When I think about entering treatment for binge eating disorder last year, I could have never imagined doing something so abrupt, but after having done it, I feel confirmation that it was a long time coming. I also feel the sting of hoping for a repaired relationship (that was showing signs of healing fully) and concluding that maybe it’s not reparable after all. Some might say I’m the common denominator: I’m too outspoken, bitter, angry, hold a grudge, am critical, I don’t forgive easily, and etc. I say to them, you’re right! You’re absolutely right! I am all of those things, and I do not apologize. In the context of my mother and overall family, I will go through each accusation.
Let’s see, why would I possibly be seen as a threat because I’m too outspoken? Maybe because I speak the truth about travesties that go on in our family, and don’t just lie down and wait to be walked all over? Or, is it because of the dynamics I was raised under, up to and including: being a latch-key kid; raising my brothers (they call us second moms) with my older sisters; being home alone at a fairly young age often and sometimes overnight while my mom was on business trips; not feeling I had a voice as a Mormon; constantly being guilted into believing I was doing something wrong at any given moment by the church and my family; deciding I do not want to continue to feel crushed by the pain of invalidation, so I speak.
Why could I possibly be bitter? Could it be that I was raised in a brainwashing cult that sucked the life out of me and made me feel like I was never good enough? Or, maybe some of the dynamics that were damaging to me as a child continued on into my adulthood: Feeling abandoned; unheard; criticized; ignored and overall feeling completely unstable with all of the vascillations of others’ minds on an almost daily basis. Maybe some of my bitterness has to do with my 2-year-old daughter being sexually assaulted and abused by my cousin for 3 years (until she was 5 and finally had the courage to tell me), and having to constantly remind my family of why I do not want to be around a pedophile. My cousin is not the only pedophile in the family either, what about my mom’s brother who took custody of my other uncle’s daughter when she was 3 and raped her for 12+ years? He gets out of prison and is considered the prodigal son, gets to attend all family events, while I have to ask every time I’m invited if “so and so” is going to be there? The answer is usually always yes. The predator gets protected, and me and my child, and my cousin who was raped, get victimized over and over long after the initial damage is done.
Damn right I am, and I have every reason to be! The most recent offense: Signing over a Power-of-Attorney for the care of my niece (who has been in my mother’s care for the past 5 years), with the idea of adoption in the near future and then deciding that this next 6 months is just a “trial period” because my mom doesn’t feel this is the best place for her, though she insisted all of 3 days ago, that it would be, and it is! My niece is finally adjusting after a very difficult transition and a bit of culture shock, and she is content with the prospects of her future here. She does not want to return to my mother at all, and it will not happen on my watch.
I Hold a Grudge
For anyone that knows me, and knows me very well, I do not hold a grudge unless I feel it is necessary for my own mental well-being. In the case of playing with my emotions, and potentially injuring the hearts of those I am sworn to protect (including myself), a grudge is well warranted. It is not up to me to make someone else feel better about crimes they committ.
I Am Criticial
Calling people out on their damaging vascillations is hardly being critical, at least in a negative sense. Just because I put boundaries up and expect people to keep them, does not make my actions inherently wrong. I admit, before treatment I might have thought of every word spoken, and every thought illustrated and picked them apart to find some flaw, but not anymore. I know when I’ve gone too far, and in this case, my reaction was appropriate to the stimuli.
I Don’t Forgive Easily
Forgiveness is a gift, and unlike they teach in Sunday School, I don’t have to give it to everyone on a whim. It’s something that must be worked for, nurtured, and proven. If acknowledgements are not made, promises are not kept, and actions are not sustainability better from how they were before, forgiveness will not be given, at all. I don’t care if it supposedly eats me up inside and makes me implode, though I adamantly refute that notion – It is better than allowing others to manipulate and take advantage of me.
And so it is. I will slowly come to terms with this new blow to my life, but I will deal with it as I have dealt with everything prior – I will keep walking, step after step, and finally, after so many years, love myself along the way.