Karen Answers Cheryl

Comment by Cheryl on October 1, 2008 11:07 am
Hi Karen,

Your mother couldn’t help you? Why? What kind of mother was she? Evil witch or pathetic manipulator? To trade you in, to say, and ignore you? How would she react if she read Switching Time?

This book was written excellently, very powerful and intelligently.

Cheryl C

Dear Cheryl,
I know it’s not easy for anyone to comprehend how a mother can’t help her own child. And I can’t explain why my mother didn’t help me. I tried to justify my mother’s actions, or inactions, and could only rationalize that my mother had also been a victim of my father’s and grandfather’s abuse. Although this is definitely no excuse to not help your own child. Afterall, I was abused, but never hurt or ignored my own children. How could she not help me? I don’t know. But I believe she ignored all the signs because she couldn’t deal with it. I believe my mother chose not to pay attention. This was selfish on her part and caused devastating consequences for me, and well as my siblings.

Was my mother an Evil Witch? Maybe. Pathetic manipulator? No. Narcissistic? Definitely. My mother has no emotions for anyone other than herself. Although my mother never ignored my physical needs, she definitely ignored all my emotional needs. She kept a clean house, we never missed a home cooked meal, and she was organized. However, she never paid attention to what was happening to her children at the hands of her husband, my father. We were abused right under her eyes. There were signs and she dismissed them all. As children, my brothers and I shared some of these experiences with her, and we were told to be quiet. I don’t believe my mother was capable of understanding the effects of the abuse I endured. And if she was concerned, she never showed it.

How would my mother react if she read Switching Time? My mother would deny all of it, or at least the parts where she looked guilty of neglect. But she would know it’s the truth. She would focus on her own abuse at the hands of my father and grandfather. Dr. Baer did not include too much about my mother in writing the book. My mother, herself, handed me the tape of her conversation with my father to give to Dr. Baer. I think she was trying to clear herself. She would probably be upset that we didn’t write more about what she suffered. It’s always been about her, no matter what happened to me…

Thank you for all your kind thoughts,

Karen

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