a question and answer forum.....for the time being. All things change and become something else if there is growth even Olde Baggs.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

The use of holidays as a snare for luring victims........

I'll catch those of you up on my history, so that it does not seem odd for me to be discussing abuse. Some of you already know of my father and his terrible treatment of my mother, sister, neighbors, neices, aunts and me. The reason he was moved to a managed care facility from his home, where I moved to take care of him after my mother died is because he tried to molest my granddaughter.....just as he had molested me.

When I was a youngster, I just hated the holidays. My Mother was the southern June Cleaver in her own mind and wanted everything to be perfect for the holidays and that happened to be the only time we were allowed in the living room and dining room (we were saving it for good). Even as adults, we were not allowed in on the "good" furniture and heaven forbid that the grandchilden would go into the room with their shoes on. She just expected nothing less than everyone looking, being and behaving perfectly. Yikes, no pressure there.

But after reading all three of the books written by Gayden Metcalf and Charlotte  Hays I better understand about southern mothers. The books are: Some Day You'll Thank Me for This, The Official Southern Ladies Guide to Being a Perfect Mother, Being Dead is No Excuse, The Offical Southern Ladies Guide to Hosting the Perfect Funeral and Somebody is Going to Die if Lilly Beth Doesn't Catch That Bouquet, The Official Southern Ladies Guide to Hosting the Perfect Wedding.

Along with the illusion that nothing was wrong in our little family (which would have been tacky to admit) there was the absolute oblivion observed towards the hatefulness that permeated the whole house everytime my brother, sister in law and their two kids and my sister, brother in law and three kids came into "their house". 

Then my father had his victim pool of captive people. He was hateful to everyone. Had snide, ugly, hurtful remarks for all. He always complained about the expense of everything, had a fit if someone wanted seconds at a meal, would only serve drinks to his friends, not the family. The worst was at Christmas, after we had opened the presents he would throw parts of everyones presents away with the wrapping paper. The kids toys, clothes, you name it and he would spoil it all. You may say that he was just a rotten man and that what he did was ugly, but what he did to our family, such as it was, was abusive.

He would never let my Mother spend any of "his" money to buy presents for "her" kids or grandkids. She had to sneak around like a thief in the night to do presents for birthdays, graduations, Christmas, everything...... And then when the present giving was over they would fight and fuss and being the youngest by 11 years, I got to hear it all and live through it.

So needless to say, happy what?

I live in the house where all this unhappiness occured but there is no trace of any of it here. We've exorcised and cleansed all of that mess out of here, long ago. And we continue to protect ourselves from the without and the within. Ever vigilant. We are very careful about protecting ourselves.

It is comical to see my grands doing things....like living life....in places where my mother would be having a cataleptic siezure if she saw how the spaces in what used to be her house are being used. Life in this house is a constant work in progress.....ain't it the truth. Three generations making magick happen.

The only reason for my posting this "ugly" from the past is to share with those who are living through something painful like this or have been through a similar situation. For those who have "family" situations that are really difficult at a time when the standard is joy, joy, joy............. and you're asking Really???? You can choose to let the ugly go. You are not alone. There is hope in the future, but it is up to you. Blessings, The Olde Bagg


  1. Beautiful wise words, my dear. You make a difference in the world. XO

  2. I'm sorry such things exist in this world and I'm sorry that people must be so mean and ugly! I can not relate, because I was fortunate to not have been exposed to that, but I had other issues (i.e. a schizophrenic mother) whose behavior caused me anguish and embarrassment (and fear) in school - but I don't consider it abusive, just rotten luck that I was blessed with a sick mother who could uproot a German oak during one of her fits...to this day I am very uncomfortable with mentally disturbed people because of that, but thanks to my Grandmother I had somewhat of a semi-normal childhood. I was lucky to not have to fear for my life and never been molested by anyone...I must also say that I was an extremely willful child and slapped a nurse once when she was trying to lift up my nightgown to examine me when I was hospitalized for the German measles at age 7 or 8, but that was another lifetime ago.
    Glad you stomped the daemons out and are rejoicing where once was such doom and gloom. If I were you, I don't think I'd ever be able to forgive my father, dead or not...

  3. I knew I felt a kinship. I was raised in a good southern home myself with a mother who paraded us around to show how good and perfect we all were, but I was molested as a child by my much older cousins my mom had come and live with us. When I told her, she said, "they simply haven't been around little girls, they're curious." I learned early to be a tough tomboy and protect myself. These men went on to be a youth minister and a child portrait artist. They never stop. If you were a victim, your daughter was surely one too. The generations are not exempt. I feel for you both very much. I know the pain. Once you start talking about it and revealing it, it hurts, but then in allows you to not feel so alone. The only way out is through. I learned to stop all the denials and coverups and lies and be honest and no longer carry the family's secrets. I learned to confront family members who were having questionable behaviors, like my sister who was also seeking medicines. She finally could ask for help when she admitted to it. This is the time of year to do that. If families want to get close, they must look within for all sickness. You are very brave to share your story. I'm sure you strive now to be brutally upfront when you see secretive stuff in your family. It didn't make me popular, but it saved some lives.

  4. It's so true! Growing up I was often surrounded by yelling, hitting, name calling, phone calls to the police and drunkeness. That nastiness permiates everything. Those were miserable times. It makes me cringe just to think of those gloomy awful times. I find it really hard to relate to people who have positive childhoods. Life for me didn't start until I started living my own life as an adult. I'm so glad that my home now, with my boys, is a mess, and full of life and light. It is true... you can escape it! Life isn't perfect but it can be sweet and good :) You are such a glowing example of this.

  5. The best thing now is that you are doing differently than was done to you. You are providing the best for your grandchildren and putting the past away for good and living for the moment with what you have now which is love and happiness. I'm glad that you have been able to survive all you did. Now heads up Linda, Live Live Live!!!! Happy Holidays!!

  6. The 'joy, joy, joy!!' standard used to drive me absolutely up the wall having come from a family with down right rotten holidays with bickering, eye rolling, drunken tiffs, missing grandparents and the big old bomb of a D-word. Having gotten out on my own with my mister and our fur babies into a home where we make messes and art and have fun has been monumental in helping me let go of some of the past and reclaim some of that elusive joy for myself.

    You're a shining example of what people can overcome. Be assured, your words are getting to the right people. *hug*

  7. So many people are never able to move beyond the pain and lingering emotional issues. You are fortunate to have found a way to not only resolve your issues, but move forward to a place of joy. It's great to hear your success story. I get tired of people who wallow in the misery. I'm a big believer in our ability to heal.

    Good post.

  8. Well said, Linda. And I think the phrase my friend's mother yelled after getting cut off by another driver around the holidays sums up the reaction to people who say we must be joyous around this time: "Merry Christmas, B*TCH!" :P

    P.S. Glad you liked the story. I enjoy that it teaches that the more good and joy you spread through the world, the more you'll get back.

  9. you are such a strong woman, and I love your honesty, I am glad your home and grandchildren are so blessed to have gotten past most of that pain. you amaze me and I admire you very much.

  10. I too was sexually abused by my oldest brother and I know how hard and intricate the healing process is. Thank you for sharing your story and showing everyone that someone who has been abused in any way can move past just being an abuse "survivor" and can become a "thriver" despite he pain that's been inflicted on us.

  11. Hey, I think many of us had pretty rough Holidays. My dad was in the liquor bidness and he made his big bucks by selling wholesale...country clubs, company parties like Farah, hospital parties, you name it, he sold them wholesale, so this made him very crumpy....the pressure and all the work and having to depend on people that he didn't trust, even though he had so many wonderful folks working for him.

    He'd bring all this home and I can't tell you how many Christmas Eves were spent treading on eggs because he could blow at any moment, taking one of us down, usually my mother...I was really the only person in my fam that never irritated my dad, (that came when I became an adult!!) Fast forward to when I was a young mother, sooo "mirror, mirror on the wall, I became my father after all!!" I had to control every aspect of Christmas and by the time Christmas Eve came along, my poor family was doing the same!! I was a screaming banshee many a Christmas Eve!!

    Fast forward to the present...no longer doing that, but then I wonder how much was a result of who I was married to because after he left, I no longer did that or perhaps, I was just too busy with making a new life for myself and my kids...who knows, but I'm just glad it's over. Now my Christmas' are happy, stress-free (yes, stress-free) and very enjoyable. Wish I knew then what I know now...just not worth it to get your shorts in a bunch and as for kids, I'm happy that my daughter didn't take after me during the holidays...she watched me after her father departed and saw how much fun it can be and now she's wonderful with her babies!!

    Ok, gots to go...
    Loves ya,


You are always welcome to comment on my thoughts and I love them all......