We have covered many subjects in previous chapters, and now we are going to uncover some more areas that tend to obviously be very uncomfortable for most of us to think about much less write or speak about.
Growing up in a house where both parents have major issues, makes it awful difficult for any young child to understand what is the true definition of a Happy and Healthy environment. We all hear words that describe types of environments, like Dysfunctional, unhealthy, unsafe, dangerous, damaging, unstable, and so on. Then on a positive side, we hear loving, caring, safe, nurturing, supportive, healthy, stable, affectionate, and so on.
When I was growing up, my insecurities were unlimited. My Mother drank like a fish, my father was gone all the time, I had no siblings other than half brothers and sisters, and my other relatives lived out of state. Once my mother and father divorced, I was only six, we moved to where my mother grew up. I then had a grandmother I could enjoy once in awhile. Only problem now is both my mother and my new Step-father both drank like fish. So, the battle was on. Who could out do the other? Being so young, I had a very hard time distinguishing what was normal and what was not. I knew yelling and screaming was not the norm for most homes, but in ours it was part of our way of life. Never really knew if it was a matter of all our hearing was bad, or just common for adults to turn up the volume when having a conversation. The one area I knew could not be normal was being physical. Spanking in our home was never an issue, because the form of spanking as described by most did not really happen in my home. Our physical punishment was more like a battle ground. Anything goes, brooms, boards, belts, fists, frying pans, etc. If something was not tied down, it was used as a weapon. Cuts and bruises were part of our accessorizing and in truth, it was a pure miracle I survived at all during those years. My mother was another story, her injuries were so extreme at times from the beatings she received from my step-father how she ever lived as long as she did is still a mystery. She passed away at age 54, primarily from a failed liver.
I remember the day I received the call she was in ICU, and was not expected to make it another 24 hours. Living about 5 hours away, I packed up my car and my youngest son and headed their way.
It was almost Christmas, and the weather was still rather warm. Traveling even further south, the temperatures were getting even warmer. I will never forget what happened while driving to my destination. My son to this day also remembers and he was only 8 at the time. About half way into our trip a swift breeze moved my vehicle, and every window frosted up on the inside, then disappeared. It was the strangest sensation I have ever encountered. I looked over at my Son and said your grandmother just passed. He had a look of be-wilderness and surprise. That was my only thought when it happened. I had missed the opportunity to see my Mother one last time before she passed. She was letting me know she was with us, and wanted to say goodbye.
When I got there, she had already died, and I was not able to even see her at all. She had donated her body to science, and had already been taken to the morgue by the time I got there. I could not understand why I was not able to see her, and for the most part, it made it very hard for closure.
No service, no memorial, nothing had been planned or done in her behalf, my step-father was a total jerk, and my grandmother was a total mess, losing her only living child. I was so distraught by all the confusion and upset at not even being able to see her and say goodbye, I packed up my son and we headed back home.
Anything related to me or my past, was thrown out by my step father, he did not allow me or my grandmother any of her personal items, pictures heirlooms, etc. I was so blown away by his behavior I could not bare to be around any of them.
Then trying to explain that to my son? I had no good explanation so I just told him all would be okay, and when we got back home, we would honor her in our own way.
Now, keep in mind at the time, I had just separated from my husband, who was at a bar with one of his chippies when I left to go see my mother, and could have cared less about me, my son, or what we were going through. Another drinker, how ironic…
We had just lost our home to a fire the year before, two days before Christmas, and now this. Every year seem to bring on even more pain and heartache.
How did I manage to survive through three years in a row of devastation?
Watch for the next chapter*