I thought that I would be writing the final installment of My Story; A Heart Like Mine from the singular perspective of leaving home many years ago. But I realized that in many ways I am only now finally leaving home and closing the gate behind me.
I left home at eighteen, only returning once for a short while. I have still always been connected and rooted to home. The Saying is that you can't every go home again, perhaps that is true because none of us left to begin with. I know that I have been sorting through and untangling the negative influences of how I was raised and confronting both family and the dark secrets they've held. All of those memories and emotions are tied to home in both a literal and physical sense. And even though I will continue to sort through and heal the damage done, I will be shifting the focus away from my family. Engaging with them has been one of the things that has kept the gate open, but now I'm done. I won't be connected to home anymore.
The way I normally tell the story leading up to my first departure from home starts like this:
"When I was thirteen, Vaarsuvius told me they had made a mistake marrying Other Parent".
I can remember where I was standing and that I had been reading an article about inventive teen engineers when Vaarsuvius found me and made their confession. I was not shocked, but surprised. I had known that we had a hard time as a family, that there was a lot of conflict, anger. Other Parent was controlling and often a source of tension. I wish I could go back and tell my naive younger self to put cotton balls in my ears right then and there, to ignore Vaarsuvius. Not because they were wrong but because they had no intention of finding ways to remedy the situation. Looking back I see their confession to me for what it was; a way to sever my relationship with Other Parent. They did not really want me all to themselves because they did not value me enough, but I was still an attention source and unlike Other Child I was very sympathetic and a great listener.
Vaarsuvius helped foster an anger and hatred of Other Parent. Now there was justification for the anger and hate out born out of frustration; Other Parent was an abuser. However I know now that Vaarsuvius was an abuser too. It wasn't really about recognizing Other Parents abuse and standing up to it, or leaving them for health and sanity. It was all about the game, and being a martyr victim was their favorite playing piece. Not only that but by shifting me away from the relationship with Other Parent Vaarsuvius accomplished something else; fixing a situation that made them feel vindictive and jealous. They saw me as competition for Other Parents attention, even if they didn't really want it. I was threatening to them and I had always been very much Other Parents little girl. I had stayed Other Parent's little girl up until thirteen. Things had been that way even with the arrival of Other Child (the golden child). While they were inclined to treat Other Child as the golden child, there were times when they actually tried to spoil me and balance things out- even after I had been so mad at them. Some of it was selfish on their part, they got to piss of Vaarsuvius, but at least I benefited a little. After Vaarsuvius confession I did spend a lot of time hating Other Parent and being much more aware of their abusive behaviors. Though I would also still spend time being pinged back and forth between them and Vaarsuvius based on who was in a good mood and who would support me.
Vaarsuvius would continue to use me as a shoulder to cry on, and made me their full time therapist.I was told things that no teenager/kid should ever have to hear. I at many points begged them to leave Other Parent, but Vaarsuvius was not going to leave. I was told they were not going to leave because the golden child, Other Child needed both parents. Never mind me- I was not that important. It was stressful, chaotic and intense living at home. There was not enough of the good and magical to wipe out the bad and stressful or even turn home into a somewhat healthy place to be. The summer I was eighteen I was coaxed out by Well meaning individual, they suggested I get a job so I had something else to think about aside from family problems. I tried to join the Armed Forces but when it did not work out I had to look for other options. I landed on a career as a Nanny at the suggestion of a friend. I found a position in another town, a few hours away form home. It was my first real job position. I was up and gone from home in less than a week.
Previous to my departure Vaarsuvius and Other Parent's relationship had deteriorated further. They had begun to live in different parts of the house with Vaarsuvius sleeping in the bottom bunk of Other Child's room, inflicting all the rest of their codependency on them. By the time I left they were in the middle of separation and divorce.
Before I had left home I was still being pinged back and forth between my parents. At the time I left I was in Other Parents court, and In fact because of that Vaarsuvius was pissed. I had been communicating with them less because they had been so in-supportive of my attempts to be independent. They were pissed that I was communicating with Other Parent. They "were so hurt" by my withdrawal from them that when I moved out they wouldn't talk to me for a week.
Even after leaving I would continue to be back and forth between my parents, primarily because them both being nincompoops meant that neither one was good company for long.
My final separation from Other Parent was after writing them a letter confronting them about their bad behavior. We did not speak after that for a time, then I reached out when I got engaged to my now husband. What encountered was them being withholding and punitive. They said they did not feel my letter needed responding to. This and how they treated the news of my engagement was the end. They were not invited to my wedding. I messaged them once more about a family event, and heard from them only once more about coming home for a holiday- but there was never any acknowledgement of any issues and no apology. The final message I sent them was confronting them about my discovery of the other abuses, to which there has been no response.
Vaarsuvius and I had many more trials before I found myself writing them a letter about the abuse by Other Parent. I also confronted the issues in our own relationship. I set up low contact and eventually no contact boundaries with them as I tried to deal with everything. They had not responded well to my letters and attempts to communicate. I was met with defense after defense and empty apologies. They also would not support me about the sexual abuse by Other Parent. They tried to "support" me towards the end but it did not feel very sincere, it felt like an attempt to hold onto me and keep things where they were at. It's always felt like a game with them, they think if they do all the right things, and say all the right words they will get a reward, and should get a reward. To them all those things they said were good and right, even though the sentiments felt completely empty. They will tell you like any Narcissist who thinks they are a victim- that they have no idea what went wrong or what they did. More than anything they don't want to be bad, and if losing a relationship means not having someone or being bad they will dig in their heels.
The last time opening the gate; Vaarsuvius and I have been no contact for a while now. I recently opened up the lines of communication for practical reasons, getting any medical records they had to help explain an injury from childhood. There was no response.
I find I am solid in my understanding of this history, and experience. Its conclusion is a very tangible scar that is left in its wake. This scar is not the first, it’s just the only one that is touchable and even visible on a CT scan. There are way too many scars, way too much damage done. At some point the consequences catch up. Parents learn the hard and sad lesson that you cannot treat children in ways which hurt them and expect them to stay. Sometimes there is a point from which you can't return, a point where there is too much damage.
I’m done, I’m gone, wisp, poof, gone.
I'll not ever be returning home again.