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Friday

Am I the Only One?

Years ago, my now ex-husband came home one night and, when I greeted him at the door, happy that he was finally home, he told me in his sweetest voice to close the door, that he had a surprise for me. Suspecting nothing, I closed the door and walked over to him. Catching me completely off guard, he lifted me up from the floor by my throat and threw me across the room, smashing me into the wall. Un
til sunrise the next day, he alternated between kicking, punching, choking, pulling out my hair, and holding a knife to my throat.

Being young and stupid, I had no idea that he was on drugs. When he finally passed out, I gathered up my babies and slipped out the door. I walked to a neighbors house and they gave me a ride away from that place. I would never live with that man again. He had broken my trust beyond repair.

The whole event fucked me up mentally for a long, long time. To approach the person that is supposed to love you more than anything, with expectations of receiving a sweet gift or a card, only to be attacked and nearly killed, it breaks something in your mind. You have a hard time trusting again. I honestly thought that this was the most mentally devastating thing that could happen to a person. I was wrong...

I have survived childhood molestation, the death of my father, abandonment, alcoholic and abusive step-parents, teen pregnancy, domestic violence, infidelity, divorce, being drugged then raped, car accidents, deafness, chronic illness, tumors, and the list goes on. However, NOTHING has blindsided me, broken my heart, snapped my sprit, sank me into depression, or made me cry my eyes out, worse than discovering how one of my own children REALLY feels about me. NOTHING. If you ever get the chance to have an unfiltered, uncensored, look at what your teenage child thinks of you, PASS IT UP. I really wish I had. The person I thought I knew, the love and respect I thought she had for me, they're gone forever.

In 1999, the car I was a passenger in was crushed under an 18-wheeler. For months, whenever I closed my eyes to sleep, I would be greeted with the vision of those headlights coming straight for me. Now, I am dealing with the same thing, only now I am greeted with words. Horrible names. Misunderstandings. Anger. Hate. Disgust. Mockery. Ridicule. Judgement. Analyzations. All about me. All from MY child. I honestly think I have Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.

From the first moment that looked into the eyes of my newborn babies, I knew, or at least THOUGHT I knew, that we had a pact with each other. An unspoken agreement to always have each others backs and defend one another. Growing up poor and never hearing "I love you", I wanted it to be so different for my kids.If it meant leaving a relationship that was OK for me, but awful for my kids, I did it. If it meant remaining in a relationship that ensured my kids had all they needed, but was abusive for me, I did it.

I honestly thought my kid loved me. I sincerely didn't think I would be lied to about sex and drugs or alcohol. I was wrong. I was a total idiot. Now, because I did trust, it looks like I didn't care. All along, I wasn't being indifferent, I was really just that dumb. I now know that my sense of humor was taken as not caring. My being protective was viewed as being a horrible bitch that didn't want anyone to have fun. My illness was viewed a laziness. Heartbreaking enough that this is what my child thought, but to discover that this is also what was conveyed to their friends and families, just made me want to crawl in a hole and die.Then to see the horrible things the friends were saying, people who did not even know me, was even worse. I mean, the only way they could have these opinions was if they based them on what they knew of me through my child. The things they said did not even bring out the instinct in my kid to defend me.

Before discovering all of this, I had finally gotten up the nerve to attend a public event, where I would encounter these friends of my child's. I felt really good that day. Sure of myself. Proud. Almost normal. Then to discover what was really being thought, what was really being said, was like a punch in the heart. I felt like a stupid nothing. A fool. A laughing stock. The butt of some awful joke. I wasn't even wanted there and, not knowing this, had argued with any ideas of being fat and ugly, choked my way through the panic attacks to make the car trip, all to look like a dumb ass. All to let the friends actually get a good look at this entity that deserved to be dead for being such a horrible, useless, person.

I was told that my heart was so broken, simply because this kid was my favorite. That isn't true. I was/am so heartbroken because I found out that I don't know who this person is at all, and they have absolutely no concept of who I really am. That I can never be entirely comfortable around them again. That I will always feels judged. That spending time with me makes this child feel sluggish and gross. That I have to choose each word with care, so as not to have it misinterpreted and then repeated as a testament to my awfulness. Because I thought that my not getting better and possibly not being around might actually have some sort of impact on this child, and I wasn't sure the best way of presenting them with that information, and the news did not impact them at all. Maybe they see it as a blessing. I don't know. How can I know?

So does one throw herself into spending the last years of their life, trying to convince one child that they aren't a horrible person? Or does she just carry on with the others and let the one figure it out for themselves, even if they discover it too late? I mean, I know what I know, I can't unsee what I have seen, nor unhear what I have heard. It was/is how my child feels and what that did to my heart and spirit can never be repaired. I will be crying myself to sleep, one or more nights a week, until the day I die.

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