Friday, June 27, 2008

Friday’s Child - Thoughtless

Crescent Falls

Sometimes it's better to not take the plunge.

From November 26, 2007

We Didn’t Think About You

A friend asked me recently if I’d ever asked my parents if they knew what my sister was doing to me and, if so, then why did they never stop her?
The first answer is easy: no.
But it has a second, painful part. The real reason I never asked was I didn’t want to know. Frankly, I was scared of the possible answer.
Let me explain it like this: We had a very old sewing machine that I had the idea that I might fall heir to someday. It belonged to my paternal grandmother and we had it stored first at the farm and later in the garage when my parents moved to town.
One day a cousin asked dad if she could have it. He said he'd promised it to my sister. The cousin then asked her and she said the cousin could have it.
Granted, I’d never said I wanted it, but neither had it occurred to me that I had to. I’d assumed that since we’d had it I’d be given a chance at it. When I brought it up to my dad later said, “I’m sorry Leah. I guess we just didn’t think about you.”
It wasn’t the first time I’d heard this reason. There are only so many times I can hear “we just didn’t think about you.” I didn’t want to have to hear it again.
It’s absurd to suggest they didn’t know my sister was hitting and gouging me. She made quite a scene as she did it, screaming and stamping her feet, and would often rail afterward about how unfair it was. It would take a tremendous force of will to not notice. So I never asked. I had no wish to hear how they just didn’t think about me.


Crabby McSlacker said...

So painful. Your parent's attitude was really inexcusable.

Leah J. Utas said...

Thank you, Crabby.

Mark Salinas said...

A nice post :)

Leah J. Utas said...

Hi, Mark.

the Bag Lady said...

I'm really struggling with this post because I knew how your dad felt about the situation. (not talking about the sewing machine - he should have asked you first about that, but that was a bad time in your lives, and he was under a lot of strain)

Your dad knew that you were much more resilient than your sister, and the squeaky wheel gets the grease, as always.

He relied on you for so much and knew that you were capable of handling anything that was thrown at you.

We've all suffered at one time or another at the hands of people being thoughtless. It just seems that you suffered more than most.

As I have said before, I wish I had known.

Leah J. Utas said...

It's good to be resilient. It beats hell out of being the opposite.
That said, it would be nice to have been considered on these occasions.

Hilary said...

Those words are not easily shrugged, considering the source and the difficulties you've encountered with your sister. I'm sorry you had to go through all of that. I'm also happy for you that you can share. It's so much harder to keep it inside.

Leah J. Utas said...

Thank you for your kindness and encouragement, Hilary.

Reb said...

What Sis said. He took it for granted that you were okay and capable of looking after yourself. Of course the cousin could have also asked if you were okay about the sewing machine.

Leah J. Utas said...

Thanks, Reb.

Terrie Farley Moran said...

df Leah,

Down through the ages, the troubled child gets the attention and the other children get over looked. It's not right; it's never been right.

I would say one thing: Parents have frailties and quirks and weaknesses and it is important to know that these things are part of the parents personality and have nothing to do with the child being short changed. The parents actions or lack thereof are because of the parent not because of the child.


Leah J. Utas said...

dfTerrie - Thanks. You've made some good points.

Thomma Lyn said...

Oh, Leah -- I'm so sorry. And again, in ways, I relate (though not on the sibling level, my brother is a sweetheart :) ).

But I've learned that the squeaky wheels get greased all over the place, often given free passes for what would seem to any reasonable person to be appalling behavior, while we tough, resilient and dignified types get overlooked and taken for granted.

Leah J. Utas said...

Yeah, that's about it, TL. Thanks.

Frank Baron said...

This process of peeling our own onion is painful eh? It's brave of you to peel yours in public.

I do think Terrie made an excellent point though, well worth mulling. We're all human and god knows I've sure erred in the parenting department.

I hope in time you'll be able to forgive those who have wronged you. That's about the only way I know to truly get rid of certain pains.

In the meantime, c'meer and have a hug. :)

Leah J. Utas said...

Thanks, Frank. I know we're all only human and everyone makes mistakes along the line. All part of the lesson.
Hug appreciated.