A series of recent events has left me feeling alone inside - as if my years in childhood were spent with another set of parents than I see today.
Life was simpler when I was young... simpler because I could not see beyond the simple eyes of a child. Simpler because I felt my parents truly loved and understood me.
As an adult now, the veil of naivety has become tattered with holes and the windows into their souls and there intentions I could now see. How earth shatteringly sad it was over the past few years to have become enlightened to this dark side and to see through the thin veil which my mind's own eye created in defense for them.
Where do I start in all of this? It was a life of lies and deceit - by my own parents - to protect themselves and to shine in a trail of deceits and fabrications.
As a child, I always wondered why my sister held a different last name than I. When I asked my sister, she said simply that she liked that name and when I asked my mother she told me simply that my sister was a rebel and this was just of her way of expressing herself. It took 40 years of my life to finally get the truth out of my mom - to have her admit that my sister was the product of another man she had an encounter with prior to my dad.
Yet even with this admission she could not be totally honest with herself or with me. She simply stated that she had been forced into sexual relations with this man - that she then married him and bore his child so that she would know and have a father. Why, I asked her, did she consent to such a marriage? Why did she not change her daughter's last name to match that of my dad's when she remarried? Why did she not tell me for so many years who my sister really was?
Her answers only dictated that she was attempting to protect her own self interests. She never told me about my sister because she extolled that I would not love her if I knew the truth. The fact is that I would have respected my mom and my sister more. She supposedly married after being raped so that her daughter would be able to grow up having a father which was utter nonsense as I found that she really did love this man and was never forcefully raped by him. But the story made her look like the victim in all of this and he as the vagabond scum of a man.
When she married my father, she tried to hide her prior marriage and her daughter by giving my then eight year old sister to my aunt to bring her up. My sister was devastated that her own mom did not want her - that my dad's mother did not want to see her son involved with a woman who had a daughter from a prior marriage. My own dad going along with this - until my sister cried so much and was so distraught, that she was finally taken back in - but she never respected my mom the same way and never could accept my dad for allowing this to take place.
The fact of the matter is that my mother could not accept or admit to the truth. She never could admit her own mistakes to others or, more importantly, to herself.
The day she caught me cross dressing when I was in my late teens, the only thing she could say to me was for me to dispose of what female articles I owned and to never let her see this again. And she let me know that she would keep this from my father - who would never understand this.
As for my father, I am quite sure that I blocked out what I saw growing up but now which come back to me in vivid flashes of recollection. The times my mother did not have dinner on the table or her tasks assigned to her by my dad finished when he arrived home from work. The times he would check to see if the furniture had been dusted as he wiped a finger across the mantle and found it to have been overlooked. Seeing my mom thrown against the cabinets in the kitchen and her body limply flailing to the ground to join a puddle of tears. Of me hiding in the cabinets under the kitchen sink and peering out while clutching my green blanket.
There we the fear when he took away some of my sister's toys I would play with and the thoughts of how he had smashed my orange Tonka oil truck because I was making too much noise while playing as he watched the news - I was 4 years old then...
...and now today....
I see a mother who lives in fear as her mind slowly wanders away. Of a father who years ago demanded his meal be on the table at a specific time no being the one who prepares all of my mothers meals. I watch as my mother's weight dips down to what is now 88 pounds as she laments the loss of her daughter and two children - who left to move to Las Vegas. My sister cut off contact as my mom could never come to apologize for what she did or even own up to as being nothing but what was for the best for my sister. In reality, it was what was best for my mom....
My father pays the price for those endless days where my mom would work a part time job, take care of me and still keep a clean house and put food on the table for a demanding and often abusive father. He now finds the tables flipped and he being the one to do all of these things. My mom eats and drinks little as she wallows in her ever deepening depression. Each stroke she has or fall brings her strength and will to live down one more notch. And my own father whose martyr syndrome prevents him from asking or accepting any help offered fortifies the prison he has created for himself in this life.
My mother won't leave him yet sometimes begs to be rid of him. When I try to step in she decries that I am a horrible son for taking her away from her beloved husband. It is marriage of love and hate and it has gone on for so many decades that it will not change until it is seen through to its ultimate conclusion of demise.
I never saw this. I never understood. It all falls together now as if it had always been clear to me. I had blocked it out and walled it off. And now it comes back to me in the pangs of dreams at night - vivid as though yesterday was today.
If it were not for my loving, supportive and understanding wife, my life till now would have been a conglomerate realm of emotional misery. Why did it take so long, sometimes I wonder, to wake up?