Follow up…

It’s been a while since I’ve posted anything, I’ve been extremely overwhelmed with obligations as well as recovery from surgery that took some of my time.  I’ve promised so much to so many people and I can’t keep up with myself. In addition, I’ve been trying to be positive so finding it hard to write about my past right now.  This is always such a difficult time for me even though I like the summer.  It’s the anniversary of my father’s death 31 years ago so I’m especially raw and I’m pushing myself to keep from spiraling again.  I will just post this letter to my mother that I’m thinking about sending.

Dear Mom,

Telling me you love me is not enough, your actions tell a different story. I don’t believe your words because you choose to regard my rapist’s life and feelings above mine.  Most people can’t understand a mother that would ignore such a crime against their own child and for the life of me, I can’t explain it to them.  As a mother myself I just can’t imagine this and believe it’s some sort of mental illness that allows you to rationalize his behavior as well as your own.

I do miss having a mother and I wish we were close. I wish I didn’t get angry every time I think of how you abandoned me when it suited you.  Whether you believe it or not, it is abandonment. When I was young I told you what was wrong with me but you abandoned me then by ignoring my story and punishing me so I put the secret away again.  When I told you again as an adult you abandoned me once more by lying and protecting my rapist.

I can’t pretend that I’m ok with your relationship with him and your unwillingness to face the truth. I can’t turn a blind eye while you continue to put other children in danger by sending them to him.  I can’t turn a blind eye to you ignoring your granddaughter, also victimized by this monster that you continue to protect.  What does he have to do for you to treat him as you have us?  We were just little girls and yes it was too late to stop my torture but you did nothing to prevent him from harming others even after I asked you to.

I don’t believe you want a real relationship with me. It seems to me that you just want to continue some sort of fake family image you like to picture yourself in.  You have always tried to hide our real family from your friends and extended family.  I can’t be a part of your fantasy world any longer, I have to be honest to have real relationships.

It may seem like nothing but I wish you wouldn’t include me in your dishonesty. I was already hurting when I went to my uncle’s funeral but because you can’t tell the truth I had to navigate through all the questions about his absence and to top it off, you included my name next to his on the flowers and in your speech.  It’s not ok and you need to stop, he is not my family.  I should have just told them all the truth right then and there, next time I will.

Finally, I will just say that if you continue your relationship with him then you must stop trying to have a relationship with me. I will not waver on this decision.  I have felt so betrayed that it hurts to even think about a relationship with you.  He ruined my life and I have suffered for 38 years so I will do whatever it takes to finally heal from this.

Tracy

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Really? Why?

untitledEverything happens for a reason. Does it? Well, that’s what they say. Some people say it because they don’t know what else to say while some say it because they actually believe it.  This kind of thinking is detrimental to our society. You can’t just brush things off with a meaningless statement such as this and somehow think this will explain it all away and everything will be fine because it’s part of the “plan.” Maybe some things do happen for a reason, maybe if certain things did not happen then other things would not have fallen into to place as they have. To say that everything happens for a reason is asinine and hurtful.

Get your head out of your ass and STOP SAYING THIS!

I get extremely upset when people say this to me. I was molested for 6 years. What is the reason for that?  Was it because I was stupid and made bad decisions as an infant? Some then say “you may never know” and I say bullshit! There was no reason for that to happen to me and it had nothing to do with anything I did to cause it. Then I get the famous lines, “God was there with you” or “God only gives the worst pain to his strongest warriors” and again I say bullshit! Please explain to me how that is supposed to comfort me. I guess you believe that the reason for the molestation is so I can live in torment for the rest of my life, is that what you’re saying?

What is the reason for 49 people to be gunned down in a nightclub, was it because of their bad decision to be gay?  You would probably tell the mothers of those men and women that their death will change laws or change attitudes but that is also bullshit.  Sick people will always be sick, criminals will always find a way and bigots continue to raise more bigots.

Last year I read Heaven is For Real by Colton, Sonja and Todd Burpo. I thought it was going to be a nice uplifting and spiritual experience but about halfway through I started sobbing.  I was so upset that God felt it was necessary to save this little boy while so many others just die or live in fear. What about me? I was just an innocent little girl!  What about the kids with cancer that never get a second chance and what about all those kids sold into sex slavery every day? What about the mother whose son died because of my son?  What about the children that are taken, tortured and killed?  What about the children that are starving to death and what about the children with special needs.  What are the reasons for all of them?  Was it something they did?  I can answer that, it turns out that boy and his parents lied and what’s worse is they think that’s ok because they say it gave people hope.  It didn’t give me hope, it just made me feel like I didn’t matter.

I can’t think of anything good that came of any tragedy I’ve suffered through and I feel like if you really believe the bullshit then the odds should be with me. They’re not.

Bottom line, stop saying this.

Open Letter Series: To His Mom

I’ve wanted to write you so many times but I never felt like it was appropriate. I think about you and your family every single day and pray that you are finding peace. I’m never sure if it would make things worse to reach out to you or if my silence is worse. I thought my life was starting to gain some positive momentum last year until that day.  I’ve been through quite a bit in my life, I’ve dealt with a lot of pain but I will tell you that this was by far the worst thing that has ever happened in my life. The pain of this loss outweighs any I’ve ever had to deal with so I can not imagine how you must be feeling,  I won’t pretend to compare what you are going through to what I’ve faced. I’m not going to try to convince anyone that what my son did was not wrong or that I’m blameless. I still don’t know why this happened and I can’t make it go away but I want you to know that I’m not oblivious to your pain.

The night that I got the call I was at an event, I was driving home alone, crying, breaking down. When I was almost home I started screaming at God and pounding on my steering wheel, I passed my street because I wasn’t finished, I just kept driving and screaming on the empty road.  I knew that up ahead there was a steep drop off on the highway and thought I would drive off in hopes of ending the pain but I drove past the drop off because I thought I might hurt someone else. I turned around and started begging God to give your son his life, I wanted him to take me instead.

I got home and everything bad that ever happened to me just came rushing in like a flash flood of thoughts. I couldn’t stop myself, I couldn’t sleep, I couldn’t speak and I was absolutely terrified for your son and for mine. I tried calling my psychiatrist for medicine but was rejected, I knew that was the first of many rejections that were to come in the wake of this tragedy. I don’t remember much of the next few days except that I did finally get some medicine from another doctor. Without thinking, I tried once again to end my life but thankfully I was unsuccessful. I know now that this would be the last time I ever tried to do that because I found out my son was on suicide watch. He was so ashamed and upset over what he had done and I could not add to that .

I was so scared that other people were going to attack our family for what happened and it was so hard to tell anyone. I know my son and I know his heart, this act is not him but if you don’t know him you can’t believe that. He did do this and it’s his fault but I began to doubt the facts because it didn’t make sense and I was sure something was missing or someone else had a hand in this. I wanted so badly to wake up from this nightmare and forget about this. I went to work every day and pretended everything was ok because I believed I would lose my job if they knew. I assumed that nobody would forgive me and I would lose all of my friends. I blamed myself, I wasn’t a great mother, I was not strong enough or supportive enough for my children. I thought that I had tried my best but I see now that I could have done better.

I was losing my mind everyday, I just wanted to run away from everything. I couldn’t get the idea out of my head that I was cursed and everyone I loved was in its destructive path.  I went to church and it was great but it made me feel worse sometimes. In my eyes it’s hard to see what others are going through because I’m so consumed by trauma and sadness. I could not be away from my husband because I was terrified, I began to feel the same knot in my chest that I used to get all the time. I just felt nauseous and light-headed and sometimes I felt like I could not breathe. I didn’t go anywhere for a while

I did not go visit my son in jail because I could not see him like that, I was too selfish about my own hurt that I could not be there for him when he needed me most. I wanted to help my son but it also felt wrong in some way. He made a terrible mistake that cost a man his life but I love him and I knew that it was an accident. I wanted to let him remain in jail until his trial and maybe that was wrong of me but I thought it would help him in the long run. The lawyer advised us to get him out so my son was released and I got to see him, it was bittersweet, when he came home I was happy to see him but consumed by guilt. I was holding my son and thinking of you, how can I enjoy this when you will never hold your son again because of us.

With therapy I slowly began to do things again and spent more time with my son.  I knew he would be serving time for what he did so I wanted to spend this time with him.  I wanted him to talk to me about what happened but he was not allowed to, all he ever said was that he just kept seeing it over and over and was haunted by what he had done.  I’m sure that you believe he deserved to feel this way and you’re right but it’s hard as a mother to see you child in so much pain.  My son was still breathing and doing what he could to get through this but I knew that his life would never be the same.  He would pay for this for the rest of his life no matter what.  Even if his sentence was light, he would never realize his dreams.  He was going to be discharged from the military and he will never be able to be in law enforcement again.  This will follow him forever both emotionally and professionally.

We tried to think of ways to help you but were restricted. We wanted to honor your son in some way but were not allowed.  A year has passed and I’m still feeling the guilt over what happened, I still think about you every time I try to enjoy life in some way. I’ve thought about you on every holiday, your son’s birthday, the anniversary and every other day this past year. Every time I have an opinion on something in the news I think of you first and try to put myself in your shoes. For instance, what right do I have to think  rapists and other criminals should have harsher sentencing when I prayed so hard for the judge to be lenient with my son? Is it ok for me to be mad at how my mother is protecting her son when I have been protecting mine?  Even small decisions are difficult because I feel guilty and I worry about the repercussions of all words and actions.

I only know how to tell you what I’m feeling which is why I’ll never send this letter. It’s not fair to lay my guilt at your feet for some kind of forgiveness. I wish you could scream and yell at me until you felt some kind of relief. I wish you could feel some peace and hope you find joy in life despite this tragedy. You were wronged and I want you to feel some sort of justice even though it’s at my expense. I will never stop grieving for your son.

 

 

 

 

Countless Ignorance

53a7257e723e31551dc9ba7dd709c5a4Everyday countless people around the world are oblivious to the tragedy and suffering many of us face.  There are those that have never lost anyone close, lived with an abusive or alcoholic person, lived in fear of sexual abuse, fought in a war, faced a life threatening obstacle, fought addiction, lived with a debilitating disease or disability, etc.  They don’t see us because they are too busy complaining about their ordinary lives.

Those countless faces in the crowd that you don’t see are suffering in ways you could never imagine.  We think a cat puking on our favorite pair of shoes, being late to work and shattering the screen on our phone is worst thing life could hand to a single person in one day.  We think that we can be offended by who people love, who people vote for, which bathroom someone uses, whose face is on a dollar bill and what someone wears to a costume party are real problems.  There are COUNTLESS issues that are way more important but were all so self-centered that if it has not affected our lives adversely then we don’t fight for it. When is the last time you stood up for a child that was being abused or spoke up about substance abuse?  When was the last time you stood up to a bully for someone that couldn’t?  When was the last time you gave your time or money to help a cause that never touched your life personally?  We are all guilty of ignoring the terrible realities that some face and living in our own little world.  William-Shakespeare-ignorance-Quotes

While most of us are flooding social media with meme’s about presidential candidates there are children in the world being raped, there are young girls being sexually mutilated at 13 so they don’t cheat on their 43 year old husband and countless lives being trafficked.  The countless meme’s I see about gender neutral bathrooms and how it offends everyone while men are giving their lives up to fight for the freedom to be whatever religion, gender, sexual preference and minority they are.  While you fight and get angry about a lion being killed for sport, why don’t you try getting angry at the people that are killing our children with drugs and bullying them to the point of suicide.  While you are posting countless meme’s about the differences between men and women there are billions of women still being treated like second class citizens, women doing the same jobs as men but making 70% of what men are paid, women are still slaves and property in certain parts of the world and it’s been less than 100 years since women were able to vote in the US.  The list goes on, get angry about that.

ignore_factsWho cares what Princess Kate wore to the last garden party?  Who cares if that model photo-shopped her ass in that picture?  Who cares what color the fucking internet dress is?  Who cares what celebrity is fighting with another?  Who cares which reality star is posting naked tweets?  It’s hard not to get caught up in all these things, it’s hard to refrain from sharing the easy stuff.  It’s time we take notice of the terrible things happening to the people in this world and fight for the those suffering from disease, those fighting for justice, those trying to fight the effects of long-term abuse, parents of lost children, the countless rape victims that still haven’t seen justice, the men, women and children living in slavery, the children that are starving to death, the victims of mutilation and torture, the millions of women living in fear for their lives for speaking out, the countless people killed or persecuted for their religious beliefs, the men and women being beaten in the streets because they are “different” and the countless people with a disease just fighting to survive.

People matter.

Stand up for what matters!

Stand up for the world,  not just your own back yard and not just your “own kind.”  Stand up for freedom and equality everywhere. Stand up for those that can’t stand up for themselves.

©Tracy’s Truth Blog, 2016

Grain

7569775878_57930edb40_z.jpgTrapped in my own thoughts.

Spiraling out of control.

Each thought like a grain of sand in an hour-glass; sucking you down the vortex until you fall to the other side.

Sitting atop the sand on the other side, everything is ok.

One thought flips the hour-glass.

Falling, clawing at invisible walls never finding your grip.

Suffocating with each grain as it falls over you; surrounding you.

Closing in, the sand traps you once again.  Smothered in your own thoughts.

Falling through the vortex grain by grain.

Then it all starts over again.

.

 

NEVER is a Bad Word

I just realized something.341545676_640

I’m NEVER going to be OK.  Not completely.  I can laugh in the morning and by lunch I want to scream and yell.  I can be quiet and depressed when I wake up but by dinner I feel like having fun.  I don’t have many days of pure joy, most days I just want to sleep or do nothing.  I think too much and NO, I can’t just not think about it.  My whole life revolves around it.  Maybe you think, God why can’t she just move on or get over it already?  Maybe you are annoyed by my constant reminders and ranting. Everyday feels like a rollercoaster,  I wish I could just be normal.

I will never be completely positive, it’s not in my nature and no matter how hard I try I’m always poisoned by negativity.  I’m trying, I really am.  I tell myself on a daily basis, just push it from your mind or ignore these thoughts but the more I try the more I fail.  In this case the quote, if at first you don’t succeed…blah, blah, blah are just words.  Impossible.

The positive people will say, you can’t think like that because your thoughts will manifest into reality.  Those people never had a really terrible thing happen to them or they are simply lying to themselves.  I do it, I lie to myself and everyone else when I pretend that I’m OK.  Many people think I’m just SO FUN and I’m a blast to hang out with because they don’t see the other side.  That’s ok because most people don’t want to hang out with the other Tracy.  I’m not in the habit of letting many in on that other Tracy because they won’t like her and won’t want to be around her. I do actually have fun, that parts not a lie.  I love my friends and I  them laugh, that’s how I escape from my realities.  It’s still all there on the inside just fighting to surface but I have become an expert at holding it back.  I can love and I do love my husband, my family and my friends.  They all make me the happiest I’ve ever been but it’s never going to be a normal happy because something is always waiting to bring me down again.  Everyone has ups and downs but I’m not talking about your typical mood swings so don’t even try to compare it to that.

This writing is my outlet, this is where I can be the Tracy that nobody wants to be around.  I won’t come to your party and be this Tracy.  I don’t want sympathy, I just want to be understood.  It takes a lot out of me to constantly be on for people, it’s physically and emotionally exhausting.   I’m tired.  From time to time if I just want to be alone or just be a quiet bystander please just be understanding.

I’m never going to see my dad again.  I’m never going to forget what my brother did to me.  I’m never going to see my other brothers again.  I’m never going to have a mother I can go to for anything again.  I’m never going to sleep without medication.  I’m never going to laugh without feeling guilty.  I’m never going to feel totally secure in any relationship.  I’m never going to feel good in a crowd of people.  I’m never going to forget the pain son is going through. I’m never going to feel comfortable with my sexuality.  I’m never going to wake up from this nightmare.

I can NEVER stop being two people.

I can NEVER be normal.

Never.

Never.

Never is my reality.

 

 

What to do…

How can I help?  What can I do?

Many people that hear about sexual abuse will ignore or hide from the ugly truth.  It’s a terrible fact that survivors must live with when they come out with their story.  Family members will deny the story because it’s too embarrassing or painful that this happened in their family never realizing that it’s so much more painful that your family sort of turns their back on you.  Others will say they try to avoid drama and negativity but they are in fact promoting just that by keeping themselves in the dark or pretending everything is ok.

I realize that not everyone wants to get involved but the percentages of children in this country that are molested is staggering and chances are you or someone you know is being molested or are doing the molesting. It’s an epidemic in this country and it’s not something we can continue to ignore. Everyone needs to get involved and it’s difficult, I know but we have to make an effort.  You have to try to put yourself in the shoes of a survivor or the parent, sibling or spouse of a survivor in order to grasp the horror in some small way.  What if it was you?  What if it was your child, your brother, your sister, your parent, your cousin, your best friend or your spouse?  How angry would you be?  How would you react to hearing this news?  Would you move on quickly and just act like it didn’t happen or would you try to help or get involved?  It’s easy to say you wouldn’t ignore it but sadly that is what happens every day.  It’s frustrating to those trying to change this ugly world.

Many people think they need to walk on eggshells with you when you reveal abuse and avoid the subject all together. We can tell so it’s better, at least for me, to just mention it our ask general questions. Most survivors are very strong because we’ve had to be then and if we’re talking about it we probably need to. Some things to avoid are, asking for details, joking about it, telling us everything happens for a reason or it was God’s plan and worst of all, making excuses for our abuser.

It’s ok to be angry or confused, I definitely am. Please don’t tell me to forgive or forget. I don’t have to forgive to heal and I can never forget.

You can easily tell if a child is being abused so take off your blinders. It’s not normal for a child of six to be depressed, it’s not normal for children to avoid affection or be nervous and scared. It’s not normal for a child to be awkward and fearful of other children or teachers in school. Once a child is if school age they should not scream and panic when asked to do something normal. Of course, there are instances of childhood illnesses such as autism, asbergers, ADD, etc but you take the child to a doctor and find out instead of assuming they’re just bad.

Nightmares and sexuality are not necessarily symptoms but abused children suffer these and many other symptoms.

I hope by speaking out I can help just one victim or survivor. By giving us voice we can help those still living in silence. Speak out and make it more difficult for predators to victimize.