Friday, June 10, 2011
From the dark side: My confession of hatred....Part 1
When I started this blog I made a promise to myself that no matter what I choose to write, it would be honest and NOT exaggerated as I admit I have the tendency to do. I admit that sometimes my wanting people to like me and sympathize with me stopped me from writing about certain things. That was until recently. I'm not sure why I am choosing to write about this situation...I might be able to tell you later upon reflection. Here is my warning: There is a very good side to me I won't go into that but I hope that some of you have been able to see that through my writing. BUT there is also a very terrible, evil side to me. I could make an excuse and say that I got this from my father, some of that is true. But mostly I picked this up all by myself.
Basically I can be the most cold- hearted, conniving, selfish bitch alive. It's true. I have hurt people beyond repair, plotted how to destroy and bring someone down. I make Sami Brady look sweet. Here's why, I will tell you the story of my grandmother.
My grandmother was born into a well-to-do farming family in South Africa in 1927. This family owned most of the farming land outside of Kimberly. She had a happy, carefree childhood as far as I know, she was very close with her brothers and adored her father- I have heard so much about how wonderful this man was from everyone who knew him. She went to boarding school as soon as she was old enough, as was necessary for children of farming families. My grandmother graduated high school and then went home to live with her parents where she basically waited around to be married- this was also the custom for young South African women in those days as most trades were closed to them.
My grandmother was a very beautiful young woman and she didn't have to wait long before many suitors came to call, most of them were from very wealthy families and had very lucrative careers. She could have had any man she wanted but for some reason she choose a frizzy- haired, google- eyed man who was well known for being a slacker living off his wealthy parents. His one achievement in life, is that he had learnt how to fly. He would have made an excellent pilot but being indisposed to working, choose to fool around in his one engine aeroplane instead. Legend has it he won my grandmother's heart when he landed his plane in her backyard and came to ask her to a country dance.
My great-grandparents were against the match from the start, they tried to reason, they begged and pleaded but nothing would sway my grandmother from accepting my grandfather's hand in marriage. As my great- grandparents loved my grandmother very much and did not want to loose her, they organised her a massive, lavish wedding. 500 guests were there. We still have her dress to this day, although only my sister can fit into it. She must have looked breathtaking. It must have been a sad day for my great-grandparents. Their years had provided them with wisdom to know that their precious only daughter was doomed.
Within three months my grandmother was pregnant with my aunt, who was born just before their first wedding anniversary. My mother (in my opinion the best thing that ever happened to both of them) was born two years later. Two year after that my grandmother was pregnant again and struggling with terrible morning sickness. She went to the doctor and he prescribed some pills. Trusting that doctor turned out to be the biggest mistake of her life. My aunt was born with a portion of her brain missing. She was blind, horribly retarded and had numerous deformities. I can't imagine the guilt my grandmother must have carried for the rest of her life. They were told to put my aunt into an institution and forget about her. But my grandparents refused, brought her home where she was loved and adored. They suffered a lot of stigmatising because of this.
My grandfather who would avoid working by any means possible demanded his inheritance from his mother and took the family to America where they lived off of the inheritance as well as buying cars, a big house, a speed boat and of course an aeroplane. Things were very good for a while. My Mom dropped out of university to spend a year travelling through Europe. Even though this had to be the dumbest decision she ever made, I'm glad that she had this time to herself and freedom. She needed it because of the life that awaited her (that's a whole other story).
Then my aunt got pregnant by a married man (Another "I love you, I'll leave my wife" story, which of course he didn't) and things began to go pair- shaped. The money ran out and they were destitute. My grandfather who had been emotionally and occasionally physically abusive toward my grandmother since the beginning of their marriage turned into a violent drunk. I have only just recently realised how this abuse affected my mother. She got beaten too. Most of the time it was while trying to defend my grandmother. If I had known this while he was still alive I would have slapped the living daylights out of him. You will not believe how much I HATE this man.
My Mom went straight from Europe to America where she worked to help support the family. She became a surrogate mother to her niece, my cousin (little B's mother, who I love very, very much even though I want to kill her sometimes). My Mom eventually met and married my Dad (biggest mistake of her life in my opinion). Through the influence of my Mom and my grandmother's brother she was persuaded to return to South Africa with my disabled aunt and divorce my grandfather ( best thing my grandmother ever did...worst thing that happened to my grandfather).
I was born in 1983 in Texas. In 1985 just two months before my sister was born, my Mom returned to South Africa with my Dad. All my Mom wanted was for her family to be together again and to take car of them. She persuaded my Dad to leave a pretty good life in America and come to South Africa to start new. What they weren't banking on was all the extra luggage...in the form of my half- brother and later my half- sister. She had dreams of us all eventually living in a massive house together, which was beyond nuts. It was the biggest relief for my grandmother when my mother returned to South Africa. My grandmother had worked hard for her family but she had always been taken care of. She had never lived on her own, never went to college, never had a job. All she knew was how to be a wife and a mother. When she divorced my grandfather she was at a loss. It was assumed by her and my mother that she would move in with the family and she thought she'd resume her role as wife and mother. There was just one problem. My Dad was not her husband and my sister, half- sister, half- brother and I were not her children. More over my mother was no longer a child.
That aspect was the root of many serious problems we had with my grandmother. Instead of realising that she was no longer the one in charge but the support system she grasped desperately to the only part she knew how to play, causing resentment, fighting and the eventual breakdown of relationships. I never saw her as a grandmother, or how I guessed a grandmother should be- just by observing my friend's grandmothers. I saw her as an unwelcome stranger who constantly battled my Mom for control of me. Adding to this the world in which my grandmother had grown up and flourished in had changed. And she did not know how to change with it. She had grown up in apartheid South Africa. During that period, life for white people was a dream. My grandmother became, bitter and resentful toward people and this isolated her even more.
More to come.....