As I continued to grow up and the fight continued with Mom & Dad and Mom trying to keep our Grandparents away, I had always had a beautiful connection with my Grandparents. They showed us love we were not used too. One thing I always try to keep in my head was that my Mom did the best she could with what she had. Not everyone has that parental instinct and not everyone is taught that. I don’t want to place blame anywhere but, at some point I have come to realize especially after becoming a parent your life changes, and it isn’t about you anymore.
We ran the streets all the time as kids and I specifically look back at what we did and think, we are sooooo very lucky we were not kidnapped, raped, killed or anything else. One of my favorite spots to hang out was in a crate yard. You know the big semi crates they transport things with, well when those got emptied around Detroit there was a big yard they would take them to and we would sneak in and play on them, in them, on top of them. These crates would be stacked anywhere from two to ten high. And yes, we would climb up as far as we could and run through them from crate to crate. It was awesome. We would take blankets and anything we could get a hold of and take them to the crate yard, as we called it. One particular instance we found a man in one of them and guess what, we thought he was playing in them as well and so we played with him. Later in life I realized this man was homeless. WOW, can you imagine what would happen today if kids did this. I know we lived in a different day and age but, we are so very lucky. We also played on the railroad tracks and tried to hop trains, until one day we told my Grandfather about playing by trains. Oh, he was not happy and proceeded to tell us the story of him almost losing a leg due to playing on the railroad tracks, yeah we stopped playing by the tracks but, never stopped in the crate yard.
I can remember on multiple occasions Mom acting extremely weird and I had no idea what was going on. Once she was flipping out at the top of a staircase calling for her Mom and doing weird things. Another time we were left on a highway in a car while she took off. At the time she was dating my step Dad and he went to go after her and apparently the cops found her I think at a gas station and my real Dad was called. She one time got mad at me because, I didn’t want to eat the spaghetti she made (I was not a fan of spices) so she shoved the fork in my mouth I gagged and almost threw up everything. I get being angry with your kids or frustrated (especially more so now) it just seemed a little more aggressive than a parent should be. At the time I did not realize she was under the influence but, those two particular instances have always been stuck in my head and I can’t figure out why. Later on as an adult I found out why things were weird, my family on Mom’s side always struggled with an addiction to drugs and alcoholism. That was a hard to pill to swallow (pun intended, I like to think I am funny and embrace my weirdness). It was hard because, now it wasn’t just me being mad at Mom for everything she put us through, I had to work through feelings of anger for putting us through all of that but, feeling sorry in a way that made me keep wanting to be around her even though she never treated me the same as my other two siblings. Addiction is a very real problem in this world and trying to determine whether as a kid the things that happened were my fault (I don’t want to speak for my siblings) or hers. As children we don’t get to choose who our parents are or our fate in being raised but, certainly as an adult you have choices and if you choose this path, you are choosing yourself over your children. That sucks and it hurts. So for me it comes back to, choosing my own way in life and wanting to be different. Does this make Mom a bad person when raising us, absolutely NOT, bad choices, YES. I cannot completely blame her, she lived what she learned; or NOT?