Thursday, April 28, 2005

first time - part 2

so, i went upstairs and put my bags down in my room. then, i walked the long way around into the kitchen in order to avoid my mom & sister who were watching tv. i made myself a bowl of cereal and sat down at the kitchen table. i'd eaten maybe 2 or 3 bites when my mother came storming in, ripped the bowl away and threw (yes, threw) the bowl into the sink. "how dare you fix yourself food in my house?! get the fuck out of here!" ............................ "now!"

so, i ran into my room crying and called my friend, nicki, and told her what was going on. she said that if i wanted, her brother graham would come get me. just as she spoke those wonderful words, my father came into my room and told me to get my ass downstairs so he and my mother could speak to me in private.

downstairs they explained the whole, "if you can't live by my rules, then you can't live in my house" thing only there was more. my father typed up a set of rules and guidelines. (i still have it although it's in a box in the garage.) it said that i would have to live downstairs that my room was being turned into a computer room for "the family" to use. it laid out rule after rule as to how i was not allowed in the same room as "the family". the downstairs bathroom was also a laundry room and the guidelines went so far as to say that if "the family" needed to do laundry, then my shower, toilet, sink needs would have to wait. i would be scheduled time to go to the kitchen and prepare food to bring downstairs to eat. i would be allotted time to hand wash my previous meal's dishes at that time. on and on it went. one of the kickers, for me, was that we had a dot matrix printer at the time and this was printed on a laser printer. my father must have created this at work. that shocked me.

i said i refused to live with you assholes if i'm not even a member of "the family". i mean, really, who would put up with this crap if they weren't even family??

so, i packed 3 duffle bags in about 10 minutes flat. then i walked 2 and a half miles until i saw graham's car approaching and flagged it down. it was about 9:30 pm.

here's the thing - i graduated highschool with a 3.3 living in various friends' houses out of my suitcase. i never got in trouble. i held my job coaching gymnastics and cheerleading. (by the way, my mother worked at the same place and we never even spoke.) i didn't drink or do drugs. i obeyed all the rules of the houses i was staying in. i smoked cigarettes but my parents didn't know that yet. i was the good kid. i was just rude and disrespectful to my parents.

i remember one night shortly before i left when my father was drunk and out of control, i said to him crying and shaking, "so what? so you're intimidating me? i know you could kick my ass. i know it will hurt. i'm scared shitless of you right now. but is that really what you want? for your own daughter to fear you? i want more for my kids. i won't be a drunken, abusive mess like you." let's just say it didn't go over well.

and my mom never stood up for us. i remember one night. one night out of the hundreds... she was screaming, "don't you hurt my kids!" but she was screaming it from another room! she wasn't interfering or helping. and that was the night my father, in his drunken rage, slipped on the bathroom mat as he reached for me. he slammed me into the counter which literally cut a chunk out of my side and knocked the wind out of me. i couldn't breathe and was barely conscious when he tossed me into our room. my sister, who had darted under his grasp and managed to get shoved into our room where she rolled and jumped up into bed, was already faking sleep and wouldn't speak to me all night. iwas about 9, my sister 7. anyway, i never respected her because she didn't protect us. she was a coward, as scared of him as we were.

the first time

this is my third attempt at this post. in the other 2 i kept going off on tangents and telling too much back story. (i saved them, btw.) i'm really just trying to focus on the leaving part, not the reasons why.

i do have to start by saying my father's an alcoholic. excuse me, what i mean is he "had a drinking problem once but that was a long time ago and it only lasted a short while." and the sibling rivalry between my sister and i runs deep. she's a year and a half younger than me. as adults, we now kid about how she's the favorite, but it wasn't funny when i was growing up. i know now what guilt she has always felt from that. she doesn't understand why she's the favorite either.

my entire senior year, a friend of mine who lived a couple miles away would pick me up to go to school (my parents wouldn't let me get my license much less a car) while every morning my mother drove my sister. if my friend wasn't going to school, i would either call another friend to pick me up or take the bus. i never once rode with my mother and sister. also, i was kicked out or i moved out a total of 3 times. so, technically there are 3 stories. this story is about the first time.

i was 17, a senior in highschool. it was january, 1996. my mom wanted me to go to a few of my teachers to get a "progress report" from them b/c my grades were slipping. i kept forgetting. finally, after about a week of my forgetting, she sarcastically told me, "fine. if you can't be responsible enough to do a simple thing such as getting these notes, then i guess i'll have to take care of it for you." i replied, "fine. you do it." she replied, "fine, i will." that was a wednesday night.

friday night, she called to check in from the barn. (she and my sister each had a horse and thus lived at the barn. our family was often split mom & sister/dad & i.) i told her i was going out with two of my friends (who she knew well) and would be back at 11:30pm (because the previous saturday night, i arrived 6 minutes past my 12:00 curfew and they would take off 5 minutes from the next night for each minute i was late) and that i'd cleared it with dad.

mom: "but you didn't get the notes."
me: "you said i was too irresponsible and that you'd handle it."
mom: "well, i didn't mean it."
me: "okay, i'll get them monday."
mom: "...and you won't go out tonight."
me: "yes, i will."
mom: "no, b/c you didn't get the notes."
this continued until i was crying and finally said, "i'm going out, like it or not."

so, i went out. when my friend dropped me off at 11:25 pm (i wasn't that rebellious), i found that the doorknob to the front door had been locked. no keys to the doorknobs, only the deadbolts. all the lights were out including the outdoor porch light i had flipped on when i left and the motion sensor light over the driveway that's set to a timer. i took the hint loud and clear.

i ran up the driveway to stop my friend. she said she'd take me to her house for the night. we went out and i cried on the shoulders of my friends until 4 in the morning.

when i finally came home again it was sunday night. (i had school monday morning after all.) i had known (or at least suspected) the entire time that the doorknob lock on the door in the garage was broken and that after unlocking the deadbolt, i could just knock it open with my shoulder. that's what i did. what i did not expect was that my father was in the garage smoking a cigarette and talking on the phone to my grandfather. he barked, "what the hell are you doing here?" through beer-thickened breath. i didn't say a word, so he said, "get upstairs, i'll deal with you when i'm finished."

wow. that's already so long and i've just begun. i think i'll stop here.

Tuesday, April 26, 2005

back from blogger hell

I haven't been able to see the main page of this blog in almost 2 weeks. Then, today, suddenly, it's back. Who knew?

Eden over at so anyway recently posted about moving out of her parent's house. Reading it really made me want to tell my own story. So, I will soon.

Thursday, April 21, 2005

where have i been? working.

i always blog at work, not at home - so i've been too busy to blog recently. i had all these things to write about - cute little micahism's and what have you --- but i just found out this morning that my company will not be giving me that promotion nor a raise.

anyone hiring?

oh, yeah, and my cousin - the one with the metastasized breast cancer - yeah, she's dying. i don't know how rapidly but she's super emaciated. and she can't really walk b/c her left knee is weak from the cancer in her bones. she's frail. her hair's growing back though - quite unexpected. except she has a receding hair line and a bald spot. oh, and she's dying.

Monday, April 11, 2005

spring has sprung!

and we enjoyed it at the park all day saturday and sunday. sunday, we met up with micah's best friend, carter and his parents. we all had a really great time. we even taught the kids t-ball.

there is a pretend train at this park for the kids to climb through. it's the engine cab and that's all. toward the end of the afternoon, we were sitting talking on the bench next to the train and turned to see micah and carter pushing it from the back with all their might trying to move it. too cute!

(if you click on any of the photos, it will take you to flickr where there are many more in color)

Friday, April 08, 2005

you know it's bad when

me and money ain't never been what you'd call "friends". it seems i never have enough. i'm terrible with money. i'm incapable of saving.

when i first moved to ny (3.5 mos pregnant), i had saved up enough for a deposit and first month's rent and that's about it. it took me 3 weeks longer to find a job then it did to find a studio apartment. (for $800/month!! - ridiculous)

so, i made $20/week cleaning my cousin's bathrooms for her. she has 2 young boys - this is not an easy feat. i would eat dinner at her house 2 or 3 times a week and spend $8/wk on gas and $12/wk on food. i qualified for medicaid - duh - so at least the pregnancy was being well-cared for. i also had wic (where they give you checks for dairy products and peanut butter) and since i don't drink a gallon of milk a week nor eat a pound of cheese, i would give all the food to my cousin as a "look i appreciate what you're doing for me - here's what i can give back" kind of thing. i would also do chores around her house - like laundry, dinner, dishes, etc... as a way of helping out and doing "my part" - oh and i babysat. for free. a lot. oh, and there was this teeny-tiny thing about being pregnant, caring for her house and mine and living alone. i was exhausted. (and nauseous.)

anyway, i did it. i survived. on $20 damn dollars for like 3 or 4 months. then, as i worked more, i saved more. (i was going to be out on disability for 8 weeks - i would need to save up a month's rent because the disability checks would only cover about 3 weeks.) i still only spent about $30/wk and then the occasional purchase (like a maternity shirt or something - on clearance). i managed to save almost a month's rent and then used some cash gifts from micah's birth for the remainder that disability and my savings account couldn't cover.

one of the hardest parts about being on your own is state aid. the MOMENT you start to make a little more - they pull back a lot. for example, in ny, if you make $2000/month you can get child health plus for your one child for $9/month, but if you make $2201/month - that fee jumps to $153/month. HUH?? doesn't make sense!

this is my problem now. i'm making more but because of that i no longer qualify for medicaid or wic. daycare was costing me $55/week, now it's more than doubled. EACH WEEK.

3 weeks ago, i bounced 2 checks which equals $60 in fees. 2 weeks ago, i bounced 1 check for $30 in fees and last week i had to pay myself out 2 sick days in order to make rent and yesterday i had $10.13 in my account!!

more than that, i hate never having any.

Sunday, April 03, 2005

missing in action

wow - it's been quite some time since i last posted. if there's one thing i've learned in blogger-land, it's to never ever for any reason write about work. so, i'm going to write about work. what can i say, i'm a glutton for punishment.

usually, i'm bored out of my mind at work. the person who had my exact position before me is a friend of mine and so i know for a fact that she did her one morning report and then surfed the internet for the remaining 7 hours and 45 minutes of her day, leaving everyday for an hour for lunch.

i knew when i was hired that my boss wanted someone who would search work out instead of waiting for it to come to her. i've always done that so it's a perfect fit. my boss is also the opposite of a micro manager which works well for me, too because i don't like someone on my back.

anyway, i've taken on any and all possible amounts of work within my department from every single other person i work with. the work is now much more spread out between us and there are weeks when i have to work non-stop to finally clear my inbox.

that being said, there are just as many weeks where i'm spending 4 hours on the internet and taking an hour for lunch because there just isn't anything left to do. (just to ease your mind, my boss and i share an office and my boss faces my back and so literally knows every moment that i'm on the net. my boss also knows i blog at work and i helped my boss create a blog for my boss' kids - yes, i know that sentence sucked but i'm trying to leave gender out of it.)

so, now, i've begun looking to other departments for more work. (like i said, i'm a gluten for punishment.) for the past month or so, i've been working for 4 departments - that's 4 bosses, people, one of whom is a micro-manager.

with this, i know will not come a raise. that's not how my company is. you'll never be told to do more, so if you seek it out on your own you will absolutely not be paid for it.

but, the light at the end of this tunnel is this - one of the 4 bosses sees my potential and is spreading my name throughout my little job world and working diligently to promote me so i can work only for this boss.

wish me luck.

and this is all to explain where i've been for the last 10 days.