Take This Bread

misee 2

Submitted by Dr. Misee Harris

My dad recited the same Bible verse, Matthew 26:26 every Sunday during Communion, “While they were eating, Jesus took bread, gave thanks and broke it, and gave it to his disciples, saying Take and eat, this is my body.” Soon after communion, that is when the offering plates were passed around and the real “bread” that my dad was mostly concerned with, was the giving.  At the young age of 7, I had no idea that this hard earned money given by the people of the church was actually financing my brand new swing set, pool, sand box, and my brothers’ custom basketball court. I had become accustomed to this lifestyle. Nice presents for my birthday, big Christmases and shopping sprees. Mom always acted as if everything was just fine. She never skipped a beat. My life was as normal, if not better than, any other 7 year-old; at least that is what I thought.

     I was 9 when my mom filed for divorce. Things had progressed from bad to worse at my house. Mom started sleeping in my room at night, which really infuriated my dad. He was such a control freak. Everyone in the small town of Lewisburg, Tennessee, thought he was the best man ever. I mean he was the pastor after all and the most self-righteous man they had ever known.

     It was a Sunday night when mom and I planned our great escape. Dad came in reeking of alcohol. He burst through the door in my bedroom and stood over my mother in a state of rage. I witnessed the entire thing. You see, I had started sleeping with a knife underneath my pillow out of fear that my dad would someday try to harm my mother. It was only a butter knife but I kid you not, the way I had planned to use it was to poke his eyeballs out if necessary. He then jerked my mother from the bed and demanded that she get out of the house. I jumped up and slid my feet into my house slippers and followed my dad as he pulled my mom out of my room and down the stairs.  After had dragged her out of the house, he finally let her go and we ran up the road.  It was a very dark, humid night and my newly pressed hair quickly turned into a large afro. I, with my pajamas on and my mother in her house coat, began the journey of leaving our lives as we knew it behind.  When we stopped running to catch our breath, I turned around and looked back down the street.  I could see my dad in the front yard ripping out all of the pages of my mother’s expensive nursing text books. My mom exclaimed, “We are never going back, never!”  I was happy. I had grown tired of my dad being so controlling.  I was so proud of my mom.  She was in the process of finishing her nursing degree as well as trying to gain her independence. 

     We walked several miles until we made it to Renee’s house. Renee was one of my mom’s classmates in nursing school and, for the most part, knew everything that was going on in our house.  She knew that my mom was ready to leave my dad. Renee welcomed us into her house and made a place for my mom and me to sleep. Mom braided my hair into two cornrows and reminded me that my nappy hair would not be an excuse to skip school and that I would be going to school the next day. Renee was Caucasian and definitely didn’t have a hot comb in her kitchen drawer, so the chances of getting my hair straightened was slim to none.

          Mom and I were only able to stay at Renee’s house for a few days. My dad found out where we were, and kept vandalizing Renee’s car and mailbox. Mom couldn’t allow Renee’s family to be in danger so the only choice she had was for us to move into the projects.

 

(Continue reading in the book When Family Does You Wrong)

Tiara Stevens’ Justifiable Outrage

Woman raped by her own father who gave birth at aged 12 to a blind albino baby  is outraged as he is jailed for just ONE YEAR as reported on DailyMail.com/uk  by Paul Thompson

Tiara StevensTiara Stevens and her precious, cute little son

  • Tiara Stevens says her father raped her in  their South Carolina trailer and authorities did nothing for 14  years
  • Fred Montgomery, 47, is confirmed to be the  father – and grandfather – of the young boy
  • The child was born blind and  albino
  • Ms Steven says she sometimes confuses  herself over whether the boy is her son or her brother

 

A woman who was repeatedly raped by her  father and gave birth to her own brother has hit out after her attacker was only  jailed for a year.

Tiara Stevens said on Monday she had waited  14 years for justice only to see her father’s sentence as a ‘slap in the  face.’ 

An outraged Tiara said: ‘To wait 14 years and  all a person gets is one year?

‘A pat on the back, telling them it’s okay to  molest your daughter, impregnate her, and for her to have a child, a blind  child? It’s ok?’ 

Tiara StevensDevastated: Tiara Stevens, 27, says her son was born blind and albino after she  was impregnated by her own father at age 12

Tiara Stevens 2Outraged: Ms Stevens says she is furious that her father must serve only one  year in jail for repeatedly raping her when she was a little girl

Fred Montgomery, 47, had pleaded guilty to  criminal sexual conduct with a minor.

He was sentenced on Monday to 15 years in  jail, but all but one year was suspended.

Tiara was just 12 years old when she was  impregnated by her father at the trailer home they shared.

She only realised she was pregnant the day  before she gave birth after going into labour at school.

Her son was born blind and due to gene  problems was born an albino.

Tiara told officials in 1999 that her father  had raped her in the mobile home they shared in Lancaster County, South  Carolina.

But no action was ever taken even though a  DNA test in 2000 confirmed he was the father of his own grandson.

Tiara Stevens 4Years of abuse: Ms Stevens (left) says she waited 14 years to see her father  Fred Montgomery (right) brought to justice

Tiara and her father continued to live in the  same small town for over a decade until authorities were pushed into action by  the single mother.

Officials with the 6th Circuit Solicitor’s  Office said a fire at the courthouse destroyed many of the documents related to  the case.

In an interview with WISTV, 27 year old Tiara said she  was shocked by the lenient sentence.

‘It was a slap in the face,’ she  said.

Tiara said she is often confused on how to  describe her son.

‘That confuses me a lot,’ said Stevens. ‘It’s  like, “Which one are you today? Are you my son, or are you my brother?” Because  he really is both.’

In a previous interview, Tiara described how  her father would sneak into her room and rape her.

‘He never told me what he was doing,’ said  Stevens. ‘It was just late at night. He would come in, take my clothes off, and  he would have sex. And he would leave and he would say, “You better not stay up  all night,” and I would go in the bathroom and I would cry. The next night he  may not do it, but the next night, he would repeat the same thing.’

Tiara said she has not yet told her son that  her grandfather is actually her father and will be out of prison in a  year.

‘From this day forward, I will fight for  victim’s rights to make sure this never happens again,’ Stevens said.

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Sibling Rivalry After All These Years

sibling rivalry

 

My name is Dennis Stuart.  Since elementary school, my brother Dan and I have been very competitive.  It was more on his part to best me at everything we did.  We made good grades, played sports and worked hard on every project we were assigned.  Both mom and dad were teachers so it was a given that we were competitive.  I got a bachelor’s degree in engineering and Dan as well, but Dan one upped me and my parents.  He got a bachelor’s and M.D. degrees.   By the time we were in our mid-20s, I was so tired of this silly rivalry game, but Dan was as competitive as ever.  I was concerned that our younger twin brother sister were starting to become like Dan.  I just observed and mentioned to my parents that Dan took love competing with me for some reason.  My mother did sometimes have my father step in when she thought Dan was going a bit too far.  But it had been years since I had heard her say anything to my father or Dan about his need to be out in front on everything.  I hope they would stop this with the twins.

     I stopped protesting and let Dan go on with his games.  I stopped telling him anything about my plans because all he would do was find a way to diminish it and throw insults about what or how he could do something better.  I remember when I said I was going to take guitar lessons.  Dan said that he had already taken guitar lessons years ago and learned piano too.  Why couldn’t he just say something nice?  This was the scenario with everything I did or said.

     When I started dating my wife Courtney, Dan was nice to her and thought she was pretty, but he was determined to get a prettier girlfriend.  The girl he was dating named Anne, was very attractive and super nice despite Dan’s obsessive behavior.  He opted to trade her in and go for a prettier girl.  Dan found Jin in the gym where he worked out every day.  She is actually half Chinese and half British.  Jin is smart, getting a master’s degree in International Business and was on her way to run a fortune 500 company.  Jin stood up to Dan.  They debated a lot but seemed to genuinely love each other.  I didn’t get involved in their lives at all.  I was too busy courting my wife and preparing to propose after about 10 months.  I made the mistake of sharing my plans with mom.  After all, it was mainly mom who taught me how to treat Courtney and win her heart.  She was overjoyed and told Dan how happy she was for me and that she would be getting some grandchildren sooner than she thought.  Dan could not stand the fact that I was so happy and getting married before he would, so he set out to sabotage my plans.

     About four weeks passed.  On the day that I proposed to Courtney, she accepted over a nice quiet dinner.  We invited our families to dinner the next night to officially make the announcement.  Everyone came including Courtney’s parents and two younger siblings.  Dan and Jin invited her parents who were visiting from Hong Kong.  I announced that Courtney and I were officially engaged and planned to be married in about a year.  My father stood up and toasted us.  He blessed our engagement with all kinds of compliments and told us he already loved Courtney like a daughter.  Courtney’s mom cried and her parents came over to hug us both.  Mom cried too and told her future in-laws how happy she was to increase our family by five people.  I tried to ignore Dan’s fake smiles but wondered how he would try to out-do me.  I expected him to say something nice even if he was insincere.  Well it only took ten minutes and Dan made an announcement of his own.  He stood up, congratulated me, and announced that he and Jin were also engaged and getting married in Hong Kong, in three months.   

     Everyone was in shock but applauded Dan and Jin.  He did it again.  Dan’s competitiveness now included innocent parties.  My parents and I knew exactly what he was doing and I was seething, but I contained my anger and was determined not to let Dan completely ruin our night.  Dan totally manipulated the situation by asking me to be his best man.  Not only did he try to steal my joy, Dan was bullying.  I quickly turned the attention back to our announcement and said that Courtney would be planning her dream wedding and that I was leaving everything up to her.  Courtney stood up and announced that I made her the happiest woman in the world.  She also showed class in congratulating Jin.  I finished my dinner in a fake, festive mood.

(Continue reading in the book When Family Does You Wrong).

And Never Talk to Me Again! Handling Emotional Cut-Offs

And Never Talk to Me Again! Handling Emotional Cut-Offs

      Only you can start the healing
Published on September 2, 2012 by Robert Taibbi, L.C.S.W. in Fixing Families

 

Henry and Marie, both in their late 50’s, are devastated. They had just come back from visiting their 33 year-old daughter, Sara, and her family. They had done the good grandparent thing – attended their grandson’s birthday party, brought gifts – had, they thought, a great time. Now, only a couple of weeks later, and seemingly out of the blue, they have received this caustic email from Sara. She had been thinking about an off-handed comment that Henry had made, and that apparently led to her mulling over a lot of things about her childhood and past relationship with her parents. Finally, at the end she says in bold type, “And never talk to me again!” 

Ellen and Teresa would both admit that they had never been extremely close as sisters and have had their ups and downs over the years. Both have been busy with their own careers, relationships and the most they have been able to muster is a catch-up email every couple of weeks. But then their grandmother died and in her will she left more money to Ellen than Teresa. Understandably this stirred some hurt feelings but also inadvertently opened old long-standing wounds of jealousy, favoritism, unfairness between the sisters. They haven’t talked in months and there is no sign of a thaw.

Cut-offs, estrangement. It’s not just the stuff of Godfather movies (“You’re dead to me”) but unfortunately the stuff of millions of relationships. What is going here? A couple of things:

Continue reading

 

 

The Black Patent Leather Shoes

That day will never die, although I have spent most of my life trying to forget it. It was a bright and beautiful fall day, and I was playing in the front yard of my maternal grandmother’s house. Inside, my aunt Diane was watching television and babysitting my youngest aunt, Marquice.  I don’t know why I was outside alone; but I’m pretty sure it had something to do with the fact Marquice and I did not get along. It’s amazing the details of childhood a person remembers even after forty-six years; and playing outside alone—that particular day—is vividly in my mind.
Marquice and I were born just four months apart. My mom and dad had been married for almost four years, and my maternal grandmother was not married at the time of her pregnancy. Mothers and daughters in dual pregnancies were typical in poor families back in the day—aunts and uncles raised together with nieces and nephews. Such was our norm. What bothered me most about Marquice was she never liked me. She did everything possible to make my life a living hell, and she was encouraged by her mother and my aunt, Diane. Being a child with perpetual forgiveness to dole out selflessly, I did my best to treat Marquice kindly. Don’t get me wrong. There were times when she pushed me too far and I retaliated. Whenever I did retaliate, my grandmother chastised me and that began my realization of unequal justice.

   This particular day, my aunt Diane sent me to play outside alone. I don’t recall what type of clothing I wore that day, but I must have looked like some Southern, cotton-picking, slave baby because when my paternal grandmother drove up to the house, she grimaced. I knew that disapproving look, and it made me very sad. I was about three or four years old and playing in the dry dirt was my favorite activity. I loved making wetting the dirt to make mud pies, climbing trees, and playing jacks. Being outdoors was my escape from the torment of Marquice. However, my paternal grandmother interrupted this play day, and she was not happy with my appearance.

     My Grandma Sammie Lee called my name, and I rushed over to the driver’s side of her car. My uncle John sat in the front passenger seat, and my aunt Cynthia sat in the backseat behind my grandmother. Grandma smiled and told me to get in the car because she was taking me shopping. I was so happy. I felt lonely and going shopping with Grandma was going to be so much fun! Although I looked like someone had rolled me in flour and stuck my finger in an electrical socket, I was going shopping!

With his famous, bright, white smile, Uncle John got out, picked me up, and helped me into the backseat. I climbed in and sat next to Cynthia, who was also only a few years older.  Even as I write this story, tears well up in my eyes because of the happiness and joy I felt when my Grandma Sammie Lee picked me up to take me shopping. Who knew that special day would end with one of the most horrible childhood experiences I had, leaving its indelible mark on my psyche.

     I don’t recall my Grandma Sammie Lee talking to my aunt Diane and telling her where we were going. I was oblivious. All I cared about was going to downtown to Macy’s to shop with my Grandma, uncle, and aunt.  When we entered Macy’s, everything seemed so big and tall—the people, mannequins, signs, etc. It was almost overwhelming, especially for a small child. Nonetheless, I was overjoyed to be surrounded by so many beautiful things. Taking me by the hand, Grandma Sammie Lee walked me to the ladies room. Once inside, she took her handkerchief, placed it under the running facet, wet it, and cleaned my face, hands, and legs. She reached in her purse, retrieved a brush, and brushed my hair into a ponytail. When she was satisfied with my look, she led me back out into the department store.

Grandma Sammie Lee led us over to the little girls’ dresses. She told me my daddy had sent her money and wanted her to buy me a beautiful dress, matching socks, and black patent-leather shoes. There were so many dresses and they were so beautiful! I tried on yellow-laced, pink-ruffled, white-pleated, and pastel-green, cotton dresses. Grandma, Uncle John, and Cynthia laughed as I pranced and modeled for them. I was grinning from ear-to-ear. I felt so pretty—even prettier because my daddy wanted me to look pretty. I liked the white dress most; but Grandma decided on the pink dress. She told me the ruffles made my bowed-legs look prettier.

We headed over to the shoe department in search of the black, patent-leather shoes. There were so many, but I quickly noticed a pair with a bow on top. They were so beautiful—with a rounded toe and shiny, silver buckles. To finish my new wardrobe, Grandma picked out laced, pink socks. She took me back into the restroom, and changed me into my new clothes and shoes. She added a pink ribbon to my ponytail; and we left Macy’s. For the first time in my childhood, I felt pretty. I was the happiest little girl in the world.

  Before returning me to my maternal grandmother’s house, Grandma Sammie Lee treated me to a burger and fries. Of course, I could not have catsup or mustard; but the food was still delicious. As we drove back to the house, I leaned my face out the backseat window taking in the sunshine, cool breezes, and blue skies. I had not expected such a wonderful day. I was so happy. I felt loved.

Grandma Sammie Lee pulled up to the familiar curb. Uncle John got out, leaned his seat forward, and reached for my little hand. He picked me up, grabbed the shopping bags containing my old, soiled clothing, and carried me to the door. My aunt Diane answered, and didn’t seem happy to see me. That was okay because I felt pretty. I stood inside the screen door and my uncle walked back to Grandma’s car. He waved as he got in. Grandma and Cynthia waved, too. I smiled, waving back. Then, they were gone.

(Continue reading in the book When Family Does You Wrong).

Submitted by Clarissa (Queen of the Pen) Burton clarissa burton

 

Severing Ties and Moving On (from The World of Miss Glamtastic)

The Glamtastic Guide to Severing Ties and Moving On

 

Last July, I wrote a post about inconsiderate people, and different tactics for dealing with them. After giving people some time to correct course, you may find it necessary to cut the person loose. I don’t particularly enjoy severing ties with people, but SELF-PRESERVATION comes above all else. In my case, “self” extends to those that I love and want to protect from inconsiderate individuals. There is NO ONE that I will allow to mistreat me. Please do not misunderstand me: there are people that are supposed to love you, that can, and will, mistreat you, ignore your concerns, and regard you with little respect.

What does it take to cut someone loose? You must first decide to do it. You can’t simply talk about it: in fact, I recommend you stop talking about it. At the point where severing ties becomes necessary, you’re probably tired of talking. I don’t recommend that you talk until you are weary, but if the relationship means enough to you, you’ve probably tried to talk and mend/correct things until you are blue in the face. Save your energy, and decide to just let the person go.

Eliminate contact with the individual. No more texting, phone calls, emails, letters, or homing pigeons LOL! Don’t announce to the person that you are ceasing contact with them: simply do it. If you feel compelled to tell someone “I’m cutting you off” then you probably haven’t made a firm decision to get rid of the individual. Giving an inconsiderate person a goodbye speech only opens the door for more dialogue, delay in correcting action, and more time to HURT YOU. So close the door, do it quietly, and deadbolt it.  I know that *someone* will want to do the “cutting you off” speech. If it gives you a feeling of closure, then go for it. I personally feel that true closure comes from making a decision and sticking to it, and having the satisfaction of knowing that the other person didn’t see it coming, nor do they know all the details behind your decision. But if finale speeches are your thing, then go ahead and do you. The best way to do it is to lower the boom, while ensuring that the other person CANNOT RESPOND TO YOU. If that means blocking a few phone numbers, sending emails to the junk folder automatically, and blocking them on all forms of social media, so be it. The last thing that you want is an open door; open doors only lead to more suffering.  Continue reading

I Left My Abusive Parents’ Home

Hello Miss Undeserving, My name is Dawn L. and I wanted to thank you for this very nice blog.  The stories are sad, but they gave me some courage to write.  Really, I never thought about sharing my sad story until my friend told me about this blog.  I am 19 and I moved out of my mom and dad’s home 3 months ago. 

They were so controlling and actually hitting me until the day I moved out.  I don’t know why they are just so mean, but I got so tired and moved in with a girl from school and her family.  I want to go to college and I will, but I had to get a job.  I was able to save and move into a nice apartment and now I am so happy to be free. 

I am thinking about cutting my parents out of my life.  My older brother and sisters don’t even call them anymore or visit their home.  I tried to be peace maker but my parents are so religious to the point of abuse.   The last time my parents showed up here (unannounced) I did not answer the door.  I have not called them for 2 months and I feel guilty, but I don’t want to be hit for disagreeing or speaking my mind. I know I will not hit my children if I ever have any.

Thank you.

Do You Forgive A Family Member Who Has Done You Wrong Without An Apology?

 From Answer Bag.com

Do you forgive a family member who has done you  wrong

WITHOUT an apology? Why does family get away with doing

you wrong (repeatedly)?

 

Asker’s Pick

An apology is always  needed.  That is simply Dale Carnegie 101:  “Apologize and Mean It.”  If  anything, the apology should be for making the other person feel bad/ hurting  their feelings.  It should not be difficult to GENUINELY apologize to a loved  one for hurting their feelings.  Forgiveness is the result of the apology.  If  we just ran around and had to forgive every wrongdoing, then Elin Woods should  have no problems forgiving Tiger for his affairs.  Forgiveness is a solution to  an apology.  In a perfect world, we can all forgive and forget.  Period.   However, that isn’t always possible in interpersonal discourse.

Continue Reading (17 responses)

Stolen Identity

My sister Paulette B. opened up 2 credit cards in my name and ran up the credit cards.  I am now stuck paying for the bills and she is acting like it was no big deal.  I thought I was being careful not to have a purse open around Paulette her or anything of value as we have long known of her drug problem.  Paulette stole money from my parents and siblings and we have all but given up on her.  She holds her kids over my mother and threatens to keep them away from us.  She is holding my folks hostage but I cut ties long ago.  I don’t know when she decided to target me, but she got away with it for a little while.

I started getting bills at my address for credit cards I knew I did not have.  I dismissed the first 3 or 4 thinking they were junkmail.  I certainly did not need another credit card and was doing quite well financially.  One day, I decided to open one of those bills.  To my surprise, it was a bill from a major credit card to the tune of about $3500.00.  I was not worried, because I knew those charges were not mine.  I decided to call and inform them, they had the wrong person and I did not want my excellent credit ruined.  Well, I found out that I did make those charges, except it wasn’t me.  It was my sister!  After matching up the date opened and adding a few other things that didn’t make sense together I figured out it was her.

I discussed this with my folks who told me that I shouldn’t do anything because Paulette was family and to give her a chance to pay it back.  I refused and told them that the only way I could keep my credit from being affected was to file charges and let the police handle it or pay it off.  I had to do this against my parent’s wishes.  I could not let Paulette get away with screwing over our family any more.   Paulette cursed me out and called me every name in the book, but I was not going to sit idley by and let her get away with this.  By the time I was almost done straightening out this mess, I realized she had opened up another card.  I was too through with her and reported that as well.  Both credit card companies removed the charges from my accounts and closed them.  Paulette is in jail on other charges but awaiting court for the new fraud charges.  I feel sorry for her children and offered to keep them while she is away.  It is not their fault that their mother is a criminal drug addicted loon.  I’ll be happy to care for the kids as they are innocent.  My parents are somewhat to blame for enabling Paulette’s behavior but I would not be a part of it.  I had to work hard for my excellent credit and name and was not willing to allow it be torn apart by anyone.

Don’t Play Favorites

My mom has always played favorites with me and my siblings.  I wish it were not so but it is what it is.  My older sister and brother could do n0 wrong.  Maybe because she was married to their father and I was a product of an affair mom had.   My father was married and when their relationship didn’t work out (he didn’t marry her) mom took out her frustration on me. 

I was young, but I still remember being shut out and not being allowed to go places like my sibs and there was just no patience when dealing with me.  I grew up with a complex and insecure.  I still feel the sting of her insults and gave up on being ever treated like a human.

I know that I am the one they will call should my mother become ill because they will expect me to care for her.  Maybe if and when that time comes, I’ll be ready to help, but the way I feel now, I could not do it.  I am harboring too much bitterness in my heart. 

I decided when I was younger saying that I would never treat my children the way my mom treated me.  It was not right and unfair.  My father was wrong in having the affair with mom, but he and his family (my other sibs) reached out to me recently.  They are the kindest people.  I wish I had grown up with this family.  For the sake of peace, I don’t bring up any childhood issues to them.  It is just nice to be loved and accepted for who you are.

My Niece Attacked My Child

I used to have my always, last minute prepared, gem of a baby sitter watch my children.  Our regular sitter was sick so my sister Denise helped me out again because I had to go to work.  Denise called me at work to tell me that my son would not quiet down and wanted some suggestions on how to calm him down.  That was a first.  Denise dealt with screaming kids all day at her in home daycare.  I asked to speak with my son C.J.  He was only 3 years-old and not too happy about leaving me or my husband Jim’s side anyway.  Denise put my son on the phone and he did quiet down enough for me tell him I would take him for ice cream if he was a good boy.  It did not work.  C.J. started crying again as soon as my sister took back the phone.  Feeling a little anxious about my baby, I decided to leave work early. 

     I got to my sister’s house, C.J. ran up to meet me with his arms held out, and I extended my arms out to pick him up.  I got all my children in the car and strapped C.J. in his car seat.  My son was so happy to see me that nothing else really mattered.  I really needed to get C.J. and the girls home.  Denise came out to meet me and reported that C.J. did eventually calm down and spent the rest of the afternoon in her arms.  I thought that was strange and later found out why.

          On the drive home, I was pondering what I would make for dinner.  As soon as I got in the door, I handed the baby off to Jim who made it home before I did.  He went to change C.J.’s diaper.  I put on my flats and went to the kitchen.  I had barely started retrieving food from the refrigerator when I heard my husband shouting my name, “Trudy!”  I ran to the baby’s room and was horrified at the sight.  The tears just streamed as I saw my son’s thighs red, black and blue.  He had obviously been spanked.  But this was not a regular spanking.  C.J. had been beaten.  My husband demanded an explanation that I couldn’t give.

(Continue reading in the book When Family Does You Wrong).

Between Mothers and Daughters

Between Mothers and Daughters

 
Image
 
Cross posted from The BWE Bloggersphere™ 
 
It’s difficult to say when the love/hate relationship began; but it appeared too soon for my liking. From the time I felt you shutter within me until the day we moved to the same city of your birth father, my love for you seemed flawless. Family Night Fridays, Girls-In-Action, and watching Louisiana cooking shows, life seemed so simple. Your silly laugh and awesome jokes made us gut-laugh. Who could have predicted our paths would come to such a crossroad of heightened emotions and estrangement.
 
I could sense a change in our relationship as adolescence morphed into teen years. You pressed for more freedom; and I held on tighter wanting to protect your innocence from the cruelty I knew awaiting fresh souls. The more I held on the more you pushed. The more I pushed, the more you resisted. That is symptomatic of the relationship between mothers and daughters.

Sitting in the family room watching Jerry Lewis movies and enjoying the sounds of laughter between a mother and daughter. The joy and carefree spirits of girls who didn’t have a worry in the world. However, as a mother I knew that time would soon pass; but for the moment, innocence belonged to us. Very few arguments, disagreements, or power struggles–just freedom to live a life without worry.

Now, our relationship has changed and in a way that is not becoming of a mother and daughter. Past maternal relationships did not provide answers to struggles of new motherhood. Motherhood was by default without plans. Each day was a struggle to figure out the correct direction to happiness. Many times the plans were horrendously wrong and recovery sluggishly slowed.

Sometimes falling upon unwilling ears with humming sounds, motherly advice drowned out. The smacking of lips and the rolling of eyes, youthful responses interpreted as defiance. Neither party willing to compromise–motherhood trumped the maturing of youth.

The tug of war between mothers and daughters can be exhausting,sometimes leaving bitterness and regret. Mothers have no time to be their daughters’ best friends when working hard to teach them how to survive in a cruel and unconcerned world. Friendship follows emotional and psychological maturity.

Mothers learn from their mothers or motherly figures. Some mothers never talked about their childhoods or their relationships with husbands or the fathers of their children. When daughters witness their mothers’ bitterness and disdain for life resulting in those mothers striking out at their children, an indelible emotional mark is left. For this reason, reminding daughters of their resemblance of their fathers leaves them recipients of frequent beatings. Nonetheless, some daughters will love their mothers because both need love.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

There would be no lessons on love or how to properly vet men. Men showed up either unannounced or spontaneously interjected into children’s lives. Some were nice; but many were not. Affection wasn’t part of her personality—no hugging, kissing, lying of the head on her lap. Some mothers seem emotionally frozen. Children sensed something was amiss; but as children knowledge and understanding was limited. They could feel their mother’s internal darkness and pain and wanted to shoulder it, which would happen in due time. So, when some children become mothers they vow to be a more affectionate, caring, and tolerant. In the eyes of their daughters, it appears mothers have failed miserably.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Sympathy isn’t on the menu. Investigating the causes of the rift between mothers and daughters is the key to this mystery. Watching other mothers and daughters getting along so well—close and seemingly best friends makes it much harder not to feel guilty. Why can those mothers and daughters love each other unconditionally when the love between some mothers and seem so cold and distant? Where did they go wrong? When did the spiral into disdain begin?

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Most mothers desire the best for their daughters—to be more successful, beautiful, and married to awesome men. Most mothers pray fervently that their daughters will be blessed with excellent health, great and trustworthy friends, and long life. Most mothers would sacrifice their lives for their daughters to have the love of a man who would walk on hot coals or die in battle. If the sun and moon never shown again, most mothers would bear the pain of labor just to relive the placing of their newborn daughters upon their breasts. I am such a mother.

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Sadness weighs heavy upon many mothers, especially when witnessing their daughter’s tragic relationships. It doesn’t matter how old a daughter gets she will remain her mother’s baby girl. When her daughter is hurt, the mother lion will seek and destroy whatever or whoever is the perpetrator. However, the more mothers fight for the right to love their daughters; there are some daughters who resist that protection at every turn. It is deemed meddling or an attempt to control their daughters’ lives. From a mother’s point of view, it is the deepest love we have and the costs we are willing to pay to ensure our daughters have a better life.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

The journey into adulthood is never easy. Life can beat and abuse the strongest person. No motherly protection will make a difference when life has other plans for her daughters. Yet, the path on which mothers and daughters take can be taken either in tandem or in solo. It’s up to the attitude of the individuals whether they want to walk life alone or share the burdens.

Mother and daughter relationships can be repaired in time; but it’s a partnership. It only takes one to cross the line of reconciliation. Again, it’s a partnership. It’s okay to step back and heal one’s self. However, to allow too much time to pass increases the opportunity for the wedge to grow wider and deeper leaving the opportunity for years of lost love.

There is a rivalry between mothers and daughters; and many are in denial. Sometimes the daughter wants what the mother has and vice versa. This is normal. It’s only abnormal when this competition causes deep pain and suffering. It’s time to investigate and resolve issues hindering relationships between mothers and daughters.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

It’s a fickle thought how some daughters accept advice from another daughter’s mother; yet, complain about the advice of their own mother. All daughters experience this period of exploring the wisdom beyond their own mothers. Mothers offer wisdom to other daughters who are more receptive, praying secretly their daughters have overheard their advice. What a crazy game played between mothers and daughters. So difficult. So time consuming.

Many daughters cringe when people tell them how much they look like their mothers. Many daughters cringe when people tell them what a wonderful mother they have. Many daughters get irritated when told their mother is gorgeous. Many daughters profess to never want to be anything like their mothers. Unfortunately, the mirror reminds daughters their mother is within them no matter how hard they pray to look, talk, and walk differently. Mirrors never lie.

Someday some daughters will become mothers, too. The cycle will begin again with the lying of her baby upon her breast. Hopefully, through love and understanding the bond will remain beyond death.

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Read more from Clarissa BurtonQueen Of The Pen™

Ultimate Betrayal of Love and Trust

Cross posted from Robyn Murray’s gohomeubb ~ life in Oz blog.

My adoptive family was a quirky, mixed bunch from various backgrounds – four adopted kids with working class parents and one much older, natural daughter to my mother. We went through a series of foster kids, pets, renovations, above ground pools and complete re-purposing of everything in the backyard with the exception of dad’s shed in our early years. My mum had such a generous heart; she was capable, gregarious and very often found to be the life of the party. When she was angry, boy, did we cop it! My mum was passionate and she cared. My dad was a motor mechanic and he drank Carlton Draught; we used to stack the empty beer bottles by the side of the red-brick housing commission place we called home for the first 15 years of my life. I don’t know where mum and dad lived before that, but they moved into our house around about the time they got me from the adoption agency.

Apparently I was only nine days old when they took me home from the hospital and as lazy as I was I never put any effort into making sure I was fed or changed, rarely crying out to get attention. Apparently, I just lay there peacefully, waiting.

The most delightful thing I remember from my early years was my nana on my mother’s side. I thought she was the best thing since sliced bread! She lived with us for a few years and she was blind as a result of diabetes. Once I actually saw her getting her insulin shot – put me off needles for life. Anyway, I learnt to read just as soon as my sister went off to school. I would listen in as she practised her ABC’s, plus my favourite pre-school TV show was University Challenge (which must have scared my mum a bit) and it didn’t take me long to figure out how it all worked. You see, I was determined to learn to read as soon as possible so that I could read the paper to my nana. Years ago, when she was younger she ran a boarding house for jockeys and she still loved to bet on the horses.

My favourite memories of nana involve me sitting on her lap reading the form guide out loud, she would place her bets over the telephone just minutes before we listened to the races being called on the radio; sometimes cheering, sometimes disappointed. The thing is, she had this bee in her bonnet about Harry White – who turned out to be a great jockey – but my nana, oh she had it in for him. Every time I found myself looking at the name H. White on the form guide for the next race, I would giggle and squirm and eventually get myself under control and announce, “And the jockey is….H. White!” At this point my nana would put on a very high-pitched voice and say “that bloody Harry White he couldn’t lie straight in his bed!” Too funny. It was like pressing a button – it played out pretty much the same way every time.

For many years I held this bizarre image in my mind of this small man in brightly coloured riding silks who couldn’t straighten out his crooked body because he spent too much time riding horses. The memories became so much more heart-warming after I finally figured out what she was really saying about him :-) What a funny lady!

My nana was my protector and for the most part I loved and respected her deeply. Although, occasionally I would try out something quite naughty and I can remember just how ashamed I was at those times to have disappointed her; how afraid I was that we might not end up being close anymore. Eventually though, her health was failing and we were getting too many kids for the house, so she moved to the Blind Institute. We used to go there and visit on the odd weekend. My little brother and I were intrigued by the pedestrian crossing with the tick- tick-tick sound to alert the blind people as to when it was safe to cross the street. The last time we visited nana she told mum that she could actually see us, she looked at each of us and made a personal comment and she was so happy and shining that I am glad to remember her that way. My nana passed away a very short time after that last visit. My mum was devastated. I still miss her.

Around this time, my mum and I had to spend a lot of time together due to the demands of my dance training. My older sister was focussed on swimming so my dad would take her along to training. Whenever possible, mum would arrange to spend time with my sister and I would attempt to help dad with whatever he was doing; such as servicing cars at the workshop, cleaning banks, reading the paper (I never could get it through my head that the newspaper wasn’t mine), watching the motor racing on TV, etc.

I would have been around seven or eight years old when he called me into the bathroom that first time and locked the doors and showed me what I had to do. It was completely surreal, I said no a lot and cried, but I was so scared of how different he was that I tried my hardest not to make him any angrier. To try and understand what he wanted so it could end quickly. But I couldn’t understand; why was he shaking so much? Why is he squeezing my hand so tightly? I seriously had no clue what was going on as he tried so many different things, then he would say “no, no good” or something like that and try some new configuration of our bodies always centred around some part of my body in contact with his penis – none of which seemed to make him happy. The tiled floor was cold and it hurt so much and I was so angry and heartbroken – I did not know why this happened. When he finally said that I could go, he pulled my arm in tight and said in a low voice “if you tell anyone about this, ever, I will kill you”.

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I Just Want My Babies

My name is Terrina Williams.  When I was 15, I became pregnant.  My mom was so angry when she found out at 4 weeks.  The father was a guy at school who was clueless about life.  His parents wanted me to get an abortion and be done with it.  My mother agreed with them and dragged me off to the clinic to have it done.  I begged her not to make me do it, but to no avail.  I went into that cold place with those cold people.  Nobody cared that I was crying.  I was told to get undressed and given a gown.  Mom turned on me and didn’t care that I was scared.  She just told me to take my lumps and pay for trying to ruin her life.  Ruin her life? I would not understand that comment until much later.  I endured a painful procedure and was told to get up and get dressed as if nothing had happened.  They had just killed my baby.

I couldn’t sleep and I had nightmares.  I could not talk to mom about anything which is why I went right back into the father’s arms.  In a few months, I was pregnant again.  I told my mom who proceeded to slap me near senseless.  I got a speech about how much she gave up to raise me alone and I was not doing this to her again.  I was dumbfounded and told my mom that she could not make me get another abortion.  She told me that I was getting one and that was all there was to it.  She made the appointment and I went quietly.  When we went inside the clinic this time, I cooperated until I saw the same cold doctor who killed my first baby.  I screamed and made such a scene that he ordered me out of the room and the clinic.  I was happy and relieved, but my mom had a plan for me.  Later that evening, my mom told me that I was going to stay with some people who could help me.  I didn’t know who, it didn’t make sense but I thought she had relented and accepted that I was going to have a baby.  I wanted my baby so I was happy to go anywhere.  I spent the next few months at home, but one day I had a plane ticket to Salt Lake City, Utah, waiting for me.  I had to leave school, pack some clothes and get on that plane.

(Continue reading in the book When Family Does You Wrong).

My Family Ran Off My Boyfriend

Bored Young Woman Stirring CoffeeMy name is Selena G. About 20 years ago, I had a white boyfriend named Matt Z. We loved each other very much and I could see us married. My parents and brother did not like him from the start and always gave me a hard time about him. I should not have been surprised because in my home there was always hatred of white people.

 When I came home from college, I happen to run into Matt who was a classmate in high school. We were not friends or anything but we did know each other. He invited me for a quick coffee and I accepted. We started talking and I found him to be quite pleasant. All the warnings as a youngster growing up never allowed me to even consider dating a white guy. Matt was so nice that I was intrigued and found myself wanting to talk longer, but I had to go. Matt gave me his phone number and I put it in my purse. I actually forgot about it for weeks and when cleaning out my purse, I found it.

  

     I gave Matt a call and he sounded really excited to hear from me. He invited me out to dinner and that was the beginning of our tabooed relationship. I told Matt that my family did not care for white people but it was my life and they would just have to accept him. His family on the other hand was great. After a few dates, he took me home to meet them. His mom greeted me with a kiss and hug. His father complimented me on how pretty he thought I was. I was floored because growing up I never thought I would meet white people so kind outside of those faking it at work or school. It was easy to fall in love with Matt.

     I had to eventually take Matt home to meet my folks. They wanted to meet the man responsible for my constant smiles and who was taking all my spare time. I had shared with my sister, but did not tell my father, mother or brother that Matt was white. All I could do was pray that they would be on their best behavior. When Matt showed up for dinner, I greeted him at the door. My family stood there in shock for a minute when he came in. And then my father snapped “Oh Hell No!” I thought I had prepared Matt, but even I was taken aback by his reaction. I pleaded with him to understand that Matt was good to me and that I really loved him. My brother jumped up and got into Matt’s face. I had to step in between them. My brother yelled all kinds of obscenities and my father joined in with him. They didn’t care that my four and five year-old nieces heard every word before my sister could scurry them out. My mother was upset with me, but she did try to calm my father and brother down and get control.

     In tears, I apologized and suggested that Matt just leave. Matt was in mid-sentence attempting to tell my folks how much he really loved me and out of nowhere, my brother just decked him. Matt fell backwards with a bloody nose. After threatening to call the police on my brother, I gave Matt a towel and helped him to his car. All the while, we could hear them talking about that white boy in our house. I apologized again to Matt and sent him on his way. He told me it was okay and that he would call me later. Matt did not want to pursue charges against my brother, so I let him drive off. When I got back into the house, everything I could muster from my 22-year-old mouth came out. It was a shouting match to the finish and I went toe to toe with my father. He applauded my brother for being a coward when he punched Matt. I refused to say another word to my brother in protest. In the end, my dad won as he planted a guilt trip on me that I found myself buying. I cried the entire night.

     Matt and I went out again, and I thought I could redeem my family. But it was not to be. He actually proposed marriage and wanted to take me away. Matt was not used to that kind of violent reaction from anyone. I told him that I couldn’t cut my family out of my life like that. So, we ended our relationship right there. That was a decision I would regret for the rest of my life.

     I went home to languish in my misery. My father and brother would bring up that white boy from time to time and remind me that I was never to even think about getting with one. I remained silent for years. Even after graduating and moving out, I allowed that control to guide my relationships. I went out with all kinds of black men. Some were educated, some were not. Some were good and some were bad. Some had good jobs, some didn’t work at all. My folks didn’t care as long as he was black. By then, my sister confided that she made the mistake of having two babies with black men who were both losers and would have gladly traded places with me and Matt. She listened to my parents and chose bad black men, but she was so young and didn’t understand that she could have had a future with a good man and was now stuck as a single mom with neither of her children’s fathers involved.  My parents don’t even care that my sister did not get married; they just didn’t want us with anyone but a black man. Who cares if he didn’t have goals, or a means to support his children? He just better be black - good guy, bad guy or indifferent. My sister told me I should have fought for Matt and if that meant never speaking to my parents and brother again then so be it.

     Over the years, I stopped dating completely and except for my sister, I started seeing my family less and less. I wanted to be alone but not lonely. I was still hurting from my decision to choose my hateful family over someone who was the love of my life. A few years ago, I saw Matt at the mall. I went up to him and said hello. He gave me a big hug and introduced me to his lovely black wife and beautiful children. They looked so happy. For the longest time I thought, “That could have been me!” I was again filled with regret. I should have married him and left my family behind for the benefit of my future happiness. There is just no other way around it. Matt loved me and I could have been married with my own family today.

     It took years, but after a few sessions with a relationship coach, I slowly came around. My confidence level is higher now and at 43, I can still look forward to finding love with a man who loves me; and maybe even having a family. I now know it is never too late to find a good man and be happy. I don’t know what race my husband will be, but if he is not black, I am totally prepared to leave my family in the dust as they have not changed. I allowed them to rob me once; they will not do it again.

 

 

Does Love Mean Having To Say You’re Sorry?

Study Shows Love Means Having To Say You’re Sorry (Sometimes)

Feel like you should be apologizing for something in your relationship, but not sure what? A novel new study suggests your instincts are right.

In asking 120 men and women to keep daily diaries of any wrongdoing in their romantic partnerships, a Canadian psychologist found apologies were offered for just 31 per cent of reported offences. Even more striking was that apologies – when they were given – only predicted forgiveness for highly satisfied couples.

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When Your Abuser Dies – Funerals,Obituaries, & Condolences

WHEN YOUR ABUSER OR ESTRANGED RELATIVE DIES

CONDOLENCES, OBITUARIES, AND GOING TO THE FUNERAL

Excerpted from Luke 17:3 Ministries Inc.

            One of the biggest dilemmas faced by escapees from abusive families is what to do when our abuser or estranged relative dies. Should we make an appearance at the wake and funeral, or not? Should we go to the burial? Should we send flowers? Should we offer our condolences- and if so, to whom? To the very people who took our abuser’s side against us or shunned us from their family? What kind of an act will we have to put on if people offer condolences to US? How will we be able to pretend that the death of our abuser was a great loss, when we can’t even come up with one nice thing to say about him?  Continue reading

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