Some formerly QF Mom’s have compiled their apologies to QF Daughters. I am not sure that any of my daughters or sons would identify with those apologies or not? But it reminded me that I wanted to post this here for you? I don’t know if you will remember when I gave this to you or not, but I post it here for you with much love. I do not consider myself among the “formerly QF”. I remained QF in the sense that I had as many children as my body could bear and I have no regrets for that. Each one of you are priceless. (Just pray for Daddy and I to get a second wind so we can be good parents to the younger ones!)
Dear H, D, J, and K (teens at the time of this writing)
I need to tell you about something that my counseling has turned up because it has affected you too.
I knew my mother was pretty non-functional. She spent the year, just before her pregnancy with me, institutionalized for psychosis. She recovered enough to be back in reality to some extent, but wasn’t nurturing. She is attached to things, not people. Last time we visited, I spent a portion of our “vacation” cleaning her house because the social worker said she can’t get around the clutter with the walker. I snuck 10 garbage bags full of mildewed old clothes, some from when I was a teenager, out the window. She was mad at me cause she knew some things were missing..
As a child, my mom didn’t have friends and I was her best friend and confidante, her emotional crutch. She often cried and it was my responsibility to comfort her. She even shared details of her and my dad’s intimacy problems which were beyond my innocent comprehension.
My mother is so profoundly mentally ill that I could be compassionate.
At S* [missionary candidate interview], the psychologist kept pressing me about whether I had been sexually abused and I said no. Now I know that something in my testing was telling him differently. A week or two later, I was talking to my sister on the phone and she told me that in processing through her own recovery, she was troubled about something. She said she used to feel so sorry for me because Mom was so jealous and hostile when Dad would dress me up and take me out as if I was his date.
I developed early and was often taken for 16 when I was 12. My dad bought me a new, immodest wardrobe, dressed me up with makeup and hairdo and took me on dates. He used to go to his condo in Puerto Rico alone for awhile every year. When I was 13, he took only me (and my wardrobe). I was supposed to be there alone with him for a month. He took me to an R-rated movie with full frontal nudity. I was very uncomfortable because I had never seen any woman except my mother. He had pop fiction novels with sexually explicit passages. As an avid reader, naturally I picked up what was there. I was not very happy or cooperative and somehow I made my dad mad and he sent me home after a week.
When I was 14 my dad shipped me to an all girl’s Catholic boarding school.
When I was 18, he married a 22 year old.
During my teenage years, I dressed immodestly and was molested on dozens of occasions by boys and men groping at my private parts.
I told Sandy about my Dad’s treatment and said, “But he never DID anything”. She said, looking a bit angry, “He DID do something.” What my mother and father each did to me is a form of emotional abuse which profoundly affected me.
I immediately realized how it has influenced me with my teens. I wounded all of you by expressing hatred for teenagers. I am so sorry. Please forgive me. I love all of you and regret wounding you. It was my own teenage experience for which I was expressing hatred.
Because my boundaries were violated by others, I felt an overwhelming burden to protect you and was exceedingly harsh and controlling when it came to boundary issues.
I have been so intense and harsh about modesty (right standards but bad delivery). I have ranted and raved about R-rated movies. If it had been up to me, we never would have had them in the house. I am still very uncomfortable about it so I struggle, fight, and yell when R-movies are present. I think my behavior may have affected Joanne the most because she is considered “hot” and took an interest in boys so early. I am NOT sorry for setting boundaries which protect you, it would be a failure on my part not to set boundaries. But I have done so in a harsh, angry way and I am so sorry. Because I was so hurt by boys and men as a teen, I think I have subconsciously viewed any boy who approaches Joanne as a threat. For this reason I have failed to embrace Rob and make him feel welcome.
For all of this and whatever other negative impact this may have had on you, I am sorry. And I pray that you will be able to forgive me and not carry hurt in your spirits. May the chains of the sins of the parents be broken!