I’ve avoided writing for almost a month now…I’ve been afraid of what I needed to share next. But I’m in a stronger frame of mind at the moment, so here it goes.
Do you ever feel like “why the hell did I have to go through all that”? Or what about “what did I do to deserve that”? …yeah, me too. There are a million things that I will never be able to conceive a plausible reason for why it happened to me, but things still happened nonetheless. I’m not talking about those poor decisions of drinking too much alcohol and puking everywhere, kind of events. There are definitely things we “endure” because of our own stupidity! This is not about those.
OUT OF YOUR CONTROL
There are some shitty things that happen in your life that are 100% out of your control. Things that you shouldn’t have to endure or experience, but it’s purely just the way life works.
For me, I feel that my father passing away when I was about 2 years old was an unfair loss that threw my life (unbeknownst to me) into a trajectory that I would struggle through for the next 30+ years. Even though I have no memory of my father, I can look back at my life and see pivotal moments that could have been very different, if he had been there.
My mother remarried very quickly, and I was raised by them. I was made to believe that this man was my father, and I called him dad. I loved, respected, feared, laughed and everything else that goes into a parent-child relationship, with this man. His parents were my Granny and PawPaw, whom I loved and cherished as being my family and I thought they loved me just as any grandparents would.
My sister was born when I was about to be 4; I can’t remember whether I was excited about it or not…honestly, I think I was too young to even realize what was going on or that things were going to change. But ever so slowly, things did change to no fault of my sisters. Soon Granny was yelling at me all the time, about everything and treating me so different than my sister. They would invite her to stay the night, but I didn’t get to go. They would buy her all kinds of treats and toys and take her places, but nothing for me other than the “here’s a birthday or Christmas present because we’re supposed to give you something”. I always figured (even at those young ages) that it was because I wasn’t the baby anymore (it wouldn’t be until I was about 9 that I would learn about my real father dying).
My “dad” was a very stubborn person, we only went places or did things that he liked and he was never wrong about anything, ever. If he had no interest in something you liked (say, being in gymnastics), he wouldn’t go and would always find ways to criticize that interest. No matter what you did he would point out the flaws or talk about how much better he could do it, and he was always quick to anger.
One time, my sister and I were playing Nintendo (I’m talking the FIRST Nintendo…which was a HUGE deal in those days). I don’t remember if we were playing a two-person game or not, but we were pestering one another while we played. We were laughing and “fighting” and jabbing each other with our elbows…total sibling kind of stuff.
Out of nowhere, he yanks us off the floor yelling in our faces while pulling the game controllers from our hands. I remember my sister telling some story about how I was being so mean and that she asked me to stop and blah, blah, blah. Naturally, I was mad that not only was I being yelled at for no reason, but now I’m getting into major trouble because she lied. Next thing I know, he’s picked us up and thrown us on our butts onto the hard floor in the kitchen; he has us sitting with our backs touching. He does some more yelling and leaves the room. So, I’m steaming mad…and suddenly my sister starts throwing elbows in my ribs and giggling. So, I throw some into hers, but I’m not giggling. She jabs again, I jab harder…she screams. Next thing I knew I am being thrown across the room, my back slams into the refrigerator and just as quickly, he was pushing me against the refrigerator and yelling inches from my nose. My mom stood in the doorway, and said nothing. I remember her later telling me that I need to stop picking on my sister or they were going to take the games away.
I know what you’re thinking, the above doesn’t sound horrible. Sounds like typical sibling and parent squawking scenarios. To some degree, in a logical state of mind I would probably agree with you. However, the above is one scenario…these happened frequently, often with more intensity, over the smallest things.
I may not have been physically abused to the degree some kids are, and I’m sure some people would say that I wasn’t abused, it was discipline…I can only say that disciplining out of anger, is abuse.
However you want to define it, doesn’t matter. In the end, living in this angry and unpredictable environment caused instability and fear in my life. I never knew what I was going to get in trouble for, or how far it would be taken. I was never able to share anything, without being blamed and yelled at. Even if something happened to me, I would get yelled at because I must have done something to deserve it.
This is probably why, a few years later when I was molested, I didn’t tell anyone. At that time (I must have been around the age of 8 or 9), I was always playing with a boy from my class who lived two houses down from us. He had an older step-brother who came to their house sometimes. On one of the visits, the older brother and his friends locked my friend and I in a dark room of their house and forced us to touch one another. I was so scared. I didn’t know if they would ever let us out of the room and they kept threatening what they would do to us if we didn’t do more or if we ever told anyone. I couldn’t understand why they were doing this. What was worse, I felt so ashamed and so scared; I thought I would be in trouble and beaten at home because of what happened…so I never said a word to my parents or anyone.
…Until today, no one has ever known.