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[Life/General] Ma Ham close to death

So, my maternal grandmother is in hospice care. She's had congestive heart failure, multiple strokes, and is currently having what they suspect are multiple mini strokes. She might live a few days, or up to 7-10, but not likely beyond that. My Uncle Ron has made the smartass comments that she'd probably go on one of my aunts' birthdays out of spite (they've passed), and I've made the comment that it'd be like her to pick Valentine's Day. This is a combination of the gallows humor that the family has developed as a coping mechanism and some pretty deep-seated hatred.

I'm mostly staying quiet on Facebook because some of my aunts are taking it hard, as far as I can tell. I... okay, the rest is going to have to go beyond a cut, but in case folks are not up for reading this, I don't want condolences. I want fucking congratulations.


In 2008, my ex-partner, ex-boyfriend, and I went up to Maine for Ma Ham's 80th. That was almost 10 years ago now (jeez). There was a night before where I heard stories from various of my aunts and uncles. My Aunt Betty described Ma Ham, when Mom was maybe 3 or so, gathering them up around the furnace. She had one of the kittens in hand. Because the kitten had clawed one of the children, she burned the kitten to death in the furnace and made the children watch. Betty was, mmm, somewhere between 5-7. She doesn't remember why Ma Ham did this, except that she was furious at the kitten for scratching someone, but she still remembers the death cries.

My Aunt Val, that same night, told me about how her cousin had raped my Aunt Sheila while Val was in the same bed next to her, pretending to be asleep. Val went to Ma Ham the next morning, and she was slapped for lying about her cousin. Both girls were severely punished. This was not the only rape.

My great-grandfather molested several of the girls. When he was dying in the hospital, the girls were terrified to come anywhere near them. They enacted a buddy system to protect each other. They had long given up trying to tell their parents about it. It was accepted that Grandpa was just "that way." He just liked little girls. All of the girls alive then were molested in some way by him. They were beaten by Ma and Pa Ham for lying.

My great-uncle molested both the boys and the girls. I don't know how many of them. He was a Deacon in their local Catholic Church, and when it came out -- because he had molested someone else, who did believe their child -- he gave an apology in front of the Church, it was accepted, and he continued to molest and rape children. After all, he'd apologized. That meant he wasn't doing it anymore. My aunts and uncles continued to be molested.

Mom remembers one night when Pa Ham didn't come home. Ma Ham woke all the children up, lined them up by the staircase, with a can of gasoline in one hand and a book of matches in the other. For several hours, she ranted at them about how she was going to burn them all to death because their father hadn't come home. Mom still has nightmares about burning to death.

My Uncle Ron had a pitchfork put through his leg in one of Pa Ham's rages. Ma Ham used the kids as knife target practice. They learned to dodge. When we saw the movie Matilda, Mom came out telling us jovially how much the Trunchbull reminded her of her mother. Especially the scene where the Trunchbull grabbed the children by the hair and used them for shotput practice. Except in Ma Ham's case, she grabbed the kids by the feet, spun them around, and let them go to crash head first into walls.

There are more stories I could tell. I will go on to mine.

When I was four or so (Heather wasn't born yet, so I had to have been under four and a half), Ma Ham visited. I still remember this with frightening vividness. Ma Ham decided I needed to clean under my bed. I was claustrophobic as a child, although I'm not now; the opposite, in fact. Closed, dark spaces are comfortable. But as a child, I was terrified of them. Ma Ham told me I was supposed to crawl under the bed and clean out everything. I told her that Mom wouldn't make me do that, that Mom would lift up the mattress so I could see and then we'd clean everything out.

Ma Ham went into a rage, slapped me, and spanked me. She berated me for lying. When Mom came home, Ma Ham raged to her about what I had said, and Mom told her that I was telling the truth. That was exactly how we cleaned under the bed, and I was right to tell Ma Ham so. I was too young to tell Mom the rest of what happened, but I think she had some idea.

When I was seven or eight (I remember because this happened in the guest bedroom/computer room), Ma Ham decided to do laundry. My sister is highly autistic. Mom never put her anywhere near laundry because she would destroy the piles of folded laundry and giggle maniacally (my sister liked destroying things a lot; it was a major cause of strife between her and I when we were young).

Well, that's exactly what Heather did when Ma Ham folded the laundry. And in typical Ma Ham fashion, she flew into a rage and beat my sister across the butt with a hairbrush until she left marks and welts. When my parents came home, I told them about it, because I was old enough at that point to know what to tell them. They checked my sister, found the welts, and Ma Ham was at that point ejected from the house on the next flight out, informed that she would have no contact with myself or my sister until we were adults and could choose for ourselves. That meant no phone calls, no letters, no birthday presents or Christmas packages, nothing. It was as if she didn't exist.

Ma Ham has never existed for me as anything more than a terror and a person I believe is truly evil. She has traumatized my family beyond repair. My parents did the right thing by Heather and I, and protected us from her. They broke the cycle and protected us.

The woman I knew as my grandmother was loving, caring, and would have done anything for us. She was not related by blood; she adopted Mom because she loved her and felt she needed a real mother. I miss Grandma George whenever I think of her, and my life is all the greater for having her in it. In whatever afterlife she's in, I'm sure she's riling up some good old fashioned hell. She was quite a character, and I can say with all truthfulness that she would probably find how Heather and I have both managed to horrify our father with our life choices utterly hilarious and give us high fives.

(Don't ask about my paternal grandmother; that's another story involving also serious abuse and kidnapping.)

Except for the story about the kitten and the rape, I have known all of these things about Ma Ham since I was eleven or so, because I asked my Dad why I never heard from her. I was just curious. I didn't actually want to hear from her; in fact, I was terrified of it, which was part of why I asked. I started to find these things out, because my Dad has no filter. When I was 13, Dad shared the letter that Mom wrote cutting off contact, where she told Ma Ham exactly what she had done to her in brutal detail.

Logically, I understand why my aunts and uncles are reacting with concern and care, because they're victims, and that's sometimes how people react. On an emotional level, I can't understand it, because all I feel for that woman is a burning hatred and joyousness that she is dying. I delight in that she is probably suffering as she dies. I wish she could suffer more. But she could never suffer enough. There is no repaying the debt she owes, not if she lived eight lives over for each of the children she forced to endure hell.

I don't generally believe in a hell, but I hope there is one for her. In fact, I'd probably make a deal with the Devil myself to ensure her more agony and suffering over eternity. Except, eternity isn't long enough. I don't just want this woman dead. I want her to pay for what she has done a million times over and do so in the most brutalizing and horrifying of fashions. Just not living isn't enough. It's not. It's not.

Reasons like this are why, I think, Christ himself told me I didn't belong in his flock. It wasn't a bad thing. This was a dream I had over ten years ago. He told me I was like a jaguar amongst the sheep, and I didn't belong in the pasture, I belonged in the jungle, where I would be wild and free and myself. That I was trying to turn myself into a small little thing to fit into a box that I didn't belong in. Yes, Scott, I know you're reading, and I know your relationship with Christ is such that you believe that none of this would preclude me from following. Christ said much the same, and told me that it was my choice. I was welcome to stay, if I chose, even if he thought I'd be better off on another path, and I would always be welcome. Most of all, I was always his daughter and he would love me, whatever path I chose.

I still believe he would love me even though I would take vicious delight in torturing this woman that I share blood with. I would prefer to spread blood with, not share it, but we don't always get what we want.

I have longed for this time for so many years. I have wished this woman dead. When I went for her 80th birthday, it saddened me she had lived that long and struck me as heinously unfair that so many others have had their lives cut short, but this monster lived to nearly 90. Sad is the wrong word. I'm not sure what is. Rage, fury, at the unfairness. I have never wanted someone dead so much in my life, and I hoped it would be a painful death.

It's not painful enough. I'm not sure any death would be painful enough.

I am not a nice person. Believe me, if I could do so without repercussions and consequences, I would torture this poor dear little old lady in a fashion that would make the Inquisition look like amateurs.

Some would say I need therapy. That feeling like this towards someone isn't normal. That I shouldn't want to do this to another person. That this is a sign of something wrong with me. I don't want to not feel this way. I think that this is a perfectly rational way to feel about someone who has ruined so many lives and caused children, innocents, so much torment and pain and fucked up generations so horribly. I want to savor this feeling.

Because soon.


She will be dead.

And then? Then? I will rejoice, and I will celebrate, and I will not go to the funeral out of respect to those who honestly mourn her loss, for whatever reasons I cannot understand. But myself? Yes.

Congratulate me, celebrate with me, because this, this, is something I have wished for ages, a day I hoped would come and has been too long in coming. Soon this monster will be dead and I will take glee and rejoice in it.

This entry was originally posted at http://nonny.dreamwidth.org/548812.html. Please comment there using OpenID.



( 6 comments — Leave a comment )
Feb. 10th, 2016 10:37 pm (UTC)
There is nothing wrong with you for feeling like this -- I never met the woman, and would cheerfully set her on fire for brutalizing so many children.

She frankly sounds more like a war criminal than a relative.

I'm sorry that you had to encounter her at all, and that your family members had to suffer because of her presence.

Some people are *evil*, and Hell is too good for them.

I am glad that your mother cut her off and protected you and your sister from further abuse.

My heart goes out to those of your family who are feeling conflict and pain right now -- losing a parent can fuck your head up even if they were abusive and terrible -- often, people mourn the loss of the parental relationship that they *wanted*, and now are realizing with finality that they can never have.

*tight hugs, because reliving these memories and stories can't be easy*

-- A <3
Feb. 11th, 2016 01:44 am (UTC)
I am so, so sorry that you and your family had to deal with all of this. That is... well... no words, really. Deep and utter evil.
Feb. 11th, 2016 03:40 am (UTC)
Some people bring joy into this world when they enter it. Some bring joy into this world when they leave it.

I will metaphorically dance on her grave with you.
Feb. 11th, 2016 09:35 pm (UTC)
Sometimes, it's just good riddance. Don't feel bad.

There's a thing where, if you remember the name of the departed, they're never gone. In some cases, I think names should be able to be obliterated from one's history, collective and personal memory.

She sounds like a completely vile creature who served no purpose to humanity. Dance away.
Feb. 12th, 2016 11:01 pm (UTC)
When I found out that the stepfather that molested my sister and me had died of a drug overdose, I cheered and laughed and felt like I could breathe for the first time ever. My mother cried for him, despite knowing what he did to her daughters. I never really forgave her for that.

I am cheering for you now and understand your desire for revenge. We are the daughters of Nemesis. We are the Erinyes. Sometimes blood is required to pay for evil.
Feb. 14th, 2016 11:35 pm (UTC)
May she forever freeze in the eternal dark.
( 6 comments — Leave a comment )