What It's Like Having Two Ex-drill Sergeants as Parents
Being raised by veterans who were in the service for 20-something years, you get your own battle scars.
- •Getting yelled at from anyone else has been ineffective since birth, but "I will tell your parents" puts the fear of God in youEven when you're grown. Even when you're not really in trouble. It's just a visceral reaction.
- •You find it both sick and kind of cool that they found/find love in traveling and being mean and intimidating (to each other, to others, to you, etc.)Staredowns in Stuttgart, lowered whispers that send chills up your spine in Lucerne, and making someone's employee of the month break down in tears in Marrakech sounds like a sort of evil to-do list. I guess it's an aphrodisiac to them.
- •A very strange relationship with your work ethicIf you don't wake up at asscrack of dawn everyday to shine your boots, run in negative degree weather, and tidy up your whole living quarters, you're a slacker. But, do you really want to be that kind of person?
- •Finding very weird memories to hang onto as a part of your precious childhood momentsBeing in a stroller while my mom ran at 4-ish in the morning, having my daddy come and eat lunch with me before he goes on another deployment, and singing at their retirement ceremonies all are very sweet events that made their mark.
- •So well-adjusted to change that you get itchy staying in the same place for too longI just now realize where this applies to certain issues I have in my life.
- •A notorious attention to detailIf it's not perfect, they will know.
- •You don't "get" normal things in interpersonal relationships (intimacy, boundaries, apologizing???)You don't discuss how you feel with others if you take yourself seriously, you don't really own things that are yours, and what the fuck is an "I'm sorry"?? This gets more and more telling as I go through it.
- •Good luck admitting you need helpAvoiding therapy, lying to doctors, and not telling a teacher that a tutor is a good idea because that means weakness and failure.
- •The hereditary sharp tongueMom and dad both spent years screaming creative insults at a glass-shattering volume; you can do it too, except nobody whimpers back "MA'AM YES MA'AM!".
- •Finding more polite ways to say "Fuck no!" Whenever someone asks you if you wanna follow in their footstepsI would never ever ever ever.
- •Learning from them how to fight through shit the best way that you canEven when the best way you can isn't the best way possible, you'll make it work.