Way back in the day…

When my mother first started working at Southwestern Bell as a telephone operator around the beginning of the 1960’s they were trained in some seriously strange s#!t.

They were first told of the heroic women that stayed with their posts to the death. They were killed by fire, flood, and just about every act of God you can think of all while trying to alert not just the authorities but the public as well. Many saved countless lives.

Then, in small towns at least, they were given a protocol for disaster alerts. In the event of a serious emergency they were to get the usual first responders in the field then phone medical doctors, and lastly they called veterinarians. Apparently, back then in a pinch anyone with a basic understanding of somethings anatomy was better than no one at all. I have no clue if this was ever implemented but in a way I suppose it doesn’t surprise me. In a time when kids weren’t allowed to use the phone because it was supposed to be for emergencies but with shared party lines there were always old people gossiping and the operator knew all because she could listen in. Well I guess why make a distinction between Dr’s? Also and to be fair, if I lived in a town with nothing better to do and was expected to give up my life to connect calls, I think I would listen too. While it’s hard to imagine anything more boring, I suppose being a woman in the 60’s and treated as such would be enough to make anyone want the gossip going around town.

Elder care while being disabled.

As most of you know, I’m disabled. I have been officially so since the age of 20. What most people don’t know is that I’ve been doing my best to help my elderly parents for the last 14 years.

It started when my mother’s kidneys began to fail. At the same time my father displayed signs of dementia and was the 3rd member to be diagnosed with diabetes. Both have suffered from depression and delusions since my childhood. They are manipulative, deceitful, both physically and emotionally dangerous to themselves and others, and worst of all they will cover for each other time and again for reasons as small as watching another person suffer.

Most people assume every child is either born to parents that love them or then given up for adoption if they don’t. That is sadly not the case. In my almost 38 years as their child I’ve been physically injured, was called a “stupid fucking cunt” for the first time before my age reached double digits, and have contend with my mother’s lie’s and my father’s beatings. On rare occasions they would swap roles but if all else failed, they made sure to find some means to maintain control over my life.

When I was in 2nd grade I told my teacher. Instead of calling the police she called my parents. It was so much worse after that and did not improve when they sent me to see a therapist that just happened to practice in the finished basement of his house. I told my parents what he was doing but they ignored me. They did finally walk in on him with me on his lap crying and the lights out except for his computer monitor. The entire ride home I was accused of being the one who seduced him. I didn’t know what seduced meant until after that night any more than I knew what a “cunt” was around the same time.

Though I digress…

The easiest was always a financial hook. How do I prove abuse if they will remove their name from my lease and make sure I’m homeless before I get my address out? Same for utilities, a phone, and even a car. If they co-sign or help provide these things they look great, but they were always a tool. I wanted to go to college in state but out of town so they threatened to pull all of their “help” if I even tried. Crap like that continues to this day.

When their house was hit in the Joplin tornado 5 years ago they moved into the house they decided I was to rent from them several years prior so they could have cheap homeowners insurance. I’m now threatened near daily with eviction. My rent is $500. They won’t take a cheque nor issue me a receipt. I’ve called the police but to no avail, or at least not really. My father was arrested for choking me but of course has an insane reason as to why he did so. They even called the police on me claiming I threw peanut butter at my father. However when this call was made I was running to beat Hell, screaming for help, and trying to avoid my father’s grasp at all costs. I still don’t know why he lost his mind and came at me. He choked me a second time and he swears I was threatening him or at times he says he was defending himself but just like the time he kicked me in my stomach, I was simply just there. For the stomach, I was trying to wake him because my mother needed him. The second choking I was only trying to get down the hallway and he turned around and snapped.

It has now been 5 years since either have taken their antidepressants, at least 4 since my mother had any medical care. Over a year since my father has been on his diabetes meds or thyroid pills. I’ve never been able to get a Dr to test for why his memory is failing. They refuse medical help but I’m not sure they are actually competent to do so.

They tell me daily how much they hate me. They claim to fear me but I have no idea why. They say they want me “gone” but know I have no place to go and they’ve interfered with my many attempts to get on the HUD list. They suggest killing myself several times a day and make it clear that I am in no way allowed to just leave. I am not safe here and I’m beginning to think there’s no way I will or could ever be safe.

Being disabled, I am not able to cover house cleaning for people that throw used adult diapers on the floor, leave rotting food all over the house, or worse, attack me for even trying to keep up. I cannot lift my obese mother. I cannot give them both a world where neither have to lift a finger. Hell I can’t even give them back the life they loved so much before they brought me into the world.

All I can do is keep trying to get away.

Health and Hell; A mother’s hatred.

As I watch my Dr’s fight amongst themselves whether or not it’s time to test me for cancer, in more physical pain than I ever thought I could endure, my home life has tanked to a low I didn’t think it would reach.

My mother lied to the family about why we went broke. I knew she pinned it on me, I did not know it was to the tune of $3,000 a month, every month, for the period of at least 6 years. During that time she gambled it all away with her “friend” Jane.

Her lies have cost me every family member I have and left me completely alone in the world. Now in a rare moment of honesty, she won’t retract her lies but couldn’t wait to express how much she honestly hopes and prays that I have terminal cancer or would get up the nerve to kill myself. She said the only reason she didn’t have an abortion was because her parents were still alive and she would pray for them to die so she could “drown me in the tub” or find some means to get rid of me.

I’m sure some people that know my family will read this. I hope you do. I honestly can’t care what any of you think about me anymore. I do however pity you that you can’t think for yourselves and would take her word as gospel based on what, exactly? That my mom confuses classically styled fashion in dark colors to be “goth” which you believe is evil? Is it that I’m disabled and therefore poor, which many of you find sinful? Is it the times when I was a child and I dared to talk back to either of them? Well I don’t care how much reverence you claim to have for your own parents. You didn’t live with mine.

I spent a lot of time trying to be placed into a foster home. Welcome to the 80’s! When parents could talk their way out of anything. 

To all of my family that told me I’m not right with God, should be “put down like a mad dog.” or believed her to my downfall without an ounce of compassion on the horizon, I hope you can accept the eternal consequences of your own judgment. 

Should the news of my health be as most of the Dr’s expect, at 36 years old I am opting to NOT have treatment. I’m all alone as it stands, and I wouldn’t want to continue to be a disappointment.

The case of the lost adult child.

In May of 2011 my parents, then boyfriend, and I survived the Joplin tornado. I guess I’m using the word survived rather loosely here as since then my life has changed beyond what I ever could have imagined. My then boyfriend soon became my seriously abusive husband, my parents are still out of their minds between mom having a heart attack the day after the storm and the loss of everything they owned. I’m disabled, I’ve been so since my lungs became too unpredictable for me to hold employment at the age of 20. 

I was 32 when the storm hit. By 33 I was saying “I do” to a man that had changed since the storm, which was also the day he proposed. I had an awful feeling about going through with the wedding but I was told to stop being stupid and that I just had cold feet. My mom watched the wedding via Skype from her bed in the rehabilitation unit of the nursing home. My dad, almost as though he had been replaced by a robot, walked me to what can only be described as the moment when a deep wound in our lives became both gangrenous and cancerous.

With both parents now living in the house I was renting from them, I was not only back in my childhood home with the toxic people I had tried so hard to escape as both a child and young adult but they cared even less now than ever before.

My dad witnessed the first time my husband hit me and he did nothing. It was 2 weeks in and I immediately declared I wanted a divorce. My dad told me I was over reacting. The year that followed brought countless beatings, silkwood showers, endless reminders that Marital Consent is still a very real thing in my state, choke holds, being suffocated with his hand on my mouth while the other plugged my nose, death threats, threats to turn his attention to my mom if I made a “mistake” whatever that meant as there were no correct answers with him, and lastly I watched him steal $20,000 from my parents.

Now maybe if there had never been a witness, maybe if I hadn’t been telling my parents everything I could, maybe if I had said “Yes” every time the hospital asked me if I felt safe at home, and maybe, just maybe, if I hadn’t thrown him out 3 times without his house keys only to have dad let him back in, then maybe I wouldn’t feel this gargantuan hole inside of me, but I do. It eats your soul and takes away your ability to trust anyone. It appears to also have made a home inside both of my parents.

I’m not sure why I was ever born. I don’t know if it was some narcissistic thing on their part or they honestly had good intentions. Either way, my biggest goal as a child was to be as invisible as possible. This didn’t always work out though. Kids need help with things and I had no one else to turn to.

They took me to therapy with a pedophile therapist that worked out of his basement office in his home. I would beg to not have to go back. Too ashamed to admit why, too worried they wouldn’t care anyway. They finally sent me to someone else when they walked into his office and had to find us in this tiny cinder block room, the only light coming from a computer screen, and me on his lap. I don’t remember what computer task I was supposed to be doing. I don’t remember what was on the screen. I just remember that wasn’t the first time and I was completely numb. When my parents showed up I burst into tears and ran to them. He made some excuse for this scene and I remember them trying to question me in the car. The only problem was they weren’t questions about what was going on, they were accusations that I was to blame. That my 8 year old self had put the moves on my shrink. They sent me to another therapist and now a psychiatrist. By the time I was 9 years old I was on a steady stream of psych meds.

I lost my Medicaid during the separation from my soon to be ex husband. I also lost the ability to afford any mental health care. I panicked at first. I had been told since the age of 9 that I HAD to have these medications and now at 34 I would have to suddenly stop all of them.

I was terrified. I couldn’t remember a single day that I didn’t pray to die nearly my whole life! It was my first thought every single morning, every quite moment of the day, and the last thing I thought about before falling asleep. I would pray for what seemed like hours every night, but was probably around 30-60 minutes. I wasn’t actively suicidal mind you, I never wanted to end my life. I just felt dead inside. Beyond hope. It was as though everything I experienced was from the inside of a glass box, and the glass was 12ft thick.

I felt love, pain, and even sympathy for others, but I don’t really recall ever feeling happy or joyful. What little I could feel barely registered and I hated myself and my life. If this was the best way I could be with all of those meds, I didn’t want to be anything anymore. Then came the detox.

About 4 weeks after I had to stop the medications, I laughed. I was watching a standup comedy special and for the first time since I was 9 years old, I laughed for real. The sound of my own laugh even startled me, I was that caught off guard. It was then I noticed I hadn’t been praying to die for weeks. Not once that I could recall and in fact, if I really thought about it, I felt hopeful. I’d never felt this way before! I wanted to fix the mess left by the storm and my ex. I wanted to start my new life and finish my degree. I wanted to say I was sorry to everyone for being so checked out and most of all I wanted to tell my parents how much I loved them and beg for forgiveness for every fight, moment of apathy, and tell them that I promise we will survive this because for the first time we really can all work together. I didn’t know then that no matter how much you hope for something to work out, if you haven’t seen a clear view of whom you have to work with, you need to adjust your hopes to match their capabilities.

What do you get when you attempt this with 2 unmedicaited, checked out bi-polars, chocked full of tornado PTSD, that still couldn’t care less if I lived or died? You are told you’re a liar, a worthless selfish c**t, they never want to see your face or hear your voice again, and then they lie to you. I was told to stay out of their lives for and they would help me get out of here. I couldn’t make a sound. If I left my room all Hell broke loose, and any chance they had to be hurtful in anyway they took it. This resulted in me doing all I could to stay asleep or doing something on my phone. I to this day spend all but 30 minutes a day in bed because there is no place else to go.

After a year had passed and my health had deteriorated due to inactivity. I checked the progress of getting me out of here. They hadn’t done anything. I cried. That was new. I was never one to cry before, but I cried. Deep, heavy sobs with raging rivers of tears. They told me to “Shut the f**k up and stop blubbering!” It was the first two years off the meds that I had to learn how to process feeling everything. I was now 35 and to what most people my age would be extremely disappointing or things that could be nice came at me like debris in a wind tunnel. This didn’t hurt like a normal disappointment should, it was like someone fired a cannon full of nails and razor blades at me. I tried to explain to them and to even my poor friends who had to watch me cry over commercials or find the littlest things far too funny, that I’d spent almost 30 years without feeling anything and now I’m adjusting to feeling everything.

My parents didn’t care. Instead they dubbed me a liar and only when it suits them to twist a knife, do they remember the first shrink, the first grade teacher, the countless times one or the other decided I couldn’t win on any particular day. Otherwise, I’m just a “Selfish, lying, whore.”

I’m going to be 37 soon. I don’t hyper feel things anymore and somehow, as I sit in my locked room, I still have hope for a future someday. I’m disabled, and my health is failing. My friends for the majority have long since taken off. My parents still promise help but both can’t and won’t while at the same time my mom spreads lies to the family about me. Dad destroys the house and mom texts pictures of the mess saying that I did it. He’s covered her bedroom wall with blue acrylic paint twice and his clothes were covered in it but somehow it’s my fault.

I’ve been told to stop lying about my ex husband too. Apparently even though he did steal $20,000 he was a saint and I’m too ugly and fat for anyone to ever bother with beating or raping. (Whomever said that a mothers love knows no bounds, clearly needed to get out more.)

Oh update: My father is in the hospital. He has an infected tush and needs cysts removed. I’ve tried to get him into anyone for weeks. He wouldn’t go because he hadn’t had a bath in months. Still, somehow this is my fault.

Being 36, childless, & asked for parenting advice.

Every woman who has yet to have kids or may not want them has been in this little scene: Your BFF since you could sit up in the sandbox is having a baby and you may not have to plan the whole ordeal but you bet your kneecaps your butt had better show up unless you are actually at death’s door. (You KNOW she is an emotional wreck and WILL NOT hesitate to kneecap you, don’t even lie to yourself!) Well as always “someone” (the grandma to be or friends that have gone before and want to show off their parenting knowledge.) just can’t resist breaking out a hand crafted, blessed by the Gods, soon to hold part of the child’s umbilical cord, advice for the mom to be book. (This is where every non parent would happily gut themselves with the cake knife.) 

The book is passed in a circle and each person, young and old is to give their best advice on rearing the child. After a few of these here is my stock answer. Go ahead and use it. I don’t mind. What else are women like us supposed to say? So here goes:

“Don’t worry about making mistakes or messing up your child because you will. If you didn’t that would mean that not only did you make a perfect person but everyone around your child is perfect. Since there are no perfect people in this world, aim for doing as little damage as possible, it makes the therapy cheaper, and always be there with an open heart and mind.” -Meredith Flenner 

If I feel generous I add my P.S. Always carry a small pocket knife. 

I swear after “momma” & “daddy” it’s “Can you open this?” Plus you can make apple slices on the go for WAY less than prepackaged.