Willow said book! It's the first word she's said other than mama, dada and hi (or more accurately, hiiiiiiiiiii!). The next morning she also said egg (aaayig) and tried to say kitty (keh).
Also, I think she's a genius baby because the day she said book she had pulled out 3 of her books from her full toy chest, dragged them to the middle of the room and then grabbed a book off one of the bookshelves, by passing all the toys and collectables on there. So, she pulled only books out. And I hadn't even said book all morning other than when she tried to grab my book and I said "No, please. That's mama's book." Freaking Rhodes scholar baby.
So, the next activity on the list is describing my relationship with my parents. I really don't want to do this one because our relationship is awkward and really, really hard to describe. Also, it's likely to cause the motherload of drama, but in the interest of figuring out my fuckedupness some more (JP and I have been talking about my parents and my upbringing a lot lately) and blogging honesty, I will try.
My dad: late 50's preacher-man. So much anti-gay, covert misogyny and just plain fear of the unknown. Also, he's a little. . . Lost in fantasy land. Like, anything that he doesn't believe in or like doesn't compute with him. That's the best way to put it: does not compute. Well, Jesus said that gays were evil so yeah. Or, I really want to be able to support myself and my family just by tutoring homeschooled kids and maybe by working a part time job in the summer. I have to like this part time job though, so maybe more tutoring or some Bible reading? Oh, yeah. He reads the Bible. Constantly. Like, he will get up at 3 in the morning and read the Bible.
He used to be a bit psychotic. Ok, a lot psychotic. Once I found a page of his writing talking about how he could instal locks from the outside of our doors and windows to keep my mother and I locked in our home. He wouldn't let me go to youth group because I might get influenced for evil.
One time, even though I made highest GPA in our school (ok, it was like 50 kids, but still) he wouldn't let me go on the honor roll field trip even though I was pretty much the only one that thought it was cool. Mind you, he was principal/my teacher, so he planned this. I watched the bus leave from my bedroom.
He and my mom used to promise to buy me a pet at the next house, well, ok, the house after that. . No, not this house, it's too much trouble. And yeah, that's not too bad, but when you consider I had NO friends or basically no contact with anyone my age and always hung out with their church people, it's kind of mean to deny a little girl a hamster.
They wouldn't let me go on any field trips at all my first few years of school (I went to a Greek public school and they tended to visit Greek Orthodox churches) and to make up for it they'd always tell me they'd take me on a family weekend trip. Nope, never.
Oh, they don't celebrate Christmas. No big deal, right? Well, imagine being the only kid in a whole classroom who has nothing to say when the teacher asks you what you got for Christmas in front of the whole class.
I also don't remember either of them buying me a single toy-- never mind, there was a doll and a teddy bear that my mom kept in a plastic case that I think I was allowed to play with once in a while. I remember once asking my dad to get me a Barbie comic book (they have fucking awesome things in Greece) and he said no because of something or other. . That's pretty much it.
Oh, and the fights. My god. My parents met each other when neither one could speak the other's language. They admit that they "dated" with a Greek-English dictionary between them. They were also set up, left to roam one of the most beautiful islands in Greece for about a week. So, they meet, decide they like each other after a week, my dad leaves for America, he comes back a few months later after a phone call or two and they get married. I'm not a relationship expert, but that seems like a bad formula. Sometime after they had me they figured out they don't really like each other too much. All this boils down to me stepping in and stopping physical fights.
My mom: mid-50's, Greek, sarcastic as all balls. To this day upholds that she did not influence my eating disordered thoughts. . Even though it was EATEATEAT. . my god you're getting fat all throughout my childhood. Even though I remember choosing low-fat instead of regular yoghurt at 6 or 7.
I was raised by my Thia (Aunt) Rita. She is my mom's best friend. My mom was in grad school for cardiology and either studied or was depressed all the time, so Rita watched me. I have almost no memories of my mother before I was around 8 years old. The only ones that come to mind right now are visiting her at the hospital while she was working.
My mother also always compares me to other people my age. Well, SecretWhoreyMcWhoreyson has pretty, long hair- look at yours, it's short and blue and ugly. But I'm only telling you this because I love you and want whats best for you.
They've both done their share of awful, and I was a typical crazy teenager. But then there was stuff that I honestly don't think I'll ever be able to forgive them for.
Like, after I tried killing myself at 15, they brought me home after getting me Arby's (a huge treat), sent me to bed and next morning re-enrolled me in the school my dad was principal at. Maybe they thought I needed more peer contact? Maybe they thought all day in my room reading was too much? The only thing they ever said about it was once my dad complained about the bill.
They also never talked to me about what happened after the rape and the psych ward stays. Never. Not once. They decided the best course of action was to pack up everything and move half a country away from all my friends and everything I was familiar with.
They did talk to me about cutting. That they did do. . . With Bibles pulled out. Leviticus was a favorite. The first time they saw my cuts they thought I was a witch (ironic) or a Satanist (granted I was going through a phase. . . ) and strip searched me.
They never trusted me. It was always everyone else's word against mine. They'd have long talks with me. . Hours long, about what the Bible said about this that or the other and how I did something wrong.
Once, when I was about 8, my dad sat me down and told me that at some point, all little girls start bleeding from their privates, but if I was a good, Christian little girl, I wouldn't let the hormones change my attitude and would maintain a happy, bright disposition like Blanketyblankblank.
I'm sure there's more. There's always more.
And yet, I keep visiting them. Almost every month. Unless we're having a spat, I talk to my mom at least once a day, usually 2 or 3 times. I still sit through car rides where my dad goes off about letting gays into the military and won't shut up and listen to me, or just keeps repeating himself over and over. Or where his reasons are "Jesus told me".
JP says it's an abusive relationship. He says I keep going back because I don't know better. I think he's right but I don't want to hurt them. I'm the only thing my mom has left. I honestly think it might kill her if I stopped talking to her.
But then I think about Willow and I know I don't want her to grow up hearing the things they say. My mom started the "you eat too much" comments when Willow was a newborn. Sure, they were meant as a joke, but she always tries to pass it off as a joke when she says them to me too. And my dad keeps praying that Willow will grow up to be a woman of god even though he knows I'm not a Christian anymore. I don't want her to grow up to be a woman of god (necessarily, unless she wants to be! Then, though I disagree with her, I will support her) I just want her to grow up strong.
And my parents did not raise a strong woman. They raised a weak one. I'm not being self-deprecating, I'm being honest. I have an almost complete innability to stand up for myself, the things I believe in or even my daughter unless it's in writing or on the internet (fucked up, right?). I would rather have people walk all over me and compromise me (to, I'm reluctant to admit, almost any point) than hurt their feelings or offend them. I'm better, I continue to be better, and admitting all of this makes me better, but-- the point still remains that, to me, my parents are almost toxic. Their love comes with their hate, their ridicule and their bigotry.
So. . . That. That is my relationship with my parents. This post will probably make someone mad, but quite honestly, I'm getting past the point of caring.