“There’s nothing I hate more than a liar.”
You won’t get that quote correct unless you REALLY over-emphasize the last work, particularly the first syllable. Because that’s how my worthless dumbfuck dad would say it.
It’s funny, but also SO sad, and more than anything just overwhelmingly sickening that he thought lecturing was doing any good. He was REALLY under the impression that all those 45 minutes speeches, consisiting of him rehashing/repeating the same idea over and over and over (OR treating you to a story from his own life, because of course he knew about everything I had already experienced or ever would so he was an expert and could tell me what to think and feel about ANYTHING) were a good way to go about things. Everything about him is so terrible it makes me want to vomit.
What’s the WORST out of ALL of it, and MY FUCK is that a biiiiiig list, is that it’s hard to convey. It’s hard to communicate. You wouldn’t think he’s such a fucking monster, upon first meeting him. BUT, there’s only so long that fucker can keep up his “I’m a normal/functional guy” routine. If you’re someone he sees once a year, once every few years (think a coworker of my mom’s, doctor’s office employees, etc.) then you probably think he’s a regular guy who likes to talk too much.
Yeah, the lecturing, the droning, the LONG, POINTLESS stories that you’ve heard at least a hundred times — all of this induced by some combination of opiods and booze — were him AT. HIS. BEST.
The horrible, grating, annoying, controlling, completely incapable of regarding any feelings other than his own, this was “positive” W. Negative mode was just enraged, emotionally lashing out and attacking others as a means of catharsis AND entertainment. Like if you throw 1000 darts at a dart board….isn’t ONE of them going to be a bullseye? That’s kind of how he was. He was also SURE to make sure you felt bad about anything you did, whether you intentionally broke rules, or just made a mistake, you were going to be made to feel like a worthless piece of shit. Must be nice to grow up around a father who isn’t cruel by nature and to amuse himself.
Negative W usually came about when the booze/pills weren’t present, or at least not in abundance, or perhaps were mixed dangerously. There’s a lot of sleeping pills/black out periods and shit mixed in there too. I think they think I don’t remember. I’ll say it like I’ve said it a thousand times, I’m lucky I was the younger one. Three years is a big age difference. My brother was 8 when W ruined our family’s lives. I was only 5. JESUS that’s also the year my mom lost her dad. That literally just hit me. Wow. She did NOT have a good year, at 35. A 5 and an 8 year old at home and your husband (whom you’d married with the religion-fueled intention of never divorcing) ruins everything through sheer stupidity and greed and selfishness. I feel for her. JEEEEEEEZ she was only 4 years older than I am now. WOW.
All right, those weird realizations aside, and I’m sorry for the Pinterest-Recipe-Blog-Level preamble to the main event, but here it is. A story I have from 7th grade, where more than one adult male in my life came together to be shitty, and I was saved ONLY through deep organization.
I didn’t do junior high or middle school. I went to the same building, named only “Religious-word Religious-word School” from preK to 8th grade.
They did quarters, meaning four report cards per school year. I enjoyed this arrangment, as report cards were means for rewards of different sorts for myself. W LOVED flaunting and fawning all over my report cards. In a way I enjoyed it because he would usually give me money or buy me something I wanted. But it also meant all this weird, annoying attention from a guy who, usually, didn’t know my age or grade, despite all of us living together. Then he would lecture my brother awhile for his C-D average, but then we both would get equal monetary rewards. It made NO goddamn sense to me.
Between the quarterly report cards were midterms, less official, but they still had to go home to parents and come back signed.
It was 7th grade, I know for certain. I don’t know which midterm it was. The teacher (a man in his 60s named Bob Mueller) was writing out midterms.
I think it was break time in the early morning. I was sitting in the front row, next to a friend of mine. If I remember correctly, and I do so in a vague way so yeah…unreliable, I think I had just gotten done saying or doing something annoying, or at least not in keeping with what this psycho thought was “appropriate” for “young ladies my age.” Honestly the only thing those shitty Lutheran teachers all had in common was how frequently it REALLY felt like they were trying to make me feel bad for being myself. ANYWAY.
So, he’s writing out midterms, and he says, quietly, still loud enough for my friend and I to hear him, “Cassie got a D.”
I remember a complete stomach drop moment. I DID NOT GET BAD GRADES. EVER. Plus it was enormously unexpected, WHAT could I have possibly gotten a D in.
AND WHY. WHY. WHY DID THE EDUCATOR TELL ME THAT IN FRONT OF A FRIEND OF MINE?
See, I was used to W’s treatment, so the idea, even the notion, of standing up for myself was unreal and unknown.
I HONESTLY remember my friend (her name was Elise) defending me. She at least was good enough to say, “Cassie doesn’t get bad grades.” He then proceeded to HOLD UP MY MIDTERM. It was only for a moment, BUT IT STILL HAPPENED.
I can’t recall if I was incredulous or in panic mode right then, I just remember making whole face paling when he finished writing them out and actually handed them out.
Everything else was to be expected, grade-wise, but then, there it was
Art : D
I had gotten a C on a weekly assignment (a harrowing enough experience for young me), but HOW did one C equate to a whole 1/8 of a school year down the drain???
Later that same school day, I worked up the nerve to inquire. I remember feeling very indignant, but I was also very upset, and I NEVER had to ask for explanations (because they weren’t going to be given, and asking would typically just get me screamed at, by both parents).
But I managed to approach him at his desk, during some quite work time they always gave between subjects, where you could really tell who was going to grow up to be a loser by who dicked around during that time and who actually did their homework. But I digress.
I went up to him and asked, probably more tearfully than my memory has preserved, “How can I have a D when my worst grade on a project has been a C?”
His instant response, “I have you down for a 0 for one assignment.”
The dreaded 0/10, the you didn’t even try. You usually got a 5/10 just for turning it in on time with your name on it (some kids couldn’t handle that, but I was not one of them, just like I was one of the ones who did their homework during the time alotted).
Me, “I did every assignment.”
I don’t recall EXACTLY what he said next, so I don’t feel comfortable quoting, but it was something along the lines of he needed to see the assignment so he could record its grade.
If my mom didn’t happen to KEEP every homework assignment that I brought home in a filing cabinet — to be sorted through at the end of the year, the gems put aside for keepsake reasons, the rest thrown out because no one recycled back then, least where I lived — I don’t know what would have happened.
THe shitty pencil drawing I’d received an appropriate C on was the missing one in question. That 7/10 in place a 0 would bring that D to like a B or something.
The rest of that school day, I fretted that the shitty drawing in question had been among the less than admirable assignments that found their way to the trash and not my mom’s filing cabinet.
It was a Friday. Midterms and report cards always went home on a Friday. My dad would also pick me up from school, SOME DAYS.
I was still quite upset from my day of being a poor student.
I made the sorry mistake, one I would never make again, of telling my dad what was wrong.
I’d barely gotten it out, I said something like, “I got a D on my midterm and I asked Mr. Mueller how that was possible, and HE’S missing an assignment I KNOW I did that he saw and graded, so now I have to hope I still have it at home and bring it in so he can change my grade to the B it should be.”
It’s like if a kid was cutting up vegetables to assist their mom in the kitchen, and they go too fast and cut themselves, deeply, to the point of probably needing stitches, and instead of the reaction of one who loves and cares about this kid, the mother shrieks, grabs the child by the wrist, and presses the entire palm of their hand to a red-hot burner.
That’s a REALLY good way to equate W’s reaction to my telling him this story. ALso, I made the sorry mistake of telling him about it right away, while we were on the street in front of the school, and during his screaming fit, he turned around and started violently driving back to the parking lot.
W, “WHY WOULD YOU TELL ME THAT NOW? YOU’RE SUPPOSED TO TELL ME ABOUT THAT WHILE I’M AT HOME TAKING A SHIT, NOT NOW!!!!!” At this point we’re swerving back to my grade school and I’m crying, because I was literally expecting him to comfort me (which shows how stupid I was, 7th grade is too old to still think he was capable of this shit) like my mom would have, or my Grandma, fuck even my brother.
Not good old dad. He literally, out of NOWHERE, starts shrieking at me that I was SO STUPID and HORRIBLE and SELFISH to tell him that, there, while we were still so close to the school, because now he COULDN’T stop himself, he HAD to go confront this teacher.
Never, in a million years, did I think he would do this.
It’s not that 7th grade Cassie didn’t know he could do stuff like this.
It’s that I didn’t think he would be wiling to “out” himself like that at my school. He always tried to put on a weird front when he was around those people…the whole….4 times he was. My mom came to Christmas plays and the Spelling Bees she could manage, my mom took us to church every Sunday. My dad did nothing. He showed up for 8th and 12th grade graduation, and our confirmations (NOT EVEN OUR BAPTISMS, which is this whole other story about how he used religion as a means of control as well).
He parked illegally behind the school, he made he get out of the car with him and show him where my classroom was. I was crying, and a bunch of people I knew were staring. It was a school of like 350ish kids, and with the whole church social situation on top of it all, everyone knew each other.
WHo knows what would have happened if Mr. Mueller had been in his classroom, he was still in the building because he hadn’t locked the door or turned out the lights. BUt he wasn’t there, and then my dad stalked down one floor to the office and made me check to see if he was in the office. Somehow, he wasn’t. I don’t know where he was, the school was three stories, a cafe-gymna-toriam, then the gothic church with it’s connecting basement.
W gave up at this point, maybe freaking the fuck out on me and storming through the school while I trailed behind him — crying this whole time mind you — was enough to make him feel better.
I don’t remember the rest of the drive home.
The issue was easily enough resolved. The assignment was in the drawer with a “C” in one corner in my teacher’s handwriting. I took it in the following Monday, he unapologetically took it, made note of it in his gradebook, and handed it back. That was it.
So which part it worse? That my teacher purposely embarassed me over HIS mistake, and then didn’t even apologize for fucking up so good? Or that my dad attacked and berated ME for telling him about something that upset me. Like that’s how WRONG of a thing that was to do.
IDK if it was because his pride and self worth was tied up in my academic performance (because he ACTED that way, let me tell you) and that this attack wounded him deeply. Or maybe he was strung out on something, or out of something, and he was already in a REALLY bad mood, and on top of everything else (sleeping, being fucked up, watching TV) he had to go pick up one of his kids from school, then the little idiot goes and tells him how her teacher flubbed up and made HER report card look bad. Yeah I don’t write the thought processes of characters like my dad. NOOOO. NOPE. They’re there, being detestale, but I don’t let them escape static.
What if my mom hadn’t kept assignments? I would’ve gotten a C or B- at BEST on the next report card. Jeez. I usually did an A- in art. THey graded on actual talent so sometimes i felt jipped, but most of the time I didn’t try that hard.
This may sound dumb, or not a big deal, and it’s not, not the thing that happened, it’s what the MOTHERFUCKERS DID AND HOW I WAS TREATED. That’s was SO indicative of a lot of my young life. Shitty, horrible human being adults wherever i went. Being punished for things that weren’t remotely my fault. YEP. Those are some Cassie life themes, I’ll tell ya.
Well, this is the start of a series. I need to be able to give clear examples of memories of complete psycho behavior on his part. I just feel like he’ll eventually do something that warrants a need for such cataloging. I’m glad he doesn’t know where I live, and is literally not computer savy enough to Google something, much less find me. They DEFINITELY don’t have smart phones. It irritates my mom to no end. I gave her my old 5S but she never activated it, as that costs $ as well.
So now maybe it’s slightly clearer, why I hate him. Why I can’t feel sorry for him, at all, because he could’ve like risen above his fuck up, but no, he just wallowed in it, and became a worse and worse version of himself. To this fucking day he torments my mom, and brother, I guess. She calls it simply “acting up” these days. She refers to “not a good weekend” with W, and I remember those. Where he maintained the same SHITTY, horrible mood, that literally made it impossible to be in the same room without him screaming at you for something.
It’s easier to feel sorry for my mom. But I don’t feel sorry enough to forget how like…she stayed…..and stayed….and stayed…..and still does. It makes me just angry enough to have an edge.