Sunday, March 22, 2009

Caustic Attitudes and Harmful Behavior

1. Thoughtless: As my whole family walked down the street to the movie theater, I ran, trying to avoid harassment from my older brother. A parking meter stood in my way and broke my nose when I accidentally hurled myself into it. My parents didn’t take me to the Dr. and I was expected to sit quietly through Cinderella and not disturb other movie-goers with my sobs. I was scolded for the disruption.

2. Indifference: My parent’s attitude toward my brother beating me up was that it was my fault. Mom often scolded me saying, “If you don’t like it, then stay away from him!” He is 3 years older than I am.

3. Peremptory: Mom has a picture of me crying at the dinner table. I was too sick to eat and I can remember realizing she was going to make me eat and I was so small, so helpless. I began to sob, the sobs turning into gut wrenching gulps. My whole family laughed at me and Dad took pictures of me so I would not forget how bad I looked, crying like a baby. I couldn’t have been more than 4 years old.

4. Pompous: I was never over weight as a child or young adult, but my mother told me I was fat – often, and in hurtful ways. Once, she agreed to buy a summer outfit for me that matched the one my best friend was buying. Mom ordered the “Chubby” size from Sears. It was so big around the waist my friend’s mother secretly stitched it up with several pleats so I could wear it.

5. Contemptuous: As an adult, I gained a lot of extra weight. The fat jokes from my mother gained popularity. She is also over weight but does not see it as such. I’m 5’ 4” and by dieting, had lost down to 110 pounds. I was so proud and wanted my mother to be proud of me, given the fact that she insisted I was so fat. She hadn’t seen me since before my diet began (9 months) and her first words to me were, “OMG! What have you done to yourself? You look sick, what were you thinking?”

6. Insulting: My mother apologized to a caregiver at my dad’s nursing home because I was in college, “I don’t know what she’s thinking, going to school at her age. She just needs to go get a job!”

7. Uncaring: At my father’s funeral, standing at the cemetery, I realized I was all alone. Looking around, I noticed that just a few yards from me, my entire family, mother included, had rushed over to where my ex-husband stood. Everyone was giving him hugs. He had tried to have me committed because he wanted me out of his way and he had convinced all of them I was crazy and they still insisted he was being treated unfairly.

8. Anger/blame: When my husband told me he had a girlfriend, my mother got mad at me. She told me I should have done something to prevent it.

9. Ignorance: In the span of 5 months, I survived 11 life-changing events, non of which I could control. All of which my family ignored to the point of telling me to "get over it." I scored 436 on this Life Change Scale (considering just the afore mentioned 5 months).

10. Pride: I was raped at age 17, the result was pregnancy. I couldn't tell my parents I'd been raped. No matter what I said, I would be blamed for the pregnancy; I just couldn't have stood being labeled a lier, too. My dad told me that if I didn’t tell them the name of the father, I couldn’t bring a bastard child into his home. My parents continually blamed me of doing “this” to them and then they made plans to send me away so no one would know what a demon daughter I am.

11. Dispassionate: When I was young, 11, my little brother was six. We were playing and I accidentally cut his head with a piece of metal. I got him into the house, calling for my mother before it even began to bleed. I love my little brother. I was terrified he was going to die. I kept asking about him as my parents fussed about and attended to his wound. My mother became so angry with me that she turned around from her task, grabbed my arm and threw me out of the house. She told me I had no right to be near my brother. She didn't talk to me for days other than to scold and belittle me. I thought I deserved it.

12. Rude: A few years after my husband, daughter, and I moved back to the town we’d grown up in, my mother introduced me to an old friend as, “The Problem Child.” She never mentioned my real name.

The above are not the few isolated childhood complaints about my parents, these are typical of my every day life, but you can get the running theme throughout the those listed here. All these examples created a situation in which I became the perfect little victim for a rich and friendly pedophile.

I grew to adulthood believing I was the cause for everyone's problems. I could never apologize enough for having been born. No matter how hard I tried to do good, or please my family, I always fell short. I learned to hide my intelligence because I believed I was stupid. I often wished I could die.

I’m here to give credence to every child’s right to be heard, loved, valued, and revered.




David Rochester said...

Ivory, this is heartbreaking. I never cease to be amazed at the cruelties parents inflict on their children. I am also amazed at what those children are able to endure, and still grow up to be ethical, thoughtful people who turn away from those abusive behaviors themselves.

Ivory said...

Dear David,

Turn away from it. That is what my T and my daughter tell me I've done where my daughter is concerned. My most precious saving grace is my daughter telling me that she is the most well adjusted young adult she knows. I hope you have someone in your life who reminds you that you are not the bad one...

I'm glad you posted!

castorgirl said...

We were introduced as "The mistake at the end"...

Amazing how psychological abuse can be so intrinsic to a families life that it becomes the norm and no one from the outside looking in questions it.

Take care

Ivory said...


yes, it is the norm for my mother. She will say something like that and then cackle with joy at her cleverness.


beauty said...

This was painful reading and often had me inwardly cringing.

How can parents inflict such wounds upon their children? I will never get it.

Good for you for posting about this, for having the honesty and integrity to tell the truth.

Ivory said...

Beautiful D.

I will never understand my mother's choices, but for some reason, I so badly want her to love me.