Chaos.   Leave a comment

I’m afraid of wind…and lightening…and tornados…and storms in general.  Lucky for me we’ve got all that going on in my part of the world today.  Yay.

It’s been a chaotic day so far.  The wind is gusting between 30 and 40 miles per hour around here and the neighborhood is a mess.  It also happens to be recycling day in the hood, so I spent around 20 minutes chasing all of our aluminum cans, cardboard boxes, empty milk cartons, and pretty much the entire contents of our overflowing recycling bin out of my neighbors’ yards.  You are welcome.

I didn’t realize everything was flying out of my recycling bin until the most inconvenient moment.  I was in the middle of giving my older son a bath when my little baby started crying to nurse, a bit ahead of schedule I might add.  Haha, yeah right, like they have a schedule. I removed my older son from his bath (against his mighty little will) and strapped a diaper around him and put him in his crib.  I then picked up my little baby and started to nurse him and looked out the window.  It was right at that moment that the wind picked up the aluminum cans out of my recycling bin and flung them into the air like a tornado had come through (very similar to the scene in Twister where the little aluminum censors flight into the tornado).  Shit.  What a mess.  Right at that moment, I also realized my mother-in-law had called wanting to drop off my needy nephew again for me to sit for a few hours.  OMG, could things get any more chaotic??  I finished nursing the little fella and apologized to my older son about leaving him in just a diaper…although he didn’t seem to care one bit.  He loves jumping in the crib, and was jumping like a mad man today.  I swear he was jumping higher than normal – perhaps less resistance without his clothes? 🙂

Anyway, outside I went armed with paper bags ready to clean up my mess.  There are things I know we recycled that I never found.  Sorry neighbors!  As I was running up the hill chasing Diet Mug Root Beer cans, I could feel the wind swirling all around me.  I thought to myself, holy shit, these last few minutes sure have been chaotic.  But, I made it through, picked up the recycling, dressed my older son and put him down for his nap, put my little baby down for his nap, and called my mother-in-law back who told me I was off the hook for babysitting today.  Thank.you.God.

I realized that my funny little morning and the little bit of chaos that ensued was NOTHING compared to the chaotic childhood I endured.  What’s more, I will not let my little ones endure the same chaotic environment I did.  I’ll protect them from the wind and rain no matter what I have to do.

If you read yesterday’s post, you know that my mom left me during my first year of life and cheated on my dad, and then my dad got her back by cheating on her during that same time period.  Obviously I do not have a personal recollection of the first couple of years of my life, but I know those stories because my dad and grandparents shared them with me.  One of the earliest memories I have is the birth of my brother.  I was five and he was adorable!  I vividly remember being in the hospital and giving him the little blue plastic elephant I had picked out for him.  I love my brother.  We had many years of not getting along and barely speaking, but he was there for me and tried his best to protect me during some very dark moments in my life.

After my brother was born, he became the center of attention and of course that was difficult for my five year old self.  However, you have to understand that I was not a bratty kid.  Despite feeling jealous, I still loved my brother, wanted to play with him all the time, helped take care of him, and would have snuggled with him all day if I could have.  But, my mother wouldn’t let me. In fact, it seemed she didn’t want me anywhere near my brother or her.  Most of my vivid memories start when I was around 7 or 8 years old and my brother was 2 to 3.  When we would visit with my grandparents, my mom wouldn’t allow me to speak.  If we were sitting around the dinner table and I said something, I got kicked under the table.  And this happened a lot.  At Thanksgiving, I would be taken to a back room at my grandparent’s house and slapped because I had too much food on my plate and I talked too much during dinner.  However, the whole time, my brother talked and threw food and had a great time, and my mom ate all of it up.  She never treated my brother like that – he could do no wrong.  At that time, I didn’t understand why she acted like that but I do now which I will share at a later time.  I was a good kid.  I kept my room clean, did well in school (always got gold stickers and honor roll).  I did get a bad conduct grade a few times for talking too much in class, but now I realize I talked so much at school because no one kicked me under the table there.

My mom treated me like that no matter where we were.  She would always take me to some back room and beat the shit out of me for talking too much, eating too much, and breathing loudly.  (PS – I was never an overweight kid, so am still not understanding why she beat me for eating.)  She would bring my dad in on it too and he would get in on the beating if necessary.  Pretty shitty, but there are some funny parts to it, too.  My parents thought that no one knew what they were doing, but my grandparents’ houses weren’t that big, so everyone there heard what was going on.  And, my mom accidentally kicked other family members a few times under the table which of course sparked a little conversation about why.  I always loved watching her squirm when being questioned about the way she treated me.  She of course would always make up some bullshit about how bad I was, but the only person that ever really believed her was my dad.  My grandparents knew better – they were not fools.  That is why whenever my brother and I got to spend a few days with them during the summer, they treated me like gold.  I LOVED spend time with my grandparents without my parents.  Those are the happiest memories I have of my childhood.  I ugly cried during the car ride home every time….to the point where my grandmother would cry.  My brother and I would beg my granddaddy to turn the car around, to not take that dreaded exit on I95 toward our house.  I remember praying to the good Lord that one day granddaddy would turn the car around…that one day all our begging would finally make him do it.  But, he never did.

I have one memory of when I was about 10 years old where I had just come home from a week-long stay with my great-grandparents.  It was wonderful.  They took me out to eat, took me on their boat, we picked vegetables together in the garden, my great-grandmother and I stayed up late and watched movies, and they loved me.  I craved so much love when I was with my grandparents and great-grandparents, and they wrapped me in as much love as they could.  After that wonderful week, I remember laying on my bed trying to sob as quietly as I could so no one would hear me.  I was absolutely devastated to be back home.  I pushed my face as far into the bed as I could.  I can still feel the wetness of the tears on my face and my heart hurts thinking about it.  I cried so hard my face and throat hurt.  I even remember the commercial that was on my little tv when my mom came in the room to yell at me after she heard me crying.  (A commercial for windows – white house with lots of new windows across the front.)  My mom came in and asked me what the hell was wrong with me and I told her nothing.  Her voice got louder and she continued asking me what was wrong, so I told her the truth – I was sad to be home and missed my great-grandparents.  Then, she told me I could go live with them  if I wanted to and that I was an ungrateful bitch.  Then she slammed the door.

See, by that time, she had witnessed me crying after coming back home…several times.  She knew in her heart I hated living there, and she knew why.  She knew she abused me and treated me much different from my brother, yet she could not change her ways.  It was a vicious cycle.  She would get so mad when she saw how sad I was to be home, but she knew why I was sad.  Me being sad would make her even more angry though, and then she would come at me with even more fervor – both with her hands and her words.

But, I still loved her.  I still love her now despite the horrid things she did to me when I was little older (between the ages of 8 and 14).  I still made her cards for Mother’s Day and fixed her breakfast if I woke up before she did.  I made her Christmas presents and birthday cards.  I sucked up to her.  I know now that my little childhood self was doing everything I could to gain her approval and make the beatings, kickings, slappings, etc. stop, but my efforts seemed to go unnoticed.

More to come later…  Writing just about these few memories I have of those earlier years has helped me already.  In the thick of it, I get mad at my mom all over again, but at the end of the paragraph, I sort of feel a release.  And that’s what I plan to continue doing – remembering what I want to forget, so I can let it go.

Have a great day all!

All the best,

Someone’s mom

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