(Content notice-- abuse, weight loss/forced dieting, violence, eating disorders, animal abuse, suicide, discussion of rape. It's not pretty.)
Here's the bit I can't take-- my parents keep texting me. I haven't spoken to them since June and it is now January. I'm getting married this year and they haven't received an invitation and they aren't going to get one.
They must have figured that out by now. I suppose.
But they (my mother mostly) keep texting me the world's most banal texts. Sometimes a few in chunks together. Sometimes nothing for months at a time.
"It's almost Thanksgiving!"
And the last couple-- where my father joined in for the first time-- "Keep warm."
These texts fill me up with a hot, sick rage. I want to scream-- at them. At myself for caring. I want to start smoking again-- a 100 cigarettes at a time-- and drink until I can't remember my name. I want to kick something hard and unyielding until I break my foot. And scream and scream and scream.
How DARE you put on your reasonable parent mask after what you've done.
I think about changing my phone number when I'm sick with anger, but when I feel better, it always seems like such a huge pain in the ass.
I should probably explain. The micro version is this- in order to "get to know me better" (my father says) or keep me under surveillance (I say)-- my father read my blog. And he found something I had said about him and he didn't like it.
Here is my global reply to that, which is a quote from the writer Anne Lamont--
"You own everything that happened to you. Tell your stories. If people wanted you to write warmly about them, they should've behaved better."
Should have behaved better.
My father is angry that I told people that he forced me to diet and exercise-- past all limits of what anyone would consider loving behavior even in our diet obsessed culture and far far over the line into abuse. I was eight when he told me I was fat. I was eight when he forced me onto a less than 1000 calorie a day diet- when it started. He forced me to exercise past all endurance. It wouldn't end until I was in college.
He didn't want a fat child, and by god he was going to torture me into another shape.
He doesn't want you to know this. He doesn't want anyone to know this.
But it's not his story to tell. He doesn't want it spoken out loud, or typed into a screen, but by god, I am the one who has to live with the damage.
I have found it helpful to tell these stories. I am the one who needs help. I will do what I need to do to help myself.
Here is more context-- In order to find the blog post where I mentioned, in pretty mild tones, compared to what actually fucking happened, that my father forced me to diet-- he had to read almost a year deep into the blog. He had to read past more than one post where I talked about being a rape survivor.
But my father is angry that I said he forced me to diet. Which he did do. He wanted to nitpick something or another-- I said he forced me to run until I threw up at 16, but that didn't happen then.
THEN. That didn't happen THEN.
OH DID I GET THE YEAR WRONG??? I BOW IN HUMBLE FUCKING APOLOGY.
Was 16 the year that I threw up running, or was I too busy throwing up in private with my newfound purging eating disorder to throw up while running? Or was that the year I developed shin splits so bad I could barely walk?
I didn't know how badly it would hurt that he doesn't seem to care that I was raped. Even in my worst imaginings, I had always supposed that would matter. I should have known better.
He says none of it ever happened. Which is pretty typical in my family. It's SUPER WEIRD how I have memories of entire years worth of events that no one else seems to ever remember.
I must just be a big old liar. That's what they would say anyway. Would say, have said, will say. Always say.
It's weird how I have these vivid memories about things that never happened, combined with the anxiety issues and coping patterns of someone who's been through some awful shit- that I guess that never happened either. I guess these panic attacks are an elaborate, decades long hoax.
About a year before the fateful June, my mother told me a story about someone she knew, a man who was having an argument with his teenage son. In the course of the argument, the man punched his son in the face. And the son called social services.
The way my mother tells the story-- it's the son who did the wrong thing.
So. There you go.
It really fucking upset me when she did this.
Let's get back to June- my father says-- you don't tell anyone anything about this family.
And I say NO. I will not choke down fucking poison like the rest of you. I can't. I fucking won't.
He said this to me after Josh and I took time off work to go spend the weekend with him and my mother, for her birthday and Father's Day. He had recently come back from working overseas and I was hopeful, stupidly hopeful that we might have a nice time for once.
My parents refused to speak to us for an entire weekend. Straight up silent treatment, with full on angry glaring. And you have no idea how good my father is at an angry glare. He looks at me like he hates me. Like he wishes I had never been born.
Most of my life, he's been looking at me like he wishes I was never born. It was a common threat too-- XYZ or I'll make you wish you'd never been born.
And what I eventually wanted to say was-- too late.
TOO LATE. I already wished that. I spent almost my whole childhood wishing that.
And what makes it worse this time is that in their eagerness to punish me, they are treating Josh badly too. And that I will not bear.
Oh and also my mother told me my wedding was stupid too, so that was awesome.
I have a sister too. What I will say about her is that when my parents choose me as the scapegoat- that when they needed someone to punish, she was always willing to lay in that final kick while I was down.
We could have been allies in a terrible situation, but she decided to be my enemy instead when I most needed someone. She got out of the way of the abuse by making me more of a target.
I get it. But I don't want to talk to her either.
(I know this is all over the place, but I don't know how much editing I'm going to be able to stand to do. So if you're reading this and it's hard to follow, I apologize. I'm doing my best.)
Back to June-- My mother disappeared the morning we are supposed to get on a train to come home. My father waits until 5 minutes before we're supposed to walk out the door-- after 3 days of punishing us both with his classic emotional abuse tactics-- to tell me that blah blah, my blog, blah blah how dare I talk about our family to anyone.
He told me to take this blog down.
I said no. I said, I need to talk about this. I said, I felt so bad when you treated me like this, that I wanted to kill myself and do you even care?
He ignored that completely and told me again to take the blog down. TOLD me like I'm still a child he can order around and terrify and abuse.
And I said NO. NO I WON'T. And I left.
So that's where we are. I knew at the time, when we got on a train and I was shaking and numb and screaming typing ALL CAPS tweets that this was going to be it. I knew in my emotions before I knew in my logic and my thoughts.
I am divorcing my parents. I have divorced them. They just won't stop disregarding my boundaries.
I am not interested in hearing platitudes about forgiveness. To tell me to forgive in this case would be to tell me to go back to my parents and let them abuse me some more.
They don't think they've done anything wrong. They never did.
And I am stuck with all this gross shit-- like my brain keeps barfing up these awful memories that I don't even want and I'm like THANK YOU SO MUCH BRAIN. I REALLY NEEDED THIS TOO. AWESOME, YOU ARE BEING TOTALLY USEFUL AND HELPFUL RIGHT NOW.
Like that he beat my sister's dog with a fly swatter and I could hear it yelping and crying, because the dog wouldn't stop barking.
That's one of the new ones. So YAY. Life is SO FUN right now.
They're sending me these goddamn texts. Like they're having some kind of imaginary parent conversation with me that I don't even have to participate in. They can't even acknowledge that anything is wrong. Like I'm being hysterical and they have to calm me down.
It fucking infuriates me.
It's a little harder with my mother, because I do have some good memories of her. Unlike my father, where it's all fear and anger and punishment and hatred. The only positive feelings I used to have about my father were the slightly guilty feelings that I didn't have any positive feelings about him.
I have had positive feelings about my mother. But I also know that she has never done thing one to stop my father from treating me like utter garbage. That she is not above pulling manipulative bullshit. That when I told her I got engaged she didn't even acknowledge it with a hmm and then proceeded to talk about her goddamn garden for half an hour.
So fuck her too.
I used to pray to Jesus that they would get divorced so I could get away from my father. But my father is more important to my mother than her children are.
I honestly don't know why they even bothered to have children.
I don't want to hear ANYTHING from my parents that doesn't start with "I'm sorry and I know why you're angry". And not some my father's classic bullshit of "I'm sorry but if you hadn't been such a bitch I wouldn't have gotten mad in the first place."
This will never ever happen. My father never apologizes to anyone for anything ever. This is not an exaggeration for effect either. I don't have a single memory of him ever saying he was sorry for anything. For him to be sorry, he'd have to be wrong. And he is never wrong.
Yeah, I know this is all public and anyone can see it and I just don't care anymore. If this makes someone think badly of me for being so public with all this family bullshit, well too bad. You have no idea what I've been through. If I wrote a thousand posts, I couldn't tell you.
I've tried to hold it in and not talk about it, but I can't anymore. It's eating me up from the inside.
The sad part is what's killing me. I don't want to be sad. I don't want to be sad over these people who have been so awful to me.
But I am anyway.