First and foremost I would like to thank everyone who has emailed me encouragement, thoughts, and comments.
I think now is a very good time to clarify a few things. First and foremost...I am, by nature, a very happy person. lol Yeah bet you don't believe me on that one. But I really am. And to help myself, and anyone else that I depress, I am really going to start blogging about more happy things.
Secondly, I have a very serious reason for my depression and medication. I am going to try to explain as much as I can...however I had to drink quite a bit to get me to write any of this...so it might take more than one day to get through it all. But I have been wanting to do this for years...and my therapist has been encouraging me to do it for a long time too. So...here goes everything. (BTW everyone who has ever heard the abbreviated version of my story has told me that I need to sell the story to a movie company. But I am really going to try to get into all of the details AS I remember them.)
Grab the tissues Nik...There are things in here you may not know.
My mom was very young, and apparently very stupid. When she was...18 I think...she met a guy in a bar. He owned his own construction company, and she started working for him as a painter. At some point...from what I know it was within a few months, they were married. At some point my mom got pregnant. This was by no means her first pregnancy...from what I remember she had one or two abortions. But she got pregnant and at 6 or 7 months she lost the baby. He was a boy. (I think his name was Luke. Whenever I thought of him his name was Michael, and I thought of him many many times over the years, wishing he was real.) From what I understand, within a month or so she was pregnant with me. She went to a clinic to try to get another abortion. Now there are two versions of the story from here...One is that she had been studying the Bible and knew that lying was wrong. My dad had property in Oregon and she was trying to get a free abortion, which you could only get if you were very poor and did not own property. The second one is that my dad did not want her to have an abortion and listed all of his property and refused to pay for it. Either way.....No abortion and there I was.
My mom was training horses for a family. (She is very well known in NorCal as a horse trainer. She has been doing it since she was 11. And she knows a variety of different types of riding.) At some point...I think in October(I was born in August) they wee at a costume party. On their way home a storm came in and the roof blew off their cottage. So she called the people she was working for and they invited her and her husband and myself to come and sleep on the couch. From that point on Peggy Reynolds, (soon to be my Nanny, which is like a grandma only better.) started studying the Bible with my mom. My dad didn't care. He had been raised by an adopted family, who, according to his words, really forced the Bible on him, so he wasn't interested at all. But he didn't care if it made her happy. So she started studying the Bible daily. And my family moved into a travel trailor on their property.
At some point we moved into a house in Vacaville (California) not too far away from my Nanny. And then my parents bought a house in Rumsey, which is in the Capay Valley in NorCal.
At some point my mom met my first Step-Dad. And then she became very dissatisfied with her marriage. She lived off of other people's sympathy! I have heard many many many versions of what happened between when I was 4-7. Oh, I do need to point out that I had two siblings at this point. My sister, E. who was born 16 months after me, and my brother K. who was born about a year after her. My general belief is that my mom ran out of sympathy, she was not the woman who brought her husband to God, and she was not the woman who was being physically held back from serving God. So she decided to go a different route.
Maybe my Dad drank more than most, or maybe not...all I know is that she said he was an alcoholic and she left him. We moved about 25 miles down the road and lived with a woman and her two grown kids. From their we moved back to Vacaville and into a a modular home right next door to Nanny. Then we moved into a home in Woodland with a family who had two teenage sons and two teen daughters. We moved a lot in a short amount of time. I was 5 and had JUST started Kindergarten when my mom left my dad, and I was 6 when we moved into the family in Woodland's house, and started the 1st grade. (Which I was actually too smart for so they moved me to the second grade. lol Bonus info.) At this point many things started happening at once. My mom accused my dad of molesting me. My mo started dating someone. And the two boys in the house started to molest me. I was 6. Thinking back on it the last few years, I think my mom knew. Why else would someone give their child a bath with the door open, and then have them run around in just their underwear when their were two hormonal teenagers in the house? I remember getting out of the tub and ASKING my mom more than once for clothes. And instead she told me to go talk to the boys about school. And she didn't care that they closed the door afterwords. Or if she walked in on me in their bedding with them. I was 6.
At some point we moved out and into a duplex, right down the st from the guy she was dating. He was in his thirties and had never been married, no kids. Nothing. I remember my dad hated him. He would always be irritated when he came to pick us up for our sleepovers on Friday nights and Kurt was there.
From the duplex we moved in with an elderly couple.
They pretty much became my grandparents, and I have loved them to pieces ever since. (My grandpa died about 8 years ago. He was a roofer. And he was roofing a 3 story house in the middle of nowhere, he was in his seventies BTW. And he fell off the house. Broke most of the bones in his body, bled internally, and lay there dying for 6 hours until the owners came home and found him. He lived for a few days in the hospital, long enough to tell my grandma how much she meant to him.) He was the most wonderful, strongest man I had ever met. And I still cry when I think of him.)
We lived with them for a few months and the day after my mom's divorce was finalized my mom married Kurt. Within a few months she was Pregnant with my second brother. After she had him she went into severe depression. I remember her coming home from work and sitting on the floor and playing solitaire for hours. I remember waking up and she would have fallen asleep in the living room playing cards. I was 8.
At some point we got a super Nintendo and she devoted all of her time to playing yoshi.
I don't know if she would have come out of her depression on her own or what...but after a year of wedded bliss, her husband was diagnosed with Rheumatoid Arthritis. (While I know that is a painful and debilitating disease, he is not the one who needs any sympathy. If I believed in Karma I would say that it was what he had coming to him.)
Anywho...he chose not to work after that. He didn't have it bad by any means, but he was a lazy prick. So my mom worked a lot. At once point she had 7 jobs. This lasted until I was 13. Between the ages of 8 and 13 life went from bad to worse. (Some time between all of this my visits with my dad went from overnight stays, to a supervised visitation one hour every other week. To nothing at all. My parents claimed I was too stressed out to handle the visits and my siblings were not allowed to go without me.)
We moved a lot. A lot A lot. And then...I had to help my mom work. I would get up at 4 am most days of the week and help her deliver newspapers. Then we would go out to a Ranch she worked at and while she trained horses I would muck out stalls and polish tack. Then I would come home and do my school work. (I was home-schooled a lot.) At some point my mom started a daycare, which I ran for her. I babysat my half brother and a few other children. And my Sister and Brother went to school. A long with homeschooling, and babysitting, I also had to have the house in pristine order, have the laundry done and most nights I cooked dinner. I don't know where my step-dad was then...I know he wasn't working, but he wasn't at home.
During the last year, between 11 and 13, I was being "stalked". I was a VERY scared tween. My best friend was not allowed to spend the night at my house because it was too dangerous. "Someone" did hang up calls all day long while I was at home by myself. They would throw things at the house. And "mysterious" cars would be parked across the st "watching me". I don't know who did all of those things. I am fairly sure it was not my dad though.
But at any rate my parents decided to move to Oklahoma. That was the worst thing in my life. Yes I admit that it made me a stronger individual, and blah blah blah, but it tore me up for many many years. I lost my best friends. I lost the people who had been more than grandparents to me, I lost the town I had been raised in. My world was ripped away from me at the time I needed it most.
I wish things got better when we moved. But then my life wouldn't be interesting anymore right? lol
My step-dad FINALLY got a job. Only...I had to help him. I got up at 4 am, went to the post office, picked up mail. Took it to two different cities. Then came back to town and I went to highschool. After school I would go to the grocery store that my mom worked at and I bagged groceries. Then I went with Kurt to pick up mail from the two Post offices and dropped them back at the one we picked them up from. I would get home around 7 pm. Did my homework and went to bed. (all of the money I made went straight to my parents to help pay for bills.)
After a year of that we moved to Arkansas. I still went to school, sophomore, I was on the track team, cheer leader, swim team...and I also worked full time at Long John Silvers. (All of my money went to my parents.) I was 15.
My life went up shit creek at that point.
My step dad had always been somewhat physically abusive. He had ALWAYS been verbally and emotionally abusive. (I remember once when my brother K was 5 he had him grab the top of the door frame and hang there. HANG THERE! And he laughed at him as he cried, because he was scared.) He hit me a lot. Randomly. His moods were so random. One minute he would be crying about what a worthless person he was and how I was so wonderful to work to support my family. The next he would be yelling at me that I was stupid and beating me with a belt. I remember stealing my mom's cover-up to hide bruises so that I wouldn't get bugged by the school nurse at school. And when I would be at home, if I didn't have the whole house completely picked up and bleached and clean enough to house Ghandi....My mom would hit me. I remember her yelling at me, hitting me over and over. On my back, on my head, in my face. Telling me that I am stupid and that she hates me.
I kept on going. And everyone said that I was a happy person. I was able to still find joy in life. I had friends who made me feel loved. (Some were older friends who took an interest in me. Nikki...Kathy Webb is one of them. I know she is pushy and weird...but she really looked after me and that's why I love her so much.) I think a lot of people had thoughts that something was happening...but no one really knew.
Kurt would start doing things that made me uncomfortable, I know now why he did them, but I am not ready to say it out loud yet. If I was doing the dishes he would come up behind me and pretend to grab something out of the cupboard against me and rub himself on me. He would come and pick me up from work and play music with graphic sexual lyrics, even though I would ask him to turn it off. I would even reach over and turn it off and he wouldn't let me.
At some point I got my high school equivalency and tried to go to college. Surprisingly I did amazing in school. And I had two scholarships. One for my PHD to Yale, although I think that was mainly cause my real grandparents had donated a bunch of money when my uncle went there. The second was to Colorado on a 2 year voice scholarship. While I was trying to make up my mind I decided to go to school to become a CNA so that I could have a way to support myself while I was in college. Unbeknown to me my parents found out about my Scholarships and wrote to the schools refusing them. So at 15 I became a Certified Nursing Assistant. I got a job an hour away from home. And since I was not allowed to drive My step dad drove me to work.
I worked... a lot. When I turned 16 I was legally allowed to work full time. I would work 16 hour shifts 5 days a week. Since I worked an hour from home, usually my WONDERFUL step dad did not want to come and pick me up so he would leave me at my job for a few days at a time. I would sleep on an empty bed and then start my shift 8 hours after I quit. Not surprising... I got an eating disorder. I was so stressed and so tired that I would go days without eating. I would drink energy drinks and take yellow jackets and when I did eat I usually threw it up.
One night I collapsed and woke up two days later in the hospital. My nurses had turned me in.
My parents came and got me, and drove me down to Muskogee Oklahoma and had me institutionalized. (My buzz is wearing off....Time to drink more so that I can finish.)
I was in a hospital with other girls around my age for 2 months. I went from 98 pounds(I am 5'9) to 210 pounds. Basically from one extreme to another within the 2 months I was there. My parents dropped me off, did not speak to the doctors or councilors, then one day showed up to take me home. They never called, wrote, emailed nothing while I was there. They told all of my friends that I was staying with family.
I went back to work for a little bit but then I had to quit. My parents owed some people some money so I went to live with them for a month to clean house, cook, do laundry and help them with their home business to pay off my parents debt. A few weeks after I got home, my mom was in a car accident. She died three times on the scene before she was life lighted to the hospital. She was in the hospital for two weeks. Broken leg, deflated lung, broken jaw, broken hip, and glass in her scalp. It was one of the worst times in my life. (I didn't know how much crap my mom had done at that time. She was my mom and I loved and still do love her...beyond belief some times.)
I am not sure I have drank enough to finish this....
You know what? No I have not. So I will finish this some other time. This part is too hard. It's the part that I try to forget the most and yet remember the clearest.
*** The pictures I have included...The first Me at 17, a few weeks before I married my husband. The second, Me at 15 at my grand parents house in Ark. The third... Me at 7 with my two younger siblings E and K.)