One of the funniest things our stepmother Beatrice says is that she doesn’t play games. As Bobby Fischer was to chess, Beatrice is to mind games. She is truly the grandmaster (or grandmistress) of all game playing!
Beatrice loved nothing more than getting one of us alone and talking about what was wrong with “the others.” Or stretching the truth, otherwise known as lying, by causing dissension among the ranks. She would say:
Well your Dad and I were talking and he said blah, blah, blah.
which was usually a slam to one of us. Truth be told, Dad did not say most, if any, of these comments.
In a dysfunctional family, since everybody is fighting for their own survival, for some time we didn’t compare notes. We were like the walking wounded when we were younger. As we matured and began talking about our experiences we had with Beatrice, we found out very quickly that we were all victims of something I like to call “Beatrice Bashing”.
Now, if you have ever watched the Olympics and saw Beatrice in action, you might think it was an Olympic sport. The truth is that when playing these kinds of games, there are no winners. It’s not like playing a board game because the rules changed daily and since Beatrice was the master, she held all the cards, so to speak.
My siblings and I always laughed about Beatrice saying she was not a game player, even though it was done at our expense. Sissy, Abby and I had a pact that we were not going to allow Beatrice to talk about “the others.” We were able to neutralize her verbal assaults and have tried hard not to keep secrets.
Since Beatrice’s power has been taken away, we were hopeful the games were over. Unfortunately, Kevin has decided by his behavior to take up game playing when dealing with Abby and me. The lack of communication and lack of reaching out has taken a toll on me. At sixty-five, eligible for Medicare and Social Security, I am no longer “eligible” for game playing.
The drama is too much, too hurtful and too negative.
No, I am done with game playing. I will strive to tell the truth, be fair and not allow myself to ever go back to that young girl who just wanted a family but never quite measured up.
No pity party, please. I have my amazing Abby, my terrific Taylor, my charming Charles, my faithful Fiona, my marvelous Macy, my darling Diana, my resilient Raquel and my lovely Lizzie! I am blessed with a loving family who I adore. And I have quite the knack for alliteration.
One thing I know for sure, life goes on.