Letting go of your past.

I had this step-mom that was mean. She heartily embodied everything that fairy tale step-mothers do. From the not-letting-me-eat, making-me-clean-non-stop, to keeping-me isolated-from-people-because-I-might-tell and of course, doing her very best to humiliate me and make me feel small.

I don’t know what this woman went through in her life to cause her to be so angry. But she was. She was tall and very aggressive and enjoyed nothing more than bullying me. Not a day went by that I didn’t get slapped or have my hair yanked. The mind-games and the mental and emotional abuse were the worst. At age 5, I’d lost my mom to illness. It was lengthy, filled with pain and in the end completely destroyed my family. My dad desperate to fill the large emotional void in his life, remarried hoping to find some flicker of happiness and a caring parent for me. He should have kept looking because this woman was damaged.

I was unruly and willful. I had gone from bubbly to anti-social. With my mother’s sickness, I had missed most of kindergarten and was passed back and forth between grandparents trying to help care for me and my mom simultaneously, while my dad drove an hour each way to work. I wanted attention and didn’t understand what was going on. Then one night it all came to a screeching halt when my dad tearfully picked me up from the babysitter’s at 1 a.m. and couldn’t stop crying.

It didn’t happen right away. Initially, there were constant battles between her and my dad on how to parent her son and I. We were only 6 months apart in age and this new set-up of them moving into our house and suddenly expecting to ‘be a family’ when our previous wounds had barely scabbed over was too much. They kept taking sides, each believing their own child when something was missing or broken. She finally pulled ‘the mom’ card, claiming she was better at parenting because she was a mother and insisted my dad back off. Doubting himself, he did, thus totally ushering in her free reign to terrorize.

Some of her most cutting comments were:

1.) That she would make sure that I needed to visit a psychiatrist by the time she was done with me.
2.) That I should never have children, because I would be a horrible mother.
3.) That she always knew when I was telling the truth, but would punish me anyway.

It took me YEARS to get past everything she put me through. I continued to have dreams of flying to get away. I was always, just barely out of her grasp. I was lonely, angry and felt like the world owed me.

Except one day I finally realized that everybody experiences some sort of pain and loss in their lives. It varies in devastation and form, but it’s there.

My point in sharing this with you is this: There comes a time when you can’t blame anyone else for your life anymore. You are an adult. You can think, feel and do for yourself. If you don’t want to be unhappy or be the victim then you have to do something about it. You can make things change. Sit down, make a list of your goals. Research. Write down all the necessary, attainable steps to achieve them. Work on it. Every.single.day. Break the cycle. Believe in yourself.

Arden and I saw this lovely clip last night and we were completely captivated by it. It’s so inspiring.

Poster Survive copyhttp://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2G88zqPxJ00&feature=share


9 Comments to “Letting go of your past.”

  1. This post made me cry. I’m so sorry you had to go through all of that. Sending you hugs. I think you turned out amazing and even better; you are one awesome mom. Arden and Joel are lucky to have you.

  2. Amen, sista. Amen!

  3. I think your step-mom and my mom’s ex-h (former step-dad) would’ve been perfect together… “I told your mother I don’t like kids” was always a fun thing to hear… BUT, like you said – you can’t blame your life on other people, so I moved out (and in with my dad) at 16 and although I always resented my mom for keeping him around as long as she did (for another 2 years after I left), I didn’t let him bring me down! *hugs*

  4. Thanks for sharing such a difficult part of your life with us.

    I’ve watched you as a mother, since the day that Arden was born. She is your life. And there’s no better mother to that sweet girl than you!

    So yeah, you proved that sick woman wrong!

  5. Thank you for sharing. It really is true. It took a long time to grow out of being “girl whose negligent mother raised her children on welfare and died suddenly before they were grown.” We are not our parents, or our step-parents, and you are a lovely mother.

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