Sharing Life Stories

After posting my first entry yesterday I had a thought provoking conversation with my good friend Jody. She told me how brave she thought openly share my story was. It made me ponder how I started sharing it in the first place. I came up with a couple reasons. 

Reason #1: I have always written my story out. If you read my last post you know that I received a journal at a young age. I starting chronicling way back then and now it’s an itch I need to scratch whenever something strikes a spark in my brain. 

Reason #2: The first time I ever told anyone else about what was going on in my family sphere, I had no other choice. It was sophomore year of high school. My boyfriend Justin, at the time, noticed my quite disposition that day and kept bugging me to tell him what was up. 

Here’s what was up:

The night before, I went grocery shopping with my mother. We didn’t have a car at the time so we walked. This was normal for us. While shopping, mother put several items into her purse. She said we couldn’t afford everything (I later learned that she was just a kleptomaniac). In the checkout line two employees approached her, pulled her aside, called the cops and sat her in the office. 

I remained on the line and checked out with the EBT card she gave me before heading off with the manager. I then left the store with a cart full of groceries. I didn’t know what to do so I carried all of the groceries home. 

A gallon of milk, two gallons of ice cream, frozen pizzas, a case of soda, laundry soap, toilet paper and many other big bulky items. 

It was more than I could manage. On top of the heavy, cumbersome load, the sky opened up halfway home. Soaking wet and carrying the groceries home I got splashed by cars passing by. Mom didn’t make it home until the next morning right before I left for school. 

Needless to say I didn’t want to share this story with my newly acquired boyfriend. He thought my silence was because of something he did. After several periods of pressuring me to spill the beans I gave in. I felt so ashamed but he let me cry and it felt good. I told him everything. I even told him about the food stamps. Our relationship didn’t last long but our friendship remains until this day. He was even one of my bridesmen. 

Reason #3:  I promise, this one is shorter. 

After telling Justin, I felt comfortable telling my closest friend Bobby some other things going on in my life. It felt good to have another person to confide in. I felt less alone. 

A while later I was approached by one of Bobby’s friends. He put his hand on my shoulder and said, ” I never knew, Michelle. You are very strong.” 

I had no idea what the hell he was talking about and my face must have suggested as much. He said, “oh, Bobby was just telling us some of your stories this morning on the stairwell.” 

Needless to say I was furious. I also decided that if my stories were going to be told that I was going to tell them. They weren’t going to be used by someone else as a form of entertainment and I also wasn’t going to share them for pity.

Conclusion:

My stories are mine to tell and I am comfortable telling them. I remember the first time I read a book about a character who had it worse than me. I felt less alone. So if my stories can offer something like that to someone else than I am thankful for that opportunity. 

That’s my ramble for the day. Thanks for listening. 

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Diary Vandals

I’ve had my diary/ journal read 2x in my life by people that shouldn’t have read it. Well, only two that I know of. I have an inkling that my mother read it from time to time as well.

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The first diary I ever received was a birthday gift when I turned 6. I loved it whole heartedly. It was pink and had a cool heart lock with a heart key that could go on a chain to become a necklace. I wrote in it every day. One day during second grade lunch my best friend, at the time, took it from my open backpack, ripped the lock open and read a page aloud. Needless to say it was some nonsense about a crush I had and of course said crush was sitting at our table during this public reading. It was humiliating and it was the first time losing a best friend. I would lose many more in my life time, obviously not for the same reason.

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The second person to read through my diary was my boy friend Robbie. Yes, you heard me right, he read through the entire thing. Now Robbie could probably take up more than one blog post alone to get his whole story out. I’ll try to stay on topic though. While dating Douche-Bag-Robbie I kept a journal because I had no one else to talk to at the time. My mother situation was bad, I was broke from college and all my friends had other things going on. Worst of it all was I had no where else to live. Two months prior Douche-Bag-Robbie cheated on me while out of town at a Halloween concert I helped pay for him to attend. He hooked up with three girls and it took him several months before confessing to it. By the time he did I was moved in with him and had no where else to go. I obviously had to suck it up and live through it a window opened up.

I wrote down all my frustrations in my journal. I was so angry at everyone and every thing. Anyway, back on point. I returned back to his apartment one day after class to find my journal on the floor of our room. He was on the bed crying. Man he was a little bitch. He had read through the whole thing and had questions:

Was I still with him?

Did I still love him?

blah blah blah. OBVIOUSLY NOT MOTHER FUCKER.

Anyway, shortly thereafter I moved out and into my mother’s apartment which had recently been vacated due to her being arrested. That’s another story for another time.

Thanks for listening. Keep your diaries safe ladies and gentleman. Use those passwords on your laptops and don’t leave journals around. You can’t trust anyone.

Backstreet Boys’ Song Unravels Mysteries of My Past

While listening to a Backstreet Boy’s song this morning, I can’t recall which one, my mind brought back a memory from childhood. I assume it triggered that time period because:

1. It was popular on the radio during that time

2. My family shared an appreciation towards their music and used to sing it together, during happier times.

The memory that came back though, was not so happy. My brother had dropped out of school for the second or third time (honestly I lost count). My mother was fuming and took all of his gaming systems away as punishment. My 13 year old twin brother, at this time, found the bag with they systems, and left as if running away.

My mother tried to stop him but he pushed her with his forearm against her chest, so that he could get passed. She was shocked by this violent act and let him leave. She very calmly went into the house to dial the police. She filed a domestic abuse case against him, and he was brought back home after spending a night in jail.

Now, I’m not sure why this memory was triggered, but I decided rashly, to text my brother about it. We have now been reconnecting since my mother’s suicide back in 2013. I repeated the memory to him and asked what exactly made him so angry that day and why he dropped out of school so many times during our childhood.

The unraveling part happens here. The things he told me I never would have guessed. Honestly, I feel completely and utterly foolish and down right awful for thinking the spiteful and hateful thoughts towards my brother for so many years.

What he told me is this:

“I don’t fully remember the whole reason why I was in a huge argument with mom. As for the school thing, I could sense something was wrong with mom. she kept saying really suicidal things and I never wanted to come home to her dead. so even with me just staying home or playing games, mom always felt needed since her son had some school problems. We would have times where we would watch movies together and she would tell me how nice it was to have me there. I just didn’t want to lose mom so soon especially since I was still such a big kid. I also never wanted you to worry, though that backfired because you worried about me not going to school and mom with any of her bad habits. I don’t know if any of that makes sense but it is truly how I felt back then.”

I had always just thought he was lazy. It was easier that way. He dropped out of school when we were in 6th grade, living on Long Island. When we moved to Florida he dropped out again in 7th grade and again in 9th. In 10th grade he just got up one day and moved to Wisconsin with his friend and their family. I felt alone and betrayed. I had been working since 15 to help mom pay the bills and keep the roof over our heads. I had tried to run away to live with my friend Sam and her parents. I had everything ready and the day I went to leave he stood and blocked the doorway. He whispered in my ear, “please don’t leave me here alone with her.” I proceeded to jump out my second story bedroom window, but returned that night because the guilt ate me alive. I didn’t want to leave him alone. So you can imagine how devastated I was when he went and moved several states away and never came back. Needless to say, we didn’t talk from age 16 up until mom’s death at age 22.

I feel that same level of devastation learning now how much he actually sacrificed. He gave up his education and his chance at life in order to save mom from herself.

“It’s okay. I felt like I deserved it because I was still disappointed in myself for not finding another way for me to help mom and not give up on my schooling. That’s why when Lanere talked to mom (his friend’s mom that he moved with) I thought that might be a good chance to start over, and it was. I did great in school but mom’s life just got worse and worse. I wish I would’ve stayed instead of being selfish.”

I’m glad he was able to get away and I feel like he knew I would have the strength to be alright. I’m glad we are rebuilding our twin bond again. I’ve missed having my own blood family for a long time.

If you’ve read this thanks for your time. I hope you didn’t read this thinking that it was going to be a book related post.

Anyway, I’ll write more the next time I have a flashback from my childhood or a thought about parenthood related to my mother.