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my monster

August 5, 2005


Boo came to where she was no longer afraid of Randle. I too reached that point.

I was deeply hurt at this point in my life. I had come to accept that awful things had happened in my childhood and that I was not to blame for them. I hated to admit it but I was a victim.

I hate victims… well I did. Weak and looking for pity was how I saw them. That all has changed.

At the time her response was immediate apology and love. I was so fearful of her, silly it now seems. A little 77 year old woman. But I knew her venom to be powerful and I wanted none of it.

She told me that I had been her salvation. That she made it through so many years because of the thought that I needed her.

We talked about her bitterness towards my father. About her bitterness when they were married toward my grandmother. I think for the first time she saw how that Grandmother was just like her. Scared. So she did what she thought she had to do. She apologized for keeping me from my father those years. She talked about the stoic ways of her family. About growing up so dirt poor. She even in the coming weeks about gave my father a heart attack. They live in a town of 600 so you can guess what an effort is has been for her to totally ignore him for 24 years. She spoke to him in the post office. He was so shocked he didn’t know what to say.

Becoming sober through AA and several wrecks and old age has changed him in so many ways. Mama on the other hand was becoming more and more like Mamaw. She was drawing ever smaller circles of fellowship. Becoming meaner all the time. But I think this changed her.

My sisters called to express their worry for her. That I had to call her. She was on the edge. They had never seen her like this. Depressed, FULL of sorrow. She had failed to mother her children. She cried and cried that she wished she had her babies back. That she could do it over.

She confided in her preacher. He offered her good advice, apologize and try to love them better now.

Just last night she sat in my house and after watching a movie she said she had some things she needed to say. She began sobbing. She cried and cried as Kim and I gathered around her. She talked about her repentance and the weight of knowing how I was hurt. She tries to comfort herself in that “the others were not affected”. I tell her they were. Not to worry her but they were. I can’t lie about it anymore. She desperately wants everyone to be happy. She shared last night some reasons she was the way she was. She told of her brother returning home after World War II. They knew he was coming home (this is the same brother written about in A Family of a Thousand Stories) on the bus. Out of a large family, no one even went to meet him just 1 mile up the road. They didn’t even welcome him home. She cries that he was such a good brother to her. That it doesn’t even seem human that they were that way. Stoic, hard, cold.

But I do believe without doubt that God is at work in all of this. I talked to my mother about the ability of Jesus to heal. I know he has worked in my life in more ways than I can perceive.

A year ago again, Back at my home things were changing but still not well. I had opened up and shared my greatest fears which were much harder than sharing my sins. I could see progress but Kim was still struggling. I came one night with my counselor on the back porch to realize that I was the key. That medicine no medicine was not the issue. The issue was I had to tell my wife I was supporting her in whatever decisions she made. That I had been wrong. That I had put burdens on her that she was not meant to shoulder. I repented, I would be different. I would give what she needed before or without any chance of repayment of love.

And….Things got better.

Next more on God’s answers to my prayers.

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6 Comments leave one →
  1. August 5, 2005 12:28 pm

    How convicting that your confronting her actually helped her to repent and change. That frightens me a little bit…

  2. August 5, 2005 4:11 pm

    You’ve exhibited God’s love, Tommy, in so many ways throughout this whole process of coming to know yourself better, your mother better, your dad better, your sisters better, your wife better and in showing how generations of failures and hurts on the part of people can be turned around and overcome with God’s help.

    That is a magnificent journey you’ve travelled and shared. Just magnificent!

    It’s always so wonderful to experience God’s love for us all on such a meaningful and powerful level. I’ve experienced such power and love in my own life and am forever changed as a result.

    Thanks for sharing your struggles and victories. They are very important for us all to learn and to be reminded of.

  3. Anonymous permalink
    August 5, 2005 9:14 pm

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  4. August 5, 2005 9:51 pm

    Tommy,
    Your writing made me cry again!

    My son is estranged from me and what I would give for him to come to me and tell me the things he needs to say.

    Thank you for giving me hope today!

  5. August 5, 2005 10:01 pm

    This story inspired my socks off, and touched my hardened heart. Thank you for having the courage to share! For a little humor, but of the real life variety, feel free to check out my blog.

  6. August 6, 2005 12:54 pm

    Tommy,

    I have thought of myself as an overcomer instead of a victim.
    Try that on for awhile.

    I am in the process of writing an article on how the presence of fear blocks us from receiving and often giving love. Your story reminds me of this. Fear blocks us from so much. Continue the journey!

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