This is not a post about weddings but a post about me. I had many people tell me to write it all down but I just never got around to it.
My life is a soap opera. The cast of characters changes once in a while but most of the time they keep coming back. One of my earliest memories is a ghost buster birthday party in Arizona where I was born. I cannot remember if the party was for me or for my year and a half younger brother, but I remember being happy. Things start going downhill after that. My dad was in the air force and we moved a lot. In fact I have moved more in my life than my age.
We were stationed in England for 4 crazy years and this started forming who I really became. I was in the British school system at first. I remember the uniforms and getting into trouble. Do not eat peanut butter and jelly sandwich as one sandwich or with your hands. I remember the other students hating me for being American and school dances being lonely. During school prayer, I prayed to be someplace else. When that base closed my father was stationed to another near by. This meant taking the public buses to the school on the base. That year a hurricane hit. Our school was evacuating and they put all students onto 4 buses. The one I was put on was driven by a selfish man. After an hour of trying to take us all home he made us all get off and find our own way home. I remember walking trying to find my friends house but never did. I was told I finally in the middle of the night knocked on a door and told them I was American. They contacted the base and the MPs brought me home. I was scared of storms after that.
When I transferred to the schools on base from British schools I was way ahead of many kids in the subject of math, but way behind on reading. I was taken out of classes to get special learning time to try to catch up. It did not work. When we were transferred to a third base I was in the 3rd grade. My parents decided to put me back a grade to try to catch up and that landed me in Mrs. Lord’s class. Thanks to her I loved school again and came out of my shell. Most weekends we spent visiting different castles and driving in the countryside. After school we had indoor swim lessons and I was happy again. I wish that had lasted. That second round of 3rd grade was the last I would ever see of Europe.
We moved to Missouri where I made my one and only childhood friend. We stayed here almost 3 years and my family started to fall apart. My had was sent to Desert Storm and my mom started the ground work for leaving him. I never knew they were fighting, but I knew things were not OK in our family. I knew I could never do right by my father’s eyes and my brother could do no wrong. When my father came home we were all locked into our bedrooms and the police came. They escorted my father way and this is when life went horribly wrong. That birthday my father poisoned me. I am allergic to salt and my cake was spiked with a hardy dose of it. The reaction I have to it is nose bleeds and blood even coming out of my ears. The dose was so high it went on for days and the school suspended me until it would stop when they found out. I never went back to that school, never had the chance. That same day my father denied access to the bank accounts to my mother, turned off all utilities to our home, and then called children services. When they called to my mother to find out what was going on we fled that night.
Our first stop was my grandparents. We could not stay because my grandfather had a temper. We then fled to my mother’s friend in Michigan only she was crazy and almost killed us by putting fabric softener in the well water when the plumber told her she needed to soften her water. Then we fled to Indiana to stay with a cop’s family. We lived in her basement for a little while and then we moved to Goshen. I loved that school. I had an amazing Japanese teacher who showed me anime and it had an indoor pool. But my birthday came around and I broke down crying during gym. I still loved my father and for some reason he ignored my birthday. My mom’s boyfriend at the time (a cop who was cheating on his wife with my mom) was abusive to me and I learned what kind of family I had. I had a father who did not care about his daughter, a brother who became violent and tried to kill me several times, and a mother who loved abusive men. I tried many times to get taken away by children services but it never happened.
One day I woke up with a swollen ankle and I was taken to the emergency room. They said it was self inflicted and I was crying out for attention. Children services was going to investigate but to stop them I was placed into a mental hospital on suicide watch. I spent months in there because I refused to go home. That is a sad thing when a child would rather stay in that horrible place rather than go home to her family. When I finally went home I had another problem. This time both my legs became swollen and I could not walk. After a day or so of this my mother finally took me to the hospital. I was dying. My kidneys had failed, two valves in my heart were no longer working properly, my temp was 106, I had problems breathing due to bronchitis, and my legs were useless. I had a simple virus that could have been treated with a simple antibiotic treatment long before this, yet my mother never sought care for me. My brother had it before me and she got him care. As I write this I cry again because this event will forever damage me. That little virus robbed me of many things, one of which is the ability to ever have children.
I spent years trying to become normal again. I had to start out in a wheel chair and up until I graduated high school with crutches. I had to visit children’s hospital often to check in with a cardiologist and a rheumatologist. I had to suffer though bi-weekly blood draws and passing out once from them. My mother took it all in stride and often told me to “get over myself” and just do things. She never understood that just walking was like stabbing myself with each step or feeling like my heart is going to beat of out my chest if I got to worked up. She never really cared. When that boyfriend took her money and ran off with his wife, I thought things would change. She never could give up those type of men.
We moved to Ohio and she got a job as a secretary. She met a guy and he seemed to care for us. He paid to get my 3 year old braces off and when he took my mother out for dates, he would take us to the movies to have fun. Turns out good things never last long. My mother became pregnant when I was 14 and we learned he was still married. His family called my mother “home-wrecker” and never really warmed up to us. On my 15th birthday my mom went into the hospital. I will never forget because as a kid you never forget when everyone forgets about your birthday. To this day they never realized they forgot that year. My sister was born 3 days later and we lost our apartment. We moved in with him but he put the home up for bankruptcy so this was only temporary.
To Be Continued