||May 4th, 2017 Thursday|| It's been a while since I've updated this place. I thought about re-designing it and the other site, but for now, I've changed my mind again. I may still end up redesigning the whole thing at some point. Some recent things so I don't forget: -A while ago in a conversation about DNA tests, my dad mentioned again that he doesn't believe his father is his biological father. Some more details came out, including a name and that grandma likely had at least two long term affairs (at two separate time frames) and several affairs on the side of those. He also mentioned that one of his childhood friends/possibly-half-brother mentioned some similar blatant-signs-of-cheating-a-child-wouldn't-understand in regards to the friend's own mother with the dad of one of their other friends, and various other blatant incidents of cheating amongst couples in his family's circle of friends and neighbors. Both my brother and my mom didn't want to believe him, and when he first brought up the topic, they both flipped out and told him he was crazy, then promptly shut up and completely disengaged from the conversation. This was nothing new to me, obviously, since that whole CoM R/R incident, but you know I don't recall having a denial reaction about it either. More like "why the fuck are you talking about this suddenly when I'm playing a Disney game?" But he didn't mention those other things before. He further speculated that he wasn't sure if his brother was his full brother (and also had Mr. (_) as a father) or his half-brother, but seemed pretty confident that my aunt was his half-sister and likely my grandfather's child for sure. Which is funny to me because my uncle looks the most like my grandfather to me. I don't think my aunt looks like my grandfather or my grandmother at all, and she doesn't look much like her siblings either. TBH, none of them really look related. I think he's going more off of the perception that my aunt was treated the best, but from what I've seen and heard, it seemed to me more she simply received different forms of abuse than what my uncle and father got. My mother then looked up facebook photos of my uncle, and her and my brother tried to convince my dad that they had a ton of features in common. The more I looked at them, the more I couldn't find very many outside of having the same eye color (which is their mother's eye color). From hair type, eye shape, nose shape, forehead shape, lip shape, cheek bones...nothing really matched. I know siblings can look very different, but even though my brother is a bit paler than me, has slightly lighter eyes, slightly lighter hair, and is taller than me, you can tell we are very obviously related. This is all speculation of course, but it's not exactly unlikely if what he says about all that cheating is true. But I don't completely trust my father's memory of anything either, so even if it's likely, I'm still sure something off in the story or something's missing. -Recently, my drop-out, not working/volunteering/studying bro demanded a new phone from my parents because it came with a free VR thing or some shit and he wanted to take my mom's 360 camera but it wouldn't work with his current phone. He bitched that he wasn't asking for much because the phone is nowhere near being a lot of money. (I've since learned the phone cost nearly $900) They got it for him immediately on a new contract even though his old contract isn't up yet and they're still paying on his previous, also expensiwve phone. Turns out he didn't get the free VR because he can't read info right, and he still wants it, which would cost another $250-ish and then he begged my mom for money for a set of DS games on top of that, which she quickly bought for him. (They're currently trying to get the cell phone company to take the expired code like assholes lol.) They still have yet to set money aside for his GED test, however, and he still refuses to study for it because...(insert revolving excuses). I do not understand them. Apparently, my mom's still been buying him lots of video games in general (like at least one a paycheck or something) while he bitches about how his computer didn't cost 10 grand and is shit because of that, and it's unfair she makes him wait until games are on sale before giving him money for them. (I suspect this is the real reason he seems to think pre-order bonuses are the devil. Because he can't have them.) He has also commandeered my mom's tablet so he can play some game on it even though he can also play it on his phone. My dad has also been doing this with her tablet despite him also having a tablet because he doesn't want to waste the space on his. Her tablet has less space than my dad's tablet and both of their phones. For some reason, she is fine with this and at this point they've downloaded so much that her tablet barely functions and they complain that it's because of her games on there interfering with them playing... -There's an event coming up that I'm going to with my wife. I went last year and went on a specific weekend and we both arranged so that we would be able to definitely go that weekend again this year. Now my parents and my brother are also apparently going to this event because I mentioned I was going this year and my mom remembered which weekend I went last year (wtf) and decided that was specifically the weekend they have to go. I am quite positive that my dad will ruin the trip for them, and likely my brother will get bitchy about it not being "cool" enough too or boring or whatever, and later they will tell me about how shitty the whole event is. And probably try to find me during the event to bug me. I am also positive they will arrive after I'm already there because like hell my dad or my brother can get up early for something. They need to take an eternity to get ready, and then my dad would probably, since it's a "special day", demand a "special breakfast" and they'd go out to eat somewhere before going on top of that. (and then bitch that there's not as much money to spend on buying things at the actual event, LOL every time) Trips with them throughout my childhood were so routine I can pretty much write the script for what they'll argue about. While I will be doing my absolute best to not run into them during the event, I am pretty sure I'll eventually hear stories about this at some point, how it wasn't "that great", and blah blah thing was bad, and my parents argued and my brother said it was all stupid, and how they left early and went to a mall or something afterwards to experience something "cooler" and more "authentic". I should have never mentioned that at all. I know I keep telling myself to limit contact and limit information sharing, but I somehow keep slipping up anyway. I'm not sure if I can say most of the time my father starts the arguing or my mother. They both seem to explode over absolutely nothing. I can just see them now, knowing that there's going to be a lot of people with handmade goods to sell, going on about how my dad can make it better than them (bullshit) and the item is too expensive (despite them both paying for mass manufactured things at even higher prices of the same types of items) to the seller's face and other snide remarks. Food will not be good enough, despite both my parents being relatively shitty at cooking most things. They will criticize the alcohol as not being high end enough for them despite never once in my life having seen my parents buy any alcohol that cost over $30 (with most of it around $10 or less) and wasn't primarily from Wal-mart. But look, my mom swears she used to have all her multiple boyfriends she'd date at the same time buy her the most expensive drinks everywhere in like the same night, totally happened! And my dad totally used to have money to buy those things when he would go out partying despite his favorite drink from back then literally being like the cheapest beer you can get. IT TOTALLY HAPPENED. -Recently, my mom has taken to trying to convince me there aren't a ton of high school/college drop-outs in my family, including completely rewriting my grandparents' history. According to her, my grandfather dropped out of high school in eleventh grade and then regretted it and then forced my grandmother to go through all of high school even though she wanted to drop out. According to my grandfather when he was alive, my dad, my grandmother, my aunt, and my uncle, my grandfather dropped out of school in 8th grade shortly after his father died to help pay the bills. According to my great-grandmother when she was alive, my grandfather, etc., my grandmother dropped out of high school in eleventh grade at some point specifically because she didn't feel like doing school work anymore. My great-uncle also dropped out for the exact same reason. One of the common things my grandfather would say when he couldn't do something was "I'm only working from an eighth grade education". She tried to convince me that my uncle didn't drop out, which I know he did because I remember WHEN he got his GED. And he will admit that. She seriously tried to convince me out of my dad's side of the family, only my aunt (who she hates) dropped out because she's "lazy" and my aunt's boys. My aunt's daughter definitely dropped out, she just went into a training program afterwards and is trying to get a GED. My mom tried to convince me that cousin was actually in college until she slipped up and confirmed the GED thing. She then also tried to convince me one of my other cousin's didn't drop out of college for a while and told me he was just now starting college. (He dropped out because the person footing the bills for his tuition and rent broke up with him, so he had to go get a full time job. He is now returning to college after what has to be around a year of not going, and until recently, he seemed like he wasn't planning on returning.) She tried to convince me too that my father never repeated a grade. My father repeated ninth grade. He has mentioned this several times, and that it was because of truancy specifically and not his actual grades. Something I am quite familiar with since I barely passed many school years due to that same reason (as in my grades were fine, but I almost passed the limit of how many days I could be absent for before they held me back). During this same conversation, she changed her college major again and how long she went and added a few new sports teams that she was totally the star of in high school while also totally working like two full time jobs and having a 4.0 and having totally skipped a grade despite her graduating at eighteen like most people. Also, she totally could have skipped more grades, unlike me because I'm not as smart as her. Actually, it's more that the way school was set up when I was there discouraged skipping grades (they would rather put you in gifted classes, which I was in) and it was pretty much outright not possible in high school because everything was about credits and there was pretty much barely any room for failure or gaining too many more than what you needed to graduate. The amount of credits you'd need to graduate and in the areas you needed them in pretty much would make it not really possible to do that. You needed 22 credits to graduate then. If you took advanced classes in middle school that counted as HS credit, of which at the time they only offered two, and you failed no classes in HS, you could max graduate with 26 credits (which I did). You could get no more than 6 credits per year, period. If you took those MS classes and failed no classes, you would still need at least two classes in your senior year to graduate. I have explained this to her many times, but she still claims she's far more intelligent than me because she supposedly skipped a grade (specifically ninth grade) and she totally would have worked out a deal to take extra classes so she could skip if she was in my situation. Which isn't possible because there wouldn't have been a time frame to arrange that in because of how our classes were set up, lengthwise. (There could be room now, I suppose, with like online courses, but they didn't do things like that back then.) There was no extra slot of time to fill in something else. She's also at the point where she pretends my uncle's wife never cheated on him. She also told me my uncle's daughter had a job working Sundays making $100 every time as a cashier. To which I was like, what. Then she clarified she was paid that by her boyfriend's mom because his mom just wanted her to have cash as her future daughter-in-law. I then reminded my mom that they broke up a while ago, and then she tried to convince me she never quit though and she was totally still employed there. I reminded her that she only worked there for a single summer a few years ago, period, because the only reason she was working there was to save money for a week-long class abroad and she quit after that summer. My cousin has mentioned this before that was how all that went down. My mom also went on about how she (my cousin) had this coaching job, which she did do a summer camp coaching thing for her old high school for a couple of weeks a summer back, but she was not that school's actual coach and her job there ended after that. Then my mom tried to convince me my cousin was and had been the coach of the very team she was on in college for years now...even though she was on that team up until she completed her degree. What. My cousin has never made such a claim. I don't understand why she lies about these things. When I was a kid, she would lie about me being on all sorts of sports teams to random people and then when they asked what position I played, she would meekly go "well, I meant has a very strong interest in" or some bull along that lines. Which would just be really embarrassing and awkward for everyone. The weird thing is, she wouldn't even just make up a position and some of those were sports she supposedly played herself. So why not just pick whatever she used to do? It makes me wonder if she was ever on ANY of those sports teams at all. I know some have to be complete bullshit. While I doubt my dad was as good as he claims he was on various teams, there are other people and photos that support he was indeed at least ON them for some duration of time. There's no evidence that I've ever seen for her being on any sports team. She claims she has a ton of trophies and medals back home, along with a ton of other awards, but my grandmother has never brought any of these back when she's visited the states and when my mother's gone back, she's never brought those back with her either. The only thing that gets brought back or shipped are old dresses and shoes, both of which she never wears. She also totally had the bestest of horses and he was so wild and would bite everyone else except her and she totally tamed him cause she's like the horse whisperer or something. LOL. Sure. You know these things might be more believable from my parents if they didn't claim to be the best at pretty much everything, especially things that have no overlap in skill or any other angle. Well, I know she did go to college though. I've seen a photo of her at a college sent to her by an old friend who also went there with message about how those were the "good old times" at that school and how she was so sad when my mom quit. (She showed me several years ago through her Facebook account) So that much is real, and it's totally not a med school like she would sometimes claim. The lowest number she's given was one year in school and that was paired with either business or a communications major, I can't remember. Either way, I think that's probably the real truth of it. When I was a kid though, she generally told it as how she had one semester/year left before finishing her degree at med school to become a heart surgeon but then she had to drop out to pay her dad's hospital bills...and for some reason never returned. Then sometimes it's she had a year at med school. Or two years. She may not even keep it consistent while she's telling it in that moment. I remember at some point in the early 90s she tried to get into some university nearby and was planning on using some of the credits she got overseas towards whatever she was doing and they're like "um...we can't accept credits from this school, sorry, and also you didn't score high enough on the test (it was something they did there, COMPASS maybe?) to get in, you'll have to try again". She then later went on about how that school was too expensive anyway and her school was the bestest of the best so they were lying. Kind of like my dad getting all huffy that the university he tried to get into told him wanting to be a millionaire was not a realistic goal in life and he should consider what he actually wants to do and have an actual, concrete plan. So unreasonable. So rude. -Since I've been keeping this journal and recounting/remembering various things from the past, I've realized the vast majority of my childhood has been me being deprived of basic things (like food, medical care, school supplies, etc), me being used as a punching bag for unchecked rage, me being subjected to plenty of mind games and gaslighting, me having to constantly live up to impossible standards that if I were to even get close to achieving would actually result in me getting worse treatment than before because then I'd get more attention than them, and my parents both constantly either arguing/freaking out over absolutely nothing or them gloating about how they accomplished a list of things that would make them not only geniuses in far too many fields to be humanly possible but also in ways that defy logic on the basis of there simply not being enough time for them to have actually done all of those things. They don't have failures in their past, conveniently. If there is something they didn't achieve, it's someone else's fault. But I cannot fail, then I'm worthless. But if I succeed to much, I'm a threat that needs to be stepped on. And if I don't achieve enough success and stay average, I'm a disappointment who needs to get better...so I can be stepped on again. I remembered something recently. I used to have up change to buy monthly issues of JUMP, manga volumes, and paperbacks back in the day because my parents didn't want to spend money on me reading things for the most part. If I asked for a book in a store, it was pretty much a given I would get a no like with everything else. I actually have several young childhood memories of wanting some encyclopedias and science books from stores we went into and being afraid to ask for them because I thought I'd get yelled at, so I started reading books while we were in the store. I'd carrying them around, get yelled at at first because my parents thought I was going to ask for them, and then explain I was just going to look at it while we were in the store and I'd read them that way and put them back before we left. I remember really wanting to ask for a book when I was about 7. We were at a strip mall and they went into a book store to look at...toys my dad thought looked neat from the window and The Lost World was either in theaters or about to be, and I saw the Jurassic Park novel on the shelf. I really wanted to read it, but I knew it was too long of a book for me to read in one sitting at that point in time. I eventually did work up the courage to ask for it, and of course I got a no. In retrospect, the idea of parent seeing their second grader wanting to buy an adult novel focused on action and science-y stuff that should be well past their reading level and telling them no, never seemed like such a moronic thing to do. They had the money for it, and even at that, why not a "not today, wait until your birthday" or "if you do x for me, I'll buy it for you later" or "I'll take you to the library to check it out instead". IDK, you would think a normal parent would be happy their kid wanted to try tackling reading something harder than usual, or wanted to read for fun in general. This is why I pretty much read my third elementary school's entire collection. I wasn't allowed to have any books for most of my childhood, and went I could buy any wasn't very often. (This is also why I liked JUMP, I could get bits of several stories for much cheaper than one volume of each, so it was easier to actually get my hands on a copy each month. Also, they sold it at the grocery store and manga volumes back then were only at bookstores. Odds are once a month, I'd get to go to a grocery store.) I learned to read fast because if I didn't, I would be limited on what I could actually get to read. I was rarely allowed to go to the public libraries. The first time my family ever went to one, my dad spent the whole trip ranting on about how the library had changed so much since he was a kid and now it was inferior, and also libraries are boring. I was allowed to check out one book, and my mom returned it late because she was too lazy to return it when I told her it was due, then used that as a reason (that I turned it in late, actually) to not go for like a full year. She had a habit of ensuring my books were returned late. School libraries became my primary source of where I could get books, and they had much smaller limits on how may you could check out than the public libraries. So I went multiple times a day. (She did start kind of taking me later on, if I paid her gas, but as a mentioned in a previous post, she rarely let me stay long enough to look at the books. So it was just a ploy to get money for cigarettes.) But there was one time when my mom would buy me books--book fair week. Because people would see me there and know that she spent money on me to buy books, and books=smart kid. It was purely for social approval. She would yell at me if I wanted a book pretty much most of the rest of the time. She'd also set me up with traps for added fun, like giving me blank checks and saying I could spend however much I wanted but wouldn't tell me how much was actually in the bank when I asked her for a defined limit to not go over. I'd never use them and give it back to her and ask for cash instead so I had an actual limit. I knew she would flip out no matter what amount I spent if I used the check. Somehow, it would definitely be "too much" and I'd get punished for being selfish, so I avoided the trap all together. I witnessed my brother fall for this trap a few times before he finally caught on to what she was playing at. She's tried this with credit cards too, "oh you can spend any amount you want". No thanks. My brother has also fallen for that trap and got plenty of yelling at. I know very well the only reason she does that is specifically to create drama. Anyway, yeah, if people see that she's giving me those things and they're people she might talk to and wants to look good in front of, well, sure, now I can have the books. As I changed friends and got older, and she didn't interact with as many of those same housewives, surprise surprise, she didn't give me money for that anymore either. Book fair money also had to come from whatever I could save, which would have been a hell of a lot more if my parents didn't prevent me from working as a teenager or they gave me an allowance without a mind game trap wrapped around it to ensure I'd never actually see the money at all. I joke a lot that I was a bit of a Matilda as a child, and while I can't say I like the book or movie too much, I will say it is one of the few works geared towards children that actually has a child have a bad family situation AND not lighten it by making the relatives more distant (aunts, grandparents) or step-relatives AND results in the child no longer staying with the blood relatives and being adopted by a much better caregiver. I gravitated towards orphan stories a lot as a kid, and I'm pretty sure this is in part because books/movies/shows where the actual biological parents are bad are very rare in anything for children. The closest I could get to a story where someone gets a new family is through orphan focused stories or stories about step-relatives or more distant relatives. Matilda stands out as being different from those. I think I did get some comfort out of the story as a child that I'm not really the messed up one. It's my family that is. But I still, despite my efforts, ended up with a lot of brainwashing over the years simply from living with them that has to be stripped away. I probably latched on to Anastasia a lot because of that (and I also like alternate history stories), because it turns out oh she actually did have some nice family somewhere. That was always my secret wish, that I had another family somewhere else who was nice and I just got separated from them and ended up with these assholes, and maybe one day I'll find them or they'll find me. Harry Potter fit that for me too, though he's still with some relatives. His parents may be dead, but the point stands. They were nothing like the people he'd been living with. It's depressing that I always hoped I was either stolen, switched at birth, or adopted.