An orphan in the middle of a family…..

Have you or do you feel like you are the only one alive that acknowledges you ever existed, or that you matter at all? Have you let go of toxic family and those who choose to speak against you as you tell the truth of your life? Do you feel the heavy isolation around you, especially during the holidays? Are you the one like me who, as an empty nester, have no friends from the past or family you connect with at all?

It was very sad as I helped my dear true love with the passing of his last living parent today. It brought up tons of emotions for me and I felt so selfish discussing them with him, but I couldn’t hold back the tears.

It was and is wonderful to see his friends from school and his younger days of fun and hanging out, all reach out to comfort him. It was such a tender moment to see all those that cared and were concerned of his wellbeing.

Then there is me……

You see the kids are all grown and moved away, on with their lives as kids become adults and follow the cycle of life. It’s all good to see them in their days of laughter with their family and having those moments of joy with their children. It is beautiful to watch it grow.

About four years ago I cut off the connection with my mother; the toxic parent of my past. I was the only child born between her and my father, but sadly when I was five and she married the devil; she allowed the monster to control and cut off any and all communication with my dad and his family. Not until I was eighteen and my grandfather passed, was I permitted to have letters or talk on the phone with any of them. It was an instant and complete dissection.

There was a brother I grew up with from her first marriage; she had left her other two boys with their dad when she ran off to marry his best friend, which was my dad. She took her youngest boy of the three, who was only six months old; married Dad and then had me. In the marriage with the devil, the two of them had a daughter. As the three of us all grew up in the alcoholic fueled dysfunction; the severe rage, violence, sexual attacks and neglect were all directly aimed at only me.  Not exactly sure of the why, but it is of no real concern I guess. I was the target of this madness and the others in my family knew, watched, heard, but they too were only children. Mother doesn’t count because she only saw me as her housekeeper, cook, babysitter, and caregiver; a replacement for when she didn’t feel like doing her duty as a parent or wife.

So not to confuse you, there were three boys my mother had, then me, then my younger sister. Dad remarried and he had three daughters and a son. I’ve only met the daughters once a very long time ago at Grandpa’s funeral. After the funeral however, I never heard from any of those relatives again. Thankfully I finally tracked down my dad and shared about four or five phone calls over the long years, until about I was about 38, then he was taken by cancer. However, no one bothered to search me down and let me know. It was as if I never existed. When I found an uncle about 10 years ago and he let me know Dad was gone, I spent the night curled up like a baby in bed crying like I had just seen him in the casket.

Now here I am, turning 50 next Friday, and I’m looking at my life; especially since publishing ‘My Justice’ and finally being able to speak the truth of all that happened. It is heartbreaking to see that my kids still deal with the emotional impact of living in the pattern of acceptance in my relationships. Believe me, if you don’t think your kids will be impacted by the violent attacks between you and your partner, the ongoing court and custody issues, the crying, yelling and begging for mercy; you need to then talk with an Adult Survivor of this type of family violence. You will clearly see and understand how it always passes forward to invade the next generation, even when you do all you can to keep it from them.

Don’t get me wrong the kids are not a total mess, but they are hurting in relationships and child rearing; this is clearly because of all they were forced to deal with and accept as normal in their world.

So moving on …….

It is hard to accept that I have all of these blood related siblings out in this world, a total of eight. There are some of whom I’ve reached out to and even directly emailed. All the blood cousins out there related on my dad’s side of the family, whom I’ve never met, but have also reached out to communicate; all of these blood relatives and NONE OF THEM WANT TO EVEN ACKNOWLEDGE THAT I’M ALIVE!!!

They don’t know me!! Many have never met me!! As much as I have tried reaching out through networking sites; still no one I’ve found has responded or shown any interest in getting acquainted!!!

It is extremely painful. Marjorie, my therapist, and I have been working on this for a while. We have come to the conclusion that even the abuse and neglect that I endured, the complete shunning from any relatives and family; it is all connected TO THE ORPHAN IN THE MIDDLE OF A FAMILY!!!

Of course, it is during the holidays when this bothers me the most. Now with the kids all out on their own, Robbie’s parents gone, knowing it is just he and I moving forward, as he is my Angel and Saving Grace; it is still so tearfully lonely.

It makes me long for some form of connection to my past existence; a friend, a relative, anyone who is willing to accept me as I am today, but be amazed because of what was then. It would be comforting to have a call from a friend or a message or card to say, “We know you and we also knew you then”

“Why do they all turn away? Why do they all act as if I’ve got the plague? Why do they act as if they’ve never heard of me? What did I ever do to be so completely shunned?”

It’s depressing to know I have all these blood siblings, but when God chooses to take me home; there will be no one there to connect with my children. No one related to me they can turn to. No one who will comfort their loss and be their friend; their connection to their Mom. My children are still paying the price for what others have done. This I cannot understand and it leaves my soul with a heavy  darkness.

“How can we, the children of the parents that once were, knowing what was and how it all got so screwed up; how is it my children will pay the heavy burden of complete doneness when that time comes?”

I know that many have walked away from toxic family; have you anyone from your past that acknowledges your existence? Do you feel that heavy isolation still encircling all that you are? How can we simply brush it away without ever feeling so completely abandoned?

As heartfelt and tender as it was to witness all Robbie’s friends reach out to comfort him, I was surrounded by the dark thoughts of NOTHINGNESS!!!

Nothing and no one who is blood or history related to be in my present existence. We build family from the virtual friends from across the world, but does it really ever replace that sense of loss. Unfortunately for me it is still a work in progress and acceptance. I am who I am! The strength I have comes from what was. The knowledge I’ve learned I share to help others. The pain I’ve carried is almost healed. The shattered soul is almost repaired. “How can I complete the puzzle and put the emotions in place without having anyone around that validates all that has been?”

My hope is one day I will get there. I am on the other side of all the tragedy, but this is something much deeper than all those years of violence, evil, and scarring neglect. This is my DNA, it is what makes my ‘Six Degrees of Separation’ from all of those who should be connected.

Should you feel this heavy darkness and complete abandonment by those related, build on what you have, enjoy the moments you can, connect with the life you have in the present, then let Creator and His wonder handle the rest. My best for the holidays and beyond to each and all of you!!!

Find comfort in your strength to endure 🙂

(c)Patricia A. McKnight

Author/Advocate/Speaker/Blogger/Radio Host/Survivor

‘My Justice’

Blasting Away the Brittle Edges……

For the many who may be dealing with those connections to toxic family members, the ones who do not have the empathy to even share a single drop of emotion for your pain; I would like for you to take out the power sword and blast away the brittle edges left by their senseless attempts at breaking through our barriers of strength. We have our defenses on, we are no longer the children who cried for their help; we are now the ones who hold the magic and although we may not smooth out all of the brokeness within, we will succeed at being our own protectors. Not cold, but disenchanted by their attempts to gain access to our castles.

The day started out pretty good for me today, but then it happened. My phone rang and I recognized the number from a call I had received the other day. It was her, It was ‘Mother’!!!

About 4 years ago I cut off contact with her. It was a must do situation. There is way too much darkness attached to her and being around her, even hearing her voice, used to send my emotions reeling into a panicked frenzy, but not today. It was like a strength that slowly crept up through the depth of my guts and into my heart and then throughout the limbs.

I really found that I was past all this emotional response to her actions. Many times I’ve just shut out her messages, mainly because that voice cuts through to my soul and leaves the jagged edges behind.

I tell myself, “Remember it was her that ALLOWED the rot, the beatings, the molestation, the rapes. She never asked a question or said a word in defense of the child “He” was destroying; building into his own private little whore.”

So as my world got rocked again today, it took a few minutes but I was able to blast away the brittle edges left by the sound of her voice in my phone. It’s not that I answered, it did go to voice mail, but then I listened. Bink told me not to, he warned me I’d get worked up and at first it did just that, a sudden little fleet of panic struck in, but just as quick it was conquered by a sense of knowing what I’m doing and what I did by publishing my story was exactly what needed to be done.

She almost had me exactly where she wanted me though. I couldn’t believe she had threatened me and called Authorhouse to rant and rave about the book. She even ordered them to cancel the publication. This just goes to show the mentality of  “Mother”. She recognizes no one’s pain but her own. She ignores the arms that reached out for her to hold me, simply give me her approval and act like she loved me.

So instead of allowing myself to get geared into a panic and fury over what she had tried to do, I took a breath, had a cigarette and returned to my cleaning. As I was vacuuming the ceilings, washing the fans, cleaning the windows; it suddenly dawned on me that the rough brittle edges left by her messages and the sound of her voice, were all falling away. I was able to blast them away without any emotion left behind.

I’m not angry over the message or her actions, as I said it just shows the mentality of the woman I used to call “Mother”.

I’m not crying from her attempt once again to slash at my spirit and break down all that I’ve been building these past few years.

I’m not feeling any sense of loss or grieving over not having the bond that I used to hope we would somehow find together.

I am still standing, I am still strong, I am still determined, I am still continuing on my journey, brushing the dust away from the NOW smoothed curves of my soul. I am amazed at me!!!

This is what I’ve been hoping to achieve. The absolute power I have to erase the mere thought of her attempts to break in once again. This is a very powerful feeling, very invigorating, very encouraging. I am no longer the child clinging to the hopes that one day she would be strong enough to share these words to the daughter she left to grow up in hell; “I’m Sorry”.

She is much to focused on her and when she read a bit of the book, she couldn’t even have a heart to show compassion for the child who struggled so hard to live. She didn’t acknowledge the fights with “Him” to just be a kid rather than be subjected to his evil disgust. She was merely worried about people recognizing the towns we lived in, the houses we lived in. Actually one bit was, “I have friends and they remember me picking up the dirty clothes from your floor and out of your drawer, do you want people to know that about you?”

Ok Folks, Up until I was about 11 and old enough to work a washing machine and dryer, guess who says she used to dig out my clothes and dress me appropriately? I’ve got a fourth grade school photo, that shows the teeth caked with plaque. It also shows the hair greasy and unkept, the clothes are wrinkled and if I remember correctly they we actually a bit small. This is the truth “Mother” feels I should be ashamed of myself for; unbelievable!!! Out of the first bit of the book she read, which with her message had to be at least the first five chapters or so; this is what she picks out as a problem!!!

To this I must say, “She still doesn’t see that anything was wrong in our house.” For those of you who have read a bit about my history or even seen what I share each day as an advocate, now “Mother” has become just another sociopath with a narcissistic personality who permitted atrocities within her home, to her daughter, but believes she is still carrying the power to control. This will never happen again!!!

My castle has become strong. I enjoy my life, I love what I do and feel comforted in knowing that many have read “My Justice”, even those from my past, and have come to let me know that I empower them to keep fighting their way through. Here it is everyone!!! We may indeed be a bit broken, but we are in control and now we have the power to either accept them into our lives on our terms or disengage from them either slightly or completely.

Never let the abusers of our past destroy the castles of strength we build today. We control the drawbridge!!