Friday, November 28, 2008

What Happens In The Home Stays In The Home

Dear Zane,

I know you get people that write you all the time talking about how they love your books and all but I really do!! I feel as if I have a connection with your characters because of my childhood….
I grew up in the South and my mother instilled in my three sisters and me the old saying, that what happens in the home, stays in the home. I feel as if that saying handicapped us. My mom would date man after man after man, from the time that we were babies until our late teens. We had to witness to her many beatings by whomever she would play house with at the time. My oldest sister was supermodel fine all of her life so my mother’s men would take advantage of her body and when she told my mom, she denied it and called her a bitch.

My mom used to make us go over her “God-dad” house and he molested us all…I was 8 then. I was raped at 10. And aside from the encounters that we had with these strange men, if my mother wasn’t getting beat, or her men weren’t finding reasons to play daddy and beat us, she was doing the beating.

I don’t know if my childhood was a curse or a disguised blessing because although I suffered from low self-esteem from being called ugly and told that all I would be was a piece of ass to anyone from the asshole who raped me for four years of my life, I now know my worth. I have graduated from college with two degrees, and am working on my Master’s (got two classes to go), all at the tender age of 23. I really think that I’ve had one real encounter with love; even though I have had two serious relationships where I have confessed love but when I look back on them, there is no way that I loved one but I did the other.

I have male friends that I would love to be with romantically but they only see me as their “friend” and I think that it has a lot to do with my childhood story, guys don’t want to hurt someone that has been through that much in their lifetime nor do they want to feel the need to care for them either. I have never acted as if I need a guy to care for me because I feel that I can do for myself but it would be nice to find the man that complements me, you know, the one that completes me and I him, and guys are intimidated because I don’t have the “men ain’t shit” attitude because of what I’ve been through.

I believe that they all deserve their own chance to live up to who they are or live down to who they try to be. And in these times it’s hard to find a guy that truly talks and walks in the same direction!!

But I stated all of that to state this…I don’t think that I can forgive my mother because of her personality…Since my childhood she has become active in the church and has began volunteering with abused women and children but she still treats us like we are only “paychecks” to her. My twin’s and my father have paid her child support since we were young and even when we moved away to school she didn’t contribute to our education or living at all (with his checks), she gets taxes and all for us using her address just to attend school and again we get nothing but she preaches how we should forgive our past and this and that and never admit to her faults at all. I just need to know how I can forgive her. How can I keep the past from haunting my dreams? And could it be affecting my quest for love?

I can’t continue to live like this…

Signed,
Forgive or Not


Dear Forgive or Not,

You cannot change your past but I, for one, am extremely proud of your accomplishments at such a young age. You had many excuses to give up on life—and many people give up for a lot less—but you turned your suffering into a determination to succeed and that is the path you should continue to take. You cannot help your mother. She has made her bed and she will surely get her just due, sooner or later. In all honesty, abuse is a cycle and hopefully that cycle will be broken with you and your twin. What happened to you during your childhood is unforgivable. The one person who was supposed to be your greatest protector cause you the most harm.
Even though your mother has started volunteer work, until she rectifies herself with her children, that means close to nothing. If she is attending church, she should know that but maybe she does not. Being that she will not admit fault, she has not truly faced the ramifications of her actions. But you must forgive her. You will never forget but you must try to forgive. Otherwise, too much of your energy will be spent on negativity and not the positive things that are happening in your life.

As for men, it might certainly be affecting your quest for love but you said it yourself. By revealing too much about your past too early, you may be sending the wrong signals to men. While you are dealing with your molestation, a lot of men will shy away from a relationship with you if you bring it up early on. They may fear that you will never trust a man and that it would be too much work to try to get close to you. I am not saying that you should hide your past from whomever you end up with but I am saying do not discuss it right out of the gate.

I wish you nothing but the best and please continue to let me know what is going on with you.

Blessings,
Zane

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