When you don’t want to do what you know you should. Also, Spaghettios and glitter – you’ll see why.

It’s often enough, right? One thing that bothers me is the realization that if I don’t ever just get around to dealing with my past, well my childhood, I’ll probably never get over it. It’s not that I’m dying for a reason to blame all of my problems on shitty parents. It’s tempting to do that, don’t get me wrong – and it’s also not to be ignored that one’s life is shaped by their ability to interact positively with others, and I did NOT learn that ability from my parents – but it’s also tired and self-fulfilling and childish.

Your life is as shitty as your decisions make it. That’s all there is to that. Which sounds harsh I guess, because there are things I like to call Acts of God that involve something really bad happening to someone who doesn’t deserve that kind of stress. BUT, it also means that you get to definitely take credit for all of your accomplishments as well. They say people are more likely to take credit for their successes but blame their failures on others. That sounds about right.

Does anyone else ever find themselves wishing that they didn’t have negative memories/connotations from childhood attached to like…literally half of everything in existence.

The more I think about how things were, and how others acted, I realize more and more that I was literally surrounded by lunatics for my childhood. It’s no wonder I took the fuck off when I was 18 and vowed I’d never go back (to myself) and I kept that promise to myself. I’m not great at keeping promises to myself. I’ll tell you, I spent most of my childhood and adolescence assuming I wouldn’t have sex until I was married. Given what readers might know about me, that probably seems REALLY funny. It’s funny as fuck to me  at least.
So, how was I supposed to grow up and know how to garner genuine or positive social relationships with others? A few things shielded me, but most left me vulnerable to attack on all fronts. Sometimes my husband talks about how he got treated like shit by other kids when he was a kid, and he was taken advantage of/made the butt of jokes/etc. And yes, all of that is traumatizing I would know, but I was going through that same stuff only maybe worse and I didn’t have a happy, stable, functional home life, not to mention opulent especially in comparison with my own, to balance it out. The only time I was ever actually happy as a kid was when I was alone, so the afternoons between getting home from school and my mom getting home from work.
I was just talking with my husband this morning about how often I think about how I was treated when I was a kid. And more often than not I realize that I must have been behaving in such a way to foster the ill treatment I received. Because that being the cause of it all makes so much more sense than the idea that I was just surrounded by evil, malicious people my entire life. I mean my family is one thing but every other adult I interacted with? Almost every kid too? Really? Every single one of them was fucking rotten at their core? It must have been me. It makes soooo much more sense if it were me.
And I guess it’s not so hard for me to say -type that because does a kid know any better? I can tell you there were many times I was corporeally punished on more than one occasion without my even understanding why it was happening. Somehow my mom thought telling me afterwards that she didn’t agree with it happening somehow absolved her of any guilt/association. Which in turn made me REALLY disrespectful of her. I mean, think about it. When you’re in that environment, dealing with those sorts of people, even the best of use couldn’t always be cheerful and joyful and upbeat, there to chirp around like some ornamental canary to make everyone else feel better, fucking disgusting and SO what was expected of me. But, there were certainly many days when I rebelled against their fucking expectations. In part for the rebellion in itself but in much larger part because I had to take my negative emotions out the way I’d been taught. They have no one to blame but themselves for how I treat them now. So that combined with the fact that I saw nothing but other people mistreating my mother – my dad mocked her to her face in front of the kids, he discussed her weight with his kids ad nauseam, he was as rude/cruel/unkind/unloving as he possibly could be to her at all times, unless HE was feeling otherwise, then BEWARE to those who dared not mirror his exact fucking mood exactly when he expects it. Just like, when I was in my early and mid twenties, OH was there hell to pay if I didn’t always answer the phone when he called. It was always in the evening, when I knew he was hopped up on something post dinner and he was watching the TV on mute while he opiate-rambled about something I couldn’t give two fucks about, never once caring or even noticing the only responses I or anyone gave were “Mmhmm,” on 1-3 minute intervals. You know, the universal sign that someone is not interested or really listening to you drone on. It’s like that fuels him. It REALLY does feel like he’s trying to mentally smother you with his talking, until the only thing you remember is stupid fucked up shit he’s said and done and then you’re as a result as stupid and fucked up as he is.
THAT, what I just described, that’s what happened to my brother.
It like, semi-happened to me, but as you can see I’m remarkably capable compared with them. So much so it became apparent to me years ago that I would have to sever ties with them eventually. I still speak to my mother, if it were at all possible I would be more than happy to see her in person. But there’s really no escaping for her. They share a car, and my worthless father is always home, as he is ever so unemployed. So how can she get away for a day?
Remember how I said I tried disengaging myself from them once, but it only lasted like 9 months? Yeah, during that time of silence between my father and myself, my mom and brother met me in the town I lived in at the time, we ate together at a Subway, then they went back to the town they lived in and grocery shopped. Somehow, he fucking figured it out. He wore my brother down, because he’s by far the least resilient. That’s what worried me, is that he could still get people to say/admit exactly what he wanted, all those years later. Then he made an INCREDIBLY huge deal out of it, obviously, and he referred to it as “The Dinner” for a VERY long time to come, like he’d cracked some big murder investigation. That’s the thing, all of those awful personality traits/qualities that draw someone to that profession, well he had every single one of them in spades.  A friend of mine once told me hearing descriptions of my father reminded them of the sexual-assault-y cop from the beginning of Crash. I was like…yeah I would be 100% unsurprised if he pulled shit like that because he knew he’d get away with it. See, the “bad” cops, (the “few bad apples” everyone SO insists on calling them) they’re just that rotten, hollow sort of person who just so needs, so loves, so relishes having power over someone else. We all know people like that. Or at least I do. Those who manipulate and abuse to feel in control and therefore powerful. I don’t know what’s worse, being the victim of one them or being them. I suspect it’s them but I can’t say I’ve experienced that.
So, I probably had such a hard time connecting or maintaining positive relationships with others. Or, honestly, it seemed like I always had to be the bigger person, I always just had to be as nice and helpful and friendly as can be with everyone, I had to deal with some kids constantly pestering me for answers on homework but then the first chance those same assholes got they were trying to get me in trouble or making fun of me or mocking something that I did. It was fucking weird as shit. It tapered off a great deal in high school but there were still a few immature pieces of shit who did it. Mostly guys, but always those few so lovely girls. I guess I’m contentious or something, because boy did I ever bring out the BITCH in other women, particularly girls my age. I don’t know why. I don’t pretend to imagine it’s because I’m THAT much prettier than them. I mean I was, and still am, but not to SUCH a degree that it’d foster so much ill will.
So, it must have been me.
And I guess I really didn’t have a chance in life, not when it came to that. But definitely when it came to other things. Which is I guess why I feel the need to blog about the things I couldn’t do anything about. When there’s so many, if you don’t sort them out, well that’s the sort of mess that doesn’t ever sort itself.

 

Wanna know what the two trigger words I alluded to at the beginning of this were?
One is Spaghettios. Whenever I see a can of them, I think of a winter when I was a child when my father was unemployed (shockingly, right?). My brother and I were to scrap the car windshield before we departed for school. My brother did something weird to the windshield wiper in his attempt to scrap snow and ice off the windshield. It was a Friday. My dad, always SO happy to jump into FULLY ENRAGED MODE at the drop of a dime, began berating my brother for breaking the wiper. I remember so distinctly my dad saying, “I thought we could go to [local eatery] for dinner tonight, but now we’ll stay at home and open a fucking can of a Spaghettios!” Like. Without fucking fail I think that whenever I look at Spaghettios, which all right it’s shameful but I eat them from time to time. They’re good. Stop judging me. You try pretty much always having the munchies. It makes me feel bad for my brother when I remember stuff like this because he definitely got it pretty bad like all of the time from my dad. Yet still, as a younger child he was your typical my-dad’s-the-best-I-want-to-be-just-like-him-and-win-his-approval sort of son. But THAT mentality TOTALLY discombobulates with the shitty narcissistic garbage person we had as a father.
But then my other weird trigger word I came across lately makes me feel less bad for my brother. Because you know who he CONSTANTLY took his shit out on? If you guessed my mother and my Grandma and myself, you are fucking correct. I think my mom got it the worst from him, mostly because she let him treat her like dirt, and it was our template for behavior, like  I said earlier. It didn’t matter HOW upset anyone was about it, my brother was going to have his way. And most of the time my mom and her mom were more than happy to play into his bull shit. He developed this BIZARRE habit of needing to be convinced to do something you KNEW he wanted to do. He’s like that to this day (I think, he’s part and parcel with our dad as far as I’m concerned). Because the second trigger word is Glitter. I was writing it down to grab some the next time I find myself in a Dollar Tree. For crafting. Which, is one of my more dorky hobbies. It will ALWAYS make me think of a time when I was in the 6th grade when going to Bath and Body Works was a more anticipated ritual than church. The popular thing, or at least the thing I was doing, was wearing roll-on glitter ALL over my face. Well, one morning my brother thought it was undeserving of bathroom mirror time (of course the house I grew up in only has one bathroom) and he picked up our dad’s I’m-going-to-over-enunciate-this-word-on-purpose-to-exaggerate-just-how-disgusted-I-am-with-you-as-a-human-being habit really early on, so he said to me in the nastiest tone possible, “Well maybe we wouldn’t be running late if you didn’t have to rub glitter  all over your face.” And that’s what I think of WHENEVER I see the word glitter. And it’s just a prime example of how, because he was the prime victim of our father’s narcissism, he also of course emulated that behavior most. During his short-lived live-in relationship with a girlfriend when was like…21-23 I want to say? Maybe a little bit less than that, but I think they were together at least two years, he demonstrated on multiple occasions that he was going to act exactly like our dad. He got mad at his girlfriend once, while he was eating dinner, and threw his dinner in the sink. This was a favorite thing of my father’s to do. He loved depriving himself of a meal then rubbing it in everyone’s face that they were eating and he wasn’t and it sure looked good. I am not joking or exaggerating or embellishing at all.

So, I have like all this godawful shit that I need to like cleanse myself of. But truly, I’ve developed a single way to do that. Anonymously. On the internet. BUT, people read this shit. There are people in existence other than my co-sufferers who know about our suffering. That’s HUGE for people like me. And of course, there’s so many ways to clear the gunk out, as it were, but this is certainly mine.

Things are going really well. My husband and I celebrated our three year wedding anniversary last week, and we actually cherish and treasure each other now more than we ever have. We’re both admittedly happier now with each other than we’ve ever been. I still wouldn’t recommend the SO ROCKY path we used to reach here to others…but I’m willing to admit when things are good too, you know. I don’t want to come off ass some sort of complainer. I just need to talk about certain things. Or else it’s like this emotional pain a person carries around but never works through, it ends up strangling off their only means of ridding themselves of it. It literally leaves people physical wreaks as well as emotionally and mentally. Look at my mom.

But anyway, I didn’t want to spend the ENTIRE Sunday on a blog, and this is long as fuck as it is. But I wanted to check in. Things are good. I got an emerald ring for an anniversary gift. Out of all the classic effeminate gifts, I do so love fine jewelry most of all.

So, things are good, like I said. And I’m doing my damnedest to write every day, because all the writing advice tells you you have to make a habit of writing, and then and only then will craft come down to join you. So that means blog-neglect. Especially my cooking blog. I guess I’m a pretty wanton cook because I rarely do the same recipe three times, and that’s my standard for claiming I know a dish well enough to advise others how to make it.

So, au revoir

~Cassie

I guess it’s a fine line, between despair and hopelessness

I don’t know what that line is, but I feel like I’ve been straddling it for too long.

I started writing yesterday, about how computer system updates at my mom’s employer resulted in my being unable to send her emails. And with that update, our last line of communication was slammed shut. So my idea was that she still sends emails like normal, but my response would be posted on a blog that she checks via her work computer. But today at work she tried to access WordPress at work and she said it took her to a page that said it cost $2.99 a month, so I don’t know I think she didn’t go to WordPress.com Trying to counsel my mother via text on how to look up a blog online is inhumanely frustrating. Because if this doesn’t work…what else is there?
No, I can’t call her. Her phone usage at home is heavily monitored. One of my dad’s favorite tricks was waking up from a nap but lurking behind his closed bedroom door to eavesdrop on a phone conversation happening nearby while the speaker assumed they were still within the afternoon nap reprieve. Or he’d be in the den watching TV and upon noticing I was in my bedroom on the phone he’d mute the TV to better listen in. And yes, I could call her at work, but am I really making her have a hyper emotional conversation on the switchboard with a coworker sitting right next to her? I could send letters to her at work. I guess that’s the one option left to me if she can’t figure out accessing this site. To me it’s not hard, but I guess we all understand things differently.

It just tears at me, the guilt and pain I feel over this situation with my mom.

There are those who tragically lose their mothers all too young. And there are those who do not want a thing to do with their mother for valid and real reasons (I feel that way about my dad, so). But think how hard it would be to just be losing all of this time, time that you won’t ever get back, that you want to have. I spend all this time I don’t want to with my in-laws, and frankly I know that wouldn’t bother me if I ever got to see my own mother.

It’s not even for me.

The despair I feel about this situation, it stems from the long-established notion that my mom needs me. She always has. I probably seemed like a really shitty little brat to a lot of the adults in my life, but I acted like a grown up because that’s how I was treated. I was all she had, that and her mom, but her mom was the source of some strife, to be sure. Not to say I don’t love my Grandma, but she was kind of really emotionally manipulative. And she taught me to hold shit over people’s heads, and to bring up terrible things they’d done years before, and to never forget a slight. I guess today they just call that pettiness, but yeah, it was a thing in 1920s Wisconsin as well. But, I’ve told you how hard she must have had it growing up, so it kind of makes sense she was like that. She couldn’t forget the times when she had nothing and felt like nothing. And in a lot of ways, she was your typical stereotypical grandmother, in a good way. And in even more ways, I had a better/closer relationship with my Grandma than anyone I knew. Like I said, you don’t appreciate it when you’re young, but you certainly will when they’re gone and you’re grown and you realize you miss being with those you always took for granted. Teenage Cassie never would have realized how I would feel now as I near the end of my twenties. I have less than 9 months until I’m 30. I’m very unexcited. I mean I will be glad to live longer, don’t get me wrong…but like…okay being in your 30s means you shouldn’t literally always just be scraping by. Which is all we’ve been able to accomplish. And we’re poor cliches, we spend a ton on credit because we want nice shit just like everyone else. Plus because my Grandma was so into buying me stuff, I genuinely associated presents with real affection as a child. I know that makes me sound insane and materialistic, and insanely materialistic, but I also don’t care I’ve come to find out it’s the truth.
The point of all of this is figuring myself out. Because there’s this disconnect between my negative emotions and their root causes. Or at least that used to be the case. And I guess identification is half the battle or something.

So, as you can see, I have/had kind of weird and complicated emotional relationships with my mom and her mom. I was also very close with my mom and Grandma for most of my childhood and adolescence. Things tapered off a bit when I started working. But frankly I feel like that was insisted upon, by my parents. Both my brother and I obtained employment and driver’s licenses at 16, many of my friends did neither at that age.

So now, I’m faced with the notion that I have no way to regularly communicate with my mom. And there’s no knowing when we’ll see each other again. She can’t sneak away. My father is incredibly unemployed, besides the napping he is always in their house, in the den, chewing tobacco and rocking in a Laz-E-Boy and watching Fox News or televangelists or some shit. Sure, a lot of the times he is super fucked up while he’s watching TV, but when you have the kind of tolerance he has, it just kind of either makes him way more aggressive or way more annoying. It depends on what he’s on, what he’s out of, etc, etc. So I can’t call or text her phone, for fear he’ll intercept it. Same goes for the mail.

And before you ask, I know he can’t do anything to me anymore, he doesn’t even know where I live. None of my family members have ever been to the house I’ve lived in for over two years. But he can make my mom’s life a living hell. And yes, he does that mostly all the time on his own as well, but it’s like throwing a tired politician another decades-old scandal about their opponent or something. I’ve discussed before how he uses sermon-like lectures to wear his opponents (read = his wife and children) down. He was also a huge fan of public embarrassment/humiliation as a means of control. And I don’t know where it came from originally, but my mom has a near psychotic level of fear that the people she sees in regular life (her coworkers) might know about how miserable her life really is. She has always taken privacy to a pathological extreme….and if it were some reason other than the feeling that she had to do so because my dad was doing SUCH fucked up shit…I might let it go. But that’s the fucking reason. And that’s just what I remember. Who the fuck knows what my brother remembers, he’s three years older. I’m not asking him, I don’t want to know. It probably makes me a bad person, not wanting to take on another’s psychic pain…but I got too much of that too young x 1000, I will NOT tolerate it now.

I don’t know where we’ll go from here.

 

And boy, isn’t that the defining characteristic of my life right now. My job is my one constant, and it’s really not that great. I mean I like it, but boy are my standards low…considering how bad I had it before. And then I’m like wait what if that’s exactly how I chose my husband…..

Because really, I still am not over things. We haven’t had a “bad” evening in a few weeks now.

But we did something that we’ve done before…and I found it fascinating.

You might have noticed me go on a bit about how awful my wedding night was: My Terrible Wedding Night, from the annals of the organized chaos that is my memories (be forewarned, it’s a LONG one, the jist of it is my husband got SHIT-FACED and ruined it by being a terrible drunk psycho and my eyes were hella poofy from crying in all of the pictures of me from the next day.

Well, one of the first things we did together that I was happy or at all positive about after the horrible, spoiled wedding night at the luxury venue with the the top floor bridal suite and the wedding night lingerie he never even noticed I was wearing he was already so mad at me for getting upset he’d invited a dozen people back to the room when the reception ended, was buying furniture. We had the wedding money, and I’d wanted a new couch and a coffee table and a TV and a TV stand that was shit for quite some time.  So we bought all of that. It was the first thing I was excited about after the ruined wedding night and transitively the ruined memories that were supposed to be among my best. Just like my whole childhood. Except even my dumb, shit family had the fucking courtesy to be cool on my wedding day, at least to me, Lord knows they must have squabbled a few times among themselves because that’s what they do.

And, to be truthful….the week before we got engaged, we purchased a bed. Before, we’d been living together for four years utilizing both of our full beds from before we met. We pushed them together to form “superbed” but it kind of sucked nonetheless, because it was sleeping in separate beds, one full is not enough for us. But something urged us to check out a mattress store that’d opened in front of my work. Then we were buying a bed. Then a week later my husband proposed.

And now…as we are at our third major furniture expenditure…..I can’t say I’m at all shocked.

Isn’t it sad that something like buying furniture is enough to make use both happy? To mend something emotional between us? I doubt this is how healthy people are.

We got a kitchen table, it was a hand me down from our in laws. It prompted the desire to purchase chairs for it. Then, since we were already in the furniture store, using the store charge, I mentioned my deep desire for a bedframe and headboard for the bed we bought a week before our 2013 engagement. So that happened. It even came with a settee AND I can finally use the bedskirt that came with our comforter that I knew I kept for a reason.

It’s pathetic to admit that having new and different objects in your domicile are enough to improve your happiness. But then it’s like…are people who don’t take joy in things just jealous they need stupid other people? But then they’ll just argue that the joy you get off of things is fleeting. But…have you met other people? As if they or any of what they offer is permanent. I mean people like vow it in front of their respective gods and their families all the time, then they break up anyway. But not all, so do what makes you happy.

But I guess not if you’re like me, and material things make you happy. Not because you don’t also want immaterial things…but because you’re like bright enough to not really expect those. They didn’t happen when you were a kid and things were supposed to be easy. They were the opposite of easy.

That’s how they still are.

I still don’t know what to do.

About my mom.

About my husband who claims it was his “addict” behavior that drove him to fuck a stranger he met on CRAIGS LIST. He’s been going to AA very regularly since I accidentally found out, by noticing how pale he’d gotten over an innocuous enough question. You can’t lie to someone like me, not if I’ve known you a long time.

I mean, if I were to speak plainly (which I don’t do in real life), I just want to be able to see my mom on occasion, and to have a husband who I won’t always secretly doubt a little bit now.

So you see, since both are impossible, what am I to do? One thing tears at me. One thing drags me down. And yet I am surrounded by those who wonder at my inability to walk upright. If they notice me at all. But I do my best to avoid them. I do my best to avoid everything. I’m good at hunkering down, waiting out the storm, just hoping my POS dad dies before my mom…but if he doesn’t….I might never see my mom alive again.

 

 

Just some of the MANY thoughts that plagued me today. And today I was distracted by the imminent arrival of the new furniture.

 

~Cassie