And for the most part I'm happy about it!
I grew up in a dysfunctional family that I often likened to Roseann growing up only more dysfunctional.
I was (still am) an only child that was raised out in the sticks by my undiagnosed (at the time) PTSD, manic depressive Mother and my dad who was just trying to cope with it all which turned into raging alcoholism.
So I was raised where I was either alone most of the time or in the company of adults because back then it was cool to take your kid to the bar with you.
So I spent my developing years either around adults that were drinking heavily, or with my Mom who I never knew what the mood was that day, or I was alone with my cat.
Some days were great with my mom, where we would bake cakes, work in the garden if it was summer time, snuggle and watch movies together if it was cold or raining and then there were the days where I got my ass beat for looking at her funny or saying something with the wrong tone, or if there was a speck of dust somewhere that I was suppose to clean up or if I made too much noise I would get kicked out of the house with my cat to go do whatever. I would be booted outside, only allowed to come in to use the restroom or eat lunch otherwise I was outside until my dad came home from work in the evening.
If I stepped outside the line even a little she would whoop me either with her hand, a shoe or most common a switch.
When I was about 7 I went through a phase of only sleeping under my bed and I spent all my time under out dining room table with a stack of books and my stuffed animals.
I felt safe under there and I think my parents occasionally forgot I was under there.
As I got older my dad's drinking got worse and my chore list got longer as I took on the little things he was supposed to do so that my mom wouldn't come home from waitressing and lose her shit.
They fought constantly so if there was anything I could do to stop it I tried.
So by the age of 9 I was doing dishes, vacuum, dusting, taking out the garbage, doing the laundry, feeding the animals, whatever I could think of.
Which some people think is the normal amount of chores but I respectfully disagree.
I grew up in a hurry. Between being pulled into the fights and going to school, and trying to keep the peace chore wise I lost my ability to be a kid. I became a miniature adult basically.
I swore if I ever had kids I would never be anything like my parents and I'm pleased to say that I'm not like them at all.
Now that I have kids I struggle to relate to Kai since at her age I was doing so much and then she won't even put away her laundry I lose my temper and yell "I was doing 10x's that when I was your age!"
My heart stopped when she responded that she would be more like me and I immediately sat her down to tell her I didn't want that at all. I would just appreciate her doing the chores I ask of her and to play with her little sister.
I'm trying so hard for Kai to enjoy being a kid but it's so freaking hard when I'm not even sure what a normal 8 year old does.
So I'm doing the best that I can and letting her set the pace with her interests with some exceptions such as no makeup, no daisy duke shorts, no bikinis, no mini skirts.
I'd like to think that I'm not fucking up but only time will tell.
My Dad is sober going on 9 years and my Mom is finally getting the help she needs so they are involved in my daughters lives and it's nice.