I have read this quote a lot lately, and tonight I feel compelled to write on it.
My stepdad would not have won father of the year awards, even though he was my dad from basically 2 years old up.
One of the memories that really stand out to me:
My stepfather and mother had a BBQ or camping trip, or something planned. While my mom was at work, my chore was to make potato salad. I had no idea how, and this was before the days of computers in MY home.
My mom told me to chop up the potatoes, boil them, and then stick them in the fridge and when they were cooled my step dad would deal with them. I had never made potato salad, and when my mom cooked potatoes we always did it with the skins on.
So I chopped up and boiled over 10 pounds of potatoes. I had to use different pans to cook it all. I was just straining the first pan, and my step dad walked in the kitchen. I remember being smacked across the back of the head, and I can still hear his words ring out.
“Are you a fucking idiot? You dont make potato salad with the skins on”
“Dad, I didnt know and mom-“
“Don’t tell me your mom told you to do this with the skins on. What do you have fucking shit for brains?”
“Peel the skins of every one of these fucking things, now”
“But Dad, its too ho-“
“Should have done it before you cooked it that way”
And then I had to sit at the table and peel all the skins off, my hands were blistering, I didnt have gloves to use, I cried silently as I did it.
Some of his favorite insults were:
Shit for brains
Stupid fucking kid
Money grubbing brat
A member of the itty-bitty-titty-committee
And the list goes on…
My inner voice sounds suspiciously like his..
When I get less then a 100 on a test, I remind myself that I really am stupid and this proves it.
Last night when I attempted to make fried chicken and it wasnt perfect, I reminded myself that all I do is fail so why try.
When my house is a mess and I am so depressed I cant move, I remind myself that I am a lazy, good-for-nothing-slob.
I call myself every name he has ever uttered at me, multiple times a day.
I remind myself that I am unlovable and soon my husband will leave me over it.
My boobs are too small, my skin is disgusting, I am fat….
I am not as good as my sister…
I will never amount to anything so why am I wasting money on school?
*I* tore a family apart. *I* asked for it. Its *MY* fault.
The scars from the abuse are gone. The trauma from the rape is tolerable. But the complete breakdown of my self esteem is impossible. I cry all the time over how much I want to love myself, but when you are told things like this, DAILY for over 13 years, its ingrained in you.
Please don’t ruin your children.
Please don’t break their spirit, their soul, their dreams.
Don’t tell them they are nothing, stupid, or ugly.
Build them up, because reprogramming your inner voice is something I have tried to do for many, many long hard years, and I still am not even close to LIKING myself, let alone, loving myself.