Today I am scared.
I want you to know this because all of these things have culminated over the last ten years into what I deal with today and who I have become. It’s always been a goal to write my life story. If I don’t figure out how to deal with all of this, I may not have that chance. I know everyone has a story. I feel like mine is
important to share. For many reasons, but mainly to help myself.
When I turned 16, like every normal teenager, I got my driver’s license, eager to have the freedom and independence to begin to head out into the adult world and lead a life of my own. A life of my own choices filled with responsibilities and independence and fun and adventure and love and purpose... A life leaving behind the anguish I went through growing up, the one where I caught my mother naked in bed with another man in my parent’s bed when I was 5, the one where she eventually chose that man over my father and sister and I and left the three of us for good when I was 7. I would always wonder why my mom didn’t want to be with us, why we were so unimportant as to promise to come and visit and then never show up- leaving our noses pressed to the window in disappointment as every passing car proved not to be hers. Given she isn’t the best mother, she brought me into this world and for that, I love her.
My new life was also leaving behind the eventual step-mother whose absurd rules left me resentful toward both she and my father- I was 10 when they married and she was only 11 years older than me. Just some of those rules included things such as kitchen closing at 8pm, bedtime at 9pm, eating everything on the dinner plate whether we liked what she cooked or not and sitting there at the table for hours until everything had been eaten, washing our own dishes, packing our own lunches, being locked in our rooms when we were a bother and when we broke the rules, the punishments over the years ranged from slaps across the face, hairbrushes and wooden spoons whacked across our behinds, sometimes so hard the object would snap, to even being dragged up the stairs by my hair one time to be locked in my room. Although she may not have been my mother, and nasty at times, she was more of a mom to me than the one who gave birth to me, and I do love her.
At 13 I moved in with my grandparents because I couldn’t take it anymore, my sister came with me. My grandmother (my Mams) had always taken care of me. On top of all of the above, I had been a sickly child. I had major surgery when I was 4 where they reconstructed the left side of my kidney to correct the defected tubes (I had an extra) connecting to the bladder. Mams had always taken good care of me when I was sick. I remember how sad I was one year when I was lying on her couch feverish and ill, watching Trick-or-Treaters coming to the door for candy. I miss her.
My little sister has always been my “rock.” Being 4 years behind me, she didn’t always necessarily know what was going on, but in my moments of sadness and tears, she would always give me a hug and tell me everything would be ok. She always made me feel better. I can’t imagine being here today without having had her in my life. I love her.
At 15 I moved back home. My sister came with me. The fights continued with my stepmother; even driving me to go so far as to lie myself across the railroad tracks behind my house one night. I’m not so sure I would have stayed there anyway, but the neighbor came over and made me get up. The fact that I even went that far should define the anguish I was feeling.