Thursday, August 31, 2006

Ordinary lives

They were an ordinary couple. Middle class, struggling with a young family. She loved her son, not her daughter. I could never figure out why. Academic achievements by him, and not her.
Why can’t you be more like your brother?
Because I am not him.

Yet still.

They were an ordinary couple, but perhaps he had too short a fuse. His temper was feared. She was silent, took the verbal assaults, lived her life and hated her daughter for being so like him. Hated her because maybe he loved her, a little bit. I never knew if he felt sorry for me, for not being loved, as if the responsibility of that defaulted to him because she didn’t want it. But he was fighting his own battle. He had no time for me.

They were an ordinary couple, but argued too much. Turmoil and hatred and rage and tears marked every outing. We were in a foreign country, on a holiday, when he walked away. Left her with two children on an unfamiliar street. We managed. I bore the guilt and the blame. I was the convenient scapegoat. It was always me who took one for the team. I was bruised and battered, but still stood tall and strong. I had to be strong. No one else around me was.

They were an ordinary couple. People would say they were “nice”. They hid my tears from friends. They alienated themselves from extended family. Other people were always sinning against them. They were such martyrs.

They were an ordinary couple. They wanted what was best for their family, but they didn’t understand the concept of family. Love was never unconditional. Love never flowed freely. It had to be earned. It was something I was just never good enough for,... though I tried. I tried so hard. And one day I just stopped. It didn’t matter anymore. It just didn’t matter anymore.

They were an ordinary couple. She was an ordinary mother. She was an ordinary mother whose loneliness and hatred became my legacy.


sansanity said...

that shook me. so understand it. it's why i dont believe i should procreate.

James said...

I agree with sansanity. I can't stand my family (at least most of them). I consider my friends more my family then my blood family.

The Mass Defective said...

"Love was never unconditional. Love never flowed freely. It had to be earned. It was something I was just never good enough for,... though I tried. I tried so hard."

This part made me cry because that's how it was in my family. Sorry you had to grow up in that environment.


Yuki said...

Polar Bear,

I love the picture you painted!!! It's awesome!!! I love the colour and your work! You are multi-talented!

Your life story is sad to hear. My dad was pretty verbally abusive towards me, too, more than anyone else. My mom was next. But my older brother didn't seem to get yelled at as much. Why do they pick on the youngest and most helpless?

You are so deserving and worthy of love!! I'm so sorry to hear that you didn't get that from your family because you deserved it.

butterflies said...

My parents used to argue and yell a lot.Thats why I like peace and quiet now.
I can remember screaming at my mother that she was supposed to love me unconditionally but altho she always told me she loved me it wasnt what she showed.
Thankfully time has healed a lot of those feelings of anger that were taught to me...after all,we are a product of our environment.
Im sorry you had to suffer abandonment.

Anonymous said...

Thank you for sharing those memories ... I feel like I was there with you, reading how it was from your child's perspective. I can identify. There's something so powerful in the sharing of those memories ... it reminds me of the vulnerability of childhood and how strong you are to examine those early feelings that most of us carry about, shamed and wounded.

Ophelia said...

You wrote this in a powerful way, once again. It was so easy to position onself in your situation.