I’m currently at the point where I can wake up very upset, basically in tears, and I wear that feeling like a veil all day. Writing this down might not work, but I want to get out from under that feeling, because I don’t want to feel this way anymore. It needs to come out.
While living with other relatives, I didn’t talk to any of my immediate family for over a year, apart from one phone call. It was quite the conversation. I don’t remember a lot, but it was over an hour of talking. I started off very nervous and I didn’t know what I was going to mention. In the end, I was a hysterical mess and hung up the phone after saying something like, “I just needed to tell you all that, and I hope you listened.”
I spent a lot of time wondering if I should have said the things I said, and if any of it made anyone feel better or brought a sense of understanding into anyone’s life. In a couple of months, it will be two years since that conversation, and I’m still trying to justify it. How could I say those things to that poor old man and his crazy wife? They are my parents. Am I a fucking monster? Severely traumatised? Or both?
I’d been turning it over and over and over in my head as I started leading a different life, and was considering contacting them again to see how they are and to see if they had any questions stemming from what I said so long ago.
Before I managed to do this, the poor old man turned up at my cousin’s workplace, without an appointment of course. My cousin told me about it and tried to make it sound better than it really was, bless her, but sadly, I was disappointed again. All he really achieved with that unsolicited visit is reinforce that he will never trust me to be the person he wants me to be. He didn’t want to see me; he wanted to bitch about me to my cousin and tell her private things about my childhood and blame me for things that he and his crazy wife did.
I knew once my cousin told me these things, that I was still very angry at them. After all my crying and pleading to be loved and respected by them, I’m still headbutting a brick wall. I was so wound up. God damn, they are so blind. As much as I don’t want to be one of those people who blames their parents for everything, I have to admit that their lack of accountability has been holding me back.
They fucked me up until I got out from under them, and then I took over the fuck-ups all on my own, so there’s no way they’re responsible for all of it, but it still hurts that they can’t acknowledge any of it. They can’t link their own childhoods to their attempt at parenting, and can’t connect their parenting to my childhood. I’m left to connect those things on my own, to try and gain a bigger perspective, and it’s been hard on me.
That time though, I had to wonder – since when was it the child’s duty to save everyone’s souls? Especially if they aren’t a child anymore and have their own life to lead now? God damn it, why was it always up to me? Because I was the one who wanted the nice family that loves each other and doesn’t say mean things. They all wanted it too, to some degree, but I know I wanted it most. I watched those TV families and did those things at home, hoping that we’d all come to the table and talk about our day.
I decided to pretend that we all loved each other, and it was unconditional. I told myself that the violence was normal, and that children aren’t allowed to be children – they are supposed to be tiny adults.
Of course it wasn’t an accident if I broke something – no way – I was being a manipulative little cunt who simply must destroy Mother’s favourite things. Of course those discount store boots weren’t badly made – no way – I intentionally trashed footwear that I begged for, so I could prove a point about how my childhood is so much more luxurious than that of Mother’s and Father’s. Of course, what an evil little child. Beat the devil out of that little slut cunt with the eyes of a liar. Pull her hair until she screams and starts clawing at her own skin. Punch those lying eyes shut. Beat her with a broom, because she really is just dirt, messing up your perfect house. Humiliate her with cuts and bruises to take to school, and we’ll all see how much of a manipulative little liar she really is.
Even if I could get past all of this, I’ve decided that I don’t want to. I will do my best to swallow the anger I feel when I think of my childhood, and turn it into things that make me feel better and are good for me and the world at large. I will use it to turn myself into the type of person I wish my parents were. I will learn what love is, and how to give it. Relationships are not zero-sum games, because love is not a finite resource. I may have grown up with a shortage of it, but now I see there is plenty for me, and I must start with giving it to myself.
It is worth putting on a nice outfit today, because it makes me feel good.
It is OK to make mistakes, as so many things in this world are unintentional. No agenda.
I can do those things for myself that I wasn’t allowed or encouraged to do, and I can do them even better than my parents ever could, because unlike them, I have gotten to know myself. Turns out I’m not so bad, and I can get better if I keep making the effort. I can’t make them see that, but I can get out of the way of their baggage.
It’s unfortunate that I can imagine them on their death beds, feeling so sorry for themselves and wondering why their abused daughter is “too full of herself” to hold their hands as they slip away. Part of me wants to think that they know why I can’t face them, but the rest of me so desperately just wants to stop caring and stop carrying this shit around.
Another part of me that I wish didn’t exist, wants to pull the plug as I hiss something really fucking cruel in their faces, so that means I’ve got a long way to go.
That said, I’ll be OK, but because of me, not them. It’s time to get past this, seriously. Now to figure out how.