Close up photo of a mail slot labeled letters

After 12 years, no reply, please re-send…

I was going to write about the US election, and how the constant state of anxiety and foreboding this week has really dampened my ability to get anything done or to sleep. I feel tired all the time, my shoulders are tense, I am weepy, my usually like clockwork period is a week late (yes, I’m sure I’m not pregnant) and I’m eating carbohydrates like they are a lifeline of seratonin in a cortisol filled world, which of course they are.

This is what it is like to be hypervigilant. The good news is that I actually wasn’t hypervigilant before this week. It’s further evidence that me being tired, anxious, weepy and comfort eating is a direct result of stress.

And then I read my last post. Update, I have three people excited to buy the knife off of me for a nickel. It just depends on who can come get it. So yay there. But the main news is that I had an epiphany about the open-heartedness. This may seem obvious to you, dear reader, but it wasn’t to me: the open-heartedness has nothing to do with the betrayal that followed. Nothing at all. If I’d have been closed hearted, my dad would still have raped me, my mother would still have willfully denied it, and my ex Donna would still have cheated and gaslit me. I can be open-hearted with Julie, and I have been. I’m keeping my wits about me, but so far there are no signs of lack of empathy. We may be getting the hang of this secure attachment thing together. We’ve been closer than ever since I decided to just open up my energy and be fully present with her, spiritually, physically, emotionally, sexually. There is a whole sexual healing piece to this that I need to write about too, but I’ll do that separately.

So much to tell you – I had a heart to heart with my younger brother, at his instigation, about my mother. He was trying to broker a peace between us, and I finally told him, calmly, clearly, rationally, why I am estranged from her, that she absolutely did know about my injuries, and chose her marriage over my health and safety. He brought some gifts with him, heirlooms and other things my mom was getting rid of as she declutters her home, including some dishes from my grandmother. At first I was gummed up about the gifts – gifts carry heavy prices in my family, but I’m feeling better about it now. He told me he and my mom went through papers for 3 weeks, looking for the letter I sent her. I promised him that I would send her another copy, along with an updated one.

But not this week. This week it is all I can do to get my regular work done while a rabid, rapist psychopath almost wins control of the big country with all the nuclear weapons and soldiers just south of here. He’s really not that different from my dad – who also thinks he’s pretty great, is autocratic and violent, and brazenly tells bald lies. Psychopaths be psychopaths, eh?

I’m going to send her a copy of the letter from 12 years ago, which of course I still have here in this blog. And an update letter. What the hell will be my update?

My demands?

Do I even want her to meet them?

I want an explanation for why she didn’t get me medical attention after he raped me, or call the cops. And I want her to stop telling me she didn’t know. It’s a lie. She might have traumatic amnesia, I will give her that, but there is no way she didn’t know, and she needs to face that and own up to it.

I want an explanation for why she refused to talk to the police when they came to her door, and for her to own that betrayal and apologize for it.

I want to a complete physical description of the place we lived in when I was young. I want her to answer any question I ask about what happened during those times, and to do it honestly.

I want her to never ask for anything from me in the way of daughterly duties – I am not going to be calling her, giving her mother’s day cards, going shopping with her. I am not going to provide tech support or directions. I am not going to prepare a meal for her, or invite her for the holidays.

I also realized that I need to talk to my older brother, who has been texting me, at times to complain about our mother – who he seems to think is toxic and abusive. I need to hear his perspective.  My younger brother says he has been sending ‘terrible texts’ to our mother, and that he thinks our older brother might be crazy. I told him that our mother was like a drowning woman in those days, and you can’t get close to someone who is drowning, for they will try and scrabble up on top of you, pushing you down in the water to drown. I told him that she did that to my older brother and I. It is the best metaphor I’ve come up with. I told him I had compassion for what she’d been through, married to a psychopath, with him since she was 16, but that in this game of points for pain, I always win. He told me that our mother slept in the closet in the room she shared with our father for years, something I knew but having it corroborated was validating. He told me a story of our dad drunk driving eratically with all of us in the car, a specific event I also remember. I filled in some details for him. I told him I love him and want him in my life, and that I have no judgement about how he handles his life and relationship with our mother. Our relationship is aside from that. I could see it on his face that it moved him.

2020 is a big year. A year of extremes in upheaval and transformation. We survivors know how to do this. This is not our first time.

Photo by Gemma Evans on Unsplash



2 thoughts on “After 12 years, no reply, please re-send…”

  1. Thank you for writing about being hyper vigilant. That really resonated with me, and as I’ve been working on a lot of this with my therapist, it’s been SO CLEAR why I’m triggered by Trump. Not only is he sadistic bully, he someone is able to play the victim card in such a way that he gets so many people to side with him, even while he’s gaslighting them. This was my dad. EVERYONE would say, “Oh your dad is such a nice guy,” while inside I’m screaming, “No he’s not!!!!” The things he did to me in the dark. That fucker. So yeah. I have been hyper vigilant during this election, and I’m still feeling it now as Trump cleans house and gets rid of many watchers as he can so he can get away with as much as he can in the next 2 months. It makes me so mad and so ill, and even with the election, I’m like, “HOW and WHY did people vote for this abusive asshole?” Does that mean half the country as abusive assholes, or are they victims who are so used to sticking up for their abuser, and since he pretends to be a victim, they feel the urge to rally around him? I’m thinking it’s the latter.

  2. What you said about stuff still having happened if your heart was closed- that hit me. It’s like we blame ourselves for trusting people, but you’re right- they would’ve done those things anyway.

    Reading about your mother reminds me a lot of my mother. She, too, was drowning while we were growing up and it was causing us to sink underneath it as she grabbed onto us to stay afloat. Or rather- just onto me. I was the sole lifeboat. For some reason, my brothers weren’t tasked with that.

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