Sara Whitman

Christmas Exorcism Part II

Filed By Sara Whitman | December 26, 2007 12:58 PM | comments

Filed in: Living
Tags: Christmas, family history, issues, LGBT families

I'm sick of it. I want it over. I want it gone. I am no longer a little girl. I am a parent. I am the mom. I don't want my kids to be writing this essay in twenty years, "and then my mom, unable to let go of the past..." I want them to have the joy I never did.

Screw joy, I just want them to have some semblance of normal. Of waking up too early, opening gifts, eye rolling at ugly gifts and then, before the sun is up, it's over. A day about them, not about my doom and gloom.

After all these years, that's what Christmas means to me. A single, once a year shot at family love that is destined to fail. I've long since given up trying with my family of origin. My father is still alive, somewhere and can burn in hell as far as I'm concerned. The unmentioned sibling remains unmentioned. My sister and I are close but we've carved out new traditions in an attempt to wash away the past etched on us like tattoos.

I want my family to be happy on June 6th. And February 20th. And a lot of other days in between. The china comes out when a crowd gathers for Sunday night dinner. Or Thursday night dinner. Or not at all and we eat on paper plates watching the Red Sox together.

My mother is dead now. There is no one left to please. No more family to pretend to be, no more forced smiles.

I always felt alone while doing my dance as a child. It was me and me alone that could make everything better. I'm sure each of my siblings thought the same; it’s the nature of being a child of an alcoholic. I never expected, after the final act, I would feel so abandoned.

Enough already. I have a full house, a full heart. The Fates only win if I let them. I need to take off the shawl of misery because it doesn't fit anymore.

It can't fit anymore.

Otherwise, my kids will end up chasing after the same unachievable dream of making their mother happy.

I may not be able to break all the cycles I grew up with, but I will break a few. My children will never be physically or sexually abused by their relatives. They will not feel responsible for my happiness or my sadness.

I will never be drunk in front of them.

And they will always remember me holding them.

Okay, that was REALLY depressing. Please remember? I’m sipping a pina colada in Costa Rica right now.



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Sometimes the answer lies in forgivingness. when we forgive someone who has wrongs us it gives us the opportunity to lay down the burden that we carry from that abuse.

My father was selfish and abusive. selfish in the sense that all the family resources save what he couldn't get away with went to feed his racing career. People who are really good at anything are selfish at heart that is how they get really good at what they are doing. Take it from someone who knows, someone who throughout a twenty year electronics career could count her equals and superiors on one hand. I carried the anger i held toward my father around for decades. My father also wanted his sons to be men and his daughter to be a woman. The joke was on him. my sister who also discovered the prize for being selfish was a college baseball player. She started when she was eight. She was in GSA She took our father's name as her nickname. She played until she was nearly 43. So my father couldn't figure why his daughter acted like a man and his oldest son wanted to be a woman. My brother who is half as smart as Homer Simpson, is really the family black sheep.

The joke was really on my parents all along.

Although it came late for me, my chains were finally cut by my girlfriend showing me the way.

She is TS and her stepfather abused her all her life while her mother just stood by and let it all happen. She holds no ill will toward them because she has forgiven them for being who they are.

I have done the same and harbor no ill will towards my parents. unfortunately they are who they are, for whatever reason. All we can do is survive their guardianship forgive them set new boundaries as adults and get on with our lives in peace.

Take care

Sara, I know you've been told this before, but here are some cliches, plattitudes, that happen to be true.

Your mother has only the power over you that you choose to give her. Being dead, she can't even fight back.

Your parents should have been infallible godlike creatures. They weren't, to state the obvious. Neither are you to your kids, though unlike your parents, you try to be.

Some parents are rather less than usually human, and you drew those. I wish it were otherwise. Yet you've shown them, by being a far better parent than either of them were. Whether you forgive them or not makes no difference to them, but it might make a difference to you. And deciding not to forgive, or being unable to forgive, doesn't make you any less of a good person. Sometimes even seeing people as human, fallible, and so on, they're still pieces of ambulatory offal who were wastes of oxygen when they were alive. It's easier on the soul to forgive, but some things can't be forgiven, nor forgotten. They can be neautalised though so they don't keep on hurting.

So forgive if you can, because it's simpler, but if not, bugger them. They don't deserve any more of your valuable time.

Finally, you're doing pretty well, venting like this. You were hurt in a way no child should be, and the damage is still there. You're healing though, taking charge of your own destiny. By writing this out, you get rid of some of the excess psychological baggage "no longer wanted on voyage". Thanks for trusting us enough to play a small part in your self-healing. Next Christmas there will be less of this crap bollixing up your life, and one day, none. Because you made it so.

I wish I was better at expressing myself. You'd think I would be by now, I'm on plenty of TS support sites and have heard things that outrage and nauseate me. Real sick-making stuff. But be it physical, emotional, sexual or other cruelty, the hurt is the same, and so is the healing.

I do what I can to extend a helping hand, to let people know that they're not alone in their feelings, even give concrete examples, people who have healed from this kind of abuse. Just to show that healing is not just possible, but inevitable. That Hope is not some Pollyanna-ish impossibility, but objectively justified. You will heal, the only thing that varies is the time it takes. I think you'll take less time than most, but I can't guarantee that. I just want to let you know that other people are there for you, you're not the only one that this has happened to, and you don't have to go through this painful healing process alone. Pain shared is pain halved, joy shared is joy doubled, remember?

Hugs, and a Happy New Year, Zoe

I feel obligated to point out that the Exorcism posts were scheduled ahead of time to run while Sara is on vacation in Costa Rica. She wasn't kidding in the post. She's off sunning and playing on the beach. :)

That said, we can't take the pain away, Sara. But we can help you share the burden.