Saturday, August 11, 2007

The Biggest Boogie Man of All

The longest and most painful battle between my parents and I is the battle of the horse. That we are still fighting that battle at this point in our lives is complete psycho nuttery. The way I've avoided the fight is just to not get the horse, and I am no longer willing to do that.

So, in typical Deb fashion, I am looking for a horse trailer. Because, if I can't drive the trailer, I wouldn't be able to go anywhere with the horse, so what good would it do me. I am pretty sure I'll be able to drive the trailer, but I want to KNOW before I get attached to an animal.

I was telling my cousins and Daddy about it when Mom walked up. Dad filled her in and Mom rared back to start in and I raised one hand up and said quietly "Mom, don't start." So she said fine and went home and that awful feeling hit me in the stomach.

Now, I really don't mind having one final conversation, but I am not going to be yelled at in my own front yard in front of the neighbors and relatives. I've never put that boundary up before, so it was a real shocker to us both. However, if I move back to be near my family, help them out and have them help me, I will not do it at the expense of what little self esteem I've garnered over the years.

Mom and Dad are not abusive people-they are loving and loyal and kind. Mom was bringing down homemade jelly to send to my aunt. She'd already given me two jars. She doesn't have to embrace all my dreams, but the least she can do is just not talk about it and certainly not yell about it. Neither one of them have dementia, they just have poor manners sometimes. And truly, telling me how much I don't need a horse and how stupid the idea is in the first place has become a 46 year old habit.

Why? And the answer I can come up with is "it doesn't matter why?" Maybe they couldn't afford a horse, maybe they thought I'd get hurt. (Well for that matter, I did break my arm once.) But it doesn't matter why, because I am an adult and if I want a horse I can have one.

They have come to accept the pythons-they will just have to accept a horse.

After everyone left, I showed Daddy where I was going to plant some roses and he started in on a box that I have had on the front porch for a month. You can't see it from the street. I know he was just annoyed at how messy the house was. Now, the back story is, I bought the boxes for cages that I later decided not to build. But the boxes fit on my little buidling shelves, so I just kept them for storage. But what I said was, calmly and politely "I'll move them when I get to it."

Now, I'm sitting here teary eyed because I KNOW that this is more than about a horse or some plastic boxes. It's about my right to be who I am. And having cut my teeth on this in corporate America, I seem to have been led home to go back and graduate with the root of it all.

In corporate America, you can just fight back. Families are tougher, because they have to have the right to be who they are too. I'm fighting the urge to go bawling down the street and say "I'm sorry I embarrassed you", but the exchange was private between Mom and I; I actually saved her from embarrassing behavior. So, I don't think I'll go apologize.

I certainly will not apologize for wanting something they don't want FOR me, for whatever the reason. Owning a horse isn't close to robbing banks, and I ran the figures and it doesn't come close to the money I spend (was going to say throw away) on vacations, snakes, mountainbikes and serro scotty trailers. Heh, my brother asked me once why I rationalize everything I ever get-well guess what?

So, home now two short months and I am facing down the biggest baddest boogie man of my past. Let me tell you-it's scarey as hell.

Crap-I got so wrapped up I forgot to try to give th chicken to my cousin....

1 comment:

Michele said...

For some unknown reason, families bring out the most controlling aspects of people. I'm seeing it more and more with my family as we move into our new house. My in-laws have basically told me everything I'm doing wrong and have done wrong for the past 2 years. Ahhh, the joy of family.