when grandpa didn’t like me

It’s always interesting – sometimes good, sometimes bad – to find out something about your past that explains so much about yourself in the present.

It’s hard to find out you were unwanted as a child. I always knew my grandfather was a narcissistic asshole. He was a truly horrible person. And for some reason I will never understand, he hated me. Or was at least completely indifferent to my existence. My mother shared a memory with me yesterday from when I was three. My grandfather was our (I have a twin brother) primary babysitter until we started school and could begin fending for ourselves. On this particular day, I looked at my mother and told her I didn’t want to go to grandpa’s house. When she asked me why, I replied solemnly, “grandpa doesn’t like me.”

My mother didn’t sugar coat it. She didn’t try to explain it away or make excuses. She just said that is the way it is, grandpa can be mean sometimes. She made sure I always had a book with me and I would find a hidden corner to curl up in and read until mom or dad came to pick us up. I know this broke my mother’s heart.

I have spent most of my life feeling unwanted or ignored by my family. I always feel they never want me around or are humoring me when they invite me to things. The first thing I do at any gathering is grab my book and find a quiet spot to tuck myself into for the day. I claim my spot and after 30 some years, my family has figured out that you don’t sit in Lauren’s spot. It has been a running joke among my in-laws since my husband and I met.

Hearing my mother tell this story of a three year old realizing she’s not wanted explains so much about my current view of my place in the world. My psyche has spent the last 12 hours trying to reorder everything I thought I knew about myself and my family. I’m not sure I even know where to start.

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