My sister Abby and I learned at an early age to stand up for ourselves. When you have little or no mothering in your life, you learn to play that role for yourselves. Our mother was the person who tried to walk all over us but we did not allow it. She had so many poor parenting skills, that you could write a book or a blog! (What a novel idea!)
One of the funny things we learned early on was that Mother did not admire those who actually allowed her to walk all over them. My sister and I realized that if we allowed her to have the upper hand, she would probably use it to slap us or pull our arms out of their sockets. It may sound odd to some that as the children we knew how to survive in this far from normal world.
Our dad taught us to be confident and to never take a back seat to anyone. What that meant to us is that when Mother tried to control us, we paid little or no attention to her. The cost was sometimes a freak-out session with Mother bellowing and boo-hooing, but we learned to tune her out.
When our stepmother Beatrice tried her tired old tricks of excluding us from certain family events, we knew how to handle her as well. Since I have always been known as a tattletale, I often would “accidentally” let things slip to Dad about her latest shenanigans. He took care of it in his own way, which sometimes meant that he would simply tell us not to pay any attention to her. He always assured us that he couldn’t be prouder of us and how much he loved Abby and me.
Some people may feel that we were mistreated, we would agree that is certainly true. Some may say that since we were the children, we did not deserve the bad behavior by these two women. Also true. However, the good news is we knew their poor behavior was a reflection of them and not of us.
Because of our experiences, my sister Abby and I never, ever, take a back seat to anyone (unless it is in a limousine!). We are strong women who do not take kindly to mean spirited behavior from anyone. We are women. Watch us roar!