In my house, you never knew when the mental and physical assault would begin; you just knew it would. If you got your ass kicked by mom once in a week, it was a good week. There were few times that a mental assault was not accompanied by a physical assault, but it was rare.
Here is an example of a common interaction that resulted in a beating.
Mom: Go get me a spoon
Me: okay (going to get spoon)
Mom: You got a large spoon! Are you trying to say I have a big mouth?
Me: No mom.
Mom: Oh, now I’m stupid.
Then mom went out of control, yelling and beating me and/or my brother for the next hour or two.
There was no way to escape the onslaught. We were left mentally defeated and physically bruised and torn.
Often, this occurred just before we were to go somewhere like church, school, or a family gathering. Mom’s phobias would stress her out and she would take it out on us.
Mom was most certainly abused as a child. Her mother too. It is an illness that dates back at least 120 years, that we can trace.
Mom would employ, what my brother and I called “The bait and switch.” Here’s how it worked:
-mom was stressed out and needed a release
-we were a captive audience.
-she would say something the we would disagree with such as hate speech against blacks or gays, or something accusatory towards us.
-then, she would launch an attack based on us going against her…
– rewriting the beginning of the interaction by erasing it.
You see, the in her mind, everything began when we disagreed with her. WE were the cause of her anger.
There was no out if we didn’t fall into the trap either… she would beat us anyway. There was no winning. Mom needed release and she got release.
If we were going somewhere, we were threatened with another beating if any sign of sorrow or pain was shown.
My brother and I were very good at it.
I am good at it today.
I do not show emotion.
I learned this skill to survive.
Now it hinders my relationship both personal and professional.