Monday, February 2, 2009

Run Forrest Run (1983)

Life with my mother was all about her getting back at me for choosing my Dad over her. Life with my mother was her trying to make me feel the pain she apparently felt when I lived with my Dad. “The issue of betrayal is critical to understanding the dynamics between borderline mother and heir children. The borderline’s sensitivity to betrayal results in paranoid accusations, annihilating rage, and abandonment of the offending party” P 42 Lawson. Life with my mother was very abusive, both emotionally and mentally.

My mother had a few more court appearances against my Dad, and she was always trying to pigeon hole him into saying something damaging while she recorded the conversation on the phone. I felt extremely wrong for being part of this act, but she pressured me into calling and hooking up the recording device. She would have written out what I was to ask him or lead him into saying. Again, how my parents used the kids as pawns during their divorce was despicable. How my parents used the kids to hurt the other parent was despicable as well. See subsequent blog entry: Adult Children of Parental Alienation.

At first, things were floating along okay until the day that my great-grandmother came to visit. During that visit, my GG brought up the fact that another great-grandmother had passed away (when I was living with my Dad) and that she had left some money to all of the great-grandchildren. I was coming up the stairs when this conversation was ensuing, and I piped in something to the effect of, "Yea, I remember something to that respect. I think I signed the check over to Dad and he said he was putting it into a college account for me". My mother went completely ballistic. She said, "WHAT!? You hid this from me!? After all the money that I have spent in court battling your Dad, and you hid this from me!?" I responded that I hadn't hid it from her, that I had just not remembered, and that it was only like $500.00 anyway.

My mother didn't believe me and demanded that I go back downstairs. She yelled at me that she is glad that my last name is Smith, pushed me to the top of the stairs and said to get down, that she didn't want to see my face. "The voices of children are easily silenced by the fear of not being believed. The borderline's children feel like prisoners of a secret war. Children of borderlines know that their mother can make people vanish. They have seen her cut people to shreds with words, shatter reputations of those who betray, and stab them in the heart with false accusations. They know the feeling of sinking into nothingness by soul-wrenching verbal attacks" p 125 Lawson.

Once downstairs, I started to write in my diary (a diary that I had started in order to cope with the negative environment that I was immersed in). My mother came downstairs and took the phone and TV away from me. She told me that I wasn't leaving the house until I told her the truth about deceiving her (it was summer time). She then tried to pull the diary from my hands. I exclaimed that the diary is one thing that is mine and only mine, but she kept trying to pull it from my hands. Eventually I won out.

I wasn't allowed to leave that house the whole summer -- and into the new school year. Three months of pulling weeds for hours a day, cleaning the house, and having no contact with anyone outside of my mother and step-father. I started to run a lot at this point and joined the high school sports team in order to get away. I developed poison ivy from pulling weeds, and my mother didn't get me any medication until it had spread over my entire body (face included).

I could hear her telling her friends and some of my friend's mothers how horrible I am, telling them distorted accounts of my past, about my relationship with her, and what happened with my great-grandmother's inheritance money. “When others hear the borderline mother complain about her children, they assume that the children are troubled, rather than the mother. Unfortunately, for their children, this means that their private experience is unlikely to be validated by others” P 20 Lawson. Also during this time, my mother was leaving me these deranged notes, saying that she was getting back at me for all the hurt I put her through with my Dad. Each note got more and more far-out, and I just reassured myself that I would make it through living there until I was 18 and off at college. I kept writing in my diary, I kept praying for sanity, and I kept looking forward to the future.

I tried talking to my step-father about how my mother was treating me, but he failed t protect me from the abuse. One time I was trying to talk to him, my mother came downstairs and told him not to listen to me that I was just trying to manipulate him. She cut the conversation off and demanded him to leave the room. I felt completely alone and helpless in this dungeon of verbal and emotional abuse.

My teammates were the ones who I confided in about what I was going through at home. They were astonished that I had been secluded in the house for 3 months and said that I should figure out some way of talking to my mother. After days of deliberating, my team decided what was best was to tell my mother that I indeed deceived her. So, I have to lie and tell her that I did lie. This made no sense to me. What excuse we conjured up, I don't remember, but you will see that the reason was unimportant.

I went home that night from practice, and my step-father was out of town. At the dinner table with my mother standing at the kitchen sink, I said to my mother, "So, I want to tell you that I did hide the fact I knew about that money".

My mother looked up and said, "You were scared I would take it from you when we went to court".

I agreed and that was the end of the discussion. It was never brought up again. Very strangely nothing was EVER SAID about this again. After all the isolation, emotional & mental abuse, and confusion, I was allowed out of the house. I had my freedom again.

Although I had my freedom, I didn't have trust or boundaries. In public, she was sticky sweet, and then in private she would turn around and lash out at me. She looked through my things and read my diary & notes. She would interpret what she found in the worst possible manner and confront me in aggressive & hostile ways. And even though I would tell her the truth, she still believed what she wanted to believe. "Conflicts frequently erupt between the borderline mother and child over boundaries and privacy issues. The borderline feels entitled to listen to telephone conversations and to search bedrooms, and question friends about activities. The borderline can be unrelenting in her intrusiveness" p 114 Lawson.

Earlier when I said my decision to move in with my mother had positive results as well as the negative, with the positive being my education. I academically achieved excellent grades. I was part of academic & social clubs, and I was successful as an athlete. I honestly think that if I had stayed with my Dad, I wouldn't have been as successful with school as that household didn't place an emphasis on studying, achieving good grades, or excelling in pushing yourself to learn more and more. So, I have no regrets about all that achieved academically while I lived with my mother. I got advanced placement when entering college and was able to go on and achieve a master's degree as well.


  1. Very similar experiences again with the isolation, control, and distorted lies told to others. It sucks when the people around you witnessing their cruelty aren't there to stand up for you, like your stepfather. I was subject the same punishments, like not being able to leave the house etc. Hated the intrusions of privacy especially. My diary went missing, and i always wondered what effect it had on her? In her sick mind did she still believe we were making everything up? Never understand that..
    Was it hard for you to go through this without your brother? I was somewhat comforted by my brothers presence, although my mother would purposefully isolate me from them to maintain control and have me as what i call slave child :( Its great that you were able to excel in school and at sports. Was she resentful of your successes, or try to invalidate them?

    Thanks for sharing, I will continue reading!

  2. I know what you mean by, "In her sick mind did she still believe we were making everything up?" ... I think, yes. I think they surround themselves with so many people that buy into their lies, deceptions, and stories, that our mothers start to actually believe themselves.

    Yes, the isolation was tough without my brother... he ended up moving in later on before I graduated, and she laid off of me. The negative attention turned to him instead :(

    You are so welcome for sharing-- and I look forward to hearing more from you. So validating hearing your stories. All the happiness to you :)

  3. Yes, we end up lying so they can have the "gift" of their delusional "truth." sigh. Coercion under extreme circumstances. We were just kids, trying to survive and exercising our most fundamental right to self-preservation. Forcing us to violate our own morals, values and ethics is Soul Murder, it is killing our very personhood, IMO.
    Excellent Blog and thank you so much for keeping it up and for sharing. I've read it through entirely a few times!
    BTW, I'd like to recommend a book I think you might like-it was for me, as if someone had written the story of my own life growing up Cluster F***ed by a Cluster B:
    "Chanel Bonfire a Memoir" by Wendy Lawless.

    Again, many thanks!

    1. Thanks for the heads-up about the Wendy Lawless book-- will check it out asap. Thanks again for the comments, insight, and input :)