80’s Parenting

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When I was very young and still an only child, under 5, my mother took me, one night, to a place very much like a present day Fun Spot. We went there a lot when I was little. I’d usually ride go-carts on my dad’s lap and there was an arcade and a ferris wheel. I remember it was dark outside and it was just me and mommy. I wanted to go in the outdoor ball pit, so I took off my shoes and my mom found a seat nearby under the yellow of year round carnival lights. The two little boys already there told me I didn’t even have to wear my socks in, if I didn’t want to. They were older so they knew.

When I got in the pit, the boys stood in front of me and pulled the front of my white and blue striped romper out so they could see down my top. I don’t remember what they said exactly, but it was something to the effect of “you have no boobs” and I said “yeah, I’m a little girl.” They let go of my shirt and I waded out of the pit slowly and calmly and then I ran crying, to my mom. I told her what happened and she grabbed me and went off looking for the boys’ parents–she never found them. I honestly don’t remember how this concluded, but I was so traumatized, I couldn’t wear any shirt without a throat high neck until I was at least 10 years old and I’ve always been weird about being “less than” in the boob department. No one ever spoke with me about the event and I never said anything about how it made me feel. I’d just get yelled at for having to be so particular and a “pain in the ass” about my shirts.

I was so young, I’m sure she thought I’d forget.

My mother didn’t keep me safe at a very young age and if I ever remembered this aloud to her, she’d tell me it didn’t happen.

It did. I was sexually assaulted by two older boys in a ball pit when I was a child and I have never spoken to a therapist about this. I know it’s not a big deal in comparison to some things that could have happened, but I was so little and scared and shy and I didn’t know what to do. I froze–I couldn’t fight boys–it didn’t even occur to me. I wish my mother was of the generation that believed in therapy and psychology and didn’t brush off everything as a phase. I knew I wasn’t going to grow out of the depression I had at 16 when I asked, through tears, to see a doctor.

Everything’s connected.

Open Letter to the World

I’m sorry if I’m difficult. My father left me when I was a toddler and I pretty much raised myself because my parents were young and drunk. So I’m sorry that everyone else who’s ever left me will bare the brunt of that anger. And lots of people, who I’ve loved dearly and would have done anything for, have left me. Meanly. So when I react the way I do, take a moment and try to understand why and what role you may have played. Yes, I hold grudges, but unless you’ve been inside my heart, you couldn’t possibly understand the hurt and depression and worthlessness.

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The One Where We Discuss “The Father”

When I was a child, my daddy was my daddy. I didn’t question why I had a different last name because his last name was long and hard to spell. He was from Iran. I thought I was Iranian too.

When I was about 8–I think that’s the age you make your First Communion–my mother had to turn in a form to my school in which the “Father” line needed a name for an official church document. I’m pretty sure it wouldn’t have mattered what she put on that line, but she didn’t want to lie but she also didn’t want me to be questioned, so she sat me down to talk. She closed the bedroom door and produced a picture from my baptism where a strange man was holding me. She explained how this man was really my father, but he left when I was 2. She told me how he was mean and he cheated on her while she was pregnant with me and let some other lady’s kid use my unopened baby blanket to sleep on their couch while he fucked her in their bed. How when she took him back, he threw her out of bed after the had sex, saying how he wanted to fuck her one last time. How he stole from my grandparents. How he gave my mom crabs.

I took it all in. Ok. I’m 8. Fine I guess. We’ll deal with these feelings again in my teenage years when my, now step-father I guess, begins to resent me or hate me or something and I start to think about why my real dad left. Because I’m a piece of shit, clearly. Who’d want to be my father? Does he ever think of me? Why would he. I wonder if I do this like him. I wonder if he’s where my inside feelings are coming from. So, like any girl with “daddy issues,” I had a ton of boyfriends and a ton of sex, none of it healthy, while I got yelled at by my mother for patterns repeated yet not understood. Sunrise, sunset.

I always thought about finding him one day or maybe he was looking for me! That wasn’t likely since my grandparents had never moved and he had once lived there. So, at 26 and with very little information on a $10 “Find Anyone” site, I found my paternal grandmother and in minutes, I was on the phone with her…bawling. I’d talk to my father later that day for the first time in my life and meet him a few months later at his home in South Carolina where he lived with most of a family I never knew.

It was the longest week of my life and I just wanted to go home.

All I could think of was how lucky I was.

I gave him a chance. I didn’t go in angry. I tried so hard. It was all I had ever thought about. But when he reeled off my grandparents address from memory or when I was audience to him yelling at his wife in front of the restaurant cashier for no reason, I hardened a bit. A bunch of other little things happened, lies exposed and such, that made me decide that, all abandoning your children aside, I don’t like him as a person.

And oh yeah, I have an older brother he left as well, a junior even! Three or 4 years older than me and lives in their home state of New Jersey. We started talking after the visit with dear ‘ol dad. Then he went to jail and started sending me letters, even asked for my picture, which I thought was weird. When he got out, he said he wanted to move to Florida and asked to move in with me. I said no. He started creeping me out a bit, but the clincher had to be when I was hard up for money and tried a cam site (a total of 3 times) and, a brother I’ve never met, told me how he watched me twice because he was “curious.” I told him that was incredibly inappropriate and he should have known that and how I was just so fucking done with all of them.

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The Gift I Can Always Count On…

Depression!

I remember Donnie and I would refer to our respective birthdays as Birthday Shit Fest followed by whatever year it was– and it would happen every year–we’d make big plans and get let down. Each following year, the plans would get less excessive to ensure success. Then there was the year Donnie stood me up on my birthday to do drugs with that one girl. I waited by the window all day, like a broken home child waiting on their father to pick them up for the weekend. Like that memory of my Mother’s…

Last year’s birthday sort of involved my estranged father. We had begun talking, slightly, at the end of August last year through some Facebook trickery concocted by his wife, who’s maybe 10 years older than me. So naturally, I expected him to call me on my birthday a few days later, right? Who wouldn’t, after just mentioning on that one call how he always thought of me on my birthday and he absolutely knew when the day was. I said to myself, “If he doesn’t call, I’m done. This is the first time in my life he could tell me ‘happy birthday’.” Even my mother was sure he’d call.

And he didn’t call. I even gave him a few days after. Nothing. So I sent him an email containing such phrases as “are you fucking kidding me?” and “save your bullshit excuses.” He tried to apologize and gave the excuses I expected. Then Laura died and I told him I couldn’t deal with him right now because of such. He has said nothing to me since. I do not expect a call this year. His excuse will be “you said you didn’t want to talk to me.”

Laura dying. Jesus, it’s almost been a year. We weren’t friends or speaking at the time, but when we were, it was intense and for about a decade. She was that best friend to me. You know which one I mean– and one day, she broke up with me. I was “too negative,” which I found out later meant, “you don’t let me do whatever I want and play the victim and do all the drugs and think I’m still adorable.” I didn’t take this well, to say the least.

So it had been about 5 years since we spoke when I was informed by a mutual friend– “She hung herself” — a Facebook text by one too eager to break the news. Full of tact. We all gathered in the snake pit that night to cry and drink and yell. (No one speaks any longer. Lots of drama ensued.)

Then the hurricane came.

I usually get a birthday hurricane, but this one ended up being Hurricane Laura. I had to sleep on the couch that night because my husband had hurt his back preparing for the storm and was lying on the bed sideways, like an asshole. I cried in the dark as the windows rattled right above me. I think I sort of wanted the windows to shatter onto me.

So, my birthday is weird and makes me feel terrible. No one ever remembers it. I spent all my birthdays growing up wondering if my father knew what day it was or if he was thinking of me at all. Everything always goes wrong. No one cares enough about anyone. Everybody leaves. My family wants to go out to dinner, like we do for all birthdays. I’m over it. I’m going to be 35. In another 35 years, I’ll be 70 and hopefully already dead.

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I’m Always Pissing People Off

Today I got kicked out of my (very small) city’s Facebook group after a bunch of angry women reprimanded me like a child.

I mistakenly had tried to start a conversation as a comment to a woman’s recommendation for a place to get your infant’s ears pierced cheaply and easily. I merely said “Or you can wait until the kid’s old enough…blah blah blah” never saying anything personal or “you’re a stupid asshole for doing this,” but these women still went APESHIT in a “don’t tell me how to raise my child” kind of way. I got my ears pierced when I was 8 years old because my mother thinks it’s cruel to pierce an infant’s ears and I agree.

Trying to explain myself only made things worse. I went temporarily blind when some bitch in the group started a post to me with, “Look, you’re new here, so…” as I had just recently joined the group, though have lived in the city forever. These were 40 something bullies who couldn’t understand the notion of an alternative viewpoint. Bitches must’ve never taken debate.

So, they kicked me out of the group.  Good thing they didn’t know I have no children!

Kinda felt like the time my high school French teacher told me I “wasn’t really (school’s name) material.”

I guess I have a habit of pissing people off. Many years ago, my aunt sent me a chain letter bashing Muslims. Well, her sister married a man from Iran, from which they produced 3 children, her nieces and nephew, my siblings. Yet, when I pointed this out to her and asked why she would send that to me when my family, her family, is of Muslim descent, I ended up being the one in the wrong and am the reason she doesn’t talk to my family any longer.

I had several of these old shitty friends or boyfriends who, upon me asking for my belongings back at the end of a relationship, would inevitably either destroy them or make a huge deal about how petty I was wanting my things back. How dare I? Well, here’s every other thing back that you ever gave me because we live in a soap opera full of crafted trash.

When I got married, there was this one time my in-laws were staying with us for way too long and on the very last day of their visit, I lost my patience when his dad starting saying something racist. I said something and he responded to me with “You are wrong!” in a bellowing voice, like my father, in my own home. I went inside and did not see them off. The next day, I wrote his mom a letter to explain my feelings about the situation and what had happened. Now his parents hate me. And then they had to find out we were already married! Eloped in Vegas, just like she told us not to. Oh, and we’re not having children. So much hatred now.

Finally, when my Gramma died in 2016 and my 3 cousins could actually live with themselves to say nothing to their grandfather about his wife dying, I wrote them a letter. It was mainly addressed to my one cousin who is 5 months older than me, but as the eldest, she has a certain responsibility. I told them how shitty it was of them and how they’re shitty family anyway. They ran and told their mommy on me (aunt from prior story).

Other aunt, “Oh, you shouldn’t have done that.”

I’m an adult. They’re adults. I can do whatever I want. Eat my butt.

Now, I tell everyone when they piss me off. “Fuck you, and here’s why…”

I do it matter of factly. Here is why you suck. This is what you did. This is how I feel. Like a robot.

And here is why I have no friends.

But when I had friends, I was a pushover, piece of shit, doormat who everyone used.

Quite the conundrum.

 

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