Friday, November 03, 2017

In the middle of a conversation my niece, Ramona, and I start to giggle. I had just said the sentence "Practice saying  'I don't like it when you act like a bully Grandma." The ridiculousness of the situation had suddenly struck us as funny. I was having to train the children to stick up their grandma, who just happens to be a bully.

Like any true bully she only picks on the people who will not stand up to her. Being strong willed and bossy Ramona and I are rarely bullied. She uses manipulation on us instead. Fria Chica and her son are compliant, so they are bullied often. Just the other day my mother stood in the Fria Chica's house and called her a piece of shit. She is in her thirties and raising two children, and still my mom treats her like she did as a child.

As an adult I have guilt that I did not stick up for my sister more when she was younger. She is nine years younger than me, so she was still a child when I was moving out. I do not think I realized how badly my mom talked to her until I was older. She talked to my older brother like that his whole life. When you are raised in the situation it can be hard to recognize until you get out and learn more about life.

My older brother had the same mental illness my mother does. I suspect that both of my parents had undiagnosed mental illnesses. In all six of their offspring, that lived to adulthood, I see traces of one or the other illnesses. I suspect my father was bipolar, and have no clue what my mom's would be classified as. I do not think she will ever admit there is anything wrong with her. When I was a child she would often say that every thing wrong with her children they got from their dad.  My older brother could be a bully to children at times. He and my mother spent a lot of time together as he got older but much of it was spent fighting.

She would insult him and treat him like he was stupid until he would explode. His explosions were childlike. He would tear up something he had created, give away his beloved possessions, get out of the car to walk home, no matter the weather or distance. It was tedious by the time he was in his forties.

 My mother can be equally tedious.  She has an air about her that lets you know she thinks she is smarter than everybody else. When with a group of girls that are talking about attractive men she will say, "I don't think he is that good looking, but I think I must have better taste than most people." She must forget I have seen the losers she dates. That was a hateful thing for me to say, but I do tend to get hateful inside when she is like this. Maybe that is why I find her tedious, she brings out the worst in me. She has better taste buds than everybody else too. That is why she can only drink filtered water. The thing is we grew up poor. Now she is retired and poor. I cannot figure out what in her life has given her this arrogance. It does not stem from her accomplishments; she seems to have been born with it. She still tells me how much better she is than her sisters and brothers.

I wanted my children to have a good relationship with their grandmother so I never talked to them about how she was. I just limited their time at her house so she would not get annoyed and insult them and invited her to my house instead so they could spend supervised time with her. They do all love their grandmother now that they are adults, but they have learned to limit their time with her themselves as well. Not because she bullies them, but because they too seem to find her best in small doses.

She did not bully them much as they grew up. Instead she tended to spoil them. I remember her saying something rude to Lee once when was under two, too young to remember, we were making the long car trip home from Oregon to Kansas and had stopped to get dinner. She said something, I can't remember what, to him and I snapped back, "He is not your kid." She never said anything like that to one of my boys again while I was there.  One day when Jason was about four he told me that Grandma had something rude to him while he was at her house. He wondered why she would say that. I talked with him about it and was quietly trying to decide how I was going to talk to his grandmother about this. I did not have to. The next day was Easter, and a beautiful day, so we had walked the park to play as a family.  On the way home Jason was in front of me walking with his grandmother and he asked her why she had been so rude to him. She was clearly flustered and as far as I know never talked to him like that again. As a matter of fact they got along really well. One day he jokingly told her to 'go to hell.' She told him he could not talk to his grandma that way. Later that night he called her, told her to 'go to hell', and hung up. A few days later she called and did the same to him. It became a running joke through all of his teenage years.

Every time I start to remember all the negative with my mom I realize that there was positive as well. The reason I had to try to think about how I was going to talk to her was because I am protective of her. She seems fragile to me. As if she needs this arrogance to survive. I do not remember when I started watching what I said to her to protect her feelings, but it was before I entered jr. high. She is a complex person, like most of us.

Friday, October 13, 2017

It is late, so I will make this short. I have promised myself I will start writing something everyday, even if it is just rambling about my life here. For the past few years I have been trying to learn to live the fullest life I can while walking around with a dark hole inside of me. For the most part I am doing better. This summer though I have started having a dense depression deep inside of me. It doesn't keep me from being happy and enjoying most days. It is just so heavy to carry around. I takes all of my energy. Not one of my summer projects were completed this year.

Last night I had an emotional breakdown and talked about my childhood, while crying, and drunk, with my boyfriend. This is something I rarely talk deeply about with anybody. Not because I don't like talking, but because there are so many better subjects to talk about. Today I decided to get a better grip on my mental health. Part of my self prescribed treatment is to start writing down my feelings about my childhood. So, even though this intended to be a fun blog when I started it is certainly slipping down the slope to cathartic.

The breakdown was triggered by watching the movie A Glass Castle. I had already read the book, and knew what I was in for, but did not expect it to cause me so much pain. I read the book before Jason died I don't think I realized how much more fragile I am now until last night. Tomorrow I will go into more details about my reaction to the movie. I need sleep.


*The new baby is a girl, due in March.

Saturday, September 09, 2017

Oh, and my sister is pregnant again. I like to think that she will decide to grow up and raise this one, but since she started the conversation with "I am sorry," I assume life will follow its course and I will be raising a new baby this time next year.

I am happy with Big Mac being the age he is. A new born is a lot of work and we are past that, or so I thought. I guess it does not matter how I feel about it, the baby is coming, I may as well get happy.

My last post was raw. I only noticed it in the re-reading, but it was. Now I feel I have had time to process my brother's death, but I have not accomplished what I need to. Who was he, my brother, I feel I need to answer that, but I dread the attention to detail it will take. My life is bogged down in the day to day problems of dentist appointments and dinner parties, this will be satisfying work, but it will be work.

Monday, May 22, 2017

I haven't talked about my brother much on this blog. I don't know why that is. He has been as much a part of my life as my sisters have been, but much less dramatically. Fria Chica had a new baby last month, a long story. My mom carried the baby to my brother's apartment, he lived next door to her, and found him dead. He was only 46, three years older than I am. What the fuck? We are too young for sudden death. I am racked with guilt for not spending more time with him. Sometimes I would not answer the door when he came over. I valued my time in solitude over talking to him, but I thought we had decades left in front of us. Going through his apartment I have found that he had a rich life all of his own. Not everything is about me.
My little guy is still living with me, he goes home to his mom periodically, but is usually to be found here making me smile. I do still live with the constant fear that something will take him away from me. I feel that I love him too much. When I used that phrase in front of his mother, Drama Queen, she laughed and told me I can't love somebody too much. She is right, but I still feel that way. He has been sick, a cough and runny nose, common childhood illness, but I lay in bed and worry about hantavirus.  He is sleeping well tonight and seems to be on the mend. Maybe soon I will have to find another reason to beat myself up.

That last sentence was a joke I have with myself. I portray my life as endless angst, but am generally a joyful person. Honestly the two live happily side by side in my soul. I planted my garden today. May 21st seems late to plant, but the weather has been crazy here. We had over 10 inches of snow earlier this month. I put my potted herbs outside today and am now listening to the wind beat them up. My little niece, Rapunzel, helped me plant today. She has been a bit of sunshine in my life. Some days I feel like I do not give her enough attention because I am busy with her little brother, so I have been trying to make sure we have one on one time everyday.  I really do love these little people.