There's a famous cliche: "If it looks like a duck, walks like a duck and quacks like a duck, it is a frickin' duck." And if it looks like jealousy, walks like jealousy and talks like jealousy, it is frickin' jealousy.
Of course, I couldn't believe it myself! Who would? What normal parent would be insanely jealous of their own child?! I never expected it and I certainly didn't want it. But there it was: jealousy. As plain as the nose on my face.
It all started just after puberty. I was fourteen when Mom first accused me of trying to "be cute" (translation: seductive) for my own father. Need I add that it wasn't true? But your Mommy is always right, isn't she? So I "owned" that soul-destroying shame.
Two years later, it was Dad who turned green around the gills. If I'd known how evil it was to have a schoolgirl crush and, worse yet, introduce my crush to Daddy...I never would've done it. The upshot was that I didn't see the light of day again for over two years. My parents may have called it "homeschool," but "hostage" is a better description.
By the time I finished tech school, hit my professional stride and I began earning enough to move out, their jealousy began wearing a new face. The face of greed. As they said, "We haven't worked so hard at raising you just to throw you to the wolves." See that? See the sleight of hand? Not greed....safety!
They were the original helicopter parents, you see, before it became popular. As I wrote on Advanced Psychology Service's blog, "In the final analysis, helicopter parenting is all about the parent and their needs. It has little to do with the child."
And one of those "needs" was money. (Truthfully, they didn't actually need it. They just wanted it!) So they set out to protect their "investment," me, in any way possible. I should've realized what was going when the infamous "LBD Incident" happened. Oh, it was a beautiful Little Black Dress! I wanted it so much. But no! Mother said I looked "too good" in it. Instead, an ugly yellow dress splashed with gaudy red flowers met with her approval.
Do you see where this is going?
Oh, sure. I could have online dating profiles...as long as they wrote them. I could even date! One date per guy. Then they demanded I dump him, dump him, dump him! No one was "good enough" to date, let alone marry, their daughter.
Meanwhile, I was running all of their errands for free and even taking time off-the-clock to shuttle them to their medical appointments. They raised my rent, while begrudging me every drop of hot water, every watt of electric light and even the power to cook my food.
And Mother kept accusing me of seducing her husband. Same old, same old.
At this point, you're probably screaming, "You idiot! Why didn't you leave!?"
Biggest regret of my life, mate. Why did I stay? Because, like children raised in a cult, the fences were all in my head. "God, safety and love" were their "reasons" for keeping me close. And it's pretty hard to argue with "God, safety and love" without being called a stupid, rebellious asshole. Plus, they had my Power of Attorney and all my account numbers..."in case of tornados." They had me by the balls, mate!
Over $33,000 later, by some insane miracle, I finally got gracefully free at the age of thirty-one. Thirty-frickin'-one! Well, I actually bribed 'em with a $1,000 computer system and free monthly cell phone service.
And here's where it gets really interesting!
As my regular readers know, a year later I snuck a husband into my life after meeting him online and having one date. Well, one interrupted date. Dad called and furiously ordered me home from our one date. It's called covert incest and it stinks.
But, anyways, we got married and burned rubber speeding away from our wedding to start a glorious, two-week honeymoon (during which time my uncle claimed I was being abducted and had my grandmother disinherited me.) You cannot make this shit up!
Guess what happened then? Nah, you'll never guess.
When we got back from our honeymoon, my Momma started a-huggin' and a-charmin' my new husband. She overplayed the nicey-nicey, happy-happy act so much, Michael asked me, "Is your Mom on pot!?" To this day, that makes me laugh!
My friend recently told me that her mother also hit on her husband and was surprised when she failed to woo her son-in-law away from his wife.
Meanwhile, my father almost gibbered with rage if my husband kissed me.
And just when you think it can't get any weirder...it does.
Not content with raking in over $33,000 I could've put toward a mortgage on a house, this week they demanded I return everything I ever got from my grandmother. Shameless! Does their greed and jealousy know no bounds!?
To quote the shrill blonde in Singin' in the Rain, "What do you think I am, dumb or something!?!"
I wish I could tell you that my story is unique, but unfortunately, I've discovered that it's really not. Wherever a parent has a big hole in their heart where their self-esteem should be, you'll find a flirtatious mother or a greedy father. It's called narcissism and that's what my folks are. Narcissists.
Like I wrote on www.psy-ed.com, "Don't be like my parents. They don't have a daughter anymore."
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