I have tried to keep journals in the past but I have had issues with people going through and reading my entries, and having a lot of conflict created from them reading my private thoughts. I worry that it will happen again, and I will get punished for even expressing myself in a journal. I bottle up all these horrible feelings inside and don’t say anything because I don’t think it is appropriate, and I want to avoid conflict. So I stopped writing for a long time, even though I’ve been told it can be very therapeutic. These feelings have been bottling up inside me ever since, and I feel like I want to explode. It’s hard to pick a certain thing to write about as there are so many areas of my life, including my childhood, who I am now, my marriage, my children, etc. So maybe I’ll just start with an overview and then add on sections. I have a feeling I’m going to be writing a lot tonight, and I’ll get to what brought me to my current mental state.
Truth is I have been through a lot. My life pretty much sucked before I was even born. My dad had a pretty normal childhood. His parents (my paternal grandparents) are still together, didn’t do drugs, drink, or anything like that growing up. My mom didn’t get so lucky. From what I’ve been told, my maternal grandmother was murdered in a drug deal gone bad. Her husband wasn’t there, but her children were. My moms brother was murdered, and my moms throat was slit. But she survived. Her dad was an alcoholic. Not sure if he was before this happened, but it was definitely bad afterwards. My mom was eventually removed by child services and grew up in the foster care system. I’m not sure when she became hooked on drugs, but I think it happened sometime during that time. She got pregnant with my first brother at 15. She was 18 when she met my dad, and I was conceived their first night together. I think my dad truly did love her. She was his first. He tried to do what he thought was the honorable thing to do, and get married. He eventually got into drugs, but he had a realization that it needed to stop when he came home from work one day and I was screaming in the crib, and my older brother was locked in his room while my mom was high as fuck.
My dad tried to help my mom. He quit, and wanted to help her quit too. He had taken on being a father to my older brother, and wanted to provide a stable environment for us. As he put it “I didn’t want to be another set of footprints on her back.” My mom agreed, and was enrolled in rehab. She would wait inside until he left, then leave.
Things got bad enough that my dad finally left, and started a very dramatic custody battle. My mom accused my dad of molesting me, and I was removed from my home and underwent a thorough examination. It came back unsubstantiated. This happened several times and when it didn’t work with my dad, my paternal grandparents were accused after that. For a while, I stayed in what was called a cottage. There were a bunch of kids there. It was like a daycare, but 24/7 care until the court could find me a home they deemed safe. I don’t remember much about it, except for a few tiny moments.
Eventually my dad won full custody. My mom had a new boyfriend, and ended up getting into legal trouble with him. I think I was four, and she just dropped out of my life. The court and legal fees bankrupted my dad. My grandparents had owned their own restaurant and sold it to help him with the legal battle. We moved to a different state. I was told that our information was made public so my mom could find us if she ever wanted to, but she never did.
Being a single dad, my father didn’t get much help. He worked a lot. We lived with my grandparents for a while until he was able to get stable. My grandparents became like parents to me. Then we moved out. My dad was great while he was single. We did everything together. We would go explore the outdoors during the warmer months, sledding in the winter. On days at home we would play the Sega together and eat pizza.
Then my dad started dating, and became engulfed with wanting a family that I ended up on the back burner. Things progressively got worse between me and my dad, and I’m not exactly sure why. Initially my time outs turned into me kneeling on rice in the corner. Then it became spanking, and eventually leaded to being spanked with a belt. Some people say it’s okay, some don’t. I’m not even 100% sure where I stand on that. But there were times where I didn’t understand why I was being punished. I tried to be good. I remember one of the times, I accidentally walked in on my dad with one of his girlfriends. I had knocked on the door and thought he said to come in. It was embarrassing for both of us. I got my ass beat because of it.
My dad went through a few relationships with women I liked. Then he started dating my step mom, and they got married shortly after. She had three children of her own from previous relationships. Her eldest son was 18 at that time, and she had a daughter a few months older than me, and a son that was a few years younger. My dad really wanted to be fair, and struggled with what that meant for a blended family. Quality time with me was banished in lieu of “family time,” although my step mom spent time with her kids. For a while I got to spend some time with my grandma but it was weaned off quickly. About a year into my fathers marriage, he got a job transfer to another state, where I had no other family or friends.
My dad said my biological mom was materialistic, and that I was just an object to her. He didn’t want me to end up the same way so he really limited my possessions. My step sister however, was spoiled. I remember on one of my birthdays my grandma sent me $20. My step mom dropped me off at Wal-mart and told me I couldn’t afford anything anywhere else, while she took my step sister shopping at Macy’s. When I started my period my dad wouldn’t get me feminine products, and my step mom wouldn’t either. Luckily my school nurse supplied me during my time of need.
My step sister bullied me really bad. She spread all kinds of rumors about me. Some that I came to hear about, and some that I probably didn’t. I was an outcast. I was friends with the other outcasts, although at this point of my life, I’m glad that I had them as friends as they better friends. We had each others backs and consoled each other when we were bullied. They were more real. I’m still in touch with them to this day, although I ended up moving in with my grandparents in another state when I entered high school.
My grandma stood up for me a lot during this time. I heard my dad fighting with her, and the fight ending up with her in tears because she couldn’t do anything. I think these fights actually ended up making things worse for me at home. My dad started to resent me and my grandmas relationship. My step mom didn’t allow him to discipline her kids, so I think I often ended up being the brunt of his frustration with that. The spankings got worse. I eventually ended up telling my dad I didn’t feel safe or loved in my home and wanted out. Even if it meant foster care. He got so mad he dragged me down the hall by my hair to the phone book and said we could look into arranging that. Ironically all I could see was ads for hotlines to call when being abused. I tried running away but he always caught me.
Eventually I became suicidal. I talked about it a lot initially. Not to my dad or step siblings but to my friends. They reported it to my school. I had a police officer approach me one day to talk about it. We talked for hours and he drove me home from school. On the way home, he told me that he thought that God only gives us what we can handle, and that I was strong, so I was given more. His words touched me enough to remember, but wasn’t enough to make me feel like there was a light at the end of the tunnel.
One night I decided I couldn’t take it anymore and I took every pill I could find in the house. My step sister found me passed out and figured out what had happened. She told my step mom and they brought me up onto the couch. My step mom said it was a stupid cry for attention, and that nothing should be done. I was never taken to a doctor, or even enrolled in counseling for me. At one point, I think that they were struggling in their marriage and they sought marriage counseling. I guess that my step mom had some bad feelings about me, as I was brought in and the counselor started going off on me that I was a liar. I was shocked and confused. I don’t even know what was said about me or what I had done to deserve that. I didn’t even get a chance to explain my side of things.
The final straw came from me doing something that I thought would make me cool. I was 14 years old. My step sister bragged about having several sexual partners, and even claimed that she had sex in her room (which was straight across from her moms) with the door open, and her mom had walked by but completely ignored it. At the time it just felt like my step sister could get away with anything, although reflecting on it now it makes me sad for her that a parent could just turn their cheek on something like that when she was so young. But, I was still a virgin, and was bullied for that. I felt unwanted. I met a boy that was visiting from another city so he didn’t know me, and was attracted to me. I agreed to lose my virginity to him. I don’t know why but for some reason I thought it would make me feel attractive and make things better. He came into my window in the middle of the night. I started getting mixed feelings about it, but he held a pillow over my face to keep me quiet, which ended up making me feel violated. I felt like I had regretted my decision, but lost control and couldn’t stop what was happening afterwards. Stupidly, I still bragged about it thinking it would make me end up seeming cooler. But word got around, and my step mom ended up finding my journal to confirm the rumor going around. At this point in time, my step mom was kind to me for the first time in years. She didn’t let my dad beat me. My dad sure let me know that he wanted to throw me through the wall, but that my step mom wouldn’t let me. He told me I couldn’t live there anymore, which although it was scary, it was also a blessing for me. My grandparents took me in, and started a new chapter in my life.