Too many thoughts, too little time.

Posts tagged ‘negative energy’

Feeling Let Down

I struggle to write what is on my mind, because I feel like it makes me sound so…stuck up? Full of myself? I’m not sure, I’m just fairly sure I don’t come across as I would like to, as I mean to.

You know the Bible verse, the one about leaving your parents and cleaving to your spouse?  We are still in the newlywed category, and to be honest, I didn’t expect either family to make it quite so easy. Neither one of us has a huge amount of friends, but, we both have huge families. And, I think we are both feeling sad and dissapointed lately.

 

Yeah, exactly how I’m feeling.

I won’t tell Aussie’s story, because it isn’t mine to tell. But, I will tell some of mine. I started algebra this semester. I’ve taken this class 4 or 5 times. I fail every time. I’ve taken the remedial math, I’ve done all the homework, and then some. I’ve been to tutoring, I’ve asked for help, I’ve spoken to the teachers. I just don’t get it. So, I try again.

And, this class is now bringing up HUGE feelings of disappointment and resentment towards my family. My parents especially.

I was homeschooled. I never got much of a reason why. Actually, let me rephrase, I had a continuously changing reason why, that ebbed and flowed with the passing trends that made public schools “bad”. When I could counter their arguments, I was told that was never the reason, they never said that, and the real reason was XYZ. What are some of these reasons?

  • I was too smart for public school.
  • I was bored.
  • I might be around bad influences.
  • Prayer has been taken out of schools.
  • God has been taken out of schools.
  • They teach evolution!
  • I was unhappy there, apparently.
  • My sister hated going to school, so obviously it was bad.
  • School shootings!!!
  • God told them to take me out of school.
  • Public schools were/are sinful and God commands us not to sin just because it is popular.

I am sure there are a lot more, but, you get the idea. Homeschooling to my mom meant she slept in until 11, talked to her friend on the phone for a couple hours a day, handed me a stack of books and told me I was responsible for independent study. I have a 17 yr old brother who is practically illiterate, and a sister I think may have dyslexia. But, nobody must know, you can’t get help, because then people MIGHT think you aren’t doing things right and put the kids in school!

I ran away when I was 12ish. I told them my dad was abusive, and my parents were not home schooling us. They were handing over books, and only noticing when pages were completely blank. Nothing ever got checked. I told them about my siblings. I told the police, I told CPS, I told the judge, I told family. I was terrified, and a child. My parents would call me, screaming “You’re a fucking liar!” Nobody ever asked to see the books, nobody ever checked in on anything. My grandma had to put me in therapy to get me past the “family therapy” my parents put me in. Which consisted of all 3 adults calling me a liar, and trying to get to the root cause of why I was a liar. Except I wasn’t.

3 months later the judge sent me home. Did I mention, the judge was friends with my parents? Yeah, stupid preteen me didn’t know enough to point out how wrong this was. We started going to his church a few months later.

So, I went home. Nothing changed on the school front, but, my dad got less abusive, especially to everyone else, so, I counted at least that part as well worth all the trouble. And, I decided I was getting out of there. I did my homework, I struggled through math. When I asked for help, my parents told me they didn’t understand. When I asked for them to get me help, we couldn’t afford it. When their friends offered to help, my parents complained about how far it was to drive, and how if I was struggling so bad, maybe I could just skip the ONE youth group activity I was allowed a month so I could study more. So, when 14 yr old me was offered this choice, obviously, I choice to skip tutoring. Which, obviously meant, I understood the work, I just wasn’t willing to do it. My junior year of high school, I took the answer book. My mom never noticed. It wasn’t to cheat, it was to check my work, then to rework it until I understood it. I spent hours working on this. Nobody ever knew.

I graduated a yr early, and got a full ride scholarship to the big state school. It was the worst thing I ever did. Because, my parents have spent the last 10 yrs saying that obviously they do an amazing job at homeschooling, and obviously it is superior to all other schooling, because, well, look at Punkie.

Oddly, they never mention Punkie flunked out her first semester. Got ALL Fs.

They never mention Punkie has failed algebra 5 times now. And, has no idea what is going on, no idea how to understand. The ass backwards ways I taught myself in high school are screwing me over now.

You know, I’ve spent the last 15 yrs trying to take responsibility for my failures, trying to own my own shit, trying to not blame others. I’m tired of it. I’m tired of taking responsibility for problems that I didn’t cause.

I cringe whenever I see one of my siblings facebook posts. My one sister is trying to start a photography business, and has a page for it. Nothing is spelled right. My other sister works at Salvation Army because the pay is amazing. My little brother had to take the ASVAB test 4 times before he BARELY got a high enough score to get into ANY military branch. My other brother, the 17 yr old, reads the helicopter books I bought for my 8 yr old when he thinks nobody is looking. But, never any other book.

I have another younger brother, he’s a teenager, and yesterday I told my mom, over the weekend I did about 250 math problems. I was assigned 60, but I am really trying to pass. My mom said “I guess we know who can help with math now!” then she tells me about my brother, how he’s so good at math. He never follows the instructions, but gets the right answer. Just like me. I told  her, that is really, really causing problems for me now. I explained why. She laughed and said “Well, I just have to get him through high school, college can teach him what he really needs to know.”

I could have about cried.

I’ve offered to teach the kids. If you look at my kids school work…I spend HOURS every week, preparing for the next week. I spend hours teaching them, going over things over and over again. I actually grade all the work. I have a lesson plan. I have a base curriculum and add to it, to make my own, making some things more difficult. Adding pages where I know they struggle. I’ve offered…my mom doesn’t want to spend the gas money. Her and dad can go out to eat a few times a week, but, can’t spend $4 a day to bring the kids over for help.

I’m so angry that I am paying for their choices now. I’m so angry that nobody listened to me when I tried to get help. I’m so angry that it is too late for my siblings. I’m angry that my family is almost PROUD of being ignorant. Of the fact they don’t need no college. I’m angry my brothers don’t even realize how much they don’t know. I’m angry they have been unknowingly sentenced to a lifetime of factory work or retail, without their consent. I’m angry that I struggle so much with some of these subjects, but, I certainly can’t complain, because then I hear about how if I was really concerned I would have studied and not signed the boys up for sports, so I would have more time. And, I’m angry all the times I do well, I am held up as the poster child for all the great things about homeschooling. My parents had nothing to do with any of the things I am good at. I taught myself! I had to!

You know what? I’m not that freaking special or smart or successful. Actually, I take it back, I am smart. I decided to do better, and I did. But, I somehow saw there was more to life than what my parents taught us. I’m the only one who did. I’m not special, I’m not successful. I look like it. I look like a spoiled brat most the time. I’ve got a great relationship, and two kids that are somehow amazing, in spite of all they have been through. And, I can’t even talk about my life, because I sound so stuck up. I just got back from a trip to Montana, right after the trip to Florida, and I leave for a cruise in about 6 weeks. I’ve got a Tiffany box sitting on my coffee table, and a pile of clothes with the tags still on them. I went out for coffee almost every day this summer. And, I’m not saying this to brag, I’m not. I’m using to to show, how “look at Punkie!” has become a source of pride for my parents. They miss that they coerced me into marrying an abusive asshole the first time. They don’t seem to get it… all this great stuff? It has NOTHING to do with me, nothing. It is a result of Aussie’s success. HIS parents can use it as an argument for homeschooling. Mine can not. Because, it has NOTHING to do with me, and FAR less to do with them and their teaching skills. And to be honest, a huge majority of my spoiled persona has cost us practically nothing. Airlines give lots of free perks, as do hotel chains, and rental car companies. When the company pays for the Starbucks, and you can give your wife the card, she gets the free syrups and refills and extra perks. So, again, I’d like to say, don’t judge me too harshly on this one, because if the company Aussie worked for didn’t allow him to keep the perks, and instead made him use frequent flier miles to get to work, or that sort of thing, we would look exactly like every other young couple with a couple kids.

I do’t even know what the point of writing this was. I just needed to get it all out. I am so angry and so resentful right now. I feel like I’m outgrowing my family and it’s a lonely feeling.

Plants and Life

Forgive me if this sounds too New Age-y, but I’ve been thinking about it all morning.

Positive and negative energy.

I’m sure you’ve heard people joke around about talking to plants. It seems amusing, even I can admit that. It’s been a running joke at our house I can keep cut flowers alive and pretty far longer than I can potted plants. I’ve killed so many plants I may very well be on some sort of EPA watch list. That certainly hasn’t been my goal.

I remember when I first got married, my grandpa gave me a couple Aloe Vera plants. admittedly, those are not hard to grow, but they were alive, even through lack of attention for a few years. Eventually, things went down hill quickly and drastically in my marriage, and the plants both died within weeks. Completely unable to be revived. I remember crying as I threw them away. Our fish died about the same time too. I felt, apparently, I couldn’t keep anything alive, not my marriage, not my fish, not my plants. It was incredibly depressing.

Not one to give up, I’d try again and again. I’d bring plants into this house full of anger and poison, and they would die. Is it any wonder, when I look back I felt parts of me were dying too? DA finally left, I was so heart-broken and angry. I’d keep bringing home plants, just to watch them die, no matter how much attention they were given. I left that house, but kept my attitude…2 yrs of watching daisies and ferns and various other plants turn brown, shrivel up, and die.

I was eventually able to get my own apartment, and because I am stubborn, I bought a little bamboo plant. I watered it and took care of it, and it thrived. I was doing well, and finally getting a handle on things. Winter came, and our heat wasn’t working, and the landlord wouldn’t answer his phone. I had space heaters, but they tended to trip the fuse overnight, so, we’d wake up to a 40 degree house. The kids and I began sleeping in the same bed, with an electric blanket, and 10 other blankets. We considered it a win when we woke up and the house was all of 55 degrees. I began to panic, and wonder if maybe I wasn’t a good mom, maybe the kids should be with their dad. I couldn’t even keep them warm in the winter.  Now, the little bamboo plant started to die. I started staying up at Brad’s more often, because he had heat. Even if he wasn’t home, the kids would be warm. And I left my plant behind. But, I was happy, the kids were happy. When I went home, I’d try to remember to water it, I’d look for the warmest place to put it. I always kind of figured THIS was the day I’d go home, and the plant would be completely dead. But, it kept surprising me.

We finally decided to actually live together. The almost completely brown bamboo plant came with us. And, it found a home in the kitchen, where it somehow slowly turned green again. Deciding to try my luck, I bought an orange and a lemon tree, and put them in the kitchen window. I hoped I’d have them a month. 9 months later they seem to almost double in size every week. I bought 2 more bamboo plants. Bamboo is supposed to be lucky, right? I figured it couldn’t hurt. Again, months later, they are fine. Several weeks ago, the littlest Monster asked for an aloe vera plant. I only found them for about $15 and I didn’t quite trust that my black thumbs had turned green yet.  2 days later I found a small, dying, plant on clearance at the store, for maybe $1, it was the plant he wanted, I also found another plant that looked like it should be beautiful, but it was barely hanging on. I bought them both, brought them home, and replanted them. They are thriving.

I am not surprised. I honestly think my old house was filled with poison. The yelling, the screaming, the lies, the abuse. I think if I hadn’t gotten out when I did, the kids and I would have followed the plants, and little by little we’d die until there was nothing left of us to save. The useful part of me would just dry up, like the gel in the plants leaves, while the rest of me just tried to survive.

I hate myself sometimes for allowing the kids to live like that as long as I did.  Especially the day I had to tell them daddy wasn’t coming back, and they were relieved.  But now, things have changed. Our new home isn’t full of the hatred the old one was. It’s full of love and it’s happy and comfortable. The boys have cousins with much bigger houses, and huge yards, who want to come here and play because they “love it here”. My mom comes here to relax. And, it always surprises me, because, I’m proud of our little house, but, it’s no show place. When we have a party, you practically have to stack the people. But people like to be here. We like to be here. There isn’t any more yelling and screaming and fighting. Even the bad days are handed respectfully.

And the kids, the plants and myself, are thriving.

That first little bamboo plant sits in the kitchen, if you look closely, it is actually 3 plants, one is beautiful, one is doing great, but still carries some scars from the bad times the base of the plant is poor, but it has new growth coming from it, and the third twists around one, completely gone and beyond repair. Brown and dry. I suppose I could trim it back, or completely cut it off, but, I don’t. I keep it as a reminder. Maybe I’m reading too much into my plants, but, this little plant is my reminder for how to live. That you can go through a lot of bad, but, you can pull through and still be beautiful in spite of your scars. And, the perfect one, if how we can aspire to be. And that dead one is a reminder of how neglect and hate can destroy a life. How bad energy can suck the good right out. How, just showing up once in awhile and doing the bare minimum isn’t enough. You actually have to put some effort in, some love in. Here is my little bamboo plant I’ve had for about a year and a half now. Pretty good for someone who has never been able to keep a plant alive longer than a couple weeks!

Image

And, now, wish me luck, because today I planted a small window sill herb garden and am really hoping I do , in fact, have a green thumb.

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