I don't think my parents knew how to be parents as I was growing up. They fucked me up mentally and I'm trying to get over all of that. One day I will be free of all that.
My first memory of dad was him telling me not to be a "burden" on him. Lovely to hear when you're three years of age. The last words he ever spoke to me were "fuck off". There were some good moments in-between but I hardly remember those, because as soon as we had our good moments, dad would ruin them. I don't know why. Maybe because he wanted us to grow up humble. He didn't like it when I enjoyed myself. He'd tell me off and yell at me and make me feel like dirt.
Once, he even yelled at me in public in a shopping mall full of people. They stared at us and pointed. Feeling so small, alone and self-conscious as it was, I started to cry, and some people started laughing at me. I was humiliated in public and there was nowhere to run. I couldn't. I was scared stiff.
I don't know whether dad loved me or not. He told me he did, but it often felt insincere, like an afterthought. I think he meant my sister most of the time and not me. Dad never said a bad word to her and always laughed at everything she said, no matter if it was said in anger or as a joke. With me, if I told a joke or laughed at a TV show, I'd cop a serve for having too much fun. My best was never good enough, so I stopped trying to please him.
Disagreeing with dads' opinions equalled disrespecting him. I don't see this with my friends and their parents. I envied them to a degree, but never wished I had their parents as mine. I just wished my parents would treat me better. To our relatives and family friends, my sister and I were "trophies" that belonged to dad. We had to sit and be quiet and be perfect. I never knew what "little kid" fun was.
When dad died, I felt so free, like a weight had been lifted off my shoulders. People didn't understand why I felt this way and said I had a bad heart. I finally felt like I could do anything I wanted. The opportunites were endless. Before, I was always told I had no chance. I used to have to tip-toe around dad. I was scared to breathe in case he suddenly decided to pick on me. He was always in a bad mood and always blamed me for his bad moods. I was too scared to do anything. I was even too scared to go out in public because I felt so bad about myself and wasn't in the mood to socialize with anyone - I felt ugly.
Mum did absolute fuck all to help the situation. She would cop a serve too, but she'd accept it and make excuses for dad. Of course, she was never allowed to be wrong, even if she was. She even claimed to have loved dad. Loved him for what he did for her maybe. Divorce never entered the equation because Catholics like mum don't believe in divorce. Not that she'd ever bother, or ever work up the courage to do such a thing.
Mum never did anything for herself while married to dad. She would tag along and help but never thought for herself or help think of solutions to fix problems. She often hid behind him. Then she expected me to do the thinking for her. I'm barely equipped to think for myself but at least I'm trying.
Mum wasn't exactly a bag of laughs either growing up. When I was little, she was the one who was angry all the time. We were threatened with smacks and all kinds of abuse. Mum even admitted that as newborn babies, she used to hit and hit and hit us (me and my sister) until we stopped crying. Of course, when you hit a baby, it keeps crying even more. Eventually, the baby numbs to the pain and passes out. I hate to think that that was what happened to us. I don't remember any of it, but mum confessed to it many years later. I was so angry.
Another time, mum confessed to locking my little sister outside when she couldn't go to the toilet (to do No. 2's) on command. She would take my sisters pants off and throw her outside and lock the door - in the middle of winter. I remember mum did this to my sister once when we had guests over. I was so scared and I can only assume my sister was humiliated as hell. How can you claim to be a good Catholic and do these kinds of things to your own children?
Luckily, dad never hit me or any of us. His abuse was mostly mental. He may have hit us one time or another but I don't remember if it ever happened.
I still live at home with mum. It feels like I'm living alone most of the time though. My sister has a teaching job that's too far away from home to commute. I do whatever I need to do, and live off a meagre existence. I only earn half of what the average nine-to-five worker does, but I'm content with it for now. I wish I had more money but I've never complained or asked for anything. I have this bad habit of buying presents for people. Not big things, but just little things I see that remind me of someone. I'll buy it and give it to them at birthdays or special occasions. Yet, I'm accused of being selfish and a horrible person. So be it.
Right now, I don't see how I can move out of home with my wages. I could go on welfare, but the last time I dealt with them, nobody listened to what I was saying and kept giving me the run-around, so I gave up and vowed to myself that I'd make it work somehow.
I'm trying to save up enough money to go back to university. I plan to study nutrition and become a sports nutritionist. I'm scrimping and saving, eating less, going out less unless it's a special occasion, saving water, saving electricity, saving petrol and whatever other corners I can cut. Did I mention that I also pay half the bills? It's a fair agreement I think. I'm not completely happy with my life. I want to travel and see the world and experience something, and feel something again, but the moment I think of those who are less fortunate than me, I realize that my situation is not so bad. It could be worse.
This rant has gone on long enough. I'm cutting myself off before I send my family into any further disrepute.