daughtersofnormabates











{May 31, 2013}   Airing “Dirty Laundry”

wicked disney

Hopefully this concludes the sad exchange between “Aunt Carrie” and “Lynnygal”. All written exchanges regarding my book or my blog will not be kept private and will be open to all. Thank you for your patience.

Comment by “Aunt Carrie”  this morning:

I am not hiding behind anything or anyone that would be you Lynn. Yes I am a family member
by marriage. A marriage of 55 years 4 children, 10 grandchildren and five great-grandchildren.
I will stand firm your parents never abused you. Your grandmother, God rest her soul
would never believe how you have treated her daughter.
This is the only way of reaching you because you live behind a wall of seclusion.
I would suggest that you not contact me again as I have nothing else to say to you.
You can tell your friend I don’t live in a world of delusion. I live in a world of Love,family
and truth. I don’t need to have anyone’s pity to have friends. If you give love that’s is what you
get back. I am sorry but I have no feelings for or against you or your son.
Carole

The response from Lynnygal:

Aunt Carole,
I am sorry that despite the physical evidence you saw demonstrating without a doubt that I am telling the truth, you still–”stand firm your parents never abused you.” That you can view physical evidence and still make that claim means that you prefer to remain in  darkness. This is your choice. In your comment, you state that you were not hiding behind anything, that it is me that is hiding. Yet you used a fake email address twice when making your comments, evidently in the hope that you could snipe at me privately without enabling me to respond to you. This tells me that you are not open to hearing another point of view.

Let me set you straight on something–My friends are my friends, not because they “pity” me as you say. Nearly all of my friends knew me long before I decided to write my stories. Decent people renounce brutality. That is why many of my friends encouraged me to write my stories. Cruelty, if allowed to operate in darkness and secrecy, grows and gains strength. This is true for me and for all of humanity. To even exist, cruelty requires the cover of  secrecy, denial and ignorance. It expects and assumes the complacency of those who know better. I will not be complicit with its demands.

There is another thing you should know. My grandmother knew what “her daughter” did. I confided in her about it one day. Your phrasing that “she would never believe how you have treated her daughter” presumes intimate knowledge of my grandmother. I doubt you even visited my grandmother very often–or my grandfather. Yet you presume to know what my grandmother would think.  I called my grandfather every day for over five years and I never once heard him mention a visit by you, either to him or to my grandmother in the nursing home. If you visited or spoke with them at all, it must have been seldom.

Let me remind you that you were the one who confronted me, and your first comment accused me of spreading lies. Then you further taunted me days later making other unbecoming remarks. I did not pick this fight with you. Your behavior is peculiar because you do not know me. Nor, do I know you. I have only seen you once or twice in twenty years. You were not present in my home while I was growing up. I don’t even recall a single visit you made to my home. I only recall a few visits to your home when I was a small child. Your remark, “I am sorry but I have no feelings for or against you or your son” is the truest statement of all your comments. You have no feelings for me or my son because you do not know us.

One last thing–you say that I “live behind a wall of seclusion.” This, I do not understand. By writing my stories, I am connecting with others, not secluding myself. Just because you do not have my personal contact information in your phonebook doesn’t mean I live behind a wall of seclusion.

As Rosemary Daniell said during a reading of her book– “The eleventh commandment of southern culture is never to tell. But, I have told.” By telling my story, I am aware that I’m breaking rules of southern politeness. The “rules” command that I keep quiet and remain stoic about my abuse so as not to “air the dirty laundry” of the family. The “rules” of being well-behaved dictate that because my “mother” is my mother, she is permitted to be cruel to me in secret and I am not permitted to tell anyone. I hope to demonstrate to other victims of family violence that they do not have to remain silent about it– in fact, to remain silent is to be complicit in their own  wounding. When cruelty is made known, it loses its grip on its victims. This is because, luckily, there are still decent, thoughtful people in the world.

Peace be with you,

Lynnygal

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