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Friday
Feb092007

A Pyrrhic Victory and Pickle Soup

***UPDATED AT BOTTOM OF POST***

The danger of blogging anonymously is that one day it will not be so anonymous. That day has arrived for me. I've been outed officially. My mother knows about my blog. So, fool that I am, with a in-or-a-penny-in-for-a-pound attitude, I told my mother-in-law too. Aren't I brave? To be fair, the MIL took it with good humor. She was more concerned that the world knows her son as Boo and that I frequently refer to his special man sausage as Mr. Pickle. That definitely fell under the whole too much information category.

My parents however, do not think I'm charming. Or funny. Or accurate. In fact, my father threatened to call the police and press charges for the post I wrote about my mother. I told him I would dial the number for him.

I've been dooced. I was in fact, fired from my family. Told that if I didn't issue a retraction for bad mouthing my mother all over the internet, I was no longer welcome in their home, no longer considered a member of their family.

After an argument, I held firm and refuse to apologize for this post. I stand by every word I wrote.

Don't get me wrong, I feel bad that my mother's feelings are hurt. That was never my intention or I would have used her name and forwarded a copy to her, her co-workers, her friends and every damn relative we have. But the point of that entry was for me to find peace and hope within my own past with my mother and strive for a better relationship with my daughter.

I will not apologize for that.

Nor will I pretend that our relationship has been easy. Just as I won't pretend that when I refused to apologize and tongue-in-cheek offered to call the police on their behalf, that I wasn't beat up. It is not okay to hit another person. Especially when that person is your daughter.

Publishing this will surely mean more drama, more hurt feelings, more anguish for my parents.

But then I'm the one nursing a sore jaw from being punched in the face and a bruised windpipe from having it crushed in an effort to silence my glib responses. Not to mention the lovely, very chic bruises of blue and purple I'm sporting on my arm from being manhandled.

Good times, dear internet. Good times.

After fleeing from my parents home, I cried. I rushed to the computer to delete every post in which I mentioned my parents. But as I sat looking at my redheaded alter-ego, I just couldn't do it. I won't pretend that my past wasn't filled with emotional abuse and sometimes, like yesterday, physical abuse. I won't edit my life to make my parents comfortable.

I write here, because laughter really is the best medicine. And I never want to forget that. Life is good. Even with that hairy little angel clinging to my back, plucking my heartstrings when ever he feels his mommy isn't paying enough attention to his memory.

My life is what it is. I have never got along with my mom. I will never stop trying to get a long with my mom. Even if she chooses not to speak to me. Nor will I ever forget the times I went to school with black eyes and had to pretend they were from my brother. They weren't. (Although he informed me that he did often clock me in the face, I am just to addled to remember.)

I grew up in a home with both physical and emotional abuse. I can't change that, but I can speak out against it, in an effort to help end that cycle, break that invisible chain. Am I willing to sacrifice my relationship with my parents to continue blogging? No.

Am I willing to sacrifice my relationship with my parents to ensure my relationship with my children follows a different path? Abso-fucking-lutely. And I feel no remorse or guilt for it.

The purpose of this post is not to shame my parents; I love them very much. I know that they did the best they could for me within the parameters of their situation and upbringing. They loved us and sacrificed for us. And I thank them for that. But they also made tremendous mistakes, ones I find myself desperately trying to avoid.

Ultimately, my priorities, are and always will be, my children. I am who I am because of the path I walked, the choices I made, the experiences I have. The good, the bad and even the ugly. I accept my choices and I can live with myself when I press publish today.

I can even handle the ass-whooping that was dished out. Because I know it will never happen to my children. Not on my watch. Never. I'll take a thousand angry blows to the jaw to protect them and their right to know their past, their history. My parents made me into the person I am today. They might not approve or even like me right now, but I'm fine with that. Because I like myself.

And I like blogging about what makes me the person I am. I want my children to read these posts one day and marvel at their mother's stupidity with hair removing wax, her affinity for duct tape, and her general humanity. I want them to know that I miss their brother so damn much that the pain freezes in my chest with every breath I inhale, but by kissing their small, snotty nosed faces, that pain eases just a bit.

I want them to know they mean everything to me, the way their brother did and always will. Even when they drive me batshit crazy. I want Fric and Frac and our future child to know who I am. And how I became the person I am. Life is not all sunshine and roses.

This week had a very dark day. I don't know what the future holds, how my parents will react to today's post, if they are even going to read it. If you're reading this Mom and Dad, hey! I love you, no matter what happened or will happened. Thanks for being my folks. Raising the likes of me couldn't have been a bucket of love all the time.

But I'm not going to pretend our past isn't what it was. Because then I would be pretending I'm someone I'm not. Which would defeat the healing aspect of this blog, and prevent my kids from knowing the human being trapped inside the body they call Mom. (Generally said as they roll their eyes heaven wards. Cheeky buggers.)

This is why I haven't blogged much this week. This is the dirty, embarrassing secret of my past. A past I embrace in order to change the future. A past most wouldn't find all that inspiring.

But I do. Because it made me the person I am today, and brought me to my husband, my children and dill pickle soup. Life is good. And that, my dear internet friends, is what I find inspiring.


***UPDATE: For those of you who have inquired, sympathized and offered well wishes, thank you. I am fine. Nothing a good steak (on the face) and a big glass of mommy juice can't fix. I am surrounded by support, both of the e-love variety, and the war cries of those in my flesh and blood life. Darling Boo offered to come home and rip someone from limb to limb, but I fended him off. No sense adding fuel to the fire. His righteous indignation is more than enough. He can kiss my booboos better when he gets home. My big ass brother, Stretch, has held my hand and propped me up. (Well, more like put me in a head lock and made me smell his smelly pits, but still, I could feel the love.) As of tomorrow, I will be back, stinking up the blogosphere with my prediction for cheese.***

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

Now, go here and vote for me. Find me inspiring. I know my husband does! And thank you to all you lovely people who voted for me in the first place. Not that I have a chance at winning at the competition...have you seen those blogs? They're good. And there is no talk of family violence, young kids dying or potty language amongst them. But hey, if that floats your boat, click me. I'm a shameless whore and don't mind begging.

No, that doesn't apply to you, Boo.
« Pass the Puns, Please | Main | The Cost of Womanhood »

Reader Comments (57)

Damn! You are an incredibly strong woman in ways that I keep learning about. I can only say that I am truly sorry for your situation.

I find it terribly heart-breaking for those of us that have never met you or even know what you look like to love you and see the great person you, something own parents cannot see.

Good for you, t. Good for you to break the cycle. And shame on anyone that would strike another person. I have my angry thoughts about that and would handle it much different. But you take the high road, my dear!

February 9, 2007 | Unregistered CommenterBennie

I echo what bennie said. All I can do right now is shake my head. As parents, we constantly question ourselves about whether what we're doing is going to fuck up our kids, but abuse? No matter the form, it's just wrong.

I'm sorry you're going thru this, but as it is with everything, you seem stronger.

February 9, 2007 | Unregistered Commentersillychick

Oh my God. Oh my God. Oh my God.

My parents are of the strong belief that no dirty familial laundry should be aired in public. There'd be a tense scene indeed if my mother ever found a post that portrayed her in anything but a postive light (which is why she is rarely mentioned in my blog, even though she doesn't know about it).

I want your mom and dad to know that you have had a profound effect on me and that your humor, insights and honesty truly are an inspiration (as validated by the Share the Love Award you are shaping up to win). I am speaking for myself, but I know that there are so many more people of the same opinion. I hope some day, somehow, your unique spirit and your willingness to share it through this blog can be a source of pride to your parents.

February 9, 2007 | Unregistered CommenterECR

The Internet ate my comment.

Gist: You and your family and upcoming addition are only harmed by your continuing to try to get along with your mother, because some people do not change. We only drive ourselves crazy by expecting them to do so. Further, you are putting yourself in physical and emotional (equally important) harm's way by continuing to try to get along with your mother. Being "fired" from the family may be a blessing in disguise, although it certainly hurts because from childhood all we want is to belong and to be loved. Well, you are loved -- by Boo, Fric, Frac, Bug and US, as well as many others. Please consider filing a police report and taking a stand on the recent and UNDESERVED abuse you have suffered. You may not have been able to defend yourself as a child, but damn it, you owe it to yourself and your kids to defend yourself now.

Much love to you... *hug*

February 9, 2007 | Unregistered CommenterB.E.C.K.

Bravo!

February 9, 2007 | Unregistered Commenterknitti-me

Oh. My. GOD. My dear friend, I am sorry for all you have gone through. I am not sorry, however, for ever having found you through this bizarre way of connecting. Your writing has brought me more laughs, more tears and more than a few hair jokes at my expense, and I love you for it. Life is dirty and I admire you for letting all the dirty bits hang out. Writing is therapeutic and I hope that your parents come to realize that one day. Chin up, hon. Put a raw steak on your bruises and then share it with Nixon.

February 9, 2007 | Unregistered CommenterMrs. Chicky

My highschool english teacher used to tell me "What doesn't kill you makes you stronger". I firmly believe that to be true. I believe you will come out of this situation on top.

I am proud of you for making a stand. I will always support you in all you do. I will always be here for you no matter what.

Maybe your parents will make amends for what has taken place, and maybe they won't. Just remember you have the love, adoration and support of your husband, children, your friends and Nixon.

February 9, 2007 | Unregistered Commenterroxylynn

Jesus, you are a better person than I. Stronger too. Oh, and amazing. Good grief!! To find the rainbow in that, yes, you are amazing.

February 9, 2007 | Unregistered Commenterkfk

My lawyer instinct says "um I hope you pressed charges" but my brain then kicks in and says I have no doubt you'll do what will work best for you.

In case your parents still read (intrude?) I think they should know that I see cases like this in court, all the time, and I hope your parents realize physical violence against anyone (even if they've pissed you off or you said something you didn't agree with) amounts to CRIMINAL behaviour. I can't help but wish whoever hit you this time around had a chance to ponder their behaviour that while sitting in cells awaiting a bail hearing.

Criminal behaviour should have criminal consequences, plain and simple. It makes me see red to think a parent would hit a child, grown or otherwise.

I'm glad you chose not to censor yourself and have stood up against abuse. Bravo. I hope you're as proud of yourself as everyone who read this is.

February 9, 2007 | Unregistered CommenterHeather

It is shocking, what happened to you. Shocking.

February 9, 2007 | Unregistered Commenterbubandpie

To have lived all the experiences you have and still go on as you do I swear you have shoulders of steel!
It would seem you should be nothing but proud of who you are and what you have accomplished in your life.
You should be proud that any woman could look to you as a role model of surviving and being the best a person can be.
For those who can't see that well I'm sorry for them because even little old me a blog reader has come to see very quickly you are an awesome inspiring lady.
Hugs from my part of Alberta to you in yours :-)

February 9, 2007 | Unregistered CommenterJacquie

T. Good God. I am so very sorry. I live in fear of being outed to my mom, who would also not understand the reasons for what I write. And therefore, I deleted the posts about her and no longer share those dark times with the internets.

Your courage in doing the exact opposite shames me. As anyone who hit you should also be shamed. Especially when you were a defensless girl.

I voted for you yesterday, before I read this.

If you can love and care for a stranger, than T., you have both from me.

February 9, 2007 | Unregistered CommenterMrs. Chicken

wow. just... wow. i'm sorry that you're going through this. no one can gut punch you quite like the ones who are supposed to cherish you the most. i applaud your courage in sharing what you're going through with us. i think you've done the right thing - keeping things like this in the dark lets them fester and grow. hopefully, this way of sharing helps you irrigate and heal the wound. thinking of you...

February 9, 2007 | Unregistered CommenterEricka

Shame on them! You rock. That is all.

February 9, 2007 | Unregistered CommenterLiza

Shit girl, good for you! I have the same problem with my family, although instead of threatening to call the police, they leave nasty comments on my blog about how awful I am and how I should be ashamed for writing a public journal that exposes our family laundry.

Honestly, blogging is more important to me than my family (most of my family anyway) and so therefore I am proud to be blacklisted.

I'm really really proud of you for sticking to your guns.

February 9, 2007 | Unregistered CommenterLauren

I can only echo what everyone else has said, except to add: if anything ever happens to me, promise you'll look out for my D. You're the only mama-bear I know that is as full of fire and at the same time as full of love as I am.

Big MWAHS from all us Matix.

February 9, 2007 | Unregistered Commenterstefanierj

There are only 2 blogs I read every day, my daughter's and yours. I think you are a special young woman with a very big heart. Don't ever let anyone hit you again. It's your story and you can tell it if you want to. I understand the pain but you will always come out ok. I decided to delurk just this once. Hugs.

February 9, 2007 | Unregistered CommenterAnonymous

With all due respect: fuck your parents. It's one thing to ask for posts to be deleted, it's another for anyone to hit someone else because they don't like what they read. Hell, we ALL leave scars on our kids, but wee don't hit them...most people are more mature than that.

Sometimes you have to walk away from relationships, even parental ones. And it's one of the dirty secrets of having kids: they don't owe you anything, and when you cross THAT line, the whole "honor us" flies out the window. Parents who hit their kids--either small or grown--aren't entitled to honor or respect. Love them, but you don't have to like them, and you don't ever have to see them again.

February 9, 2007 | Unregistered CommenterThumper

Wow. Redneck, sometimes I can't believe we are the same age. Here I am, trying to finish graduate school, no kids- I still feel like a big kid myself!

I really admire your strength. I thought it takes more years to develop that kind of personal knowledge and perserverance. I guess it just takes life. Thanks for blogging! Keep it up!

February 9, 2007 | Unregistered CommenterChicago

You say it sista!

Rock on. Your parents will get over it eventually. And you are an amazingly beautiful person who has changed the way I embrace life in the year I've been reading your blog. No kidding!

February 9, 2007 | Unregistered CommenterL-Girl

Delurking to say: people suck. You deserve better.

February 9, 2007 | Unregistered CommenterAnonymous

I think honesty is always best. I admire how your words are completely open and raw.

The crazy thing about family is that we don't have to like each other yet we still hold love in our hearts. I can see the love you have for your parents despite the horrible situation.

If they read your post, I hope they can see past the words that cause them anger and see your love.

February 9, 2007 | Unregistered Commentersomething blue

Wow. Just wow. You can't pick your family, right? Thank goodness you can pick your friends. And good for you for breaking the cycle with your own kids.

I'm so sorry you have to go through all of that.

February 9, 2007 | Unregistered CommenterChristina

Oh honey. I'm so sorry you weren't treated better, as a child and you know, yesterday.

You deserve better, friend and I'm so glad for your kids that you know they do, too.

No advice, just big hugs.

February 9, 2007 | Unregistered CommenterCharming Driver

I admire your courage and your strength. Being outed on your blog is bad enough. But to endure what you've been through is hell on earth. And yet you are strong and smart and funny and so devoted to your family. That is inspiring. I don't know you in real life...probably never will...but I love getting to know you through your words. I'm glad you are here sharing and I look forward to your continued writing. It is good for both of us.

February 9, 2007 | Unregistered CommenterEm

they should be in a cell right now and you prob should record the injuries on dig cam and go to MD to record injureis.I'm so sorry for you.

February 9, 2007 | Unregistered CommenterAnonymous

hey redneck mommy,you are so awesome to have figured out what your parents stuffed up wit rather than copy their parenting!! Its a bugger they not learnt from you!!
Cheers chicky

February 9, 2007 | Unregistered CommenterKaryn with a K

First I want to say that I am glad your MIL has a different personality. I am sad that you have had to deal with that and wish that we could all have been there to step between that fist and your jaw. Everything that you have ever written would make me proud to be your mum (and Im not even old enough!!). Know that you are inspiration to so many people because of who you are, thankyou to your parents for the part they had to play in that, but most of all ThankYOU for making it your life choice to be different and not use it as an excuse. You are a great mum, awesome woman and although Boo may have something to say on this one, Im guessing you are a pretty great wife too!!

February 9, 2007 | Unregistered CommenterKate

Oh. My. God. How awful for you, both as a child and now. That's assault, and they should be settin' their asses in jail. I'm just sayin'.

Families sometimes suck. You, on the other hand, rock. I had to delurk to tell you that.

February 9, 2007 | Unregistered CommenterFishyGirl

T, I'm still in shock. Your parents being "hurt" (i use quotation marks because sure, the truth hurts but if it's the truth then it's your own damn fault folks...) by your honest, touching, genuine and sad post about your tenuous relationship with your mother is one thing but physical abuse is a whole different ball game. I would say there is really no reason for you to remotely ever TRY to have a relationship at this point. They simply don't deserve it. Doing their best with what they knew is no excuse fro what theu did to you. That is blatantly criminal. You just don't do that. I know how strong you are. I know how much self worth you have and yet, I know how hard it is to walk away from such a significant relationship (or lack thereof) in your life. But you must. You can't send the message to your kids that it is ok for ANYONE to treat another human being like that, no matter how offended or pissed off they are. Forgive? Sure. Forget, never. You don't need this in your life. You are surrounded by people (near and far, in the flesh and over the web) who deeply care about you and adore you for WHO you are, for the wonderful person you are, for the INSPIRING and funny and brilliant woman and mother that you are. Stay strong, T. You are in my thoughts.
Pascale

February 9, 2007 | Unregistered CommenterAnonymous

You go T! I read your blog everyday and I feel some of your pain. I lost a baby to SIDS at 8 weeks of age. That was fifteen years ago but it still feels like yesterday. The tributes you pay to your son are straight from the heart and he is one little boy that will never be forgotten. As for your situation with your parents, with the attitude you have you will rise above the abuse. You need to be at peace within yourself to the best of your ability and if they can't deal with the hurt they have caused you over the years, they will have to carry that to their graves. You need to be free for your own families sake and by the sounds of it you are doing a great job filling their lives with lots and lots of love and not repeating the mistakes that you were bought up with. Keep the faith honey and don't forget that little me here in Australia is thinking of you and rooting for your team. By the way....my husband would die if I referred to his love muscle as Mr Sausage. It cracks me up everytime though and I get this mental image that I probably could do without!!!
Wendy

February 10, 2007 | Unregistered CommenterWendy

Shame on them.
I'm pissed off now ... I don't have anything else to offer at the moment.

February 10, 2007 | Unregistered CommenterJ.

Oh, T. This post - this bravery, this unflinching honesty in the face of pain - is what makes you inspiring. It's why I nominated you. It's why I love you.

February 10, 2007 | Unregistered CommenterHer Bad Mother

And - fuck - I was totall remiss and forgot to plug you on my post from yesterday but I FIXED IT goddammit.

February 10, 2007 | Unregistered CommenterHer Bad Mother

I have no words, but feel compelled to acknowledge your courage and wisdom and freaking strength of character. I'm not sure my hugs are coming through space to you, so I'm commissioning RoxyLynn to trot over to your house with a big hug for you.

(I would be afraid of my husband's reaction in this situation.)

February 10, 2007 | Unregistered CommenterEarth Girl

OH.MY.GOD. I don't even know what to say about this. Sometimes honest words are the hardest to swallow. I imagine this is the case for your parents.

My heart goes out to you. I am just sorry.

Who told is what I wanna know?

February 10, 2007 | Unregistered Commenterkimmyk

Having come from a wacko abusive family myself, I can only tell you how brave you are and what an amazing parent you are.

Your parents have no right. No right to hit you then, no right to hit you now. All they've done is prove themselves unworthy of you - of any children.

Shame on them.

And to you, dear Redneck Mommy, you are such an inspiration. The hits come and you hit right back. Metaphorically speaking of course, because you're smarter than they are. Get up and keep going - that's the best lesson you could ever teach your children. I'd be happy to be half as strong and wise as you.

(PS. Who would have thought a blog could be a weapon of mass destruction?)

Lots of hugs.

February 10, 2007 | Unregistered CommenterMy float

This is a terrific blog! My first visit (from comments at firestarter 5), but I'll be back. And hey, I'm sure if there was a game called, 'whose family is more dysfunctional?', there would be no lack of Olympic-class players.

February 10, 2007 | Unregistered CommenterSadButTrue

Hey, I tried to call you tonight. I thought that ended in grade 12. So much for growing up huh? I'm here... you know that.

February 10, 2007 | Unregistered CommenterJojo

Hi T,

Beatings were the way parents disciplined many years ago. It was "the board of education". It was a "trip behind the wood shed". They did what their parents did and what their parents did also. The harder the whipping with the big "with" aka (hickory stick), the better the child would become. Then new laws came into our life around 1975 (?). We have changed the cycle. You rock! Yes, I said, "You Rock!"

Probably instead of sayng, "my mom hates me". I would suggest saying, "I feel like my mom hates me". No one can tell you how to feel. Feelings belong to you.

I look at the blogs as a "Dear Diary" or a letter to God "Dear God, I am going to tell You everything as I see it and as I feel it". "Dear Diary, or Dear God, I miss my Bug!" "no one seems to understand my pain except my Boo". . . and so on.

Then if you allow us to read your diary or your letter, I for one feel truly honored. Thank you for not blocking me from your life. You are my new friend. I am thinking of your Bug today as I am thinking of my late Rebecca today. Our candles are burning, T. (ref. one your post)

February 10, 2007 | Unregistered CommenterDr. Ethel

T, I know all too well of what you experienced. I'm not going to compare and day it was the same because we all deal with things differently.

I know that it hurts. Especially when the two people who are supposed to protect you no matter what, are the ones to hurt you the most.

Like our High School english teacher used to say
"What doesn't kill you, makes you stronger". It's so true.

I believe you to be one of the strongest people I have ever met.

I believe you are one of the most beautiful people I have come to know and love.

Keep up the good writing. I need some entertainment once in a while....LOL!!

Love D

February 10, 2007 | Unregistered CommenterDaisydee

I stumbled across your blog, as I am stumbling across many now that I have discovered them, and I sat and read through your life for an hour before finally posting, I would like to say I'm sorry, but you I'm finding aren't to be pitied, but appluaded. Criminal acts aside, in such a short few days you seem to have walked through a hell most will never have to, and you came out on top... bruised physically and emotionally, but you came out swinging. Thank you for NOT having deleted those posts, especially the one that sent it all over the edge, because you are right, good, bad and very ugly they make up you, and you don't seem so bad to me. Your children later will read these and understand and love you the more for it.

February 10, 2007 | Unregistered CommenterMamaMichelsBabies

Dear T, I swear to God, if I ever came face to face with your parents . . .

What dick heads they are. Just tell them to go screw and if they don't like it they can lump it. And, stay away from them and don't let your kids near them.

If you want a nice, loving mother who appreciates and loves you, let me know. Because I can be all those things and more.

February 11, 2007 | Unregistered CommenterMotherkitty

This is why I love you. Your strength. Your honesty. Your love, strength, and ability to find the good in every situation.

February 11, 2007 | Unregistered Commentermamatulip

I'm still trying to find the right words...I'm so sorry you had to go through such shocking and horrible abuse. Overcoming it and finding the good in it shows how truly inspiring you are.

Since I discovered your blog last September, I have read it faithfully (though only recently de-lurked). Your witty and moving stories helped me through a difficult period. Thank you for continuing to write them.

February 11, 2007 | Unregistered CommenterCanucked-up mama

Wow! Wow wow wow wow wow.

I can only imagine you now writing this post, writing for us, for you...but with also half a mind on the fact that they'll probably be reading it. It does change things, doesn't it?

Stay strong and stay true to yourself, your views, your voice. That's where the blogger becomes a writer.

February 11, 2007 | Unregistered CommenterMom101

So Sad, looks like your out of the inheritance running :>(

That horde/litter/mob of siblings will have to share the '57 mobile home on the oil runoff field and fight over Mom's dentures.

We're here for ya T, cry us f'in river will ya.

Best wishes,

King Shocka Khan

February 11, 2007 | Unregistered CommenterShocka Khan

oh, girl, I am so so sorry you have to deal with this. I have had my share of family drama and know that for me, it was best to walk away for the sake of our health. That said, you know what's best for you and your family, and where you don't know what you should do next, I pray for wisdom to come to you. It's horrible that you cannot even be honest without retribution but your strength is utterly amazing. You have peops here that love ya, and thank the Lord..your hubby, who will always have your back. (Go hubs!) Be strong. Your amazing!

~Emmers

February 11, 2007 | Unregistered CommenterEmma Sometimes

You are absolutely correct. Our parents made us who we are, good or bad. I came from an abusive family, more mental than physical but I look at it the same way. We have learned what not to do to our kids. Keep your head up! Or if you're near them again, duck!

February 12, 2007 | Unregistered CommenterAbove Average Joe

Wow, T. I'm so so sorry. I know its life and all, and you obviously deal with it as well as anyone could. But still, for the fact that you even have to deal with it at all, I am sorry.

February 12, 2007 | Unregistered CommenterKyla

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