childhood abuse

Breaking Free

I had a couple posts planned for last week, but they all seemed less important once last Wednesday came. Before I explain what happened that day, I’m going to share something I’ve wanted to share for a long time.

Trigger warning: discussion of physical/verbal/psychological abuseĀ 

My name is Nic and I’m a adult survivor of child abuse. That’s honestly the first time I’ve ever written that out and I still haven’t said it in those words. It’s taken being away from my abuser for almost a year to be able to process my experiences.

I wasn’t abused by my biological father (well, maybe I was, but I was too young to remember really anything regarding him), but my mother. I was the product of an abusive marriage. My biological father psychologically and physically abused the crap out of my mother. She was isolated from her friends and family. My own grandparents didn’t know about my birth until I was already 9 months old. I haven’t seen many baby pictures of me as a result.

Because this has all taken place in almost 25 years, here’s a summary of the abuse I endured:

-First came the physical abuse: After almost getting child protective services called on her for hitting me in a department store, my mother proceed to beat me in public restrooms. I would tremble in fear any time she threatened me by saying, “Do you want to go to the bathroom?”

-Any time I was “bad”, she threatened to kick me out and ship me off to live with my abusive biological father who lived almost a thousand miles away. When I threatened to call the cops, she said she would tell the police I lied and get me sent to a nearby juvenile detention center.

-My mother, a nurse, forced me to get numerous tests after I had my first panic attack at 13 and after they came back as inconclusive and told it was “all in my head”, she refused to ever talk about it again.

-Once my mother married my stepdad, with whom she had a tumultuous relationship with, we had to move into his small bachelor pad.

-After I became nearly emaciated due to gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) and not being able to keep food down, instead of supporting me when I cried in the dressing room of a popular store about not being able to fit in size 00 jeans, she told me, “You look like a 10-year-old boy.” I was 15.

-My mother pretended to be “Super Mom” by being a band parent, substitute school nurse, and super involved in my life because she “loved me” but it was really so she could see what I was doing.

-She allowed me to go to a punk show with my best friends (we were 15 at the time) on the condition that my stepdad wouldn’t find out (he was super overprotective) and once he found out, my mom told him that I had snuck out of the house. I told him the truth and they fought, causing him to leave for a few hours. She told me that if they got divorced, it would be my fault.

-When I came home early from hanging out with friend and didn’t tell my parents, I opened the front door to my house and was welcomed by a loaded gun to my face that was held by my stepdad. We later learned that he had severe anxiety, but that’s not excuse for putting a gun to my head and not taking it away from minutes.

-My parents downloaded a tracker in my phone because they “couldn’t trust” me (meanwhile I couldn’t drive and was terrified to talk to boys because they were so strict).

-My mother refused to take me to see a doctor and once I was, demanded I was highly medicated. I slept for 2 days after a single dose of Klonopin.

-My mother threatened to crash the care numerous time and once swerved into traffic nearly killing us.

-She refused to sign up for the FASFA on time every year I have been in college. She also never trusted me with her tax information, so I couldn’t do anything myself. This caused me to lose thousands of dollars in financial aid and have to put myself through college mostly without loans.

-Parents offered to help pay for things (tuition, my car, medical bills, etc.) and then I was stuck paying for everything myself.

-They don’t help pay my tuition, yet offered to take my boyfriend and I to Mexico for al all-expense paid trip. We can’t take off work because we support ourselves financially and I have to work to pay for my tuition.

-My mother refused to go to family therapy, not once, but 3 times. She also said, “I’m sorry you feel that way” when I explained that our relationship was strained because she resented ever having me (which she had said to me numerous times) and continuous denies abusing me.

-My parents illegally claimed me as a dependent on taxes for years. Since I already filed as independently this year, I got a lot of money back and realize I missed out on thousands of dollars.

-My mom texted my boyfriend (who has been fully aware of this situation for all of the almost 4 years we’ve been together) to manipulate him to thinking I’m the bad guy to get me to talk to her. Oh and last month, my mother had her dear friend who was like an aunt to me message me on Facebook to guilt me into having a relationship with her again.

-Lastly (now this is a biggie because I don’t have the best health), my parents texted me Wednesday to tell me that they’re no longer claiming me as a dependent and because of that they will be kicking me off their insurance. Now, I knew they didn’t care about my livelihood all the times that they only called me once every few months to see if I would hang out with them and their friends and play a little happy family, but this was the nail in the coffin.

I knew it was coming, but it still was a shock. I was terrified. I had just had a sleep study the other day because I might have a disorder and my health is the worst its been in a while, but even my grandma giving them updates about this stuff didn’t even stop them. What was immensely insulting was that 90% of the reason why I seek mental healthcare is because of my parents and now I have to worry about getting a new insurance policy.

Even though this situation sucks, I no longer have any ties to them. The memories of what I’ve gone through haunt me sometime (my therapist is 99% sure I have PTSD because of the flashbacks I get), but I am free from my abusers. I’m graduating from school in the summer and I have the best damn boyfriend in the world. I am at a slightly terrifying, mostly amazing point in my life. No longer am I accomplishing goals in spite of them – I am doing this all for me.