If you're new here, welcome! I hope you'll stick around. I have to say a HUGE thank you to Tara over at YKIHAYHT for writing Find What Fills Your Soul. Thank you, Tara for inspiring me to write and do what fills my soul. If you haven't read her post, head over and read it. You'll be inspired too.
So. December and January pretty much sucked this year. You may want to read One Last Question if you missed it for some back story to the back story. FYI: She died.
I have vague, but mostly fond memories with my Gramma - my mother's mother. These memories were almost
always somewhere other than her house. I have very few memories of actually being IN her house
with her. Weird. I remember having to stand in the entryway for what seemed like hours when we stopped at her house to visit. I cannot remember one single time where my parents and my sister and I sat together inside my Gramma's house. Not one meal at her house together as a family. Not one holiday. Not even one.
Over the past 5 years, I've learned things that explained a lot. My parents rarely said anything derogatory about my Gramma in front of us kids. Like almost never. I assumed they had nothing to say. As it turns out, there was a LOT to say. They just shielded us from the details, maybe so we wouldn't think poorly of her. Or maybe because back then, no one really "talked about things." And maybe it was embarrassment. One of the biggest reasons many victims of abuse don't speak up is because of their feelings of shame and embarrassment.
So my sister and I never heard the stories about how my uncle stole money from his blind father. Or the time when he cleaned out the cash box from his aunt's hair salon and my Gramma covered for him. Or how my Grampa slept in the basement on a folding bed and got up at 3 AM just so he could be awake when my Gramma wasn't. Or how one time a neighbor came over and broke the broom that my Gramma was using to hit my mother with. Or how she would make my mother clean the entire house or sit on the step for f*cking hours as a punishment for being home late because my mom wasn't allowed to use the car. She might scratch it or something.
I never heard those stories or the other ones that still have yet to be told.
I've contemplated all of this for the past month. Didn't I realize just how dysfunctional our relationship with gramma was? Why didn't I notice? Why didn't I talk about it with my family? Maybe for the same reasons my parents never told us those things before.
In a way, my gramma died a long time ago. On the inside.
So now I question my story here. Are these details of my life things I want to have my blogging friends know about? Should my children ever know? Do these details belong here? Aren't I supposed to be funny? Like always? Isn't that what people come here for?
Tara wrote, "If you have something that you are proud of, you want the world to see it." Most of everything else I write here is to entertain others and myself. I'm proud of my stories. I like to laugh and I like to make other people laugh too. But this is not a story I am proud of. This is a story that sucks ass and is depressing.
So WHY do I feel compelled to write about THIS? Because it fills my
soul. Because it allows me to put the thoughts in
my head on paper. Or at least in black and white. To breathe life into
"...this isn’t a job, it’s a hobby. Because it gives me an outlet and that outlet has helped me to realize that I am not alone. Because it has given me the ability to make people smile. The ability to make a difference. The ability to be a positive light and add some laughter into someone’s day."
That's what I try to do. Every day. Add some laughter. Share the bright
side with someone. But sometimes, I tell a story to make a difference.
Sometimes it's to change my own views. Sometimes I tell a story just to
share it. To get it out of my head and be stronger because of it. I truly hope the stories I share
will make a difference to someone. And I can't keep them to myself.
I have to tell them. I have to tell them all. For myself, my sister, and my mother. Especially for my mother. But also for anyone else who has experienced abuse. There is so much peace to know it's not just "your" family. Your comments on my post about the reading of the will were so kind and encouraging. And I didn't feel alone. A lot of you shared similar stories and tweets.
There is NO SHAME in being a victim. Of any kind. And I plan to write that letter to my Gramma. To ask that final question. To have that final conversation with her. To try to understand that which makes zero sense to me. I doubt I'll get an answer from her though. But maybe she'll see the link on Twitter. Or Facebook. I mean, the Pope uses social media. And Jesus too. But I'm not entirely sure either of them have run into Gramma, if you know what I mean.