I Saw My Mother

“Eden, whatever happened to your mother? Did you end up going to see her?” says all the emails in my inbox.

Well….sort of. Yes, I “saw” her…I “saw” her as I pushed my way past her and entered her house.

Yep, that happened.

Now you see, if you remember from the post “I realized that I am the ugliest person at the gym”  I had asked my mother if she could sit down and talk with me about my plans for the nonprofit; her response being to go completely ballistic and via text tear me into a million tiny little pieces that she used to ignite the fire that was my brother. Basically I got bitch slapped via text for a few days by both of them. Amidst the bitch slapping though, there were several texts that pertained to some items that I had left at their house when I moved out thirteen years ago.

When I disowned my family nineteen months ago, it wasn’t planned. Don’t get me wrong, it was absolutely necessary and should have been done a long time before that, I just didn’t know that I was living our “final moments” until in retrospect I realized that they were.

When I was permanently kicked out of my house thirteen years ago I didn’t have a new home to move into. I wasn’t moving to my own apartment or in with my ex, I was moving into someones fully furnished guest room; complete with their out of season clothes hanging in the closet. I packed a couple of suitcases and the rest of my stuff I left behind. When I left her house a short while later and moved in with my ex, I went back to my parents house, retrieved a few more of my things, and the rest I moved into their basement; a basement owned by literal hoarders.

A basement that houses everything from thousands of empty medication bottles that “might be needed someday” to a TV from the 70’s that only plays a picture in shades of yellow and green but “will work when we get it fixed,” to nearly everything my brothers and I have ever owned in the entire existence of our creation. The basement is like some dim and dusty museum of memories that look a lot happier than they actually were.

Thirteen years later and for no reason other than the fact that I had not yet retrieved them and that my hoarding parents only ever descent into the basement so that they can cram more stuff in there, my things were still in the place where I had packed them away. Now though, after going nineteen months without any real contact with my family, I was starting to think that I might never see those things again. Of those things, there were really only two that I wanted back.

Two things that since the moment I found out I was pregnant with a girl, I had dreamt of passing down to her.

Those two things being the doll that had been my best friend and a dollhouse that had housed the loving family that I had always wanted to be a part of; the family that lived out the memories that I longed to be mine.

After the text bitch slapping I didn’t hear from them for several weeks until my father texted me late one afternoon and told me that the items would be at his office and that I needed to pick them up the very next day.

I was pretty angry. This to me just seemed like another ploy to get me to talk to them on their terms; like “hey, we know that we have absolutely no bargaining chips left with you except for the fact that we have a couple of items that we know meant a lot to you, so if you don’t come get them this instant, you will never get that cherished moment that we know you have always dreamt about having with your daughter.”

I took the bait.

I thought about how it was my girl child’s birthday the next day (my parents timing conveniently planned to tug at my heart strings), how I hadn’t been able to afford to buy her a present, and how happy this would make her. I just kept picturing her face light up when she saw the dollhouse and despite my better judgment, I took the bait. I confirmed that he was bringing the doll and the dollhouse and then I called Frisbee Boy’s Mother and asked her to go with me the next morning.

I wasn’t happy about any of it. Not the one and a half round trip drive to his office that was causing me to have to immediately rearrange my work schedule, not the fact that I was going to be seeing them, and absolutely not the fact that I was once again at their mercy.

I had a pit in my stomach the size of planet earth and I just felt rotten thinking about the entire situation.

Frisbee Boy’s Mom and I pulled up to my father’s office and what do you know? My father wasn’t even there. Not only was he not there, but neither was the doll or any of the dollhouse accessories.


What was there was an empty dollhouse and a mountain of old toys that I didn’t even know were still in existence. They were piled up to my chin just outside his office near the waiting room, in a building that my entire extended family owns and works out of.

A public shaming at it’s finest.

“Look everyone, we are throwing out every last piece of our daughter, but just out of spite we are keeping everything that actually means something to her.”

As angry as I was before, I was astronomically livid now.

I grumbled and gruffed as I shoved not only my car, but Frisbee Boy’s Mother’s car as well, full of toys covered in 20 years of dust. It was so gross that we found ourselves ravaging a package of baby wipes just to try and clean up a little before we got into our cars. Then the two of us drove to a nearby bank parking lot where we could more privately discuss the situation.

“Discuss,” meaning that I had an entire conversation on my own which I unfortunately more or less yelled directly at poor Frisbee Boy’s mother.

“I am so mad!! Like seriously, is this some kind of sick joke!? He texted me and told me to come here! He was the one who said to come get my doll and dollhouse today! I confirmed with him three times that I was ONLY coming here for the dollhouse and the doll. That I had NO room in my car for anything else. That those two things are very important to me and I wanted to give them to my daughter for her birthday tomorrow! He knows it’s her birthday tomorrow! Why would he do this? Because it’s funny to him! Because he has no control over me anymore so he used the only bargaining chip he had left, made me jump through hoops, and in the end proved that he is STILL in control of me! DAMMIT I AM SO MAD. You know what? I drove out here to get my stuff and I’m not leaving without it!”

With that I hopped into my car.

“I’m going there right now and I’m getting my things!”

I started the fifteen minute drive to my parents house where I intended, come hell or high water, to get my things back. I had absolutely had it with them and at this point fueled up entirely on pure adrenaline and thirty one years of anger, I had lost all ability to think logically.

Now my father has always thrown me under the bus when it comes to my mother, but it’s my mother that is the absolute crazy one. He rarely stands up for me but for some unknown reason my mother tends to be slightly less crazy when he is around. Most of me thinks it’s because she plays him like a fiddle and she needs to keep in in the dark as to much of what she has done to me and how she really acts.

I knew that she would be home but I had no idea where my father was. I knew that facing my mother alone was actually an idea ten times worse than facing both of them together, so I sent my father a text that just said “I can’t even believe you. I’m not playing these mind games. I’m driving to the house right now and I’m getting my stuff back.”

I arrived at the house, rang the doorbell, stood in a place that I knew she wouldn’t be able to see me from the front door window, and when she opened the door I just walked in right past her.

“What are you doing here?” she exclaimed.

“I think you know what I’m doing here, I’m getting my stuff” I half yelled as I was running down to the basement. At this point it suddenly occurred to me that I had basically just shoved my way into a person’s house, where I was intending to remove items, and flee from the home.

I was robbing them.

Great. Let’s just tack a felony onto my life story.

Oh well, too late now.

I was prepared to tear the basement apart but lo and behold, right on top of a big pile of junk, was my doll and all her accessories. Next to it, a bin with the dollhouse accessories. They had been purposefully passed over and left there.

I grabbed them, turned to go, and my mother wouldn’t let me leave. She just sat down on the stairs and refused to move.

Frisbee Boy’s Mother was waiting for me on the driveway, later telling me that she was unsure if she should have followed me in or stayed outside and called the police. According to her my father pulled in and made an angry beeline directly into the house.

He came down the stairs and in a slightly panicked sounding voice said “what is going on here?” I exclaimed “she won’t let me leave with my stuff and I’m telling you right now it’s not staying here. Now let me out of the basement! I have text messages from you saying to pick up my doll and my dollhouse and you planned this whole scheme on purpose. I’m done! Can’t you see why I want out of this family? This is so absolutely abnormal who in their right minds would want to continue to subject themselves to this? For the first time in my life I’m happy and I’m healthy and it’s all because you aren’t in my life anymore!!”

A look flashed across my father’s face that actually made my heart break a little for him. After all that he has put me through, that one look strummed at the only genetically linking strand of DNA that intrinsically causes someone to care about their family.

He looked unbelievably regretful and weary down to the very core of his soul.

My father started arguing with my mother; my mother refusing to let me take the dollhouse furniture and my father telling her to let me out of the basement. I’m now in tears (Frisbee Boy’s Mom said that she was down to her last minutes before springing into action outside), and I’m trying to get past a very large woman blocking the stairway while holding an armful of treasures.

I think my Father knew that this was the end. Someone else was here, the game was over, it was time to wave the white flag.

He firmly told my mother to move.

I went up the stairs carrying the only victory that I have ever had after enduring a lifetime of battles and I was astounded at how after all these years, I once again found myself fleeing from their house; the pain just as fresh as it had been all those years before.

I loaded my treasure’s into my car, telling my father that I didn’t want the junk that he had left at his office, that it was too painful to look at the tangible reminders of a childhood that almost was, and that he could either keep them or it would go in the dumpster. My mother said “throw it all away we don’t want it” and yet my father, he wanted to keep it.

I helped unload Frisbee Boy’s Mother’s car and as I piled years of unwanted memories on their driveway my father said to me “someday you will be back and all your things will be waiting for you.”

It broke my heart because honestly, the thought that I had next was “the next time I am back will be after I’ve buried your body and I have to dig through a lifetime of the memories that you have left behind.”

It’s amazing that after all these years and all the pain, that my heart is still able to feel so broken.

I’m crying now as I write this and I’m not sure why. The whole situation just hurt, it still hurts. I think it’s why it took me so long to write this post, because it hurts just even thinking about it.

The trickery, being in the house, and thinking that maybe I saw in my father the one instance of regret that I have been searching for my entire life.

That one look that says “I was wrong. You were worth something and I’m sorry that I never saw it.”

Was it there? I don’t know. I want to think that it was. The child in me begs for it to be real. I want to think that it was the bittersweet closure that I needed, but truth be told, maybe it was just what I wanted to see.

I’ll never know. I’m not brave enough, or strong enough, or weak enough, or dumb enough to go back and find out.

I’m free now.

You can’t hurt me anymore.

Photo Credits
Broken Chains

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  • Sara A.
    July 10, 2014 at 3:39 am

    Lots of mixed emotions here for me… Let's see if I can sort it out.1 happy you succeeded at getting the treasure2 happy nothing bad happened when you went there3 I really wish you hadn't risen to the bait4 glad you took a friend with you an outsider helps keep the crazy in line5 Are you sure this is the last card in their hand?

    • NotMyShametoBear
      July 11, 2014 at 3:31 pm

      I’m never sure this is the last card, but I’m hopeful.

      Im also glad nothing happened and I’m glad I had a friend who was generous enough with her time to come with me 🙂

  • Mzfuzz
    July 10, 2014 at 3:44 am

    *HUGS* I'm glad you stood up to them, painful as it was (and still is, clearly). It's ok to feel so conflicted about the whole thing. You may never have the resolution you seek, but I do know this….A weak person would have taken what your father left, and gone home. A coward would have let her parents bully and manipulate her into doing what they wanted. A dumb person would have continued to let those….People (I use the term loosely)…..Have influence and control over their life. So sounds to me like you're strong, brave, and smart. I am also so very sorry for the hell they have, and continue, to put you through.

    • NotMyShametoBear
      July 11, 2014 at 3:31 pm

      Ugh, blogger ate my response.

      Anyways, I’m glad I went back. I needed, for once, to walk out of that house KNOWING that I was leading a better life outside of there; being certain that it was the right decision. Im so glad I went

  • Anonymous
    July 10, 2014 at 4:22 am

    Getting your things from your parents' house was the right thing to do. (A coincidence: I once wrote a story called “Public Humiliation at Its Finest” about my family.) Your dad sounds like he is sympathetic, or at least sorry for what he's done. His offer to you to come back for your things in the future sounded like love. I think this interaction was enough for you to never have to see them again; you went to your old house with support and left under your terms, you took back something that was yours (symbolically and physically), you got something close to an apology from one of your parents, and you have something special to pass on to your daughter, which is a symbol of the passing of a old and twisted generation (your parents) and the birth of a new and better one (your kids). Your mother will probably never be sorry, but it's your victory that your father (former father and former mother) stood up to her for your final departure. Don't cry, feel good about yourself, because you did everything right. You are strong and now your family knows it too.

    • NotMyShametoBear
      July 11, 2014 at 3:31 pm

      Love your comment 🙂 I think it was all around fantastic closure to a situation that while it had ended, had never really “closed.”

      Feels refreshing almost.

  • MFA Mama
    July 10, 2014 at 6:36 am

    You know what? Good for you. If nothing else you can absolutely outlive your mother. Mine died a little over a year ago (I found out via Google Alert), and it was a huge relief to me. You are one of a VERY few people who might be able to understand that, and I'm sorry, because…yeah.

    • NotMyShametoBear
      July 10, 2014 at 3:31 pm

      Thats crazy that you found out via a google alert!

      Yep, I unfortunately understand. I’m sorry 🙁

  • afairytale84
    July 10, 2014 at 1:13 pm

    I don't know how involved your mother was in your stuff not getting to your. father's office but that is absolutely ridiculous what happened. Tey sound a lot like my mother's father and stepmother. They realized after a while that they couldn't really hurt my mother anymore so instead started to pull shit on her kids knowing it would hurt her far more than anything they could do. directly to.her.To me (and I could just be projecting personal experience here) it looks kind of like that's what happened here. Your father (and probably mother) knew you wanted this stuff for your daughter and what better way to hurt you than to deny your daughter something that she would really enjoy. People can be horribly cruel sometimes.I am so, so sorry this happened. Good for you though for standing up for yourself and getting your things back. That took a huge amount of strength and you should be really proud of yourself. Not many people could have done what you did.Maybe your father really is sorry and really does feel guilty for all that happened to you. I hope he is. He should be. Maybe it's a step in him realizing all the wrong that was done to you and is still being done to you. I don't see it as a step in building a relationship with you, but maybe just a step in his understanding of his role in all of this.I'm sure your daugher is.going to love her new to ys. There's something special about getting toys from your mother that she cherished when she was young. What a great gift for her.Let yourself cry. That was A LOT of emotional trauma you just went through. Let those tears fall if they want to fall. They need to be let out.*hugs*

  • afairytale84
    July 10, 2014 at 1:15 pm

    And this typo-riddled post is the reason I'm never writing a long comment on my tablet again. Ouch.:)

    • NotMyShametoBear
      July 11, 2014 at 3:31 pm

      Yea, I agree. The whole dynamic is so screwed up. As much as they go on and on about my horrible parenting, they sure don’t seem to care when they throw the kids under the bus!!

      I’ve been a little teary eyed since then. It just hurts to know they my mother probably never will really care. At the same time it just continues to remind me why I am better off without them


  • Anonymous
    July 10, 2014 at 5:04 pm

    Your parents sound so similar to mine. Except I have been a coward and have let them run roughshod over me for the most part and also my brother sees through their bullshit much more than it sounds like yours does. He sticks up for me sometimes. This post brings up a lot of painful, anxiety-inducing emotions for me, especially the commenter above talking about how now they are trying to hurt your daughter since they are losing (have lost) control of you. I see that happening with my daughter now that I think about it and it infuriates me and breaks my heart. I want to take her and run away to a deserted island where no one can ever hurt us again.

  • Anonymous
    July 10, 2014 at 6:55 pm

    This is like a more poorly written VC Andrews novel, complete with awful stock photos.

  • Anonymous
    July 11, 2014 at 7:10 am

    YOU again? ENOUGH already, why don't you give us a link to YOUR blog so we can see what a wonderful interesting writer YOU are?

  • snork maiden
    July 11, 2014 at 9:09 am

    Can you take your daughter and move elsewhere in the country? If you can restrict contact with you family time it'll be less damaging.

    • NotMyShametoBear
      July 11, 2014 at 3:32 pm

      I’m so sorry that you are going through your own troubles. It hurts so much when you see your children hurt and then it hurts even more to know that they think so little of you that they would hurt innocent kids just to hurt you.

      Ugh, the whole situation sucks!!

      I’m sending you GREAT BIG internet hugs


  • snork maiden
    July 11, 2014 at 9:12 am

    That's sounds like a very painful episode Eden, but you won, you have your doll to give your daughter. I hope she had a lovely birthday.

    • NotMyShametoBear
      July 11, 2014 at 3:32 pm

      It wasn’t fun at all, but worth it. She did have a great birthday 🙂 I took a few pics that I’ll post in an upcoming post. She threw her arms around the doll and said I was the best mom ever. With kids you never know what reaction you are going to get- it’s rarely the one you want, but this time it was perfect 🙂

  • Anonymous
    July 11, 2014 at 1:23 pm

    I used to follow this blog's posts through the feed, but now I have to say I am a bit annoyed with the writer. Why is there so much drama? It's like she creates it for herself, even though she later complains that her life is so tragic and drama-filled. She chose to go back to her house. And about her sexual exploits, I'm rolling my eyes. She has tons of posts talking about men she's dated and then “had to let go”, why is this one any more special? She lacks very much self-awareness in this area. It's a very annoying behavior in women. They just like bragging about the men they were able to attract. Being adult means committing to one man and having a stable relationship. It isn't even being pessimistic saying that she won't be with the last guy very much longer…she would see this herself if she took a minute to look at her old posts. I used to like the posts for being profound and helping the writer heal from what I admit is real pain, but what is this other stuff for. When does the it end? When does she decide that she has finished healing and is good to live the rest of her life without creating family and dating drama to continue to have things to write about.

  • Anonymous
    July 11, 2014 at 1:33 pm

    In additionI suppose it is something she will grow out of. She is 31 so she's able to keep up that lifestyle of sleeping around, but when she gets to be 40 no men will find her attractive, and she won't be up to that lifestyle either. Growing older will definitely reduce the drama that is her main problem. Her parents will die too if she simply waits and leaves them alone since that is what she seems to want. She seems naive and young and this is something she will simply have to grow out of. What thirty year olds still think so much about how their parents acted in their childhoods, and hold onto childhood anger? She is maladjusted. Her father was probably regretful that his daughter was still so angry and attached to the past, not that he necessarily did anything wrong. In conclusion she has to grow up.

  • Ruth Cooke
    July 11, 2014 at 1:44 pm

    It's obvious which one of you is the maladjusted one. If you don't agree with the writer, stop following her! Do you get kicks out of being a troll? Do you get a warm feeling in your heart when you knock somebody else down without ever even stating your name?Eden is recovering from tremendous abuse, and trying to make something of her life. If she's doing it imperfectly, at least she's going in the right direction.You, however, won't ever be better than you are, because you think you're perfect and that you have no room to improve.I pity you.

  • Anonymous
    July 11, 2014 at 1:49 pm

    What thirty year old still thinks so much about her childhood so much? Maybe one who was completing destroyed by it. Sleep around? Who is sleeping around? Eden has slept with one guy. That's less than anyone I know of.I'm actually offended by your comment. You post it as if she won't see it, offending the way she is healing.Healing is a process, you go through many different stages. Eden is trying as hard as she can to grasp a normal life while standing up to her parents and ex. Standing up to them is part of her healing. Regaining control. It is bound to create drama but absolutely necessary for future mental health.You sound like an abuser yourself. “just get over it, straighten up, and move on.”

  • Ruth Cooke
    July 11, 2014 at 1:58 pm

    @Anonymous #2: Good call on the fact that Anonymous #1 may in fact be an abuser him or herself. Certainly whoever it is is an emotional abuser, at the very least.@ Eden: Before I got sidetracked by Anonymous, I was going to say that your father may indeed feel remorse for what he and your mother have done. But until he goes through therapy to address his issues and change his behaviour, reconciliation is still a bad idea for your own mental health. (And it sounds like your dad is the hoarder, which is also indicative of mental health problems…)As for the doll and dollhouse, have you given it to your daughter yet? How did she react?

    • NotMyShametoBear
      July 14, 2014 at 3:32 pm

      I agree, I can’t have a relationship with him. Maybe ten years down the line, but not right now. I have to many other things that I need to work on. As much as I’ve healed, I still have a long way to go and I can’t afford to rock the boat now!!

      I did give them to her. Best reaction in the world 🙂 Writing about it for an updates post and I can’t wait to share a few pictures with you guys 🙂

      My heart swelled like ten times it’s size that day <3

      Thank you for asking 🙂

  • Jennifer Holter
    July 11, 2014 at 2:11 pm

    I think about the abuse I suffered as a child daily. I do it to make sure the pattern doesn't repeat itself with my own kids. It will always be there because it is part of what made me become who I am today. It is always in the back of my mind and guides how I choose to raise my kids. It doesn't just go away because you turn 30. It is what you choose to do with it when your 30 that matters. I fell like Eden is doing the same thing.

  • Anonymous
    July 11, 2014 at 2:18 pm

    To the original commenter, I am deeply offended at your comment. Many of us.struggle on a near constant basis from the events of our past and you are basically telling all of us to get over it. Some days on good and some I'm a complete wreck. Eden has had ten lifetimes of trauma in her short life and is managing to hold it.together with a pretty good disposition. I know she hates to be called a role model or an inspiration, but she really is (sorry Eden!). And you basically called her a whore. Someone who has slept with one person. You are exactly the stigma she is fighting against.

  • Anonymous
    July 11, 2014 at 2:19 pm

    To the original commenter, I am deeply offended at your comment. Many of us.struggle on a near constant basis from the events of our past and you are basically telling all of us to get over it. Some days on good and some I'm a complete wreck. Eden has had ten lifetimes of trauma in her short life and is managing to hold it.together with a pretty good disposition. I know she hates to be called a role model or an inspiration, but she really is (sorry Eden!). And you basically called her a whore. Someone who has slept with one person. You are exactly the stigma she is fighting against.

  • Anonymous
    July 11, 2014 at 8:47 pm

    She didn't create any of the drama in this post. She spoke with her father, he assured her he'd bring her things to a specific location, and HE DIDN'T bring them. Therefore, she did what she had to do to get HER THINGS back. That's not creating drama. It's her sticking up for herself.Does the age of 30 somehow have magical powers? That's news to me. I turned 30 a few weeks ago and I guess those magical powers forgot to notice. There are things from my childhood that didn't just magically disappear when that 2 in my age changed to a 3. Pity. That would be pretty cool.Your advice to “just get over it” is horribly insensitive and indicative of extremely abusive behavior. People who have been through trauma know that it's not something they can just get over – it's a nearly constant struggle. Considering what Eden's been through, I have to say she's doing a remarkably great job at moving forward with her life and making the best of it for herself and her children.

  • Anonymous
    July 12, 2014 at 7:04 pm

    Hoarding may be a problem (which seems to be increasing lately, just like autism, which is kind of interesting and makes one wonder if there is a common cause or at least something going on in the environment or genes that is turning it on, just like obesity seems more prevalent) but most hoarders are not abusive people. !!!(Please don't think because somebody is a packrat by nature or even so over the top about it that they can't let go of huge amounts of stuff, that it implies or even makes them have issues in any other psychological areas necessarily. It's like assuming somebody good in math will be a great basketball player. I.e., no connection.)Most hoarders are otherwise great people except that they live with excessive piles of stuff. (Sometimes it's even a family tradition.) Most of their issues or hang-ups simply have to do with the hoarding (hiding it from people, feeling overwhelmed by it, being unable to overcome it, etc.) Not in abusing others or being in twisted relationships.(Actually many abusers are the opposite, extremely organized and tidy and compulsive about appearances, they will punish their families for tiny infractions like one single item not being perfectly straight, etc.) Eden's dad obviously has all kinds of OTHER things going on (his compulsive saving of extreme clutter aside.) For one thing, clearly her mother is mentally ill in general. He has stayed with her, who knows why. Their pathologies fit each other maybe? He has allowed his child to be emotionally abused. Why? Was he an enabler or bystander or was he active in the process as well? Or, is he just totally out of touch with reality period and incredibly passive and kept thinking it didn't happen or would go away if he just stayed out of it?It almost looked like he thought that maybe somehow making her go back to her house and interact with her mother (so he didn't bring her things, to force her to go get them) might magically create a bridge or rapport or solve the huge problems between them? (That totally clueless hope-springs-eternal attitude that makes some mothers try to fix up their gay son with the librarian's daughter?)Actually, he is like the invisible man or the absent parent, we haven't heard much about him except that he appears to sit on his hands and do nothing while all sorts of major clashes go on. Who knows why, it's hard to say.But, Eden got what she wanted and seems to be willing to let the rest go. She got what family and personal keepsakes she wanted, and does not care about any of the rest of it. (And since the dad seems to keep everything ever owned by anybody in the family since back in the year one, he probably can't understand that, and probably truly believes or at least hopes that one day she will suddenly wake up and “be enlightened” and say, hey, I totally must have all the rest of the rubbish I interacted with while growing up, from birth on… and gee, how lucky that it all got saved for me!)The scariest thing about Eden's family is how many of them there are out there. Everybody I know has a story about abuse, emotional withholding, broken homes or families or dreams, not being valued, living with people with serious mental problems, growing up with twisted outlooks, families more worried about the neighbors or what total strangers think than caring about their families, you name it. It's all there, lurking behind the front doors of apparently normal Americans.

    • NotMyShametoBear
      July 14, 2014 at 3:33 pm

      Truth be told, my father has aspergers. He is extremely attached to his things, they have REAL emotional value for him. My mother, while she plays the victim due to her mental illness, she knows exactly how to play my father like a fiddle. He was never the father that I needed him to be, he simply could not be who I needed him to be. Unable to understand a vast majority of human emotions, it simply came down to facts for him. “I need to let my wife do what she pleases because otherwise she will kill herself. I need to let my wife abuse my daughter because my daughter can handle it and my wife cannot grasp reality and will kill herself.”

      I have a lot more empathy for him than I ever will for her, but as his current enabler status stands, I simply cannot have a relationship with him either.

      He really does think that because he has my stuff, that I will come back one day. He simply does not grasp how hurt and broken I am 🙁

      I have offered to have a relationship with him outside of my mother, but he refuses. Says they are a team and they come together or they go together. I just can’t.

      Yes, the scariest part is that I am not alone 🙁

  • Leslie _The_Geek
    July 28, 2014 at 8:19 pm

    YOU DID IT!!!!!

    • NotMyShametoBear
      July 29, 2014 at 3:33 pm


  • Anonymous
    September 6, 2014 at 3:08 am

    Hi there, just found your blog through XOJane and I first just wanted to say how impressed I am with not only your strength of character (obviously… what sane person wouldn't be?) but also with the quality of your writing! It takes a lot to realize that ANYONE is toxic in your life, but especially parents and family members. More power to you… you seem like an awesome mom too, your kids are very lucky to have you! Can't wait to keep reading… I'm sure you are inspiring many.

    • NotMyShametoBear
      September 7, 2014 at 3:33 pm

      Aw thank you 🙂 That was very sweet of you to say and I appreciate it!! I love having new readers tagging along on this journey with me so I appreciate you letting me know you are here!

      Welcome to the blog 🙂


  • Anonymous
    June 14, 2015 at 7:45 am

    Hi,I just found your blog, I know I'm super late. And forgive me for saying this (I have literally sat for hours reading your posts, but I haven't gone through all of them and there is no way I can begin to understand what you have gone through) but I think forgiving your family is part of the healing process. This does not mean showing up for family dinner. Definitely not!1. You don't want to keep that feeling in your heart. The weight will be lighter.2. Forgive me again. I feel sorry for them. Your mother trying to commit suicide says a lot. She didn't know how to take care of herself. Never mind you. I think when you were born, she was filled with fear and dread because she had her I'm sure not so good memories. She was still dealing (or not dealing) with her issues and was terrified for you. As you have seen, women who are abused are sometimes portrayed as at fault. You are about my age, so I assume our parents are about the same age too. She couldn't voice whatever had been done to her because she was probably ashamed and just like you felt, she couldn't afford to fail at marriage especially back then.I wasn't a good student and I remember my dad yelling at me once. And my mom joins in like “I don't know what she does, she doesn't help around the house”. That popped into my head after reading you mention your mom was different when your dad was around. I think she was just faking it. Lest anyone think she was in fact the issue. I watched something on TV where some culture tie the breast of girls and literally pound the young girls breasts. Little girls. Barely teenagers. So men don't find the attractive, so they don't end up abused. Unfortunately, the attention was focused on the wrong person. I am heavy chested and when I began to sprout being given bras 10 times too small. Like “they fit perfectly”.Anyhow, your mother sitting on the stairs and not wanting you to leave and your dad's face tell me they know the truth but are unwilling/ashamed to voice it lest their shame be uncovered. So like most of us when you see your issues being brought to light, you turn on someone else to hide yourself. Most abusers are hurt, fearful people.If you are able to check out Joyce Meyer's story (I love God, but I'm not pushing Christianity). Her story is a bit similar. She was sexually abused by her dad and abandoned by her mom (who was also abused and couldn't deal).So long story short, forgive. And love from afar. I wish you all things good. I'm sitting here like your blog should be a book. You are more than awesome. You are more than strong. Your babies are the luckiest.There are actually porn sites with women (girls) being humiliated and I remember panicking because I didn't know how to help. Do I call the cops and say go to this porn site? I felt so bad for one girl because she basically allowed it because she had no one and no money. I still worry about her. But I don't worry about you. It sounds strange and I'm sorry about what you went through, but I'm so happy for you.Lots of love and well wishes.

    • NotMyShametoBear
      March 3, 2016 at 3:34 pm

      I think also that there is a difference between forgiving and forgetting.

      I’m not holding anger in my heart, as much as I’m saying “enough.”

      I can forgive someone that say… does a bad job fixing something in my house. Maybe it costs a lot of money to repair the damage they did. I can forgive them, but I still don’t want to hire them again.

      I’m not holding onto hatred, as much as I’m saying “I don’t want to partake in this anymore. Enough is enough.”

  • Jean Bradshaw
    October 11, 2015 at 1:59 am

    Ahhh..your father sounds sweet. Maybe he can not cope in life without your mother because of his Asperger's. I hope you find your way back to him soon. But your mother sounds so awful, that I understand not having the resources to be around her.

    • NotMyShametoBear
      October 10, 2015 at 3:33 pm

      I’ve been thinking about that a lot lately in relation to my father. I think a blog post will be coming soon 🙂

  • Anonymous
    April 30, 2016 at 2:37 pm

    Projection: they accuse you of being a horrible parent because they know/fear they themselves are horrible parents. They don't want to deal with that so they need someone else to blame. Sick…I think you are incredibly strong and brave to confront them and not cave in to their petty little games. A part of me wishes your friend had actually called the police.As I understand it frisbee boys mother does really care about you. You have that mother. I guess its not the same. Maybe its time to revoke the term “mother” in respect to the woman who treated you so horribly for so long? Obviously your call.

  • Anonymous
    April 30, 2016 at 2:59 pm

    I like many other people are in a similar situation. Both my parents had unsupportive parents themselves. Eden had unsupportive parents but she manages to be a good parent. At some point we are grown ups and we need to decide whether we want to continue living in this pain because it's the easy thing to do and foster another generation like our parents all did or if we want to confront the mount of issue we carry with us, work through it and come out stronger. The decision is everyones personal one but all decisions have consequences. Our working through our pain and issues and actual healing is being viciously attacked by our respective unsupportive families because they can't let anyone in their lives change from the easy trajectory. They need to believe their way to live is the only one possible.I dont think there is a one size fits all approach. Some elder members of my family may well have truly been to old to change their ways so massively. Too much accumulated skeletons to deal with. Equally there is no one size fits all approach to healing. Maybe it is the healthier thing to not forgive ones parents. For me personally I don't know and I find it hard to gauge even the situations of other family members in that respect, let alone a complete stranger on the internet. But I do know this: I find it wildly inappropriate to tell other people what to do if we don't know them well. Suggestions, fine. Telling them what they should do as if there is only one good way and everyone has to have the ability to walk that way? As if we all react to such horrible experiences completely the same way? Invalidation much?

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