate facade, which often left me wondering if I would ever learn to the truth. I can’t tell you how many times I questioned everything my dad had done for me, wondering if she was right, if he really didn’t love or care about me, questions that no kid should ever have to concern himself with.

          Then there was my dad, as great as he was, he was far from perfect. Every other weekend I would have to sit and listen to him bad mouth my mother, telling me that she was a manipulative sadist and how she didn’t really love me. (Beginning to see a pattern here?) My whole life growing up all I ever heard was how the only reason she wanted me was to collect her precious support. So here I was, stuck in the middle of this war and well intention as my father may have been, it was something no child should here. I can’t tell you how much it hurts always hearing how the other parent doesn’t love you, or care about you. Unfortunately for me, my dad’s words rang true, for as soon as I graduated High-school, my mother did exactly what he had warned me about. I was told to leave, having my belongings thrown carelessly into trash bags and sat outside as I frantically called my dad looking for a place to stay. Meanwhile my mother was robbing me blind, closing my savings account and making sure to take every penny my family had given me for graduation, leaving me with nothing but with what little cash I had in my pocket at the time. If it wasn’t for my dad, I would have been left broken, penniless and homeless. But I doubt I would have lasted too long without throwing myself off a bridge, or into traffic. But that’s a story for another day.

           Regardless of however true my father’s words may have been, it still wasn’t something I should have heard; no child should ever hear how one parent loves him/her more than the other, or isn’t loved at all by one parent.

However, I must give my dad some credit, because by the time I was fifteen I finally asked him to stop talking so negatively about my mother, explaining how I just couldn’t take it anymore and how much it was hurting me, I explained in as few words as possible that she often did the same and it was making things just that much harder on me. My father was taken aback, not realizing what his words had been doing to me for all these years and from that day rarely if ever spoke poorly about her again, at least in my presence he did  his best to curve his tongue.


Me, Pluto and my brother at Disney

A lot of my struggles also came from my brother and how much I loved and looked at him. It was heart wrenching for me to watch my brother grow to hate and despise my father, who never did stop caring or worrying about him. It didn’t help that I was all too aware how my relationship with my dad was driving my brother and I farther apart, so I grew up barely knowing anything about my brother. And I can’t tell you how many times I tried convincing him that my dad and his family still cared about him, but he wouldn’t have it. Which only added to my festering guilt, making me feel a pang of guilt whenever I did something fun or cool with  my dad and as much as I would have loved to have shared it with my brother, I knew I couldn’t, I knew just by telling him I would inadvertently hurt him, driving an even larger wedge between us. But sometimes it bothered me, seeing how my brother was so quick to forget everything our, my dad had done for and with him.

But I remember, I always remember, that’s always really been my thing, I remember, I remember everything. For some having a memory like mine would be a blessing, for me, it has which has been both a blessing and a curse. Even now as I write this, I wish I could forget some of my childhood, I wish I could forget, the pain, hardships, I wish I could forget how my mother didn’t love me and probably never had.

It’s my hope that by writing this and sharing my story it’ll touch someone, help them get help and not to be afraid. I know how it is being in an abusive situation, especially when you’re young and may think the behavior is normal because you have nothing else to compare it too. I also know the fear of what might happen, or what they may do if you tell someone, if you seek help. I know what it’s like loving someone who, for the lack of a better term is simply poison. The question you have to ask whenever you’re in an abusive relationship, with family, or a boy or girlfriend, spouse, is “Are you happy?” If the answer is no, you have to get out, you may be taken out of your home, you may go to child services, or have to strike out on your own in a terrifying, dark and scary world, which is only as scary as we make it out to be. Then once you’re free from that abuse, you’ll slowly begin finding a strength in you that you never knew was there and you’ll realize that you did the right thing, you made the right choice and no matter what you may tell yourself, or what they, or others may say, you’re stronger then you think and you, you can accomplish anything. Just don’t be afraid, never be afraid.

Life can and will knock us down and it may seem like the whole damn world is crashing down around you, but you have to hold on. Don’t lose hope, never lose hope and you will persevere. Don’t stress about your troubles in school, so what if you’re struggling to make the grade, just work a little harder, find your focus, if you’re being bullied seek help, start working out, learn self-defense and stand up! I’ve been bullied in school myself and if shy, quiet, little ole me can stand up to them so can you. Life isn’t always easy, we all struggle and we all have our demons we have to overcome and the private battles we rage will be the hardest, tougher than anyone else’s, because they’re yours. One thing I learned is life eventually balances out, God does balance the scales eventually, granted it may sometimes take awhile, but I’ve seen him work and seen those who used to make me feel miserable and now I have nothing but pity for them.

        This is why I started this series, why I pour my heart and soul into every word and paragraph of this blog. Forcing myself to relive these moments, reminding myself of my own struggles and the private battles I fought, sharing with you some of the pictures I managed to save in an old shoe-box and I’m right their with you as you read my words, sharing my journey, as I watch it all play out all over again.

To be honest however, I sometimes do hate writing this series, but when a friend told me I should blog about my life and to be honest I never meant to write down or share any of this. I was just sitting down and all of it started pouring it out and sometimes I feel like I’m just a vacuum bag, that holds all that old dirt, wondering if I’ll ever get it, if I’ll ever figure it out, if I’ll ever understand.

I never really got to know my mother and I never found her, she was buried beneath too many lies and deceitful ways for me to ever find. a day doesn’t go by when I don’t wish she could have showed me what a mother’s love, or secretly hope she’d find me and at the very least attempt to make amends, but as the years go by, I know that day will never come. But I often dreamed and fantasized about having one of those mothers you see on t.v, or in the movies, or the ones I’ve read about in books. I can’t tell you how many times I longed for, begged and pleaded to have similar relationship with the woman who gave birth to me, but instead I’m left wondering what happened and why.

If I could, I’d give just about anything to tell her that I loved her, I loved her even though she treated me like a cancer and caused me to hate myself for so long. I wish she could tell me why I was never good enough, why she hated me so much. I would like to ask her what I did so wrong besides being my father’s son.

For my birthday this year, I visited a friend and his wife, I’m always taken aback when I visit, I’m amazed simply by watching a real family interact. It reminds me a little of what I missed growing up and when I watched their kids. being around them and watching their kids play and how they interacted, I was overcome with such wonder and amazement. I saw how much they’ve changed and grew since when I saw them last and was reminded how my dad must have felt, only being allowed to see me every other weekend, or for weeks on in throughout the summer. I found myself imagining their futures and thinking about the challenges they may face as they grow older, I found myself worried, hoping only the best. I even prayed for God to always keep his hand on each and every one of them. That’s when it hit me, I understood then that I’d never understand how anyone can turn their back on their child, or want to make them hurt. Because life is amazing and just how two people and get together and create life. I thought about how small and humble our beginnings are. By then end, I was left wondering how my mother could make my life so difficult, without ever giving me so much as a kind word. I realize now that my mother never got to know me, I was her son and yet, we never even met.

                I know I had problems growing up, I know I wasn’t the perfect son, I wasn’t especially athletic, or brilliant, handsome, nor was I very funny, if anything I was more of an observer and dreamer than anything.  I was a picky eater, incredibly backwards and shy, I had buckteeth, speech problems, bad eyes, and to top it off I was also sensitive. So I know it couldn’t have been easy to raise me, or to always put up with me. But I couldn’t help it I was how God made me, and I loved me me, I still do. I’ve made some best friends you could hope for and I’ve seen the beauty of a sunrise, watched the brilliant setting of the sun and found salvation.



Take it from me,|
Speak slowly,
Forgive quickly,
Be slow to anger,
and love…always.