I grew up in California. I lived there until 1983. Carpenters and mechanics run on my side of the family. As I grew up my father added a porch, a brick bar-b-cue grill with flower planters on each side, a shed, a volleyball court, a clothesline, and oleanders to cut off our one-acre backyard. Behind them became a place for junk. My Dad loved grapes so we had a grapevine as well. I wish I had the pictures so I could show you but they were all lost. I was so sad. Memories mean everything to me.
*Sounds normal right?
My mother used to tell me all the time the story of how I came to be born: My mom had lost her Grandpa. She was very sad so my father consoled her. Nine months later I was born. My parents got married because that's what they did back in the '50s.
*So far so good right?
My earliest memory I have is when I was two or three years old. It was a very dark night. I was standing next to my mother who was driving in the front seat. She was yelling to my father to get in the car because they had just had a fight. He kept refusing and it was only when I cried out "daddy"! he finally got in the car.
*Things seem to be getting sketchy.
I remember laying in the back seat at night and watching the street lights fly by which I still love, which later on I figured out mom was out getting dad from the whatever bar he was at. He, later on, stopped going.
*One for Mom!
For all the years I was growing up there was non-stop screaming and yelling, doors slamming and windows rattling. Mom and dad were always fighting. Her way was the right way no matter what. Dad would get pissed off and I would go outside. It was embarrassing hearing their yelling voices even though I was outside.
It took me a long time to not be the same way learning how to talk things out without violence or screaming. But it was so ingrained and I was quick to anger.
As I grew older mom's mother, my grandma had to be committed. She had had a nervous breakdown. My grandpa had left her, she was 40 years old. She was finally released and put on medication.
*I loved my grandmother dearly.
Now, this isn't a "poor me" kind of story, rather it's about how my abuse unfolded. My mother wasn't all bad. If I needed her she was right there. One of the things she insisted on was plucking my eyebrows which she pinned me up against her bathroom armed with tweezers. It's weird but that's how I still maintain my eyebrows. At 12 years old she was still washing my hair deciding what kind of hairdo she wanted me to have.
*I didn't like that at all.
I loved my dad. He was my hero. I'd go outside and watch him work on this car or that car. If he was working on his car I would caution him to be careful. I heard lots of hollering when either a tool would stick taking off half of his knuckle. Or if building something he would hit his thumb with a hammer.
*I tried not to laugh.
I didn't have many friends. My mother didn't have hardly any friends. We would go shopping bought and made me wear these frilly dresses with lacy socks that made my feet sweat. One day me, dad and mom were in J.C. Pennys. My mother and I were, as usual, arguing about clothes. Barging into my dressing room she made me try on this scratchy dress. I told her I wouldn't wear it. All of a sudden she snapped pulling that dress violently over my head scratching my face. I came out of the dressing room, dad was not happy.
*Neither was I.
I wore white saddle shoes which I also hated mostly because no one else wore them. Finally, in the 6th grade, I would switch them out in our garage for tennis shoes which were way more comfortable. Being grounded was like a death sentence to me so I became very skilled at hiding the fact that this butterfly was coming out of her cocoon no matter what my poor mother did to smother it. I think because she had gotten pregnant with me is why she did what she smothered the crap out of me.
*I was learning to be sneaky.
Now we are getting down to the what the hell part of my story: Dad loved to fish. He would bring me to the Salton Sea with him setting up two poles in the sand sitting down in chairs. I loved it. he would explain the how-tos about fishing. I wouldn't touch the bait. Yuck! Smelly and slimy just wasn't my thing. That wasn't until later on.
I must have been seven or just eight because my brother hadn't been born yet.
We were driving the long drive home and dad is talking about being uncomfortable loosening his belt which I really thought nothing of. I really don't remember the exact stuff he said but the gist of it was he wanted me to see him play with himself. We had parked by then and as he talked he had taken himself out. He told me that mom wouldn't understand, it was our secret which made me feel important. Plus mom made me so mad all the time it made me feel close to my daddy.*A loved one can get away with it.
We went home, I didn't say a word until I had a baby girl of my own I asked my dad on the phone why he had done that. I started to cry. I'm now disowned it's been over thirty-five years.
*How dare me.
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