Reading through the comments on my blog entry entitled Don’t Tell Me How I Feel!! got me thinking about the first person in my life who routinely disregarded how I felt – my mother/abuser. I wrote about some of these experiences here. There’s more on this topic that I have not shared yet.
My mother used to laugh when my sister or I got hurt. We learned at a young age that our mother was not the “go to” person if we got hurt. She slammed my hands in the car door so many times that I lost count. I actually believed this was simply “normal” because it happened so often and because my mother did not seem particularly concerned about it. My son is 10 years old with attention issues, and I have somehow managed not to do that to him one time. That’s what made me realize that slamming your kid’s hands in car doors was not “normal.”
My sister stepped on a rusty nail barefoot when she was eight years old. It didn’t even occur to her to tell our mother about it. Instead, she poured a bottle of hydrogen peroxide on it and hoped she would be OK.
One time, I was trying to split open a bagel with a steak knife while holding it in my hand. Nobody had ever thought to tell me that this was dangerous. Sure enough, the blade cut deep into my hand, and then I tore my flesh even more pulling it back out. I was bleeding heavily and got very dizzy, almost passing out. My mother refused to take me to see a doctor for this. To this day, the left side of my ring finger and pinky finger on my left hand is numb. It feels like my hand is perpetually asleep, and it hurts sometimes when my hands get cold. I also have a scar from it.
Another time, my sister was angry at my mother and slammed the sliding van door very hard as I was climbing out. I tried to get out of the way, but it slammed very hard on my temples (right in front of my ears). I was lightheaded, nauseous, and in severe pain, but my mother told me to get over it. We had just arrived at my cousins’ house, and my oldest cousin got impatient with me for not wanting to play.
These are memories that have always been stored in my conscious memory bank. They sucked, but I never really thought of them as abuse. However, reviewing these life events from the perspective of a loving mother makes me shudder!
Photo credit: Hekatekris