Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Left behind - another in the series

But, this one was different.  This one paints my father in an ALMOST nice way and since the truth is what we're after, I'm shoving it in here.

There is LOTS to pick apart in this story about bad parenting, but he does show he is human.

SO - For whatever reason, Georgia and I went to a PTA meeting at the elementary school one night.  We had no reason to be there that I can remember.  I certainly didn't. - we weren't passing out cookies or helping...  I have no clue why we got to go. 

--> My parents would NEVER GO TO A PTA MEETING.  Oh holy jeebus on a crutch, that wouldn't happen.<--

Georgia and I got a ride with her friend's family, I'm thinking.  We get there and I, of course, take off and run wild like a 3rd grade banshee with the rest of whatever kids were there.  Georgia was in um...  5th, 6th grade by this time? So maybe SHE was helping her teacher with something.  ANYWHOOZLE.

All of the sudden I am one of the last people milling about and I realize I hadn't seen my sister anywhere in quite a while.  Neither was her friend and family still there.  I thought about walking home but it was beyond dark.  I don't know what calm posessed me (as even then I was a bit high strung *ahem*) and I asked to use the phone in the office.  I called home and dad came and got me.

HE TOOK ME TO DAIRY QUEEN (or equivelant) FOR AN ICE CREAM.  Because I had the good sense to call home calmly and have someone come and get me.

Georgia got in trouble for that one.  BUT - you know, honestly.  The very MINUTE we had pulled up to the school I had disappeared into the abyss.  She got busy with her friend and 3rd grade vs. 6th grade friends/thoughts/preocupation...  it wasn't like we had gone together on some hours-long adventure (like on the weekends) and she left me in a freaking cave, she just forgot. 

We weren't raised to take care of each other.  Or to watch out for each other.  To help with homework or hair brushing or anything.  I described it to Jeff like this.  Dad would get into a tirade and we would all scatter.  The thought each of us had was more along the lines of "I don't want it to be YOU, particularly, I just don't want it to be ME tonight".  Save yourself!  We were taught to stay out of anyone's business, don't get linked up.  I'm sure it saved him time - he didn't have to separate the herd when he wanted to hit. 

It made me have no relationship with my sisters till I was in my 30's.

Anyway, I didn't really WANT that ice cream, as it meant sitting there eating it with absolutely NOTHING to say to him the whole time.  He looked out the window and I ate the dish of ice cream and then we went home.  Fascinating.

But I'm here to tell the truth.  He did do some human things.


  1. IMO, that's exactly what adds to the confusion: Occasionally, they DID do something that seemed almost "normal." It's confusing as hell for a kid and even for an adult. Sometimes, I do believe the "outbreaks" of something approximating "normal" didn't really have much to do with us as it had to do with some other dynamics going on in their world. Maybe your Dad was looking for an opportunity to get away from S/M at the time for a while, so why not take the kid for ice cream? I just don't know.
    I learned from the time I was a Little One I was basically "along for the ride," an after-thought at best and not to ask questions. Just accept the unexpected and roll with it, whether it was being put on a plane going somewhere by myself to be met at the other end by people I didn't know or be shipped off to summer camp a few states away for the summer when I was 5 while my parents "did Europe." An occasional post card from somewhere far away (1950's-yk how "communication" was then.)
    If they were bat-shit nuts all the time it'd be easier to understand and internalize. But never knowing when all hell was gonna break loose and not having an "itinerary" or a road map made a nervous wreck outta me.
    Predictably unpredictable.
    Yeah, I also "got lost" as a child (more than once) when my older Nsis was suppose to be watching me in some strange city. I had my first ride in a cop car at 4. I got to sit in the front on the cop's lap while they tried to figure out who I was, where I "belonged" (HAHAHAA!) and why I was at a busy intersection trying to get across the street: "Go play in traffic" was a fact of life for me-what did I know? I just wanted to know what was on the other side of THIS "street." So I decided to go explore over there.

    1. Dear lord, TW - these stories are just horrific. And you're right - it was the fucking shifting sand under my feet that was the most crazy-making. You just never had any security, couldn't count on anything. These stories are starting to explain a lot to me about how I am NOW.

  2. These stories make me think of one I put in the comments section on my own blog one time. We were driving from Dallas to Lafayette where my father was working. I was in the back seat eating life savers and sucked one into my wind pipe.
    I could get just enough air to keep breathing but just barely. So I laid in the back seat and made myself not panic, waiting for it to dissolve and disappear rather than disturb the dynamic duo up front. I don't think sis was on this trip.
    But that's the length's kids from those days would go to not cause trouble.
    If my step daughter was choking my wife would have a care flight helicopter on the way before I could preform the Heimlich.
    But back then we were less afraid of death than getting a beating.
    I love how you wound this down with the amended three musketeers spin.
    All for one!
    And every man for himself!

    1. Can you imagine the BEATING you would have gotten for having the GALL to need to go to a hospital?!? I seriously, honestly, understand what you were thinking in the back seat at that time. FAR better to handle it on your own. Plus the instinct that the lifesaver WOULD disolve, just lie still, swallow some spit, it will go away, be quiet, let them think you're asleep... I don't know that my kid would have thought that far, that calmly, in that situation.

      The difference being what you said about your wife. He wouldn't have had to.

  3. Didn't you say your dad sold used cars?