Once upon a time in a mountainous land not so far away there was a young man and a young lady. The origin of their relationship remains unknown, but that’s not where our story begins. The young lady had a troubled home life. The young man liked to have a good time. It was New Year’s eve, and the young lady had a plan. “If I get pregnant, I’ll get kicked out! Then I can be free!” Plan of action: Engage. Science does it’s thing and bam, a baby. Anybody wanna guess who that beautiful green-eyed, sweet little shnookums was? Yep, it was me 🙂 Ain’t I cute?!
Shockingly, I don’t remember much from those years. I know I know, who does? I do remember that by the time I was 5 I experienced more than I should have. My parents were young, dumb, and broke. Did they love each other back then? Anybody’s guess really. They were like water and oil, never mixing well together. Screaming and crying. Hitting and kicking. Broken dishes. All of those things were normal to me. Was I scared? Of course. I didn’t understand, but something inside of me, even then, told me that this wasn’t right. I was like any other child, I just wanted my family to stay together.
I remember the day my dad moved out. I was 5 years old, and in Kindergarten, so I was possibly 6. I had just got a little 10 inch TV, with all the channel buttons right on the front, in my bed room
I remember being really upset that the T.V was gone, but not understanding that so was my daddy. I don’t remember the feelings I had knowing my family was split up, but I remember that T.V. I remember the wooden chess board that sat under it. But I do not remember how I felt when I realized my daddy would never be coming home.I was always daddies little girl, still am. All of my early memories are with him. I remember watching every Disney princess movie as they came out. He taught me about Klondikes Pizza, and The Simpsons. I can remember one time, man I was little, maybe 4 years old. I was laying on the couch, watching a Disney movie and my dad got up for work. I remember thinking I would be in trouble for watching T.V. and being awake, but he wasn’t mad at all. My throat hurt, so he got me a banana Popsicle and left for the day.After the divorce my mom remarried quickly. I thought this guy was so cool. He worked for the railroad and he carried this big army green duffel bag. He use to go by the store and pick up boxes of Popsicle’s before he came to see my mom. When he would always pull my very favorite flavor from the bag I thought he was magic. Wasn’t long before they were married. My mom made all the dresses, including her wedding gown. My brother and I were given rings during the ceremony to symbolize his commitment to us as well. They were gold and had a ruby in the center. I believe the ruby is the birth stone for the month of July, that’s the month we “became a family”. I lost that ring no more than 2 days later. Today I would say that was a foreshadowing of events to come.
My dad took a different route for a time. A trip down meth addict lane. If you’ve ever been there or seen someone there you understand when I say that lane leads to the pits of hell. My dad was no exception. A year after the divorce my dad went to jail for possession of methamphetamine. It was Christmas day, the day was grey. Snow covered the ground. It wasn’t a beautiful scene like one might imagine. It was almost ominous outside. I recall the police coming in, my dad being leaned up against the kitchen wall in cuffs being searched. There were several officers outside pillaging through his Chevy parked outside.
He went to jail that day, and me and my younger brother watched it all go down. After that, Christmas with dad always had an undertone of anticipation. This event sparked the next several years of battle royal between the two people tasked with providing and protecting me. My moms marriage was great at first. They were so happy, and so were we. Nights were quiet, everything was calm. We got to go on trips to places we had never been. Shop at stores we’d never even seen, like Toys R Us.
But those things didn’t last long. Wasn’t long before it got loud in the house again. Constant fighting at night, pretending all was right in the world in the morning. I thought it was the coolest thing ever when he started delivering pizza at Domino’s. *insert palm to face here* He brought home pizza almost every night. I don’t care what anyone says, back in the days of twisty bread, Domino’s had it going on. They still do, but with the loss of twisty bread… lets just say I’m salty. So 7-8 year old me thought, this guy is still great to me. I remember the day my opinion of him changed. I had fell asleep on the couch and I had just got a Giga Pet. Mine was a cat, and I LOVED that thing like it was a living, breathing, human baby. I woke up well into the evening to discover I could not find Crystal (the Giga Pet). I was frantic. Crying and sweating, “what happened to my baby?” I’ve always been dramatic. Step-dad finally tells me he was caring for her while I slept. Oh thank goodness- sweet man. No. The first thing I discovered was that he had renamed my precious baby: Ass Hole. The nerve!!! That was the turning point for me. No longer was I blinded by Popsicle’s and pizza, I saw him for who he was: a cat stealing thief.
In all seriousness, not that the above mentioned tragedy wasn’t serious, but I really did begin to notice something was different. Step-dad had a camper trailer in the back yard and he started spending a lot of time out there. I noticed that he would stay out there all night. He was always tinkering with something in there. My mom was pregnant, like huge pregnant. They were fighting in the camper, and I could hear them inside. I came out to see what was happening and I saw that the door to the camper was open. The next thing I see is my mother fly across the opening falling onto an open box. Shes screaming and crying, so I run to her. She yells to get away, go in the house. I remember a box of crushed light bulbs.
My dad would go to jail a few more times, do a couple stints in rehab, receive 2 felonies and a good amount of time on probation before my mom would ever really allow us to see him. There would be times our grandma would take us to the rehab. In between jail times we would still visit him. Although he was a “tweaker”, I remember my dad as the best. I never felt unsafe, or unloved. He was a “good-hearted” meth addict. During his probation he met a woman. She was also on probation, yes it was also for meth. As my memory recalls it, they got in trouble a lot. They weren’t supposed to have any contact. Standard rule of probation is not to associate with anyone else on probation. They found the loop-hole, and got married. The wedding took place in my grandmas living room. My brother and I were not invited to attend. Today I would also call that a foreshadowing of things to come. I liked her though. She was nicer than my mom, cooler too. Plus now I had a sister, which was much better than a stinky brother.
My mom eventually had the baby, another brother, joy. Things went downhill quickly after this. There were so many times my mom would wake us all up in the middle of the night to load up in the car and go search for her husband. We would go to bars, and other known hang outs. Sometimes we would find him, mostly we wouldn’t. My mom would lose her mind over this guy and his antics. I would try to make frog sounds with my throat. Eventually we would go home and go back to bed for a few hours before school. Stop, rewind, repeat. I don’t remember the day he left. I don’t remember him being there one day and gone the next. I don’t remember feeling any kind of way about his absence. One winter night my brothers and I were playing Power Rangers. I was the pink one of course. We played hard. Mattresses everywhere, dressers set up as jump points. We had it going on, and I had a swim suit on. I guess i thought that was the closest thing I had to a Power Ranger uniform. More likely is that I wanted to combine components of Power Rangers with Mortal Kombat. My mom was screaming, wake up wake up! Guess I passed out, I don’t remember going to sleep. I was rubbing my eyes coming into the living room when I saw it. Through my moms bedroom door massive orange flames filled the window. Panic. Panic. Panic. My mom got us in the car, and across the street. She was in the street screaming and crying and jumping around trying to get someones attention. I was scared she would get burned if she got to far away from the car. The reality was the fire was 50-75 yards away. The fire fighters we nice and they gave me a stuffed animal to take to school. I was shook.
I’m not positive that my dad and his new wife had ever stopped using. But the early days were great. This “step situation” was WAY better than the one I had experienced before. Days of video games, kangaroo rats, and rollerblading through the trailer park fill my mind. I was 10 when my youngest brother way born. He was so chubby and cute. I loved going to my dads because he was always so much more laid back than my mom. I had “freedom” there. How did I use this freedom you may ask? Well to hang with my friends and put on performances for the trailer park of course! I can remember a 3 song act put on by me, my sister and our friend. Britney Spears all the way, choreographed with the whitest dance moves ever. But we had costume changes! We could ride our bikes a few miles away to the park. We loved going to the park. There was this river that ran right through it, but you had to climb down this 12-15 foot cliff to get down to the water. One day we were riding at the park and we pulled up to the edge to look at the water. Kids are reckless, they can’t foresee consequences and most are oblivious to danger. I’m not sure if it was the way he was positioned on the bike or if he just fell, but he fell off that cliff. Panic. Panic. Panic. He’s dead! Oh my god he is dead! HELP! HELP! A man comes running and jumps down to my brother and cradles him up this embankment to the top of the cliff. As I look at my brother he is ghost white, eyes as big a saucers not blinking, limp and lifeless. I knew he was dead. By this time we had luckily found someone with a cell phone. If you can believe it, they were rare back then. My dad got there and loaded up my brothers bike along with my brother and took him home. After the shock wore off my sister and I raced each other back to the house.
It was never proven for sure, but my mom has always believed her ex-husband set the fire that terrified us that night. Right outside her bedroom window was our family hot tub. It was winter so that bad boy was full and heated, actively being used on a daily basis. It was that hot tub that was set ablaze. It burnt to a pile of ashes, basically nothing was left it so it was hard to determine what may have caused this fire. My moms theory: Ex-husband sneaks to house late at night, pulls the plug to drain the hot tub and leaves. Goes and gets hoped up on alcohol or meth or both. Comes back and sets the thing on fire. Seams plausible to me. Here’s whats interesting, by the time the fire truck is there I’m gonna guess it was around 4 A.M. This lady comes to talk to my mom out of nowhere. Shes not an officer or a fire fighter, she just some woman in leather pants. Later I learned that was the wife the of the man whom ex-husband was now living with. Like I said, unsolved. You decide for yourself.
From this point on things get messy and complicated so buckle up, and you may need to take notes.