Friday, October 12, 2012

Em Oh En Ee Why

Two stories.  They are related.  You’ll see at the end.

(PS – I use the word TERROR or TERRIFIED a lot when I talk about my dad.  There’s a shocker.)

Story 1:
I was 21.  I was living in Santa Ana in a vintage 3-bedroom home – I was renting one bedroom.  It was a shit-hole – I was living with two other guys who were also 21-ish and they were stoners and the place was like Animal House.  It looked like this:
Only HA because maybe at one time in a galaxy far away it had looked like that.  The neighborhood had LONG fallen into Cheech & Chong movie style ghetto territory.  ALL of Santa Ana was “the wrong side of the tracks”.  It was Mexican Gang Central.  The front and back yards were just dirt with weeds.  The porch sagged in two directions.  The carpet *shudder* - ‘nuff said.  I had a padlock on the OUTSIDE of my bedroom door, so that I could lock it when I left and the other two guys wouldn’t rifle through my stuff.  I never sat on the couch, we NEVER cooked in the kitchen.  The whole yard smelled like dog crap.  I mean, this was not a nice place to live.  But what did I care, It was out of the house and that’s about all that mattered to me.

I was still riding my brown ten-speed bike, only now I was working at Gemco (precursor of Target). 

So, I get a certified letter from the IRS one day.  *sound of needle screeching across a record* WHAT?  Yeah.  I paid all my pathetic little bills in cash in those days.  I remember paying my phone bill with my coin jar once.  What bills did I even have?  Rent (cash) and phone (cash) - (I had a phone line installed in my room to have a chance of ever getting calls and to control getting the bill paid).  Getting ANY mail was pretty noteworthy (birthday card!  Woohoo, five bucks!!) and it usually came to my parent's house.  The IRS, however, knew where I lived.  I was absolutely terrified of any authority figure, and the IRS ranks right up there with GOD practically.  This letter informed me that I had embezzled some amount of money (like, I think $800.  Which was a goddamn FORTUNE to me at the time) and that I had so many days to pay it back or they were coming for me.  I – well, you know – I panicked.  I wracked my brain.  I sat on this for a day to freak out and figure it out.  On re-reading and re-reading it (because my brain doesn't process stuff right away), I saw that the letter said something about my egg-donor mother’s Social Security (she had died in Florida when I was 19) and how I had been entitled to a sum of money for COLLEGE and I had evidently taken the money and never gone to college (I went for a whole SEMESTER, GOD - et tu, IRS?) and I was a FRAUD and I was going to go to jail/prison and I had better pay that money back.

<side bar:  I was newly hatched from my FOO.  I was all pink like a newly born bunny in my LC and had no defense against my NF other than STAYING THE FUCK AWAY which I did in spades.  He still terrified me and made my bowels watery and we NEVER spoke, even at occasional family dinners I couldn’t even really look at him, you know?  end side bar>

Suddenly a light went on, and I just sort of switched - I knew what had happened and I was PISSED.  I called my dad (<--that is amazballs, right there).  (I called HIM because this was involving his ex-wife, my birth mom, and I certainly didn't really want to deal with the IRS).  And I told him about this letter and that I didn’t know what to do and I was going to call the IRS RIGHT NOW and tell them I had never seen a DIME of this money, that they could check any bank records they wanted and I was going to see if I could get a ride to the IRS offices and tell them anything they wanted to know – I’m sure I cried too.  An act worthy of an award.  (I amaze myself, seriously.  But us ACOnS – we can manipulate like crazy.  We were taught from the best.  He had no reason to think I had figured him out, he thought I was as dumb as a box of hammers).  My dad flipped the fuck OUT.

Here is why I had to tell you about the house I lived in.  He got me to give him my address.  And he drove his leather seated VOLVO into the ghetto, TO MY HOUSE (he had no idea where I even worked, if I worked, where I lived, we never ever talked) so he drove to my house, came in and sat his slacks on that FILTHY couch and told me he would take care of this.  To calm down, it’s ok, it’s a mistake.  (get ready, here it comes) That he had applied for and TAKEN THIS MONEY and put it in an account FOR ME in case I ever DID go to college and give him the letter and he would contact the IRS and get the money back to them and to not worry. 

A.     What?  You took the money.  I had never even heard that my own MOTHER’S social security could have been used FOR ME. 

B.      You put it in an account for me.  My head kind of tilted to one side like a dog and WHAT?  You wouldn’t spit on me if I was on fire.  Plus, that was 2 YEARS ago.  No mention, like a college money carrot on a stick?  Ok then.

C.      You are COMFORTING ME.  Telling me to calm down, you will TAKE CARE OF THIS.  What? *head tilt* You are almost...  pleading with me.  Huh.

He was worried.  I had righteous TRUTH on my side – you couldn’t get more innocent than I was about this issue and if I called the IRS they would LISTEN and then, they would track the money.  And yeah, that trail was going to lead right up his ass.  I’m guessing he did take care of it because I never heard anything about it, ever again.

Story 2:
(My sister Judith was about 9-years old.  Which made me 6 or so.)

Judith had gotten hit by a car.  The details are pretty fuzzy to me, because I was already so sidelined at this point I never knew anything.  It was a delivery van, I think, and she had been on her bike.  This was the 60s and we rode our banana seat bikes with gusto, darting in and out of parked cars with no helmets (what’s a helmet??) and probably bare feet.  This accident must have been HORRIBLE.  I am rebuilding it in my head and on this page here.

When my actual memory kicks in I was standing with a group of sisters outside her bedroom door at home.  There was a HOSPITAL bed in her room.  She had a cast on both legs, up to her waist, with a bar between at the knees.  There was an overhead bar thing she could use to pull herself around but she couldn’t sit up because of the cast.  She had to have help with bedpans and washcloth baths, etc.  My NM has a picture of her in that bed smiling.  Maybe that's why my memory kicked in, someone went and got a camera.
<Here’s where I am so pissed right now.  When the accident happened, there must have been PANIC.  Screaming from us kids HURRY JUDITH IS HIT, she must have been scratched up to hell besides the broken BOTH legs, there must have been a crowd and her screaming (it must have been so terrifying and painful).  That van would have been parked askew in the street, traffic blocked, tons of people milling around…There must have been an ambulance siren and ride and DAYS in the hospital.  Then the delivery of the hospital bed, all the accoutrements (bed pans, that plastic barf thingy, I think a hospital table, etc.)  She must have been brought home via ambulance, she wouldn’t have fit into the Ford Station Wagon.  Someone must have come and gotten the bed back when she was done with it.  Where did all of her bedroom furniture go in the mean time?  In other words, It must have been A HUGE DEAL.  And I don’t hardly remember any of it.>

***EDITED TO ADD*** I spoke to my eldest sister, who told me dad was the first one on the scene.  None of the rest of us were home at the time of the accident (wtf?  she was home, 5 other sisters, where were we all?).  He was at the hospital every day.  She said he told her he had nightmares for weeks after.  I have to tell the story as it comes to light, so these edits are important.  She has far 'closer to the event' memories than I do.

She must have been in that cast for at least 8 weeks.  Then smaller casts and crutches.  Then I DO remember she had to have physical therapy, my dad had to do it.  She would scream it hurt so bad.  She still has scars on both knees and has had to get surgery again (but she golfs and plays tennis and all that.)

I imagine dad sued the holy crap out of that delivery company or whoever.  For all of the medical bills, for a home tutor! (I just realized there MUST have been a tutor, she would have missed 3 months at least of school.)  For home doctor visits, medications, etc., but I’m gonna guess he also went for the jugular and got pain and suffering money for his kid too.  (They probably wouldn’t cover any physical therapy, so that’s why HE did it.)  Judith, of course, never saw a dime out of that.
This was in 1989.  Judith has the white hair and the bandage on her knee from what was her newest surgery.  I'm in the skirt holding my niece.  I'm going to ask her about that accident.  I feel bad that I bleeped it out of my memory.  *sigh*


  1. I'm going to be gone for the weekend, just in case anyone stops by. I don't want to be a bad hostess. There are chips, and dip in the fridge, sodas and waters in the pantry. Extra TP under the sink. I'll be back Sunday.

  2. Hey, Gladys, good to meet you. I have a similar story. The day after I graduated from college--my boyfriend was there, my friends were there, my boss at work was NFOO couldn't be bothered, even though I was the very first college graduate in the history of the whole family, on both sides--the day after I graduated from college, I got a call from my MNMom. "By the way, now you've got to start paying back those loans." "What loans, Mom? I put myself through school--I paid every single cent of it myself, from the 3 jobs I worked at once." "Why, we took out college loans in your name and you'll have to pay them back--they're in your name and have your SSN on them." "But how could you get loans in MY name? And why didn't you give me the money?" "Oh, it was easy; banks sent loan applications to the house and we signed them. We needed the money, so we used it, but it's your name on them, so if you don't pay, you're going to jail."

  3. P.S. Not only had my NFOO taken out loans in my name to the tune of $10,000, but they also claimed me as a dependent on their taxes every year I was in college...even though I didn't live with them (I came over for Christmas dinner every year). The extent of their support to me was Christmas dinner and a few cheap, tacky gifts (one year I got a 6-pack of Garfield panties, another year I got a "collector's set" of mini perfume samples from Avon).

  4. Amen, anon. How kind of them to steal our ID's. And then use them to perpetrate MORE BS on us, thereby ensuring our credit is just as "worthy" as our credibility seeing as how we're "just" the AC's yk?
    I hear ya both.
    There is no "low" to bottomless pits of "MEEEEEE!!!" They'll sacrifice every damn thing on the altar of "Self" EXCEPT themselves.
    We're the first "Sacrificial Lambs" or Lamb Chops.

  5. If any body wants my identity they can have it. I'll set it out by the curb.

  6. TW, "MEEEEE!" is right. Their justification for taking out loans in my name and using the money on themselves is, "We needed it". No shame. BTW, a few years later, they asked me to cosign on a car loan for the golden child. I hadn't finished paying off the student loans. They were *furious* I wouldn't put my name on the GC's loan (yeah, how could THAT possibly go wrong?!?) and browbeat me about how "selfish" I was. Ah, good times...

  7. Gladys, Hope you had a good weekend-isn't it great just to get away for awhile?
    While you were gone, thanks for the "hospitality"-I really, really like your "home." It's warm, comfy and real.
    It's quite a feat of our minds and bodies to "delete" traumatic events or more specifically, significant bits and pieces of the event, so the event doesn't "flow" in a nice, neat narrative. It's a protective mechanism we "use" without even having to figure out, "Hmm, how I do I DO this?" in that we don't get to "pick and choose." There's an "Over Ride" Function built right in-how cool is that?!
    OTOH, trying to take the event(s) and place them in a nice, neat chronology all tied up with a ribbon on top is maddening and pretty much fruitless. The harder we try to gather it all up, the more elusive it becomes. So bits and pieces float to the top at the most unexpected times without warning, provocation or "logic." Ergo, we question the validity/reliability of our recall. Ohhh, how well "trained" IRL we've been to question our experiences/perceptions having been gaslit etc. from here to hell and back again.
    It's just my experience/opinion but here it is FWIW: I need to be in a "safe place" in EVERY way, just going about my daily stuff and without warning here comes a "piece." There was a time when this freaked me out, but as I got older I just accepted it-like I had a choice on THIS "end" of the event as well ;) and accepted there are some aspects of the event(s) that may be lost for good-who knows? But I AM grateful for the "floaters" that fill in pieces of the puzzle. I'm safe now, I know that right down to my disintegrating old bones. After you've survived war, famine, pestilence what could possibly come down the pike I won't survive? Doesn't mean I'm gonna LIKE it, just that enough life experience gives you some modicum of confidence you'll slog/survive through it somehow.
    Money is a HUGE issue with these NPs-it's an extension of their whole Power and Control game IMO and a major manipulation tool to wield over their ungrateful lil' brats. And if you take them up on their "offer" Mon Dieu, you will be one sorry human being down the road-words fail to convey the danger inherent in their whole money/"gift" thing.
    Their perfidy knows NO bounds and the only recourse I've seen that has "motivated" them to do the "right thing" after they have very adroitly, with very clear intent and N-genda executed the WRONG thing including signing your name to documents you've never seen/heard of is a very REAL fear of exposure. That's it, and that's why when their carefully planted IEDs blow up in THEIR face (as well as ours) they make some effort to "correct" their carefully crafted misdeed/illegal activity/nastiness. Getting "caught" or busted by a "Higher Authority" is the only-and I do mean ONLY-"recourse" AC's have in my experience.

  8. Anon, Just posted my comment and your's became visible.
    The only thing I can add to your's is AMEN. And please tell me you didn't cosign? Mon Dieu, we're "selfish" but in my experience they are the MOST Self-Preserving POS's I've ever had the sheer nasty of experiencing.
    Yeah, I was DUMB enough to "Help" the GC/Nsis after prodding and various forms of manipulation by Psychobitch which absolutely included "selfish" among other adjectives. I was faaarrr too "understanding" and "helpful" in my younger, dumber days. Not to minimize my full complicity in this mess in any way, but here's what happens when you're blundering around alone in the dark in the bad ol' days before PCs/Internet/"self-help industry" that really isn't for the most part-a very few useful ones, but by and large IMO, we've become a "demographic" ripe for the pocketing of our pain.
    You already know how that "help/financial assistance" ended. When I terminated the relationship with Psychob, Nsis was (much intended) "Collateral Damage." The "Dynamic Duo" expired in tandem and in a fact of my life: They absolutely deserved one another.

  9. Gladys, yes, thanks for creating such a warm, cozy "home" for us to visit. I like your wallpaper, too. :-D

    TW, you're right about the "floaters". I had completely forgotten about the student loans (and how could that possibly BE?!?) until I read this blog, and suddenly I remembered. Graduation was only 20 years ago and I was repaying loans I never signed for, for a decade after that. Despite the risk of being called selfish, I refused to put my name to a car loan that was not solely mine, so the Golden Child had to find another source of funds. I was only 17 when my parents forged my name on school loans, but an adult when asked to be responsible for paying for the GC's car (and let's get real here--that's what they really wanted).

    The old childish retort, "What you say is what you are" certainly pertains to NFamilies, doesn't it? Selfish? No. Self-preserving? Yes.

  10. Thank you, everyone, for your comments. I had a great weekend of sun, music and REST.

    I am consistently surprised that we all seem to have the exact same stories - that narcs seem to run off the same script with only slight variations. Seems like it will make them SO much easier for the next generation of us ACoNs to spot, and deal with.

    I mean, that's my hope. I would hate to think that us digging into these various cans of worm crap and telling our stories is just an exercise in futility. Or that anyone would think this is FUN.

    (I'm feeling a bit peckish, being back from a weekend of the beach and jazz music. I need to change out of my Cranky Pants I guess...)


  11. Cranky? CRANKY? Woman, wish you were here: 50 mph. winds, cold rain/sleet and it could be worse: Shortly it will be ALL SNOW. And intermittent internet.
    People kill themselves over this shit, yk?
    Fortunately or not, I'm not one of 'em.

    1. Since I'm in the middle of my very own 'INTERNAL SUMMER' and I'm always hot, this doesn't sound SO bad (she says from the comfort of 50 degree nights)... I am sending warmest mukluk wishes at you Tee Dub. Also, take a picture of a moose! I want to see one. :)

  12. Gladys, I apologize for thread-jacking. What I had *meant* to write was that it was horrific of your father to take your $800, especially since you were in such dire straits. That money would have made a significant difference in your life at that point (regular trips to the laundromat! Some nutritious meals! Brand-new clothes that nobody but you had ever worn! Think of the possibilities!)

    I'm new on this path, but I also see that so many ACONs have very similar stories.

    TW, good grief! You have some serious weather going on.

    1. Anon, go ahead and write! Sometimes the best ideas happen in the comments sections.

      The money my dad took - I would never have been able to have it, as I hadn't gone to college and it was earmarked only for that. But it COULD have been used to get me a beater car and GET me to go to college - but in those days I was HAPPY to cut off my nose to spite my face. If HE wanted me to do or have something, by default I simply wouldn't have it.