You know the cliche... or... the "saying" - Blood is thicker than water. My parents looooved to use that one... usually when they wanted something out of me - or were denying me a request... actually they used it every time they just didn't feel like being very nice to me.
I've had a very puzzling childhood in many ways and I know that it's probably part of the reason people think I'm so freakin' weird - or they get really uncomfortable/awkward around me when talking about family. Fact of the matter is... I just... didn't have the "family" that everyone talks about. I don't get it. I've never experienced it. To me, it's kind of like... a mythical fruit that I'm sure other people have eaten... but I myself... will never taste.
I think I much prefer the original quote: "The blood of the covenant is thicker than the water of the womb"
Which essentially implies that the bonds formed from 'battle' - ie: friendship, choice, actions of caring and loyalty are stronger than DNA-linkages.
This i s a hilariously cute tweet. I can only imagine what most people see when reading this tweet is that some dad worked really hard for his $20 and is (in a humourous manner) ensuring that he gets every cent worth out of it.
In years past - I wouldn't have even understood the humour. All I would have seen was "Wow... this dad actually BOUGHT a real Disney movie for download for his kid?? That kid is SO LUCKY".
Here's a picture of my childhood.
Me: Mom, can I have a My Little Pony?
Mom: Why would you ask me to waste money like that? Why would you even deserve it?
Let us keep in mind that i was still in the age of single digits at the time I would ask my mother this - so I couldn't really come up with an answer... I mean.. it's true - I didn't have a job (at ... y'know... 6 years old... in Canada... where labour laws would prevent such a thing)... I was way too short and weak to handle a lawnmower... I hadn't won any awards... but I really wanted that pony - so I said "I don't know... can Santa get me one?" - Well this was a mistake... this is around the time mom and dad laughed in my face and scolded me for attributing their hard work and effort to get me Christmas presents to some imaginary obese, oversized elf-man breaking and entering into our home on Christmas. So yeah... the whole Santa thing was nixed immediately. So were my hopes of getting a MLP.
"A face only a mother could love", "Family will be there for you when no one else is"
I totally ... and completely did not understand these phrases as a kid. I only came to understand them later as a teen and adult as things that apply to ... uh... OTHER people.
My mother would tell me faaairly consistently that I was ugly. She would frequently say "If you were born a few centuries ago, you know when that flat, round, overweight look meant prosperity, we could have married you off" - and she thought she was complimenting me.
As in... that is the NICEST thing she ever said about my appearance growing up. She would even gleefully tell people who came over what a hideous baby I was... that I was red and wrinkled and looked like a "drowned rat". So this whole "Face only a mother could love" business was really confusing as a kid. It made exactly zero sense.
This is a cute tweet wherein it elicits laughter because... how ridiculous (and yet sorta awesome) would it be to have your parent come pick you up... on YOUR vehicle (the scooter).
For me... this speaks to the other quote there... about family being there for you.
Ok... so let's say this... my parents never picked me up or drove me to school. HAHAHAHA AHAHAHHA omg... that's actually a funny thought. The ONE time I was actually ported to and from school was when it was specifically asked by a teacher (ie: was REALLY sick one day... and ironically - it was my mother's fault - she gave me a dairy based lunch... knowing I was lactose intolerant) - and they had to show up because ... well... people were watching.
In truth - the only time I have ever been able to convince (yes. CONVINCE) my family to be there for me is when I mention the veiled "Well... other people's parents will be there and they'll be wondering why you're not". Meaning.. they were always only there for me when it would make them look good.
Everything was like that. My graduation from highschool AND University - both times, neither of my parents wanted to go. They told me it was inconvenient (even though they ran their own business... out of the home) and they were tired and why was it so important anyhow? In fact... the conversation was like this:
Me: So, here are the invites... are you coming?
Mom/Dad: Is it necessary? Is this REALLY that special? I mean, are you even getting an award or special recognition?
Me: Well... I'm getting my diploma...
Mom/Dad: So? What else?
In fact... they ended up going ONLY because I mentioned that line above "Well... everyone else's parents will be going... and they'll ask questions..." - so they begrudgingly showed up... saw every. single. other. student get flowers, or a piece of jewelry, or SOMETHING... and they *then* said "Oh. Huh. I guess we should have gotten you something. Oh well".
Then they got mad at me that I didn't fawn all over them and take a million pictures with them. I was a "bad daughter".
There's also been more than one occasion where I was working late - and the bus didn't come... and I knew that the LAST bus was the only one left... one that came 'round near midnight - and my mother wouldn't even come get me then... telling me "that's what you have the bus pass for". I said "But I'm alone, and it's near midnight... and if this last bus doesn't come" - to which I was yelled at for being selfish and thoughtless for only thinking of myself. Btw, this is when I was 17, licenseless... at 5'0" and about 105 lbs - I also worked in a mall so I wasn't exactly geared up for a fight - and it was the era before cell phones, ubers and friends who all had their own cars.
This picture is pretty cute. I'm guessing that this dad actually bought his toddler clothes. My clothes growing up were all hand-me-downs from family friends. I know that this was likely due to being a bunch of poor immigrants who couldn't afford anything - so I can't blame my parents for that...
Until my brother came along and he got brand new department store and mall clothes... while... I still got hand-me-downs from family friends: yeah... didn't make much sense to me either. Until my mom said "Well, you're just a waste and you're not pretty enough to make the clothes look nice - why would we waste money on nice clothes for you?"
Speaking of which... I always found it interesting that there was a fairly consistent theme of scolding me to put family first that family was most important that priority was family family family...
My mother would kinda ignore that when it came to making herself look better.
I remember trying on - as many children are inclined to do - putting on make up as a kid... you know... stealing mom's lipstick or even getting 'kiddie make up' from friends to try it on - and the result was a good beating... telling me I looked like a street walker. Oh, did I mention that I was about 8-10 years old at the time? Oh, and yeah... wearing tank tops, also made me a whore...
ohh.... but all that changed when my mom made a friend... and this "friend" was a snotty, uppity piece of work... the kind that came into our house, sniffed and said "You say you just vacuumed, but your house is filthy - and your daughter dresses all frumpy. Why doesn't she even wear make up? What's wrong with her? She needs it".
Then suddenly... I was being scolded (after years of being told I was obviously trying to be a dime-store hooker) for being "dumpy" and not trying to hide my obviously hideous visage with make up - this was when i was about 12-13 years old.
When I tried to speak up for myself... actually DARED to say out loud "But mom... YOU chose these clothes for me... YOU told me I looked like a cheap street walker with make up" - I got a good hiding for that too - because you know... obviously she wasn't going to take any responsibility for the choices she had made. It was *obvious* that I had made my own choices because I was SO independent.
Now we come to the story of how it all started unravelling... it probably happened a few years after my brother was born.
This post reminded me of that.
The reasoning I was consistently given was that my brother was born at a time when things were getting financially better for my parents - we were no longer the 'just scraping by' poor immigrants, we could afford real furniture, not just second-hand thriftshop stuf... dad didn't have to drive a cab at all hours of the night just to make ends meet...
See... I could have accepted that except that... the only person who really got to see any benefit from this "new settling in of comfort" was my brother. As mentioned before... he got new clothes... I still got hand me downs... he got the game systems, the brand-name toys... and I still got the off-brand stuff that mom got for free for points from a catalogue.
In fact... when I, after YEARS of begging, pleading, and reasoning with my parents to get me a walkman (ie: portable music player because I was on the bus ALL the time... my only mode of transportation...)
They finally got me one... FINALLY.... buuuut... they also decided to get my brother one - even though he never asked for one... and never wanted one. He even asked them "Why did you get me this? I don't want or need one" (because you know... he was always allowed to be ungrateful - while I was expected to grin while being fed shit) - and the answer was "Well, we want to be FAIR... if SHE gets one, then you should too!"
Of course... completely neglecting the obvious fact that the reciprocal wasn't true. When he got things (and I mean anything... including attention, help, assistance with homework, whatever) I was denied because "Well, your poor brother came later so he has so much LESS than you"...which of course is nonsensical CRAP... but it was their 'reason'.
But if there was some amazing moment when I got something special.. it was automatically given my brother would TOTALLY get it too - you know... to be fair.
DeVoice's Believe it or Not!!
Now this is where I list things that people think I'm just making up because they can't comprehend that it could possibly happen - or if they do finally believe it... they tell me to "let it go" (btw... this is an infuriating and bullsh*t move. If you invite a friend, spouse, or relative to open up to you about something horrible... insult and disrespect them by saying 'I don't believe you' then when you find out it's true... do NOT say 'Let it go'. That's pretty much the equivalent of saying "oh, I just don't care to hear about something that makes me uncomfortable" - if you don't want to hear about it... don't ASK about it. Don't just 'care halfway' - it's a BS move).
- Frequent break ins and room tossing by both parents who would frequently accuse me of "stealing" things (pens, erasers, notebooks) - fyi, my brother often stole things, and was caught... but was never suspect, because he was 'a good boy'
- constant, and to this day, put downs about my weight, my ugliness, my complete and total UN-specialness
- When I was about 5 years old, mom needed 6 quarters... I had one... (a quarter to me back then would have been like... my entire life savings to me... a treasure). I offered her my precious quarter, so she could be one closer to what she needed... at which point she slapped me and said "Are you that STUPID??? I said I needed SIX quarters. What is your ONE stupid quarter going to do, huh? You're such a useless bloody shit"
- When my parents were vacationing abroad, I got myself a pet (a tank pet, so not even one that would be loose in the house, one that I would take care of on my own). My dad got food poisoning or something ABROAD... and my mother blamed it on me getting this pet without her express permission as the reason dad got sick - going so far as to saying "It is YOUR fault he got sick.. if he DIES, it's YOUR FAULT". Oh, I was about 21 at the time... so I was fully capable of caring for this pet on my own.
- My parents tried to get divorced... no... actually my mother wanted to get divorced from my father twice... both times, she stormed into my room and yelled and screamed at me... telling me that the dissolution of her marriage was my fault - I was the cause of all her troubles.
- I have been told more than once that I was a disappointment and a mistake. Mother has told me often that having kids is "the worst decision you could make" - and that I was so much trouble while she was pregnant with me (she was sick, she had cramps... she felt awful, also had a pretty traumatic premature birth) - that she considered aborting me several times... but DAD wouldn't let her (yes, so in truth my father was also to blame for everything).
- Everything comes with a price. From my family. Everything. Even something as innocuous sounding as "I want to see you ... come talk to you" - within minutes we find it's because there is actually a service required "Fix this", "get me that", "I need a ride here". And if I am unable to provide... the result is always the same... "you're a disappointment and a failure" - "I knew you were a waste" - "why did I have you?" - or an immediate call to the friends to tell them what a terrible person I am and how useless I have become.
- Today - it's 100% denial... "I never said that", and "I never did that". It's lies... upon lies... upon lies... and I know they're lies because of my memories and because I've been keeping a written diary since I was 11. Even worse... my father who passed away a few years ago... is now the scapegoat: "Oh, I never did that. It was your DAD." - Bullsh*t.
So - it's there.
So - it is.
So - it's true.
Not once has my "family" pulled through for me - offered support - offered comfort - pulled me out of an abyss. Conversely... they have repeatedly shown that they are willing to manipulate and draw in... grab what they need then abandon me. I've been fooled dozens of times.. and been hurt dozens more... always thinking "This time... maybe we're making amends... maybe we're..." - and then they do the reveal.
I've stopped trusting anything they have to say or do - it's nothing but constant lies and disappointments. Things that I wasn't involved in are suddenly "my doing" or "my fault" - events where I wasn't even present are now turned on me to be "my issue that I'm not taking responsibility for" - Each time they "call" me... it's "Oh... we're family... why aren't you supporting your family"... it's just another avenue for them to pile on more of the above.
So... forgive me... but maybe YOUR family will be there for you, forever... but mine... would rather choke me (if it didn't make them look bad).