Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Letter to S.A.

For your information and deciphering purposes, M.R. is my stepsister, B.J.A. is my stepmother, B.A. is my half-sister, and C.A. is my half-brother, and T.L. is my stepfather. The only changes that have been made to this letter since it was sent have been the initializing of names to protect identities.

Dear S.A, January 11th, 2011

Firstly, I would like to address the lies that you sent in your most recent email to me, which I received January 10th, 2011. With regards to my address, you have a valid address for me. I am aware of this because earlier in December I received a Christmas card from you and B.J.A. to my school address. Not only that, but you have sent packages to me in the past to that address as well. You also contradicted yourself in your email, saying you didn’t have a phone number for me, then telling me you left a message on my voicemail, knowing that I do not have one. And about the last paragraph: That was very manipulative. I never agreed to send you a copy of my financial aid statement, but to appease you, I have enclosed it with this letter.

I have been meaning to write this letter for the past nine years, but I have never had the courage, strength, or motivation to do so. Throughout the years, I have been screwed over by you time and time again, most recently, the past four years with my tuition payments. Every year, you have dragged your feet with sending the payment, and you even fought me in court before I started college to try and not pay. Every year, you have been late in paying you part to my tuition, causing me stress and guilt-tripping me as well. The way I see it, you feel that by not paying, you cause my mother more financial stress. However, this is not the case. The only person you are harming by not paying is me. You have never treated me right as your daughter, and this is only the first in a long list of problems that I have with you.

I don’t agree with the way you treat B.A. and the kids, another reason I am writing this. While spanking your children with an object is not illegal in Washington (I would know, I tried to report you to DHS: Child Welfare, because I am a mandatory reporter), it is against my moral code, considering you never disciplined your kids before they were three or four. I disagree with this punishment because you have threatened me with the same punishment once, implying that you know how to not get caught by saying “Is isn’t abuse if I don’t leave marks.” For that incident, in eighth grade, where you threw my textbook and my soda, had we lived in Oregon, I could have filed a report and had you charged with Harassment and Menacing, mandatory arrest misdemeanors. As an abuser, you might say that this event didn’t happen but I remember it as clearly as yesterday, and you might say that it wasn’t your fault, that it was my fault because I made you angry by disrespecting you. However, the truth is that you are making excuses for a choice that you made. You could have accrued the same charges when you told M.R. that you would make her baseball bat as red as her sweatshirt.

I am upset that there were no consequences for your behavior that day, and I regret that I cannot prevent similar occurrences from happening with C.A. and B.A, and possibly even B.J.A. if nothing has happened to her yet.

I know you will continue to be and act the way you are, and this letter will upset you, but I can see that you haven’t changed any from the time that mom was with you to now. You once told Mom that if she left, she would leave with nothing but the clothes on her back. This is a symptom of domestic violence. You were using me against her, and I will never forgive you for that. Your pattern that you had with Mom continues with B.J.A. I see it in the way she reacts with you, and I see it in your own behavior. I can even see it in your kids, to a certain extent. Did you know that C.A.’s late development is a symptom of your abuse? And B.J.A.’s response to your question, “What are you doing?!” which had undertones of “Are you stupid?” in the restaurant when you came to see me at Willamette in my junior year confirmed this: “What do you want me to do?” I recognized that with a simple question, she was deflecting a blowup event, something that is part of the wheel of domestic violence. You were setting her up for emotional abuse out of something that was logical for her to do, and she could feel it, because in the 6 or 7 years that she has spent married to you, she has internalized your pattern of emotional abuse, and can therefore predict when it is coming. I would strongly advise her to leave, however, if she is determined to stay with you, she has devised a great mode of survival, a safe way to deal with you. While I do not support her decision to stay with you, I do support her coping methods, and I sincerely hope that someday, you do something drastic, like the baseball bat incident with M.R., so she has the courage to leave you. Your behavior within your family is unacceptable, which is why I am choosing to remove myself from it.

In the years that I lived there or was visiting, you would walk in on me and M.R. when you knew we were changing or in the bathroom in various stages of undress. You used us to do your chores, and things that you, as a parent were responsible for. You forced me to babysit, but gave me no authority. You forced me to show you my underwear when I was about thirteen, an age that I was fully capable of picking out my own undergarments. You were not a normal father, especially not when you had me sitting on your lap while you were sitting on the toilet.

I am constantly on edge, ready to defend myself against your attacks on my morality, I have when you come visit me or guilt trip me into visiting you, and I hate the time I spend at your house, especially when I cannot accomplish the things I came to do, like see my best friend’s grave. I hate you so much, and the hatred increases exponentially when you make fun of my fiancĂ©’s last name, heritage, and call him a “sand nigger.” The only reason you think I could do better is because you are racist.

I have known for years that you don’t love me, that you don’t even know the meaning of the word love. You know the meaning of manipulation, and think it’s synonymous with love. Sorry sir, that is not how it works. Throughout my life, you’ve used me as a tool for your manipulation of my mother, and you’ve played my conscience into feeling guilty for actions and choices I have a right to make. I am sick of the manipulation. I am sick of the emotional abuse, and while your wife may stand for it, I will not.

You kicked me out of your house the night you refused to take me to the hospital after I fell off the horse, neglecting your duties as a parent. I could have been seriously injured as a result of that accident, and B.J.A. could have lost her nurse’s license by giving me your prescription of Vicodin like she did, and you could have been charged with Child Neglect for not taking care of my injuries properly. I could have been seriously injured for all you knew, and you didn’t want to get me checked out. Sounds REALLY loving to me.

I know that you will continue to place the blame on others, the way you blamed mom for your problems (like, you think B.J.A. has no common sense, and that makes you angry, or the house wasn’t clean, so you have a right to be angry (PS: these are not excuses for the abuse you put her through, even though they might seem like valid excuses to you)) as well as do the other things typical to abusers, and I know that I cannot change you, and I cannot show you you’re wrongdoing when your eyes remain so firmly shut. But I can hope that laws will change for B.J.A, C.A, and B.A.’s sake.

My point: You kicked me out that night, saying you didn’t want me to be there if I didn’t want to be. Well, I didn’t then, and I still don’t. I don’t enjoy visiting you, I don’t enjoy staying at your house, I don’t enjoy when you visit me. You have destroyed our relationship through the years, and that is something that I pity you for, because maybe if you had known, I wouldn’t be writing this, because you might have stopped. For years, I have been sick of going home to my mom, crying because of the latest asinine thing you’ve done. However, as a result of the destruction of our relationship, I am choosing to remove the drama that you create by removing you from my life and discontinuing all correspondence with you. I understand that in so doing, you will spread lies about me to our family, like Grandma and Grandpa, and all my aunts and uncles. I also understand that this is part of your abusive nature, and that you will try and contact me. This is the last letter I will ever send you. I will not be sending another email. I will not be visiting your house any more, nor are you welcome at mine. With this letter, I have enclosed two money orders; the first is to pay my debt of $57.88 to AT&T, and the second is for $140.00 your last means of control over me, and I am requesting that you never contact me again. I will be changing my phone number and address. If you try to find me in the future, please expect this action on your part to result in a restraining or no-contact order. I am doing this as a result of your actions. You may be my father, the person who donated the sperm. We may look alike and have the same last name. You may consider yourself the father of three. However, you lost the privilege of being my dad long ago, and will soon legally lose the privilege of being my father, because T.L. and I are signing adoption papers later this year.

Have a nice life.

Let me also explain some of the psychosexual effects that his abuse had on me and my siblings. C.A. is my younger brother (half). I was thirteen when he was born, and he developed in a similar manner to me. He had problems with development and bedwetting like I did. I began masturbating when I was in the 6th grade, but I was putting things inside me by first grade at the latest. I wet the bed consistently until 6th grade, and then on and off throughout high school. I had accidents when I was out playing with friends. All of these things are very clear signs of sexual abuse. In fact, my mother was concerned for the longest time that one of my uncles was abusing me. She took me to several therapists, waiting for me to disclose, but I never did, because the things my father did to me seemed normal at the time. He would watch me as I slept, he would walk in on my step-sister M.R. and I when we were undressed, or getting dressed, or even when we were in the shower, and for each instance, he made an excuse for the things he did. He forced me to show him my underwear the first time I bought thongs when I was thirteen. He had threatened me, he had threatened my step-sister, and my stepmother, B.J.A. didn't believe us when we told her, or she minimized the severity of the situation, because my father managed to talk her over to his side. He constantly disciplines using an implement of some sort. The list goes on and on.

Update on the Stalking

So, my mother and I were talking in the car the other day, while we were carpooling to work, and she was saying the answer to where S.A. was getting all of his information hit her like a ton of bricks one evening.
Let me introduce you to J.C... J.C. married my grandmother C.H. when I was a senior (?) in high school. None of my family members knew much about him when they got married, so we were all okay with it. All we really knew is that all his children were assholes, but he seemed pretty decent. Since the wedding, J.C. has revealed his inner asshole. He yells at my grandma in public, talks to her like she is stupid, underestimates how advanced her Alzheimer's disease is, and doesn't really seem to give a shit about C.H. in general.
To give you an example, J.C. accompanied my grandmother to my graduation from college last May, and apparently, he fell asleep during the ceremony, whined the whole time, and then wanted to leave without me "because he was cold." What. A. Fucking. Jerk. During my graduation dinner, the subject of S.A. arose. J.C. sympathized with S.A. for God knows what reason. Said we (my mom and I) were too hard on him. Most of the rest of my family knows that there is some bad blood there, though all of them underestimate how much. At my grandmother's wedding, my uncle D.H. had a beer with him in a bar. S.A. has tried to get information from my uncle M.H. and his wife, D.H., and every other relative that lives on his side of the state. Most of them, for the majority of the time, have said they don't know anything, or have refused to give him any information regarding my mother and I. However, he is getting his information somewhere.
Mom thinks it's J.C.
J.C. sympathizes with S.A.
J.C. is very similar to S.A.
J.C. is a giant slimeball.
Is more motive needed? Mom tells Grandma stuff about me, J.C. delivers that information to S.A.
This is what I was talking about when I was saying that I feel so alienated from my family. Now, because he's prying, and sucking all of my family into his little game, I have to refrain from telling my family members all of my news, my contact information, everything, if I don't want S.A. to get ahold of it. And it's all a way to suck me back in.

I promised a couple posts ago that I would post a letter of what I wrote to him, and you can judge for yourself what kind of person he was, whether or not I had the right to excommunicate him, ect.

Friday, November 11, 2011

Safe Haven

The boys are both out of town, Dad at work, AAS at his parents in California, so my mom and I got to spend some quality time together tonight. I expressed my concern that I am controlling and abusive like my SA, and she said she can't see it. I guess I've been successful in my vigilance in being aware of my thoughts and controlling my actions. We ended up talking about how he is finding my information. I went through facebook and blocked anyone that he might have contact with on MR's friends list. I'm hoping that this might solve the problem. I suspect that he is getting a hold of my texts, as I have already discussed. I told Mom that I felt like he was still alienating me from my family, even though I was no longer involved with him. She said that's his little game that he plays. The game that he plays to get you sucked back into his fight. And he's sucked in my aunt. Anyway, she said, "How do you think I feel?" She then explained that it feels like an invasion after having the house free of anything having to do with him for the past four years, and now all of a sudden she's hearing all about him, and everything has gone back to the way it was after she had divorced him. She said to "leave it at the front door. Don't talk about him, don't think about him, don't worry about him."
This is a safe place. It will always be a safe place. He cant touch me here.

Monday, November 07, 2011

Life Back With My Parents

Quick update on the S.A. front: my father (S.A.) has gotten to my aunt. What I mean by this is that he has convinced her that "he still cares," and she has been trying to convince me and my mother to send him a wedding invitation. The answer is flat out, NO. Especially because he seems to be cyber-stalking me. He told her that he was getting all of his information from the internet, which is funny, because I told no one over the internet that I was moving. What I think might be happening is that he is using my phone somehow, and getting access to my texts. I feel like no part of my life is being unobserved, like I'm on a reality TV show with some kind of horrible ending. I don't know what he's going to do, or where he's going to strike next.
On a happier note, I ran into Mr. D., my high school AP English teacher, the other day. My check engine light went on in my car because there is something wrong with it, so I took it to a mechanic, and they did some work without telling me what they were going to do and how much it was going to cost. So I was there, picking up my car, and Mr. D. was waiting in line behind me. Now the thing with Mr. D. is that he has his favorite students, and then he has the rest of the people in his class. When I took my AP exam, I got a 3, whereas the favorite students got 5's. I was never a favorite, and I was only in the class because I wanted to get into a top school, and rise above the rest of the SW high schoolers who really didn't care about school. Apparently, Mr. D. grouped me with the rest of the school anyway. This is what he thought of me, via a letter of recommendation:

"Dear Scholarship Committee:
"J.A. was my lovely surprise this year. I was her teacher three years ago in Regular (non-Honors) English 9, and after seeing her work I told her I was disappointed that she had not opted for our brand new Honors program (P.S. this is not true, but I did sign up for Honors courses starting in my sophomore year.) When she told me last year that she was considering taking my Advanced Placement English class in her senior year, I expressed grave doubts; I was worried she just did not have the background. Nonetheless, she persevered. She currently has an 'A' in the class, manages to surprise me at every turn with the quality of her work, and is one of the hardest working, intellectually passionate students in the class. I have to make it clear how rare that is. Usually (and this is a little sad, I suppose) a student begins high school right squack on the same track on which they end high school. J.A., on the other hand, has made such a huge step up from freshman year that I still cannot quite believe it at times.

"My only worry about J.A. is that her hard-working but quiet and unassuming nature might cause her to be overlooked in the whole scholarship process. She, however, does not seem to be worried at all. Her college attendance and college success are not contingent upon money nearly as much as they are contingent upon her passion and ambition. But still..... right? Please consider her as amongst the top candidates at the school for this scholarship.

"Now she is almost giddily excited about the college application process, applying even to several colleges which are beyond the hopes of a student with her background and test scores. She is aware of the challenge, but so in love with the idea of furthering her eduacation at the best school possible that she doesn not care. All three of her AP teachers (we only offer three AP classes!) are thrilled by her passion and her hard work, and we all share the hope that she will end up at a university which deserves her joyousness in living and learning. Thank you for considering this fine young student. Please email me or call if you have any questions.


Anyway, Mr. D. convinced all of us that top schools were good, that they held a lot of potential about helping you get jobs after school, and that student loans were okay, and everyone has them. I was convinced. So I applied to the best schools I could, and was accepted at all except one. NYU, Boston University, Willamette University, CWU, all of these schools accepted me, and Mr. D. was shocked, especially by NYU. Luckily, one of the private schools gave me a great financial aid package, and I was able to attend. Fast-forward four years, to me, graduated, but living with my parents, working as a Sales Associate at my high school job, just waiting for a promotion, and $30k in debt. I'm so glad I took Mr. D's advice about student loans.
Anyway, we ran into him at the mechanic, and he was very surprised to see me home, and not out on some epic adventure. I told him I graduated, and that he was actually at my graduation, which he didn't seem to know, even though I had been standing right beside him for about a half an hour, waiting for my turn to say hello, all the while, A.A.S., standing behind me, urging me to just do it. Let's just say I felt very justified rubbing it in that he overlooked me because of his favorites, and that I graduated, despite what he thought of me, and that I am planning on attending grad school next year, my top choice being UW, where they waive your tuition, my second choice being SPU. My mother couldn't stop at that, being the proud mother that she is. I was headed out the door, and Mom stood there, still talking; "Oh yeah, she graduated with a degree in psychology, and she has been volunteering with Marion County Victims' Assistance in the District Attorney's Office, and she's been doing really well, and, and, and," and I finally had to pull her out the door. As we were leaving, Mr. D. said, "Well, if you would like to come talk about applying to grad school, and preparing for the GRE's, feel free to drop in."
My reply came at the same time as my mom's, and we said the exact same thing: "I think I'll be fine, but thank you."