There is no manual in abuse

my grandfather was sick I got the call last Monday. I thought things would be ok and hope for the best. The sinking feeling in my stomach was call him. The other side of me struggled to bring myself too it.

I called today: I rang the familiar number that never changes. The pit in my stomach grew larger and the wave of unrefined anger rushed out. I hate calling that number and I would hate it even more if she answered. Reminding myself it’s only for my grandfather and I did not have to speak with the demon. His voice answered, and then he didn’t understand whose voice it was. I felt the pang of guilt for walking away when I did. Not only did I leave her I left him behind too. I still feel it was the right thing to do.

We tried small chit-chat about his health. You could cut the tension with a knife it was awkward. I’m still angry as he is still angry. There’s no upside to this pent-up anger. There’s no manual to abusive childhoods and how you supposed to feel. He asked me about my kids and I tried to give small answers. I protect my children at all cost and I feel deep down the devil should never know them. She had us as kids and what she did was unforgivable. I vowed to never let them go through that. I wish I could share the love of my kids with him but there’s one person who stops that.

The line came up asking why I never call. I said I wish to not speak to Laurie. Sickening to even give her name. In the cliché of flying monkey conversation he said if you are mad at her then you might as well be mad at me too.” In the manual of abuse this means I will stand blind to your abuser and not acknowledge what she did. How can someone stand behind what she did? She drugged, lied, hurt, and destroyed the minds of innocent children. She created monsters in their heads. The manual doesn’t cover that abuse wounds never heal properly. They only grow larger and deeper.

He then asked about my dad and my other grandparents with spite. I was so internally angry because my other family are trying. This long battle between them should be put to rest. My grandfather stated he leaves him alone, and they leave him alone and that’s the way he likes it. There is an unspoken dialogue hanging in the air about a battle no one won. The devil tried so hard to destroy their spirit and lie about the truth. She tried to brainwash a child into hating people. It didn’t work and the dirt on everyone’s knees never came clean.

There is no manual to how I feel right now. There’s no book that can teach me the zen of blocking it out. I walked away long ago and I never looked back. Calling in today was not an olive branch. I froze when I really wanted to say my peace. The anger I feel is fire and I really want to douse it with water. There’s no manual, no rules, no truth to it all. I cannot understand how one path in life could be damming when everything else falls in place.

Written by Ali Johnson

Autism Is Not A Punchline

I was cruising Facebook today and a strong important video from a concerned mother streamed on my screen. Her message broke my heart as I too shared similar feelings regarding the subject of concern. The concern was targeted at TikTok users acting out autism and other disabilities ignoring how disgusting and ignorant and distasteful these videos are. I, too, share her hurt and frustration with the lack of empathy people show towards disabilities. My son is special needs and his disability is not a punchline or humorous.

I can’t fathom why people think making fun of disabilities is entertaining. Possibly they think that they are being comedic but in truth…their actions are damaging to a community of warriors fighting battles unimaginable. Making fun of disabilities is a low act of ignorance and it in dignifies the human beings who struggle every day with bodies that fight themselves. The horror of watching someone fake a meltdown thinking its funny should place themselves in what a true meltdown is. To the ignorant girls and boys making fun of stimming or echolalia I implore them to sit in a classroom and be stared at as they are an alien. To the disheartening video creators who think this kind of bullying is appropriate, well, simply its part of the problem.

Disability is not a mockery it’s an everyday battle for the people facing them. It’s a battle for the advocates to get rights for the human being basic rights. Rights that should be given as equal chances of “normal people”. These videos take away the rights of disabled. Other people had to fight for my sons right to attend school and not be institutionalized. People, good people fought for his right to proper medical care and specialist to help him. One video or more demoralizes the battles fought by good people. No matter how far people get to have disabilities recognized others create a monster of destruction to tear down basic rights and understandings. These videos are a reminder of why our world is behind in human compassion and understanding.

I’m disgusted, angry, and at a loss that human beings would treat one another like this. I have a dark sense of humour but this is not funny. It’s not something to make light of and honestly I don’t understand why people would think to make something like this in the first place. I’ve held my son with pain in his heart because other children told him to kill himself because he was different. I’ve watched my son have meltdowns that are so scary for him. I’m not religious but I prayed for safety and love for him. Watching his body and mind battle the strong spirit within him is devastating. I’ve had to fight teachers for him to understand the brilliance in my sons mind instead of them only seeing a disability. I love my son more than anything in the world so to see people take away and destroy people like him without knowing the damage it causes is disgusting. Its enough when someone’s body hurts them it’s another when people ignorantly add to the trauma of hidden battles. My sons autism is not a punchline.

Written by Ali Johnson

The Real Tea (Narcissistic Mothers)

Confession time I do judge other parents. Yes I am aware of mommy shaming is not the right thing to do. I don’t judge moms on what they feed their kids or what their children wear or how their children act. What I do judge is when moms who treat their children like property instead of treating them like human beings. These are the moms that I see mirroring what my mother acted like and seeing the child beside her trying hard to please mommy dearest. Those children were me at one point.

On the outside people seen my mom as charismatic. That is how she hooks her victims and keeps her narcissistic facade alive. To the outside my mother looks like she cares about her children, and she has won mom of the year award. I know the real her and when I stopped being beneficial to her every want and need I was a disposable child. I once thought that she was something to be admired and just misunderstood in the world. Waking up to her lies after seeing through some of them brought out the worst person imaginable.

I didn’t grow up with my mother directly and that suits me just fine. Remembering when I was a little girl I thought I missed my mom and that one day she would come get us kids and everything would be alright. As a grown woman who survived her abuse: later in life I see that I was incredibly lucky to not have lived with her. Although I still lived with abusive caregivers; I still could not imagine being alive today, if I was under her care.

She had reached out to me when I was fifteen and beginning to emancipate myself legally. I remember her messages she sent to me. The mom I know she really is, was not the person sending the messages of care and commitment to do right by her daughter. She found my weak spot of feeling alone. She latched tightly and wound her web to hold me. I was naive hearing her stories everything she said she had answers to. The lowest point of my life was her thriving point to carry out her abuse. What she said at the time made sense: looking back I was blind to how much she could create on a whim.

It took one year and several months to start seeing through the woman under the veil. What she said and what actually happened are two different things. People started talking about my mother and what they said sounded more rational than what she said. I had one act of disobedience telling her no. I said no to something that went against my beliefs that one little no lead to my mother hating my very existence. Not only would she tell people I was a whore she would tell people I was abusing her. Anything she was doing to me at that moment created into her statements about me.

One thing I learned about surviving my mother is that it’s not completely over until one of us has died. No matter how much I have tried to escape her she still finds ways to interject into my life. I finally realized after one of my suicide attempts, she said to me ” what a shame I would have been free of you” the woman that was my mother only cared about herself and nothing would make it right. The moment was horrific the life lesson gained from it is unforgettable. I too needed freedom from the woman in the beautiful mask. The face hidden underneath it is deathly and hollow.

I wish I could say there is a happy ending or a feel good moment in reconciliation. Reality is the opposite. The only way to escape her abuse and be truly fee is to disengage. I still have not fully disengaged myself and I can’t until there is closer that justice will do her in to stop her abuse of others. I know the time is coming up in her trials of animal abuse. Promising to keep fighting for her victims because I never want her to steal another persons flame because that is what she does best.

I do judge mothers like her because when people don’t see them they are so dangerous to the child by their side. The little girls and boys who had mothers like mine don’t survive traditional methods. Some of them don’t make it out alive. The pain caused by these narcissistic mothers is explainable. It’s not the child who needs to fight for love but for the mother to fight for her child.

I believe there are monsters born in the world to human parents. … The face and body may be perfect, but if a twisted gene or a malformed egg can produce physicalmonsters, may not the same process produce a malformed soul?

J. J Steinbeck, East of Eden

Written by Ali Johnson

Promise, They Will Be Enough

[Will’s father came back into town, and then lied to Will about being around more and left. Phillip is trying to comfort him]

Will: Hey, you no what, you ain’t got to do nothing, Uncle Phil. You know, ain’t like I’m still five years old, you know? Ain’t like I’m gonna be sitting every night asking my mom ‘when’s daddy coming home?’ You know? Who needs him? Hey, he wasn’t there to teach me how to shoot my first basket, but I learned it, didn’t I? And I got pretty damn good at it too, didn’t I, Uncle Phil?

Phillip Banks: Yeah, you did.

Will: Got to do my first date without him, right? I learned how to ride, I learned how to shave, I learned how to fight without him. I had *fourteen* great birthdays without him; he never even sent me a damn card. The hell with him!

[pause]

Will: I didn’t need him then, I won’t need him now.

Phillip Banks: Will…

Will: No, you know what, Uncle Phil? I’m gonna get through college without him, I’m gonna get a great job without him, I’m gonna marry me a beautiful honey and I’m having a whole bunch of kids. I’m gonna be a better father than he ever was. And I sure as hell don’t need him for that, ’cause there ain’t a damn thing he can teach me about how to love my kids!

[long pause; he’s crying]

Will: How come he don’t want me, man?

Scene from Fresh Prince of Belair.

I remember watching the scene from Fresh Prince of Belair for the first time and felt so connected to what he was saying. I too had absent parents who treated me out of convenience instead of want. Lonely is the best way I can describe my feelings towards the missing people that were supposed to step up and do the right thing. Some people say absence makes the heart grow fonder, but when your parent is negligent it causes a certain degree of pain.

Every time my parents would choose to jump in and out of my life a rift grew. I questioned why they chose that time to step up when they wanted no part in anything else going on. One of my battles as a child was dealing with questions of why I was not good enough for them. I was smart, imaginative, and loved to learn. The older I got I started to feel guilty for being a burden to them. I always felt that I was the reason my mom was slightly crazy and my dad didn’t want me because I made my mother nuts. It didn’t matter how much I achieved I was never good enough for them.

Overtime as their absent parenting grew I felt raw anger towards them. Other children would state how great their parents were. How they loved them unconditionally. The one time that I rejected seeing my father I was guilt tripped by family members. They stated that if I didn’t love my dad I should say it directly. I was torn into pieces that day instead of being told my emotions are validated. Thirteen year old me made a promise that day that if I ever have children; I would love them until the day I take my last breath, and be better than what they were one hundred percent.

Two boys later I have kept my promise. I, no longer keep contact with my mother by ensuring she has no access to abuse my children. My promise is simple yet it allows my children to be loved. Unlike my mother I will allow my children to make mistakes and not treat them as a disappointment. I will make sure they have food in their bellies before myself. They will always have a safe space to live in and someone to care about their needs. My last promise is to tell them I love them with each passing day. To hold them when they are scared and cheer them on when they do great things.

I am not a perfect parent by any means. My parents made a choice to walk away from me, what I learned is that I will be better. I did learn something from them and that is my children are first before me. My love for them shows them they are enough. They will not go through life wondering how they failed me. Love and trust does not come easy for me, but my children will never have to struggle with feeling alone and unheard. I may have been unwanted but I will always want my boys.

Written by: Ali Johnson

30 weeks with my son Maximus.

myself, Travis, and Max