Melody's Story - part 3
My memories of the incest were not easy to handle. It was hard to accept that my memories were real, and I often dealt with doubt and confusion. It was always easier to think I was crazy than to think that my father was a monster. I couldn't change my father, but I could change myself. Deep inside, I knew the truth. My memories were too detailed and vivid to be imagined. Besides, why would I imagine something so horrible? And if I was having dillusions instead of memories, it would be evident in other aspects of my life. There was no other conclusion than to believe that I had, in fact, been molested by my father... as much as I did not want to believe that.
Eventually, once I had accepted the abuse as real, I decided that I needed to confront my mother about what had happened. I had never had a good relationship with her, and I thought telling her the truth might help her to understand me a little better. Deep down, I wanted her to believe me. I wanted her to hold me in her arms and tell me that she was sorry, that everything was going to be okay now. I wanted her to become the mother that she never was. That, of course, did not happen. My mom came up to where I was living and went to counseling with me for two days. I told her just about everything from how my dad got me to trust him, to specific incidents when he raped me, forced me to perform oral sex, and molested me repeatedly. It was one of the hardest conversations I had ever had. My mom was very upset at first, and I got the impression that she did believe what I was saying, even though she didn't say as much. She made it clear to me that she was going to support me and love me, and I thought all my hopes had come true. But the next day, her attitude was different. She was very defensive and cold. Nevertheless, she left town with a plan to confront my father about the situation.
I don't know the details of the next few days. I do know that my mom confronted my dad, he denied everything, and he left the house. He was back less than a week later, though, and she let him in. She didn't believe me, she said. So all the words of love and support I thought I was going to get from her were lies. Meanwhile, my dad hired a lawyer in case I pressed charges.
In one word, I was devestated. Crushed. I became very depressed. I took off from work and ended up spending a lot of time with my friends. I would have never been able to survive without their support. I felt as if my world had come crashing down. Not only had my mother not been there for me during my childhood, but she was not going to be there for me now either. That was hard for me to accept. Very hard.
After about a month, my relationship with my mother continued to remain distant. My depression improved a bit (with help from an increase in my medicine) and I gradually began to understand what happened. My mom loves me. She tries very hard to love me. But she isn't able to love me the way I need her to love me. I'm not even sure that she can love herself. All of my life, I had been trying to do things to get her to love me. I was a perfectionist, thinking that some day she would see me differently and love me more. But she never did see me differently, no matter what I did to change myself. Her love didn't depend on what I did. It depended on her attitude. It has helped me a lot to realize that. It lifts the guilt off me, so I don't have to blame myself any more for being imperfect. I don't have to say to myself, "See, she doesn't love you... you must not deserve to be loved... you just aren't good enough... you are so unworthy..."
Now I can say to myself, "Yes, you deserve love. Yes, you are a good person. Your mom doesn't love you unconditionally because she doesn't love herself that way. She isn't capable of that right now. She does love you... in the best way she knows how. You can accept that for right now. And keep loving her anyway."
Life looks a lot brighter when you begin not to take people's reactions and feelings towards you personally.
Read on to find out what I did about pressing charges...
See: About the Author for more stories about Melody