A Look Back

Seeing as today is my 25th birthday I thought it might be a good idea to take a look back at my life over the last 20 years. I’ll go in chronological order so you can basically watch me grow up! I will share the good, the bad, the worst, and the ugly. I like taking an introspective look at my life once in a while and I think it’s about time to do it again.

I guess I will start at the age of five since this is the first age I really remember. I was living in a small two bedroom with my mom, bio dad, and my two older sisters. My mom worked and my dad ran a home business where he sharpened knives and fixed tools. He had been recently medically discharged from the Army and he drank a lot. Many nights I remember my mom and him fighting. I know from stories my mom told me that he punched a hole in the wall one night. He used to punish me and my sisters by making us stay in the up position of a push-up. There was one and the last ever punishment he ever laid out when I was in first grade. He had told us to clean our room and it was all done all papers were organized on dressers and all the toys were put away. Well when he opened the door some of the papers scattered on the floor from the wind of the door. He was drunk and ordered us to the shed, where he instructed us to bend over and grab our ankles. He took a metal shop style ruler and beat each of us until we had welts and bruising. My mom came home and the very next day we were moved out of that house. She changed our schools and helped us get better. I remember going to school the next day at my new school and I couldn’t even sit down. The teacher took me into the hall and asked me what had happened and I started crying. I didn’t want to tell so she sent me to the counselor’s office. When I finally broke down and told the counselor what happened she called child protective services. They came to the school and interviewed me and my sisters. They took pictures of the bruises and called my mom. She came to the school and explained that as soon as she learned of the incident she moved us out of the situation. They seemed satisfied with the measures she had taken and sent us home for a few days on excused absences so we could heal in private instead of having to explain to our teachers and having the other kids find out.

The next big event I remember is that we moved from the small two bedroom cabin we were living in to a four bedroom house a few blocks away. I got the bedroom with the bathroom attached, one of my sisters got the room with an attic access, and my other sister got a room that could have been used to live totally separate from the family if my mom had allowed it. While we lived there my mom remarried a really nice guy named Lubin. I remember all the hustle and bustle of planning the wedding. I got to be the flower girl and the ring bearer. The wedding was June of 1992. My grandparents and all my uncles and aunts came out. It was an outdoor wedding and my momma looked so pretty that day. My grandma and her friend stayed up until like 3am making the cake the night before. It was a beautiful cake, with 5 parts. Three bottom layers one middle layer and two stair cases that led to the top layer. The reception was deemed “The Leather and Lace Party!” My mom loves leather and everything to do with Harley’s. Shortly after that we moved back into the cabin since the owner of the house decided not to sell it.

Life seemed to settle down for a very long time. When I was 8 I was stupid enough to get involved with the wrong group of kids and wound up breaking into the local museum. It took about a week for the cops to knock on the door and tell my mom what had happened. They gave her a court date for me to answer to the charges. When we went to court she made me admit my part of the episode. They made each of us pay back what we took and let it go from there. My mom on the other had did not just let it drop from there. When we got home she took out her belt and I swear she took a swing for every dollar I had taken. Then she grounded me for a while, but I can’t remember how long it was. No TV, no games, no going anywhere. All I was allowed to do was school and read books.

When I turned 9 I was envious of what the kids at vacation bible school got that I couldn’t have so at the end of the week I went into the church office, my sisters were involved too, and took all the money that was cash, all the left over candy, and anything else that seemed important to me at that age. My mom asked where the money came from and we told her we were doing yard work for the elderly. She believed us until rumors started to get around town that the money had been stolen from the church. She confronted us again and one of us broke down and told her the truth. I honestly don’t remember who but I do remember spending the rest of the summer digging out the cellar to build a front yard. We lived on the bottom of a mountain so mom and Lubin built a cinder block wall around the area they wanted for a yard. We spent several hours a day digging buckets worth of dirt and pouring it into the yard. My mom never did turn us over to the church or the police over it. Besides I think we saved her hours of labor by doing all the work on the yard!!! Lesson Learned … or so you would think!!!

When I was 10 about to turn 11 my mom sent me to spend the summer with my dad. He had quit drinking and was living in Oregon. Mom and I drove to Utah and met my dad half way. I remember the next morning was the first time I had ever had a Belgian waffle with strawberries and whipped cream on it. Then it was time to meet my dad. It had been almost 5 years since I had seen him so I was scared but excited too. He came in to the lobby of the hotel and I gave him a hug. He said hello to my mom and that was about the most I had heard them talk. He gathered my things and told my mom that he would have me call when we made it to his house. I gave my mom a hug and climbed in my dad’s truck. We took off for his house. We talked some of the way and I read some of the rest of the trip.

I was pretty different for a very long time. I started taking church more seriously and gave my life over to Christ between 6th and 7th grade at a summer revival. The preacher was one of those fire and brimstone style guys and I think I was more scared of going to hell than I was interested in having a personal relationship with Jesus. Shortly after the revival I changed to a different church that was closer to my house, an Assembly of God church. They had just gotten a new pastor and he grabbed my attention and I was totally ready to make changes. By this time my mother openly claimed to be Wiccan. I dove into my faith as deep as I could. I went to church, youth group, bible study and all sorts of church activities. My life revolved around church and school.

When I told my mom I wanted to live with my dad for a year she sent me back to him in the middle of my 7th grade year. I went out just before thanksgiving and started going to school there. I made a few friends and started playing basketball. My grandparents were at every game that was a home game. And every game that was away they tried to make it to them but sometimes they were kind of far for them to travel. My dad came to most of my games but sometimes they were too early for him to make it from work in time. I had met a boy named Nick and took a liking to him. He lived up the road from my grandparents and I would walk up to his house to hang out. We never became more than friends cause he had a girlfriend. Just before spring break my dad told me he was going to have surgery and had to send me back to my moms. I fought him on it for a few days but his mind was made up and he had already bought my ticket to fly back. I packed my things and got on the plane madder than I had ever been in my life. I flew into Albuquerque where Lubin picked me up in his little red Dotson car. We drove back to Colorado without AC and the car was barely working right, but we made it home. A couple of weeks after I got home I had come home for the noon check in about 20 minutes early and walked to my moms’ room to tell her I was home. I found her and my sisters doing drugs. I freaked out and ran out of the house crying. I went to the youth leaders’ house and told them what had happened. I told them I never wanted to go home. The wife called my mom and asked if I could stay the night at her house. My mom said that was fine. I stayed there that night and went home the next day at the noon check in. About two weeks later I was informed that we were moving to Gallup, NM. We packed up everything we could and moved into a two bedroom kitchenette hotel room. Mom enrolled me in school for the last quarter of 7th grade. I came home from school most days to find my mom, Lubin and my sisters doing cocaine. During that summer we moved back to Colorado and back into the cabin I spent most of my life in. I went back to church and dove in deeper than I ever had. I learned about the Holy Spirit and speaking in tongues.

More later … Promise

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