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This is a question My most treasured possession

What's your most treasured possession? What would you rescue from a fire (be it for sentimental or purely financial reasons)?

My Great-Uncle left me his visitors book which along with boring people like the Queen and Harold Wilson has Spike Milligan's signature in it. It's all loopy.

Either that or my Grandfather's swords.

(, Thu 8 May 2008, 12:38)
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The token serious post
In the event of a house fire, I'd save my cello. Although it's not technically mine, it's worth over three times more than everything else I own put together and has immeasurable sentimental value. But the thing I would have saved, if it still existed, was snatched away from me.

My parents hate each other. There's nothing too unusual about that in itself. My mother however has taken it upon herself to hate unreservedly my father's entire family. Mum and I have always had rather a strange relationship. She never bonded with me when I was a baby (hey, sometimes it just doesn't happen) and as soon as things started going wrong with Dad, suddenly I was the devil-child who shared 50% of his genes. My childhood was filled with screams of, "You're just like your father". So really, I felt absolutely nothing towards my mother other than a pathetically desperate desire to please her, which I knew even then that I would never manage.

The one person who I did bond with as a child was my cousin. She fell in love with me the moment she saw me, and I can't remember a single moment of my life when I haven't completely adored her. When I was a child, it was hero-worshipping admiration, and feeling safe and loved with her in the manner in which I guess most kids feel about their parents. These days, if anyone hurt her I'd break their legs.

Mum hated her. Obviously she hated her because she was related to my dad, but there was also the thorny issue of her having such a good relationship with me. She ended up, through various means I won't go into here, ensuring that we would never see each other for a very long time. Until last year in fact, thanks to the wonders of facebook. So, having not seen each other in 15 years we were swapping life stories and photos and blubbing in front of our respective computers like little girls. Then one day her husband messaged me to say that all of her childhood photos had been lost, and so if I had any at all, it would mean the world to them if I could scan them. "No problem!" said I, for I knew that there were loads of photos of all my cousins in a big box in my mother's living room. It wasn't just photos of my cousins - it was a massive collection of photographs of the whole extended family, some of them 100 years old. They'd come from my grandmother's house. My grandmother's house, which Mum had helped sort out after her death.

I wasn't that concerned when I couldn't find the box of photographs - I just assumed Mum had moved them to a safer place, or perhaps put them in an album. So I asked her, "Mum, you know that big box of photos that came from Grandma's house, the one with her parents' wedding photos and everything? Where is it?"

"Oh, I threw them away."
"They smelled funny."

That box of photos would definitely have been what I would have rescued from a house fire, but instead it was maliciously thrown away by a bitter, twisted old bitch as a last insult to a family only one of whom had ever done her any wrong. Thanks to one petty act of vindictiveness, my cousin has only the five childhood photos that I had myself. I don't care how funny they smelled - they were five generations of family history. I wonder how good it felt to her, consigning them to the dustbin. Surely not comparable to the hurt she's caused. She has robbed my beloved cousin of her childhood photos, and for that I may just have to break her legs.

Well, not really. But sometimes I am sorely tempted.
(, Tue 13 May 2008, 15:45, 13 replies)
I'm trying very hard
to come up with something to say to this, but everything I can think of to say is angry and bitter. As a parent I feel an enormous desire to bitch-slap your mother on your behalf.

On the other hand, you'll have the last laugh when you put her in the most cut-rate nursing home you can find and leave her there to stew in her own hate.

Sorry- this post made me extremely angry on your behalf. I wish I could say something fluffeh, but that sort of behavior on the part of a parent is one of the most reprehensible things I can think of.
(, Tue 13 May 2008, 16:02, closed)
I thought long and hard about this
but I can't think of anything to say except "That stinks".

I know a few women who've had problems bonding - one due to a horrific birth and a couple with PND. They still treated their children better than you were treated though.

Well done for NOT breaking her legs. Although if you change your mind and need an alibi, let me know.
(, Tue 13 May 2008, 16:04, closed)
I agree with TRL
It makes me angry that someone could do that.

To make you feel better you can imagine some little white fluffeh kittenz gambolling on the grass in the summer sun. It's not much, but it makes me smile.
(, Tue 13 May 2008, 16:05, closed)
I'm surprised
That after all the shit she's thrown your way, you still talk to her.

She sounds spiteful and vindictive.
(, Tue 13 May 2008, 16:13, closed)
She's not all bad
and she's a lot better than my father. But yes, she really can be a bitch.
(, Tue 13 May 2008, 16:22, closed)
^ what they said
Trying to deal with a vindictive parent who is incapable of seeing reason isn't an easy thing. While you might be driven to the point of fury by them, they're still your mum or dad.

The most constructive way of coming to terms with it is to console yourself in the fact that you've learned from her experience and that you won't do the same thing one day.

However, if that fails to comfort in any way then I vote for the low rent retirement home option, with the caveat that all her family memorabilia stays with you for safekeeping.
(, Tue 13 May 2008, 16:23, closed)
You seem to have turned out fine though, for what little web-stalking of you I've done.

So congratualations on not being fucked up.
(, Tue 13 May 2008, 16:24, closed)
i hate to say it
but it sounds to me like your folks need a good, hard slapping. failing that, they should go to visit some of the most deprived countries in the world. after seeing that, maybe their petty vindictiveness would stop, due to them realising that the world doesn't revolve around them and their feelings.
(, Tue 13 May 2008, 16:30, closed)
What they all said
and * hugs *

Maybe a non-violent alternative to breaking your mum's legs is to bring your cousin along the next time you see your mum and say "Look, we overcame your attempts to separate us".

we love the web
(, Tue 13 May 2008, 16:59, closed)
*clicks*. Just because it's poignant.
(, Tue 13 May 2008, 17:19, closed)
I can't improve on what's already been said
In spite of your most unfortunate start in life, it appears you've grown into a healthy-minded individual. I'd also bet that if you have children of your own, you'll make a damn fine parent.
Lots of mothers take time to bond with their babies - the fact that your mother didn't even attempt the process, as Loon said, is reprehensible.
Yet, ultimately, you still maintain some sort of relationship with the woman...

*much hat doffing*
(, Tue 13 May 2008, 18:09, closed)
What they all said up there.
And massive hugs from me. You can have one of my surrogate mums if you want!
(, Tue 13 May 2008, 20:36, closed)
Strange things, parents.
My Mum's second husband actually burned the wedding pictures of Mum and Dad. Without her knowing. This also icluded stealing copies of the pictures from Gran's house and burning them too.

It's not a lot - but I would have loved to of seen those pictures.

So have a *hug* and a *click* - because I know a little of how important this must be to you and your cousin...
(, Tue 13 May 2008, 20:40, closed)

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