Blog Challenge – Day 24

Describe Your Family Dynamic of Your Childhood vs. Your Family Dynamic Now

Well, those that have read my past blogs know that I didn’t have the best home life, my mother was bi-polar and my dad worked evenings so really wasn’t around to protect me from her.   My parents were middle class, both worked, my mother was a hair dresser and my father was a caretaker at a school.  They owned their home and we moved quite a few times, my mother always wanted a bigger and better house.  I was the only child and both my parents were together until I left home the second time when I was 16.  That was when they separated, my mother moved to Israel to look for God and my dad moved to a new house.

My family dynamic today is I am a single mom with 2 kids, I do own my own home and I work.  Right now, we are lower middle class, and I am trying to work my way up the ladder to a better status.  I did go through a depression over the last year, but outside of that, I don’t have any mental health issues, and I have never hurt my children.  I don’t plan on moving from here till my son is starting high school, but I do plan on staying in the area.  My daughter is 22 and still lives at home, where she is probably a little too comfortable, but for now, that’s ok.  There isn’t nearly as much drama in my life now, than in my childhood.  Things are relatively quiet and good, our family is loving and kind and I think I put a lot of what I didn’t have growing up into my life because this is how I wanted my childhood to be.

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Blog Challenge – Day 3

Describe Your Relationship With Your Parents.

In a nut shell.  Not great.

The long hard truths…here it goes…

Let’s start with my dad, he is an amazing guy.  I love him dearly.  He is one of the most important people in my life, however, we’re not close.   He’s not really a hugger, or a talker, or really friendly.  He would do anything for anyone, he is just that type of man.  He is generous to a fault.  I wish he was more like family.  He is my family, but sometimes those that aren’t my family make me feel more like family.  I think he does the best he can.  I totally appreciate him, but sometimes, I just wish we were closer.  He’s getting older now, and he is almost deaf, so conversations are frustrating, he thinks that I’m yelling at him, so he gets defensive and yells back at me.  He’s not senile, and he is still very smart, however, he won’t wear his ear pieces because he says everything is too loud.  He is a good man, and I love him, and I know he would do anything for me, and he has proven that.  But I wish we felt more like family.

Now, for my mother.  This one is a doozy…my mother has been medicated with a very strong anti-psychotic, for that last 12 years.  She should have been on something for the last 60 years.  She was diagnosed with being bi-polar which made my childhood very interesting, I spent time with random family members when she was hospitalised, when she was home she could be very abusive, physically and verbally and I was able to get past all of that.  I moved out when I was 15.  When I was 17 she took off to Israel to look for God.  So she was there for years and years, and I barely spoke with her or kept in touch.  When Jeffery passed, it was the one time that I really needed my mother, my aunt sent a telegram to her and she called about 2 days later.  She told me how sorry she was, how she had a dream and saw Jeffery in God’s arms, and then I asked…When will you be flying in?  Her answer.  Oh, I don’t like funerals much.  Yup.  My mother didn’t come to my son’s funeral.  I didn’t talk to her again for years.  The next time I seen her was when my daughter was 7.  It was probably 7 years since I had seen her.  She stayed at my father’s house, even though they were divorced, because that is the type of man he is, and she proceeded to throw out everything that was Japanese in my Japanese father’s house, because it was evil.

I salvaged what I could out of the garbage bags, and she left, stayed with a friend and I didn’t see her for another 10 years.  She moved to BC, and came to Ontario for a visit.  We had dinner with my family and her, and that was the last time.  It’s been about 5 years now.

My mother is now very ill, she is still in BC and I’m still in Ontario.  She was admitted into hospital after a fall, it was quite a bad fall and she lives alone, one of her neighbours finally checked on her, and she was passed out with a blood infection, she had to have a full transfusion.  She has kidney issues as well as balance issues which are from the anti-psychotic she has been on, it was a very strong dose, and the hospital is dumbfounded as to why she was on it for so long without having regular check-ups.  She was in intensive care for a week or two, I’m still unclear on that, but stayed in hospital for over 6 weeks.  They were weening her off the anti-psychotic, and she was released, and last I heard she was back in.  I don’t know how I feel about this.  I have or had this hatred for her most of my life, but now that she isn’t well, I don’t know how I feel.  My aunt, her sister and my uncle her brother, are both out in BC, they have been updating me on her situation.  I don’t feel like I need to make the trip yet, but I probably will have to soon.  I just don’t picture her as old and frail, in my mind she was this strong, Hungarian, tyrant.  She was mean and not frail.  I can’t seem to get past that.

That’s the relationship with my parents.

Teenage Angst

By the time I got to my teenage years, I hated my mother.  She was still crazy, and most of time she just wasn’t very nice.  When I was growing up, I was very shy, so I didn’t have a lot of friends, and my best friend at the time, was a year younger than me.  One day, when I was 12, I came home from school, it was an ordinary day, I went to the bathroom and realized that I got my period, however, I didn’t know what was actually happening, they didn’t prepare us at my school, and my mother never told me anything, and I didn’t hear it from any of my friends.  My mother had her own ensuite and I never went there or looked in her garbage, so I was totally unaware of this horrible event that had befallen me.  The only saving grace was that it didn’t happen at school and I was wearing darker pants.  I called my mom at work in a panic, and my mother being the wonderful person she is started laughing, like hysterically, she couldn’t catch her breath, I was holding the phone with toilet paper stuffed in my underwear, sure that I was dying, and my mother, was laughing her ass off…Wow…She tells me that there are sanitary napkins in the laundry room in a large garbage bag, apparently my dad would take them from the school he worked at, but that is a whole other story….put one in my underwear and she would talk to me when she got home.  All she said when she got home was that this was normal, I was growing up, and it was called…my period.  I would say, this is probably where my moodiness would come in to play, and this really clashed with my mothers craziness.

We moved from this house the summer that I was turning 14.  And we moved to a new town, in a new region.  Really, it was about 15-20 minutes away by car, but I didn’t drive, and of course, you tell your best friend you will still visit and write, but you don’t, so that was that.

My mother got a job in the local mall, she was a hairdresser by trade, and did her schooling in Europe, so she could easily get work over the years.  She also lost this job because she would get her clients into the barber chair, and start talking about God, and being a born again Christian, and quoting the bible, well, it would make her clients very uncomfortable and she did eventually lose her job.

I did start to open up, and became more outgoing, and made friends, and I wasn’t the greatest kid, I would smoke, drink, skip school, I spent a lot of time at the mall my mom worked at – it was a big mall, and if it were during school hours, I would avoid her part of the mall so she wouldn’t see me, there was a time or two I was in the food court, smoking when she came to get her lunch, and I was sneaky, and never got caught.

My father was still working nights, and so, I would leave for several nights and not tell either of them where I was staying or what I was doing, I admit, I wasn’t the best child, sometimes, we had these conversations:

Mother:  Where are you going?

Me:  Out.

Mother:  When will you be home?

Me:  Later

Yeah, I was a peach.

Through my teen years, my mother would call me demon spawn, the devil’s own daughter, harlot, she actually called me harlot all my life, I thought it was a Hungarian word, I didn’t know until I was at a bush party when I was 15 and a girl called another girl a harlot, and I asked if she was Hungarian, how embarrassing, that was when I found out my mother had been calling me a whore for as long as I can remember.

My mother got a new job as an administrative assistant at an elevator company.  Shortly there after she announced to my father and I that she was in love with her boss, and they would be moving forward with a relationship.  Her boss, was a happily married man, and not even the least bit interested in my mother.

During that time, my dad, started looking at other houses in Pickering, and I was really excited, it was going to just be me and my dad, and we were moving and she was going to be gone, this was great.  Too bad it didn’t happen.  My mother got worse and worse, she was just mean, and of course she lost her job again.  She decided she was going to be an artist, she wrote a book, and basically just stayed at home water colouring and oil painting.  Oh and the violin, that was also a fun time, she was very bad at playing the violin.

Around this time, I also started to resent my father, he didn’t leave my mother, he was never there, and I had plenty of teenage angst to go around for everyone.

When I was 15 I moved in with a friend, and her mom took me in as a foster child, so she got assistance for having me there, it was nice, I enjoyed my time there, I felt like I had a family, I had a sister and a brother, and my foster mom had a boyfriend, and he was great, they treated me well.  However, all the pets, including my cat that I moved with me, had fleas, and they all slept on my bed with me.  I got many, many flea bites, and was very allergic to the flea bites, mostly on my legs, but they were terrible.  On my 16th birthday, my foster family took me out to a Mexican restaurant, they had a foil balloon that said sweet sixteen, my foster sister bought me the latest Jon Bon Jovi tape – Blaze of Glory – the Young Guns soundtrack – released on my birthday, it was amazing.  Such a difference from my home, my mother asked if I would visit, so I did, I won’t lie, part of me wanted my gift.  But I was the fool, I got a card, and the card said, “If you were a better daughter, we might have put money in this card.”  They invited me over for that?  Wow, it was a 45 minute walk and they did nothing for me.  I can tell you, I wasn’t the greatest kid, but why call me over, to do that.

So, shortly after that, things fell apart with my foster family, I believe that I overstayed my welcome, I spent a few nights with another friend and then I moved back home.  By now, I had met the father of my first 2 babies, let’s call him Jack, short for Jackass, he’s not that bad, but we’ll go with it,  I was burning bridges everywhere, my friends turned against me when we started dating, I had been seeing someone else, but then went home with Jack, it was purely innocent, we did a lot of talking, and nothing happened, we did click, but I decided to end it with the first guy before I started anything with Jack, my friends on the other hand thought that I was a cheater and a liar, and they all stopped talking to me, that lasted a few years, which really just pushed me and Jack together, I also decided to drop out of school.  Yup, everything was turning up roses.

Thus begins the era of Jack.  More on that next time, I thought I could get out all my teenage years, turns out, a lot happened.

 

My Mother

This is going to be the first of many blogs to help me get things off my chest, I need to learn to let go, possibly forgive, and move on, this needs to get done for my well being, and I am at a point that I need to try anything and everything to get me out of my negative head-space.  I want to preface this by saying that I have great friends who I talk with, my life is an open book and I speak of my trials and tribulations all the time, my social worker says that I am not feeling my emotions when I speak, so this is an attempt to get some emotions out and try to feel my words.

My mother is a Hungarian born woman, and she has always been a little unstable, I think being pregnant with me may have made her worse.  My mother suffered from what they called manic depression, which they now call bi-polar.

My father lived with her for a year, before they got married, and it was 4 years before they had me, in that 4 years, my dad realized that she wasn’t really stable, so he resigned himself to not actually having kids, even though he wanted to have a big family.  My mother used to tell me that my dad didn’t want kids, and the reason she became pregnant was because of the birth control pill, at the time it was very strong so her doctor suggested going off it for a year after she was on it for 4 years, so apparently, I was conceived, on the first month of going back on the pill after having a year off.  But this is only what I know from what I was told.

So anyway, I came along and in those days my mother and I stayed in the hospital for a week, so my dad decided it would be a good time to get a vasectomy.  He told me later that he feared that his kids would turn out like her and have mental health issues.

Most of my early years, I have only to go off of what I know from aunts, uncles, my dad’s side, my mother’s side, so bear with me.  When I was an infant, my mother was admitted into the hospital due to an episode – my family says it was a nervous breakdown, I think it may have been postpartum depression, anyway, I’m not exactly sure how long she was gone, but in my later years, when my dad’s side of the family would go on about how fat I was, my mother would tell me that it was my grandparents fault for feeding me every time I cried, while she was away.  I do have pictures of her at my 1st birthday, but then I was told that she came out of the hospital around my second birthday, I don’t have pictures of her at my second birthday, so I can’t verify this.  Between birth and 3, I know that she spent a lot of time in the hospital, and I basically lived with my grandparents, but I don’t know how much time, as there are many pictures with her in them at various times in the year, just not my second birthday.

My mother, from the time I could remember, wasn’t really a nice woman overall, she beat me with a wooden spoon, she dragged me home by my ear, this was probably pretty normal for the day and age, so I’m not really stuck on that, but on occasion, she would throw me, these were the times she wasn’t well.  She mostly just yelled though, a lot.  My mother, was sick, so when bad things happened, I was told my mother was sick.

When I was 5 years old, I was walking home from school, when one of the kids told me my mother was waiting with her car at the school, so I doubled back, and she asked me if I wanted to go to Disney Land, well what kid would say no to that, she had the car packed and we went to the airport, periodically, I would ask about my dad:

Me:  “Is Daddy coming?”

Mother:  “Of course, he will meet us at the airport.”

Me at the airport:  “Where is Daddy?”

Mother:  “He will meet us when we land.”

Me in California:  “Where is Daddy?”

Mother:  “He’ll be here tomorrow.”

You get the idea, and each day, I would ask, and she would tell me another lie.  So when we got to California, we stayed with a friend of my mother’s, she was a Jehovah’s Witness, and she had a little girl, all I really remember is that this little girl was awful, she wouldn’t share her toys and she had tons of them, all over the floor, you couldn’t even walk in her room, but if I picked something up, she would rip it out of my hands and tell me it was hers and she was my age.  We only stayed there for a night because the woman we were staying with and my mother fought, I don’t know why, my mother is unstable so that probably had the most to do with it.  Also, my mother had no money, so after this, we took another cab to the ocean, and we slept on the beach for a few days, I can’t remember how many, but my dad says we were gone for about a week, and I remember being on the beach for a long time.  One afternoon on the beach, my mother was napping, and one of those bicycle ice-cream guys went by, so I followed him, and  talked to him, and followed him and talked to him, and followed him and talked to him, and he finally gave me an ice-cream and told me to go.  Apparently, I was a little annoying, or maybe he was worried about my safety.  Anyway, I made my way back to where my mother was, but she had woken up at this time, so she was panicked and looking for me when she spotted me coming towards her.  She grabbed me, I dropped my ice-cream, and she started to hold my head in the ocean and kept telling me to never leave her again, after this was over, I was crying uncontrollably, and repeatedly asking for my father and asking to go home.  I think she hit rock bottom, she called my father he wired money and we went home.  My mother was admitted to the hospital again for around 4 months.

When I was 7, my mother was bathing me, and she was really nice, she told me that the circus was coming in a few months and that we should go, and I was very excited.  I remember doing something, nothing really bad, but by accident, and holding my breath and waiting for her to get upset, I think I dropped the soap out of the tub, I remember the feeling overall but not the action, but she was incredibly nice, picked up the soap, or over looked what I had done, and it was such a great night, well, while we were in the bathroom, my aunt and uncle came.  It was my mother’s sister and her husband.  My aunt took over with me and helped me get dressed into my PJ’s and housecoat and asked if I wanted to play hide and go seek, I told her I wasn’t allowed outside after my shower, and she laughed and said that we were going to hide at her house.  I was still a little concerned that my parents wouldn’t find me there, not because I was scared of my aunt, but that was a large boundary for hide and go seek.  As she was opening the downstairs door to the outside, there was a struggle at the upstairs door, so she quickly closed the door and asked to see my playroom in the back of the house in the basement of the bungalow.

As it turns out, my mother was not well again, the wonderful person I wanted her to be, was how she was when she wasn’t well, and my father and uncle were taking her back to the hospital.  I entered the hospital with my aunt, and we went through some doors looking for my dad, and in a hall to the right of me, there was my mother on a gurney, strapped down, and flailing like a mad woman.  My aunt tried to shield me, she didn’t expect my mother to be there and pushed me back out the door we just came in.  I lived with my aunt for the next 4 months.  I was with a Brownie pack at the time and we had a trip to the circus, my mother was released from the hospital that day, and the first time I seen in her in 4 months was at that circus.

That was the last time my mother went to the hospital.  Not that she was never unwell again, because she was, but she was pretty stable, and medicated till I was about 12.  More to come about my pre-teen and teen years with my mother at another time.