I know when you get this you will be shocked, after all I am only seven in your time now! But I am writing this from the future and I am actually in my 40s mama! And a mammy of four gorgeous children – the you that you are then would love being their granny… but that’s why I’m writing to you mama because today I had to make a final decision, a decision that I have made before but went back on. A decision which has torn me apart and broken my heart beyond any comprehension.
I was thinking how I would love the future me to write me a letter and tell me if I am doing the right thing, what will be the outcome? Then I remembered, you had to make a decision too, a decision that could have changed everything and could mean that I would never have think about making my difficult decision today – so I’m writing to you to tell you to change your mind, be brave, walk away from that abusive and emotionless “pig” that controls you, that hurts you, that hurts us – your children.
I can imagine your dilemma; I can feel your fear. Where will you go? What if he finds you? He said he will always find you, he said you’d never manage with no money, he said he’s the only one that will love you and you’ll never manage, he said we (your children) will hate you, he said there was no point in trying to find a new house because he will find you and he will burn it all on the ground .. and you….and us.
Mama I know you are scared, I know you are unsure, so am I then mama – so frightened. We know what he can do, we know he will try and do it – he is unpredictable and maybe you think well then it’s better to stay, maybe he will stop, maybe you are over reacting, maybe we are better off having a father , he goes to work and earns a keep, it doesn’t happen every day – it was probably your fault, maybe he was right and you were nagging him, maybe he’s right we were making noise on purpose to annoy him or maybe I did smirk at him – NOOOOOO Mama – you are so wrong – HE WILL NOT STOP, HE WILL GET WORSE, HE WILL HURT YOU, HE WILL HURT US, HE IS NOT RIGHT, YOU DID NOTING WRONG, WE DID NOTING WRONG, YOU WILL LOSE YOURSELF and now mama YOU HAVE LOST US. There are people who will help you, when you are reading this you know this, you must know you have family, you have friends, people will support you – you are strong and we want you to do this so badly, save yourself mama, save us
I have to think of my own family now – I have to think safety, security, love and care. I have to keep them from him….. what I’ve struggled to accept is I have to keep them from you too- not the you that you are when you are reading this letter – my beautiful, gentle, loving and caring mama , my mama who makes decisions and is fun and feeds and clothes me, I have to keep them from what you have become – what he has made you.
You are just a shell now, you are not yourself, you get everything muddled up, you are a tool for him in his little evil game of manipulation and his web of lies. He knows people love you and not him, he has been grinding you down for decades – he’s hurt you in ALL those ways mama and I know, I heard, I seen and I felt.
The times I jumped from my sleep and hear the noises start, the shouting the roaring, then the bangs and then the screams, I get my system going I get my little brother and sister and bring them into my bed and tell them it’s ok, I get them to sing or read out loud …. But they hear too, they are scared too, they cry and I want to make it ok for them, I don’t want them to feel like me, I have to make it better for them. They follow me to the floor listening to the floorboards when it goes quiet to make sure we can hear your voice – to make sure this time isn’t the time he kills you – we are scared mama – we need you. They follow me to the top of the stairs we are all holding our breath, I am shaking to the core, literally wobbling around the corner of the top of the stairs, I am afraid to breathe. I peer round and I see, I don’t know what comes over me, I’m not scared, I’m angry, my face is hot with rage and tears. I hate him, he can’t do this to you, he can’t hurt my mama . I scream and I’m at the bottom of the stairs in a few steps, I launch myself on him and the throws me off and I push and pull and bite and the grabs me by the throat and you get up and run. He’s holding me there by the throat 3ft of the ground against the wall, he is shouting in my face and his stinking spit splatters round my face, I can’t hear him, I don’t care, I hate him, I love you, you are safe. He drops me and storms out the front door. I am stunned and holding my breath again until I hear the car skidding off, then I know he is gone and we are safe – for now. We go to bed.
The next day is always the same – like nothing ever happened, we all act like nothing happened. He never apologises, he never says it won’t happen again, I’m glad he’s not mentioning it, I’m glad he isn’t going to be angry at me for jumping on him, I’m scared again but everything is normal again and will be for a few, days, a few weeks and sometimes a few months.
But that won’t be the last time, it’s happened before. Sometimes it was one of us he has started the fight with and mostly it was you. It was always somebodies fault other than him, the time I didn’t come back in time from my friends house for dinner and the bastard kicked and battered me – I didn’t know how to tell the time – I was barely 7! The time he kicked you in the belly when you were pregnant, the time he kicked me the head for looking in his eyes and then there’s what’s going to happen if you don’t take my advice in this letter today, the New Years Eve with the baseball bat when he will bruise my whole thigh, there’s the time he throws my sister down the stairs, there’s the times he will throw the scalding tea in a temper, around us all at the table and again at you and my sister, there’s the times you don’t leave the house for days to hide black eyes, there’s all the times one of us has pissed him off for creaking the floorboard passing his room, for saying the wrong thing, and his favourite – for having a smirk, there’s the time when I found you unconscious after he threw you down the stairs. There’s the times I can’t even yet say or type about – even as a grown adult now.
Look at me now mama as a seven year old and look at my brother and sister – is that what you want to happen? There is no point in saying any of this to the you that you have become. It is too late. I don’t even hate him anymore for any of these things. I still have nightmares and I am still a very jumpy and nervous person, but I honestly see it as what’s been done, in the past and something that I never wanted to drag up.
I never told anyone, I got on well at school, I loved school, it was my sanctuary. I went to university and worked my OWN way through and got loans up to my eyeballs, but I did it, I did it and I was happy to get away and to escape. I was finally free…. I could pretend I was normal, I could ignore the fact it was still going on, I still wished you would leave, but I was selfish and I looked after me and I was happy. I might not have had my parents coming to visit like everyone else’s, it was my friends parents who helped me move into my new life, I was independent and I was never going back.
Life is like a mirror and changes in a simple turn. My life leads me to be geographically back to living in the same town – I am thrown back in the midst of your crazy life, I don’t want to be, I try to avoid you as much as possible whilst keeping up the persona that I am a successful person from this lovely family who doesn’t cry herself to sleep or jump out of her skin at the slightest thing. You move house every six months (are the neighbours in your new houses hearing more than he would like?), you are drinking yourself into oblivion (you hardly drink at all when we are little) and people I hardly know are stopping me and asking what’s going on, telling me you are falling off bar stools and crying and fighting. I confront you and you attack me, you hate me. You scream that I am ungrateful, you take claim for all my hard work – you put me through! You supported me! It’s so far from the truth it churns my stomach. Other fights are going on between you both and my brother and sister as well. You think we want money? You think we are being pukes for questioning your drinking. I know you are vulnerable and I know that these are his words and his ideas and you are completely incapable of forming a lucid thought of your own and you are vile in your words and behaviour.
The straw that broke the camel’s back. He takes it public – he attacks another woman, It is HIM that takes it public, up to now I say nothing, to my closest friends, my partner, our family – I’ve not said a word. What do we do now? He is arrested and my sister talks to you appeals to you – now is the chance, surely now you can leave, we will hide you, we will help you. You agree!! My sister rings me, we are relieved and happy – maybe now things will change…..
To be continued …..