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A Spiritually Enlightening Online Magazine.     May Theme: "Roots"     Volume 1 Issue 4     ISSN# 1708-3265

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Aunty Nasty
with Nasturtium Blackwitt PhD. M.E.D., F.D. (Min. H.R.D.F.), Pr. Dip. P.K.C.

Warning: Some readers may find her opinions abrasive, disturbing, or even offensive!

'Roots'. Ah yes… this brings us to the delicate discussion of our family tree. I am the middle-born of seven girls, all named after flowers. Mother called us her "bouquet of daughters." First there was Rose, followed by Lily and Pansy, and then I came along. After me were a set of twins, Lavender and Begonia, and finally the last of the bunch, little Petunia.

Now you have to remember all this took place during a time when it was a popularly held belief that all real men sired sons. So when Bartholemew Blackwitt's seventh child was born - yet another girl - and the chaps on his polo team started openly referring to him as "ball-less Bart"… well, dear old Father finally snapped.

His ego totally crushed, he retired to his study, rarely to be seen again. Perhaps this explains why many of my sisters married early, and usually to older men. No doubt they were attempting to fill the void left by our absentee-father - as we all experienced the painful issue of parental abandonment - along with others, as you will hear.

So our Mother did the best she could to raise her daughters in a father-less environment. At least she didn't have to worry about money - Father had pots of dough and wasn't stingy financially, but his absence caused us all to personally blame him for putting the F U in dysfunction.

Mother was never really able to get over her sense of being a less than adequate woman by not producing a son and heir to the Blackwitt name - and the twins, Lavender and Begonia, suffered drastically from penis envy in their attempt to be the sons Father never had. Lord only knows they were trouble from the moment they could walk. They were the scourges of the neighbourhood - beating up every boy who crossed their path. Bullying, then, as now, is totally unacceptable behaviour; and we all knew they were headed for big trouble. Eventually their constant terrorizing of the local lads culminated in a nasty legal mess, with the Magistrate consigning them to a reformatory school.

Mind you, the male population of the district heaved a collective sigh of relief. Some of those poor boys had spent months on end with black eyes and broken lips. With the terrible twosome out of the way, the Dentist took a long-overdue vacation, the Doctor saved a fortune on splints and bandages, and most of the local lads could finally see and speak properly.

I must admit there was always a nagging question in the back of my mind regarding the parentage of the twins. They were so radically different from the rest of us, I always wondered if maybe when Mother conceived them she might have been skinny-dipping in someone else's gene pool, in a desperate attempt to break the cycle of producing only girl babies.

In hindsight, maybe it wasn't grief, but guilt, which caused Mother to become so totally withdrawn after the twins were sent away. Whatever the cause, the end result was we remaining sisters mostly felt we had no parents at all.

Clinical studies often note the 'middle child' taking on the role of 'mediator' or 'go-between' in the dysfunctional family dynamic - and no doubt this was one of the many reasons for my instinctive career choice. Good heavens, by the time I was fifteen I was already a "pro" at analysis and counselling with my mother and sisters. The old saying: "As the twig is bent, so grows the tree" certainly applied in my case, as it seems my family tree predisposed me to a career as a Psychologist.

Each of my older sisters, Rose (AKA Rosey-Posey), Lily (Lil the Pill) and Pansy (Pansy-Wansy), married and left home as soon as they were able. They just couldn't get away fast enough from our 'looney bin' of a household. Both Lily and Pansy have been divorced more than once, and Pansy's husband (the beast) is having a red-hot affair with his secretary.

So, as the older girls went off, I was effectively left in the position of 'older sister' to the horrible twins and to the youngest and sweetest child of them all, Petunia (Little Stinky). Oh yes, we all had nicknames - you know how cruel kids can be, playing with one's given name.

Begonia and Lavender did eventually return home from the reform school, (which, by the way, worked wonders and changed them both into real little ladies); and Mother proudly married them off to a Dentist and a Doctor, respectively.

Little Stinky was courted for a couple of years by the local eligible males, but ended up running away with the gardener. Sometimes I think she is the happiest of us all.

And as for me - I never married. As if you wonder why? With all those crappy examples of relationships gone horribly wrong in our family, I made up my mind to never, never, never, give up my independence for anyone.

So, there's my story about my 'roots'. Now, tell me, what did your family tree produce?

Are you a fine, mature, well-rounded fruit? Or are you more like me… just another nut?

Ms. Blackwitt is a noted psychologist who specialises in dysfunctional behavioural and abnormal sociological interaction. Her column features insightful commentaries on familial relationships, as viewed from her unique perspective.

Affectionately known as 'Aunty Nasty', amongst her many honours and awards are a Ph. D in 'Mammalian Excretement Dispersal' and a Degree of Familiarity with The Ministry of Human Remains and Dysfunctional Families.

Ms.Blackwitt also served in the Armed Forces on a 6-year tour of duty as a Diplomatic Peace-Keeper in Washington, D.C., during which time she rose to the top of her team, quickly attaining the exalted rank of Private, and was subsequently transferred to Bikini Atoll, (with undisclosed rank) where she gained extensive hands-on experience in Mammalian Excrement.

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