March 7th

Of course I know what today is.  I’ve never forgotten, it’s not my nature to forget such things.  I’m sure he thinks I forgot, he thinks very little of me.

When my mother was pregnant with me, it was before the days of regular ultrasounds for gender reveals.  The nurses would guess what you were having based on the fetal heartbeats, and amazingly, 50% of the time they were spot on.  On that cold, December day, when my belated birth was finally scheduled, my parents had no clue whether I was a boy or a girl.  Being the first born after the struggle of infertility, you would think that would be enough.

You would think.

The doctor met my father in the hallway.  Being a hilarious man, at least to himself, he decided to follow tradition and exclaimed with delight that I was a boy!!  My father was overjoyed!  How exciting!  Working in construction, his family gave him a gift when they were expecting me, a sign to attach to his work van, advertising his business with a big proud “& Sons” at the end.  The dream was real!

Except it wasn’t.

That doctor told all of the waiting fathers that the baby was a boy, and he thought it was hilarious.  When my father found out I was indeed a girl, he wasn’t laughing.  And pretty much, he has kept that bitter look of disappointment every time he has looked at me ever since.

What a way to start a relationship, right?  So much of my childhood was spent desperately seeking his approval, yearning so badly for any kind of positive recognition from my father.  I can’t remember ever in my life feeling loved by that man.  Not once.  If he walked through the room and I was having a snack, he would look at me in disgust and tell me I was going to be fat, just like my mother.  When I had to get glasses, he told me I would have to start plucking my eyebrows so I didn’t look like a man.  When I got dressed up for school dances, posed in front of the camera before leaving with friends, he would criticize the way I stood, telling me it made me look even fatter than I already was.  Brought home A and B report cards?  Why aren’t they all A’s?  Maybe I needed to study more, to get those grades up.

What in the actual hell??

I doubt myself to this day with a special kind of self loathing that can not possibly be built alone.  It took over 30 years to hate and doubt myself this much, and I have my father to thank for that.

While he is being doted on and told how wonderful he is today by my Stockholm Syndrome poster child mother, and siblings who never had the pleasure of knowing the same monster as I did growing up, I will resist the urge to wish him to choke on his birthday cake.  Instead, I will take pleasure in knowing that I am finally free from his poison.  I have so much damage to try and undo, so much pain and suffering to heal from.

I will also take this opportunity to be thankful for the amazing Daddy that my husband is to our children!!!  They are so lucky and so blessed to have such a magical relationship with him!!  Thank goodness they will never know this empty, dreadful feeling!!

And for that matter, I thank my lucky stars for being blessed with such an amazing man, constantly dealing with this crazy, broken woman that he calls his wife!!  I don’t know how he does it, but I sure am glad to call him mine.  I may have had an awful, hellish upbringing, but I now end each day knowing how loved and important I am to the people that truly matter, my husband and my babies.  God is GOOD!

Thank you, Bob Newhart.

vermont

Antenna tv has recently started playing old re-runs of Newhart, the Bob Newhart show from the 80’s where he and his wife move from New York to Vermont to run an old, historical inn, centered in a small town.  Just the theme song alone makes me happy, and in fact, it was the opening of this very show, with all of the gorgeous, colorful views of Vermont that has made me secretly long to live there since I was very young.

Last night’s episode happened to really strike a chord with me, and I couldn’t help but chuckle that it took a classic tv show to help me get over something that has been eating away at me since Christmas day.

In the episode, in classic sitcom fashion, a series of events occurs where Stephanie and Joanna happen across Michael’s diary, where in it, he happens to say a lot of very not nice things about all of the people he is closest to.  As they read the entries, they understandably get upset, sad, angry, ultimately hurt that someone so close to them is saying such awful things about them.

Now, Michael is not mean to anyone directly, quite the opposite.  This is why it was so upsetting!  They assume that everything is storybook happy, everyone loves everyone and no one ever thinks a single bad thing about anyone else.  But realistically, as Bob points out, everyone is guilty of thinking bad thoughts about everyone else.  That’s just human nature.  Michael’s thoughts were private, and not meant for anyone else to see.

In a somewhat similar situation, I was shown hurtful words said about myself by someone very close to me, things that truly broke my heart and that have since then, left me feeling sad and at times quite angry.  I don’t believe this person even knows what happened, and certainly, they haven’t and would never say these things to my face.  Quite possibly, taking the context in mind, it was things said out of anger and frustration with someone else.  Regardless, besides wishing I was never shown or pulled into the nonsense, I have let it eat away at me and tarnish what I thought was an amazing, loving relationship.

Last night’s episode of Newhart, hearing Bob’s infinite wisdom, realizing that I was never meant to see or know those things were said, and being reminded that we are all guilty of the same thing, we just don’t usually have it shoved in our faces, well, it was a light bulb moment.

Thank you Bob Newhart and classic tv, for having timeless wisdom and for getting through this girl’s thick skull.  And yes, I still want to live in Vermont.  🙂

Feigning Interest

As we are in the process of *hopefully* buying a house, I am finding myself undernourished in the department of motherly love.  I expected my mom to be one of our biggest cheerleaders, someone who I could excitedly ramble on to about how amazingly new and awesome all of this is.  I don’t have that.  Not at all.

My mom doesn’t even ask me about the house we are interested in.  She brings up homes closer to her, but I feel my excitement drain away every time I talk to her, almost like a black hole for happiness.

Now, I will admit, right now, we only live about 2 minutes away from my parents house.  Very convenient for frequent visits, which she does.  We are hoping to move about 15 minutes away, hardly a huge distance, and certainly no reason to be completely unsupportive.

I decided to try and extend an olive branch yesterday, knowing that things have been tense since the silly argument with my dad last Mother’s Day.  My dad is a union carpenter and has specifically studied both online and through books, how to perform home inspections, planning for when we would be buying our new house.  My intent was to ask if he would like to come look at the house when we have the inspector come out, giving a chance to kind of glaze over what had happened in the past and attempt to move on.

To clarify, I wasn’t asking this to “get anything” out of it.  Yes, my dad is a carpenter and can do amazing work around the house, etc, but my only goal was to break the ice.  I have no interest in having him work on my house in any way.  I only tried to make things less uncomfortable for everyone.

So I mentioned to my mom yesterday the idea of having him come look at the house.  She had a completely blank look on her face when she shrugged her shoulders and said, “I don’t know.”  Now, it wasn’t just an “I don’t know”, nothing can be that simple with my mother.  It was dripping with drama, eluding to us needing to beg for forgiveness, like she felt she suddenly had the upper hand.  That sounds crazy to say, but you don’t know my crazy family.

I instantly regretted my white flag and wanted to rip it off the field.

“He said he would like to look at it online though, so you can tell me how to do that since I don’t know how.”

I held back my frustrated sigh and changed the subject.  I won’t lie, it stung.  It was the salt in an already gaping wound from a week of my mom not showing an interest in our home search.   I vented to Abe, who didn’t seem surprised at all.  He is the pessimist, always assuming the worst of people and therefore never getting disappointed.  I envy that.  I see sunshine and rainbows in nearly every situation, giving people who don’t deserve it the benefit of the doubt.  Until they give me reason not to.  I think I have my reasons now.

It is very disappointing that I can’t count on my mom for the support that I need right now.  I was looking forward to showing off our new home, our projects, our accomplishments.  Luckily, I have amazing friends that have shown my far more love and support, even just in casual passing.

Chapter closed?  I think this book needs to be donated.  I keep picking it up and expecting a different story, forgetting that the characters never change.

Blogging

I’m telling you, they can’t write the crazy things my kids do.  And thank goodness, right?  My blog, though it would still be completely awesome, would be much less entertaining with out the ridiculous things the kiddos say and do.

We had a crazy weekend, but then, I can’t remember a weekend since having kids that has not been crazy.  We got out to do some Good Will hunting, which always makes me happy.  No big treasure finds this time, but I did get a handful of clothes and books for the kids.  I can never say no when they ask for a book, it’s my weakness.  We are all big book nerds in this house.

We also made a trip to Trader Joe’s.  Oh my goodness, I love Trader Joe’s!  Everything about it!  The products, the prices, the atmosphere!  They have little shopping carts for the babies to push around and shop with you.  Come on now, that is adorable!  And genius!  Although, I would imagine that a large number of people get ran into from overly excited pint size shoppers.  Still, very cool.

While at Trader Joe’s, Mama got adventurous and bought some fish.  Mama does not like fish.  The smell alone nauseates me.  I wanted to give it another fair try though, and the kids definitely don’t eat enough of it because I can’t stand it.  Well.  I tried.  Still completely grody in my opinion.  But the kids gobbled it up.  “I never knew fish was so tasty!”, Bella exclaimed.  Good for them!  Guess I’ll have to put up with the smell more often for their sake.  Won’t be any narsty fishies on my plate though.

What’s a weekend without a little drama?  Yes, the crazy telenovela that is my parental relationship is still just as over dramatic and ridiculous as usual.  Here’s the thing, and it’s the last thing I will say about it all.  Yay?  My dad told my mom that my husband does not care about her and does not give a (insert expletive here) if she lives or dies.  He seriously said that.  To the sick, depressed woman that he is “trying to protect.”  Not only is it an absolutely ridiculous lie, but it is just mean and hurtful.  And ugly.  My husband is the kindest, gentlest, most thoughtful, wonderful man on this planet.  He loves my mother as if she were his own.  My father as well.  They were his family.  Now, here is where Abe and I are complete polar opposites.  He would be happy to drop it all and pretend like nothing ever happened.

Wow.

See, I can not do that.  It is not going to happen.  When you have a problem with my husband, you have a problem with me.  And I know how to carry a grudge.  I am Latina, it’s in my blood.  My husband and my children are my priority.  They are my life, everything in my world revolves around them.  I refuse to overlook the vicious, nastiness.  As far as I am concerned, unless my dad comes begging on his knees for forgiveness from Abe, which will never happen, then this will never die.  My husband’s feeling were deeply hurt.  That only fueled my anger.

Does it upset my mom?  Yes!  Of course!  But you know what?  Everything was fine until my father declared World War 3.  He started it, only he can end it.  I am checking out.

You know that old saying, “Sticks and stones can break my bones, but words will never hurt me”?  Mintieras!  Words hurt most of all.

Mama Drama Continued

"No drama" sign with the dramatic ma...

To put a bit of closure on my post from yesterday, I guess I should update the drama.

I called my mom.  At first she claimed to have no idea that my dad had done this.  As we talked more, it became clear that not only did she know he had done it, but she knew he was planning to do it, she knew when he was doing it, and they talked about it afterwards.

Okay.  I get it.  You have a bad day and you want to vent about it to somebody.  You want someone to feel sorry for you.  Fine.  But my mom over dramatized everything, which my dad, being Latino and ridiculous, dramatized the dramatization by about 100% and that’s when he decided to blow up on Abe.

He would never come to me and drop this nonsense because he knows I wouldn’t take it.  I would call him out on his exaggerations and that would set him off even more.  We are too much alike, my dad and I.  He thinks he is never wrong and I know I am never wrong.

When I was seventeen, not long after Abe and I started dating, he basically pulled the same crap.  Only, I was home at the time, and when I happened upon him taking out his frustrations on Abe, I stepped in and ended it.

Then he kicked me out.

If I couldn’t agree that his way was the only way, then I had no place to live in his house.

He actually brought up this fight when he was unloading on Abe yesterday.  He said he will never forget that fight and he is still waiting for an apology.

Don’t hold your breath, Papi.

I wasn’t wrong then, I am not wrong now.  I did nothing to feel guilty for.  I have my own life, my own husband, my own children and they are my priority.  I am sorry if my mom had her feelings hurt, but it was of her own doing.

My mom plays the role of the helpless housewife that can’t control her husband or what he says or does.  This makes me insane.  It’s not cute, it’s ridiculous to pretend you have no mind of your own.  “You can’t put a leash on Dad.  You know how he is.”  Sure, she is not responsible for what he says and does, but she has an opinion.  There is nothing stopping her from speaking up if she believes what he said or did is wrong.

She didn’t speak up fifteen years ago when he kicked me out of the house, and she didn’t speak up yesterday.  If anything, she egged him on.

That does not sit well with me.

I love my mom.  I love my dad.  I won’t allow anyone to treat my husband like a child to be scolded.  And I certainly will not be made to feel guilty for things that are out of my control.

In all honesty, the only thing yesterday’s drama accomplished, was making me wish we lived far away.  Somewhere drama free.  I don’t rely on anyone but myself to make me happy.  I consider myself to be a loving and thoughtful person.  I love my friends and my family dearly.  I go out of my way to let them know it every chance I get.  I never want to be the cause of anyone feeling badly.  I only want happiness, both for myself and for everyone around me.  Passive aggressively attacking me did not pull me closer, it pushed me further away.

So now what?

Well, I will live my life and enjoy every second I have with my babies and my husband.  I will stand my ground on not being made to feel guilty for things dreamed up in dramatic people’s minds.  I am not punishing my parents in any way, but if they feel I am so evil, then perhaps I will just stay back and happily live my life as if the crazy never dropped.  I’m not mad.  I’m not upset.  I’m above it.  I have a much clearer picture of what happened, and being able to inspect it closely with a sound and rational mind just makes it look all the more silly.

I am happy.  I know I didn’t ruin anything.  I have a clear conscious.  And I have a baby that is in the double digits age wise today!  Ack!

A palabras de barracho, oidos de jicarero.

Forever and ever, Amen.

 

Mama Drama

I am very annoyed right now, but don’t want to let that affect what I write.  I am also angry and hurt.

Where to begin?

Well, Abe went over to my parents house this morning to borrow the power washer.  He was gone for two hours.  We live five minutes away.  I assumed he and my dad were talking about projects they want to work on, but as it turns out, my dad decided to yell at my husband as though he were a small child about ridiculous things.  Mostly about my mom.

*le sigh*

My mom’s people are dramatic.  She is one of the most dramatic people I know.  She gets upset very easily and reads way too much into everything everyone ever says.  She has a lot of health issues, as I have mentioned.  She just had surgery recently and had not been feeling well.  We had invited her to Matthew’s birthday party, but she felt too poorly to attend.  I understood that, no problem.  Because she was feeling so poorly, and because we had a million things going on Mother’s Day weekend, we just stopped by her house for a short visit.

Apparently, this is when I ruined my mother’s life.

When we arrived, I asked how she was feeling.  She told me she was tired and felt like crap.  Wanting to not put her out, we did not stay long.  About an hour.  Everything appeared fine on the outside.

I talk to my mom all the time.  I see my mom all the time.  She comes to my house all the time.  But I ruined her Mother’s Day.

By being considerate of her feelings and healing, I am a monster.  That was one of the biggest things my dad decided to scream at Abe for.

That’s another thing that is really bothering me.  Abe is very laid back and easy going.  A perfect target for a hot head that wants to unload.  Remember that Latina temper I talked about early on in my blog?  Well, my dad is the queen of dramatic Latin tempers.  Yes, I said “queen” on purpose.  Neener, neener, take that, Dad!

It’s not fair for Abe to even be pulled into any of this, much less get yelled at for something he didn’t do.  If my mom has a problem with me, then she needs to call me up and say so!

My sister goes weeks and weeks without visiting or talking to my mom.  And my mom just excuses it as her being busy.  My sister doesn’t have any kids.  Is she getting reamed for ruining Mom’s life?  No.  And she shouldn’t.  She is an adult and she has her own life to live.  If she is too busy, then she is too busy!  That is life.  But for me to be the problem here, when I go out of the way to talk to my mom and visit my mom several times a week?   Where is the logic in that?

Today, my mom is celebrating my sister’s birthday with dinner at her house.  We are not going.  I have two kids with nasty cases of pink eye.  My dad told Abe that we need to “suck it up” and go anyway.  Insinuating that we are lying about the kids being sick.  To that, I told Abe to drop off the germy ones and let them all get their cooties.

It’s all silly, it just is.  My mom should have had the ability to voice her opinion to me, especially if I ruined everything, like my dad tells Abe that I did.  I know that my dad is worried about my mom’s health and feels helpless, but that doesn’t make it okay to take it all out on Abe.

Poor Abe.

He doesn’t want me to say anything to anyone because he doesn’t want to hurt his relationship that he busted his ass to have with my dad.  I don’t see how I can possibly let this go without saying anything.  Especially since I am the destroyer of all things good.

It’s just ridiculous.  I was very angry and sad when I heard all of this, but now, honestly I am laughing about it.  I refuse to be made to feel guilty.  I celebrated my Mother’s Day by visiting my mom and then busting my butt running around getting last minute things ready for Bella’s recital.  I did nothing wrong.  We aren’t going to my sister’s birthday party because my kids had snot pouring out of their red, swollen eyeballs.  I am doing nothing wrong.

I guess now I need to call my mom.  I swear, she needs some anti depressants or something.  And me, well, I need a stiff drink before I dive into the drama.

Wish me luck!