Filial Love Part I: The Nightmare

A note before going forward:

This post is about abuse. It’s about the abuse that I faced, as a sixteen year old, at the hands of my ex-boyfriend’s parents, both in their mid forties to early fifties at the time.

This post started off about regret, but quickly took a turn towards something I didn’t know I had buried within me. The reason I’m saying this here is because this post contains all the raw rage and pain that I felt. Towards the end, I was shaking and crying, and needed to stop for a bit, before I could continue.

I contemplated not having this post up at all because of how deeply personal it is towards me, but I need to see this here. It was painful, but it was cathartic, and I was finally able to acknowledge what I had gone through a really long time back.

This was originally much longer, because the conversation did not end with just what I talk about here. For various reasons, I’m going to have them as two different posts, so that I can give importance to the different portions of this conversation.

If you do not wish to be disturbed, I understand. I wish you all the best.

If you continue, thank you for being here. Let us begin.

I’m terrified of being hurt. In fact, if I could never be hurt again, that would mean happiness for me.

But life doesn’t work that way, does it? The universe tends to believe in irony, and throws at you the things you are most afraid of, again and again, until you learn from it, or find yourself stuck in a self fulfilling nightmare.

Am I in a nightmare? Or am I back to learn the lesson I never could?

The lesson I’m talking about takes me back nearly a decade ago, and involves a dysfunctional, abusive family who decided to pit me, their child’s then love, against themselves. And it was the beginning of the longest nightmare I’ve found myself in.

That first time, finding myself ‘in between’ a child and a parent was… Horrific. That child had no control over anything in his own life, and those parents had no issues being abusive to people they had never met, simply in response to what they believed to be an offense against them. For a naive teenager with zero experience with the filth in this world, it was traumatising, to say the least.

Their heaping of abuse wasn’t limited to a few times – it happened every single time they ‘discovered‘ their child ‘making the mistake‘ of speaking to ‘this shameless slut‘. The abuse continued through their child, in the form of emotional manipulation, gaslighting and good ol’ fashioned mental and emotional abuse. I stuck through it because I didn’t know better, I didn’t believe in myself, and I stubbornly believed that the good times would come after the bad times passed. The good times did come, but only after this relationship, if one could call it so, had passed. Even as I faced these ‘good times’, I failed to recognise them because, unbeknownst to me, I was still reeling in the aftermath of the shit-show I called my first ‘relationship’.

I was the same age as their child, and neither of us were adults then. But neither of his parents felt anything about abusing a child with words not fit for any company. They didn’t find anything wrong with intimidating a child, and when that didn’t work, they felt nothing – nothing! – in falsely reporting the child to the school authorities.

I was that child, who believed in the goodness of people, who believed in the protection of adults, and who had no clue about the kind of trash that existed in the world in the form of human beings. The relationship ended soon after, but the effects took a long time – and a lot of effort – to get over.

Which brings me back to the universe making me face the same situation a second time – finding myself placed, by the parent, in between them and their child. This time, it didn’t drag out for longer than it should have – the parents calmly, but firmly, told their child that this wouldn’t work out. They reasonably stated all the factors that would not make it work, and their child, unable to reconcile with the loss of his parents’ approval, decided to let me go.

While it wouldn’t have hurt as much in isolation, it crushed what little soul I had left, adding to the list of insecurities and emotional hang-ups that were already stacked up one atop the other like a Jenga game drawing to an end. In being let go, the final piece was drawn, and before my own eyes, my inner world crashed down before me.

It was horrifying. Was I really that terrible a person that a parent would want to protect their child from me? Was I really the slut, the whore that I had been labelled? Was I really not worthy of someone’s love, no, another parent’s love? Was I always doomed to be situated on the other scale, with the parents occupying the opposite one? Would my love never measure up? Would my character always be found lacking, unable to meet a standard impossible to see?

And, six years after that last incident, I find myself there again. And what I’ve come to realise is this – It’s not me. It’s them.

And to that first set of parents who started this nightmare, I say this –

Fuck you.

Fuck you for thinking it’s okay to hurl abuse at a sixteen year old.

Fuck you for thinking it’s okay to jeopardise another child’s life just because your son won’t listen to you.

Fuck you for thinking it’s okay to threaten and intimidate a sixteen year old girl, and fuck you for thinking it’s okay to abuse her parents.

Fuck you for raising a son who not only fails to realise the extend of his own abuse, but thinks it’s okay to hurt someone else the way he has been, so that ‘he can find someone like him’.

Fuck you for being unhappy bastards who think your life of violence and destruction doesn’t affect the people around you just because you choose to cover it with a facade of wealth and prosperity. Just so you know, your facade is flimsier than a piece of cellotape waving in the wind, and everyone knows what pieces of shit you are.

And finally, fuck you for trying to assassinate my character, for projecting your worthless self onto a juvenile, and for choking everyone with the poison you’ve decided to call ‘love’. Love is the most beautiful thing in the world, and I sympathise with you, because you will never know it throughout your miserable existence.

And, I…

I need a minute. I need to breathe.

Clearly, I haven’t gotten over it. And there’s still quite a bit left, that I need to address. And I shall address it. But right now… I need to breathe.

This was a wound I never recognised, a wound that had way too long to fester. Unknowingly, I’ve managed to bring it to the surface, and the miasma built over a decade has begun to drain out. It hurts. It hurts so fucking much.

And as it drains, I realise that it’s not going to stop soon. But I need it all to drain out. All of it.

And as it drains, through this pain, I will breathe.

One thought on “Filial Love Part I: The Nightmare

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