Open letter to my siblings
March 17, 2023
My dear sisters and brother,
Rather than deal with updating email addresses, I put this message on a webpage so that link can be text messaged.
Unless you actually want to talk about this further, you will be relieved to know this is my last word on the matter and a reply is not necessary.
This is needed for the health and well-being of us all. Not just our family, and each of you, but for others like us. It's important, even at this late stage of life. More so than any other person in society, parents ‘must’ be held accountable. Humanity depends on it. Indeed, it is a crime against humanity to raise a child without love. Give it up for adoption or, better yet, do the child a favor and don't get pregnant in the first place.
I wish it could be said that our mother was plain and unremarkable, but she was not. The best anyone has said for her is she was 'unfortunate' for all of us. What makes a soul so dark? What darkness has crept into the DeBerry family bloodline. It has been there for generations, hundreds of years. I was born into a non-family that seems to fit right into a world full of non-people. It was a very dangerous situation, and I feel lucky to be alive.
I have met and known of only a few 'serious' people on this earth in my lifetime. None of them are my 'relatives'. I have never known a single one of you to be concerned with the things that truly matter in life. It's not about materialism, or religion. Family events were filled with insincere talk and empty gestures. Never anything meaningful, spiritual.
Why did I hold onto something that is not and never was. My entire life, my family has been nothing more than one big gaslighting sesson. The typical Western dogma, nothing real. I lived, survived, Western white culture at it's roots and it is a relic from the Dark Ages.
During a Christmas, not too terribly long ago (in our 40's), I gave out a genealogy research report I had spent many hours on. Our mother, and pretty much everyone else, scoffed at it as stupid Alan doing stupid Alan stuff, yet again. He is so embarrassing to us. The expression on our mother's face was the same disgust and contempt I had known all my life. Just one moment in life such as that would be unforgivable and a basis for leaving, alienation, but my life has been filled with many like that and much worse since my earliest memories. It was very hurtful but almost at the same time trivial compared to all the other horrors. I realized how typical it was for all of you.
The moment was a microcosm of my life experiences. Always invalidated, never understood let alone accepted. My family talks of love, sometimes they might even say that almost forbidden word, but there is none. In the way of deeds done versus words spoken, there is none and there never has been any. For you, it's actually painful to say the word love. You try to hide it but I see it.
I have concluded research on a topic that has understandably haunted my entire life. The defenseless five year old is now an old man. The life of our mother has always and only been about her. It might not be until the very end of your lives, but you will see that. In nearly every situation, our mother was the child in the room who didn't know right from wrong. I cannot remember a time when we could act and be the child. We were expected to be adults while she played like a child, upsetting the household, creating chaos, destroying our moods, and naked bottoms. She was a constant temper tantrum.
So very rarely did she make decisions with us in mind. We would get so indignant of her stupidity. We were right in every situation that mattered. We understood the gravity of a situation better than she did. She consistently made bad and extreme choices for herself and us; an example is men.
Parents hit children for only one reason, they think it makes them feel good. And when it doesn't, they beat the kid even more. They were hit as children and now it’s their turn to be the big bad bully boss. They know from personal experience that hitting will not stop a child from doing what it wants. It will try harder to not get caught but nothing else will change. Hitting a child, or anyone, is nothing but violence for the sake of it, and you know that.
Meanwhile, the child will not trust or respect, let alone love, the parent. I can tell you for an absolute fact, trying to raise a child without love simply does not work. Love is the only tool a parent has to use. Fear and violence is a cheap cowardly copout on parenting and life. Again, why even be here when you're not even going to try. The food and shelter was for her too. What did she actually do for us? Fill us full of outdated nonsense and make sure we're not an embarrassment to her. She did that by crushing all personality and selfworth out of us. That then became her shame. Nothing works quite right without love, especially selfish motivations.
Parents are not and never have been qualified to raise a child on their own. They're too overwhelmed. Allow the professionals in the community to help you. "No one is going to tell me how to raise my child" is the wrong and 'worst' attitude. You're not thinking of your child and only thinking of yourself when you say that. You do not need to be a parent to understand this simple concept. Stop the cycle of destruction.
Keep them safe from immediate harm, be a good example, allow others to help, and water them with love. They will grow into wonderful adults who will do the same for their children. This process went awry a very long time ago in human history. We are humans not 'baboons'. We should not be hitting each other. We must stop beating the love out of our children.
After a lifetime of careful consideration, and her archaic judgment upon me, I will now render my judgment upon our mother. A child does indeed have that right. A judgmental parent should be judged. And, as she said many times, she doesn't care about what I think of her. So, don't worry about her feelings. She has none.
For what my life experiences, psychology classes at the University, online searches, AI consultation, and self-therapy may be worth, and for future reference, I offer these next several paragraphs as a statement of facts that I believe are relevant and comparative to our childhood.
"Parental Personality Disorder", specifically "narcissistic personality disorder" (NPD)
A parent with NPD may see their child as an extension of themselves and may project their own negative traits onto the child, believing that the child is inherently a bad person. The parent will often believe they 'own' the child, that its thoughts and feelings are invalid, not real, and the child has few or no inherent rights as an individual until the age of adulthood.
Parents with NPD may have difficulty empathizing with their children and may have unrealistic expectations of them. They may be critical, controlling, demanding, and may be quick to blame their children for any problems or shortcomings. This can lead the child to feel unloved, unimportant, and insecure.
Children of parents with NPD are also subjected to emotional abuse such as gaslighting, manipulation, and invalidation. They most often struggle with low self-esteem, poor self-image, and anxiety.
Parental Personality Disorder is a term used to describe a situation where a parent has a personality disorder that affects their parenting style and their ability to provide a nurturing and supportive environment for their child.
Personality disorders are conditions in which an individual has long-standing patterns of behavior, thoughts, and feelings that are inflexible and maladaptive, causing significant distress and impairment in their social, occupational, or other areas of functioning.
When a parent has a personality disorder, it can have a significant impact on their child's emotional and psychological development.
Children of parents with personality disorders most often experience emotional and physical abuse that is extensive enough to cause a range of negative outcomes including anxiety, ‘deep depression’, and the inability to form healthy ‘long term’ relationships. Lifelong achievement and satisfaction is severely suppressed, leading to an overall lack of interest in or want for life.
Though a person may arguably be genetically prone to a certain personality disorder, each condition is largely passed through generations as the result of ‘environment’; the kind of home life experienced in childhood.
Personality disorder is a ‘learned’ condition, trait. Do not think you or other family members are immune to it.
There are three common personality disorders that have a direct and profoundly negative effect on parenting.
1. Narcissistic Personality Disorder: A parent with this disorder may be overly preoccupied with themselves and their own needs, often at the expense of their child's well-being.
2. Borderline Personality Disorder: A parent with this disorder may struggle with emotional regulation and may engage in impulsive or erratic behavior that can be confusing and distressing for their child.
3. Antisocial Personality Disorder: A parent with this disorder may exhibit a lack of empathy or concern for others, and may engage in behavior that is harmful or dangerous to their child.
Any similarities between the above described conditions and symptoms and our mother should be recognized as being not okay in any context or application. I point out the stark difference we observed as kids in how she behaved in public compared to at home. That in itself indicates a profound emotional problem.
Our mother had no honor or integrity, and was abusive and violent with children. She brought nothing to this world and will leave with same.
Personality disorders are common worldwide and do not mean someone is a bad person entirely or is inherently bad, evil. However, such disorders should not be 'tolerated' and must be treated seriously and in a professional manner. Child abuse is a crime and a serious human rights violation.
By the time we could form long-term memories they were of her constantly hitting us all about the head and face. In so many ways, I am still that little five year old with a loud pinging in his boxed ears and a bloody nose from bruised and broken sinuses, ear drops from the doctor's house call, and being in the hospital for days inside of an oxygen tent after losing consciousness at home because of a bloody nose that would not stop bleeding due to her 'parenting style'. My first permanent memories, the blueprint for the rest of my life, are of being brutalized by my mother.
This open letter essay is the direct result or product of that blueprint she gave to me.
As you know, about twenty-five years ago I lost all hearing in my right ear. I wonder how that could have happened. Childhood physical trauma is a recognized cause of hearing loss in adults.
If for nothing more than posterity, I must report here on this page the regular maintenance of beatings I endured for nearly my entire childhood "whether I needed it or not" as a matter of course and proper parenting for inherently bad children and especially 'boys'. Such is the culture in a backward household. Beat your child like a horse to force it to do everything you want, exactly as you want. Insensitivity to such cruelty still exists today. There must be something about mercilessly beating a naked child that is 'hard to let go of'.
Then happened that day in North Carolina when I was about five or six. As you may recall, she held a knife to my penis, in front of everyone in the house, and said she is cutting it off. "I have made the decision and it is coming off,” she said loudly with all seriousness while simulating the act of cutting me, cutting a body part off of me.
While being pulled as I leaned back in terror, she prolonged the horrific spectacle for what seemed like minutes, further degrading and dehumanizing me with her berating scornful words, until someone said that's enough and she finally let go and lowered the knife. She did this to me because I would not position my penis in my pants according to how she wanted it to be.
It is psychologically 'impossible' to fully recover from trauma that severe. To be terrorized in such a way by one's own mother. Had the father done that to a daughter, how many of you would be laughing?
The psychology of boys and girls aged five is virtually identical. Such intense emotional trauma, especially of a sexual nature, affects everything they think and do from that point on. They are indeed horribly scarred for the rest of their lives. One's perception of the opposite sex and social interaction is forever distorted and confused. How can that boy ever trust 'anyone' again when he cannot even trust his own mother. Like a rape victim, I still feel the violation of that day and always will.
Our mother is sadistic. She 'enjoys' hurting others physically but especially emotionally as it’s the easiest. Her personality is instinctively violent and animalistic. It is very much more than just her upbringing alone. It is at the core of her nature, what she is.
Since that day, she has tried to absolve herself. Instead of admitting a mistake and trying to do better, she kept digging the hole deeper in a lifelong quest to prove I am in fact a bad kid and have been since birth and, of course as you heard many times, she is going to save me from a life in prison. To this day, she takes credit for the fact that I have never been in trouble with the law, that it wasn't me or my good nature but rather her great parenting. Do you realize how absolutely narcissistic that is? My entire life, I have NEVER gotten in trouble with anyone other than HER.
The endless verbal abuse was absolute torment. Every time we went somewhere, she thoroughly enjoyed berating and demeaning me in the car to the point where I would actually try to jump out. Hours at home in the living room or kitchen being berated by her and the rest of you, her loyal followers. I do not deserve to even be in the house and am lucky she doesn't drop me at an orphanage or have me put in juvenile detention. Military school is too good for me. Does the term 'sociopath' apply yet?
I deserved none of that. She enjoyed the cruelty. I was the child she raised me to be, emotionally damaged and dependent upon her. I had to take her abuse and she delighted in my helplessness. No one stood up to her, how could I alone.
It's as if I've awakened from a childhood nightmare and realize how all of this is so stupid, senseless, and tragic for all of us, everyone. And, it's still going on. She was a coward afraid of love and she raised a family of cowards.
My mother, who lacked the ability to understand birth control, not even natural methods, found herself with three kids fathered by two men by the age of 23. She had no real interest in being an adult, let alone a parent.
Parents are supposed to teach how to love, not how to hurt. Once you make pain central in a child's life, they will always feel that first over-top of anything good and believe the world is about hate, not love. Such careless disregard for life to callously and cavalierly assume a child cannot actually feel or remember emotional pain. It's only a child. The tears will always dry up, and the laughter will always resume.
Regardless of her overall worth as a person, our mother was a bad and 'dangerous' parent. She was a serious and grave threat to our safety and well-being. I wonder if we would have been removed from the home had it not been the sixties.
You may remember, on Murdock Street, when she tried to portray me as being violent because I had become muscular due to puberty. Acting like it is 'she' who fears 'me'. While I had never said anything to her, or anyone, about the NC incident or been violent in any way toward anyone my entire life, let alone any family member, she still needed to ‘get back at me’ for what 'she' had done. The reason she did forbid me to defend myself against bullies at school is because she knew I would then also learn to defend myself against her, a bully. Bullies like their victims to be defenseless. It’s much more fun that way.
Our mother taught us how to hate, not love, but I'm not very good at it thus adding to my dilemma of surviving in a hateful world. Some of us have taken to it naturally.
Anyone in this family who has suggested I am violent or have ever been so should be ashamed. Everyone who has ever known me knows that is absolutely not true, a lie. But, it has been recently said directly to my face by one of you. It's what I've sadly and painfully come to expect. After being the family lightning rod those childhood years, I am now supposedly violent 'and' yet still a coward in your eyes for not standing up to our mother. I wonder how much more miserable your childhoods would have been without me being the focus of our mother's attention.
When she was about age 65, we were talking on the phone. I said something like, "I think we're alike in that way," and before I finished the sentence she lashed out in a venomous rage, "I am not like you! Nothing like you! Don't you ever say something like that again!"
A couple years later, she insisted on helping me clean my apartment. After a verbal torrent of toxin spewed from her mouth for what seemed like an hour, I finally came into the kitchen, crying, and with a broken shaking voice said I can't take this anymore. Please stop. Stop talking to me like this. Then, without the slightest hesitation, like a reflex response, she told me to take that back and apologize or she is leaving and will never talk to me again. I said "go". She gathered her cleaning gear while I sat in the bathroom crying with the door closed. That's when I knew she would never change. Always 'demanding' an apology but never giving one. We did not and will never speak to each other again.
About a year or two ago, she left a voicemail, "It's your 'mother'. I need your address to send you something." She sounded as if nothing had happened and there had not been more than ten years of silence. She had conveniently decided to forget all about everything she did, as she always does, and I was to allow it, as I had always done. I blocked her phone number.
Never let your loneliness drive you back to toxic people, especially those who are 'not' family...
Instead of fond childhood memories, I recall being made to feel guilty, and then acting guilty to somehow awkwardly fit in. Playing by myself and being startled by fear each time I lost track of where she is in the house; over and over, all day long, everyday; what mood is she in, she's going to hit me again. Being made to feel like a rat so I will behave like a rat and can thus be treated like a rat and forever branded--a rat.
For the first time in my life, I can now think of family and home with a good, warm, happy, and loving feeling inside. But, to do that, I have had to stop thinking of our family as being anything even close to approaching normal. I instead have learned to get that feeling from knowing most children 'are' truly loved and my unfortunate life experiences are far too common.
In the some thirteen years of estrangement from my mother, I have spent an exceptional amount of time thinking about this. Often to the exclusion of everything else. I wish it would have not taken so long but I must conclude my childhood experiences were extreme and cruel the 'great' majority of the time.
From a clinical point of view, her childhood life experiences are irrelevant. My childhood was about as cruel as it gets and I have not continued the cruelty in any way. I do not even like to hunt because of what is involved. As she said to me thousands of times, I say to everyone like her, "You can blame no one but yourself."
My soul tells me there should be a price for being an asshole in life. The parent is not more important than the child. Indeed, it is quite the opposite. Children are a precious gift that 'must' be nurtured and loved. People who can't do that have no business being alive. Why are you even here?
Our mother is a failure. This pattern of abuse has been handed down for generations over hundreds of years. Each of us who have been abused must stop the cycle. Our mother failed to do that because she is incapable of keeping love in her heart. She was never taught how, and has never tried on her own. We can learn how if we want to. I have. It does not come from religion or any other man-made construct, and it does not happen overnight. Never tell someone to just pull themselves up by their bootstraps.
You're born with love in your heart, until it is beaten out of you. Depending on the damage, it might take awhile but get it back and let it show you the truth.
Had Jack not come along to distract her during our high school years, I'm sure things would have been as bad as ever and even worse. I would have been out of the house at 18 and would not have looked back but I stuck around for far too many decades. I resisted this final assessment of her and it has cost me dearly.
When you shutdown your feelings as a self-preservation mechanism, to suppress thoughts of suicide at age 8, you also miss out on the good experiences you might have had. Realizing that enormous unrecoverable loss is heartbreaking. The worst part is knowing what has been taken away.
We have not been brother and sister because our mother has continually turned you against me over our lifetimes; always pointing out my flaws and failures. I could see it every time we were together for a family function. I would make a joke, others would laugh, but you would look almost offended. What gives him the right to make a joke? It's 'Alan'... why give him that attention. Don't they know it's Alan... There was, is, a programmed, conditioned, need to 'invalidate' the black sheep of the family. He's an embarrassment. The looks from you are always incredulous at best.
She has so profoundly affected your lives in ways you cannot, or do not want to, understand. It has taken 13 years of recovery, being away from her, but I can now see and feel again. The world is beautiful without the doom, gloom, and torment that is our mother.
I feel like I've been the only one to understand what happened, what it means, and to have 'survived' our childhood. My mother gave birth to me, provided food and shelter, but absolutely nothing more to help me in life. I've been unable to study, do well in school, socialize effectively with others (women), or even just understand the good feelings others have regarding family. Imagine being able, allowed, to actually love your parents because they love you and want you to love them.
I lost my first girlfriend because I thought all sisters hated their brothers. Our mother did oh so much more to hinder us in life than to help. She simply did not know what she was doing and she did not care. Other than a phone call to her mother once in a while, she never sought outside help. That is just utter flat failure as a parent.
We all paid a very high price for this 'life' she provided. The emotional trauma, damage, she caused is unforgivable and something must be said. She is no hero. What she did was not exceptional in any way. Her situation was 'her' fault. We as children should have NEVER been burdened with or blamed for that responsibility. What kind of parent does that; makes a child feel guilty for the hardship given to them?
Our mother, always so quick with the tough talk, needs to hear the truth. We should not have been asked to understand and forgive her brutality and selfishness as if it were somehow justified.
An abortion or adoption would have been better. She should have let someone else have me or let God put my soul into a different mother. One who can at least love. Food, shelter, and everything else is unimportant and irrelevant without love. A child should never be raised without love. We were there for her convenience, comfort, and loneliness while nothing was given in return. Have you forgotten how she would force us to give her a hug before going to bed, after a long day of her beating on us. Our mother led a selfish narcissistic life and had absolutely no business having children, ever. The cosmos should have made her barren.
I choose a life full of happiness and truth, not pain and sorrow. Our heaven is already here, on Earth. There's no 'waiting' for that. And, this is also hell if that's what you choose. Right now, our mother should feel like she's in hell. Train wrecks happen, and sometimes they're in slow motion over the span of a lifetime. She will eventually have to reckon with all this. Her confessor will be herself when she sees her life for what it really was. As for us all, her time is coming. Before we move on to our next existence, we will feel the weight of this life. How heavy that burden will be is being determined right now, by you.
The weak are those who insist they are strong.
Our mother, right to the end, insisted and diluted herself into believing she was a good parent. She never conceded anything or admitted to being wrong. She was nothing more than just another coward in this world full of cowards. Have you ever heard her say, "I'm sorry and regret the mistakes I've made." I have not and am, for one, a coward no more.
If this disturbs you, it is unfortunate but also too important. I hope you do indeed understand what truly matters in life before it's over. It's not about using children for the sake of your own entertainment, satisfaction, and selfish loneliness or to honor those who do. But, I'm no longer holding hope for a change in your perception of our childhood and mother. It certainly was not as bad for you as it was for me and I guess realistic empathy still seems too traitorous.
Many on this Mother Earth do not value life. Our mother is one of them, and I'm afraid she has taught you the same, just as she was taught. It is wrong. The cycle must stop. Any lack of compassion is a devaluation of life everywhere. If that sounds insulting, think about it first, for once.
The good in life is very good but do not forgive the bad for it will otherwise continue onward to the next generation, and the next. Teach children to speak truth to power, and parents, and to run away from hopelessly toxic situations. Dishonor your parents when it is the reality given to you. Perhaps then people might stop and think before trying to raise a child they do not really want or love.
I have felt the pain of life and am thankful for knowing of the existence of good. Our enemy is the beast of ignorance inside each of us. A life not in pursuit of intellectual enlightenment is ‘spiritually’ lacking purpose and 'not' an ally of love.
Time is not important. Only life is. Going forward, I intend to have my best years yet and, looking at my past, that should not be very difficult.
I say this to you with only good intentions. I hope you find it as helpful as I have.
With love in my heart, your brother, Alan
Recent example of a mother believing her 5 yld son will hurt his sisters...