My Life Before Zero: November 2020 Reminiscence

Date: November 6th, 2020 10:56 AM

Previously on PZ: Election Cycle Blues


I was the eldest of four children, four products of a tenuous marriage. What made my family different was all of the disabilities: both my brothers inherited autism and one of them inherited learning disabilities from my father, and my sister developed Spinal Muscular Atrophy from the genetics of both my parents. I was the only "normal" child, but I never felt normal. In spite of her unfortunate (and not at all her fault) physical condition, my sister really was the daughter my parents always wanted. See, they were (probably still are) conservative republicans, and they wanted that Brady Bunch, Little House On The Prairie, Leave It To Beaver -type of family— but that just wasn't going to happen with me in it, because I'm just not like that. My sister couldn't even walk, and later in her life she was bedridden and couldn't move much, so there was all kinds of things she couldn't do that my parents didn't have to worry about. They didn't have to worry about her skipping school, doing drugs, getting pregnant, having homosexual relations or consuming pornography— all valid fears that my parents took to the extreme in my case. And she was often treated like a little angel while I was often treated like a scary demon. The differences in the contrasting ways we each were treated were very palpable to me, and served as a major point of contention for many years. She was never scrutinized as heavily as I was, was never expected to have as much responsibility as I did, and she was never considered a bad person as I was. I resented her most of her life because of these things, but in hindsight that misdirected energy was an awful mistake. She never asked to be born with what would one day become a terminal illness. It wasn't her fault our parents loved and respected her so much more than me. Our parents loved and respected her more because she couldn't and wouldn't fight back against their influence, and they LOVED that. Me, I was naturally always a moody rebel, but I still tried to be a good daughter. They watched me like a hawk and still managed to convince themselves that I was secretly doing evil things. Neither my sister or I could have our privacy for entirely different reasons. I got along better with my two brothers, although our relationships were quite strained as well. Everything about our lives together as a family was difficult and disappointing, and somehow it always managed to circle back to me being difficult and disappointing too. I'm just so glad that I'm not a part of that toxic family anymore. My life and my mental health have improved significantly since I left it. But really, I was the one who was left many years before I took off. I realized how sad and alone I was in that family, and I exchanged it for a life of happy solitude. I haven't regretted doing so ever since then. I don't expect I'll ever come to regret it in the future. I've got my own family now, and this family makes me much happier: my brother, and our two dogs, Medusa (my dog) and Lucy (his dog). And, of course, there's Q...

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Tags: My Life, The Valentine


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