This is a trip to the darker side, but one which for me, is essential to visit. One of the psyches many defenses when you are in bad situations, is to lock damaging feelings or memories away, to be dealt with at a later date. Though I remember perfectly each and every incident on this subject from my childhood to the present, most of them I did choose to lock behind a door. I mean, who wants to deal with being constantly disparaged and disregarded by the ones who are supposed to be your biggest fans, your parents. It was this choice that allowed me to become who I am. Not listening became my greatest ally.
While everyone can probably relay some remembered slight, a lifetime of it is something that needs to have a light shown upon it. The paper that was taped to its windows to hide it from any onlookers, needs to be stripped away. What was always a given in the household I grew up in, and sadly still exists with a vengeance today, is that the males were always put before the females, being done with no rhyme or reason, as such a thing has none. Not to say that they were always treated kindly, but their place was never behind the girls. At times, it was also distributed unfairly amongst the girls, though never to such a degree. I always being the one who was placed last in line. I knew it was inherently wrong, and fought against it with unending determination, as is gracefully my nature. The fault of such behavior in my opinion, falls solely on the perpetrator of the crime, the parents. Siblings may suffer amongst themselves, some of them feeling they must constantly compete, some think they are never good enough. While some may fault the favored few, and I will admit some do in essence “ eat it up” for want if a better phrase, most are just recipients of a parents twisted logic, and no real blame should fall at their feet. Whatever demons may exist in a parents own upbringing or marriage should be called to heel long before children are brought into the fray.
My refusal to submit never did stop or halt the progress of these profane actions. In actuality, it intensified over the years and became so unbearable to me, once I saw it was also being enacted upon my children, I had to light that match and burn that bridge. I could no longer allow such toxicity into my world, I would not subject my own children to the emotional abuse and poisonous envy that I had endured, be it from my parents, or any sibling that would sadly choose to follow their example in some shape or form. I have shared my stories with others of similar backgrounds, though not to my surprise, I win the first prize for amount of examples I can toss into the ring.
From simply being ignored, to blatantly being told “You cant drive the car but your brothers can” of the past, to the current, “ everyone gets Christmas, birthday and any other monies and goodwill except for you and your children”. What kind of parent gives nothing to some while supporting others with such monies that work is an option, not a necessity? To some the phrase “ combat pay” may come to mind. But is this a remake of “Glory”, what was well earned by all, is given only to a few ? In such a world goodness is rewarded with evil, generosity rewarded with selfishness, and kindness rewarded with cruelty. So many hurtful examples, from wearing rags to school along with one sister, as my mother outfitted the other in expensive clothes and lavish attention, why only recently being answered. From seeing barely there or incomplete Christmas gifts that paled in comparison to hills of gifts others of the house received. From listening in tears as my parents compared me to someone my mother detested, and discussed well within earshot that I was incapable of driving after I proudly obtained my license, while they tossed the keys to my underaged unlicensed brother. From being thwarted and discouraged when bettering myself with further education, to never being acknowledged when two successful careers were under my belt, as others were put on pedestals they had yet to climb.
We all do what we need to in life, to be as happy, fulfilled and at peace as we can, all the while trying to add something to it that we can be proud of and may help others. I turn the page on the atmosphere of neglect doubt turmoil and putdowns that was the air that I breathed as I grew up, my nightmare to escape from as an adult. A few bright spots lit my path enough for me to find it, though they were few and far between. I have chosen to drag the vampire into the sun. The light of day has exposed the facade, dealt the fatal blow, and finally, mercifully ended it.
I include a picture I sketched years ago in my twenties from a favorite album cover. I feel it connects with this post in that I am that which is part of a pack, yet different.
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Copyright 2018 SA Klukiewicz