When you see what you want to see  

Monday, October 13, 2008

I just got off the phone with my mother. She called to see how I was doing with my new college class. I had not told her that I cancelled it, why would I, she made it sound like I was stupid for taking more classes. I want my bachelors degree and now seemed like a good time to get started on it. Well as the conversation went on we started talking about remembering things from our past. She asked me if I remembered taking a friend school shopping with us one year. No I don't remember that but supposedly the friend did remember and had recently repeated how spoiled I was to my niece, who of course repeated it to my mother. I don't think my niece meant anything by it, she was just repeating a story about a girl who came from such a large family that she rarely got new clothes. My mother offered to buy her something and the girl had never forgotten.

This is the same girl who has been here in my town a dozen times and never once called to say hello, or lets have coffee. The same girl whom I hung around with exclusively for a few years. The same girl who married well and divorced even better. Telling my niece how spoiled I was for getting new school clothes when she couldn't, and how wonderful my mom was for buying her a pair of shorts. I know that you are supposed to be grateful for what you get and remember the things people do for you, and I'm sure she really didn't mean for me to have my nose rubbed in it for getting so many clothes, but the way it came back to me was probably much different than the way it was originally said.

The part that no one wants to look at though is that she had 5 older sisters. Five, for crying out loud. Clothes could have been passed down. I had no sister, none, and at that particular time I had picked up eczema from somewhere and was put on steroids to relieve it. Steroids over a few months time turned a small framed girl into a chipmunk. My cheeks were so fat that I was unrecognizable. My clothes didn't fit at all. I couldn't wear one thing that was in my closet before the brain surgeon dermatologist put me on steroids. And I was always good at crossing things over into another outfit, not to mention that my mom got child support to pay for those cloth and if she didn't buy them my dad would have been all over her.

This girl came from a large in tact family, that was always an envy for me. What was happening to me was not happening to her. I was alone inside most of my growing up years, where she was running free, being a kid, having fun and living the childhood some of us could only dream of. She had the support of her father, mother, 5 sisters and 6 brothers. She had more clothes available to her on any given day than I had my whole teen years. She was constantly telling me I was spoiled and obviously still feels that way as she lives in her 3,000 sq. ft home with her beauty shop, manicured lawn and all the golf lessons her kids can take. She has done very well for herself but still sees me as a spoiled child.

Unbelievable, that she can't see what was happening to me. Her sisters know, and yet she still sees a spoiled girl. I would have given anything to be as poor as she was growing up, to have sisters to protect me, to have a mother and a father who cared about me. To have male relatives who acted like they were related instead of using me for practice and letting their friends do the same. Like I said she was probably repeating a small story that she remembered in a fond way yet by the time it got back to me, all I got was how spoiled I was. I had always known that my family was a bunch of surface dwellers. By that I mean, things look good on the surface. All the nasty stuff was hidden and obviously still is. I wonder what she would of thought if we had traded places for a while? Would she still be focused on all the clothes? Or would she of wanted to go home?

When you see what you want to see things look so much better.

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