SNAP!

When I was a kid I can’t remember a time that my mother wasn’t trying to make me feel stupid. I don’t recall her ever telling me that I did a great job. She criticized me a lot; told me that I colored outside the lines or one sock was up higher than the other…things like that. I don’t recall if she ever even told me I was pretty when I was a little girl. To be fair, just because I don’t remember doesn’t mean it didn’t happen.

But I DO know that as a teenager I DO remember. She never gave me praise for a job well done. She took every opportunity available to make me feel stupid, to make me feel that I wasn’t smart enough to excel in anything. If I showed interest in a certain class or activity, she would do everything she could to let me know that I wouldn’t like it, or that I wouldn’t do well. Many times, when expressing my own opinion she responded with, “You don’t know what you’re talking about.” Granted, teenagers think they know more than they really do but they should never be stifled the way I was.

Mom always made me feel like I was wrong for being smart, that somehow I wasn’t allowed to be smart. I know now though, that it was HER problem, not mine. She didn’t have but an 8th or 9th-grade education so she was very resentful that I had a better education that she did. Things were different back when she was young, and I was afforded much better opportunities.

To this day, I get angry when people talk to me like I’m stupid. I literally SNAP. Visualize Bruce Banner getting angry. There ya go. I know it’s unintentional most of the time and I choose to let it go, but when it happens over and over again? Enter The Incredible Hulk!

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The Silkworms

Many, many years ago I was a little girl in Kindergarten. I loved my teacher. She was young and pretty and her name was Mrs. Libby. I loved school. Mrs. Libby made it fun and exciting to learn and it was fun playing with the other kids.

One of our lessons was about silkworms. I don’t recall how we got so many silkworms for our classroom, but some of the kids in the class were given a little cup with 4 or 5 silkworms in it, but only if we wanted to do it. Of course, I did. We had been learning about silkworms all week so I knew how to care for them once I got them home. We had a huge mulberry tree in our backyard and that’s exactly what the little silkworms ate!

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I was so happy and excited to take these tiny silkworms home to watch them eat, grow and morph into beautiful silk moths. My mother let the wind out of my sails as quickly as I got into the car when she arrived to pick me up from school. She flew into a rage and I thought she was going to throw those poor little moths out in the parking lot! Her complaint was that I hadn’t asked for permission to bring them home, nor did my beloved teacher. I was just 5 years old and I was devastated that she was so angry about the little silkworms! I was allowed to keep them, but I don’t recall much about how that came about except that it was my responsibility to feed them and keep them from getting loose in the house.

It was exciting to me still, even after my mother’s temper tantrum, but I kept it to myself. I kept the little silkworms in a shoebox in my bedroom and never spoke of them, except of course to my Dad. He helped me reach the leaves in the mulberry tree that were too high for me since I was so small. Honestly, I thought my mother had hoped I couldn’t get any leaves at all so the little silkworms would die!

One day, the little silkworms spun their little cocoons and I was amazed and curious about what they were doing inside that I couldn’t see! I checked on my little silkworms day and night. I sat by my bed just staring, looking, hoping that the little moths would come out while I watched.

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I don’t recall when they actually emerged from their cocoons, but I was thrilled to see them but yet sad to let them go! I knew I had to get them outside before my mother found out. I didn’t want to risk another one of her fits of rage for no good reason. I’m pretty sure I wasn’t able to put my 5-year-old feelings into words as I just did, but I’m positive the feelings were still there.

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I waited for my Dad to come home so he could see the little moths, and he helped me let them go outside. It was so sad for my 5-year-old self to have to say goodbye. They fluttered and flew, right to the mulberry tree and at that moment I knew they were happy.

 

Throwback Thursday

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                                                              Image Copyright Being Aunt Debbie

These are my great-grandparents, the Yunkers. Originally, it was Junker but when they came to the US it was changed, as were many surnames. I don’t know too much about them, except that they left Germany and went to Russia before coming to the US. I grew up thinking so many of the foods I had grown to love were German foods when many of them were actually Russian recipes with my grandmother’s German spin. Go figure! I never knew my great-grandfather, but my great-gramma was a kick in the pants!

Throwback Thursday

As I mentioned before, I have been going through old papers and such, and I keep finding memories; sometimes the memories are difficult but sometimes they’re much treasured! This is a little treasure that my sister, aka Pookie, sent me several years ago. The photo is of the two of us when we were kids. I’m the oldest. I don’t think our youngest sister was born yet. We were buds back then and we’re still great friends today!

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The Hag

Wow. I am finding some of my old writings and it’s a sorrowful glimpse into the past. My sisters, my Dad, and I had been through all kinds of hell with my mother and this particular piece I found really brought those memories to the surface. I wrote this about the time my parents finally got divorced andMom had left the state; she actually left when my youngest sister was still in high school. My poor Dad had been put through the wringer for so many years! I remember being fearful that I was going to be just like my mother and I didn’t want my kids to know that person.

~~~

The Hag

I can’t think of a hug or a kiss that I care to remember from my dear, ‘sweet’ mother.

I remember the pain of feeling about one inch high because I didn’t do something exactly right.

I remember the pain when my mother left, but I never felt better when she had finally gone.

We all found peace of some kind, especially Dad, who is finally free.

I don’t think I can ever be free because I fear that I am her and she is me.

I want my kids to remember a loving mother, and not the hag I will turn out to be.

~~~

Mom passed away after an auto accident about a year or so after she left. She was the type of person who defied anyone who told her what she could or couldn’t do and that included laws. She refused to wear a seatbelt because she said she shouldn’t have to if she didn’t want to. She said it was no one else’s business.

Tragically, she wasn’t wearing a seatbelt when she fell asleep at the wheel. (Mixing alcohol and medication will do that to a person, as well as impair your ability to make sound decisions…she wasn’t good at that in the first place.) She was thrown from her truck and died instantly.

Such a very sad time, but in my heart, I knew something was going to happen because of the way she had chosen to live her life.