Day 13 – On Acceptance

Leave it to catching up on and reading today’s posts thus far to once again inspire my post.  I don’t know if it’s synchronicity or what, but I don’t think a day has passed where someone has written a post that has given me an “AHA!” moment.

Today, a shout out to Effy, Amy, Kathleen, and Nolwenn.  Go check them out!


My earliest memories are probably ones in which it was instilled in me that I was not good enough.  One story I was told over and over was how my parents left me when I was three weeks old to go visit her oldest sister for Thanksgiving. I was left with my grandparents.  I was told she called to check on me, though I have a feeling she really could care less.  I could never understand why new parents would not jump at the chance to show off their new baby.  I’m almost positive my father only went along with this to appease my mother.  I honestly am not sure my mother ever wanted me.

I was always told I should be seen and not heard. I was threatened with the belt, but  rarely ever hit  with one. No my mother had a better weapon to wield over me if I was in her view disobedient.  The silent treatment.  She could go for days without talking to me or looking at me, if she looked at me it was more like she was looking through me.

Kindergarten:  My school used corporal punishment, often.  Some teachers did it more than others, some never laid a hand on a student.  Those seemed to be the ones that didn’t last more than a year or two. Anyway, I can remember getting paddled in Kindergarten for no reason. Often it was because I wrote my “R” backwards (Thanks Toys R US!)  Other times, I had no idea what it was for.  I swear they would just target some kids and smack our asses with this heavy wooden paddle.

Fifth Grade: There was the psycho nun that would slap your hand with a wooden ruler if you got math problems wrong.  I remember this one boy in my class, where she escalated to using a wooden whisk broom on him the closet.

I was a thin child. Not quite underweight.  My doctor felt that as long as I was thriving, I was healthy.  At least that is my impression.  So I was always called names by my mom and other family members.  Skinny Minny, Boney Marrowny, Scarecrow, Tall Drip of Water (even though I wasn’t tall, I was one of the shortest in my class.)  Some kids on the block started calling me ToothPick or Qtip.  When I was about 12 or  13, I tried to overeat most days so I could gain weight.  Put “meat on my bones”.  It didn’t work.  No matter how much candy, milk shakes, or cheeseburgers I ate after school.  I guess I thought if I weighed more, I’d be loved more.

I wasn’t allowed to have a differing opinion.  I had to agree with and go along with anything my mother said or did, regardless if I knew she was wrong. I had to hate the things and the people she hated or I’d get that silent treatment.

So what I was learning as a child was I wasn’t good enough, I wasn’t wanted, I had to get good grades but not be too smart for my own good, I was too skinny, too pale, too stubborn, too lazy.  I was accused of being lazy.  My mother wouldn’t let me do anything. I wasn’t allowed to do dishes, I wasn’t allowed to cook, I wasn’t allowed to vacuum or mop.  If I asked to do one of these things, she had some excuse.  Cooking, it was I might cut or burn myself.  Sometimes on a rare occasion I was allowed to beat an egg or dip the chicken to bread it, or mix the ground beef for meatballs or meat loaf.  It wasn’t often.

I remember one summer visiting my mother’s oldest sister.  I think I was about  12.  She said I needed to be doing the dishes.  I said no I don’t.  Which of course was the wrong answer LOL.  She came back with I was more than old enough.  To which I said “Mommy doesn’t let me.”  I think she was floored.  I’m pretty sure she had somethings to say about it.  But whatever they were, it changed nothing except on a rare day my mother would allow me to wash the pots.  But I think that changed when I tried to take a Brillo pad to her cast iron pan.

I was being taught to hate everyone, trust no one.  Be seen,  not heard, but preferably be invisible too.  Don’t be a follower unless it was following my mother.  Ask no questions, just do as you’re told. Privacy and secrets are not a luxury I was allowed.  Be quiet, be obedient.

There were the thoughts that if I was just a better little girl, then my Daddy wouldn’t drink and be angry and yell all the time.  If I tried harder and gave into the other kids, they’d want to be my friend.  If I acted better and stayed quiet, that boyfriend wouldn’t have hit me.

Fast forward a few more years, now I’ve fallen in with the church crowd.  Where the man preaches how the wife is a servant to her husband.  That he has the final say over all things, he is never wrong.  You’re supposed to be a quiet and obedient woman, having dinner ready when he comes home and the house spotless.  I actually had someone tell me they wouldn’t take me to midweek service unless I had fully cleaned and vacuumed the apartment and then had a hot meal waiting for my husband when he got home. I said what’s the point if he’ll have to warm it up anyway or something along those lines. But she said I had to be a good little wife and that was what was expected of me.

Then it was (from his perspective anyway) I didn’t cook well enough, I didn’t clean well enough, I wasn’t smart enough, obedient enough, agreeable. Anything and everything that went wrong was my fault.

All my life, almost everyone in my life tried to stuff me into some sort of box of their choosing.  Boxes I did not fit into. So I have grown up trying to figure out how to fix myself so I could fit in their box and make them happy no matter how miserable it made me.  In all my efforts to make everyone else happy and accepting of me, I forgot to make myself happy and be accepting of myself.  The things I dislike most about me, are things that others made me into.

Like for example, I had the worst experience at the dentist when I was a little kid.  My mother didn’t advocate for me at all.  She only compounded my fears before and after that.  So thanks to that and some hereditary shit, I have the worst dental problems.  I haven’t address any of it, because A) I can’t afford it, B) I can’t even make an appointment without going into a full on panic attack, and C) even if A or B weren’t an issue, I still need to be sedated and good luck finding a dentist that does.  All of them will need to go and be removed.  So I don’t like to go places or smile or meet new people.

But you know, it’s not just the dental thing. (Also besides being shy and introverted)  I feel like I am being judged no matter what, because I feel like people can see all those things I have been told was wrong with me ever since I was a little girl.  Except I’m no longer the skinny kid.  I’m heavier now than I was at the peak of my pregnancy.  I hit 140 when I was pregnant.  Today I am more than that. I could do a bit without the love handles maybe or my little Buddah belly, but otherwise I’m okay with my weight.  I don’t feel like OMG DOOM.  Yes I could do without the soda (*Sips ginger ale*), the candy, the sugary foods, the high carbs, etc. And I do want to cut back on junk and eat better, but it’s because I want to and because I know it’s healthier for me to do so.

Then there are the people that prejudge me because they knew my mother or my father. Though, not so much my father any more, he’s been gone a long time.   But my mom….ho boy did she ever hurt a lot of people and burn a lot of bridges.  I don’t see myself going back to New York anytime soon, so I don’t have to worry about seeing these people.

Learning to accept yourself is hard.  Learning to stop feeling like you need to fix something about yourself is harder still.  Maybe they are equal in some way.

I like dressing in black or dark clothes.  Sometimes I like to maybe wear something a little quirky even.  I like not wearing make up, but sometimes (rarely) I do like to put some on.  I like not wearing butt floss for underwear.  Gimme grannies all day every day LOL.  Bras make me feel like I’m suffocating, or at the very least like I’m in a vice. I like my rabbit food, aka salads.  I like burning incense and lighting candles.  I like my tarot cards, even if I still don’t know how to read them properly.  I like my Saints and my Goddesses, I like my Rosary and my Sacred Medals.  I like my statues and my gem stones and crystals.

I’m learning to love me.  It’s not an easy road.  It’s easier to hide in plain sight than to let some one see who ever the real me might be.  Honestly, I don’t even really know who she is. I’m still fighting to shed those layers and labels everyone in my past layed on me.  It’s a long road, hopefully not too hard of one.  I’m just tired of trying to fix myself to be more acceptable to someone else, to be more pleasing to their eyes.  I hope one day I will break this mold, that I will stop hiding, that I will stop trying to be what others think I should be.  In the meantime, baby steps.



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