Monday, September 22, 2008

Hating Reginald

My mom married Reginald when I was twelve. He had been dating my mom for a couple years; I liked him okay in the beginning, but that was fueled largely by the fact that he gave me the boxed Chronicles of Narnia set for my birthday. I tolerated him at best, until he and my mom got serious. As soon as they had an established relationship he started parenting me and I didn't care for it. I had a father, albeit one who was missing in action, and I didn't take to being told what to do by my mother's boyfriend.

I'm sure I wasn't the easiest child to be a step-parent to, and he certainly wasn't prepared for day-to-day life with me. He was only about twelve years older than me, for one, and as far as I was concerned he was practically a kid himself. I was smart back then, the sort of smart that adults describe as too smart for one's own good. I was more clever than Reginald; I had a quicker wit than he did, and I thought fast. He thought sort of slow, and his sense of humour leaned toward sophomoric practical jokes and humiliating others in public. He was easily amused and didn't understand big words, and that made me contemptuous of him.

Reginald drank and used drugs in the early part of his relationship with my mom. He also had a temper, and was easily set off whether drunk or sober. He started being physically abusive towards us, a meanness that was never really turned off and always sat hovering around him waiting for an opportunity to strike out at us. I didn't help matters, displaying a bad attitude towards him and disrespect towards my mom.

I became sullen after we all settle in as a family, began getting bad grades and acting out in school. I started sneaking my mom's pain pills and stealing cigarettes. I began shoplifting, an embarrassing little habit I was lucky enough never to be caught at.

I also began writing in earnest then. I withdrew into fictional books, reading constantly and losing myself in a fantasy world where drug addicted fathers and abusive step-fathers could not penetrate.

4 comments:

Addicted Rantings said...

I know you would never imagine this by what I write about, but I always try to look on the bright side (I hate that term) of things. I know I have no control over most things going on around me, and truly feel things are happening for a reason.

My point being, that out of all your experiences, all the things you have been through, all the things you thought were going to kill you, still here you are. And if nothing else, you came through with a beautiful way of writing, a beautiful way of expressing yourself.

Whatever the hell that’s suppose to mean!

Mantramine said...

I can relate to hating Reginald, I had a bad 'Reginald.' My husband now is step parent to my oldest.. I am very 'assertive' with him that he treat her right!!!!

Reginalds suck.

Jade said...

AR, I think I know just what you mean, and thanks for the compliment! I believe folks are the sum of their experiences, and for me that means I can take every little thing that has happened around me and spin it into a big shiny ball of happy.

Mantra, I know just what you mean. Reginalds do, indeed, suck. I endeavoured with my step-daughter to never be a Reginald.

MargauxMeade said...

Reginald sounds a lot like my stepdad in the sense that mine is slow, inarticulate and has a lame sense of humor. I've always felt intellectually superior to him. When my mom first married him, I didn't get it--she, my brother and I (even my dad) are a highly intelligent bunch and this new guy simply couldn't keep up.

P.S. Love the foxy new profile photo!

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