Saturday, June 1, 2013

From the Beginning: Emotional Incest

While cleaning out my attic, I found a journal I kept when my oldest daughter was born. I was just over 2 months into my 20th year (Jan 1, 1991). Although I was very young and had to have the nurse show me how to change a diaper, I wrote pages about how much I loved her; how overjoyed I was to hold her and watch her. I carefully documented her birth, her every move and every development. My words show a deep and steadfast motherly love.

Jan 14, 1991 "...I can hear you stirring in the bassinet at the end of the bed, it's 1:42am and I'm wondering when you'll wake up for your feeding. I miss you and can't wait to hold you close to me. You're my little girl and I love you so much. I hope you'll always love me back..."

Jan 25, 1991 "I've already gone back to work at PASS (an after school program)...It is almost unbearable to leave you, I hate it."

And then July 1993 my entries stopped. The next and last entry was completely different.

June 22, 1994 "It's been a long time honey, I'm sorry. I'm sorry for sleeping in the mornings. You are such a good girl....."

Looking back, it's clear what happened. At the beginning, my essence was still bubbling forth; I had taken to motherhood, wholeheartedly, accepting my unexpected role as if there was no other path for me. But within a few short years, my organic generally positive, happy and outgoing individuality had been altered within a controlling and fear-based union. I had become depressed and had begun my slow, methodical decent toward the edge of sanity and insanity.

Many scientific journal articles include psychological aggression (behaviors that are non-violent but are intended to increase or maintain control over the victim) as intimate partner violence. These behaviors include insults and name-calling, restriction of victim’s contact with friends and family, isolation and financial abuse.

“Women with a history of IPV face severe health consequences, including poor mental health…depression, anxiety, poor social functioning, poor physical health, increased substance use, and increased frequency of chronic disease, chronic mental illness, and injury compared to women without histories of IPV.”

I went through nearly a dozen wheels for my girls’ wagon, pulling and pushing to every free service or food bank…..a scavenger. Peter’s answer was to ask for money from family. He was not compelled to take responsibility himself; it was always someone else’s fault and responsibility for our poverty.

In an email from Peter at the end of March 2013, where he justifies not paying support for Warren, Peter says this: I don't have any excess cash. I put my money toward raising two daughters solely…”

The daughters he “is raising” are ages 19 and 22. So he is providing for two young women as if spouses. He took no financial responsibility for his real spouse and those same daughters when young. Only when they became young women did he chose to put his money toward them. They are very isolated and cut off from family and friends that counter the Walton’s agenda, and remain very much within the Walton's perimeter, as if in an intimate partner violence union. That’s what Peter demands…complete loyalty and control.

The circle is not a little mind-blowing:  When I was 19 I was pregnant, when I was 22 I was raising the two year old that Peter now supports, but was not compelled to do then, when she truly needed his financial contribution (at least). So Peter “supports” two adult female children and makes excuses as to why he can’t support the male 9 year old.

At one of Warren’s baseball games last year, a friend leaned over to me and said, “it looks like Peter found someone else; maybe he’ll leave you alone now.” I looked and turned to her sadly and said, “that’s my daughter, not his girlfriend,” and to see the look on her face made me feel even more helpless.
When we were in divorce proceedings and I was still interacting with my middle daughter, she picked up arguing with me where Peter had left off. She ridiculed, belittled and scolded me as if it were him. She accused me of things from his imagination. Beyond the sheer astonishment that I felt from her acting more like Peter than my own daughter, I realized he was sharing everything with her. He was talking to her like his spouse and she was taking care of him and defending her, just like I had done.

I stayed too long and tolerated too much. I betrayed myself and my daughters. I was scared of so many things….. Dear Precious Daughters,
It's been a long time, I'm sorry. I'm sorry for sleeping through 2 decades. You are such a good girls….

 From: Blogger "Going Down in a Blaze of Glory"

[1] Adkins, K.S., Dush, C.M.Kamp. The mental health of mothers in and after violent and controlling unions. Social Science Research. 39 (2010) 925-937.