A letter written on April 12th or 2nd in 1980 was forwarded to me from my mother and through my sister. I almost didn’t look at it. But, I did. Let me say that I never saw the letter until 2021, neither my mother (the intended receiver) nor my ex husband ever mentioned the letter to me that I remember of. So, I saw it for the first time basically, September 20th, 2021.
Another little fact about this letter. It was written just about two full months before I graduated high school. At the time, my mother received the note she didn’t say a word to me. But, as the time for my departure from home came closer to graduation day, she let me know, loudly, and harshly that she was aware of my plans. She was mad that I would leave without warning her so she could get her finances (as in loosing a social security check for me, income). She told me all my ex wanted at the time was a ‘cherry’. A term I was unaware of. Needless to say, she did not stop me from going and while in her rage she had me know that I had made my bed. In my mind, if I ever realized I’d made a mistake, I’d live with it because I was never to be allowed back. From my perspective this affected my relationship with my mother for the rest of the time that I had one with her.
Today, after raising my kids, and having my youngest still here. I can’t imagine ever saying the things to my kids the things that she said to me. When they take their steps to leave home, regardless of what they are moving too, the door has always been left open. I have wanted my kids to be able to trust me, so that they could come to me and ask anything. For example, my youngest came to me a couple years ago (roughly) and asked me if I would get mad if she got married. My answer: “No, I would not get mad,” I had already been married by the time I was her age, and I saw getting angry with her as being hypocritical. But, I did also say that I felt that they were talking marriage a little bit early, and that I felt she at least if not both of them, needed to grow up in some ways first before they took that leap. My conclusion for her is that taking the time to grow up some more would give them a better chance at being successful at marriage. I hope she got the message that she is loved no matter what. I may not like what my kids do, but I always love them. They might not be allowed at my house for a time. But, I always love them.
Having read this, I do believe it was at the time a sincerely written letter. I think in his way Scott cared. Or maybe I’m just trying to make myself feel better. Either way, the union did not last forever (till death do us apart). I must add that his idea of respect really leaves a whole lot lacking. The bottom line is that there was one thing that I can not say that I walked away with happiness for the experience. I will leave a good deal of that that private except to say it wasn’t worth it, nor was any happiness attached to that experience make up for all the pain, humiliation, and torture the man/boy put me through the years.
1980 – 1995 (1980: 41 years later)
I’d have to dig out the paperwork now. But, I believe our divorce was final in March 1995. Perhaps 1994. I have detailed on this blog most, but not all the abuses that were suffered. Essentially, the worst of the abuses are not listed publicly anywhere. In our case the abuses started even before we were married I can look back now and recognize boundary issues. He had a habit of pushing himself in and on me when he wanted what he wanted. To make things worse, in terms of marriage, I was very under educated. I had no idea that people engaged in oral sex of any sort. So, according to him, I was to enjoy sex, but he was allowed to push on me anything he felt I should do, or accept. So, some of my first experiences were indeed, very much forced, including (in terms of oral)my very first one. Actually, let me rephrase that, a lot of my experiences were forced all through the marriage and it was for all sorts of reasons, and the fact that I wasn’t forced every single time doesn’t take away the damage that was done every time I was forced. When I did not have to be forced all that means is that I had given in, or given up, become compliant, I was doing what I had to do to make things go as smooth as was possible considering the pain that I was in at the time. I was in a lot of pain both physically (as in he brought an infection home and I didn’t know there was such a thing, and so did not know to go to the doctor, and emotionally, as in I was traumatized over and over and over.)
(Note: The letter is below, click the pages to read them in a bigger form. I highlighted the year, because, well, because. I was shocked to see it, especially since it’s 41 years later.)
Please keep in mind as you read this piece, if you do, that I was very uneducated. Sex education in high school did NOT provide me with enough information except to say that I knew how to keep myself from getting pregnant. I have come a long, long way in terms of education both in the ideals of marriage, sex, and those all important, boundaries. I am still learning about myself and my experiences, and I am still learning on an academic level about domestic violence, which includes the pushing of those all important boundaries.
About three weeks ago, I finally admitted some very private facts with a therapist. She called my ex husband a narcissist. I realize that the term is being thrown around a lot right now. The loser named Trump made the diagnosis a household word. I have in the past called my ex husband a psychopath. Narcissist seems to me to be a better fit.
Compare that to growing up with a father that a therapist called a sadist. Maybe perhaps you’d understand that many of the things that I lived with during this marriage were not normal, not nice, and were in fact, very abusive in nearly any way a person can be abusive of another.
My first experience was full on sex as a “married” (girl) woman was one where my legs were pried open forcibly so that I might enjoy the act of cunninglingus. One does not enjoy being forced even if it is for their own good. But, the truth is, I wasn’t forced for me, I was forced for his enjoyment. He was married (well in truth about to be) and he had a right to the product.
We had our own apartment within a few months. We lived in apartments made inside an old school building on Green Street in Cincinnati.
I knew, Toney, my ex-husband’s father as a good man and father. He had some old fashioned ideas, but I have always felt they were a good thing. It was obvious that he tried to protect my chastity. At one point, he pointed out that I wasn’t my ex’s slave. That helped for a little bit. He let me know before I married my ex husband that he didn’t think I should marry his son. His reasoning was that I was too good for his son. He was going to bring me down. He was more right than he will ever know. At the time, I had no idea that I was more educated than my ex in someway, yet I was to demure to ever assert myself until years after the marriage.
So, Scotts idea of respecting women the way his father did was kind of just words. Because I’ve heard the stories about how in his younger days, Toney abused his wife, and child. Even in 1980 when I entered the family, Toney and his children had a habit of belittling my mother in law, Ione. They laughed about it. Ione accepted it until she was tired of it and then she’d tell them to stop. Sometimes they did. Sometimes they did not. I never felt it was right, and eventually, I told Scott to quit treating me that way. Because yes, the behavior transferred over to our relationship. This is an example of generational transfer abuse. I will talk about that more later at another point.
There was a heat duct (or at least a hole in the bedroom floor of Scott’s bedroom). Through this heat duct Scott got to watch his parents at any given moment they were in their bedroom. God only knows what he picked up from those peep shows. Considering how abusive he turned out to be, I’d say he learned a lot. Sorry Scott, unlike you, I don’t particularly keep any secrets. I especially do not protect you.
And in terms of protecting him, he should know, that I highly suspect him of sexually abusing his sister when they were young, as in kids. She was so angry with him when she was younger. The anger transferred to me in some ways. We were all out swimming one day. My mother in law asked me if I realized that Lyvonne was trying to drown me. I had realized no such thing. I could not figure out why Lyvonne would want to do such a thing. On another day, Lyvonne spoke under her breath that one day she’d get even with Scott. She sounded very determined with her wording. It sounded like she really intended it to hurt when she was finally able to follow through. I finally, asked her why she was angry. She only answered that yea, she was going to get even. Lyvonne was all of maybe 16 or 17 at the time. That really speaks volumes in my mind. Why in the world would a little sister be so angry with her big brother. There could have been many reasons, but the answer in my mind a couple years later, when my “husband” asked me to sleep with his sister and let him watch. What made him either that either of us would consent to such a thing? Why would he want to see his sister sleep with his wife? I was so broken at the time, I could not figure out the answers, and I kept on doing the best I could.
I am unsure just what my ex thought he was doing to win my mothers trust with this letter. Surely he’d realize at some point in life that saying one thing and doing the other makes a liar out of him. He was not trustable. He was pushing boundaries in 1979 & 1980 that he had no right to push. Keeping in mind that teenagers go off and make out. Realizing it was/is common behavior. I was pushed from the beginning to have full blown sex. Marriage only came into play when I said I would not until I was married. I said no to any attempt of trying to undress. But, eventually, he won. I was pushed and then pushed more. Even that pushing is a sort of phycological abuse. The games had started. He lied about who he was and his relationships with people, including famous people he supposedly knew. I was so young that I believed every word he said and took it basically as gospel. I know now, that people do these things when they feel small and insignificant. There are better ways to raise your psychological profile. Telling the truth works wonders. If you tell the truth, then you carry yourself taller and you are full of good feelings devoid of humiliation, grief, etc.
My therapist asked me at the time if I was being pushed to do things I did not want to do. Keep in mind when we met I was right around 16 years old. I denied it. I denied it because I did not want to get in trouble with my parents first and foremost. I denied it because he was the first boy to be seriously interested in me, and I wanted the relationship, such as it was, to continue. I lied because my sister nearly 3 years younger than me was ahead in that game–boyfriends, make up, probably sex. She was allowed to wear make up, have a boyfriend. It was part of how I was treated differently. In order to wear makeup, I thought to tell my therapist about it. My mother was basically cornered in therapy by myself and the therapist. Why was Pam allowed and not me? From that point on I was allowed to wear it if someone showed me how to properly apply it. I had a favorite hair stylist at the Montgomery Wards hair salon at a mall called, The Hub. She helped me with the make up. At that point, I was pushing 17 or 18 years old. Keep in mind I had a job. I was working and could buy my own make up. Finances for me, as a teenager living at home, were not bad at all. I sometimes bought my own clothes, music, candy, popcorn for lunch!! My first picture where I had make up applied was my high school senior photo(s). There were two sets.
I am going to move ahead. There is simply too much to talk about in terms of that man for any one written piece.
I will leave with a question. Why now? Why at all? What was sending this letter to me supposed to do for me? It did not bring up positive feelings or any sort of nice feeling. The reality of it, the words on the paper, are simply those of a boy trying to convince the girls world that he had the best of intentions. I’m sure he did at least at first. But, by the time this was written the patterns of the relationship were written in stone. I’ve learned nothing new from receiving a letter from 1980.
Why send it at all? I have no idea. Should I call and thank my mother for sending it? Only to be rejected again for something I never even tried to do, and was never guilty of supporting the idea. What I was supportive of was trying to keep my mother in her home. I made that clear to all attorneys in the mix via letter. Or maybe I’ll be rejected because I once left a big piece of cardboard on her windshield that said, “molester” on it. That is probably the worst thing I ever really did to her. She is absolutely complicit in some of the happening around my oldest daughter. She was capable of protecting her grand daughter more. Her house, and her image was more important to her than her grand daughter. That is what she is guilty of. I grew up with that message but did not realize it until only recently. Me being treated differently by my mother and father, I was blamed for some unknown action that I took, that caused a permanent rift between my father and her family members. So, she has spent the years blaming her oldest daughter, and her oldest grand daughter for things that happened that were no fault of their own. That is realistic isn’t it?
[Truth is, before he died, my mothers brother informed me that my father did indeed do something abusive to me. I directly asked him what my father did. He could not answer me. He gave me the saddest look that I had ever seen on his face in my entire life. I asked him why my grandparents did not intervene, the answer was that they were afraid dad would not allow them to see us anymore. My grandparents saw my father as uncivilized from that point on. Whatever it was my uncle and father had a physical fight where they were trying to hurt one another. There was a permanent rift in the family in that a child, if she paid attention, could feel the family split. I can tell you my grandparents bent over backwards to make me feel loved at all points of my life.]
I don’t know why now. That is the simple answer for now. Maybe she is going through her shit so that when she kicks the bucket we won’t have to…or rather, my sister won’t have to. I’m sure I won’t have a lot to do with it. If it had been me, I’d probably presented the letter to my daughter at the time. As it stands – at least now her daughter knows they were empty words.
They contained nothing of value, not even now, that might raise the bar on the relationship. I was simply abused day in and day out, and there seems to be no way to get past all of the damage. I have been in and out of therapy since 1990ish. I knew something was wrong and I had my daughter and myself in therapy before she told what was going on. I did everything I knew to do, and I tried to protect my whole family.
Mom continues to protect herself with an image of an honest and truthful person. That she is not. Her anger lies not in me trying to supposedly take her house, which in truth I was never interested in, not for my sake–only for hers. Instead, she carries a grudge that is probably close to 55+ years. Something I could not control. I was a very little girl. My daughter was blamed by my mother for the abuse she took from my step father at a whole seven years old. My mother stated plainly, that she had to protect herself from “Pammy” because she was “afraid that Jack would divorce me and marry her.” She was concerned about a 57 year old man divorcing a grown woman and marrying a seven year old?? It would be laughable if it did not hurt so much. By the time, “Pammy” would have been ok to marry, she’d been too old for the son of a bitch and by then, I would have known what was going on, and I would have done all the same things I did anyway. Call the police, call cps, call the therapists involved, find the proper kind of therapy for us both. I come from a very, very sick family.
Two girls have paid with their very lives. In terms of health we are both train wrecks. In terms of emotional health. Well, that would be laughable if it weren’t so bad. My mental life is very compartmentalized. I can look you straight in the eye and tell you my childhood was a great one. I can look you in the eye and tell you my childhood was awful. Both views are true, however one view does not know the other. I have no clue how many compartments my brain built to protect me. But, I can tell you, my mother has no rights whatsoever to be angry with me. I have every right to be angry with her. In terms of my own childhood, and in terms of my child’s outcome. My mother married the child molesters. She loves to look educated but she made a very uneducated decision. It is much easier to detect those sorts of people if you are educated and not so glued to the idea of perfect that a marriage portrays to the rest of the world. In the end, the projection fades, and the younger generations will tell their truth. First is me. We will see how many comes around to admit their abuser attracted them and they fell for the promises and lines, and that they could do that because of the generational abuses that were transferred from one mother and father to their children in their custody. In the end, it all comes out. Truth seeks the light. Truth shines very brightly in the light. In the end we humans gyrate toward the light. It all comes out in the end. Karma is a bitch.