The Elephants In My Room

I should probably introduce you to the elephants in the room. Most of my family wasn't very good at talking about them, but they're starting to take up a lot of space and it's getting really squeezie here. And I have an opinion about elephants. If there's an elephant in the room, I'll invite them to sit down and join me. Let's do.



The elephants are:

Gramma Dearest: My maternal grandmother. Her name was Vadis. She suffered from mental illness for as long as I can tell. She was never diagnosed by a doctor and she never got help. She was both physically and emotionally abusive to her children and her ailing Veteran husband. She is one of the most wicked, mean, and toxic people I have ever known. She's dead.

Grampa Merrill: My maternal Grandfather, married to Gramma Dearest. He grew up so poor that he and he and his brothers had no shoes and they literally lived in an earth-birm house. That's fancy talk for: They lived in a dirt hill. He died in 1981, probably to get away from his wife.

My mother: She suffers from extreme anxiety, has an obsessive compulsive personality, and was viciously abused physically and mentally by her mother. She is emotionally sensitive. That must be where I get it. She's done remarkably well considering.

Uncle Tom: My mother's younger brother. A spoiled, greedy little punk who needed a father to kick him in the ass. In his defense, Gramma Dearest did her share of damage with him too with emotional abuse and manipulation. 

Gramma Dorothy: She was my paternal grandmother. My dad's mother. She raised my dad and his siblings on a farm in rural Minnesota. She was tough as nails, but kind and gentle. She was a Christian. The kind who NEVER jammed her beliefs down your throat. She led by example. She did kind things, helped others, led an honest life.

Grampa Gus: He was born in Sweden a long-ass time ago. So he's dead too. A lot of people in my family do that. He studied English and came over to America through Ellis Island. His real name was John. I'm not sure why he changed it. He was a carpenter and an alcoholic. There's more to this, but I don't want to totally scare you away. Yet.

My father: He's a one-armed man. Seriously. He was in an industrial accident when he was 27. His arm was severed and he had multiple other injuries. He shouldn't have lived. He's just too damn stubborn to die until he's good and ready. He can do more with one arm than most young able-bodied men can. He's EXTREMELY stubborn. That must be where my sister gets it. lol!

My sister: Chronologically, she's older. But we are almost identical. She is strong, to a point where she takes on more than she needs to. She is intelligent, educated, and successful in spite of her history. She's funny as hell, like me. Did I mention she's stubborn?

Me: Well, you may know me a little already. I'm a 40 year old wife, mother, and former educator. I have a sick and twisted sense of humor. I LOVE to make people laugh. I am also a Libra. I don't believe in that Zodiac crap, but I am constantly teetering on my fulcrum trying to keep my balance. So there must be something to it. I talk WAY too much. Naturally, blogging, Twitter and Facebook are my total saviors. I love to tell stories and write. Mostly, I like to help people. So much so that it's sort of obnoxious.

Desi: He's been my absolute rock. When I think about the crap he's had to put up with because of me and my family, I really don't understand why he stuck around. We were married for 12 years before we had children so he didn't have the kids as an excuse. He is VERY calm and rather passive. This is incredibly important. If he was any LESS passive and more like me, we would probably kill each other.

Thing 1 and Thing 2: My daughters. The reasons why I am writing this. One of my biggest fears is that I will unintentionally raise them to repeat the behaviors my family has and set them up for a future of struggling. I am writing this to help remind myself that the cycle ends here. Today. With me. No more.

There are a few other elephants of less significance. I'll introduce them along the way as needed.

25 comments:

  1. I wish my family would be so open. There are definitely a few elephants hanging around our homes, but the way things are going those in the know may never explain things.

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    1. Everyone has them. Some are just bigger than others. ;-)

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  2. Sounds like you and Desi are lucky to have found one another. It is always reassuring for me to hear about other families... thanks for sharing.

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    1. Come back for more. I'll make you feel like a million bucks! Thank you for commenting too. It gives me the energy and confidence to keep talking about it.

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  3. We've all got elephants. In my family, we talk about everything, it's all out in the open. But for Hubby's, not that simple. Sure, not as messed up, but also not as open. Sigh.

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    1. Crazy is the new normal. Didn't you hear? Desi's family is like your hubby's too. They wouldn't say shit if they had a mouthful. I vote for open.

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  4. and so it begins..

    I do get the Libra thing I am one too and like you don't believe in the Zodiac thing yet often feel I'm balancing the world

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    1. You know, maybe we should look into the Zodiac thing a little more. There might just be something to it.

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  5. I know you're going to delete them... but those two "used sheds for sale" spam comments were so fucking random and hilarious I completely forgot what I was going to say.

    I <3 you for sharing this, though. I have more elephants than room left at this point...

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    1. I'm thinking of leaving the spam comments in and inviting everyone to interact. Let's spam the spammers! Yay!

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  6. Hey Brave Girl, thanks for sharing. Elephants are big animals but you will get through all the crap they leave behind. Thing 1 and thing 2 will be ok because you are aware of the elephants and will protect them at all costs.
    This will be quite a journey

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    1. It is through friends like you, that I have the strength to kick elephant ass. They are either with us, or out of here. xoxoxo thank you so much for everything you've done and said. My friends. I am so fortunate.

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  7. Oh, PLEASE leave the spam comments up; they're hilarious! Best I've ever seen.

    Anyway. My family is so full of elephants, I think there are only a couple of humans. I think the same thing about my husband. Maybe one day I'll be brave enough to out them, like you.

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    1. It sounds like the spam comments are a hit. So they'll stay.

      It's easier to out them when I'm anonymous. Sort of. Still unsure though. It makes me feel vulnerable and I don't like that feeling. It's icky.

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  8. Woah! You relaly put it all out there, huh? Stopped by from the FB list on Kelley's Breakroom.

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    1. Thanks for visiting. I'm a work in progress.

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  9. My blog is my way of exercising the elephants in my family, too! Of course, they get uber-offended when I write about them being assholes. But then I'm like, DON'T BE AN ASSHOLE. It really isn't that difficult... is it? lolz!!! At any rate, I'm looking forward to reading more of your story. I hope that doesn't make me a sicko. X.x

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    1. I LOVE it! And no, it doesn't make you a sicko. It makes you a friend. imo

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  10. Oh, honey. I am the band leader of the Freak Show Parade. Although, according to most of my family - I'm the black sheep. I'm "harsh and mean and judgmental". I like to think all the crazy helped contribute to my sense or humor. Otherwise I may need to be locked into a padded room...

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    1. I prefer to think of us as "gifted." Actually, you should read that post. It's coming. We don't have issues. Turns out we're just more intelligent than most. Not kidding. <3

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  11. Maybe you should make the #ElephantsInTheRoom a link up. I have some nasty family I would love to air out. Hope you realize how much bigger you are than the nasty and evil :)

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    1. I think that's a GREAT idea! I LOVE it! And I will give you the credit. Thank you for your kind words and support. I knew I loved you for a reason. <3

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  12. Now, you have inspired me. I scratch your back, you scratch mine. I will be writing about the individuals in my extremely large Tribe of WingNuts, ALL whom still live in The Bible Belt...because is holds up their pants.
    Oh what fun I'm gonna have. Stay tuned....and THANK YOU. You ROCK :-)

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    1. I have some interesting experience with bible bangers outside of my own family too. What a perfect tool for control and guilt/manipulation. Looking forward to reading more. ;-)

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  13. I think we had the same mother and grandmother.

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