Sunday, January 27, 2008

Memories (installment 5)

We lived on the dairy farm for 5 years. We had good times and bad times. We learned and grew. Then we moved back to the farm that my parents owned, about 5 miles away from the dairy. That other farm, the one I call "home" is 300 acres of farmland, with 2 houses, numerous barns, a few horses, some chickens, and a bunch of deer. When we moved back, Daddy had to find another job. So, for the first time in a long, long time, he went to work for someone else. For the next few years, Daddy worked as the maintenance man for the Due West Retirement Center, in Due West, SC. My brother and I were in high school, and our little brother was in school.

The next several years were rather un-eventful, in most ways. We didn't move. Financially, things were almost stable. No one in the family got into any major troubles. However, for me personally, this was one of the most painful periods of my life. Looking back, now, I can see that I was going through normal struggles, trying to be myself, figuring out what it meant to be a Christian in a very legalistic environment. I was also beginning my struggles with depression.

I dealt repeatedly with my mom's physical and emotional abuse. My mother had her own demons, and they came back often to haunt me. Deep inside, I wanted to please my parents. On the outside, it looked like I couldn't do anything to please either of them. I was stuck somewhere between my college educated parents, and my friends and church. I was unsure that anyone loved me. I wasn't Mennonite enough for my church or friends, and I was too Mennonite for my parents.

I had a couple of friends who weren't Mennonite, but who attended the Mennonite school with me. I spent a lot of time at their home. One day, I mentioned to one of them that my mother was abusive, and they passed that information on to their mother, who was a friend of my mom's. I know that their mom was trying to protect me, but instead, I ended up suffering from the decision she made to talk to my mom about it.

I threatened to run away several times. The things that came out of my mother's mouth at that time still haunt me. Names that a child should never be called by their parents. Through all of that, God protected me from so many things. I never smoked. Or drank. Or did drugs. Or was involved physically with anyone. It would have been so easy for me to get into any one of those things.

God had someting different in mind for me. For that, I am very grateful.


Cricket's Hearth said...

Hi Laura,
I can not say how much I appreciated your post. I too had a very abusive mother. And I know she had her demons, which led her to be domineering and abusively controling of her children. Added to her abuse was sexual abuse from her brother, actually my first memory. Unlike you, I did get involved physically very early in life and married at 16. I used drugs until I was 30 and was a social drinker until about 10 years ago. Although I didn't start until I was 31, I quit smoking this past August. I enjoy reading your posts and plan to visit often. I hope you don't mind, but I am tagging you for TAGGED for 6. Please check out my blog for directions how to pass the tag on. Blessings, Cricket

Ruth said...

Thanks for sharing these memories.

Thanks for visiting my blog, for leaving a comment, and for praying for Kenya.

baby~amore' said...

Laura - thanks for visiting my blog.
I am so sorry you had a difficult childhood.
It has reminded me that I am perhaps guilty of treating my teen a little too 'tough' lately - verbally I can say some horrible things when he presses my buttons...NO excuses I know! I don't physically abuse him - gosh he is big as me now and stronger. He is a 'good' kid but also going through struggles.
I needed to read this today - maybe he is trying to please us (sometimes) but we expect too much of him right now in adolescence.
I am glad God held you in the grip of his hands.Blessings to you.

Laura said...

WOW - what a post from the heart. I am so sorry for what you had to go through.

Thanks for sharing.