When I was fourteen, I took my first real dance class. I almost fell on my face and am pretty sure I sprained something when I first performed before my classmates—something I always hated most.
When I seventeen, I traded Newspaper Productions for Literary Magazine because a classmate bullied me; it was in that class that I learned how to format and other forms of publications, ranging from CD covers and inserts to magazines.
When I was eighteen, I moved back into an abusive environment and didn’t exit it until I reached twenty-and-a-half.
When I was twenty, I stuttered and ticked my little autistic-and-Tourette-Syndrome self through my final speech, much to my professor and classmates’ annoyance.
With these four things, I learned more about myself and life than I ever did in a classroom.
“Why did you go back?” is always a common question when people learn of my story. Why did I go back? I wanted a relationship with my mother. I wanted to be her friend—I wanted her to act like my mother again. Some days it worked, other days I was a complete stranger who just babysat her kids—my siblings.
I went back, because only I could experience what life would be like going back.
I went back, because no one else I knew had experienced what I’d experienced.
I went back, because life inside an abusive environment is much, much easier than trying to live outside an abusive environment and survive in the so-called “real” world.
I went back, because it was my decision. I needed to experience going back for myself, because I needed to experience it for myself—I needed to not spend my entire life wondering what would have happened if I had gone back.
I went back, and by going back, I learned more about myself and what I want and need in life—and that that is okay.
I went back, and once that new car smell wore off, I was back to being a punching bag again. I didn’t “deserve it” because I went back—that was neither on me nor my fault.
In going back, I learned more about myself and life than I ever thought possible.
I don’t regret going back.
Some may argue that I went back because I’m needy—because I need affection to live, because I need to be accepted, because I need to be told by them that I am doing well.
That wasn’t the case—at all.
I’m actually not an affectionate person; it’s just not who I am. Science wants to blame that on my upbringing, but I blame it on other things—like my personality, for example.
When I was under their curse, I felt an ardent longing to be accepted. When I was fifteen, my mother stopped dead in her tracks at Walmart and told me, “You’re the most disrespectful child I have ever met,” in response to me telling her about my IPC teacher, who had put someone down for having ADHD.
It was embarrassing, and I wanted to cry. And then, nothing else mattered—I craved her acceptance. What did I do? I said I would watch my siblings so she and my stepfather could go out and do whatever they wanted to do—all at the expense of my own needs—in hopes that she would accept me again.
Abusers play and trick and tease their victims. They’re expert masterminds in the making when their anger turns temper tantrums into hardcore fights, oftentimes starting at the brink of them not getting what they want. They crave control and power, and they use that desire—that lust—to fuel energy. Lust is a canned energy drink waiting to be opened by its next user. Once it’s open, closing it is impossible. Persons of interest can put the liquid into another container to close it, but unless they do something to soak up that liquid, they’re only going to be more tempted to consume it. When they consume it, it becomes them.
“Love” is a powerful weapon for abusers. It can be used and used against the person until they have nothing left—they’re a victim of their own love, unaware that they have been betrayed by the person who has it. They’re a slave to their abuser’s lust, and escaping relies not on being saved—it relies on faith and fate.
Why is it left to the abused to exit abusive situations? Why are we left to fend for ourselves? We are not in our right minds. We’re being controlled. We’re terrified. We’re just babies—our abusers have reversed our aging and forced our minds into the mindset and logic of babies, because as long as we’re dependent on them and only them, we shouldn’t want to leave. We’re manipulated so easily by our abusers, because abusers easily put up fronts and know how to use our strengths and weaknesses against us—they’re serial killers for the mind, taking everything and anything we can use against them.
This “neediness” victims supposedly go back because of is abstract—ridiculous.
Living a so-called “normal” life—whatever that is—is literally the hardest thing I’ve had to do in my life. People argue that I’m smart because I made great grades, but I actually didn’t make great grades—or I did, but the class was a “fly-by” class. Knowing how to use a computer does not make me smart. I have a few special interests that result in me learning a bit more than I would have growing up, but for the most part, I give the illusion that I’m smarter and know more than I do by perfecting my diction and using words others may not include in their daily vocabulary—but I don’t always know what those words mean.
I’m really smart when it comes to survival, though, and I can walk into the kitchen and get a bowl of chips without making a peep—you’ll never know I was in there—because I learned how to be as quiet as a mouse at a young age so I wouldn’t starve too much. I’m not smart enough to go to law school, and I hate the black-and-white thinking people have in terms of learning and communication (e.g. “Autistics need to learn to ___ so they can fit in”, etc.), thus I refuse to pay someone to teach me what they think normal is an expect normal to be.
My most life-changing experiences rely on my abusive childhood. The most interesting story regarding my abusive childhood is that I didn’t know I was being abused until Noggin aired the Degrassi episode between Craig and his dad—until that point, I seriously thought that what was happening to me was okay.
But you know what? No one cared enough to do something. Saying they cared and then not reporting it supposedly represents people care…how? To this day, I really don’t understand—but I’m starting to get off-topic here.
For years and years I have wanted to share why I went back to live in the abusive environment that was with my mother and stepfather, but so many times, I chickened out, or I just didn’t want to.
To me, it’s a boring story that needn’t be shared. What makes it more boring is when people comment on certain parts of the story—things I said, things I did, etc.—as if to change my mind.
This is my story. I have learned to just do me. If you don’t like it, bite me.
I went back. I’m not weak for going back or wanting a relationship with my mother. I might have went back because society told me she’ll always be my mother and that I should love her no matter what.
By going back, I fell out of love with my mother.
My mother and I have been estranged since 2012.
The last thing she said to me was, “I should have gotten an abortion with you.”
The last thing I said to her was, “Bitch,” and I’m a stronger person because of it. It was the first time I have ever stood up to her.
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