Chapter 9

Al started spending more and more time at Grandmas. She lived on the same property as Mom and Dad did. In fact, the property was large enough that it held three houses and each house had a family member in it.

When Granddad passed away, Al was asked to go down and spend the nights with Grandma for a while to help ease her pain. He had no trouble with this request. He loved Grandma very much.

It didn’t take long before a routine developed. He would go to work each work day and then he would go home and shower and then head to her house and the two would eat supper together.

Suppers at our own house were never pleasant that I can remember. I can understand why Al went the other direction. At our house I could never put my finger on the problem. I know it really wasn’t us kids directly, but maybe it was and we didn’t realize it.

There was always tension, so thick you could cut it with a knife. If I wasn’t being forked in the elbow for bad manners, Dad was picking on Al for anything that came to his mind. I never remember Dad ever saying, good job Al, I know you did your best.

What I remember is, why can’t you ever do anything right? I tell you and tell you over and over. Do you have something wrong with your brain? Are you just plain stupid? I may as well have done it myself.

Through the years that I lived there when I was still growing up or even when I would drop over for a visit and end up eating a meal with them, this never changed. I used to say to myself, Well why don’t you just do it yourself then and leave him alone.

Mom would get all tense and nervous through these meals. Mom had a great outlook on life but Dad always ended up tearing it down. I don’t know if Dad meant to or even knew the stress he was causing.

I knew they had arguments behind bedroom doors. I hate to think that Dad was intentionally being mean. I think he felt so insecure about his own self he couldn’t stop it. Back then you didn’t run to the therapist for every problem. You fixed it or lived with it.

Mom worked the 8-5 job and although I cooked a lot of meals and tried my hardest to keep the house cleaned, it was never enough once we all sat down at the dining table. Our half-sister was the adorable one. She talked about school and what activities she was in. Conversations quickly turned to her to escape even more fog.

When I graduated from high school Mom and I weren’t the closest. I always knew that she and I had never bonded like moms and daughters should. I loved her the best I knew how, but she hurt me.

I pondered on what it would be like to have a Mom who really loved me and wanted me. I am not ever going to say that I didn’t cause grief for her. I think  most kids cause grief for their parents.

I moved out of the house and got to be one of those bratty kids according to my Mom because I didn’t remain at home. My Mom worked up town and I would sit across from her office on the courthouse lawn and watch her through the window.

Why did I do that, I don’t know for sure. I think now when I look back I wanted her to notice me. I wanted to make her feel as uncomfortable as she had made me feel. One summer day I was sitting on my favorite bench and I walked over to say hello to her when she got off of work.

I walked with her to the back alley where her car was parked. I don’t remember what transpired between her and I but I do remember those cutting words even today. I don’t know why you can’t be like your half-sister. She never gives me trouble like you do. But of course I could never love you as much as I do her. She is my only child.

Wow, what a blow to me that was. I think deep inside my gut I knew that was the way she felt about me but to hear the words. I wanted to run and hide under a big rock, I wanted to die right there on the spot.

I tried for years to forgive myself for ruining her life. It never worked. Then I blamed her thinking, Well no one forced you to marry into a ready-made family. Don’t blame me for this.

I wonder now as I write this if Al understood enough and felt the way I did. We were the extras. We were the baggage that came along. If she wanted to marry our Dad she  had to take us in to.

Mom told me one time a few years before she died, You understand Terry, why I could never adopt you and Al and legally be your Mom. I was always afraid of your real Mother coming back for you if she read or heard about it.

I can remember looking at my brother Al, and in my heart telling him, It’s not our fault bud. We didn’t ask for this. You and me, we belong together, we are real brother and sister. I love you bud.

Life for me became more dismal after she said that remark. It sliced so hard and deep that I still haven’t gotten over it today. While I am writing this, the pain instantly re-surfaces and I feel the deep ache of wanting to belong.

I have to believe that inside Al’s head today is masses of memories too difficult to deal with. They remain hidden and buried so deep that even  with all of the professional counselors I have had him to, nothing works.

Counselors do alright until they touch the subject of parents and Al flips out. I don’t mean slightly, I refer to him as a tornado. Dark and huge coming at you with daggers so sharp they would kill you.

The topic was always dropped when the professionals saw this. They usually dismissed him as a client also. We went through five therapists. The last one specialized in Adult Disabilities and she just knew she could help Al. But once again, when she approached the parent topic after having seen Al for one month, he exploded.

I never tried again after he was so outraged that the police were called and they had to calm him down by force. When I hear the word therapist today, I use every block I have within me to keep Al safe.

I know that he should get it out of his head, but I refuse to put him through hell ever again. God will deal with Al. God will protect him in the perfect way.  I do not have what it takes to approach this subject matter. When the nursing home came to me with the idea of someone speaking to Al, I stood tall like a fence and said

Bye granddad....



27 thoughts on “Chapter 9

  1. I’m so sorry for all the abuse you and Al went through. You didn’t deserve any of it, and it’s not your faults. There is no justifying your parents behaviours. My father said a similar thing to me, he asked me why I couldn’t be more like my sister. I said to him because I’m not her and she hasn’t been through what I have. Those words still cut deep today. Stupid abuse. xo


  2. Why do parents say such cruel things to their children? I will never understand it. Even when we grow up they can cut us to the quick with their words. In a tirade about my dad leaving her, and having nothing to show for her years of being married to my father, mother told me that,
    “…all four of us were accidents… she tried everything and still got pregnant… and that she never wanted any of us.” I was 24. It still hurts to think of it.

    Terry, I am sorry you were treated so badly.


    • that is a terrible thing for a mother to say. it hurts us deeply to hear our parents, the ones we lean on so heavily and trust with all our heart, when they speak like this. I will carry some left-overs for the rest of my life


  3. That was similar to one of the things that the Sociopath said to my daughter. That’s one of the many reasons I left. I’m sorry for what you have been through


  4. I sure hope you now know this was not your fault or issue–you (and Al) were the child and she CHOSE to be a parent. What a despicable thing to say and no wonder you can’t get it out of your head! I can relate to this a lot as I never bonded with my own mother, who my father didn’t divorce until I was 19. She’s as cold as ice and verbally abusive and likes to rub salt in my wounds. I even got this horrid genetic disease from her, but she’s on the mild-side! She chose to have children (she likes babies) when my father didn’t want any! Then my father had to be my parent–until he lost interest and I spent a lot of my college yrs raising my younger brothers. What can I say? Al obviously internalized all this–fascinating really, yet totally awful. I think you need a license to have children or become step-parents–even to adult children (dealt with my father’s histrionic ex-wife for 13 yrs, as well!). These stories are SO great, Terry. Keep up the good work and get it out! Big hugs!!!
    A ❤ (I hate to *like* these sad stories, but will here as I can relate to the mother issue)


    • I am not sure if I totally realize this isn’t Al and my fault. Dad wanted us quiet, and I bet we were not. Maybe I should have tried harder to get along with the new mom, but I don’t think I did. Most of the time she was a great step mom. She took good care of our needs. I think I always figured it was normal that she couldn’t love us like she did her daughter. Blood is blood, and we were the other kids. It still hurts today, and I wonder if I will ever truly heal from it. I believe this is why I always got so excited when I received that bowl in the inheritance. It came from true blood line


  5. I think it’s an unresolved issue, suffice to say. This is where I find counseling helpful (not always bad!). Some issues are so tangled and complex that a good MFT can help to unwind it all. I think of women who love abusive men due to x, y, and z and see patterns there. Well, when you are still pondering it after all these yrs, it makes me wonder…
    A xo


      • I got you, but then we’re not really living in the real world, as awful as it can be. My step-uncle is 95 and got mad at me one time when I mentioned something I had regrets about. He sternly told me that you can’t live your life with any regrets! Period! He had a great life as an Air Force pilot and while his health is going, I think his attitude helped keep him healthy until his early ’90s. Food for thought… from Uncle Joe!


      • you are right. I guess I said it wrong. i wish I could erase it all together like it never happened. Although I don’t think I let it control my life, I am sure that it affects me in ways I am not aware of


  6. Poor Al, and you, how hard for him to develop any kind of positive self-esteem, though your care no doubt played a huge, healing part. As for you, what a great job you have done to be the productive, often cheerful, person you are.


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  8. Terry, I too, know what it is to feel unloved and unwanted, and I know what it is to carry those feelings and the pain with you into adulthood. Therefore, my friend, I would like to offer up this prayer for both you and Al.

    Father, in Jesus’ name, I pray that You would open Terry’s and Al’s eyes to the truth. Reveal to each of them that they were not terrible accidents that were spawned from a disastrous relationship between their birth mother and their father. Instead, Lord, reveal to both Terry and Al that neither of them were accidents, but that both were conceived and birthed out of love, regardless of how bad the relationship between their parents was. Open their eyes, so that they can see that before the foundations of the earth were laid, both Terry and Al were conceived in Your heart and mind. Show them that You brought their father and their birth mother together so that they would be born.

    Show them that though their earthly mother abandoned them, and their earthly father and stepmother didn’t love them properly, You loved them. Father, reveal Your great love to Terry, so that she knows that she was not some unfortunate accident. Reveal Your great love to Al, so that he will know that though his earthly father and mother saw him as a failure, You saw Al as Your beloved son. Show him that You never stopped loving him, even when he strayed away from you.

    Lord, show Terry how it broke Your heart when her stepmother spoke so hatefully to her, and show Terry how great Your love for her really is. Lord, in Jesus’ mighty name, I loose peace over Al. I loose peace over his body, and I bind the tremors in his body, and ask that You flood his nervous system with Your Spirit, revealing Your great love and power to him. Father, save Al in Jesus’ name, and touch his heart. Let him know that there was never a day or a time in his life that he was not loved and wanted by You. Also show Terry that there was never a day or a time when she was not loved or wanted by You as well.

    Father, I thank You for for hearing my cries on Terry and Al’s behalf, and I praise You in advance for touching their hearts, and mending them in Jesus’ name. Amen.


    • I wish that you didn’t recognize any of the post. i wish that no child ever was treated with any less dignity than they are entitled to. I thank you for the prayer and i especially thank you for being a fantastic friend to me


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