I Am Different…..The Sandbox Writing Challenge 5

The Sandbox Writing Challenge 5-What Makes You Different? So the past four challenges from the Sandbox have been kind of fun, warm-up exercises. But now I’d like you to take out your shovel and dig a little deeper, to seriously ponder what it is about you that you feel makes you different from everybody else………..

I’ve spent a considerable amount of time thinking how and what direction I was going to go with this…a light-hearted, easy way…or take the darker, more serious path….my  thoughts kept going back to my darker path. I guess it’s time to share some of my story? What makes me different???

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See this little girl? That’s me at my kindergarten graduation. Yes, back in ‘those’ days, we graduated from full time kindergarten to 1st grade. That would be the last time I really smiled for a long time. It was right after that, at least I think so, that my mother packed up me and my sisters, left my dad, and went to live with ‘Uncle Donald’, whom she would eventually marry. He was a cop. Everyone liked him. What no one would know, at least I didn’t think anyone knew,  he was also a pedophile. I was molested by that man from the age of 7 till I was 9 years young. Now, I realize, this in of itself doesn’t necessarily make me all that much different from a lot of other survivors. I think what makes me different is finding out, years later, that my mother knew I was being sexually abused, while it was happening, and chose to ignore it because she needed to keep a roof over our heads (her reasoning).

What makes me different? I choose not to have a relationship with my mother. While other women have a healthy mother/daughter relationship, mine is and will always be toxic, unhealthy and not good for me. I forgive her, not for her sake but for mine…..She refuses, to this day, to be accountable for her actions, instead blaming others and circumstances for her choices. In all honesty, all I ever wanted from her regarding this, is for her to hug me and tell me she’s sorry for the hurt and pain that I endured. To acknowledge that I was a victim. Instead, what I got was harsh words, denial, excuses and a letter telling me she feels she has suffered enough……..never once mentioning my feelings in all of it. I realize this is her way of coping, so be it..

Others have judged me. How could I cut off my mother that way. She is blood after all. Well, first of all, just because you share a blood line doesn’t make a mother, doesn’t make a family……..if that was the case, she sure as hell wouldn’t have knowingly handed me over to him…..her motherly instinct should have been to protect me…..

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This little girl didn’t have much to say in the matter. She was silent. She was hurt. She was scared and had no one to turn to………………..

What makes me different? I accept that what happened to me was/is part of my journey. I still haven’t quite figured out the why in it all.

What makes me different? If given the chance, would I change anything. No, I wouldn’t. Why? Because if I did, that would change the whole course of my life…..and where I am, right now, is where I’m suppose to be. I Love My Life……..

I Am Different….I Am Me….I Am Linda and I Am A Survivor……

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37 thoughts on “I Am Different…..The Sandbox Writing Challenge 5

  1. In our life it is not our place to question “why” things happen to us….it will be revealed when we finally go home to our Heavenly Father. Like you said………..it made you who you are today. I don’t blame you for how you feel about your mother. I would feel the same way. She let you down. I also know that in order to move forward we should always forgive……that doesn’t mean you have to forget, nor does it mean open your arms to her…..it just means in your heart you forgive her…say it out loud. Scream it until you believe it. Tell her you forgive her and then walk away. Close the door 🙂 Hugs

  2. Pingback: The Sandbox Writing Challenge 5 — What Makes You Different? | Impromptu Promptlings

  3. THAT was an awesome post! I so get the whole toxic mother issue. My relationship with my mom bordered on that, but I think it was actually because she and I were two peas in a pod personality-wise. Sometimes you just have to move on from people, even family, if you’re to survive and thrive. People who may have judged you have never walked in your shoes. That’s why we should come alongside each other, not get in people’s faces. And my idea of family? Friends are the family you choose… Sometimes they are able to meet your felt needs much better than your family of origin. It’s just a fact. No one wants to see a child go through what you did, but I am so drawn to the “you” you turned out to be. Thank you SO much for posting such an honest and vulnerable post. I hope others who need to hear what you said find their way to your blog. {{{Linda}}} (This is the kind of “digging” I did in Sarah Ban Breathnach’s book. It’s how I started to know who I was. And it’s very hard.)

  4. Ouch, I read your post with a sinking feeling in my stomache. I guess in my case you just need to use the word Dad in place of stepfather. I have struggled with the issue of my mother not owning what happened and my feelings of not being protected. I just recently confronted her again with a lot of anger but she just feels that was then and this is now. So, right now, despite the fact that she is 85 years old and had cancer, I am not speaking to her.

    • (((((Hugs)))) to you my friend. I’m so sorry for what you’ve had to endure. There’s no comprehension or understanding as to what our mothers mind sets are. My focus is on my own healing and hope you find healing and peace too ❤️🙏

  5. I love, love this post. Not the “why” of where you are, but the fact that you ARE where you are. You’ve crossed that line, I think, that divides survivors from thrivers. Some people, I’ve found, cannot give apologies because that would require facing truths they are not strong enough to bear. Congratulations for being able to walk away without hearing an apology. My hope is that everyone here finds this sort of peace.

  6. I’m so glad Calen directed me to you. This is a wonderful, wonderful post.
    It almost broke my heart to see the image of you in that print top. I assume this was taken after the time you spoke of? Strange how we can hide the cracks.
    How can a mother ignore her daughter being abused in that way? I don’t understand.

    • Hello Jane…..I’ve stopped trying to understand since there really is no conceivable answer. The picture your speaking of was taken near the end of that nightmare…I just got over being very very sick……….thank you for responding and BTW..I love your name janebasil :)))

      • Someone very close to me was sexually abused as a child. While it was going on, I had no idea. She didn’t tell me until she was well into her 20’s. She just seemed like a happy child, but she was terrified.
        My not knowing makes me feel horrible even now. It sounds to me as if your mother could be so riddled with guilt that she can’t face up to her part in it, and now she’ll go to her grave without having freed herself – in addition to what her refusal to apologise and confess sincerely has done to you.
        I couldn’t bare to let my child slip through my fingers in the way that she has.
        I liked what you said about how you wouldn’t change a thing. I used to feel that way until I realised that my relationship with an abusive man had damaged my children. We worked through it together, and though I will probably never forgive myself, my children have forgiven me.
        He diminished me to such an extent that I couldn’t take positive action until my mum died. In one way it broke me, but in another it gave me strength.
        My granfather was called Angus asil Brown. He was a photographer. For some reason he called his studio the Basil Studio. Everyone thought Basil was his surname, so he changed it by deed poll. I’m glad he did.

      • Jane,,,you couldn’t have known. Especially ‘back then’. We, as victims of abuse learn how to keep things in. My cycle of abuse continued into adulthood. Like you, I was in an abusive marriage…thankfully that’s no more. I hope your friend has found peace And you as well….this is our one life and we deserve to live our lives happily. And thank you for sharing part of your journey ❤️

      • I can say this here, though it’s the one thing I couldn’t mention it on my site, because it would damage people I love: She’s more than a friend – she’s a very, very close relative, and I was the person who should have protected her.
        I honestly didn’t have any idea it was happening. I actually used to say “He’s not great, but at least he’s not a paedophile.”
        Every time I read a story like yours it goes straight to my heart.
        She’s moved on with her life and is happy, but sometimes I look in her eyes and I know something is broken. She has embedded it deeply, and I doubt whether she’ll ever truly heal.
        We’re all broken, but I didn’t want her to be.

      • If you were a child when this happened, why do you feel you should have been the one to protect her?!? That’s a terrible burden for you to carry, especially since you didn’t know. We as children have the right to be protected….unfortunately for some of us, the adults in our lives fell short and failed us.

      • Did I give the impression I was a child? I didn’t mean to. I was the adult who fell short…
        The parent who fell short. It’s hard to tell you that, but honesty is what I do. I was in an abusive relationship, but she is my daughter, and as you say, children have a right to be protected. If I had known about it he would have ended up behind bars. My daughter didn’t tell me about it until 17 years later. She waited until I had escaped from him, and refused to make a police statement, because he is the father of her half sister and brother, and she didn’t want them to be damaged by the knowledge. He was past doing any more harm of that nature by then. My daughter is a beautiful, gentle soul.

      • I share more with you than you know. I was a victim as a child, yet as an adult, I fell short to protect as well…still to new and raw for me to totally share…..Your daughter is a beautiful soul for wanting to spare her siblings….and to you I ((((HUG))) you as a parent dealing with this as I am….

      • The abusers recognise our vulnerability, even when we think we have lifted ourselves out of the cycle. A Pattern-Changing Counsellor recently told me that a predator can walk into a room full of women and almost instantly recognise the women who he could control – and they’re so devious.
        What is the use of me saying you were not to blame? Neither was I, but I still carry the agony and guilt. Until you’re aware of an abuse you can’t deal with it. It’s how you react that matters, and I’m sure you’re giving all the love there is.
        In the end it isn’t our scars that make us ache – it’s the scars we find on those we love.
        You need ((((HUGS)))) too.

  7. Pingback: The Sandbox Writing Challenge 6 — What Is Holding You Back? | Impromptu Promptlings

  8. Listen girlfriend. Don’t EVER feel that THIS friend judges you for your non-relationship with your mom. It’s just the way things are. Don’t dwell on bad relationships. Don’t let anyone judge you for that relationship with your mom. Many of us didn’t have that perfect mom/daughter relationship. It is what it is. Other than that. Different is great. Different is beautiful. Different motivates. I’m glad to be friends with someone as different as you! XXOXOXO!!!

  9. Pingback: Sandbox Writing Challenge Review 🖋 | Spiritual Dragonfly

  10. Pingback: I Have Survived 👊 | Spiritual Dragonfly

  11. I’ve followed the link from your latest Sandbox Challenge “Survivor’ to read more of your story. I’m deeply touched by what I have read in your story and the trail of comments. I follow Jane too, and there is new learning for me here about her as well. Both of you are amazing people. Have you ever stopped to think about how it is that those who have been so broken, and have found peace, been able to accept, bless and forgive the perpetrator and themselves, are the most humble and beautiful souls. I am privileged to know you both.

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