Editor’s note: Lovefaud received the following letter from a reader who posts as “Jen.”
I think something must be wrong with me. Wait, I KNOW something is wrong with me, but I don’t think it is all that bad. I think it is the ‘bad’ people in the world that make it that way.
Part 1- My Screwed Up Childhood!
I went through a lot of abuse as a child. Not from my parents, but from the people around them. I do blame my parents for putting their children in situations that were wrong.
My parents split when I was about 3 and my younger brother was almost 1. My dad and I were real close, and it was very hard for me when they split up. My dad was in his early 20s and a partier. My mom couldn’t deal with my dad’s irresponsibility, and he had hit her a couple of times. My father was awful back then! My mom was cold to me, but at times could be very loving. She was always up and down. She said that I didn’t like her as a baby, and my younger brother was her favorite. Sick if you ask me. (My previous counselor told me she thinks my mother has a personality disorder.) I loved my brother very much, and we were always very close. My happiest memories are with him, and I think he might have been my saving grace through life.
When I was almost 4, my father kidnapped my brother and I. He took us out of state, and left us to be babysat for 3 weeks by my uncle’s neighbors. These 2 women that babysat us molested and hit me and hit my premature barely walking brother. I told my mother when we were taken back home (thank God for police!) that they had stuck needles in me. I think they drugged me, and I barely remember anything. They did give me a curable STD, though. I was 3! My mom did not get me therapy for this.
After we arrived home, I was terrified of women. Things only got worse, too. We got a new babysitter while my mom was at work. She hated white people, and she beat my brother and I from the age of 4 until the last day of my second grade year. I was a very pretty little girl, with long blond hair to my butt and always in bell bottoms. This only made things harder for me. We were locked in rooms the size of a small walk-in closet with nothing but a TV for most of the day. I hated Mr. Rogers when I was young, and that is sad as he was such a nice man. I had a bladder infection at age 6 from not being allowed to go to the bathroom. The last day I was at this baby sitter’s home, she slammed my head repeatedly into her deep freezer.
We had told our mother on a daily basis all the things this woman did to us. We begged her constantly not to send us back there. She only did something that last day I was there, but she had just gotten a new job and could afford to send us somewhere else, finally. She let her children be abused over money.
Also, she had a boyfriend. He never abused us, but he was diagnosed with BPD. She had us move in with him. This man grew pot in his backyard and was a dealer. He had the Hell’s Angels over all the time and they would have parties where they would shoot at each other with guns. He was crazy, and he would beat my mom a lot. She was always waking us in the middle of the night telling us to run. We would wait down the road for her to come pick us up in the car, standing in the road in our PJs. The worst one was when he was swinging her around by her hair trying to light her on fire. We were terrified, and we waited down the street crying. It seemed like forever until she got to us, and we were unsure if she was coming or what we should even do.
My mom stayed with this man for 12 years, and only left him when she had his replacement. The replacement was my dad’s brother, who was still in prison! He was a diagnosed sociopath, and he was a murderer. My father hated him, and had no contact. This man was sick, and he came into my mom’s life when she was grieving the death of her sister and nephew, who had just been murdered. She was very sick at the time, too, I guess. My brother and I were teenagers when this happened. My brother couldn’t take my uncle or mom, and moved in with my dad. I moved in with my boyfriend and his family. My mom threw me out at age 16, because my uncle didn’t want us there. How wrong is it to marry your ex-husband’s (and the father of your children) brother?! Ewwww!
Their marriage only lasted 2 years. The police took him away one day, and that was that. My mom ended up getting cancer in her head, shortly after. She lost an eye and most of her face, but survived it. She had 2 brain surgeries, which changed her a lot. She became like a child with her emotions, and she is kinda strange at times now. I was the only one who took care of her during all of her cancer treatments. She was very emotionally abusive to me during this time. She got cancer when I was 23, and I ended up taking care of her until I was 32.
When I was in my late 20s, she was well, but refused to take care of herself. She was also starting to try and abuse my children. The things she said and did were so sick and mentally cruel. I would not have any of it, as trying to hurt my children is a line not to cross with me. So, I told her it was time for her to take care of herself. Oh my Lord! You would have thought I committed a mortal sin. Lol! My whole family said I was just the worst person in the world for kicking her out. I took care of her for years, I had my children’s welfare to be concerned about, and I had enough, anyway.
My life got better after my mom was gone. My children and I were much happier, and I felt like we started actually living. I can spend time with her and enjoy her, but if I see her too much she ends up hurting me. I learned through therapy that I have to distance myself from her, but she is my mother and I do love her. So, once in a while I get sucked in and end up crying a little. I was diagnosed with PTSD at age 32 from everything that had happened to me (keep reading as I haven’t got there, yet). I was suddenly having night terrors and panic attacks, but most of my trauma ended up being from my mother.
I love my dad, and he has a big heart. It’s just that he is a sucker like I am. He has the worst taste in women! His mother was a doozie! She was abusive and cruel. My father became a beer drinker at an early age (as did I, for a small amount of time). My father remarried when I was 6. This woman and her teenage son were ‘oh so nice’ until the marriage. My brother and I were slapped, hit, punched, and tortured in general when my father wasn’t around by this woman’s son. He was into torturing small animals, too. He tried to molest me when I was 7, but I screamed and that ended that. My father was always fighting with this woman over how her son hurt us. Their relationship became explosive. Then she started hitting us and slapping us in the face for crying if her son had hurt us. He would make us bleed, a lot. My father divorced her, and she took everything from him. He lived in his truck for a while, and then back at his mom’s for a couple of months.
My father met another woman. She was so sweet and charming. We loved her, and thought she was great. We used to go to her place and ride her horses. It was nice, and so was she (we thought). They moved in together rather quick, and she slowly started changing. My father had me move in with him when I was in the 8th grade, and that is when I found out how screwed up she was. She tried to starve me, and I was not allowed to eat even a piece of bread at home. My father was a workaholic and still a beer drinker. He wasn’t around much, so he didn’t know. The lunch ladies at school snuck me a free lunch card, so I could survive. My clothes were always torn and crappy, and I wasn’t even allowed to have tampons. Ewww! My dad would sneak me to the store to get me some clothes, make up, and personal items, but he made me hide all the packages, receipts, and we had to sneak them in the back door.
I stayed with my dad for only that school year, and I returned to my mom’s. His girlfriend was too much for me, and she was always trying to get into a physical fight with me over anything. (I have endometriosis, and she was mad because my cramps were so bad. She could have let me have something for the pain, but instead wanted to ‘kick my ass for not helping her’.)
My father is still with this woman, after all these years. I just went with them out of town, and it was hell. I am 36 now, and this woman still tries to talk to me the way she did when I was 14 by insulting and acting like I am a fool. I just shut up. I did watch with amazement at how she treated not just me, but everyone. Her insults, jealousy, putting people down to better herself, and her mass insecurity has shown me what she is. She is a complete narcissist. I watched her and remembered everything. I figured her out. Her actions and my father’s miserable disgusted look on his face say it all. He is just waiting for her to die, as he learned that was the only way out. She has COPD and continues to smoke and take random pills to get high.
My dad learned that escape came when his mom died. His mother used him to no end. She was horrible to the women he was with, and any decent one he met ran to the hills after meeting her. She controlled her children to no end, and wrecked their lives. She was constantly calling my father for everything, even money. My father’s whole family used him badly. It used to make me so angry, and I could never understand why he just wouldn’t tell them no. His father died, and then his mother died about 10 years later. After she died, my father quit drinking and finally seemed happy (except when he is around his wife).
My father is a strong man and a rather famous ironworker, but he is still a door mat with a lot of people. He once took a guy home who was living out of the dumpster behind his work. He bought this man clothes, fed him, and gave him a place to live. He hired this guy to work for him, and he taught him how to be a welder. They became the best of friends, and he really changed this guy’s life for the better. My father has been doing stuff like that all his life, though, and he never brags or says a word about it. The man he helped told us, not my dad. I have watched my dad help many people through my life, but a lot of them seem to take advantage and they use him. This might have been the only time he didn’t get used badly. He is a sucker, too.
I didn’t turn out all screwed up, after all. I say this because I have read over and over again that people who have been through hell as children are probably sociopaths or narcissists. This is not true, and it is one of the reasons why I do not let anyone know what I have been through in life. I have told a couple of people after I was very close with them (only some of my life), but I feel uncomfortable talking about it. Not because of what I went through, but I am afraid of their reactions.
We judge people as damaged or crazy if they have been through severe abuse. That is one of the signs of a personality disorder. I read on Lovefraud (I come here a lot and read) where someone had said that if they are told that everything under the sun has happened to someone, they run for the hills, as they know the person is a P/S/N. Hey, wait a minute! I did have almost everything under the sun happen to me, and I’m fine. I finally suffered PTSD in my 30s, and that only lasted 2 years. I don’t even have that anymore. I don’t ask for sympathy or do the poor me routine (I also don’t lie, cheat, steal, use people and I feel terrible when someone else is suffering), but should I have to live my life in fear of being judged should I speak about my past? It wasn’t my fault that I went through all of this, and I am grateful everyday that I didn’t turn out like them or worse.
Some of my traumas helped me in ways. I am a great mother because of it. I protect my children, and I am great about keeping them from harmful people. (Unfortunately, I am very experienced with harmful people.) My son is 16, and I couldn’t be more proud of him. My daughter is 8, and she is the sweetest little thing. I am doing something right as a mother by not following my parent’s examples. The cycle of abuse will not continue with me; I love my kids too much to ever hurt them. I had been starved of intense love until they were born. (Except for my brother. I love him the way I love my kids, and I always tried to protect him from the abuse growing up. I knew I was stronger, and wouldn’t have been able to take it.)
I still have a problem, though. In a lot of ways, I am like my dad. (Well, minus the hitting when he was in his early 20s, and his drinking problems.)
To be continued tomorrow in part two…………….