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Grieving the Death of An Abusive Parent: Geri “Tookie” Anderberg is Dead
by Kirsten Anderberg ( kirstena [at] resist.ca )
Friday Apr 25th, 2008 7:56 AM
My stepmother, Geraldine “Tookie” Anderberg, died on April 21, 2008. She was a horribly abusive parent, and it has really been a mixed bag of emotions coming to terms with her death. It seems odd to celebrate someone’s death in the way I feel it right now. I am not celebrating the joyful, productive, amazing life of my stepmom, Geri, in her death. It is more like a Nazi camp prisoner might feel upon hearing word that a Nazi officer that tortured him died. I am trying to figure out how to process the loss of an abusive parent. My *most* abusive parent.
Grieving the Death of An Abusive Parent: Geri “Tookie” Anderberg is Dead
By Kirsten Anderberg
Written April 25, 2008

My stepmother, Geraldine “Tookie” Anderberg, died on April 21, 2008. She was a horribly abusive parent, and it has really been a mixed bag of emotions coming to terms with her death. Usually when someone dies, you at least show some obligatory respect and lie about the people, just talking about their good parts. But this woman was so abusive to me and my sisters that I literally have *nothing* good to say, so I am not supposed to say anything at all. But then that keeps the cycle of silence about criminal level child abusers hidden, and I am really not comfortable with that either. I am sure many other kids who were severely abused at home can relate to what I am going through right now, trying to figure out how to process the loss of an abusive parent. My *most* abusive parent.

First of all, this is a rite of passage in ways, as I have never had anyone I have ever called “mom” or “dad” die. And in that way, it is really striking on a deeply emotional level. And those names are special names reserved for very few people in my life. I have very intimate relationships with anyone I have called those names, as those are names that imply a level of trust, in ways. But I could *not* trust my parents. Not at all. Their adult shenanigans put me in life-threatening danger repeatedly as a child, teen, and young adult and it is really hard to figure out whether I should celebrate or grieve, if I am to be perfectly honest.

It seems odd to celebrate someone’s death in the way I feel it right now. I am not celebrating the joyful, productive, amazing life of my stepmom, Geri, in her death. That is not it. It is more like a Nazi camp prisoner might feel upon hearing word that a Nazi officer that tortured him died. It is almost indescribable in ways. And a unique situation I will not be in again, as I only have three parents: my mom, my dad, and my stepmom. I have many good memories amidst the bad of my mother and father, but not a one good memory of Geri, my stepmom. I got some good things from my own parents, I was only bullied and dehumanized by Geri. With my parents, they showed love at some times in my life. But as soon as my dad hooked up with Geri, he was all of a sudden implicated in a lot of really despicable actions against his own flesh daughters to please my maniacal stepmother. I have to say that Geri, herself, orchestrated *most* of my own father’s most abusive and violent actions against me as a teen. She is unquestionably responsible 100% for me being a homeless teen over and over again. She seemed to create an unsafe, violent, drunken, cold environment everywhere she went, even with her own children. So grieving her death is totally different than grieving my own parents’ deaths, as I do not have *anything* good to say about this woman as she never did anything decent with or for me as a child in her care. She actually tried to kill me, throwing me violently onto streets endlessly with no conscience or morals whatsoever. In addition, she traumatized me watching her abuse her own kids.

Yet I still feel guilty for being happy she is dead. But I would be lying if I said I was actually grieving in sorrow at her getting off this planet. I actually feel safer with her gone. I feel like the most frightening, cold, mechanical, maniacal human I have ever met is dead and that really is not a bad thing at all! Yet still, societal norms say I should be silent if I have nothing good to say about Geri at her death, and also there is some implicit obligation to respect Death, itself, by not talking badly about the deceased. Yet if I am silent, she just got away with murder. If I am silent, I am now doing her bidding, yet again. In some twist on Rev. Dr. M.L.King’s comment about in the end remembering not the hurtful words of his enemies, but the cowardly and dangerous silence of his friends instead…I think that for me to stay silent, and to join in on the myth of Geri aka “Tookie,” somehow being a “loving mother,” the myth that my alcoholic father wants to build in the wake of her death, would somehow implicate me in something not honest on a spiritual level. I feel it would tie me to Geri even from the grave and I want this to be the time when all ties with her are cut free!

I feel like being silent about Geri’s criminal level child abuse makes me involved with the whole family spider web of lies and shameful secrets, something I want no part of. And for me, the term “breaking the silence” actually has some relevance here. I feel that I should be allowed to “break the silence” about my stepmother as the rights I earned being abused at her mercy as a child. Thus I *do* feel I not only have a right to be honest about Geri Anderberg’s abusive past as I stand on her new grave, but actually an obligation to speak out about what she has done this lifetime. I wonder how many other survivors of serious child abuse have felt this consternation over these issues? I am sure this is something others have been confused by too. Death of an abuser and the issues of silence are huge, as another feeling I have is I do not think it is right that she did all that abuse of kids, then just dies and the secret dies with her. Something about that is not right.

“…Ever take a minute just to show a real emotion, in between the moisture cream and velvet facial lotion? Ever tell your kids you’re glad that they can think? Ever say you love them, ever let them watch you drink? Ever wonder why your daughter looks so sad? It’s such a drag to have to love a plastic mom and dad.” – Frank Zappa

As I think back on our house where Geri was married to my dad and she ruled like a dictator, in Granada Hills, I realize that I never once saw any of Geri’s kids do homework. I never heard her ever ask any of her kids, or me, “Did you do your homework?” Now, as a mother myself, that is one of the hardest parts of every day! The homework fight! But she never had that consternation in the house since Geri had a don’t ask don’t tell policy around homework apparently when we were kids in school under her “care.” And only one of her daughters got a college degree, and Geri was livid, out of her mind enraged, when her daughter got accepted to college. And never went to the graduation of her one daughter that defied her and actually got a college degree. Geri never took us to see any of her kids, or me, do anything extracurricular. We did not play on sports teams with family members cheering us on, I never went to even one team sports event of one of my sisters. I do not remember going to *any* of Geri’s kids’ school events or any other events where one of them was shining in a spotlight showcasing their talents and the family was supporting them. I also have noticed that Geri and Geri’s girls don’t cry. And I realize I hid when I cried from Geri as she was a monster if you cried near her, she would bully and disgrace you for that. She was not loving in any way that I can discern, even with her own daughters. I remember her telling one of her teen daughters to go get a job as a pole dancer, bringing her the want ads, when she was 18.

I have some serious issues with Geri’s ex-husband Jimmy Hopper who was a pedophile in my experience and opinion. I lived with Jimmy and Geri, before my dad had an affair with her and married her, in 1969 when I was 8. Jimmy sexualized all girls, no matter what age, in front of everyone without shame, talking about even little girls’ “titties,” as well as other completely inappropriate public (and private) sexual behaviors with minors. And he was a drunk, which made things exponentially worse. He was the first person to French kiss me. At age 13. At his house. It felt like rape and I still remember it vividly. When I told my dad that Jimmy had French kissed me, I was never forced to go with my sisters to Jimmy’s house again, but they still were dropped off there! I do not think it entirely appropriate to talk about all of his sexual abuse issues in addition to his alcohol issues here, but he was dangerous to children and Geri was FULLY aware of this. And yet, long after leaving Jimmy to live with my dad, she would drop her girls off with a man she knew was not safe in any way, a man dad had deemed too unsafe for *his* girl to be near, but not Geri. Her kids she handed right over to him without any conscience at all. I can only attest to the sexual abuse I witnessed myself with Jimmy, I am not saying anything about anyone else. I am just saying he was doing pedophile things next to me, and to me, and that my sisters were alone with him for years after Geri divorced Jimmy, due to Geri’s non-parenting style.

So, I used to think that Geri just abused me, and was just terrible to me, not her own kids, due primarily to their fear of breaking the silence of child abuse and some internalized shame about abuse. But as years have gone on and drug and alcohol problems have been identified among them, and small utterances of our abuse as kids trickle out of the kids that were present, I have begun to connect the dots. And granted, she was especially viscous and demeaning to me and my dad’s kids. But she was no picnic for her own kids either. And I realize now with age, looking back, that I saw her and Jimmy abusing her own kids and it was actually traumatizing to me too, to watch her do that to her own kids too. I had never seen a grown man fondle young girls like that. I, myself, had never before had to fight a grown man’s hands off of touching me in ways I was absolutely not comfortable with. And it was really weird to have no adult intervene even though adults such as Geri were present. Thus is the non-parenting model Geri presented. Geri in turn encouraged her girls to look sexual. Now, *that* I saw her doing. I saw her teaching her girls how to wear push up bras, wigs, color their hair, etc…but I never ever saw her doing one thing academic or artistic with them such as my mom did with me. Geri and I fought endlessly about her wanting me to look sluttier and me resisting, sticking to academia and music for virtue instead.

I never felt safe with Geri around. She was always creating soap operas, and everything was always so negative as soon as she came around. She was well-known for being “fake.” She was “phoney on top, and phoney underneath,” as Zappa would say. Fake everything - fake hair color, lots of makeup, cosmetic surgery, push up bras, etc. I would have to say if there was one thing that Geri had a talent for, it was “fakeness.” In college, she was named “most polished,” but that could have many connotations! Sometimes I wonder if she even had a soul, to be honest. She is sort of an enigma to me in ways, as I wonder how on earth you could live with yourself being the woman she is, but then I remember my mom teaching me to be glad when you cannot understand how people like that work.

So I have mixed emotions here today. The woman who abused not only me, but her own kids in front of me as well, has finally kicked the bucket. I know I am supposed to care. But the only reason I care is it means good riddance. Then I feel guilty for saying or thinking that. Then I get pissed and say I have a “right” to break her silence. And then I get sad, thinking “why?” Why did Geri have to make life a living hell for me and my sisters? Only ONE out of her own 6 kids, made it to age 18 at home with that level of abuse due to her behaviors. If she had just been healthy and not so twisted, all of us could have had a safe home, gone to college, been supportive and loving family, but Geri was like some kind of anti-gelling agent! There would be no success, no health, no bonding…instead everyone in the family was under her dark cloud and put into SURVIVAL MODE, always watching our backs due to Geri. And now the sky has cleared, and she is no longer blocking the sun.

I would actually like to hear from others who have had these sorts of “Ding, Dong, the Witch is Dead!” celebratory feelings about their abusers dying. You can email me at kirstena [at] resist.ca with your own stories about this confusion and maybe if I get enough emails, I can write another article on it with new information! I have also posted a long list of personal memories and stories of specific instances of child abuse by Geri online at http://resist.ca/~kirstena/pagegeri.html if you would like to know more. I have posted a poem or two about all this there, as well. You have to have done some pretty bad stuff to actually inspire someone to list your child abuses in the wake of your death, but Geri “Tookie” Anderberg actually did do some pretty bad stuff and I just cannot be obligated to keep her silence, to protect her guilt, at this late stage of the game. It is the end of an era, and it feels quite good. The names *will not* be changed to protect the guilty.

My stepfather, Joe, died on April 7th of this year. I am 43. He was 82. He was my father from the time I was 13. For many, many years our relationship was one of verbal and emotional abuse. He made it very well known to both my brother and I that he loved my mother but we were an unfortunate price he paid to be with her. It took a lot of years to come to terms and learn to forgive him. And it was not an easy process. I used to tell my grandmother that I wished he was dead...not because I wished him dead, but so he would not be in our lives anymore and there would be no way for him to ever be again.

Over the last several years our relationship changed. He softened, I got stronger. We actually got along. Which was why I was so surprised at the emotions I am feeling now that he has passed.

I think this whole '5 stages of grief' thing needs to be rethought. Our generation was the first to experience divorce in such huge numbers. And most remarried, for good or bad. Often bad. And because of that, our experiences during the grieving process is very different.

Sorrow. I am sorry he is gone. Although our relationship was not good, I did love him. And I'm sorry that the relationship we were starting to build will never grow. I was sorry that when he died he was alone. It makes me sad to think he was afraid and alone at the end.

Relief. This was the one I did not expect. They talk about relief when a parent who suffered long term illness finally passes, and the survivors feel relief. But this was very different. I was relieved that we did not have to live our lives around him anymore. That the part of myself I hid away for safe keeping - the part of me I could never be for fear he would destroy that - could now come forward and I could be 'me'.

Guilt. How could any person feel as I did over the death of someone? What kind of person am I?

Anger. This is not anger at him for leaving us. It is anger at my mom. For the last decade or so, my mom (who is 17 years younger than my stepfather) has lived her life pretty much apart from my stepfather. They lived together. But Mom had her own friends, her own job and kept busy with these things. They rarely did things together. They slept in separate bedrooms. But now that he is gone, she is grieving like he was some great man. And I am so angry at her for this.

And this is where I am right now. Hurt, sad, angry, relieved, freed. Guilty. All at once. And until this article, I have been unable to find anyone else going through this.

But our generation is now seeing our parents and stepparents getting older and dying. I think the whole grief process is going to change to include children of parents/stepparents who were abusive - whether it was emotionally, verbally or physically.

Thanks for writing. I was glad to finally find someone else who is going through what I am.

Kris
kirsten, my mother is about to die from liver cancer, and i cannot be there for her right now. this woman abused me (and she taught my step-dad how to abuse me as well). let me back up a minute... my mom got pregnant with me when she was 17, my dad 19. when i was about 1 1/2, she decided she needed to go to job corp and learn a skill, so she left me with my dad, and he in turn, left me on his mother's porch for her and my grandfather to take care of me until i was almost 5. i remember thinking my mom was so pretty and every time she came to visit me, i desperately wanted to leave with her. but everytime i was told i couldn't. i had an aunt that lived with my grandparents and she was not so nice to me, although we are pretty cool now. when my mom finally came and got me, there was a man with her that i did not know. his name was charles and it was very difficult to share my mom with this guy i didn't know at all, let alone do what he told me to do. charles was in my life for over 13 yrs. as my stepfather. i'll say this about charles--he was a damn fine provider, but he sucked big time as a stepfather. he told co-workers and friends that i was his daughter but he never really treated me like one, especially when my brother, HIS child, was born when i was 9. my mom put some pretty heavy responsibility on me starting out very young. she also left me alone a lot, which made me get into some mischief and could have very well gotten me into some dangerous situations. i had always walked home from school. i was a very lonely kid. they would even send me to the store back forth for cigarettes and rolling papers and what not, all by myself. i remember there was this young man that worked by where i went to school and he would usually walk me home from school quite a bit. he was a really nice young man to look after me like that. he didn't have a home phone so, from time to time, i would let him into the house to use our phone. thank God he was a nice guy and never tried anything. no telling what would have happened to me for being so lonely and trusting... my mom also separated me from my dad's side of the family. i was never really allowed to have much to do with them anymore after she got me... her and my grandmother would have these screaming matches, my grandmother called the cops and cps on her so she never allowed me much visitation again. my maternal grandparents saw to it i went to Sabbath school and to church most saturdays so i did get to see my other grandmother there occassionally and it was nice to sit with her and catch up. i would just cuddle up next to her, inhaling her scent of 'white shoulders' perfume while she fed me peppermints and gave me unconditional love and cuddles. my mother has always been an enigma to me. she was a very beautiful woman... very petite, korean, raised by two black college professors who were very strict. she went to some of the best schools but was always considered the 'black sheep' of the family. she was the hot tempered one--the one that would fight your battles then turn around and point a gun at you if you pissed her off. but... that was 'lei' and everybody knew it and just kept on trudging along. most people, including her parents, would walk on egg shells or handle her with kid gloves so as not to piss her off, and SHE ran her household. what she said went. it was her way or the highway. and no one dared challenge her... at least not for long. so i had a mixture of a free-loving hippie upbringing--weed and ciggs smoked all around me. adult parties with all kinds of debauchery and heavy drinking going on (and most of these people, including my parents, are gov't employees!) watching or hearing her and charles have sex, and they walked around freely naked, which is one thing i actually appreciate about my upbringing. yes, she taught me about the importance of education, she taught me how to be eloquent in speaking and how to be a lady, i even get my warped sense of humor from her. it wasn't all bad, but that's like saying hitler wasn't all bad. just a little bit of bad to a kid is bad enough. mix that with a big hug and a forced kiss after a beating, and it confuses a kid. my mother was mostly angry. and she took her anger out on me. because i looked just like my sorry ass, black ass daddy. i am the spitting image of him, therefore her anger toward him, his infidelity, his non-supportiveness both financial and otherwise, was taken out on me. and my dad was no help. he was a weakling, just like everyone around her, that always backed down when she spit venom, which was often... it's sad, but i identify so much with the character, celie, from 'the color purple'. no, i did not bear children with my stepfather, but i did have the beatings, the humiliation, the ridicule, the responsibility, everything this character had to go through in the movie, i've had to go through too, including the redemption and the self-love. i tried countless times to tell my father, anybody who would listen, about what was happening to me and no one did anything for fear of her tongue lashing or her waving a gun around and losing it, and the abuse intensified when alex, my baby brother was born. i became soley responsible for telling them when he needed more milk or pampers, and if i forgot, i got beaten and made to walk to the store to get him some more. i had to bathe him, play with him, take him outside with me all the time and play with him instead of playing with my own friends... all because she was too lazy of a mother to do these things herself. she talks about how proud she is of me... how responsible i am and what a good mother i am to my children, how well i take care of things. i had no choice but to learn those things. it was forced upon me. what childhood i was allowed to have was shitty and i can never retrieve those years. it's a wonder i don't hate my own brother because of it, but i don't and yet he hates me for leaving TX and following my husband and family to the military. all of the abuse i've had to endure because he existed.. he was her darling light-skinned little angel who could do no wrong, and there i was, celie, the house nigger at her beck and call. but i don't blame him for that because he was just a baby and didn't know any better. don't think i was the only one that bore the burden of her neglect and abuse. as alex got older, he got just a small taste of what she and my stepdad were capable of. by this time, they were doing okay financially and we had moved to the suburbs when i was a pre teen. charles had started going to college and she wrote all his major papers for him and he passed with flying colors. he got a better job, stopped smoking weed and subsequently stopped abusing me. since alex was HIS son, there was only so much he would allow her to do to him, when he was around. my mom has, what i like to call the 'mommie dearest syndrome'... which is, you're cute when you're a baby, but when you get to an age where you can not only talk but judge her, then you're not so cute and cuddly anymore. she's quite charming too. no one who wasn't around when i was a kid would have every known what a terror she could be. i lived in constant awe and fear of her. i prayed to God that i would wake up one morning and look just like her, so maybe she would love me and treat me better. there were adults around who literally saw what was happening to me... witnessed it on countless occasions, and still did nothing. oh, they've said their 'sorry's' since i've been an adult, but too little too late... so i've had to save myself. i'm still wrestling with that demon. and now, my mother is deathly ill with cancer and i'm expected to once again, pick up where i left off, and continue to play the dutiful daughter role i once assumed. and i gotta be honest, i'm soooooo NOT feeling that! maybe i'm wrong, maybe even in denial of how gravely ill she is, but i just can't get myself to pick up the phone and call her. i sent her a gift and card for mother's day, just in case this is her last one. there are many other things my mom is and has done, even recently, that continues to hurt me and now subsequently my husband and children. so i find myself no longer able to tolerate her and her theatrics and i don't feel i should. i've grown tired of her games, so i'm graciously stepping down and hope for the best for her. maybe i'll change my mind and will be there for her in the end, as everyone in my family feels i should. that it's my duty as her eldest child and her daughter to come to her aid once again, and care for her to the very end. maybe i will... who knows... continued therapy should help me figure this out...
by RaeMadison
Monday Oct 11th, 2010 9:15 PM
I can relate to your stories. My Mom died 9-18-10 after two years of Cancer. I'm trying to turn a corner with my new found freedom. Funny how the one that hurts you the most is the one you would be there for till the very end. I couldn't let her die without me there for her, even after many many many years of emotional manipulation. one-up-manship and her rage laid upon me by her hands as a child. I'm glad I don't have a harsh words; what I know is what I know I guess. I wouldn't be the person I am today if not for the experiences I had had. The grass is greener on the other side right? My Mom share with me her abusive childhood in her last 6 months of life. I'm glad she did. I got to experience her friendship before she died. At least, I think I did...... It was a long death, slow......then when she took her last final breath the loudest clap of thunder shook the windows in the room at hospice and we (other family) all jumped. It really makes one think some deeper thoughts.

Madison
by kirsten anderberg
Saturday Jun 18th, 2011 12:00 PM
Hey there, I just wanted to thank you all for the thoughtful comments here. My dud (dad) is getting old and sick now too and I will have to face another abuser's death soon as well. It was inspiring, actually, to read all your responses and to see that others have thought about this. I agree that we are the first generation to go thru massive large scale divorce and the stepparent thing was pretty bad and deserves discussion...I took down the details of Geri's crimes webpage as I did not want to be tied to her, but I think I want to put it back up as I really do feel their crimes should live with them...I did get genuine healing by writing this eulogy for this abusive woman tho, and I do encourage you all to write an honest eulogy of your abusers when they die. I found it liberating to finally be able to just say it and let it go...her death was a freedom for me and I assume my father's death will feel the same. I do think it is healing to at least say what that hand over your mouth prevented before. Breaking the silence actually has empowerment within as trite as it sounds or seems. And I feel more tied to them in keeping their secrets than I do in telling the truth about who they are.
by Shelia Wadsworth
Friday Nov 25th, 2011 2:00 PM
I am researching grieving the abusive parent as my mother recently died and I am struggling with the gambit of emotions and feelings I am faced with. My mother was diagnosed with Borderline Personality Disorder many, many years ago. She was very abusive to my sisters and I. Me and my youngest sister were more emotionally/verbally abused and my middle sister received the brunt of the physical abuse. My mother also sexually abused me. I have recently started to come to terms with this and had severed contact with my mother since April of this year. She then was hospitalized at the end of September so I got roped back into the web of abuse. I again distanced myself until last Friday when I got a call at work that mom was 'actively dying'. I went to be with her and my sisters during this time and she died in her sleep late Saturday evening. So, at times, I really do miss her but most of the time I am feeling a bit relieved. Then I feel guilty for keeping the kids away during the last weeks of her life. I don't know...everything is so weird and mixed up. I love/hate her at the same time. Some of the hurt I feel is for my children who lost their grandmother...but I rejoice in the fact that I can be and am a better mother than she was. It is also hard to get sympathy from people who don't know what life was really like with her. I suppose I am rambling and the loss too fresh...
by Aunt T
Friday May 4th, 2012 8:24 PM
My mom died 5 months ago. I experienced 2 emotions at the same time, shock and relief. My father died when my mom was 7 months pregnant with me. He left her with 3 children under 12 years of age and one on the way. My mother abused me physically, emotionally and spiritually. She also abused my siblings who would in turn take their anger on me by teasing, torturing and sexually abusing me. When my birthday came around, it was always a reminder that my dad is gone, a lot bitter, not so much sweet. When I was 7 my mom remarried an alcoholic and they had a child whom they adored. My step dad would disappear for days on end, that's when the abuse would ramp up. I tried to commit suicide once at 14 and contemplated another try at 17 but I was visited by my dad in a dream and that literally kept me alive. The only time I felt any approval from my mother was when I got married (to a drug addict) and when I had my daughter. But there was always an emotional distance. My sister always talked about how my crib went in her room clear across the house from my mother's room. According to my sister, she took care of me. I was very much a tomboy which my mother really hated. Bottom line, I do think she hated me. One time after a beating, I looked at her and said through sobs, "you have never told me you love me". Her response, "Oh poor you, your mommy never told her she loved you, poor you". I was devastated. That's just a sliver of my experiences as a child. Fortunately, I had been going to counseling once a month for several years before her death because of nightmares and anxiety attacks. My psychologist diagnosed me with PTSD. I haven't had an attack or a nightmare since my mother's death. I still have emotions of great sadness. Mainly because I'll never hear an apology and I'll never be able to confront her. One of the main issues I have now is my siblings are all in denial about the abuse. My sister tries to force her emotions on me by demanding I answer that I miss mom, "We miss her don't we?". Now I'm thinking, "no" but all I can manage is "sometimes". So I'm still living in fear of actually saying how I feel. But I'm working on it. I can say I have broken the cycle. After I had my daughter, I looked at her and thought "I was small like this, how could someone hurt their child". That's when I knew, I would never be like my mother, I would never hit my daughter or make her feel like nothing. My daughter is the love and joy of my life and I thank God for her every day.
by Richard
Saturday Jun 30th, 2012 6:12 PM
I had no contact with my abusive father from 1992 until his death in 2010. I received a call from a family member letting me know. I was a little upset for a few moments, but felt very indifferent about it ever since. I attended the funeral to support those who were there to pay their respects.

I have to admit my thoughts about his death are somber, he lived a horrible life and mistreated many. My faith talks about a God who is aware of all the things we do and, whether it's in this world or the one after, he has promised that He will exact a vengeance. My father had said many times that he didn't believe in God, and he lived a life that showed that.

So feeling relieved, or happy, is nothing to be ashamed of. Does a prisoner feel guilty when they are free from their captors? Do they want to go back and continue in their suffering? We are only responsible for ourselves, and healing ourselves is the most important task we now face.
by Karen
Tuesday Oct 1st, 2013 9:48 AM
I was researching the subject matter and I stumbled upon these entries.
Today is the day that I am celebrating the death of my abusive mother.

It is hard to explain the abusive syndrome without sounding bitter and somewhat crazy.
Unless you have been thru this, you have no idea what it feels like. Even as a 58 year old woman I find that my siblings are in denial. My abusive mother has filled their heads with toxic thoughts for so many years that it stuck in their brain!
The fact that most of us have to walk away makes it easier for the abuser to spin their hateful words. To earn mothers favor one sibling even joined in the abuse....and it worked. If they are successful the layers of isolation will keep the abused family member from even attempting to reconnect. In the end you will not remember the torture of your enemy you will remember the silence of your friends.
I sometimes think that I should have never returned to this family.
They have hurt me more than any other humans on this planet.
Strangers are more understanding and comforting.

Survivors often become overachievers. The abused child needs to prove that they have worth and that they have abilities. The abuser never cares enough to recognize or cherished the child's attributes.

When the earliest thoughts of your mother is her ripping out your hair...you're abused!
When your mother says that she wishes you were never born...you're abused!
When your dad has to have an intervention with mom to keep her from stabbing you with a meat fork...you're abused!
When you leave home in the middle of the night as soon as possible after your 18th birthday...you're abused!
When you are an achiever at (40 years old) your abusive mother even goes out of her way to disrespect you in your (accomplished) career, and in your actual workplace....you're more than abused!
If you are in the hospital dying and your mother does not even come to visit you...she has no love for you.
When you write it all down it's pretty clear.
This is just a short bit of life with my abusive mother. I realize it's not pretty.

Today my "family" is having a funeral for Flo the ultimate abuser. I am not attending.
I am quite sure they all do not want to hear what I have to say. Truthfully..I would find it hard not to say something. Flo the abuser always said "you know too much".
The family members are mothers themselves and find it appropriate to be keeping up appearances just like mommy taught them to.

So yes...today I celebrate the death of the abuser. I will never again have to listen to her saying hateful backstabbing things about people or suffer her hateful personal attacks. Unfortunately the fact that she has been at it for 58 years makes it hard to shake off her stink.

But I will still try.