1:46 p.m. | 2004-02-28
The Change: Part 3 of 4
Unfortunately no one has a perfect childhood. There�s abuse of all sorts around. And unfortunately I think my parents get put in a bad light. Everything I�ve said about my mother rings true, she�s a solid caring woman who yes sometimes goes nuts over T-bone steaks, but she�s not particularly intelligent. I mean she knows stuff, yes. She�s good at her job, yes. But she doesn�t understand people for shit. Wonderfully supportive in my middle years, say 13 on, but before that I honestly don�t have many memories of her at all. She was a typical mom, and I figure that�s ok.
My father�s the one that gets the brunt of this. Let me try to explain. I don�t remember much early on, but apparently my mom left for a chunk of my childhood and left me with my father (and from my knowledge she never came to really visit me�which says a lot, and hurts like a son of a bitch). I know my father was attached to me as a child, loved being in my presence, playing games with me, etc. I remember hide and go-seek instead of church on Sunday mornings.
Career took over, though. He got out of education. When he taught (and worked on his doctorate) he had little time, but he was more caring. He got a job with Paragon (at that time Analytical Technologies, a failing environmental testing lab). His days. His nights. His life became that company. I remember him putting in a skylight, but that�s about all I remember him being around after that.
We got more money. Yay. We moved to a bigger house, left my best friend, and moved to Fuqua street. The house was big, I went to a private school, I was �privileged.� The days when we were poor and my mother would lock me outside so that I would play in the pool or the sandbox or the mud were over.
Had to be about first or second grade when I have my first memory of this crap. I remember the stories I told myself when I was little. I remember that they�re lies. I know that they aren�t the truth. I know this was. So to make the story less painful my father and I had our first real fight. It was a power struggle driven fight. Independence thing. That�s not how it concluded though. As my father was ranting at me for something (his new stresses at his job �cause him to do this rather often now, like every day after work), he managed to slip a small comment in.
��you�re the wedge that�s driving your mother and I apart.�
Oh what a blow to the gut. I remember being stunned, and crawling to the corner of the blue Saab and crying. The yelling after school and work continued�especially as I was an independent child by nature and thus if anything wasn�t right (and unfortunately in times just because it wasn�t to my liking) I�d fight back. I�d yell. He�d yell. We�d rehash the past. This isn�t good for a 10 year old girl and her father to be doing.
At the same time when we were happy he�d do anything for me. I remember the old computer I got. I was 12 and I had a laptop with Windows 3.0 on it! Laptops were new for high classed business men, but I got his. Still have it, actually. He�d pamper me, and we�d watch TV together, and make dinner together, and all that. Never put a huge interest into my school life but I have a feeling I would have answered every question with the common �I dunno� or �nothing.�
I remember fight after fight. It�s obvious why. We had a power struggle. On a base level he wanted my mother�s attention, so did I. We both had a right to it. My mother didn�t understand that and would go play instead. On a more surface level the man was wrapped around my fingers at almost every moment�but fought against it. He made me a spoiled brat of sorts.
Sure he taught me the value of money. And I will never be in debt in my entire life. And I gained all of my intelligence from him�but he�d buy me anything within reason. I had a relatively new car that he just gave to me at 15. At 17 I got his NEW car. The pretty one. The one I drooled over. If he ever decides to get a new one�I�ll get his new Saab 9-3. It�s disgusting. But then he yells at me for being spoiled. I like the treatment so I don�t yell at him for those sorts of things, for him being responsible for all of this. I can�t.
...continue on to part four...