Though I probably should feel some. I just don’t. Not sure if I’m okay with that or not. I’m leaning towards being okay with not having any guilt, though.
Ah, and just a note – this is a massive rant. This is the first time in years I’ve been able to just say this all, well write it out in this case, but still. So it’s a lot. I’m more posting this because it’s cathartic and it’s actually released a huge amount of stress and I’m feeling far happier than I have in years. I feel like I’ve actually got the energy and spirit to do research now, to keep learning, even if I don’t always have the most time to do so. I don’t expect anyone to actually read this. In fact, I rather suspect that even if most people start reading, they’ll quit fairly quickly. I’m fine with that, because this is absolutely personal, and I’m sure that it’s not really relatable to probably 95%+ of the population out there. In any case – I feel better and writing this helped. So, if you really want, do read. If not, then feel free to skip. It isn’t much about my practice at all. This is purely daily life.
See, my dad married this woman a few years back. I don’t honestly remember exactly how long they’ve been together total, mostly because my father has never told us when they started dating. I know that I first met her when I was 11. So nearly 10 years total. That’s not the important part. She’s a nightmare. For the longest time I’ve called her psychotic. She probably isn’t clinically psychotic, but she seriously fits the bill. I haven’t used her name voluntarily since I was 14, so most of my friends know her as “my dad’s wife” or “psycho-bitch”. Not exactly my most shining moment, I can admit, but the woman is a nightmare. I’ve got less savory nicknames I’ve used for her as well, but those are not near fit to be printed on the internet. I’ll keep those in the realm of spoken communication with my friends, and off the internet where they’ll never disappear. Pretty much, I’m sure it’s abundantly obvious that I hate this woman. And well, hate might even be an understatement. I despise, loathe, hate, and really couldn’t care less about this woman.
She and my dad bought a house together when I was 14. 17 miles outside of town, and that meant I almost never got to do things with my friends in town. All my friends had parents who would and could drop everything and drive them around. If I was at my dad’s house, my dad worked, and if my friends called me up to do something, I needed at least 1 hour’s notice, so my dad could drive me into town. My friends never wanted to wait and could never understand why, so I stopped getting invited. Just goes to show who real friends are though, I think. I definitely handled that perfectly fine. But…the woman then thought, that since it wasn’t the old house (the one my parents bought together) she got to make all the rules. She decided that my sister and I would address her and my dad as “ma’am and sir”. Now, I’m sure to most of you, you’re like, “Yeah, so what?” Well, I wasn’t raised a military brat. My parents wanted us to respect them, to listen to them, but we’d never had to call them that. So there was no way in hell that this woman, who me and my sister despised, was going to get us to call her ‘ma’am’, no matter what she tried. Luckily that got nixed. But then she started in with other rules. Like when I was supposed to take showers (every morning, 6am – no other time according to her), what I was supposed to eat (I’m vegetarian – she thought I should go on a diet – the one that limits how much fruit you can eat), when and how I was supposed to do my homework. Basically, like I said, she’s psychotic.
Of course, I’m 14 or so, I’ve never had to deal with this from my parents, and so I told her to back off. There was no way I was seriously going to follow these little regulations. I take showers at night, my hair was hip-length, and in regular 10 degree Fahrenheit winters with snow and ice, having wet hair in the morning is liable to get me sick. I still take showers at night, I like them better. I chose and still choose my own food, no one in my family tells me what to eat, not even my own parents. And as for her telling me I needed to diet, well that was bound to end in epic failure. As for my homework, well I flat told her that I was smarter than she was, and I was certain I knew how to do my own work. Pretty much – the harder she tried to push these rules, the harder I shoved back. I ended up eventually, about at 15 or so, finally telling her that if she thought I was going to listen to a word she said she was “f**king nuts”. Well, not exactly polite nor appropriate, but I was absolutely furious. And, I was a kid. Not that it excuses me, but I wasn’t supposed to be a responsible little adult. Her reaction was beyond childish – my sophomore year one Saturday she pulled the fuse to my room, cutting off all my power. So I sat in the dark – my cell phone doesn’t work out there, no cell reception, with no way to call my mom to come and get me, in my locked room for 1.5 hours until my dad got back home. The woman told me she’d take the door off the hinges to my room so that “[I]’ll never do that again”. Great woman, can’t you tell? Well, things got worse.
My junior year I got to use my mom’s car. My Explorer is old, nearly 20 years old, beat up, it looks like hell, but it runs. And – it’s titled, paid for, owned and maintained by my mother. My father’s name was never on the title. It’s my mom’s car. I call it mine, because I’ve been the only one to drive it extensively since I got my license at 16, and it’s the car I learned to drive in. So it’s pretty much been my car for nearly 6 years now. One day I was working on my calc homework and this woman tried to steal my car keys from me. Now, I’m out at my dad’s house, I was heading into town because this woman wouldn’t leave me alone to do my homework, so I was going to head in and work on homework at Starbucks. She tried to snatch my car keys out of my hand. So I put them in my pocket and told her to stop. She insisted that since it was my parents’ car, she could, as my dad’s wife, refuse to let me drive it. I pointed out that it was my mom’s, but she still tried to steal the keys from me. At that point I informed her that stealing the keys to the car could be construed as theft (I was 16 – I didn’t know for sure if it could be arrest-worthy, but I knew for sure she had no right to the keys). And when she said that she would just unplug the phones so I couldn’t call for my mom to come pick me up, I pointed out that keeping me at the house against my will sounded an awful lot like false-imprisonment. Again, I have no clue if she could have been charged, but if I’d called the cops, it would have gotten her in big trouble. She was a state employee. And if she’d gotten a hold of my mom’s keys, well my mom would have raised hell.
But, I probably should have expected that things would get worse. I definitely shouldn’t have gotten quite that snappy that time, I knew it, but I was pissed off, so I fired back. My junior and senior years of high school this woman kicked me out of my house 20+ times. She constantly would make up rules to punish me, retroactively state that her and my father had discussed it, and then place outrageous punishments on me. So, say, I didn’t do the dishes at the exact moment she told me to – 2 weeks being grounded. Even though, at most times, I was in the middle of my homework, in the middle of a complicated math problem. And my father’s rule was that I was supposed to finish a problem, section of reading, question or answer that I was working on if I needed to, and then go and do what I was asked to. So, I followed my dad’s rules, but I still got in trouble. At the end of my sophomore year, when she pulled the fuse to my room, I moved out. My parents had 50/50 custody, but I moved in almost fully with my mom. Every other weekend at my dad’s. After she started kicking me out every time I was over, around January of my junior year I quit going. I would go over say once every month or 1.5 months, because I couldn’t handle being around her. The stress seriously messed me up physically. My migraines exploded in frequency, to the point that during my senior year of high school I was having upwards of 12 migraines every month, and all of my migraines last for 2+ days. So I was usually spending 25+ days a month with a migraine either going strong or fading just barely. I gained a lot of weight from the stress, and I definitely got worse in school, and my depression got even worse as well.
I should mention – since I’m sure some of the things I’ve written make me sound quite petty and childish. Yes – a lot of what I did was both. However, this woman started this whole mess and dance when I was 12. She’s hated my guts since the moment her and my dad started dating. She told me that once, my junior year. My senior year, barely a month before graduation I was told by her, “If you’re going to be a little bitch, you can pack your shit and leave. I don’t want you in my house.” I was a kid through all of this. I wasn’t 18 until barely 30 days before I started at the Uni. I reacted like a kid, because this all started when I was one. Now, she’s the adult, she was and she technically – by society’s standards – is still the more “mature” of the two of us. She should have been the adult. Instead, she resorted to acting like a petulant 2-year-old herself. I wasn’t much better – but you can’t expect that a kid is going to act like a mature adult when her dad’s psychotic wife is constantly berating, screaming, and pulling all sorts of shit. Hell, I grew up fast because of all this. By the time I was 16 I could do all the normal things that adults can do – laundry, cooking, balancing a checkbook, solving their own problems…all because there was no way I could trust that anyone else would do it for me. I screamed back at her, I fought with her constantly, I got back in her face. Yeah, not the most mature of things I could have done, but I managed to get through it. And I always had the thought – once I went to Uni, I was getting out. I moved nearly 300 miles away when I left for Uni, I left all my family to get away from it.
I could have saved myself a lot of trouble by doing what my sister did. My sister survived this psychotic woman’s nightmare mentality by playing nice. She would be nice, get the woman to take her shopping for clothing, go out and get manicures, do pottery at a shop…generally just playing a game. I can’t do that. I don’t play games. I get in your face, I scream, I don’t do lying and shadow-games. We’re different, my sister and I. The truth is – I don’t understand normal social interactions or dynamics. I can’t play the kind of games my sister did. There’s just no way for me to do it. I never could understand how my sister could play the games and get along the way she did, I still don’t. There’s a reason as to why this is, but that’s a post in and of itself. But, I really am incapable of doing what my sister did. I can’t hide if I despise someone, no matter how much it might make my life easier for me to do so. I can’t just act nice and play along. I end up taking the hard route, the route of direct confrontation. It made things probably 10x more difficult than they needed to be, but that’s just how it went.
Even after I moved away for college – everything was my fault. I went home for Christmas my sophomore year at the Uni, last year, and I had just walked in the door when she ambushed me. I got a lecture about how I wasn’t “being open enough” or how I wasn’t “helping the family” enough. She wanted us to make up and get along. I flat told her that after everything she had done to me the 8 years prior meant that I would never get along with her. The only option, as I flat stated, was that I would be civil. I would help with dishes after/before dinner, I would make sure I left no messes, I would answer questions. But I would not be nice, and I would not pretend I liked her. She promptly started screaming at me at that point, that I was the reason the family had problems, and a dozen other old claims that I’ve just learned to ignore. Then she told me I wasn’t welcome to stay. So I went into town and just called my dad up. I’d been in the house less than 5 minutes when she ambushed me. I literally had done absolutely nothing, and yet she still attacked me.
I’m sure I’ll get the reader who is thinking “Well it’s her house. You’re just whining about nothing. You have to listen to her.” I’m going to explain that no – it wasn’t her house alone, I don’t whine about nothing, and I didn’t have to listen to her.
My aunt and uncle divorced when my youngest cousin was about 2, older one was 5, I was 7 at the time. My aunt married my step-uncle when my cousins were 3 and 6. They’re still together, and my cousins are now 16 and 19. My uncle, even to this day, does not discipline his step-children. He has 2 kids from before. My aunt never disciplined the younger one, who lived with them. The rule always was – the birth parent deals with the kids when it comes to discipline. My uncle never grounded my cousins, and my aunt never grounded his child. That worked. It never failed. Theoretically, given the fact that my aunt and uncle married when my cousins were still extremely young, they could have chosen to just have my uncle do discipline like their birth father at his and my aunt’s house, but they didn’t. Now – my dad starts dating this woman around the time I’m 11, she moves in around when I’m 12. They got married sometime around me being 14-15. She wanted to be our “mother” once they were dating. I’m sorry but no – in no universe does it work for a new spouse to get to treat their spouse’s children like their own when they get together that late. I was never going to accept her as my “mother” and I wasn’t going to listen to her. Besides, there was no chance at this working, her trying to be “parent” to children who were 12 and 10. She has none. She doesn’t know how to treat children. And it was far too late for her to pull the bullshit of being “secondary mom” to us at that age.
I’m honestly of the opinion once any child is over a certain age, step-parents have no right to be disciplining them. They should leave it to the birth parent. Not that children should get away with being rude, but the parent is responsible for correcting, not the step-parent. Perhaps a bit ironic, since I will openly admit that I was a downright terror. I refused to listen to this woman, I constantly ignored her, and once she told me that “I’m now your mother“, well she lost it then. Even if I had ever thought of being nice, well that was the last straw. Once she said that, I was never going to even be nice to her.
But – the reason I hate this woman so much is none of this. This should all be enough, I should think.
The reason I hate this woman as much as I do is because of how she treated my grandma. This is my grandma that passed away last October. She was probably one of the nicest, sweetest women I know. My grandma was wonderful. And honestly – anyone who said anything bad about her was going to get on my bad list. She wasn’t perfect, I’m not stupid, I know that. But she always loved me and my sister, we were her only grandchildren, and I’m sorry, but anyone who said something bad about her was going to pay for it.
This woman made comments about my grandma’s house being filthy. She said nasty things about my grandma, constantly demeaned her in front of my sister and I. Now, my grandma’s house was not the neatest. She had quite a few cats and dogs, but it was not filthy. And besides, my grandma was not in the best of health. She said worse things about it, but I’m not even going to repeat it, it still infuriates me too much. And of course, she was constantly saying rude things about my grandma. When my grandma was in the hospital she was being nasty to my aunt, my grandma’s youngest child. She was trying to be all “nice and helpful” to my uncle, the middle child, while ignoring what my dad, the oldest, told her to do. My grandpa, my grandma’s ex (they divorced years ago) came and the stupid woman was trying to be all nice to him. She’s said nasty things about him too. My grandma always called my mom family, even after the divorce, and this woman completely ignored my mom and sister. But…the best part (sarcasm heavy here) was when she decided to lament to all her friends about how much she missed my grandma, her “second mother”. Now – sharing here – my grandma despised this woman. She never said so outright, but she made a few oblique comments that even me, with my absolute and total lack of social skills, could pick up on when I was younger, around 14-15. My grandma hated her. The woman treated my grandma like crap. And yet, she tried to act like she was the great “daughter-in-law” who took care of her. Bull.
So, when I found out exactly the things this woman did in the hospital, I pretty much lost any sense of restraint. I haven’t actually seen this woman in over a year, not since Christmas 2010. The last time I was home, July 2011 just before coming to Germany, she was on some business trip. I’d decided though, that if she thought I was going to even pretend at civility after all that, she was a moron. If she’d been home when I was in July, I know I would have let rip. It would have been useless and just caused problems no doubt, but I still would have done it. Because, no one insults my grandma without paying for it. Hell, I’d do the same for anyone else in my family too.
And now, from 7.000+ miles away, I hear that they’re finally getting divorced. This woman has, in the last 3 weeks: stolen my sister’s camera (my sister is an art major, so the camera is vital) because she thought it belonged to my dad – my dad got it back out of her car for my sister, tried to steal some of my dad’s family heirlooms, kicked my sister out of the house she vacated, tried to force my dad to just let the bank foreclose on the house (not possible and my dad flat refused), tried to steal some of my stuff left in the garage (supposedly my dad’s moved all my stuff out now, so she can’t get it anymore), as well as used the money my dad gave her to cover my sister and I on her insurance to pay for her boyfriend to stay in a hotel with her in Vegas. Yeah…the woman is a psycho and I swear, this is just the tip. I don’t know a lot, because I am so far away, so I know for a fact that she’s done more.
So – I don’t feel any guilt for being happy. I’m ecstatic to be honest. I’m so happy that he’s finally going to get rid of her. And I know, since my friends have said so – that I should be feeling guilty for being this ecstatic. I just am not. I actually think they’re nuts to even say that I should feel bad for being glad that this poisonous woman is out of my life. I probably should be a bit guilty that I’m so happy, I mean, my friends are usually right about these kinds of things. But I’m not. And I refuse to even pretend that I feel that way. I’m happy, alive, and I seriously could cry from joy that I don’t have to deal with the psychotic woman anymore. So I have no guilt. Perhaps I should. But I’m not going to force myself into feeling it. There’s a reason that I don’t, and I figure, if my gods, my beliefs, want me to feel guilt, they’ll do it. If they don’t, which is what I believe right now – well then they won’t. And since I’ve known about this for over 24 hours now and I still feel just as fine as I did then, I think my gods are fine with my being happy about this. After all, I’m not going to feel guilt over some other person’s stupid choices. I’m going to be happy that I’m free.∗