Auntie Me (?)

Today I found out I am an aunt times three. Its a bittersweet feeling because babies are always surrounded with posts of joy and excitement, but I don’t really know my brother and sister that have had these children. I always pictured myself as the fun aunt…but maybe I’m not really an aunt at all.

When we were younger my siblings and I used to go for Sunday dinners at my grandparents together. My brother and sister are 8-10 years older than I am and a product of my fathers first marriage. I looked up to them and was happy enough to see them once a week. Really it was the perfect arrangement because I got fun sibling time without the whole sharing everything part of it. As we grew older Sunday dinners became few and far between. We lost touch now and then. Eventually my sister came back into my life when she started working with my dad and then we started to hang out. I always wanted to be just like my sister. My brother also started to work for my dad, and when I worked with them on the weekends it felt like a real family. When I moved away for university a lot of things changed. My brother was living in a different city and my sister got pregnant so she wasn’t as interested to hang out with her little sister when she had her daughter. I was invited to my brothers wedding but after that he disconnected from my family. I tried to reach out to both my sister and brother in my own way by sending holiday and birthday cards, but I never got any back. Eventually I stopped sending them, I thought that maybe they would notice something was missing. They didn’t, or if they did they didn’t care to address it. My sister had a second daughter I have never met. I was the last to know when she got engaged. I thought it would be easier to stop reaching out for them, but it wasn’t. Because of social media they were still there and present in my life, liking pictures of mine now and then, but I couldn’t bring myself to delete them because they are family. What if something happened and I needed to get ahold of them? Then something did happen. Our grandpa passed away. For a few days over the visitation and funeral service it felt like I might have some support. My brother and sister came to both events, although my sister essentially ignored me, my brother and his wife came over to ask if I was okay and were actually emotionally supportive. My brother even promised to keep in better touch and that he would have my grandma and I over for a Sunday dinner just like good old times. I felt like he meant what he said and that him and his wife would be there for me and we could have a relationship. Days, weeks, months passed and nothing. No happy holidays or birthday greetings. I could get over them ignoring me but I was upset at what this had done to my grandma – she was alone in the world after 60ish years and they couldn’t even have her over for dinner after all the meals she made for my brother. I found out through social media that my brother and his wife were expecting a child awhile ago. I found out today (through social media, surprise!) that he was born yesterday, healthy and as cute as newborns get. As much as I wanted to continue on my path of ignoring them, I couldn’t do it…I couldn’t bare to not congratulate them. Sure I was happy for them, but I also wanted to say hey I’m here and I could have been more of a part of this if you had bothered to keep in touch. I really do want to be the cool aunt. They said they want to have me over to meet him. I’m not keeping my hopes up, but who knows…people say that having children changes you.

Sticks, Stones, and Words

I think we have probably all heard the phrase ‘sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me‘. We all know that it is complete and utter bullsh*t, or if you don’t you are lucky to have met only the really nice people in the world.

I am currently living at home with my parents. It is a tense situation – basically the same as what my high school post described. I am in a long distance relationship and this weekend my boyfriend was coming to visit. He has come many times before, my parents don’t seem to mind him visiting and we generally try to keep to ourselves. This visit we were away the majority of the time because we took a little road trip to a city a couple hours away to see a concert and do other fun things. When we were at my house things went sour. We were having Easter Sunday dinner with my parents, the ham was fine and conversation wasn’t out of the ordinary. After dinner we thanked them for the meal and went downstairs as we normally would.
Then today (Easter Monday) my boyfriend left. I went to have cereal for breakfast and my mother told me that she ‘couldn’t believe my behaviour’ from the night before. Apparently just looking at me made her feel physically ill and that this was because of the past few days of terrible behaviour from me. She indicated that she was not raised to behave how I did and that my father and his parents are responsible for raising me to behave this way and it makes her physically ill. I had had enough at this point, mainly because I didn’t do anything wrong and didn’t want to hear her nonsense, and so I took my bowl and got up to leave. As I was going around the corner and almost out of range she told me that it was pretty clear to her that I blame everything wrong in my life on her. At that point I went downstairs and cried and wanted to shrivel up and disappear from Earth. Now try and tell me that words don’t hurt.

I feel like it is important to clear up a couple things now, the first being that this is a common pattern after my boyfriend visits – she likes to emotionally attack me by commenting on my behaviour, and even a couple times his behaviour. When she made these statements I had really only been home two days.  I can’t pinpoint exactly what I did ‘wrong’ in that time since I offered to get things when we went to the store and offered to help make dinner and thanked them for dinner – not exactly what I would call bad behaviours. I think that what she refers to as the bad behaviour was probably talking about money at the table – which I would also like to note was not brought up by me and simply consisted of my dad saying I got an insurance statement with some money and me saying that I wanted to see it. I also don’t blame everything wrong in my life on my mother, that would be ridiculous…as terrible as she can be she is still my mother and I do love her (most of the time). Last but not least, I generally don’t think of other people making me feel physically ill unless they have committed a murder or something to that degree, and so telling your daughter that she makes you feel physically ill will certainly not result in any kind of healthy relationship.

 

High school

Before we get to the craziness of today, I think it is important to touch on who I was in high school briefly.

While in high school I lived at home with my parents. We had (and still have) a nice house; we are not poor but we are not rich…I would probably say the lower end of the middle class. I went to a high school that had a lot of the higher middle class/upper class children in the city. My father worked and my mother did not. I had a part time job working with my dad on the weekends. I made my own lunches and got myself to and from school as had been the way since I was about 10. Although my home life might sound okay, it was not. My parents fought constantly and at one point my father left our house to live with his parents for an extended period. My mother was always miserable and most of the time it felt like you were walking on eggshells trying to avoid getting yelled at. She had a lot of health issues both physical and mental. So, there wasn’t anything I did wrong per se, but in my mothers eyes I was a lazy, self-involved, selfish individual. I was frequently called fat or told I was a terrible person. I cried a lot. At this point in my life I realize that it was emotional abuse and that none of what she was saying was true or my fault. At the time I didn’t know what to think. Part of what got me through was assuming that this was how everyones parents acted, and like mine when friends were over the ‘we are a happy family’ screens went up. I felt ignored a lot of the time, and sad. I had one spot on my left arm where at really bad times I would take a pair of scissors and lightly scrape a thin line of skin away. Some people refer to this as cutting but I do not have a lasting scar, and there was rarely any blood drawn so I am not sure I would call it that. I was not trying to kill myself, I think I just wanted someone to care enough and pay enough attention to ask what was going on. No one did. My dog was the saving grace – I loved her and taking her for walks was a perfect excuse to leave the house. She would even lick my face clean of tears sometimes.

Throughout high school I had various friend groups – I found it difficult to stay with one group because I would either get bored or abandoned. Sometimes I was abandoned because I did not have an interest in drugs or alcohol. Other times, and the times it really hurt, I was abandoned for reasons I do not know to this day. I had a few people I would talk to in each class incase a group project came up, and I had a couple of friends that I would see outside of school. Otherwise I was quite alone. I think that part of it had to do with the fact that I was not interested in the things other girls my age were. We did not read the same books or watch the same movies or listen to the same music, so when classes ended so did the ‘friendships’. I did not have much more success making friends with boys, and I was never asked out on a date. I had a really good friend group going in grade 10/11 but it fell apart before grade 12 (much to my dismay – I thought they would be ‘forever friends’ ) and I was ready to move on to bigger and better things than high school. In grade 12 I threw myself into my art classes and applying for universities (luckily I had consistently good grades), just hoping I would get in so I could get out. Out of the house, out of the city, away from it all.

Tune in to the next post to see what happened in the undergrad degree! #itgetsbetter

Licorice Candy

I bought some licorice the other day. It has been a rough couple of days, and I felt that I needed some. I have wonderful memories of eating licorice. It is not my favourite candy, and it is fairly rare that I have a craving for it. But when I eat it I feel better, it has always made me feel better.

As a much younger version of myself, I was at a cottage with my parents visiting their family friends during some summer vacation. We used to have big gatherings where all the parents would bring their children (we were all about the same age add or take a few years)  and so the children became my friends. I was very taken with a particular boy, lets call him  T. He was cute, kind, and a couple years older, so he checked off all the boxes in my naive mind. We had some things in common too and at one point I helped him hide in the closet when a gaggle of younger girls wanted to pin him down and kiss him, so he must have thought I was alright (I think it was still uncool to be friends with girls at that age). One day during this particular summer holiday I had gone into the bathroom. When I came out T had been concerned for my well being so had waited outside the bathroom with a few strands of licorice. He said he saved them for me and wanted to make sure I was okay. I loved him for that.

A few years earlier another happy memory was made that takes place on elementary school grounds. We had a special substitute teacher that would bring her guitar and sing songs, she was my favourite. I saw her outside at recess and she asked why I wasn’t playing. I told her I had a headache. She said that I must have some licorice and offered me a piece saying that it cures headaches. I believed that for awhile even though it didn’t always work. Sometimes it did and that was enough.

So here is to the curing powers of licorice, whether they be real or completely in my head and based on my happy memories, I feel better already.

“Everything will be so good so soon. Just hang in there and don’t worry about it too much.”

Introductions

Hi there, hopefully this finds you well. I decided to start a blog because, well for a few reasons. Mainly my life is a bit mental on the best days and absolutely insane on the worst.  I want to keep track of the nonsense and I kind of hope that sharing it not only helps me deal but can provide a few chuckles or solemn understanding nods.
So a little about me at this point in my life before we share too many secrets. I am a Canadian woman in my mid-twenties, you can call me Lucie* if you like. I am currently almost finished a 2 year Masters degree, working part time at a bookstore, volunteering at a hospital, and trying to have something called personal time. I read a lot, travel, watch a bunch of tv shows, do some artsy things now and then, and enjoy the occasional glass of wine. So on the surface I probably seem pretty average, and at first and even second glance I probably am. But hopefully after a few posts you will be introduced to my not so ordinary life and be convinced otherwise.

With that I sign off for now, hope to see you again next time !

“Everyone you meet is fighting a battle you know nothing about, be kind. Always.”

*Real names have been changed, sorry but I’m not that open to sharing my life. Yet. 😉