I have been planning on blogging for days. I have been thinking about it, and never really getting around to it for weeks. But here I am, I might as well press on. This post will probably (though I'm not promising) be very long. I most likely won't make any sense, and will seem to be the ramblings of a mad woman. On the other hand, it could be very well written, well organized, and generally well articulated. Or something. It depends. We'll see. I'm currently listening to Amy Lee Hartzler jam with her band Evanescence, bc her music speaks to me when I'm in this kind of mood. Yep, it's one of *those* days. Welcome to my world.
So. Where to even begin. At the beginning, you say? Well, see here's the problem with that. I don't know when that was. I don't remember the beginning. I don't remember when my world changed. I'm assuming that since I don't remember, it's always been this way, even though I'm fairly certain there were at least a few years of innocence there in the very beginning of my life. I was probably between the ages of 5 and 7 when the abuse started. It's a guestimate, and I know I was no older than 7. I don't remember specifically when it stopped, either. The last time I specifically remember it happening, I was almost 14. So we'll go with that. Why not?
I'm so angry right now. I'm angry at him for doing this to me. Him. That would be my brother. He is seven years older than me. I spent most of my life in denial. I mean , honestly, I don't think I knew what had actually happened until I was about 16. The first memory I have of this was my junior year. I was walking across the courtyard at school toward my car. I was feeling really, really depressed. I started thinking about him, and all of a sudden it was like a light bulb. I was molested. And immediately I thought 'no, it wasn't that. That isn't what this is. Stop thinking about it, don't be depressed, you're just looking for attention, stop it.' And kept on walking. I probably got drunk that night. That isn't that point. I think I always knew I wasn't supposed to tell anyone. When it became 'rape', even though I didn't know the words for what was going on, I really knew I couldn't tell anyone. Eventually I made a conscious decision to not tell anyone, ever. I knew it would destroy our family, and everything I had. I couldn't deal with it. I couldn't bear the thought of all the heart ache it would cause so I let it be. I stuffed it down, I stayed drunk or high, and I moved on, or something. I just knew I had to protect our family. I don't know why, no one protected me, but I had to protect them.
So I did. I was just a kid. But I knew it was my job. When my mother asked me if someone was 'messing with me' I told her straight to her face 'no'. Probably more than once. When I was about 16 I let it slip to someone I thought I could trust. She told my parents. Again, I told them she was crazy and that I didn't know what she was talking about. I don't know why I felt at that point that I needed to lie, but I did. Maybe because he was still living at home. Maybe because he was in my face every day. By then I had dissociated, anyhow. He wasn't my 'attacker' he was my brother. We were friends, even. We fought a lot, and deep inside I held a lot of anger and spite and bitterness toward him, but in every day life, we got along well enough.
For all of my life, though we are half siblings, he lived with us. He moved out for about a year between the ages of 14 and 15. Then he was back. When I was in college, we shared an apartment. When I married my husband, he and his wife stayed with us for a while. He was always around. I never allowed myself to deal with it because I knew that I would have to separate myself from him, and I would have to explain that. Plus, I knew that if I ever tried to, I'd probably never see my nephew again, who I love as my own. When we moved to where we live now, he and his wife did too. They lived in the same apartment complex as us, two buildings down. By this time we had started fighting a lot. But again we were siblings and everyone just figured hey sibling stuff. I never said a word. I pretended none of it ever, ever existed.
A little over 2 years ago, they decided to move back home. He's never been an independent person, and really, he can't keep a job. And he can't live without his Mommy. It wasn't quite the end of the school year, so they left their son with us to end the school year and then I was to take him home. Anyhow. They moved back in with my parents until they 'got on their feet'. One night out of the middle of no where, I had a dream. I dreamt that we were back home and he had a gun to my head. To this day I remember the dream perfectly. He told me he had to kill me. I accepted that, but begged him to let me go tell my parents and children goodbye. He refused. I begged and begged and he finally said 'fine, go in there and tell them everything that happened, and I'll let you live.' I said 'I can't do that, you'll just have to shoot me'. I was that afraid of anyone ever finding out. But at that point I realized it was eating at me. I still hid it. I didn't tell anyone. Not even my husband. When it was time to take my nephew back, my kids and I loaded up and drove the 12 hours to my parents. Me. In a car. With three children. Yeah :) I walked into the house and it was as though 20 years of memories slapped me in the face. I was supposed to stay a week. By day 3 I was crying to go home. The night before we left, he and I got into a huge fight, and I couldn't get home fast enough.
And so began this journey. This exploring my past for the first time, figuring out what was real and what wasn't. And still, I told no one. That was June. In November, I found 'S'. We had known each other a year, but were both really too shy to get to know each other. Finally, we connected. And finally my world started crumbling down around me. It was like once someone else knew, the world shattered. She has walked this whole road with me, and is amazing. Eventually I told my husband too, because I just didn't have a choice. There were a few other people who knew that I had been abused, but not by who. I still felt the need to protect him. Us. Family. Something.
Then, one fateful day, my mother found out. Life hasn't really been the same since. I could tell you a million stories of the things that have happened since then. Like how I allowed him to come to my home for Christmas with the rest of our family to save peace and dirty little secrets. It was a traumatic thing for me. I was panicked for months before Christmas, knowing I was going to have to face him again. I made it through, and him being here really wasn't as bad as I thought because my whole family was here and I didn't really have to have any contact with him at all, except you know, stare at him from across the room. I never said a word.
I've spent my whole life protecting his secrets. Even as a child I lied for him when he snuck out, or did things that would have gotten him in serious trouble. I spent my entire life lying. Accommodating. Threatening my well being for everyone else. To spare my parents heartache. To save his reputation. To save mine. And now for what?
Recently he's been having some serious health issues. He can't work anymore (Not that that bothers him, bc he has never wanted to work a day in his life) and apparently his wife can't support them, even with his oldest child now living with his ex wife. So. What's the solution to their problems? Lets move back in with mom and dad. What's the problem with that??? My parents now live 8 minutes from us. 8 fraking minutes. Right down the road. We worship together. We do everything together. Now, for every one's 411, my dad still has no clue. My dad isn't his dad, and I'm pretty sure my dad would murder him, even though he has raised him as his own since he was five. Heck, that would be one of my motivating factors. But alas, he doesn't know and I don't want him to. My mother is having a nervous breakdown. She doesn't want him to come bc she feels like it's ruining my life, but in the very same breath says she can't tell him no. She can't turn him away. He's her son.
This is me screaming very loudly. This is me kicking my feet and pitching a royal holy fit like a two year old at target. I am angry. I am hurt. I'm a little afraid. I can't believe it. I spent my whole life denying this just to survive, and now what? Now they'll move back up here and go to worship with us? Mom says she go to church somewhere else. oh yeah. That won't look suspicious to Dad. Sigh. I don't even know what all of my feelings are on this. Like I've been the second rate child my whole life. I was always the good kid. I always did well in school, and could pretty much be left to my own devices. He was always in trouble, didn't do well in school, can't keep a job, etc. He's always been the high maintenance child, and I've always sat back burner. Happily, actually, as long as that meant no one knew. But you know what? She knows. She knows and she's still thinking about letting him come here. She can't even look at me without crying. And all I can think is 'how am I going to survive this again?' I can't go back to where I was two years ago. I'm not even the same person I was then. I can't survive this again. I have fought through this depression for so long. But in the last two years I've gone through hell. I've fought suicidal thoughts almost daily for a very long time. I've struggled with being self destructive. I've fought self injury. I've fought a lot of things because of who he has made me. And now, after all of this, how am I going to survive him coming here? I can't live near him again. I can't do this again. I'm terrified thinking about it. Not terrified of him. He doesn't scare me, not at all. What scares me is the tension. The fights. The memories, the flashbacks. The constant terror I'll be in for my daughter. The paranoia. The secrets. My God the secrets. I don't want to have to go back to daily lying to survive. My poor Dad. I can't do this. I just want to run away. I want to curl into my sheets with my music and disappear. I want to move to Alaska. I want to be pretty much any where but here. At this moment, if I thought it would keep me away from him, I would move back into my house that still hasn't sold where we used to live. Anything but this. So here I am, in limbo again. Not knowing what will happen, living in a constant state of fear and anxiety, trying to just give it to God. I've been praying several times a day that God will heal him. That he'll be able to go back to work and stay where he is and support his family. Or that he'll win the lottery and move to Hawaii. Something. I just want to live out the rest of my life in safety. I want some kind of peace. I have fought so hard to get to this point, and I am still NO WHERE NEAR THROUGH THIS FIGHT. I'm not even sure I'm in the middle of it yet. I can't go back, and yet here I stand wondering if maybe that's exactly what is going to happen.
So. Where does that leave me? Being strong and stoic, of course. Mom is falling apart. I'm terrified that if I show any emotion at all about it she'll lose it. I know she feels guilty. She feels as though it is all her fault. I feel like there were signs she could have seen. There were things she could have noticed. But she didn't will this anymore than God did. It's his fault. He did this. I feel like secretly maybe he's a little excited to think he'll have some control in my life again. Even if it is just to put fear in my heart. I feel a whole lot betrayed. And yet, I could never let her see that. I'm not capable. I really don't know what to do or where to go from here. I can't really even cry. Not really. Not like I would like. I'm angry and I'm afraid. But mostly I feel like this is a whole big load of unfair. And part of me knew it was coming. For months 'S' has said I've been guarded. Mean even. Back to my social butterfly ways of shutting everybody out. Even her. I did know this was coming, maybe subconsiously. And I hate it. I hate it all. I'm not even any where near done with my emotions, but I don't know what else to write. Besides, I'm pretty sure your eyes are bleeding by now. So anyhow, thanks for listening, if indeed you made it this far. Your prayers are coveted. And pray for Kate, Kinsey and Grayson's parents, and Stellan, too. They've been heavy on my heart this week as I've been trying desperately to draw near to God. It's so hard, but I'm trying. I really am. I guess you could pray for my spiritual walk too, as sometimes it's so hard in this darkness to find the light. I really do love you all. Thank you.
I'm a wife. I'm a mom. I'm a photographer. I'm a lover of Jesus. My house is a mess, my kids are dirty, we eat take out more often than not. My life is loud, busy and crazy. And that's okay with me.
This is Eric, the man you've been praying for. He's a paramedic. He quilts in his spare time. No, I couldn't make that up :) He has NASH (a form of liver disease, non-alcoholic) and diabetes, but those things don't define him. He's a man of God, an insanely wonderful husband, and the best daddy in the world.. Just ask these guys..
Our daughter Ali, she's 9. She's fiercely opinionated and strong willed. She's a Daddy's girl, but the umbilical cord hasn't but cut from me, either. She's a gymnast, and proud of it. She spends more time upside down or turning flips than she does walking. She's crazy smart, and absolutely sure of it. She is my insufferable little know it all.
Our son Dylan, 7. We lovingly refer to him as Chubs. Or Chubby. Or fat boy. Ahem. He is all boy, as you can see by his crazy wild energy. He has the highest pain tolerance of any child I have ever met. He plays soccer and does gymnastics, but truly he is a gamer, a nerd. He is an avid reader and loves to climb. Not to be outdone by his sister, he's a drama king, but to him, I'm the best mommy in the world.
I'm here to use my voice. So many people can't. In a world of darkness, I just want to help God's light to shine through. I pray that my words are His, and my love is His, as well. This is my journey through the darkness. To start are the beginning of the story, click here.