Monday, December 10, 2012

Memories Stolen

As my youngest daughter reaches a significant milestone, her questions regarding my experience in “becoming a woman” were met with limited memories.  I remember the year, the season and my best friend’s envy, but most details are vague.  I don’t have my old diaries or pictures as any point of reference.  My daughter is petite with subtle curves, her face still childlike, yet the hint of gorgeous cheekbones, large eyes and full lips are signs of the beautiful woman she will become.  These changes have been well documented and photographed, with her milestones charted to be shared someday with her daughter.    

I kept the same careful records when my first son was born in 1988.  I assembled a detailed chronological photo album.  My ex husband angrily protested my dedication, as he had no interest in maintaining or reminiscing a pictorial diary.  However, eight years later when filed for divorce he confiscated my photo albums of our three children, pictures of my ancestors and relatives, my childhood diary, yearbooks, letters, mementoes, artwork, and my modeling portfolio.  He also stole record albums, and expensive inheritance items from my great uncle. Although the loss of everything was hurtful, I realized “it’s only stuff”, as true memories are etched into my brain, most creating fissures so deep that I will never forget.  I can only attribute his behavior as his desire to punish me for divorcing him. 

Erasing my children’s memories of a loving mother was much more difficult, yet it was a deed he felt had to be done.  He filed false criminal charges and I was denied access to our three children, despite the false accusation had nothing to do with my ability to care for them.  It left me with more than four empty years of not knowing what was going on in their lives.  The void of sadness and unfairness was only quelled by my memories.     

After being exonerated from the fabricated charges, I still had to fight to see my children.  Eventually, I was reunited with three strangers, who had become teenagers during the lost years.  Parts of their memories were unblemished, yet their father had created doubts when he cruelly showed them court documents with the false criminal charges, and told them, “Your mother did something very bad.”  Despite the loving thoughts that may have sustained them during those vacant years, reservations were thrown into their young minds creating confusion of what they really remembered. 

To digress to the thought process of the narcissistic sociopath:  Each positivity in my life was a dagger of defeat for my ex-husband.  Well documented in “…Until You Die”: The Narcissist’s Promise is his pattern of egregious acts punctuating a happy event for me.  Therefore, when I remarried in 2007, it was the trigger he needed to build upon the series of maternal negativity he had been creating for years.  And this time it had to be final.

I will never forget, as my memories are based on truth I experienced myself, not horror stories fed to me since childhood.  Although I have three adult children, I am still learning about raising a teenager, as that opportunity was taken from me.  All I can do is share with her anything I can remember myself, or by talking to old friends.  We will learn along the way, and create our own set of memories from the reality we share.   

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