If you’ve been following this blog for any amount of time, you’ll notice that when I sometimes get kind of heavy, like yesterday, I try to follow it up with something lighter the next day. And yesterday, I wrote about something horrific in my life. I was okay with it yesterday, and the out-pouring of support from readers was instrumental to
my state of mind, but the day ended on such a hard note that I just don’t feel funny today. Instead, I have to write about how I feel about all this stuff, and hopefully, that’ll be enough to get over yet another bump in my road.
I talk about my Dad from time to time, and occasionally, my brother Michael, who turned 40 a few days ago. Both of these people break my heart sometimes, and I thought I’d share why.
To keep this post from becoming a tome, here are some articles you can read to get more of a back story on my history:
Breast Implants and the Sally Jesse Raphael Show - How I found my dad after my mom hid me and Mike from him our whole childhoods.
So, A Child Molester and a Little Kid are Walking in a Forest… - Humor and my dad, brother, and me.
Liar, Liar Pants On Fire - The custody battle.
Don’t Call Me Catherine - childhood sexual abuse
lol…It seems I won’t have much to say today that I haven’t already mentioned before!
In a nut shell, my dad and mom got divorced when I was about 6 – 7 – 8…the age thing is fuzzy for me and my Dad doesn’t remember either…no help there. What I do remember though, is that I was a Daddy’s girl one day, and the next day, he was gone, replaced with a broken man who seemed to not even care about his own kids much less his stepkids. My brother Mike was a toddler during all of this, and thus has no real memories of Dad before Mom left him.
Over the years growing up, my Mom basically hid us from my Dad. Unable to just accept the fact that she had two children from a different marriage, we were saddled with our stepfather, R’s, last name. This was no big thing for Mike, but for me, I had already gone to school with my real last name — Mallicoat, and suddenly I was having to use this other one. It was confusing, and for me, sad, because I was losing yet another link to a person that I had all but worshiped. Mom, during this time, would return to Dad, then leave again, a couple of times, thus keeping him on the hook. When she married R, Dad thought they were getting remarried again soon, and that she was collecting her stuff from the Valley. When she didn’t return, Nonie, my great-grandmother, is the one who told him that she had gotten married to someone else. I was there for the conversation…because that is how I found out she had remarried as well.
During a very long, drawn-out custody battle, my mother and the then-pastor of a now defunct church would tell me these horrible stories of physical abuse that my father had committed against my mother. Each time they would tell me a story, though, the details would be different..more exaggerated, and in the end, totally false. I don’t say any of this to cast aspersions on my mother…she had her issues, but overall, she had her own broken brain stemming from her own abuse, so it was easy for me to forgive her. But, as I told both her and the pastor one time, I remember living at home with my real dad and my mom, and none of this abuse ever happened. I remember us singing to old honky-tonk songs. I remember creating a whole train by baking cakes in coffee cans. I remember the pets, the family dinners, and watching Dennis the Menace every morning with my Dad. I remember mall trips, and my mom sitting in my dad’s lap watching television. In other words, I remember. I also pointed out that my great-grandmother and great-grandfather lived with us for a really long time, especially when Mike was born, and Nonie (that is what I called her) adored Dad. And this woman was a mean Italian woman who would cut your throat and tell God you died if anyone hurt her favorite grandchild — my mom, or great-grandchild — me. In other words, this supposed abuse just had never happened. Dad had loved Mom, me, and Michael. We were happy. Well, except for Mom, I guess.
Mom basically just told me back then that I had just forgotten, but I could even tell from her demeanor that she knew what she was doing was wrong. It wasn’t until about 10 years ago, though, that she finally just told me the truth — she was afraid of losing custody of me and the abuse charges were the only thing that she could think of that would be bad enough that the judge wouldn’t grant custody to my Dad. According to both of them, the judge was more inclined to give me to my Dad than my Mom, specifically because he kept catching her and the pastor in lies on the stand. And Mom and this pastor were how Dad was introduced to Christianity.
The whole time that I was growing up, and being molested, and being labelled a liar to protect the molester and my mom, in order to keep the adults in my life from having to face the responsibilities in this hell that they themselves were partly to blame for, the other children in my family were all witnessing what was being said and done. Mike was one of those people. Mike heard only Mom’s lies about Dad, and the couple of times he had to go on visitations, he was terrified of him. Dad was heartbroken. Yes, the best memories of my childhood were with my Dad, but Mike had none but the ones painted by people who had lied to him.
Eventually, Mom was able to break Dad, and when I was about 11, she succeeded in ridding my father out of my life, and out of Mike’s. Mike changed his last name to R’s last name, and I took my real name back. I left home, started my life, and Mike and I never really got a chance to discuss Dad…he just didn’t want to hear it. I found a letter one time that Mike had written to my Mom that said that we had never been close, so it was no big deal to him that we weren’t now. I remember crying over that letter because that was never how I had remembered it. I blamed my mom and R for tearing away from me not only my Dad, but my brother, and my other half-siblings as well…all in the name of maintaining an image. Even now, I can’t get Mike to talk to me. In the last decade, I’ve heard from him once. Satan has stolen my family from me, just as surely as he stole Job’s away from him.
Not one conversation I have with my Dad these days, this subject doesn’t come up. My Dad lost all of his auto part stores after Mom divorced him. Mom got everything…home, furnishings, money..She left him with nothing. He would never have any other children again because he never wanted me or Michael to feel like we were disposable to him. He eventually used drugs to numb the pain, got arrested, and lived a majority of his life bitter at God for taking his family away, bitter at Mom for making sure he never even got to see us, and bitter that his own son chose to believe other people’s stories instead of finding out the truth for himself. He blames Mom, that creepy pastor, and God. Never me or Michael…
Yesterday, I talked to my father, who is so afraid he will die of cancer before he gets one more chance to talk to his son, that he cried a little on the phone. My father does not cry. I can’t fix any of this, because I can’t get my own brother to even really talk to me, and he knows what happened to me. There doesn’t seem to be any room in his life anymore for us. So, helpless, I just had to listen to this heart-breaking diatribe from my Dad, try to swing him away from the bitterness against Mom, re-forgive her myself for this pain that, unfortunately, she caused. Again, Lord, what am I to do?? You are the God of Restoration…I’m begging you to Restore to me, and to my father, what Satan took away!!
I guess there is a part of me that hopes one day Mike will read this and understand that while yes, I understand to some degree what growing up in the family we grew up in did to all of us, I still hate that one of the innocent victims in all of this, Dad, is still being tortured by it. I want Mike to know that he did love us, the stories that were told to us were never true, and that while R never loved either of us like a real father should, we always had one waiting for us in the wings. The original one, that God deemed to actually give us. Dad thinks that Mike will think he’s mad at him because he got his name changed, but Dad doesn’t care about that at all. He understands, because he, too, was raised with step-fathers and he knows Mike never knew who he was. Dad is somewhat agoraphobic these days, but wants me to drive him to Colorado so he can go to Mike’s church just once. I don’t want to because I have no assurance that Mike would even speak to Dad, and I can’t watch Dad hurt all over again by all of this. I suggested he write a letter, but his limited education makes him embarrassed that his grammar and spelling will only humiliate Mike. I suggested that I write it for him, with him, but he wants his own relationship with Mike. All of this is just hurting my heart to no end. I can barely type from the crying…
The worst part of the conversation last night, though, was when Dad asked that if Mike was a pastor, how come he didn’t care about trying to help Dad make peace with God? I’m not laying that one on Mike. But as a man who life severely kicked in the teeth, I want to help introduce my Dad and the real Savior, and I can’t help but feel unable to do that without Mike, who, in Dad’s mind, is a representative of that same God. I have, however, informed my father that I need him to make peace with God because if he dies as a non-Christian, I don’t know that I will ever recover from that. :-(
I’m sorry this is such a sad post today, but that is how heavy my heart is. Broken for the family I once had so many years ago….Today, I really, really hate the devil.