A friend of mine was over the other day. We were just hanging out talking about hippie stuff, which is the usual for us. My friend is living in a camper on her grandmother's property, and we were discussing ways to deal with the cold so that she wouldn't have to use propane. Understandably, it makes her nervous to fall asleep with propane burning inside the camper being that her son is sleeping in there too. I suggested buying electric blankets, and as we were discussing this it brought up a powerful memory.
It was one of those rare times I made one of my brothers cry. Possibly the only time I ever made him cry for a reason other than us fighting. He cried because of a gift I got him; an electric blanket. Actually we got both of my half-brothers electric blankets. Rare too, that I would buy anyone a present for such a worthless holiday. Strange seeming to me now, but I was married at this time. I think it impacted Rachel too, as she too came from a very poor family. I couldn't have been over 23 or 24 years old. I had only been out for about two years or so. At that time those experiences were quite fresh in my mind. JoAnn was living in this old farm house out in the middle of nowhere which was her normal way of living. Even in her thirties she still was not capable of taking care of herself or my brothers. She was married to a man who gave up most of his paycheck to child support, so she was reduced to living in a broken down old house. It was all she could afford. In the winter it would be freezing inside that house. There were open holes in the house that allowed cold air straight into the area where my brother slept. This was little different from the times when I was a child dependent on her care.
He was miserable living in there. When he realized what we had gotten him he literally cried. I could never understand how he couldn't stand her like I couldn't stand her. She was, and still is, the source of all his suffering. I was free from her to a certain degree even then. I no longer depended on her for my well-being, physically anyways. I still had a lot of growing up to do at that point in the journey, like I said; I was only 23 or 24. My brothers though, still to this day have not broken free. I've always wondered how it is that they do not see it.
I've always wondered this, and not just regarding my brothers. I see this phenomenon everywhere. I see this failure to understand how badly they were let down only to see them turn and do the same thing themselves. Perhaps in a different way, perhaps to a different degree, yet it is happening all the same. Letting their own children down in their failure to see what was done to them; they pass it on. How do they not realize they were abused and neglected? How can they not see they were not taken care of? How is it possible to love one’s Self and at the same time not stick up for one’s Self? I can see it in myself; I was abused far greater than they, so much so the recognition was forced upon me. Is that what it takes, pure physical abuse? I think they do not want to see it because of how painful it is. I am a master at handling pain and it is difficult to go there even now. It makes me shake.
I have fought with this same brother more than once over the years because of this issue. He sticks up for those who abused me to my face if I let him. He believes that because it did not happen to him in the same way it did me that they are acceptable. What does that say about his belief regarding me? Regarding himself? Regarding all those abused as well? How could anyone love me and at the same time love my abusers? I say they cannot. I say some people have a belief regarding what love is without actually looking into the matter. He is passing on his false idea of love without questioning it. From my perspective he chooses to ignore the wrongs in order to maintain his belief that he has good parents. He cannot tolerate the belief that they actually did not love him. Like I said, it is too painful for him to do otherwise. His desire, his ideal of a parent, is greater than his desire to love himself. How can he love himself if he has never seen it done?
I have known more than a few over the years who suffer this fate. Most actually. Their desire, their belief, to have loving parents is far greater than their desire to love themselves. It is greater than their desire to actually find out what love is. What I am not okay with, regarding my brother, is his ability to neglect his own child in a similar manner. At that point, we part ways. He actually believes I am bad, that I am wrong, for my contempt for our parents. It was his actual father, my first step-father, after all, who abused me the most. Adding fuel to the fire, not only did JoAnn neglect me, but she used my brother’s ignorance against me to uphold her own beliefs. How could she not side with him in this? To do otherwise would mean she would have to come to terms with what she had done. Intolerable on both of our parts, and for this we are forever parted.
It was just another for the hatred which I held for JoAnn. I had to buy my brothers electric blankets because their own mother could not provide for them. How is this not pathetic? She couldn't ensure that they would not freeze at night. How could I not hate this woman? When she moved out of that house it was the last time I ever helped her move. All of my brothers were there as we were loading another truck, yet once again. Her fifth marriage had come to an end. Unable to accept his own failure in life he was self-destructing. For her to be leaving him meant he had to of truly been on another level of failing. Once again she was moving to some dump somewhere where no one would see how terrible she was at taking care of her kids. Once again she was leaving all kinds of stuff behind, saying she didn't want this and that, being sentimental. I said to her, "this is why you don't have shit, because you are always leaving your stuff for douche bags." She only cried. I had no sympathy for her. We reap what we sow after all. Why should a mother who neglects her children have anything?
How could I have sympathy for one who suffers knowing what she had done to me? She has never once been even slightly apologetic. My concern was for my brothers, not her. I was not there to help her move, I was there because my brothers were uprooting their lives once again, just as had been forced on me so many times. Unfortunately back then, my own head was not far enough out of my own ass to know how to help them effectively. I have always failed in this regard. I am yet to successfully open their eyes to the neglect they suffered. They have Stockholm Syndrome. They love their abuser and this causes them to be abusers themselves. It is a sad state of affairs. I worry that they will never wake up. I worry that they will have to repeat it again, which means their children will do the same. This is the fate of those who do not realize; lessons are repeated until learned. The karma for not handling business is passing it on to one’s children. The only thing that ever prevented her from rising above this situation was her own ignorance. No one held her back. No one ever stopped her from becoming a better person. No one stopper her from improving herself. It was her choice, just like I have the choice, like my brothers have the choice; we all have that choice to make. She choose to be a victim and has remained that way to this day.
For many years, decades, I was at war with myself. Was I bad for feeling like I did? Was I wrong for being unable to tolerate her beliefs? Rare is the person who expresses empathy regarding this issue. Most people hold to the motto, love your mother no matter what. This answer did not work for me. No one ever actually answered the question, and now as I help others deal with this issue I see that I cannot answer it for them either. It is an individual, personal, decision in which there is no right or wrong answer. The only thing that must be answered for is the karma. No choice is consequence free. After all these years the only consequence of note has been the loneliness. It is lonely business sticking up for one’s Self among so many who do not. It took nearly a decade before I finally did what was right. I told them to fuck off. All of them, but that is another story.