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.