Monday, March 25, 2013

My shit

So, everyone is telling their story...  I guess it's time to tell mine.  I spent the last few days mulling this over, and deciding if I wanted to tell it or not, it brings up a lot of pain and heartbreak, but it brought it up for everyone else, too.  I like what Raven said best about it:  it lets people know that they aren't alone.

So here's my story.

I have some good memories of child hood, they are mostly of my dad.  I remember him hooking the sled to the lawn tractor and pulling my brother and I around in the snow, and we'd fall off, and then run like hell trying to catch him and get back on again.  I remember dad coming home from sales trips and some little trinket he had brought me, and the hugs and how much I missed him.

I remember mom's college graduation, and how proud she was of being an RN.  I remember mom sleeping on the couch during the day because she worked graveyard.

I remember my cousin putting a towel on the sofa and laying me down and putting make up on me, and us just being girls, and I remember some very nice memories of my grandparents.

These are some of the good memories...

Mostly what I have are bad memories: my brother and I huddled in my room afraid because mom and dad were screaming and fighting with each other, I remember when mom and dad got divorced.  This is when most of the bad stuff starts... the stuff I remember anyway.

When I look back, I realize that my dad probably shielded my brother and I from the worst side of our mom.  I am convinced that there is a lot from early childhood that I blocked out for some reason or another.  The divorce started the bad stuff.  My mom had a prescription drug problem, and had a position as a Director of Nursing at one of the nursing homes. When her patients died, she had been taking their narcotics instead of disposing of them properly.  My dad had taken those drugs to use as evidence against my mom in court.  My mom guilt tripped me, at the tender age of about 12, to sneak in to where my dad had them, and flush them down the toilet for her.  Not long after that, I was in the car with my mom when she tried to run over my dad with the car.  He was on crutches from having knee surgery.  I don't know how she didn't kill him that night.

Mom got progressively worse, she was a master manipulator, and was very emotionally and mentally abusive.  What ever was wrong, it was my fault, or my brother's.  We moved around a lot after mom and dad split.  Mostly around the same town, but I was constantly in a new school, and since things at home were so rough, I put all my energy in to reading and school work.  It was what I had.  I didn't get to go to slumber parties, nor do I remember ever being invited to one. I didn't get to have friends over.

Mom got worse as I got older, or maybe I just remember it better.  My mom married a man who leered suggestively at me as I developed in to a teenager.  My mom had a child with this man, but he had as many mental health issues as she did.  They fought furiously as well, usually with him drunk or strung out on some kind of medicine, while my mom tried to buy her way in to my heart.  Some time around this period, my brother went to live with our dad, but my mom had convinced me that my dad was worthless and shirking his duties as a father and I wouldn't even speak to him.  Dad remarried, and I had a step-sister who delighted in always getting the blame for bad things placed on me.  One more reason I didn't want to go see my dad.  I know this sounds pretty mundane, but it wasn't.  It was far worse that I have words to describe. On more than one occassion, I was witness to my step dad beating my mom, then screaming at her to shut up, then demanding that she talk to him, and then threatening to beat her some more if she didn't shut up.  It was a no win situation.  He'd go off on a bender, and then come back to her with nice presents to show that he was sorry, and had changed.  Mom took out her aggression on me.  The same way, screaming and yelling and telling me how worthless I was.  Then she would also be sorry, and buy nice things for me.

When my mom left my step dad, that was a huge long ordeal, it spanned a lot of years as they divorced and remarried each other several times.  My step dad and mom got into huge battles in court, often putting me in the middle.  My step dad kidnapped my sister at one point, and the police had to bring her back.

I found ways to disappear in to my own world.  I was in the chorus in both middle and high schools.  I got bullied and picked on in middle school and had no one to talk to.  I got made fun of constantly for one stupid reason or another.  But a lot of that changed when I hit high school.

I wasn't the only fish in the sea, and I developed friendships of my own.  I was in the band as a member of the color guard.  I enjoyed spending as much time away from home as possible.  When I was at home, I was always rehearsing something, whether it was music from choir, or doing my flag routines in the back yard until it was too dark to see.  I did every assignment, and every extra credit assignment I could, as a way to escape from what was going on at home.  Around this time, I became the babysitter for my sister.  I liked it alright enough, but I had no basis for comparison.  My mom began stealing, as a means to make herself feel better.  She was actually arrested for theft, and had to spend time in jail for it.  That was the time I got to spend at a friend's house.

My mom began to resent my friends, and found reasons why I couldn't talk to them.  I hadn't done enough chores, I didn't do well enough on X project for school, I spent too much time in band and chorus.

Mom's mental and emotional abuse got worse, and I was supposed to be her companion, and love her no matter what.  I was supposed to be loyal, dammit.  She started drinking, and I started sneaking out.  At first with my cousin, and we'd drink a little and raise some hell, and I'd go home.  Sometimes it was while my mom worked nights, and sometimes, it was just because.  I learned that I don't like alcohol.  All this time, I was generally a good girl.  I didn't have sex, I didn't fool around too much with boys, because good girls didn't do that.  Good girls are not sluts.  My mom started attacking my self esteem.  I was maybe 100-120 lbs, and my ass was "two ax-handles wide."  It was always something to cut me down and make me hate myself.  The next couple of years are a little jumbled up.

I remember one night, mom and I had went to my aunt's house.  We were fighting with each other over something stupid.  She screamed, she drug me outside and screamed.  She left me, she came back.  She kept telling me that the police would make me come home because they didn't like runaways.  And she left again, saying that she didn't want me.  Now, my grandmother was at my aunt's house that night, and I remember when my mom came back the last time, she grabbed me by my hair and pulled me out of my chair and I put my hands up to keep her from pulling out my hair, she took this as a sign that I was fighting back, or maybe she just wanted a reason.  I lost some time here, the next memory is of my aunt and my grandmother pulling my mom off of me.  I was lying on my back on the floor with my hands over my head while she beat the shit out of me.

I was beaten at that point.  I very quietly got in the car and rode home with her. When we got home, my mom got my sister, who was maybe 4 out of the car and started in to the house with her.  I watched her go, and I turned and ran.  I ran for my life.  I went through back yards, and around houses and I could hear her screaming for me as she drove through the neighborhood looking for me.  I don't know how long I avoided her and ran in the night, terrified that she would kill me if she caught me, and I ran.  I went to a girl's house a few miles from my own and beat on the door until her mother opened it.  It was late for a school night, and I was there, trembling, and covered in sweat and dirt, probably obviously beaten, and crying.  I know I said something along the lines of "please help me, my mom beat me up and she will kill me if she finds me now."  I remember Ann coming out, and the police showing up.  I remember going to an institution of some kind for kids that was full of all the really bad kids.  I remember going to another home, with half a dozen kids. I think i stayed there about a week.  I remember my aunt meeting me somewhere that wasn't at the home to bring me some of my clothes.  She asked me why I was doing this to my mother.  Yes the same aunt that watched her nearly kill me in her dining room.

I went to a foster home after that.  It was better than my house had been.  I wasn't beaten, yelled at, or emotionally destroyed there.  Not by the adults.  They had 2 children that were about my age that were their own kids.  As with my step sister, my foster sister was really good at making me feel like she was my friend, and then blaming me for the bad things she did.  I don't remember how long I lived there, but I was a teenager, and I was finally allowed to date!  I got to go out, and have some fun, be a kid.  I was 17 when I lost my virginity to a preacher's son.  He later broke up with me to go out with my foster sister.  I hear that he got her pregnant and they got married.  *shrugs*

While I was in foster care, my mom went to court, she told the judges how my friends were a bad influence on me, she got them to make a court order so that I couldn't talk to them any more.  Naturally, the lawyers and all talked to my friend's parents, and they weren't allowed to speak to me anymore.  i was alienated from everyone.  I was alone.  At the end of that semester, i was transferred to the high school that my foster family was zoned for, and I tried to start again.  A few months after that, my mom went to the judges again and filed to relinquish her rights to me.  I remember my case worker picking me up and taking me to meet in the Judge's office while my mother sat there and told him how she didn't want me any more.  I was brave.  I didn't cry. Now, despite everything I had went through to this point, I loved my mother deeply.  And I was breaking that my mother, who always told me how badly she had wanted to get pregnant with me no longer wanted me.  She was throwing me away.

I went to live with my aunt at some point after that.  I finished out that year at that high school.  I had my own problems with my aunt, who wanted to know why I was airing family business in public.  It was our business, and no one needed to know about it.  But I kept wondering that if it was family business, why wasn't anyone helping me?  No one wanted to talk about mom's drug problems, or her drinking problem, or the way she beat me up physically, emotionally, or mentally.  I should say at this point, my mom had attempted suicide multiple times.  Someone always bailed her out.  Someone always picked her up, someone always rode to her rescue.  Where was my help?

I was convinced sometime during my senior year, that my mom really did love me, and that I should go back to live with her.  So I did.  I remember her moving us (my mom, my sister, and myself) to South Carolina, so we could have a new start.  She would make really good money at a hospital there, and it would all be better.  Mom didn't do well there.  And she had her babysitter built in there.  I would get up in the morning, get my sister ready and drop her off at daycare on my way to school.  When school got out, I would change clothes in the car on the way to my job at the mall.  When the mall closed, I would finish my work, and drive home, where my sister would be asleep in the floor with a movie played in to static on the VCR, and mom would be passed out drunk somewhere in the house.  I'd pick up my sister and carry her to bed, then I would wrestle my drunk mom to her bed.  She would vomit on me, or pee on me, or both most nights on that journey.  I remember when she wanted help, and the local people to help wanted to take my sister because I wasn't 18 yet.  So we moved back to Tennessee.  Mom kept drinking, and I tried to finish my senior year.  I remember a couple of places we lived.  I remember singing my sister to sleep every night.  I remember hiding mom's liquor and then fighting with her because she couldn't find it.  I remember graduation.

I moved away from home soon after that.  I moved in with a boyfriend, and then we moved to Sevierville.  I waited tables, and he cooked.  I smoked a lot of pot.  I partied.  I talked to mom on the phone sometimes, she usually found something to make me feel badly about myself.  Several years passed.  I got pregnant with my son while living in Kentucky.  It was an accident.  I was trying to leave that boyfriend at the time, as he was as abusive as she was.  I couldn't leave while I was pregnant.  My son's father was my mother made over.  I stayed with him for a short time, and then I left him while he was at work one night.  I had squirreled away tip money for a Uhaul and arranged for my mom to meet me at our apartment that night to help.  Yes, I turned to my mom for help.  It was all I knew.

I lived in an apartment for a while with my son.  I helped my mom with her new business until I fell in love.  Then I moved to Knoxville.  One morning, I was called downstairs by some men beating on the door. These men were the FBI, it seems my mom had been doing a lot of bad things and she was telling the FBI that it was all my doing.  I should add in here that mom was always telling me that my dad or my sister's dad was out to get her, and take away her money.  So while she was forming her business, I was talked in to letting her put my name on it, opening a checking account for her.  She had also bought a house, and had it put in my grandmother's name.

The FBI told me that morning that what I had to say would depend on whether I sat at the defense table with my mother, or whether I would be a witness for the prosecution.  I told them that I didn't have anything to hide, as I had done nothing wrong.  To make a long story short, my mom did time in a federal prison for laundering money.  My sister lived with a different aunt while she was locked up.  I wrote to her while she was in prison, but she never wrote back.

When mom got out, she got my sister back, and my sister had gotten a taste of normal life.  She wasn't happy with our mother's tyranny.  There were a lot of fights, and mom still had drug and alcohol problems.  The night that sticks out in my mind is the night I thought she had killed herself.  I was working for Rural Metro and had called mom to see how she was.  It was obvious that she was all doped up on something. I asked to talk to my sister, and mom kept passing out.  I called my grandmother and asked her to check on her, and mamaw was no help.  So I did the only thing I knew to do.  I called the county dispatch for the city she lived in and told them who I was.  I outlined the situation, and asked them to send police and an ambulance to her house, and to please find my sister.

My mom had overdosed on gods know what, and my sister was missing. Mom was eventually admitted to a psych hospital, and I spent days wondering where my sister was, and worrying.  I begged the police to tell me that she was ok.  She had also run away.  While mom was in the mental hospital, she talked to me a few times, and she was just as mean as she ever was.  She ended up going back to prison for breaking her probation.

I was stuck in a bad relationship at this time, with yet another man who was my mother made over.  I still cannot speak about a lot of the things that went on with my ex.  I can tell you that I believe that he was an alcoholic, and he thought he was a good man and good for me, but my own experiences do not reflect that.  I tried to make that work for many years.  I was convinced that I would make my relationship work: I was wrong, I needed to change, I could fix it, until one day... I had had enough.

Just before I left my ex, my mother died in her home quite unexpectedly.  She and I never got to mend our fences, and I regret that still.  My son now lives with his father.  My son does not trust Raven because of poor choices that I made.  I will never forgive myself for putting him through that.  I hope that one day, maybe he can forgive me.

I have sat here and typed for almost 2 hours, now.  My hands hurt, and my eyes sting.  I have not covered nearly everything, but hopefully I have shed some light on some things.  Maybe now it makes sense to some of you why I get anti-social, and go all hermit like and don't talk to people.

I know I count myself blessed every day that I am not a raving lunatic, and that Raven and I found each other.  I also thank the gods every day that I have friends now, and people who choose to build me up instead of beat me down. If you have questions, please feel free to ask.  I don't mind, and I hope that I can help someone at some time.

Sunday, July 8, 2012

Hurt

So I am left wondering what's wrong with me...

I found out about a week ago that my sister is living with my dad's friend's son.  That sounds pretty convoluted, but it isn't.  Also, she's pregnant.  Ok, so no big, she's preggo, I will check it out.  So I get home from work, and find out that she's on the way to the hospital to have the baby.  Wow...

Also, none of this information is from her, it came from my dad to start with, and then the info about being on the way to the hospital from her fiancee's mother's wall on FaceBook.  I was incredibly hurt that she hadn't thought enough of me to call me in the last eight months or so.  I mean, really?

The next day I find out from my brother that she's back on Facebook and he has been talking to her, and knew that she was pregnant.  WTF?  Really? I can't figure out why no one has thought it worthwhile to tell me besides my dad.

You may think: "you know, you could call her too."  You're right, I could, if she wasn't known for being irresponsible and disappearing and changing all her phone numbers and email addresses for months at a time.

If we hadn't ever been close, I could understand it.  I really could, but I raised her until she was 6 when I got out of our abusive home.  I have had a tremendous amount of survivor's guilt because I left, and left her there.  I tried to help her when our mom tried to kill her when she was 15ish, when she turned her back on me and chose a life with people who let her do whatever she wanted.  I get that, she's a kid, she wants to have fun and do what she wants to do, not what someone else tells her is best.  Later, I let her and her husband move in with me and my husband because his parents owned the house they lived in and were giving them all kinds of hell.  She never paid rent, she was there for 2 months and never pitched in on anything, but bought groceries once.  She didn't work, and we let her drive our car and move like 4 freaking cats in with us.

When her grandmother died (she and I have different fathers), her Aunt called me so that I could get ahold of her and let her know, first when she was sick, and then when she actually died.  Because they didn't know how to get ahold of her.  When I finally did get ahold of her, after jumping through all kinds of hoops because, finding her and letting her know was the right thing to do: she never even said "Thanks."  Never mind that I went to a lot of trouble to find her.

Now, she has finally friended me on Facebook again, and I go to her page to see what she's been up to and I am hurt all over again.  There are pictures of her at her baby shower and all.  I should be there for those things.  I'm hurt that she doesn't want anything to do with me, and doesn't even seem to care anything about me.

How do I stop caring?  How do I not be hurt?  I don't know, but sometimes I really wish that I could just cut hurtful people out of my life like they have cut me to the bone.  It would be so much easier.

I can't help but wonder if one of the big lessons that I am supposed to learn in this life is pain and suffering, because I sure do get a lot of it.

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Cleaning out my closet

For years, I have done what a lot of women do: held on to shit I can't wear.   I went shopping one day last week with my husband.  We came to an agreement:  I would try things on and decide what felt good, he told me what looked good.  This worked out well for us since I practically avoided the mirror, and he is the weird man who enjoys shopping.

It made me realize something.  I am hanging on to the past.  I have the past hanging in my closet and taking up space in my drawers.  I am not the past anymore, I am a new woman.  I have new hopes and dreams, and new goals.  It felt good to be in things that actually fit.

As much as it pains me, I will probably never fit into a size 10 anything again.  But that's ok.  I don't need to be a size 10 to be happy.  I will continue to work on my health, through diet and exercise, and as I shrink, I will be rewarded with new clothes.  Clothes that help accentuate who I am today, not who I was a decade or more ago.

I like the person I have become, and while I have a few items that I am hanging on to, I am cleaning out my closets!  Give me time to be realistic and weed it all out, but, I am facing who I am in the mirror, and I am proud to be me.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

My garden this year


So I've been asked what I am growing this year.  I am going to run down the list.  Also, keep in mind, I am growing all this in a duplex apartment, with no outside faucet.

*Sugar Daddy Peas

*Super Snappy Peas

*Blue Lake Pole Beans

*Red Beefsteak Tomatoes

*Zuchini

*Straight Eight Cucumbers

*Garlic

*Mediterranean Oregano

*Basil

*Mint julep

*Pineapple Mint

*Chocolate Mint

*Golden Cayenne

*Yellow Bell Pepper

*Spinach

*All Seasons Romaine Lettuce

*Looseleaf Lettuce Mix- includes Black Seeded Simpson, Red Salad Bowl, Royal Oak Leaf, Lollo Rossa, & Salad Bowl

*[5 peppers from a Hot Pepper Mix

*[2 Peppers from a Sweet Heirloom Mix


I think that's everything!  If I could figure out how to grow more, I totally would!