Don’t Take Shit From People

So I’m laying here tonight trying to relax after the week from hell. (Impending eviction)

Fumbling through my old Facebook photos, you know how that goes. you start nosing in on people you’ve lost touch with over the years to see what they’re up to. Tonight, mine led me to a face that I haven’t seen in over 9 years. My mother.

For the past couple of years, I’ve missed her. I’ve missed having a mom I could call up and ask for advice from. I’ve missed having a mom that would be there for me when I needed her. Most recently, I’ve needed my mother to deal with this illness. whatever it is is. Fibromyalgia, ME/CFS, something neurological. I really don’t know what the fuck is going on inside my body. I know I’m in early onset menopause, I know I have pretty severe osteoarthritis as it’s throughout my body and leaves me pretty crippled in the damp and humid weather. I know I have something seriously wrong with my spine and am waiting to see a specialist about it. I know I have PTSD.

I’ve also needed my mom to deal with my father. His in and out presence in my life. His oblivion to my pain. His inability to recognize how seriously he has damaged me.

Then I browsed through some more photos. Saw her and my stepfather got another dog. Got a new motorhome I see. It baffles me how my parents were unable to attend my wedding years ago (I’m divorced now, thankfully and am with the right person, finally) but are apparently able to travel in a camper. You couldn’t even send me a card when I got married.

I remembered how my mother was never there for me. When I called she couldn’t be bothered to take the time to talk to me on the phone. Her TV shows were more important. No matter if I was in a jam and needed help, or just really needed to hear her voice when I was down or needed life advice.

I had no one to go to for life advice.

I look at my stepfather’s smug face in his profile picture and remember how he always looked at me with contempt. Like I was gross. Some kind of fucking slimy garden slug. A garden slug with a bad smell. Yeah, that’s how I would describe it. Oddly enough, it’s the same way my stepmother always looked at me.

I feel like I’ve gone through tremendous mental growth over the past few years. I’ve terminated friendships that were not healthy, balanced or kind. I don’t need that. I’ve ended associations with people because I don’t share their views or ideas. I have different values, I have strong morals. something that seems to be lacking in this world.

Funny thing is, I didn’t get these morals or values from anyone in my family. Not my mother, not my father, and most certainly, not my step parents. I have absolutely nothing in common with my stepbrothers. For the most part, they’re egotistical, selfish, immature, and well… they’re kind of jerks. Who needs that? Nope.

I developed my own code as I grew up. As I made mistakes or failed, I learned lessons the hard way, on my own. Some values I received from my grandmothers. My paternal grandmother was a woman of faith who taught me about Jesus and the Bible at a very young age. I loved it. I found the time we spent reading the Bible together, I read it out loud to her because the printing was too small for her eyes, to be peaceful and reassuring. My maternal grandmother taught me about strength and perseverance. She taught me how to cook. Both grandmothers taught me to stand up for myself and, in their words, “don’t take shit from people.” They were sassy ladies. I probably get my sassiness from them as well.

No. Looking at my mother tonight brought me to a conclusion. A closure even. I don’t know this person, and she doesn’t know me. She’s never been that kind of mom you could call when you needed her. She’s never been that kind of mom that puts her (only) child(ren) first. She’s always been more concerned about her own needs, her own wants. It was proposed to me that perhaps my stepfather is too controlling. Well, yeah. he is controlling, sometimes an outright asshole but, I also know this. What my mother wants, my mother gets. My stepfather has always been a “Yes Dear” man. He’s not entirely to blame. My mother had a choice, and she chose to pretend I don’t exist. In the photo of my mother’s most recent lap dog, she’s a better dog mom than actual mom, I zoomed in on the shelf behind her. There were pictures of stepbrother one and his woman, next to it was a photo of stepbrother two and his wife. There were no other photos on that shelf. No, I’m sorry, their past dead dogs’ photos were there. But that was it. I didn’t make the shelf display cut. I simply don’t exist.

Last year, this would have sent me spiralling down the depression hole quicker than a squirrel up a tree with a cat after it. But tonight something in me clicked. I’m done grieving my father and my mother. It took some time, but I think I’m done. They’ve sucked up enough of my time and energy. No more.

I cut these ties.

I am just going to focus on building what I have with the love of my life. I’m going to enjoy some happiness for a change. As my paternal grandmother would have said, “Fuck ’em.” So sassy.

I feel remarkably stronger and lighter. My love is intact, my faith is stronger than ever. That’s all I need. We have overcome worse things in our lives, we’ll overcome this too.

Live Humbly, Be Charitable, Live Graciously,

S.

Substitute Gifts and Crying 8 Year Olds

My parents (now divorced) were not wealthy by any means.  I grew up in a trailer on a plot of land owned by my father’s side of the family.  My father, an auto mechanic, earned a less than modest wage and my mother was a homemaker and stay at home Mom.  I know now that she suffered from anxiety and crippling depression, but back then I just remember her reading a lot of books.  Come Christmas time, the books would be set aside for holiday baking and decorating and the wrapping of the gifts.

I wasn’t much of a snooper because I enjoyed the surprise.  I’ve always been a lousy liar so trying to feign surprise or gratitude was beyond my kid skills.  Honesty is the best policy, an adage I still believe in.

Another reason acting surprised was a challenge was because my parents… well, my mother, I mean let’s be honest, my father NEVER shops for other people.  He gets everyone around him to shop for him so he never has to set foot in a store OR you just get some crumpled twenties in a card.  My mother was solely responsible for making my Christmas a success.  The only problems were that a) She had extreme anxiety and HATED shopping or going out in public in general and b) She only had the money my father gave her to buy my presents.

Crack whore BarbieI first learned my mother was a Substitute gifter when I asked for my first real Barbie at age 5.  All I had were those flimsy soft plastic dolls that kind of resembled Barbies but clearly weren’t.  They were like Barbie’s ugly cousin from the valley.  Remember those?  Somebody would squeeze a leg and that was it, the leg would stay that way like some kind of deflated sucked in, fucked up amputee.  I never had a Ken doll either.   My parents seemed to think that Ken would be anatomically correct and that was something I didn’t need to see.  a) I’m gay.  That would NOT have been a problem. b) Most people realize that Barbie and Ken dolls do not have genitalia.  They just have bumps and lines where genitalia should be.  I had a Tony Doll.  Tony’s whole body was made of that crappy collapsible plastic that the valley whore “Barbies” are made from.  My cousin used to squeeze his head until it flattened out and stayed that way.  Eventually, Tony came apart at the waist so Barbies would fight over who would date Torso Tony, complete with head, and who would date Legs Tony ultimately making him 2 separate entities.  Fuck Tony.

Then I wanted the Barbie camper.  Boy for a lesbian, you sure liked Barbies.  Yes.  Yes I did.  I made up Soap Opera like stories that sometimes played out for days just like in my mom’s Soaps.  One Barbie would be gay, another would kill herself over a lost child or ruined career.  Tony would come apart and love 2 women at the same time.  I was a little dramatic, and again, I watched my mother’s Soaps a little too frequently.

Barbie Camper 70s

When Christmas arrived that year I was beyond stoked!  Oh man I wanted that camper complete with tiny barbecue and little steaks and a picnic table and chairs and a shower inside..  It was SOOO COOOOL.  It was all I talked about for months.  Christmas day came, I opened the very last present with all my hopes tied in that bow I carefully (my mother reused the bows) removed and placed aside.  The box didn’t seem big enough though.  Maybe it has to be put together I wishfully thought to myself secretly praying.  Here it comes….  It was a horse.  The Barbie horse.  Not the cool Palomino with the jointed legs either.  Just like, a plastic horse statue of sorts .. I did not ask for this horse.  Why Mom?  That year, my cousin got the Barbie camper.  I cried in my bedroom when I got home from visiting her.

The next painful lesson I learned was when I asked for the Lego Space set.  I’ve always been in to space, astronomy, Star Trek and Lego so the Space Set looked like it was for me and the commercials were awesome!  I planted my seeds and eagerly awaited the 25th.

80s Lego Space Set

Unwrapping all my gifts, I saw no Lego set.  There was one more.  A huge heavy box.  Oh Snap!  This must be it.  Tearing back the paper… I saw…  horses.  More fucking horses!  It was a Loc Blocs Medieval Castle.  Jesus, they didn’t even get the time frame right!  Going back in to history when I wanted to go where no woman has gone before.  I couldn’t hide my disdain.  “But.. this isn’t Lego Space at all..”  My mother assured me that this had way more pieces and would be more fun.  “Look, it has a drawbridge“, she persisted.  I didn’t care about the drawbridge, the smug little faces on the Loc Blocs knights’ stupid faces.  I wanted to build a damn space ship.

I came home the first day back to school after Christmas vacation to find my Loc Blocs castle fully assembled, working drawbridge and all, and my parents tipsy.  To this day, I’m not crazy about horses.

Do you give your kids substitute gifts?  Don’t you love your kids?  Why would you do that to them?  Did you get substitutes as a kid?  #KidsRemember

 

Live Humbly, Be Charitable, Live Graciously,

Sam

 

Images

Barbie Camper  http://mumsgrapevine.com.au/2014/01/20-perfect-nostalgic-toys_80s-toys_90s-toys/

Crack whore Barbie-ish  https://www.pinterest.ca/terribunz/barbie-bashin/?lp=true

Lego Space  http://www.sega-16.com/forum/showthread.php?8236-LEGO-Classic-Space-(1980s)-Does-anyone-remember-this-specific-LEGO-piece