But of all Sadness this was Sad–

But of all sadness this was sad –
A woman’s arms tried to shield
The head of a sleeping man
From the jaws of the final beast.

This is the saddest incident from my childhood.  I will tell you now.
My father, a gambling addict, had lost everything, and been evicted from his last apartment.  He was living in a camper-van, and unemployed, and had been unemployed for several years.  I was 16 years old, working at Long John Silver’s fast-food restaurant, and giving him all of my wages.  I made $5.15 an hour, and I couldn’t work more than 20 hours a week because of child labor laws…but I worked all weekend, every weekend, and I gave him everything.  He wanted me to steal from my job, but I wouldn’t do that.  He wanted me to steal from my mother’s jewelry box, but I wouldn’t do that either.
(as an aside, you don’t know what a huge douche global capitalism is until you’ve worked all day, on your feet, dealing with assholes, and your healthy, fit teenaged body aches at night, for FORTY FUCKING DOLLARS.  Fast food was the hardest job in my life.)
One day he came to me in his camper-van.  He was wearing his best suit, a khaki suit, with a blue-striped tie.  And he said, “I have something to show you.”
He took me by the hand into his camper-van.
There were two suicide notes hanging above the little kitchen unit: one addressed to me, and one addressed to my mother.
And then he showed me how he intended to kill himself: with gas, maybe helium, but I guess it could have been propane, I don’t remember.  He’d rigged a tube up from it, and put it through a heavy-duty plastic bag, and formed a noose around the bag, so that it was like a mask.
(he was, at one point, a respiratory therapist in the ICU ward.  So he knew how these things work)
I felt like I was seeing all of this in slow-motion.  I felt the oddest sensation of horror and numbness.  I felt like I couldn’t feel my face.  I swear to you: it was the most awful moment of my life.  And I’ve had plenty.
Because I LOVED HIM.  I loved him beyond morality.  I don’t love him anymore–now I feel nothing but contempt and disgust, but at the time I LOVED HIM.   And I felt responsible for him and obligated for taking care of him.
Then he left, and I sat there for a few minutes, feeling so weird inside.  I was so scared for him!  I was like, my daddy is GOING TO DIE?
I walked into my mother’s house.  My little brother wasn’t home yet (he was at soccer practice).  I remember that there was a Persian rug in the living room with a circular pattern in the center.
I collapsed in the middle of the rug, and curled up into a ball, and I started...to shriek.
Nothing like that has ever happened in my life.  I cried when the Surgeon damaged me emotionally a few times, and I cried my ass off for a month when the Mathematician betrayed me, but, I am telling you, this was the most gut-wrenching fear/terror/grief of my life.  IT HURT IT HURT SO BADLY.
My mother came into the room and she lifted up my face, and she was FURIOUS, and she looked at my face, and she slapped me upside the head…hard.
“Get yourself together!” she hissed.
(Keep in mind, I was never a little drama queen.  It’s not like I made histrionics on a regular basis.  I was always extremely quiet and calm, even as a baby–both of my parents would tell you that even as a baby, I never cried.)
I shut up immediately, and then I went to go barf in the bathroom, because I could not cope with the anxiety.
Then I gave her my father’s “suicide notes.”  She took them and I have no idea what she did with them.   We never discussed them.  I could not bring myself to read either one.
Now, as an ADULT, this is what I feel: Mom should have been GAME OVER, PSYCHO!  RESTRAINING ORDER!  Any family court judge in the country would have given her (and me) a restraining order.  My father was completely out of control and this was transparently psychologically abusive.
My mother sent me back to him.  Why,  cannot say, except that in some intrinsic way she hates my guts.
A month later, he committed himself to the State Mental Health Hospital.  There was nowhere else for him to go.
And I visited him there.

12 thoughts on “But of all Sadness this was Sad–”

  1. I empathize. I went through something similar with my mother. I still haven’t disclosed to anyone just how bad it was. But at some level it was worse than this because I know she never meant to manipulate me or hurt me. She was doing this because she was sick (schizophrenia) and because she believed it was the right thing to do.
    When I was 6, she started to drown my baby brother to “teach me how to rescue someone”
    When I was 9, she cut her own arm open to “show me first aid”
    When I was 10, she tried to teach me how to react if someone tried to violently rape me.
    And even after writing this, I still can’t bear to share the worst things that happened to me as a child because I am ashamed.

    And it would all be so much easier if I knew that she was malevolent and I could fully blame her for it. But I can’t – she wasn’t herself. But still I get assholes telling me that I should forgive my mother and stop shutting her out of my life. If only they knew! I don’t blame her, but I can’t pretend that it didn’t happen.

    1. But still I get assholes telling me that I should forgive my mother and stop shutting her out of my life.

      I’ll get to the rest of your comment in a second, but first, lemme tell you:

      The people who are angry or resentful of you cutting your mother out of your life are the people who resent that you had the courage to do it, when they are still trapped in their toxic familial relationships. That, my friend, is a fucking fact. I believe this, from the root of my soul, 100%, and I am not a retard human. I’ve been through the paces of this life.

      Nobody owes their parent(s) a goddamned thing unless their parents have been competent and loving enough to foster a sense of mutual responsibly. I am not saying that the parent has to be perfect–God knows my mother dropped the fuckin ball, but I’ll take care of her when she’s old and dying (my father can die on the street for all I care).

      Children are not property. They are PARTIALLY yours, because you give them your genetics and personality. But they do not belong to you. They are more like your WARDS, your CHARGES. The fact that both of my parents treated my like a slave, with no respect for my privacy or human dignity, is fucking disgusting.

      Schizophrenia sucks donkey balls, and it’s not your Mom’s fault she is sick with it, but it’s also not your obligation to forgive her for BLATANT CHILD ABUSE. And, for that matter, I have know DIAGNOSED schizophrenics and bipolars who were not abusive. Erratic, but not abusive. So, the mental illness is no excuse, unless she was in the (tiny) minority of cases where she was completely hallucinating her ass off.

      Also: most of this shit is MANAGEABLE (not to say curable) by therapy and medication nowdays. Someone who wants to have a FAMILY, but not tend to their psychiatric disorder as best they can, is a huge JERK. I’m a fucking alcoholic. but I would not bring a child into the world unless I was sober for at least 2 years.

      And even after writing this, I still can’t bear to share the worst things that happened to me as a child because I am ashamed.

      You did nothing wrong, unless it was naked predation on another child (which, alas, some children are capable of). Until we reach the age of reason, we have no responsibilities, other than “don’t lie cheat or steal or be a jerk.”

      I am sorry, and I sympathize.

    2. **But still I get assholes telling me that I should forgive my mother and stop shutting her out of my life.**

      Seconding every word Miss Margo said. And also, are you both familiar with the Captain Awkward website and forums? It is one of my most favourite places in the entire internet, with a lot of warmth, understanding, and peer support And many posts, resources, and discussions there have been around boundaries, including dealing with social expectations, as well as parents and other relatives.

      I also recently came across this list of resources for adult children of abusive parents:
      issendai.com/psychology/estrangement/resources-for-children-of-abusers.html

  2. “The people who are angry or resentful of you cutting your mother out of your life are the people who resent that you had the courage to do it, when they are still trapped in their toxic familial relationships. That, my friend, is a fucking fact.”
    Yes. People will tell you how brave you are, how they wish they could do the same thing, but they won’t, and after that, they resent that you could. I wish you hadn’t had to experience any of that. I wish no one ever did.

  3. Threatening suicide to your child is just about the most craven, manipulative thing that you can do. It is the act of someone who wants to see someone emotionally devastated at the thought of their death, and can only be sure of that reaction from their dependent.

    (I think my sister was twelve. She was totally hysterical, and understandably so.)

    That was an absolutely pathetic, despicable act by your father. Showing you the notes and setup? He could have been involuntarily committed right there. I wonder what he thought would happen?

    I’m furious at your mother for slapping you, invalidating your feelings, and sending you back to that man. I’m sorry you were treated that way.

    1. Hi Margo

      I never know what to say when I read posts like this. Everything I can think of seems so inadequate. On the other hand, while neither of my parents would win a “parent of the year” contest, reading of yours makes me appreciate mine a litle more. So thanks for that.

      Take care of yourself
      Mike

      Ps–Here is a book you might find interesting. It was written by a local author and is a pretty good read.

      http://www.amazon.com/Flim-Flam-Man-Story-Fathers-Counterfeit/dp/074321708X/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1446856022&sr=1-1&keywords=jennifer+vogel

  4. The very next time I read a blog, I hope that it won’t fail me just as much as this one. After all, I know it was my choice to read, nonetheless I genuinely believed you would have something interesting to say. All I hear is a bunch of moaning about something that you can fix if you were not too busy looking for attention.

    1. “Looking for attention.” Yes, that is why I write this blog for free, don’t post selfies or other photos of myself, keep the identities of my ex-boyfriends a secret, and don’t have so much as a fucking tip jar or any ads. Or link to my writing that is published on other websites.

      I guess that in your pea brain, anyone who creates/writes anything for public consumption is “looking for attention.” Especially women, amirite? How dare I express myself anonymously on my personal blog!

      I didn’t “fail you” because I was never trying to impress you. I assure you that your approval is not a prize that I covet.

      I see who you are. And, again, you are lucky I am giving you five minutes of attention. What’s it like to be a pathetic male with no self-control?

  5. Most kink blogs I read, deal with either one of two things. The majority writes about the “journey”, aka “why am I not living the kinky dream?” That goes for both dommes and subs. The other is “how can I fetishfy everything that happens in my life?” Underneath it all is a lot of selfishness. So much, that on more than one occasion, it turns me of and I stop following or write a wry comment (Believe me the femdom police has knocked down my door more than once – full riot gear and so on).

    I came across your blog by accident. Your writing is deeply personal, at times I feel like a peeping Tom. Follow a blog for a while and it becomes a familiar face. Because of how you write and what you share, it becomes a friend. Every time I visit your blog, I hope this time I am going to read a happy story. Not so. First I discover your purse and phone were stolen, with disastrous consequences. Now you write about your childhood memories. It makes for a devastating read. So much sadness. I can only hope that 2016 will treat you kinder and happy experiences take away some of the sharp edges of those bad memories. Wishing you all the best.

    1. Hi, 11dutch!

      Many thanks for your kind words, compliments, and compassion.

      Yes, it is a personal blog. I started it to cope with the stress of leading a double life. This is my place on the internet where I can be 100% transparent and honest about everything. It is therapeutic and it feels good to share, even if it is just with a few strangers on the internet. I’m not an exhibitionist at all, and in real life I never discuss these issues (except maybe in therapy), but it feels right to express myself on this blog. I am just worried that my former colleagues or family will find it.

      Thank you for reading. Your comments are always thoughtful and kind. I wish you only health and happiness in the upcoming year.

      Warmest regards,

      Margo

      P.S. Replacing everything in my wallet was a HUGE PAIN IN THE ASS, but it’s been done and everything is ok now. 🙂

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