Little Girl, Big Fears
He had his grown hands around my throat, my tiny body dangling against the wall suspended in the air. As I went limp, moments from unconsciousness he tossed me across the room onto a forgiving couch. All of this because I talked to a Social worker at school because we had no food. No food was only one of many problems in this 'home'. No water, no electricity, no clean clothes, only drugs and booze. Its no wonder I ate Marijuana as a child.
This is only one of my many memories from my terrifying childhood. Visions of tears, blood, faeces, and shame are all that cloud my mind. My story is not a feel good comedy. It testifies to the true horrors of a young girl in the midst of very real situations.
My mother abused drugs and alcohol and brought strangers into our home. If you could even call it a home. I can recall cowering as she is dragged out of our apartment, her boyfriend had his hand shoved into her mouth pulling her by her bottom jaw. I was scared for my mother but I also resented her for letting such evil into our home. I blamed her for nights I went hungry. I blamed her for not washing my only blanket, leaving me to sleep around a pile of dog poop. I blamed her for letting her boyfriend into my room. I blamed her for me not knowing my real father. I blamed her for never waking me up for school. I blamed her for never having a Christmas. So many things.
I thought things would change when I was placed in an orphanage after my mother left me for days to fend for myself. I hoped some family would take me away from the mess that was my life. Being seven I thought my life was finally about to start.
When my Aunt and Uncle took me in I thought I would finally live a normal life. Full of security, warmth and family. I attended school regularly and even though I was far behind I learned to read my third grade year. I was tested for my IQ level and though it didn't mean much at the time I was gifted. I had never been so happy in my life. I was clean.
It took two years for my Aunt to realise what a burden I was to their family. I was my mothers problem that had been placed on their doorstep. It felt very much like Cinderella, my Aunt had a daughter from a previous marriage as did my uncle. Everyone had bedrooms upstairs while I was in the basement. I felt as if I was suppose to hide away like some ugly monster.
Yes, I had learned some very bad habits from my mother like shoplifting and lying. Once my Aunt caught me with a fellow student's property she removed everything from my room but a Bible and said ' this is what it feels like in prison'. I was nine years old. A prisoner in my own home, not knowing any better. This one incident would set the rest of the relationship for my Aunt and I. The one person I thought was my saving grace was so quick to turn her back.
Years went by, emotional abuse was a household fixture. She would blame me for anything under the sun. From using too much shampoo, to stealing her pants (which were 7 sizes too big for me), or reading a magazine before her. Once again I begged for someone, something to take me away. I began cutting at my wrists. I became callous to everything that once made me happy. I hated everything. I wanted to die to end the pain.
I found art and music. It became my escape, my love that would never reject me. Never hurt me and never leave me. I could turn to it whenever I needed to release my frustration. I decided to move out of state for college. I have been granted a scholarship at a prestigious Art school and could not hold my excitement. Before I could move my belongings out she changed the locks and monitored what I packed as if I wanted her things.
I have yet to see my Aunt since, from what I have heard she was diagnosed with Bipolar/ Schizophrenia Disease and went through a nasty divorce after claiming my Uncle was trying to poison her. I knew it was completely false but I wouldn't blame him if he had tried.
I have put a lot behind me but I still struggle with my past on a day to day
basis. Art and music are still by favorite things in the world. I am now engaged to a wonderful man but I cant help but recognize learned traits from my Aunt. As well I force myself to not be scared of becoming like my mother, only I know I would never let a man lay a hand on me. There are many things we work on together. The only saving grace between us is honesty. We can't erase the past but we can learn and live better. Together.