Friday, May 19, 2017

Surviving The Funeral

This is not a topic I write much about because even with the years that have gone by, there's a lot of pain in the walls of my heart when I try to share it.

It is hard to write about because while I miss my mom, I know she was part of the mess of trauma, torture, and child sexual abuse I went through.

No, she was not an active participant and I know she was beaten as well, but she was not able to protect me.  Before she suddenly died in a car accident, I had not gotten to speak to her in many years.  There are so many things left unsaid.

When the funeral happened, it was inside the hospital chapel because my father was still recovering from the car crash.  Somehow he, the monster in the family, was the one that survived.  The one that I wish would have made it, didn't survive.  I have great amounts of anger over that to this day that I struggle with, quite honestly.

They did everything to stop me...

It was more than difficult to get to the funeral.  In fact, the family seemed to do everything they could to keep me from going to it.  No details at all.  We had to dig for what was happening and when.  I had been unemployed and just had started a new job a couple of days before the car accident.  My anxiety about being back with the monsters in my family was overwhelming.

Fortunately some friends met me there and my partner went with me.  I remember pulling up to the hospital, and it was almost too much. I wanted to flee.  I wanted to run.  I took my Xanax to help give me a little calmness for the day but even it was not enough.

I wanted to be left alone...

We waited until the last minute to walk in.  My partner scoped things out.  Then, it was time to go in to the funeral knowing I was walking in among the wolves that hated me for daring to break the silence.  The minister came up behind me and put his hand on my shoulder and back and I jumped.  I wanted none of these fake people to touch me.  I wanted to be left alone.

I went to the casket and saw my mom.  She had aged a little since the last time I saw her, which was about 11 years earlier.  I cried.  My younger brother at least came up and acknowledged me and gave me time alone with her.  I introduced her to Jeff and told her I wish she could have gotten to know him.  It was the last time I would see her.

Sitting through the long drawn out service was not easy.  I sat in front of my friends, next to Jeff.  Of course the minister started in preaching of how we should forgive one another and especially our family.  I know who put him up to that line of preaching and I know it was directed at me.

Forgiveness was screwed up...

You see, in our family, you had to forgive those that harmed you.  That was the way it worked.  You had to act as if it didn't happen.  Forgiveness was such a screwed up nightmare for me for a long time.  It didn't mean they ever had to own up to what they did or how much they hurt you.  It was "you" that had to make things right.  Nothing like treating a victim like a victim!

So as I was sitting there, my anger was growing within me.  The next thing I know I did was to flip the minister off.  I don't know if he saw me.  Maybe he did.  Maybe he didn't.  It just felt so good to tell these kinds of people where to take their holier than thou attitudes and put it.

After it was over, my friends hurriedly rushed me out the door and got me out of there.  They knew how difficult it was for me.  I know that my family was getting together at my Aunt's house, but I wasn't invited.  They were afraid I'd make a scene.  I said, screw you anyway!

I left feeling dejected...

I left there feeling dejected once again.  I left there feeling like I didn't belong in the family once again.  It would be many days and months before I would be able to stop crying.  It would be years before I would even get to the point of writing what I can write here today.

I don't know how I survived the funeral.  I miss my mom.  We had so much in common but I'm glad she doesn't have to put up with the monster anymore.  In the end, the monster was responsible for the car accident taking her life because he pulled out in front of an oncoming vehicle.  I'm not sure I can easily forgive him for that, and I honestly don't care what he or my family thinks of that.

Even this many years later, I'm reminded of losing my mom.  I'm reminded of the horrors the family faced and how it made my life a living hell every day of my existence.  At times, I still cry and mourn for her loss.

I know that not everyone had a good mom.  Some had good fathers instead.  For me, my mom meant the world to me.  I feel so lost and alone without her.  The process of grieving continues.  The process of healing continues.

Blog Post And Images (c) 2017 by Don Shetterly
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