Memories

My father abandoned us when we were very young, before any of us had started school. My mother did everything she could to be the best parent , and I never really understood just how absurdly strict our home was until recently whilst observing the upbringing of my younger siblings.

I remember being really young and having a ton of chores. A vivid memory was sweeping the front foyer wearing my favourite yellow dress, and not being much taller than the broom. Sometimes I pretended the broom was my friend, and were sweeping together. I didn't mind chores actually, I saw them as my duty as this was instilled into me, but what hurt was being criticized and ridiculed for not being able to do anything right. My stepdad would huff and puff and sweep right after I was done, showing me and my mother how much I had missed, that hurt. My sister and I would share kitchen duty, so I had to wash dishes every second day. I admit my sister had tons more chores than I did because she was the eldest (only 1 and 1/2 years older), and I would opt to help feed my ill grandmother instead. We lived in a very big house, with a pretty large family, so I still cannot comprehend how we managed sweeping, vacuuming, mopping, cleaning bathrooms, and getting yelled at for how incompetent we were and that our cleaning was always sub par, a waste of time and resources. I remember leaving the mop out after cleaning, despite being reminded to put it away. I came home from school with the dirty mop in my bed. I thought I deserved it for forgetting, but looking back, that’s degrading and makes me sad.

I also recall getting awoken in the midst of my sleep if I had left anything in the sink, or forgot to put the leftovers away. Again, my sister got it much worse than I did. There were several occasions in which my mom would wake us up, and tell us to fix what we had so ignorantly left, mostly when I was about 10-12. I really resent that, how could you wake up a sleeping child? I guess she didn't realize how emotionally damaging that would be, my sister and I still talk about it sometimes. God forbid if we ever slept in. My step dad would yell and announce something about us not being royalty and that there was work to be done. We never had to wake up super early, but if we knew what was good for us, we better not be sleeping in until 12:00 on weekends! We were expected to tidy up the kitchen, boil the kettle for tea and get breakfast going, which usually just consisted of toasting bread, and sometimes scrambling some eggs. Again, this was only on weekends, and my sister did most of it, I would just lounge around, take out the cheese, jam and butter and bug her until my parents got down. Every single time we were told that the tea was too cold or the eggs were over-salted or something. Not one single time was it ever good enough. Way to build a child's confidence!

If we said a “bad” word, like ‘shut-up’ or ‘stupid’ to one another, we were in big trouble and would be prevented from whatever it is we were looking forward to; whether it was a friend's birthday party, or a class trip. Oh, and playing outside? Yeaahh right; totally unacceptable! I think it was a combination of my mother wanting us to be safe, and both parents wanting some form of control, but who knows; I'm just a jerk who assumes the worst. What ticks me off the most I think, is when I had high school exams or a shift at work and would still be required to do every last damn chore in that house, we never got a break, never got a day off for being sick. And if we needed time off for exams, my sister and I would have to swap days and work things out amongst ourselves, and still get in trouble for making a fuss and being lazy, cause we weren't the only humans who attend school. I remember having a calculus exam the next day and crying because I was afraid of failing the test (I'm terrible at math), and my step dad announcing: I don't care about your test! That really hurt. And we were always told off for our grades at school, whether they were 90s or 50s, never good enough. Apparently my step dad always got straight As, why we’ve never seen these grades, he cant get a decent job, or why he’s so clueless is beyond me!

I'm recalling all this as I watch my parents bring up my two younger siblings. They sleep in, wake up to full warm breakfast and my step dad (their biological father) advises my mom never to wake them up, because they're children and need sleep. I guess we were born adults. When they misbehave, he also smirks and says: 'what do you expect from teenagers' and tells my mom not to disturb my younger sister when she's straightening her hair. He also tells her she’s not a maid, so don’t let anyone make her do chores! He also once said to my mom: “You want MY daughter to cook and clean for YOUR daughters”, that ticked me off a lot too, since last time I checked, we were all mom’s daughters! My half brother and sister swear at each other and call each other bad names all the time, I actually don't think I've ever heard them be polite to one another lol, no consequences whatsoever. Kitchen duty? Not a chance in hell, they're "kids". And if my mother ever tries to scold them or give them some responsibilities, bodyguard dad flies to the rescue and tells her she better give it a break, and not to be too harsh. The verbal comments are what still play in my head, that I can't do anything right, dishes slamming and being called 'sh*t' and being a part of a 'sh*t life'. Sure, I got smacked around occasionally when I was "really bad" but most of it is a blur, the non-physical scars remain.
 
Thanks for reading. That was really therapeutic to let out of my mind.
perceived perceived
22-25
2 Responses May 17, 2012

I'll bet this happens more often than we think...stepparents treating their biological children better than they did their spouse's children. He sounds despicable. I'm sorry this happened to you. However, you are still very young and can overcome the pain of your past and have a fantastic life. Try to live from this point on consciously avoiding the common pitfalls that can plague people so terribly in later life: alcohol, drugs, sexually transmitted diseases, unwanted pregnancy, unhappy relationships that drag on for years, etc. Just end it. Get out. Never settle. And learn as much as you can; in fact, become highly educated. The payoffs for following this path will be inestimable, I promise. And always remember: "The best revenge is living well." You show that dimwit who you are and what you can do.

This path isn't an easy one. But there is always a bit of a fight/struggle/effort involved in improving your life. Keep going, just keep going: that is another big key to getting what you want. If you hit a roadblock, try another way. Ask for help. Many people will be pleased and happy to help you in any way they can.

I wish you the very best in this world. Now, go get it! :-)

Mantra87

@Mantra87 Thank you very much for reading and for your input :) very wise advice that you have provided, and I agree 100% and plan to continue implementing and living a good life. Thank you kindly :)

I would taze your stepdad and beat the hell out of him with a wooden ba<x>seball bat

@LadyAkasha I'm just seeing your comment now, lol thanks &lt;3