Hey Ragers and Ragettes! It’s been awhile, I know. It’s been busy but that is ok with me. Autumn has made an appearance finally so today I am wearing my favourite turquoise jumper, my bootcut jeans, and my cowboy boots. Under the said cowboy boots? The woolliest socks that I can find.
Well, one of my biggest fears has presented itself to me. Mama and Papa Rage….are coming to visit!!!
Yes, there is nothing that strikes fear into my heart more than the impending visit from my parents.
Why, you may ask?
Well, it’s like this. My parents are coming over to visit me and also they want to visit my Nana who lives in Ireland. My Nana is turning 100 on the 3rd of November and my father (my Nana is my father’s mother) obviously wants to wish the old dear a happy birthday.
That is all fine and dandy but there are a few issues. Namely the attitude of my family towards me.
I am regarded, because of my past issues with my mental health, to be the black sheep of the family. So my dad’s side of the family scrutinize, criticize and basically laugh at me. My cousin came over a few weeks ago and stated that my padrano (that’s Godfather to you…the Godfather in my family is a very important person. The Godfather is someone to look up to and they in turn care for you if anything were to happen to my parents) thinks I’m “scary” because of my hair, piercings and tattoos. All righty then!
It doesn’t stop there. My uncle (who used to be my favourite uncle) likes to pick on me and my lifestyle. He used to be cool but then he got married and now has become a bitter dickhead. He picks on my lifestyle, my weight, my colourful past. The thing that hurts is that him and I used to be tight. I remember when I was younger visiting him when he lived in Aldershot. We would go on the roof of his apartment through the sky light and drink vodka discussing our hopes and fears. He confided in me and listened to me. I did the same for him. I wiped his tears away when his engagement got broken off to ex-fiance. When he moved to Ireland to take care of my grandparents, I came down to take him out for a beer to cheer him up. Then he got married. And he changed. The laughing smiling uncle I had before turned into a sad, depressed, bitter man. It broke my heart.
So I will have to be in a different country where I know that I will get picked on relentlessly.
Oh, and then there are my parents. My Mama does the same, picks on me, but she does it in a passive aggressive way. Whenever I go home for Chrstmas to see my family, it’s always the same: You’ve gained weight, you’ve dyed your hair, I hate it, stop piercing your body, you have too many tattoos, when are you going to get married, you’ve been engaged twice but you haven’t married is there a problem with you and the list goes on.
So for 8 wonderful days I am going to get picked on. Yippee. I kept thinking about it, I teared up and then…..I snapped.
Here is the exact email that I sent to my Mama:
“Right, in regards to your visit. I have some concerns. I find,especially when we go to Ireland, that I am going to get picked on. Iknow that it is Nana's birthday but if I am going to be subjected toabuse, being picked at, questioned or harassed by anyone, it will NOTbe tolerated. Yes, I have many tattoos. Yes, I am overweight. Yes,I didn't go to College. Yes, I am living in sin with my boyfriend.Yes, I am mentally ill. Yes, I have funny hair. But you know what?I have travelled. I speak languages (I am actually negotiating a withnew supplier in Italy). I am helping run a business. I amnegotiating a £2 million business deal. I am now negotiating theterms of a new warehouse. I have been told that I am a great manager. I care for my staff. So ifbeing an overweight tattooed mentally ill woman that is living in sinwith her boyfriend and that managing a successful, growing businessthat cares for her staff that doesn't do drugs that doesn't sell herbody is something to be made fun of and picked on then, well frankly,screw you. I am not taking it from anyone anymore. I know this seemsa bit of a strange email but the anxiety and fear that I have had toshoulder in regards to "family" functions. The questions, theobnoxious passive aggressive comments that have been made (actuallyAuntie, I do like shopping at charity shops because you can finddesigner labels and I love the vintage look. It's called having asense of style and at least I am an individual and not a lemming), theway that I have been made to feel....I have hated and dreaded going tofamily functions for ages. So again, this is a one time warning., Ifthere is any obnoxious or passive aggressive comments, clothingadjusting,lifestyle questioning or anything like that. I WILL walk out and IWILL leave. And if any of these comments occur in the sanctity of MYhome, then the offending people will be asked to leave. Simple. Rantover.”
Now that may not seem like a lot to you, but that is the first time that I have taken my Mama on. I have always been subservient when it comes to my family (in the Italian culture la famiglia is everything. You respect your elders) and when I hit send, I regretted it.
I didn’t get a response for a few days. Then Mama responded.
“Well, your email took me by surprise. Anyway, please don't stress over this visit. My advice would be to not give them any fuel to start a confrontation. You are a successful business woman who has taken care of yourself, speaks different languages and has travelled. If you feel uncomfortable where a conversation is going just say "that was then and this is now." End of story!”
We Facetimed and she then picked on me about my newly dyed black hair. I took a deep breath and told her to cut the crap. She looked shocked. I felt sick. But I had to do it.
I have let her rule me and guilt me for 33 years (it will be 34 years tomorrow….yes it is my birthday!!) and to be honest, I need to proudly show my tattoos and proudly be me. I can’t let her old fashioned views and her words hurt me anymore. I need to free myself of this.
So please think of me on the 12th of November. The Royal Visit will commence. But this is a time for me to be strong and man up and face this head on!!!
So until next time Ragers and Ragettes, keep your head and your standards high and your heels even higher!
Lots of Love
The Fabulous Betty Rage xxxxxxxxxx