Wow! Thank you for sharing your painful memories of your family’s dysfunctional past. I will be writing a follow up to this essay about my dad, his mom and his post death revelations regarding his mother.
Like you, I’m discovering there was lots of poverty, abuse, neglect, and guilt in my dad’s. My great, great grandfather was a slave. I found records my grandmother had obtained while cleaning out her home. I don’t need to explain slavery in the South to anyone.
My dad also described what I feel was varied types of abuses inflicted by his mother. She was the source of his pride and the root of his addiction. She left behind a family divided because she never acknowledged her sins, and never apologized for abusing/dividing her kids at such an early age.
My dad talks more now about his past. It’s quite sad. The more he tells me, the less respect I have for gramps. I’m actually glad I never really knew her. She was a terrible person.