Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Whiskey Bottles and Half-Pint Militants

I used to take my father's whiskey bottles and throw them in the trash. I remember conspiring with my younger brother one night. We went out to my father's car and we found a bottle of whiskey in a paper bag underneath the passenger's seat--Well actually, my brother found the liquor. He showed it to me, and I decided what we'd do with it. 
You see, when I was younger, my father drank a lot--I mean, he drank an awful lot. At times, he would slip up and drink more than he could handle. So, I used to get all "covertly militant," and I would find out where he would hide his drinks, and I'd trash them... 
I wonder if he ever knew what we did... He couldn't have known, I think... He would've beaten us if he had.
Eventually, he stopped drinking so much--thank goodness. And soon, he stopped drinking altogether. I even want to say that drinking made him more docile... but somewhere, I know that's not entirely true...
That night before heading inside, after my brother gave me the coveted bottle and I threw it in the garbage, he looked up at me with worry in his eyes. And he said, "What are we gonna do when he finds out?"
"He won't find out," I said.
"He's gonna know something--" my brother nervously insisted. "What if he starts pointing fingers?"
"Then tell him I did it," I said. "Blame me."

Monday, March 10, 2014

Letting go...

     All my life, I've been running away from the possibility that I may have "daddy issues." I can't run anymore. And, I'm tired of staring truth in the face and not confronting it.
     I've never wanted anything more than happiness and to fall in love--I mean, to truly fall head-over-heels for someone. But, I can't help but admit that my past hinders me from taking hold of what I truly want. I've only recently been forced to see it, and I've been silently coming to terms with it.
     The truth is, I keep tripping up, running away from the idea that I'm subconsciously seeking the things that I had never gotten a from my father. And the truth is, I've always been afraid of investing in a relationship--the fear of finding someone with my father's shortcomings have always kept me grounded and unwilling to try.
     My father wasn't home often. And when he was, he was either mentally absent, unwilling to interact with us, or around drinking with his "friends."
     He never paid me much attention until I had done something wrong. So, I find it hard to remember good things about him. But when I do remember the good things, it hurts... because I don't understand which of the two is him. Seriously, the two personalities are so tremendously incongruous that I go into a mental stupor. How on Earth could he be both?
     As a child, I often sought my father's approval. And once I felt that I had it--once I felt like maybe he does love me or that maybe he actually is proud of me, he does a full turn around and disappoints me all over again. 
     Then, I go back to feeling as though he doesn't actually care what happens to me; he doesn't love me at all... and maybe he never really has. So, what do I do? I regress. I shut down. And, everyone around me suffers for it.
     Sadly in my relationships, I see myself seeking things I had never gotten. I seek affection. I seek a displaying of love. I seek care and approval. But, doesn't everyone? The difference is that once I've confirmed that I've found these things, I latch on for dear life--which is probably not the best thing to do. And once it feels like I'm being ignored or let down, I still latch on like a fool... But, I shut down again. And, I attack myself for ever being so foolish to attach to someone. Because surely, let's be realistic... no one could ever love me, right? 
     As silly as these things sound to me, I know it's the truth. I'm so afraid to open up to people. And, I really want to open up. I want to take chances at a relationship. I want to be in love. But, my past just makes it so difficult for me. 
     People look at my parents and think that since they're still married, they must be living the dream. But they don't know the smallest thing about my parents' relationship.
     I come from a broken home--pieced together with bubblegum, scotch tape, and string. My father was abusive, and he used to drink--which may explain my vehement disdain for liquor. I've never even touched a drink for fear of becoming my father. That may not be the nicest thing to say, but it's true.

     I've been bottling up many things. And, this isn't even a dent in the capsule.

    Nonetheless, I've been taking chances lately, which is saying something... because I'm so introverted. So, hopefully something good comes out of it. And if I get hurt or disappointed in the process, I hope I have enough pep in me to get right back up, chalk-it-up to experience, and try again.

Letting it all go...

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Seeking Superman

I don't know what I expected... But, I never dreamed that I would find Superman.

As a child, I often looked for him. And when finding that the hero within my life was actually the villain, I suspected that Superman... was me. Shortly after, I figured that I was just a weak, insignificant citizen. But, I later realized that I was a bit off. Sure, I was a bit needy, but I was headstrong and steadfast. I was determined, though I often fell prey to villainous foes. 

Still, Superman never came for me. I soon believed that there was no such man. There was no such entity who would swoop in when I needed him most and save me from the destruction and chaos--the twisted, metal wreck which was my life.

It was my job to save myself. There was no "super" man. There was only me. And, that's how it would always be. 

But instead of saving myself, I decided to rescue everyone else. 

What a heady feeling to know you're needed--to feel relied upon--to feel essential. How tiring it is to always answer when you're called--to always go forth when you're needed--to stretch a helping hand beyond its natural reach. This is what Superman must feel like.

Eventually, my determination subsided.
I was only human.
My will to endure waned. 

I never dreamed that I would search for Superman only to find that he did not exist--or, rather, he did exist in minuscule doses, living vicariously through liars and villains with welcoming smiles and trusting faces. 

For my own sake, I changed tactics... I found Spider-man, but realized that I could not be his Mary Jane. 
Batman arrived. And, I was smitten. Sadly, he was not.
Either way, we didn't mesh. It was like... I belonged to an entirely different universe

As of late, I've come across someone else. He has his flaws, but--there is something about him that I cannot shake. I know that he's no superhero and that he could never be. But, I don't care... He fits me.

All this time, I've been chasing an idea--seeking Superman, only to find... Clark.

Monday, September 23, 2013

"Tall" Tales.

     I hated peas. I hated squash. I hated tomatoes. And, I wasn't too partial to broccoli in those days. I wasn't too happy about eating my veggies, but my mother made sure I sat still  until I did. 
     "You will be short if you don't eat them--!" she'd say. "You're not moving one inch until you finish it--!" she'd continue on. 
     So, I got into the habit of holding my nose, scooping a spoonful of food, and swallowing it whole. I ate the green, leafy stuff. My mother was pleased. 
     Years later, I'm still no taller than five-feet one-inch. Vegetables don't make you tall, mom.

-Jen (:

Bike Chains and Tall Hills.

     A few days ago, I hopped on a bright-green bike and rode through the countryside. The September wind  tore through my raven hair, and the sunset was soft upon my skin. I smiled. The air, sprinkled with mist and powdered with chimney smoke, was cool. And, I was content.

     When I got onto that bike and raced down the road, I was quickly spirited away into my childhood... I would hop on my bike--pink and white with little purple and pink streamers hanging from the handle bars--and I would pedal as quickly as I could. Whenever I'd reach the top of the hill, there was a point in which my heart stopped and my stomach fluttered... And then, I'd slowly begin my descent. 
     The hill would decline for seconds, moments--my heart would fly into my throat--and then triumphantly I'd reach the base of the hill at such extreme speed that my heart would quickly drop into the pit of my stomach. And tragically, my bike chain would pop.
     I'd slide down from my bike and walk it back up the hill. And then, once I've reached the top, I'd pull over onto the side of the road, pull up the kickstand, and pop my bike chain back into place. And then, I'd ride my bike back home, happily zigging and zagging in and out of the road all the way there.

...The only difference these days is that I rode my bike back up the hill. And, my bike chain is much more sturdy.

Marshmallows over an Open Flame.

     My mother never had much money to do what she would have liked to do for us. But, she made due. And, we never fully realized how much she improvised. The things she did to make up for what we didn't have just seemed... well, normal. And, I'm certain that I didn't know it wasn't normal until I observed other people doing those same things differently.
     We didn't eat much candy growing up. Families with extra spending money had that luxury. We didn't. So, my mother would buy marshmallows---before your mind runs rampant with all the possibilities and creations that one could concoct with a handful of marshmallows, please remember this one thing: We only had the marshmallows. No chocolate. No graham crackers. No thin, wooden stakes on which to "roast" them over an open fire outdoors.
     My mom would go to the store, buy a bag of jumbo marshmallows, and when she'd get home, she'd gather us around the stove, turn on the eye, and hand us each a metal fork. Then, she'd demonstrate--
     She placed a marshmallow on the end of her fork and our eyes quickly became alight with awe... The marshmallow expanded--and, it expanded some more--and then, she removed it and bit--! Oh, how eager we were to try what she had done!
     She was pleased with our elation at her simple "magic trick." She then placed a marshmallow on the tips of each of our forks and carefully watched as we cooed and gasped and beamed brightly at the expanding white pillows of gooey sugar on the tips of our own forks.
     For years, I sincerely thought that everyone ate marshmallows this way... And then, at school... I learned of s'mores.