Too many thoughts, too little time.

Posts tagged ‘life’

I Do Not Have One Negative Memory

*she said sarcastically*

I now have a very light relationship with my parents. I’m not sure how one even has a real relationship when they are told that they only want to be heard from if they can remain non-controversial. Which means, only speak to us if you agree with everything.

But, I have to take the boys back to IN, and I stay at Grandma’s to crash for the night before going back to GA the next morning. I don’t stay in IN. And, Grandma lives next to Mom and Dad.

I’ve really attempted to not insert my opinions. Heck, I’ve even kept my mouth shut about facts. Because facts seem to have a liberal bias at their house. Soooo…what is there to safely talk about while they preach about Donald Trump being the best thing to happen since sliced bread? What is there to say when they grill my 9 yr old about why he doesn’t go to church? (“because I won’t give him the car keys” isn’t met with as much laughter as I had hoped)

So, friends! I can talk about my friends! This is good right? Ann is my best friend, they know this. Great, so far so good. Ann got me a Christmas present! I am on a roll, nothing “controversial” here. It was amazingly thoughtful. I had told her, a long time ago, how much I loved Barbie as a kid. And, how because there were always babies in my parents house, I was never allowed to keep Barbie’s shoes or accessories. Because the “baby might choke”. So for Christmas Ann brought me in a big box…with a Barbie, and 3 outfits, and a closet full of accessories. Probably 15 pairs of shoes, sunglasses, necklaces, purses, everything.

I finished my story, and my mother said “that’s ridiculous. You lie. You had dozens of pairs of Barbie shoes. We never got rid of them, you always lost them or didn’t take care of them. It wasn’t that great of a gift.”

So, I just said “well, I thought it was a cool gift anyway” and she said “fine, but just know, you always had the shoes.”

I dropped it. But, then I had a 12 hour drive back home with my husband. I remember. I remember crying as the threw the little stuff away. I remember my dad telling me if I didn’t shut up he’d give me “a reason to cry.” (which i always thought was stupid, obviously, I have a reason to cry,hence why i am crying) or, alternatively, telling me if I didn’t shut up, then we could just throw away all my Barbies. I remember, the choking explanation was used for why we weren’t allowed to have Legos either. I remember deciding the Barbies in swimsuits weren’t worth getting because we couldn’t get them wet, because mom said it would ruin their hair. I remember the Barbies were stored in this neon pink suit case, it was a hard case, it was little. Not a real suit case. I remember it had purple latches, and a purple handle, and the latches slid closed sideways, they didn’t flip up. I remember you had to make sure there was no tulle or satin or anything else not entirely within when you tried to close it, or it wouldn’t latch. I remember my favorite dress for Barbie was an orange-peach strapless column dress…it was satin and had a green velvet trim around the top. And, sewn to the waist were like, triangles of tulle, staggered and layered, so the tulle poofed out and had a bunch of different pointy ends, just shorter than the satin. I can clearly remember all of this…but I’m completely wrong about the shoe thing? And, believe me, if there is one thing I’m rarely wrong about, it’s shoes.

So, I started thinking back to the things that I’ve said as an adult that piss off my parents. And, I figured it out.

If I remember anything positive, they say that is exactly how it happened, they can’t believe i remember, I have such a great memory.

ANYTHING negative though is met with “no we didn’t”, “that’s a lie”, “you can’t remember that, you were too young”, “why are you always trying to pick a fight”

Even if it isn’t anything “bad”. I didn’t mention the shoe thing to accuse them of doing anything wrong. I didn’t tell my friend to play the martyr. It was more of a wistful memory “I would have liked that, but the baby would have choked on the shoes, so I couldn’t have it”. That was it. I didn’t attack my parents, I didn’t ridicule, I didn’t say it was stupid. I just said “I wanted this, and it didn’t work out”.

Any memory I have that isn’t positive is a lie, according to them. That I made it up because I want them to look bad.  Yes…because I’m really sitting here going “you know what would really make my parents look bad to my 35 yr old friend? if I tell her how I wasn’t allowed to have Barbie shoes when I was 6.”

How can ALL of my negative memories be wrong, while all my positive ones are exactly correct? I feel like I’m pretty fucked up for someone who had such a perfect childhood.

I’m going somewhere with this, I think. But, I’m at 900 words and I need to go walk the dog before the thunderstorms/tornados are completely in the area.

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.

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.).

Dealing with the Problem

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I got a gift card to a Christian bookstore for Christmas. I have a Bible I really like. I have a cover I really like. I don’t need a cross necklace or a shirt that seems to be about the video game Halo at first glance, and then upon reading you find out is actually a Bible verse. I don’t listen to much Christian music. I found some artwork I kind of liked, but, Brad is going through a “if you are Christian, you shouldn’t have to advertise it!” thing right now, and wrinkled his nose, and especially since I didn’t love the paintings, I left them there. But, I found these mugs. They were cute. And, they were the size I like for my morning coffee. And, they were heavy. Not the kind that burn your hands when you microwave them. So, this is what I bought.

Now, speaking of loving my husband, I thought I’d update after my last post. Brad really was driving me nuts when I wrote that. But, how to deal? So, I had a nice long talk with myself. I think I avoid being put in the crazy bin over these one-sided conversation because they are reasonable. Was he really doing anything wrong? No, he was not. Was he a jerk? No. Was I really mad at him or was he a safe place to direct some anger? Crap…maybe he doesn’t deserve this. But then, I’d try to find other things to be mad at him about. So, he’d deserve it.

And, I decided to stop it. If I loved him, which I do. And, if I wanted to have a happy marriage, which I do, then I couldn’t go around looking for trouble. I decided while I was still very frustrated with him, and being very vocal about how frustrated I was, that I was being kind of a jerk, and I had told him plenty that was wrong, but little that was right. He went back to work, and I started writing him e-mails. One a day. Sometimes I started in the morning and added to it throughout the day, sometimes it was rushed in the few minutes before we talked on the phone at night. But, he got an e-mail everyday telling him sometimes specific I loved or appreciated about him.

He’s home now for the holidays, so, the e-mails stopped. But, I am not as annoyed or as short-tempered this time. And, instead of looking for problems, I’ve actually been taking note of little things to tell him I love, to keep up the e-mails once in awhile. It seems to have helped, and I’m enjoying doing it. And, the temptations from November seem to be gone. I’m pretty excited about it.

Point of View

point of viewI keep reading about how Facebook and social media are partially to blame for people having depression. How people only show the good stuff, and are basically “bragging” or “self-promoting”. Here are 2 links, but there are many more you can search for.

Facebook Envy

Facebook and Self Esteem

I can see how these arguments make sense. If your life is kind of sucky right now, you don’t want to see your friends vacations and you will get envious. However, I question whether Facebook is causing envy and depression because of all these people showing off. Or, if the people who are having negative effects from Facebook are more likely to be depressed and envious anyway.

I hate that positive people are seen as bragging. I’ve been working on my attitudes, and trying to become more positive. No, my life isn’t perfect, and often it is quite boring. That doesn’t mean there aren’t good things, even if they are little. That doesn’t mean there isn’t anything beautiful in the mundane. About a month ago we were involved in a car accident. Aussie had some burns and torn up skin on his arm. I had an asthma attack (powder from the air bags) and a broken foot. We had been coming home after going with Aussie for work in PA. We didn’t have to go, he could have flown. But, we did, can’t change it now. It isn’t going to stop us from driving anywhere again. I got asked “was it worth it?” Yes, it was. We saw amazing east coast scenery and forests that looked like paint had been spilled on them. We got to stay in a really nice hotel. We got to spend a couple extra days with Aussie. And,nobody was really seriously injured. Yes, I mentioned the wreck on Facebook. But, there were 5 other positive, good posts. I didn’t post a picture of the car, I posted this.

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That picture up top? The pond and the weeping willow? I see that every morning on my walk. It is maybe 2 blocks from my house. It’s pretty. I had a lot of people tell me how pretty it was, asking where it was. It is pretty. I was posting the pretty. I suppose, to be real I should have turned around and taken a picture of the houses with the metal fences. I should have zoomed out so you could see the goose poop all over the sidewalk. I should have shown you, that weeping willow is draped over the sidewalk, really, quite in the way. If you ride your bike, you will either go in the pond, hit the fence, or get slapped in the face with branches. I should have shown you, on the other side of the hill ,across the pond, is the interstate. And, under the interstate is a railroad track. You can stand and see the pretty view, and hear honking and train whistles, and one time I even heard a semi truck accident.

When we posted pics from our honeymoon, I posted one from Belize. Because we found Belize kind of scary.

I have my truck up for sale, and got a “new” car. Wow, totally something to be jealous of. I posted a picture of it. Then, Aussie got one too. Like, 2 weeks later. All I said was we got new cars. I didn’t say why, I didn’t say because we’d kind of been living right on the edge of our means, and trading to 2 G6s meant we saved about $300/month on gas, $50/month on a car payment, AND will have the one paid off in the spring, rather then 4 years from now, like with Aussie’s truck. So, we’ll save even more on a car payment. We both hated to see the Jeep go, but, this is life, we ended up with a couple nice cars that we like, so, make do and make the best of it.

Is this being inauthentic? Or is it just looking at the good? We did have a good time in PA. That spot is pretty. We do like our cars, and they were new to us.

I think everybody should start posting “bragging” photos. If people started looking for the good, they’d find it. Don’t envy your friend going to the fancy restaurant for dinner, post a picture of the perfect french toast you made for dinner. Don’t get pissy because I posted a picture of our vacation to the mountains, when you LIVE in the mountains, or within an hours drive of the ocean.  Yes, I’ve been on about 10 trips so far this year. A vast majority of them to a. either see my husband at work or b.visit family. So, don’t be envious or depressed. Post pictures of your family, who you only had to walk across the street to say hi. Post photos of your husband and kids eating dinner together on a Tuesday night. I’ll tell you, those ones make me slightly envious. Don’t put down your neighborhood, find a pretty spot and enjoy it.

Nobody’s life is perfect all the time. I promise. So, stop being envious over what you are seeing, because you don’t know the whole story. And, please try to go find some good, and some pretty in your own life. I promise it’s there. I think it is kind of hard to feel depressed and envious when you are finding good things in your life. And, if you find yourself honestly becoming depressed because of Facebook, your account can be deactivated for a time. I have had to before. Your stuff will all be there when you go back. Just get some space.

And, speaking of finding the good. Go watch the video I’ll link at the end of the post. It’s safe for work.  We see all the time on the news terrible stories. We see security footage of people being robbed, of children being abducted, of car wrecks. But, there is good security footage as well.

Positive Security Footage.

Be Careful Who You Hate

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I saw this bumper sticker on a car on the way to Detroit last weekend. You can get it here.

It really hit home for me, because it applies to far more than just homosexuals.

We joke all the time that we are in big trouble when our neighbor realizes how much she hates me. She really does, she is quite gossipy, and talks a lot, about everyone. I keep my mouth shut, but sometimes I just want to be like “yeah, I’m a liberal, who celebrates Halloween, doesn’t go to church, cusses, and wore bright white for my 2nd wedding.” All things she’s been vocal about how much she hates.

If anyone in my family knew the real me, they’d hate me. Because they’ve made it very clear they hate everyone like me.

If Aussie’s mother actually knew us, she’d hate us. Because she hates everyone like us.

If someone grows up their whole life hearing how gay people are perverted, and sinners and going to hell, do you really think they will tell you they are later?

If someone hears their whole life how abortion is murder and how any woman who has an abortion should be killed, or at the very least sewn shut so she can’t ever enjoy sex again, do you really think she’ll tell anyone she had an abortion?

If someone hears their whole life how America is the best country ever and if you don’t like it, you should just leave it, permanently, do you think they are going to volunteer that they actually think America is the world’s bully?

If someone hears their whole life about how God is real and you must never, ever question it or you go to hell, do you think they are going to go to those people with questions?

And, guess what, those horrible things that have been said? Those judgmental attitudes? They don’t actually stop the acts or the thoughts, they just make the “bad” person keep it to themselves and suffer alone.

Now, excuse me, I think I need to buy a bumper sticker.

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