This main purpose of this blog is to share my family’s story in the hopes that other people can see how the myth of family curses keeps people in bondage. But lately I have been stalling. I’ve been posting other things here but that’s because writing about my mom is scary, to say the least. This post is the hardest to write because I was there to experience much of this story. It’s not a dictated account like the stories of my other mothers. So, yeah- I procrastinated. A lot.
Mommy was a bad kid. She told me so.
She was always getting suspended for something. She ran away from home, ditched school, set off firecrackers in class, talked back to her teachers, etc. She started smoking when she was 8, finishing the butts that Grammy left in the ash tray. She eventually moved on to marijuana and then cocaine. She and my grandmother have never liked each other. Sometimes they even act like they hate each other. I still have to bear witness to my mom giving Grammy the stank eye when she’s not looking. It’s pretty sickening at times but it is definitely the norm in my family.
Mommy remembers when her dad left for the final time. She remembers waiting for him by the door and wondering why he never came home. Grammy never tried to explain anything to her. Life just moved on without him. Grammy struggled to take care of herself and 4 kids with no husband. Back in the 60’s, being a single woman with kids was an atrocity. People would look at you funny and draw up all kinds of glorious stories of prostitution and promiscuity. A single mother was very much alone back then.
When Grammy remarried, my mom hated her stepfather’s guts at first. Like most kids of divorce, she wished for her parents to kiss and make up. So she hated her stepfather’s guts for a long time. My mother says that all the kids were physically and mentally abused– all except my grandmother’s favorite daughter. I’ve spoken to my aunt about this and of all the siblings she is the only one that denies any abuse and says that she remembers nothing like that happening during her childhood.
My mom says she smoked her first cigarette at age 8 and her first marijuana joint at 12. She spent more than 40 years after that living with a serious addiction to crack cocaine. She joined the military before graduating high school. There she was raped. That was her first ever sexual encounter. She met my father in the service and they married. The marriage was abusive on both parts but somehow they got along well enough to conceive me. They divorced when I was a baby. I remember seeing my father just twice.
My mom went on to have two more girls with two different men. This caused a huge problem because she clearly had favorites. I remember sitting for hours listening to my mom talk about how much she hated my father and wished she had never married him. Then she spoke of my sisters’ fathers as if they were summer romance flings. I learned at a young age that I was unwanted. Just like my grandmother and mother had learned when they were young girls. Mommy never remarried but she always had different boyfriends. Most of them were fellow drug addicts she could get high with. She handed my sisters and I over to my grandparents when I was 11. She said she was ready to go to rehab and change her life. It was supposed to be a temporary situation, maybe a year or so. She spent the next 7 years feeding her addiction while we lived with Grammy and Grandpa. We would go weeks or even a month without hearing from her. Then all of a sudden she would call from somewhere. She never told me where she was when I asked her.
Mommy wasn’t there when I got my first period. She wasn’t there when I lost my virginity. She wasn’t there when my heart was broken for the first time. She wasn’t there when I seriously considered committing suicide. She was living on the streets and getting high. It was almost like she had forgotten about us.