I guess growing up I never really knew how solid it feels to be level. Easy peasy. Content. My mom is a whackadoodle and always has been. My pops is just the old aftermath of a life lived quick and fun with a solid dose of war trauma ( steep price for heroic acts). I can say without a doubt that I collected bits of parenting from my best friends more functionally "normal" family dynamics. And if that was all considered normal than whoa nelly the world is in trouble. Everyone has crazy family BS. No household is immune to it or perfect by any stretch of the imagination. Some people have Aunts that are eccentric to the point of taxidermy obsessions. Some have biological mothers with thinly veiled eating disorders and liquid (vino) diet ( which btw just makes you want to eat more and drink less so maybe every day is just opposites day there?). Some have step dads who look like Bert Reynolds but act like Barney from The Simpsons. It's all how you see it from the outside and how you weigh it with your home garbage, how you decide which is more nutso, and then how you let it shape who you'll be someday. I know in my heart things for very permanently certain. I have firm beliefs well rooted in life experience. I have optimism for things yet I can realistically brace myself for potential failure. I am not in control of all situations or people. I am in control of how I react to them.
Looking back on some things my friends from youth hold as my award winning moments in shining character displays, I can laugh. And as I have evolved I had to put some of that awesome character on a shelf. Because some shit doesn't fly when you're a grown up. I do wish others would attempt the same because adults behaving in totally immature ways is just embarrassing to watch. I will give you a few examples, because it's funny to picture in your minds eye. To get the full effect you should really imagine them in a suit with a briefcase.Tantrums, tattling, stealing, cutting in line ( I hate this one a lot), one upping and I really can't stand someone who is a bully. That last one used to get me into fights when I was a minor. Mainly I stopped beating up bullies because I knew I would get into trouble. My dad taught me some mixed martial arts to defend myself against bullies and then I took some boxing classes and then I found that when people called my little sister fat I wanted to rearrange their faces. Often I did so.
I recently had a moment that made me smile inside and out. I had an open, legal opportunity to rearrange someones face ( even though they've had that professionally done and it seemed to just make matters worse). And instead, kept a calm enough mind to refrain. It's in my nature to absolutely defend myself, my children, and my home without hesitation. Would it satisfy me? Absolutely. Would it have scarred my daughter? Completely. As a grown up what is more important to me; My own fulfillment or, protecting my kids from that shit. The answer is obvious because I didn't have to call this foolish person an ambulance.
Well versed in verbal warfare I drew from that arsenal and was still extremely satisfied. It does however lead to many lulls in what should be a good volley when a grown person resorts to " no, you are!". Some people never learned how to argue in a witty manor. Which means half of my life will never be a sitcom (somewhat of a lifelong dream). Match point though. I'll take it.
My childhood was a complicated adventure that very few people will ever get the honor of knowing. Because I don't share my personal life often in any Lifetime Original sort of way. I can say that I drew some amazing life skills from the madness though. And it has helped in the last few years dealing with unwanted and inescapable crazies. Hopefully they will just continue to read my posts and cry in their wine.
Ps. Once upon a time a stupid girl was due to get her braces off the and had that delayed by 6 months because she made my sister cry. That girl sheepishly apologized to my face 15 years later. Sometimes it takes awhile for people to get the message.