We all come into this world borne of 2 parents. Those parents, their extended Family, and any siblings You may have; are what are supposed to form Your Family. That Family are supposed to be the people who protect You, teach You, support You; and stay with You throughout Your lives. But, I have no idea what a Real, Normal, Cohesive Family looks like. I have spent most of My life, trying to piece together What it really is. I grew up believing that I was not worthy of, or that I should not have any reason to expect one.
As I went to school on an empty belly, or with electrical tape around my runners, I would wonder why the other children didn’t live this way. There was a time that I wore a pair of my sister’s hand-me-down shoes to school. They were brown suede, a fringe on the top, and chunky crepe heels. On the way to school, one of those heels fell off. I had no other shoes, so I wore them, one heel missing, for almost 2 weeks. And there were the hand me down clothes, which weren’t so bad, especially when they came from rich friends. But the granny boots with the fur trim, from the Amity when I was 8, were the worst. The kids teased Me and followed Me home from school throwing taunts at my fleeing back. I never told My Mother, because I knew how bad She already felt; and that it would make her sadder still. I Love My Mom. Like Me, She was the nurturer, The one who Everyone turned to for advice, support, help with things like their taxes and children’s health and well being. I don’t remember Her EVER turning Her back on anyone; tho they often turned theirs on Her. Our door and Her heart were Always open. Even when all that was in Our cupboard were 2 cans of soup, She gave one to Our neighbours, who had no food and three children to feed as well.
I used to tell Myself that these were the experiences which shaped My character, (isn’t that what We all say?). But what the real truth is…..the anger, sadness, and especially the bitterness I feel; are the “honest” by-product of knowing there were people who could have helped, and chose not to. People who felt that the well being of 4 young children was less important than putting My prideful Father in His place, or that they’d been elected the quasi teachers of proper money management. Lessons that both of My parents went to their graves, not learning. That did not one iota of Good. Not One. And Me(?) ,what I remember is, We ate mock chicken sandwiches for supper over candlelight, or shared a burger…..went to bed with coats and mittens on because there was no oil for the furnace in the middle of Winter. I remember crying with and for My Mom, in frustration, disappointment, and a broken spirit and heart. I remember Loneliness and Isolation. I remember feeling like I would Never measure up. But, the most Awful thing I remember…..that it was people related to Us by blood, who made Me feel that way most.
I entered adulthood broken, determined to Never judge why, but to just extend My hand when needed, for any reason. It’s why I have always chosen the Underdogs, in this World, to stand behind. I have housed all but one of my siblings and My father. I have been here whenever they have needed Me. And in turn, History has looped; and I am now My Mom.
I have Never done anything with the expectation of return/reward. All I have ever really wanted, is what most people take for granted; a Proper, supportive, kind and caring Family. I guess it’s just too much to ask for. Now I come close to My final days, and I realize; that, that was never meant to be for people like Me…..my Mom.
I did not write this to garner sympathy, but as a hope for catharsis. And I am sharing it only, to show others like Me, that they are not alone…..not the only ones. That it is okay to have these feelings.
It is Never easy to bare Your soul; but sometimes necessary. And…..tho this barely scratches the ugly surface, it is enough.