The Pain of a Broken Bone

I do not know what my definition of a ‘mother’ is but, I know that my bilabial mother isn’t it.  I really don’t believe that I have a mother and I know that I need to stop looking for that role to be filled by someone else.  My aunt says that I should give her a call.  She told me that she’s doing good now.  Even if that is the case, there’s only everything standing between us.  It’s a chasm that can’t be traversed by simply saying ‘I’m sorry.  My bad.’  There is so much more that will have to go into it.  I’m not sure that there is any way to repair what has been broken between us.

My therapist told me that maybe what I am looking for is acknowledgement from her for the rings that I am doing with my life.  Like how I’m raising my girls; for how amazing they are, for the things that I have accomplished in my life.  I believe that at one point she actually blamed my husband for the rift between her and I.  Maybe that’s because he made me look at the value of who I am as a person.

There is truth in T’s statement.  A suggestion that T made was to focus on my inability to write in general as opposed to writing about the sexual abuse.  Here’s another memory.  My stepfather had a cousin named Sally.  Sally had a husband named Bob.  When my family and I lived in Dallas, my sister Suzie and I were sent to Bob and Sally’s during the day through the summer.  Bob and Sally smoked a lot of pot and various other things.  They also dealt drugs so, I’m sure you could tell that it was a real wholesome environment.  

A bonus was that they had a sizable backyard.  I actually tried to scale a huge tree with a garden hose in that very same backyard.  The nub (half limb) that I trued to use, (by all appearances) looked like a solid place to loop the hose.  It snapped and down I crashed.  When I landed, I happened to land on my arm and exposed root.  The root was about a foot wide.  

I was always taught that showing any emotion was bad but crying was worse.  So, I went to hide behind some bushes, crying in my pain.  My arm was throbbing.  When I felt like I had my pain managed, I came out from hiding.  Sally came out into the back yard to check on me.  I pretended that I was fine.  I tucked my hand into my pocket as best as I could and went inside for lunch.  I guess I wasn’t paying attention to the appearances of my left arm.  It had started swelling and turning blue.  When I sat down to eat, I was panicked because I had nothing to hid it with.  Much to my surprise, Sally didn’t say  anything.

After lunch, I went and even played the Atari.  I couldn’t play very well because of the limited mobility.  When my mother showed up to pick Suzie and I up that afternoon, she never commented on it.  We got home and no one said anything either.  The next day was a week day that my stepfather didn’t have to work.  My sister would still go to Sally and Bob’s.  He couldn’t be bothered with taking care of Suzie on a one-on-one basis.  I am happy that Suzie wasn’t left alone with him.  She was only six months old at the time.

On Jack A.’s days at home, I would be made to go with him on his handy man jobs.  I very rarely was ever given anything to do.  I’d just sit in a corner some where.  On this particular day, he was doing a tiling job.  I had to carry twenty five pound units from one pallet to another one on the other side of the room.  My stepfather never had helpers or other people around.  He was just a one man crew doing odd jobs.  By the second unit, my arm was screaming.  I had tears coursing down my face.

Jack A. did not even acknowledge that I was crying or even question what was wrong.  I knew that if I stopped doing what I was told, that my day would be worse than just dealing with the pain.  The pain was easier.  So I carted the one hundred and some odd five pack units from one from one side of the room to the other.

By the end of that day, my arm was so swollen that it was just a sausage.  Nothing was ever done for it.  There was never a visit to the doctor.  Before bed that night and the many afterwards, I would get a glass filled with ice water and take it to my room.  I would pour the water over the towel and wrap it around my arm.  I’d wrap that in a plastic grocery bag and go to bed.

I learned early on that I could sleep through the pain of any physical injury.  It was the closes to being human that I ever felt.  I know that I’m not the only one that belies that emotional pain is harder to handle than the physical kind.  So in a round about way, this was the closest to  normal existence than I came to until I met my husband. 


54 thoughts on “The Pain of a Broken Bone

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  1. Everytime I read your post I feel your pain and inner suffering.. Most people are spiritually asleep and do asleep things. Your parents were such people but they had a great daughter whether they knew it or not…

  2. one word: unf**kingbelievable! they should’ve been put in jail and you removed from that ‘home’ ( and i use the word ‘home’ loosely, here).

      1. I started writing to heal and then I started getting people responding telling me that they can relate to what I’ve written and that it helps them validate what they have been through and experienced. That was such a pleasant bonus. I feared that people would think that I’m dwelling on my past when that’s not really what I’m doing. Just self conscious and my Negative Nelly.

  3. You write with such vivid detail. I was drawn in from the first sentence. What a great use of an outlet to express yourself! I am glad to read (from youmaycallmeclarence’s question and your response) that your arm healed (I was going to inquire as well).

    I truly enjoyed and appreciated your story of victory in the face of adversity.

    Thank you for sharing.

  4. Thank you for sharing your stories. I always feel for another person who suffered through their childhood. Yours is one of extreme sadness and tragedy. Have you ever considered reaching out to others who might be going through something similar? I would imagine you would be endlessly comforting to someone going through the rough times themselves. I find your stories comforting even though my own personal tragedies and abuse pale in comparison.

    1. I had to redefine it for myself too and when I did, I was able to recognize the mother that I wanted to be and the mother that I didn’t want to be.
      Thank you for all of your support.
      With much respect,

  5. As a mom who had a son last year with a broken arm, this was just so hard to read!!! How horribly sad! I hope that you are on a road to recovery and forgiveness. I’m glad to hear you’ve found a loving husband and are now truly loved. It’s the most important thing there is.

    1. I strive for healing every day. I have come such a long way from where I started that I hardly recognize myself from that time.
      Thank you for all of your support.

  6. It’s a testament to the strength of the human spirit, what can be achieved when one feels there are no other choices. You are definitely a strong survivor. And now you are a beacon for others to find their way. Thank you for your courage.

    1. Thank you for such eloquent words and for your support in reading. It means a lot to have support and goes a long way to helping in the healing process.

  7. Wow, Phoenix, you are an incredible writer and artist. I ended up reading your entire blog here, and wanted to let you know that I had! Thank you for all your writing here. I was psychologically abused by my stepfather, but it is something I never write about – at times I question whether it was “normal” or not… reading your story… it has helped a little. I’m not sure why, exactly, and I’ll have to think on that, but again – thank you.

    1. Wow back at ya. I know you’ve been reading for some time then because I have quite a few entries. Thank you so much. Your support means the world and writing does help. You don’t have to do it publicly but just to yourself it helps to burn the entries as you complete them. This is something that I have used before. Thank you gain for your support!

  8. Oh, my. What a horrible experience. I am so glad that your arm healed. That could have gone so much worse. I’m also happy to see that you are writing about your experiences. It shows that you are working through them. Keep at it. ❤

  9. I did not experience the same kind of abuse that you did. But I can understand the rift between you and your mother. I had the same one with my mother, until about two years before her death. We hadn’t resolved anything between us, but it did seem like we had finally come to terms with each other. Today that rift exists between my father and me. I too have a loving and understanding husband, and he has been such a huge factor in this time of healing that I’m going through now. I’m so glad you stopped by my blog, so that I was able to meet you, and begin to read your story. I spotlighted you this week in my Survivor Sunday post, because I felt such strength, courage and beauty in you as I read this post. You can find my Survivor Sunday post about you here:

    1. My mother is just an endless source of poison and is so toxic to be around. I will never be able to reconcile with her. I don’t believe that you should forgive and forget. There are just some things that you can’t forgive… and they shouldn’t be forgiven.
      My real father is a 50 year old hippy and alcoholic. I met him two days after I turned eighteen. I still don’t know which existence would have been worse.

  10. This was profound and hard to read yet beautiful in its courage. Many ‘things’ can be broken throughout our life…our heart, bones, ego, self-esteem, etc. but you sweet, brave lady have mended them as best you can. You are indeed helping others have a voice. Sometimes the best validation is realizing that our feelings will never be validated by those who have hurt us…I know this to be a truth. Be well. ❤ ~Karen~

    1. I know that my mother and my stepfather will never validate what they did to me. The last time that I came close to confronting my mother, she said that there was no way that she would have EVER let that happen and she knows Jack A. would never have done those things anyway.
      In that moment, I realized how broken my mother was.


  11. I have to agree, physical pain is nothing compared to mental emotional anguish. I can relate to this – pretending all was ok because the consequences otherwise were just not imaginable.

    1. No they weren’t and I truthfully have so much more to get out. I have to take each memory out of it’s box, examine it, and determine if I am able to deal with it, and I either make the determination to write about it, or put it back in it’s box and back in its hiding place on the shelf of my soul.

      1. That’s so shit, but you will know how much to do and when. Just trust in your own instincts and gut feelings before you then get that reactionary lump in your throat triggered by your mind thinking. Your body will let you know. Good luck you are stronger than most just to be able to come out with what you do. Let your light shine.

        I look at our beautiful dog who is now 2 who was thrown in a ditch like a bit of an old rag. Not wanted, rejected. Was it his fault? Is he unloveable. Absolutely not, he is (in my eyes) the most wondrous dog ever and so full of love. When ion the park the other day, my wife went to leave before me, our dog was off the lead. He kept running from one to the other – clearly not able to choose, not wanting to leave either one. I was put in the position of being asked to choose one parent. An impossible decision, as ably demonstrated by my hound. Somethings just occur to help us see the light. May the light shine strong on you, you are amazing.

        Enough said, I’ve got some work to do…..have a good week, MM 🍀

  12. One time I broke my arm and told my mom. She told me to unload the dishwasher and pick some raspberries. True story. I’m sorry you had to go through that pain.

  13. I am at a loss for words. Your post has stirred many emotions. Thank-you for stopping by my blog. I am grateful because it has led me to yours.

  14. Truly, my heart breaks for you. That you survived at all is a testament to your endurance. Abused or not, many young women seek out substitute mothers or mentors to fill the needs their natural mothers could not.

    1. I told someone once that I should fire my guardian angel because she’s too good at her job. There were many nights that I would go to sleep and pray that I wouldn’t see the light of another day. Yet, I would still wake up the next morning. With each kick or hit, I hoped I would just die and then he would go to jail and it’d be over.
      That wasn’t to be the case. Which, I understand and appreciate now. I struggle daily with whole in my heart where my ‘mother’ should be. I just have to move forward and be the best mother I can be to my girls.

  15. I’m sorry for the trouble between you and your mom, I feel the same way about my dad. I have forgiven him for abandoning us but he’s still the same person so I choose not to deal with him. I wish the best for my father and I feel sorry for him because he missed out on a lot. My mom is a great, beautiful woman and my sisters, brother, and I have turned out wonderfully if I do say so myself. My father wants to be apart of our lives and our children’s lives but I’m hesitant about that. You can love a person and refuse to deal with them because of the way they act.

    1. Don’t be sorry. I’ve come to terms with it. However, as I’m sure you do, I constantly have that whole in my chest where my ‘mother’ is supposed to be and she’s not.
      The way I explain this is that our abusers are like rattlesnakes. You get to close and they strike you. You just don’t die from the poison. It’s a slow moving disease that puts strain on you, your family, and those that are your support system.
      When I chose to exclude my mother because of her failings, the poison, stress, and anxiety went with it. The only thing left behind is pity for her because she will never fix what’s broken within herself. Your wellbeing is what matters. You have to do what’s right for you.
      Thank you for reading and your support. Please let me know if there’s any help that I can give to you on your journey.
      Respectfully, Phoenix.

  16. Such searing truth. Horror. I wasn’t physically hit or slapped when I was growing up, but my mother’s words cut me like a knife. I’m so glad you’re mending. Me too.

    1. I preferred to be beaten than being yelled at or the psychological games that my stepfather played. I know that emotional abuse is devastating.
      With much respect,

  17. Wow, thanks so much for writing and pouring out your life. Heartbreaking and inspirational at the same time.

    Shows the incredible ability and indomitable spirit of one person to rise up among the ruins, hence your name – but such an encouragement for others as well.

    Also, simply knowing that one person can stop the cycle of abuse and violence is inspiring as well.


    1. I guess you’re welcome. LOL. Not sure that my life is something to be thankful for per se. I write because I never want to end up like my mother or my step father. Writing keeps me grounded I guess.

    2. Phil,
      Thank you for reading. I know that my writing isn’t on the greatest topic but I can only hope that by writing what I do, my words reach into the black of night and help someone else that is as lost as I was in the beginning.
      Thank you again for your kinds words and warm thoughts. It means so much to me on this road to recovery.

  18. You know what I think about Kim and Jack A. Mary.
    They are two poisonous lowlifes that you have correctly cut out of your life.
    They don’t deserve pity, they don’t deserve “understanding” or one last chance.
    They’ve both done far too much.
    You’ve said before that Jack A is getting his comeuppance ( and I honestly hope it hurts like hell ) I hope Kim gets some payback too.
    It’s a terrible thing to dislike two people I’ve never met so much, but I can’t ever forgive them for what they’ve done to you, both physically and emotionally.
    You’ve said before that your blog is a hard read and it is, some of your entries have brought me to tears, other have made me so angry I can’t speak.
    The amazing thing is your strength of will and your determination not to be like them, when it would have been so easy.
    You are a special person, special in many ways.
    Never forget that Mary, Kim and Jack A might not think so, but there are plenty of others that do.
    Love n hugs
    Nick xxx

    1. Sadly, I have been laying a lot of thoughts towards my mother and I am trying to read all of my posts and remind myself why I have cut her from my life. I think she is sick. She sent my husband an email recently asking how I was and how her ‘grand babies’ are… Her birthday is tomorrow. I know it was because she was thinking about herself and not really because she was thinking about me or my two girls.

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