April 8, 2009

Mama, However, Did Not Paint My Nails

So I talked about dad. Probably for the first time in a while in some detail. I think we get now that despite his best, yeah he was abusive.

So, perhaps you've wondered...why I hardly talk about my mother at all? Is it because she's a saint? Because we get along so well? Er, no. You see, ladies and gents, my mother abused me as well, physically and emotionally. Almost indirectly. I'll explain.

I will say first that I think it's actually taken me longer to fully forgive & come to terms with what SHE did...forgive is probably the wrong term actually...perhaps merely get past.

You see, I suppose the great thing is I can fully rationalize both my parents' behaviors. Dad was a drug addict and an alcoholic. Mom, I'm pretty sure I mentioned, has her own history of abuse with her first husband. Also I think it's good to keep in mind that both my parents came from, I guess you'd say...more rural, maybe traditional black homes. Big families out in the country side. Both of them have a history of what you and I may call child abuse--I say "may" because I know not everyone thinks of spankings as abuse, but I'm willing to bet you'd agree with me on out 'n out beat downs--and they were just raised that way. Rationalize, explain, but justify? Maybe.

See, dad had no qualms about spanking me much, and I was a hyperactive little kid until I got severely subdued in first grade for various reasons--thanks society. Mom scoffed at the idea. But, uh, she beat me twice when I was older. I'll get to that.

But before I get any further, I do want to warn the viewing audience at home that I'm going to say some harsh shit and bitter words. If you thought my piece on dad was ugly and revealing, that's just the shit I semi-regularly even talk about. Me and Mom's relationship has been addressed ONE TIME like...6 years ago. But don't worry, I won't air too much dirty laundry on you.

So! All that good stuff out of the way, I'll start by explaining what I mean by "indirectly". Mama has been a working person all her life--from Mickey D's to USA Today (not a journalist or writer mind you)--and that's something for me to happy about because it gives me hope. Mama also had my brother when she was 18. I'm not totally sure about the nature of their relationship other than it seems like they're not very close and it's rather sad. Then again he's not that close to his father either--actually he kinda hates him.

With me though, mom and I are pretty close I'd say. I'm her only daughter, second kid, last.

Mama is also very submissive it seems, very...feminine. She used to be a tomboy she says until she fell out of a tree. I also need to tell you why I think this is--and why issues surrounding rape and violence against women are so close to me--she was sexually assaulted as a child.

You can imagine that would traumatize anyone greatly, add to the fact that when she was in her twenties she married an abusive man who was handicapped--and this handicap lead to people basically blaming her for the abuse, even friends, hell even me at some point. How do you let someone with one functioning arm hit you? we'd say. It seemed my dad was the only one more sympathetic to her--sick innit? Well she "let" her husband abuse her until one day she finally found the strength to up and leave.

So...we all get lonely but it seems like mama is on a quest to constantly fill some void within her that she thinks will be filled by a man. I don't think since she's gotten married she's had a stable relationship. They all usually end in tragedy or stupidness. She also dates interracially--she preferred white men for a long time figuring they would treat her better than white men. Um, me, my bro, and dad usually tried to point out the flaw in that thinking considering the men she dated usually only considered her a living breathing sex toy. I kid you not.

So that's indirectly. How? She would bring these men over at night while I was sleeping and fuck them, therefore I had to learn about sex at quite the early age. Which distorted my views considering that all in all sex was something considered bad and taboo. So I was conflicted quite often. And seeing so many white men use my mother like, as I said, a sex toy, IN FRONT OF ME, not so good.

She would abandon me for these men. She'd leave me alone with my dad for these men. She'd push me away for these men, wouldn't let me near her for these men. She doesn't anymore, but she did. Even worse, when she didn't feel up to fucking these men she'd suddenly use me as an excuse not to see them. They would ask if I could be sent away.

I felt neglected a lot by my mom considering the 12 hour shifts she worked and the only time we could be together--the weekends--she usually devoted to going to clubs and hooking up with these men. When I expressed this fact to my father, he just said that my mom deserved to have a life too. I'd have to concede that he was right...mom being happy just meant that I wouldn't get to see her.

I often felt like neither of my folks wanted me there. Like I was an obstacle despite fervent reassurances...I just didn't see it.

The physical abuse. Well, one Halloween I had a big, big bag of candy. I would never eat it all and my older cousins came over while she had went out somewhere, so I said sure they could have it. When mom came home and found out, she threw me on the bed and beat me. Open hand slaps on the bed yelling at me. Over candy. We drove over and got the bag back. I still have no idea to this day why she beat me over that and neither does she.

The second time, I'm actually not sure about. I just remember her hitting me...a lot. For no reason again I'm guessing.

I hardly ever discuss this with mom. She feels guilty, like dad--but unlike dad, mother feels quite guilty it seems and usually our conversations end up getting nowhere--as in, the focus is no longer on me feeling horrible but how I'm "punishing her" because I feel getting beat up by her is sort of fucked. She's depressed, she cries, she yells at me, but it's usually not about me. I don't feel pity so much as I just get annoyed at that shit so we avoid it. The only time that happened is when she made me attend counseling where I didn't have a choice--and of course all the above happened. The counseling was because no one could figure out why I was cutting myself at 12. I had to scoff at that. I continued until some point last year, for some reason I was rarely angry/upset enough. See, I quit on my own. I know what the fuck's wrong with me, it's you two (and the rest of my family you know).

And that's pretty much it. Why does it take so long to forgive? I wonder if it's more taboo to talk about mothers abusing children (unless it's something drastic like, say, murder) because they are seen as the "caregivers". I guess in a sick way it's easier to explain fathers abusing children because men are more aggressive no? I think that's why it's so hard to excuse anything's she done. I seem to be a great deal annoyed with mom's actions that I am with dad, not because I love either one of them any less or more than the other, but because...mothers don't fucking do that, do they? I may not ever...

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