HOW MY CHILDHOOD ALMOST SNUFFED OUT MY WRITING CAREER

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Submitted Date 10/01/2022
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"You can't do anything right.‭ ‬You'll never amount to anything.‭"

These are the words I heard most of my life.‭ ‬No,‭ ‬these are the words I remember hearing most of my life.‭ ‬I'm sure there were others,‭ ‬but I don't remember any of them.‭ ‬All I remember is my Dad constantly on my case about something.‭ ‬He's a narcissist,‭ ‬perfectionist,‭ ‬and misogynist.‭ ‬My childhood revolved around whatever mood he was in.‭ ‬And most of the time,‭ ‬it was not good.‭ ‬I would constantly walk around on eggshells due to his moodiness.

My parents owned a restaurant and motel so the pressure was constantly on.‭ ‬I can still remember watching my Mom making huge kettles of Dutch pot pie and several trays of homemade pies.‭ ‬My Dad was the actual cook who fulfilled orders.‭ ‬I would watch him at the griddle and deep fryer.‭ ‬Sometimes I would just go out and socialize with our customers and employees.‭

I will never forget the day we left him.‭ ‬At the time my Mom knew that his moods were getting worse.‭ ‬I remember he called me back into the kitchen area where he was cooking.‭ ‬He told me that he was going to sell all my belongings and my dog.‭ ‬And that he wished he had a gun because he would shoot my Mom.‭ ‬I was terrorized.‭ ‬I remember running out the back door,‭ ‬across the parking lot,‭ ‬and into the house.‭ ‬I ran to my room and collapsed on the floor with my boxer dog Scuffy,‭ ‬wrapping my arms around her and crying hysterically.‭ ‬It led her to start shaking like a leaf because she knew I was upset.‭ ‬Not long after my Mom came over,‭ ‬and grabbed her typewriter,‭ ‬a change of clothes for each of us,‭ ‬her resume, and the dog.‭ ‬We went out the back door through the garage and left.‭ ‬My grandmother's house is where we ended up.‭ ‬And we stayed there for six months.‭

The next few months were tumultuous with court hearings and my grandparents on my dad's side harassing me.‭ ‬I was afraid to go visit him.‭ ‬But I had no choice.‭ ‬Once again I would live by‭ ‬whatever mood he was in.‭ ‬Some weekends I would fake an illness.‭ ‬I called my mom once or twice from my grandparents.‭ ‬I asked her to come to get me because it was just too much.‭ ‬I eventually disowned my father for a while.‭ ‬I just couldn't take it anymore.

In June of‭ ‬2007,‭ ‬my Mom and I went to visit my Aunt and Uncle in Illinois.‭ ‬We moved there two months after that visit.‭ ‬I was not happy about it at the time.‭ ‬Now that I'm older,‭ ‬I know it was the best thing for me.‭ ‬It allowed me to get away from all the negativity.‭ ‬From there,‭ ‬the healing process could begin.

It didn't come easy.‭

They tell us that the parent of the opposite sex is so influential on a child.‭ ‬However,‭ ‬when you don't have that person,‭ ‬it can emotionally cripple you through life until you learn to get past it.‭ ‬Some of the issues I dealt with growing up included self-esteem,‭ ‬self-confidence,‭ ‬a hard time getting to know/relating to men, and relationship/dating issues.

Let's start with self-esteem.‭ ‬Having your self-esteem shredded by a parent is the worst feeling in the world.‭ ‬This is the person who is supposed to be your biggest cheerleader and support you no matter what.‭ ‬It is hard to live by the high standards set by a narcissist.‭ ‬You can always do better.‭

"Why can't you be like so and so."‭

If you didn't do something right,‭ ‬then let me hang over you and make sure you do it correctly the next time.‭

Didn't get straight A's‭? "‬You'll never amount to anything."‭

Have a creative dream you want to pursue‭? "‬Get a real job.‭"

By the time you get older, you get tired of hearing that crap.‭ ‬And the worst part is,‭ ‬by then you believe it.‭ ‬I had to move three states away with my Mom when I was sixteen to cut the cord.‭ ‬To finally get his voice to stop.‭ ‬That's where the voice of self-doubt in own my head took over.‭

Self-esteem and self-confidence go hand in hand.‭ ‬It wasn't until I got my first job,‭ ‬my license, and my first car that things started to change.‭ ‬Little by little I became more self-confident.‭ ‬I no longer walked around with my head down,‭ ‬I learned to hold my head high.

Having a hard time getting to know/relating to men.‭ ‬This is something I still struggle with to this day.‭ ‬I don't have many male friends.‭ ‬I wish I did.‭ ‬I don't know why I do this but I psyche myself out as to whether I will be liked or whether they will just ditch me.‭ ‬I fear I come across as needy and emotional.‭ ‬Not my intention at all.‭ ‬I wind up apologizing all over the place for just being me.‭ ‬I need to learn to be myself in this area and let things evolve naturally.

My relationship/dating issues‭… ‬Not having an example of a healthy relationship with a man, made my early dating life a disaster.‭ ‬I longed to be with someone so bad that I felt I could‭ '‬fix‭' ‬every guy I dated who had‭ '‬issues‭'‬.‭ ‬If I could just love them enough,‭ ‬they wouldn't lie/cheat/take advantage of me.‭ ‬I allowed a man to treat me any way he wanted to.‭ ‬It wasn't until I met my husband that I realized that I could be loved for myself.‭ ‬He showed me that all men are not horrible.‭

If you are a guy out there and are dealing with a toxic Mom,‭ ‬some of these issues may sound familiar.‭ ‬Some people think you have to act like nothing is wrong and just suck it up and deal with it.‭ ‬They are wrong.‭ ‬Know that you too have worth and can come out in a more positive light on the other side.‭ ‬You are not alone in your struggles and feelings. Do not be afraid to reach out and get help.

As I have grown older,‭ ‬I have come out a better person.‭ ‬I am a happily married woman who is pursuing her dreams.‭ ‬I have an awesome husband.‭ ‬I no longer deal with self-esteem or self-confidence much.‭ ‬Sure,‭ ‬I have my days where I think,‭ '‬Can I do this‭?' ‬but not very often.

‭ ‬As for making friends of the male gender,‭ ‬it is still a process for me.‭ ‬I still talk to my Dad every few weeks but now anything negative he says and does fall on deaf ears.‭

I'm content in my life and have a clear vision of where I'm going.‭ ‬If he doesn't support that,‭ ‬then that is his loss.‭ ‬Onward and upward.‭ ‬I've got this‭!

 

 

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