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’ll be honest, I deprioritize this bitch

I’ve told you that before, but this had been my longest WP lull since I gave it a go, I think. Which is actually a good thing because it means I’ve been writing creatively every day instead. Rarely will a work day go by that I don’t make time for it, or this. I guess yesterday was an exception, but dinner was especially time-consuming to make. I’ve also been keeping with exercising at least every week day, and with not drinking. I’m not saying I officially quit drinking, but it does sometimes worry me that I know if I start stopping isn’t all the easy.

But enough on that. I know you’re not supposed to inform someone you care about something more than them, but that’s what’s happening with what I spend my time writing.

So little of my time is about me, and what I need to do. That’s life and all, and one must work, and keep a house, and feed oneself, and then you’re like well I better at least make efforts to work out because I don’t want to be in my fifties and decrepit like…some parents…I have…. My terrible father is actually physically healthy…it’s….it’s odd when you think about how mentally/emotionally/spiritually he is FUUUUUCKED. I mean he definitely has been morbidly obese before…like when i was 5 and he got kicked off the police force and he didn’t work for 3 years, his weight ballooned to almost 300 lbs. That’s what happens when you do nothing but eat and drink vodka (you stash the empty bottles in a garbage bag under the stairs and your wife and daughter find these bags on separate occasions) and sleep and watch TV. I never had to witness it firsthand, my brother does though. My mom never says a WORD about it to me either but I’m assuming she knows it’s going on too.

It’s so odd to me, to think that there are people who DON’T have innumerable memories and their dad being in the blackest of rages and him storming through the living room on his way to the bathroom (this is where you keep the vodka you’re currently drinking. On the top shelf not even that out of view) and you’re both frozen like prey animals just fucking hoping he won’t feel the need to pick a fight with you or attack you. Because, when he’s fucked up, that’s WHAT he’s going to do. He WILL get your attention, he WILL control your emotions if in no other way than by tearing you down and making you yell along with him, he WILL control all things and people in HIS house. Geh, that’s his name. Fucking gross. I seriously fucking hate him. My husband finds it comical how I react when someone mentions dads. I just fucking can’t anymore. I spent 25 years tolerating him in some way, and he was only getting worse, he’s still only getting worse, from what I hear. If you look at how fucked up and low functioning my mom and brother really are you’d see how fucking dark their reality is Being around someone like him is literally emotional cancer. It’s so bad. I Am NOT just seeing the worst and over-dramatizing everything, that’s what he always told me I did. FUCKING no. I am not the crazy one. I am the only sane one. If you’re the only sane one of four, you’re going to feel out of place. If you can’t tell I’ve thought this before.

I sometimes think about how odd it is that there are other women who didn’t grow up with dads who told them how fat they were getting. With dads who constantly berated and belittled their mother for her weight (among just a panoply of other things), and somehow even more frequently mentioned how she needed to lose weight, not to mention the constant food bullying. When he himself obviously has an overeating disorder (remember the weight problem). Also opiates make you crave sugar, so that has a strong influence on it too. Ugh, being around him when he was high was awful. He would just talk…and talk…and talk…and talk about nothing for hours. Never once noticing that the only time you spoke was to say “uh huh,” and “yeah” and the other basic social indicators one is paying attention. He did not care, he didn’t want to have a conversation or acknowledge anyone else’s ideas (because that would give them the strong misgiving they were a person whose autonomy was to be respected) he wanted a captive audience whom he was controlling by making them listen to his IN DEPTH movie scene act-outs where he played both characters. MY GOD, I know it sounds funny but it was actually SO upsetting once I figured out how fucked up he had to get to go into that mode.

See now THAT is one really tried and true way to see if someone is actual garbage or not. Do you dislike every version of them? Have you ever known someone whose bipolar who has a likable “up” side? I knew a girl like that in high school, but maybe she wasn’t bipolar as much as had violent mood swings because her childhood was chaos because of her pill head mother and non existent father and string of mom’s boyfriends, also I think one set of grandparents molested her (not lying or exaggerating at all, I would not so such a thing over such a matter). But either way. See I hate every version of my dad, they’re just all insufferable in their own fun little way. I feel that same way about my sister in law, who is certainly bipolar. I can’t stand her when she medicated out of her mind, I can’t stand her when she’s hyper-annoying-happy-make-kind-of-mean-comments, I can’t stand her when she’s…I don’t know she gets so depressed she can’t even move quickly. Like it stiffens the joints. I would know. My entire childhood was very depressing, but you know the longer I have zero exposure to my piece of shit nut job dad and brother (sorry brother but we both know who you’re like) the better i feel. Omg so hard to reason why that might be. Even with the never ending stress and sadness that comes from not being able to have anything to do with my own mother. Who, for her faults is very sweet, and a good person, and she and I were very close when I was young. I was obviously a moody distant teen, but now I guess I can say that I was steeling myself for what was to come. It hasn’t been easy, but I can say it gets better.

Am I telling everyone to cut ties with a toxic and/or narcissistic relative? Well I’m not telling you not to. I mean most people can’t even fathom it as an IDEA. It’s ALL RIGHT. Sometimes, fucking sometimes, we need to let go. You don’t want to. There’s a noticeable amount of pain involved, in a few different ways, but you’re fucking free at the end, you get that right? That’s how you know it was the right move, improvement follows. Isn’t that always the case with our decisions? I’ve had my fair share of good luck along the way, don’t get me wrong – I consider finding my husband when I did as very fortunate…despite…the terrible things we’ve done to one another…. – but I don’t feel like I have many  debits in my “karmic points” category…or however you want to think about it.

Because wouldn’t suffering have meaning if you somehow truly benefited from it? And how is being psychologically healthy when everything around you was not  not the best benefit you could hope for? I’ll admit, there were a few random ass factors that really influenced my natural intelligence into something a girl could really fucking use:
1) I had no competition. Aside from my father’s disappointment that I never found a sport to be good at, I outshone my brother on all plains.
2) I got a lot of positive affirmation. I was frequently praised and rewarded for both good behavior and good grades. From my parents, my Grandma, even teachers at school (sometimes….I feel like I made teachers feel conflicted because I did very well academically but I acted out on occasion, certainly much more than any other girl so I think they hated me. Some of them certainly acted like it).
3) I adapt quickly. This probably is something I learned, to just go with the flow, so to speak, from being in such a chaotic environment.
4) I had access to education and materials meant for a much higher-placed family on the economic ladder. Meaning, I went to private school until I was 18, and I did get a car for free when I was 16….then a different, brand new one when I was 19…..THEN I ended up dating someone from age 21 on whose parents paid our rent up until quite recently. ALSO because of my Grandma then later my mother in law, I’ve always had a person in my life who is incredibly generous, particularly with buying me things, especially clothes and shoes. When my dad was being a shitty prick about how expensive the Memory Care home we had to put my Grandma in cost – Because “you’re supposed to leave something for your children’s children” which I think is my dad perverting some Bible verse – my mom told me that he’d said that to her, implying my Grandma ought to have the decency to die before all of her money ran out and HE didn’t get any, and she was like “And he says that and when you were in high school your Grandma had to buy all of your homecoming dresses.” And that is very true, she bought all 4 homecoming and both prom dresses, and probably paid for the shoes and hair too. I had four fancy black dresses in my closet right now. Assuredly, they’re too small for me right now, but one day. One was for my husband’s cousin’s wedding. One was for a wedding my husband stood up in. One was for my bridal shower with my father in laws extended family. And one was for my undergraduate graduation day. All lovely, and black, and all purchased by the same kind woman. Let it not be said I don’t notice and appreciate her generosity. I did not grow up in a world where you would be like that for someone who did nothing for you. Grandma’s shit had ALL these strings attached.

So, as you can see, some people might envy me my advantages. There’s a few of them. I mean most people don’t have these cheekbones AND these tits…let me tell you. But…I mean I guess I’m more arrogant, or at least arrogant seeming, because I feel like I fucking earned a few advantages. But most people don’t even deserve to know that about me. So let them think what they want. See you don’t care so much what others think when you go about your whole life so well aware they’re so wrong. And, I mean I kind of pity the people who didn’t get to know the older, more self aware version of myself. I guess that’s why we’re hotter when we’re younger, right?

My life has gotten better with every passing year. I don’t say that as a taunt to fate, that things could get so much worse. Because, if you’ve read ANY of my good blogs, the ones people in France just fucking love (my BFF pointed out that people in France would be much more likely to understand the slight fluidity to my marriage’s monogamy….if we want to call it that….I have fucking bad memory flashbacks of the year I wasted so much time and energy and resources on a fucking hopeless alcoholic piece of shit loser….I’ll leave it to my astute readers to remember who that fucking sounds exactly like) then you’ll remember that I HAVE suffered, a lot, recently. But it’s like however low you sink, the peak to come is that much higher? Is that making sense? At this point I can’t be certain if I make sense anymore. I hate it when I lose my topic but I also can’t really help it. See how distracted I get by stories about my dad? Ugh. Must be odd to not have those dark memories.

Husband’s home. Must jet.

 

~Cassie