A recent thread at After Silence made me think about my mother.
My mother knew about the abuse. She saw it happen. One of the clearest memories I have is my father being on top of me and then rolling off of me. I look up and she is standing in the doorway just watching. I have no idea how long she was standing there and staring into the room. I was probably about 7 years old at the time. My hair was still extremely long, which helps me narrow down the time frame.
She didn’t do anything about what was going on. And I don’t understand why. I mean, I have my suspicions. My gut feeling is she was abused by her father (as he was also one of my abusers). I never have asked though. And I’m not sure if I want to know.
But she was also a guidance counselor for a local school district. She knew (at least on a professional level) the ramifications of abuse.
I’m trying to figure out how I feel about this. It isn’t easy to figure them out. It’s a mixed up jumble. But I’m going to try to pick them apart. I found a list of emotion words at Wikipedia. I just picked the ones that seemed to fit. My ideas are in alphabetical order because I can’t say which ones are stronger than the others.
Anger: It’s hard for me to feel anger. But I’m sure it’s a part of what I’m feeling. It’s part of a mother’s role to protect her child. How could she let him do that to me?
Confusion: I don’t understand why she didn’t (or couldn’t) protect me. I’m confused by all the stuff I’m feeling.
Disappointed: I wish someone would have protected me. And it’s disappointing that nobody did.
Grief: I lost most of my childhood because she didn’t (or couldn’t) stop it. All those years I’ll never get back. All the experiences I didn’t have. And all the experiences I don’t remember.
Hate: I hate her for not protecting me. I hate her for just watching. I hate how I’m feeling.
Sadness: It makes me sad to know that there was no one out there to protect me. I couldn’t protect myself.