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The over sharing apple doesn’t fall far from the over sharing tree: Unpacking Thelma Part 1

Updated: Feb 3

Disclaimer: These are my opinions, thoughts and experiences. I am only an expert in regards to myself and that too is debatable.

Me and my mom

In the best family situations there are usually some kind of issues with the parental units, specifically with the mother. It isn’t really fair but I believe it is true. Maybe this has something to do with the fact that biological females are born with all of their eggs and if you really think about it, at one point there can be 3 generations biologically touching... Maternal grandmother, mother, ovum of future child, think about the baggage from that!

I also believe that generations can pass down their issues and baggage if they don’t deal with said issues and baggage themselves, essentially hot potato-ing their unmentionables onto future generations. Perhaps explaining those “family curses” that some people will claim to be shouldered with, it can be easier to accept a lot that seems to be foisted on you rather than unpacking the metaphorical luggage and dealing with it. I believe that everyone is born with a gift and potential but often due to inherited burdens and beliefs, can squander that which they have if they accept the karmic garbage of their ancestors which can ultimately manifest as disease in my opinion.

I am going to unpack my mom for you, for me and for her as well. The information that I share was given to me by my mother, it is often quite ugly and riddled with abuse but is the truth as far as she perceived it and as far as I received it. I will call her by her given name, which she hated, the first wound, Thelma Dorcas.

My maternal grandmother was interrupted having sex with a traveling salesmen when she was around the age of 14, I assume she was discovered by one or both of her parents but I don’t know for sure. Looking back at this story one would think this is rape and that she was a victim, I believe this myself whether she was perceived willing or not but according to my mom or “Thelma” it was an example of what her mother was which was (to put it gently) a loose woman and what she was to do over and over. Thelma was the 3rd living child out of a bizillion that her mother was to birth, her father was in the Air Force and divorced her mom after he had made 2 children with her, Thelma wouldn’t see him again until she was 16, she was blamed by her own mother that she didn’t make her father stay and she would be punished in various ways until she finally escaped herself.

Thelma when she was little.

When Thelma was 4 years old one of her uncles came to visit, he raped her. I was told of this fact when I was too young to really comprehend how truly awful that was and when I was 9 years old I witnessed my mom flashing back to that incident, her and my step-father in some kind of fight upon which he left and she proceeded to binge drink beer, chain smoke and call old boyfriends, this was a pattern to which I had grown accustomed. At one point, I don’t know why she shifted but I watched my mother experience the violation that happened to her as a child. The high, child voice asking the unseen assailant to stop, trying to cover herself with her hands, fighting the invisible rapist as I tried to reassure her, tried to wake her up from the nightmare... I don’t think she ever knew what I had seen, I never spoke of it to her but I have never forgotten, in a sense it became my trauma as well.

Me and my mom, I was 8 or 9.

Thelma never told her mother of what happened when she was 4 and didn’t think that she had known what had happened to her but a few years later when that same uncle (her mothers’ brother) was planning on visiting again, her mother told her “You better watch out or it will happen again.” Letting Thelma know that indeed her mother did know what had happened to her and that she didn’t really care all that much if it happened again.

Can you imagine? Maybe you can but I really hope not.

I feel deep sympathy for the child my mom was even though I have anger and disappointment in the mother that she was to become to me. If I could list our relationship status on Facebook it would definitely be “It’s complicated.” I became her protector and mother from as early as I can remember, I loved and protected her as fiercely as a mother could though the roll should never have been mine, I took the job and paid the price later, in fact I am still paying but I am doing the work to break this “curse”. I often feel like a traitor when I express these thoughts, residue from the past.

My goal in sharing my moms story is not to bring shame onto her, it is to shine a light on her story. To give perspective to a very complicated situation, she could have been so much more but unfortunately she never believed that, which is part of the tragedy. This is not a message of blame, it is just a tale of damage and hardship but I feel there is healing in the telling. I am going to find out.

Until next time ❤️

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Aug 14, 2020

Beautiful pics. What a beautiful, vulnerable child little Thelma was. Abuse does carry forward down the generations. You cared so tenderly for Thelma and now you are here to bear witness to her story and your grandmother's. "The healing is in the telling."

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