I’m bored. This is not a feeling I’m used to having. At least not recently. My childhood was more or less one long stream of being bored and lonely, trying to cheer my mom up, dodging my brother’s intermittent narcissism and need to control me and just avoiding my dad at all costs.
But, I guess there isn’t much time for boredom when you’re supporting yourself by working full time while simultaneously going to college full time. I really felt like i never got enough credit for that. In undergrad, and especially grad school, it was a lot like grade school in the sense that it was the same small group of students in all of your classes. It was a far more enjoyable experience in grad school than the first two times. But being so intimately associated with maybe a dozen other students (about two dozen in undergrad, a lot of education majors with a concentration in English and all that) definitely made one thing abundantly clear – I was the only one who worked full time, and I was the only one who worked full time at a shitty retail job. I’d never had a choice. Just like I couldn’t move into a dorm that August in 2006 like everyone else was because I needed to leave my parents house for good, what was I going to do, move back there that upcoming summer? Hell to the no. So I had to move out into an apartment, that and I couldn’t live in a dorm because I wasn’t just going to leave my cat at my parents. So I had to find an apartment when I was 18 and still in high school. I did, and I remember quite distinctly when I first broke the news to my mom. She did not take it well. She trotted out what would become one of her favorite self-deprecating phrases for years to come, it “made her feel like a failure.” I guess it made her feel like a failure that her 18 year old daughter was bolting from her familial home as soon as she possible could. She then told me she guessed it didn’t matter what she said because I was going to do what I wanted anyway. She always said that when she was in her worst moods, implied that was I just so awful because I seemed like I didn’t even care about her, like I cared about my friends (what friends?) and music and anything else in the world more than her. So, in other words, she wasn’t able to emotionally manipulate and control me like her mom could with her, so I must be the rotten apple in that equation. I distinctly remember my mom asking childhood me why I always had to be so different, very much implying it was wrong (possibly sinful) of me to be that way. So my mom was trotting out the big guns that late spring day I told her I was moving out right after graduation.
Of course, we didn’t tell my dad or brother until the very last minute. Somehow, they didn’t notice my room slowly emptying of all of its possessions as I gradually moved in. Of course they freaked the fuck out. My dad decided to try the you’re-a-nasty-little-girl (my Grandma screamed that at me a lot) approach too. I remember he called me out to the lecturing room, and he’d do this thing where he’d summon you, mute the TV then when you appeared before him he’d point where you were to sit or stand. Sometimes he enjoyed making you stand before him, slightly to the right (so he could watch the muted TV still) because that made it a lot easier to pick apart your movements and actions, to pull his I’m-a-cop bullshit that makes me hate and distrust cops to this day. There’s a certain fucking evil mentality that’s drawn to that job, and I’ve seen it in other prick cops, and it makes me almost glad when they got shot in the line of duty (of course its never the ones that need to go that do, is it? the “few bad apples” we call them. Like brutality and the death of innocent, unarmed citizens are unfortunate but necessary byproducts of allowing shitheads an undeserved level of power). I wish my dad had been. Like when you’re an angry teenager and you’re already being forced to stand at attention while some undeservedly smug fat piece of shit chews tobacco and rocks in his lazyboy and drinks coffee sermonizes you over and over and over, saying the same fucking sentence twelve times over, giving you the opportunity to answer how he wanted you to answer and nothing else (if the baited answer was not given, a punishment of at least 20 extra minutes of lecturing was to come) and then in later lectures that baited answer would be trotted out “Well, YOU said…” see how it works? Well when that’s all already happening, and then on top of that he’s asking you questions in his I’m-trying-be-obnoxious-on-purpose tone of voice about why you’re standing with your arms crossed, why are you looking at the curtains? Or, better yet, he’d just tell you what your body language meant, well you cocked your head to the side while you were talking, so that means you didn’t mean it, so another 45 minutes of nothing but the grating, horrid sound of his voice. My mom of course would do NOTHING to help or save me, because she herself was trying to avoid the lecturing stance. That was his favorite. He was typically unemployed, or if he did work it was at some trash job that I was embarrassed to tell people about on the rare occasion someone asked me where my parents worked. He would call my mother out into the lecturing room around 11pm or so, the time she would normally be looking to go to bed because she had to work in the morning, and that’s when he’d launch in on her about whatever egregious sin she’d committed that day (hour). He especially loathed it when she stood up for my brother, but I think he was jealous. He obviously never got over his own childhood, he somehow thought marrying and having kids (not raising them, mind you) would normalize/fix him. But when it did the exact opposite, being a small/shitty person he just kind of decided to give up and he took 2 out of 3 down with him.
There was more than one price to pay for my escape though, trust me. Like it really did forever put a rift in the deep, huge, disproportionate, frighteningly large hopes my mom had for our relationship into my adulthood. She probably never forgave that, along with like 10 other things I had to do that she chose to be hurt over. She told me in these exact words (years later) that “my whole world fell apart when you moved.” I’m sorry (no I’m not really sorry it’s an expression) but how is it MY fault that you decided your “whole world” (i.e. her personal happiness) depended on me? How is that on ME? It’s not MY fault you decided I was your reason for living. Like, I KNOW it sounds ungrateful and shitty, but it is NOT COOL to tell someone that they’re the “one bright spot in [your] life.” Like…not when your addled mind makes the instant conclusion from there that I OWE YOU something. It was too much, dealing with my psychotic, vicious drunk drug addict POS father, on top of my mom and brother’s and Grandma’s problems, it was too much. What’s funny to think about now is JUST how hysterical they all were about keeping everything hush-hush, about seeming normal. My mom’s level of concern over what others think of her is immeasurable. It matters much, much more than anything that could possibly happen behind closed doors. The podunk phrase she always used was “I don’t like nobody to know my business.” And you would be AMAZED what fell under the category of “my business” to her.
It was hard, it was hard and it made me so terrible and angry. Like I literally don’t know what to do most days because really I’d just be so much better off if they all were gone. Which makes me terrible sad, because my mom really does love me, she tried to be a good mom. But she was too weak to leave, for a plethora of reasons I’m sure, and we suffered so greatly because of that, and there’s no side-stepping that fact when it’s always glaring you in the face. I’ve noticed, in probably the past year of our secret correspondence, she has COMPLETELY stopped mentioning my dad. She’ll sometimes mention my brother, but really only in relation to something else not on his own. There’s probably nothing to say. He had a job for awhile but he quit (unsurprising). As far as I know he’s off of heroin and just smoking insane amounts of weed because he grows it in my parents’ basement. That’s my brother for you. You can really tell my dad is slipping in his old age (drug and alcohol abuse will accelerate that, after all) because like 15 years ago this would NOT have happened. But I guess things were a lot different then. In a bad, bad way, at least for me. That’s the thing, as much as I’m like, agh, I’m aging/weighing more than I ever have, my life is still inexpressibly better now than it’s ever been, because each year is another year away from all that shit. It’s too much for me to bear that’s why I have to do this. Like it’s like there was this poison I was forced to eat (in secret) all my life and now, as I am an adult and see that like most other people were given non-poisonous options as children, I’m like…why did my mom keep making me eat this when she could’ve made it stop? And that’s a hard thing to think about because I’ve spent all these years sanctifying her, but like she was there the whole time, aware of how terrible it was. And now, I’m trying to have things in my life not smeared all over with this shit (the poison, I’m running with simile, hold on). But there’s A LOT of it in me still. From like, way back. So, if I could afford therapy one would imagine that’s where I should start, but I think I’ve explained like 4 times that I can’t. And Word Press is free…so….
I am quite fortunate I look the way I do. Which, because this is all anonymous and shit, I can say the following for the first time in all honesty. If I had to be honest and rate myself, I’d say I’m like…a 7.5 out of 10, looks wise. I mean I’d say 8 but the drinking/desk job have taken their toll. You don’t realize how much exercise your job entails until you start a new one that involves sitting all day. But if you like the kind of personality I have (and let’s face it, if you get above 6 on your personal hottness meter you’ll usually start running into intellectual low hanging branches (I bike, to me those are the worst sort of things) so the fact that I have personality/intelligence going on at all is usually met with surprise) you might just think I’m a 10. But I don’t know if things would’ve worked out for me romantically if I looked like…average. I met my husband shortly after my 21st birthday, when he was still 20. It’s insane to think about everything that’s happened since then. I’ll say this, there are times when I require extreme patience on someone else’s part. But there have been so many times when I wonder what would’ve become of this relationship if I didn’t have the enormous tolerance that I do for…well I guess let’s keep calling it poison. Even though that’s one of those words I always classically misspell. I mean some seriously fucked up shit has gone down. Most of it was due to alcohol in some capacity. But I always think about how, despite the shitty times, my life would have been/would be much less fulfilling and happy if I hadn’t been spending those years with my husband. Which, as it turns out, I guess that matters more than wanting to not get over stuff, as you can probably tell by now is my nature. I mean it’s not like I’m over some shit, but certain things get easier as the years pass. Other things don’t.
Like, okay let’s be real, if you’re going to have a side chick, and you’re going to be open about that with your spouse, it’s going to be weird. It did. One could argue I took it too far because my husband let me. I guess you’ll have to take my word for it that even when I was enjoying myself, I felt terrible about it at the same time. Like I think about it now and I honestly feel terrible, about my husband not about the other guy, he was well aware what he was getting into. It got kind of complicated and fucked then I got so sick of all of it.