I didn’t come from the typical family. I usually don’t write too much about it because some of the people that birthed me could see my social media, but I don’t think they can see this, and I got rid of facebook, so I don’t have to worry about that.

I was born in 1986. I’m an 80’s baby. I don’t remember much of the ‘80’s except we had a lot of things carried over from the 1970’s. I remember the green carpet and our fridge was avocado green. We had some dark red shag carpet in the second story of our home.

I don’t remember much of my dad and mom, especially together, at all. I do remember the day my dad said he was leaving. I was 18 months old and remember the entire conversation as if it happened yesterday.

I don’t remember when we moved from that house to the projects, but I do remember a lot of thinges that happened in the projects. We had those old rusty slides that would burn off your entire body, and the crooked rusty metal merry-go-round that was just as hot.

I remember being on the news because our projects had lead paint all in them. I remember we had to get shots, something about a helicopter landing, and my grandma had recorded me on the news. It was of me getting a shot and crying. Thanks local news station. But I was 3, so that’s ok.

I remember my mom getting with a man (Doug) after my dad left who was the bees knees to me. Before the projects, but not too long before, he must have came around. I don’t know if we moved to the housing to get away from him or what, but when we went, he didn’t. But he did come drunk a few times and break windows and hurt my mother.

I remember, I must have been woken up by sounds or something, but our rooms were all on the second floor. The memory is purely this: I was on the stairs, looked down to the bottom floor and Doug had my mom under the rocking chair with a supporting piece of wood on the chair choking her. That is literally the only thing I remember. There was a lot of abuse by him, but my mom eventually got pregnant by him and had my youngest sister. I was 4 when she was born.

There were scary nights with Doug. My moms friend had to make plans with us in case he came in and we would have to jump from the second story balcony to her. He put his hand through the window so he could open the door and all the glass had cut up his arm and the police and paramedics had to come. He says mom asked for it about once a month, if she didn’t get a beating once a month, she wasn’t happy. I do remember her throwing dishes across the room at him and screaming, so who knows.

My dad was kind non-existent for a few years at first. He was 32 or 33 when I was living in the projects. I would call him and ask him if he would come get me and he would always tell me he had a pool tournament. I always thought for the longest time that he was swimming.

After kindergarten started for me, we moved to another town further south in Illinois. We lived with my uncle. He was my moms brother by her dad, my grandpa. Things were weird. My dad would get me more often it seemed then. He had married a woman, so I guess he decided he had time for me and wanted me. It was an ongoing issue with him for a couple years. He had called family services on my mom. My mom took it out on me and made me feel terrible. I hated living with my mom. I remembered one particular time, I was probably 6. It was a Sunday and dad had dropped me off at home, which was a house on the top of this ridiculous hill. It felt so isolated. I remember I went in the house, only to find mom passed out on the couch and no one else around. I don’t know where anyone was. I remember walking around the house and clenching my fist and slamming it on my leg and crying because I just hated being in that place. At that moment, at 6 years old, I was left alone with a passed out addict on the couch, and no one was the wiser.

I get some grief from my sisters because I am so detached. I don’t have room for excuses and justifications in the situation with my maternal parent. Not that it was much better with my dad, but because of the lack of responsibility and ultimately love, I was molested and so was my sister. I think, in all reality, only one sister wasn’t molested, but was pregnant at 14.

So to say I had a normal family is far from the truth. I don’t really struggle too much with it anymore, it is just what it is. But it has made me make sure that my daughters life isn’t anything like mine was.

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