I remember waking up in the pitch black; maybe to the sound of a screaming baby, or maybe my memory has failed me on the details of that period. Still there is much that I am sure that I have not made up about my childhood. I learned at a very young age to think and fend for those younger than me, as well as myself. If I had a query about something, it was up to me to find answers. I had no one around me responsible enough to ask.
As who I am has taken decades to create, and there are several areas of my life that I would not only like to touch on but reconcile, I will try to make this story as concise as possible.
As a child, I had to learn detachment in order to cope with being forced to let go of people, places and things that I was either use to or connected with. Though I have been yearning for the idea and feelings associated with having a partner, I am more comfortable being alone.
I sub-consciously taught myself to avoid habit. I think that it was in part because there was no stability in my life, and also because I didn’t want to become the addict that much of my family had become. I needed control of something. I wanted control of myself.
My journey has taken me through constant bouts of depression, solitude, self-loathing, suicidal tendencies, passive aggressiveness, self-pity, aggression and now a need for balance.
I learned to be poor, lacking, late and insecure from my third foster mother. She made sure to spend everything that she brought in within the first few days of her receiving it. From then, we struggled to get through the rest of the month.
She was always borrowing from someone and would eventually have to cut ties with that person. She didn’t seem to care whether people stayed in her life or not. She made sure that I knew often enough that she was the only person who cared about me after beating me, sometimes without reason, and other times to teach me the lessons that she neglected to teach.
She reminded me regularly that I was ugly and that some things made other people better than me such as being prettier. We could wake up at the crack of dawn, wake us up to join her, and still be very late to everything we were expecting to do that day.
One of her most successful punishments was to keep me away from the things I loved (school was one of them) and to make sure to give treats to everyone but the person being ridiculed. That may seem normal enough but that happened to me when I (accidentally) told a social worker that we got spankings.
I was very young and didn’t know that (a) she wasn’t allowed to hit us and (b) that I wasn’t supposed to tell. The point is I am here now and all of those very awful ways that I learned to deal with life I want transformed. I have been working on me since I was 19-years old, and I want to not only learn to cope but to live to my highest potential.
I no longer want to be the story of a girl who didn’t perish. I want to be the woman who succeeded.
Do you have a real life story you would like to share with the readers? It really does help to transfer the pain from the mind to paper. Forward me your stories to firstname.lastname@example.org
Photo courtesy of Hartwig HKD (cc @ flickr.com)