Although this letter is for you, you are not the only one who needs to read it – so it is here, in a public venue.
You can continue to deny, I suppose at this juncture you haven’t any choice – you’ve come this far and to turn back now would be to reveal yourself a manipulative fraud. Self implication has never been your style, and God knows you will never take responsibility for anything you’ve done, so carry on, but do so knowing that we are all now cognizant of the truth.
Before Facebook and the internet were things that exist, you had an excellent chance of never being found out. There was a time when I didn’t care, all I wanted was to be away from you. I’m sorry for that now – I lost Elizabeth, Bev, Heather, Ryan, and Lois by allowing you to lie. Because of YOU and ONLY YOU, cousins don’t know each other well, I missed seeing my niece grow up, and I missed sharing my adult life with Bev and Lois, two people I thought the world of by the way.
You made sure when I left your house I wouldn’t contact Bev – you did this by telling me Bev had told you to kick me out if I didn’t like your being with Harlan – Bev NEVER said that. You told Bev I offered you an ultimatum; Harlan or me … I did no such thing, not ever. The truth is, was and always will be … you gave me the ultimatum; Rhonda or you. I made the right choice.
What is interesting in all of this is … no one’s story corroborates your story, they all corroborate mine.
You deny that Ed beat me, newsflash – not only did Ed beat me, you knew he beat me. You let him beat me. You encouraged him to beat me. And you told him how badly he beat me after the fact!
I recently found out that YOU were the one who told Ed he had beaten me so badly I lost control of my bowels: “I didn’t realize I had done that to you until Pat told me later.” –Ed
Not only did you know, you let it happen. You were in the kitchen doing dishes not thirty feet from where your husband was violently beating your child! Did my screaming not clue you in to what was happening? Dumb question – it happened all the time, you were merely used to it. Hell, you encouraged it!
You told me, always — “Every month or so your father has to beat the hell out of you to make you behave, then you’re good for a while, but you always need it again”
And it wasn’t like you didn’t beat the hell out of me yourself.
So what is it exactly you don’t remember?
Throwing water in my face
Slapping me in the face
The pants down spankings you gave me – often more than once a day, with a wooden spoon
Abandoning me in a grocery store parking lot for a considerable period of time when I was about six years old
Sending me to my room and then leaving the house, telling me I better hope you got back before Ed got off work and found you gone and I had to tell him it was all my fault … oh, the beating you told me I would get if that ever happened.
You had three children, Pat, and you turned your back on us all. What did we do to you, any way? All I can come up with is that we were born, and you hated us for that. Did you have dreams for your life that went unfulfilled? Do you blame us for that? All I know for sure is that you never loved us …
so when you say things like, “I’ve been in therapy for my alcoholic daughter, I have no interest in going to therapy for my son, so I’ll bow out now,” I have to laugh … as a mother, you were never in. Do you not see exactly how that sentence defines you? Elizabeth’s problems stem from you and Ed, and I NEVER asked you to go to therapy with me or for me – I would rather die than ask you for anything – you taught me well as a child that I couldn’t depend on you for anything but pain.
And it shouldn’t surprise me that you try to hide behind my having Bipolar Disorder, but that is low even for you. I have Bipolar Disorder, yes – again, it all goes back to you and Ed. You can’t beat children and abandon them and neglect them without consequences.
you don’t know the first thing about the Bipolar Disorder, so let me reassure you – my memories are just fine, but then you know that, right? – you’re my mother … most of the memories are of you.
And that brings me back to Ed. Of all the people you have hurt and victimized, perhaps he has suffered most. So intense was your hatred for him, you stopped at nothing in your quest to make Elizabeth and I share your loathing. In a divorce, you are supposed to love your children more than you dislike or hate your ex – this so you do not destroy your children in the process of uncoupling. I suppose you might have accomplished this if you had loved your children, and hadn’t already destroyed them – we will never know now, will we?
You made me fear my father to a degree there are no words to describe – yes, he beat me, but you used that fact to instill terror in my heart. I was afraid of him every minute of every day. Do you care, or ever know, what fear like that does to a child … ?
It causes mental illness … and things like alcoholism.
But your mind games, manipulations, lies, drama, neglect and abandonment did the most profound damage of all.
Beatings were terrible to endure, but I’d take ten beatings from Ed over even one incident of you leaving me …
Grown men do not turn their back on their mother without damn good cause. The world you’ve created isn’t real, Pat – I’m gone because you abused me – it is that simple. There was never anything between us of substance or value – if there had been, we’d have gotten past what was, in actuality, a very minor rift. I didn’t come back because there was never anything, or anyone, to come back to.
So, you cling to your loyal christian friends, but please do wonder what they’d think if they really knew you. The God you pray to now, is he the same God you denied and ridiculed for years following the divorce? Christians, according to you, were “Thumpers.” Oh, the old days!
Good for you, embrace growth and personal change … but you do understand, don’t you, that Christian mothers do not turn their back on their children, especially when their children are sick. Janet, Elizabeth and I have all been sick — where were your Christian values then? Or is it now? You seem to believe I am sick … where is my good Christian mother?
The first thing you said to Bev, when she told you we were in contact, was, “Oh, so I guess we’re done.” Do you not understand she thought she was giving you good news? She thought you’d be happy that I had spoken to her, and maybe through having a relationship with her I’d finally speak to you again, too? You were supposed to happy – Bev didn’t know your pathetic truth then, she didn’t know what you were or what you had done … but you were so afraid of her learning the truth, you cut her out of your life. On top of everything else, you are a coward. First you blamed her for your decision to kick me out of your house, then you disowned her because you couldn’t carry on a relationship with her knowing she knew the truth about you. Sadly for you …
I’d told her surprisingly little, directly. Out of my respect for her, and her respect for you, we didn’t discuss you. She did not read my blog for several weeks following our initial contact … and I would never have put her in the position you did, as far as I was concerned we were both in her life, good! And so what!
Bev was shocked when you did what you did, cutting her out of your life, but I wasn’t … I actually made sure she knew before I accepted her invitation to coffee what you would do if you found out she had seen me. She couldn’t believe the worst of you, Pat – she would not believe, despite solid evidence to the contrary – that being your ability to throw all three of your children away – that you would throw her away too.
I know you well, I always have.
And Ed doesn’t deny, not a blessed thing. Not. A. Single. Blessed. Thing.
You are the only one whose memory is in question.