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I am a reunited adult child.

6 Nov 2014

I’m reblogging this here quite simply because it’s the best piece of writing I’ve come across on this subject. As usual Karen finds ways to highlight the importance of subtle issues others mostly miss (e.g. “My mother came too close to knowing. “) Such a powerful personal anecdote from someone so knowledgeable and experienced in this field is worth its weight in gold.

I am a reunited adult child.  For thirty years of my life I was alienated from my mother. I am reunited now. As a result I am no longer wrestling with demons and ghosts. I was used by my father and his mother, to replace the girl child she had never given birth to. She took me and he let her, as compensation for that.

I was alienated from my mother in one single moment, in one single minute, in one single hour, of one single day.  I recall it, relive it, remember it now. For thirty years I had no way of knowing what had done to me or why.  All I knew was that anger and blame and something not right, severed my love for my mother and trust and belief.  Looking back I see how the trigger was pulled and advantage was taken and I, as a trophy, was won.  ‘One of us’ I heard them all say, and in from the cold and surrounded by safety and warmth, that’s how I felt, (for most of the time).

Cut out and cut off and in danger.  At times a cold wind would howl through my bones as I glimpsed the reality of what I was facing.  Some days the love that wound round my heart and the sense of belonging would fail me and leave me and show me the truth of what my life was.  Though they claimed me as ‘theirs’ the truth was that I wasn’t. I had ears and eyes and noticed the things that I wasn’t supposed to be able to see. For the first decade apart from my mother, I found myself wandering in a parallel world, playing someone I was never been destined to be.  Loss of love and of roots and of safety, I was living with people with secrets and lies in their lives.

In the second ten years apart from my mother I gave birth to my own child and found with a rush and a shock that my love and my memories came right to the surface and I battled confusion and shame and desire to put what was wrong back to rights.  Each time I tried though the barriers set up by my mother’s frustration, resentment and blame put up walls that were too high to climb and too wide and to long to find a way round. I had hurt her and was hurt in return when I tried to repair, find a way, put things right.  My grandmother soothed me with ‘see, I was right, she’s selfish and she doesn’t love you like I do, come away, leave things be, you are one of us now.’

The death of the alienator didn’t release me, it couldn’t, I had no-one else to hang on to. Instead I was drowned in a sea where the waves crashed relentlessly down. The feeling inside was that no-one had loved me, I’d been kidnapped and kept and had fallen in love with my captors who used me for their needs not mine, the love that they gave me was hollow, no substance left nothing to stand on when life gave me lemons.  My grieving was complex and took over my life, something was wrong and I skirted round madness and pain as I tried to find something of me left inside.

Ten more years and I began the attempt to scale the wall of my mother’s hostility, a state that I now know as protection of self and of soul from the pain of the loss that she triggered with blame. Had I not been prepared as I had been, her words would have passed over and by me and whilst she was silly and selfish to do it, alienation would never have struck us had my mind not been altered by the stories they told me, things I should never have known. They laid a trap and she fell right into it.  She blamed me and her counter rejection of me kept things frozen. After twenty five years though I tried and she tried and somehow a crack in the deep frozen feelings began to arise.

Looking back I can see that this crack in the deep frozen feelings was managed.  My father, had plans and  in need of a proxy to free him, he wooed me and soothed me and persuaded me back. When he left and the bomb that blew up our lives left us sitting in fragments of sorrow and pain, my mother and I, without anyone else to assist us, began the long and the painful, piecing together and we found, in the doing of that two significant things –

1. I was used by my father, his mother and father and all of those people on that side of the family, as a weapon. I had never been loved, not really, not truly. I was used, as part of a campaign of hatred that hid terror and fear and things in the background that put children at risk. That side of my family was rotten and hid it by shining a light on the other side brightly. In the shadows each player moved pawns that kept secrets and lies and abuse under wraps. I had lived in a horror house, not just me, there were others. Projection of blame and alienation was how they kept secrets untold through the years.  My mother came too close to knowing.

2. The love that I felt for my mother didn’t die, it was wrapped in confusion and fear and in shame and in guilt.  Her love for me didn’t die either, as our fear of each other began melting away we found things that we liked and things that we didn’t like, things that are similar and much that is different. But we both found perspective and balance and for me finally, someone who loved me because I was me existed again.  The Kaleidescope pieces fell into place and my vision was clear. Three decades of questions and wondering, three decades of travelling a path that I never intended to take, thirty years of being used as a weapon and shield fell away.  And the love for my mother came spiralling upwards, twisting round roots which were gnarled and misshapen but there all the same to be smoothed out and polished and practiced and given again.

Thirty eight years ago I was taken, kidnapped in my mind and forced down a life path that never was mine. Now I am back on the path that I always intended to take and my mind and my heart and my soul are recovering, I am healthy and well, my perspective is good and my grieving is over.

Alienation hides fear and a deeply distorted reality and living it hurts and corrodes, it is damaging, exhausting and frightening.

When they come looking, your children need you to be healthy and well and willing to open your arms. However they hurt you, I beg you, whenever they come, open your arms and welcome them home. Their journey is hard and their lives are fragmented and their minds, so distorted and fractured and hurt are in need of one person who is healthy and well, with love in their heart, to sit with them.  They didn’t mean it, they never stopped loving you, they were forced on a path that was not theirs to take. Guide them home, dress their wounds, help them heal, give them peace and your love.

Without that I wouldn’t be here.

Re-blogged from: Karen Woodall, 6 November 2014


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