Think about one of your favorite memories. What comes to mind? What is that one memory that floods your mind when someone asks that question?
For me that memory is December 21st, 2009, the day I became a mom and I saw my son for the first time. It was the day that I knew I was going to be the best version of myself and better than the woman I called my mother. I am still working on being that best version of myself but each day that comes more and more that I learn about me.
Some of the words I use to describe my life are hurt, abuse, regret, and hardship. I am trying to use the other words that also describe my life which are happy, joy, laughter, love and strength. I have been told time and time again that I am one of the strongest people in the world because of everything that I have went through and survived. I have a hard time believing it because on the outside I can smile and continue on while on the inside I am completely dying each day. Anxiety and depression are some of the worst things to live with. I wasn’t always that way though. I wasn’t born with those labels. I didn’t come into this world with fear and self-doubt, in fact like most babies I am sure I came into this world crying and hungry as hell.
My life began on September 25th, 1989. I entered the world with a Mother, Father and older brother. I don’t have many memories in those early stages of life but honestly what 29 year old does remember those times? The memories I do recall before I turned 12 are not ones that I want to remember but I do remember almost every detail of the days I began to change who I think I was meant to be. In the first grade I was sitting on my couch at my house in Milwaukee, Wisconsin and my mother came home drunk I assume and had gotten in a fight with my dad. My dad wouldn’t let her in the house and she became angry. With my little face near the window she punched it as hard as she could. My dad called the cops and I remember thinking how could he call the cops on someone he was married to and loved. How could he call the cops on someone he loved and took vows in church to love for better or for worse. I didn’t understand until the day that I did the same thing. She was later picked up from the hospital and taken to jail. Sitting in jail with two little children at home. I remember some nights at my grandfather’s house and spending time with my cousins from Michigan that I didn’t see very often. I have a small memory of going over to a mexicans house one time with my mother and she put me in a bed room and I sat there for what seemed like forever and then when she came and got me we went outside to the back steps and ate Mac N Cheese. In that time in my life we lived in a really nice area of Milwaukee and I couldn’t understand why she would go to what is now referred to as the ghetto. Later on in life I would come to learn that my mother had a drug addiction and maybe that is why we were there. I couldn’t understand why she would bring her young child there. My dad would tell me that as we got older my brother and I would go visit her at her apartment on the weekends. I like to believe at that time she was good to us. I like to think that we had good times and we were treated well.
My brother and I went to Catholic school at St. Romans in Milwaukee. Looking back I wish I would have had a little more interest in my schooling and took it more seriously. I have come to wondering what church and religion is all about.
Come 5th grade my memory starts and I found a best friend her name is Michelle. Michelle was the first real friend that I had. I had friends but she is the one that to this day is by my side. Her family became mine and man she has one big family. Michelle is loving, caring and my sister. They may not be related by blood but they are as close as anyone else in my family if not closer. Her mom Marybeth took me in as a daughter and being raised with my dad and brother my female side was not the strongest. She took us school shopping every year and even though I really just wanted to wear basketball shorts and sweatshirts she let me know wearing jeans is ok. She took us to do all kind of fun things. I went to a concert and to the movies. The Grinch is one of the first times I remember going to a movie theater and Marybeth was pregnant with her third child Ryan. I thought it was the greatest thing in the world that she included me in their family activities. I didn’t think about anything else and we laughed all the time. The summer after fifth grade Michelle and I would always go swimming at the local pool. That was the summer I became a “WOMAN” and while I was embarrassed because I only had my dad, Marybeth took me to her moms house and had a little party for me. Michelle, Marybeth and I in the basement talking about everything that I was going through and all the changes happening with my body.
Michelle and I did a lot together in those years at St. Romans. We played basketball and soccer together. We were the typical best friend sister type. We had our fights and there were times when I thought I was being left out. I never really felt included in that early stage of my life and maybe that is why I still feel like I don’t belong. One memory that sticks out the most during those sport season is when Michelle and I got into a fist fight in the locker room. I am not sure what it was over but we really went at it like two young sisters would, in the end we came out fine and moved on from it. Michelle would later go on to smash my nose in and laugh to this day about it. Michelle has always been a little hard headed, stubborn and a little brat as I have always liked to call her. She has definitely done somethings that I have to just shake my head at because we all learn our lessons in different ways. She has disappointed me but only because I am her big sister and care for her more than I think she has ever understood.
Then there is Shannon the little little sister of the family. She has also been through some hard times and I always enjoy my talks with her. Now that she is a mom, I hope that she learns from some of my mistakes and takes full advantage of the advice I have to give her. Watching Shannon grow even more so in the last couple of years has been a stress in of itself. She has hit bottom but she has come back even stronger than I have ever imagined she could. She is going to be a great mom because she has had some of the best role models in her family standing behind her backing her all the way.
This is where the hurt begins. At the age of 15 I decided that I wanted to move out of Milwaukee to a small town in the middle of Wisconsin. Shortly after my Freshman year of high school I wanted to get to know my mother. We moved and little did I know at the time that my world was no longer going to be the same again.
The summer during my decision of moving I met Alex. Alex was going to be my first real “Boyfriend”, little did I know Alex had some issues. I was young and had no idea what it was like to be a girlfriend. I just rolled with it that summer and hoped that it was going to be everything that everyone always talked about. It wasn’t. Alex was one that needed control and I am not sure if this is where I set myself up for future problems or if it was something else. I enjoyed going out and doing things, I was always the adventure type. The let’s go get ice cream at 2 am from the next town over, or let’s go night fishing in the warm summer nights. Alex told me the things that I could and could not do. He always seemed to have an opinion on what I was doing and while I was young I didn’t know that isn’t how a boyfriend should treat his girlfriend. I remember one night that summer I got a call that he wanted to kill himself. I didn’t know what to do so I called Jon and we drove to where Alex was. I knew at that time that I had to break up with him and leave it all behind. Jon was a sweet man and one good friend during those times. He was also pretty good looking, but never had those words left my brain until now. For some time after Alex had wrote me many letters that I still keep locked away to this day. He has since joined the military and created a family for himself. I wish him all the best in this world.
Entering high school as a Sophomore is never easy on anyone. Entering high school as the girl that broke up with Alex was even harder. Everyone knew me already before I even got there and not good things did they know. All I wanted was some friends and to play sports, while I got to play sports I never really got that true friend for awhile. I have a memory of Brendan coming to tell me that if I just came to the school I would have been the hot new girl but instead I was the girl that dated Alex and that is why no one liked me. Awesome I thought. Now Brendan was good kid, unfortunately his life was cut way to short for this world.
My first impression as me was volleyball tryouts and while I was so excited I also learned what poison ivy was. So picture trying out for one of your favorite sports only to be spreading a rash every time you sweat a little more. I was miserable but I was there to make a team. I was offered Varsity as a sophomore and that did not make some of the girls happy. However we went on a team building adventure to a ropes course. It was all about getting to know one another and learning to lean on your team and know when to ask for help. I got to know the girls and some turned out to be great friends.
During that time is when I met Janessa. While I thought she was a good friend even though she was younger then me, turns out people in my class had other opinions on her. Being a small town no matter what you did people either liked you or didnt because of who you hung out with. Janessa had a big family and when I came into that part of my life her mom was having twins! How exciting that there was going to be babies around. I loved spending all my time at their house in Oxford, Wisconsin. I spent most of my days at their house holding the babies and watching them. Every chance I got I went over there just to escape my own house. We did a lot together, went bike riding, road trips, walks, adventures and late nights talking about boys. It is because of these nights that I have met some pretty good people that have all impacted my life.
My life was shaped into one I never had planned for myself. I wanted to be married and have more children at a young age because I wanted to create the family I never had. After having my son at 20 and leaving his dad I took time to raise him. I waited 8 years to let someone in. Eight years to let someone tell me they love me. I swore to myself that when I moved in with someone I was going to know whole heartily that this was person I was going to marry.
Skyler was my person. I let him into our lives with every intention of spreading the rest of our lives together. My best friend Belinda came to visit and she is the person I go to for everything. To this day she will tell you how great he was. How is was perfect for me, no red flags and she didn’t get a vibe that he was ever going to hurt me. She still says sorry to this day that she didn’t protect me. I tell her no one knew, it was hidden. I towards the end knew there was someone else, something else was going on with him. Looking back now on the texts from just days before of him saying he wasn’t out looking for someone better and he would gain my trust back. Just days before he eased my mind only to drop a bomb on my family.
He has since stated he just wants peace. Really that’s all that I want but I want answers that he won’t give. I am going to give him that peace though because I won’t force someone to help me in the way that I need. I also won’t force myself to be happy when I am not.
What I wouldn’t give to hear his voice, to be okay. There isn’t anything I wouldn’t do to get the answers I need. However I will honor his wishes. I will stay quiet, out of site and pretend like I don’t exist. If that is what he needs to be happy then I am capable of suffering in silence from him.
When I started this blog it was for me, to get out everything I have held in. With the emails and follows I have gotten in just the last few days, I am so happy I am helping others in their struggles that they can’t seem to get past.
We all have problems but they become a little more easy to handle when you have someone there with you.
I hope everyone has a great Monday!