this is behind a cut so i can point out that self-pity-parties are never pretty.
( Why i don't like cigarettes, by Zia )
i think it started when she remarried. she'd always smoked, since before i was born, but not in Gramma's house. then she met him, and he smoked too, and they got married, and i had to go with her since she was mom.
and he smoked.
and i got burned.
and when she asked, he'd say "oh, she was playing with the lit cigarettes and did it to herself."
(now, cigarette burns tend to hurt. just a bit. and they itch even while they still hurt, so you can't really scratch because that'll hurt worse!)
keep in mind, she's a nurse. an RN.
if YOUR kid is burning himself, the kid has a problem, right?
if your husband is burning your kid, the husband has a problem, right?
but in her world, this was OK. anything else would have meant she wasn't "in control of the situation."
at the time, of course, i didn't understand that part. i knew i was being punished--sometimes for things i did 'cause i didn't know i wasn't supposed to do 'em. sometimes for not doing things i hadn't known i was SUPPOSED to do. sometimes for doing something today that was required yesterday but forbidden today--with no notice given of the change. sometimes because "you know why, don't make me explain it."
he crushed out a cigarette on the back of my hand right in front of the checkout clerk at the Alden's. i didn't cry or yelp. i made sure i didn't leak tears until he was looking away, then i swiped them on my hand real quick 'cause if the clerk had seen and asked....well. once of THAT was enough.
he got me in the corner at the house and shoved one up my nose. the burn from that didn't show, so that was OK. i didn't have to field questions.
see, i was a bad girl. i deserved it. i had to be punished.
Gramma and Grampa would come and get me (and Sis, generally) every weekend i can remember. When i was in second grade and Sis was 2, one time they bought up $40 worth of groceries. keep in mind, this is 30 years ago. that was a LOT of food. they told us it was so us kids would have something to eat in the house.
as soon as they left, he told me to keep the kid (Sis) quiet. he loaded all the food they'd brought in the car and took off. he came back less than an hour later with 2 cases of beer and 2 cartons of cigarettes.
then he told me to fix the kid a bottle of sugar water to shut her up. i was bad. i couldn't keep Sis from crying. i couldn't make her be not-hungry. it was my fault.
he's dead now. has been for several years, i was told. no, i had nothing to do with it.
she died about 3, maybe 4 years ago. i went to the funeral to make sure she was really dead this time. she's faked suicide attempts several times. starting in nursing school. she told her twin brother, and her shrink, and then her parents: "i figure how much i can take so if no-one finds me, i'll wake up in a day or two."
now ain't THAT a healthy mind? and she made RN????? and people wonder WHY i don't trust doctors, nurses, hospitals......???????????????????????
and cause of her death -- something about emphysema
. Of course, that had NOTHING to do with the two-pack-a-day-for-over-20-years habit. Oh no....