Saturday, August 5, 2017

There Came A Darkness (Trigger Warning)

Miss Trixie is back in the coop box in the big coop where Dottie and Pearl and Rose and Amethyst live. Mr. Moon said that when she came out of the hen house this morning she sort of just laid on the ground for a moment and then wanted in the coop where the roosters could not get her. She is weak and suddenly, so very thin. Perhaps she does not have the energy required to puff out her feathers properly.
Whatever, the old girl deserves her rest.

It's been a very leisurely morning around here. It poured rain for awhile and we slept until nine which is unusual even for me, and unheard of for my husband but as I told him, "It never got light," and that is true. Not really. Last night I made biscuits and had no buttermilk and so used milk with lemon juice in it and I swear- they were the highest-rising biscuits I may have ever made. This morning I fried some of the leftovers, split in half, in butter for my husband and he was so happy.

It is still this morning. So very, very still. I am thinking about what happened after my mother and C. got married. This event had finally happened and looking back, I am still not quite sure why. Mother claimed she got pregnant on her honeymoon and this may be so but perhaps she got pregnant right before they were married and that event pushed C.'s reluctant hand into marriage. Somehow I knew he wasn't really too sure about getting married and the day of the tiny wedding, he was late as he could be and I remember my mother's anxiety that he would show up at all.
But he did.
I was either nine or on the trembling cusp of ten. This I know because it was the summer before fifth grade when they got married. They went on a long car-trip honeymoon out west and my grandparents stayed with my brother and me as they had done the summers before when Mother was down in Gainesville, working on her degree.
When they got back, I was so thrilled. I finally and at last, had a daddy. A real, true daddy. I was, despite any issues or misgivings I may have had, over the moon with happiness.

And then, almost immediately, the abuse began.

I am not going to go into details. They do not matter. But I will say the abuse occurred in my mother and C.'s bed and in my own bed. Mostly.
I remember well the first time it happened, I believe.
My brother and I had always jumped into Mother's bed on Sunday mornings. This was our ritual and when C. and Mother got back from their honeymoon, we did the same as always and there was laughing and giggling and all was well until Mother got up to make breakfast before we all went to church.
And thus a new routine was born. And I was as confused as I could be.
This was my new daddy who loved me. This was my new daddy who made my mother so happy. This was my new daddy who was making our family complete and whole, finally and at last.
This was my new daddy who was so big and so...
Well. Everything.

I had no idea that what he was doing was not what daddies did. But. In some part of me, I knew that it was not. I mean, kids just know. And yet, they do not have the voice to say "Stop it, what are you doing?" They do not have the power to say, "You may not do this." They do not have the conviction that this is a wrongness to say, "I will tell."
Instead, they only know that there is a new way for this person whom they love to show attention and affection for them, as wrong as it may feel.

This is hard, you know, to write. Just talking about it brings back all of the weirdness, the shame, the confusion, the anger, the fear of discovery, the desire for discovery, the feelings of weakness and yet, at the same time, a sort of power. The feeling of utter betrayal.
All of this leads to the beginnings of sex and relationships and trust and love and family all becoming so very complex. A lifetime's worth of complexity and pain and damage and reaction instead of action and misunderstanding and, and, and...
The never-ending layers of that onion.

And there was no where to hide.

My mother at first was just so thrilled that her new husband was showing such love and affection for her daughter that he wanted to tuck her in every night. And then, as her pregnancy continued and then, when it ended so suddenly and tragically around five or six months with a cord accident, she descended into depression and sorrow once again and became unaware of anything going on around her due to that which was going on inside of her.
My mother had wanted that baby with all of her heart. She loved babies. And before she had me, her eldest, she had lost two others. One a miscarriage, one a stillbirth. So this loss, I am sure, was not only tragic in itself, but brought back the other losses and although she kept on living after this baby's death inside of her and the induction of labor in order to rid her body of the poor fetus, it was a sort of life which disallowed for anything except doing that and only that which she absolutely had to attend to.
And although C. may have grieved the death of his child, too, he was somehow still able to continue to tuck me in at night, to do what it was he did.

And it seems to me, looking back, that everything went dark in my life for quite awhile.

*********************

Well, shake it off now, old gal. This is not that time. This is so many years later and it is a quiet day but later on those little boys will be coming over to spend the night and there will be food for the steak monsters and I will cook them edamame beans in the pod and salt them well and for dessert there will be purple cows and there will be stories and there will be light and Gibson will probably make us all hold hands before we eat and he will chant one of his mysterious chants and make us repeat it and we will laugh and if Owen can stay awake long enough, he will beg for the Mr. Peep story before he falls asleep which is a routine we began when he was such a young cub, which he still loves, and hopefully always remembers and will feel the love and safety he felt falling asleep as a little boy when his grandmother soothed him into sleep with a story about a very, very old turkey who played and played all day.

Amen and so forth. 

Love...Ms. Moon

32 comments:

  1. darling mary, my heart aches for the little girl you were, who lives with you still. i understand how it might seem as if your mother did not choose you, did not protect you, and no wonder your relationship never quite recovered. what a tragic time. i am so angry at this man who did that to you, who broke your trust in such a psychically violent way. my darling mary i want to put my arms around the little girl and bring her out of that nightmare, but the best i can do is imagine my arms around you now, and feel wonder and gratitude that you, in the end, were stronger than your memories, no matter the dark places that live inside you still.

    gaze into the faces of your grandchildren tonight, and let them right the world, as they always do. you done good, mary moon. look around you. drink it in.

    I'm here. xo

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It is good for me to be writing this because it makes me remember all of the tragedy in my mother's life. And there was plenty.
      And plenty to prevent us from ever being close. Which is yet another tragedy.
      I would like to hug that little girl too, you know? But honestly, here I am and despite all the pure shit that happened in my childhood, my adulthood has been blessed beyond blessed. And one of those blessings has been finding you. I hope you know that.

      Delete
  2. Oh Mary, I'm so sorry you didn't have the safety and love when you were Owen's age. Every child needs that and it grieves me that doesn't always happen. I'm so glad you have it now. You are indeed brave to revisit and share with us. I'm deeply touched at your trust in us. Much love.
    Xoxo
    Barbara

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. So many children do not have love and safety and honestly, isn't that all that's really important? When I had my first child, at that moment of birth, my overwhelming need in life broke down to two things: to protect and love. How is it that some people do not feel this or are incapable of giving those two things to their children?

      Delete
  3. I am in awe of you, Mary Moon. You endured the worst of the worst, and yet you love with all your heart. I hope those you love know how lucky they are!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh, honey. What I survived is so far from the worst of the worst. It was bad enough but I have heard so many heart-stories that make me humbled. We ALL have our stories, don't we? We have all survived something.

      Delete
  4. never mind that the bugger is dead and that the betrayal happened so long ago, That sort of trauma molds us, we are forever THAT just a better version. I , too, just love that little girl with all of my heart and hugs and protection and that bugger would have been stabbed several times, I would have gotten out of jail free because...because.

    About triglicerides from your previous good- looking -doctor post. My Mother had a genetic mutation that shows up as that. I inherited it, I must always tell new practitioners about it because they are alarmed and give wrong advice. It is good to have a genome work up to know where I am headed and what to beware of. You may want to do that sometime.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It's so odd how often in my dreams I try to hurt C. And I am never quite capable of doing it. I wonder why my dream mind won't even let me work out this violence? It's so strange to me. Perhaps in some way I will always be terrified of him, even after his death.
      As to the triglycerides- my doctor told me flat-out that this is a genetic deal. That he has it too. Are you on medication?

      Delete
    2. No, I refuse medication. Hyper triglyceridemia is just part of this body thing I ride around in, not going to fix what is not broken. Just eat greens and stuff that is supposed to be good, cut way back on carbohydrates.- Oh, and you can not hurt C because you are the gentle loving person you are in spite of C. That said, if C had abused one of your kids or grand children I think you could stab him effortlessly without hesitation.

      Delete
  5. Mary, this post made me cry. The mother in me wants to sit and take little girl Mary on my lap and tell her that she is loved. So loved.
    I'm sorry I have no other words. Not sorry as in please forgive me but sorry that there are not enough words to ever make this better. Seriously, Mary. This post breaks me. You are such a beautiful soul and I wish I could take your pain.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh, Birdie! I am okay, truly and really! In all of these years I have found ways to cope and to be okay. We all have our burdens and we all manage to go on, mostly. Right? You know, because of your mother, how life-long the damage can be and yet, how profoundly the damaged can still love and be loved and even, sometimes, fly free. The sharpest pain was shed by me many, many years ago. Now it is more of a residual ache which comes and goes. Like an old wound. But I also realize that I have strengths which I would not if I had never experienced what I experienced. Thank you for your sweetness. I mean it.

      Delete
  6. Bless you my lovely, surround yourself with that wonderful family and enjoy peace. X

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes, ma'am. Good advice! And all is well.

      Delete
  7. i hope that monster died a slow, painful and agonizing death.

    xxalainaxx

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. From what I understand he died a slow death of dementia in a nursing home.

      Delete
  8. This is so powerful to read. To second what Angella said, You done good. In the living and in the telling.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I had a lot of lucky breaks, too. This must be acknowledged.

      Delete
  9. as flippant as I may have sounded I hope you know that I'm not, not towards you or what you endured. god Mary. one or two instances it would be possible to get over but you suffered so much. you are a brave lady even if you don't think so. i would have you be free of that emotional distress.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It has never crossed my mind that you were flippant, Ellen. Never.
      I would trust you with my heart any day.

      Delete
  10. A story that is shared... I am texting with my niece as I catch up on blogs...She was psychologically abused all her childhood by her father and is now doing the same to her oldest. Her life is mid explosion once more as she faces assault charges for kicking her mom and homelessness and pain killer addiction etc.... Man, twenty plus years ago I moved cross country with her mom(my sister) and baby-her to get them away... I am so challenged by the fact that I cannot fix the problem, just as I was then.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Nope. You can't fix the problem or the person. And sometimes that is the hardest thing in the world to have to admit.
      Boy, the sins of the father, eh?

      Delete
    2. Yep, seems to be a perpetual theme... Though enough breaks happen to keep the spark of hope alive. Hugs to you, Carroll

      Delete
  11. What a miracle of love and light you are to live through that and yet to have all those loving and strong children and grands, and somehow raise them all and keep them safe and be present for them, not sucked down into depression and grief. I don't know how you keep the bitterness at bay. Sometimes I visualize the lotus, rooted in the mud and slime yet rising above and flowering.

    -invisigal

    So glad to find I can comment again.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. My friend Lis frequently says, "And I am trying to find my lotus flower," and we laugh but yes, exactly.
      Sometimes I very much AM sucked down into depression and grief. I mean, it just happens. But I always find my way back and mostly due to my loves.

      Delete
  12. You are teaching with this writing. You have such a gift for writing and this is an important telling to tell. I thank you for trusting us with it. I thank you for the insight it gives me. I hope as many people as you care to have hear this get to. It is important.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you so much, Jill. I hope so too.

      Delete
  13. Dearest Mary-The beauty of your blog header!!!

    Your story---telling your story, shaking off the demons. You have created a safe life and beautiful children and grandkids and chickens and your beloved man. Such great love you have brought to all you touch. Out of pain and confusion and suffering, you have risen like a phoenix, to bless us all.

    Deep bows to you dear one,

    Beth

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh, honey. You know. I know you do. And don't we all just keep birthing ourselves, over and over again? I return your bow to you. With so much love.

      Delete
  14. Mary, what to say? I hear your story, and I hurt for you and the little girl you were.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You know what? I hurt for that little girl too. I really do. I look back at pictures of myself at that age and I am humbled that she was so strong.

      Delete
  15. I just cannot imagine what makes a man behave that way. Especially a man newly married who behaves that way toward a child.

    Whenever I see articles in the newspaper or whatnot about sexual predators, I suspect that substance abuse of some kind -- drinking or something else -- is often the catalyst. But it sounds, in your case, like C was sober as a judge, at least on those Sunday mornings. Appalling.

    And this shows the value of you writing your story -- to educate people like me about our own incorrect assumptions.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You've given me another perspective on why it's good to write about these things and to tell our story.
      Pedophilia is a sickness and it does not need a catalyst. C. turned to codeine later in his life and I think it was probably BECAUSE of the pedophilia. He knew it was wrong. From the very beginning.

      Delete

Tell me, sweeties. Tell me what you think.