Do it for the Children….

i tell all my married female friends my childhood history when they talk to me about marriage issues. my advice is always the same. as long as there isn’t chemical dependence/abuse or physical/emotional abuse, i’d try everything possible to work it out. if i hear a reluctance to admit abuse, i tell them my story.

WARNING: the following is 100% true and may be difficult for some to read.

my mother was married to my father for 11 years. now, i haven’t spoken to my father since 2007.

when i was 2 years old, i was beaten so badly that i was covered head to toe in bruises. my mom left my dad, and my dad’s family basically disowned him. my dad spent the next 2 weeks begging and pleading for my mom to come back. then he told her if she didn’t he’d never have a relationship with me. guess what my mom did?

the next 9 years was my mom enduring constant physical/emotional abuse, and me being beaten and molested in the form of forced fellatio. i don’t recall it happening, i blacked it out. i was in fourth grade when my mom came to me and my sister and said she was leaving my dad. it was the best news i had heard in all my life. up until then, the happiest moments i had were when my father wasn’t present. about 6-7 years ago, little things came back to me that i just didn’t get back then but are MAJOR red-flags now. i called my mom to talk to her and i told what happened. she said she wasn’t surprised. she told me she starting to suspect something like that might happen so that’s what caused her to leave. she then expressed complete guilt for not leaving sooner.

i was 7 years old and KNEW my parents marriage was a sham.

i know my case is WAAAAY extreme, but i use it to make a point to parents about staying together for the sake of the kids. typically this is a talk with single moms. i follow with, “even in the absence of abuse, if you aren’t respected and loved, you’re setting an example that your relationship is a model for a healthy relationship. is THIS the example you want to give your son/daughter?” typically the answer is always no, but then the hamster shows up. i shake my head and sigh. then say, “did you hear what i just told you happened to me?” they’ll nod, and i’ll say…..

“my mom stayed with my dad for my sake, thanks a fucking TON mom.”

that’s when it usually sets in a little better. now i have ZERO problem talking about my childhood in this regard, and i’m sure you have the same question swimming in your head that most people are asking when i tell them my story: how am i so calm and comfortable talking about this? simple. 2 facts:

  1. it happened
  2. i was a child

what happened was beyond my control. there are 2 paths i could take here. i could be the whimpering victim and cry “woe is me, please feel bad for me” OR i could choose to NOT let it define me, and let it go. guess which direction i chose? i could be a victim, or i could be a viking.

the point of this post was to point out that kids are VERY much aware of the marriage dynamic, especially if it’s not good. i’ve never been married, so i won’t pontificate marriage advice, i’m just speaking for the perspective as a kid that watched a shitty marriage spiral into shittier parenting. i raised my younger sister, now maybe some of you might understand how i’m so decent with women. i had to raise a girl, since dad didn’t want anything to do with her. and as i’ve said before….i’m close with EVERYONE in my family.

except for my father.

secondly, i’ve been wronged by women more than once. but there’s no bitterness on my end about it….and with what happened to me with my father, if i chose to let it define me, i’d spiral away into bitterness. fuck that. society is a WEAK excuse for a man. we all take out lumps, how we respond to is best testament of a human being.

 

stay up.

 


24 Comments on “Do it for the Children….”

  1. A very revealing post and I think the fact that you can talk so openly about it is a testament to that you have come to terms with it. Love the “Victim or Viking” line. Bravo on the writing here. Bravo.

  2. just visiting says:

    Thank you for this. I’ve taken a lot of flack from people for ending my marriage. Substance abuse is a deal breaker. (Though I should have ended it a year sooner than I did.)

    I can empathize with the brutality. Had a step father like that. Thankfully my mother had enough sense to get out early on.

    Maintaining a positive attitude and not spiraling into bitterness is also one that I share. Bitterness poisons life and soul. I don’t know if that resilliance comes naturally to you. For me it was a choice and one that I cultivate. Besides, half the fun in life would be obliterated if I became a man hater .. I didn’t have a brother to raise, but I did have a very large extended family of uncles, great uncles and male cousins, not to mention my grandpa, whose strong and noble natures made it easy to like men.

    • dannyfrom504 says:

      Dad drinks like a fish (big surprise).

      Yer one of the good ones Dear. I took a beating for a friend of mine because I refused to throw him under the bus. When I finally left my bedroom, my friend looked horrified. What happened?

      He left the milk on the counter, I told my dad I did it.

      Sent from my iPhone

      • just visiting says:

        Oh boy….I think the worst part was not knowing what was going to trigger it. I took a kidney injury because he didn’t like how I put the cups away in the cupboard.

        You’re one of the good ones Danny. And the fact that you were willing to protect your friend knowing full well what it would cost you shows character and bravery from a young age.

        You make the world a better place.

  3. zorroprimo says:

    And I thought I had it bad. There are 7 stitch scars on my forehead.

    I am an atheist. But I will remember you in whatever passes for prayers with atheists.

    SPQR

  4. aneroidocean says:

    So who told you about it if you blacked it out? That was the only confusing part for me.

    Pretty amazing you have dealt with it so well. Right on.

    • dannyfrom504 says:

      I was able to realize it happened by putting together bits of info that came to light. It’s common for molestation victims to “black out” the occurrence.

      Sent from my iPhone

  5. JS says:

    Danny, you are incredibly strong for both sharing this private part of yourself and for having endured it. I am so sorry that you had to experience that. I am glad and impressed that you are able to be in such a positive place.

    I liked your bit about the Viking. It reminds me of something I heard once…I can’t remember if someone told me this or if it was from a book or movie. But this woman was a hostage in a bank robbery and she decided that she was not the robber’s victim but rather that he was her enemy. I always liked that because it puts them on equal footing, whereas victims see themselves as “beneath” their attacker.

    You know that you’re not a victim and I really admire you for seeing it that way. You’re amazingly brave and special.

    • dannyfrom504 says:

      thanks JS. it’s just something that isn’t worth dwelling on. like i said, i only put the pieces together about 5-6 years ago. oh trust me, i make jokes about the fact.

      i’m so special, that i get to park in blue parking spaces. wokka wokka.

  6. Spooky says:

    Cadence took the words out of my mouth.

  7. Random Angeleno says:

    The strength and measure of a human lies what they do to come out the other side …

    What bad things happens to people is often out of their control, only thing people have control over is their attitude. They’re free to say “woe is me, look at me, I’m a victim” that’s real easy to do and is often enabled in our culture. Or they can say “I’m getting past this” and then do it. Bitterness is poisonous, it infects people and affects everyone around them. It’s not easy to break that cycle, it takes strength of will.

    All my best.

    • dannyfrom504 says:

      thank you RA.

      best to you hermano

      • just visiting says:

        @ RA and Danny

        Everything can be taken from a man or a woman but one thing: the last of human freedoms to choose one’s attitude in any given set of circumstances, to choose one’s own way.
        Viktor E. Frankl

        • dannyfrom504 says:

          JV- trust me, i have PTSD from all the human dismemberment and trauma i’ve worked with. i’ve seen more people die than i care to remember. the nightmares stopped about 7-8 years ago. i’m amazed i’m as well adjusted as i am.

          shit that i blacked out as a kid that i really can’t even recall the actual event….the human mind blocks it out for a reason.

          but the blood, that never goes away. ask Dogsquat.

      • just visiting says:

        I couldn’t even to begin to imagine. The horror of seeing the blood and dismemberment ….I can only hope that I’m fortunate enough in this lifetime to not have to find out what that’s like. Though that means such responsibilities have fallen on people like you. And the memories. Saying “thank you” seems so trite. But it’s heartfelt, all the same.

  8. Danny,

    Kudos to you for overcoming such a traumatic event in your life.
    How courageous of you to be able to speak freely of something which is undoubtedly painful to think of and talk about.

    I believe abuse is a definite deal-breaker, yes. Perhaps even more than infidelity?
    Of course, like you, I am no expert on marriage though.
    One thing’s for sure: Because there are so many ‘frivolous’ divorces nowadays, it is easy to forget that there are some very legitimate reasons for two people to walk away from each other.

  9. Gwen says:

    My story is a litle like yours, except that my mother stayed with him for nearly 30 years after going back to him. I didn’t know until after their divorce (which he instigated) that she left him when I was a baby. But, she wanted to save him, so…

    I think it’s just as well. As bad as my father is, he does have some internal restrictions. Not much, but some. My mom is very weak, otoh, and has roughly the same good judgement as a dodo. I have no doubt she would have gotten us into an even worse situation.

    One of the things that had a positive impact on me was a poem I read when I was a teen. “Each is given a bag of tools, a shapeless mass, a book of rules, and each must make, ere life has flown, a stumbling block or stepping stone.”

    I realized I had the power to make my experiences serve me, and to keep them from destroying me. It’s not the only strategy I’ve used, but. it was the first and still is one of the best for whatever bad times happen.

  10. Jacquie says:

    I found the link to this on your ‘best of’ page and the story hit home for me. I know about the blackouts; some memories have become clear, most stay away. I don’t talk to my mom, don’t want her in my life. I carried too much of my childhood for too long in my adult life, I know this. Wish I had learned a lot more much earlier, but thankful for what I learned recently. I love your victim or viking mentality. I guess that’s about where I am moving toward now. I’m not angry anymore. I understand now that what I lived through and watched growing up was a messed up situation where I had no control. Letting it go has helped make my marriage much better also. I learned what a truly healthy relationship is.

    Thank you for writing this. I know it couldn’t have been the easiest post to write.


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