Thirty some odd years ago, a sixteen year old child gave birth to a daughter. This is her daughters story.
I was born into a world of drunkenness, which brought abuse, and very little nurturing. As far back as I can remember, things were just always bad. I always believed that my mother and father hated one another more than loved. There is not one memory in my mind where they were nice to each other. To this day I still wonder why they stayed husband and wife as many years as they did. It is not like they were together for those twenty years. Maybe it was just to cause me torture.
From the time I was in first grade I switched schools nine times. Any idea how hard it is to find friends, little on keep them when you move so often? Especially when you are considered low class. My parents would separate because of a drunken rage from my dad, and mother would move out, start over, and within a few months they would reunite. Dad would always end up moving to what ever location my mother had chosen.
A taste of my younger days.
Age 6/7. I am not sure what reason I was allowed to walk to school at such a young age, but I do remember having to do so. We lived in Chattanooga Tennessee during the beginning of my second grade year. I remember having that uneasy feeling the first few times I done it. Seriously, who allows their small child to walk to school. It was only a block, but Never would I allow that to take place. Not in that area. The point of my story was not even the fact that I had to make sure I got myself to school. I remember having a terrible morning on one of those walks. The bottom of my shoe had fallen completely off. The only thing I had to walk on was the insole of the shoe that was still attached to the inside. Kids can be cruel at such a young age, or any age for that matter. My misfortune that day was used for their amusement . All the laughs and teasing, really broke my spirit. It took me a very long time to get over that. I was finally released from that specific humiliation when we moved. A lot of times, moving was welcomed, because of situations such as this, Though It seemed every school had those kids that would snub their nose at my second hand cloths, or ratty hair.
By the middle of my second grade year, we had moved about an hour away from Chattanooga. We went from living in the city, to the back woods of some po-dunk town that did not even have a traffic light, known as Ider. I was not at this school very long until I had some how managed to develop head lice. So for the rest of the year, I was shunned by my fellow class mates for this added misfortune.
I began my third grade year in different school. This was not like the last move, a combined family move. This involved a separation. Mom left dad and moved to Fort Payne. This was a town/city. A lot smaller than Chattanooga, yet tons bigger than Ider. I stayed at this school, from the beginning of Third, until the middle of Fifth, and I failed fourth grade, so we are looking at, at least three years at this residence. Probably the longest that I ever stayed at any school or residence. This was because my mother was living in what is called a HUD home or Governmental housing . Her rent was income based. She had no income, therefore it was near nothing. Dad eventually moved back in with us, but when they would separate during these years he would be the one to leave, because she refused to give up her cheap housing. This was the age of when I was molested by a family member. I will have to save that incident, and the details for another day.
Half of fifth grade, and all of sixth grade, we were back in Ider. Once again, I was in contact with someone with head-lice. Word got out, therefore, I was a dirt bag for the rest of the time being at this school. Seventh and Eight I attended another small town school, Sylvania. Up until this point, I would have to say it was the least terrible. Especially as far as people were concerned. There may have been a person here and there that was mean, and nasty, but they were few and far between.
Ninth and Tenth was by far the easiest for me. Collinsville School. I think I had gotten to the age of not caring as much what people thought about me. I find when we are not so concerned about what others think, we will also gain more determination to make the best out of whatever circumstance we find ourselves in. Along with that determination, confidence is gained. I had so many friends, in three different grades. For once I was enjoying school, not necessarily the academic part of it, but definitely the social part. I had even tried out for a few extra curricular activities. Basket ball the first time. I was so pumped about it. My parents even agreed to it. As long as I could get to and from games and practices without them being involved. I made sure that would not be an issue. During the first practice, I was told that my birth certificate was not an original, and without the original I could not practice. It was too much to ask of my mother to go to the health department and obtain another birth certificate,therefore I missed out on the opportunity. In my tenth grade year I had joined color guard. Ordered uniforms, had been going to weekly practices. Out of the blue, I was accused of doing something with my mothers live in boyfriends,underwear. There was also a ring that had come up missing as well. From my understanding the ring had later surfaced in a jacket pocket, but the underwear…Yep, still missing. Just my personal thought would be, mother did not want the hassle of children, or the more than likely the boyfriend. They wanted to spend their time, alone.
My father allowed me to quit school. He did not just allow, he pushed me to it. For a few weeks I decided that I would in fact quit school, but that is all of the vacation I needed, before I decided to return. By this time, it was several weeks into my Eleventh grade year, and I had landed back in Sylvania. Before the second semester was over, I had quit again. This time it was due to the fact, that my dad had rather stay drunk instead of worry with my education. He can not read nor write, so I suppose he felt I was educated enough. Every Monday he had a hang over. So I was always missing those days. There would be a day between that and Friday that I would miss again. We lived out of the area for the school that my dad insisted I attend. He would drive to his work in the mornings and that is where I would get on and off the bus. Since he would not go to work on a daily basis, I could not go to school on a daily basis. I finally just quit again. I had no choice. School was hard enough on me without all of that added stress.
I know I can not blame my parents for every little wrong choice I have made myself in this life. Though I can in fact, and do blame them for not teaching me some very vital things. One of those things being respect. I was never taught to respect myself. That was something that I had to teach myself, and it took many many years to do so, and with a lot of failed attempts. I was never taught morals. I had to learn those from my friends parents along the way. I was never nurtured, loved on, or lifted up. But those things I hold tight to now, as being a blessing. It has shown me the damage it can do to a child’s heart when these things are not offered. I refuse to ever leave my children wondering what they mean to me. I will never say things to bring them down. I will always pressure them to leave their positive mark on the world. I will teach them that the children that seem to live in poverty are just the same as they are. Their parents may be down on their luck, or their parents may just not care. Either way it is not the fault of the children. One day that child will be an adult, and will remember each and every person that ever said or done anything ugly, and will equally remember those good people who treated them simply as humans.
TO BE CONTINUED……
Mental thought: We must always realize one simple fact. As parents we are creating a chain. What we teach our children, will then be taught to their own children.