In Part 1of who I am, I gave you all my elementary years; as ugly as they were. I want to keep going, if I may.
Middle school. Stuff was going to change there. I was going to “get over all that stuff” and move forward. Not even think about it! Yeah, that’s going to work!
My mother, in one of her more lucid periods, took me to a middle school band night where my musical destiny on the trombone was decided. Band ended up being a wonderful outlet for pain and loneliness. I also made some, looking back, superficial friends. Some people can’t get over the idea that you can’t afford Nikes and Sleepovers just were not a good idea…
I met my dear friend J in 7th grade, she is the only friend I still have today, from that time. She only physically was in my life for a year, then moved. We kept in touch though.
Other than the trombone and J… Middle school was junk.
I was maliciously bullied, I got mixed up in a group of not so good kids. They were the only ones who would talk to me outside of band. I got into some trouble over association, I was used as a scape goat in a couple of theft cases too. Adults are so quick to believe the dirty child who wears shorts in the winter is a thef- nevermind what was true. I ended up being the biggest lost and found shopper at my school; the day before the school donated all the lost and found clothes- I’d be there looking to see if I could find anything to fit. They just laid them out in the hallway for kids to grab, I was quick!
Eventually, the school stepped in and made my parents buy us appropriate clothing for school. Eventually.
Still it wasn’t the “right” clothes. I managed though to make the best of things, hiding in books.
My mother’s violence escalated; she was switched to another medication because she was having crazy outbursts in public I think…. Or was it depression came through? I cannot remember… I just know she was hospitalized for a bit. It was a huge impact on me. My parents could be taken away.
When she got home she didn’t change much, she lied better to therapists. I hated therapists. We started going to a family therapist. I didn’t want to share. Middle school… Teenage angst.
I got through it though, and entered into one of the most happiest times of my life, High School. People still picked on me, but the die hard band geeks had survived middle school and the ones that stayed were true good people. I made lots of friends.
School was challenging, and boys! Oh there was something about the abstract of boys. I was all into soulmates and sensitive boys. I was silly. But I got to giggle and sigh and fit in, and I needed that.
I started opening up about my childhood to these friends, and that made me brave. Which lead to…
The last time my mother hit me was when I was 15.
I said something teenagerish, by this point I was done. In my mind she was a horrible person. I hated her. All she brought was pain, isolation (she Is a hoarder and I could never have people over), and madness.
So I said something. I don’t know what. It was as little or as much as she needed to slam my body into the cabinets and pin me, her wretched claws at my throat. I remember her beady black eyes peering up at me in hatred and anger. (She has blue eyes but I swear to this day, I remember them being black.)
But that’s the thing, she was looking up. My mother is overweight, strong and only 5’4.” Over the summer, I had grown 6 inches to a whopping 5’11.”
I was bigger. I weighed as much as she did, surely. I was younger. I was smart too.
I looked down into those hateful eyes and ever so calmly said that, if she hit or harmed any of us again, I would call social services. I would find the number at school, or the library, or the phone book. She had to go to work sometime. She had to sleep. I had to go to school, it’s the law. I would tell the truth. They would come to our house and they would know. I would keep telling people until they believed me. She couldn’t stop me.
It was like watching the air escape a ballon. She let me go. Defeated, she went to hide in her bedroom. To my knowledge, she never laid a finger on anyone again.
Empowered, I went out joined marching band and the robotics club (we won 2nd place at the national competition one year!) and became queen of the nerds. Really I did. I got all curvy too and enjoyed the attention, as long as they kept their distance.
I earned scholarships and wrote papers and got a job and my senior year, I secured a place at a private college. I was going to be a teacher. I was going to escape.
And I did.
Part 3 will have to be tomorrow, I’m bushed! Sorry this one is so fragmented but, it’s how it felt then. How I remember it. I really lived in books a lot.