Sunday, July 15, 2012

Broken parts

When I talk about my childhood, I hope that you know that I don't blame my parents, I don't harbor resentments towards them, and I know that as humans, they were doing the best that they could. I am aware that there is no handbook to childrearing, and that they were trying to do better than their parents did.

I... Was the trouble maker in my family. Between my Seester and I, I was the one most frequently in trouble. I was told frequently that I was defiant. I felt like I could never do anything right. I now know about myself that I don't take well to being dictated to, I need to be reasoned with. Tell me why, if it isn't obvious, and I'll do just about anything you ask of me. (Pie and Brother were bitty things back then. Pie was born when I was 9 and Brother when I was 11) Some of  what I got in trouble for was stupid kid stuff like not doing my chores, and some of it was for bigger things. I was, I now know, a pretty normal kid as far as the crap I pulled, I just got in trouble for that a lot. I generally tell people that we weren't allowed to be kids. I hear about the things my friends got away with doing and I know those things would not have been okay in my house.

After awhile, yelling didn't do much. Neither did spankings. So a new punishment was installed. It was for stuff in between yelling and spanking.

During the time when I was 9, 10, and 11, we lived in a house with a laundry room right off the kitchen. While we lived there, if I got in trouble, I would be told to go sit in the laundry room, on the concrete step just on the other side of the door for 10 or 15 minutes.

In the dark.

There were bugs in there so I would sneak  and sit on the washing machine, quietly lifting myself up, hoping that I wouldn't accidentally kick the side of it, convinced that they couldn't crawl up the slick sides of the washer.

Imagine being that kid. Sitting in the dark, and listening as your family joked around and wrestled about on the other side. It instilled a strong sense that they didn't care about me. I felt left out. It seemed like they had more fun when I wasn't around. I worried that the bugs in there (they weren't bad, be we lived across the street from a canyon and we were in San Diego not far from the water so yeah, there were bugs. Roaches and waterbugs, rarely seen, but present) would crawl on me. I actually had nightmares about it.

And I knew the fun would be over by the time my sentence was carried out. When I thought enough time had passed, I would return to the step and wait for the door to open. My parents never knew that I had been sitting on the washer the whole time. Which is good because I would have been in bigger trouble for not following directions.

Several years later, I hit high school and all the terrible things that can happen there. The people who I wanted to be friends with seemed to frequently forget to invite me to the things they did over the weekend. In my mind, they were the cool kids. They were at Denny's all the time. There were parties. All things I would hear about on Monday and would wonder why I was not included, when that girl over there, the one they talked bad about and said they didn't like was invited. There were other things too, but for who was high school marvelous? I finally found a spine and wandered off to hang out with people who seemed happy to see me. They were inviting and fun and I was invited to the movies and bowling and parties. We went to the beach and had bonfires. I finally found a group where I fit in and those people are still my friends. I'm in touch with the others, but that's about it.

That doesn't mean that I still don't have a deep need to feel included. I know it's silly, but I want to feel like a part of things. I get really upset when I feel like I am left out. This gets me in trouble sometimes as I tend to overextend myself by doing everything, but having a calendar helps. With my last romance, this issue was the straw. I asked for more inclusion and he wasn't able to provide that. Since I am posting to the future, I don't know if this is something than can and will be fixed, or if it is something that I will be more careful of in the future. Knowing I have an issue with this and how negatively it can affect me really helps though. Getting it out in the open helps more. I can't fix the past, but I can try to make a better future.

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