Saturday, October 13, 2012

The One About My Childhood

So, I feel the need to go back here because obviously this is where my crazy story starts. Although I no longer carry any anger or hatred around with me regarding my childhood, I think it's necessary to give you the background on where it all started. I was born on February 2, 1965. My start into the world was so messed up to begin with. My parents were divorced and during a brief and failed reconciliation attempt, I was conceived and when I was born my biological father was nowhere around. My mom was single with a 4 yr old and brand new baby. Women simply were NOT unmarried with children in 1965, so my grandparents did the best thing they could do for my mom and quickly got her set up with the first single guy around.

Enter my step dad. His wife had recently left him with 4 children and they needed a mom. My mom was single with two kids who needed a dad. Match made in Heaven, right? Or so it would seem. Here is where the crazy train pulls away from the station. So in August of 1965, they got hitched. Until I was 5, I completely thought this man was my Dad until I went to kindergarten. One day when practicing writing my name, I realized that I had a different last name than my Dad and Mom. I questioned them and that is when they told me that I really had another Father who never saw me. Wow- a lot to take in for a 5 yr old. That was a pivotal moment for me. I suddenly felt everything I knew was now a lie. Another Father? So many questions, but none answered because that subject was completely taboo and off limits in my house. It got quietly zipped up and put away and I was told to never talk about it again. Suffice it to say that I was always led to believe that my biological dad was a mean alcoholic that didn't love his children and didn't want to see them. So that was what I always believed.

Remember, I said my Dad had 4 kids right? Well, they only came to visit us every other weekend, because they lived with their grandparents down the street during the week. I've been told there was a huge, ugly custody battle and that his own parents sued him for custody because they apparently thought they were better suited to raise his kids than he and my mom were. I suppose that was extremely hurtful to them both. It caused a tremendous battle between my parents and his parents. I am talking about epic proportions the kind that resembles the Hatfield's and McCoy's feud. Those kids were out of control and always brought some new kind of crazy home with them on the weekends that they lived there. Drugs and alcohol ran rampant in 3 of them. Battles and fighting was the norm for our house, like a script out of Jerry Springer. Someone always getting arrested and going to jail and not just the kids either. My Dad did his fair share of drinking and womanizing and going to jail as well.

So we pack up and moved to BFE when I was 9 yrs old and in the 3rd grade. Complete country bumpkins all around me. This city girl was in culture shock, I hated it. But God gave me a gift that first day of school, because He knew I was going to need her. I met my first friend at recess and her name is Carol. She shyly asked me to play with her and I am blessed to still have her in my life 39 yrs later as my oldest and dearest, most bestest friend in the world. Growing up out here in BFE gave me a sense of safety, pretty much scandal and crime free and pretty much isolated from the real world. I guess you could call it an idyllic place to be...just like Mayberry.I had high hopes though that in our new home, maybe we could have a do over and life would finally settle down.

Unfortunately, when we moved here to this little Mayberry town, my Dad's alcoholism rose to its ugliest heights here. Crazy insane fighting between my parents, never knowing when you were going to set him off. Never knowing if you were going to get the crap beat out of you or praised. Never knowing if he would come home Friday nights from work sober or drunk. Fearful of having friends over because in case he showed up drunk and maybe embarrassed you. My Dad getting arrested in town and my friends calling me on the phone to tell me they saw it. My teens were spent covering up the little lies going on in my home. I remember graduating from HS and thinking I can't wait to get out of this Hell Hole and that's exactly what I did. I wish I could say I never looked back, but unfortunately when you come from this kind of family as sick as mine was, it's like a Vortex. It just keeps sucking you back in. That is until you finally get the balls to break the cycle. That would not come for many years later, but this is my childhood story. Painted in, grey and red and black. Ugly memories and broken dreams for a better life some day. My childhood story is probably just like millions of other stories out there, nothing special, nothing new.


Anonymous said...

I was uprooted from the city of my childhood to BFE...but not for the same reasons as you were.
You were the first person I met in BFE and while we were never friends beyond neighbors, you have always been in my mind simply because you were the first to say "hi" and "welcome to the neighborhood".
I will never forget that. You still rock.