A gift



This story is about worthiness and that is something that I still struggle with today, a residual effect of domestic violence.

2014 Idaho

Tears stung my eyes and a flood of emotions seemed to make a steady barrage on my senses. I stepped outside and down the walkway marching, sighing and feeling indignant at the thought. It was hard to contain my anger and now tears fell into a steady stream until I finally sobbed.  Shame, guilt and confusion overrode my logical mind.  I felt betrayed and sickened, it was wrong and strange and there was nothing I could do about it, nothing.  I looked once again at the box that had been pushed onto the front porch and felt a tinge of calm take over. It was a fancy coffee maker complete with milk steamer and accessories.  I would find a simple and kind way to return the contents but I wasn’t sure exactly how. I had cooked for this family member that was all, it was nothing.  Why would he buy me such an expensive gift and how would I explain to myself that I was worthy.

Riyadh 2007

The kids gathered around me and held out boxes wrapped in bright colors with bows. I was shocked and unsure and saw him glance our way. They told me that they wanted to do something special for me and so they had come up with a plan that included gifts and making lunch. I continued to monitor his gestures as he sighed and gave a chuckle. I opened the package carefully removing tape and ribbons slowly, savoring each moment.  It was as if for that brief minute I was a real mom, entitled to love and affection and even gifts. I smiled and hugged each child as they clambered to smell the fragrance of this set they had personally put together. The basket containing special lotions, perfumes and body wash was organized neatly and wrapped with a pink ribbon.   A second parcel lay on the counter, a large piece of paper that had been covered with a delicate layer of tissue, topped with a tiny bow. I gently removed the outer layer and looked at the contents. A poem and picture including hearts and flowers had been written and designed by See See. I read it over silently and hugged her telling her it was perfect. The little ones grabbed my hands and drug me to the dining room where eggs and toast lay on the table.

It was a joyful day and although he skulked in the background it appeared that he had accepted this little celebration, forgetting his unwritten rule that no gifts would be given to mama.  Later that night he held the paper and words that described me as a mother, faithful, loving and amazing. He picked up parts of the gift basket and looked at each label, turning them from side to side. Finally his silence was broken and he laughed holding the paper in hand looking as if he would tear it in half. “This is who? Who? Your mother? “He laughed until he could no longer breathe and threw it down onto the bed half rumpled. “Look ya See See do not ever ever give anything to mama without my permission, NEVER!”

107 thoughts on “A gift

  1. What I liked here, was the thought, that you are no longer in the power of that monster, dear sister.
    Of course you deserve to receive gifts and if anyone are so kind to buy you a present, just say thank you, because they thought about you and appreciate you, like you also deserve to be appreciated.
    Much love to you ❤

    Liked by 3 people

  2. Lynn, I am hoping that by writing this out you are purging yourself of the sense of self that seems to be tied to these memories. I cannot decide if he is a completely heartless bastard or psychotic. Either way, you are not the person he decided you had to be, just because of his personality disorder. I don’t know what he was getting out of making you into a non-person but it was a sick thing to do. HE was the problem, not you Lynn!!! (I was thinking more swear words but I decided I should edit more carefully). As my grandfather used to say – “He needed a kick in the arse with a frozen boot!”

    Liked by 4 people

    • hahaha that is a cool saying Carmen! Thank you so much for your comment! I always look forward to your up front way of saying things and what you have to tell me. I am better now and accepting gifts is pretty hard but I try, I think ok they want to do something nice, this is selfish to not accept! So it gets better, still working at it! xo


  3. he sounds like an utter swine. I know how hard it is to leave an abuser when you have children, my Mother suffered for decades. You end up believing it’s your fault because everything is twisted that way to make it so. You end up practically powerless. I was lucky to escape one such person and thankfully never had any children by him. I’m so glad you’re writing about this, it’s vitally important for you to release this negative energy and very important for other women to know they are not alone. It takes an ENORMOUS amount of courage to leave an abuser. Bravo.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I am saddened every time I read about your humiliating events in your life and how controlling (manipulative) he was, Lynn! You were so innocent and loving! You ARE still so loving and giving to your family and by telling your story, painful as it is, you are giving us (and those who suffer in silence) a REAL GIFT! love you! xoxo ❤

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I understand how the logical part of you steps aside to let that old training take over, Lynn. That grip on you will lessen as you continue to experience and accept all the love around you. Those little children who loved you then and love you now, all your friends and relations who adore you and value you aren’t mistaken. Only one man was mistaken and all the wrongness was his alone. Trust that everyone else is right – you are amazing and worthy of love. ❤ ❤

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Hugs. There’s no words I feel like I can say to make you feel better. Try not to dwell on the past but that’s hard. Some say time heals but I feel like it’s more about figuring how to cope in time. You are a strong person – remember that and when things feel tough just know you are stronger now and can survive anything.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Look at all the people who certainly believe you are worthy of gifts now. I got carpal tunnel trying to scroll down get to the end of your long and supportive comment list. This man must certainly be the unhappiest man on earth to cause you this much grief. After an illness, I am always ecstatic just to feel normal.. I hope this is how you feel.. You’ve earned all your happiness.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. As ever your writing manages to inflame me with anger and chill me to the core. The depths of this person’s emotional depravity knew no limits. The effect on you is deep and lasting, but like a tattoo the colour slowly changes and the outlines fade with time and love. You did survive. And day by day you are a little stronger (some days feeling yourself sliding back, which is only natural) and further from his cold iron grip. I am grateful always to you for sharing these stories so long as they are necessary catharsis. Take good care and go gently my dear friend xxx

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Some cultures just don’t celebrate birthdays, my Iranian sister-in-law was bemused by the tradition for many years, but his antipathy was founded in far more than mere cultural differences and I am glad you can freely receive and accept gifts of appreciation now. You deserve them. 💜

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Posting the many pictures of your loving family under the title A Gift was an inspired balance to precede the cruel story of his treatment of you when your children gave you a basket of gifts. Listen to their love always. You’ll get there !! ❤

    Liked by 1 person

  11. he really was the worst kind of controlling predator, letting you feel the love, and experience it just enough to make sure you remembered what it felt like and then so quickly reminding you and all the children, he was in control….I am sure it was some kind of sick joke in his mind…what a real-a-hole…Lynn, you are so worthy of the love your children shower upon you, then and now, your so worthy of loving back openly, loving your parents and showing how much you care, not only for everyone, but for yourself, you are such a wonderful woman, I only wish we lived close enough so we could run off and do silly things together….you have endured the last of him!!! He is not worthy of breathing the air you breath…..lease never, ever doubt yourself….ever!!!!! lots of hugs……………..xxxxxxyour sister, kat PS love that your getting it all out onto paper and leaving it there….once and for all….

    Liked by 1 person

  12. It is hard to believe that you managed to survive living with such a monster and that your children loved you despite him. If you had lived somewhere else, it may have been easier to leave him but I know the control extends beyond the location. I am so glad that you are now safe but I also know how hard these memories must be. K x

    Liked by 1 person

  13. The man needs professional help. Recognize and internalize that and then you will know that his opinions are based on his sick mind. Therefore, why hold on to a belief dispensed by a mentally unstable person. That is like holding on to garbage. Let go of the garbage.

    Liked by 1 person

  14. Hi Lynn! I just came across your blog! Your family, both children and grandchildren, are absolutely beautiful! There is a genuine wholesomeness that emanates from your photos. It’s amazing to read about the childhood they have gone through and then see the joyful, loving smiles on all their faces! I’d say you have done an awesome job as a mom!

    Liked by 1 person

  15. Lyn, I think it takes some of us a long time to realize it’s as joyful to receive a gift well as it is to give one gladly. I love the way your pictures illustrate that joy! And I am so glad you are on the other side of, “Do not ever give anything to mama without my permission!”

    I’m sharing your blog with a friend who runs a DV shelter–your story will give hope to a lot of people!


    Liked by 1 person

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