I've always been the black sheep. In the family I grew up in I was always the odd one out. I used to resent the hell out of my father and stepmother, who treated me harshly and used me as an au-pair for their three kids. I couldn't wait to get out of the house and start living my own life, on my own terms!
I've always known I was a freak, from a very young age. I didn't know exactly how, but it was obvious to me (and probably also to the other kids who hassled and laughed at me whenever possible) that I was different.
Somehow I managed to surmount the weight of growing up surrounded by so much disapproval, and today I have to say that my life is pretty freakin' awesome.
I've even begun to suspect that they (unwittingly) actually did me a favor in their unkindness. Because I really am my own person, and I have learned how to laugh in the faces of those who would force me into their molds. I'm not saying that I don't care what ANYone thinks - far from it. A sharp word from Jovino can reduce me to jelly - but then, he actually cares about me and doesn't automatically assume that his way is The Right Way.
In any case, I either care or I don't, and if you don't have my best interests at heart, you can jolly well find someone else to (attempt to) push around. My relationship with Peter ended (in part) due to issues around him thinking he knew better than I did, and while there was plenty wrong with the relationship with the abusive ex, he too thought he knew better than me and should therefor tell me what I should be doing. This shit does NOT fly, yo! (Indeed, it hits the fan with alacrity.)
Seems to me, though, that much like the Boy Named Sue, they made me strong. I've been thinking about this because I've recently had eerily parallel conversations with several friends on related topics. And I realized that if C+D had been kinder to me, I might have been caught in a similar trap - that of being the "good kid" who does what is expected without being difficult, disagreeing etc... and therefor subsuming my life to their values and desires. And, fuck THAT!
Don't get me wrong - my life sucked rocks through a straw for much of my youth. However, I have to feel at least a twinge of relief at having avoided at least this one pitfall, of having to please those who do not in fact have my best interests at heart. And thank fucking god for that!