When you are raised by people who suffer from mental illness it tends to warp your sense of normal. When we are younger we only know what we are taught. For me I was taught what sociopathic, schizophrenic behaviors looked like from close up. Before my parents divorced , I don’t remember much or at least much that made sense. As far back as I can think I never had a relationship with my mother. My memories aren’t filled with flowers and butterflies of bonding with her. From my point of view my mother didn’t seem to like me much. I remember being called nasty names that would leave me feeling ugly and fat. My body issues I battle today stem back to how my mother would demean me. I was either unwanted or annoying to her. I can’t remember one hug or one moment that makes me miss my mother. The best way to explain it was in my household I always felt like the redheaded step child. My mother never bought me new clothes , she never fed me meals , she never even brushed my hair or bathed me. My father would even joke about how I potty trained myself at 2 because my mother was already preoccupied with my younger sister. I was 2 1/2 to the day when my little sister arrived, my mother use to tell me what a gift she was and how she saw God when she conceived T ( my little sister) , she would swear that he blessed her after being cursed by the Devil with me. I would hear about the amazing T and be compared to her like good and evil for the rest of my life.
There was this one time in fifth grade all I wanted was curly hair and I begged my mother for a perm. She looked at me and quickly reminded me that my face was to ugly for curly hair and it would only make me look fatter. Two days later my mother took T to get her hair permed . My birthdays were no exception since me and T birthdays fell on opposite days of the year, she was allowed and expected to celebrate her half birthday. The attention would be focused just as much on her including a song , cake, and gifts just for her every year. Up until I stopped talking to T a few years ago , she would call me on my birthday every year and wish herself a happy half birthday with a giggle. T was always considered the good, the white light and me I was evil, the dark light. This followed both me and my younger sister into our fathers house right into our adult years.
For years I tried to show my family what a good soul I was. If they ever needed anything I was always the first to help, the first to come up with a plan, the first to give anything for all of them. Unfortunately when it came to all of my immediate family no matter what I did they only saw my failures. Ugh, I can promise you I have failed on many, many occasions. I had three children out of wedlock including two of them being biracial , I dropped out of school on multiple occasions to raise my children on my own, I battled prescription pills after a bad car accident , I have chosen horrible men time, and time again, and I have always struggled to put food on the table so paying my other bills came last. To my family I am nothing but a mess.
I gave up on trying to impress my family not because of some light bulb that went off in my head but because their impressions on me seem to be like weights to my wellness. No matter what good I have done, the bad in their opinion influences them more on who I am. The heaviness made me tired so I gave up and just cut them out. What I found when I did that was this sense of selfworth that I never had before. I no longer had to live down to their expectations of who I was but I could finally live up to the amazing person I actually became in the process working through my messy life.
See what my family decided not to see was all the good I have done. Yes , I am human , I am flawed but I have learned and have grown from my flaws.
I had my daughter at 18 , yes but I also raised her on my own, I didn’t have help from anyone. Now that my daughter is 20 I can see what a good job I did. She works three jobs , goes to school on a full scholarship. I couldn’t be anymore proud of her. My son who is 14 has honors in school and is in ton of sports, he is kind and sweet. I’m equally as proud of him. See maybe I screw up and had three kids out of wedlock but I’m an amazing mother who has and is raising wonderful children. I don’t have a college degree but that’s because I have focused on these amazing children and raising them on my own without my families help. To be clear I think it’s been at least three years since any of my family has spent time with my children.
True, I was one of many that fell in love with prescription pills that my doctors gave me legally but I wish my family was more focused on the fact that I went cold turkey and cleaned up as soon as I had shoulder surgery. I never bought pills on the streets but instead have stayed away from any prescription pills for over four years. And if my families biggest complaint is my choices in bad men……Yup, I suck at dating but to be fair I’m a fucking dented can..
So to all you dented cans out there who are struggling trying to please a family that is never going to change or will never give you their approval. I wanted you to take today and stop trying to make them happy. Find a way to let go of their negative thoughts about you. I want you to look at yourself today and say something nice about yourself.
I will end this by saying: you can never change the way someone else thinks but you can change the way you think about yourself.
Like always until another day,
A Dented Can