Bridges Burned with Explosions


Mom’s first court date was today. Apparently they charged her with everything they had, even after giving us (i.e. The rest of the family) the impression that there wasn’t much of a case to go on. Not exactly a problem doing their job prosecuting on my behalf with the tiny little exception that it shocked and appalled my entire family. My mother fully expected me to just drop it like nothing ever happened. 

Okay, let me break it down for you here: mom left my kid unattended, she hit me first, I hit back, she throws coffee mug at me, I hit her again, Little starts crying, I walk away to tend to Little, mom decides to call the police and have me arrested. PLOT TWIST: she hit me first, making her the aggressor; the police took her away instead. Then suddenly after all of that, plus an entire childhood of abuse, I’m just supposed to pretend like nothing happened? Um…. How about ef no? 

So the victims advocate calls and we discuss everything. I tell them the truth, this is the first time she’s been caught but it’s not the first time it’s happened. Sending her off for community service isn’t going to do any good, she needs psychiatric evaluation and treatment, because she has obvious mental issues. Little did I know that meant they were going to go full bore and throw the book at her. I didn’t say: “throw my mother in jail to rot.” But that’s precisely what they’re trying to do. Even if she does get jail time it’s only six months, which is a horrible experience I’m sure, but it’s only six months. It’s not like they’re going to lock her away for years.

So the family was shocked, appalled, and angry with me because the way the prosecutor argued it made it sound like I wanted her to go to jail. Which makes living with them really awesome at the moment. And now once again here’s Kelli stuck in the middle of a horrible situation where no one really wins no matter what happens, and it’s all resting on my shoulders trying to decide which way to go. YEP. My therapist predicted this with mom’s fairly clear pattern of disordered behavior, so I’m not entirely surprised.

I am a lot disappointed with my family’s reaction to the entire thing. My entire life it was told to me that if I ever broke the law and ended up in jail I was on my own. No one was coming to bail me out, I was to face the consequences of my actions because they loved me. Well if that’s the case then aren’t I obligated to hold the charges against her? Isn’t it the responsible, loving thing to do by holding her accountable? Or is it like so many other things where it’s okay for her to do to me, but if I turn it around on her it’s brazen and wrong?

No one can tell me what to do since it’s a pending case as I’m currently writing this. Obviously I can’t publish it until after the fact, but I needed to write about it the day it happened before it got lost in the shuffle. My dad is all like: “just do the right thing.” Which is code for: “don’t send your mother to jail.” The really tough part is that according to my upbringing  I am doing the right thing. Apparently the whole charade of “we’re not bailing you out if you get arrested” was just a farce to scare me or manipulate me or something. Or no one ever assumed they would be in this position in the first place. 

A lot of it is just plain old denial. Dad refuses to believe mom’s behavior over the years has been abusive, one of my sisters understands but can’t quite cope with it actually happening, and the other one thinks I’m just being stubborn and spiteful and will eventually come around to realize how wrong I am. No one is really mentally prepared to deal with this aside from myself.

It’s not easy. I’ve been able to keep it together right now mostly because I have to. I have to give my kids a safe place to live, I have to move forward with the charges, I have to do this for my recovery and healing. Mom is a criminal and always has been. This is the first time she’s been held accountable, and could potentially be the last. I’m not going to give her any more chances. I’ve been giving her second chances my entire life and nothing changes. Even this won’t really change her. I’ll end up the bad guy, estranged from my entire immediate family, unable to return to my childhood home, my kids will lose aunts and grandparents, and I am still moving forward. That is the right thing to do. Potentially sending my own mother to prison with a felony is the right thing to do. 

Bridges in my life burn with explosions. There are no quiet exits, no fading into the night. A blaze of glory or none at all.