Tag Archives: child abuse

Family Charybdis Syndrome

I have several half-brothers and sisters. As far as I know, I have no full siblings, and, as far as I know, that doesn’t matter in the full scheme of things. Well, actually, one picture-taking day, my mom asked for a picture with just Dad’s kids, the dad who is not my biological dad. The older brother there and I chose not to make a fuss, ever. Well, until now I suppose.  At the moment we let our four younger siblings and the step-sister that Dad had recently reconnected with take their together, without us.

That was a time where it made a difference. Yea, my other siblings, the four who are full, had once teased me once or twice or a dozen times that I wasn’t their real sister because I was only half. But they were extremely stupid kids and I was ‘too sensitive’. Plus, I could punch them in the arm or face when I was feeling a bit irritated.

Of course, I couldn’t do that to my mom. Well,  I could, but I wouldn’t. Would I have, then? No, of course not. I can’t remember. I remember more that my mind had gone blank, and I had to hold in my profound annoyance because Older Brother was acting pretty cool about it, but I knew he was just as upset. At least, I learned later he was.

I try not to dwell on it when I see the family pictures hung on the walls. All the pictures with themes- females, males, kids… Dad’s kids only club.

head scratch gif

 

Took an unexpected turn there. Ah, but you wouldn’t know, now would you?

So, I’mma take another turn, back to where I wanted to start. Let’s broaden this out a bit. I recently had a long conversation with my siblings about our family. Just the immediate, no intensive talks on cousin and aunts just yet. Older brother and I tried to break through a wall of delusions. Not only that, I have a drastically different way of looking and dealing with the world than my siblings, and they do from each other.

We were Facebook messaging. It had all six of us in the beginning, but Youngest Brother (I have two younger brothers) can’t take criticism to the nth degree and jumped ship at the least bit of pushback to his lifestyle. Before, we had invited back those of us that had left, accidentally or otherwise, but we didn’t for him, and there was nothing in this conversation that would have had him stay.

Unimpressed gif

The conversation started with talking about our parents claiming certain people on taxes. Anyway, it got to the point that I was complaining how I wanted my cut of whatever they got, because they get money for me, and I didn’t see a goddamn dime.  I’m sure they used it in some fashion, but I doubt they used it better than what I would have used it for. That’s a whole other can o’ WTF.

I don’t trust my parents to give me what I’m due without a lot of pushback, and my sister was certain that I would have been given my cut. After years of that not happening for nearly all things, I still don’t believe it will be given to me so easily. I’m thinking now, that that was how it has always been for me. Perhaps, it’s always been easier for Younger Sister (I have two younger sisters). She asks, and she’ll just get it, and she thinks it’ll be just as easy for me. I actually think it was harder than Younger Sister 1 made it out to be. In any case, I’m not going to risk it. It’s a long bus ride home to risk not getting what I came for.

She tried to tell me not to come over just to watch Game of Thrones (which I did, I admit), and maybe I’ll be more comfortable with asking them for stuff. That’s probably true, but, again, it’s too long of a bus ride to think so optimistically.

Then she said this:

Screenshot 2014-05-18 13.27.49

Puck angry

Again with this shit!

However, to spoil it on ahead, Elder Brother and I made headway this time. At least with Younger Brother (not Youngest Brother who jumped ship).

Let me give you some background. Younger Sister and Younger Brother both have (or had) the idea that our general dislike of our parents was from lack of forgiveness in our hearts for the things they have done in the past, and that all the bitterness in our hearts are self-inflicted grudges that can all be resolved if we just let it go (Don’t).

Older Brother and I think we were abused. Well, not think, it’s science. We were abused. And that abuse was multiplied by the fact that they didn’t treat the other kids the same. Point in fact: Older Brother was often called sensitive when he was younger, and was just generally hit and yelled at all the time and teased because he was so sensitive and Dad had  a free hand whenever he was the least bit irritated. My parents were all about sparing the rod and spoiling the child, but they weren’t good at it, just as that quote is mostly shit to justify beating the crap out of four-year-olds.

I would like you to muse over this a moment: Older Brother is 3 years older, so I barely remember him and his relations with others when he was, and I might be pushing it, 7. And things have really stuck with me only beginning my third year of school, so he was about about 11 or twelve. Imagine not knowing ten years of a sibling’s life. What have I missed? What view do I truly have?

Now, Younger Sister is a year younger than me. And Younger Brother is three years younger than I am. What the fuck do we know about how Dad treated Older Brother when he was four and five and six? Who are we to say that he’s lying, and I, and I’m so sorry, I used to think most of the way about Elder Brother. When I came to terms with my own abuse, I began to realize that it was highly unlikely he was just making shit up.

Back to my point: Younger Brother is MUCH MUCH more sensitive than Older Brother. Remember, when we told him he needs to take care of his diabetes more, for example, on Facebook, he was like, fuck all of us, I hate being pointed out for my suicidal flaws. But let me tell you, everyone walks on eggshells with this dude. He is just as violent as my father used to be (and Younger Sister) with a dash of drama by calling the police or wanting to get spoonfed by some poor dimwit of a counselor and get everyone involved. Heavens forbid you tell him to clean his chore, or room, or body or to stop hogging the bathroom FOR HOURS listening to dubstep.

And what do the parentals do for this, like really? Nothing. Dad won’t touch him or talk to him, and Mama doesn’t either. He needs psychological help, but our parents can’t afford it (or don’t want to, or don’t believe he has a problem like that. More on that piece of juicy bit later).

But let me sideline again: I came over one day, and the living room was a bit of a mess. It’s usually a mess because Younger Brother uses it as his mancave, leaving his clothes and trash and dishes wherever they fall. Mother came downstairs and told me and Youngest Sister, “Be sure y’all clean this mess up.”

Neither one of us said anything. When she was out of hearing shot, Youngest Sister snorted. We later talked about it: How could she treat us so differently? Youngest Brother can make an absolute hellhole of the place, not a peep. But I come over to visit and I must clean the living room? Needless to say, neither Youngest Sister nor I cleaned it.

That was sometime last month, April. April 2014. In April 2014, my mother was still doing the same shit she has been doing all my life. Foisting responsibilities on me because I was more malleable to do as she told. Of course, I don’t live in the house and I can just leave (HALLELUJAH) and I don’t have to worry about them keeping things from me. The tax money doesn’t count since they don’t regular give that to me. I’m thinking more on the lines of electricity… Or computer time… Grounding? Yea, something like that. So I left, and Youngest Brother went back in the living room that afternoon, and Youngest Sister knew Ma wasn’t going to tell her to clean it without risking have to tell Youngest Brother as well. I think the living room is still unclean to this day.

oh well gif

 

So we have different views of how life went because of our age differences, and we know for a fact that our parents treat us differently and have made some mistakes when raising us. One of their mistakes was being kind of inconsistent:

Screenshot 2014-05-18 14.35.23

Yeeeeeeaaaaa…

But things changed to The Point of No Return with Younger Brother’s post (for me at least):

Screenshot 2014-05-18 14.40.43

And that gave Dad the right to beat the shit out of us, I suppose. Things get really hectic from here on, but that first sentence. Now, our Dad is one of the most manipulative people ever, and so is our Mom. They have these stupid ways of talking that make you say, come on, really? Are you really saying that? Then they are quick to call one sensitive or misunderstanding when in reality they are being assholes. They also have a way of blaming everyone when it’s their fault, etc.

TL;DR: There’s no way Younger Brother was never manipulated.

Never?!

Never!!!

No way.

But this is where it gets into a sinking hole of family. I don’t usually make sweeping generalizations. (Everyone’s a brat, everyone has something wrong with them, we all can say mean things) They do absolutely nothing. It might help for someone who is confused, but I’m not confused, and I don’t need generalizations to bring it all into focus.

But just in case you don’t have the focus in ya crosshairs, everyone’s perspective is warping reality. Yes, of course, Older Brother and I feel as if we are closer to reality.

For example, Dad used to call Younger Sister a slut a lot (and was always scared of his sons being fags and me being nutzoid/crazy/think-you’re-smart-but-you’re-actually-stupid) or some variation of slut. I’ve also told her those same words, although I’ve never seen her have sex. I’ve also called my brothers those mean words, and some of them have called me bad names as well. And round and round it goes. Six of us. Plus Dad, and Ma that stands in the background or something.

Let me share these things Younger Sister said:

Screenshot 2014-05-18 14.58.11 Screenshot 2014-05-18 15.01.22 Screenshot 2014-05-18 15.02.02 Screenshot 2014-05-18 15.02.14

 

scream gif

I don’t mince words. But look at that! This is us, one of us kids, saying with pure conviction the completely unreal statement of how she put me and Dad on the same level.

And this is the crux of the matter. Everyone did something so everyone just take the blame onto themselves and forgive everyone else and we’re all equal and we’ll have peace.

Except Younger Sister is all about physical retribution and can’t let things go when she needs to. She lets the anger get the best of her and always feels justified because that other person should have done something.

Also, Youngest Brother is driving Younger Sister insane with his shit. She keeps saying stupid stuff like beating him up will help (no this is no joke. She keeps saying that as if it’s an actual solution even though she has PHYSICALLY FOUGHT DAD, and she still is in the house thinking the same way she has since she was nine, with a kid, and one on the way).

Thing is, she doesn’t think people’s actions or words really influence anyone (she believes any beating she received when young was earned and it was all her fault), which is exactly the sort of shit our parents would say, which was what I was saying when I was in the house, which I believe Younger Brother is soon to stop saying, which Youngest Sister (who did not come into the conversation except to ask if we hated Dad, even after we said multiple times we didn’t hate him. I didn’t bother answering her. I have no patience for laziness) says.

They all also make these generalizations that try to equalize everyone’s faults, but with the glaring thumb that is Youngest Brother, it’s easier to point out that not everyone’s mistakes are on the same level, and I refuse to tolerate that which goes beyond The Point of No Return.

Cant remember name is confusedThere is so much more to say. But being out of that house, out of that soul-sucking environment where your mental capacities for stupidity and wrongness are pushing the pressure gauges, where you put your mind through gymnastics to makes sense of the reality, I realize that leaving may be the only way to begin to heal from such a childhood where we didn’t know any better.

Is Your Dad an Asshole? Watch Out, Lest You Become One, Too!

Bitching about my dad, film at eleven!

Seriously though, my dad can be such an asshole. I’m not sure why I don’t just cross over like my brother and put him across as “He is an asshole”, probably because he’s done right by me so many times. I’m sure if Dad broke my jaw and still seven years later I have keloids running up and down my jaw, neck, and chin from multiple surgeries, and Dad still hasn’t apologized for it, I would be hard-pressed to bring up ‘all the good times we had’.

Also, I’m extremely open to discussion, any time, all the time. Pretty much why I have a blog and comment on other blogs. I do want to say that anyone who says “You only get one dad, cherish him” or anything along those lines can go fuck themselves, okay? It’s never, ever a good thing to say. This hit home with me when someone who was being terribly abused- like stereotypical, but no less real, abused- by her blood father. She said something along the lines I have said and this: “Even if you have wonderful parents, when they act evil, they have stopped being wonderful. There is no forgiveness for that.”

That’s pretty much my entire view of all the ‘blood is thicker than water’ crap that means nothing if you’re miserable.

So, what happened? First!

You're such a pussy!
You’re such a pussy!

Just to let you know, my biggest problem with my dad was his mental and emotional abuse. The rest of my siblings, except my second younger sister, had more contact with his physical abuse. The worse things? Older brother: broken jaw, as I’ve mentioned repeatedly. First younger sister: kicked to the ground and stomped on in the third grade tied with being locked in a chokehold until almost passing out in the ninth grade. Second younger sister: got a little slap every once in a while. Younger brothers often got punched, especially if my Dad thought they were acting like pussies.

It’s not like Dad didn’t punch me in the stomach when I got car sicknesses and threw up in the car. I remember being in a carseat. Or that he didn’t hit me with the metal side of the belt because I chose my favorite shirt of my Kindergarten year for the second time that week (granted, before this, he thought I was taking too long finding socks). And there are more, but you get the picture.

And he still wonders where my younger sister and youngest brother’s violent tempers come from.

So, my main beef with him now is the non-physical abuse. I remember practicing my expression in the mirror so that when Dad yelled down at me he wouldn’t say, “And now you got that STUPID look on your face!” I’ve perfected my nonplussed look, and it drives him nuts! More than that, though….

He’s also a pretty dumb debater/discussion-ist/whatever. He can’t seem to follow reason (or a mote of tact) when expressing himself or hearing others express themselves. He also always, when expressing himself, follows at least four of these tropes:

  • It is your fault
  • It is NEVER his fault in any way (I didn’t really realize this until last year. He has this so bad, it’s comical)
  • An apology that he obviously doesn’t mean (Oh, I’m so sorry I hurt your feelings). I’ve actually pointed this out to him several times, and my mom has had the gall to say he was sincere most of the time. Oh, mom(s).
  • THE GODDAMN PITY-PARTY (Everyone’s against me all the time! Oh, woe is me!)
  • Threats of some nature
  • Threats of a physical nature
  • Bringing up a topic, you follow it, and he points out that it’s unrelated and you shouldn’t be bringing it up
  • Insults

This time around, I don’t remember him threatening to do something physical. But he gets 7/8. B+!

Brother to me, anytime we talk about Dad
Brother to me, anytime we talk about Dad

So I have most of the argument between my brother and I on google chat. I don’t feel like doing the whole copy screen, crop, paste, etc. thing but I’ll post the juicy bits verbatim copy, yea!

Me: “So Daddy told me to contribute more to the household- buying groceries and paying bills and the like”

Bro: no he did NOT

Me: 

“And not just buying fifty dollars worth of pizza that gets eaten in two hours, or giving them 40 dollars worth of gas and whatever money and whatnot. Well, he just said pizza.
In any case, I said yes, sir and all that
But I could tell in his eyes I wasn’t enthusiastic enough about it, and so he decided to give me a lecture about how I should want to contribute to my parents- you know, the spiel”
My brother is flabbergasted because I tell him of times when I contribute very large amounts of money to our parents. Papa’s really good at picking out stuff we are bad at- but we are actually very good at. Like, I would care not if he actually me a bad child- but it would be phenomenal if they were based on truths.
The spiel in question: How we should always want to help out Ma, Pa, and our family. Because Papa always wants to help. Without question. Without complaint. Never.
(…not juicy bits…)
Me: He goes on to say that he could kick me out of the house at any time.
Bro: WOW
Me: (Pa says) “And then where are you going to go? No where. I could just say get out.”

Bro: He’s soooooo manipulative and abusive, [my name]

FUCK
And here I realize in talking with my dad that he’s treating me like my sister, the one who left my niece. The one who has been gone for two days because her ‘friend’s car broke down’ and she can’t find ANY WAY TO COME BACK.
Dad bullshit detected
Obviously, I did not like that so I’m a bit angry at Pops at the moment. He does not get any better.

Me: 

I told him that I’m getting in touch with deans to go back to Baltimore. We’ll figure something out
didn’t tell him how I told them what an asshole he is *shrug*
(Pa)”Why do you want to go back to Baltimore?”
“What?” I couldn’t believe it! “I want to go back to school. We’ve had this conversation before. It’s a non-starter. Let’s change the subject.”
“And-” this is still me “-How you going to threaten me about kicking me out the house and then ask me why I want to go back to Baltimore?”
Seriously though. He does not like when we point out when he spouts some contradicting bullshit like my sis dislikes having her lying bullshit put on blast.
So, now he’s angry.

Me: 

Okay, so he says,
“Look. What happens if you get sick again and have to come back here? You’ll be back to square one, just like [THAT SIS], stuck here with no where to go.”
“DO NOT COMPARE ME TO [THAT SIS]
“DO NOT EVER COMPARE ME TO [THAT SIS] EVER AGAIN”
And he better not. He thinks he hates my simmering fury as I bubble up now and again, he’s going to despise whatever comes if he compares me to [THAT SIS] one more fucking time (something my parents did constantly while sis took her two month break). I’ve worked too hard, too long to be compared to a shiftless, selfish sociopath like my sister, and I’ve done nothing to diminish that progress. Nothing.

Me: 

So, he gets up- all outraged and here I’m thinking when he yells- oh, it’s just my personality. When we yell, BAD CHILDREN
And now he’s towering over me and I’m thinking does it feel good to look down? You touch me, I’ll kick you in your damn stitches.
“I can say you can get out. I can kick you out right now” He points to the door.
Calmly, I answer, “I know you can”
Reminds me of Ayn Rand
Papa’s Philosophy

Honestly, what was he trying to accomplish by saying this? What could he possibly gain? This intimidation, these threats? This conversation started with him demanding my hard-earned money. How did he think this’ll end if he tells me that he has the oh-so-godly power of kicking me out the house? Oh, what would he tell [AWESOME SIS]? How did he think Mom would react? What about Bro?

Me: 

Well, he doesn’t like me being calm and saying scathing things to his ego, of course
So he goes on: “See, this is why we don’t ever see eye-to-eye.Whenever I try to talk to you, you get all sensitive and you’re just looking for ways to attack everything I say.”
Bro: huh?

Me: 

I roll my eyes at this usual spout of self-pitying, and he just gets angrier and angrier
(to Bro) what?
how he’s talking to a mirror?
Bro: The “this is why we don’t see to eye to eye” right hahaha

Me: 

lolol- I know right! He keeps going! How I don’t ever listen to him and never want to take his advice
“I said yes! I will pay the bills and stuff. What more do you want?”
“Why are you yelling at me about [THAT SIS]?”
“I just really hate when you compare me to her. Really really hate it.”
Still me: “She is not like me. She’s still off doing whatever with Charlie here. I’m here.”
“This isn’t about [THAT SIS]. It’s about you!”
“YOU BROUGHT IN [THAT SIS]!”
“It was just an example!”
“Well, I’m using your example!” Does this man not know how to have a goddamn conversation?!
He can’t be that doggone stupid!

But sometimes he totally, totally is. Or he just can’t see the fallacy of his constant effort to turn things against the other person, to make him always seem like the reasonable one. He can’t take criticism at all. Not a fuckin’ speck.

Me: so, we’s goin’ back and forth and he asks, “So when do you think you’re going back to Baltimore, hm?”
“As soon as possible.”
“When’s that?”
So I do a super roll of my eyes, “As soon as possible.”
“Is that next week, next month?”
Actually, my dean and I specified, hopefully, sometime in the middle of June, but I don’t know, and I didn’t want to give him false words.
“AS SOON AS POSSIBLE IS AS SOON AS POSSIBLE!”
What else could that possibly fucking mean? How else could I put that?
He says, “As soon as possible is like tomorrow or next week”
“Well, tomorrow or next week, if that is as soon as possible.”
“But we know that’s not going to happen!”
I’m ready to fucking kick him.
“Then whenever! As soon as possible! It doesn’t mean immediately- it means as soon as possible. Just like ‘maybe’ means yes or no.”
Here, Bro had to do some stuff, so the rest is mostly memory and may be misremembered, ya’ know.
“I NEED EXACT DATES.”
“You. Do. Not. Need. Exact. Dates.” 
I was being pissy. But Dad was being a total pissant. Why was he acting like he didn’t know what ASAP meant?
“I need to know! We movin’ so I need to know if you’re coming with us! What time are you going to be here-“
“I. Don’t. Know.”
“You should have said that first then!”
“That’s basically what ASAP means in this context!”
dad against wall
So he starts swirling around in anger, trying not to hit something, I guess, and comes back to me.
“Oh, ok, I’m sorry. I’m so sorry about bringing this up. I’m sorry we can’t just have a decent conversation because you have to get all mad all the time.”
So, I’ve crossed my arms and leaned back. I now roll my eyes again, cock my head to the side and obviously wait until he’s finally done.
I can’t say nothing to you, now! You’ll just try to bite everything I say and not listen to me!”
“I don’t do that. And I listen to you. A lot.”
I even gave him a couple of examples- like the beginning of this damn conversation. He could have left it at demanding my money and things would have been so much better for him, but he decided to guilt trip me, and insult me, and it’s all my faultshouldn’t have gotten mad. shouldn’t have been so mean. needed to back down.
Well, the only thing I’ve said to him since then was “Hi, Pops” as he came home from work. He’s a teacher at a university-and now he’s some student expert. Ah, freak-on-a-fucking-leash…
Make no mistake, if your father or mother or bald-headed brother does so many things for you, they can still become hostile and you do not deserve that shit from anyone. And if you have fallen in mode with such antics:
Dad is sometimes a douchebag

“642 Things to Write About” and Your Behind is Behind!

Woo, boy, you’re in for a creative writing smorgasbord today! Hold onto ya’ knickers for the ups and downs of prompts from all walks of life! A review for one of the best anime I’ve watched ever: Kuroko no Basuke! or Kuroko’s Basketball! or the terrible translation by Crunchyroll: The Basketball Which Kuroko Plays! eventually!

I really like Prompt #20 and #24 for me and #17, #18, and #20 for my sis. So much fun! Read ’em and weep!

Prompt #16: Describe an electronic device in the future that you won’t know how to operate.

My response:

 It had taken me a quarter of my lifetime to get up the courage (and convince the easily irritated) to learn how to drive a car. Now with these newfangled hovers, I’m behind more than ever. When I was a young gal, I thought it would be pretty straightforward stuff. You get the hover in drive and it starts afloat in the air and you get on with yourself. They just came out with the things, but there’re all these factors like wind and rain and terrain that most people didn’t really have to worry about even with the most suburban of vehicles.

The hover capability to adjust its height hasn’t been tweaked just right yet, and it’s more difficult to maneuver it than a car on manual drive back in the old days. I’m much too old to get this shit right, but my grandkids won’t be caught dead in a groundling, so I better get this right.

Sister’s response: 

“Introducing the Android 367 PXF5 Maximus 2! This Android 367 PXF5 Maximus 2 has three percent more of a crisp clean picture-taking mode, more data service, space, and of course Siri’s brother Sirus. This phone is much better than the Android 367 PXF5 Maximus!” If you happen to find any mistakes about the original phone now (2013), like Siri isn’t in the Android or if you can even have more data service or if you happen to find out that I’m right, but I still don’t know… My point is, I don’t know anything about phones.

~~~~(hahahaha)

Prompt #17: A storm destroys your uncle’s shed and kills his six-year-old son. Describe the color of the sky right before the storm hit.

My response: (sweet Jesus):

It’s been some time since we’ve visited the other side of our familial globe. Cousin David was nothing but an infant the last time I’ve seen his face, and now he was an annoying 6-year-old, and, still, no one had much grey hair. I love our aging genes, which seemed to bypass our bloodlines and hit all the white people around us.

Like at most social gatherings, the sky was bright. It was a glowing darkness heralding the impending storm that would kill Cousin David in Uncle David’s shed . My mom would say later that the sky looked ominous and that she had had bad feelings and that she knew that something bad would happen. Some people would roll their eyes, some would nod emphatically. I would simply remember how everyone thought to go inside and play some games, and some kids stayed in the shed, and only one died from a fallen beam. When Aunt Lauren wasn’t around, my other aunts and uncles thanked God for their living children.

I also remembered, as usual, that the sky would bring everyone closer together instead of outside and scattered. I liked the sky, and I liked storms. I hoped lightning would hit something important and take the lights out, and we would Kumbayah the rest of the night, but the lightning had hit early, long after the bright sky had left.

Sister’s response: (Uhhh….?)

I was outside with my uncle and my 6-year-old cousin. The sky was clear and blue with little white puffy clouds. The air was blowing nicely and warmly, but the smell… The smell is what threw the whole thing off. I can smell just a hint of rain. Maybe it would sprinkle a little, I thought. I looked at the sky again. Half of it was light, and half of it was really grey.

“We should go inside,” I told my uncle.

“Nah, we’re good for a few minutes,” said my uncle. But we weren’t. Before we knew it, the whole sky was pitch black. The wind was blowing. The trees were ripped out of the ground. And my cousin…

Prompt #18: Name the trees that stood in the neighborhood where you grew up.

My response: 

As an army brat, I didn’t really ‘grow up’ anywhere, but I’ll pick a neighborhood that had trees… I only remember one that really had trees. My other living spots were in the suburbs on on a military base, and they aren’t exactly flowing with floral decorations. Coincidentally, this was the nearest to poverty I remember living, and we lived in the poorest part of the city. Our house was surrounded by trees.

The most astounding of which was Heavyarm. This humongous tree had a single branch whose elbow reached grabbing height (when I got older and stood on a chair). We kids would climb onto that branch and go up it and slide carefully down back to the ground once we reached the trunk. Sometimes we would jump from the elbow and hurt ourselves.

Then there was Old Yeller that rustled loudly during storms (until a lightning bolt killed it, dropping it into our dry leaf-and-dirt-filled pool). It was a big thing to grab onto while we balanced on the gate that separated our yards from the neighbor’s, playing hot lava all year long. This was Texas, so, yea…

Then there was Beauty. This was the tree under which countless leaves would fall and leave enough to rake and fall into. It exploded with color in the spring, majestic and towering over our house and nobody was able to climb it.

Though there were a bunch of kiddie trees, the last I want to talk about is Deadeye- who wasn’t really a tree, but a stump in the front yard. It had a huge hole in the middle of its many rings that was always either filled with a bunch of bugs or spiders that we dared each other to dip our hands in. Good times!

Sister’s response: 

I don’t remember other people’s trees because there’s one tree that occupies my mind. I’ll never forget that tree. I remember my front and backyard trees, but I’ll save my favorite tree for last. I still don’t know which ones were my front yard or my backyard. The one with the mailbox had two trees, well, one and half. The half-tree is called Max (I slipped and scraped my back. a lot of blood. Still have the scar to prove it), and the other tree is called Teddy.

The tree on the side of my house crushing my empty pool is called Susan. The area with the driveway has the last two trees. The one with the owl hole is called Lucas (He’s the biggest tree).

And last but not least, the Grandfather Tree. The reason why he is called that is because a few days after my grandfather passed, there was a face on this tree that wasn’t there before.  I talked to him every day, I even put lip gloss on him. Next thing I noticed, there were more and more faces on the tree.

~~~~~~(Max=Deadeye, Grandfather Tree=Heavyarm, Susan=Old Yeller; I forgot about Teddy and Lucas, but I remember them now)

Prompt #19: Write a scene in which a woman is fired after only a week on the job. Just a week earlier, the same person who is now firing her was very persuasive in convincing her to take the job. 

My response: (wait, so she didn’t want the job in the first place?)

“I’m sorry, Bethany. I truly thought it would work out but…” Cory trailed off, looking at his watch, then at Rebecca, who hadn’t been working all this week and suddenly starts working as Cory tells Bethany that she’s not needed for the day, or ever.

Bethany snorted derisively. The ride there was a good half-hour, a half-hour to some dreary sit-and-dine, only to work her ass off for their busiest  Valentine’s week, and now Rebecca was back, and Bethany was being fired.

She had refused a closer, brighter, friendlier place because Cory said they really needed the extra hands and that she would be perfect for the job, especially with her wide availability and reliable transportation. If she accepted, within a month, Cory promised to make her manager. How could she say no to that?

Stupidly, she had said yes to this too-good-to-be-true deal. But she had merely been temporary work until Rebecca came back, and now she was standing like an idiot not sure how to handle the situation of having to go through all the job-searching again, after so many months of looking, so many interviews, so much hope.

And Cory confidently thwarted all attempts to give her good reason to leave, and Bethany was no longer stupid enough to believe she would get one. Wasn’t this illegal somehow? Could she sue?

That was stupid thinking. She wouldn’t win. She was too nice, a pushover, but right now she was livid, and she stood there until Cory was finally uncomfortable. He made some excuse to leave- busy restaurant and all- and she said snidely, “When are my next hours?”

Cory frowned deeply. He wasn’t stupid either. “I have to go, Beth.”

“Bethany. I told you that. When are my next hours, Cory?”

“That’s the type of attitude we don’t accept here.”

“You told me yesterday I was an angel.”

“I was-”

“Lying, I know. When are my next hours?” She was going to make this stupid little guy squirm.

His lips curled in annoyance. “Don’t be difficult.”

“Answer my question.”

Lips now thin, Cory hissed, “You’re fired, Bethany.”

“Thank you, you fucking asshole.” Bethany turned on heel and quickly left.

“Life’s not fair, Bethany.”

“That’s why your dick is small!” Bethany’ s never seen the thing, but like hell was Cory going to get the last word, even if he does get the last laugh.

Sister’s response:

Interviewer: Mmmm… You don’t have that much qualifications, and the position that is suited for you have already been taken. However, there is this one position. You seem like a beautiful young woman. Why don’t you stand outside in a bikini, selling our products?

Woman:  But sir, I can’t-

I: Come on, you need the money don’t you? Gotta feed that two-year-old daughter.

W: …..

I: Alright then, you start Monday. Oh, and I’ll double your pay (wink)

The woman was doing her part, however, she felt degraded and couldn’t do it anymore. The more money she got, the more food she got. the more food she got, the more she ate. She fed her daughter her original portion and healthy food, but for her,  pizza, Chinese food, donuts, pizza, pizza, pizza. She had now gained 30 lbs. A week later:

I: What happened!? You will ruin our business! Get out of here!

Some of the woman’s friends knew what was going on. They all convinced each coworker to put money in her purse before she left.

Once the woman got home, there was over 300 dollars and a note saying, “Way to go!”

~~~~(Oh, I love my sis)

Prompt #20: Write a short story that is set in Argentina in 1932, in which a teacup plays a crucial role

My response: 

“You see, Azar, Azar has a teacup. Family heirloom sort of thing that was given to him as a joke. He was one of those old young men who liked tea more than beer.”

The coach, having had a few Quilmes himself, was smiling at the reporter as he shorthanded their little interview about why Azar got silver against the Americans while Robledo, and Lovell took home gold. Instead of just admitting that Carmen Barth was a good boxer, there was the teacup, which the reporter doubted a bit even existed.

“It wasn’t expensive, Azar always told me, just old and lucky, says that’s how he got all the way to the Olympics even after the coup and the whole political mess we’re in. We all thought Azar would get gold- never in our minds did Lovell have a chance.”

The reporter made a quick note to that, to leave it out. The coup, though, and how the super athletes were dealing with that, that would be a good follow-up story. The reporter made another note on that.

“But there was some bad luck with the cup, and that’s why he got silver.” The coach closed his eyes as if finished.

Before it got to an awkward silence, the reporter asked, “What was that bad luck? It must not have been much, if Mr. Azar went home with silver.”

“Not much, no, but bad luck is bad luck. Azar doesn’t think he’ll be winning anymore medals.”

“That’s a bit extreme, isn’t it?”

The coach shrugged. “Some people know when things have gone sour.”

“So what happened?”

“What happened?”

“With the teacup?”

“Aaah… Hmmm…”

And here the reporter realized the whole teacup thing was just something funny to say to the reporter. The man was just about to put away his pad when the coach whispered, “Lovell was playing around with it. Dropped it and it broke. Put it back in Azar’s bag like nothing happened.”

The reporter didn’t write this down.

“Lovell’s always known I kind of favored Azar. Sometimes he gets jealous, starts messing with Azar’s things. This time around it was Azar’s precious little cup.”

“He still won silver.”

“He already drunk his tea for the day. He got his luck then. Ah, man, what a little mess that Lovell is, and now Azar’s feeling he’s finished.” The coach said suddenly, “Don’t you write this in the paper!”

He wouldn’t dream of it, as gold-winning as this story would have been, this was something best kept in hidden diaries until disinterred upon the holder’s death. The reporter would never know if it would be his journal, or the coach’s, or Lovell’s, or perhaps Azar had an idea… All-in-all, it was unknown to a few in the 1932.

Sister’s response: 

After overthrowing Yrigoyen, the civilians took over. Every day the civilians would have tea time at 3PM in honor of their victory. One day during tea time, a civilian named Juan dropped his teacup, shattering it into bite-sized pieces. The people find that very disrespectful and they put him in jail for twenty years. Instead of having one cup of tea a day, he now has three cups of tea a day with extra sugar. In his fifth year of prison, he has now gained 30 lbs and has become jittery, making it hard for him not to drop the teacup. Who knows what will happen to him if he does?

More and more, he would twitch and shake. In his last year of prison, his teeth are corroded, he is now obese, eyes wide open and his heart was pumping. He suddenly heard a shatter. The cup slipped out of his hand and onto the concrete floor.

The guards rush in and found Juan on the floor dead. The End. :D

~~~~~~(Okay, like most Americans, we know next to nothing about Argentina, much less about them in 1932.)

Prompt #21:  Describe the most recent moment when you couldn’t think anything to say. Were you having a hard time making conversation, or were you simply dumbfounded?

My response: 

I was simply dumbfounded at Prompt #20. It is so ridiculously specific and alien that I’m just like, what the hell? What they fuck am I supposed to do with that? Like throwing chicken and chick peas and naan at my mom and expecting her to make a satisfying meal! (By the way, I love all three). I looked up on good ol’ Wikipedia what was going on in Argentina, and ideas started running through my head, but I still needed to factor in that damn teacup. A fucking teacup? Were these one of those Madlibs where the country, year, and item could have been anything and everything? Still, it was good fun. I liked it in the end.

Sister’s response:

Well the most recent moment of when I couldn’t find anything to say (more like answer) is when I was in tutoring. My math tutor asked me this: “What’s 5 minus 0?”

For some reason, I couldn’t find out the answer, so I said, “Uhhh… Negative five?” I had never felt so stupid, and I could tell in his eyes that I was screwed on the ACT test. Why did I say negative five? I don’t know…

~~~~~(Pffffft!)

Prompt #22: What could have happened to you in high school that would have altered the course of your life?

My response:

I was the first one offered (and accepted) to be in the new Middle College High School at Austin Peay State University. I was known among the teachers as that suicidal student that wasn’t just doing shit for attention, but had some serious stuff going wrong with me. I guess the principal and others decided that this would be a good opportunity for me to try something new and help me out of the downward spiral of depression that I seemed to stumble in every month or so.

Middle College is pretty much like college, except you also take your high school classes. With MC, I could do volunteer work and stuff with the sorority little sister chapter I was in. I happened to ace all my college classes (Piano, Music Appreciation, Latin and Psychology) while falling behind in the stifling two-hour long high school classes.

At my old high school, I was eleventh in the academic rankings and had gone to a mental hospital twice. When I went to MC, I became valedictorian and had about fifty service hours to my name and 12 college credits. I doubt I would have been accepted to Johns Hopkins if I hadn’t gone to MC, and god only knows where I would be now. I might have gone to the local college, or be deeper in loans going to some more expensive college that didn’t offer me any money. I might have gone to Tulane or Oglethorpe, because they gave me a lot of money, but they didn’t have my major. Man, I can’t even fucking imagine!

Sister’s response:

I seriously think that if I wasn’t so open and talking a lot more than I usually do, that would have altered my life into something more social. Some people find me funny, so if I only talk about something funny, they wouldn’t find me annoying, maybe? I don’t know… I don’t do anything different in high school than I did in middle or elementary school.

(Less open and less talking… Well, some people need that, for sure.)

Prompt #23: You are looking down through the skylight as chefs prepare dinner for your ex-fiance’s wedding.

My response:

I never believed I would fall in love. I always thought of that sort of situation as a catastrophe, me setting myself up for failure. I fantasized about a polyamorous relationship that had all sorts of turmoil because humans fight if there is more than one, and I like the idea more if there was something a bit stranger to fight about.

But one-on-one? How did I fall in love just so I can work through all the stupid kinks? Bind myself to one person just so I can hate all by my lonesome the things I hate about this person? Something I would grind through because I loved her?

Stupidity. I wanted to avoid it. That was falling in love with donuts and rejecting the absurd amount of calories making their way into cellulite, and calling it the only way humans can eat (or have families).

But it happened anyway, and the jealous tick that I was sure I would have emerged. It was her fault. She didn’t want an open relationship, and I didn’t want one because she didn’t want one and became the jealous one. Do I think I would have been jealous if this first real relationship had been polyamorous? Well, then, that would be like expecting gay sex in a harlequin novel, and thus, I wouldn’t have been disappointed.

Here I am, a fucking stalker, watching the cooks make her wedding meal. There was  a ladder on the side of the mega-church (didn’t they have starving children to help?) that made this all the easier.

She wasn’t the first female of my liking that has abandoned me for something more conservative. In fifth grade I role-played BDSM stories with this girl in high school. She was impressed that I wrote so well (in a chatroom) and liked a pretty advanced state of yaoi. She thought I was in high school as well. We had sent emails to each other and joined in the Sailor Moon chatroom to role-play. In her emails she spoke of the conflict of yaoi with her religion, and she would be grounded from the internet when her mother saw her doing un-Christian stuff.

Eventually, I did tell her I was twelve and how I didn’t really believe in god most of the time. Plus, yaoi did more to entertain me than any religion ever had.

This pushed her over the edge. She sent me a god-filled message of redemption and deliverance and never contacted me again.

Over the years, females who liked yaoi left me to join religion’s embrace…though I’m friends with several on Facebook who are now atheist… I’ve never told them how our separation had hurt me- so much that I dove into prayer and helping others at the expense of myself to fill the void. How I destroyed a number of stories to distance myself from yaoi, and believed  didn’t like anime and wanted to be a missionary and all that.

Good thing I got off that fucking wagon, and met my ex-fiance, but as usual, I had fallen in love with a straight female, which happened nearly as often as me lusting over gay guys (real gay guys, not yaoi ones- damn you, Blake!).

I’ll just get this off my chest. I’ll make it ache so bad that it will have no choice but to feel better, just like all those times I took pills to throw the edge off. But no pills now. I didn’t want my ex to feel responsible, because it was all my damn fault.

This should have been my fucking wedding.

Sister’s response:

I poisoned the food.

~~~~~(hahahahaahahahaha!)

Prompt #24: Put two people who hate each other in an elevator for 12 hours. What happens?

My response: 

There isn’t more of a nightmare available for my brother- or my dad, probably. But mostly my brother. I doubt Dad would see in the darkness of the elevator the keloids jutting out from my brother’s neck, evidence from a number of surgeries to repair the broken jaw delivered by Father Dearest, what, four years ago?

Father had long forgiven himself for it, thank almighty forgiving Jesus, but atheist brother was bitter. Darkly, darkly bitter. So bitter that he has told me repeatedly that he doesn’t really care that Papa had cancer and had to get most of his kidneys removed and that he couldn’t imagine himself being sad if he died from the cancer.

Visiting me- and pretty much only me- at home was a chore that he couldn’t wait to get out of. He’ll do his duties as a son and say hello to Mama and (pronounce very stiffly) Dad and hightail it out of the house. The PTSD that he suffers from after years of abuse by my dad (which I freely say is also one of the causes of my bipolar disorder) has him going from one psychiatrist to another, and him disliking men who put too much weight in their own maleness (like my macho father who still likes to say fag and is afraid that his oldest blood-son might be gay).

The first hour would be them shooting the shit, the fake stuff like how the first hour at home would be.

Another hour would have my brother grappling with whether or not to bring up all his troubles and get closure, but he knows as well as I that that could just end up making things worse. Papa couldn’t take a lick of criticism and will resort to blows to keep them from touching his ears. Would it be worth it anyway? How long would the elevators be out? The radio would be out, so no one will find out too soon that some people who kind of hated each other were stuck. Their phones are out of juice.

Third hour, and brother says now or never: “You know… I haven’t forgiven you.” He decides to just jump to it, before it is all a waste.

“About me hitting you?”

Brother probably would wince at Father’s self-satisfying euphemism. “Yea?”

“Why would you bring up that now? Why are you still mad?”

And Brother would get into a rage, but he’ll remember the scars on Papa’s stomach. It wouldn’t be fair, and it wouldn’t be kind, and it wasn’t what he wanted.

“I haven’t gotten closure,” Brother would quote me.

Father has little ability for empathy and thinking ahead for others’ feelings. It wasn’t his concern unless how it wasn’t his concern becomes called to attention, where his pity party would start- “How come it is always my fault?”

This time he says, “Closure?” He probably doesn’t understand that completely and doesn’t care to. “I said I was sorry.”

Brother closes off, wishing for a working phone to distract him, but that doesn’t come. He stays quiet until the fourth hour where he brings it up again, because Dad is perfectly okay with leaving that as is.

Brother talks about how the keloids have made him unsure with himself, made him ugly. Dad would probably be surprised (as was I) for Brother was the best-looking, probably out of the whole family, including aunts, cousins, and uncles, and no amount of scarring would change that.

Dad would say something stupid: “That’s your own fault that you lost your confidence. No one said you were ugly, now did they?”

“They didn’t have to! Do you fucking know how embarrassing these scars are, all over my face?”

“Well, I have scars on my stomach and they hurt-”

Brother would explode. “YOU’RE ALREADY FUCKING MARRIED AND HAVE LIVED YOUR LIFE! NO ONE CARES ABOUT YOUR FUCKING SCARS!” He calms. “And they’re hidden from the world. I can’t hide this!” He points with a hand Papa can’t see.

Dad does a shrug Brother can’t see. “If you don’t care about my scars, why should I care about yours?” He’s defensive and idiotic and on his way to throwing ‘bows.

Brother notices this and says he will go to sleep. He doesn’t bother to ask Pop to wake him when help arrives. He wouldn’t want to owe a favor.

They both sleep until the seventh hour, brother emotionally drained, Papa just tired.

Seventh hour has them hungry, and they are both tremendous jackasses when hungry. Add that to half-tired and uncomfortable?

Dad says something stupid again; he can’t help it: “You should really get over it. No one’s all upset except you.”

“I’m the only one who deserves to be upset.” Brother holds his head as a headache comes on, and suddenly he remembers that he just missed his dose of Pristiq.

“You know, if you would get your head out of your ass, you could remember that I had to go to jail and go through six months of counseling! That wasn’t easy! And I couldn’t work as much so that meant less money for the family, including [my name].” 

Father is deflecting the blame, and it is driving brother insane.

“So, it’s not all about me. It’s a lot of your fault, too, so stop being a damn baby and grow up.”

“Like you? Fucking asshole. I hear from [my name] that you’re still a jerk. You haven’t learned anything, but now you don’t have anyone’s jaw to break because no one wants to talk to you like an adult.”

“Don’t nobody have a problem with me.”

“You’re a liar. Everyone does. Including Mama.”

“You leave your mom out of this.”

“You fucking leave [my name] out of this! You always bring her up to get to me because you’re a bad father like that, fucking pitting us against each other since we were kids!”

“Why don’t you just get over that shit!’

They are both standing now, screaming. Someone realizes they are in the elevator and call the fire department. Who knows how long they’ve been in there when all electricity went out and now probably scrambling to get the door open?

Instead, they were fighting. Dad is still stronger, though brother has been working out like a fiend. Brother doesn’t really want to hurt Dad, even now. Dad doesn’t care. Within minutes he is choking my brother against the elevator wall just as he did that night on the staircase four years ago. He begins to punch, and without anyone to take him off, he breaks bones in Brother’s cheek. Brother begins to kick and punch Papa’s stomach, desperate not to have his jaw broken again. This causes Papa to punch my brother’s lights out and have him unconscious until the firefighters get the door open.

And that would be the ultimate fate of them, I feel.

Sister’s response: 

I don’t know any people who hate each other but I know two kinds of people who do. An atheist and a Christian are stuck in an elevator together for 12 hours. 

“I hope God will help us,” Christian mumbled.

Oh, no, I bet he’s going to pray and all that crap, Atheist thought. “Well, I hope we both get out of here,” said Atheist.

So they waited for six hours. Christian was reading his Bible and Atheist was on his Nook.

There was a big tremor and Christian dropped his Bible. Atheist picked it up and gave it back to him.

I bet he wanted to rip this book apart, Christian thought.

Six more hours, and the elevator started moving.

“Thank God,” they both said.

As they got off, Atheist left his Nook, and Christian hurried to get it before the door closed. Atheist said thank you, and Christian said, “God bless you, and have a nice day.”

Atheist said, “You, too.”

End.

~~~~~(Where’s the hatred?! Nevermind- they were thinking it but weren’t saying it to each other, sis explains. Lovely!)

Prompt #25: Something you lost

My response:

I lose things on a daily basis and I can’t remember more than two errands when going into a different room (I’ll immediately forget the errand that I didn’t do first).

I lose things that I really don’t mind losing, most of the time. But I’ve lost my best friend’s present to me for a summer present. She had gone to Disney World and found a bookmark made in Japan. It was gold in color and and had some Japanese art and writing on it and was gorgeous. I lost it in one of the many books you see in my background. I really hope I find it.

Sister’s response: (“I lost something once…My identity”-Spongebob)

I remember I lost one of my favorite stuffed animals, Penelope. I was very upset and I was crying every night, wishing she was next to me. I was about fourteen when it happened.

(Woooooooooo!)