I’ve shied away from sharing much in the way of many details on how I grew up. It’s become apparent to me though that, like with my illness journey, I need to share as much as possible. It will help me to explain more about myself and my illnesses in the long run.
This isn’t just for me, but for others who have lived through similar situations. They need to know they’re not alone.
I was born to a single mother who was not ready to be a mother, as many mothers are. The fact that she was raised in an abusive household herself does not go unnoticed… and yet, it is not to be seen as an excuse either.
I remember being beaten during potty training for having accidents. To this day, I hate going to the bathroom when people can hear me because I feel as though I’ll be judged or harmed. Yes, I realize I’m 27. My brain doesn’t care.
My sister was born before I turned four, a product of a relationship gone wrong once again. My mother went into a deep depression for which she never got treatment post-partum. She was horrible to Kelsey from the start, ignoring her cries out of spite while pampering me. She tried to make me in her image, trying to dye and perm my hair by the time I was four years old.
By the time I was in kindergarten and had gotten sick, this gap in treatment grew. There is always a gap between a very sick sibling and the others, but this was different. My sister’s maladies were ignored altogether. Since my mother believed that the MMR vaccine caused the onset of my SJIA, neither of us received other vaccines under my mother’s care. From the time I was seven on, neither my sister nor I received dental or medical care of any kind – not when we had abscesses, wisdom teeth, or more.
That alone is enough to warrant the way I feel about my mother, that she would medically neglect an SJIA child… It gets worse.
In addition to the neglect, my mother and grandmother both beat my sister horribly. I’ve mentioned a few times incidents with a belt and my mother. They used her to do things like deep clean the bathroom by giving her positive feedback only on those things.
To add to that, they “ran” a daycare. When my mother was home, she did crafty things while I wound up molested by one of the other children. My sister suffered this repeatedly. As a result of all this, my sister acted out a lot. Negative attention was basically all that she got after all.
Oh, and we didn’t go to school. I was pulled out about a month into first grade and my sister never went… not until fourth grade. We didn’t get social skills and interactions with children our own age. By the time we were allowed to go to school (in my case, again), we had missed out on the foundations of an education.
They’ll tell you, my mother and grandmother, that they taught us.
They did jack shit.
I was given quizzes based on shows on the History channel for the first few months, written by my mother… who also had me write a paper on why Hitler was an amazing man.
I’m not kidding.
After that time, she stopped helping and I did everything to TEACH MYSELF from history to math to playing the piano. I did start in eighth grade doing very well, though interacting more with the teachers and smart kids than others. That was fine for me at least.
My sister was bullied constantly. She started speaking with a counselor about it and spoke too much about other things for my mother’s liking. We were told that we were going to be taken away from mother if sis kept speaking to this woman.
It’s a shame because it really did help her.
One day, my mother had me come with her to visit her boyfriend at the time two hours away. It’s worth noting that this man was married at the time he started dating my mother. She found out within five months and continued to date him, using the wife’s endometriosis as an excuse to keep going (which is just such bullshit as someone who knows and loves to many with that disease). He made a million jokes inappropriately about me and to me in front of her and she thought nothing of it.
This wasn’t the first time we’d visited, but my sister was at a sleepover so it was the first time I would visit alone with my mother. By the end of the night, she wanted to stay there. Instead of staying at his house, my mother got a ONE BED hotel room.
She had sex with him right next to me, without giving a shit about whether or not I was asleep.
I laid awake, freaked the fuck out and wanting to just die.
It got worse.
He sexually assaulted me.
It took me six weeks to tell her, long after bruises had gone. Her initial reaction was to question if I even knew what I was saying. That couldn’t have happened.
I laid awake that night too, crying again because my mother failed to believe me.
She kept fucking him long after she knew.
Sis saw him try to kiss me at one point when mother forced us to stay the night there again, this time while the wife was there with an elaborate story about being a coworker’s family. Only when sis shared did mother believe.
She still kept treating us like shit. The neglect kept happening. The emotional abuse kept happening.
At one point, my grandmother tried to hit my sister in front of friends I had. That gave me the strength to grab the phone and dial 9-1 – threatening to finish it off. Of course, that was to her an overreaction.
See, my grandmother was the worst offender in number of times she abused my sister. Once, I helped hide sis when we were very young. Grandmother asked me why sis was scared and I said something along the lines of ‘because you’re big and fat and scary and hurt her a lot.’ That was met with the same incredulity.
There is much more I could share especially into my teenage years – how my mother’s current husband and her commit fraud against the state of Wisconsin, how they’ve broken laws and then been upset when people rightfully need help, how this man feels the need to prove that he has a penis to anyone who might challenge his ideas, words, or thoughts.
This man, a tea partier in nature, has pushed my mother to live up to the worst of her potential. She began to be emotionally abusive even more to my sister’s daughter shortly before sis & fam moved out of that house.
I refused to see sis stuck there. I refused to see Missy grow up as we grew up.
So what does this all mean for right now?
I have 10+ medical conditions, almost all of which I’ve had for my entire life but am just finally getting taken care of. I’m dealing with structural issues with my body that could’ve been prevented, as is sis.
Sis and I need thousands upon thousands of medical and dental treatment. I’m lucky to have a good job with adequate insurance. Sis does not.
We both need and have needed a ton of therapy due to our anxiety, depression, and post-traumatic stress disorder from growing up with our mother.
This is a post that is all over the place. I know it may not make sense to some or all. After today, after sis needing emergency dental care that will cost far too much for her, I couldn’t wait anymore. I needed to get this out and get so much of this told.
If my mother is reading this despite the cease and desist letter sent to her, I hope that she knows how horribly she screwed up. There are many things I hope for her, but they’re all negative and not the types of things that one should share aloud about another human being – even if they’re completely inhuman and inhumane in all action and thought. I know that I’ll never talk to her again, but I knew that when she uninvited herself to my wedding. I also know that she won’t care about anything I say, using that same old adage about me exaggerating and misunderstanding everything.
But I know the truth about things that happened. Now, you do too.
If you’ll excuse me, I have cheesecake and wine to finish.