Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Places, everyone! Places!

My parents are coming to visit this weekend.

Usually, I'd be completely excited, especially since the weather sounds like it will be warm and sunny and there are lots of festivals to go to around the area.

But this time, I face the weekend with trepidation.

Because if I'm ever going to tell my parents about my abuse, this is it.

On my walk today, I rehearsed (and rehearsed and rehearsed) what I'll say to my mom. The basic spiel is:

Mom, I have something that is really hard for me to tell you. It's really hard for me to talk about. But keeping it secret is hurting me. It's the main reason I have an eating disorder, which I'm managing very well now.
When I was 11 or 12 years old, Tom, my brother, sexually molested me a few times. He confirmed it and apologized for it last fall. But I'm still angry.
I need you and dad to understand and respect that I am angry at him. And while he and I can be civil (like my visit in July,) it hurts me deeply.

If necessary, I'm prepared to elaborate:

"Yes, he apologized. Yes, I accepted his apology, but that doesn't mean that I'm not angry for what he did to me. He could have ruined my life. I almost lost my marriage. I developed a disease that could have killed me. I've hated myself and my body for as long as I can remember. That makes me angry. And I have every right to feel that way."

"True, it happened over twenty years ago, but for me, it's like it happened last fall, when I was strong enough to handle the memories."

If she asks, "What do you want me to do about it?"
"Just understand that it hurts me to hear about Tom right now. Respect that I'm angry at him."

And if she struggles with this information, I'll say,
"Mom, I understand that this information is a lot to take in. There isn't really anything you can do, other than realize that I don't want to hear about Tom right now. I've talked with Johnny about this, asked him for advice on how to tell you. He didn't seem to think I should tell you any of it, but I thought that gave you far too little credit. I don't want the family broken up, but I also can't live with this secret pain anymore. I don't deserve that. I didn't do anything wrong."

I can't think of any other questions she may ask or statements she may make.

And I do realize that not once have I thought about how I would react should I get a supportive reply.

And I do realize how sad that may seem, however in my recovery, I've learned that 'tis better to lower one's expectations than to constantly be disappointed. Better to stop banging my head against the cement wall.

So, I'm extremely nervous about doing this. I'm worried that I'm missing a potential scenario (like the world blowing up in my face.) A voice in my head keeps saying, "You're making a mountain out of a molehill. Why are you stirring all this up? Why are you going to break your mother's heart over something that happened so long ago?"

But then I remember the weird, disturbing dreams that I have every single night.
And I think about how tired I am all the time. And how I've been fighting my eating disorder and depression and bad body image.

I don't want to hide anymore. Not from myself. Not from my husband. Not from my parents.

Not anymore.

So I drown that voice by practicing my "speech." And I focus on the relief I will feel after I tell my mother.

Because no matter what her reaction is, I will have done it. The truth will be out in the open.

And it will be a relief. At least on some level.


Sarah said...

Dear Jeanne,

I'm so very proud of you. You've done a lot of hard work to be able to get to this point, and I think you've planned it out as well as anything involving other people can be planned.

I'm around all weekend if you need anything.

You're not alone.

I'm here, I care, and I'm not going anywhere.


Faith said...

Jeanne - I'm here this weekend. I want you to know that if you want to talk, I'm around. I can give you my # via email. I think you are very brave and however it goes, you have done what is right for YOU - you are taking care of yourself. And that is a good thing.


Eve said...

Dear Jeanne,

You are so brave. I am so glad that you are what's right for you and what you need to do to take care of yourself. You are not alone. You will be in my thoughts and heart this weekend. Good luck, Mama Bear.

Love, Eve

æ said...

oh wow, jeanne, you can do this.

you can, you really can.

those negative, mountain-from-molehill voices are not your own--they're society's, your folks' your brothers'...

those voices are wrong.

this is a big deal.

I wish I were closer this weekend...I will check on you when I get home.

I am sending you so much love. You are so brave. You are doing something that is meaningful for us all.


Jeanne said...

sarah, faith, eve, and ae,

Thank you so much for your encouragement and support. I am super nervous and totally anxious - I just want to get it over with. I'm worried that maybe the right time won't come up (like I won't be alone with my mom for any length of time...) But knowing that I have all of you helps calm me down some.

I am so grateful that I found all of you!

thinking of you all,

em said...

You are so courageous and wonderfully brave. I'll be thinking of you this weekend.


Eve said...

Dear Jeanne,

I know you are ready for this. I know you will make the time to talk to your mom and get it out.

Lots of love, and lots of hugs,


hayley said...

dear jeanne

wow. i'll be thinking of you this weekend. I find your attitude and your planning just amazing.

take care of yourself (you seem to be very good at this)

hayley said...

love h.x ^

Sarah said...

thinking of you


Jeanne said...

em, eve, hayley, sarah,

thank you all so much for your encouragement!