Saturday, January 18, 2014

Poor Jackie hated me.

It is always hard to come back.  When one has been off it is hard to be on.  I have been slightly off all my life so this is natural.
Maybe this is why my sister hated me as a child.  Being slightly off garners a lot of attention.  I was so like my father in this way that we totally bemused my mom and perhaps my sister. 
My earliest memories of my sister are of her not liking me and me trying to get her approval.  I think this happens a lot with younger sisters.  I am sure this played a part with my nieces.
The younger sister never feels as valued by mom as does the older.  It stands to reason that since the older girl was mom's first little baby girl, she got all the pictures and attention and special love only an only child or first girl can experience.  I see the love lavished on baby Natalie now in our family and woe be to the second if ever she comes along.  Mama favored Jackie all along but when I was sick it took a lot of attention away from her in her adolescent years. 
Anyway, I adored my sister as much as she loathed me.  I always wanted to be near her and her friends.  Mama used to make Jackie take me with her when she went to the movies with friends or even on dates, like to the country fair and the little traveling circus.  You see we lived in the country and there were at first no other little kids around me.
I had rheumatic fever(St Vitus Dance), when I was like six and a half to seven and a half.  I had to stay in bed all the time for one year and then start up real slow.  They didn't want my heart strained in any way. The thing I had resulted in facial movements and twitches, but hadn't effected my heart as rheumatic fever often does.  I was on penicillin until I graduated from high school.  The year I was in bed I had to have a blood test(sedrate) once a week.  My mom and dad ran a truck stop cafe and garage while I was in bed.  Our house was on a little hill and my bed was placed next to a window where I could sometimes catch a glimpse of mama through her window in the little lunch room down the hill from me. She worked very long hours cooking and serving at the cafe.  We were connected by a walkie/talkie from my bed, down the little hill and to the kitchen attached to the garage.  Mama could hear me all the time but she had to press down on a button to speak to me.  I used to sing to myself and talk out loud as I told myself stories.  The truckers would sometime asked my mom what kind of children's program she was listening to on the radio.  She would say it was just her sick daughter.  I'm sure the word for her had more than one meaning.
I used to ask my mom to put something down on the button like a soup can, so I could hear what was going on in the kitchen, but she could not then hear me.  She hated to do this because she wanted to hear me and monitor me all the time.  Sometimes, after school when Jackie got home from school, mama would allow the button to be down and I could hear all the exciting things going on in the real world.  One day mom's worst fears were realized.  Jackie got home.  The button was pressed down, and Jackie decided to listen to the radio.  I complained because with the radio on I could not hear the customers in the cafe and my mother.  Jackie screamed at me and said "you are  a spoiled little brat  who always gets what you want" and she ran out of the house crying.  SHE LEFT THE RADIO ON.  I cried, very upset and then the program changed and instead of music a scary  horror serial came on.  It was dusk, though still late afternoon, as nights were long in the north country in the winter. Classical spooky music played in the sound track for the scary program. I became terrified and kept crying for mama.  My little hands beat against my window trying to get her attention and I screamed and kept crying and screaming.  I do not know how long this went on or when my sister came back and found me but it was a horrific experience for all of us.  My sister got punished, I got babied even more and mama would never let the button be put down again unless an adult was with me. I am sure this didn't endear me more to poor Jackie.
All I know is that still, when I am alone at dusk I feel somewhat scared and I've never really taken to most classical music.  I HAVE BEEN SCARED FOR LIFE.
Mama used to bring me special food treats the year I was in bed and I gained weight.  I could eat all the pie, cake and ice cream I wanted.  Still today, food, especially sweets comfort me when I am feeling sick or blue.  I can remember Aunt Mildred telling mama she was making me as fat as a little pig.  Mama tried to cut me back but I had a way of  asking daddy and he always caved.
daddy had special feelings for his sick little girl and I really could do no wrong. I was crazy and funny and Jackie seethed when I got special treats or little presents.  I remember when Dad worked for Spartan he went on a business trip and came back with a gold colored metal ashtray that said Spartan on it.  He gave the ashtray to me and Jackie was furious.  He gave her some little packets of Sen Sen but it didn't help.(Sen Sen are little mouth mints sort of like TicTacs)
I tried later to give the ashtray to Jackie but every time I tried she would get more angry as it wasn't really about the ashtray.
I look at these things with hindsight 20/20 but then I just thought she hated me.
I an done for now but we will definitely come back to my sister, who loves me now, but hated me then.