Choosing Sides. Amnesia?

My last post made me think. I was thinking about it all day, thinking about that and more.

That was not the first time I had encountered my stepfather when he was angry, nor would it be the last. What it made me realize, though, is that every time something like that happened… I moved out. He was not kicked out. My mother did not leave him. I was the one who left; I was the one who, essentially, was told she was in the wrong. At least, that’s how it feels now.

I spoke with my mother that day. I asked her several things, mostly about my childhood, before and after that specific incident. I fibbed to her a little bit, not stating that I awoke in the middle of the night nearly screaming because of the memory of it happening appearing in my dream. No, I didn’t want that to haunt her, knowing that she put her oldest child and only daughter at risk; I didn’t want that. I did call her that day with a purpose that day.

Throughout the whole day I had been thinking, going through my memories of the incidences and there are only three specific times that I can remember living at my mother’s while she was with my stepfather and then having to move back in with my Grandparents after something happened. Two of which have to do with my stepfather. One of them, there is a 2-3 week blank in my memory, starting with my last day of school when I lived with my mother and stepfather & beginning again with my first day back after winter break at a new school and living with my Grandparents again. Somewhere in-between that timeframe of 2-3 weeks something happened and I moved out.

I was in fifth grade. It was exactly a year before I had my seizure, leading to my diagnosis of epilepsy.

My mother could remember the incident of my stepfather chasing me through the house in a rage and me running to my room in fright, closing the door behind me and locking the door and him bursting it open, breaking the lock then hovering over me cowering on my bed, with his fist above his head; she could remember that clearly. That was the summer before I advanced to third grade.

My mother could remember the incident in ninth grade, the incident from the previous post. All of these were at least 10 years ago.

So how does she not remember the incident from the winter of my fifth grade year? I had called my aunt, her sister, before I called my mother to ask about it because, honestly, I was afraid of asking my mother. But my aunt didn’t have an answer; she didn’t know.

I can’t even give you a straight answer on what my mother told me. She was vague and tried to stay away from the topic of what happened. In the end, though, she did blame it on the fact of “that might have been when your absence seizures started”.  Absence seizures being basically when I space out. That’s the only outward sign and then I have no recollection of what happened during said time period of the seizure. They normally last 3-5 SECONDS.

How do I tell my mother, who definitely knows all the information about my epilepsy & the types of seizures I have, that there’s no way it could have erased 2-3 weeks of my memory and that I have AMNESIA. How do I tell her that she’s lying and it’s so obvious it’s ridiculous? How? What could have happened to me?

My husband thinks that there’s a possibility that something severe happened to me and she’s covering up for my stepfather. Honestly, I don’t doubt it. It just makes me worried because nobody will tell me, even more-so because she is still with my stepfather.

I’m scared.

 

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[Bad] Dream of a Memory

Do you know anyone that’s ever been abused? Any sort of abused? I do. I have. I was. Many forms, by different people at different times in my life. Most of the time, though, it was on repeat by one person: my stepfather.

For the most part I’ve gotten over it. While my mother is still, unfortunately, married to the man that treated me so badly throughout my childhood and adolescent years (and even now he bad mouths and talks down to me, but I’ve grown more of a back bone and will talk back to him despite fear of retribution), most of my communication with my mother is via telephone as she lives over an hour away and she works over 8 hours a day, every day, every week with the [very] occasional day off; she’s the main “breadwinner” of their household as my stepdad is (surprise-surprise!) a convicted felon & although he could find work at, the very least, a manufacturing plant, he refuses to work anything other than odd jobs that he runs himself.

Therefore, my communication with that entire household is limited.

And my mother.

I love her. I do. I may not always agree with everything she says. I may not agree with everything she does, especially the fact that she’s still with my stepdad, but I love her nonetheless. I will acknowledge her faults, though most of the time not to her face because she won’t most of the time. She confides in me and I, her. We understand each other because of, oddly enough, my stepfather. We have a mutual understanding between us and I’m thankful to her that, although she’s my mother, my Mom, she chose to have me live apart from her.

And that’s where everything comes full circle as to why I’m writing this tonight.

I woke up around three this morning, my eyes wide and in a panic. I knew I was in bed and if it wasn’t for the fact that my husband’s arms were still around me I probably would have screamed.

I dreamt of a memory of days long since past. It was nearly 9 years ago – the winter of 2005 – and I was living with my mother in the home she lives in now. It’s a small, technically one-bedroom, house that at the time housed my Mom & stepdad in what is now a closet; my two younger brothers, who were then 6 & 8 years old in what is now a combined living room/Mom & stepdad’s room; and me, in what is now my youngest brother’s room, that back then was right next to my mother and stepfather’s “room” and only separated by a sheet. There was no privacy whatsoever. It was Hell on Earth.

Normally I wouldn’t be living with them; I abhor my stepfather and nearly always have, but my Grandmother, whom I had been staying with, gave me an ultimatum that pushed me and I took it. I wasn’t going to give up a friendship for her old-fashioned ideals, but that’s a different topic altogether. So I found myself moving 45 minutes away and switching schools in the middle of the fall semester my first year of high school. My mother was happy that I was finally coming to live with her, but she wasn’t happy about the circumstances behind it. Honestly, everything was going well until the last day of school before winter break.

One of my friends, specifically a male friend, asked if he could come over and hang out for a bit after school. I told him I’d ask. I was more than naïve back then, I guess; he purposely left information out to me and I didn’t see the signs. Either way, we both got permission for him to come over and he rode the bus home with me. I’m going to point this out now: I never thought of him as anything more than a friend; he was JUST a friend to me in my mind. Well, apparently everybody else thought otherwise – including him.

He ended up eating dinner with my family because his mom hadn’t picked him up yet. When I asked him why she hadn’t shown up yet, he said that she wouldn’t be there till around 9PM. I was pissed! He never told me that and I knew, at that moment, I was going to get hell from my stepdad as soon as he left.

I was right.

After he left and my brothers were firmly asleep my stepdad started in on me and it just kept coming. I don’t remember everything he said; he asked me so many questions – accusing me of lying when I hadn’t and every time I denied lying he just got angrier.

What I haven’t said yet is that my stepfather is an alcoholic. I know by that time he was drunk for sure, but I couldn’t tell you how long he’d been drinking that day.

Finally, at one point, I was sent to bed. I think it was around 11-11:30 that evening. I was tired. I’d had a long day at school and then I’d been grilled and yelled at and intimidated by my stepfather. Nobody likes that. I fell asleep listening to him yell at my Mom, but the words were a blur to me, even then.

I was woken up again around 1AM, being dragged – literally – out of bed by my arm by my stepfather. He was pissed, and that’s an understatement. I don’t remember what the discussion at that point was about. I was being questioned again about my actions that evening and why I did what and several other co-existing categories. I remember answering something honestly and it must have been the wrong answer, and something that he disliked extremely or considered a “smart-ass remark” because the next thing I knew I was dodging a glass plate being thrown at me. If I hadn’t moved it would have hit my upper left shoulder near my neck. I don’t remember much after that other than crying and being scared.

I moved back to my Grandmother’s within days after that. I don’t think anyone would question why. It was my Mom’s decision to move me back.

The thing is, this is only one of the instances of something abusive happening to me but for some reason it’s the one that pops up the most in my memory, in my dreams; it’s the one that troubles me the most and I don’t understand why.

I was scared then and it scarred me enough mentally and emotionally that it still bothers me to this day, enough to keep me awake at night. The abuse I’ve suffer throughout my life from my stepfather, and inadvertently from my mother, is probably the one thing that I haven’t completely gotten over and I’m not sure that I ever will. I think that’s what scares me.

Now it’s not the terror of being physically dragged away from my bed in the middle of the night by someone else; now it’s the terror of waking up and having to drag myself from my own bed because of someone else… because I’m afraid to face what might be in my dreams.

My Past. My Ex. My Anxiety.

I have to get this out of my system. I don’t know why, all of sudden, it’s bothering me so much. I don’t know why I’m thinking about all of this, forward and backward. I can’t get it out of my mind.

And so I going to write about it. I’m going to post it here.

I will forewarn you: I don’t know how long this post is going to be. Mind, I’m not going to try and make it a long post, but with what I am going to be writing, it might end up longer than anticipated. Please… if you start reading this, don’t be deterred by the long-windedness of my writing. It just kind of happens.

* * *

I was younger then. It was the beginning of a new school year and all of my friends were off to college; I never graduated high school. I was depressed. I had no idea where my life was going. Everyone was gone. I had no one.

And then He shows up.

Day by day, week by week, month by month – they all went by and I lost count. I can’t tell you exactly when everything happened or in what order. I just know that in the end, everything turned to shit. My family hated me; I was ostracized from the people who raised me and the only people I had to turn to were ones I barely even knew.

I was pregnant. I was engaged. I didn’t love the person I was marrying, but I was denying it to myself. Even looking back I can say that honestly. I just stayed with him so the child in my womb wouldn’t have a broken family like I grew up in.

I was an idiot.

He was abusive.

I eventually left him. It took me a while and several attempts; the cops were called several times to settle disputes between us in the process. What finally pushed me to the edge wasn’t a fight, wasn’t really any sort of abuse. It was a lie. I had finally convinced him to try marriage counseling and we decided on a local pastor/Christian couselor, which honestly surprised me because he’s some sort of atheist.

During the session – the one and only session that we went to – we talked things out, I got things off of my chest and told him what was bothering me. Of course, he nagged at me a bit, but in the end we compromised. My biggest “blah” was that he wasn’t helping out enough with our child and was demanding too much of me; he literally did nothing in the house while I was supposed to do everything and make time to shower myself, feed myself… and him. I had enough to deal with when I was taking care of our child and the household. He could cook for himself. Until I found out that he was only an expert at burning water. :-/

But yes, the session went great. I was happy. Suspicious, but happy. I was rightfully suspicious, I came later to find out. Almost every promise, almost every thing that he said he would change and start doing to help out, was broken not three hours later. He had planned on doing something “with the guys” for the whole weekend. I wouldn’t be seeing him for the whole weekend and I had no prior knowledge about it.

We argued again. I yelled, I cried. I gave up. I knew nothing could be done and I left. I packed a bag that night for me and then one for the baby and, on my way out, left him a note on the bed. I called one of my friends and had her pick me up. We were done. I filed for divorce a month later. He was dating another woman two weeks later.

The faux pas then, though, was that I was pregnant. We ended up having to wait over a year for the divorce to be finalized. Within the first six months, he did not contact me to see our already born child, he made no attempt to try and see our child. When we did make it to court, he said that I had denied him his parental rights to see his child and that’s why he never visited the baby.

Two years later and three children together, we’re going through the same thing.

I don’t know what he’s doing. I have absolutely no idea. I know he’s unstable. He’s the type of person that can’t go without a relationship. Literally CAN NOT. He split with his last girlfriend, at most, two months ago and he’s already dating someone else. Before her, it was a couple weeks. Before that relationship, it was around two months.

And I only know that through, y’know, Facebook. ^^;;

It’s been over six months since he’s seen his children face-to-face and he’s made little effort to see them. I don’t know if he’s trying something underhanded, if he’s going for what he did last time, or if he honestly thinks that I just gave up on fighting in court. (He doesn’t think that I’m actually paying my lawyer.) I can’t get into his mindset because I care too much about my children. The three weeks he took them and didn’t allow me contact with them I flipped out. My anxiety level was at an all-time high. I had panic-attacks and I seriously flipped the FUCK out. I’ve never been that way. Ever. My children are my life and not knowing exactly where they were, not having contact with them, threw me in a way I never thought possible.

And because of him I’m paranoid. Proof: my children stayed with my mother this past weekend. I had to call her on Saturday because I was flipping out because my children weren’t with me; I didn’t know how they were exactly. I knew they were alright, but I was flipping out. It was anxiety, near to a panic attack. Relate it to PTSD (post traumatic stress disorder), if you must – I know that’s the only thing I can relate it to similarly, though I know it’s not the same thing. What happened to me all those months ago has affected me for life. And it sucks.

But now he’s (my ex) not answering texts. He asked me to text him when it was a good time that him and the children could talk. I did. He never responded. That was weeks ago.

And now he’s not paying child support.

I don’t know what to do. I don’t know if it’s accidental or not. I mean, I moved; what if because I moved the child support stuff is all blah. Oh, but wait… then I wouldn’t have gotten last month. Or the month before. Right?

So what’s going on?

I’m so confused. And scared. And anxious. Slightly paranoid.

I just want all of this to be over. All of the problems and issues. I want all of it gone. I know it never will be; I’m stuck with that man for life until the children are grown up, and even then, probably not even.

Hopes, wishes, and dreams abound. I just want everything to be well and good again.

Stable is good. 🙂

A Memory

I was eleven.

I was living in a small, one-bedroom house with my mom, stepdad, and two little brothers (ages 4 and 2). It was wintertime. My mother rustled me awake; I slept on the couch. It was a schoolday and I had to get ready. We couldn’t afford school lunches; we could barely afford food. I scavanged and hurriedly grabbed some crackers and cheese and shoved some skittles into my lunchbag. There was nothing for me to take to drink that day.

The school day went by slowly. At Tzouanakis, the school day was longer than most (I don’t know why), so we had a snack before lunch. Of course, we had to bring it ourselves. By the time snacktime came, I was starving. I hadn’t eaten breakfast and was fair to starving, but if I ate anything at all from my lunchbag I wouldn’t have anything for lunch.

I did it anyway and regretted it later.

At Tzouanakis, we had assigned tables where to sit; we didn’t get to choose. That day, I went straight to my seat and just sat down. I had brought a notebook with me to draw in since I didn’t have anything left to eat.

My friends that sat around me asked why I wasn’t eating and I told them; I told them that I ate what I brought for lunch that day at snacktime and that my family didn’t have the money to pay for the school lunches.

I never really figured out how they did it or which of the four sitting at the table with me contributed to it, but somehow they managed to gather up enough money so that I could go and buy a school lunch. Never had I been so embarassed, but at the same time, never had I been [and never will I ever be] so grateful.

Over time I may have forgotten the names associated with the faces, but I remember the feelings associated with the act of kindness given. It helped shaped me into who I am.

I will never forget.