When my parents fight, us kids have learned to just go about with our daily lives. Business as usual, with a little background chatter.
I mean, if we were so affected that we cried every time they fight, we would literally get nothing done, as their fights often escalate or relight throughout the day. Some never stop. Our family is definitely dysfunctional, but I think all homes are, in some way.
I would like to remind the reader of this blog (my future self) that, though I don’t often write about it, Mom and Dad fight at least once a week. I’ve just chosen to ignore it simply because it’s part of our daily lives here. Also, I don’t have nearly enough time to detail every single thing that happens.
Yesterday, however, they had (in my opinion) a particularly stupid, ridiculous, and nasty fight. It started out with Dad being sick. He thinks he got it from me. He asks me to ask Mom to prescribe him medicine. This method of communication is common in our house. My parents don’t prefer to have direct contact with each other, and often use us kids as messengers. Actually, just me, because they’ve learned that Bro K is perpetually unreliable. If he picks up the phone, you better hope the message is trivial.
Anyway, before I got a chance to tell Mom, they happened to both be in the kitchen. I was doing homework in the next room, and Bro K was messing around on the computer. Before I know it, Dad is asking Mom for the medicine.
She tells me to run upstairs and get the pills that I used when I was sick. I linger, unwilling to go all the way upstairs??? Mistake.
“No,” says my Dad loudly. I stop. That’s his angry voice. I sigh to myself. Here we go again.
“What? Excuse me?” asks my Mom incredulously.
“I said no. I don’t want it. Prescribe me medicine.”
“Just use hers! If I go to the pharmacy it’ll be the same exact pill anyway!”
And with that, the fuse had been lit.
Sometimes I think that my Dad honestly takes any reason to fight. I think he hates my mom so very much that he takes every opportunity to prove to us kids how horrible she is.
My Dad has terrific projection. He can make noises so exceedingly loud that the neighbors next door can hear us. I can hear it all the way up in my room, to which by now, as usual, I have been banished to by my mom, who somehow thinks she is protecting me. That by putting me upstairs, I have no idea that our house is unhappy.
I think my dad takes pride in his vocal chords. His voice get noticeably louder when he’s yelling at how mom cheated him, and all the ways she has ruined his life.
But do you know what the kicker is? The root behind this argument? The reason he won’t take medicine from her?
My dad thinks my mom is going to poison him. He comes bursting into my room and informs me of this. He screams in my face.
This strikes me as ridiculous. If she was going to poison him, the fact that she ordered pills from the pharmacy wouldn’t make a difference!
And why? Well, according to dad, it’s because of a financial dispute. My dad thinks my mom is going to murder him because of a financial dispute. How sick does he think she is?
But of course all this isn’t the very root of the problem. The problem is a vast collection of things, a never-ending hole that started when they got married. I don’t know any two people more unsuitable for each other. They have hated – absolutely hated – each other for as long as I can remember. I know many kids say that, but our parents are the type who us kids have to call the police on. Who us kids have never heard say one loving thing to each other (not an exaggeration, sadly). Who, apparently, are paranoid of getting murdered by each other.
It astounds me the level of uncaring our family has reached. It’s so commonplace that my brother and I continued our homework and joked around. I practiced piano, tuning out their voices. I texted a friend who wanted to hang out that night. I studied for the big tests I had next week.
Business as usual.