Chapter 5

We start on high school…lets see what I remember.

Once again I do not remember my first day. I was in orchestra still and ran track. I had no other extra curricular activities. I tried out for the drum and bugle corp but I did not make it. Life in high school was a whole different ball game. I was more into boys but still dressing in jeans and t-shirts and add a ball cap. (which I had to take off in class as well so hat hair applied to me as well) I carried my pens and pencils in my back pocket.

I had several boyfriends throughout high school. The boy I really liked was just a friend and I think this is all he saw me as. I think I was looking for someone to fill a void in my life. I just needed to have someone in my life at all times. Not sure how different my life would have been if I could have been happy in my own skin and being just by myself.

I thought I had friends in high school but as I went through school I realized they were not really my friends. If I could go back and redo high school I am not sure if I would. It wasn’t much fun for me. But if I knew then what I know now…I could probably change how it went.  My sister didn’t even acknowledge being related to me.
(We were total opposites)  I had people in all different clicks that I talked to so I didn’t actually belong to any click or group. I was in orchestra 2 out of the 4 years and in track as well. I was not the best at either but it was something for me to do. I enjoyed track…I ran the distance heats.

As far as the schooling part. I enjoyed the math (except geometry) and sciences. I hated history and most English classes (although I am big on correct spelling). I loved my grammar and composition class. I do not remember all of the rules for writing and how to create paragraphs and such. If I do happen to misspell some words I do apologize up front. I also really enjoyed wood shop! I love to make things.  I seemed to enjoy all the things that were more fit for boys than girls. I also did not like dressing like a girl too often. Every once in a while I liked to feel pretty but I just didn’t feel pretty. I guess in todays times that would be considered I think being gender fluid. I could relate both ways and felt more like a boy on some days and some times felt more like a girl. In those days it was called being a tomboy. Although I always knew I was a girl I just didn’t like doing girly things.

The girls in high school used to love to torment me. One girl used to try to challenge me to fights. She would tell me to meet her after school and I would find a way out where she wasn’t at. I did not want to fight anyone. I had girls that would call me names in the hallway and then tell a teacher that I called them the name and I would be the one in the principles office. Rumors that I was easy went through the school…not sure if that was the girls or the boys but wasn’t easy for me. The first person I had sex with was the first man I married. But high school is all about being social with the right people. If you were not one of those people you were an outcast. I felt like one of those by the school kids teachers and my own family. I felt alone but put on a smile and kept trying. I am not close with any of the people I went to school with. I am Facebook friends with some of the people from school. But I do not hang out with any of them outside of that.

In between my freshman and sophomore year I was walking home from a friend’s house and was pulled into al alley and raped by 2 black guys. I do not know who they were and I never saw them again. But it did have some effect on me…of course. I did not tell my mom or any other family members. I just dealt with it internally. The reason I did not tell my mom was because I didn’t think she would do anything about it…only because she didn’t do anything about what my uncle did. Again… I didn’t know at this time that she did not even remember the conversation we had that night I just thought she didn’t care.(this fact caused a lot of issues with my relationship with my mother)

If high school isn’t hard enough having a strained relationship with your mother makes it even harder. My mother worked a lot of hours and went to school…first to get her LPN and then to get her RN. (As an adult I know how hard that was) As a child that made me feel even more unwanted than before. She would bring in her friends to live with us and she would spend all her free time with them and we were shoved completely out-of-the-way most of the time. The attention I did get was not good. I got grounded a lot…most of the time for things I didn’t even do. Some times it was for things I did do and probably deserved it.  But there were instances that I didn’t do what I was accused of doing and was willing to supply proof and she wouldn’t listen to me. She would take the word of a friend’s daughter that doesn’t even know me over mine. That was hard to take and just made me more of an angry teenager. She also favored my older sister…so anything that was between us I was the one that was in trouble. (I would learn in my 40’s that my older sister had the same name as the child my mother gave up for adoption when she was 14 or 15) It just feels like everything was stacked against me growing up and I feel I came through it pretty well.

There was this time when I went to a convenience store to get something cannot remember what I went to get at this point. As I was leaving there was this guy asking for directions and I was trying to help him out and he asked if I wanted a ride toward my house as a thank you and then when he would let me out at my street I would give him directions from there to get him where he needed to go. I was young and still very naïve and he was not too old and didn’t look dangerous…well I agreed. When we got to my street I told him but he did not stop. I felt panic at that point and at the light there was a car stopped and he had to stop. when he did I jumped out. I forgot to grab the bag of stuff I got at the convenience store. I think about what could have happened if that car had not been stopped at that light. Plus to top it off my mother got mad at me for losing or miss spending the money she sent with me. (she thought I made up the story because I used the money of candy and junk for myself)

I tried to get away by getting married between my junior and senior year of high school. I was 16 and I guess she was ready to get rid of me too because she had to sign for me to get married and she did so. Yes I was way too young and had no idea what I was getting into. He was not the nicest of people after we got married. (But he of course isn’t the only person to change getting married) It was a very short marriage and although it is on the books I really do not count it. I count it as a life learning experience. People can be so cruel. He was physically abusive and a cheater. When I left he took my grandmothers gift of 12 person place setting of dishes that was hers and broke all but one piece of everything. I could not ever apologize to my family enough. I was divorced and back to living with that woman 7 months after I got out. More rules than before. Life was so sweet! Yes that was sarcasm…I should have been grateful she allowed me to move back in. But it was rougher…she had more love and respect for the people she pulled off the street and gave a home to than her own child. I didn’t have children with him and I am thankful for that. I just wish I had learned that people lie and are not always who they say and show they are. But I am a stubborn person and I always try to think the best of people…(don’t know how).

I did graduate although we had to wait and see if I passed my sophomore history class that I had to take a second time. Which I did…I love history more now. I think it was more the way we had to learn it. I hate books and having knowledge shoved into my head that way. I hate to read, I love listening to books on tape. I have to re read a paragraph 3 and 4 times and still ask myself what I just read. I soak it up better when I can flood my ears with the information otherwise my mind drifts onto other things.

Look I know high school isn’t easy for a lot of people and I do not know their stories. I only know mine. And I really hated high school and really would not want to go back unless I absolutely knew what I know now before heading into that first day. But then I probably wouldn’t have the 3 children and grandchildren I have now. So… no if I had done this and if I had done that then life would be better….because I do not know for sure that things would have turned out any better if I had made a different choice at any given moment. So I am grateful for the life I do have at this very moment. Although I do work way too many hours and I am looking for ways to cut back on that. But then again I have been saying that for years. So I need to try harder and trust that others will take care of things when I am not there.

I may come back and edit this one if I come up with more memories from high school.

Thank you all!

Chapter 4

So I move on to junior high school. I remember the school and basics of these 2 years but trying to remember names of a lot of people and details of day to day life is not so easy. I still do not understand why but I will write what I can…

I do not remember the fist day of junior high school but I remember some of my classes especially orchestra. I wasn’t the best violin player but I did enjoy it. At some point pretty early on we were asked to volunteer to play the string bass. I volunteered and was put in a room with book and a bass. I was given the basics and since I already knew about playing a string instrument I was left to my own devices. It took a few weeks before I rejoined the rest of the orchestra. I did enjoy it. By the second year I was in the youth string orchestra… top players of all the junior high school students. It was a way of getting away from my regular life and do something I was proud of.

I also ran track. I was a distance runner…mile, 2 mile, mile relay and the 2 mile relay. I wasn’t the best but I did my best and really enjoyed it. I also did basketball for either 7th or 8th grade…I do not remember. I was on the B team…again I wasn’t the best but I tried. I was trying to find ways to be out of my house and doing something structured. I also tried out for the cheerleaders but I wasn’t in the girly popular crowd so that was a no go.

I took a home economics class. I learned to sew in this class…that I still do to this day. It was helpful for what ended up being a part of my longest career choice so it was a plus in my life. I made a skirt and a book bag. I cannot say I learned to cook there…my step dad taught me how to cook. He was instrumental in my ability to do just about anything in life. He taught me just about everything that would be useful in my life. Step dads are much more valuable than they are given credit for. (at least the good ones…there are bad ones too)

I had some friends in junior high school although I only remember a few names and only 1st names for all but a few of them. It started to become more clear in junior high school that I was more of a tomboy than a girly girl. I was much more interested in jeans and t-shirts and playing sports with the boys than to wear makeup and skirts. I was interested in boys not girls but didn’t feel the need to doll myself up. I wanted the boys to like me for me. I have always hated being fake. What I find interesting is the boyfriend I had through junior high school was my neighbor and he would figure out later that he liked boys…So not sure what to think about that. I wish him all the happiness in the world but does make me wonder about the whole tomboy aspect of that.

During the summers (when I wasn’t at my grandparents farm working) my step dad and I would do a garden and raise rabbits for food. The first time I had to kill a rabbit I was to hit it in the head with a hammer. I didn’t hit it hard enough and it started squealing and going in circles. I had to grab it and hit it again. (that was very hard for me) But I survived and I never had to hit one twice again. When I went to gut it I found some babies in her. So I grabbed a dropper and some towels and nursed them. 2 of the 3 survived.  We raised them to eat them later. He also took me fishing and taught me how to be a lead on a John boat going down a river and navigating the rapids. We used the rabbit manure for the garden. (Best fertilizer I have ever used) We would spend a lot of time at the 80 acres his family owned north of town. I loved this land. I think those 80 acres gave me a refuge from life. I loved walking in those woods. I used to sneak out there and just walk the woods when I needed to think and get away from my life.

In the fall my step dad would take me to the 80 acres to pick persimmons and to did sassafras roots for tea. That is my favorite tea of all time… he would give me swig or two of apricot or blackberry brandy just to keep me warm. It would get pretty chilly out there. Never got me drunk or anything like that so don’t get any ideas on that. My mother and I never got along and my dad was vacant in my life so he was the adult I connected with. I am glad that he taught me what he did during my formidable years. All girls need to learn a few things so they are not dependent on anyone for anything.

I did have an 8th grade graduation party to try and get more friends before we went to high school. A few people showed up but it just wasn’t my thing. I had fun but sucking up to people was not something I was comfortable doing. I wanted the boys to like me but couldn’t bring myself to be more girly to do it. I am not weak and cannot play weak to win a boy over. Made my life difficult but well adversity makes people stronger in life.

If I remember correctly it was during these 2 years of school that I met my biological. I last saw him when I was about 2 or 3 maybe. Either way I didn’t remember him. I found out that my sister had been in touch with that side of my family the whole time. I never saw any of the birthday cards or anything. Being that I had a strained relationship with my mother I was vulnerable to any sort of affection from him. I had fun during that visit. Asked for him to get custody of me even my sister went along. His wife Donna was so nice to me and I loved the way she was with my brother that I had never met. I was so hopeful just to be sent back to my mom. Dad did not fight for me and he just sent me gifts after that. Money does not buy love. So both of my parents didn’t want me and it made me feel alone. I did like the thought of the large family I had on my dads side. They were all so close and I didn’t have that in my life. It was like a slow torture…

I think this is why I was so attached to my step father. He showed interest in me and my life. He showed me parental love and taught  me like a parent does. It was also during this time that I called my step dad “dad” in the middle of a conversation with my step-sister while we were cooking in the kitchen. BIG MISTAKE! Next thing I know there is a butcher knife stuck in the wall beside my head. She threw it at me… needless to say I never called him dad again after that. I am sure she wouldn’t mind at this point but after that I was respectful of her feelings and never did it again.

Chapter 2

Let’s see if I can remember stuff from 1st grade to 4th grade…

We lived in several places. There was a house I remember in Springfield, my grand parents farm in Warrensburg and a trailer in Warrensburg also the my step grand parents place in Arkansas. I know we lived other places but I do not remember them. I barely remember bits and pieces of these. Out of these I remember bits and pieces of school but not a whole lot.  But I will tell you what parts I do remember. I hope I get the timelines right but these are all things that happened in  my life from my own point of view from the ages of 6 to 9 or 10.

I remember living on Calhoun street in Springfield. Went to 2 different schools while we lived in that house. (Boyd and Berry) While at Boyd I remember my sister (who was 2 years older than me) got stripped butt naked by some older girls jealous over the fact that her boobs had already come in. I was a ton skinnier that her but I had to block to get her home. Another incident that happened was to me this time…A sixth grader lifted me up and let me go but the issue was that she lifted me over the back part of the desk chair. Legs on either side so when I fell my crotch landed on the back of the seat. I was wearing a white dress that day and I ended up being damaged and was bleeding bad enough that I had to go to the hospital. First experience of having someone looking closely at my private parts.

We used to go to a park nearby and get fed and do crafts like macramé. I remember the hamburgers and milk we used to get. I loved those programs. With kids always hanging at the park it brought out the weirdos and that brings me 2 different memories… First there was this guy that used to stand right inside the doorways to the bathrooms (before there was an actual door put on those entrances) and he would have is pants down to flash all of us kids his junk.  And one time while walking home from the park I was stopped by a car asking if I knew a girl and as I walked closer to his car I noticed he was masturbating. I was a very lucky girl that I was not snatched up by one of these perverts.

We were members of a Pentecostal church on National. I best friend was Cindy. Her mom and my mom were friends and we would frequently spend the night with each other and our families would spend holidays together. We read the bible together and we both finished reading the entire bible during the time we were in Sunday school together. I got a pink bible with purple lettering on it. Cindy’s family had some great dane dogs 3 or 4 I think. I just remember they were very large. Isn’t it odd that I can remember my address on Calhoun and her address on Texas but I hardly remember anything else.

While living on Calhoun my mother was married to my little brothers dad. He was not a very nice man. He once made me drink a large glass of alka seltzer. Not sure why but I had to finish the entire glass. I threw it up shortly after. He also made my sister and I give him dirty kisses at bedtime. Then one day when we got up there was a butcher knife stuck in the middle of the kitchen table and my mom was gone and my sister was shipped off to stay with my moms parents and I was shipped off to stay with my brother and my step grandparents in Arkansas. (I have always resented that I was sent to those people they were not my blood and they treated me as such)

So for the next school year I lived with my step grandparents. It was ok but there was a couple of moments…I had to cut my hair to keep her happy and this one time when my brother wanted to me to play with him and I said no I didn’t feel like it. Well, I got my butt paddled until it was bruised. (Just for not wanting to play with my little brother) Maybe I had a tone in my voice or something? I don’t know,,,I just know he is almost 5 years younger than me and I did not want to play with him and got paddled for it. I was about 7 years old. We would pick corn from the corn fields and then we would sit and shuck the corn and grandma would cut the corn off of the cob. I was not thrilled too much about all of this but I did learn a thing or two.

My next set of memories is us living in Warrensburg…Part of it was at my grandma and grandpas and part was at some trailer that my mom rented. School was a country school and wasn’t very big. Multiple grades in one classroom. I loved living on the farm best of all of the places I lived. I loved being outside. I loved roaming the fields and riding my bike around the large country block on the dirt roads. I used to carry a coin purse that I had shoved cabbage leaves and other vegetables in to snack on thoughout the day. I know I was an odd child but I truly enjoyed most vegetables at that time. Still do!

During this time my mom was dating a fireman and he good to all of us kids. We loved him. HE was a very nice man that treated us and our mom well. He even took us to Worlds of Fun. He bought me a red pleather jacket that I just loved! We used to go fishing with him at our grandparents pond.

We always had fun at my grandparents house. We got play with our cousins Becky, Timmy and Jeffy. I don’t know if they are really my cousins or if they were cousins by marriage to my uncle Butch but when their mom left my uncle I never saw my cousins again. I have no love for my uncle Butch…when I was 8 we were living in a trailer in Warrensburg and he came and stayed with us. I used to just love uncle Butch until this one night.  We stayed up one night watching tv when he started to ask me questions about my private area. He wanted to take a look at it. He pulled down my underwear and sat me on the are of the couch and kneeled down to look at it. He asked me if any one had ever looked at it or had ever touched it. I sheepishly responded “no” he then proceeded to lick my private area until I squirmed. After that I went to my moms room and woke her up and told her what happened. She told me to go to bed and she would deal with it in the morning. Nothing was ever done about it. I didn’t understand why I had to continue to be around him at every family gathering. But I just figured my mom didn’t believe me and that was that. (At this point I have the understanding that my mom was on medication and she was prone to sleep talk and sleep doing a lot of things and says she has no remembrance of that conversation)

I am realizing that I truly do not remember much of my childhood. I am sitting here trying to remember anything from age 9…The only thing I have come up with is a fleeting moment with that fireman that my mom dated when he took us to Worlds of Fun. I do not remember that day just that we went there. I only remember that red pleather jacket that I received after that.  The next thing I remember is my mom moving us back to Springfield and us living with my church friends dad as he and my mom were now together. I didn’t even know they were even dating. `

Insecurity and Self Doubt

I have had a lot of things going on in my life. Work and home. I have remained strong for the most part. I have a lot of self doubt. And that is all on me. I try not to let others know how insecure I am. Sometimes it takes over and I think the worst of others and what they are thinking of me. I am trying to be a mentor and guide for others and it makes me feel like a failure when I think that I am not good enough to even be a mentor. I know I have a lot of knowledge to give but I keep getting knocked down and made to feel like I am incompetent. It is hard when the people you trust and look up to are the ones knocking you down and talking to you like you are stupid and have no idea what you are doing.

We all have moments of weakness and self doubt and insecurity. It is how we deal with it. I have recently been under a greatly increased amount of scrutiny in my job. I am trying to deal with it in a positive manner but have become very worried. It seems to me that they are telling me that everything I am doing is not good enough. I put in 12-14 hours a day Monday through Friday for many years now. I have given up my life for this company. And for the longest time I was praised at how well I was doing a great job and just needed to continue doing what I was doing. Then something changed and I was all of the sudden no longer doing anything right.

I have taken some time off over the past couple of months. Which is when all of his comments started. I have been dealing with employee shortages and people quitting and not showing up or calling in sick and all of those things without him knowing details for a very long time. He had to deal with it for 2 days here and 3 days there…(he would text me almost all day on at least one of those days off complaining about my staff). So I really didn’t get to take any time off because he wouldn’t leave me alone long enough to spend time with my family.

His comments were worded just so that I have come to think he was going to fire me. Or worse try to make me quit by forcing some issues with me. I have a strong personality and so does he and for years that has led to a great collaboration us. At this point it has become a bit of a power struggle. I had an employee that left me 2 times. The second time he left it was right after I went to bat for him to get a raise. (and he got it) He then puts in his notice right after. And this was the second time. On his last days he would not be respectful addressing myself or the owner. Calling him buddy after he was told that the owner did not like being called that. Another manager hired him back after myself and the owner was against it. I have repeated stated that he is an awesome young man. He is great with the customers and he is a very likable young man. I have also stated that I do not wish to have him back at my location. He is not loyal to me and has stated that he wants my job. The owner has stated that he wants to put him at my store and that he has grown a lot while he has been gone. He is now married and is now more grown up. That being said. He is not loyal to me having left me twice now and the second time right after a raise.  I want people that are loyal to me in my employ.

The owner put in my store on my last two days of vacation and the people on my payroll got their hours cut in the process. This does not make me less paranoid about him trying to out me. But I am not sure how to deal with this. Go in and be honest or just go with the flow and not say anything. I have a hard time not standing up for myself and what I do not want but this is a touchy subject with him. So I have a decision to make.

I have enlisted the help of a close friend and coworker to help me streamline all of what I do to make the owner happy again. It doesn’t seem to be working but I know I am not horrible at what I do. I am pretty darn good at what I do. So I have to figure out what the owner is saying…looking between the lines…

  • Why is he looking so hard to find something wrong?
  • What is going on in his world to cause his mood change?
  • What is going on in the business to cause his nervousness about the smallest of details in my store?
  • Is there anything I can do to relieve him of some of this stress?
  • How is his personal life?

Well he has had some issues in his family that has caused him some stress. The company has purchased another piece of property that the company now needs to make payments on. He is part of a 3 person incorporated ownership…so he does have others he has to answer to. All I can do is keep running my store and do it the best I can and take his advice to heart and try to make sure that all of his suggested that can be implemented are implemented as quickly as possible.

Now I do have a lot of insecurity that I am making the owner happy like he was just a few short months ago (where he was saying that I was awesome). And I am not sure if I will have a job for much longer. I cannot seem to make him happy about anything but… I have been doing this since 1994. I have spent the majority of my life in this industry. And more that 18 years with this company. And I still have a lot to learn. And I have a lot of self doubt that I can continue with this company that now seems to no longer appreciate the time and effort I have put into making it what it is. I made this my life. Big mistake on my part for sure. I have always had a need to prove my worth with long hours and extra stuff. Doing more and more and more…

I have decided to spend less time at work. And only give what I can without losing myself in the process. This will be very difficult since I have made my job who I am. I have to go on a search of who I am and figure that out. But first I have to stop working so much to figure that out.

Do only what you can because the extra really isn’t appreciated in the long term.

What is my PURPOSE?

Well I have been trying to figure that out over the past few months. I have listened to several people’s podcasts. Chalene Johnson, Mariah Coz, Dr. McKayla…and more. Passion, purpose, hobby, job, career.  I am still confused. I cannot figure this out…I am not an unintelligent person but this just has me baffled. Let me try to explain.

I manage a dry cleaners. I love what I do. I work too many hours so sometimes I feel burnt out but somehow I get re-energized. Most of my employees are awesome but there are a few that challenge me. And there are some positions that seem to have a revolving door and there is always a new person in the mix. I want to spend less time at work and more time at home and with my grand children. But I feel more needed at work. Now my work kids are always asking my advise about well a lot of things. I am like their mother. They come to me about their personal lives and what to do in all kinds of situations. I always tell them what I truly think no sugar coating it. And they get mad at me sometimes but respect the fact that I am most of the time right on the money. They think I am great. (Their words). Now with my own children I speak my mind with my youngest, mostly speak my mind to the eldest…but my middle child I walk on eggshells. That situation is shall we say not a stable one. 

People come to me for advice on 

Boyfriends, girlfriends, stains on their clothes, where to buy this or that, self esteem issues, anxiety issues, love, hate, parents, children, exes, how thei item was or was not cleaned or pressed correctly or how they requested. How to press this or that, can you print me this or that, how do I log into this or that, how do I operate my phone, where can I find a replacement????

Now I am not saying I have a degree in any of these areas… But people ask me about these things and more. And I answer to the best of my ability and knowledge or I Reccomended them to find another person and how to go about doing that. 

But there is no one or even two things in that for me to focus on to even begin to figure out my purpose or passion. Heck I out together a greenhouse a few weeks ago and loved doing it. Just a few days ago I put in a cement floor in it. Really loved doing that too! I enjoy computer stuff as well. I am so all over the place it is crazy. 

And yes I am a people pleaser. I love making everyone happy and smiling. It really drains me when I let someone down. Even if it really wasn’t me but I didn’t double check that one thing and it didn’t get done right…bugs the heck out of me!!! I know I cannot make everyone happy. I have come to terms with that. “Sorry I really tried everything I could but that spot just isn’t coming out” I don’t like saying it so if I do say it you know I tried everything but literally cutting the stain out to remove it. I am far from perfect and so is everyone on my staff most of us try real hard but mistakes happen. And I try to not make excuses just solutions if there are any to be made. If you are still unhappy then you can be on your merry little way and I hope you can find someone that can make you happy. 

But is all of this there is more. I love being outdoors. I love photography and playing around with the photos I have taken and making something new and wonderful out of them. I really swear there will never be enough hours in a day for me to do everything I truly enjoy doing. But the fact remains I enjoy my career. I enjoy most of the people I am around there. My favorite part is 1) seeing the smiles on my customers faces and 2) after hours when the magic happens that creates those smiles. I do personally work on the specialty items and antique items. I have two people now in training helping we with those items. An employee for a couple of years now and recently (sort of but some over the years) my daughter and now employee. Training my art can only be done in a dry cleaners and that limits me. I do not want my competition to have my knowledge. Other towns and cities I don’t mind but I am a working manager. So I work Monday through Friday 6:30 am until at least closing. Although recently I have been trying to take off early at least one day a week. But that happens almost every other week. The weekends are for my husband. 

So still figuring out what my purpose is and my passion and the difference between them. 48 and still going strong!

PAIN

Pain is hard…

It can destroy you if you let it.

It can harden your heart if you let it.

It can put you into a depression if you let it.

It can turn you to drugs to not feel it if you let it.

It can make you mean if you let it.

It can make you stronger if you let it.

It can make you wiser if you let it.

It can make you better if you let it.

I have endured more pain than a person should have to endure.

I have learned from the pain…

I love more deeply.

Listen more intently.

I am more patient.

I will never be defined by my pain but grow from it.

I am a very determined and strong individual in spite of everything that has tried to tear me down. 

I am and always will be ME!

And if you ever have the pleasure of meeting me…                                                          You will be amazed. 

I AM AWESOME. 

Happy Monday and I hope each of you have an awe inspiring week!

That is one of my inspirations right there. One of my sweet grand daughters. Just a beautiful young lady there!

How I became a strong woman! 

It starts as a young girl. I am not sure if I baca me a tomboy because of my young trama or if I was a tomboy before. I only have a few vivid memories of my young childhood. Most of those are not of the good kind. A funny memory…I was about 4-5 and my mom was sitting in a chair and I had snuck some celery to eat(yes I lived vegetable from a very young age and had them with me at all times in my pocketbook…don’t judge lol) and I started eating it behind her chair and I couldn’t figure out how my mom new I was even back there. Lol

But more on the strength training… 

When I was about 8 I was orally molested by my uncle. I told my mom but I was young and when she didn’t do anything about it I felt like I had done something wrong. I felt alone.

When I was about 9 I was walking home from the park and some guy stopped and was asking me if I knew where someone was and I walked up to the car and told him that I didn’t know anyone by that name and he had his junk out and stroking it…I ran away. 

Growing up being told I can’t do something because I was small and a girl I was always like watch me. I wanted to do everything that would make me be noticed and not in a girly way. I am still this way for the most part. Don’t tell me I can’t or I will.

When I was about 15 I was walking home from GitNGo I was pulled into an alley by a couple of African American males…and was raped. I went home and showered for hours. Got in trouble for using all of the hot water. I did not say anything because I didn’t feel it would do me any good.

When I was 16 I was very very lucky! A young guy was asking for directions and I was giving it to him and he offered me a ride to my street on his way to where he was headed. I got into the vehicle…he didn’t stop at my street as we drove by and I kept telling him to stop…there was a light up ahead and I got so lucky that there were cars in all of the lanes and he had to stop. I made my way out of the car and ran!!!  I got in trouble for forgetting the milk and for getting into the truck. 

I got in trouble a lot for things I really didn’t do. Or I did but had reason that was never heard. Two examples… 1. I didn’t like my boyfriend chewing tobacco so he signed and dated the bottom of a can and gave it to me because he was trying to quit for me. My mom found out from a friend who’s daughter went to school with me that I was chewing tobacco. I brought home the can to show her and she called me a liar and that I was grounded even longer for having someone sign and date the can just before bringing it home.             2. My sister used to bring her boyfriends in the house when the parents were not home and one night I got tired of listening to them doing whatever it was they were doing in there. I left and went over 1 block away and was sitting on the front porch fully clothed when mom got home and came looking for me. My sister denied it and I got grounded. So I was relying on myself a lot. I was anarexic for a while in high school wearing baggy shirts and controlling what went into my body…it was the only control I had. One of my teachers was very instrumental in my recovery. 

When I was 16 almost 17 my mother signed for me to get married. I guess she really did want to get rid of me. Any ways he was very abusive. At one point I tried to commit suicide but it didn’t work and I had to drink this nasty charcoal stuff. I took a mini break and went and visited my grandmother. When I came home I kept trying to call for a ride but the line was busy. I took a cab home and walked in. He had a whore in my bed. I took his wallet paid the cabby and took his keys and bailed. 7 months and back home. With a lot more rules I might add.

On my 18th birthday I was home all day at about 7pm a friend called and asked what I was doing. I said nothing because there was nothing going on at my house no party no nothing. So I went out with my friends. I crashed and found a way to make it home and to work the next morning on time. She called me at work and told me because I was out all night she had to show an example to the rest of the kids that it would not be tolerated … I had 2 days to get my shit and move out. She had it packed for me and sitting at the front door. I slept on park benches and with friends. My boyfriend knew this older gentleman that needed a live in helper so I took that. He was a very sweet guy. I finally got a job as a nurses aid at nursing home and was helping the older guy after my shift. Until one day the police showed up at my job. I was being accused of stealing from the older gentleman. My boyfriend had set me up. So I was out on the street again. After a few days a friend at work let me stay with her. On one of those days where she had to work and I was at home with her children her ex husband was also there hanging out. Nothing happened but she came home and her brain got the better of her. Back out again….but he offered to let me stay with him. Before long that was well….he expected other forms of payment. I had no where to go. 

My dad with I really had t had a relationship offered to let me stay there but of course rules applied. I don’t mind rules but I do not like being treated like Cinderella. I lived there with my dad his wife, my 1/2 brother and 2 step brothers. I was to do all the laundry and the dishes and get dinner started and clean the house. I needed a job but had no car to get a job. My dad had a 72 mustang out back that needed a motor. He said it was mine. I could have it I just needed to get a job and put a motor in it. My step sister took me to put in applications. She was my only way out of that house. My step mom got onto me for not doing things right. She just didn’t seem to like me. And by the end the feeling was mutual. I get that I was there rent free but I am no ones slave girl. Those boys had no chores what so ever because I was there to do it all. So I left and went to stay with my sister.

Well now that is not the best of ideas. You see I dated her husband before she started dating him and got married. He wanted to stay up and hang out with me and she didn’t like that so back to my moms again with lots more rules. Mind you I am not even 19 yet so all of this is happening over about 6-9 months. 

So I find a guy and get married again right after I turn 19. He is from Michigan. I am thinking fresh new start. Happy and all is good. His grandmother in grand lake loved me and she was very sweet. When we made it to his mothers house. She took one long up and down look at me looked at him and said how dare you bring white trash into my home. Needless to say we did not get along. His dad was great! This husband was also abusive. Physically and emotionally. He let his mom talk to me however she wanted and never stood up for me even after our daughter was born. At some point I gave him an ultimatum you touch me one more time in anger and we are done. And of course he did…no another one bites the dust. 

I was back in Missouri at this point with 2 children. I started seeing a guy I met in Michigan. And he would fly me and the kids up there every 6-8 weeks. My daughter would see her grandparents and I would stay with him. After about a year of this I begged him not to send me back to Missouri. I needed to be there with him. He sent me back and I felt totally rejected and alone. I fell into a depression and started up with my neighbor. When my Michigan man came for me I wanted to go with him. I was dying inside because my neighbor had my two children in his place and threatened to kill them and the Michigan guy if he came to the door. So I told him I didn’t want to be with him any more and to go back to Michigan. He said he would be at a hotel for a few days if I changed my mind. All I could think about was how to grab the kids and get there. But I wasn’t allowed to make a move. I felt so bad. But I made my choices. And I paid the price and he deserved to be able to move on and be happy. 

So now I am with psycho and that would be 5 years of torture. The only good that came out of that was my baby boy. This man was abusive physically mentally and emotionally. He was bipolar with paranoid schizophrenia. When he was medicated he was fine but he missed those highs but I did not miss those lies that follow. This man accused me of cheating with every guy I came a crossed. Come to find out he was the one cheating. He threatened my life and my holders lives. He cost me the life of a child I was pregnant with before my baby. I thought I was free of him a few times and his mother would bring him back and leave him on my doorstep. “He is crying for you and he loves you make it work!” I gave and I gave and it just wasn’t going to work. I finally summoned up the courage to leave and file a restraining order. He ended up finding me and he came to see his son… He raped me in the bathroom but the kids were right outside and even though I was telling him no I wasn’t screaming or making a big scene but I meant no. I moved and was never alone with him again. So another one gone.

What is wrong with me that no man truly loves me! Why am I not good enough to be loyal to? I gave everything of myself and I mean everything. It was exhausting! I am a people pleaser I don’t like people to be upset with me. I was truly down to absolutely no esteem left. I wondered why I was even born. My mom didn’t want me she signed me away as soon as she could. The men set me up for stealing, raped, molested and cheated on me. What was wrong with me?????

I was wrong with me. I wasn’t demanding the respect I deserved. I was being walked on by everyone around me family included. I was determined that no other man would ever do me that way again. I put everything I had into my career. I did not want to ever depend on a man again for anything. When I started seeing the man that would become my next husband I told him up front. I am a bitch…my family is crazy, loud and dysfunctional….I have 3 kids and my career means everything to me. I let him know up front what he was getting into so he could back out before anything started.

Through it all I got back up and tried again and in the end was not defined by someone else but by my perseverance to keep moving forward. My kids needed their mom and a good role model. I am still working hard and I don’t plan on stopping anytime soon. Although my kids are now adults and out on their own now. 

Just don’t give up on yourself when everyone else has. You have something to give whether you know what it is yet or not. You are special!!!