Monday, February 11, 2013

Hello Operator?

This morning this story randomly popped into my head so I decided to share because it is a lovely example of my family who put the 'fun' in dysfunctional.

In grade school I had a friend named Rachael B.  Noteworthy things about Rachael are that she was an only child and had no middle name.  Rachael’s claim to fame was that she sometimes rode actual horses, which is a big deal when you are a little girl.

One day for unknown reasons I decided to call my friend Rachael on the telephone and talk to her.  When I was a kid people didn’t go around with phones growing out of their ears like they do now so calling people on the phone was a rare event.  I opted to use the phone upstairs in the master bedroom since my other option was to use the phone in the kitchen, but the kitchen was next to the dining room where my mom camped out.  

I sat on the floor of the master bedroom and called Rachael.  We had barely started talking when my mother snuck up on me.  “There you are! Let’s see how you like it!”

“What?” I asked innocently, not aware of the madness that was yet to come.

My mother walked over to where I was bent way down near me and yelled, “Shit!  Goddamn it!  Bastard!”  Then she started to walk off, “There!  Do you like it?  Do you like it when I bother you when you are on the phone?!” and she left.

What?! What?! WHAT?!  I was shocked.  I was shocked more by the swear words than her interrupting my call.  Rachael heard it all so I had to tell her that my mom was trying to be funny by interrupting my call.  Rachael said she probably should go and hung up.

As bizarre and devastating as that was, the damage wasn’t over yet.  See, Rachael dutifully relayed what had happened to her mother and her mother had a swift response.  The next day at school, Rachael came to me and told me she wasn’t allowed to be my friend anymore.  I should never call or talk to her again.  That was a big blow to me because I was always the weird kid. I was weird enough without this story getting out and making me the pariah.  
Just for you

The Fine Print: card made from a Basic Gray card kit. Hey I just realized that this may the root reason I hate, hate, despise talking on the phone.  I wouldn’t even own a phone except a girl needs to order pizza once and awhile. I would ask my therapist about it but I don’t have one.  Instead, you’re it!  Feel the pressure now?!  How do you like it? Shit! Goddamn! Bastard!  Oh, and the room, that's my disaster area, but look how neat the punch shelf is!


SandeeNC said...

Well, your mother was definetly wonky but it made you what you are today, which is funny and adorable! What doesn't kill you makes you stronger..and I know, blah, blah, blah...but really, you seem to have come out wonderful! waving hi from the hills of North Carolina ♥

RosA said...

Eeek! Well I'd probably still be in therapy. You must be made of sterner stuff! Good for you! Ditto what sandee says ... 'makes you stronger' etc.
I still love that your front door opens straight into your craft area. That is SO cool!

Krisha said...

What a sad story PJ. My Dad could be like that at times, only it was ususally right infront of my friends. BUT we both MADE IT and I think we are great people, wierd, but great!!!

Queen Lightwell said...

Well, that does explain a few things, namely your hatred of being on the phone! :) Childhood trauma's can last a long time. Take, for instance, my hatred, LOATHING actually, for doing the dishes. This is not a normal dislike, mind you. I once washed a load(before I had/could afford a dishwasher) of plastic bowls in my clothes washing machine, in a desperate attempt to get clean dishes without hand washing them! lol It worked okay, actually. ;) At any rate, my whole house could be spotless, but there *would* be a sink overflowing with dirty dishes. So a few years ago it occurred to me that my violent hatred of dishes was a *bit* more than other people's normal dislike of dishes. I wondered where it came from. So, I searched back in my memory and my earliest memories of dishes, both of which happened before I was 5 and both involved my mom cutting herself very badly and bleeding profusely over a sink full of dishes! No wonder I hate them! They are obviously evil! :) And knowing that is where my hatred came from, makes dishes not as bad any more, but I still never do dishes the way she did them, by running a sink full of water, then adding and removing the dishes one by one so that your hands are immersed in sudsy unclear water. Nope. I wash them one at a time in running water or fill an empty sink with washed ones and then rinse all at once. So, your memory sounds very traumatic and wouldn't surprise me one bit if that is exactly why you hate the telephone so much. You might try experimenting sometime by making a call and writing down how you feel throughout the call. To truly replicate your childhood experience make it a call to a good friend. You may find that despite the wonderful conversation/topic you still feel anxious, almost like someone is about to sneak up on you. Sound familiar? Your dominant memory needs to be replaced with better ones. This may not be a huge issue for you but its a solution you can also apply to other issues that may have come about from your childhood. And you do realize, no matter how much you may have disturbed your mom while she was on the phone, that was a completely and, dare I say, abusive manner in which she handled the issue, right? You are not responsible at all for her mishandling of the situation. Still, one of the very healthiest things you can do for yourself is to forgive her. You do that for you, not her. So you can feel better. And no, it's not necessary to tell someone you forgive them when you do. It's for you, not them, so they don't even have to know, unless you feel they should. Sorry if this was terribly long and butinsky-like, but you did say you don't have a therapist so...hope something I've said helps or makes you laugh, even. :)