Oh my this will surely give me an interesting feed of search terms which begot this post. Anywho...
I was thinking back to a year ago when I had a sort of "aha" moment with my counselor over my childhood, and how I had another "aha" in church a few months ago. About how my family is, well, special.
Today I was spying on our heroin-addicted neighbors (Yeah I'm totally gonna be that crazy old lady who peers out her window at them crazy whippersnappers and knows everyone's business and has the cops on speed-dial...) as they conduct another drug transaction, cursing to myself under my breath when I realized, hmm, I can go do the laundry while druggie #1 talks to druggie #2, because drug deals take time.
Then I stop in my tracks, dish in hand, and go holy moly, how do I know this crap? I have NEVER done drugs, never will, so how can a little dorky Christian straight-edge mom know this?
Because, my stay-at-home dad took me to his "friends" to score weed and, for a while, speed. Is speed meth? I know you snort speed, and I know how long a drug deal lasts, how you do small talk and have to work up to the deal, but I don't know my drugs apparently. I remember going to "Steve's" who had a shiny white car and nice new home (complete with a room just for his cats!), and I would sit and read his 40-year collection of National Geographics and pet his cats- I loved going to his place. Then there was Jim who was Disney's Goofy incarnate, if Goofy was 6 foot tall, 120 pounds, and missing teeth. Then there was the one guy who had a rottweiler named Killer (or something to that matter) who ended up becoming a sweet cuddly puppy dog (he previously had lived up to his name) after I was stuck outdoors for quite some time during a deal, so I made do and chatted it up with Killer and some stray cat living in the roof.
So yeah...I was recalling how, sure, I had a family with a mom and dad my "original" mom and dad, and we had a car, my mom had a steady job, we had health insurance, cable (except that one time we stole it and got busted...), clothes (even if from Goodwill)...we had tons of books, went on vacations, owned our home, and my parents told me they loved me all the damned time. Therefore, in my mind, and in their telling me, I met "Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs". They had provided me a better life than their own (to which I am actually grateful), did their best, yadda yadda. Even in college, upon reading psychology and child development books, I had a darned good little textbook-happy childhood.
Somehow Maslow missed out on the fact that you can have a picture perfect family, but they can have been painted with rotten paints, or some analogy like that. It took me three decades to realize I had some screwed up stuff in my life. Like when I reflect back on childhood and share it with my husband, and am met with a blank, open mouthed, OMG stare...
"Was that the year I went to the Grateful Dead Concert? The heat and weed gave me a migraine... no...that happened the following year..."
"Yeah the drug dealer had the best danishes in the morning!"
"Oh parents pick their kids up at school? My dad parked behind a tree a quarter mile away"
"No, my dad was definitely camping, not homeless, he had a tent"
"No, I don't like Harley's, they scare me, like when I went for a ride with the biker gang when I was 6"
"meth looks all neat lined up on a mirror, and I thought that's why some mirrors had decorative cracks and specks in them"
"It was awesome, my mom kept bows and arrows in the trunk of her car and we'd shoot them in the Kmart parking lot"
"My missing dress was found, on my mom's one-armed mannequin, Natasha"
"The rotting buffalo hide, attracting flies, hung on the fence totally scared the Jehovah's Witnesses away"
"Yeah we took a photo with guns, ammo, camo, and food supplies for y2k as our sole family portrait and Christmas card ever made"
Stuff like that makes me realize....
Well, I dunno what it makes me realize other than, "wow".