Content warning for brief mention of child sex abuse, description of vehicular homicide, child death, home birth
Usually it’s easy for me to be glad I removed someone damaging to my life. I never miss the pedophile who abused me, or my ex-husband, or my former live in boyfriend. They hurt me and they wronged me and I prefer to pretend they’re all dead. No part of me wants relationship with them. But I miss my old cult leader, my grandma, and it hurts to not see her.
I have to remind myself that she has Alzheimer’s and hasn’t seen me in seven years. She wouldn’t recognize me, or might confuse me for one of my aunts twenty years ago. And the last time we spoke, I yelled at her for not seeking medical care for a cult member’s toddler who fell in a yellow jackets nest behind her offices and died several hours later from the poison. She screamed back, “Well what do you want me to say, I’m sorry?!” There are reasons we haven’t spoken since.
My Giggy raised me and broke me, sang hymns while rocking me in her lap, and once snapped a metal ladle in two while spanking me with it. She played with us in the backyard swimming pool, and told us demonic forces were all around. She drove so fast and so carelessly, she plowed into a deaf and blind woman on a residential street, killing her on impact on the windshield, inches from my face. She called me Nuke as a nickname, and told me I was “good as gold”.
She’s my only abuser I ever truly loved and some days I just want to climb into her lap and sink into her plump grandmotherly embrace. She poisoned my relationship with my mother so that I’m unable to emotionally believe that she loves me, and the worst thing my mother did was have her mother around us. I remember that my own son is reason enough to stay away. My Giggy, my grandma, my first teacher, and the woman who felt more like a mother to me than her daughter who birthed me, would chew him up and spit him out.
I have to remind myself that she killed people, and even seemed to want my mom to die in home childbirth. In her written account of my older brother’s birth, Giggy said that she told God he could take my mother, and compared herself to Abraham offering Isaac to God. My mother the person is not mentioned again in the story, save a brief remark about her perineum not tearing. Mom’s survival wasn’t the point of that story; Gig’s spiritual warfare was.
I have to remind myself. For all that I know, for all that I witnessed, isn’t enough to make my heart stop loving her. I don’t have contact with her. I don’t plan to see her until her funeral. But I know her death one day will shake me, will destroy me for a while. Because I still love her. I can’t not. I’ve tried. Some days I wish against my own self interest that she was well and I still believed in her. I haven’t been able to believe since I lost my faith in her.
I miss the killer who raised me.