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 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.

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!