I’ve been struggling with whether or not I should even write this post, because inevitably it will open me up for attack from a couple of important people in my life.
But I don’t really know if I’ve found any closure from these experiences yet; arguably not since they’re still bothering me enough today to want to write about them.
The first, is a quote from my sister, when she was 17 and I was 12, we were getting out of the car in Placerville, Ca. on our way to see our grandparents. She said to me, “you used to be one of those really cute kids, but then gosh what happened?”
As an adult now, having talked with my sister at length over the years, I know enough to think that this was the result of mis-directed anger towards our mother. At the time, I was kind of a “tag along” on what should have been a trip for just my sister, while she was on the verge of graduating high school. But at the same time, it’s hard to discount all the pain it caused, especially when I was also on the verge of beginning a very dark time in my own life.
The second, is from my old best friend, the last “words” he spoke (texted) to me before cutting me out of his life with surgical precision, “have fun being the elitist prick who’s teenage existential dilemma has gone on far too long.”
Of course the irony here is that he’s now 33, and finishing up a second (or maybe third?) college degree (financed by his parents again?) after going to college right out of high school then floundering himself for a bit, moving back home, living on his parents credit cards for a while, drinking heavily and being a groupie for a couple different bands, eventually choosing to go to culinary school, then working at his dad’s law office, being given his dad’s lexus, etc.
It makes me wonder how different my life may have been if I had been born female. Or just born to a loving/attentive mother. Or born to a financially stable family, hadn’t been physically or emotionally bullied, or homeless, or all of the other little disadvantages I had to deal with while he didn’t.
He is exactly the kind of person that doesn’t understand the advantage he had from birth.
Pure. Dumb. Luck.
He rolled a 90 on the “opportunity” roll, I rolled a 9.
No amount of “hard work” could have ever allowed me to recover from that big of a difference. Maybe I could have worked ten times as hard as he did, and eventually hit half the opportunity he had instead of 1/10th, but I was never going to get to his level, because the baseline security and love was never there.
It doesn’t really relate, but I guess this is as good a post as any to tell another story.
I was homeless the entire summer I was 7. I “celebrated” my eighth birthday in a strangers house, while we were house-sitting for a week between living at different campgrounds.
I didn’t find out until my twenties, that both of my aunts on my dad’s side had offered to let my brother, sister and I stay with them that summer. My mom refused their help.
I didn’t really understand until this past January that my mom refused their help because of how much she resented my dad, for a comment he made that she (my mom) “didn’t contribute to the family.”
Even knowing the why, I can’t excuse the decision. My mom was a terrible mom, there’s no excusing that kind of deliberate refusal/rejection of help for your kids.
So to bring this back to the quotes… I don’t want to keep holding on to them the way my mom has held on to hers for so long. But it’s hard to forgive and let go of the pain, especially when my day to day life is still painful.