Original post 5/2014

We do things for people we love not for those who do not deserve love.

I woke today with a tug, my introspective mood. I save difficult post for days like this. It’s not depression or sadness more logical than emotional. Dissociation is a conversation my therapist and I have talked about for 15 years. When I talk about child abuse at the hands of my mother and stepfather my mood is flat.

One of the ways I survived was putting each memory in a box to deal with later. After awhile some memories fade. Other’s are  yearly reminders. My mother still sends Birthday and Christmas cards. About 15 years ago she sent a Birthday card triggering the last blow. She basically said “I’m not the only person with problems get over it.” Nothing ever changes, everything is about her. I had not thought about my mother yet would send thank you notes for Christmas gifts.

I didn’t think about it, just on auto pilot. This Birthday card was different, it pissed me off almost to almost losing it which I rarely do. I took the card to my next therapy appointment. I sit down and Diane knew something was very wrong. I handed her the card and the inscription written in the book. Diane was a cool therapist, she knew me well. She could tell the anger was building and ask what was my next step. I throw them in trash and send her a thank you card.

She pulled my reins in and asked why I would thank my Mother for kicking me in the gut. She helped me see I was being polite, acting the way my grandparents taught me. Diane turned around throwing them in trash saying my mother didn’t deserve me. Did I want to send a card? Was I doing the expected? I realized two things: I would no longer have contact with my mother, not open the cards, throw them with the $25 check in the trash. She helped me see I was in my own chains.

I felt much lighter after making that decision. The other lesson learned: I’m not flying auto pilot anymore. I thought about the waisted energy and looked forward to my liberated self. I didn’t have any contact with her again until my brother’s wedding. Years had past, the older me asked, I would not look back and know I missed his wedding because of her. It was uncomfortable seeing my other grandmother and her. I answered the obligatory “fine” then turned my chair so she could see my back. It sent the message, I was not interested in talking. Flash forward to May 22, 2014. Karma. My mother told me at least once a day how stupid I was. I laughed when I receive notice my Andy Warhol “So Smart” shipped today.

My father sexually abused me, estranged from the age of 14. We saw each other some holiday gathers. My father was belligerent, anything could push him to out of control crazy. He would get so worked up, my grandmother would tell him to go outside. The smallest detail could get him to a point of making him sick.

I now realize this behavior was part of his mental illness. He was my grandmother’s only child, in many ways she still treated him like a child. I didn’t learn how sick my father was until he committed suicide in 1992. Ten years before his death, one of his roommate’s committed suicide in the bedroom he rented with my dads gun.

My dad was distraught and my grandmother didn’t want him to clean the room. She called me at work to tell me what happened and they were going over. Here is where the two situations are dramatically different. Horrified at the thought of my grandmother cleaning up the blood. I said I would meet them there. My grandfather tried to redirect my father’s thoughts. We cleaned and packed his room for family.

Cleaning after a suicide brings many emotions out. My grandmother and I worked without talking, it didn’t occur to me that he could have HIV/AIDS. It was a couple of days when my brain thawed, the question crossed my mind. My grandmother cleaned houses to have money, She wanted me to have nicer clothes for school. She knew how to clean anything from house cleaning.

We had to decide what to do with the mattress. Answer’s don’t roll out to questions like this. We could not leave it in the house, my grandfather took the blood soaked mattress to the curb for city to pick up. The image of neighborhood kids playing seeing the blood, ate at me but I had bigger things to do. I brought black trash bags in for his belongings.  It was difficult going thru his dresser, I found 14 pennies which took my mind to a dark place. This person was alive yesterday and today his parents are picking up three trash bags, all their son owned. I fixated on the 14 pennies. He didn’t have any money in wallet, was 14 pennies what it came to? Is all that’s left of this person’s life, three trash bags? The thought of handing trash bags to his parents bothered me for days. Was this it? Someone’s life could come down to three trash bags.

I thought about how any times I attempted suicide. My mind switched to what I would leave behind. I don’t want my family to see? After the brain thawed, I started going thru my house throwing items in the trash. Mainly my journals, my grandparents did not know about the sexual abuse and they would go to their graves not knowing.

For a time I was outside of my body, the only way to describe is dissociation. I knew if my grandmother knew it would upset her. The same way we dealt with my father’s death. I believe this is one of the reason it took me 7 years to grieve before packing the feelings away.

I realized this was unconditional love coming from me. Arriving at the house after my father shot himself, I wanted to see the bathroom. In the bathroom was proof he is dead. I knew having a closed casket would cause my grandmother more pain than I could understand. Thinking I could handle anything, same as today. I’d planned to tell her I forgot something once we got outside. Then open the bathroom. She was to smart for that, she said if you’re going in I’m going with you. There was no way I would let her in the bathroom. I think any parent would break beyond repair seeing their childs brains on the wall. My love for my grandmother came before my wish. I knew it would be difficult to reconcile death with a closed casket.

I stopped by after work to get her mind on something else. It didn’t make it less painful just a reprieve from the pain. I never let her see me cry or it would set her off. The long grieving process was in part due to pushing feelings down for my grandmother.

Some people never give or get unconditional love. I’m blessed with unconditional love with my grandparents. With anyone. Love has everything to do with it.

Warrior

23 Comments on “What’s Love Got To Do With It?

    • I go on just like everyone with strength. You keep looking forward. You learned alot about me this week. Probably all a big surprise. You probably wonder how I’m not a totally hateful person. Belief in God and the love of my grandparents.
      🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      • Not all a surprise because I read a few posts last summer. But I didn’t know a lot of things. And I took a break reading because it’s hard for me to read and I can’t even imagine how hard it was for you to live it ❤ ❤
        I hope you got the chair! 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

  1. Hey Malinda,

    I read the post and I was feeling that you have so much courage now to handle this whole past and the current situation.You have a great sense of understanding of all the emotions and all abuses you ever faced. You are going well to the path of recovery and healing. Which is good and i appreciate this.

    All i can say that please face your fears, and accept whatever happens with you, and then move on. Life is precious and short , don’t give your memory a reverse gear again and again , look around and enjoy, what had been past , it will never come back again, You are thinking and letting those memories hit you back again. Don’t do this and just LIVE HAPPILY.

    May Allah bless you and your loved ones , ameen

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    • I really appreciate your observations. I only look forward. I have seen a Therapist for many years, she has helped a great deal. There a few really bad memories about my father I have not dealt with and know it. The good thing is I don’t look back. I’m writing my Blog to cleanse my soul but more to help other people who don’t having anywhere to turn. Thanks for caring. 🙂

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  2. I cleaned up my step-father’s suicide last June. It was very thoughtful of him to contain the mess with plastic and cardboard (from what I could tell after his body was removed), but not so thoughtful that he would go through with the act. It takes amazing courage to write about these things. I left home at 14 and had my own apartment by 16. I didn’t always have the best relationship with my mother. She spent most of her life in denial before becoming inspired by Dr. Phill. Although I’m glad that she undestands her own need for counseling now, I do not feel obligated to participate. I faced my own issues years ago, and do not feel the need to re-hash them. I did go back into counseling to help my sister and my family deal with my mom’s need to revisit old wounds. If you’re in the US there are many great resources available for survivors of sexual assault and abuse. You can find a listing at: USDOJ: Office on Violence Against Women: Crimes of Focus: Sexual Assault. I found this listing from my local help center’s website. I was signed up to become a crisis counselor when I broke my leg (requiring surgery and a rod to repair the bone.) It’s something I’d like to look into again at some point in the future. Below is a link to my post on suicide awareness and prevention.
    One Word Photo Challenge: Purple (Winter Sunset) | Love Support Educate Advocate Accept.

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    • Suicide is hard no matter the reason. I understand this in my core because I’ve been to that place forty one years. Between abuse and mental illness it has come down to a final second. I’m here and very happy about it. I’m glad to hear you don’t feel chained to your mother’s journey yet willing to help other members with theirs. I have learned a couple of things for sure at 50 yrs. old, survival is a choice. Survivors have to dig deeper and deeper. We are both survivors and choose to help other’s. Have a great weekend. I’m following you.

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  3. So good to get it out…
    You’ve had lots of stuff happen. Lots to process and deal with.
    Looks like you are doing a great job.
    Nice to have a therapist you can trust too. Gavin.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Gavin, I’ve had a lot to handle and so have you. We know what the deepest pain feels like. I’m lucky the horrible scars were from childhood and ended in my teens. I’ve had a long time to toss the shit around and decide what to do with it. I think we have the most difficult memories and emotions locked away. I disassociated from the scars my father left, hoping to get some out in blog. I do know that my worst scars will stay in the rusty box. You know what it’s like, you can only deal with so much. I’ve had the chance to read blogs that bring tears to my eyes.I joined a group of survivors who don’t judge me. I’ve built relationship over the internet which never would have crossed my mind. It’s people like you who give me strength to write the post. It’s you that writes more than normal when a post touches you. That’s empathy. When you spell your name out it makes me feel special. We’re the same and different. Big Hug XO Melinda 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Thank you for sharing this with us. I had the unconditional love of my grandparents as well that I would have never known without them.
    Big hugs
    T

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you for stopping by my blog and leaving your nice comments. I looked at your Blog and have a few thoughts to chew on. What is your bottom line goal for writing? Are you writing detailed post of your experiences, nitty gritty, not everything is going to be ok. Is the goal to provide resources and motivation? Search your heart to find your Blogs mission. After you have the answer/answers write me back. Keep in mind I’m very straight forward and providing my opinion Thanks. Mel

      Liked by 1 person

      • I really, really appreciate your honest feedback. I am trying to keep short posts for now since I am new, but eventually I want to get way more detailed on my experiences as I learn more about blogging. My hope is to offer hope and resources for those suffering with depression/anxiety/suicidal thoughts while also being honest with how I am doing.

        Writing has been therapeutic so far and has helped me be more positive than I normally would be. Does that makes sense or am I just confusing my readers? Thanks so much, look forward to reading more of your posts. 🙂

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      • I have a couple of questions. Are you semi-familiar with Word Press tools? What impression do you want readers to have/feel about your Blog? What impression do you want readers to feel/think about you,i.e. your personality, style of writing? Does your current website reflect those two things? Do you know how to build an “I follow” widget? Are you writing anonymously or using real name?

        Ideas: Look at other Blogs on depression & anxiety, make note of site and pro/con. Maybe a dozen or so. Look at the themes used, make note of ones you like. What are the pro/con on my site? Take good notes so I can look at sites and see pros/con, where you’re coming from.

        After you gather the information let me know. Have a great weekend.

        Liked by 1 person

  5. This post is painful to read. There are so many similar things in our pasts, the incest, mother abuse, suicide by gun. It’s so wonderful you had your grandparents and learned about unconditional love. I missed out on that. Thank you for sharing this.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you you for reading the post. Pull your shoulders back knowing the gift of deep love can come your at anytime form anyone. When you put others in front of your needs for all the right reasons, it hits you like a brick. If I can Survive you can. It happens very slowly. I’m here to talk or listen to when needed. My grandparents kept me alive because I did not want to hurt them. It was a long time before my revelations. XO

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      • Thank you. I believe that, too–putting others first certainly changes things for the better. So great that you had your grandparents! Thanks for the encouragement–shoulders back! 😉

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