(I wrote this on Facebook, March 20th, 2010 to my “mother”)
You gave birth to us, then you betrayed us.
You were supposed to have loved us and protected us, instead you gave us to those who ruined us with your own hands.
You told us constantly that being our mother was a prison sentence, that we were evil and that you wished you never had us.
When my brother had trouble with bed-wetting, you tried helping by beating him, starving him, locking him in his room, even using one of those electric mats that are supposed to shock you awake…only you strapped him down to it and locked his door from the outside.
On Christmas or his birthday, you would buy him duplicates of things he stole from us, and then make him give them to us. I don’t remember him ever having a real birthday from the time he was 9: he’d get a cake, we’d sing, but they were hollow gestures.
He learned very early on that, to get attention, he had to be bad. He wasn’t in the beginning; I’ve probably got the only pictures left of him from when he was little. His big, blue eyes. His smile that just lit up the room. Me not being able to say “brother” and ended up with “buzzard”, Baby Buzzard, then Baby Buzz, then just Buzz.
Then you and David took MY name for him, and turned it into something cruel and vicious, to the point that he hated anyone using the word.
I remember all the bare-ass spankings with the leather belt, where we’d have to drop our pants (or lift our skirts) and let the rest of the family watch while we cried and screamed. He always got more of them than me, Angela or Joshua ever did. Angela didn’t get many (especially since she only lived with us off and on.) Josh didn’t get many, because he was usually able to pass the blame to Fred. Me, I learned to hide in my room. You all would make a joke about me “hibernating”.
The one beating etched deep in my memory was when you went to smack him, and his reflex to block it did just that. I remember the shock on your face, on David’s. Fred’s went from surprise to terror about as fast as me and Josh did. I think it’s probably the only time that Joshua didn’t think that it was funny that Fred was getting beat again. You, Fred and David were in the garage, me and Josh standing there in the den; I still don’t know how you got him down so fast. But you had him pinned between your legs, pressing him against the garage floor, then grabbed a broken 2×4 that had nails sticking out of it, and started wailing on him. I remember the smirk on David’s face when he turned to us and closed the door. I remember the last thing I saw (even with the door shut, we could hear the screaming) was the broken 2×4 when it snapped in two. I don’t know what you used after that, but me and Josh stood there the whole time listening, because we knew moving would probably have put us on the garage floor too!
Later on, Fred got worse: if the only way you get attention is through negative actions, some attention is better than nothing. In our own ways, you taught us that we were completely worthless, that we were wastes of fucking life and if we died tomorrow, no one would care. I’m 38, he’s almost 36: guess what? We haven’t forgotten what you taught us.
He started on drugs, I started on the wine, shots of London Dry gin, wine coolers (I was 14, and instead of drinking pop when I got home, I’d grab one of the 32oz cups, fill it with wine and add a little Kool Aid to take out the bite; Fred was sniffing paint cans to get high when he didn’t have the money to buy anything.)
The first boyfriend I had, Ian, the moment he asked me to move in with him and his mom, I was gone. Never went back either. My brother on the other hand was still stuck there. When you moved to Corona, Fred just kept getting worse with the gangs, the drugs, the stealing. And then one night, he took your minivan and ATM card to go party with friends. And you called the cops and reported both as being stolen…though you didn’t tell them that you knew your son had them and where he was. Charged with Grand Theft Auto and Grand Larceny (which he could have gotten out of if he had only known that, since YOU gave him your PIN number, YOU were authorizing him to use it…they’ve changed the laws since then) by his own mother. And then, to top it off, you signed away your parental rights, making him a ward of the State of California, because you “should have had an abortion” instead of giving birth to him. And I knew nothing of this.
All these years, I had thought that you had allowed what was done to us (the beatings, the molestation and rape on my part, etc) because you didn’t care, or because you just wanted to be docile and approving to either my rapist father or David. I didn’t realize until I started typing this that it wasn’t that at all. YOU actually hated us. You had to get married because you were pregnant with me, and 2 1/2 years later, you got stuck with another one. It was never a joy for you, not with the way you were about having to get attention. Having to take care of us, pay attention to us, drove you crazy. Not too many years ago, you drove your father’s car into a brick wall to get attention, because your brother’s son (who has smooth-brain) was in the hospital again…and you were out of everyone’s focal range. All the stories from everyone about how when you were a kid, if it was someone else’s birthday, you’d get a present too, because otherwise you’d throw yourself into the middle of the floor and throw a fit until you got what you wanted. Even things like walking into the living room with mixed-matched socks, dirty sweats and top, nasty robe and the tin foil you’d cover your head with (because you watched too many TV shows about crazy people who did that, so you figured it would get people to think you were nuts), then stand there in front of everyone and pee. To this day, I still don’t know where the act stopped and the real illness started. Any time you did anything nuts, and we’d have to have you committed, you were always able to get out a day or two later, cause you would convince the doctors that your “evil” children were just trying to get rid of you.
When you died, you died friendless and alone. COMPLETELY. I don’t know how many of us (family, former friends, etc.) hated you by that point, but NO ONE wanted to come to a funeral, even the people who lived here in this city. I do know that the best anyone could say about you was that maybe, finally, you were at peace.
I don’t wish you peace. I actually want there to be a “Hell” (I know I’d end up there too if there was cause, like you said, I’m evil), so that you can suffer. What was done to me, I don’t care about. For what you did to my brother, I despise you. Of everyone in the world, no matter how close they were to you, when you finally screwed everyone over enough times and had no one else, the ONLY one who would give you a chance was Fred. When everyone else was sick to death of your bullshit, of your act, the ONLY one who would try to help you was Fred. When he helped you move out to OK, and the towing rest for your car was “stolen”, and even though he filed a police report, U-Haul reported it as theft. Since it came from CA, it was their jurisdiction…since he had crossed state lines, it became a Federal Case. Only guess what? CA is one of the “3 Strikes” states. What really makes me sick is that he got all three charges from or because of you. I ended up having to give my car title to the neighbor who lent me the money to pay to the D.A. as a “show of faith”, and had to keep payments up until everything was paid for, after pleading with the D.A.s office for almost 2 weeks. He was supposed to have gone to prison for life at that point…all because of you.
When you were always drunk, when you drove down the wrong side of the freeway at full speed because the demons were following you, and you had no where to go, even AFTER you burned him over and over, Fred was the ONLY one who would have you.
And to repay him, you did things like put a bunch of your medications in his beer on the 4th of July (only they weren’t the kind of meds that can kill you.) Or write bad checks to him, so that if he had enough bounced checks, they would arrest him for fraud. There are so many things that you did to him over the years and despite it all, he kept trying to help you.
You’ve completely destroyed him. You have him to the point where he drinks until he passes out, just to get thoughts of you out of his head. He’s literally shitting and vomitting blood, because he can’t stand to be sober. He thinks you’re haunting him; he says he only sees you in his nightmares…half the time, you’re burning in Hell, looking bewildered; the other half, you’re a skinless, burning corpse, staring at him in hatred that he can feel even in dreams.
He went back to school, got certified as a masseuse and was proud of himself…for a few hours. He even met our half-brother that we hadn’t seen in almost 25 years, got to spend time with a brother that had fun with him, that wasn’t always trying to get him in trouble or beaten. But, as with all things, the good is always replaced with so much worse for the two of us. It’s sad to think that neither one of us really knows how to be happy. We spend all our time trying to drown everything out, to make it stop hurting. And the only thing we can do is look at the ceiling and ask, “Why? What the fuck did we do to deserve all this? Were we really THAT evil as babies?”
I don’t smile much, and when I do, it’s usually VERY brief…I have to have a good reason to smile or laugh… and I can’t fake either one. But Fred? I don’t even think the meaning of the word “smile” is in his mental dictionary anymore. Now, it’s like he’s incapable of feeling any emotion other than anger, hatred or guilt.
Which brings me to the point of this. I’ve been trying so hard not to hate you, until tonight. Now, I think of your ashes sitting there on my dresser, thinking about flushing them down the toilet.
He keeps trying to stop drinking. He tries going as long as he can, only each time he starts again, he falls harder and harder. He was able to go 6 days without drinking (that helped the bleeding stop), but then he went on a binge. Then, on the 11th, he stopped again, this time for 9 days! But then you crept back in again. Are you really so damned selfish and deranged that you can’t leave him alone, even when you’re dead? He’s been drunk now since the 17th (some times, I hate St. Patrick’s Day), and yesterday was your granddaughter Stormie’s 9th birthday. Her birthday wish? That her father would stop drinking and get help. He will now, whether he likes it or not.
He started screaming at Tracey, enough to the point that she called his idiot friend, Andy, begging him to come help. He told her a bunch of bs about how she needed to ask Fred what the problem was and what he thought needed to be done to fix things. Oh, and make him feel loved. The moment I was told THAT part of the story, I knew it was what triggered him. I know how I get when I’m in that stage, and “reasonable, sensible logic” wasn’t invited. I always get pissed when people tell me things will get better…my question is always “When?”
Well, I know you would have loved this part: he started smacking her around (in front of your grandchildren.) He grabbed her and started trying to squeeze her together, yelling about how she was afraid of him, and she kept telling him no and that he was hurting her. And he said “I want to hurt you. But I won’t, cause I love you.” Then he started again (mind you, still Stormie’s birthday), this time yelling that “We’re going to end this now” and headed to the kitchen. Tracey ran as fast as she could to grab all the knife blocks…but your father’s cleaver was sitting there loose. When he grabbed the cleaver, Tracey told Taylore to call the police.
Considering he was in one of our “berserking self-hatred” moods, I don’t know which I expected more: killing Tracey and the kids, or killing himself. I suppose I should be thankful that the self-hatred you instilled in us covers “easy outs”. It’s not that we can’t commit suicide. It’s not even that we don’t want to. It’s entirely because you made sure that we would never think we deserved freedom, peace, an end to the hurting. When they said that after the Rapture, mankind would suffer here for a thousand years, they were talking about us. Only the “good” die young…and we’re evil, remember? He’s the “Spawn of Satan”, and I’m the “Antichrist”.
He had gone into their bedroom, started chopping at the furniture with the cleaver. The cops came in, guns drawn. And I know for a fact that the thought going through my broken, destroyed, abused baby brother’s head was, “If I lift it, they’ll shoot. All I have to do is lift it…”
I don’t know if they’ve committed him for observation yet or not. I hope that all the powers that be get their shit together, and having him stay in the psych hospital until he’s had at least a few months of therapy. A few months off the alcohol. A few months of having people who “know” talking to him, trying to set him free.
Unfortunately, as it goes in the song “Unforgiven” by Metallica: Never free, never me…
Every time I look in the mirror, I see you. Every time I lay down to go to sleep, I think about you. I can’t sleep at night…I usually wait until 6 or so in the morning, then take my morning meds and then go to sleep. I hate taking my meds so much, especially since your were prescribed 2 of the same ones. I hate the fact that anytime I get beaten down, the only thing that crosses my mind is, “Is this it? Is this as much as I can take? Can I give up now?” I remember trying to cut my wrists December 11th, 1989. I had even made a cassette tape of “Love Rescue Me” by U2, over and over, and my boom box was one of the ones that automatically switches cassette sides. I wanted to die listening to it. Then you came in, and were going on and on, never noticing a thing until you were going to leave, and I lifted up my wrist and said, “Mommy, I’m scared.” And you naturally freaked out. It gained you some points with everyone, cause now you had your very own “Child with an ‘Issue'”, didn’t it?
I had cut you out of my life years ago, when you started on the religious bullshit, saying you were going to kidnap my kids to save them from me. Between wanting to be able to talk to my grandfather and Michael harping at me about having you somewhat involved with the kids, against my better judgment, I let you back in.
I find it incredibly depressing, how much we want to forget you, cut you out, so we can finally stand on our own without hating ourselves, or thinking we committed a heinous crime by being born.
“Mother is the name for God on the lips and hearts of all children…”
And people wonder why I’m an Atheist.