Sunday, May 22, 2011

The nutshell

Susan said this in my comment box after my last post: "You should write a book about your screwed up childhood."

I was like, what screwed up childhood? I didn't have a screwed up childhood . . . did I? 

Yes, odd things happened sometimes, like the time I found a boa constrictor in the linen closet, and the time I found a gun in the mailbox, but I never thought of it as screwed up. 

For the most part my childhood seemed pretty ho hum. I rolled my hair through the 70's and my eyes through church, just like every other girl on the block. Only difference was I didn't get pregnant in the 80's. Beyond that, I was just another fly-girl from the hood, who earned her personal progress medallion, dyed her hair with hydrogen peroxide, joined the drill team, and drank too much Fanta red cream soda. 

And yes, my dad happened to take drugs.  But it wasn't who he was, it was just something he did.  On the side. In between teaching Sunday School and giving priesthood blessings.

It's sounds screwed up when you put it in a nutshell, but if I've said it once, I've said it a thousand times, we don't live in a nutshell now, do we? 

(My dad's parents might have, but weeeeeeeee don't.) 

(ba dum bum)

There are things about my dad I haven't told you yet. Things I will tell you someday. But not today. Today I want to talk about my mom, because she's the one who gave me my Boho Momo super power, which in short is the ability to look past the profane and the obscene to find freedom, truth, beauty and love.

On second thought, maybe I'll talk about my mom tomorrow. Today I'm kinda busy sitting around doing nothing. 


BTW, I've seen five more movies, so I'll talk about that tomorrow too. 


Alice Wills Gold said...

How I love this. As a person who loves as addict, I find your definition of an addict refreshing.


Alyson (New England Living) said...

I TOTALLY know what you mean!! I never thought of having a "screwed up" childhood either, but when you read it on paper, um, yeah, it pretty much sounds that way. But I was also that girl rolling my eyes in church, putting sun-in in my hair, going to piano lessons (though rarely practicing), and riding my bike to my friends' house.

Alyson (New England Living) said...

Oh! And I have a question for you - do you ever really, really stop crying for yourself? Because I believe I will always mourn for not having the family that everyone else in church seems to have. I've lost out on being close to nieces and nephews and having extended family for my kids. So I weep for my kids too. And I don't know if the crying for yourself ever stops. I mean, I know it slows down and can be a very tiny part of your life, but won't you always miss what you didn't get? I believe I will, though I believe it doesn't define me. Know what I mean?

Do you feel the same?

TisforTonya said...

a nutshell? a nuthouse maybe... but my family was only slightly weird, because they stopped doing drugs in the 70s.

and I am the Queen of doing nothing today... but I'll happily relinquish the crown once these muscle relaxers wear off... taking life in teeny tiny twenty minute bites is not really working for me anymore.

TisforTonya said...

for the record - I am tired enough that it took me THREE tries to get the Word Verifier right...

Hopefully this time it will be easier, it being a word I heard OFTEN while teaching pre-school in a building next to the Fire Department... we always heard the kids saying "fruck" though we tried to teach them to say "fengine" instead...

Nutty Hamster Chick said...

Alyson, I think you are right about the never quite stopping the crying for yourself, it just changes in intensity. I think you might be surprised to learn just how messed up the families at church really are. I mean we are all pretty adept at putting on that front and making everyone think everything is fine. I have come to believe that there really are not very many perfect families in the world.

I think it is amazing how strong humans are and just how much they can endure if they have too. Perhaps putting things in a nutshell is a great coping mechanism we all have.

The Crash Test Dummy said...

Aly, YES, I think so. I'm writing a post just for you.


And T, you crack me up.

Alyson (New England Living) said...

Oh, I definitely know that there are no perfect families at church. Everyone is dealing with issues. Everyone has got something going on, and often dirty family secrets. What I mean is that almost everyone I know at church is close to their extended families. They excidedly anticipate their visits and their kids are close to their cousins and they know their nieces and nephews pretty well. They have a bond with their families, even if they have issues. I've run across very few people in the wards I've been in who are pretty much estranged from their extended families, who are on their own, and have moved across the country because it makes life less painful to deal with. I feel pretty much alone with this problem. I know there are others like me, but our issues are rarely addressed at church. Church is sometimes painful because the lessons end up making you feel bad. Having said that, I know there are many with secret pain and many who have survived incredible sorrow.

I guess that's where I feel that I will always mourn, always have moments of tears. But I've had a lot of healing and a lot (I mean a lot) of blessings! I feel showered with blessings most of the time. I am incredibly fortunate, but I only know this amount of joy because I know what true sorrow is.

I actually express gratitude to God for the pain and trials I've endured because I know they have done so much for me, but I also mourn for the losses as well...if that makes sense.

The Crash Test Dummy said...

I totally get you, Aly. I know exactly what you mean. It's a constant sense of happy sadness and a sad happiness. I do think yours is a particularly acute sadness because there are so many players, and the estrangement is not on your part alone. You have been rejected and abandoned in many ways, by those closest to you, who should have been there to protect you--the ultimate betrayal. You were twice burned. That's a ginormous mountain of grief and anger to scale.

I think about you a lot. And your particular case. I think you are going to have a huge impact somehow someday on thousands and thousands of sexual abuse victims. You are being prepared and refined. I also think you are going to have many many people come into your life who are going to fill some of your holes. And you will fill in the rest. (With God's help, of course.)

Aly, have you read Secret Life of Bees? I just read it yesterday and I LOVED IT. I think you would dig it.

My verifier says undish. Sometimes that's the best thing you can do.

P.S. I've been sitting here for 15 minutes trying to post this comment. I think blogger is afraid of the power of getting over grief. Now my verifier says refleud.

First you need to undish, then you'll be able to refleud. ;)

DeNae said...

I thought I had a screwed up childhood, but it turned out to be just fine. Normal, for a given quantity of "normal."

My WV is "novent" which is our motto, right? Suck it up! No Vent!

Kazzy said...

Whatever your mom taught you about looking for truth and beauty has definitely sunk in. You wear it so well. :)

robin said...

I always thought I had a screwed up childhood because I thought my mom was craaaazy. Now that I have 5 kids (which is what my mom had) and I have have two kids with ADHD (which is what my mom had, I realize my mom WAS crazy but she had a really good reason for it. hahaha!!!!

The Crash Test Dummy said...

Robin, true that! TRUE TRUE that! Most people who are crazy have a really good reason.

Alyson (New England Living) said...

Wow! Just read your response to me here! Thank you!!! You're awesome! You should be a motivational speaker! A motivational writer! A motivational anything! But that's what you are doing with your blog. You are already motivating us and inspiring us!

I've had some pretty traumatic things happen with my case recently. I haven't written about them on my blog yet and I really hate to say it outloud, but it looks like I pretty much have no recourse anywhere. It sucks. I was devestated, but I have been so lifted up by the spirit lately, that I can't even explain. No matter the injustices we face on earth, I believe Heavenly Father gives us a big ol' hug, and, in my case, I have been showered with blessings recently. I feel incredibly fortunate.

Ok, weird: wv - teere
Haven't we been talking a lot about tears? Spooky!

Alyson (New England Living) said...

Oh, and I did read The Secret Lives of Bees, but it was a couple of years ago...want to read it again.

Dani said...

Guess what? I put a quote from this post on my blog. Yep, sure did!