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Thoughts From A Former Piece of Property

by John Fowler

I am beginning to understand some things of late with a much clearer perception! The realization of these things is filtering into my thought processes and it is truly helping me! As a survivor, I found I was often obsessing about my abuses and what I became because of them. Blaming my problems in life on them. My only thoughts of my Parents was their apparent inability to see that what they were doing was destroying me. Of my own inability to forgive them for it and the rift that will forever be between us! And yet, I am starting to realize that for them, it was the way things were! As if their sickness was normal and natural in their minds. And what I was in this grand scheme was just a tool to further their own needs. Allow me to explainÄ

My mother saw me, not as a person, but a piece of property! –I brought you into this world and Iêll take you out of it!” was one of her favorite phrases! Mostly because of how SHE was raised. My mom is a firm believer in Negative Reinforcement simply because it offered her no downside! By her constant derision of me and my works she makes herself look good! For example, all my life she told me I was worthless and weak! That I would amount to nothing and I was a plain loser! If I did, say wind up in prison or worse, she could claim she was right all along! And If, by some chance, I did make something of myself she could still claim she was rightÄcause if she hadn't pushed meÄI would never have made it!!! This is the way she viewed things and to equate that logic with her makes sense now. And the broken bones, scars and bruises served as reminders that she will always be right!!! See she had to punctuate her points with reminders and she did so to great effect!

My stepfather on the other handÄwell, his thoughts are easier to understand! More sick, sadistic and primal in nature. He needed a victim to fear and respect him in order to increase his manliness in his own eyes. The sexual abuse was just the icing on the cake so to speak! He was not only was satisfying his power needs, but getting some sick carnal satisfaction as well. Something that he apparently wasn't getting from my mother on a regular enough basis to suit him or to fulfill some sick desire! All this combined with liberal amounts of alcohol was the prescription he needed! Once again, I (and my younger sister) were the small means to an end and we gave a whole new meaning to the phrase –In the wrong placeÄat the wrong time!” This is the way my mind views him now. As a sick personÄand I was his victim! Operative word Ä WAS! If I viewed him as a person with a disease, I could be explaining away his actions! By viewing him as a sick person with a warped view of me as a toy, I validate that I was victimized by him for fulfillment of his desires and need for power! And that makes more sense to me! And frees me to seek healing on my own terms!

While I am acknowledging these things, I am by no means endorsing them. One of the things we need to do as survivors is to not only examine and understand ourselves and our abuses , but our victimizers as well in ways we can grasp! If it means we must view them as sick people or whatever, then we must. Its a small step in our recovery and may help. Putting a face to our abusers is one thing. Putting a reason to the abuse is another! It is something we all seek when we ask –Why Me? What did I do to deserve this?” Are there truly answers that we will ever accept and understand? I doubt it! Unless our abusers answer these things, we may never know! Can we find any in the realm of our understanding? Possibly! Will there ever be a way to forgive? I don't know, I have asked myself these things in the most dark, suffocating and private silence for most of my life. But now, by viewing things in a perspective I can grasp, I have started to put them together in a way that makes some small measure of sense to meÄ

And surprisingly...it does help!