Bad Translation.

September 11, 2001
Scottsdale, Arizona


My husband called from work to tell me. I didn’t understand until I turned on the t.v.

We had houseguests from Mexico, a mother with her son who was in the U.S. for eye surgery. We watched television in a room incongruously filled with beautiful morning light. Without understanding what we were seeing, I tried to explain it.

Hours on, the mother asked, “Es muy lejos?” and I realized I had been remiss in not clarifying that we were safe, and yes, it was far away, and that she must have been more scared than I, seeing the devastation, being in a stranger’s house far from home with only a bad Spanish translation.

Then my father — a WWII vet — called me, his voice shaking.

One thought on “Bad Translation.

  1. Leesia Fisher

    Misty, thank you so much.
    I have been a victim of my Narcissistic Mother for 46 yrs. I am about to celebrate my 1 year “no contact” anniversary.
    I am just understanding how very abused I have been for so very long. She was verbally, physically, as well as psychologically abusing me for my entire life. It had become so ingrained that I couldn’t even see how messed up my family relationships were until my husband and his very loving and Normal Mental Health-wise family opened my eyes. I was so in denial that it was near devastating for me to reveal and admit to sexual abuse from my brother and my great-uncle both…. on top of my mother. She blamed me when I revealed the sexual abuses from age 5-16. I was told repeatedly from a very young age that I was not planned, wanted, or loved like my brother (the chosen one). She would tell me how she hated the sound of my voice and if she heard me utter a sound for days I was severely punished. I was even afraid to speak at school. She would threaten to drop me off out in the woods alone if I made bad grades. She would say, “I wish you would just die already”. I was 7. I so admired my father because he was nicer to me and when he was around she wasn’t already mean, but he never protected me. I was terrified of my older brother. She adored him. He did no wrong. He would lie on me just to watch her attack me and he would laugh while she hit me. He threatened to tell her horrible things on me, if I didn’t give him oral sex, at first, then intercourse. Some of the flashbacks are really distressing. But the thing that hurts me the most is my Disassociation. It is really bad. Sometimes it really scares me how disconnected I get. I just hide inside myself. If I get really upset or scared I just have this look. A very calm quiet expression. I reveal nothing. But, inside my heart is racing, skipping beats, my hands are shaking, hair standing up on my neck and arms, thoughts racing, horrible mental visions, and hurtful, cruel words, all swirling around inside me. But nobody knows, because I look calm. Too calm. I have learned my lessons well. Too well. I get why I do it…. I just want to not do it anymore.


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