||December 25th, 2016 Sunday|| Yesterday, I spent a slight amount of time around my parents. My mom asked me how I was feeling (because of what happened) but my dad just acted cheery and questioned everything I was doing. Why I ate what I ate that day when random brand is better or his way of cooking something is better, etc. (Apparently, I just can't let him know what I've eaten. It will always be criticized.) My mom started getting snappy with him and then he yelled "You just always want to argue" sometime after he insulted her for not cleaning the kitchen fast enough while they were both cooking things for the get-together they had at my uncle's today, how his cooking is better than hers, and how she's stupid in general. Gee, I wonder why she was already pissy. Anyways, he didn't acknowledge my issue at all. He just bragged about the things he made and asked if I wanted to see some shitty art he did. (Dear dad. Tracing something isn't being talented. No, really, that's the only kind of art he makes. Taking someone else's work and transferring it to something else.) And then they went straight into an argument again and watched some Elf on the Shelf BS afterwards because they didn't want to pay for Charlie Brown. What a perfect picture of how bullshit they are--watching some saccharine family nonsense while they couldn't be a proper family if they tried. They hold hands in public too. As I've heard from both of them complaining, they don't have sex anymore because my dad's got issues he won't see a doctor about and blames his issues on my mom gaining weight even though she's been roughly the same weight since my brother was born. As for today, my mom sent me a photo of me in high school going on about how I was better back then than how I've "changed" since then, as she does every so often. Yeah, that's really what I want to hear. I guess one day was my sympathy limit, or she doesn't seem to get how her comment is negative in the first place. Naturally, I didn't spend Christmas day with anyone but my wife. From what I gather from texts I was sent, my aunt bailed on Christmas too, mostly because her and my mom keep fighting over bullshit. My cousins from my aunt didn't show because two of them wouldn't be able to be here and the other one doesn't really want to be around my family either since they're all mostly homophobic with the exception of my brother, me, and mostly my mom. She still says some homophobic things occasionally, but she's also a heavy supporter of gay marriage and gay rights in general. It's funny to see white baptist ladies argue with my hispanic catholic mom about her not understanding Jesus right because GAY IS BAD and her arguing back with JESUS SAYS LOVE IS GOOD ALWAYS. So, him being gay and not wanting to deal with that crap or be in the closet, he's just been avoiding mostly everyone. That, and his siblings keep begging him for cash so he avoids them for other reasons too. Family get togethers have always been a bit...awkward even when my dad's not making everything about him. My grandparents were super racist when I was young and so were my great-grandparents. You can imagine they didn't take it well when one son married a hispanic woman from another country and my aunt married a black man. My grandparents used to call my aunt's kids "zebras" and always tell me I look so much like my dad not my foreign mom and that's good because it'd be terrible if I looked like her. (I look far more like my mom than my dad) My great-grandmother used to use the compliment of "you're one of the good ones" to my mom all the time. And they just straight up used the n word constantly, including in reference to my cousins. For added shittiness, when my dad was looking for an apartment and needed a place to crash with my pregnant-with-me mom for a month or two, my grandparents, despite having a sofa-bed and a spare bed, forced them to sleep on the floor. Who makes a pregnant woman sleep on the floor when they have beds available?! And now because my dad wants to look like a martyr and took in his aging parents but without doing any of the work, she had to care for my grandfather until he died and is still caring for my grandmother. But there's more. When my dad's last ex-girlfriend showed up one day with a red-headed toddler claiming it was my dad's and he needed to divorce my mom, ditch me, and marry her to take care of her and the baby, my grandparents did everything they could to try and make that a reality, trying desperately to convince him that was the best idea ever. Despite that the months didn't even line up (by like three or four months), there being no known red-heads anyone could remember in either family (this woman came from a family my grandparents were friends with for a long time), and her having had no contact with him for a few years. He said sure if they did a paternity test and she bounced. My grandparents were upset that he asked her to have a paternity test done to prove it. He should just marry her. Because she's blond and blue-eyed and German-American, she's the better wife even though that's not even his kid. Showed me pretty early on that they didn't care about me! I should be tossed aside for some red-head boy they just met that day! My aunt was forced to have her wedding in private in their house because they were ashamed she married a black man, but they were stuck between a rock and hard place for their fucked up morality. She was also pregnant, so it was either be single mom with black kid or marry black man and not be single mom. I guess it goes without saying they also had fucked up ideas about women. They used to tell me about how much of a whore my aunt was because she bleached her hair and only whores do that. (What?!) She was also a whore because she cut her hair short and styled it for a while. And dated black men in an a mostly black area instead of dating only the few white guys there that they personally approved of. When he started abusing and cheating on her, they all told her it was her fault for marrying a black man and all black men were like that. She also had abusive white boyfriends sometimes, but they liked them. The reality was most of her boyfriends were abusive, and even as a kid, I was pretty positive it was because of the environment she grew up in being abusive that she ended up falling for those kinds of people. Not shocking, my uncle married two abusers as well! His first wife they shamed him for because she was a stripper, so her being white got no points. Stripper=whore. Whore=bad. She treated him like a slave until she found a man with a bigger paycheck to control. His second wife got their approval for being white, from money, and as southern as can be. Perfect. They had a big wedding. She treats him even shittier than his previous wife. She's cheated on him multiple times, used his money to go on vacations for the family that exclude him (they all go on vacation without telling him until the day they're leaving so he can't take off work), she constantly tells him he's lucky to have her because he has a physical disability and only a saint would put up with marrying someone worthless like that (while he still pays all the bills...), and her and the kids all treat him like a servant. His kids learned to not respect him because of the dynamic between him and his wife. Also not shocking that his daughter ended up in an abusive relationship for several years. Fortunately, she finally escaped from that. That's really a story for another time. My grandparents were verbally and physically abusive to my father and his siblings. My grandfather once beat my father so badly my father couldn't get up from his bed for three days when he was young. Because he picked up a paintbrush and tried to help my grandfather paint the house, and my grandfather was angry about that. That too is for another story. Anyway, Christmas each year at their get-togethers features less and less people. Of course this is also partly because out of the cousins who are adults, only one has children. So there are no young children in the family. Due to my grandparents being dicks and my father being a dick, they ostracized my mother's side of the family from ever participating or being involved in our Christmases at all. My grandparents themselves are also very isolated from the family they did have, due to their social class not being up there with the others. With my grandfather gone, my aunt's entire sire pretty much removed from coming, me and my brother both refusing to particpate, and the cousin who just got out of an abusive relationship finding more comfort in hanging out with her friends on Christmas than her toxic family, this years get-together was very small. My uncle, his wife, his son, my parents, and my grandmother were the only people who were there. In a way, I think its kind of funny. All that toxicity should fall apart. I have to wonder once my grandmother dies if my dad and my uncle will even bother seeing each other anymore. My dad's always managed to make Christmas time awkward. When I was little kid, my grandparents used to have the grandkids decorate the tree. Obvious, one year it was only me since I'm the oldest. We strung up popcorn and I put up all the ornaments wherever I wanted. When I got home that night, I asked my parents if I could put popcorn on our tree too. My dad flipped the fuck out about how stupid that was and how its tacky and will ruin his perfect tree. I was like, four or five. Decorating was always the worst. When we were young, he wouldn't let us touch the tree at all. Or my mom for that matter. She wouldn't be able to decorate it properly. (Or the house. She wasn't allowed to choose where anything went. He would flip out too if my brother or I rearranged our own stuff.) He complained that my grandparents let me decorate their tree too because I shouldn't because reasons. When I was older and not interested in decorating the tree anymore, he suddenly started requiring everyone to decorate the tree. When this would be was never a specific date or time and never announced in advanced. There was no waiting either. It had to be done THEN. Because he said so. Or Christmas was ruined. One of those times I was watching a TV show and it was almost over (maybe 5-8 minutes left) and I asked if we could start once it finished. He blew up over that and how I was ruining Christmas and tradition over a stupid TV show. (A tradition at that point I think we'd only been doing maybe two or three years...) Another time I asked to wait I was doing homework! Decorating a tree immediately at some random day and time in late November was more important than me doing my homework due the next day! It was pointless anyway. He'd yell at us that we didn't put the ornaments on the right branches. Afterwards, he'd go behind everyone and rearrange the tree until it was "perfect" to him. Why were we needed again? One year I asked again if I could have about 5-10 minutes to finish up something and he gave me the usual rant, and I was about 16 or 17 at that point. I just told him no and went to my room. They all yelled from the living room about how I ruined Christmas. (The living room was on the other side of one of my bedroom walls.) It didn't stop there. They reminded me of this the entire Christmas season AND the next one. Whichever year that was, it was the same year my parents didn't bother saving up money for Christmas gifts, got none for any of my relatives, and spent $5 each on me and my brother. I know it was $5 because the price tag was still on it. A+ Even funnier was that my mom claimed she spent $25 each because "of bills" (that she would have any year?) she could only spare $50 to spend, and she clearly didn't even spend that. My dad didn't care what we got because he got new clothes for himself. What made it worse was she got us the same thing...and it was a set of cheap board games. So we had two of the same couple of board games, three out of five of those were ones we already owned but better made. My dad's gifts cost over $100, at least. And then there were the lights. I'd never been to one of those events where you drive around and see a bunch of lights displays and I had no idea we were going that night. I was playing a video game with timed courses and I'd just gotten to a new level. I was in the middle of the level when my dad ordered everyone to put their jackets on and get in the car because we're going to see the lights. I asked if I could finish up my game, since you could save whether you beat it or not afterwards and I had maybe 3-4 minutes left on the clock. He blew up then too. I got made that he was so upset over me just asking and said I didn't care about seeing the lights. Then it was I ruined Christmas. Scrooge. How dare I crush the Christmas spirit for everyone. And then he went over and shut my game off and ordered me to get in the car. We drove for an hour out to this place and guess what? It was still daylight out for another thirty minutes. The whole drive there, the wait in the car, the drive through the place, and the drive home, they all reminded me of how I didn't want to go, how I was an awful person, and how I should be feeling regret right then because we were all having so much fun. I didn't enjoy one bit of it, and I thought the displays were stupid and cheesy even by age 7. There were more elaborate decorations and lights on the drive there than at the place we paid to get into. It didn't end there though. The rest of the Christmas season, they kept reminding me of that...and the year after that and the next time we went to go see those lights. That time, my brother didn't want to go because he thought it was boring last time. He too ruined Christmas. We were ungrateful children. At the end of this one, there was some kind of crafts thing and other events. We both wanted to try some of them, but my dad said he wasn't wasting money on us. He then proceeded to buy himself overly priced ornaments and then bitch about the price. He made sure to remind us all season we were awful though, and that place was awful too because he paid money there willingly! Once, we went to another event which was primarily aimed at helping charities and having crafts and gifts for kids. My dad didn't let us look at anything for long, complained about prices, bought himself an ornament, and refused to let us do even the free events. Because that's wasting his time. I did get to do them later though, since my school went there on a field trip as well. I made some ornaments to take home and my dad refused to put them on the tree. They were stupid. When he bought a craft kit to make decorations with later, we all made one each. My dad only wanted to put his on the tree because it looked better than the ones my brother and I made. He argued with my mom over this because ours would make the tree ugly by being there. She eventually convinced him to put them on his tree that year. Christmas morning was always boring. I never believed in Santa. Being the far too logical kid I was, I didn't buy anyone's reasons on how Santa worked and sent up various traps to prove he wasn't real. But Santa presents were typically better than the other presents my parents would get when I was little, so I pretended I did. Well, Christmas morning, we weren't supposed to play with our Santa toys until we showed each toy to my father, one toy at a time, so he could comment on how cool and "probably expensive" each toy was. This was made extra uncomfortable by the fact that my dad made us do this in his bedroom on his bed and my dad always sleeps naked and doesn't bother getting dressed until after he takes a shower. Once the toys were all shown to him, he would tell us we had to wait even longer to play with them, until after he finished breakfast. Then he'd take a shower and then eat breakfast. If we played with them before then, he'd get mad. So my brother and I always got up super early and played by flashlight, then pretended we just found them when my mom came in to make his coffee and work breakfast. He always made it clear Santa wasn't real too. I once wanted to bring over a set of toys to a friends house and my parents said I couldn't because they paid a lot of money for it. To screw with them, I pointed out "Santa" gave them to me. They straight up said "We bought that. You can't take it. We spent too much money on it." For the record, these were cheap toys. My parents rarely ever bought me anything expensive unless it was them trying to get back at each other for something. Also, because my parents are lazy, most years I wrapped my own presents, if not nearly all the presents in the house, even in elementary school. Such fun. My mom might help, but my dad never did. Except the one time he decided we were too stupid to wrap correctly and he decided to wrap a few of them and then tell us how bad we were at wrapping while we did most of the work. Then he complained when we didn't sit there to appreciate his wrapping because we just ripped it off on Christmas Eve. Yes, we got yelled at for not unwrapping it "properly". My dad also required us to thank him after opening every single present. Yes, even on that year where we got $5 presents. My brother actually cried and stormed off to his room that year. He didn't talk to them for a few days. There were other ways he would ruin the mood, but honestly, I'm tired of thinking about that. Honestly, I just want this year to be over already. I don't know if anything will be any better next year, but every end of year, I'm always hopeful. Maybe this year, maybe, the good will outweigh the bad.