The 30 Days of Gratitude Challenge: Days 10 to 12 – Childhood, Films, & Felines

These three prompts made me feel very nostalgic today, and they also put me into a film-marathon mood. If I didn’t have to do research for world-building, I’d definitely be watching films! Hmmm… maybe I can multitask!

For more information about the challenge, you can visit my Day 01 post here.

Day 10: What are you most grateful for in your childhood?

When I looked at this question, I didn’t have a single answer. My childhood consists of much darkness. Then I closed my eyes and my grandmother popped into my mind. I used to spend every weekend with her as a child, from Friday evening to Sunday evening. It allowed me to escape such a toxic home-life, and she was the best cook, especially her barfi and ladoo. So, I would have to say my grandmother. I didn’t get much time with her, but she is definitely the only thing in my childhood worth remembering.

Day 11: What film are you most grateful for?

I can’t choose one. Films are what I turn to for self-care so often in my daily life that I honestly cannot choose one film to be most grateful for. It’s impossible for me as so many of them have various levels of sentimentality to me. Although, here is a list of some of the ones I watch most frequently when dealing with sudden depressive episodes.

Day 12: What 3 people in life are you most grateful for?

Of the living people, Sir Besty is number one. They have helped me so much in the past four years. If not for their kindness and constant support, no matter how tough things become, I would not be sitting here as a living, breathing entity. The other two are deceased but their memories and life lessons keep me going forward. There’s my brother, which won’t be a surprise to most of my regular followers. He was more of a parent to me than anyone else. The second (or third as it were) is my grandmother, whom I talked about briefly earlier in the post.

Also, I’m going to cheat and say all four of my cats. They are my children and they bring me so much joy, so much comfort and companionship, that I don’t think I’ll ever be able to express the depth of my gratitude for them.

14 thoughts on “The 30 Days of Gratitude Challenge: Days 10 to 12 – Childhood, Films, & Felines

  1. I’m happy for you, too. I was 30 before I gave up any relationship with blood family at all. And probably older before I really, emotionally, released myself from any hope that any of them would ever reach out. My mother rules the family with an iron fist – and the purse strings. One of her top manipulations is to keep everyone financially dependent to some extent. That was one of my big sins. I went out and found a way to make plenty of money and no longer needed her help. For various reasons my siblings are less fortunate, but also more blameless. There’s always a scrapegoat child, and I was it. Now that I have no contact with them, I’m sure it’s a great relief to be able to blame things on me without any chance that I’d refute it 😉 😛 Let me assure you – another 30 years down the road – that cutting ties was the best thing I’ve ever done. I have a great life now with dear friends and of course, hubby. Life is never perfect, of course, but it’s no longer so miserable that I am constantly planning my suicide.

  2. Yes, yes and yes. My mother just tells me and everyone else that I am lying and making it up and she doesn’t know what I’m talking about, but I am just a malicious child blah blah blah. She actually successfully turns it into “Poor me, I have this burden of this horrible child”. I actually have had no contact with her in almost 30 years. Nowadays I am reading that therapists and shrinks have figured out that the only way to deal with abuse from a narcisstic person is to completely cut them out of your life. Which makes me feel a little better. (I only wish I had done it sooner) I finally gave up on any scrap of belief that she ever did or ever will love me as that is something she is just incapable of. But yes, our most important function is now we recognize that behaviour in others, and we can be there to help others out of their abuse, or at least to let them know it is, indeed, abuse so they can make their own decision based on reality.

    • My mother would also bad-mouth me to our family or exaggerate disagreements we’ve had to make me look like this monster. She has successfully alienated me from my entire family. Now, my family is my best friend whom I live with and is also my caretaker and my cousin in Japan and his two kids. And the cats of course. That’s really all the family I need. I count the people I’ve met through blogging to be a sort of family to me as well. My counsellors have also been telling me to cut my mother out of my life or I’ll never move forward, and I am learning to disengage her in a lot of things. I only talk to her once a week now. She’s still with my dad so I can’t completely cut her out if I want to have a bond with my dad, but I’ve definitely minimised my contact with her. It sucks, but unfortunately is the way of life sometimes. I feel like it makes me a bad child more often than not, and it can be a consuming though. But abuse isn’t something people should tolerate for the sake of being “a good kid.” Not when you don’t have good parents to nurture you and respect you back.

      • It is hard and every situation is different. I feel for your dad who is trapped between now trying to support you, and trying to live in peace with his wife. We create our own families of friends – people we choose to love. To me that bond is far more sacred for being chosen rather than forced on us. I’m so glad you have Sir Besty – and cats! I broke away and was doing okay on my own, but when my DH came into my life, well, no words. 29 years later, still married, still my best friend evah, my rock. I have a few friends who have been around for nearly the same amount of time who are family to me as well. All of them are better to me than any blood relative of mine ever was or will be.

        • My dad has gotten better about getting in touch with me when he misses me, so it allows me to visit him and spend time with him. He used to not be very good at that sort of thing, and it helps me a lot as well. Feels like he actually wants me around. Making your own family I think it sometimes the most important and the most difficult lessons to learn, especially when you’ve got a dysfunctional blood-family situation. I’m glad that I learned it earlier in life rather than later.

  3. Cats are people, too. Just people in cute little furry suits. I’m a reformed crazy old cat lady. Thank you for your courage in sharing your journey, and this challenge. I had a dark and abusive childhood myself. One thing that is in a strange way healthy, I think, is for those of us who had that experience to share it. First because it lets us know we are not alone. Second because I think it’s good to have this diverse view of childhood in a media driven atmosphere where we pretend we all had this wonderful happy childhood and of course everyone does. Not true and not very healthy for those of us who suffered. Blessedbe and hug the kitties for me.

    • Cats can be the best people haha.

      I used to feel so afraid to talk about the things that happened to me either as a child or in my marriage where I was a victim of abuse, but when I learned that it allowed me to let go and feel free, as will bring comfort and strength to others in similar situations, I taught myself to be less afraid of it. It’s still a work in progress, but the more that I face it, the healthier and more safer I feel in my own mind and body. So I totally agree with you. Pretending to be happy never seems to work; conquering what doesn’t make you happy definitely leads to more joy in life.

      • It is scary and often hard to talk about childhood abuse. My mother was my primary abuser, I was so afraid of her – and here in the U.S. we have this big culture where mothers are PERFECT ANGELS and if they were abusive, it must be she had a problem, too. Yes. She is a sadistic narcisstic psychopath. Doesn’t excuse it. So I get some very negative responses when I do speak of my childhood. It’s tough, but it makes me feel even more that people need to know. Like you, like most of us, I “escaped” the abusive family to an abusive marriage. So, here again, I believe our stories are so important. Because we have both proven that you CAN break that cycle. That you can choose to step away from the abuse and the abusers and create a life with love and beauty and creativity and and good self esteem and all the good things there are in life. In fact, I think people who have lived in the dark appreciate the smallest joys more than most. And then there is my theory that one warm, putting kitty can cure almost anything…

        • Oh same with me. In my Indian culture, abuse from mothers is almost expected, like it’s ingrained in the culture of mothers teaching their daughters how to be “proper women” so they can “find good husbands.” But at the same time, you NEVER talk about it. If you do talk about it, and you are being abused, then clearly it’s because you’re the bad daughter or bad seed. My mother in denial. I’ve tried to talking to her as an adult about the things that she continues to do that is very harmful and toxic, but she ignores it flat out, changes the topic, or gets so defensive and makes a million excuses that it’s pointless to try anymore. But whenever I see my friends being abused, or are in abusive relationships/situations, I try to help them out as much as I can. Most people don’t recognise the signs of abuse and mistake it for tough love, which I did for a long time.

  4. I’m happy I have been able to be there for you and support you during the past almost half a decade! I’m also glad you had your grandmother and brother when you where younger to help show you that not everything was hopeless 🙂

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