Today I found that I had so much to talk about here with you that I actually had to take time out of my day…separate myself from my usual environment to actually sit down and reflect on each of them before putting them up online.
One of the first things I want to talk about is “Why do I blog?” I actually now tend to read more and more blogs than I ever used to read due to the industry I am now recently involved in, but those blogs tend to be more industry-oriented…i.e. relationship experts, marketing gurus, business consultants, who arrogantly tell the world how they think they should all be living their lives or running their businesses.
That is not why I blog!
I read about how someone may have felt back in the day when faced with the possibility of divorce and what they have done right or wrong since then and what we should be doing ourselves, based on what their experiences were…not necessarily based on what our experiences are/were. I read about how we should be transparent and authentic with ourselves and with those around us. (I gotta tell ya’, I don’t know how to be any other way than to be myself.)
But where do I struggle? Trust! 1,000%!! So, to answer my question, I blog as a way of just putting it all out there. Be transparent and authentic and questioning of the world because of my lack of trust in other people, in general.
Now let me take a step back…I’ve always had great friends and the people whom I’ve chosen to include in my life, I’ve always had such a strong, deep, passionate relationship with. People who I know for as many as 15-25 years, I feel as though they still hold a special place in their hearts for me, as I do them. But that’s not where I come from…trust has to go back further than that.
Those of you who know me, maybe knew my mother. And knew her to be one of the most honest, authentic women we’ve ever met! She not only didn’t care what people thought of her or her opinions, but would also never have been anything else but who she was for fear of ending up in a situation that might make her unhappy or uncomfortable. (That last bit may have been more about me than her, but…whatever!) And that’s my point, like it or not, I became my mother who I always trusted and counted on to be herself and to share with me what she thought was what I needed to hear…maybe not what I had wanted to hear…but that’s ok.
After my mother passed away, she left me with my father and my brother. I had already learned about the type of person my father had been…leaving me to wonder how I didn’t see that in him while I was growing up. But I guess you can say that I definitely came from a world where family came first and the thought of any man accomplishing the things he accomplished against the foundations of family and what it means, was just unthinkable. But my mother and my brother and I learned about it and hopefully learned from it, in hopes that I might be able to recognize similar traits in other people in order to protect myself…or my brother might be able to learn how to be a better man/husband/father for his potential family in the future.
Now, I’m still single at almost 42, so I guess I haven’t been able to shake my gun shyness yet. And I don’t believe that it was from lack of effort…rather it was due to my constant reminder of what happened…as well as me seeing that my brother learned NOTHING…having also been a man who I would never have expected these similar actions from.
What’s actually ironic is that I now have a relationship with my father…though I guess “relationship” is a strong word. He calls me every few days to see if I’m watching tennis and today, he called to tell me how amazed he is that my brother turned 40. I wanted to vomit!
Say what you want about what my father did against me and my family over the years, he was actually never cruel about it. (Some might describe that as being his most manipulative trick, to victimize himself, but I guess that doesn’t matter anymore.) He was almost dopey…as he went behind our backs and basically robbed (or attempted to rob) all of our assets in order to pay off his bookies. (A disease, my brother kept telling me it was.)
It’s 16 years since I discovered what my father had been doing to me and my family and we’ve certainly had our years of not talking. Me always asking myself, “How can a man do that to his daughter? Isn’t his job to ensure that I never need to worry about money? Not for him to take it from me and leave me with nothing?” And if my father can do that to me, what’s to say what a total stranger might do to me? Something that I still struggle with…as he calls me, while I’m working my ass off, to see if I’m watching tennis. REALLY?!?!
But the difference between he and my brother…is how cruel my brother has become over the years…especially in the past 5 or so years while I’ve been living in Mexico. How ignorant and insane he has become. Don’t get me wrong, even as kids in the neighborhood, he was always known as being crazy! Some 15-20 years ago, I remember a friend of his telling me once that no man would ever marry me due to the fact that my brother was so out of his mind! I guess he was always a tough nut to swallow.
Now at the ripe age of 40…and me at almost 42, I reflect…maybe mostly because I was reminded today that it is his birthday (in addition to some tennis tournament occurring somewhere in the world)…I think about when he lost his innocence. When did he transform from being that cute little Italian kid I remember as a child…to the manipulatively cruel adult he has been for maybe 20 years? What did the world do to him to make him so different from me who grew up in the same world as him? And what could I have done to be left on the outside where I am no longer allowed to speak to my nephew and two nieces on their birthdays or Christmas? What could he have said to my sister-in-law to make her turn on me the way that she has? And how could it be that he has not learned how to say “I’m sorry.” or “Please excuse me for my immature ignorance.”?
I now live in a foreign country where, yeah, I still see the selfishness and egotism that exists in the personalities of others. But I also see the passion and transparency that exists among people who are not afraid to be who they are. (Kind of like the Italians I grew up with…we all knew they were gangsters who did bad shit and we accepted them for it.) But with my father and brother, they are guilty of something far worse. They are guilty of being wolves in sheep’s clothing…snakes in the grass who you never suspect until it’s too late…so charming and good looking on the outside…while being so toxic and poisonous on the inside.
And as much as I adored my mother, I still want to call her, every day, to ask her how she left me alone with these two assholes! Alone, really, with no one who might be able to understand where I get my lack of trust from…no one who played witness to what they did…and how I’m so totally fine being alone because when I’m alone, I’m not waiting for someone to catch me if I fall. I’m just picking myself up and moving on…exactly how she taught me to be.
Happy Birthday, John! No hard feelings…like the scorpion and the frog…it’s just who you are.