Trust, some of us that have a ton of trust, some of don’t have any at all, I’m in that category.
Let’s learn about my father..
I truly believe my problem was and still is, Trust! I grew up in a very toxic, divorce household. My mother raised us kids, my two older brothers and myself. My father was an alcoholic and still is, my parents lied to one another about everything. I have yet to get a straight answer from either of them when I pop the questions, about why things were the way they were. I never was able to have a relationship with my father, and I still don’t. Sure he calls every once in a while, I think the longest that he has gone without calling me has been two years maybe three. I will say when he does call, we have some laughs, we talk about what’s happening in one another’s world, and the phone comes to a fast end. With us hanging up, not saying I love you, I’ll talk to you later, or See ya, nothing just the simple touch of the “X” on the phone.
There were many years ago, I wrote a letter to my father, asking his questions, wanting answers. I wanted him to know how my life was while growing up. I wanted him to feel the pain and the emptiness, anger, loneliness, and most of all to hear his CRY. I learn later that he had called my brother asking him what to do. What, he didn’t know what to do. It’s easy just pick up the phone and call. I was waiting for that phone call, to come any day. But that phone call never came, and still didn’t come, until I had finally chalked up as well he’s not going to call, nothing new. I went on with my life for the next few months, to my surprise he calls! I’m excited, I want to hear the answers to my questions. But the most important I still wanted to hear him cry. Why wouldn’t he cry, just cry damn-it, that’s all I want. My want was never filled, but I did get some answers to my questions. Some of them I had already figured out myself.
Let’s learn about my mother…
For my mother, was a loving, caring, fun, and a hard worker who provided for us kids, she kept a roof over our head and food in our bellies. Our father paid child support it wasn’t much but it was something. The job I only remember the most that my mother had was working for Cincinnati Bell. My mother was in her later twenties early thirties when she was hired to work for Cincinnati Bell as a switchboard operator. While moving up on the ladder, becoming part of the team for telephone books, entering names, numbers and addresses made for a long day and week. She was later promoted to being the team leader who organized the phone lines and numbers for the Cincinnati Reds Stadium when there was an event to take place. My mother was able to keep her headset from the switchboard position, which she later gave it to me. She felt it was be an important part of her story as I was doing genealogy by this time. I can remember all the stories she has shared with me. Some of the stories were she would have to stay late after work to cover for a call in or my grandmother would be mad and angry that she couldn’t just talk to my mother when she felt like it, or why my grandmother didn’t understand that my mother had to work on the weekends and holidays. But there was another side of my mother. My mother had friends, she went out, she drank, and had a good time. She had boyfriends, some nice some not so nice, there were fights and breakups.
When my parents divorced there was an order that my father would have visitation rights every other weekend. My mother’s “Court Order Rules” were completely different. If my father wasn’t following her “Rules” or playing her “game” then our visitations with our father ended. Life was good when it was on my mother’s terms. Us kids didn’t have to hear all the yelling, fighting, blaming, finger-pointing, the list never ends. Life was hell when her “Rules” weren’t in play. It was us kids who missed out on those weekends with our father, or half-siblings, beginning with our stepmother, learning to bowl, play baseball, vacations to Florida, holidays, and just to spend a day with our father. I can’t tell you what my father did for a living, except his bowled on a league, he belonged to a lodge, he worked for Gibson Greeting Card, he listened to country music, (he thought he could sign, not that I can), he would make wisecracks and he drank. But he never really knew what went on behind those English Wood doors, those Mirror Copy Cat Buildings.
When I met my husband, and we began to share our childhood and family members, he was shocked to learn about my life. To him, it was a horror story, one that I’ve always been told I should write a book. I joke all the time saying, “I would be a millionaire if I were to do that.” My husband’s parents were so strange to me. Why were they holding hands, saying I love you, have a nice day, wanting to help others, spending time with other family members, sharing holidays, and going to Church? I didn’t understand why weren’t the trust issues, why weren’t there any yelling, fighting, blaming, and breakups? What was the Church thing all about? Who went to Church because we didn’t, only on Christmas, or when I was visiting my grandmother or that lovely Vacation Bible School. (My mother would dress me and my two best friends in the same ugly dress every Sunday for Vacation Bible School). I was even more shocked when, his parents hugged me, told me they loved me, included me in family gatherings, EXCEPTED me for me. Not for what I had been molded to be while growing up.
As my relationship with my boyfriend now husband grew, I began going to church with his family, helping on the family farm, staying more and more at his house rather than mine, and learning a different way of life. One that has changed me from a jigsaw puzzle with a piece from every horrible memory while I was a child. Those horrible pieces have now been transformed into hopeful, blessed pieces as wife, mother, daughter, sister, niece, aunt and friend (which I have few friends because of trust). My husband, who is my partner and crime, my best friend, my hero, my knight have been married 30 years and trust is still something I struggle with. Not with my husband but, myself. As soon as I notice something of the norm, it sends my mind into overdrive, a Nascar on the last lap, going faster and faster. At every turn, I’m looking for some else to be wrong, something that I can point fingers at, something out of place, to yell, scream, cry and even run from. I have to remind myself, he loves me for who I am, he loves me for all the struggles I have each day, he loves me for being true to myself, he loves me because, I will go out on the limb to help others, and he loves me because his parents installed him, that God takes care of everything. That we have to Trust in God. His parents have helped me to trust God, to trust myself, and to gain trust in others. Most of all they have been more of my PARENTS than my OWN Parents!! They are my Mom and Dad, God moved me to Indiana to find my true Family.
Maybe someday I’ll get to write that book