An Open Letter to my birth family

Subject: An Open Letter to my birth family
From: JJ
Date: 27 Feb 2015

Dear Family,

I am sorry to hear about your loss.

Unfortunately there was no reason to include me in your loss, especially not when you don't seem capable of ringing me or emailing me, but instead try to contact me through a messenger site with contact details I never gave you.
But that is pretty typical.
Back when we used to play happy families, I remember my sister texting me the news of our Aunt's death.

I am not sure why you contacted me.
I do not know how you had contact details that you had no right to, and wiped my face in that, just as you did a while ago by adding me on facebook.
Is there something wrong with you? Well yes, you all have alcohol and mental health problems, but that is beside the point, I do not do as you do and use a label like 'Mental illness' to shun and reject someone as you did to me. Because I know both that mental illness is not the sufferer's fault, and that no decent family, rejects them, is ashamed to know them, and goes behind their back to malign them for their so called illness as if it is a crime of theirs. And, what mental illness? What are my diagnoses? Did you ever ask or try to help? Ah, no, of course not. Decent family? No.
You tried to say that I, along with my brother who is seriously mentally ill, and out birth mother, was seriously mentally ill, and you treated me as if it was a crime.

I am not diagnosed as seriously mentally ill, despite very hard efforts by the people who abused and destroyed me. You don't have my story and you don't care about me, so don't you think sending me an instant message on a contact number you have no right to is just a bit obscene?
Especially as you have seen from my blog, which you have no right to have the details of, that I talk about my mum on there.
My birth mother did not mean anything to me, my Birth mother left me severely psychologically harmed, and as well as you maligning me, all I ever heard of from you about her was maligning and bad mouthing, so tell me, why have you sent me an instant message?

In your now probably fond and unblemished memories of our Birth Mother, which would change to that in her death, just as your memories of our Dad suddenly lifted him onto a pedestal, do you recall what a massively damaging upbringing we had? No. Well because I have no feelings for our Mother, I do remember.
I am not seriously mentally ill, I have a serious psychological condition called reactive attachment disorder. Think about a child pulling away from a hurtful touch, if someone hurts a child enough, that child learns to pull away, expecting to be hurt, and if that child's cries go unanswered for long enough, they stop crying, and when approached, they pull away.
As an adult, in my case, that pulling away is characterized by my anger when people try to get too close and 'solve my problems' as a few of you briefly did. No one can solve me, but it is possible to be alongside me and develop attachment if the person alongside me remains safe and careful while building attachment, as is the case with my adoptive Mum.

Reactive attachment disorder is not mental illness, it is learned and conditioned response, unfortunately by the time it becomes reactive attachment disorder it is serious, it is permenant, and it is incurable, it is also a life sentence of misery and pain.

My vulnerability due to autism and reactive attachment disorder, learning difficulties and other issues has been exploited and used against me, and I have been destroyed. Where were you when that was happening? Well, adding to the damage and distress in every way you could, presumably, seeing as you have my messenger and blog details that I neither gave you nor gave you permission to use, you may well have been liasing with, and upholding my destroyers, saying 'oh, yes, she's mad alright' which is your attitude to me.
And any such liason is illegal. You, the whole 'family' are not my next of kin, have no right to any contact details for me, except the ones you have from when I was suffering being in contact with you. My old email addresses and phone numbers, all of which are still functional.
What I do not understand is WHY you messaged me online instead of even emailing me, let alone PHONING ME as decent people do when they have a bereavement that they think is relevant to someone? Crass to say the least. Traumatic, I went out into the garden and phoned my Mum 'Mum, my Birth family are violating me again and their Birth Mother is dead, what on earth do I do?'

My Mum suggested I sent you a sympathy card, but I wouldn't have a clue where to send it, and while I am sorry your mother is dead, don't you think it would be inappropriate for me to send a card to people I don't know, for a woman who did me so much serious harm. Did any of you ever realise what the breakdown I had when I was 12 did to my brain? No, you weren't even there when it happened. And of course you still say that damage is mental illness. I am going to be conservative and not write what I think of you, you are presumably a grieving family, even though you only ever maligned your mother to me.

When I was 12 years old, our birth mother, in a fit of uncontrolled schitzophrenia, told me that our brother, Gerry, had been killed by the gang on the estate, who had chased him away from the house, I was 12 and autistic and I believed her.
She then told me and the other young siblings present that she was about to be killed and we were to flee upstairs so that we didn't see her being killed.
The other siblings did as she said, and went upstairs, and I refused to, and instead picked up my stick and said I would defend her.
I have paid for that for the rest of my life.
A police officer arrived and my mother said she would kill him because he would not radio for help.
I asked the police officer to call dad and my mum shouted angrily that I was not to tell him where dad worked or dad would be in danger.
I had a breakdown, a massive breakdown that has left my brain injured, my brain failed to develop properly from 12 years old, and as a result, I live like a frightened overwhelmed child.

Not a single one of you were there or ever heard that story, but you knew I was very ill, aged 12 years old. Did you older children, or my parents ever take me to a doctor?
No, I know my parents didn't believe in doctors, but you knew I was ill, very ill.

No-one helped me, and yet, you have maligned and shunned me as an adult, as my vulnerability led to constant abuse at the hands of an abusive organization, from age 19 to now, you have always blamed, vilified and shunned me alongside that organization doing the same.
Those of you who kept in touch in that last miserable few years did it 'in secret' and even boasted to me about that, that was you, Mark, and Jo, and as for the duplicity with Joy, pretending to me you weren't in touch with her and actually simply maligning me with her while she made illegal interventions in my life with Macsas as they illegally violated me. To be honest I have no idea what you think you are doing, contacting me and causing me needless traumatic stress over someone you estranged me from, who has died, when as far as I knew, they were already dead.
Remember the last I heard of your birth mother was that she was threatening to kill herself and your youngest sister. Did anyone update me to tell me that they were ok and receiving treatment? No, so how do you think it helped me to know that someone who I assumed was dead has only just died.

Oh, and by the way, brother, don't I have a name when you contact me?

My Mum says I should pray for your birth Mother, and light candles, and yes I can do that.
But I presume I cannot offer Mass for her, as she would have been against that.
Basically, as our community do, I would only be able to do for your mother what I would do for any bereavement in our community, because to be honest I neither knew her nor loved her.
I cannot pretend I did. Nor do I nor did I hate her or hold a grudge, as your malicious and spiteful brother said about me in a text that he expected ME to say nasty things, after all the nasty things he said about me, and after the horrible way Joy behaved at Dad's funeral.
No, guys, that is not me. I am only writing truth and pain here, I do not have a grudge against a deceased woman who was abused as a child and developed mental illness and produced, and loved as best she could, fifteen children.
Both She and Dad had unhappy childhoods, although accounts differ on what sexual abuse Mum suffered, but she suffered physical abuse and Dad suffered neglect, she had mental illness and he had autism, and between them they produced and miraculously managed to keep and raise, 15 of us.

But the damage is done, 15 damaged offspring, and from what I recall of you, and you won't mind me saying this as you have extensively maligned me, most of you drink too much, most of you have mental health issues, and some of you have behavioural problems, but it is funny I am your black sheep. Or I was until I told you to get out of my life and not come back. To be honest I have very little grudge against you on the rare occasions when I think of you. I feel sorry for most of you, no matter what you think of me.
I genuinely don't mean to hurt people, I am simply unable to cope with people.
For 17 years I lived in constant noise and constant hurt among the family.
I am very sensetive to noise, and now I cannot bear noise at all, and no one realised it as we grew up, no-one took me to a doctor or psychologist.
I grew up shouting until I was hoarse to try and be heard amongst the louder voices, I never developed much of a voice, and still as an adult, when we met up, for funerals and things, I had no voice and would end up hoarse trying to even keep in a conversation in which even I felt I had no place.
I was never one of you, I was always waiting for my real family to collect me, and as a result I was abused and abused throughout my adulthood, until I was taught about abuse and boundaries.
By the time my Adoptive parents found me in 2011, I had simply given up. And didn't even try to believe in them, I had no capacity left to believe in people or bond with them.
It is a tribute to them that they didn't get overwhelmed with worry about the state I was, but simply stayed beside me as I walked out of the darkness and walked home, with them still beside me.
I remain with limited ability to love, attach or bond, but I am home and I am with my family, and I really do not see any justification for your violations of me.

Mark, you tried to contact me today through someone's messnger. Do you not recall how you told your wife that our brother, DJ, had not abused me? Do you not recall the conversation about me 'leading people up the garden path'? NO? I do.
Unfortunately over 90% of abuse victims are disbelieved, shunned and outcast when they report family members. I remember being told that by a lovely member of NAPAC when I phoned NAPAC when I was homeless on the streets of London. The volunteer was openly horrified by what I told her and she said she wanted to come and give me a hug and get me off the streets.
I wish I could have swapped my birth family for one person like that who believed me and wanted to comfort me.

Sigh, shake your heads and say 'Oh, how typical, she is raging at us!' I am not, I am deathly calm and not amused that you have traumatized me, I do not have any memories of you that are good. And to be honest, I was going to write you an open letter anyway.
I am sorry for your loss, because some of you will be more lost now.
I guess the three eldest won't, because they don't love our Birth Mother either, I don't know about you, Mark, because you only ever maligned Mum.
What about Gina, I suppose she will be like when Dad died, she will say she didn't really know Mum, and maybe she will put something like 'The living years' on her facebook.
Gerry, well of course he will grieve, like he did with Dad.
But this time he won't have to spend years sulking and nursing a grudge, saying I owe him for flight tickets that sadly I had no recollection of, not least because I had been suffering the horrendous breakdown of my life, followed by years of homelessness with continued harm to me by my destroyers. Oh, I am genuinely sorry I was too busy being catastrophically destrooyed to remember money that as far as I recalled had been paid. Oh I am sorry for his pain.

And the rest of the siblings, will they grieve? I don't know, because last I heard of Luke, he was calling the police on Mum, using Gerry's name, at Eastliegh Police Station?
Ah, it is easy to see why I am the black sheep.

Let me assure you, I am not writing this in anger. I do have some normal feelings, and I do love my own Mum, and there is a danger that she could lose her life to a seizure, and I feel fear for that and I know I love her, so I do send sympathy to any of you who are grieving. I do not know how to help people like you, as I recall that you all drank a lot to drown your sorrows at Dad's death, but I also recall that Luke took it as a personal insult that I was worried about sleeping arrangements and flights, understandably, if everyone was drinking and no one had really had any thought for where I could stay or how I was to get to my flight if you were all drunk. Yes, Luke took it personally and for some reason raised vendetta against me, and you simply stood by and allowed that, which is basically how things have always been and always would be if I had ever in any way tried to stau in the family instead of moving hundreds of miles away, basically I fled when I was 17, and basically what happened when Dad was ill and with the funeral was a magnified picture of me as a child, me at family gatherings, unheard, voiceless and excluded.

Do you really think I should attend a very embarassing and damaging funeral for someone I hardly knew and didn't love, and despite your promises on messenger that everyone would behave, what guaruntee is there of that after the way the family have treated me? Did you all change overnight? or would you like to include me in the horrible distressing bitching and bickering all over again for no reason?

At Dad's funeral, I read out a tribute, a tribute to an autistic man who lived with crippling anxiety and put his trust in God and prayed and prayed when he was shaking and vomiting with fear because he simply could not cope with people, a man who raised 15 children when his childhood was dreadful, a man who had my respect and in the end showed he loved and cared about me as a Father, belatedly as I was being abused and then destroyed by a previous adoptive father.

I have nothing to say at Mum's funeral, how can I say anything when I have no feelings, only the memory of being 12 years old and having a breakdown.
Although if she wants tribute, she fought for a certain MP to face justice and was thwarted on that, which, I think contributed to her illness, because she was right about that and had no idea the power behind the cover-up there.
Tribute to her that people are continuing the fight. She was what I and my friends are now, I suppose, a human rights activist, justice seeker, and very courageous with itBut she neglected her family in her pursuit of that cause, and I remember that too, she and Dad put us in danger and we, or I, because I have to speak for myself, was left without the help I needed.

You allowed Luke to estrange me from Mum, just as I began to get to know her and have some connection, just after Dad's funeral, when Luke took exception to me responding to his nasty baiting of me, while you all stood by and let it happen, do you remember? Luke goading me, me reacting by truthfully telling him that he had no right to behave like that, considering that he was bringing underage girls home for sex when I lived in the room next to him and his twin, and he made sexual comments to me, his sister then as well. So, did you message me at the time, saying you had asked him to stop behaving like that? Did you do anything? No, you let him prevent me from having Christmas with Mum, when I was alone, shocked by Dad's death and the ensuing bickering, and you let him call the police against me. Ah, the police always do their duty and protect abusers against victims and harm victims, and at a time when I was suffering and vulnerable, Luke ensured I didn't even have Christmas, but instead spent Christmas in a sanctuary for the suicidal, while you all made excuses why you couldn't see me, and some years later, when Steve gave me his old phone, I found all the conversations maligning me.

So, tell me, do you think contacting me and inviting me to the funeral was a great idea? Or an act of pure stupidity?
Have you tried contacting me to hear my life story yet? Or are you just reading the rubbish in the press? Liasing to support the wrongdoers? It doesn't make a lot of sense you having my contact details without my knowledge or consent, it smacks of psycho stalker family.

I have a lot of paperwork to do, and you have taken several hours of my life today. My Mum is at Mass and she will pray for you, for me and for our Birth Mother, but apart from that, there is little I can do except warn you that I can and will contact the police or take out an injunction if your violation of my privacy comes to anything more than you somehow having contact details for me that you have no right to. And as for reading my blog? Psycho stalker family? If you reject me as a black sheep and use the toilet on my head, then having my personal contact details and reading my blog is very odd.

And I am the black sheep after the way Luke has behaved? After the years of harm to me that he and his twin did with their cruelty from an early age and then criminal and dishonest activities? Even impersonating Gerry to the police? I am worse than that?
Do any of you recall Luke causing me brain damage by hitting me on the head with a mallet when I was young? That time Dad actaully bandaged my head, already damaged by the two previous head injuries, but there was never an ambulance, never a doctor. Do you think the damage really should make me into a black sheep?

Mark. Brothers look after their sisters, right? You don't still have any right to call yourself my 'Brother' as you did in your crass message.
Yes, when we were young, your protection of me and the increased quality of life you gave me in the face of our parents' neglect was admirable and it is and always will be a part of me, you gave me an increased chance of survival, and probably the very limited love that I am able to feel for my adoptive parents is because of the love that you showed me, it is possible I would have been completely affectionless otherwise.
I nearly am, and it is hard to live. But with that message that I am grateful to you I say goodbye. You left my life while letting me down after bringing me into an untenable situation with your wife and children when I was homeless, and Mark, you meant well and driving from London with you, talking about the life we had shared as children, did comfort me, because at last, in the wilderness, there was someone who knew what I had been through.
But you could not keep me with a family that large in a small house, with two dogs and a wife who was not just suffering borderline personality disorder, she was deliberately playing on your gentle nature and respect for women, and no I am not sneering, you and some of your brothers really do treat women with respect, it does attract women, usually the wrong ones. Your wife was playing your emotions and using the children as part of that, and you couldn't keep me as well, but you shouldn't have blamed me, I was in enough distress.

If I turn it around, look, I would rather be the black sheep than included. It used to hurt my throat to try and talk and be heard, it used to embarrass me, I do not need to be needed, wanted or cared about, because, to be honest, as far as I know, not a single one of you cares about me, let alone loves me, and that is fine, you know me less well than I knew my birth mother.
Just as I would rather never want to be wanted or included in the organization that destroyed my adulthood. I would not want to be wanted or included in the family of my horrific childhood.
I only want to live, laugh and love where I am now, the past is the past, and I feel sorry for Gerry for his hard grudges, years of nursing a grudge, I do not live like that, if I did, I would be dead or mentally ill by now. I live each day, I love the life I have rebuilt, and I want you to stop being a blight on it.

I remember Gina, with all her heart scares, all alone, and me telling her to ring me and I would have my phone on and come to her if she needed hospital. And then Gina met Luke, and preferred him, after telling me she didn't know or care about the family.
And she preferred Luke and his side of his behaviour in the end, after being a good big sister and friend to me like you were.
And, from the black sheep, things like her leaving you to text me that she had had the baby, then saying I would be a Godmother and then not even inviting me to the Christening? And saying she didn't expect me to pay her back when she hurried me into an expensive lodging arrangement when I was vulnerable.
Do real families hear and believe only one side of things? Or do they help and support one of their own who is vulnerable and wounded and being abused? You all accused me of being a liar about being abused, and obviously Gina has a short memory, because she used to tell me about being raped and abused, and how she wasn't believed! Her memory went quickly when she found a home and a husband and baby, she forgot that she and I were friends, she forgot I worried about her heart scares, she even forgot that she had been through abuse and the inevitable response of disbelief.

I am fine with being the black sheep, but it should mean that none of you ever contact me, or read my blogs or have my contact details or liase with anyone about me or ever have anything to do with me or cause me any more harm or distress.

I dunno if our eldest sister will go to the funeral to 'support the others' and do the most shameful thing in muttering that the euology is rubbish etc, as she did at Dad's funeral. I don't know how many of you will fight, how many of you will get drunk or drink drive. I am sorry I have to decline your invitation to attend, because, to be honest, isn't it silly inviting me?

My sister, a year older than me, was jealous of me and bullied me every day of my childhood. Do you really still vilify me and wonder how I turned out as I did? Because that's another thing you never know or account for. She called me an idiot every single day, because I had undiagnosed learning difficulties, and I have to use children's baby steps books to learn new things like music, because I have learning difficulties. It doesn't make me an idiot, it makes me a miracle because despite those difficulties, I have learned how to learn, and will be starting my music exams this year. and have, with incredible amounts of extra study, gained good qualifications, some self-taught for independent exams. I am not an idiot, dear Sarah, I am a real person who still rocks herself to sleep at night but no longer wets the bed, still hears your harsh voice belittling me in my dreams, and will do for ever, because no matter how good the remedial therapy, childhood is a tape that can never be erased.

And so brothers and sister, I let you go with respect, with the closest to love that I can proffer, and wishing you blessings. When I light my candles at church, I do a 'family' candle for you, because you need prayers, you are people who I grew up with, people who went through hell. I hope you never hurt me again.
And as for me. I will print this letter and take it with me to the Samaritans centre as soon as it is finished, because I am traumatized by our contact today and this little chat.

There is so much more to say, but to be honest, I will never say it. My own funeral and uology will never be your care, it is the care of my next of kin and I would hate to have what happened at Dad's funeral.