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.

Matters of the Heart

I need to write this. I need to get this out of my system before I explode.

First off, I’m over my ex-husband. I’m over him so thoroughly it’s crazy. That’s not what I’m concerned about. I’m concerned that one day I’m going to look at one of my children, particularly my oldest child who has my ex-husband’s eyes to a T, and hate them. Loathe them. Wish they were never born. I don’t want that now and just the thought of it possibly happening makes me sick to my stomach and want to cry.

But I know of people that it’s happened to. And it worries me to death. I think it’s a large part of what stresses me out and keeps me up at night.

I love my children. My oldest is in preschool and learning more and more everyday. All of them are so smart, wonderful, adorable, loveable… and while I may be horribly biased, I’m not the only one who thinks so. Especially the loveable part, though. All of them will just go up to someone and give them a hug, say “hi” and smile that heartwarming smile that they have.

I don’t understand how I could possibly come to abhor any of my children, but like I said… I know of other mothers who’ve began to dislike their children after a certain amount of time.

My own mother did it. I don’t want to take after her. I’m afraid that I will. I think that’s what scares me the most: becoming like my mother.

But it’s mind over matter, right? All a power of will?

Guess I need to work on my strength of the mind, heart, and soul. Or something like that.

Talking and Happiness

My fiance and I never fight. Seriously. We don’t. It isn’t that I don’t get upset or angry with him and it’s not that he doesn’t get upset or angry with me, it’s the fact that even if I am p*ssed off with him and I bring it up, he’ll avoid any sort of arguement or confrontation; he won’t answer a question directly either. Or, in the opposite view, if he’s angry or upset with me he won’t bring it up at all! He’ll just walk away! Yes, I’m able to tell that he’s angry and upset, but he won’t let me do anything about it. He won’t let me try and talk about it.

I tried to bring it up last night. I did.

Something happened that made him angry. He just, basically, shut himself off. He looked stony, apathetic if you didn’t know him or what to look for; he had stopped talking and was very tense, his eyes were cold, angry. I told him to go listen to some music or watch a movie and calm down. (I knew that’s what he was going to do anyway, so why not suggest it?) I stayed in a different room from my fiance, peeking in on him to see what he was doing. As luck would have it, he was watching “Silent Hill: Revalation”; he never watches horror/thriller movies, so I took it as a bad sign. (What he watches and/or listens too varies upon his mood, like a lot of people.)

I finally started talking to him from the next room. I told, not asked, my fiance that “y’know, sometimes I would rather you just yell at me when you’re upset or angry than say nothing at all because then at least I would know what you’re upset about, because even when I ask you about it you don’t answer”.

There was a pause, and he said something along the lines of “I’m not that kind of person”. And I just blanched. Really? Not that kind of person?

So I said [something like] “Then how are we going to communicate? Going to talk at all? When there are issues between us are we just going to ignore them?”

And you won’t believe what he said [to the extent of]: “What issues?” I wanted to roll my eyes. I think I DID roll my eyes. The conversation was already wearing me out; it really was!

I yelled back at him (because we were in different rooms, I couldn’t talk in a normal-toned voice) “I don’t know, the fact that we can talk about mundane things but not important or serious things? That when you’re upset or I’m upset we can’t comfort each other because quote-unquote ‘you’re not that type of person’. Those kind of issues. I don’t know.”

We didn’t say much from there; that’s about all that really sticks in my mind. It just bothers me though. Yeah, we talk, but like I said in the conversation last night: it’s normally just about mundane things, or it’s a one-sided rant on something important with the other person inserting an opinion or word here/there every once and a while. No, we don’t talk at each other, we actually listen to each other, that much is obvious, but there’s just something wrong with our communication that needs fixed and he doesn’t seem to see it. Yeah, he’ll comfort me when I’m crying by hugging me, but if he knows he’s the cause of it? Nope. No hug. In fact, he’ll completely ignore the fact that I’m crying or that I have been, even when it’s completely obvious – like last night.

No, he’s not cold-hearted. He’s just been hurt and has a ways to heal. He’s dealt with a lot in his life and I think I’m truly the first one to not hurt him or treat him in ways that others have in the past. We’ve been together almost two years and he’s changed a lot, but I don’t think I’ve broken down all of the walls yet and I know it’ll take a while yet.

I just… I hope I remember to ask him [again] tonight what I asked him last night. I only realized earlier that he avoided the question last night, which kind of furthers my point.

I told him last night that one of my deepest fears that I worry over constantly is that one day my children will drive him away, cause they’re a lil’ on the wild side, in a manner of speaking. (I added a couple of other descriptions last night to try and lighten the mood.) I did ask him, though. And I was crying a bit, though I was trying not to. He changed the subject, but only slightly, by saying that he’d been meaning to bring home earplugs to block out the screeching from my youngest child who screeches and screams when he’s unhappy, and all that it takes for my youngest to be unhappy is for me to be out of the room. 😦

And that was the end of the conversation. He’s probably going to be angry when I bring it up again. P*ssed, even, but I’m going to. I can’t stand not knowing when I’ve already asked and it’s bugging me even more because he didn’t answer. Normally not answering something doesn’t bode well.

I think this time I might even tell him that if he’s that unhappy, or if he’s staying just to make me happy, then he has the right to leave. No, I don’t want him to. That’s the last thing in the world I want to happen. Part of my world would die if that happened; he truly is the love of my life, but I don’t want him to be unhappy because of me.

I love him and all I want is for him to be happy and if I don’t make him happy anymore, so be it.

What Did I Say?

This is something that I honestly don’t understand. I need somebody to talk to about it and I have no one. Literally no one. If I told anybody in my family judgement and hatred would follow and I just don’t want that.

I spoke to my fiance earlier, about an hour ago. I thanked him for being there for me when I needed someone the most. I thanked him for pushing me to stop going out and partying and drinking so much. I told him that if it wasn’t for him, I probably would not have changed as much as I have [in a good way].

About half-way through me telling him, he looked away. A few minutes after that he dropped his arm from around my shoulders. Did I say something wrong? I just… I don’t understand. I even asked him if I said anything that he didn’t want to hear or if I said something wrong, but he wouldn’t say anything at all. Finally I just moved away from him. My insecurity took hold of me too much. I started crying. I had to move away from him. It felt cold trying to curl up to him when I felt like he didn’t even want me around.

About ten minutes ago he just got up and walked away. He didn’t say anything or look my way at all. I looked at him, hoping he would say something. He didn’t.

I just…. I’m so confused. Help?

Recollection of a Dream

It was a time of war. Everywhere I looked there was sadness. Buildings were crumbling to the ground, everything in various shades of black, brown and red. I was searching for something. I could feel it inside of me. I had been looking for days, weeks, months; you could see it in my eyes and on my body. I was worn down and hadn’t had a shower in a long time.

It was like I was in tunnel vision. All I could think was “where is he? why can’t I find him?”

Then a little boy ran past followed by more children. And then I knew. Somehow, I knew. I had found him.

Quietly I followed the children; they were playing some sort of game – chasing each other with not a care in the world. They had no idea what kind of world we were living in. That made me smile a bit, before I remembered what I was searching for.

I came to the entrance of one of the many refuge sites. They were hard to come by and very well hidden to the rest of the world. Those who wanted to stay away from the war – the young, the elderly, the disabled – hid there.

I was a prisoner of war who escaped to find my child. The enemy had captured me early on; I knew they were coming for me and I gave my only child to someone I trusted, a semi-elderly woman past her prime, to watch over him until I, hopefully, came back to get him.

She was here. He was here. I could feel it in my heart.

As I walked through the dark tunnel – there was no electricity – women, men, and children of all ages looked at me in fear and awe. I can only imagine how I looked to them. Occasionally I would stop and ask someone who looked especially kind, normally a woman, if she knew where the woman I was looking for was. I was always asked many questions and then pointed forward with a smile. My hope was growing.

Finally I stumbled upon her. I found her with her back to me and so I observed her. She had cut her now-gray hair short; it used to be long and wavy, mid-back. I didn’t think I was gone for that long. Had I been?

She must have sensed me behind her because right before I called her name she began turning around to face me. She didn’t look surprised, just… determined. There were children behind her, some sleeping, some looking up curiously at me. She motioned for them to go and play. I looked at all of the boys; which one was mine?

I spoke to her: “You know why I’m here. I told you I’d be back.”

Her eyes got harder, fiercer, more determined. “I didn’t think you’d make it back alive. You can’t have him.”

I choked back a sob, bringing a hand up to my chest to steady myself. “He’s my flesh and blood. I trusted that you.”

“He’s mine.”

Tears rolled down my cheeks now. There were people staring from their seats in the hallway. I didn’t care.

“You have eight children of your own! He’s my child! Give him back!” I yelled it to her. I was crying, scared.

She snarled at me. “You abandoned your own child to go with the enemy. He’s no child of yours!”

I cried even more. And then a child came running up to me, wrapping his arms around my legs, hugging me. I looked down in surprise. Was he…?

He looked up at me. “Are you my Mama?”

I leaned down and hugged him tightly as I cried. I could see the tiny features that grew with him in the baby I gave birth to long ago. This was my baby boy.

* * *

I woke with tears streaming down my face. This truly is the recollection of a dream I had last night. It was one of the most vivid dreams I’ve ever had and I can’t get it out of my mind. It scared me out of my mind. I could feel everything. I knew everything that was going on. I could see myself as it was happening. I hope something like what happened in my dream never happens in real life.

Anxiety

Something I don’t think I’ve posted on here yet is that I have three kids, three beautiful children. They are my world, my shining light in the darkness.

Unfortunately, they’re biological father is not the person I would like him to be. I divorced him a little over a year ago, leaving him a year prior to the divorce when I found out I was pregnant with my youngest. He was abusive and was trapping me in our home, forbidding me from seeing my family amongst other horrid things.

We share joint custody (I have physical custody), but things have gone horribly wrong. Horribly, horribly wrong. We have never been able to get along since the birth of my oldest. Things only progressed downward from there.

He moved out of state recently. The saying goes “possession is 9/10ths of the law”. I believe that firmly after previous experience and, from the past few days, advice from several people. My ex wants to take my children out of state with him for “visitation”. He gave me an ultimatum: he gets to take them for a week (because of his birthday rights, which is only 9am-9pm on his birthDAY) to where he lives, or we go back to the court-ordered visitation, which would require me to pick them up from the state he lives in – something around 10 hours away. I told my ex that I am unable to afford the trip there and back; his reply was something along the lines of “I guess that I’ll be keeping them until you can come and get them then”. (Which, by the way, if he does that is both a felony and a misdemeanor in my state.)

It’s not just the lack of funds that’s keeping me from wanting my children to go with him. He’s not capable of taking care of them by himself; there is always a de facto guardian (a previous one with whom I am friends with is proof enough). When he does take care of them by himself, they are always returned unbathed and incredibly dirty, unfed and unnecessarily hungry with diaper rashes that are so horrible you cannot even begin to imagine; it takes me two days minimum to get the rash to go away. I do not trust him with their care. At all.

There is also the fact that the state he is living in is a “safe haven” state, so-called. If my ex gets my children over the state line, he will not have to hand them over to me. He will have, technical, full custody. Herein comes the “possession is 9/10ths of the law”. I would lose my children. By letting him take them to said state, it is, by de facto, telling him “Yes, I trust you to care for my children when I am not with them; oh sure, take them out of state for an unknown amount of them even though I don’t know exactly where you’re going”, even though none of that is true. Well, it is true that I no idea where he’s going. He’s given me a basic idea of where he lives. That’s it; he kind of keeps switching back and forth.

But he is supposed to be coming later today and picking them up, even though I now have an order telling him that until a court hearing the children are, technically, are not to leave the state. Yes, I know I am more than likely to get a contempt of court. I would rather that than live without my children.

I’m scared though. More scared than I ever have been in my life. Out of everyone in my family, only two people understand, only two people support me. What I went through in the last divorce and custody battle was hell. Literal hell and nobody helped me through it. I was forced to go through it alone. What I went through when I was married to my ex was even worse and I don’t think anybody believed me; definitely not the judge. Everything that I’m going through now is just bringing all of those memories and feelings back threefold.

I know I am not a bad mother. I love my children with all my heart. I want nothing but the best for them. A good home, a good life, care and love, stability. It’s hard to find such things these days. I can provide these things. I know I can. I have been. My children are so loving. They will just come up to me and say “Mom?” I will turn and say “What, honey?” And my baby will just come up to me and kiss my cheek or hug me then give me a sweet little kiss.

It breaks my heart that all of this could be taken away from me in an instant.

It scares me.

I can only hope for the best and pray that the worst stays far, far, FAR away. Otherwise… I don’t know what I’m going to do.