So, here I am thinking about today and what a roller coaster of emotions I go through every Monday. Yeah, Mondays are bad news in my world . . . much more so than in most people's worlds I think? I don't know, maybe I'm wrong but it just seems like waking up at 7 to go to a job I might like on some days and not others would be easier than waking up at 8 to see the one person I wish I never had to see again. And for 5 hours.
This past week has not been an easy one. To say it has been an emotional roller coaster would be a severe understatement. Aside from the divorce and my suddenly very bratty almost 3 year old and my suddenly very very moody almost 2 year old, things have felt very strained between me and my family. Maybe it's because my nerves are already frayed. Maybe it's because there are 4 adults living in one house and an entire family unit living within one neighborhood. Maybe it's for all those reasons and more that I don't care to get into but things have just been bad.
Tonight Sassy was extremely upset that bedtime was slowly closing in and my mom wasn't home to say goodnight to her. I told her to go ask my step-dad what time 'nana' would be home and she did as she was told, to which she was answered by a very patronizing 'nana will get home when nana gets home'.
I'm sorry, but that's just not how you answer a three year old . . . much less when you're not joking and much much less when that three year old is distraught and you know that kind of answer is just going to unleash a flood of tears.
His behavior and his answers are not surprising to me though; which brings me to my rant . . . about my step-dad and perhaps it isn't really a 'rant' so much as a rehashing of all the hurt and emotional distress he caused ME as a child.
- On one occasion in particular, my mom and he had just married and I was between 6 and 7 years old. My mom worked at a grocery store and had fluctuating shifts. On this particular night I remember she was working a night shift and I was left at home with him to babysit me. I remember standing at the second story apartment window crying and crying when my mom left to go to work. Screaming that I didn't want her to go. Wailing that I wanted my mommy. I didn't say as much nor do I remember if I understood then that I didn't want to be with him. I just wanted my mommy. Was my distress met with hugs and kind words and reassurance that my mom would be home soon? No. No it was not. It was instead met with harsh threats to be quiet. That mom had to work and to go play. And when my sobs and crying did not cease, I was sent to my room and told that he didn't want to see me again that night.
It brings tears to my eyes just remembering it. It brings tears to my eyes thinking that ANYONE would ever dare to make my child feel that way.
- On another occasion, when I was 9 my mom and sister (who was around 1-ish at the time) went to visit my aunt in Washington State. (We lived in California) and when my mom and sister were on their airplane back my step-dad and I drove to the airport to meet them. I was so excited to see my mom and baby sister and so badly wanted to hold my sister. I told my step-dad excitedly that I wanted to hold her first. But my excitement was quickly drowned when he told me that I would not hold her first. That he was her father and that he would hold her first. I argued a little, being the child (again, I was 9) that I was and was promptly told to be quiet and if I continued I wouldn't hold my sister at all.
No words will ever explain how sad that trip to the airport made me. When my mom and sister got off the plane my sister immediately got so excited to see her dad and at 9 years old that was just another small jab. Now, as an adult, I can see how a baby would want to see her dad first as opposed to her big sister, but the way he handled my excitement - by squashing it completely - it has always affected me.
- When I was 14, after a very prominent occasion in my life had come to pass and before anyone really understood the detriment and severity of it, (that included a man 3.5x my age with the same name as my then boyfriend) my step-dad sat my down on the couch, with no one home and told me what a burden I was making of myself. Didn't I know I could get pregnant? Didn't I know what pregnancy could do to me at 'my weight' (I was between 180-200) Didn't I ever think about anyone but myself?
Unfortunately his little talk had an adverse affect on me. I'm thinking that could be a leading reason why I assumed it was my fault. I chose it. I could have changed it. But a 14 year old can't be at fault or choose or change rape.
In one way or another this man who is by title, my mother's husband and my sister's father has ruined so many aspects of my life. It's no wonder I trust men very seldomly. It's no wonder I think so little of them. It's no wonder I see men as useful for only a handful of things and it's no wonder I am in the predicament I am in right now. Granted, I don't blame my divorce on my step-dad. I chose the man I chose and I chose wrong. But I wish the older, wiser me could go back to the younger me and tell me not to pay attention to him. He's no example of what a real man is. Find the exact opposite. Don't settle. Oh God, don't settle like your mom did. I would scream this last phrase into the young me's head until I lost my voice and grew short of breath from screaming in whispers.