The Erosion of a Life and a Mind ~ Part Two


ero·sion

noun \i-ˈrō-zhən\

: the gradual destruction of something by natural forces (such as water, wind, or ice) : the process by which something is eroded or worn away.

Related Words
breakdown, decay, decomposition, disintegration, dissolution
Part Two
After my dad left us, my mom was having trouble making ends meet. Her job at the bank didn’t pay much, and dad wasn’t contributing much in the way of child support. He claimed he couldn’t afford to give her very much money for us kids. So mom and us girls had to move into a rental house. It was much smaller, but okay. It was still in the general area of the big house, but not in the “elite” section. I couldn’t care less. All I remember about that time was hating school…. I couldn’t concentrate and just didn’t care about learning. My head was still spinning from the split between my parents. I was living in a daze.
They eventually set up “visitation” times, so that my sister and I could have contact once a week with my dad. He was a completely different person. He was very distant, didn’t have alot to say. Visitation time became a dreaded event. I hated it. This man was not my dad. He was someone else, an impostor. I got these “vibes” from him right away….I felt I had to be on my best behavior and act like everything was great. It was like walking a tightrope at age 11-12 years old. I could not upset my dad, at any cost. I had to keep my pain, my confusion, and my rage inside of me. I couldn’t risk what might happen if I took off my mask and revealed the truth of how the break up of our family had really affected me. He didn’t want to hear it.
Now that I look back, seeing all of that from an adult perspective, I realize….my dad was drowning in guilt every time he saw me. He knew what immense damage he had done, and continued to do. He knew. But he was not equipped to deal with it. He was not equipped to talk to me and let me know that he still loved me and was sorry. We never spoke of the divorce, why it happened, or anything. He just came once a week to pick me and my sister up, take us out to a nice restaurant, eat dinner, then to his house for about 30 minutes to watch television, then he’d take us back home and drive away.
After a short time, he got married again (not to the woman he had been seeing when my parents broke up, this was a new gal). Her name was Laura. I hated her with a passion. I never gave her a chance. Laura was the enemy. She was living with my dad, when he should be living with us, his REAL family. Laura tried to connect with my sister and I during our “visitation times” which she now joined.  My sister responded. I did not. It took me several years before the ice began to melt and I finally realized she was a nice enough lady. It still was like a punch in the gut though, every time my sis and I went over to their house to visit. It just felt all wrong. I was so mixed up emotionally. But I knew, instinctively, I must not ever speak of problems, or my emotional pain, or the split between him and my mom…..never speak of any negativity. Only happiness. Only smiles. Never pain. Ever. I knew instinctively that my dad could not handle my speaking of anything less than good stuff. So I smiled and smiled. While inside of me, my guts were churning every moment we were together.
Christmas time became a horrible time for me. My sister and I spent Christmas eve with my mother, and opened our gifts with her at our house. Then we were carted off to dad’s house to spend a few hours there. Laura prepared a big feast, then we would open our fancy, expensive gifts and we would sit around the tree and drink hot chocolate, just like a real family. I wanted to puke. I hated those Christmas’s….every year it was like a nightmare from hell. But I had to paste on my smile and act happy to be there and grateful for the gifts. I couldn’t wait to get back home and tear off my fancy Christmas clothes and slam the door to my room. Of course, once we got home, my mother would quiz us for an hour, about what we ate, what we talked about, etc. etc.  I felt like a liaison for my mother. She wanted to know every detail of our visit. I just wanted to forget it.
During those days, my mom, in an effort to try and bring me and my dad together if even for a few minutes, would drive me down to the gas station that my dad owned, so we could say hello to each other. I remember one day, my dad walked over to the passenger side window, said a quick hello and threw a $20 bill at me. I wanted to take it and throw it back out the window. He had no clue what to do with me, so he threw money in my face. As if that would be enough to make me love him. As if that would be enough to make up for all the hurt.
About the time I turned 13 years old, things really began to escalate with me. I began to actively rebel against all things to do with family. I hated my mom. I hated my dad. I felt nothing for my sister. I felt nothing for myself. I just wanted to disappear.
I started hanging out with other messed up kids I met in school. One thing led to another and a close friend of mine and I began hitch-hiking to another small town on the weekends where there were a lot of party people, many of them much older than myself. I went to rock concerts, hung out with my new friends for days without telling my mom where I was, and doing lots of drugs. I was spiraling out of control and couldn’t care less. My rage was coming to the surface and I numbed it all with the drugs. It didn’t matter what drug it was, I would take it. I didn’t care if I lived or died.
When my mother would confront me about my behavior, I was smug and cold. My dad didn’t seem all that interested, most of the time. He rarely intervened. My mom still was working a full time job so was unable to try to control me. But she was not a strong personality, and had no effect on me whatsoever. I walked all over her. I did what I wanted, when I wanted. She felt completely powerless to do anything to stop me.
Then I began dating a guy that was 22 years old. I think by that time I was 15. We would get together at his apartment on the way to high school (I would skip school and spend the day with him). One day, Mike and I were at mom’s house for a minute to pick something up…..next thing I knew my dad showed up, and started punching Mike all the way through the house and out the back door. Dad finally left after I threatened to call the police. Mike and I decided to press charges against my dad. I took Mike’s side and my Dad finally pleaded guilty to assault charges and paid a fine. Inside, I laughed at this small victory against my own father. For once, I made him hurt the way he had made me hurt. I didn’t bat an eye. It felt good to make him suffer the humiliation and the emotional pain of his oldest daughter turning on him. Especially when it involved a relationship with a guy. I thought, There ya go dad. An eye for an eye.
Somehow, I managed to graduate high school. I was living the wild life. My mom was still working, trying to provide for my sister and I, but I nearly drove her crazy with worry. I was out of control. My mission was to hurt my parents the way they had hurt me. And to numb my pain by any means necessary. I was promiscuous. I had no self respect or regard for my self image. I felt insignificant and worthless. Even the empty relationships I had with my so-called friends were better than my train wreck of a family.
To Be Continued……
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About teeks55

I'm a sleep deprived antique dealer with fibromyalgia, osteoarthritis, diabetes & more. Love hubby, cats, books & humor! Avid tea drinker. Poker player. Pain fighter.
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15 Responses to The Erosion of a Life and a Mind ~ Part Two

  1. Megan S says:

    Thank you for sharing your story. I have also been through an emotionally damaging divorce as a child and can understand some of the feelings of insignificance and worthlessness. Sorry to hear that you’ve been through all of this.

    • teeks55 says:

      thanks Megan. It’s hard to bring up again….I mostly try to keep it all buried. Not sure why I chose to write about it after all this time. I’ve heard from several others who can relate as well. It’s unfortunate the children are the collateral damage in divorce.

  2. joynpain2 says:

    I am so sorry, Julie. Thank you for sharing all of this with us.

  3. tlohuis says:

    Julie, so sorry to hear you had to grow up this way. Now I did a lot of the same things you are talking about but because of different reasons. My dad was killed by a drunk driver when I was 8 and my life was forever changed that night. Thank you for sharing. I just wanted to be numb. A part of me went to heaven, or maybe my part went to hell for all I know, the night my dad was killed. Any type of separation whether it be from divorce, death or whatever, is very hard on a child. Memories can really be painful and if I weren’t as sick as I am, I would still be making myself numb on purpose, just to not have to think about it or feel it. I love you, girl. It’s a really brave thing to share these kinds of stories, but it does show the impact it has on a child.
    Other than that sad news, how are you doing? The feet? The fibro and all the other lovely monsters you’ve been blessed with? You keeping them under control or are you keeping up with that all or nothing concept we both like so well? Hope to hear from you soon my dear friend. I hope you are doing, at least, somewhat better.
    Peace, love, and great big hugs my dear friend,
    Wild Thang 🙂

    • teeks55 says:

      Hi WT…I’m about the same, the fibro and osteo are killing me, my body hurts so bad. Sort of wishing I’d never started this life story, there is so much more that I’m not sharing. But there is lots more to come. Stay tuned. It’s like reliving it all over again. Ugg. I’d quit but now I can’t just leave everyone hanging. Just be patient with me ,and I’ll come back to it after I take a breather. Love to you, xoxo

      • tlohuis says:

        Well, hell, girl, it’s your story and it’s up to you when you get to it. You just take your sweet time and worry about your health first. I’m tellin’ ya, I’m getting really bossy lately. LOL I’m barking out orders to everyone. LOL That’s why I don’t think I’ll ever be writing my life story because I don’t want to relive it all over again, hell no. Oh, I’m being patient Wild Thang Jr., I’ve got nothing but time. I’ll just be laying over here in my bed and whenever it’s done, I’ll read it. My fibro flare has never let up, it’s been so long, I’ve lost track of how many weeks or months its been. Now my neck and back joined in and this horrible abdominal pain, I’ve got a new abdominal pain on top of my usual abdominal pain and my doctor ordered a pelvic and abdominal ultrasound and the insurance company wouldn’t authorize it because they said it was medically unnecessary. Can you believe that shit? I’ll just wait till I can’t take it any more and go to the ER and they can give me another good dose of radiation, as they always do a CT scan because of my digestive shit and I had that damn ischemic colitis. Then we’ll see how the insurance company likes paying for that. I mean seriously. WTF? Going to my primary care doctor and rheumatologist on Dec. 11th, maybe one of them can get it approved. You rest up now and take your breather and I sure hope you feel better soon my dear friend.
        Peace. love, and hugs,
        Wild Thang 🙂

  4. suzjones says:

    Thank you for sharing this. I know it is painful for you to write, but I’m praying it is cathartic also. My parents broke up when I was about 8. I guess I just shut myself off from a lot of the hurt and so I am ambivalent about it. My mother is still with the man she met after their breakup (42 years later) and he pretty much raised me (along with my grandmother). I have a relationship with my father but we only speak a few times each year. The funny thing is, that now that I am an adult with children of my own, I understand how toxic my parent’s relationship was and why their marriage disintegrated.
    I have also been in the ‘wicked’ stepmother shoes and suffered the hurt from my step children. However, my step daughter (I divorced her father almost 20 years ago) and I are very close now and see each other several times a year. She comes to my home for Christmas and her children call me ‘Nanna Sue’. Time heals…..

    Sue

    • teeks55 says:

      Yes….seeing things from an adult perspective is so different from a child’s view. I do understand the difficult position a step-parent has. Most step parents are stuck in the middle of a very messed up place. Through no fault of their own, they are despised by the children. But sometimes, as you will see in Part 4, a step parent can end up being a child’s worst nightmare. Thanks for reading, and for your kind comments.

  5. Trisha says:

    You’re doing such a great job of writing this story. I hope it’s cathartic for you and helps you release some of that old pain. My parents divorced when I was 13 and sometimes I wonder if their divorce is still a part of what makes the holidays difficult. Thank you for sharing your story.

    • teeks55 says:

      thanks Trisha. This is tougher than I expected. It’s always hard to revisit the past. I wish I hadn’t, but it’s too late to turn back now. lol Thanks for the support.

  6. dawnhosking says:

    Thank you for sharing this Julie. It must be difficult but hopefully it will help too xxx

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