karnythia: (Default)
My mother doesn’t love me. She never did & probably never could. But she says she does, because no one ever tells people that they don’t love their kids. She would say (if you asked her), lots about respect and whatever. And some of it would even sound logical as long as you didn’t know what goes on when no strangers around and she’s not putting on a show. See, I look at the video of the guy shooting his kid’s laptop and I don’t see good parent teaching a bad kid a lesson. I see a bad parent continuing a pattern of behavior that has a lot to do with why things are so fucked up in their family. But then I grew up dysfunctional & I can spot families like mine from a mile away.

My mother would feel disrespected and lash out too. She would throw my things, stomp on them, just rage totally the fuck out about real slights and perceived ones. Eventually she turned that violence against me instead of just my things. I didn’t live with her between 4 & 12 so it was (in my head anyway) going to be amazing to be with my mom finally. Yeah, turned out my mother had no idea how to deal with me being an actual person, much less one that had thoughts of my own. And I was a mouthy little shit on many an occasion for reasons that have everything to do with what went on between birth & 4 as well as the years between 4 & 12 when I did or didn’t see her for weeks at a time. They call that acting out these days & I did plenty of it. So did she.

And one day I went from taking her rage to responding with my own. So we fought. A lot. And I mean we fought like two strangers in the street, only it was the living room or the kitchen or my bedroom that got torn up. I moved in with her at 12 & left home for the first time at 15 after she tossed me into a glass coffee table & I tried to kill her for it. I mean that by the way. I was going to be one of those kids on the news with everyone going on & on about how awful I was because there was no fucking way she was going to call me a slut or a whore again, and she for damned sure wasn’t going to hit me any more, or break anything else of mine, or use my body to break things. Nope, not going to fucking happen.

And to this day I cannot see any other response to my life at the time besides fighting back. People knew how she was & they made excuses or demanded that I clean up her messes or deal with her rage so they didn’t have to face it. So while my stepfather intervened to keep me from killing her, he never intervened to keep her from hurting me. In fact when I left home he was perplexed by my anger. Because punching bag was my purpose, and punching bags don’t fight back or have feelings. That was the real definition of respect in my house. Accepting whatever was dished out, and taking the stuff that was sometimes purchased as manna from heaven as opposed to basic care for a child.

I came back for a bit to finish high school, but I wasn’t really living there so much as I was a resident on paper. See, I was a 16 year old senior which put me in a weird limbo legally, but we could no longer maintain even a tenuous peace without someone else present. And we kept our hands to ourselves, but not our words. And so I joined the Army as soon as I could and ceased to live there at all. We went through a few periods of estrangement punctuated by relatives trying to coax us into mending fences over the next 15 years or so. Now? We don’t speak. Ever. And the reasons for that are good ones. But let’s not pretend that it is a happy situation to be a bad daughter or a bad parent. It’s damaging to all concerned and sometimes it’s even irreparable. When you cheer on people like this? You’re cheering on the destruction of a family.
karnythia: (Default)
So, one of the downsides of cutting ties with my mother is that I don't have any of my stuff from before I left home for the Army. I took my clothes & such, but things like my prom pictures weren't exactly boot camp essential. Then they moved while I was in the service & took my boxes with them. I did try to get my stuff back while we were still communicating, but there was always a reason they couldn't bring me the things I valued. Instead they gave me my old (bad) report cards. Just the bad ones. And some stuff from grammar school. Now it is entirely possible that they just tossed my things, but if they didn't why be such petty shits across 10 years about returning them? Oh right, the powers games that are played when you're parented by someone who makes your unhappiness a priority. Meh, I'm not even sad about it exactly. More like perplexed as I spend more time estranged & it settles itself firmly into my idea of normal.
karnythia: (Default)
One of the weird things about choosing to estrange yourself from your family of origin is how often relatives (who you never spent much time with in the first place), feel obligated to contact you and act like you were close. My cousin's wife is the latest person to turn up & I am feeling this obscene urge to say "Look, we both know you're really here to find out why I'm breathing but socially dead to my parents." It would only be upsetting & dramatic & needlessly stressful so I don't do it. But just once I'd like one of them to come out & ask me what they want to know instead of beating around the bush with all of this "Oh we've missed you guys so much" bullshit. The last time I went to every family function I was a minor. I'll be 35 in October & I've had less than 10 conversations with most of these people in the years between turning 18 & cutting my parents off in 2007. I know they're here looking for dirt & I don't care enough to lie to them about why we don't come around, but they could at least skip the pandering and just say "So, why did you tell your mother to kick rocks?" I'd have more respect for that move than this fake shit that makes my eye twitch & my teeth ache. I know I'm an odd little duck, but is it really that hard to be direct?


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