Love, Abuse, and Grandparents

I want to get this out before I forget it or it becomes part of the laundry list of topics I want to discuss on here and find that I do not have the same fire as I did when they were fresh. A couple nights ago, my mom and I visited my aunt and ended up staying at her house chatting until midnight. We talked about various topics, but the one that stood out the most to me (aside from my needing a new car) was men. Or specifically, the men in our lives, past and present.

This is related to the topic of my needing a new car, as my dad is being rather stubborn and skirting around the issue. I don’t know how to explain it without my fingers tingling from frustration that there isn’t a way to just hook my head up to a machine and transfer everything in a neat little file full of the whole situation…but anyway, the subject divulged into how men are pretty much all hotheads and you need to know when to tell them things so that they don’t explode like shaken up bottles of pop. The answer, if you’re wondering, is when they’re in a good mood. And though neither my mom or my aunt mentioned it, I’m sure they were probably both thinking after sex – but I think they abstained from saying that because they think my virginity = ultra saintly nun-like knowledge of sexuality – and also because it’s probably an awkward topic between them (my aunt is not young).

That said, I discovered as the topic went on that during my grandpa’s last few months alive, he was very verbally abusive to my grandma. But before I continue, I’d also like to add that I learned that before they were married, he was, only once, physically abusive to her as well. My aunt recounted a story that my grandma told her about a time when my grandpa’s friends were spreading rumors that she was being unfaithful to him, and while she was ironing a shirt (with a really old school iron, like, made out of iron, that you had to spit on or something) he came over to her and hit her upside the head a few times and walked away, but not before she threw the iron at him, which nearly missed his head and could’ve killed him. Afterward, he asked “what was that?” and she asked “what was THAT?” A few days later, after discussing it with my great-grandmother, she told him that if he ever lays a hand on her again, she would heat a large pot of water until it was boiling and throw it on his head while he was sleeping. He never touched her like that again. However, he did verbally abuse her to his dying day.

My mom was telling my aunt about my dad calling her of “of the devil” (that’s the best way I can translate it in English – it’s a very rude and hurtful way to verbally berate someone in Romanian) because she said something somewhat snippy to him after he complained about her going to the zoo with me a few days ago. That’s when my aunt told us about my grandpa’s verbal abuse which often consisted of calling my grandma “of the devil”. I suppose I should also mention that my grandpa’s last year of life was plagued by diabetic complications including an infected leg (he refused to take medication for diabetes because he was afraid of needles and medical anything, like I am) which resulted in his death. Consequently, his poor health also deteriorated his state of mind. From what I remember, he wasn’t happy, as expected, to be sick. But he always spoke to me kindly, and I’m sure that has a lot to do with the fact that I was his favorite grandchild, the only girl, and the first born. He loved me very much. But this isn’t about me, not yet anyway.

In his negative state of mind, my aunt told us he called my grandma all kinds of names, swore at her, blamed his illness on her, said he wished he could kill her with an axe (that was so terrible, it was ALMOST funny, except it wasn’t), etc etc. All kinds of terrible, awful things that I could never dream of saying to someone I love, much less my wedded spouse. However, my spiritual beliefs lead me to believe that the corporeal negativity that surrounded my grandpa around his dying days was just that – corporeal. I cannot count the amount of times that I have been in near car accidents and I know that my grandpa pulled my wheel the other way or pushed my foot on the brake. I firmly believe that in the core of his spirit, he was a loving and positive being, and that any negative energy he felt while he was still alive was part of his natural learning curve on earth. I believe that once he died, he became part of the oneness and he knew what he said/did was wrong.

That said, unfortunately, his verbal abuse was passed down to his two sons, my dad and my uncle. My uncle is worse – he is not only verbally abusive, but as with the two girlfriends, (one of which is now his ex-wife and the mother of my only first cousin) also physically abusive. It really upsets me, actually. Imagine being 5 years old and icing a grown 20something’s face because your uncle hit her for arguing. It was rather traumatizing.

Thankfully, my dad is not physically abusive and never has been. He is, however, verbally abusive. Prior to move to America, his verbal abuse was more derogatory and nasty. Currently, it is more hurtful and scarring. I like to think that he chooses his words in a way so volatile that he knows exactly what button to push to make me feel like the shittiest, unworthiest person alive – like I do not deserve anything because I disobeyed his wishes or what have you. I distinctly remember being called a cow on several occasions when I was younger (before my mom intervened and told him to stop saying things like that to his own children) and various other deploring things he spewed my way that my brain has thankfully managed to tuck away and not remember.

This isn’t to say that I’ve had a rough childhood. My childhood and life at home has been phenomenal compared to the devastating lives of far too many people who’ve grown in truly horrific situations. Nonetheless, all degrees of abuse are that: abuse. And it does not matter what degree you’ve endured, it all matters. Being someone’s punching bag, whether physically, mentally, or emotionally, is not only challenging, but scarring.

Having backstoryed all that, I remember sitting on my aunt’s couch and feeling more and more infuriated imagining the scenarios of my grandpa abusing my grandma. MY grandpa, abusing MY grandma. Two people that I love and adore with all my heart, having discord in their relationship? It truly hurts me to think about it. I have never dealt well with people genuinely arguing. My parents very rarely have a legit argument, but when they do, it makes me extremely uncomfortable and I want to cry. Although recently, as I’ve gotten older, I have a tendency to step in and scream at my dad to shut the fuck up because it’s distressing me. He usually tells me to shut up back and I tell him no and continue to tell him to stop arguing. I also do not like it when my friends argue, especially with their significant others.

However, my grandparents’ situation got me thinking: should I ever find myself in a relationship, I pledge here and now to never, EVER, allow my partner to abuse me. Abuse is not love. I don’t care how corrosive of a relationship it might be. No one should be subjected to berating words or bruises. I am too intelligent, too emotional, and have too much self-respect to allow anyone to disrespect me like that. I’m not saying it won’t happen, but I am saying if it does, it won’t happen for long.

Poetic Justice.

So Alyza gifted me with Macklemore’s album, The Heist, a few weeks ago and I finally listened to it tonight while I was doing my laundry. It’s actually a pretty good album. I wasn’t expecting as many “political” songs, but rather more raunchy shit. I was surprised, but in the best possible way.

And it reminded me of just how much I love “political” music. I think I might be getting Billy Talent’s Devil In A Midnight Mass lyrics “Put my trust in God that day; Not the man that taught his way” tattooed soon. Actually I’m listening to that right now and yeah, I will be getting that on my body sometime in the future for sure.

There are two poetic philsophies that define my views on life. That is one of them. The other is from Mihai Eminescu’s epic poem, Luceafarul, and translated, it reads “For all are born to die, and die to be reborn.” Another planned tattoo. Except it will be in Romanian.

Places.

Day 30!!: 10 places you want to visit

1. London. I’ve always been attracted to and fascinated by England. Of course this is on my list. There’s so much culture, so much history. So much to see!

2. Paris. I feel like Paris is that cliche destination everyone says they want to go to, but I genuinely want to go there. Like, honestly, who wouldn’t? So much culture, so much to see. And damn it, so romantic. I want to be kissed by the Eiffel Tower. Did you know Romanian engineer Gheorghe Pănculescu’s invention of joining metal girders was what inspired Gustave Eiffel’s design for the Eiffel tower? The more you know.

3. Venice. I want to visit all of Italy. But honestly, Venice is another one of those cliche destinations and I want to partake in that. It just looks so damn gorgeous. Like, I want to be rowed around in one of those gondolas and be sung to in Italian.

4. Amsterdam (again). In 2009 I was in Amsterdam for about 24 hours because my aunt and I missed our flight from Frankfurt to Detroit due to my uncle dragging us to his terminal, convinced that we were all leaving from the same terminal. (HE WAS WRONG.) From the very little I experienced of Amsterdam (hotel, cab driver, airport) I found the people to be kind and well-educated. And from the little I saw of the place, it looked nice. Lots of lavender.

5. Budapest (again). Also in 2009, when we arrived in Europe, we had a flight from Frankfurt to Budapest and spent about a day there. I have quite fond memories of the whole ordeal. While Romanians and Hungarians don’t really like each other (and they sure don’t mind showing it – my aunt-in-law of course got a parking ticket for no reason [truly!] other than having a Romanian license plate) I had a great time there. Possibly because I wasn’t accustomed to speaking Romanian yet, and they thought I was American. I really enjoyed all the sites I saw, and the food was phenomenal. If I haven’t mentioned it before, I LITERALLY had the BEST CUCUMBER SALAD OF MY ENTIRE LIFE in Budapest. As well as one of the best salads too.

6. Dublin. Like London and England as a whole, I’ve also always had a fascination with Dublin and Ireland. It doesn’t help that one time, I watched a Steve Ricks episode where he went to Dublin and I fell in love. Giant fun colored doors!? Sold.

7. Egypt; The Pyramids at Giza. Another cliche? Probably. But they’re such  absolutely majestic sculptures. Seen from miles around, larger than life objects. They continue to mystify people around the world in all their grandeur. Did you know the word “pyramid” has no human language origin? Plus, there is no fucking way men built that shit with their bare hands. No fucking way.

8. Australia. Except for the whole GIANT SPIDERS AND SHIT, I find Australia to be a really interesting place. Backwards seasons? Toilets flushing the opposite way? Not to mention those gorgeous accents and surfers all over the place. In. Love.

9. South America. I don’t really have a particular destination of where I’d like to go down there cause I’d really like to see all kinds of places in South America. I want to see the Nazca Lines in Peru, Rio de Janeiro in Brazil. I want to see people dancing in the street in Argentina and I want to experience Venezuela. You know?

10. Romania. Having lived there, I miss the place. Despite my somewhat negative experience when I went back in 2009. (People are not okay with fatties over there, lemme tell you.) But I want to go to Romania to travel the whole place. I want to see Alba Iulia. I want to see the Carpathian mountains again and remember to take a picture this time instead of saving it in my head. I want to see the giant gates in Maramureș. I want to see the Casa Republicii, which is the world’s second largest administrative building after the Pentagon (and also a museum!). I want to visit Constanța on the Black Sea coast and I want to go to the Băile Herculane again and I want to see Dracula’s castle in person. Honestly, I’ve been thinking of doing a private tour of Romania instead of a graduation cruise next year.

Aerial view of my hometown, Resita.

Ursul Pacalit de Vulpe si Alte Povesti

Saw this on Tumblr just now.

Brought me back to nights when I was a wee kiddie and my mom would read me the most wonderful Romanian folk tales. Ursul Pacalit de Vulpe (The Bear Tricked by the Fox) was one of my favorites. Although I really enjoyed Sarea In Bucate (The Salt in Your Food) and Povestea Porcului (The Pig’s Story). None of these stories are anything like you might imagine they might be from their titles.

Sarea In Bucate is about a princess who is exiled from her kingdom by her father because she told him she loves him like the salt in her food. Povestea Porcului is about an old couple who want a child and they end up with a pig who is actually a prince. Obviously both of these stories have more to them then these short synopsis’s, but that’s how they start off. And they’re fantastical.

If I ever have children, they will be subject to the wonderful world of Romanian folk tales.

#romanianpride

FINALS ARE OVER, The Pig Story, and Chocolate Covered Bing Cherry Throwing!

Wow, what a riot of a day. I’M FINALLY DONE WITH ALL MY FINALS!!! I can happily say all of my garments turned out rather phenomenally, if I do say so myself, and I think I’m one of 2 or 3 people who entirely finished their whole collection. For whatever reason, I did not take a picture of all the pieces together, but I do have separate pictures (minus the rose overlay skirt).

Yeah, bitches!

I was so exhausted after presenting. It took like 2 or 3 hours to present because people talked too much and explained in far too much detail about what they didn’t do and what they did wrong and so on. I was all crazy and delirious and singing Smoke on the Water and clapping. All while both Alyza and I wore the two black belts in the above pictures around our heads. In fact, here’s a fantastic picture of her with her swim jumper she made for class. Oh I love this picture so much:

Of course, during the whole process of the day, I took an excursion or two over to HNI and we had long, fulfilling conversations about all kinds of things. Like man-sluts…and related topics…I was quite sad he was not still there when I was leaving because I wanted some human contact before I peaced out of Michigan for a week. </3 At least I’m not leaving for good though hahaha, then that’d be legitimately sad.

Oh, and the other day my friend Betsy suggested I write about more than just what my day consisted of – WHICH IS AN EXCELLENT IDEA that I tend to forget, and will try to implement more often. For example, hilarious stories about my brother. LIKE THE CHOCOLATE COVERED CHERRY INCIDENT OF 2008 or whatever year it was. I honestly barely even remember what exactly happened, but my mom had bought us Harry & David Chocolate Covered Bing Cherries (I love those things) and I don’t remember what happened, but I was pissed at my brother in regards to them. In my fit of rage, I threw a whole package of them at him. Like FLUNG them all at him. Not like the box, I mean like a handful of them. And they scattered everywhere. And I remember my mom and my brother being outraged and like “what the fuck is wrong with you?” and after I calmed down I was like oh my god, I’m fucking insane. I was just PISSED. Like, fucking LIVID. My brother and I have gotten into some serious physical fights before…But anyway, this is one of Betsy’s favorite stories. She often likes to tell me to “just throw some cherries at him/them/her” when I’m telling her stories about other people who piss me off.

And now, Day 20 (DAMN DOES TIME FLY): Describe 3 significant memories from your childhood.
1. I remember being quite small, probably like 2 years old or something, and watching a stray cat outside the apartment complex with my grandpa at my grandparents’ place. It’s significant because I fucking love my grandpa, so much. He’s been dead since 2005, but he loved me so unconditionally and with all his heart and I very much cherish every moment we spent together. I was the only grandchild for 6 and a half years, so I was extremely spoiled (lmfao let’s be real, I’m still fucking spoiled) and everyone thought I was just the cutest little thing. But my grandpa was just…MORE appreciative of me I guess? Not that others weren’t, but I know how much he loved me, and that earliest memory of him is something that’s highly significant to me.
2. THE PIG STORY. Okay, this is hilarious. When I was about 3 or 4 years old, I was at my grandparent’s country houses (they have 2, in the same courtyard) hanging out with my countryside friends. We were chillin’ in the cornfields in these dead corn stalk huts they’d made previously, playing cards. And then we heard someone yelling and we all looked out and saw this older gentlemen coming down the high street, chasing a pig with a black dog, and I think there might have been someone else with him. So naturally my friends were like oh let’s help this guy out, and we all started running with him, except that somehow, I FUCKING GOT IN FRONT OF THE PIG. AND THE PIG WAS CHASING ME. I ran for my LIFE, people, MY LIFE. I remember realizing it was chasing me and being absolutely terrified that I would die from being trampled by a 400 pound pig. My poor little 3 or 4 year old mind was like HOLY SHIT and I ran with all my might and I fell down twice. One of the older girls was running along with me and I remember her helping me up and saying like come on, you’ll be okay, just run! I ran all the way down the street and into my mom’s arms, bawling my eyes out and still afraid for my life, and the pig and entourage chasing it continued down the next side street over. It was terrifying, and is now one of the best fucking stories ever.
3.  Also, another countryside story(ies). I vividly remember many nights as a 4/5/6 year old spending many hours outside playing with my countryside friends and eating sunflower seeds straight from the sunflower (one of the best things in this entire world, btw) and picking beans and eating poppy seeds straight from the poppy and going to the river…but one of the best things was spending such a long day out, that I would come home at about midnight. I’d just be out and about walking the street and talking to the moon. Because, I don’t know if anyone else ever noticed this, BUT THE MOON HAS A FACE. I would legitimately have conversations with the moon like it was this comforting asexual thing in the sky (and…it still is, to me) that would lead me home at night. Like I remember actually telling it that it was taking care of me and guiding me back home. The moon and I are best buds. 

P.S. I want you all to know that I seriously and legitimately want this to be the song I walk down the aisle to at my future wedding. My favorite song from Amadeus.