Tuesday, May 17, 2011


I had none, unlike many ACONs. But there's no difference - I was lazy and ungrateful, and the absence of chores not only proved that, but also made me feel clumsy and incompetent throughout my life.

Only when I got married and had kids did I realize just how ridiculously easy the stuff they did was - vacuum once a week, do the laundry with no ironing and prepare two simple meals a day and do the dishes with ONE kid? THIS is what I was in awe of and SO grateful for all these years?

How about you?


  1. haha yeah. i read your comment. in my case, i had no clarity or set standards either. and i think for the longest time, that made me think i had it easy and i felt guilty and spoiled.
    and in my case, both my parents are rather anal retentive. my mom esp. my house is like. SPOTLESS. NO MESS. everything folded, everything arranged. it's RIDICULOUS. its like no one LIVES here. which i guess is a pretty good description of narcs!
    so i didnt have to learn chores. i just had to learn to be EXTREMELY meticulous and non-impactful in everything i did. i never left shit out. if i ate something, i always cleaned up after myself. i learned to leave no mark.

    yeah i think a part of it was to make me feel incompetent and incapable of taking care of myself. which is bull. and yeah its ridiculously easy and simple, but my mom goes all OCD about it and acts like cleaning and washing dishes is like the HARDEST THING IN THE WOOOORRRRLLLLLDDDD. jesus there is SO MUCH MORE to life than cleanliness.

  2. oh god are you an only child too? yay i am too. i realized that a while ago too. its like they act like raising me was some kind of herculean feat i should be always grateful for, like 'you dont know jackshit about how great and hard a feat it was!'. then i realized that i'm an only child. theres just one of me. how fucking hard is it to feed and clothe and take care of one fucking kid. jesus. without me, they wouldnt have had a single fucking thing to do anyways. these people make lemons out of lemonade.

  3. The Dragon waffled between both extremes. I was either expected to do everything, or nothing at all. If she expected me to do everything it was because I owed her for my very existence. If she expected nothing, it was because I was an ungreatful shit that she had to work her fingers to the bone for. There was no inbetween, and no notification other than glares and mood swings to tell me different. It just depended on how she needed to be fed.... worshiped like a queen, or play the martyr.

  4. Yes. I've almost disqualified myself from the ACON label a few times because my chores weren't bad: a few very small tasks, all involving cleaning, one of them (one bathroom) involving a choreographed memorized routine to be followed precisely, and therefore avoided for shameful lengths of time.

    Meanwhile very nearly not allowed to cook except under edification mode, per exact precise fiercely enforced instructions, because Mother, raised by a domestic incompetent, had to learn her own cooking skills from books, without training in the intuitive side of the art, and was therefore defensive about cooking. (Meanwhile, to Father: "You get gooor! may! meals! every night!" "What do you mean, 'This is good,' you sound like you're surprised! You sound like it's not good every time!")

    All clothing selected by either self or Father had to be more than 50% polyester (hence icky) so it would not "need ironing". Offering to iron one's own clothes or to wear them unironed didn't change the ruling.

    Yes, the strange part, still, is to discover that doing the work well enough (not to Her standards, perhaps) is easy. It was made to seem impossible for someone like me. I still have to gather up my nerve a little to scrub the shower.

    I had a dream once involving a punishment at school. It really did happen that I threw crayons at a painted concrete wall and they (reasonably) made me clean the wax marks off the wall. One mark, the more I scrubbed, only seemed to get bigger. It turned out I was removing the paint. At the school, they realized and laughed and forgave me. Exaggerated, that was the part at the center of my dream. The dark spot grew to cover the wall. In the dream I wasn't forgiven.


    P.S. Pronoia, I answered your note re authors at House of Mirrors.

  5. We moved so much and had differing economic years during childhood that when I think of chores I am only seeing from age 13 and up. I can say I made my own breakfast and lunch starting very early in life, AND when my NM was single and I was in kindergarten I had to leave the house by myself and walk to school. I do have a brother 2 yrs older. When I was 15 and 16 I could make dinners and did lots of laundry. I would still get accused of being spoiled. I went to college at age 18 and none of the other girls knew how to do their laundry.
    i have 3 kids and DH and I work and we have no housekeeper, so everyone has chores to do on Saturday. I do want my kids to know how to make themselves grilled cheese, etc. And I have taught my boys to do laundry. With sports it seems a clean uniform is always needed and they do need to help remember to get their wash to the laundry and I have taught them to use the washing machine.

  6. You've just made me remember this incident where I was told to do the dishes, then scolded for not doing them quickly enough or well enough. I never learned how to do it properly though, and there was hardly any cleaning going on. N didn't generally make me do it (apart from the occasional dishes, etc), but it just was not done at all. I was, however, always told to be grateful because she had it so much harder, and my life was just wonderful, unlike hers, which was sooo hard. Etc.

  7. Us kids were never given chores growing-up because to do so would be to acknowledge our existence and show interest in developing our skills of responsibility etc. Also, N Dad would not be able to refer to us as, "ungrateful, spoiled rotton, good for nothing, lazy brats!" Quite a mouthful huh? It was a self-fulfilling prophecy on his part.


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