Friday, September 16, 2011


Growing up in a never ending cycle of chaos, I came to expect it.  Of course there was always the calm before the storm but the more pronounced, the more prolonged the calm; the worse the storm was.

I think my father had his ways to keep us guessing.  Everything was fine and then someone would commit an offense that had always provoked him in the past.  But this time he wouldn't explode.  No fists.  No belts.  No starry shakes of my head.  No angry touching.

The artificial calm was almost more than I could take.  Predictable chaos is better than uncertain explosions.

It was then my mission to make him angry.  I was in control if I could chose the moment of his anger and the consequences.  I continued this behavior into my dating and first marriage.  We lived the comfort of the vicious cycle.  I didn't believe that I deserved to live in anything but an abusive home so that is what I accepted.

In my re-marriage, there have still been times that I have tried to invoke the chaos.  Problem is, my husband never bites.  He doesn't hit.  He doesn't break things.  He doesn't do horribly passive/aggressive things either.  It doesn't push him away.  He never even leaves.

Sometime I wonder what it must feel like to be my daughter.  To come home to a clean and peaceful home.  To never have to clean up broken glass.  To never know the sound of leather hitting skin.  To have parents who can disagree and work it out without violence.  It must be wonderful.

I am far from the perfect mother.  I have issues.  And God know that I have hang ups. 

But I hope that I will never teach her chaos.  I hope instead that I teach her that peaceful is good.

And unlike chaos, there is no need to control peace.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011


Like many who have survived abuse, I struggle with God.  To compound that, I grew up in a Christian home with well respected parents.  That is both good and bad.

Good because I truly believe that I would have died had I not been able to draw on my beliefs that there was God and He was bigger, stronger, and somehow in the midst of my mess of a home.

Bad because there were elements of abuse that twisted those same beliefs into everything that they were not.  The result left me unable to get past the why of what was happening to me.

My conclusion: that I was bad.  Otherwise, I would have been saved.  And because of my badness, I became so focused on the why. 

Why did God allow this?

Why was I so bad?

Why wouldn't He help me be good?

Why did they hurt me?

It must be because I was bad; why else?

I have struggled in a figure eight pattern for years.  It's entirely predictable.  The circular logic of the why... a possible answer of why... no, that's not the answer and then I'm headed into another pointless loop of questioning.  A vicious cycle.

Somehow I have kept my belief in God intact.  It hasn't been and probably won't ever be pretty.  But it's there.  We attend church weekly; a miracle to explain on a different day.  This past weekend someone spoke about asking what instead of why.  What has many more answers than why.

What happened?  I can answer that if I tell the truth of what they did.

What was wrong with them?  They were mean people.

What could I have done differently?  Not a lot.  I was a kid.

What do I feel about what happened?  I can name the feelings if I think hard enough.

What did God do back then?  He created a way for a child's mind to cope.  He kept me alive.

What is different now?  Everything.

What can I learn about myself?  I'm stronger than they thought.  I'm stronger than I thought. 

What can I learn from my childhood?  This one is harder to answer but I have some theories...

Questions are good.  But answers are almost always better.

Monday, September 12, 2011


My birthday is this week.

I was looking through some old posts here and noticed a pattern.  For the past two years, I have never posted in the month of September.  Until now.

I don't know exactly what that means.  I want it to mean that I'm stronger.  I want it to mean that I'm healing.

I despise my birthday.  It celebrates the cruelest of jokes.  The day I was born into that family.  If you can call them that.

But as my daughter has grown, one of her very favorite things is to celebrate a birthday.  I have had to grit my teeth and smile because it's certainly not her fault that I don't enjoy marking the day I was born.

And then there's my husband.  Sans one year that he forgot; he likes to be extravagant.  I don't care for extravagant anything.

This year feels different.  I still don't want the fanfare or gifts but I'm at some sort of peace with the day.  My memories of years before are still hell but I'm not drowning in their depressing sorrow either.

Am I happy?  Not really.  I feel grief well up from my hurting heart. 

I am also alive and that was no small feat.  Dead before 30.  A "doctor" spoke it.  And I believed it.  But somewhere along the way I learned to fight. 

It hasn't been easy.  It's still not easy.  But I also have a sense of pride to have fought and won.

I can't say that I'm always glad to be alive.  But I survived and that has to count for something.

This year I choose to celebrate survival.