The doctors have ordered me off for another week. I hate doctors. Currently I have to see a doctor a day. RRRRR. I hate not working. I have agreed not to work in clinic. I'll obey, won't I?

On my father's side, I am related to the last man to be publicly hanged for poaching in Sherwood Forest. One of my father's cousins assures me that this is true, though they haven't quite tracked down his name yet. That was not the last hanging for poaching in Sherwood Forest. It was the last public hanging. After that, you weren't allowed to bring your kids, spread out a blanket, have a picnic, and watch the body twitch.

Not that I would ever question or subvert authority......

Don't ever take a position. You need to be able to shift weight in case you step on something sharp. Stay balanced. Take both sides and practice arguing with yourself. It's not good luck that will move you but hard work. Watch for the opening. If you are balanced and ready, make your move.

The other night my sister called to let me know that my father is not doing well. He had been down visiting some friends of our family whom we have known since I was nine. My niece is their granddaughter, their son is my age, we used to go camping together with another family, these are people we can count on in a crisis and it's unfortunate that my next youngest sister and brother are failing to see that my dad can no longer live on his own. Without going into too much of the past my next youngest sister and my brother are the golden children in my family. Both smart and athletic, they did well in school and my parents favored them. There are five children in my family: me, three other girls, and my brother who is the baby.

For whatever reason my brother and my next youngest sister have a mental block about my dad, probably because they were treated much better than the rest of us were. I was belligerent. My mother would accuse me of being exactly like my father, I more like him than I am like her and she used to take a lot of her rage out on me since I was sassy and a good target. Recently my mother and I got into a fight about some things that happened in the past. Both of my parents were physically abusive. My dad was very athletic, he could do just about anything and when he spanked us he would bring the belt down in exactly the same spot every time. A belt he liked to use had old fashioned nickels embedded in the leather. When my dad was mad, we would have to line up against the bed and stand there until he was through with us. Any movement or crying meant more spankings, to say that I hated him would be an understatement. I lived in constant fear but I also refused to let him know how scared I was which was just plain stupid.

My dad was fairly brutal but my mother gave me the worst beating of my life. I think I was in sixth grade when she took a belt to me after I wouldn't practice the piano the way she wanted me to. My father was much stronger than she was but he also had somewhat better control when it came to spanking. In a house where violence is a way of life you learn how to survive. It's not a good way to live but we didn't think we had any choices. Over time I've tried to let things go but it's hard because you don't forget things like your siblings screaming or the way safety was denied. Maybe some of you don't believe in God, I do and I think that God gave my father this crippling disease as a way of punishing him for past deeds. Now we are in control but that isn't a good feeling either.

My father can't accept that he has a disease that has robbed him of the activities of daily life. He's bitter, ungrateful, surly, and he has many other issues that I won't go into here. We control his finances, we have his vehicle that doesn't run since he didn't take care of it. If he wants groceries or he needs to go to the doctor, he has to rely on one of his five children to find the time and the inclination. My father is a very sick man. He can't admit that things he did in the past were wrong. My mother has a different issue. Men are her identity and it's really sad to see that she traded a savage husband for someone who is subversive and manipulative. I don't remember how the subject came up but my mother accused me of strategically and willfully placing myself in the way of her belt wielding hand so I would purposely bruise myself. Arguing with irrational people is useless so I informed her that I was done speaking to her right before I hung up on her.

My mother has lied to me and my siblings so many times that I pretty much don't trust anything she says unless I hear it from another reliable source. She told my aunt that she had talked to me about getting remarried when in fact she hadn't. She told us she was not dating her current husband when she was and the fact that she rewrites history to support her own view is not contested by any of us kids who know better. No one trusts her version of events although she sees herself as this paragon of truth and clarity. She did a little better after she got divorced but then she started dating this guy that she went to high school with who had formerly dated an aunt of mine. My aunt shared some personal things about what dating my mother's current husband had been like. Specifically he went out of his way to do things that were disturbing to others. If you're afraid of heights he would whistle while climbing his ladder. If darkness is your fear he'll flip the light switch on his way out of the room. My mother's family is very fearful, my dad liked throwing things in their face but that was also how he was. He was a daredevil and I think my mother sometimes did overreact to things he did.

My mother's current husband is very cautious. He does things deliberately and I loathe him. His son reminds my sister of some pedophiles she knows. My sister works for the government and unfortunately her job puts her into contact with the dregs of humanity. She reads people well and you don't need to be overly perceptive to realize that these guys are creeps. An aunt of mine said that my mother's husband was the kind of guy who would offer to help you move so he could go through your underwear drawer. None of my aunts like him and even my grandfather who is typically very fair has said some negative things about him. Both of my grandfathers were neat guys. My paternal grandfather taught for years before he drove the bus during retirement. He died young and that was a good thing because he had Alzheimer's. His wife terrified all of us children. Neat to the point of it being an obsession she wouldn't let us help with the dishes since we might not do a good enough job.

My mother did not get along with her mother who was also a battle axe. She played favorites just like my mother does but as several aunts of mine have pointed out, you do not want to be one of the favorites. Right now, I really can't care about either of my parents. I don't know if this will make sense to anyone but they are not like real people to me. I do what I have to in order to get along. My mother has called me several times since our fight and she still hasn't delivered the apology I'm due. She told my youngest sister that she considered spanking a necessary duty of parenting and I got into it with her after she slapped my eighteen month old daughter's hand. Nothing is going to change the way that my parents are. We have to deal with them even though they did not take care of us, when we gave them money we had earned on our paper routes, they told us it was going into our bank accounts. That too was a lie but one we wouldn't discover until many years later.

When my mother got remarried she told us children that she was going to leave us her house. We didn't really care but that was her promise. Her husband would get her money, not that she has a ton but still, we were going to get her house. My eldest aunt is relatively quiet. She's not as quick to say things as her younger sisters but she was furious when she found out that my mother had redone her will so her house will now be going to her husband who paid it off. I just want to be done with these people. I don't care about the money or any of the so called family heirlooms. They remind me of things I don't want remember. The one thing that interests me is a set of sterling silver spoons my paternal grandmother bought but I guess those are going to my brother. The spoons are not valuable but I remember polishing them and my grandmother mentioning that she was pleased at how well I had performed that task.

When I was talking to my sisters the other day, my middle sister made some comments about how hatred and bitterness destroy you. My parents are toxic people who drain me and the resources I have. When we had to help my father move, my mother didn't want to watch my niece since she had already made plans. She refused to make any meals for my father even though that was something she could have done to help her children out. My aunt gave me some money and said she would help with the food, not because she has a great deal of love for the man who beat her nieces and nephews but because it would help us out. We wouldn't be in the position we are now if my parents were still married and I do blame my mother for not protecting us and for taking her anger out on us instead of loving us the way we needed to be loved.

I've gone to counseling for this in the past but I still have to deal with my mother. For a long time I've wanted to do a writeup on unhealth. My mother walks to and from work. She eats whatever her husband packs for lunch and she'll come down hard on me if I say that I want something that everyone else is having. Somehow, the woman who bought unpasteurized milk from local famers and bulk products from food club has turned into the woman who has Cheetos in her cupboard and Diet Coke in her fridge. She smokes, she drinks quite a bit of coffee and she does not look well. Her hair has lost a lot of color which I think is interesting since her sisters, who are older, have most of their original color. My mother's teeth are bad, she had one extracted and the others do not look good either. My mother is not allowed to write in her own checkbook even though she is the only person with a full time job. She lets her husband take care of the finances and whatever he says about her money, goes.

Thankfully I don't have to deal with these people very often. My husband is good friends with my mother. She supports him over me and I am totally fine with that. When she tries to go behind my back I usually find out. My mother is not very good about being sneaky. She has a black and white mind, she's not stupid, she's actually very good as a fiscal manager but she is terrible when it comes to interpersonal relationships. I hate writing things like this. I want to be better at blocking these types of things out of my life but I get so full of the toxicity that has no where to go and I can't take it anymore. Right now, I'm really grateful that I have some people to talk to about some of these things. A good friend of mine knows what my mother is like. She gets it and it's nice that she doesn't judge me because of the way my mother is at certain events. Family gatherings are a joke so most of the time, I don't even go. I can't eat the food, people are tense, growing up we never know what was going to set my dad off and I think getting together reminds of us times that did not end well. We developed different coping skills and now we have our own separate issues related to things that happened when we were children.

I feel slightly better now but this is still really bothering me. I don't know what's going to happen to my dad. In some ways, I'm closer to him than I am to my mother because at least he was consistent. He didn't claim to love and cherish us the way my mother did. Since I was the oldest he spent some of his better years teaching me things like how to throw a ball and how to shoot certain weapons. Those aren't skills I need very often but at least I got some father/daughter time my younger sisters didn't. Right now, I'm just praying that he goes quickly. He doesn't have any money, skills or resources. His life is a pathetic nothingness and he isn't going to be missed by many. His mother died penniless. Not many people attended her funeral and I'm not sure I would even go to my father's funeral although possibly I would give in to peer pressure. My father made his bed, I accidentally typed bad which also fits but it's not an amusing typo, and right now, I'm not sorry that he has to lie in it. I wish I didn't feel this way but the little girl in me can still remember being kicked, grabbed, tossed down stairs, and forced to keep quiet about what happened at home when we were out in public. I never was a quiet girl. I wasn't the child my parents wanted and today, I'm proud of that.

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