Unstable Home(s), My 1st Years of Life. Part 1

Warning, this post contains violence against children and should not be read by those who are extra sensitive to child abuse.

I had to break this post into 2 parts. I wrote all of it in one day, before work, between meetings, in stairwells, and elevators. It honestly ripped a little piece of me up. But this is the point of the blog. To tell the untold stories. And for some one to read them and feel that they are not alone.

I was born into a violent home, to a very young mother and a father who already had a sordid past. He had 1 child with an ex he never spoke to again and a small criminal record. He didnt graduate highschool and could never hold down a job for more than a few weeks. He primary sold drugs to bring in income.

The 1st house I remember was the shack I talked about in a previous post. The one one where I learned to fear my father. This is the house my brother was born into. He didnt know what was in store for him yet, he was just a baby. I already learned a few things at age 3, to protect myself.

I remember having a garden at that house and a large BlackBerry brush that seemed to reach the sky. I often ran around barefoot, bee stings being a constant in my young life.

But then something happened and we moved. We moved to a small appartment on the coast. I remember being put in the bedroom. With my not yet walking brother for hours at a time, while my mom worked and my dad did and sold drugs. And then we moved.

We moved to a small basement appartment, it was in town, so it was easy to walk every where. My mom didn’t drive and when we did have a car, some piece of shit that always broke down, my dad would never drive us anywhere. So we walked. To the grocery store, the library, the laundromat; carrying heavy loads was a burden I learned young. I was 4 in this house and was becoming more aware of things that were “off”

This is when I learned another vital life lesson. On one rare occasion my parents were doing something with friends. The only friends they had, my dads best friend, who despite being a total coke head ran his own business, got married had a beautiful house and kids. Another woman was watching us, I do not remember anything about her but her long, curly hair and long flowing skirt. The little kids were napping and I was on the front porch with her. She was sitting in a chair, while I grabbed the banister holding up the porch roof and began to spin around it. “My dad hits me all over” I said as I spun around. “What do you mean he hits you all over?” She asked. “He grabs me by my hair and hits me all over.” This had happened just days before. I was being yelled at for something and I started twirling my long hair out of nervousness. Suddenly my dad gripped my by my hair and began beating meeverywhere, for not listening. She didnt say another word about it and continued to let me play.

When my mom arrived to take us home, the woman pulled her aside, I heard hushed whispers.

The whole walk home, my mom clenched my hand tight, and kept asking “what did you say to her!?”

When I got home I was sat in a chair and interrogated, for hours, like a criminal. I wasn’t even sure what I did… I was confused and very scared. “I will never forgive you for this” my mother hissed at me.

That’s when I learned the vital life lesson of keeping secrets. If you tell you will pay dearly.

We moved again. Into a tiny house in front of the railroad tracks. There was a large parking lot in front of our house, I dont know why, but it’s where I learned to ride my bike. It’s also where my brother and I were left alone for hours on end, while he went on “bike rides.” Neglect can be as bad as abuse. We were 4/5 and 1/2. Anything could have happened. We had NO neighbors. A mexican restaurant was to our left and the road was to our right. I would have en terrified to leave anyways even if something did happened. We didn’t even have a phone. These were the times my brother and I made up elaborate games. We whould take all the food out of the pantry, put it on the “kitchen” table (it was just one room with 2 bedrooms and a bathroon), then we whould put a paper shopping bag on a chair and scoot it around like we were grocery shopping. We played games where I was the mother and he was the baby. I dressed him in my dresses. I cut our hair with safety scissors. But sometimes we fought and hurt eachother….And there was no one around to help us, or tell us to stop, or calm us. If we fought like the way we did when my dad was home, we would be beaten. So we tried hard not to when he was there.

Once, when drug dad was passed out, we came up with a game to climb on the end table and dive off onto the fold out couch. Over and over like we were flying. I guess our laughter woke him up, became he came out of the bed room whipping his belt off (the sound of a belt buckle clanging, still triggers painful memories for me) He whippped the shit out of us, and more when he found out we broke the pull out. And then the endless tirade of his yelling began. I was so scared I couldn’t even cry. I just grabbed a puzzle box and held it close to me. “Dont think I wont punch right through that puzzle box and break your fucking face.” This is the house I started having vivid nightmares about a wolf in my room, I would wake up screaming, pissing the bed (bed=blankets on the floor)

We moved again, to a town house in the slums of our town. I was 5 and should have been in school, but my mom worked and there was no way my dad was going to go out of his way to get me to school. This town house was right next to another, low income slum, which housed a ton of kids. We ran rampant through the complex, making up games and playing until dark. But the dark was inside my home as well, even in the day time. These were the times I remember my dad being passed out, and sadly watching my mom get ready for work, trying to feed myself and my younger brother, and getting beaten for making noise. Once when my mother was leaving for the evening shift, she showed my which number to turn the dial on the T.V. to watch GEM, my favorite show. But when it was time, the clicking noise woke up by drug passed out dad and he screamed at me to stop touching the T.V. I was crushed, I watched antiques roadshow for a while and then just went to my room. Once when I came bounding down the stairs after waking up, I saw that my brother was bundled up from a walk with our dad, he was eating a gigantic chocolate chip cookie. My lip involuntary pouted, and tears sprung to my eyes. Where was my cookie? That’s all it took to set my dad off. The yelling began and we all ran up to my room I shared with my brother to hide. My brother broke his cookie in half and gave it to me. We were both crying. My mom was frustrated with my hair trigger emotions and admonished me for crying. My dad was set off all day. We just stayed in our room. Once in the town house, I was playing in the bathtub, squatting to play with my toys on the edge of the tub. I slipped and cracked my chin open. Was I comforted? No, I was yelled at for doing something stupid. I was yanked out of the tub and as my mother had me, my dad looked to see if it split to the bone. It had not, I was told by him how lucky I was that we didnt have to go to the hospital for stitches. My mom held a towel to my face and stoked my hair.

We moved… again. With each move was a panic to get out. Either the rent had been raised or my dads extream paranoia were the cuses. We always had to throw out or leave a ton of stuff. That’s why I freak out so badly if my partner now tosses things with out me knowing. I just need to be sure I wont lose something important again.

This time we moved to a 4 unit apartment. The ally behind us butted up against the back fences of the houses on the next street over. The house closest to us had 5 kids and always room for more. This became my refuge. My best friend was smack in the middle with 2 older siblings and 2 younger siblings. I spent a lot of time with them. I even went to church on sundays and large family events with them. I think they knew something was up in my house, but this was 1989. No one did anything back then. I still didnt go to school, I think my parents were half trying to hide the abuse and half just didn’t want to deal with other people. I was home schooled from a bunch mail ordered, Christian homeschool books. But my mom worked and my dad had no interest in anything but getting high and playing video games. But when my mom realized she could not teach me to read, the sent me to public school. I went halfway thru the school year and immediately attached myself to a tall blond girl who was the complete opposite of me. Only child, divorced parents, had a dog, big personality. This was thefirst, but not last time, I learned to mimic others. I learned to read, I excelled in school. It was only 1st grade, but I LOVED school. I didnt have to be at home. I walked to the bus stop to and from school alone. At age 6. That seems insane to me now, but was pretty commen in the early 90s. A month after I started school I turned 7. My mom bought a bag of cookies and said there were enough in the bag for each kid in my class to have. There were not, the teacher was upset, accused me of lying and had to get animal crackers out for the kids who didn’t get cookies. Guilt and shame washed over me as I held back tears… my mom said there was enough.

My dad practiced martial arts and had sticks, nunchucks, metal retractable batons and a sword concealed in cain. On one particularly bad fight, my dad grabedcon off the sticks and beat my mom black and blue. I screamed at him to stop. The next day my mom took us to the park, down to one of the public bbq areas and burned all of his martial arts shit. Then she packed us up and took us to a womens shelter. He had beaten her many times before, but never with an actual weapon. My brother and I Loved the shelter! There was a gigantic playroom, and we were the only ones there! We never wanted to go back home..but we did.

My time line is fuzzy on the 2nd time we went to the shelter. My mom worked nights and we couldn’t be at the shelter alone, which meant we had to stay the night at peoples house who volunteered to take shelter kids in. The 1st woman… was abusive to us. She wouldn’t let me use the bathroom in the middle of the night and screamed at me for crying. Threatening me if I peed the bed. I was petrafied. I told my mom. We didnt go back to her. The next night we stayed with a young, childless couple who were incredibly gentle. They had lots of rabbits and let us play with them. Then we went back home.. again. To the lies and promises a master manipulator makes.

We moved again, this time to an 8 unit apartment, in a new school district. By this time I was used to moving, but it still hurt. I had to leave friends this time. I also had a hard time concentrating at school because my home life was so bad, again early 90s, no one thought to ask if you were being abused at home. My 2nd grade teacher didnt like me at all. When a new teacher started at the school, she handed me and 2 other kids slips of paper saying we were being transferred to her class. I walked out to recess and cried. I loved my class, even if my teacher didnt hide her disdain for me. I didnt last at that school for more than 2 months before my parents pulled me and put me back at my original school. It was a 30min bike ride to school every morning, but one of my parents took me and picked me up. I remained in that school until 4th grade. But school is another post entirety. My mom and I frequently rode our bikes to the grocery store, with backpacks on. We would fill our back packs with what we could carry and bike home. We did have a car at this time, but there was no way my dad was giving us a ride. When we got out of the store, it was raining pretty hard, so my mom used a payphone to call my dad for a ride. All I heard was my mother moaning “no, noooo, oh my God no” she started sobbing, she said my little brother picked up the phone and all she could hear after he said “hello” was a bunch of snacking sounds and him screaming. She called her husband for a ride home in the rain and overheard her 3 year old being beaten. She felt so guilty. She cried all the way home, in the rain. When we got home my brother was cowering in our room, my dad was on one of his endless, fucking tirades, and he had beaten my brother so bad he peed his pants. I have a 3 year old now. This is really hard for me to recount. I could NEVER imagine this happening to my child. Of course the rest of the day was ruined.

Soon we moved again. Back into my school district. This was a 12 unit 3 story building. We were in a basement apartment facing the parking lot. One day I came home to find my parents upset. My dads only friend committed suicide. My mom read the article in the paper to me, both of us crying. I knew the guy my whole 8 years of life and he never spoke an I’ll word to me. The last time he showed up at our door, his wife was divorcing him and he was do fucked up my dad turned him away.

This was in another neighborhood FULL of kids. We all ran the streets, picked up bottles to turn in for change and buy penny candy at the cornerstore. It was nice to have a place to escape home, but this is the year I started having bad anxiety and panic attacks. I didn’t know what it was back then, but now that I’m an adult I can identify them. They whould happened randomly to the point of me vomiting. My parents thought it was low blood sugar. Things at school only got worse. I was tested to see if I was slow. Fuckers, I had top scores in everything except math and punctuation. So I got labeled as being lazy.

Where I grew up it rained a lot. Once it just wouldn’t stop. We lived right near a creek and a river. My paranoid dad made us start packing everything we could and a neighbor on the 3rd floor said we could bring it all up to her spare room. Good thing because the plumbing started backing up. Our appartment flooded to the point of water rushing out the front windows.

Guess what? We had to fucking move again. And this was the last move we made in this state. We moved to a shitty house on a dirt road. No central heating just a single gas heater in a very inconvenient place in the house. The walls were always wet and moldy. My mom decided she would go to college and my dad decided he would make it as hard as possible for her to do so. That was a bad time. We spent the summer in another state with my aunt. My mom was never going to go back. I got my 1st period that summer and was mortified. When we went back home I had my own room. My parents gave up their room so I could have privacy. The slept on a futon in the living room. I was turning into a teenager and spent a ton of time alone in my room, away from my dads monstrous fury. I was yelled at and beaten constantly. My dad hated women, and I was becoming one, so he hated me more.

Then I failed 6th grade. I could never understand what was going in in school. My dad decided both my brother and I would behomeschooled, by him. This was my worst nightmare.

This is where I will end this half of the post. It took a lot out of me to get all of this out. I usally just have a flash back of a specific event and dont think about things chronologically like this.

Thank you for reading ♡ please like or leave a comment so I know this isnt just going into the void.

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