Model: Zoe Hoad
This past weekend was a weekend that I had been dreading for a while. The week before Mother’s Day was a trying one. I couldn’t keep my head together. I felt all over the place and noticed myself slipping back into past negative patterns. To forewarn any of my readers that have a past of child sexual abuse, sibling sexual abuse, etc. and are triggered by such things, please don’t read further. I want this to be a safe place to come to and I wouldn’t want to harm you in any way.
Not to be dramatic, but at times I do see my past as a very unfortunate, sad story that should be told through film. It is one of those stories that make you do a double take. At times I find it unbelievable myself and I always question if there was anything else that I could have done, but the answer is always no. None of it was my fault or responsiblity.
There was this old photograph that my adoptive father took of all five of us children. I was a baby at the time and I think they just had me for maybe a few weeks or so. I was laid in the middle of my childhood blanket while the other children poked my belly and touched my face and surrounded every part of me. That picture truly describes the experience I felt living with them. Living in the Marshman household, dealing with sexual abuse from two of my siblings for four years, I felt trapped.
The moment that could have probably shifted my life entirely was when my adoptive mother saw my brother on top of me. After that moment, she knew for years that I was getting sexually abused, but said nothing. When I decided to finally come to terms with what I had been through as child, I went to her first. Her response was simply put, “I figured that was going on.”
The word ‘RUN’ should have come to me, but it didn’t. I didn’t want to be alone, so for years I tried to get my adoptive family to understand what I had been through. They still made excuses for my abusers and their actions. Such things like, “Your selfish and a bitch.” “It was a three age year difference, so it doesn’t matter that it happened.” “Come back in 20 years!” were said through the six-year course of me trying to get them to understand and be supportive.
Yes, all of them let me down, but my adoptive mother let me down the most. Being abandoned by the woman who gave birth to me, still left scars, but in a way I can disregard her, because I never knew her. Yet, having my adoptive mother abandoned me when she saw me get abused, hurts me to the core.
Not all Mothers are wonderful. Not all parents should be parents. Mother’s Day and Father’s Day shouldn’t be celebrated. We honestly should celebrate the decent parents out there every single day that we can. Acknowledging the good out there is important and it’s also important to acknowledge the bad. My adoptive parents shouldn’t have adopted five kids and brought us up in a toxic, sexually tensioned, dysfunctional environment. Unfortunately, I’m not the only case out there. Sibling sexual abuse is the most common but the least talked about. We need to talk about it. We need to share these stories to help others.
It’s important…to get myself through Mother’s Day, I was there for myself and celebrated my loving husband and my mother in law. My mother in law is the definition of what a good mother, a good parent should be. She is strong, caring and supportive. I am thankful that I have that now. I wish that for every child out there if not now for later on in their lives.
Almond Oatmeal Cookies
1 stick of unsalted butter
1 cup of dark brown sugar
1/2 cup of granulated sugar
1/2 tsp. of almond extract
1/2 tsp. of vanilla extract
1 1/3 cup of all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp. of sea salt
1/2 tsp. of baking soda
1/2 tsp. of ground cinnamon
2 1/2 cup of oats
- Preheat oven to 350 F.
- With a standing mixer cream butter and sugars together at medium-high speed. Once fully mixed, add two eggs and the extracts to the sugar mixture. Mix until combine and set aside.
- In a medium size mixing bowl, whisk the following dry ingredients until mixed. Flour, sea salt, baking soda, and cinnamon.
- Then slowly add the dry mixture 1/2 cup at a time to the wet ingredients in the standing mixer. Set the standing mixer on medium-high speed.
- Once the flour is incorporated, add the 2 1/2 cups of oats and mix into dough, until fully combined.
- Once finished lightly coat a cookie pan with cooking spray. Place the cookies one a time with a spoon, leaving a few inches in between them.
- Bake for 15 minutes at 350 F. or longer as desired. Once finished baking, let the cookies cool on the pan for 3-5 minutes then with a spatula transfer to a plate.
- Yields 24 medium-sized cookies.
Photos by. Bernadette Mira
Styling cubes by. Garrett Hagen