Too many thoughts, too little time.

Archive for February, 2014

Pick and Choose

7000 sq ft

I know a girl, she is maybe 20? I’m not sure though. We aren’t real close, but Brad and her had been friends, he babysat her and her siblings when they were younger.

She’s been kicked out of her home, and left on her own. Brad’s dad is letting her stay in his house while he waits to sell it (he just got married and moved in with his wife.) The girl was kicked out, luckily with a job, but, very little real world experience. She’s sweet, but, very very naive. Nicky is engaged, and doing pretty well. Though, she’s sad about losing her family.

Nicky has a brother, Eddie. Eddie is even younger. Last year, Eddie was going to marry a girl on the other side of the world, and go straight to her after high school. Maybe it matters, maybe it doesn’t. But, Nicky and Eddie were home schooled. Luckily, foreign girl broke up with Eddie. Eddie was kicked out shortly after Nicky was. Eddie was kicked out because at 18, he told his parents he’d like to look for a job and start saving up to move out. They said if he felt that way he could get out now. So, he did. He moved in with Nicky.

Why was Nicky kicked out though, you might be asking. Nicky was kicked out because she had a boyfriend. Because she won a cruise, and took her boyfriend on the cruise. And, because she wears short skirts. Nicky’s boyfriend is now her fiancé. I’ve met her, and her skirts have gotten, very, very short, and very very tight. I kind of figure it is a phase, she’ll out grow it. She’s figuring out who she is, and what is acceptable, after years of having every thought spoon fed to her. I don’t talk much about Brad’s up bringing, but, it was about like mine. And, Nicky’s was maybe a little better. She seems to have gotten a good education, and Brad says their home was immaculate at all times. But, they were definitely “perfect” Christians. Nicky and Eddie were kicked out because they weren’t good enough.

Recently, Nicky posted a link, her parents’ home is for sale. Her perfect, Christian, parents’ home. Nicky and Eddie have one other sister. So, 3 kids all together. 5 people. The house is 7,000 sq ft. I won’t post the actual home, but the one at the top is the same size. For 5 people. 5 bedrooms, 7 bathrooms. An in-law suite. SEVEN.THOUSAND.SQUARE.FEET. We have 4 people living here, and our home is just about 1,200 sq ft. We could make so with less, honestly. We know that, but, right now we are better off keeping the house than trying to sell.

The kids only did school work 4 days a week, the 5th day was for keeping the house in museum condition. You know…I honestly don’t care what  people do with their money. But it does bother me when people pick and choose what God “meant” in the Bible. Those verses about modest mean you should kick your 19 yr old daughter out for wearing short skirts. But, all that stuff about not building treasures on earth? Totally didn’t mean that. When Jesus told the young rich man to sell all he owned to follow him, that was a parable, it meant…I don’t know, other stuff. Easier for a camel to fit through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to get into heaven? Liberal Bible writers taking Jesus’ words out of context, I’m sure.

Brad said “Well, I mean, they did used to have a lot of church potlucks at their house, so they did need all the space for entertaining.” Ok…So the truila estimated mortgage on the house was around $2500/month. Brad said he knew the electric bills in the summer were about $600/month. Brad and I wanted a party to celebrate our wedding. Our house isn’t big enough for a party. So, we rented a pavilion in the park. There was a nice kitchen, bathrooms, a fireplace, a gigantic park outside, and enough room for probably 15 tables. For the entire day, the pavilion was $150. And that included cleaning afterwards.

I kind of feel like if you are going to use your perfect Christian lifestyle to justify kicking out your child for a miniskirt, you should reexamine some of your perfect lifestyle.

As I wrote this, I found this article, and have to say, I agree with a large portion of it.

When Pastors Live In Multimillion Dollar Mansions, It’s Not A Sign Of God’s Blessing– But Our Sinfulness

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A Success Story, Part 5

Continued from Part 1, Part 2, Part 3 and Part 4

Part 5: Finally, I’m Someone to be Proud Of

I was no longer being held up as a success, I was treated like I didn’t exist at all. After a couple years of going nuts with my freedom, of trying to find myself, of leaving my religion, I decided to right myself. I decided my kids needed a better mommy. I was lucky in that I was able to hide the things I’d done, and kept them out of all of it.

Years passed. I met a nice guy, who I found out later was homeschooled too.  I was not an atheist, but, I don’t know what I was. Certainly not the type of Christian I was raised to be. I stopped drinking. I got a job I liked, in a good environment. I graduated college with one degree, am working on a second now. I am very happily married to that man I mentioned before. I’m a stay at home mom, who homeschools her kids, but keeps them busy outside the home. We don’t go to church. I have friends. We travel a lot. My husband has a great job. I’m well spoken and polite, though somewhat quiet. My kids are happy and healthy. I make sure they get to have friends, and be away from me, so they have the freedom to talk if there is a problem. We have a very cute little house, in a pretty little subdivision. A swimming pool and nice neighbors and two matching cars in the driveway. We do not yell, we do not fight, we do not speak harshly. We are the American Dream. Again, we are held up as examples, of “successful homeschoolers” and “homeschooling done right”.

And, when you look at the rest of my family, it isn’t surprising to see that I’m the one held up as an example now. Because, eventually I turned out ok. It doesn’t matter that it was in spite of my upbringing, not because of it. I guess my one big flaw is I’m not “Christian” but, I’m a nice person and likable, so people seem to not realize I’m not religious. I am the only one to finish college. I’m the only one without huge money problems. I’m the only one who can write and spell. I’m the only one with a clean house, and the only one who cooks well and has people over who aren’t related. One sibling has no motivation to do anything but party and run over their spouse to get their way. Another is in what seems to be an abusive marriage, but, won’t talk to us. Another is just out of their teens and divorced once. Another has been pressuring his fiancé, who is still in high school, for sex. One of them should be in jail. One is well on their way to alcoholism. One adult can’t read. The “baby” is treated as such. He is kept the baby because that’s all my parents know, how to raise babies.  Recently, I confronted my mother about some of the abuse and non-schooling. She said she was sorry for my perception of reality and I was entitled to my own opinion. But, she hopes I can grow enough as a person to forgive my father and move on. Afraid, perhaps I was remembering things wrong, I mentioned it to several of my siblings. They all acknowledged that I had gotten the worst of it, that they remember it.

But nobody ever hears about our pasts, at least, my husband and I have made sure we don’t talk about it. It isn’t a fun subject, it’s humiliating. We don’t want to be known as weird or different. So, nobody knows about the bad. About all the times we were everything parents fear their children will grow in to. Nobody hears about how bad we are at making friends, or fitting in. Nobody knows all the nights we’ve spent, taking turns holding each other and crying, because we are finally able to process the pain and the abuse. Because, we are finally starting to believe, we aren’t worthless, we are likable, we aren’t bad people, and then we wonder, why didn’t our parents want us to know that? Nobody knows the rage that fills us when we hear about how wonderful either of our sets of parents are, or how we should thank them because we turned out so well. Nobody knows that I let my 9 year old brother practically live here, because otherwise mice crawl on him at night when he sleeps. And, he is the only reason I have not cut off all contact with my family. Nobody knows I catch my 18 year old brother sneaking off when he is here, to read the helicopter book I brought home from the library for my 2nd grader.  Nobody knows how I flunked the easiest college math class 4 or 5 times. Nobody knows my mother in law was almost 40 when she started dating a high school boy, and had a baby with him, that baby grew up and is now my husband. Nobody knows how my husband’s father was kept in an abusive situation. Nobody knows how she kept my husband isolated while they moved around the globe. Nobody knows how scared he was of her, when it came time to tell her he was in love with me, because the emotional incest made such an unhealthy relationship.

Nobody talks about anything really. The fact I ran away is no longer mentioned. I’m old enough now people don’t just assume unwed, teenage, mother. In fact, my first husband doesn’t even really exist in the perfect narrative. The length of time my husband and I have been married isn’t brought up. We’ve been together “forever”. (Forever means less than 5 years, in case you were wondering.) It’s pointed out how much the kids look like my husband. And, they really do. It’s nice, I suppose, because it adds to the illusion. Nobody ever asks any questions. It’s easily assumed that we are in our early thirties, and have been married for 11 or 12 years now.

We look pretty, and we aren’t in jail, we are responsible, productive citizens (well, kind of. Brad isn’t a citizen. 🙂 )We are good parents, and our kids behave. So, ask our parents, they will show you our family picture and remind you, homeschooling, and the Pearl method of child raising works.

A Success Story, part 4

Continued from Part 1, Part 2, and Part 3

Part 4: Baby makes 3, and 4, and the Mistress makes 5

I was willing to deal on my own. I told him to get lost, because I didn’t want myself, or the baby to get too attached just to have him leave later. He told me no. He told me it was his baby too, and he was going to be there to raise it. He loved me, and we could work this out, let’s go ahead and move up the wedding and save everyone the embarrassment. I didn’t know what to do, and told him that. A couple months later, my parents found out I was pregnant. They weren’t mad, at this point, but, all they said was “I guess we’ll move the wedding up.” I felt like I couldn’t say I didn’t actually want to marry him, especially since they were handling this incredibly well, for them. I am not a hugely romantic person, I didn’t believe in soul mates, I figured, as long as we both worked at it, we could have a happy marriage together. We got married, and everyone could save face, and again, Punkie is a success story, happily married with a baby on the way at 18, like God intended. When we closed on a house before my 19th birthday, there was even more celebration about how successful their parenting was, because Punkie is living the American Dream. I told them recently, I never wanted to marry Joe, I only did it because they said I had to. Because they said I should have thought of that before I slept with him. Because I remembered them berating other people for not forcing their pregnant teens to marry the father, because that was the consequence of having sex before marriage. So, I accepted my fate. My mother said “oh, we didn’t mean any of that. We didn’t make you marry him.” True, no one held a gun to my head. I guess I never learned to tell when their demands, lessons, etc were meaningful and when they were just talk.

I had grown up and married my father. When Joe would punch holes in the wall, and blame me, I knew just what to do. When he’d throw things at me, I remembered, this was how a loving family acted. There was nothing to talk about, because, it was a given, like saying the sky is blue. Pointless, because, everyone knows, right? When he decided to keep me away from church, it was familiar, and when he eventually took away my access to our car and our money, I stayed quiet, because, I was going to be happily married, even if I was dying inside. Immediately after having our first son, my mother got pregnant again, and relished the comments about how adorable it was that we were pregnant almost together. Laughed and encouraged comments about how I better get busy if I planned to keep up. A while later, I conceived our second son, and shortly after, she got pregnant again too. I still think she wasn’t ready to give up the attention. The only thing in her life people knew was she had a bunch of kids, with weird names, and now, was pregnant at the same time as her daughter. I don’t think she could stand to not be the center of attention. It was humiliating. I said I was done after 2, I wasn’t going to become them, and I wasn’t going to be a joke. I only had my two boys.

Over time, my husband got worse. I was alone, and isolated, with post partum depression and 2 babies. He began cheating. And, I had no social network, no support system. I cried a lot for two years. I tried to go to the church, where I was told that he said he wasn’t cheating and I needed to trust him. The reason he was always home late was because I was such a nag. So, I shut up, and tried to “nice” him into not cheating. Instead, he cheated more, and began abusing me. Pushing, shoving…once, he threw me off the porch, cracking my tailbone. Once, he tried to run me over, while I held our sons hand. The final straw was the night I caught him sending naked pictures to a woman. I lunged for his phone, he threw me down and strangled me until I blacked out. Why did I put up with this? Because, this was what I knew. Because, I kept being “saved” only to be put in a worse situation. Because, my biological father left my mom when he found out about me, and my dad swooped in to “save” me, and I better be thankful he was willing to accept me. Then, Joe came in to save me from dad. While his abuse was ramping up, I was reminded, continuously, that if I left, I’d have to go back to them. I was told I was worthless, all his anger was my fault, nobody would want me. I was told how I drove my biological father away, just by existing, and was such a crappy person, I not only drove one, but two men into abusing me. That nice girls, good girls, didn’t get hurt like I did, because they never made anyone hurt them.

I had no money, no car, no job. I was 21 but had no high school friends to call, because I was never allowed friends. I had no family, because  our relationship had been destroyed. One night, I called my parents for help, I cried and begged. Joe said if they came over, he’d have them arrested for trespassing, and my father’s exact words were “you aren’t worth going to jail for.” Eventually, I called the police, and they took Joe away. He and I have not been a couple since that night. Can you guess what I did? You know who is perfectly willing to befriend pretty, naive, hurt, scared, 22 yr olds? Men. In fact, my insanely low self esteem, and non-existent support system made me the perfect target. I was looking for friends, for help, for somebody to say I wasn’t worthless, I hadn’t been used up like a piece of gum, I wasn’t undesirable, I wasn’t “used”.  I was getting my first real taste of being on my own, and had no idea what to do. I slept around, I got a job at a bar where I spent most my time drunk, I had various relationships that were based on everything but love.

When it Rains it Pours

So, after basically neglecting this blog for awhile, I have the drafts of a half dozen posts or so started.

I don’t even know where to go with them.

What do we want to read next?

We have the rest of the success story.

The 7000 sq ft home vs the mini skirt?

Amish Bikinis?

The Introverted Marriage?

The Mommy Wars: It takes a Village?

Your Wedding is Not Actually a Production? (Alternate Title, “You are not a princess, and there is no happily every after.” What can I say, I’m a romantic.)

Stop Asking for my Advice when What You Really Want is My Approval?

And let’s not forget the many half started rants about home schooling and abuse.

None of the posts are finished, I just have the start before I forgot. I have a lot to say lately. And, now it’s time for me to get the kids from Grandma (my x’s mom). So, I shall try to write in my head while I think this through.

A Success Story, Part 3

Continued from Part 1 and Part 2

Part 3: A Graduation, A Mustang, and A Teenage Mother

I had dreams and goals. One was to join the military, and get far away. I actually finished my junior and senior year at the same time. I never said anything, but when it was slow at work, or when I was babysitting all my siblings so my parents could grocery shop for 6 hours an evening, I did homework. They never checked or looked at it. I even graded it myself, so I could be sure I was getting my answers correct. They didn’t know until the college acceptance letters started rolling in. Texas, Florida, Ohio, Georgia, California…anywhere but here. I ended up getting a full ride scholarship to a state school 3 hours away, so, I began to pack, while my mother sobbed about me being so far away. But, I was going, damn it. So, I packed, and I told anyone who would listen. Luckily, our church wasn’t super conservative, so, I was encouraged in this pursuit. I even got a senator who went to our church to write me a letter of recommendation, so, he was a big help when he talked to my parents about me. There would be no hiding this and guilting me into staying home. (Unfortunately now, that senator is a huge home schooling advocate. He often blocks anything that may change the status quo, which in this state is basically nothing.)

This is always my parents’ first response when people don’t think homeschooling is great. That Punkie got a full ride scholarship to a good school, therefore homeschooling is good, and they are amazing parents. They never mention that I flunked literally every single class that semester I was gone. That, I didn’t make any friends. That they brought me home every single weekend.  But, I got into the good school, so, I am a success story.

Before I left, I got myself a boyfriend. I didn’t even really intend to. He was cute, and seemed like somebody I could get into some trouble with. We were going to college in opposite directions, and to be honest, I was tired of this burdensome “virginity” thing following me around. I was tired of modesty and acting right, because otherwise, I was a slut and men only cared about sex, and please insert your own used, dirty, useless, worthless, disgusting gum, tape, whatever analogy here. I didn’t want to get married for 15 more years, and I was not going to put up with this forever. So, I wanted to go ahead and get the first time out of the way, and move on. I never planned on a real relationship, and from what I had learned about men, he would be ok with that.

He wasn’t. And, I had been taught that love meant never standing up for yourself, it was long suffering, and if it involved pain and yelling and abuse, well, it was normal and probably your fault anyway. So, when the boy, Joe, began to fly his red flags proudly, I supported him, because he loved me, he said. And, when he reminded me, I was worthless, it hurt, but I was comfortable, I was used to this. He must REALLY love me, because that is how you treat people you love. After my first semester at college, I was put on academic probation. My parents told me if I would just come home, they would buy me a Mustang. I love cars, especially sports cars. Since I was doing so poorly at school, I agreed. I moved home, they found out about my bad grades and said I only came home because of my grades, not because I missed them, and, I never got the car.  I still pine after that 1967 Royal Blue Mustang they told me I could have.

Joe began pressuring me to get married. I said yes, because I never learned to say no. I was 17 and clueless. A few months went by, and he treated me worse. I thought long and hard about it, and decided, this was not what I wanted, it would not work. As we sat in his Accord, I told him, while I loved him, I could not marry him at this point, and we needed to call off the wedding. He begged me to give him a little while to process it, before having to deal with the embarrassment. I gave it to him. A couple weeks later the pregnancy test came back positive.

A Success Story, Part 2

Continued from here

Part 2: The Runaway and the Bad Influence

At 13, I decided I’d had enough. My mother was going to the hospital to have another kid. I was to babysit and put the kids to bed, and my grandma would come over and stay the night after that. I planned, I packed. I wrote my letter, and I shook out of anger and fear all day. I made the meals, and did the homework and put them all to bed. I needed to be taken seriously, so, I spent all day basically beating myself. Hitting, smashing my arms in doors, running into walls. Over and over. I was hurting so badly. My grandma got there, and I told her I was going to bed. She eventually fell asleep. I called my best friend and her mom, and they came and got me. I sneaked out of the house, nobody heard a thing. Nobody knew I was missing until late that night my dad called to tell us we had a new brother. By then, I was already at the police station. I told them everything. I tried to tell them the current bruises were self-inflicted, but we needed help. They were abusive, they were neglectful, they were not teaching anything, we were not being home schooled so much as we were being kept isolated. One officer sat down in front of me and took my hands, he said “If these are not from your dad, recently, we have to take you home, right now. We don’t have a choice. You have to have something we can work with now. Now, are you sure these didn’t come from today? Or do we need to take you back to your dad tonight?”  It was about 2am, I was exhausted, and terrified. This wasn’t going how I had planned. So, I said yes, they were new, they were from him, I was scared. Please help me.

I spent 2 days with my best friend, 3 days in foster care, then had court. On the stand, sworn to tell the truth, I told the judge the bruises were self-inflicted, but we did need help. I didn’t know at that time, my parents knew the judge, and they got HSLDA to help them. In fact, 6 months later, we would switch churches and attend the judges.  I told my story, and I was sent to live with my grandparents for 3 months.  The mental and emotional abuse continued, but, this time it was just through phone calls, and court ordered therapy sessions to get to the root of why I “was a liar.” The therapy was though my mother’s therapist, who told me that of course they were angry and short tempered, they had a bunch of kids who would not do what they should, the abuse would stop when we behaved better. My grandmother eventually put me in counseling to get over the counseling.

I was eventually returned home, because my accusations were unsubstantiated. I was told a CPS worker would coming to the house every month for 6 months to check on us. Nobody ever came. I convinced myself that it must not be that bad, I mean, these people were there to help, and they all said I didn’t need help. So, I guess it wasn’t abuse. And, then it got worse.

They wouldn’t allow any family to visit anymore, because they had shown that they would “steal” us, and believe lies. I was not allowed to attend church functions. I wasn’t allowed to have friends. I wasn’t allowed to be involved with any activities, for years. I did my homework, I planned a new escape, I kept the house clean, I cooked, and I took my siblings punishments. All while being blamed for anything that went wrong. Any disobedience in my siblings was my fault, I had “taught them to be rebellious.” I was once punished for shouting “Oh yeah? Then who taught me?” Any time I wanted anything, I was mocked or got a guilt trip, because I didn’t deserve it after all I put them through.

I had a job, but, it was at my aunt’s business. I was the only employee, brought in to work when they had to go out of town. I didn’t have much to do most the time, so, I did school work, chatted online, and read books. I learned a lot about the outside world from that experience. I remember times locking up and walking a couple blocks through town to get a soda at lunch, both terrified my parents would show up then to check on me, and think I was lying about where I was, but also thrilled at this little bit of freedom. I saved money, while listening every day to my mother complain about how much time and money it took to take me to work. Because, of course I couldn’t be trusted to have a license at 16, what if I ran away again? I was often late to work, because my mother has never thought being on time was important.

Things were always so frustrating. I hadn’t changed after running away, except for getting angrier. The people who should have helped, didn’t. I was branded a liar, when I felt I didn’t have a choice. The fact the court cleared them meant they were viewed as amazing parents who had a rebellious child, tricked by Satan into hurting these amazing people. Yes, I was a direct attack from Satan on them. Me.

They got hugs and sympathy at church. Meanwhile, other parents told their kids they weren’t allowed around me, because I was a bad influence. My parents were applauded for how well we behaved. Of course we did, the price for giggling too loudly in church was too high to pay. We weren’t allowed in Sunday school for years, because my mother couldn’t bear to have us away from her. One of her favorite sayings, even today, she talks continuously about how she wants to buy 100 acres in the middle of nowhere, and we all can live there together, and she can be surrounded by her children because she loves them so much and can’t stand to be away from them.  When all 10 of us “quietly” tried to sneak into church 15 minutes late, and of course we ALL had to sit together, there was always a lot of noise as we got people to move for us. And, nobody dared say anything about it, because my mother was always quick to tell how difficult it was to get 8 children ready for church so early. She never told how we were all up and ready before her and dad woke up. She never told how we’d sit on the sofa at time to leave, and hear them having sex almost every week. She never told how she complained loudly about church, how she didn’t want to go, how they should just have their own church at home, where her kids could be with her all the time, and never around bad influences (except Punkie, of course.).

I Can’t Help

God, I don’t even know what to do anymore. I really don’t.

I should call CPS on them, on all of them.

But…they won’t do anything. My ex calls CPS on me periodically…and they basically told me unless I’m doing drugs WITH the kids, they won’t do anything.

So, we perpetuate the cycle.

Mice running along my parents counters. Over them while they sleep. A 9 yr old who can’t read and when you try to help, his mother is quick to say he can read, he’s just a liar trying to make her look bad.

A 7 yr old with no chores, whose school consists of a coloring page now and again, because “he’s a baby”.

One sister who seems to be slowly disappearing behind her husbands’ controlling personality and whiny tantrums.

Another who refuses to grow up. But is quick to judge others, while she takes advantage of everyone and everything. She’s raising children in everyone else’s homes, and letting them live in squalor.

A brother who is happier being basically homeless, living on his girlfriend’s parents couch, rather than with his parents.

A grown brother who can’t read. An illiterate Incredible Hulk.

A depressed brother who lets people take advantage of him and is learning well how to be an alcoholic. I took him food the other day, just to check up on him. He has new roommates…the sister with the kids mentioned before. There is not one inch of floor space not covered in something, in the whole house. He was asleep when I walked in, you can’t walk through. I was glad I had boots on. No food in the fridge, but plenty of cigarettes on the counter. Bags of trash on the porch. It was such a pretty house.

I could tell you so much more. Everybody talks to me. I know all the secrets. And it’s too big a burden to bear. I wish they’d stop.

I don’t know how to help. I just don’t.

If I try to tell one sister she doesn’t have to let him control her, she tells me how I don’t understand, I let my former marriage ruin it. Her husband is amazing, because, whenever she goes out, he calls her right back for a surprise.

If I try to talk to other sister, I have no credibility, because I had a lot of sex and lived with my husband before I was married, AND let my kids visit their father. The Bible says I’m evil, but says nothing about trashing your brother’s home. So, she wins? Plus, apparently I’m jealous of her. And, if you think anyone does anything wrong, you need to work on your forgiveness.

The illiterate brother pretends he can read, and he kind of sort of can, so there is no problem that needs help, right?

The baby is the baby and just doesn’t understand how to sit still and do ANYTHING, and it really hurts his mother’s feelings that we don’t like him, her kids were raised to be close to their siblings. (yeah, because I’m totally gonna chill with a SEVEN year old who acts 3.)

I’ve been where the depressed brother is… Nobody could have helped me, I needed to help me. I’ve tried to be there, but, when he’s doing all this stuff…I don’t know what to do.

I moved in with my parents, and the kids and I shared one room for a year. And, I was told I was a horrible person who was lazy and took advantage of everyone. But, not a word is said to the others who won’t support themselves.

The engine blew on the car I was driving, it wasn’t my car. And, I was yelled and screamed at, for destroying everyone’s cars. I have a reputation of being a bad driver and reckless. I’ve gotten one ticket, ever. It was a seatbelt violation.

I couldn’t understand algebra and I was stupid. The 7 yr old can’t understand how to put away a freaking spoon and it’s because he is a baby.

I went to court to get help, and was branded a liar.

I was raised that all the other ones were my responsibility. If they did anything wrong, it was because I taught them. And, I should have cleaned up after them. I love them, and that training is hard to shake.

But, they’ve all set me in a catch 22….I’m the bad guy, I’m the bad one. If it wasn’t for me, they would all be perfect. My life is good now, but, I have no credibility. I taught them the bad stuff. I’m an irresponsible, reckless, lazy, stupid, liar. Or at least, that’s what we’ve all been taught. So now…I want to help, but nobody wants my help.

Seeing any of them makes me so sad.

I can’t help if you don’t want my help.

I’ve offered. I’ve offered to teach the 9 year old. They don’t want to spend the gas to bring him to me. I’ve offered to help with the 7 yr old, but, if you ever say anything but “good job” to him, he destroys things and hits people. I’ve offered to help the Hulk with reading, he grins and says he doesn’t even like to read, it’s pointless. I’ve tried to take controlled sister out and talk, not to lecture, just to give her a chance to say something if she needs to. Her husband shows up wherever we are to surprise her. I’ve babysat for evil sister, and picked up drunken brother from the strip club with no judgment. But then they all get mad at me for thinking I’m better than them. So, I can’t do or say anything.

I’m not even angry about the unfairness of it all now. I’m sad. I’m realizing how all those messages growing up destroyed any chance to help today.

I just have to step away, don’t I? If they ask for help, I can help…but, until then…for my own sanity I think I just need to stop. To stop trying. Despite what I have been taught, their life, their successes are not actually my responsibility. I didn’t teach them all the bad. That is illogical, because if I had that much influence, shouldn’t some of the good have worn off too? I’m never thanked for teaching long division, or swimming. No, just berated for the bad.

But, if i step away, who is the safety net? Especially for the little kids?

I am so very torn up over all of this. I need to take a stand, but, then I lose them all. Even the little ones. My kids lose their friends and more family.

Sometimes, I wish Brad’s boss would tell him he has to come out to the office to work. We’d get to leave, and not be the bad guys. I left for his work, not because i think i’m better than everyone. But, I don’t think that’s best for us either.

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