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Little Girl Lost

This is the seventh entry of “The Chip On My Shoulder Is A Boulder,” a series on the complex relationships between black women and their mothers. The series will run through this week. Previous entries include “The Adoptee,” “The Rebel,” “The Gypsy,” “She Did Her Best,” “The Reluctant Mother” and “The Narcissist’s Daughter.”

When you can’t protect yourself your parents are supposed to protect you. You’re supposed to be safe with them. You’re supposed to feel secure. But when you are treated cruelly at the hands of the people who are supposed to love you and your parents look the other way it makes you realize at the earliest of ages that you are on your own.

The Survivor’s story, sadly, is not an uncommon story. Harmed and victimized by male family members with a mother in denial, happens to boys and girls regardless of race. Your parents are supposed to keep you safe, but when it comes to violence against you at the hands of your relatives you are not the relative your parents choose to protect. For The Survivor, she was the daughter her mother would not fight for.

THE SURVIVOR

My relationship with my mother is terrible most of the time.

Much of the trauma caused in my life could have been prevented my mother. I don’t know how to stop blaming her or if I should stop. Among these things that I cannot forgive are her obvious preferential treatment of my older brother and not properly handling my molestation at the hands of my cousin.

My brother was very abusive towards me, he beat the shit out of me on a regular basis and she basically let it happen. It should be mentioned that he’s almost 10 years older than me so he obviously should have known better than to beat up on a four-year-old. He did this until I was 18-years-old.

I was molested by my cousin when I was about three and I remember it but what I remember most is how it was swept under the rug. These things along with all the violence towards women at the hands of men I witnessed as a child has made me resent the way I was raised. I struggle with a feeling of supreme love and admiration for my mother because in my heart I feel she’s a good person even if I feel she’s a failure as a mother.

She’s raised a criminal, my other brother died (possibly due to some form of babysitter negligence), and I am completely emotionally retarded and traumatized. Growing up, I never really felt safe and I think this has made me overly suspicious and defensive — especially towards men. I feel like there are so many things that my mother could have done to help me but instead she spent my childhood pretending like my issues didn’t exist and now I’m a non-functioning 21-year-old.

I resent that she never defended me against relatives who called me “fast” just because I physically developed quickly, or uncles who tried to touch me, a brother who hit me, a cousin who molested me, just shit I shouldn’t have had to see or feel. I tried to commit suicide once and she took me to the hospital. When we came back she pretended like it never happened. The hospital psychiatrist asked me why I tried to kill myself and I told her that my mother didn’t love me and if she did she didn’t love me anywhere near as much as my brother (I left out the fact that my brother beat me). She told me that it was probably true but that I should get over it because life isn’t fair and there will always be things we can’t control but it’s not a reason to hurt yourself. That really pissed me off when she said that but I later came to appreciate it.

So that is what I’ve been trying to do — accept things that I cannot control or change, but I just don’t know how to stop being mad at my mother.

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2 thoughts on “Little Girl Lost

  1. Dear Little Girl Lost,It is unfortunate that your mother lacked the ability to connect with you on a nurturing and protective level, and I can only suspect she was either treated similarly by her own mother, or given too much privilege which may have drained her of compassion for others.It is also possible that she shut off and disconnected from the rest of her children when your other brother died. May he rest in peace. She may have felt she couldn’t protect him, and it would be pointless to try to protect you.The psyche is a funny thing and reacts strangely to loss and situations that leave a person powerless. Some people are resilient, while others crumble and become very hollow shells. It is tragic that you were preyed upon by family members accusing you of being “fast” because you were developing, especially considering the sexual abuse you were subjected to (at such an unthinkably young age no less). I experienced something similar when I was around certain family members who just didn’t seem to know how to embrace a growing female, rather than attempt to drag her down. I was prepared for it and didn’t have to deal with those family members often though, so it wasn’t as cutting as it could have been had I been in contact with them often.I also experienced the roaming hands of a family member (an uncle) who part of the family protects to this day, in total denial of his medium-level offenses to myself and another female cousin… It is an epidemic that preys upon young women which should have been nipped in the bud a long time ago by responsible elders.The healing process can be long, but the fact that you’re able to come out and speak the truth says a great deal about your intention to love yourself and shed the toxic experiences that you were subjected to, from your energy field.One thing I learned is that forgiveness doesn’t mean reconciliation. You can forgive your mother if you choose, and let go of the negativity that eats away at you in the end, but this does not mean you have to reconcile with her or approve of her stunted emotional intimacy. You might not ever find that you are compatible with her, but you might find some peace in letting go of resentment towards her.You seem like a bright, aware woman. Continue to grow strong and accept people into your life who will cherish you. You deserve better than what you recieved in your formative years.Love&Light-PZ

  2. This is my letter and I just wanted to address what purplezoe said. I cried as I read your response, I could never put into words what it actually meant read. I was going to respond to this anonymously but I’m not ashamed of my story or my feelings or what I’ve been through. I had attended to write of some of these things in my own blog but when I saw what theblacksnob was doing I had to submit here first, I was compelled really.Part of the reason I cried while reading what you wrote purplezoe is because you are amongst the few people like myself who has had these things happen to them and does not hide in shame. I walked around with shame nearly my whole life until it clicked in my brain that none of this was my fault. When I realized this I started on a very slow process of healing myself and I’m still healing. Sometimes I feel stuck and other days I feel like my growth is exponential.What you said about my mother, I never thought of what my brother’s death did to her other than I truly believe it’s when she stopped feeling. So if you couple my thoughts with what you have brought up I think maybe you are right and it was all too much and it was easier to act like everything was okay. This is something I’m going to seriously think about.Again, I can’t explain to you how much what you wrote touched me. I’m going to save it somewhere because it meant that much to me, seriously.On a side note: To the black snob, “Little Girl Lost” and “The Survivor” are perfect titles/names. I often do feel completely lost but, alas, I am still here.

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