I’m Back… Again! With EXTRA Craziness!

I give up. I’m not even going to apologize for my long absence. I got so busy, and neglected a few things, including this blog. But, on my list of New Year’s Resolutions, I included “Blogging regularly” as one of the things I’d like to accomplish this year, so I’m going to put a lot more effort into staying on top of my little blog here.

Like I said, I’ve been busy the last half of 2015. My son is in 3rd grade this year, and school is starting to become more intense for both him and me. I’ve had family out to visit us several times since I last posted, including my little sister and her husband, just in time to throw her a killer birthday party. My man-child and I took a road trip back to Texas for Christmas to see family and friends, and my husband and I quietly rang in the New Year with a bottle of Champagne and then fell asleep.

Did you notice the part of the title about craziness? I’ll get to that now. I think I mentally blocked out a lot of the shit in my life before we moved here to SoCal, and it all came back to the surface over my Christmas trip back home. My mother flew out here to drive back to Texas with me, since my husband had to stay here to work. The idea was that she would drive back out here with me, as well, and then fly home when the trip was over, but that never happened. My mother also invited her sister down to her house for Christmas. This sister hasn’t been in contact with my mother for 23 years and she flew down from Denver to spend 5 days with us. For all the stories I’ve heard over the years about her, my aunt is actually pretty freakin’ awesome! At least I think so. I thoroughly enjoyed the time I got to spend with her before Christmas. My mother, on the other hand… Where do I even start with my fucking mother?!

I won’t sugar-coat this. My mom is borderline psychotic, and sometimes she crosses way over that line into full, mentally unstable psychosis. The week of Christmas was one of those times, and I finally just decided I’ve had enough of her shit. I’m done and I’m over it all. The Wednesday evening before Christmas, my mother took my aunt out to see a local Christmas lights attraction, and it is my understanding that on the drive to the location, they got into a discussion about whether or not the Bible condones divorce in any circumstance, and shit went downhill from there. I should note here that my mother is a one-time divorced woman and my aunt has been divorced twice. The discussion turned heated, and at that point my mother pulled over on the side of the interstate, called the police, and kicked my aunt out of her car. She then went back home, packed up all of my aunt’s luggage, and threw it out with my aunt on the side of the road. Since I’m not a shitty person and would never leave a family member stranded on the side of the road, hundreds of miles from home, with no way to get back, I went and picked my aunt up and drove her back to the airport that night. Apparently, being a decent human crosses a major line with my mother, because when I finally got back to her house after midnight, she tried to start a fight with me about it all. I managed to defuse it at that time by telling her I refused to discuss it with her then, but the following morning all hell broke loose. We were at my little sister’s house for the gift exchange, and my mother decided to get into a physical fight with me in front of my child because I took my aunt to the airport. I never once hit her, but every time she stood on top of me and tried to punch me, I pushed her off of me. She stumbled into my sister’s dining table several times. I was completely devastated and shaken apart over the entire ordeal. I ended up leaving to come home a day early, and wasn’t able to calm down and stop freaking out until I reached the other end of the state.

This brings me to another New Year’s Resolution I’ve made. I have decided that because my mother always causes and starts so many fights in our family and is just a downright nasty person on more occasions than I care to actually admit to, I’m done with her. I will be sending her a letter, informing her I want absolutely zero contact between her and anyone else in my household. In other words, I’ve decided that for the sanity of myself and my immediate family, I am cutting my mother off. Usually, this isn’t a good idea, but when a parent is a proven abuser, either mentally or physically, and they’ve been given countless opportunities to change, there comes a time when you have to stop making excuses for them and giving them second chances and just tell them to go to hell. This is where I’m at. I’m just done with it and I’m done with her. I don’t need her toxicity in my life, and living 1300 miles away from all of my family has proven that I can survive without needing them to hold my hands and help me out all of the time.

This isn’t an easy decision; I’ll be completely honest. It hurts, but I know that if I want to stop being pulled into all of the drama, I have to cut out the people who cause it. I’ll miss my mother, and all of the times she was actually a nice person to be around. I mourn the lost relationship between her and my child. However, unless I want this cycle of abuse to continue with him, I have to put a stop to it myself. Maybe when she loses everyone close to her, she’ll hit rock bottom and get help to change her ways. Until then, I won’t allow her to be a part of our lives. She causes a lot more hurt for us than she does happiness.

I hope my readers have an amazing 2016, and I wish the best for all of you! Remember, it doesn’t matter who the toxic person is in your life. You deserve better. This is my little life lesson from 2015.

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Saturdays are for Relaxation…

It’s too bad I never got that memo! I’ve been doing stuff since I woke up at 7 this morning. It’s probably because I conked out early last night, thanks to a little helping hand from my husband, and two friends known as Diclofenac and Flexeril. I was a hot mess yesterday. I think the entire week of doing all sorts of stuff for hubby’s birthday caught up with me finally, and yesterday was the day of reckoning.

Anyway, this morning I woke up ready to tackle everything, which made my husband grumpy, since I dragged him out of the sheets at 7:30 to help me with it. I did try to pacify him with a nice mocha latte though, and I think that helped make him a little more cheerful! He grumbled quite a bit about how early it was and now that we’re done running around town, he’s snuck off to the bedroom for a nap.

I was perusing his aunt’s blog for recipes again the other day, and found a link to one for Pork Fricassée, so I have that marinating right now in my refrigerator. I’m hoping his aunt pops into Google chat sometime in the next 48 hours, because she made it with polenta, according to her blog, and I have no clue how to properly make polenta the way she shows it. It looks like a bed of mashed potatoes with the Pork Fricassée on top, but all the recipes I find for this polenta I have are telling me to slice it and fry it, and I’m getting rather confused. I think that she may have access to dry polenta in a box, and all I can find is polenta in a tube!

Father’s Day is tomorrow. I’m planning to make something I haven’t made in a while. Growing up, my mom had this quick and super-easy way she’d make chicken that we always loved, but for some reason I rarely make it, even though I’m crazy about it. You just take one or two bottles of cheap Italian dressing (depending on how much chicken you’re making,) squeeze the oil out of them, and then marinate some chicken pieces in that for at least 30 minutes. When you’re ready to cook it, you bake them in a 350° oven. I like to lay them out in the pan or baking dish and pour the Italian dressing over them, and then sprinkle the chicken pieces with garlic powder before baking. We always serve this with baked potatoes, and when the chicken is done cooking, we take the marinade/dressing that baked with it, and thicken it with a little cornstarch and use it as a gravy. It’s delicious! I’m crazy about it! I’ll remember to post a picture tomorrow with it, so you get an idea how fantastic it looks! My mouth is watering just thinking about it.

My Child!…

He can be the goofiest guy on the planet at times! This morning, we were all getting ready – getting dressed, doing our hair (or at least he and I were, since my husband rocks the shaved-bald look!,) and preparing to walk out the door. My son has this thing now; he likes to wear my husband’s cologne. So, I was in the bathroom pulling my hair up into a quick ponytail, and my child comes into the hallway and asks for some of daddy’s “smell-good.” That’s what he calls it. Not cologne. Smell-good.

I laugh every time he says that. I don’t know why! It’s cute, so he gets away with it. I’m usually quite a stickler on calling things by their proper names and pronouncing things correctly, since he has speech issues, but it’s so damn adorable to hear him call it “daddy’s smell-good.” I’ve told him a couple of times that it’s called cologne, but smell-good seems to have stuck!

I don’t know exactly why he wants to wear it. Does he just like the way he smells with it on? Is he trying to impress someone at school with it? At his age, I don’t think I had ever worn perfume. I know my dad used aftershave, because his favorite was Brut but, I can’t say I was wearing any yet. Hell! I thought I was fancy when my mom let me wear a lapel pin or brooch on my dress!

Songs I Remember From my Teen Years

Oh my god! This post will be a walk down memory lane for me, and perhaps a few readers, too. I just checked my Ello profile (you should go sign up for a beta invite!) I’ve got Travis Barker, the drummer from Blink-182 following me. Queue a major squee moment for me!

That made me think of all the music I used to listen to when I was younger. I have rather eclectic tastes. I like to say that I’ll listen to pretty much anything, except country music. I started out listening to teen pop and slowly migrated to punk rock, which still holds a very special place in my heart.

My favorite band is, and always will be, Green Day. I can’t remember a time (that I knew about Green Day) that I wasn’t completely smitten with Billie Joe Armstrong. I’ve always loved a good punk rocker with amazing eye liner! With that said, I think that my favorite Green Day song is “Brain Stew.”

 

I always really enjoyed Evanescence. Amy’s voice is hypnotic, and I was a huge fan of the way they’d blend classical elements of music with harder rock elements. If I had to choose a favorite song by Evanescence, it would probably be “My Immortal,” because the lyrics always resonated with me.

 

Linkin Park was also a favorite of mine. “Papercut” was always my favorite LP song. I like songs that have lyrics that I can personally relate to. This one I felt was my personal anthem as a teenager.

 

I was also drawn to softer rock.

I loved Matchbox Twenty. Rob Thomas was sexy as hell, I thought, and his voice is so melancholy but soothing at the same time.  I loved him in Matchbox Twenty and when he went solo. My favorite Matchbox Twenty song has got to be “If You’re Gone.”

 

I’m not crazy about most of Sting’s music, but his song “Desert Rose,” in particular, I’ve always loved. It’s a beautiful song, and I wasn’t aware until I married my husband, that the vocals at the beginning are in Arabic.

 

There was also the teen pop I loved so much! I couldn’t get enough of it growing up.

I loved Willa Ford’s “I Wanna Be Bad” so much as a teenager. I was crazy about that song, and sometimes I’ll listen to it just to reminisce a little.

 

Dream. What can I say? I loved them! Their song, “He Loves You Not” was epic, in my opinion. I still love that song, and crank it up sometimes, just to annoy my hubby and make him face palm.

 

Of course, I can’t forget about Britney Spears. I still love her, in all her crazy psychotic-ness. My favorite Britney song is “I’m Not a Girl, Not Yet a Woman.”

 

What were some favorite songs of yours from your childhood and teen years?

My Childhood

Let me take the time before you get neck-deep in this post to warn you that if you’ve ever been abused, this post may be triggering.

I was diagnosed with ADHD in 1st grade. I was a very hyper child. I couldn’t sit still, and I always had to have something to keep my hands and mind occupied. Movies were too much for me. I wanted to be running or playing with something. My mother tells me I ran before I learned to walk, and I believe her. My dad wanted me to be a well-behaved little lady, and that just wouldn’t work for me. I wanted to be climbing trees and digging for worms, not wearing pretty dresses and playing Tea Party.

I don’t remember what it was I did that earned the ire of my father the first time he beat me. I just remember being held chest-down on my bed while he wailed away on my butt with his homemade paddle. This was a gnarly, beastly paddle, cut from a 1X4, with a handle notched out of one end. I was nine years old. I’d gotten spankings before, but nothing like this. This was different. This wasn’t three swats. This was a lot more – exactly how many I can’t remember, but by the time he was through, I was a hyperventilating, sobbing mess, curled at the foot of my bed, trying my best not to put any weight on my backside because it stung and burned so badly.

We lived in Kansas at this time. Shortly after, my parents made plans to move us to Texas. They’d discovered this mega church there and were convinced that god had spoken to them at one of the church’s many conferences and decided the best place for our family was there. They wanted us in that church’s private school and to surround our family with other families with the same belief system. This began the most miserable period of my life.

When we moved to Texas, to be able to afford rent, the tuition for the overpriced private school, and other living expenses, my dad had to take on two jobs, and my mom found a full-time job and ran a paper route. My parents were always exhausted and always working, so they never had time for us like they did before, and being new to this world we found ourselves plunged into, we children didn’t always know how to behave. Being the eldest, I had it the hardest, because not only was I expected to set an example for my younger sisters, but I was also already used to life outside this cult, where I didn’t have a thousand rules dictating my every move. It was also hardest for me because this church did not believe my diagnosis of ADHD was real and felt it was just doctors trying to drug me. So, without medications to help me control my impulsiveness and hyperactivity, I was always getting into trouble and breaking rules and was never really able to make friends.

The beatings began to happen on a more regular basis once we’d moved. Our new church espoused the “spare the rod, spoil the child” mindset, and taught parents that you are to beat your children into submission. I was the wildest child at this church and I’m sure I got the most beatings, at home and at school, of any child there. I cried a lot the first few years after we moved. I missed the friends I’d been able to make at my old school, I missed the simplicity of life, and I was positively terrified every morning of going to school. The teacher I had the first year at this new private school was a monster. I know she hated me, and my mother has confirmed as much. I was unable to please her, no matter how hard I tried, and, at least once a week, I’d end up in the principal’s office for swats. The thing about getting a spanking at school is that you also get one when you get home.

Much of this part of my life is a blur. I don’t know if it’s because I repress these memories. All I really remember is nearly becoming physically ill every morning on the way to school because I was so terrified that I’d done my homework wrong, forgotten to do something, did something wrong the day before I was going to get in trouble for that day, or that I’d end up doing something wrong and getting swats.

Sometime around the age of 11 or 12, I started having migraines. I actually welcomed these headaches to an extent, because with their blinding pain and nausea, they got me out of the most terrifying part of my life, which was having to go to school. I didn’t fake them. They’re real and they continue to this day. But, I didn’t always have headaches.

During my teenage years, I started discovering who I was and who I wanted to be. I started realizing that being a part of the church wasn’t normal, and that when most of the kids in my school graduated, they disappeared and it was taboo to talk about them or to them if you happened to see them. I started questioning why things were the way they were and why they had to be that way. This wasn’t good for me.

My dad hated being questioned. I think he hated the independence I was starting to develop. I was 15 when I got my first job working at McDonald’s with my parents. My dad was their maintenance and janitorial man, and my mom worked drive through. I worked the front counter with the other teenagers. One day, I got a break around the same time my dad did. I don’t remember what I did that set him off, but I’d ordered a breakfast platter to eat and the next thing I knew I was wearing my food and the syrup.

No one said anything to my dad. He took me home, made me change, and took me back to work. I was humiliated. Everyone I worked with saw me get covered in my own breakfast by my dad because I’d done something that made him angry. I no longer wanted to be there. I wanted to find the nearest rock and crawl under it. All I wanted to do was cry, but I had to suck it up and put on a smile and take orders.

Another time my dad lashed out at me, we were on the bus route we ran to pick people up and take them to and from church. I said something I thought was funny, and the next thing I knew my dad had smacked me upside my head with his Cambridge Wide Margin Bible (if you have any idea what that looks like, you know how good of a thud it can give!) He broke the claw clips in my hair and I just slid down in my seat and silently cried the rest of the ride home. When we got home, I managed to piss him off again, and the next thing I knew, I was pinned to my bed, kicking and screaming, as he slapped and punched at me.

This is one of the few times one of my sisters came to my defense. She learned better that night. She told my dad to stop hitting me, so he removed my heels and threw them at her. Thankfully, they missed, but she decided it was better to not stick up for me in the future.

This was the instance we ended up telling a friend about who lived up the street from us. She told her mom, who made us tell her the story again, and then she called Child Protective Services. That night, I learned not to expect CPS or the police to rescue me out of this situation. They came to investigate and told me that I deserved it and I should have shut up and just taken my “whoopin'” like a good, respectful child.

The last time my dad ever beat me, my sister and I had straightened out wire coat hangers and were using them to sword fight with. We were having fun, and neither one of us was being hurt by the other, but I guess we’d woken my dad up after he’d gone to bed, because the next thing I knew he was grabbing me by my neck, dragging me into my bedroom, and laying into me again. All I kept saying was, “I wasn’t hurting her!” But, obviously that’s not why I was getting the beating.

After this, fearing she’d have ALL of her kids removed by CPS and wanting to try to save her marriage, my mother went to the youth pastor at our church. He told her she needed to send me off to a girl’s home in Mississippi. So, my parents started making calls and planning, and found a couple of homes they thought would be good matches. We took a trip out to Mississippi to visit them, and my parents decided on Happiness Hill outside of Union, MS.

This place terrified me. I saw the way the girls walked around like robots and recited things like they had no independent thought, and although I’ve never been suicidal, I knew I would die if I had to go there. I decided to be brave while we were visiting and put on a show and even act as if I was a little excited about joining the girls. I wasn’t. The whole ride home from Mississippi, I was filled with anger, dread, and terror. My parents made plans to take me back out to Mississippi a few weeks before my 16th birthday, and I had read the Texas laws about how parents can’t force kids into homes across state lines after their 16th birthday.

The night before we were supposed to head out to take me to that home in Mississippi, I made some calls to people I knew and begged everyone I could think of to let me come hide at their house for a few weeks. You cannot imagine the terror I was feeling that night, thinking that if it didn’t pan out, I was royally fucked. I ended up getting a friend to talk her parents into coming by my house at midnight that night to pick me up with a bag of my belongings. I stayed at her house for about a month. I’ll be eternally grateful to that family for helping me out.

I still hold a little resentment towards my mother for this. I felt she chose my dad over me, her own flesh and blood. I existed before their relationship did and I felt and still feel as though she should have done what was right and instead of trying to push me into a home for wayward teens, she should have properly protected me from my dad.

After my 16th birthday, thanks to a lying case worker at CPS, I ended up back at home. My mom eventually made my dad move out and get his own place, because she couldn’t have him in the house with me, acting the way he did.

My dad and I are in a better place, now. We’ve had the opportunity to hash out our feelings with each other in therapy, and I no longer fear him the way I did as a teenager. Thankfully, I didn’t continue the cycle of abuse. I married a wonderful man who would never dream of laying into me the way my dad used to.

If you would like information on the cult we were involved in, you can view a 20/20 episode regarding it on YouTube. You can also watch Vyckie Garrison’s speech regarding the abusive cycle in this cult. If you would like to know more about the homes this cult runs for teens and the controversies surrounding them, please read this article by MotherJones. If you are interested in the “spare the rod” doctrine taught by these churches, please take a second to read this ChristianityToday article.

If I Could Choose My Family

To say my family is dysfunctional would be an understatement. I’m currently not on speaking terms with my youngest sister; my middle sister and I get along well enough, I suppose, but it always feels like a battle to prove who is better between us. My mother is very argumentative, and my dad is a stubborn old ass who thinks he’s always right, even when he’s not.

Don’t get me wrong. I love my family. I’m just sure I wouldn’t pick them, now, as family, if I had the choice. Yes, we help each other out, and yes, I’d do anything for them, but I don’t always like them.

I am the oldest of three girls. Growing up, I was always (and quite literally) the redheaded stepchild. My sisters were antagonistic, and since they knew I was always getting into trouble, they had no problem helping that process along by either tattling or blaming me for things I didn’t do. Now would probably be a good time to mention I was abused as a child. I know that I sometimes did things that warranted some type of discipline, but never to the extent of what I received.

Like I mentioned, my youngest sister and I are currently not speaking to each other. This occurred because I left my child in their care during the summer of 2013 while my husband and I came to California to find him a good job and us a place to live. While in their care, my child reported that he got beat with a belt and a lariat rope, amongst other things. I was furious, so I reported her, because that is abuse, plain and fucking simple. Needless to say, she didn’t take that very well.

She also likes to air all of her personal business on social media to get sympathy and pats on the back from her little following, and when I approached her about it, being the bullheaded person she is, she blocked me instead of changing. I know she continues this behavior, because she still has my husband as a friend on her accounts. We always know about every little drama she’s involved in, because she’s always talking about it.

My middle sister is actually a rather decent human being. She’s almost too good, if you ask me. While we were growing up, she’d always be given privileges and responsibilities that would normally be bestowed upon the eldest because she was “more mature” than I was. She was very good at crocodile tears and ass kissing, and she used that every chance she got. I, on the other hand, was and still am a blatantly honest individual, and I will tell you to your face if I think you’re full of shit without even trying to sugar coat it. This never worked well for me.

You could say we were always involved in a pissing contest. She took no shame in ratting me out, but I was always of the opinion that snitches are the lowest life form, so I never returned the favor. Perhaps I should have. I don’t know. I don’t think it would have changed much, honestly.

My mom was a hardass, quick to anger, and seemed to always be upset. She says she loved raising us, but it didn’t feel that way. There was a lot of yelling in our house. I hated that the most. My mom is a very judgmental person, and she’s very opinionated. She’ll form an opinion about someone within five minutes of meeting them and will use that against them the rest of the time she deals with them. She says I deserved every beating I got. There were times I questioned her love for me.

My dad… Where do I begin? My dad isn’t my biological father. He adopted me at the age of 2, after marrying my mother. As a teenager, he once told me he regretted adopting me and it was the worst decision he ever made. I don’t think I’ll ever forgive him for those words. My dad beat me. He had a very, very short fuse, and could blow his top from the slightest provocation. In my younger years, he used to only get angry and lash out at objects, but I remember the first time I was pinned to my bed, getting my butt blistered at nine years old. I remember almost hyperventilating, I was crying so hard. This continued through my teen years, until I told a friend who lived up the street from us, whose mother then called CPS. This was the beginning of the end for our family. But, I’m not sorry about it. I was through being pinned down into my waterbed with my dad above me raining punches and slaps and swats down on me.

I have a better relationship with most members of my family as an adult than I did as a child. I call my mother on a regular basis and she flies out here to see us as much as she can. My dad and I spent a few therapy sessions working through some deep shit between us and now I can honestly say I don’t hate him anymore and I love him. I call him regularly as well, albeit, not as regularly as I do my mother. My middle sister is busy with her new job, but we try to stay in touch. I don’t call my youngest sister because she always wants to make every conversation about her issues and how everyone is mistreating her. I don’t have the time or energy to deal with this, and I refuse to feed into her narcissistic behavior.

This was a very, very difficult post to write for me. It’s only the tip of the iceberg. Perhaps I’ll write more on my childhood later.

I posted this in response to the Daily Prompt.

What I Miss Most From my Childhood

Everyone has something they remember fondly from their childhood. I used to miss slap bracelets, until I found them for sale in CVS for Valentine’s Day a couple of years ago. I’ve now satisfied my longing for slap bracelets. I still miss other things from my younger years, though. Things like Crystal Pepsi, little radios that fit in your ears and are powered by watch batteries, unusually flavored Hidden Valley salad dressings, Fruitopia, etc.

The thing I miss the most from my childhood is by far the Hidden Valley Pizza flavored salad dressing. The taco flavored dressing comes in a close second. I’m a child of the 90’s. I was born in the late 80’s, but my first memories are in the early 1990’s, and I look back fondly on so many things I can no longer have. Hidden Valley dressings are by far the things I miss the most, because I love salads so much. My mother had to keep a bottle of each on hand at all times, because I devoured them like they were going out of style (which, apparently, they were!) Do you remember these amazing salad dressings? Here’s an ad I found by Hidden Valley for their “NEW” flavors.

Hidden Valley Dressings

Oh my stars! These were amazing dressings!

Crystal Pepsi was also something I remember with a certain fondness. I guess it was assumed that because the soda was clear, it was somehow good for you, and that was the reason Pepsi created it. All I know is that I liked it more than regular Pepsi because I thought it tasted better. I don’t know if it was just my mind playing tricks on me, but I still remember that I would beg my mother to buy it rather than any other flavor of soda. I don’t remember exactly when Pepsi stopped selling it, but I look back now and wish they’d bring it back. Please tell me I’m not the only person who remembers this soda!

Crystal Pepsi

Some of the things I’m glad went the way of the Dodo bird are those horrible refillable pencils that AREN’T Bic. Do you remember them? They were usually brightly colored plastic barrels filled with these little white pellets that fit inside each other with a small piece of sharp pencil lead in them. These horrible little things.

Disposable Pencil

UGH!

What about Lisa Frank? Remember all that psychedelic art little girls would get for school? We’d have our Trapper Keepers stuffed full of Lisa Frank folders, we had Lisa Frank pens and pencils and notebooks, and we even had Lisa Frank scotch tape. Bright colors seemed to be all the rage during the 90’s, and I was no exception to this rule. If you can’t remember Lisa Frank, here’s a great example.

Lisa Frank

This is enough to give anyone a headache!

What are some of the things you miss from your childhood, and what are some things you wish were still around or still popular? Maybe I’ve forgotten something. Let me know what you look back on fondly or in horror.