Friday, February 13, 2015

The Envelope

I left off yesterday sitting next to my dad holding an envelope. If you need context go back to yesterday's post. So, he hands me the envelope and I take it with fear and trembling. Looking down I see that the handwriting is that of a child's. I recognize that handwriting as one of my son's. I look over at my dad so perplexed. He assures me I can open it and that indeed he has forgiven me. I opened the envelope and this is what it said.
"Dr. Mr. __________
My name is Gabriel. You don't know me but I am your grandson. I don't know what you did to my my mom but she is a good mom and you are missing out on knowing your grandchildren. I just want you to know that I think it is sad. Signed your grandson Gabriel"

At this point my mind is going a million miles a minute. First, at this point in my children's life I didn't think they knew my dad was alive. I had allowed them to assume he died in the fire with my mom. Gabriel was about 9 or 10 years old when he wrote this. Apparently he had heard me talking to my sister on the phone and figured it out. At some point he asked me what my last name was before I got married. He went to my address book and found my dad's name and address. He must of found an envelope, stamp and wrote the letter and sent it. That letter was sent when my son was a child. I was astounded that my dad had kept a letter written so many years ago and then the icing on the cake, what in the world did I need to apologize for and need forgiveness? To say I was angry and hurt would be an understatement.

My dad had terrorized his children. He had abused us horribly. He was an evil man. He had abused countless little boys over the years, scared us to death with his midnight raids, heads smashed against the wall and yet he felt the need to forgive me? What planet was he from? My little boy was defending his Mama. He wanted this man to know that he had grandchildren that he was missing out on because of something he had done to me. I looked him square in the eye and said, "are you kidding me"? My heart was wildly beating, I was still very afraid of this man. That was what was happening inside. Not on the outside. At this point in my life I didn't know I could have a voice. I was speechless. What I thought was a final good-bye, trying my best to forgive this man and he was once again taking the power away and turning my world upside down.

Abusers are like that. They blame their victims. It is all the victims fault. The chance to have some sort of reconciliation was gone. I couldn't think of anything to say to this man, so I silently walked away. The opportunity was gone. It was my fault that my young son wrote his grandfather a note that made him feel bad so my dad felt he had to forgive me.

I wanted to run and hide. Once again I was a scared little girl afraid of her dad. I was a grown woman with three children at the time but inside scared to death. Abusers are like that. They want to rob you of who you really are. The truth was I was a Mama bear. I was going to protect my children from this evil man till the day I die. I didn't want him to terrorize my children like he did to me. I promised my self that my children would never experience what I did.

How do I turn this around to a positive? Good question. That day was horrible for me. It took me many years to process that day. Sometimes there just isn't a positive spin. Abusers try to rob you of your dignity and your value. Eventually I had to learn that I do have value and that I didn't have to let my dad's power rule me. His opinion doesn't matter anymore. He has no power over me. I am free from his abuse and I kept my promise I made to myself. My children would never be abused by him.

Till tomorrow

Be the kind of woman that when your feet hit the ground each morning Satan says, "Oh crud, she's up".

1 comment:

  1. Thank you for sharing your story, and for being the generation strong enough to break the cycle of abuse. I hope you continue to write.