.........I missed out on knowing you, your mother, your aunts. I remember visiting your sister once. My mother took us there, I believe to scare us. It was dark outside when we arrived, it was dark inside her house except for the dim glow from a light over the sink in the kitchen.
I remember sitting there at the table saying nothing. I didn't look around. I sat perfectly still. I wasn't sure why I was there. My mother asked questions but to tell you the truth, it didn't seem real. Nothing about that moment felt real.
My mother had already told us to be mindful of the voodoo. Yeah, ok, but why are we here? Back in the car she said that his sister claimed she hadn't seen or heard from him in years. My mother sounded as if she didn't believe her. That's the last contact we had with his family. She said they didn't care about us so we never went back. The location of her home is forever burned in my mind. I will not forget.
This next part of this entry is emotionally provocative. However, every word of it is true. It's how my mother gained obedience from me and my sister without question.
A Mother's Rules of Combat to Condition and Control Her Children
- Tell them they aren't wanted by others.
- Isolate them from reality.
- Give them gifts. Harm them. Tell them it was their fault. Give them more gifts. Repeat the cycle.
- Tell them things would be worse if they were taken by the police.
- Tell them the police will take them away, not you.
- Isolate. Isolate. Isolate.
- Distort reality so that they don't know up from down unless you, in all your wisdom, explain it.
- Tell them you care but no one else does. The world is a wicked, sick place. The child is better off, safer with you.
- You are the only person in the world that can save them.
- Name off all the vermin you can think of that would be in a hole the child would be thrown in if "they" ever came to take the child away.
- Tell them the world is against you because of the wickedness of the child.
- Humiliate. Show your physical power over the child.
- Create panic drills so that the child responds to your commands on a dime. The child should constantly wait for your commands. When done correctly, the child should respond before your last syllable.
- Remind the child of "what" they are. Be as demeaning as possible then offer gifts. At the slightest infraction take it back. Have the child walk with the gift to the trash and toss it in herself.
- Make it clear that after "sessions" nothing is spoken of. You just go to the dinner table like nothing ever happened. Make small talk with that child, smile, make jokes, eat your peas.
- Last, and most important of all, hope to God the child doesn't quite understand the enormity of the abuse until well along in years when she can reason against killing you for what you've done.
Thank goodness I don't see commercials telling me how I should love and show my appreciation for all the hard work and sacrifices made to raise me.
Yes, I'm still hurt from being rejected by Betty as her daughter. I spoke to Snow about it who said, I am your sister. She nearly made me cry. I have a sister who chose me and likes me. I want to love that idea but I need a little healing time. It'll happen. I know I'll always ache to have a family, to be part of something, to belong to someone, to have a family name. I'll vacillate between being okay with not having one and feeling lonely, hurt, isolated, not human. Most of all I'll move forward, refusing to give an inch of ground I earned to heal.
Faith Magdalene Austin