Family Portrait

Could you imagine mine? ahahahah it’d just have me in itmI suppose i can’t help but be reminded of things that irk me. It’s one of the curses of my lot in life. NOTHING in my instincts or training tells me to let go of anger or negativity. In fact the exact opposite. The EXACT opposite. Which I suppose that/they gave me good groundwork for how I shouldn’t be. But as if it were that simple. It’s never that simple. There’s no waking up your first day of college after moving out and being like, “Okay, my traumatizing childhood DIDN’T happen and from here on out I’m happy, normal and capable of processing and expressing my own emotions.” That’s not a thing. Just like, there’s no magic fucking age where suddenly all the terrible shit from long ago didn’t happen. I think some people don’t realize that if you don’t deal with childhood-based issues, that poison doesn’t go anywhere. Not if you don’t make it. You can have problems from your girlhood crop up in your sixties (This is a loose reference to Claire, a character I fucking hated from On Beauty by Zadie Smith but Claire did make me realize this). Or your boyhood. That’s a reference to my stupid father. I do acknowledge that CLEARLY something(s) really bad happened to him, probably a lot. But that truly did not entitle him to marry, have children then throw his last efforts as a productive human being aside when he realized he could make the three of us miserable full time.
What saves you is when you realize slowly but surely that first, your feelings are real and valid, second that you need to figure out how to commuicate those feelings to others, also don’t let everyone in your life treat you like shit because it’s easier that way, and third that what you want out of life is so fucking boring and normal and uninteresting, you might truly be sane. These things, and many others, came to me, in a slow trickle, nothing more. It’s not like self-actualization happens overnight. Whatever that is. Mia is obsessed with it in The Princess Diaries – which, sidenote, ANY middle school girl could benefit from this book series. The movie, eh, 6/10.

I have this fantasy that some day, someone who really knows me will say “[Cassie], you’re boring and normal.”

Never ever once in my life has anyone called me that. Honestly, the only insults I ever got (to my face) were along the lines of loud/obnoxious/annoying (when I was younger) and  then weird/variations thereof. The one pet store I worked at, it had a grooming salon, and there was this braindead groomer, who just fucking….GAH. She had this obsession with exclaiming “You’re SOOOOOO WEIRD!!!!” to me after like every sentence i spoke. On one of the MILLION occasions I went into work baked I remember listening to her drone on about something quintessentially vapid and i found myself wondering if it’d make a hollow noise if I knocked on the side of her head. Stoned Me really wondered that, before i realized what it implied. I didn’t say it, because if I screen myself in general (and I’m pretty good at it) I’m on def-con high alert shielding when I’m at work. You gotta, with cunts like that around the place.

It didn’t dawn on me until I was in high school, filling out a beloved Myspace survey on which a series of questions involving “How many times have you been called [blank]?” made me realize that insults and derogatory remarks weren’t ever said to my face. I couldn’t recall times I was called stupid or ugly. I could remember a time freshman year, because I didn’t want to talk to him about my social problems at school, my dad became enraged/insulted and told me I’d never account for so much as a “pimple on his ass” in life, he was already so much better than me (an episode of The Simpsons had taught me that this is what only the DEEPLY insecure would say to their children). But I couldn’t remember being taunted by other kids, just my “friends” the way young girls do it. It was much more a no-one-wants-shit-to-do-with-me situation when I was in high school.

I remembered  a time when my dad kept threatening to kill himself, he was so upset my mom hadn’t found out that my brother told him via a payphone that we three would be returning home the next day at noon. This was the first, and one of the worst, times for him ruining what should have been a good/special/fun childhood memory. This was an absolute favorite of his. He was probably MIFFED as it was, because my mom had taken my brother and I to stay overnight at a hotel with a kid-oriented fun zone and pool, it would actually be the same hotel I stayed at the night before i got married. This sort of thing is NOT something my dad would do. It’s like he was under this spell that made him incapable of leaving (why would you leave such a prime situation and go back to taking care of yourself?) but also incapable of ever spending quality time with us, especially me. The only exceptions were the hobbies (like hunting and fly fishing and baseball) that he tried to project SO hard onto my brother. His sexism spared me for most of it, luckily. You resent that as a kid but become really grateful as a teenager when you realize how shitty he is.
So I’m sure he was already in a tizzy (as my mom would say) that we’d gone somewhere without him, he didn’t like that. He wanted us at home, in HIS house, right where he could see us (when he wasn’t fucked up or passed out). He probably implied my mother was meeting someone else and that was the real reason for our visit. He CONSTANTLY accused her of that being her motivation behind wanting to go to church after I moved out, before her church companion had been my duty. He was of course 100% welcome to go with her, but that would interfere with his drug/nap schedule so that was a no. So my brother calls my dad, that night we were staying at the hotel with the nice pool, from a payphone in the lobby, because those existed back then. He, apparently, assured my father we would be returning home around noon, we’d be leaving the city we were in as soon as we checked out of the hotel. He didn’t tell my mom that he’d given these assurances. We ended up getting home about 6 hours after my moron older brother had told him we’d be there. And instead of being relieved, or anything even remotely close to how a sane person would act, he just launched into full lunatic mode. He completed the performance by threatening suicide for a really long time. My poor mom. I remember him screaming at her, I could hear it through their bedroom door. He had something in his shaving kit in the closet in their room that he was going to use on himself as a means of punishing my mother for WORRYING him so. Like the HOURS of just terrifying hysterics we got out of him over this, it was allegedly rooted in his depth of caring for us, his absolute devastation at the idea we’d all died in a fiery car crash (this is what he kept saying he thought happened). And it takes 6 hours to tell someone their entire family died? I remember this conversation SO vividly:
M: “I didn’t know he told you we’d be home by noon!”
D: “You should have made it your BUSINESS to know!”
M: “What did you think happened?”
There had been strong winds that day, he made up some statistic about how semis were being blown off the highway
M: “Even if we’d died, they still would’ve been able to identify us and notify you.”
D: “Not if everything in the car burned.”

That was one of a million awful things about having to interact with this piece of shit, he ALWAYS had an answer for EVERYTHING. It reminds you, after awhile, that you aren’t even dealing with a real person anymore.
So instead of a good memory I just remember him threatening suicide as a way of expressing anger/revenge. The introduction of everyone-has-a-cell-phone-now REALLY worked in my dad’s benefit, because if you can imagine he just fucking loved knowing he was ringing away, invading your life in real-time from the glorious splendor of his tobacco-covered armchair. I talk to the shitty therapist at my first college about this, about how he used constant phone calls (you know, surveillance) as a means of control. She told me to set boundaries. Boy what original thought. The thing is, you CAN’T do that with someone like him. He’s not capable of a lot, like feeling joy, and that’s just one of many.
And that was pretty much his thing. He ALWAYS had to ruin special occasions, like birthdays, the holidays.

I just had a permanent eyeliner emergency – I am also SO SICK of this healing process. My eyes are so fucking bloodshot, they look like I’m a cartoon drawn to look evil, or high.

But now i’m out of time and need to make dinner. But hey I got another one out.



Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s