it’s just Blood

by Madeline Laughs

bleeding catsYou know the old saying “Blood is thicker than water“? It’s meaning is to instill a loyalty among family members. I have to tell you, if I ever had to make a choice between my own family members, you know the people I actually grew up with, and my own personal friends…my friends would win that lottery hands down every single time. My family will never take precedence over my friends, never.

I will pass over my own family to get to my friends.  

The people I grew up around polluted me with so many fears and insecurities that I could spend the rest of my life trying to correct all of the flaws born out of their mistreatment of me. My own grandmother could turn me into a blubbering blob of Iamsuchaworthlesspieceofshitandwanttokillmyself after a two minute phone call.

The problem she had with me wasn’t that I was weak kneed and easy to push around and manipulate. She always spoke to me with the hard edge you would use with an adult. She would never tolerate any baby-talk or coddling, much less hugs and kisses or congratulations for anything. So that’s how I spoke back to her. She was okay with that, until I started using it against her. Then I was told I was a sassy smart ass.

She had no one to blame for the monster she created in me at a tender young age, except herself.

She did me a huge favor though. If I hadn’t emulated her gruff and abusive child rearing technique, she would have eaten me alive and I would have taken my own life years ago. It was that stubborn little girl in me, the one that refused to take her shit, and acted like a grown-up, that saved my life.

I was twenty five years old and sitting on the floor of my efficiency apartment bawling my eyes out after a particularly harsh phone conversation with her when it dawned on me “You know what? You don’t have to talk to her anymore! There’s no law that says you have to. There’s not even a commandment that says you have to!

And that was the last conversation I ever had with her.

Twenty five years later when they called to tell me she had passed away, I didn’t even shed a tear. I tried to, but there were no more tears left in me for her. Not even twenty five years could erase my need to escape her and my elation to finally be free of her once I did escape.

The rest of my family isn’t much better.

Mainly because she ruled them all.

She was a bitter, hateful old bird that would put on this fake, helpless persona and tell people “I sure wish she’d call me. I miss her. If you talk to her please tell her I love her.” So they could call me up and try to lay a guilt trip on me for not going to visit the poor old lady. Then she would tell the next batch of visitors what an ungrateful little bitch I was and how much she was glad I left and stayed away. Of course, not one of them ever called to tell me she said that. I had to find that out through the family grapevine.

Yeah, good times.

And people wonder why I have such a bee in my bonnet over liars and sociopaths. Well it might be because I have known the Queen of Sociopathdom herself and I survived her, so the rest of them can kiss my ass because they can’t hold a candle to her psycho drama.

Blood is just blood. It doesn’t rule my heart and it never will. I’m happy as a clam over here swimming in the water with my friends.

About Madeline Scribes

A writer with a sense of humor. If anyone can laugh at life, it's me.
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9 Responses to it’s just Blood

  1. These are beautifully gorgeous childhood memories. Reading them is enough to soothe me about the childhood I had. I think over my lifetime there are people that have paid dearly to be my friend because of how I was raised, but the ones that truly love me have stuck around and waited for me to figure some things out for myself and I know how to love people now. That’s what truly counts in life…knowing how to love and to be loved.

    I would have happily stepped into your childhood with you and love you to bits for the gift of it.


  2. funny, I wrote a post about this a long while ago ..”doesn’t have to be blood to be family” …. but in general – some family of mine I’d let rot or trade for sugar and tea 🙂


  3. Wow, it’s crazy to read this! I’ve mentioned my grandma here before, and she is quite similar–though I don’t think her acid words ever extend far beyond her head (she is a tricky one, I don’t think anyone knows what her true thoughts are, I’m not sure anyone wants to know). Suffice it to say that she’s the kind who reels you in with sweetness, never says a bad word, rarely makes you feel badly about yourself (that would tip her hand), works behind the scenes to sow seeds of discord throughout your life, then stands at the sidelines watching quietly as it all falls apart. If she can use people you love and care about to do this, all the better (more lives destroyed, and more people in her pocket).

    I’m sorry that you had to deal with these things growing up, but it does make a person stronger, doesn’t it? It’s also interesting to read your response where you say you had to learn to love, and that some of your friends paid dearly for it (I have similar experiences, and I’m still learning). Thanks for bringing some more hope to the process, it has brightened my day (and the day really needed brightening)!


    • Backatcha sweetie! Maybe it was the era they grew up in that made them this way? I don’t get it, never did. That always surprises me too, that I never learned to emulate her methods of madness. I loathed them from a very early age.

      When I was five (I’m shocked that I can remember that far back, but I can) I made this lovely colored chalk drawing on my easeled chalkboard. I was so proud of it and it was very important to me that my grandmother love it too. I remember struggling to carry the little chalk board, which in reality was as tall as I was at the time, into the kitchen to show her. Do you know what she said to me? Keep in mind that I’m FIVE years old…she said “See? You can be good, when you want to be good.” Nothing about how pretty the drawing was at all. Then she dismissed me back to my playroom.

      I remember being so completely devastated by what she said. I KNEW it wasn’t a compliment and I KNEW she would never appreciate anything I drew…ever.

      Isn’t there some law against grandmothers being so heinous? If there isn’t, there should be one.

      By the way…you always brighten my day too. I love what you’re doing on your blog! Let me know if I can plug the art feature on Facebook. I don’t want to overwhelm you with entries, so tell me if you need some extra plugs and you got ’em!


      • Plug away! I’m balancing a lot of changes for my blog/online presence right now, so any contribution is welcome!

        I think you’re on to something with it being related to the era they were raised in. I know my grandma has always had unkind tendencies, but I think they were exacerbated when she began to have children. I think her focus on my mom began as postpartum depression. My mom was the second child and I’ve read somewhere before that, in families where the mother has a lot of children unwillingly, the second can become a target for an outlet of their angst. My grandma had five kids, and she didn’t find out what giving birth actually entailed until the day before she had her first child! Her daughters are all one year apart (almost to the day), so she was literally pregnant for five years. It doesn’t excuse her behavior, but it helps me understand it.


  4. Pingback: WTOE: Madeline Laughs | Pondering Spawned

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