If you have been one of our faithful readers, first we want to say thank you! Also, if you have been following our ‘Far from Normal’ story, then you know we had lots of characters who tried to live their lives their way.
Our mother was the queen of living life on her own terms. Children…not interested today. Cleaning house…not in the mood. Working to help support my family…not part of my job description. Now when it came to drinking her special liquid refreshment or popping ‘diet’ pills (aka speed), or abusing food, she was all in, doing it her way. One may ask, to quote Dr. Phil, “How’s that working for you, Mary?” And she would have answered in her belligerent tone:
That’s none of your damn business! I don’t bother you, so you need to leave me the hell alone!
Our stepmother Beatrice is another example of believing she was living life on her own terms. Too busy for the kids. Too busy for work. Just about too busy for anything that interfered with her idea of a life of luxury. She wished in many ways that all four of us children would disappear until we reached adulthood, and were self-sufficient and seldom bothered her. Since none of us had the gene for magic nor did we run off to join the circus, her dream was not realized.
Our dad truly lived life his way. He loved his work and spent many hours doing what he loved. He adored his family and made sure we were loved. As far as the two women in his life, he applied the same principle he taught us: don’t deal with crazies if you don’t have to!
My sister Abby has lived life on her own terms with a healthy dose of self-reliance and deep love for her family and the obligations that entails. The three of us (Sissy, Kevin and myself) often think of her as the mother figure because we had such poor examples growing up.
Sissy has lived life on her own terms in the sense that she knew she wanted to beat Beatrice at the role of mother. And, if you knew her girls, she more than succeeded. She has been a loving, doting mother who embraces her daughters and has tried to set a good example of what a mother does for her children.
Kevin has lived life on his own terms by following his dream of wanting to be a nurse. He graduated with his degree in nursing and loves being in a field where he cares for others.
Now me, I am an independent individual with great passion for politics, writing and my extended family. I used to tell our mother that she was not the boss of me as a little girl and although she often smacked me or pulled my arm out of the socket, it was so worth it! Voicing my opinion to injustices and just plain poor parenting has been my strength. Even after I moved into the museum, Dad told me that Beatrice was not the boss of me and boy was I happy to hear that! It was music to my ears!
Doing it your way can be spectacular and freeing, as long as you remember that we are all part of something bigger, the family.