I suppose now would be a good time to take a little stroll down memory lane, not that we weren’t already doing so with my experiences in YDC, of which there remain many stories to tell. Rather, I would like to explain the abusive dynamic between my Mother and I in greater detail to bring a slightly better understanding to how we arrived in the courtroom, not speaking, on that fateful day back in July 2000. Until the age of 14, I had served as my Mother’s closest friend and confidant as she abused, slandered, and ridiculed my Father with wild fantasies of imagined threat and harm (“He’s going to kill us all!”). Their marriage lasted a miraculous 25 years, a union which produced two daughters. I was the youngest by 8 years; basically an only child. l was reminded by my Mother on a daily basis, whether implicitly or explicitly, that my Father could notbe trusted, that somewhere behind that kind, gentle persona lied a wild, vicious, killer.
My gut never agreed with her indoctrination, yet I felt it was my duty to protect her. I became obsessed with the idea that she would be harmed, usually in a car accident, and I wanted to make sure that I would be there so that I would die, too. If I couldn’t be there, I would send a stuffed animal in my place, with the understanding that as long as the stuffed animal was there, it would be just as if I was in the back seat. This practice continued well into middle school. As the marriage began to completely come apart, I was dragged to marriage counseling sessions, some as far as an hour away, where I would often sit in the waiting room and watch Family Matters while preparing myself for the hell that was the ride home. Mom used the sessions to gain knowledge to use as ammunition against my Father. She used terms she learned to pelt him with her newfound proof that he was sick and that he “had a problem.” She was not working to fix their marriage- she was working to destroy my Father and sound good doing it.
Once, a particularly apt counselor seemed to get a little too close to the truth after listening to their problems. He casually asked my Mother after a few sessions if she had ever been sexually abused, or molested as a child. She denied it, and they never returned. As Mom crawled deeper into the Men are from Mars, Women are from Venus self-help black hole that constituted the late 90s, she became the self-appointed mental health home expert. She got a prescription for Prozac, and soon she was ready for divorce.
And boy was she angry. Mom was always angry. She got a fat attorney from out of town and took my Father’s entire inheritance. Still, she was angry. Soon, her anger would have a new direction, and while she couldn’t force Dad to go to different doctors for his “problems,” she could certainly force her 13 year old daughter. And this would be how I ended up lactating in art class.