Fear And Family

I was the lucky one in my family because I was the first born to my parents and the first grandchild on my Mom’s side of the family.It was probably my saving grace because most of my life I hated being at home. There was fighting and drunken stepfathers beating on my mother and the fear my sisters and I had to live with was daily in our teen years. Every day was protection of the little ones and combatting for yourself.Secrets and scandal was the things we lived with trying to protect each other and keep our mother safe. It was hard for me to grasp that some men were so cruel after having a Daddy that loved us and our mother.My Aunt Mike told me that Daddy said he loved Mom so much he hoped he died first because he could never bury her. With that he got his wish far to soon. I am just sorry that the littler girls don’t have much of a memory of a father’s love because it is a beautiful thing and one I cherish. Instead they probably remember men trying to break our back door down when Mom finally had enough or watching as another one tried to throw me down the steps because I refused to hoe the rock hard garden that was full of weeds. I got to the point that nothing scared me as I got older because it was easy to defend myself against a drunk passed out on the grass with bubbles spewing out of his mouth. I just hoped at that moment he would die and do us all a favor. Then there were the friends he had. You never knew what would happen. We left to stay at my uncles house and came home to a house full of beer cans in the bathtub and all of our furniture sold. He even took my mom’s wedding ring from my dad. People really don’t care that a mother with six kids don’t have furniture or a washing machine if the price is right.

The reason I write this today is not because I care anymore, I don’t. God has given me a life I could only imagine when I was young. Hungarian Work Horse had his work cut out for him when we met. I didn’t trust any man and this guy showed me what unconditional love is. Warts and all,fear and baggage, didn’t stop him from saying yes when I asked him to marry me at sixteen. People thought it wouldn’t last over forty years ago and you never know maybe it won’t but I wouldn’t bet the farm on it if I were you. Yesterday a song came on the radio called HEY PRETTY GIRL and as the guy was crooning he grabbed my hand.He loves me that much. And I love him even more.

If you are with somebody that doesn’t treat you like that you are cheating yourself and if you have kids you are giving them something even worse. My heart still pounds when I think of the treatment my mother got from some of those jerks. I wish I had never seen it. You have the opportunity to make you and your kid’s life something that I have now. It is wonderful. I keep thinking of that movie The Help when the maid tells the little girl you is important. I know I am now but growing up if it wouldn’t have been for my Grandma Jahr I don’t know if I would ever have believed that. Little kids need their grandmas and aunts and uncles and usually these men don’t want them to be around their family.You remember how they treat your mother. They take your money and your self confidence. They leave you empty and that is their intent. They want you to think you owe them and that you deserve the treatment they give you. They don’t want to work and they don’t have to because they have your mom’s social security check. Staying with somebody like that is suicide on your part. Imagine how your little one feels when all of the yelling and swearing is going on. You think it doesn’t affect them? Call me or anyone of my sisters and we will give you the truth.

Please think carefully about your life. It is something you pass down to your kids no matter how little they are. Let their legacy be one of a papa holding a nana’s hand because a song made him do so. Of a stepdad like Ward that after so many years showed me how you can love somebody that isn’t your kid and be friends just because you like each other. He was a grandpa that my kids are proud of. He is the one they remember not the one that drove his pick up into the ditch in front of our house because he was mad and threw a temper tantrum. My sisters and I know about fights and tempers but we have a miracle glue that holds us together. It is called love. I am proud of my family and what we stand for. My little grandkids love my sisters as much as they love me and they can be with them anytime they want to because we have that loving glue. I know it is hard but be brave because your children deserve it.

If you know anybody that is being abused please hold out your hand. Don’t be afraid because even if they think they aren’t they are. Hold them up in prayer or what ever it is that gives you strength. I love it that now I can grab a sister and laugh like a hyena. Life can be so good.

28 thoughts on “Fear And Family

    • This was hard for me to write but I felt it was needed. Sometimes I still feel shame when I reread something that I have written down. I am better than that I know and mostly leave it at the cross but sometimes you have to go back and pick it up to show someone else that broken piece of you that is whole and happy now. Thank you Colleen for always saying just the right thing. Your words are a blessing.

      • You should not ever feel shame for what you have been through. You are brave and strong to share this with others. You may not ever know how it changes a life, but I am certain it will. Your honesty is commendable and your insight an inspiration. I wish we could all be so brave.

  1. My parents stayed together (to my mother’s tragic end) so I don’t have bad memories of step-fathers, but of my own father. I can identify in so many ways with what you say. My mother tried to leave my father once, but she didn’t have any help so she went back to him, and it was her destruction. She even came to forget that once she thought he was terrible enough to leave him, and she became loyal to him to the point where she lost all her three girls and all her grandchildren because of him. But my sisters and I have each other, and I thank God for them. And I thank Him that my husband and I have been spared from what might have been except for His grace. Love is, indeed, the glue. It took many years, but I have found unconditional love, too–on earth as well as from heaven. Thank you for this touching and vulnerable post!

    • I don’t know what it is that makes people stay with abusers. Are they too afraid or do they have no confidence. I am so glad we don’t have to live in our past, just with it. My sisters and I too are so blessed to have each other and I don’t know what I would do without most of them. I also think that by writing this down we find people like ourselves that have overcome the painful past and that is something to celebrate. I am so glad that we know each other through this and your words mean so much to me. Thank you.

  2. Thank you for sharing this Liz. This is such an important message that could help so many people. I’m so happy for you that you married such a wonderful man. That isn’t always the case for girls who see their mother not treated right. Luckily who had those memories of your father and it showed you what true love looked like.

    • True love is so easy for me to see now and when I see someone that doesn’t have it I want to just scream.. I hate it when people stay with someone because they think that is where they should be and their kids get the idea that life is measured like that. I especially don’t get it when someone comes from love and goes to abuse. God help them please.

  3. Thank you for sharing this. It takes courage, and is tremendously freeing. Your words will be used to make an impact in someone’s life. He never wastes our pain. Well done, and hugs to you.

  4. Oh geeze Liz, now where is that kleenex of mine 🙂 I agree with Denise – God never wastes our pain. Look at my dad’s beginning – born into a family where his Grandfather despised him and even viewed him as disgusting. Then his step father (whom he didn’t even know was a “step” father) treated him like an out-cast. He never was treated with any respect, let alone receive a scrap of love. And yes, after dad found out who Roy (his step father) really was, then it made sense to him – all those years of neglect. And after his mother passed – Roy remarried within 6 months. At that point Dad was filled with so much anger and bitterness. It consumed him and distracted him from those who did love and respect him – his own family. Growing up with an angry bitter person is not easy as you know – at least we were blessed in that he never took it out on us. We feared him though, because we didn’t know who he was. He was an angry stranger who came home a couple times a month and hated family get together’s and Christmas. (That’s rough to say, but that’s how me and my brothers saw him when we were kids.) Then comes the unspeakable pain to bury a son and you have to divorce your high-school sweet heart because she now has MS and the state of Wisconsin is taking away everything you own just so that she can receive adequate health care! Shortly there after, he meets your mother – and look how God used her to show him love and respect and begin the process of mending a broken, bitter soul, and ultimately leading him back to Jesus. (Jesus was almost non-existent in our lives because we couldn’t figure out why God would allow such heartaches to continue one right after the other.) And in return, God then used Dad to do the same for you and the rest of the gang. And look what God did for Mike & I. He used all of you to give us a father we never knew – a relationship that we never had – a love that we failed to see as children. Nobody’s pain was wasted – not Dad’s, not your’s, your mother’s, nobody’s pain is ever wasted. There is a reason for everything and thank you for this post – in a world where so little is making any sense lately, I need to be reminded that God is in control and He has a plan for each and everyone of us. Nothing that we go through in life is ever in vain. Thank you Liz for everything!

    • Your response to this was so unexpected for me. I so had a hard time pushing the publish button on this one but felt I needed to and now I know why.Little did I know that it would help you too. I just hope that you know I really do love you and I am so glad that we are family. Thank you for sharing with me like you do, I know it is hard. We are so blessed that our parents somehow managed to find each other and I am so thankful that you let me know that you didn’t have bad feelings towards us. How hard it must have been for you at first to come to Michigan and see the family that we carved out of those two after living your childhood in so much pain. I think you are right that we were put together for a reason. I am humbled that you feel the way you do about us and know that you are an inspiration to me. I can say for a fact your dad loved you so much and that if he could have had a do over he would have. We learn from our past and he sure did. He was a blessing force to me and Al and especially Bethany and Alisha. Two little girls that didn’t know quite where they belonged got to have a grandpa that taught them how to drive and listened to every word they had to say. He would pick them up sometimes in the convertible and take them driving around the thumb. Just maybe it was his way of giving back. Pain was erased and if we let it, destroyed. Love really does have a way of healing doesn’t it? Thanks right back at ya.

  5. Liz, thank you for having the courage to share your story. There are so many who are hiding their pain, and your story may be the very thing that gives them the courage to break free.
    Bless you,

    • I hope so Linda. People need courage to get out of something for their kids. My Mom would be the first in line to tell you that getting out is the best thing because there is life to live in happiness not fear.

  6. This is so touching, Liz. I knew you were strong, and this gives me a glimpse into the many reasons why. You are lucky to have found Hungarian Work Horse (love that name by the way) and HE is lucky to have you, as are all of your children. Keep writing this blog–it has become a part of your legacy to all those you love and who love you!

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