Growing up I had to, almost for survival, practice being perfect in every way. If I scored less than an A, I got grounded. If I missed a little dust spot, I got grounded. If I behaved anything less than perfect, I got grounded. Saying yes to every request or demand was applauded. Doing it all was expected. Over the past couple of years I have worked on slowing removing those layers of perfection. It feels like I have a never ending pile of those layers to get through. Mr. BMM has been by my side for 14 years helping me as I struggle to communicate, find my real self, and start authentically enjoying life. He is truly an amazing man and I’m so lucky to call him my husband.
My perfectionism started when I was 9 years old! 9! At 9 years old, I remember writing and re-writing my homework until it looked perfect. I guess that’s what happens when you are 9 years old holding your three-year-old brother in your arms while your 6-year-old brother stands next to you begging your biological mother not to commit suicide by drowning herself in the pool. That’s when the perfectionism started for me. In my little 9-year-old mind I rationalized if I behaved perfectly, I wouldn’t have to beg my biological mother not to commit suicide.
This was also the same moment in my life when I decided I would never have kids. I feared that I would do the same thing to my kids and I couldn’t let that happen. I wouldn’t let that happen because the family genes would end with me not having kids. At 9 years old I made a decision that most adults still haven’t made.
A couple years ago at a cousin’s wedding my psycho aunt tried to convince me to speak to my parents. I recounted that pool side day to her amongst many, many other instances that would have likely led to us being taken away from our biological parents. She told me that she knew that my biological mother was having a hard time so I should just forgive her. Excuse me? There were adults in my life that knew this was happening and they stood by doing nothing. NOTHING!!!
My biologically mother continued with threats of suicide throughout my life. It stopped when she threatened to starve herself to death because her doctor suggested that she lose some weight. I promptly said that I would be calling the ambulance to take her to the hospital and would be swearing to a judge that she spoke those threats. The suicidal threats stopped instantly. I was dating Mr. BMM at the time this happened. She blamed Mr. BMM.
That happened before I had a stalker that my biological mother and former 3-year-old brother attended his viewing to pay respects to his family. I went to 1st grade with my stalker and didn’t see him after 1st grade. Out of the blue he showed up at the salon I was working at asking me out. It was 15 or so years since I saw this guy. I politely declined and then the stalking commenced. He would follow me around for months. He even sent me a three-page hand typed notes professing his love for me and how he couldn’t go on without me. That was enough for the police to step in to help me and put him into the hospital to receive help. My biological family did nothing to support me and my biological parents both said, “I don’t know what you want us to do.” It was as if I asked for this and this was all my fault.
A couple days before my stalker committed suicide, I noticed an increased police presence around my apartment. I got scared. Thank goodness for the kindness of the police.
The day before my stalker committed suicide he was at my apartment where I lived alone above a candy story and put a note in my mailbox. It was a piece of paper with my 1st grade signature on it with him saying that he wanted to give it back to me because he figured I lied about liking him. THIS HAPPENED IN 1ST GRADE!!! I freaked out because he could have hurt me too that day.
My biological father stood by silent throughout my childhood. One time he did speak up. He told me that he agreed with me that my biological mother was wrong with a punishment or action but that he would not stand up for me against her and that I was on my own. Again my own biological father stood by while our biological mother mentally abused me.
Her mental abuse got even worse when I wanted to go to college. Think back to my 9 year old experience. When I was 9 years old I also declared that I would do things differently than my biological mother. I would not live the life like she has and make the same decisions she did. My biological parents got married when they were young. They were dependent on each other. See she was financially dependent on my biological father. Biological father liked having the family man appearance without dealing with the family. Biological mother liked having full control of every aspect of the family. It was a perfect arrangement for them but a vicious cycle for me. Neither of them were willing to quite their roles for the sake of anyone’s sanity.
Back to going to college. I wanted to go to college, get a job, work hard, make my own money, and live independently before getting married at some point. I remember this vividly in my mind. My biological mother standing in the kitchen crying. She took me going to college and not simply getting married right out of high school as a personal attack on her life choices. She concocted this insane narrative and somehow convinced my father that the only school they would consider helping me financially would be the one in the middle of nowhere and not even on my top 100 choices of schools.
Young me took the bait. They paid for the first year. I practically failed out. They were furious. I truthfully did not care what they thought at this point. While at home on spring break, I decided that I would go to beauty school. In my mind, beauty school would take far less time to graduate and start making money thus allowing me to move out. At beauty school, my biological parents offered to help pay for school until Abercrombie and Fitch sent me a catalog in the mail. (I worked there while away at college.) My biological mother concocted yet another false narrative that I was receiving in appropriate pictures in the mail and their school funding should cease instantly. I scrambled to figure out funding at school. I remember walking in to the office manager’s office and busting out into tears. The office manager kindly and lovingly helped me sort it all out, another student helped me with transportation, and I was able to graduate. Thank goodness for the kindness of strangers.
My biological parents liked to use money to control me. They quickly found out that their money was no longer good when I moved out at 22 and never returned. I never asked them for a penny. I never moved back home. I left and I knew that I was leaving for good. No matter how hard times got for me, I never went back.
Our relationship was strained since I was 9 and it was hanging on by a thread when I was 22 years old. From 22 to 37, we would have some good days and months but it was mostly filled with me not speaking to them. They blamed Mr. BMM for my choices. They still can’t see what they did was wrong. My biologically mother can’t come to terms with her narcissistic ways. My biological father can’t help but being codependent or just plain lazy and stupid.
Throughout my childhood, I was treated like I was an actual criminal about to become a teenage mother. My crimes were giving attitude because I couldn’t take the mental abuse. My current criminal history shows a parking ticket about 3 years ago that I paid in full and on time with nothing else (remember I was applying to the FBI so I couldn’t have a record).
My 6 year old brother from earlier grew up counterfeiting money in high school. I will never forget the day the Secret Service showed up, I answered all of their questions truthfully, biological father was blindsided, brother was arrested, and I got yelled at for hours by my biological mother. Yes, it was my fault he was arrested. You see I had a FBI agent as a salon client so that is how the Secret Service found out in her mind. The FBI agent secretly planted himself or herself and subjected their hair to my skill level just to get some punk kid counterfeiting money. The reality is that another illegal drug dealer ratted my brother out to the Secret Service. Oh boy was my biological mother mad when I told her I knew exactly who ratted my brother out. Shhh it was another salon client.
The 6-year-old brother also grew up to be an illegal drug dealer that my parents financially support with open arms for years. They made excuse after excuse for his behavior and choices. He has no place in my life.
My 3-year-old brother doesn’t remember the threatening suicidal comments. He plays their games well. He also needs financial support and babysitters since he found out he was going to be a father at 19. He plays games with my niece as if she is a pawn. I love her very much but I do not play games. This brother defends my biological parents and cannot see my reality. Why would he? He is the sole financial beneficiary now.
On July 4th 2020, I went to visit my grandmother’s grave. The same grandmother that my biological mother insisted be buried on my birthday. When I got to my grandmother’s grave I found out that my grandfather had died a year prior. He passed a month before my psycho aunt tried to convince me to speak with my parents at my cousin’s wedding. On July 4th 2020, I declared my own personal independence from my biological family. Neither my biological parents nor brother told me. None of my aunts, uncles, or cousins did the same. No obituary published or funeral services held. My biological father also kept his brother in the dark.
The rest of my biological family, they all knew my grandfather had passed but would not tell me because my biological parents threatened or bribed them. I have barely spoken to any of them since July 4th 2020. There is nothing they could say or do to change my mind. I have tried year after year to be the best daughter, sister, niece, and cousin without much in return. The only titles that I feel that I was meant to have in life are granddaughter, wife, fur mom, and friend.
I hold my loving and kind memories of my grandparents, who tried their best to help me growing up, very close to my heart. My Mammy’s giggle, my Nanny’s frugal fun ways, my Poppy’s delicious dinners, and my Poppy’s old war stories will forever have a place in my heart. Those four people are my family. They are the ones I think back to when people ask about my family. They are the ones that I love and miss since they have all passed away. My family is small. But it’s perfect to me.
If you have a normal family and celebrate Mother’s Day and/or Father’s Day, enjoy. No need to feel guilty because you may have had a better childhood. Please be mindful with others. You might not know what they are going through or have gone through. These days aren’t top of their list or hold the same sentimental memories as they do for you. It’s ok. Celebrate other things in their life. Celebrate when they get a new job or accomplish a goal or paint a bedroom a bold color. Celebrate the other things with them.
I’m sure people at work wonder why I don’t ever speak about my biological family and only talk about Mr. BMM and friends. All of this and more are the reasons why I don’t. I know I am not the only one out there that has no relationship with their biological family. I wrote this piece today to share my story. Maybe help others release their stories. And possibly help others with healthy, normal families understand why some people just don’t talk about their biological family.
Phew! I feel so much better getting that off my chest. This has been something that I have wanted to write about but feared writing it. Writing this post has actually be therapeutic for me. I now feel that I can move on. My past will always be my past but as I make more and more happy memories, my terrible past will fade away.