I was just sitting by my bedroom window when I heard a young man scream this at his child. The child couldn't have been more than 7 years old. It hurt me to think that this child probably has heard these words repeatedly over the few years he has been on this earth. It reminded me of my childhood.
I've tried to keep this blog mostly about topics related to my jewelry and selling adventures ... but thought, perhaps you would like to know a bit about the PERSON behind the jewelry ?
I was fortunate to have been raised by a Stay at Home ( SAH ) Mom. Her life revolved around my brother and me. She was quite isolated because my father made her so. She had a beautiful singing voice, but all my father would say is " stop your warbling and fix my dinner " ! She had a collection of drawings from high school that were beautiful, but she didn't pursue it after marriage. She didn't even drive, because every time she expressed interest, it would just result in my father belittling her to tears. Thusly, she was isolated and controlled by him.
My brother was a very creative person as well. He loved to draw and could look at something the size of a postage stamp and reproduce it to a picture one foot square - to the finest of detail ! He had several dreams that were crushed by my father. He wanted to be a dancer, a nurse, a cook ( loved to decorate cakes ) an artist ..... all of these dreams were considered to be dreams of a "Sissy" to my father. My brother never realized any of his dreams - he died at 21 in a motor vehicle accident.
I remember being about 8 years old when my Mom started to ask my brother and I if she should divorce "Dad". How is an 8 year old supposed to respond to that ? Well, I responded with fear. He supported us, even if most Fridays he went to the bars and spent most of the paycheck buying drinks for friends, leaving us to eat PB&J for dinner. He was quite well liked by those who only knew him socially.
At home, I always heard these words from dear old dad, " You'll never amount to much," ... " You are going to grow up to be as fat as your mother " ..." You are bow-legged " but at school, I enjoyed learning and was often praised by teachers. I LOVED to go to school !
I was quite a Tomboy through my childhood - didn't want to be called a "Sissy" by my father. But when I started to blossom as a preteen, my Mom got me a beautiful dress for my birthday. Dad came home drunk that night and grabbed my budding breast. Mom lit into him, but it was soon forgotten and chalked up to drunkenness.
When Mom stopped sleeping with dad, he started taking me to remote places, always telling me we were going to go somewhere fun ... always apologizing after, but NEVER drunk. My brother was jealous that I always got to go places with dad. I was ashamed.
It wasn't until I went to college ( first one in my family ) that I went to a roommate's home and saw a REAL family in action. I stopped going home for the weekends and went to her house instead. I spent summers in Florida were my Mom had moved after finally divorcing my dad.
Then I got the news ... Mom had breast cancer. She fought it for two years, but it spread, first to her lungs, then bones, then brain. I was alone with her, holding her hand, when she left her pain ( and me ) behind. She was only 42, my age now.
At that time I didn't know I was going to become a cancer nurse. I went through many different majors in college and ended up with a degree in journalism, but moved back to my childhood home and went back to college to become a nurse.
I have been a Registered Nurse for 15 years now - all spent in Oncology ( cancer nursing ). I have had my certification in Oncology for several years now. I LOVE my job, because I can help patients from both sides of the disease. I HAVE been there as a family member.
All this was brought to the surface by that father yelling at his young son today. I was so upset by that, and other things going on in my life ( the muting from Etsy forums by founder Rob Rokali and friends ) that I decided to take a nap.
Sometimes the mind can make sense of things after a nap.
... and as I was drifting off, I was thinking ... if Rob had to bring his Mom to my cancer center, he would see a TOTALLY different side of me ...but he would also see how I use my humor to keep people smiling despite their fears. I am often commended in RL at how I can sense when it is O. K. to use levity and patients thank me for making their stays there actually FUN - something they hadn't expected.
I am also active in our annual Memorial Service. I play ALL the music for the service. I play my guitar and sing and play my flute. It is VERY HARD for me to do - I am nervous EVERY year, but I do it so that NONE of our service is "canned". It is all done by staff - familiar faces to the families left behind.
I have a very fulfilling life now. I want to move past these last few weeks of Etsy drama and start living it productively again. I felt the need to share this all with you - so you can see there is a LOT more to me than a few posts in the Etsy forums. In comparison, Etsy banning me PALES to what I have triumphed over in my past.
Thanks to all of those who ALREADY knew there was much more to me than my Etsy persona. Your support has meant the world to me !