Wednesday, November 23, 2016
The Cousin Sent the Videos: Why Do the Good Die Young?
My cousin sent the videos. I was shocked. A promise was kept. As I have written, he is one of the nicer ones, but I wish he would wake up and see what has been done, and see those narcissists for who they are. He and his brothers got love, something others of us were very short in supply of.
The videos consisted of his parents taking super 8 film and others. My father had taken tons of videos but I probably will never get to see them as Queen Spider has possession of everything and no interest in "nostalgia". Maybe when she dies, my siblings will get these old films. It is interesting these cousins, want to look back at their memories, while my siblings could care less. One cousin had transferred all the movies into computer files allowing me to see them.
The films were taken by The Aunt Who Loved Me and her husband at the time. They stretched from her wedding day and included the birth of her first child, and the birth of her twins. One of the twins is the cousin who sent me the videos. He is in his late 30s now. The videos spanned from around 1967-1978.
Watching these videos was like watching, a sad bittersweet movie you know will have a tragic ending. The life force of my good aunt, was so strong. She was so happy, and sweet. It was wonderful having those cherished memories of her back. For that alone, seeing these videos was wonderful.
In the videos I can see her humor, and personality, and it brought back many good memories I had with her. She makes funny faces to make her kids laugh. She is thin and healthy and vivacious. I am in one video, where she is giving me birthday presents, she has given me a Raggedy Ann doll, some books and maybe art supplies like crayons. It is during the time I lived with her for that short period of time. Remember when I was with her at the age of 5-6 and it was a giant controversy within the family where I asked to stay and I did not want to go home?
In the videos, she is with her babies, and playing with them and you see a non-narcissistic mother who is fierce in her love for her children. Some of that was painful to watch for me, as it was so different from my own childhood but it is how things are supposed to be. She hugs and holds her children. She takes them to skating show and with one gets a Big Bird doll out for him to play with. She brings various animals around teaching one son how to hold a new puppy. She plays games with them, she holds them up in trees, she takes them to the zoo. She puts the twins as babies in the pool. She and her husband work together in unison, checking out their home being built and in planting their large garden at the earlier home. The oldest brother, I have never seen such a loved child in video. He is happy and smiling and in hours and hours of video there is only one of him crying as he is held by another relative. He is bright and inquisitive too. His brothers, too are happy and secure babies and younger children. She has married right out of high school, and her husband is handsome but very quiet. He too plays with the children.
Later he will divorce her, and in the scenes where I watched him build the home for her and her first son and the two sons to later come, I think, "How could you divorce someone like that?" but he did, finding someone else. Why did he do it? I don't know all the details but couldn't help having some anger at him. Maybe things would have turned out different.
She would die in 1987 after some years of financial struggle as a single mother, but she always did love her kids, and she was so close to them. She has a love of art that shines forth in the videos and takes an interest in the world around her. That was something I was happy to see. She loved art, nature and parks. She is a very happy person for many years. She is totally unlike my mother in each and every way.
If I ask myself how I survived intact, seeing this person with so much love to give, it was interesting. I always asked myself how I avoided total destruction or becoming a narcissist myself. The little bit of love I got was from this aunt and Aunt Scapegoat. I was dying in the desert of narcissistic hatred, but would go drink my fill in the presence of these aunts. They had life to them, they had consciences, they were not dead inside like my mother. My two aunts energy's were totally positive. They were good people. They LOVED.
We lived far away as a kid, but I had time I lived with her and the family visits for a week average once to twice a year. Between 1982-1987, I was visiting more when my family moved to a town 120 miles from hers and would drive down during my first year of college on my own to visit her and her children.
Aunt Scapegoat shows up in the videos, she lives down the street from my other aunt. The Aunt that Loved Me and her husband had built their new house down the street from where my grandmother lived. Her presence in these videos is mind-blowing, while her negative role in the family has been set, she is smiling, and laughing. She is hopeful about life. She is still has some happiness then. She spends a lot of time with my nephews who live down the street. I notice my grandmother ignores her a lot in video or seems to sit far away but she is laughing in one segment with one brother. Her smiles and laughter would disappear more year by year. The last time I saw her she didn't smile once. Seeing and knowing what she later became, was hard. Back then I was close to her, before our relationship was destroyed.
One thing came to mind about Aunt Scapegoat, she got very sick within one year of when the Aunt That Loved me died. She lived severely disabled until last Feb when she died. This timing was ignored by the family but she never was the same again. Were any of us from that tragic death? I became an atheist the week it happened and went back to a college on lockdown where a girl got murdered outside my dorm. The Aunt Who Loved Me's death never made sense to me. I was told she died with no alcohol in her system. My grandmother emphatic upon this point while later I discovered in a cousin's blog 25 years after the fact they had been told she died while drinking. Why did they tell them that? Was it a driving error? She had driven into a tree. They told me she was driving in an "unfamiliar area" but I looked up the obit years later online and they had the cross-streets of where she died, it was less then 10 miles from her house and an area she had lived all her life. A lot of things didn't make sense to me.
It seems everyone who was "good" died young. Evil lived on to destroy lives, while the people who could love, were destroyed and/or died young. I see my mother as a vampire where people die young around her. Seven people all died at or under the age of 60. Three siblings all under the age of 36 within one family. Isn't something wrong with that picture?
My mother shows up in various spots in the video, once on a shared family vacation where my aunt's family, my grandmother and other aunt and uncles are visiting spots in Washington DC. My mother appears just as mean as I remember her. She never smiles. Even by her early 30s, she appears "old" and "haggard" and her hair is cropped into a "helmet hairdo" and she is dressed in ultra-masculine clothing. Unlike my aunt who wears flowing dresses, and hip pantsuits of the time, my mother is dressed in very mannish clothing, even for the 1970s. I got one still from the video, my mother is angry and glaring at someone from the corners of her eyes. She never smiles. She is not at all like my happy and loving aunts.
Other things I noticed in the videos:
1. My brother and sister and I seem more sad and serious especially in contrast with the cousins. My brother definitely looks like an unloved child and desperate for attention. He seems kind of muted and sad with bursts of "look at me" going from closed down looks to jumping around like a maniac. My mother holds my sister a lot, and I am often ignored. My sister in personality seems closed down. I pop up in the videos at random times surrounded by some of the nice relatives, but am often ignored and on the peripheral. My sister has serious motor control problems and looks "ill", she is far smaller then me and looks "puny".
2. My grandmother is more engaged with my cousins but then they lived close and not 500 miles away.
3. I am a pretty child. I look far better then they told me. I put some stills up: mostly pictures of my loving aunts, but a few pictures of me are put up. Some of my Facebook friends exclaim about how beautiful I am as a child. What is sad, is by that age I was being told I was fat and ugly.
4. My health seems to change, from the earlier stills, I notice some serious medical problems. One year I look very ill. My face is extremely swollen and round, I am not yet very obese but my head looks like a giant balloon in this particular instance. My face looks red as well all over. I found myself wondering if I had high cortisol even then, it was the same "moon face" stuff that would happen to me later.
5. There was lots of photos of the inside of my aunt's earlier house, this gave me memories of the time I lived with her and other good times. Her love of art and Indian culture was made apparent in later videos.
6. The culture and times of the 1970s are very apparent in the video, one man at a festival appears in a Nixon mask, another guy at a summer park wears a silver wing outfit while skating. One thing I note is back then there seems to be a lot more hope about life. There is a Joie de vivre in life that is missing now. Even among the relatives, while the narcissists are there sowing their seeds of destruction, there is far more closeness and light hearted moments. People are traveling to visit relatives. While some of my relatives later got wealthier, it seems life in general is more prosperous for the majority. Life seems different and far better and more simple.