Daughter Refuses Mother To Bring Her Abusive Step-Father For The Wedding.
So, a truncated history of my personal trauma for context: I love my mom, and I have a lot of memories of her being a good mother. It’s hard for me to let go of the happy memories I have with her. And I have some sympathy for her; my grandmother was a textbook narcissist, and although I also loved her I’ve come to understand (particularly through the time I’ve spent reading stories on here) that she said and did some things that deeply damaged her children. They all exhibit signs of narcissism or at least bad cases of fleas from time to time.
It’s the good memories and the empathy I have for her that make it hard to write her off. Even though she bailed on me and my dad when I was 4 to move to California and start a relationship with a new man. When that didn’t work out, she came back and got on medication and was okay for a few years, but then when I was 8 she met yet another guy and cheated on my dad with him. They divorced, and she manipulated me into choosing to live with her and this latest dude, even though it meant leaving behind all of my friends and family and moving to another state where we knew no one.
The abuse started almost immediately. First he would just do controlling things like lock me out of the computer my dad bought me so that I could write him emails, and calling the apartment that was rented in only my mom’s name “his house.” Then he moved to punching holes in walls, and screaming until the cops showed up.
Somewhere along the line, before I went back to my home state for a visit, my mom sat me down and told me there were things that “should only be discussed with family” and “family means the people you live with every day.” So, basically, “don’t tell your dad or anyone else back home what is going on here.” And her boyfriend chimed in to let me know that if CPS got involved, I wouldn’t get to go back to living with my dad, I’d be put into foster care and I’d never see anyone I loved again. And I’m 9 years old at this point, what do I know about CPS rules? This was long enough ago that Google wasn’t invented yet, so I believed that bullsh*t and kept my mouth shut.
I was 11 when he got wasted and smashed her guitar into bits because an ex-boyfriend gave it to her. Then he dislocated her shoulder by throwing her against the lit fireplace. I had to miss a visit back home because she didn’t want anyone to see her with her arm in a sling, and she made me lie to my dad and tell him I was too sick to come. She would later wonder why I felt dread about talking to my dad on the phone. Probably because she eventually made me lie to him so often that I would hang up feeling terrible every time.
It was around that time his own daughter stopped having anything to do with him. She got the golden child treatment whenever she came to visit; I lived there full time, but on his weekends with her my room became hers and I wasn’t allowed in unless she said I could be in there (again, in the apartment that was in my mom’s name, where she paid the full rent and let him live there without contributing a penny). Even still, I think his ex-wife, a real piece of work herself, knew what a monster he was and got awarded full custody. Things got a lot darker for me after that. He beat me bloody with a metal dog collar not long after.
When I was around 13, he and my mom got into a big fight and she got out a pistol and threatened to kill herself (in front of me). He got the gun away from her and put it to my head, saying everything wrong in their lives was my fault. Then he pulled the trigger.
Did he know it wasn’t loaded? I sure as f**k didn’t. I’ve always felt like a part of me died right there. For a second I had to accept that my life was over, and I don’t think I ever totally came back.
That was the worst moment of my life, but there were other bad things that followed. I was competing at the state vocal competition and he beat me with a belt the night before, purposely leaving welts on my face and neck that my mom tried to cover up with makeup. Every time I showed an interest in anything, he mocked it or destroyed my work. He dumped beer on my honors art final project. He took away my hard drive right before I was done with a major paper, then he kicked me out of the house for getting bad grades.
I feel like I have to explain what my step-dad put me through to provide context for my relationship with my mom. Because she was there for all of this. She wasn’t ever physically abusive herself, but she let it happen. Even though I had loving, supportive family that would have taken me in without question. She didn’t want to admit she’d made a mistake, and she didn’t want to have to face the consequences of that mistake by herself, so she manipulated me into putting up with that hell for 10 years.
I moved back to my home state immediately after (barely) graduating high school, and my visits became less and less frequent. The last time I was at her house was almost 10 years ago, with my current fiance. My mom assured me that her husband had stopped drinking, and would be nice. Well, he woke us up at 3 in the morning, and tried to get in a fist fight with my fiance for “sleeping with his daughter” even though we’d been living together for years at that point. We packed up right then and never went back.
There are lots of stories to fill the interim, like the time her husband stole some of my grandma’s jewelry from the trunk of my grandpa’s car just hours after my grandma’s funeral, but maybe I can revisit those some other time. Suffice to say, my relationship with my mom is strained, and I would prefer my relationship to her husband be nonexistent.
But now I’m getting married on Saturday. We were in the early stages of planning to do the traditional wedding thing, but then COVID happened. We can’t really delay, because FDH has a pressing medical issue and no insurance, while I have really excellent coverage through my job.
We’ve been keeping everything, including our engagement, a secret from everyone. Up until today, I wasn’t really sure why, because I’m not ashamed of it, and it’s not like it would surprise anyone. I didn’t even tell my dad or my aunt, who is like a second, less crazy mother to me. We invited them to have a socially distant cookout on Saturday, with the plan of surprising everyone with the ceremony.
Except my mom, who’d previously said she would come to visit this weekend, changed her mind at the last minute. So, in the throws of an irrational desire for a normal maternal relationship, I tell her about our plans. She immediately says that “of course she’ll come!” and we chat about it for a minute.
Then she asks if her husband can come too. Even now, I stupidly don’t want to hurt her feelings, so I tell her that I would need to think about it and that I wasn’t really comfortable with the idea.
She presses me, because she can’t make plans unless she knows if he’s coming with or not (because I’ve previously told her he’s not welcome in my home). And has the gall to ask me what my concerns about him attending would be.
Like, b*tch, that piece of sh*t has found a way to ruin just about every important life event he’s ever been a part of, why the f*ck would I want someone like that at my wedding?
So I told her that I want my wedding day to be happy. If I can’t have everyone I want there, I can at least keep out anyone I don’t want. Even if her husband was on his best behavior and did nothing, his presence alone would be upsetting and a source of stress for me and my fiance. So no. No he can’t come.
And suddenly, just like that, she’s not sure she’ll be able to make it, and she needs to think about it first.
I was sad and angry and despondent. But then I realized that I was only being secretive about my plans because I was anxious about having that exact conversation. Hell, I think I’ve been putting off getting married for YEARS because I knew she would try to force me to let her husband be there, or would make some kind of scene if I put my foot down about it. Now I don’t have to worry about that anymore; he’s not going to be allowed on my property, and there’s not going to be a big get together for her to ruin by getting drunk and making a scene.
I feel so liberated. Thanks for reading.