Another flashback...

I had a great conversation with my dad today about how my mother treated us both, which is nice.  I was talking with him about the abuse, and he opened up about some of the things she did that hurt him.  He started crying, so I went to have dinner with him and talk. On the way home, I had another vivid memory from my childhood.  This one goes way back, and I'll recount it below, as it ties in with feelings again from my wife's affair. I was a child of maybe four years old.  I know I wasn't in school yet.  One day on the way home we passed by an old, scary looking, run-down shack, and I asked who lived there. "An ugly old lady," my mother replied.  "She does terrible things to kids in there." I don't remember how I responded that day, but I know that somehow it gave my mother the impression that I was very afraid of that place. Some time in the near future, we were out again (I want to say we went to Pizza Hut) and I was misbehaving. "Be good, or I'll take you to the ugly old lady's house and leave you there," was my mother's response.  It worked, because I stopped whatever I was doing.  She had found an effective tactic. This became her method of keeping me in line at that age (again, maybe 4 years old)...  threats of abandoning me to the ugly old lady.  Here is where the flashback comes in... I am riding in the car on the way home, and I must have not been being good.  My mother made it a point to go past the "ugly old lady's house."  This time though she took it to the extreme.  She pulled up in front of the house and stopped the car.  I was screaming in terror.  Not the way that kids cry, but real, honest, fearful of my life primal fear. "Ok Danny, get out of the car," my mother said with a calm voice. I was sobbing uncontrollably, shaking in terror of being abandoned at a place where they did terrible things to children.  "Please mom, please don't leave me here." "You haven't been good.  I told you that if you weren't you would have to go stay with the ugly old lady," was her response. "Please mom, no! Please don't leave me here.  I promise I'll be good!  I'll be good!  I promise." "Well, ok then.  I guess we can go home."  She was laughing at me by this point. We drove away. ------------------------------------------------------ Now fast forward 25 years or so.  I am standing in a hotel room in las vegas with my wife.  She made plans to go out with the girls that night, but something isn't right.  I feel a sense of terror.  Its life threatening. (It turns out this was the night her internet boyfried was arriving in town.  How ironic is it that I choose that night, after dozens of business trips, to feel that for some reason I couldn't let her leave me). "I'm sorry I haven't been a better husband.  I'm sorry I worked so much.  Please don't leave me here.  Please, I'll be a better husband," I sobbed to my wife. The feeling I experienced then?  The same one that 4 year old kid had when his mom had their car parked in front of that run down shack. ------------------------------------------------------ It is strange to me how the mind hangs on to these little things, blocks out the terror of the event, and allows it to resurface some other time and place in some other way. I am now beginning (just barely) to understand the depths of the abuse I suffered as a child.  I remembered the "ugly old lady's house" on many occassions, but it never invoked any type of response.  I just thought it was my mother being a bitch, and left it at that.  It was only tonight that I remembered the terror I felt, and hear her laughing at me. Isn't telling your child that if they aren't good, you will abandon them to someplace where they did terrible things to children basically the same as telling them that "If you don't be good, I'll kill you"?  Should any child of that age have to fear for their life? What a fucked up, sadistic bitch...  The more I remember, the angrier I get.  I am amazed at how much of this I managed to block out for so long.  Who the hell does that to a child?  I am equally amazed at how for so long I felt her behavior was normal...  that I deserved it...  that it was my fault. Abandonment was a common disciplinary theme throughout my life.  The ugly old lady's house turned into threats of telling my dad that tried marijuana, and that he would ship me off to military school, which turned into threats of HER calling the police and reporting me for drugs.  Then later, it turned into actually telling me to leave.  "Get the fuck out of my sight," she would say.  I vividly remember sleeping on a garage floor under a winter coat one January night, and the bitter cold.  Finally, one day she packs my clothes in garbage bags and has my stepfather drop me on my dad's tree lawn.  I guess she finally finished what she started.

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Dude! This is messed up. Please tell me your wife understands the nature of triggers from childhood trauma.