As we continued to grow, our wants and needs changed. I dreamed of a life with no fighting, parents who showed us love, a big family who chose to be together and be there for one another all the time, not just when it was convenient or when someone was around. I also became more vocal and strong willed and that never helped my situation. I dreamt of running away. Where would I go? How would I survive on the streets? Would I be able to still go to school? How would I eat?
My sister and I began to speak up more about our grandparents and it wasn’t fair mom was trying to keep us away from them. One day our grandparents showed up at the house as they usually did, mom did not want us to be with them but we told her we wanted to go with them and she needed to let us. For whatever reason that day she did not fight it. When we were with them we felt loved, respected and this is where I felt my dreams would really take off. So the thought crossed my mind, “maybe I could live with my Grandparents”. Yeah that thought stopped right there because there was no way in HELL mom was going to allow that to happen.
When we got back from grandma and grandpa’s house, my world crumbled and my dreams were swept away with the hundreds of thousands of miles that were going to be between my grandparents and I. We were moving to Ohio of all places in the world, Ohio. A place I did not want to go, a place where I thought grandma and grandpa would never find us, I had to start a new school again, and leave the few friends I was allowed to actually play with. Granted the few friends we were allowed to be around were not the best. One of them happened to be male and we went to stay the night at their house. When I walked into their home there were buckets being placed around their house. When I enquired what the buckets were for, I soon found the buckets were filled with boiling water and little wooden ramps were put against them. EEEKKKKK, rats were all over their house and when they climb those ramps they fell into the boiling water and screamed. That scream I never will forget. No they weren’t mice, they were rats. Anyways, no more summers with our grandparents, no more weekends with them. And just like every other summer, we moved to Ohio. We were told we moved to be with my mom’s mom but I had my doubts. What is in Ohio? How would life be so far away from the people I loved so dearly? I said bye to my hopes, dreams and my grandparents. I know it seems a little dramatic but to a pre-teen Ohio felt like days away from Michigan. When in reality it was only four and a half hours away!
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?
So imagine 1977 if any of you are that old. Gas was only .62 cents. A dozen eggs was .82 cents and The New York City blackout, that was my fault 🙂 as that is the year I was born. I was a little dark haired egg head born in the great Northern State that everybody loves to hate. I am not sure I was happily welcomed into this world but, God knew that He wanted me, even before I did.
We grew up in Detroit, MI and when I say Detroit, we lived in every part of the city there was as well as some out lying parts of Detroit. Every summer we moved from one place to the next, one side of town to the other. Every year we would start a new school and make new friends, sometimes run into old friends but, it didn’t really affect me much as I knew that I was smart and I knew that I one day wanted to not be like my parents.
I don’t remember much about my younger days but, as I grew up I knew I was different than my sister and soon my brother. My Mom made sure I knew that I looked like my Dad, with that look of disgust and the disdain she said it with. My Mom and Dad were divorced and my Mom would always try to make sure that my Dad didn’t know where we were living. The only problem she didn’t think of is that we were on Welfare and she had to put her address. So in turn my Grandparents (on my Dad’s side) would always show up at the new house or the new school. One day what I actually do remember, we were living in a campground in a bus converted to sleeping space. The campground was really cool and we always had fun because, we were outside and played with the other kids. So one day we were playing by the main road and low and behold a car slowly pulls up and I know this car, it is so familiar but, I cannot put my finger on it. As it comes to a stop, the window rolls down and I see the sweetest face smiling back at me and look at the driver laughs that big belly laugh from deep down and has that familiar face, my Grandparents. I was so excited, I screeched loudly and they got out and I got the best hugs.
Each time my Grandparents would show up my Mom hated it. She would not want us to see or visit with them. My Mom would always complain and talk bad not only about my Grandparents but, My Dad. It was one of those things that as a child you want to be able to gain your Mom’s approval, love and having that relationship that you are close, a bond that is unbreakable, as well as still want that love from your father but, when parents are divorced and they are always at odds, we as children feel as if we have to choose one parent. Unfortunately no matter which parent I choose, it was never good enough. Life never seemed easy. Does it ever get better? Do these parents understand that when you divorce and talk badly about each other, it confuses the kids? None of us are perfect and sometimes Moms and Dads feel as if divorce is the only answer and that is ok, just don’t ever make your kids deal with adult issues. They will be the ones to suffer in the end and sometimes it takes years for them to come to terms with their parents divorce and feeling stuck. Sometimes they never come to understand and it mentally changes them.
Welcome to the crazy, fun, scary and loving part of me.
- I am a 42 year old female (wow 42 is old), Mom of 4 beautiful children. They range from 19-9 and have been one of the greatest treasures in life. I am married to a wonderful man who I believe was handpicked by God to save me from a life of permanent death of the life God wanted me to have!
My blog will consist of many things: Love first and foremost, truth no matter what others think of me, cleansing of hopefully not only my soul but, yours as well. I want others to share in my joy, their joy, my hurts, your hurts, real life. No behind the scenes perfect Facebook pictures but, real life truth. No judgement here, trust me when I say, I am not one to judge!
To help you get started, here are a few questions:
- Why are you blogging publicly, rather than keeping a personal journal? Because, I believe what we all say is important and for me to share a journey in which has been less than picture perfect may reach someone who feels the same and can have someone they can reach out to and hopefully help others.
- What topics do you think you’ll write about? My life, my kids life, my marriage, my church and beliefs.
- Who would you love to connect with via your blog? Absolutely, with that being said, I am no counselor and have no degrees, I am a regular person just like you but, if I can do anything to help, I will.
- If you blog successfully throughout the next year, what would you hope to have accomplished? Reaching out to others letting them know, things are going to be ok, the struggle is real and you can do it. Just as I am doing it. And you don’t have to do it alone.