- My relationship with my mom was sometimes loving but these times were short lived and never consistent. I was always looking for more affection and feeling disappointed whenever she would choose other things over me like going out to the bars and drinking with my dad. When I was younger she used to always kiss me on the mouth when she said goodbye and sometimes she would laugh at me when I was upset like it was cute.
- I was frustrated when my mom would leave me to sit in the car alone in the dark while she and my dad sat in the bar and drank. I also had these feelings when she made fun of me for being scared to go to the doctor and get my cast taken off and while I was crying she took a picture of me and put it in our photo album – not sure why she did that but she thought it was hilarious. She would go out a lot at night with my dad to the bars to drink and then come home and fight, I was always frustrated that she wouldn’t stay home.
- My mom enabled me by always giving in and letting me have my way as a child. She may even threaten to spank me 4 or 5 times, not follow through with the punishment and then give me what I wanted. I was called a spoiled brat by my brother and a couple of my older sisters. Brat Girl was the nickname that Susie gave me. So my mom enabled me to become a spoiled brat and then constantly called me names such as brat and then constantly gave into my tantrums and gave me what I wanted. One time she threatened to give me to an orphanage. I remember one time me and a friend stole bathing suits when she brought us to town for school clothes shopping. When we got to our motel room my mom asked where we got them and then she guessed that we stole them and then she told me to be careful and not get caught. I didn’t even get in trouble. I have been quite angry about this and resented her for not instilling accountability and self discipline.
- My relationship with my mom was confusing at times. She could be quite nasty and rude to me in her communication but when company came around she would act really nice. I remember one time when I was 5 years old and I had a friend over and she told me she thought my mom was so nice. I let her know that she’s only nice in front of people and that my mom really didn’t love me. My mom was listening in and she burst into the room and made my friend go home and screamed at me and made me sit in my room as punishment. She never reassured me that what I thought wasn’t true.
- My relationship with my mom was full of criticisms. I remember how she use to complain that I was too skinny and that I didn’t look healthy. I also have seen her point out the flaws of my daughter as well, such as her nose and pot belly. It strikes me as odd considering she is very overweight herself.
- I was fearful of my father. He was very unpredictable in his responses and I can remember being caught off guard by him a couple of times and receiving a whack to the head or a spanking that knocked me to the ground. One evening before bed when I was about 5 years old he was using the bathroom with the door open and I happened to walk by. I thought it was funny how he was standing up to go pee and I remember laughing. Then I walked away and shortly after he came out he said to me, “Guess what?” and I said “what?” and he spanked me so hard with one hand that I fell to the ground. Then he said, “That’s what!” Apparently he had seen me spying – he never said anything else and I could see that my mom was alarmed but she just put me to bed.
- My father was a manipulative drunk. He would get me out of bed late at night sometimes and make me sit on his lap while he explained what an amazing man he was. He would also call my mom names and then say “right?” to me as to get my agreement. He would say that forcefully until I answered and I knew I had to answer in agreement. He would do this in front of my mom. I would agree because I was so scared of him but I always felt guilty because I didn’t agree. Sometimes he would cry and tell me how he made a mistake in leaving his first wife and that it was my mom’s fault. I would get him tissue and sometime I would cry with him when I was younger.
- My experience around my father was sometimes traumatic. I remember listening to him beat up my mom while I would sit in my room and feel helpless. One time when I was 14 years old I chose to do something about it when I heard my mom tell him she should shoot him. I ran into their room to find my mom naked and bloody and holding a loaded pistol on him. He had ripped her nightgown off accusing her of wearing one of his work shirts because it was a plaid pattern that matched. I plead with her to give me the gun to which she did and I held it on my father. I intended to pull the trigger so this whole nightmare could be over but in the moment I couldn’t do it. Instead my mom gathered her things and the car keys and we left the house that night and returned in the morning. As usual life went on as if it never happened.
- Stockholm syndrome is a term that describes sympathetic feelings of captives towards their captors. While I wasn’t in a scenario where I was kidnapped, I definitely felt captive since I had no were to turn and escape the situation. At times I had sympathetic feelings towards my father and sometimes would start to feel negatively towards my mom for causing him so much heartache even though he was the one causing the terror.
- I engaged in obsequious behavior with my father. This means that I was overly attentive to what I thought he needed in order to be happy. My thought process was that if he is happy then he will stop drinking and stay home and become a good father and husband to my mom. I remember during the rare occasions we would play cards as a family, I would sit to his right so I could try and figure out which cards he needed so he could win. I figured if he won then that would make him happy and he would want to do things like this more often.