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.

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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. `

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!!!