Dead Men Tell No Tales: Ancient History

What is Dead Men Tell No Tales? It is a selection of (hitherto) undisclosed, private ruminations and epiphanies. Most take the form of (slightly) edited letters to unnamed recipients, but some have been scavenged from the depths of private journals recently rediscovered. Over the next little while (however long it takes – days, weeks, months, years?) I’ll be posting them in episodic fashion for the reading pleasure of my nonexistent audience.

In Ancient History, our young author recounts a rather common occurence growing up.

There’s this thing called “my sanity.” And I’m slowly losing it.

Everyday is awash with melodrama and hostility. One day, my mom (from now on known as Lisa) loves her new husband (from now on known as Jeff), and the next she can’t stand him. They constantly fight, and for those of you who don’t know the way my mom fights, it can be pretty brutal. She cuts you down, attacking you personally like no one else can because she’s your mother (or in Jeff’s case, husband). Not only that, but she screams in your face. Jeff is lucky, because he can fight back without fear of repercussions. I’m not so fortunate. I depend on her for my livelihood, so I just have to sit there and take it.

I’m always trying to win her favor, always trying to just be kind to her whenever possible so as not to incur her wrath. I’ve never really wanted anything more than to win her approval, which I’ve never gotten. Yesterday, I have to stay after school for debate. It turns out that we weren’t really doing much in debate that day, so I decide to call my mom and tell her that she has the option of picking me up earlier, because I know she has a busy schedule. She rips into me over the phone, yelling about how busy she is and how she can’t change her schedule at a whim to accommodate my “**** ups.” I tell her she can still pick me up at 5:00 if that’s easier, but she just screams more, ending with “I’LL GET YOU AT 4:30!” and slamming the phone down.

Okay. So I don’t really understand what I did wrong, but, whatever. I get in the car and she immediately starts tearing into me. Telling me how worthless I am, how much I ****ed up her day, even blaming me for giving her a stomach flu. She speeds like crazy and even bottoms out the car, which she of course is irate at me for. I sit there and say pretty much nothing. I try to tell her that I was just trying to do her a favor, to which she angrily replies “I DON’T ****ING CARE WHAT YOU WERE TRYING TO DO!” She then starts in about how much work she has to do around the house and how I never lift a finger (which is bullcrap) and again, how worthless I am. She even says that “I DO ALL THE ****ING WORK AND YOU, YOU UNGRATEFUL ****, ALL YOU EVER WANT IS MONEY OR CLOTHES OR RIDES!” I ask her “What do you want me to do, quit debate?” She responds “**** YOU!” I hardly ever ask for money (my sister asks for it all the times) and the only times I ever get clothes is when she sporadically buys them for me. 

All I could think about was that just the other day, she had been telling me how lucky she was to have a son like me and how proud she was of me.

She keeps yelling “WHEN YOU TELL ME 5:00, THAT’S IT! I DON’T ****ING CARE IF YOU HAVE TO SIT THERE FOR TEN HOURS! WHEN YOU SAY 5:00 THAT’S IT!” I finally shout “OOOKAAAAY!!” to which she replies she wants to beat my face in. The rest of the car ride (and for much of the day after we get home) she’s constantly muttering “****ing son of a *****” under her breath.

Yes, I cried. I hated her right then, just like I always hate her after one of these episodes. So, I clean my room (which takes all of 10 minutes to do because it’s not really that dirty) and I lie in my bed for a while. I tell myself how I’m never going to forgive her for these years I’ve lived under her roof. I tell myself how much I hate her and all I can think about is how mad I am. I think of how unfair it is of her to vent all her crap on me. I never vent my crap on her. Worse still, she hears me sobbing and teases me for it.

I’ve heard her sobbing about her problems plenty of times before. I never tease her for it. I’m not that childish.

This kind of crap happens all the time. I can’t concentrate at school, and I certainly can’t concentrate on writing.

And don’t even get me started on my sister.

Being absorbed in my melodramay-angsty mood, I forgot the best part of all.

I have to stay after school today again until 9 PM (we’re hosting districts for debate here at my school so I’m helping out), and this morning before I left my mom said (in a completely non-sarcastic, sincere way) that “if you get finished early, feel free to call me for a ride.”

After pounding it into my skull that once I tell her a time to pick me up, that’s it.

I think it’s easy to see why I’m losing my sanity – and motivation to write.

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