Wednesday, 6 February 2013
Family - OMG! If you got to pick them, I'm damn sure you wouldn't pick mine.
This is going to sound a little unfair, perhaps selfish, but quite frankly, at this moment in time, if I had a choice, I'd walk away and never look back. Now don't get me wrong, it's not all of my family. Just my parents.
Now I have to back track. Sorry, it may get long winded.
Many, many moons ago, pre me, my parents (not married) split up. Well, I don't even know if you can call it that, more fling went awol and 9 months later I appeared. Single mothers just did not happen in those days, it was an embarrassment to any family. But mine all rallied round and supported my mum and my grand parents stepped in and took on very involved roles. I spent my early years in a fantastic, loving family environment. I didn't have a Dad but that didn't matter and I wasn't lacking in any way. If anything, it was better! I had grandparents and aunts and uncles that worshipped me. In short I had a great childhood. Fast forward a few years to the difficult pre teen years and Daddy dear turns up! Not only does he turn up, he brings along a whole array of brothers and sisters I never knew I had (that some lived with him). And then he manages to re-charm my mother, some would say a fairy tale ending (nope!) and before you know it I'm living in the dysfunctional family from hell. I went from The Waltons to The Simpsons overnight.
This is the point it all starts to go very downhill.
From here on I didn't have a very good childhood at all. There are many aspects of it that I've struggled with for years, to this very day. A lot of it doesn't make sense (well it didn't make sense should I say), a lot of it wasn't nice at all, most of it I spent hiding in my bedroom and keeping quiet. Many of the issues in the house revolved around my younger brother and sister. Their mother had died literally days (possibly a week or two) before Daddy dear came knocking at our door. They literally buried their mother and then were presented with a new Mummy. As you can rightly well imagine this just made our house a war zone. And to be honest now, looking back as an adult, rightly so that should have been a war zone! What idiot in their right minds would think that such a situation would work?!?!
By the time I hit 18 I'd had enough of it and got the hell out of there. And there pretty much ended my relationship with my siblings. A few years later and all hell broke loose in that household, my siblings were ejected from the house and thus my Dad's relationship with them also ended. So that left my parents with just me. So now you'd think only child syndrome would kick in. Ha! Yeah right!
I have always, and I mean always (when I say always I'm not including the nice younger years, I mean the parents together years), anyway, always, been the failure child. No matter what I have done, what I may have achieved, I am the failure, disappointment child. Even now, to this very day, no matter what I do, it is never good enough, it never warrants praise, it never amounts to anything in my parents eyes. If I won a million on the lottery tomorrow, they'd be disappointed in me that I didn't win two million. For whatever positive I give them, they will always find the negative. The slightest of things requires a negative comment from them, a put down and then usually a whole load of criticism.
Everything they do for me seems to come with terms and conditions, or a long list of moans and groans as to why I'm so useless and can't do it for myself and they have to help. Or a long list of excuses as to why they can't help, which usually just boil down to they want to be hard work and can't be bothered.
So you can imagine what it is like for me now that I find myself living in their spare room. It's like being that teenager again, hiding in my bedroom. Only this time I'm hiding from the reality I now understand, so it's worse. As a child I didn't understand why I was called names, quite nasty names, by my own father. I didn't understand why my Mum quite literally lost interest in me when he showed up.
There are many actions both my parents do that I still don't understand. They do and say a lot, simply for effect. Like they are making a point, but there actually isn't a point. For example, they get up ridiculously early in the mornings, when they don't need to (we're talking like 5.30am here), seem to take absolutely ages getting ready to go out, sit watching tv, and then go to work, and then complain at nights of being tired, and go on and on at me for being lazy because I don't get up ridiculously early. However, there isn't actually any justification for these comments given that yes, I may not get up until 9am (ish) some days. But I still work all day, yes granted this is from home quite a bit, but I still work. I'll then have a break around tea time, watch tv for an hour or so (when the soaps are on) and then usually go back to working and don't actually go to bed until 2 or 3am. So actually I get less sleep than them! But I'm the lazy one. Oh yes, and I don't work, because I don't have a proper job that involves sitting in an office from 9-5. After all, they are the only proper jobs!
So yes, well, you can imagine what it's like living with this 24/7.
They go on and on about how I should do this that and the other, after all, they know how to run my business far better than I do. Yet they constantly put barriers in my way. This isn't just about my business, it crosses over into everything.
Small child and Batman. Yep, well, even that one is difficult. Batman knows how my parents treat me. He doesn't approve (in fairness, god help me, but he actually has a point) and he'd prefer it if small child didn't have constant contact with them. But he just sort of accepts it. But it's his absolute ace card to play in the whole custody row. Naturally, I can't tell the parents that. But flip the situation over, and yes parents know exactly what Batman is like, they know how he has treated me, they know the games he plays (and that's a whole other post on it's own!), they know how utterly devastating it has been for me. Do they stick up for me? Do they defend me? No! Not once! Never have they turned to Batman and told him he is out of order, or to lay off or just to have a quiet word. They just sit back and watch him trample all over me. Now I don't know about the rest of you, but if that was small child, being treated the way Batman goes on, and I could see first hand the effect it was having on my own child, well quite frankly I'd be moving heaven and earth to make sure he got what was coming to him. What annoys me, is, they could be helpful, there is so much they could do to help, to be more understanding, be more caring, actually stand up for me. But that would be too much like hard work for them. They'll sit watching tv talking about what a nasty piece of work Batman is. But will they actually do anything to help me fight him?!?! Christ no! You must be having a laugh!
Anyway, I've gone off track a little here. Back to the siblings.
I'd heard bits and pieces here and there about them but I hadn't seen or spoken to them in many years. Until a few weeks ago. Out of the blue I got a message on Facebook from my younger sister (my Dad does have quite a lot of children btw, some are older than me, the ones I lived with as a child were younger). I didn't know what to make of it at first. Basically she wanted to track down our Dad and asked for my help. I thought about this for a day or two, I knew it wasn't an easy subject. So I spoke to my mum about it. She was ok with it, but said she wasn't sure how he'd react and chances were that little sister was just after something, money most likely. However, I'd heard on the old grapevine that she was doing ok for herself, good job etc, so I kept more of an open mind. I was told to just ask her outright what she wanted. I wasn't comfortable with this, so I made a few excuses and got Little Sister to meet me.
I was quite nervous, yet excited, apprehensive, but I was keeping an open mind. After all, I knew there was always two sides to every tale, she was only a child back then and given some of the things that I know happened in that house, I couldn't blame her if she had one almighty chip on her shoulder.
I'm glad I kept an open mind. Little Sister surprised me - a lot! She wasn't after anything, nor was she looking for a big emotional reunion and a loving Daddy/Daughter relationship. She just wanted contact, really just to ease her own conscience. I could see her point. He isn't getting any younger.
But one of her first questions to me was like a watershed moment. It directed the way in which the conversation went from there and it brought a whole load of clarity to things. She asked me, if he was still drinking.
Our Dad is an alcoholic, narcissistic, sociopath.
I know, big statement. I'd read a lot of stuff many, many times about personality disorders, usually looking for pointers on Batman but increasingly found that all the references and definitions pointed to my Dad. But then I always thought this was my own mind just twisting things to fit, my memory playing tricks on me. But 4 hours of talking to Little Sister made it all clear. After not seeing or speaking to each other for so long, we had still formed exactly the same opinion. We had exactly the same memory and opinion of our childhood. It's a conversation we have never had before, yet we both absolutely got what the other was saying. Clarity at last.
I couldn't tell my mum all this so just gave her very edited highlights, more about what Little Sister and Little Brother are doing now, married, kids etc etc. Daddy dear did his usual head up his arse routine and point blank refused the contact. I'm still hoping my mum can deal with that one as I'm currently making excuses to Little Sister over it.
I'll not go into the whole dealing with the personality disorder in this post, I'll write something separate about that.
So there you have the person number 3, possibly 4 (I often wonder if my Mum would change if he wasn't about). You'll see it more about how badly effected we all are by my Dad when I do the other post, but it's like just yet another thing that's dragging me down. The constant belittling hurts along with everything else. But until the tides turn I'm stuck with it.
It raises a lot of questions too. You see, because of various other things, I know full well that he is completely taking her for a ride. I know she's not blind to his ways, but she just puts up and shuts up. I've seen and heard things I wasn't supposed to that I know she knows nothing about. Normally I'd say she'd hit the roof and he'd be thrown out on his ear if she knew. But then I also know, that if I told her, I'd be running the risk of him twisting things, and if it came down to a straight forward choice, I honestly couldn't trust her to pick me over him. I think the pair of them would see me out on the streets homeless. So, do I run the risk and stop her being taken for a ride, or, put up and shut up?
Do you see the connection now about if I was in a normal relationship with The Foreign One, I could walk away, I could set my Mum straight, I wouldn't have to put up with this.
So that's 3 people all now lined up that shouldn't be in my life. Room for a 4th?
And as for Little Sister. Well hopefully she'll be sticking around.