One from the archives

Well it’s Saturday morning, arguably my most sacred writing opportunity. I know, if someone my age with children read that they’d be rolling their eyes, commenting on how nice it must be. Yeah, it is. Good job thinking crotchfruit was going to fulfill your life.

But that’s not what I want to get into, I think it’s been made clear I have like 12 reasons I wouldn’t make an appropriate mother. Once and only once did my mother in law make a comment to me about how she hoped she had grandchildren who remembered her. She’s 69. My Grandma was 70 the year I was born and I sure remember her. But I sure as shit am not pounding out a kid in the next year. Since then my mother in law hasn’t mentioned it, I mean really it’s not MY fault her daughter was such a dud. Like my brother. That’s probably why they dated, even though more than three of us told my sister in law it was a bad idea. But she’s not the sort of person to deny herself. I just knew it’d end and my brother would be worse off than before. Which is exactly what happened. Now she moved in with a new boyfriend, a guy who works as a DJ at the strip club she works at. She calls it “dancing” her mother calls it “the bar” but lets get real for a second here, she sucks dick for a living. I mean there’s lapdances and shit too, but the real $ is in the sex acts. Am I saying this based on supposition? No, unfortunately no. There was a time when the apartment my husband and I lived in was en route from her swanky palace of an apartment to the club in the city, so she’d stop at our place to get ready on occasion. One time, she was nearly ready to leave (so it was roughly 9 or 10pm) and I said something along the lines of “Ugh, I wish I didn’t have to do homework all night” as I was still in graduate school at this point. My husband confirmed he too did not want to spend the evening doing homework, at which point my sister in law (in a manner that she CLEARLY picked up from her mother, where she takes on the same vocal inflections as the person she’s imitating, which is a huge peeve of mine anyway, because believe me people wouldn’t like it if I started mimicking them) was like “Well I don’t feel like sucking dick all night!”

……As if…..on some planet…..in some way……our choices to be in college were likened to HER CHOICE to work as a stripper/prostitute well into her 40s. I of course didn’t respond, because silence is actually a great means to respond if the person knows you heard them. She even went on to describe all of the mouth blisters she was forming because she more or less guzzles cock full time. I again had no response, i don’t feel sorry for her at all, at least not when it comes to this. Yeah it sucks she had a shitty, shitty, shitty dad (Get the fuck in line though, right?) but her mom and her stepdad and three of her 4 grandparents were really, really good to her. But she wouldn’t like it if you pointed that out to her. That’s the thing, her psyche/brain is kind of like the size and consistency of a hummingbird eggshell so she very much gets to act like/say/do anything she wants and you better be cheerful and supportive and understanding even when she’s being REALLY inappropriate. Like she doesn’t understand boundaries. My husband is literally young enough to be her son (she was 15 when he was born, I work with a girl who was 16 when she gave birth to her son, which I passive aggressively bring up all the time because I like driving home how little my husband owes his sister a father figure) but really, until I started helping him see how deeply inappropriate and ineffectual his HEAVY level of involvement with his sister’s fucked up life was. She’s 15 years older than him, but when I met my husband she was calling him every night after getting home from work to talk about the disgusting shit she had to do at work (want examples? Chaldeans’ dicks even reek like cologne, and tons of guys want a stripper to lick their asshole) to like feel better about it? I think that’s something fucked people do, like if they’re doing something they know is wrong, somehow involving another person or telling them about it and to “keep it secret” assuages some of the rottenness involved in it. And she was in a very unhealthy codependent relationship with a guy who actually tragically took his own life I think 5 years ago, so he was wrestling with some very real demons and my sister in law more or less functioned as a slave and financier for him, she was afraid to leave him, even when he did and said terrible shit, because she was convinced he’d kill himself and go to Purgatory.

I know, my big issue, all right one of the big issues, is that I take extreme hurt/offense to the behavior of the truly mentally ill. And writing that makes me seem awful, which I kind of assumed I was anyway, in like a dark, ruined sort of way, not like an intentional I’m a cunty bitch kind of way. But like all right that’s fine but YOU have got to realize two things: 1) I was SURROUNDED, on all sides by the mental and emotional abuse of adults and other children, for the entirety of my childhood. The ONLY peace I knew (which this sentence is revolting because that was the name of the school I went to) was when I was alone. My parents at work, my brother off somewhere else.  2) When you’re too crazy for normal and too normal for crazy you will know what loneliness is.

And that’s really it, it was that and then like….the mental illness of my entire family. I always felt really strange and out of place, even as a child. Like i feel like I kind of maybe understand transpeople, as they like have this sense from their earliest memory that something is not right. You can’t really articulate that shit as a child, at least not in my case. Like if a kid is abused their whole life, in any way, it really like takes them a second to figure out that shit isn’t normal. I don’t feel that way in regards to my gender, but the way everyone acted and treated one another and used mental and emotional abuse as like…tools….idk it was so fucked, like I’ll describe certain incidents to certain people and they just get uncomfortable and quiet, if they let me finish. Which they usually don’t. That was one of my dad’s favorites. You would not DARE interrupt one of his pontifications, but he would ALWAYS interrupt you while you spoke. He always looks at his watch every minute or so when my mom is telling him something. When he was lecturing my brother or I (which I feel was probably one of the most profound sources of joy imaginable for him) WHATEVER you responded with, if it was a word or a sentence, he felt compelled to at least treble the amount of time he was speaking relative to yours. I know this makes me sound insane but when you spend that many hours being talked at, you tend to watch the clock in the room. It always was in the same room, like he almost had this creepy ritualization about all of it. After I moved out but when I was still speaking to my parents, he’d call SO frequently, and it would always wind up being at least a 45 minute endeavor DESPITE your many hints and pleas that you needed to go, like being busy and only speaking in monosyllables. But you wouldn’t dare not answer, because then he’d leave some nasty voicemail that started with “OH I see you’re not speaking to me,” or a text that said the same. That was a favorite, he’d text, I’d respond, then he’d call because he didn’t feel like “pushing that many buttons.” He said that every time. He was basically ALWAYS doing something that was aggravating, on purpose, because constantly poking at someone is a way to torture and control them. Because then he’d gotten you, a captive audience, on the phone. What would he talk about? Well, whatever his incredibly drunk and or fucked up on pills mind had wandered to that second. I don’t know why, it was probably something like his dad never let him speak or something, but nothing made him happier to talk and talk and talk and talk and talk and talk. It was terrible and makes me hate phone conversations. If your phone reciprocity wasn’t 100% there was going to be big trouble, which I know some gushy twat who has daddy issues/misses her daddy would probably be all high and mighty talking about how THEY wished THEIR dad was around to bug them with calls all the time. And there is 1 response to people that want to compare situations/fathers – I would have been so much better off without him in my life. I don’t care if your perfect angel father died when you were 12, I mean that’s tragic and all but that doesn’t mean I should tolerate the invasive, gnawing abuse that is all MY dad has to offer.  I saw a meme that was like “#ItsAbuseWhen ‘He calls you 40 times in a row because you screened him trying to avoid an argument or lecture'” and I know that was about romantic relationships, but he DEFINITELY does that shit to my mom. I really can’t even get into all that because that’s it own thing, and all of this was actually supposed to be a prelude to a story I wanted to tell. It’s not the saddest or the worst, but it’s a beautiful snippet of what my earlier teenage years were like. When my brother is 3 years older, so we went to the same high school for one year, then the next year he was still at home and working, not in college, he never bothered trying to go to college.

This might not seem like pertinent information, but it is. I was a sophomore, it was becoming fast-obvious that I would need a computer, a new one with the ability to connect to the internet (aging myself I guess, they’d been around for a quite a few years, but quick side note, you know how they make different versions of a new thing and then one REALLY just wins out? Like Tassimo v. Keurig. We all know who won that, Kindle v. Nook too. Well, my dad, persuaded by the trashy idiots he worked with when I was in the 8th grade, decided not to get AOL for our computer via the phone line, like everyone else was doing, but to get WEB TV. No one today even knows what that is, but it was more or less connecting to the internet via cable modem, you could send emails and visit websites via your TV screen and a wireless keyboard, but it sucked. I never tried it for porn, maybe it worked well for that? but either way it became obvious I couldn’t use the Web TV for anything fun like my friends could with their computers, then not having Windows 95 fucked me. Like it doesn’t sound that sad but it’s kind of sad to have been a 90s kid who didn’t get to play most of the classic 90s computer games because your dad is short sighted and gullible). So it was decreed the Windows 3.1 Packard Bell would have to go. They left it out on the curb with the crude beginnings of my first written works, and someone took it. Like literally the darkest fear I have is someone stole those ideas and formed them into something roughly recognizable as the offspring of those thoughts, like I have. So my Grandma, as always, had to step in an financially assist in the purchase of this item for me.

It was exciting, getting a new computer, finally being able to use it for all the things my friends had for years (we’re talking AIM and the Sims and stuff, okay, nothing insane? Oh yeah, also Xanga and LiveJournal) and it was set up in my room, as that was where the old one had wound up…which is a funny story, it had at one point been out in the room my dad held his lectures from, but one night my dad was particularly angry about something and maybe drunk or high on pills of some sort or another? We’re talking like ativan or xanax or shit you know and he kicked the desk the computer was on so violently, it broke down the middle being shitty particle board, so the computer was transferred into my room on my desk as  gesture of good will from my brother because he’d been the cause for the anger that caused the kick destruction of the original home of the PB. So naturally the new one went there as well. THEN, on two separate occasions, my brother and dad got really weird and really shitty with me over the fact that I had something, the most new and most expensive something in the house, that they didn’t. I’d never experienced this before because I had never before been the one to have gotten the new/best thing. The big ticket purchase were always exclusively for my dad and brother. How? Well, do you realize how expensive of hobbies hunting and fishing are? Or at least, can be if you’re a pretentious idiot who impulsively purchases things whenever they have even an imaginary bit to spend, by imaginary I mean on credit. There were hunting trips. There were fly fishing trips. There was a boat, one year. But boats are a lot of work to take out so that thing left our house MAYBE a dozen times that I can remember. There was the hunting dog that was never even trained let alone hunted like he should have been, he also died young because they wouldn’t fix him because they were going to breed him one day…which never happened but the dog got to die slowly of cancer that started in his testicles. Then the supplies, my god. The coats and waders and fly rods and reels and decoys and calls and money to the owner of the land they hunted on because he’d assholed his way out of ever using the family hunting camp again, and the GUNS. One year, when I was in probably the 4th grade, my mom and I went to an open house at a dance school that was literally 6 blocks from our house that I’d always wanted to attend. I’d assumed, as a child, that going to this sort of thing meant it was finally going to happen this year (you could start going at any time, it ran parallel to the school year most of the time, with the big recital every spring) but I was quite wrong. The point of the open house is to enroll in the classes and purchase the necessary shoes. I remember quite distinctly trying on tap shoes and showing my mom, who was going out of her way to seem disinterested and unenthusiastic, quite unlike her. I guess she’d thought it wasn’t going to be so much like the first day of school. Because nothing ever came of it, even though I kept pointing out I could walk there and back on class days, I was honestly so trying to 1) “find my sport” as my dad put it, it’s like he couldn’t accept I didn’t have one rare strange athletic talent 2) to meet potential friends that weren’t girls from my awful school. But it never happened. Then, less than a month after that they bought my brother a shotgun. A shotgun that he definitely years later pawned for heroin money. Same with the fly rod and reel. But anyway, back to the computer, but I just wanted THIS memory to be fresh. Oh also, because I showed actual upset at being denied dance school when my 13 year old brother just got a man’s firearm my dad promised to give my mom the $ so she could buy me something of equal value. It happened….after many months, but it wasn’t that much $….I inquired when my dad planned on giving up the rest of it, he told me he’d given my mom all of it. Turned out, she spent it on bills. So, weird long story short, we never had that much $ to spare again, but I was just to silently accept this and move on because insubordination of any kind on my part was not really remotely tolerated.

My brother was quite accustomed to his place at the front of the line, I guess, because he freaked out first. I was still in high school and he wasn’t, so he came into my room after I’d already gone to bed for the night because he wanted to use my computer to AIM chat with his friends, this was before anyone had a cell phone to text with. I told him I was trying to sleep and he needed to get out, my bedroom was TINY, maybe 20 square feet and filled with furniture. He said something along the lines of I needed to stop telling him what to do with the family computer, so I quickly retorted again that he needed to get out (he was psychotic about kicking me out of his room if I stepped a toe inside) and that it was my computer as Grandma bought it for me. Which classic my brother he stormed out at that, I could immediately hear him relaying to our mom what I’d said, mimicking me in this godawful falsetto like he loved to do (keep in mind he’s like…18 at this point). I half expected my dad to come storming in, turning the SUPER bright hallway light on and then throwing my door open like he loved to do, he did that to all three of us when we were sleeping sometimes. But he must have not been home or hadn’t heard. And that was the end of that with my brother. But I guess that same super childish super petty jealousy was at work in my dad as well.

He saw a commercial, most unfortunately, about the company we’d happened to purchase a PC from this time (Gateway) and there was a current promotion involving a free digital camera with purchase. This was something he’d wanted as of late. He called, inquiring only to find out we’d gotten our computer before the promotion had begun, and there was nothing we could do to get the free camera now. He, of course– another side note, he’d worked a shitty commission job for the past few years after three of unemployment after his disgraced exit from his first career, it instilled DEEP retail bitterness in him, which I understand but he of course acted like a lunatic about it like he did about everything. He immediately informed Gateway, then me, that we were returning the computer immediately, and I needed to figure out how to pack it up and ship it back (it’d been ordered online and shipped to the house…I have no idea why they didn’t just go to a store and purchase one…aside from the fact that my dad refused to involve himself because he couldn’t bear to see that much money come from my Grandma and go to something intended for his children). He had had customers he’d worked with for half a work day buy $5000 worth of furniture, only to return all but one end table, and that made him so prone to wanting to take things back. More than once he even talked about getting rid of the hunting dog he’d whined for for so long. Plus HE always had to bend over backwards for customers, so there was going to be deep retaliation if he didn’t get what he wanted. But of course that also involved taking away something I needed AND wanted. He used his one of his favorite lines “They might not care, but NEITHER DO I!” Somehow, getting to say that about something was REALLY up there on the list of joyful activities. To which I responded, “Well, I do!” To which he retorted, “Well I suggest you stop!” And stormed off, sure once my mom got home from work he’d get his way.

BUT, something truly unprecedented happened and my mom talked him out of his direct path to sticking it to Gateway by returning this one computer. She even told me that, had it been a few years in the past, she would’ve just done whatever he wanted so she didn’t have to hear about it. That’s how she always put it. Real loving marriage, right?

BUT THEN, on another night I was again attempting to sleep  in my room and my dad barged in, wanting right then and there for me to show him how to use the computer  and start an email address. This was an extreme show of benevolence on his part as he was trying to give an opportunity to make up defying him with my own feelings on a topic. But my response that I was going to sleep soon (I’d been lying on my bed in the dark which screams come in and bother me I guess) was NOT well received. He stormed off into the living room that contained my mother, yelling to her that I was so OBVIOUSLY conveying the sentiment that that was MY computer, and I didn’t want HIM touching it. At which point my dickweed brother overhears and storms out of his room, throwing gas on that fire by yelling with agreement, that he, too, was hurt and wounded by my unbearable selfishness regarding an item that had been purchased for me. WHEN REALLY, I just wanted to sleep, and they were SO unused to disregarding every want and need my mother or I could have…it just didn’t dawn on them that that might be the case. No, I was being small and selfish and petty like they would’ve been, that was it, they always knew what I was thinking and feeling more than I did, that’s why they were so comfortable telling me how to do so. At which point I hear my dad say something about smashing the computer with a hatchet, which I mean given his history I kind of expected to happen. It didn’t, I remember my mom getting REALLY angry, because to her, her time sitting in an easy chair, eating some snack food or another, watching TV alone at night was the only part of the day she enjoyed at all, so naturally my dad was always quite keen to spoil it for her, sometimes by starting a loud and long one-sided conversation, sometimes by sneering and disparaging her for what she eating, he ESPECIALLY got angry with her if she was eating ice cream. Sometimes my mom would get mad and throw the bowl, still half full or whatever, in the sink and run water over it, which was exactly what he wanted. I remember coming up from the basement, I’d been looking for something, and I saw an abandoned bowl of heavenly hash on the counter, and I got a sinking feeling because I’d known what had just transpired. My dad was just truly convinced if he “ruffled a few feathers” as he LOVED to put it, he’d be able to berate and ridicule my mom into being thin. Granted, she does have an issue with food, she still does, she always has, at least for as long as I can remember. Given who she’s married to, and the fact that she doesn’t have any other vices (besides disassociating from your life as heavily and often as possible) it’s not that shocking. She literally just said in the last email she sent to me that she can’t go to the movies without popcorn because it smells soooo good and she eats it until she feels sick. She literally told me when I was a teenager that she would eat a lot after dinner because it was “like a release.” I didn’t even realize until I was much older that that’s a pretty sexual thing to say. I’m sure she didn’t either.

So wow, I just spent the entire morning trying to coherently get across just one story about my family’s group mental illness, as I like to describe it, but look how complicated it gets. My problems are the two things I stated long ago. And like, you might wonder what makes me so fucking wonderful? I don’t know, it’s a culmination of things. Do you think people are born intelligent or hard working or self soothing/sustaining/sufficient? Because I am all of those things, but I don’t know if it’s just the fact that their crazy didn’t pass down, or was it all the environment? I know reading had a lot to do with it but I don’t know what made me start liking to read in the first place. Plus then like if you start reading like crazy from the earliest point you’re able to (I literally remember being angry there were kindergarteners who could read and I couldn’t. I knew the alphabet and could write my name, but reading wasn’t taught until first grade) and keep doing it through most of your life, and you get two degrees in literature….and you spend all your spare goddamn time writing and trying to right yourself. Because I’m like fucked up, not fucked. There’s a pretty obvious difference. Being in the outcast position is kind of self perpetuating which makes it comfortable. I mean I got out, in more ways than one, but it makes you hard, it makes you kind of cruel. Plus, the more years I’m married, the more I realize how lacking I am in certain emotional areas. Like I’m always going to assume the worst of everyone. My first instinct is going to be to straight ghost someone out of my life. I get this really aggressive, do you really want to start this shit with me? sort of face going. I know when I’m doing it but I can’t really help it. You don’t really grow up like I did and not have a million defense mechanisms. Like I said, too normal for crazy, too crazy for normal. Plus when you don’t know how to express yourself before just assume (when you’re a certain level of pretty) that’s you’re a cold, uninterested bitch. I did not handle romantic disappointment well. I guess now it’s different because my husband and I have a very permanent view of our marriage. I did tell him I’d divorce him if he didn’t stop drinking, but really it was the only thing that was going to work. Too many incidents had happened (thankfully, nothing with the law) already, and they just kept happening. And it worked. He went to an AA meeting that night. No matter how angry I might feel with him sometimes, I do give him all the credit/respect that deserves, given how bad his habit could be at times. And he hasn’t drank at all since, not even communion wine. I’ve since given up drinking except on the rare occasions we go out, sometimes not even then if they don’t have one I like, wherever we are. Which is such a positive change from how we used to be, which was like drunk every day? Like really I don’t know where the $ came from for all the beer/booze. But when you notice your skins starting to look less radiant and you feel how many beers you had the night before, it’s not even remotely worth it anymore.

This is so terrible, I’d truly be worried about anyone who read this, unless I like asked a professional to to kind of rush up on me. Because as simple as it is to write all this while I’m high at home by myself, telling all this to another person would be awful. Except my husband, just because it’s like well we’re in this huge commitment I should probably clue you in to my fucked upedness because there are surely times he uses that to reason with himself to not get angry when I’m being an extra shitty person. Which, I mean it kind of annoys me, but I’m also kind of aware of how much more sensitive he is than me, I mean it’s obvious/natural, but I’m still like, OH RIGHT, I forget how MY being mad is the equivalent to DEEP emotional abuse to you, when you don’t even know the first thing about that sort of shit. Not to discredit his actual pain, his mom can be manipulative and purposely frustrating, but he always equates it to worry over her daughter’s bar lifestyle, as she puts it. Which I’m sure it is. Which is too bad in so many ways.

But, I guess if someone wanted to figure me out, they could. I’d be interested if I betrayed enough details to give away my position. It’s hard to never use names, but it’s worth it.

I just need to keep going until I can’t think of anything I haven’t written about anymore.

So, I guess it’s good I tend to have oodles of free time.

Until next time then,

~Cassie

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