The Big Move.

We’ve been living with my mum for just under two years now. It’s not always been the easiest of rides as my mother and I bare many similarities especially emotionally and tend to clash tremendously. This leads to quite upsetting arguments and usually an attack on someone’s personality. We do make up relatively quickly although my mum is much better at holding a grudge than me.

This doesn’t reflect on our time with her though. Many have commented how it is time for me to make the big move away from my mother due to my age, marriage and ‘lack’ of independence. However, our situation isn’t as ‘normal’ as they assume.

I chose to live with my father, my abuser, after the divorce. Even as my mum pleaded with me to leave him and offered up a much better life, I stuck by the man who tortured me daily, too frightened to go and too scared to be without him. He had become a horribly important part of my life. He was all I had known. The abuse was all I had known. The timing was never right. My sister was a prominent feature who too had the power of emotional control and influence over our mother. The battle that faced me wasn’t worth leaving the battle I endured every day.

I craved a time where I would be with my mum, whatever age. To be with her and feel like someone’s daughter. It came two years ago. I am ready to leave and set up a new home with my hubby and baby but my mother is part of that family now and always will be. It is not ‘unhealthy’ nor it is ‘dependant’ as some people have said. It is a testament to the love we feel as a family.

My husband loves my mother very much. He is very honest with me about our future and none of it includes abandoning or not including my mum. He sees her as a valid member of our family.

I went to visit a place outside of London yesterday. We now have a big decision to make………

To leave London or not to leave London..

Or ultimately, to leave my mum.

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The Letters.

Today will begin a series of letters I wish I could have written in the past, letters that I wish I could send even now, words I have hidden and emotions I have protected. Only through personal strength and the ability and hope to move forward are these words being written finally after so many years. There are many people I would like to write to. Many who have emotionally bruised me over the years and many who have played a significant part in my healing. It’s not all bad of course.

The people I will write to are:

  • Mum
  • My high school teachers
  • Sister
  • Father (abuser)
  • The ‘friends’ who deserted me
  • My brother in-law
  • My father’s family
  • David (husband)

All had some effect in my state of mind during the abuse. Some were very positive but unfortunately hope and faith was rarely on my side. I hope these letters aid to my closure.

Dear Mum follows later.

Let the journey begin.

With the new day comes new strength and new thoughts.

19 months later.

19 months later and I am still waiting for my inheritance. Sadly, due to the non-existent relationship between me and my sister, I rarely hear any news on the matter. After speaking to a colleague yesterday, I realized that something needs to be done. For the past year and a half, I have been chasing up my sister for any news relating to any progress. However, she has made it very difficult, not just to contact her but to pull out any decent information. 

It feels like a game. One in which I’m sorely losing.

I feel greedy. Thinking about money. Worrying about my future. All I have ever wanted was total closure from my father – from the past. My sister’s distance is only emphasizing and tormenting the pain further. My father’s memory is still burning bright. I want to distinguish it. 

It almost feels like that man is still controlling my life! Yet, he is dead!

I hope my true freedom comes around sooner rather than later.

Freedom is what you do with what’s been done to you.

A Bitter Sweet Reminder.

I have just arrived home. I feel compelled to tell you that I saw a man today. A man standing in my father’s house. My old prison. A man standing by the kitchen window. He was dark, like me. My father’s house was lit up. Not grey and hidden as it has been for the last eighteen months since his death. I was shocked to say the least, haunted even. I have a bad habit of peeking into the old place. Curiosity gets the better of me and I can’t help but look back. Perhaps if I wasn’t living in the same area as my abuser, I would not even think about our home.

As I’ve mentioned before, I pass my abuser’s home every day to and from work. It’s highly depressing and unfortunately unavoidable. However, this unexpectedly ghostly figure could be the answer to my prayers. The house has clearly been sold and the time has finally come to move on. I can look at this as a positive step forward out of the darkness.

It has felt like an age, and although it is disturbing to witness someone else in my last home, it is also a relief. I hope their lives are more enjoyable in it than mine was. That house holds so many awful memories in it for me; for my mother. I want one day to never see it again. It belongs in my past.

Seeing a man by the window was upsetting. His build was not that dissimilar from my father’s. It was only for a few seconds but it was long enough for me to feel queasy.

Thankfully, I did not get too upset. As I got off the tube and made my way onto the bus home, I felt nothing. There is no more room for tears, I have no emotion left for him or that house. The windows had steamed up from the heated bus and the heavy rain. I could not see a thing. I leant over to the clouded pane and drew the only thing that could put a smile on my face.

What survivors and sufferers should say.

Whether you are a survivor or a sufferer, it does not matter. Equally you have been though the mill and equally you deserve to see some light at the end of a very dark tunnel. Yesterday I blogged a list of what you may often hear from your abuser. Well today let’s be more hopeful and write a list of what we should stand up and say. Many of us will never be heard. Many of us still have to find the courage to even say it out loud. It is a start. We need to acknowledge that it was never “our fault”.

  • I believe in me
  • I am worth something
  • My future is important
  • Do not overstep my boundaries
  • I do not deserve this
  • I am allowed to be selfish
  • He/She does not have control over my life
  • I cannot be restrained by fear
  • There are reasons to live
  • One day I will be truly happy
  • I am allowed to feel anger
  • Life will be good
  • One day I will get that power back
  • I have rights
  • NO
  • What he/she is doing is wrong
  • I value my life
  • It is the past now
  • If I need to call the police – I should
  • I feel sorry for him/her
  • I am free
  • Inspire yourself
  • Be the bigger person
  • I can walk away
  • It is not my fault
  • I will not argue with you
  • I am human
  • You have no claim over me
  • I will save myself
  • Only I know me
  • It is not your life
  • Saying what I feel is a God given right
  • I have nothing to say to you
  • I do not expect nor want anything from you
  • I am strong
  • I have a voice
  • I am not afraid of you
  • I make my own choices
  • You have no more control
  • I am capable of love
  • I deserve love
  • I do not “owe” you anything
  • STOP
  • We are over
  • My dreams and ambitions are of worth
  • I am a good person
  • You did not succeed
  • ENOUGH
  • I am not broken
  • There are many paths ahead of me
  • I am supported
  • You lost
  • Goodbye

Again. There are thousands more.

As Emeli Sande puts it:

You’ve got the words to change a nation but you’re biting your tongue

You’ve spent a lifetime stuck in silence afraid you’ll say something wrong

If no one ever hears it, how we gonna learn your song?

So come on come on, come on come on.

I wanna sing

I wanna shout

I wanna scream till the words dry out

So put it in all of the papers I’m not ashamed

They can read all about it, read all about it.

Boxing Day revelations.

I mentioned in my last post that my mother had seemed out of sorts on Christmas day and that on Boxing day, her reasons were very much revealed.

It was what I had predicted.

A few days before Christmas, my mother received an envelope in the post. The label had been printed on so it was not clear who it was from. My mother however, instantly knew. I had no idea this envelope had arrived. My mother had kept it out of my sight. I hate secrets so was frustrated to find out she had deliberately hidden it from me. I understand why though. It would’ve played on my mind all Christmas if she had revealed it earlier.

On Boxing Day as my mother chatted about how my she missed her sister’s daughter’s child that she had spent so much time with in India, I began talking about my nephew – my sister’s son and how much I miss him. Memories filled my mind, memories of him as a baby, drooling and smiling at me. He was beautiful. He was kept from me and I have barely seen him in the last four years. My sister has taken away that basic right and for no clear reason. Her anger and hatred for my mother four years ago grew into immense anger and hatred for me. I was getting closer to Ma. I was trying to get as far away from my father. She was always my mother too. Why I had to “compete” for her affection I’ll never know. A mother’s love should be unconditional. As should a father. But my father held conditions on his love. Conditions and expectations that I could never reach. Only one person met his expectations – my sister.

“Something came you know,” uttered my mother as she listened to me reminisce.

My heart dropped. I understood immediately what she meant.

“Well let me see it,” I needed to see it.

She brought out the envelope and handed it to me explaining that it arrived a few days back. I was horrified that this had been a secret. That she kept it private. I no longer want to be kept in the dark, to be the last person to discover shocks and be told that I have to accept them.

As I opened it, a card fell out. Within that card lay several photos of my nephew and the niece I have only ever seen once (at my father’s hospital bed where my sister told him that her daughter “does not go to strangers” as he handed my niece to me). I couldn’t believe my eyes at how much he had grown. It was beautiful and devastating at the same time. I tried not to let my emotion show. As I looked at the card I saw my sister’s handwriting. Her words were affectionate towards my mother. To a stranger’s eyes you would believe that this mother and daughter had a lovely relationship; close even. That of course is not the case. My mother and sister are strangers too. My sister estranged herself four years ago from my mother. She sent an appalling letter documenting lies about her. Lies that my mother accepted.

Was it an olive branch? Was she reaching out? Maybe. I won’t be too negative. Perhaps she genuinely wants her mother back in her life. There is no way that I would stand in the way of that but why be so distant and ignore her for the past four years. At my father’s funeral last year, my sister blanked my mother. Her husband ignored the both of us. That is not the behaviour of a person who wants to make amends.

I am suspicious. I have every right to be.

I have warned my mother that I cannot go through it all again. In 2004, at the end of the year my sister got married, something changed in her. Anger consumed her and it became increasingly difficult to say the right thing around her. I especially grated on her. She will forever look at me as a teenager. A view that is distorted. That opinion will never change. She holds no respect for me as an adult or a woman. The few years that followed were an emotional nightmare. My mother attempted to bend and bow to my sister’s commands but she never met her expectations. Sounds familiar right? So my sister eventually cut her out of her life and within a year or so, she had walked straight back into my abuser’s life.

My father’s prodigal daughter had returned.

She is my mother’s prodigal daughter too. I worry and fear for the future. I can never match their relationship. I have no longing to. Their relationship was unhealthy and suffocating. I do not want that to happen to our relationship.

I had hoped 2014 would be a new start. Where the past would not return and I could move forward.

Now I’m not so sure.

It only takes a year.

It only takes a year

just twelve months,

for you to change your mind.

With no reason I can find

It only takes that long.

It only takes that long,

just twelve months,

for your loyalty to dissipate.

For you to demonstrate,

that our friendship has gone.

Our friendship has now gone,

in just twelve months,

you are like a stranger to me.

It is what you wanted to be

in this year that has gone by.

In this year that has gone by,

in just twelve short months,

Our lives move side by side.

Yet you have just denied

me from even talking to you.

I cannot even talk to you,

these past twelve months.

Your distance is surprising,

suspicions are arising,

it’s only been one year.

It’s only been one year

just twelve little months,

and I feel like it’s been a waste,

that time can’t be erased.

That you have left me with regret.

Why leave me with regret?

In these last twelve months?

Why hurt me so easily?

Or treat me so sleazily?

You had choices at the start.

You had a choice at the start,

before these past twelve months,

if I wasn’t as you had hoped,

I think I would have coped,

without you in my life.