I know my story is nothing special. It's not horrific or disgusting or even close to a "bad childhood." It's not. It's not bad at all. But today, I just could not stand my life, and my family, and what it's become.
We are sitting at the restaurant, and my mom, who has recently started getting hot flashes says that it's really hot in here. My dad gives her the dirtiest look, as if she said something foul, and spits out, "What the hell is wrong with you? It's not hot."
My dad treats my mother like a slave, a maid, a dog. He has never hit her... and that is always the excuse that I have used for my family. "Hey, well at least no one was physically abusive." But that doesn't mean that all is well.
I don't know or understand why my parents are married. I have never known if they loved each other. I figure they must have at some point, since they had me and my brother. But they don't love each other now. They don't divorce because it's just much more convenient to stay married. They don't hate each other, they don't love each other. It's just a partnership, a loyalty. They support each other when bad shit happens. But it's not love.
I have long believed that once you become an adult, it is pathetic to blame your parents for anything. Because they shouldn't have that much impact in your life as an adult, and if they do, you should do something about it. But I can't deny that they still affect me, especially my dad.
The last time they had a fight was a month ago. We were watching TV, some drama showing some perfect little family, and my mom was just being playful, saying things like, you should never marry someone like your dad! You should marry someone fun and handsome, like that guy! And my dad completely exploded at her. I can't recall what he said, but he was pissed off that she was saying those things. I hid in the bathroom. My mom was saying how embarrassed she was, how she was only joking, and how could he talk to her like that in front of me? In my mind, I was thinking, please shut up, please shut your mouth, stop provoking him more, please shut the fuck up before he gets even worse, please shut the fuck up.
That has been my whole approach to anger and men. Don't say anything. Do not provoke them. Keep your mouth fucking shut. Don't joke with them. Don't flirt with them. Don't annoy them.
How wrong are those thoughts? Those immediate, those automatic thoughts that say, "Mom, please shut up before Dad does something worse." That's how it has always been.
When I was a young child, I remember saying, "Since you know how Dad is, you should just stop when he starts getting mad. Just stay quiet." And she said, "Why does it always have to be me? Why should I always have to swallow everything?" And I didn't understand her. I remember thinking, it's better to swallow it than to make him more mad.
But now that I am older, my whole throat closes up in frustration and rage... my mother has had to deal with this for 20-plus years. Never allowed to express how she really feels, for fear he might just kill us all.
And to my dad? I'm thinking, are you fucking serious? You treat my mother like this, and then get angry about her saying I should marry someone nice? Are you fucking blind?
Yes, my dad works hard. He does not cheat on my mom. He has always supported me and my brother.
But he comes home and he does not lift a finger to do a single thing. My mom cooks dinner and serves him right at his feet. Makes coffee and serves him. Does the dishes. Cleans. Takes out the trash. Laundry.
The worst fights have been about how he doesn't understand why the house isn't clean when she doesn't do anything else in her life. How he's sick of living in this dirty house.
Actually, I can't even remember what exactly the fights are about. They begin with something completely insignificant. She says the "wrong" thing. She gives him the wrong look. Complains about something. Tries to joke with him. Something insignificant. And then he'll lose his shit and trash the whole house.
In my wildest dreams, I stand up to him. But in reality, I do nothing. My whole body freezes. I hide in the bathroom or my bedroom, curl up, and disassociate. I'm in my mind and there is nothing else. I close my eyes and I am gone. If someone were to talk to me right at that moment, my eyes would contain nothing. I'd be a ghost.
I don't hate my dad. I hate how he treats my mother. I harbor a lot of resentment towards him.
I see a lot of his characteristics in myself. I am also an introverted person, and I lose my temper a lot at stupid things because I tend to bottle things up. But I would never treat my husband or anyone else like that.
I would rather live alone than to marry someone like my dad.