My mom was working me against my dad from the beginning. I remember the first time I understood that they hated each other. The story my mom tells is that Auntie Kelly (dad’s sister) was bullying her and that I begged my mom to let me listen to a mean voicemail… We were in her bed laughing and cuddling when she suddenly put her voicemail on speaker. I can remember my Aunt’s stern voice telling my mom to leave them alone and never to harass them again. I have no recollection of asking to hear this, but even as a child I would nod and smile when my mom would tell her versions of stories. Just recently my aunt explained that the voicemail I heard as a kid was recorded after months of harassment and false accusations.
All I felt was confusion, why is my family treating each other this way? My mom taught me that my dad would take her to court to fight child-support. I now know that my dad was paying more than ordered and my mom was taking HIM to court for more money. While this all was becoming the norm in my life, I was also adjusting to school and “counselling sessions”. My mom would tell each teacher and therapist/psychologist I had that my dad was abusive and to trust him. Specifically not to let him take me or sign paperwork for me- which is not how it works as my dad had joint custody of me and had all rights. But because there was so much controversy, I was constantly being asked by teachers and staff if I was safe at home.
My mom would tell me awful things about my dad and my own family. Anyone that cut her out would get the wrath of Nat. When she would argue with my grandma (her mom), she would make sexual abuse claims about her with her own children- which both my Aunt and Uncle deny being abused by her. She’d also make accusations about her brother and sister, one story was about my aunt provoking someone to kill themselves in high school. The things that hurt the most were the things she would say about my dad and his immediate family. She claimed they were abusive, crazy, incestuous, and many more sickening accusations.
If I questioned anything she said or defended my dad in any way, she would melt-down and lash out. My brother and I were too often exposed to adult-issues and bared the weight of all of my moms emotions. If she felt like we were not going along with the way she wanted to portray things, she would threaten to leave and never come back or sometimes even threaten suicide. My brother and I were so young and wanted nothing more than to make my mom happy so we had to walk on eggshells constantly. We’d wake up every morning, just wondering what would spark the blowup that day…. so I developed stomachaches and behavioural issues.
I began stealing from friends, from stores and eventually even people I babysat for. I didn’t want to do these things, but my mom had access to my accounts and would send herself money (I started working at 12) after buying me school supplies or winter jacket; she once took out $2000 of my own savings to put as a down payment on a Jaguar. I had no sense of self-worth, I was being told daily that I was a criminal, liar, mentally ill, bitch that had no hope for a healthy future. I did not feel like I had much to lose.
The emotional turmoil over the years forced me to choose a side and unfortunately I chose my mom… I guess this is normal with parental alienation. Often the abusive parent makes it so hard for the child to maintain positive thoughts about the other parent that it forces the child to choose a side just for the sake of their sanity. My mom would rant and rave everyday about everything my dad had apparently put her through and if we didn’t have anything to say, she would freak out and say that we were not supportive or appreciative of her. The most stressful punishment of all was the silent treatment… Do you know how heartbreaking it is to have your own mother ignore you? when you have no idea what you did wrong or how you could make it better?
Throughout the years my mom had made very large purchases with my brother’s million dollar settlement from his accident. The house is under his name, her RV, horse, hellcat challenger… ETC. It was all paid for under my brother. She not only abused us mentally, emotionally and verbally, but she financially abused my brother, grandma and father too. She was so manipulative that she would convince my brother that these purchases were for him, but he doesn’t even drive: due to epilepsy he cannot get his licence. My brother was into Manga and comic book expos…not sports cars and property.
Anyhoo – I did not see my dad for 4.5 years from 13-17 years old. He attempted to reach out multiple times and came to my school with a birthday card each year, but my mom would lose her mind anytime she heard he was around. After I met my boyfriend, I re-united with my dad and we’ve been back together ever since, but before I get to that CRAZY story…. I have to tell you about someone from my nightmares. Brandon.