I was a teenager at the time. I was crying as I told my mother of my problem.
Then he bursts in. He does not await his turn to speak. He bellows: “There should be eight pairs of socks in my drawer and there are only seven!” My very submissive mother leaves me in the middle of my sob story, to go and find my father’s 8th pair of socks.
It is not like he needs those socks right now, mind you. He is not on his way somewhere and desperately need the black socks to match his clothes. He simply dislikes the thought that not all his things are in the right places.
My biggest problem is less important, to my mother, and of course my father, than my father’s 8th pair of socks. I am less important than his eight pair of socks. What is the worth of a pair of socks? A few Rands.* What is my worth? So far less that there is not a moment’s hesitation, the choice to worry about the socks is automatic.
I understood that my father was- and still is - more important to my mother than I am. But I didn’t get why his 8th pair of socks was more important. It never helped to talk to my submissive mother about it. Been there, done that. All she did was to deny it (“you are not less important than socks”), but she did the same thing again each following time. Whenever my father wanted something, his most trivial desire was more important that anything me or my siblings needed.
I had a terrible self-image…” – True story, teller prefers to remain anonymous.
I publish this story without comment. Draw your own conclusions on one-sided submission and the influence it has on family life.
*Rands are the South African unit of money.