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!

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!!!