This morning I woke up and as usual spent some time just laying in bed and thinking about stuff. The first thing that popped in my head was when my parents fostered a girl in the hopes of adopting her. Unfortunately for me and for Wendy, my mother wasn't very good at mothering two daughters. Also I sucked as big sister. I could say I was thrust into the role, but I that doesn't quite work for me. I just sucked at it. I had been an only child for 12 or so years, not too sure of the exact timeline, I was still at St Vincents so I know it had to be before Junior High, which was 7th to 9th grade in my time.
I just totally sucked, I didn't know how to sister her and as a family we weren't in any kind of counseling. My parents, ok my mother, wouldn't have gone to counseling. I know my dad didn't want to give up on working to be a family of four, but he always gave in to my mom no matter what.
The day the person came to get Wendy was a very hard time for me. My mother and father were not there for me, I didn't want Wendy to go once I realized what was happening. But I though she was sent away because of me, now I think it was because my mother just sucked at dividing her attention. If there were behavior issues with Wendy I wasn't aware of them and it was my parents' job to get her the help she needed. But for my mother to admit she was at fault or doing something wrong or letting me do something wrong, would have meant that hell was freezing over and zombies were walking the Earth.
Since that day, each time I had to give up a pet I have felt extreme anger at my parents. To this day I didn't realize that maybe it was that day so very long ago when my Companion was taken away from me. I know that I always felt her removal was my fault and my parents never said any different. Perhaps that was also the day that began the rift with my mother. If it had been just me and my father we would have muddled through and I would have a sister. But because of my mother I am an only child. My mother spent her life trying to arrange the right friends, activities, and even husband. None of that worked once I hit high school. She wanted me in cooking 4-H, I did that, and I did Horse 4-H and then joined FFA and raised sheep for a time.
I would have to say that the most support I ever got, that was given freely without reservation was when I moved home pending my divorce. Ok, sort of freely, because they hated my husband/exhusband. But they loved my children and helped me get my teaching degree. I know my mother was not at all happy with my choice of profession, but by this time she understood that I really didn't care about her opinion. I no longer craved or sought it out. She was my mother, she raised me, and I loved her.
Did I stay single because I didn't want the hassle of dealing with a man and my parents? Maybe, initially it was because I wanted to make I didn't make the same mistake. My kids were little and I wasn't willing to have a train of men in and out of their lives. I am also pathologically shy, so that holds a very close second. Would our lives had been different if I had gone husband shopping? Maybe, but we muddled through. I do wish I would have found a man who could show my son how to work on cars and other manly things. Actually, an old boyfriend did show up, but because of his brain injury from a motorcycle accident he remembered the old me and not the new and to this day he continues too. Yes, a symptom of the brain injury, but also one of his unwillingness to listen to the words I say in response to his inappropriate sexual questions, the latest high, or low depending on how you look at it, was to ask me if I ever had sexual thoughts about my male students! Really? Was he just stupid or crass or both? My instant response was of course, no. My second response was why would you ask that? He really didn't have a response and just changed the subject. Yes, brain injury, I get it, but I guess my response to the people who may say, "Oh Lisa, you have to give him leeway," is bullshit I don't! If you know you have short term memory issues, then you f...ing journal every moment you want to be sure you remember. Just a thought.
The good thing about being an only child is that now so far away from home, I may ache for my family, but I can deal with the solitude.