The Wages of Sin

I am sober, I have a healthy and smart little boy, I have a sound mind -according to my therapist and newly acquired lawyer. I am calm in the midst of my personal storm. I am confident in the wake of the pressures of parenting. I am hopeful, some days more than others. It’s been 8 months since I’ve seen my dad and stepmom and I am finally feeling and seeing the benefits of not being under their control. They are toxic people who don’t deserve to be a part of my life or my sons. Learning to be on my own is hard, paying for school is hard, and bills are so annoyingly constant.

However, walking back into the snare of my family is no longer and option for me. I will survive in spite of them; my son will continue to flourish and stay in a good school and church because of me. Not them, me. No amount of money is worth the amount of risk that comes from those helping hands. I had to walk away, trembling and scared, I walked away.

What if I told you that they were the ones who made me crazy, enabled and lacking self-esteem? What if I told you that Mother Graham is still chasing after men versus wanting to be a part of my life? What if I told you that trio is more so responsible for my pain than I had originally thought. What if I told you that I am better than I have ever been, all things considered because none of them are around me?

My writing started off with me asking why? Why couldn’t I go to a 4 year college and my siblings could. Why was I sleeping around to feel better about myself? Why were my friendships difficult? Why did I drink and drug for almost 15 years? Why was I a privileged mess?

In therapy, I have unlocked some painful memories of childhood sexual abuse and its negative effects on me developmentally and more. I have dissected my life and it’s beyond uncomfortable. I can now recall trying to get off as a child and other snippets of my past still come to me in flashes of memories that I can’t bear to write about.

Everyone in my family knew the person accused of fondling me and no matter how alarming my actions were, no one stopped this person, they acted like it never happened. I’ve blogged about it before but I was still in denial and not able to fully accept what the letters from my social worker in 1983 said. My case against this person was unfounded, but was it really?  Or did my mom drop the charges because it was easier to deny the truth about me than confront the pedophile. How the fuck was my family able to deflect any personal responsibility? I gladly took the blame from my toddler years to very late 20’s for being a nuisance, but my family protected the pedophile and somehow that’s worthy of being forgiven?

I couldn’t stimulate myself enough growing up. As a friend put it mildly; it’s an itch that must be scratched. Naturally, as soon as I reached the age where kids start to experiment I was more than ready. I blocked out my early childhood and settled into the comforting arms of alcohol and drugs when I was a teenager, easily. Still no one spoke the truth, no one wanted to risk their comfortable little lives on account that I may very well have been molested.

My adopted grandmother knew, my mother new, aunts, uncles, grandparents that are now six feet under knew. No one gave a rat’s ass but all the signs were there and certain conversations with certain folk have made it very clear that they new. My family chose to take a blind eye, even after I was reported to the Virginia Child Welfare hotline. They looked away when I made my dolls have sex with one other and had my case buried before I was potty trained. My actions told a different story. They were the actions of an abused little girl that was neglected and shamed into silence.

As a mother to a 3 year old who is turning 4, I’ll tell you this, they don’t lie, they tell you how they feel, they show you how they feel. Little developing minds are incapable of keeping secrets. Hell, my son tells me everything, what he ate at school, which friends he likes best, if he went to time out and what he does with his sitters. He will confess after stuffing candy in his pockets that he in fact, took the candy when I asked him not too.

My son will not carry the weight of my past and my past will not cloud his future. I’m fighting to be on my own these days and working as much as I can. Fighting to be independent. Fighting to protect my son and keep him in a good school and with trustworthy sitters. I’m 36 and still struggling to survive but better late than never, right? I will never trust the people who were responsible for raising me with him and yet they still wonder why? Isn’t it ironic?

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