I was the least favorite amongst the grandchildren on my father’s side. It was a small family. My grandparents had only two children: my father and his sister. From there, my father had two children, and my aunt had one. Ours was a tiny dynasty.
From such a small cluster of grandchildren, my grandparents didn’t have to dedicate a great deal of time designating who was whom when it came to personal favorites. My brother was the only male from this bounty of three. He, due to his pleasant disposition and XY chromosomes instantly became the favorite. My grandparents, as well as my parents, tapped him early to receive the kingdom. He didn’t want the kingdom, and in the end the kingdom dismantled. But the idea made my grandfather happy. And my grandfather’s happiness made life, on the farm, easier for all – except for my brother, who wanted a different profession entirely. But his XY chromosomes locked him into something for which he didn’t even ask. My grandmother, from what I could tell, longed to have a close relationship with her daughter. From what I could also gather, her daughter didn’t want the same. But as feelings go, longing usually causes a certain angelic effect surrounding the one longed for, whether they warrant it or not. This Divine halo shined not only on my aunt, but her daughter as well.
My grandmother never cared for my mother – never. And the fact that I had a good relationship with my mother only cemented my place as the least favorite. So, I did what any normal disenfranchised teen would do – I dressed in black and got drunk – a lot
I was in awe of my grandparents. Disillusionment does that to a person. However, during the first thirty or so years of my life, I felt disliked and unvalued by them. Probably why it meant so much to me when my grandmother gifted me, of all people, a piece of the family land. That land is where my home now sits. And I will do all I can to keep it; not because of the house, but because of the gift.
If only they knew how important their approval was to me back then, would they have cared – I don’t know, as I rarely, if ever, received it. But then again, my attempts at obtaining it were few. Not knowing why they didn’t care for me, I eventually surmised it was due to some flaw from deep within myself; my very being was faulty. This feeling, of having innate imperfections, deeper ingrained my feelings of awkwardness within my family and social settings. Within my mind, I felt there was a good chance the world would see what my grandparents saw – flaws.
My grandparents are long gone. Oddly enough, I miss them. I miss the way their house smelled. I miss the order they brought to life and those around them. I doubt even now I would garner their approval. But then again – I no longer need it. When professionals warn of how impressionable young children are; please heed their warning. Those feelings of inadequacy are part of the energy that molded me – and near impossible are they to remove. But I am older and wiser now, and with that, I can identify those feelings for what they are, and what they are not. Those feelings do not represent who I was, who I am, or what I will become.
Try not to judge yourself, and if you do, don’t judge harshly. And above all – remember – the only approval that matters, is that of your own.