I have been thinking the last couple of days of someting my daughter said to me last week. My book was out and she had excitedly and proudly purchased a copy online. She had been reading it and we talked about some things. I found myself thunderstruck at one of her comments. She said that she had been attached and cared about my ex’s. An she wondered why we never talked about it at the time. They just disappeared and no one ever talked about it.
I had no good answer. But this is the sad truth. I didn’t know any better. I was vigilant as a mother could be looking for any infractions on the part of my husbands. More than a couple. My kids would begin to whine how they hated him. They would outright tell me they wanted him gone. This would go on for a while and I would begin to beleive that they were right.
What I was hearing was my past. I hated my father. I wanted my father gone. No One ever got rid of him! When they would start to complain about a step father…. I would hear it loud and clear. I would feel guilty for not getting it right. AND… I never talked to them (my children) about it. Why??? Because it had not occurred to me that there was any other way to handle it. I thought I was making them happy…. How naive eh?
Now they are grown with their own children…. and this is the first time it has come up. I am saddend to know how wrong I was, but glad she finally asked so that she could be assured even after all the years, that I loved them and was trying to do the best for them that I could.
Abuse does indeed cast a shadow that stretches across a life time….. and not just your own.