So I’m sitting in my tub today, the tub I just recently scoured on my hands and knees so it was clean enough for me to bathe in. I’m sitting here, trying to get some peace and quiet. Just trying to escape the day, I’m nibbling on a piece of Dove chocolate, trying to make it so the stress I’m currently feeling doesn’t make it so I can no longer move my neck. Again.
I’m sitting there, after stepping in when it was much too hot, hot enough to kill off the first two or three layers of skin but not enough to scald.
I’m sitting there, thinking how, no matter how much I scrub the damn tub, a tug that’s older then my sixteen years, It’s still going to be dirty. The walls of the shower are still not going to be fully painted, but chipping, the places that should be chalked aren’t. Another problem I can’t fix with cleaning is the fact that the tub is too small, or the fact that it will constantly drain even when you use a stopper, or the fact that I can hear much richer- I’ll-tell-you-all-about-my-designer-clothes-as-I-bitch-at-you neighbors yelling at each other through the bathroom wall.
I hate my apartment.
So I’m sitting there, thinking about everything that is currently stressing me in my life, I’m failing school, I’m behind in my Nano, My dogs are depressed, My house is dirty, my mothers thought on what she wants to do in life jump around like a flea on a hot plate, I’m still single, No, I can’t eat a pork chop without Shake and bake, that’s another thing, I’m too weak to stay a permanent vegetarian, my friends are worried I’m dying, oh and my uncle.
Yes, this blog is about to turn into a story about my uncle. Be prepared.
At this point I’d like to give you a little insight on how close I am to my uncle:
I’d like to say that if he drove off a cliff, somehow got pinned down, was still alive, and slowly withered away over the course of days from dehydration in the hot Texas sun, you wouldn’t see me crying.
It sounds cruel, but unfortunately it’s true.
I’ll be turning seventeen in ten days, and my uncle will be flying out. Why would he do that when I dislike him so much?
Wellll…. that’s another back-story.
My uncle, bless his heart, is insane.
He’s in his thirties, is a fundamentalist Christian and makes Weapons of Mass Destruction for a living.
If you can’t see what’s wrong with that sentence then you’re one of them and nothing I say from here on out will make any sense to you.
So, I’d like to say I don’t know my uncle very well; all I know about him is that he’s very good at treating people like shit and then pretending nothing happened. In fact, after many hours of therapy my therapist has found then many of my current mental and emotion issues (the whole wagon full) stemmed from the rejection I received as a child by my family. At this point I’d like to mention something, my mother is a Heroin addict,
who had issues bonding with her children. I’m sure the drug’s just destroyed those important bonding brain-neurons or whatever. But having a mother that doesn’t give a rats ass about you does leave you with a few problems. Most of which I’ve gotten over.
My grandmother has raised me since birth, so she received the title of ‘mom’. So whenever (if ever) I talk about my mom in this blog, she’s actually my grandmother.
Seeing as she is technically my grandmother, and his mother, my strained relationship with him just gets more and more complicated.
Anyway, as far as the rejection goes I’ll use the example of my uncles wedding, which was several years ago.
I was younger and naïve. Having been raised under the guise that my uncle loved me a whole bunch, and was generally a super-awesome-not-a-total-asshole- type of person.
I’ll start at the Airport, my mother and I flew to California for a week and a half so that we could be involved and help out and do all of those things your supposed to do when someone in your family is getting married.
We’d never met his wife, and I don’t know how to describe her. She’s a Californian, bleach blond, fundamentalist, who is way to good to talk to people like you, and if you look at her wrong, she’ll probably throw a tantrum and start crying. From the minute I met her I began to understand the definition of ‘passive aggressive’
From the minute we stepped off of the plane she didn’t say a word to us.
No. Seriously. My mother tried to give her a hug and she covered her chest and took a step back, glaring. She said nothing. My uncle made the excuse of her being ‘shy’. Shy my ass.
She was pretty much one of the most unwelcoming people I’d ever met, and having met her mother and father, I see where she gets it from, but still think she should have been beaten much more as a child. If not for anything but my enjoyment.
Anyway, that night we were brought to a small supermarket, to pick up a few things for the hotel with a kitchenette so we wouldn’t have to constantly eat out.
The car ride was pretty much made in silence. What with the wife being shy and all. We were later dropped off at the hotel with plans made to have dinner the next night. I realize now I forgot to add that we hadn’t seen my uncle in years. He’s always much too busy to bother with the little people in Rhode Island. What with us being lower class citizens and all.
Anyway, the next day My uncle and the wife were busy making last minute wedding plans, making favors and checking decorations and fun family things like that. Fun family things we weren’t invited to attend. We were invited to a cookout that night to ‘meet the new family’. After a fiasco with a rental car (which in the end we weren’t allowed to get because of the lack of a credit card, my mother had the cash, but the wife shook her head no, and we couldn’t use his) We were driven to the wife’s families house. After being yelled at and not allowed to change into the clothes we’d bought for the occasion, we looked like crap.
The ‘family’ it seemed, couldn’t be bothered to show up it seems, as the wife’s sisters and brothers didn’t attend. The wife’s mother and father were there, as well as one of her nieces and her nephew.
Her father, who was watching a game on TV couldn’t be bothered to stand and greet us, he is also a fundamentalist Christian and lives under the rule of “women were put on earth to serve man”. This leads me to believe he has a very small penis, and I wonder if his wife didn’t have to cheat on him to get the children she had.
He lounged about on his couch, ignoring us. My uncle introduced us to everyone (remember, the wife doesn’t talk). And then, they were celebrating the nieces birthday, coming out with a large gift and a long speech about how they could never forget about her birthday. I’d probably never ever felt so out of place. It added insult to injury that the bastard couldn’t call on my birthday. Ever.
Anyway, after the gift giving I was ordered to put on my swimsuit, which, being shy and scared out of my mind made everything seem ten times worse.
The wifes father was spending his time trying to bait her into an argument, knowing that she was a Liberal. It had been right after Ray-Charles had passed, and when my mother mentioned the shame of it, he replied with “Why? It’s one less nigger in this country”. He also mentioned, knowing that my mother had been the production manager for Willie Nelson for several years, how much joy he’d get if someone got their act together and ‘blew the redneck up’.
During all of this I was hanging around the edge of the pool, seeing as I can’t swim. The wifes niece motioned me further in, and promptly proceeded to try to drown me. I never actually admitted that to anyone until today.
By the time dinner was ready, I was crying and soaked and terrified. As ‘punishment’ by the family for being childish I was made to spend the rest of the night eating alone in the families kitchen. My mother looked to tired to do much, other then put forth mock courtesy.
I can pretty much trace the moment my childhood died to that moment, sitting in the kitchen staring at the families marble island. Realizing that everything wasn’t sunshine and rainbows, everyone easn’t your friend because you met them on the playground, and also, most people just sucked.
Anyway, the rest of the week I spent pretty much alone (as we weren’t invited anywhere else) trying to wrap my young brain around what I did wrong, and what I’d done to deserve such terrible treatment from strangers, and worse, my own family. This led to a severe mental breakdown, so severe that I didn’t end up going to the wedding (which my mother, in the end, was givin the wrong directions too – by the brides father) My mother had friends close by, and at some point during the week they had invited us to stay with them, instead of the hotel. I spent most of the time there in the guestroom or the on the couch crying.
The family was lovely and eventually took us to Las Vegas, in a wonderfully generous and marvelous attempt to cheer both my mother and myself up. Sadly, even the sight of gorguese wild big cats and beautiful dolphins couldn’t help me.
My childhood was over, and a slow painful emotional breakdown had started.
That trip also led me to my eventual conversion to Atheism. Half of it was probably just to spite him and his god, the other half claimed that no god would make a child feel so terribly unwanted.
I don’t think my mother ever told my uncle how hard I had taken his wedding, or any of the other times he’d treating the both of us badly. After all, she still loves him terribly, and he gets defensive and refuses to speak about anything that he may have done wrong.
Anyway, back to him coming back for my birthday, my mother has been pleading/begging/praying to see him. You see, my mother has been sick for several months, and at three times during those months, we were all scared she would die. He never flew out, he continued to call at 6AM, waking her up from her much needed rest, he left me with all of the responsibility of taking care of her. Which I was glad to do. I really was. But when you have a family, you shouldn’t have to go at these kind of things alone. Basically, he continued to be the selfish, arrogant person I had learned he was.
So, as I said, she’s been begging to see him. “I don’t have the time ma” he’d tell her. Finally he agreed to allow HER to go and visit him after Christmas. Now I’m sure his wife (who STILL won’t talk to us) heard the news and was quick to pack his bag.
He sent my mother a text message saying “I’m flying in for Brianna’s birthday. I’ll be there the 20th, leaving the 22nd”
That was it. No “what are you doing for Brianna’s birthday?” No “Can I come out? Are you busy?” No “Does she really really hate me, and will my presence destroy any chance she has at having a good time?” No nothing. Just more selfishness.
My mother danced around the house for ten minutes. I, who am a very private person, who hardly ever cries, began crying in front of our handyman, who awkwardly patted me on the shoulder and joked, “Don’t you wish you were me? You could run away”
Run away indeed.
I moaned, I groaned, I cried, and I saw how much that destroyed my mother. Because all she ever wanted was for us love each other. Lets add guilt to my list of things that are stressing me out.
Anyway, I guess I wrote all of this to help get past my feelings about him. He’s coming, and I can’t help it. He’s coming ‘for’ my birthday, but leaving at 9AM. It shows how much he knows me. I don’t wake up until at least 9:30. I’ll be civil. I’ll be nice, and for two days I’ll pretend that we’re a nice, loving little family.
I’ll hate him on the inside.
For the sake of my mother.
I’ll just wait for her to die or become delusional, before I tell him exactly how I really feel about him.
Just like a good daughter should.