The following post comes to us from one of our readers. She has taken the opportunity to Tell Her Side. Take a look and let us know if your own life parallels hers. What kind of comfort can you offer her? Do you have some sound advice?
Since I already knew about Grandma, I went in and asked for a mammogram at the age of 35. It was uncomfortable, but worth the peace of mind. Then I went in and had another when I was 40, and was then told I had to have one yearly so I got one the next year.
That year was a bad year. I was fresh off a 20 year marriage, my parents had betrayed me, sided with my ex for custody. I lost primary custody, I lost my trust in them, my home, and a lame husband but I was still taking care of myself so I went in. After the mammogram I got a notice in the mail that said the test was “inconclusive” and to please reschedule ASAP. That second mammogram is not pleasant. They don’t let you go home afterward. They tell you the results the same day instead of mailing them.
I was feeling alone and scared during the mammogram. Afterward, I sat in a dimly lit room alone and cold in one of those string-tied smock things. I couldn’t decide which side was the front. The only other thing in the room that was there for me was a box of tissues. I looked at that box. It looked at me. I was determined to hold it together. After a few minutes I started to think about if I had cancer and how I could horrify my parents with the news, and still never see them. I wondered who would be there when I died. I began to sniffle. I got a tissue and dabbed. There was actually some sad satisfaction in those thoughts, but it was sad, nevertheless. I love my kids too much.
They left me in that room for 20 minutes and I’d thoroughly used 8 or 9 tissues by the time someone came in to tell the results. I was very nervous and shaking a little. The mammogram was negative. Apparently I have “dense tissue.” OK, great. I went home and sobbed.
About 2 years ago I found a lump. It felt like the size of a small pea. It was sore and I’d heard cancer didn’t hurt but I was still scared. I had my boyfriend see if he could feel it and it was big enough that he could. I didn’t like that. I went in and a sonogram determined that it was a cyst. They had to scrape that damn thing over my nipple repeatedly. It was a cold, gloppy, embarrassing, and uncomfortable process. I was really glad I didn’t have cancer.
I mentioned my “exmother” had a double mastectomy. That was about 4 years ago. I didn’t go check on her. They’ve never called to see if I was OK since they betrayed me, not once in 6 years.
They are on their own.
I remember reading the statements my parents wrote against me. My exdad said, ” I hope she doesn’t poison our grandchildren’s minds against us. I wouldn’t be surprised if she never speaks to us again.”
I didn’t understand why they did it. They pulled the rug right out. I was in such a state of shock I cried for 3 days and actually stopped salivating for a couple months. I had to drink copious amounts of water to get food down.
My children love me. I never beat them. I am not a crack ho. I am not alcoholic; my only alcohol problem is that if I mix a drink I’ll take a sip, walk off and forget it. Later, when I find the drink I don’t usually want it any more. I don’t smoke anything, have never been addicted to anything but solitaire and FB. I’m not bipolar or schizophrenic and have never been suicidal. I don’t know what happened. It is frustrating.
One of the unhappy results of what they did is that it is hard to meet new people and tell them about myself. There’s a stigma to losing custody for women. I hate them for that. Before this happened I thought I’d never have the inclination or need to hate anybody. Now I realize I just do. I hate them. I hate them for losing me time with my children to make them breakfast and pack lunches and style their hair and touch them, to check to see if they brushed their teeth well enough… all of it, everything, but I also hate them for making it a burden to tell people who I am and for having to hide so much. They will never see me again. I don’t often post an actual picture of myself on my profile because I don’t want them to see even an image of me. They don’t deserve to and it makes me feel protected. I don’t need anybody telling me, as some have, that if they could see how good I look… blah blah. No. they have no right to see how I am in any way, no matter what. Period. They lost all rights. They took the most important parts of my life from me and gave them to someone else.
I remember a coworker actually saying to me, “Be glad for what you still have.” I said, “What? My life? Limited visitation with my kids? I lost a house. I may never be able to get a house again, a home of my own. You still have yours. I lost my parents. I lost my brother.” She said, “Oh, you’re right.”
What she did say that I hold onto is “Your parents don’t have any idea who you are, do they?” No, they don’t.
I didn’t engineer it. They did. They ripped me off and abandoned me. They had done other strange things before this, but this was the topper. It was still unexpected.
I feel for anyone who can’t trust their own blood. I know how much it hurts. It’s deep. It’s hard during the holidays. They are 2 hours away. I’ve had nightmares where I was in my last rental, a real shithole, btw, made of cinder blocks and with a tin roof. It had moisture problems and rats in the ceiling. I dreamt that they came down my driveway and I hid behind the couch and yelled, “Go away!” I wanted to shoot them.
I don’t have a gun, but during the dream, if I’d had a fire hose…my brother’s wife featured in that dream would have gotten blasted. She was involved in my fucking over.
My ex, near the end, told me he was taking the boys camping. When I got home from work, I called him to find out where they were because you should always let someone know. He said, “They are safe.”
“What? Where are you?”
“I’m at work.”
“Where are the boys?”
“They are somewhere safe.”
“What’s that supposed to mean?”
He had taken them to my brother’s house and was hiding them from me. I believe if was his aim to derail me and make me more vulnerable during court. It really upset me. I called my exbrother’s house and asked to speak to my kids. His wife said they weren’t there. She lied. I called my parents. My exdad said they didn’t have them and I just hung up.
I don’t trust any of them. I will forever hate them for this. I think this was unspeakably cruel and sick. I don’t understand how they could.
I. Don’t. Understand.”