Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Not Guilty

In the end, about two weeks after the trial started, the jury found my mother not guilty, she was the first case of battered women's syndrome, in our State, before it actually had a name.

That day, in that Court room, were all of the people in my life that I loved.  My mother, My grandmothers from both sides, aunts, uncles, long time family friends and of course, some outsiders, media and such.  When the verdict was read, as a child I can tell you that I felt so torn.  I saw half of the people I love break down in tears, crumble, defeated, others, screaming, cursing, yelling, calling her a Murdering Bitch, and that was the side I was sitting on.

Not by choice mind you, at that point, my grandmother had taken physical custody of my brothers and me.  Then the other half of the folks I loved, crying just the same, but tears of joys, sighs of relief filling that side of the room, hugs, and smiles.  I have never again been surrounded by such a physcial presence of emotion, in total conflict.  I remember the room feeling as if every bit of the oxygen had been sucked out of it.  I remember being relieved that my mother had been set free, but at the same time feeling anger and resentment towards her because during all of this she had changed, I felt she had abandoned us.

I thought when daddy was gone, everything would be better, we would be with mom, and live a normal life, one without fear and eggshells.  Instead, it was as if my mother had become someone I did not know.  She looked as if she had aged a decade in mere months.  Aside from when I saw her in court, she was always drinking.  That day, part of me wanted to go home with my mom, wanted my life back with her.  The other part of me did not because I feared the things that happened to us now in mom's new world, they men, what they would do to us.  Not that they were any worse than my father, but I knew what to expect from him.  All of the sudden though, as I wrote about before, there was Hank, being mean to us, threatening us, locking my brothers in tiny dark closets, us spending the weekend at their home, no heat, no one watching us kids, no food being prepared, while the adults all stayed shut up in this one big room that had the kerosene heater in it.

I remember calling my mom into another bedroom one weekend and flipping out on her, tearing the room up, slinging things, asking her why she was the way she was now.  But even at ten, I could tell by the glazed over look in her eyes that she was not capable of answering that question anymore than I was.

After that day in court, aside from a handful of brief visits, where she would show up intoxicated, smelling of cheap beer, I never saw my mother again until I was 16 years old.  When I found her at 16, she did not even know who I was at first.  Those years broke me and I have never been repaired. Now, that all this time has passed and she has changed and we have a great relationship, the hardest thing for her is knowing what happened to me while she was gone, while she left us with my grandparents.  I think she blames herself for what he did to me all those years, for what he stole from me,  For the mental and physical fortress that no man has ever been able to penetrate that he built in me everytime he touched me.

Oddly enough, I do not.  Because as I have grown, I realize that she was broken too, she was programmed to follow, and not think for herself, and why I thought that would change once my father was dead is beyond me.  It certanly did not "fix" me once I was away from my grandfather.  My mother was as broken as any person can be.  When we fill ourselves with self loathing there is only one direction that our lives can possibly take.  It is not something you can take a pill to correct, it is not depression, it is not anxiety, it is not mood swings, it is a hatred of yourself, a shame that you wear like a shaw, that wraps itself around you and fits like a glove, as if it were tailored, just for you, because it was.  It was created just for you.


  1. I learned recently that there is a special layer of *punishment*, let's say, for people hurting or committing crimes against children. It is precisely for the reason you carved into the last paragraph, hurt accumulated through childhood is particularly difficult to shed, as children turn them inward. That is why I continue to cheer you for speaking out, as each word chips at that layer of ice frozen inside. Though the scar may never completely fall off and is painful to look at, its very formation - this story - shows signs of healing. I hope you continue this journey no matter what.

  2. I admire you so very much. Not just for going through everything you went through but also for writing this posts and telling us your life story. It's hard for me to read it, it hurts me when I imagine all those things and I can't imagine how hard is must have been for you.

  3. I don't mean to make this sound mean or emotionless... but it almost would have been better if your mother disappeared because she was in jail, not of her own choice.

    I agree with Starlight here... =)

    *BIG HUG*

  4. It's amazing that you not only choose to share this but that you have come out of the other side with a real relationship with your mother. You must be an incredibly strong person.

    Hank sounds utterly despicable.

    Thank you for sharing. I hope the process of writing this is in some way helping you to heal.

  5. It is nice to know that you and your mother have a good relationship after all that hapened in the past...:)

    I have to agree with you, you are so right...
    When we fill ourselves with self loading and nothing seems to be enough to heal those wounds that were made, life is not a beautiful thing...and a pill will never be enough to keep away the past, the pain, the shame and the hatred of ourselves...
    I think that nothing we can possibly do, will ever be enough to erase that past, that is just like you seems that "it was created just for you."

    Thak you for stopping by my blogs...i hope to hear from you soon!:)

  6. I stumbled across this blog last night. Like a book, I found it hard to quit reading it. I am astounded by your bravery, to come out and tell your story for strangers to read. I am not passing any negative judgment. I just have to say that you are an amazing woman, and strong. It is wonderful that you and your mom have regained a relationship after all this was said and done. And I can only hope that things will get better with your sad he has become an alcoholic. Thank you for sharing.

  7. Thanks a lot for visiting my blog.
    My English is not good but i tried hear to you and see and underestand your hard situation...i needed read you because i have to be a real human...You could show me How can be a human. i suppose: "She was lost in her last lust" and you could discover and find her situation...her needs for is our oxygen for live..."LOVE" and present...
    I think we can not be only for eating and die..and nothing...we have to be real-human if we want to live...Thanks alot for learning me How can be lover in could watching her heart...we need the eays that can watching and drinking love...with underestand eachother and present and present and give Love...then we can take Love. thanks my dear!

  8. Hi!
    I think everybody can do great work if want it realy...I like you can do it...i think you can do it if can see,hear,...and know better your nice heart.
    first you have to clean your mind from mistakes...