a break in my mental health…a break for my mental health

Not from blogging. I don’t do this because there’s not enough time in a day usually. I wish there were. Then there’s the problem of an utter lack of motivation. Which is brought about by a culmination of factors that I feel like I’ve touched on by this point.

Nothing’s better. It’s always worse. Not that there aren’t things I know I should feel grateful for, but then I get made that THAT is always my knee jerk reaction. Like I feel compelled to point out that I know that others have had it worse. Like why do I do that? Why do I instantly discredit myself? Because I want to beat the listener to it, because that’s sort of response I would get WHENEVER I spoke candidly about my situation in life as a child. Of course, I think I’ve mentioned, that one of the worst things abusers do is remove your ability to communicate, to express, what’s happening and how you feel. Because those are the LAST things they want getting out. It was portrayed to me as a cardinal sin, to speak of “family business” to others. My mother is fond of the phrase “I don’t like nobody to know my business.” Yeah. Of course. GOD FORBID. I mean, I’m private too, when I can be, but the smothering out of dissent that was going on…it was very much a measure of necessary control.

Even those closest to me don’t see it. They think we’re normal because my parents put quite an effort into putting on a show for others. They’re the kind of people whose house is uninsured because they can’t afford to repair anything and no homeowner’s insurance is willing to give them a policy anymore, but they have a brand new car like all the time. Because people SEE your car. If you don’t have friends or family (which they don’t, not to speak of) no one’s coming over to your house, so they won’t see that. I remember, as a child, putting an UNREAL level of effort into maintaining our house because I was grossed out and embarrassed by it otherwise.

I guess they were good at hiding it, my parents. A great example of how fucking under the radar they know how to stay (and what I’m saying they hide is the idea that my mom is always hiding how MISERABLE her life is, how AWFUL her husband is, how UNGRATEFUL my dumb brother is. That she never talks about anything that really matters to anyone. As a child I was the exception of course. Like yeah it must have been about 100 times harder than it normally would be if a girl moves out of her parents’ at 18 right after and I mean RIGHT after high school. When I left my mom lost the only person she’d EVER thought to unload her emotional problems on. I mean she had her mom, but her mom was the source of a lot of her complaints, so naturally those were all exclusive to me. Then there was a lot of stuff she couldn’t tell her mom too, guess where that came? I guess sometimes she’d bring stuff up to a woman she worked with, a woman who had been my Godmother. I remember this because I didn’t have a need of a Godmother until I was in the 3rd grade. Because that’s when I was baptized. I was going to a school that preached children and infants probably went to hell if they died unbaptized (it varied by teacher how blatantly they taught that) and I wasn’t baptized. My teachers would always just argue with me and say I didn’t remember because it’d happened when I was a baby. I knew otherwise, and would tell them that, but then they’d just dismiss you entirely because it made them uncomfortable to be faced with the idea that THEY had just done something “uncomfortable.” I was baptized in the 3rd grade, my brother was in 6th. It’d been after chapel. Because 1.5-2 hours every Sunday wasn’t enough, we also had a 30 minute chapel every Wednesday first thing in the morning. In high school they shifted it to 15 minute chapel every morning at 10am, held on the ever-comfortable gym bleachers. I remember, quite distinctly, feeling incredibly self conscious as it was happening. Just thinking about how this was happening in front of all of my classmates, when I was this age. THEY had all been baptized as infants, with their family surrounding them during a church service on a Sunday. But no, I had to have it this way. Later on, someone said something to me about how my face was really red while it was happening. So there’s that, this hugely important thing to the Christian faith was occurring and I, being a 9 year old and all, was just embarrassed.  WHY did I not get baptized until this age? WHY wouldn’t our mother, who took us to church every week from my earliest memory and before, who enrolled us both in parochial school, why wouldn’t she have had us baptized as babies? IF YOU CAN IMAGINE, the source of this weirdness and bad memories IS MY SHITTY FATHER. Because he lived the first..hmm like 30 or so years of his life “in sin” as he liked to call it. His family wasn’t religious at all, just seemed to reject everything about it. But, while working on the police force, a fellow officer who would later become a pastor and start a church that actually does/did great things, my dad was converted. And boy, let me tell you, he SURE took strongly to the EXTREME evangelical right. Politically, he’s TOTALLY up the alley of anything that promotes hate and white supremacy. He is that WEIRD sort of racist though, who despises ALL other races and lets you know it quite frequently through his constant words and actions, but he neeeeeever says anything about Jews. Like literally, now that I’m older I find it somewhat fascinating. I will not repeat any of what my dad said about anyone of any African or other “black” descent, but…it was….it was SOMETHING to behold, honestly. I was ANGRILY admonished for even MENTIONING I wanted the Happy Birthday Addy America Girl book. Because Addy was a slave who (spoiler) escapes from slavery in her first book. The Happy Birthday book always came 3rd. My mentioning a desire for this book (Scholastic book order, anyone?) and the brief synopsis I gave of its plot was answered with an VERY angry glare, followed by an eye roll, followed by a vomit-worthy impression of well…guess. Like, American History X gets the part really right on, about how upsetting this inherent HATRED in someone’s parent can be, this is someone you’re told to love and respect even when they don’t deserve either. There was a guy I went to 1st-12th grade with, and he I guess super disliked me, and at one point in high school he asked me if I’d seen American History X, because I reminded him a lot of Edward Norton’s girlfriend. Now that I’ve seen that movie, I see that that is an AWFUL thing to say to someone. I keep a mental list of people I’d just fucking love to kill, and he’s definitely on it. It’s mostly men. Well, it’s all men excluding two. Idk what that means and I don’t care. Like run over with a car, fucking skin and carve their teeth out, whole, roots and all, from their gums, anything in-between I don’t care. That list takes some EARNING too, trust me. I know you know who started it, and whose stupid son is usually a close second. I go in and out on hating my brother. The only pass he gets is that he was a kid too, and he’s a lot stupider. Like I know how that sounds, but it’s so incredibly true. The only thing he’s good at is growing weed and NOT getting our mother a THING for her birthday. I’m still very steamed about that. I’m not letting it go. But back to my beginning ramble, my dad had this WEIRD religious bent that was really unexpected, pretty comical and made him tolerant of ONE race the usual white supremacists hate, the Jews. It’s just odd to grow up and learn there’s this one other kind of racism you didn’t know about. I guess you’d have to have been there. Not that I want that for you. I’m not that kind of mean. So my father’s Pentecostal Christian stance on things involved adult baptism. So, he naturally refused to baptize us as infants, because that’s not what his correct church did. My whole life, I spent the entire day hearing religious instruction at school. Because those teachers would work it into more than just religion class, trust me. Then, at home, I was told pretty much that everything I was learning in school all week and at church and Bible study on the weekends was utter shit, and only my dad’s church was correct and “alive.” Their whole obsession with the Holy Spirit, with speaking in tongues and acting like they’re ALL the oracle of God, it’s quite the norm at their church services. He had this OBSESSION with referring to the church my school was attached to as a “dead church.” Of course as meanly and hatefully as possible because that’s my dad. The DEAD church could never offer spiritually nourishing fare, as he LOVED to analogize. HE WAS OBSESSED WITH ANALOGIES. Aggghhhh thinking about it makes me mad. But, because he didn’t even think in 3rd and 6th grade that my brother and I needed baptizing, HE DIDN’T GO. My dad, who SAT AT HOME INSTEAD because he wasn’t working at the time I don’t think, didn’t attend the baptism of both of his children. Like…seriously. That’s pretty messed up, if you’re young me. So, as you can see, my dad even managed to ruin religion for me. I wasn’t free to wholly believe in the Lutheran doctrine that was essentially being forcefed, though I didn’t mind it much, but at the same time I wasn’t exactly getting real spiritual guidance from my lazy ass father, he just KNEW he was right, of course. He NEVER, EVER took us to church or went with our mom and us to church. There was a short bout when I was in high school where he suddenly “out of the blue” became QUITE interested in a Pentecostal church in a nearby city, a city he worked in, a church two of his trashy coworkers from Art Van Furniture attended. One, with her boyfriend whilst she was still legally married to her husband. I, personally, don’t know what to say about that topic, but I bring it up ONLY to tell you that, especially in the years since I’ve been gone, whenever my mom has expressed a desire to go to church, or does go, he greets it with dark suspicion. He’ll literally say things like, “Well, I just wonder who you’re so eager to meet there,” He’ll LITERALLY imply my sainted mother meets a man she’s having an affair with at church, because that’s what his trashy, slutty coworker did. It’s SO terrible really because I know it upsets my mom, to HER that is a REALLY ugly thing to be accused of. Just like, when I was a preteen and started being incapable of standing my father’s presence, he decided that I didn’t “look like him or act like him” and if they divorced he’d demand a paternity test before he paid any child support for me. Now, if I were in this situation with my husband, and he said something like that to me if we had a child, my response would be something along the lines of “Well fuck you too motherfucker, I don’t really like being called a fucking liar.” But the idea of my mother ever speaking such words is laughable. To her, that was a HUGELY insulting thing for him to say because of what it implied. If ONLY something like that were true, that I actually had a different dad, who literally couldn’t be any worse than what I’d got. But there’s just literally no shot at that being true when you know my mom. But then my mom had to tell me all this, because she had no one else to tell. Because the only other person she had to talk to was my 3rd grade baptism Godmother. And now I’m done explaining why that was a thing. Now, I don’t think my mom would kowtow so easily, but my brother and I are 32 and 29, almost, so this was quite awhile ago when she acquiesced over everything, I know I’ve mentioned that before.

I guess it’s going to take me forever to do anything. But we’re getting there, some odd progress has been made. You know certain things I’ve never told anyone else. That’s what makes someone truly special, to me. If you’re not going to run out of terrible, horrible secrets any time soon, you kind of have to keep them around for when they’re worthwhile. It’ll happen. Even if it’s just you trying to weave a mottled tapestry of your memories because you might be able to do it in such a way that others will want to read it. That’s all I really want. I’ve always most certainly believed that’s where fulfillment lie. Of course that also makes the pursuit terrifying because that whole like oh I can’t fail if I never try losers mentality. Plus there’s the worry you only have ONE idea. But you just need to keep reading, if that’s the case. I don’t think one can write if one is not reading. I suppose there are those who would argue otherwise. In my line of work, that is my life, there’s ALWAYS someone who wants to argue otherwise,  no matter what. I DO NOT like being contradicted, and the near cousin of that is not liking ever being wrong, but I’ve never been lacking in humility, its part and parcel with humiliation, after all.  I’ll admit when I’m wrong, but if someone DISAGREES with every sentence I speak, I’m going to start registering intense dislike, despite efforts made otherwise on that person’s part to appease me. Two examples, a girl I ended up working with for a few weeks who was the then girlfriend of my then boyfriend’s friend. She had this way about her, she started every fucking sentence with “Well, no…” My mother in law does this too. I don’t understand it, but when I mention it to my husband it’s like it doesn’t even register with him that she does it. I can’t figure out if it’s just me or she does it to everyone. I think it stems from the fact that she’s never wrong. Which stems from my father in law’s anxious, constant need to please, to not be the cause of strife, to solve problems before they happen. This sort of attitude allows for my mother in law making ALL decisions, her opinion has been law for 3 decades, she’s GOING to be opinionated. She sure was during the wedding planning. Most of it I just let go, because I’m not the most ungrateful person to ever live, and they did pay for EVERYTHING concerning the wedding. My parents were just like other guests. My mom did do my wedding shower though, which I honestly didn’t enjoy because NONE of my friends were there. Okay, two of them were, friends from a former job, but they brought their kids, AKA might as well not have been there. It just sucks because you usually get to do things like dress shopping and the wedding shower with your whole group of bridesmaids, and your friends. But I don’t really have any friends, and the only time all of my bridesmaids were together was the night before and the wedding day. But, more on my wedding later.

More in general, later. It’s been quite awhile since I started this post. Given that I get up at 4:30am, I should be off,

~Cass

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