March 29, 2008 – Saturday

S. was sick last week, so R. stayed home with her Wed and Thurs and I stayed home with her Friday. I dropped J. off at a friend’s house today. She’s sleeping over there tonight. It’s one of her friends from school who was at her sleepover last week (which I didn’t blog about – been a busy week – but J. had a b-day sleepover last weekend with 6 of her friends, talk about chaos!)

T. went with his dad today to the driver’s ed orientation – he starts driver’s ed on Monday. Tonight he is going bowling and then he and his best friend, who both bowl on the league, are going to another friends house to watch movies – apparently she has a 10-seat movie theater in her house!

Ahhh. Living vicariously through my children and their social lives since I have none to speak of. I am happy for them though. I think I have given them a much better life and much more opportunity than I had as a kid to do things and make lasting friendships and memories. I was thinking about this earlier, and by the time I was my daughter’s age (9) my mom had been living off the State my whole life, I had been moved and switched schools 3 times (and again 3 years later), experienced being molested – being subjected to watching a man (a member of our family by marriage) masturbate repeatedly when I was between the ripe old age of 7 and about 9, lived with my mom’s drunk boyfriend who kicked in our TV and punched a hole through the glass in our front door, and watched this same man tie my dog up to a tree and shoot it in the head and drag it into the woods behind our house. There were times we lived on just mac and cheese or less, we were exposed to second-hand smoke all the time – not unusual for that time period. We lived in a shack with no running water in the bathroom, no hot water, and just a woodstove to cook on. We never had an abundance of food, toys, clothes, money for extras – forget the braces that I realized I needed when I started to become self-conscious of my underbite (I looked like a “pekingese” as a “friend” liked to say) but of course mom didn’t have any insurance for us, or money for things like braces.

My children have no idea how lucky they are to have the normal suburban life that they have with a mom who works to provide for them, dads who love them and provide for them, a stepdad who loves them like his own, and a decent home, decent clothes, school supplies (I don’t ever remember getting much in the way of clothes and school supplies in preparation for a new school year), plenty of healthy food to eat, health insurance and dental.

My son is in the 10th grade and he has been here since he started Kindergarten. This is his hometown and this will always be where he will come back “home”. I don’t have that place that I consider my “hometown”. My kids have had a stable home with opportunity to make lifelong friendships, which is something I lack. I am not someone who opens up very easily and believe it or not, I am a very private person – I don’t talk to people much about my life, and definitely not about my past life. I moved a lot when I was a kid, but I also had a hard time making friends – I was a very shy, homely, untrusting child with such low self-esteem, of course living the life I did, I can look back and see why I had such a hard time.

Even my adult life has been far from perfect. I have dropped out of college twice, still not really sure of what I want to do when I “grow up” (author), I got pregnant early – 19 and single – and each of my kids have a different last name. My first child’s dad, when I was with him, was a pothead and I became one right along with him I guess to fit in – so he would spend time with me instead of leaving me with T. all the time to go hang out with his pot-smoking friends. We had our rollercoaster ride until the summer before T. started Kindergarten. Then I met J.’s dad who I regreted almost from the very moment we moved in together, but we managed to stay together, had J. after two years together, and then split when J. was 4. I met my husband online and he moved here from out of state to be with me. I became pregnant with S. I think the moment I met him. When he came here to meet me for the first time in person, he came with a U-haul! S. has been the test of our marriage – she’s our daughter with special needs. We are still going strong.

When I get to thinking about the life I have had, I have not had the friends to help me through all of my rough times – I had my sister through many bad times, but I have mostly relied on myself, that demon on my left shoulder and angel on my right, and dealt with my struggles internally, and by getting things out on paper – or computer screen – and looking at that person in the mirror and asking her, “what do you want from me??”, and a lot of crying in dark corners wishing that I could just be dead. It’s been a long time since I’ve seen that broken, distraught girl in my mirror and a long time since I’ve really experience how it feels to have your heart ripped out of your chest, but I have been in that dark place before.

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