Family matters but where you come from matters more

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My family were cold. Hard. German. Say no more? There were never any hugs, never any ‘I love you’ s, never any outward sign of affection. Not between any family members. That’s the family my parents chose to create. Cold. Hard. Unemotional.

I chose to create a completely different kind of family. Full of hugs, and love and laughter. I always said I’m never too busy for a hug. My kids still ask for hugs now. People either emulate their parents, or they become as different as possible. I chose to be the opposite of them.

Now that they are getting older, they crave family, affection, love. But they didn’t build that. They did the opposite. They chose to build ‘resilience’, and ‘independence’, via ‘tough love’.

Tough love isn’t love. It’s neglect. It’s a cop out. And it’s too late now. You love your parents because you have to. You’re genetically coded to love them. But you don’t necessarily like them. And when you’re older you don’t choose to spend time with them if they didn’t do their job right. And they didn’t. To the extent that when I finally escaped my violent partner when I was the ripe old age of 22, having been with him for 5 years (I left at 17 because living with him was better than living with them)…having been with him for 5 years, I finally had everything set up so that I could disappear. What were you doing when you were 22? Were you creating a secret life, with all new friends and a new job that NO ONE knew about? So you could just disappear from one life one day and step into the new one the next? And disappear?

It’s really hard to do. And I had an Achilles Heel…my band. I couldn’t change that so easily (we changed the name once), so whenever we played a gig, there was a chance he would show up. See me. And then he would know how to find me. I would advertise how to find me.

Why don’t women leave? Because they have nowhere safe to go. The most dangerous time in a woman’s life is just after she leaves an abusive partner. He’d shoved rifles in my face many times. He’d beaten me. He’d burned me (with cigarettes). The scars are visible, they are in plain sight. Only one person has ever asked me about them. He was in the Air force. He knew how to fight and he knew how to shoot and he knew how to hurt without leaving a mark. And back then I didn’t bruise easy.

It took years for me to escape. And when I finally did, I FINALLY had everything lined up, and I made my move…my PARENTS led him right to my door. With his gun. And that’s just typical of how they treated me. They didn’t believe me. They believed him.
And abusers are charming and they spin a good tale. So good even your parents believe it. Forgivable? Nope.

But now they pressure me, and demand things. And I just want them to leave me alone. I’ve been the dutiful daughter for years. But I’m nearly 50 FFS. They weren’t there for me when I was young. They don’t get to be here now. I just want to leave and be far, far away.

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