Ambermist has put together a nice little writing challenge for July. In it, we should write a little something personal about yourself. I actually probably tend to be overly personal on this blog, so I’m not quite sure how to start this. Especially since I already did an “About Me” page and that 30 day blogging challenge when I started this blog.
You already know about my mental disorders and that I’m married. I think you know that I’m in my early 30’s and childless, probably forever.
I think I want to talk about my family and childhood a bit. Please note, my childhood, while not physically abusive, was not a place of sunshine and rainbows. And I do discuss that below.
I am one of 4 children. I have 2 much younger sisters (10 years younger) and 1 younger brother (2 years younger). My parents divorced when I was 7 or 8. And this is where it gets blurry for me.
I remember summers living in the country. The way the sun baked the grass fields, the warm smell of the dust. I remember chasing my brother along the dirt path that led between our small singlewide manufactured home and my father’s mother’s house. I remember jumping over a HUGE snake that I couldn’t see the end or front of that was laying across that path. I remember, vividly, walking into the kitchen and seeing my parents kissing.
Then I remember anger, I remember tears and sobbing that my Mom had left. I remember the smell of wine on my Gram’s breath, car accidents and packing. I remember winters in the mountains, the first time I really saw snow as something I would have to live with.
I remember acting out to get attention. My father working an hour away from our home, so he was never there. A home with no working stove or oven or heat source. I remember being so poor that I went to bed hungry every night.
I remember the night he lost his temper. We’d been home from my mom’s for not even 24 hours and something I did set him off. He stormed into my bedroom, grabbed a ‘signing book’ that my th grade class had put together as a ‘So Long for the Summer’ thing. There was something that a guy put in there that was sexual. And my father wouldn’t let me me defend myself, he assumed I was sexually active. At 11, almost 12, years old.
I remember that night, laying on the couch alone. My brother crying in the other room as my dad kept him away from my ‘tainted self’. I remember running around after the crying stopped, packing the things I thought I would want or need for the rest of my life. I remember the silent drive across the state, for we lived in the far south and my mother lived on the northern border. It was 10 hours of hell.
I remember being sent into my mother’s work, the surprise on her face when I walked in less then 48 hours since we kissed and hugged good bye for at least another 6 months. I remember her leading me back out to the sidewalk which is now covered with my meager belongings. I remember the words my father said to her and the last thing he said to me as he pulled away with my baby brother in the car. “Have a nice life kid.”
I thought it was bad then. But I didn’t know what the next 12 months would bring. My mother’s new husband was horrible. He treated me like a slave, I was only worth anything to him if I was cleaning or watching my sisters. I honestly can’t talk about that year. It was so awful. My mother’s eyes were opened and we tried to leave.
One day, he left for a overnight trip and we sprung into action. We packed up the house in 4 hours and was gone by noon. We moved to the capital city and I was enrolled in high school. My life seemed to be picking up. Maybe everything wasn’t so bad.
Then the news. They were getting back together. He moved to be with us, I threw myself into music programs and school. The more I did outside the house, the less I had to be there. And then, the realization of the neighbors that my name was not the dog’s name. I was a teenager. Those horrid things he was saying was to me. They looked so sad for me.
I didn’t date. I fell in with a group of friends in band and I ended up becoming the girlfriend of the boy that no one wanted to date. However, I was lonely and believed I was worthless. So I let everyone tell me date him. We dated for a year. He was my first and I was the first of my friends to go ‘all the way’. It wasn’t a big deal, as I had no self worth.
I vividly remember the day I met my future husband. I was with my best friend, standing in line to get our Senior year lockers and IDs and things. I saw a friend of mine and ran up to him. Then I noticed the tall, long haired, handsome guy beside him. I smiled at him, he smiled at me and apparently that was it.
Husband stalked me for a while in between classes the first few weeks of high school. He was always at his locker, yet he never had to go there. We became friends, and then more then friends. This October, we will have been together longer then we’ve been apart.
I consider that my childhood over the moment that my parents divorced. I consider that I became an adult the moment my father disowned me. I found love early and I am extremely lucky because I have found someone who is the sun and moon to me. He protects me when I need it and makes me stand up for myself when I need to grow.
It has taken years, but I no longer flinch when someone slams a plate down. I don’t hear the voices in my head telling me how ugly, stupid and fat I am all the time. (Still happens sometimes, but not always.)
I am proof that the cycle can be broken. Because, my mother? Everything I wrote above happened to her. Somethings were worse, some weren’t as bad. But we have an understanding. We have looked hell in the face and lived to survive. Domestic abuse isn’t just fists and kicks, belts and paddles. It’s words and actions.
This ended up being a far different post then I set out to write. I’m honestly amazed at where it ended up but that is the way of my life. I never end up where I mean to be. Something always pulls me in a different direction.
I was told the other day that we are products of our experiences and that I must of came out on top. I’m not sure about that. I think I’m slowly climbing up, with the help of my friends, both inside and outside WoW. Because honestly, I’d never be as happy as I am now if I hadn’t had WoW. I might never have gotten into video games like I did unless I met my husband and I would never have met him if all the crap that happened to me didn’t happen.
Good comes from bad. Sometimes it just takes a very long time.