Saturday, May 20, 2006
The End. And a Beginning.

I know I have to get this all down, and my mind is telling me it is about that time. So here it goes:

Day one in Massachusetts. Driving all night was as tiring as it has ever been, so we all settled at my grandma's for a morning of relaxing, coloring, practicing math, and chatting it up. As the hours passed, I started to feel sleepy and Hero decided to take a short trip to visit with his family with the girls. It was his dad's only day off, so it was important for him to do that. They left, and I napped shortly while watching a show with my grandma. She later reprimanded me for snoring on her shoulder, but I know she really didn't mind.

I woke up about forty-five minutes later and did some cleaning for her. It was enjoyable and as always; her company was fufilling. We sat down for tea and more discussion when my dad walked in the door. It was an instant fight. Well, on his part, anyway. He started insulting me about my clothes (sweats, as usual) and my health (the apnea). I tried to be polite with the "I really appreciate that you care so much" and the "I'm doing really well now" comments. Nothing was working.

Dad spewed his hate for about ten more minutes, with the level of anger rising and falling throughout. It was pretty inconsistant and a bit scary. I didn't know what to expect, and history taught me to be still in case he was going to get violent. So I sat still. And listened. And observed. It went something like this: (Keep in mind this is somewhat of a stream of consciousness)

Who is this man? What used to frighten me? He looks so tired...weak...miserable. Did he do the things he did because he was so unhappy, or is this new? All those years of rage and he hasn't changed; he hasn't found whatever it is he's looking for. And what is he saying? It's so petty. How did these things ever hurt me? I must be over it. I must be healed.

And I am. When he was done, when he saw it didn't hurt me, he left, slamming the door on his way. I excused myself, went into the bathroom, and cried. This time I was crying for him. My hard feelings are gone. The resentment is gone. The anger for what he put us through is gone. I realize now that he is only slightly different than I am. He is a man with a personality disorder who hasn't sought any help. I could have been him.


It's been a few weeks now, and I've been trying hard to surface some uncomfortable memories. They certainly come, don't get me wrong, but instead of hurting...they teach. And I want to learn! I want to be able to identify the patterns that I have learned from him and eliminate them. I lucked out (or something) when it comes to patterns of child abuse, but I know there are others. I know I have his anger, his critical thinking, his codependant tendancies. I also know I can change. And so I am. Changing.

Anonymous Kristina had this to say:

I totally understand. My mother was very abusive to me during my childhood and even as an adult. Patterns of abuse are difficult to notice and even more difficult to break. Knowing that you have these tendencies makes it easier to change. Good luck.

4:57 PM EDT 

Blogger Heidi had this to say:

oh, magnolia... I am SO proud of YOU!!! :)

my heart ached as I read your encounter with your father, but as I read your reaction to him, I smiled. you are doing so much better, hon! you ARE learning, and you should be very proud of yourself! I am VERY proud of you, and I wish you nothing but peace as you battle your way through all of the garbage that was dealt to you during your childhood. there are lessons to be learned there, and I believe you are a willing student who will emerge from this stronger than ever! peace be with you...

6:29 PM EDT 

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