Another year, and once again I’m cringing over the possibility of even being in the same room with my siblings and my mother. Especially my mother.
Every year I get the same cloying invitation to attend the family gatherings. Then when I say there is no need for me to be there, I am treated to tears, threats, and temper-tantrums.
I get so sick from these confrontations that this year I decided to not even return my mother’s call about Thanksgiving. I’ve been giving the same answer to her for the past two decades that I decided that this year I deserve a break.
My family is dysfunctional and toxic. I grew up in a constant environment of mental abuse. The word “love” was never said to any of us children, and so we never learned to say it to each other. Now my mother uses it to manipulate me into doing what she wants.
Looking back, I don’t even remember my grandparents from either side ever playing with us children. Not even reading or telling us stories.
A few months before my father passed away, I witnessed them fighting and the words burned itself into my brain.
My father told my mom that she only married him because he was the only one that asked her. She replied that he did ask so that was that. They were both aware that I was in the room, but it didn’t seem to matter to them.
From my earliest memory, my parents never slept in the same bed. When I was a teenager and asked my mom about it, she said that since she could no longer have children, there was no need for them to sleep together.
Now I know why.