Thursday, August 30, 2007

The Big Bust

I had one of those tricky days today. A tricky day is a day that starts off fine. Everything seems to be going well with no problems in sight. This is the trick. You think it's going to be a great day, and then all h-e- double hockey sticks breaks loose. First I got a phone call relaying some disappointing news about one of the girls. I won't divulge the information I received in order to protect the identity of the child(brat) in question. This information had me absolutely beside myself.

I really felt that I needed to go home and handle this situation. However, I had a final exam tonight in one of my classes. So I sent one of my sisters over to my house instead to handle the situation. The test ended up being harder than I expected. That was kind of a bummer.

As I was leaving the school, my foot turned some kind of funny way and everything I was carrying went flying. I hit the pavement and slid a little. I scraped up my knee pretty good, one of my elbows, and the skin on one of my hands. It has been years since I have had scraped knees. I bet I was about twelve the last time I fell down. Four people were witness to my humiliation. I am attaching a picture of the shoe that was the cause of all of this pain and suffering. I considered suing the school, but then realized the shoe was the cause of my little mishap. Ladies...if you own a pair of shoes like these, beware!!! They are dangerous. (That or I am just really clumsy and have absolutely NO business wearing shoes like these)
Since July I have cut both of my thumbs on two separate occasions, burned one of my thumbs trying to light a bottle rocket and now this. I am starting to see a pattern here. I may need to make sure my life insurance is up to date.

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

The Big Fat "F"

It finally happened. I have been in college since the spring of 05. I flunked a test. I have NEVER flunked a test. This probably is not a big deal in the grand scheme of things, however I am traumatized. I am even having nightmares about flunking tests. What does this say about me? My nightmares have been consisting rats coming to get me, and flunking tests at school. In my nightmare, not only did I flunk the test, but everyone in my class flunked and blamed it on me. They were saying things like, "I should have known better than to trust a red head". I really don't know what this has to do with anything but there it is. Is this what my life has become? When will I ever be finished with school? I was so stupid to think that going to school, working a full time job, raising kids, and trying to keep a house was going to be easy. Have I lost my mind? Did I ever have one? I should have included those questions in my last blog.

School will be over for this semester next week. I am very excited to be getting almost a whole month off before I have to start again. I have signed up for three classes for the fall semester. I have NO IDEA how I am going to pull this off. I am barely pulling off taking two classes.

In other news................

A couple of weeks ago I missed a couple of my night classes. Sissy had freshman orientation the first night, and I had a sick kid the other night. Both of these classes were Tuesday night classes. I was able to attend my Thursday night class. As I was sitting in the classroom, waiting for class to start, one of my classmates from the Tuesday night class comes into my classroom, stands directly in front of me, and pretty loudly demands to know where I have been. This annoyed me......... a lot.

Maybe I have issues because I had no real authority figure in my life when I was growing up. At any rate, this person IS NOT a professor, my boss, or any kind of authority figure in my life. I was not impressed with her demand to know where I had been. In this person's defense, I am probably neurotic, and a little nutty about some things. This person may have just noticed that I hadn't been in class, and was concerned. (I highly doubt this but we will go with it for the sake of argument) This is also the same person who asked me to sit beside them the first night of class and then proceeded to steal all my answers. I never sat beside this person again.

So I kind of already don't particularly care for this person and this person has come into my class and demanded to know where I have been in a loud voice and in front of all my classmates. So I said the only thing that a mature woman of 32 could say. I told her I was up a chicken's butt getting a dozen eggs.

What's Up With That?

My favorite radio show is broadcast in another state. I download it to my Ipod and listen to it when I am commuting back and forth to work, on my school, or anytime I have a few spare minutes. They called out a list of old or unusual laws that are still on the books. I thought I would share them with everyone:

As mentioned in my last blog, it is illegal to drive blindfolded in Alabama.

In Kentucky, if you have a concealed weapons permit, it is still illegal to carry a weapon over six feet long.

In London it is illegal to carry dogs with rabies or corpses in a cab.

In France it's illegal to name your pig Napoleon.

In London it is illegal to flag down a taxi if you have the plague.

In some country that I can't pronounce the name of, it is illegal for a doctor to look at a woman's private parts. He must look in a mirror and not directly at it.

Doesn't it make you proud to live in the U.S. of A.?

Monday, August 27, 2007

I've Got Questions...Who Has Answers?

1. Why does The DQ think that we are a pack of wild pigs?

2. Why can't I ever make myself do my homework until the night before it's due?

3. Why does my sister think that you can tell the sex of a baby if you hold a ring tied to a piece of thread over a pregnant belly?

4. Is this belief known as ringtology?

5. Why can't I ever find the following items? Toenail clippers, fingernail clippers, or anything that even closely resembles a tool. (screwdrivers, etc.)

6. Why do I have to punish The DQ to get her to clean her room?

7. Why do I have nightmares about rats trying to get me after a visit from Mr. Jingles the mouse?( See previous blog titled A Visitor)

8. Has anyone seen my keys?

9. Why were my children given special powers that allow them to know anytime I have ANY extra money and this is the time to ask for something?

10. Why is it illegal in Alabama to drive blindfolded? ( I really don't see the problem)

If you have answers to any of the aforementioned questions, please feel to let me know.

The Six Flags Trip

We see who the camera hog is(Hint: It's not the DQ)

That's a pretty face Sissy

Time for me to take a break

Are you ever too old for a hug from Speedy?

I think the DQ should have been a model

This is probably the sexiest picture of me ever taken.....look out boys!

I saw entirely too much bare skin....

The Drama Queen loved that tunnel ride

This ride was really "off the hook"

The Drama Queen looks relaxed

Fun in the sun with Britt

It's not very often that we can afford to take a vacation. This summer the girls and a friend of Sissy and myself all drove up to Six Flags in Kentucky. Good times were had by all. I actually got on one of the upside down roller coasters!

Sunday, August 26, 2007

Susie Gets Some God...For MAT, Whoever You Are

I was raised in church for the most part. When I was a little girl we went to church every time the doors were open. After dad was gone, all of the children would ride the church van. You know, where they come around on Saturday and invite you to church. My mother may have gone with us twice. I don't actually know how long it has been since she attended a church service. So we would all ride the church van to church. I think the reason we went was for the treats.

Some people may be shocked but that is the truth. When one is poor and treats are a scarce commodity, it doesn't take much to be enticed to go to church so one can get treats.

By the time I was about twenty one or so I was pretty ticked off at God and even proclaimed myself to be an atheist. This shocked and horrified my family. I didn't care what they thought. If God were real, then I had to acknowledge that He had let us go through hell. I preferred to believe that He wasn't real. That was easier to believe. By the time I was 22 I was living with someone that I was not married to. I had been raised this way. My mother lived with a couple of men she wasn't married to. Therefore, I didn't see anything wrong with it. So I continued on this way. The Drama Queen was born in August of 1998. I did marry her dad in March of 1999. In July of 1999 he left.

My whole world fell apart. The first thing I did was get down on my knees and pray. I never even thought about it. From that day on, I prayed all the time. All throughout the day I would pray. At night I prayed.

There I was, alone with two little girls to raise. At the time I separated from my former husband I had just gone back to work and I was making like 7 bucks an hour. I had no idea how I was going to be able to support my kids. God provided for us. He opened so many doors for us. We had a place to live, I got a better paying job. My sister even came to live with us for a while. Even though I had turned my back on Him, when I reached out and asked for His help He was there. In time, the bitterness in my heart began to fade. My bitterness towards my mother, my bitterness towards my ex, and my bitterness about the way I grew up. God started to heal my heart. It didn't happen overnight. It took several years. When you come from an unhealthy, dysfunctional background, being "normal" is a struggle. There are so many emotional bondages that have to be broken.

I was eventually even able to acknowledge that even though my former husband had left me, I played a part in that. My bitterness and desire to control everything had helped push him out the door.
Don't get me wrong, he played his part also. In retrospect, I really believe that him and I were just an explosion waiting to happen. It took me losing my husband and hitting rock bottom, emotionally and financially to reach out to Him. That was ten years ago. It is so amazing to me this difference in myself between now and then.

I have decided that I will not live with a man until he is my husband. I want to set a better example for my girls. We go to church on Sundays. Not like we should, I admit it. But progress is progress. I'm not perfect (I know...... this is shocking) I'm not where I need to be but Thank God I'm not where I used to be.

Saturday, August 25, 2007

The Princess Diaries

Today was a special day for The Drama Queen. We had her birthday party today. Her birthday was actually Monday, but we had the official party today. Now, The Drama Queen is also The Princess. I don't refer to her as The Princess because that is name currently under use by a blog buddy. The main problem with me having a princess, is that I do not have a proper princess income. I have the income of a single mother who is not receiving child support from either father.

The Drama Queen has been to the mall a couple of times when I have taken Sissy to get her nails done. Sissy is almost sixteen. At any rate, she always feels left out. I told her she is too young to be getting her nails done. (She just turned nine). For her birthday I told her I would pay for her and a couple of her friends to get manicures and as a special birthday treat, she could get a pedicure.

She has been looking forward to this for over a month. It was all planned out. So today was the special manicure and pedicure day. I really like to think that I am a level headed mother. I provide for my children but I don't see myself as being "over the top". Sometimes they get extra treats and sometimes they don't. So off we go to the nail salon. I walked in the door with the girls and told the employee that I wanted two manicures and a pedicure. He did not speak clear English to begin with. I finally conveyed to him that the manicures and pedicure were for the children.

He looked at me like I was crazy and so did everyone else in the place. Anyone with half a brain could look at me and tell that I am clearly the one who needs a manicure and pedicure. Why in the world would a mother pay for nine year olds to be getting this stuff? Was I out of my mind? Several of the customers even asked my daughter how old she was. As I was sitting there I glanced down at my own feet. I do need a pedicure. My feet look hideous. If the truth be told, I am thirty two years and I have never experienced the joy of a pedicure. The main reason is because I just can't justify spending that kind of money for someone to scrub my feet and put polish on my toes. The other reason is I just can't justify spending that kind of money for someone to scrub my feet and put polish on my toes.

When I made the decision that I would do this for The Drama Queen's birthday I really didn't think anything of it. As I was sitting there looking at my hideous feet, one the employees asked me if I wanted a pedicure. I said no. He actually said to me something like, " You are paying for the little girl to get a pedicure but not one for yourself?" Now I am feeling uncomfortable with the whole thing. Was I one of those OVER THE TOP moms? You know the one I am talking about. The one that brings the petting zoo to the house for the one year olds birthday party. You drive by the house and it looks like a three ring circus is taking place right in your neighborhood.
(No offense to anyone who has done this, it's just too much for me)

After a while, I realized that this is not the case with me. I do for my children, but they don't get everything they want. This was a special birthday treat. Why should I be made to feel uncomfortable about doing something special once in a while for one of my children? Frankly, even if it is a little much, it's really no one else's problem but mine. After all, What I eat don't make you fat.

The bottom line is that we all do what we think is best for our children. Of course, everyone is not going to agree on what that is. What it all comes down to is that there is only one person you have to answer to for your parenting choices, and that is you.

I am glad that The Drama Queen was able to experience getting spoiled a little bit...............Dear Lord, please don't let her want a whole day at the spa next year.

Thursday, August 23, 2007

The Big Adjustment

I have recently been sidetracked with my story telling by a mouse named Mr. Jingles and some family stuff. So...back to the issues at hand. My dad had just been released from prison and my mother was having a nervous breakdown(I think). She quit her job, packed up all the kids and moved to Tennessee. Her and my dad tried to work things out. Dad tried to discipline the kids. This would prove to be a difficult task. He had four children who had not had any discipline for the last nine years or so. I was not around at first. I stayed behind in my home state. I was staying with a family friend at the time and I had recently turned 18.

I don't think my mother truly wanted to work things out with my dad. I think she just wanted a way out of her miserable existence. She had been through three husbands and had spent years alone with all of us. At any rate, things did not work out between them. I moved to TN myself after a few months. I was having difficulties with Sissy's dad and just wanted to get away.

By this time I was really starting to build resentment against my mother for all that we had been through. We were not close. My dad tried to rebuild a relationship with me. I was resistant to any authority. In all honesty, ever since giving birth to Sissy I had been making adult decisions. There was a major clashing of wills for quite a while.

To sum it up, we all eventually reestablished a relationship with dad. For each of us, it was in our own way, in our own time. All of us have made some poor decisions in our adult lives. All four of the girls have been able to overcome many obstacles. Unfortunately our brother has not fared as well as the rest of us. He is in and out of trouble with the law. He has been struggling with drug abuse since he was about sixteen. He turned thirty this year.

My sister "D" has two boys and a third baby on the way. She is currently in therapy and is working on her issues. "A" is 23 and is expecting her first child. She is in a better place than I have ever seen her. "M" is a born again Christian, she is married and has overcome many obstacles even in adulthood. She married at 18, then tragically lost her first husband. She is also the first of us to graduate college. I will get to be second.

As for me, I have made my share of mistakes also. My early twenties were the worst years of my adult life. I went through several years of very deep bitterness towards my mother. I was just not right emotionally. I was also married and divorced in a brief period of time. My state of mind did have something to do with my marriage not lasting. The ironic thing is, I count going through the divorce as the worst thing that ever happened to me. I also refused to believe in God for a while. If I chose to believe in God, then I also knew that He let all those terrible things happen to us. If there really was a God, why would he let us suffer like that? But after a while I realized that all those bad times were character building and they also made me a stronger, better person. While I wouldn't want my children to suffer that way, I know that everything happens for a reason. I also know that God didn't bail out on me. He saved me probably more times than I can count.(I don't want to get into a religious discussion, this is just what I believe)

While I have a great relationship with my dad, I still struggle with my mother. I really try hard not to hold the past against her. It's really hard because she has not changed over the years. That is the difference between her and my dad. My dad served his time, and rebuilt his life. He has his own business that he built from the ground up. He has not been in any trouble since being released from prison. He learned from his mistakes, and has become a better person.He is a man of integrity. He says what he means and means what he says. I couldn't be more proud to call him my dad.

In the end I like to think that I am in a better place in my life than I have ever been. I am happier than I have ever been. My children are well cared for, they do well in school also. They are not troubled or emotionally scarred. I have a good job and I am about six months away from graduating college.

There were more things that went on but there is no way I could cover everything in this blog. It would have to be a flippin' book.

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

A Visitor

There I was, sitting in a co-worker's office, researching some data, minding my own business. What to my wandering eyes should appear? Mr. Jingles. Who is Mr. Jingles you ask.......a freakin' mouse. That's right my friends, a furry gray mouse. Mr. Jingles thought if he stayed close enough to the wall that I wouldn't notice him. He was wrong. My razor sharp vision(contacts) honed in on his location as soon as he came out of his hiding spot. He thought he could slip past me unnoticed, but he was mistaken.

Then I kind of starting yelling a little bit, " IT A MOUSE...OH MY GOD IT'S A MOUSE". No one saw Mr. Jingles but me. He was really fast. My co-worker thought I was crazy. But I knew the truth. I HAD seen Mr. Jingles. A couple of the men folk came around to help look for Mr. Jingles. Here in the south, most men either want to shoot it, stuff it, or marry it. They really wanted to shoot Mr. Jingles I think. I didn't want him to be shot, or smashed as was suggested by a couple of men. I just didn't want him hanging around my desk.

Finally we spotted Mr. Jingles. He was in the space between my cubicle and the wall. See, I am not crazy. I am not imagining furry mice scurrying around the office. Mr. Jingles is real........and now he is hanging out behind my cubicle. As far as I know, he could still be there. Apparently some Hershey Kisses had fallen behind my co worker's file cabinet. Mr. Jingles had eaten all the kisses, and in a sugar and caffeine induced frenzy, decided to venture out to look for more.

I spent the rest of the day imagining Mr. Jingles running out and scurrying across my sandal clad feet. Maybe I would open a desk drawer and he would be sitting there. Maybe he is a rabid mouse who will attack at any given moment.

You don't expect to see a mouse scurrying across the floor of an office. Nor do you expect a woman who has given birth twice, and brought home all kinds of critters as a little girl, to become unglued over said furry mouse. Upon further consideration, I decided that it's really not that much of a stretch. I work in a very large manufacturing plant. There are probably a whole lot worse things than mice crawling around in those walls.........Dear Lord, Please give me strength.

Monday, August 20, 2007

The Mediator

A blog is supposed to be a fun communication tool. You can tell stories, and keep up with the day-to-day activities of busy family members and friends. A blog is not a place where well meaning but sometimes overbearing family members voice their opinions. None of us is perfect. Everyone could use some improvement, myself included.

The only way we can overcome our past is to try harder to be more loving and supportive of our family members. Even the ones we think are not making all the right choices. The great thing about a family is that they love you NO MATTER WHAT you do.

We can’t allow the past to keep on winning. When there is strife and bickering and nit picking at each other, the past is winning. We have to break the cycle. When a family has struggled as hard as ours has to overcome the past, you have to make sure not to fall back into old habits and pitfalls. (Like being overbearing).

Sometimes relatives think they know what is best for us. Sometimes they are right, and sometimes they should just mind their own business. I, Susiewearthepants declare this day that I will work harder to mind my own business, and to live and let live.

So the point of all this is……. DAD BACK OFF!! I love you and don’t mean to offend but you are driving “D” nuts and I don't want to see you guys not speaking to each other.

Saturday, August 18, 2007

The Baby

In April of 1991 I found out I was pregnant. I know this seems sick, but I was excited. I was too stupid to be afraid. I was going to have the family that I had never had before. I was going to love my baby and my baby would love me no matter what. I would be sixteen in August and my baby would be born in December. I didn't have a job, neither did her father. I wasn't in school, and up until that point had pretty much been on a path to destruction. So my older brother was in town and took me to one of those planned parenthood centers. Sure enough, a positive pregnancy test. My cousin had become pregnant prior to that, and had elected not to keep her baby. She was 14 at the time.

First of all, it never even crossed my mind not to have or keep the baby. I wanted it so much. I thought of how cute and sweet babies are. How fun it would be to buy baby clothes. Where the money was going to come from I had no idea. I wasn't even worried about it I don't think. I told my mother I was pregnant. She asked me if I was sure. I told her about my visit to the clinic. She seemed neither angry or upset. I just don't understand how a fifteen year old child can come home and tell her mother she is pregnant and not get any reaction.

To this day it still floors me. I think of Sissy a lot when I remember those days. She is now about the age I was when I got pregnant with her. To my surprise and delight, she has eluded a lot of the pitfalls that I fell into at her age. I know she is growing up, but when I look at her I recognize that she is not there yet. She is still my little girl. OK, getting sidetracked here. So I was pregnant with no means of supporting a child. I would at least be eligible for WIC and free prenatal care. (For those who don't know, WIC is a program that provides milk, juice, peanut butter, eggs, and cereal to pregnant women. After the baby is born they also provide formula.)

Once I found out I was pregnant, all of the bad things I had been doing stopped. I didn't want to do anything to hurt my baby. No more drinking or drugs for me. That is what saved me from either killing myself or becoming an alcoholic. I can honestly say had I not gotten pregnant I don't know what would have happened to me. Probably not anything good, that is for sure.

Although prenatal care was available to me, I was still too young to drive, and my mother would not take me. I guess she didn't want to miss work, I really don't know. Maybe it embarrassed her. I did not start getting proper care until I was about seven months pregnant. We moved twice during this time. The last move put us out in the sticks. Which meant I was even more trapped. Sissy's father and I decided to stay at his parents house some. That way I could go to my appointments. One of his family members usually took me.

I have avoided talking much about Sissy's father. This is to protect her. I will say that this was not a healthy or good relationship. Of course I had no idea what that even meant. We were basically two very young people from similar backgrounds that ended up together.

After a relatively normal pregnancy I gave birth to a healthy baby girl. She was the most beautiful baby I had ever laid eyes on. Despite my lack of prenatal care, she had all of her fingers and toes. She weighed in at 7 lbs 3oz. After she was born we went back to stay at my mother's house. Neither one of us had any income and really no where else to go. Now we had to figure out how we were going to support this new life we had brought into the world.

For the first few months my mother helped us support Sissy. I don't have very many good memories of her, but at least she helped us with baby as much as she could. I had worked a little side job before Sissy was born and used the money to purchase baby gowns, blankets, bottles etc. The WIC vouchers I received took care of the formula. Thank God I had been around kids and babies my whole life. I knew how to change a diaper, make formula, and even give her a bath. I got my first job when Sissy was about four months old. Her father still didn't work so he stayed home with her. To keep this from dragging out, over the next couple of years we would move a few more times with my mother. She would have several men in and out of her life. None of them stuck around for very long after getting a taste of the kids from hell.

My mother was really starting to go off the deep end even more than before. She would disappear for a couple of days at a time. My brothers and sisters had started to steal food so we could eat. They would take empty grocery bags into the store and put food in them and walk out. This was before it became common to have security cameras. One of the running jokes in our family is that even though we stole to eat, we didn't have the sense to steal steaks, we took what we were used to eating. Things like canned beef stew or Ramen noodles, Spaghettios. We didn't even attempt to steal bigger ticket items.

My little brother had pretty much turned into a thug and there were all kinds of people in and out of the house at all hours of the night. It became unsafe for me to stay there with my baby. I moved to another town. A family friend had agreed to let Sissy and I stay with her. Sissy's dad was pretty much on his own at this point. I had to look after my daughter.

After I left, my mother had some kind of nervous breakdown or something. Later after I found out how bad things had gotten after I moved out, I felt so guilty. Like I should have been there going through what everyone else was. What right did I have to get away? Around the time mom was hitting the lowest point she had ever been at(I know it sounds like she hit rock bottom on more than one occasion) my dad was released from prison in Tennessee. My brothers and sisters would be saved, they just wouldn't like it.

For My Sister

I just recently starting reading and writing blogs. One thing that has surprised me is the number of couples that have a hard time getting pregnant. I have two children, my sister "D" has two and is pregnant with her third. My youngest sister "A" is pregnant with her first child. My sister "M" has been married for a couple of years now and desperately wants to be a mother. She would make such a great mother. Even after everything that happened to us growing up, she has turned out to be a wonderful, loving, Christian woman. She is fabulous with all of our kids. I want her to get pregnant so badly. I even offered to carry a baby for her. Invitro is very expensive and she doesn't have access to that kind of cash.

We don't know if anything is wrong with her. She does seem to have an irregular cycle, but that's all we can tell. She just hasn't become pregnant after two years of marriage.

We had a birthday party for me at her house today. I watched as she let the little ones help prepare the lasagna. How she is so good at just playing with kids and really getting down to their level. Her and her husband were considering taking in foster children. Due to some personal reasons they decided not persue that option. All we can do is pray for her and hope in God's own timing that somehow, some way she will get to be a mother. No one deserves it more than she does. Bett I am praying for you and I love you. I hope someday your dream comes true.

Don't Let It Get You Down

I know I only have a few people that read my blog. I am also aware that my blogs lately are not particularly humorous or funny. There is a light at the end of the tunnel. But to get to the light, you have to go through the darkness. I don't want anyone to pity me. It's not about that. I hope that maybe if even one young person, or not so young person who is in trouble finds these blogs, maybe there will be something that will help them. The fact of the matter is I did make it through all these terrible things. So just hang in there with me. And if you know someone who might be in situations like I have blogged about, send them my way.

What Kind of Mother Was She?

I was hanging out with my cousin and a few friends. We had managed to get our hands on some beer. I drank three cans of beer and got really drunk. And really sick. I don't remember all the details but I do remember at some point lying down. There was an older guy there who was about eighteen. He came into the room I was lying in and asked me to have sex with him. I repeatedly told him no way. He gave up eventually. Thank God he was not the type of guy who wouldn't take no for an answer. For me, the moral of the story is that this is why parents don't want their children hanging out with older kids and we preach about the dangers of underage drinking. The consequences can be emotional as well as physical. That boy could have raped me. Thank God he didn't.

Things of course did not get any better. Soon afterwards I did lose my virginity. Yep, I was 14 years old. Sometimes I would stay out all night. I remember the first time it happened. I was drinking with my friends of course. We drank way too much. I got really, really, sick. I didn't go home. I called my mother at work the next day and told her that I had gotten drunk and that's why I didn't come home. She was not angry. I didn't get grounded or punished.

At this point I began to realize that my mother's passive behavior was not normal for a parent. It bothered me a lot. I began sneaking out at night, taking her car after she would fall asleep, drinking, doing drugs. You name it and I was into it. I didn't become promiscuous. I had a boyfriend and through everything I was doing, I had some moral conscience about sleeping around. I was sexually active though. I began sneaking my boyfriend into the house and he would spend the night. I think one of the reasons he would stay was because his father was an alcoholic and would hit him. It was actually pretty easy to do. My bedroom was upstairs and my mom was so disconnected that she didn't care. She did ask me about and I told her the truth. The only concern she had was that I make sure her husband didn't find out. That was it. She wasn't concerned about me getting a disease, or getting pregnant. Or even the effect that it would have on me emotionally. I was not old even to handle this type of relationship. The only reason I think I wanted this boy in my life was because I desperately wanted someone to care about me. I wanted the love that I was not getting from my mother.

Mom was finally able to convince husband number three to move out. At this point, it was pretty much a free for all. All of us were doing whatever we wanted no matter what age we were. I went to the tenth grade for about two months and then decided that school just wasn't my scene. I never went back. There was nothing my mother could do at this point to make me go. I knew she was full of empty threats. I HAD NO fear of her at all. I would stay up all night getting into to trouble and sleep all day. I know now that I acted this way because I wanted my mother's attention. I wanted her to care and I knew she didn't. No matter how bad I was or what I did, NOTHING would get her attention. I came home with hickeys on my neck one time. Nope, nothing, no reaction, other than for her to comment that I shouldn't come home with hickeys on my neck.

What amazes me to this day is that I am not dead. All that sneaking out in the middle of the night and hanging out with the wrong crowd. We even took rides from strangers a couple of times. One time I was out at night by myself and I got into a truck with a man. A policeman saw what was going on and pulled the guy over. I rode home in the back of a police car that night. Whoever that policeman was, he probably saved my life, or at the very least saved me from being raped.

So I continued on this downward path until April of 1991. I would be turning 16 that August. I found out I was pregnant. This sounds crazy, but getting pregnant probably saved my life....

Friday, August 17, 2007

Is This Really My Life?

When I got back to my mother's house that summer, some things had changed. All the other children had been reunited with her, and there was a man living there. I was not impressed. I can't say what it was about him that I didn't like, but I DID NOT want him around. Too bad for me, we would be stuck with him for the next four years or so. Looking back he probably wasn't a bad guy. After all he did willingly take on all five of us hellions. Yes I said hellions, we were bad kids. Somewhere along the way my mother decided that discipline was something she neither had the time or energy for. Maybe she felt guilty for all of the horrible things that had happened to us. I can only guess.

It doesn't take long for kids to figure out what they can and can't get away with. I started the sixth grade and my life as a tweener was horrible. We were still poor, and on top of that I didn't know anything about hair or make up. I have always had a really good sense of style(I like to think), but without any money I had to make do with what I had. Which wasn't very much. I remember the day that I realized that my family was different from other families. A girl in one of my classes asked me where I got my shoes from. I told her that I got them at K-Mart. That was the wrong thing to say. I didn't know that no name brand shoes were considered a disgrace. I was just excited that my mom had actually gotten me a new pair of shoes for school.

I was homely, skinny, poorly dressed, and horror of horrors....I got free lunch. Back in the day there was none of this everyone has an account in a computer. The way I understand it works now, you wouldn't ever know who got free lunch and who didn't. Anyway back in my day, if you got free lunch, every Monday your homeroom teacher called you to the front of the class to get your free lunch card for the week. It was so humiliating.

I didn't have a lot of friends, and for the first time in my life I hated school. I hated not having nice clothes, or friends, the homely thing didn't help either. So I started to skip school. I mean a lot. There are very creative ways to skip school when your bus stop is at the end of your street. Sometimes I would hide in the trees until my mother had gone and I would sneak back to the house. Other times I would play sick. Even if I got caught skipping there were no consequences for it. I wasn't grounded or spanked. I didn't lose any privileges. It was just whatever I wanted to do. I did manage to pull it together at the end of the school year so I wouldn't be held back. I was smart and I could do the work, I just didn't want to be there.

We did at least seem to have enough to eat for a while. My mother was able to get food stamps and that helped a lot. That was short lived. Apparently the guy she had living with us had had a wife, and she was ticked off that him and my mother had hooked up. She called social services and told them he was living with us. The food stamps were gone. Things got more difficult after that. So I made it through middle school with only one ride in the back of a police car that didn't result in any charges being pressed. I was 12 at the time. We continued to move around a lot, but now we were at least staying in the same city.

I managed to make through middle school. We moved once again and I started high school. I kind of got lucky that year. A girl I had gone to middle school with sort of took me under her wing. I had a few girls to hang out with and even a place to sit at lunch. I didn't have to sit alone. That may not sound like a big deal, but there is nothing more embarrassing than having to sit by yourself at lunch when you are a teenager. (I am so over that now)

The summer after my freshman year I really took a turn for the worse. I was tired of being the live in babysitter, I was tired of everything. There was constant fighting between all of us kids. No one would clean anything, so our house was nasty all the time and an embarrassment. It seemed like there was never enough food to eat. My brother would beat up on all of us. I would beat up on my little sister. It was a never ending cycle and everything seemed to be spinning more out of control every day.

Around this time I believe my mother starting sinking into depression. She began spending most of her time in her room watching TV. She didn't want to cook or clean or do anything. She was trying to get husband number three to leave but he really did not want to go for some reason. He must have been crazy. If it had been me, I would have run screaming years earlier. I really tried for a while to take up some of the slack but it took a toll on me. Anyway, I started spending the weekends with one of my cousins who lived in the same town. We would go swimming or just walking around. We met a few guys and started hanging out with them.

One night somehow we got some beer and I got drunk for the first time. I was 14 years old. Let me tell you, it was every mother's worst nightmare. To this day I don't even think my mother knows what happened that night.

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Taking A Break

Over the last few weeks I have been wrapping up the back to school shopping. The last items to be bought were the "List" items. One of our fellow bloggers recently expounded on the horrors of five dollar notebooks. Little did I know what I was in for.

I decided to try shopping at Wal-Green's. I figured it would be less crowded and I could get in and out pretty quickly. So I took The Drama Queen's list and off I went. Not only are retailers scamming us into paying 5 bucks for a notebook, they have also decided that 5 five dollars for a box of colored pencils is the way to go. I know everyone has their own opinions about Wal-Mart. Well let me tell you as a single mother on a budget, I am a frequent Wal-Mart shopper. However, this fine Saturday afternoon I just didn't want to deal with it. Until I saw the box of 5 dollar wooden colored sticks. Not no, but h-e-double hockey sticks no was I paying 5 bucks for that. So in defeat off I headed to the local Wal-Mart. I still ended up spending about 40 bucks for an assortment of pens, pencils, paper, folders, binders, etc. What in the world are they doing to the kids at school I ask you?

They don't give out lists for the high school kids so Sissy had to wait until her first day of school to find out what she needed. When I got home from work that day, we had dinner and once again headed back to the Wal-Mart. All three of us were tired from our day, I think my eyes were glazed over and red.

Let me tell you, three tired, cranky females at Wal-Mart on a Monday evening is no joke. The girls were snapping at each other and I was snapping at them to stop snapping at each other. We did manage to make it out without anyone assaulting the other one. Sissy recently got her permit so I have dubbed her my personal chauffeur. It wasn't until we were almost home that I realized that I had been completely relaxed on the way home. I did not sit straight up and monitor all the traffic, waiting for either Sissy to hit someone or for someone else to slam into us. Oh no, I was for the first time since she started driving completely lucid during the entire drive. It was like someone had given me some Valium. I have not yet decided if this is because she is improving so much, or I was so dog tired that I just didn't care if we ran into a stop sign or ran some poor jogger off the side of the road.

Nana, thank you so much for all your help with the girls' school stuff. I am so lucky to be able to call you Mom. Your love for all of us is such a blessing in our lives. I finally have the Mom I always wanted. We all love you very much.

Sunday, August 12, 2007


I know, I know the last post had a cliffhanger so here goes. My dad robbed a business, was ultimately caught and went to prison. Before I go any further I want to say that I love my dad very much and I have moved on from the past. We have a great relationship and I am proud of all his accomplishments since he was released. But back to the story. So there we were, living in a trailer. My mom had no job and five small children. With nothing left to do we packed up once again and moved in with my maternal grandmother.

My mom and her mother were not particularly close. My grandmother never seemed to be especially fond of children. I have no idea what she thought of having all of us under her roof. But we had a place to stay and we didn't go hungry. My mom found a job and soon we moved into a house on the next street. Social services paid for our daycare and we were probably receiving food stamps. But our house was never clean there were always clothes on the floor and just a mess in general. We may have all been sharing a room at this point, I am not sure.

Although I don't really remember, my mom started leaving us at home alone at night to sing a band. It was probably mostly on weekends. Someone found out and reported her to social services. She was given a warning and told not to leave us at home alone again. I don't remember why we were home alone on a terrible winter day, but we were. I was the oldest child at home and I was nine at the time. My younger siblings were 7, 5, 4 and 1. I was left in charge of the brood.

I remember knowing that we were not supposed to be home alone. The phone rang and I answered it. The lady on the phone asked to speak to my mother. I knew right away it was social services calling to check in. I lied and told the lady that mom was giving the baby a bath. The lady stated that she needed to speak to her anyway. I panicked and hung up the phone. Within a matter of minutes, social services was at the door and we were all taken away. Of course there were too many of us to be kept together. I did end up in a foster home with my sister who was 5 at the time. We got to go to a very nice family who lived in a very nice house. The others didn't fare as well. I have heard the stories from the others about being mistreated in foster care. I believe one of my sisters was made to eat off the floor. It still breaks my heart.

I was in this foster home for approximately two weeks. One night my foster parents received a phone call that would separate me even further from the rest of the family. Somehow my biological father had obtained custody of me, but never attempted to have me come live with him. He found out that I had been taken away. He pulled some strings and I was taken out of foster care and sent to live with him. The night my foster parents got the phone call that I was leaving, I was devastated. I had only visited him on a couple of occasions and I knew his new wife did not care for me. I cried and cried. I would rather have stayed with those people that I barely knew than go live with him.

This may sound crazy but even as a young girl I was very sensitive how other people reacted to me. I KNEW that my stepmother did not want me there. Not only that I but I also realized that this move would take me geographically further away from my mother.

At nine years old I was too young to realize that my mother was not being a good parent. All I knew was that I had been snatched from the only mother I had known, first sent to live with strangers and then to a father that I barely knew. My dad was my dad as far as I was concerned. Now my dad had some faults just as we all do. He met my mother when I was six months old. When they married and the other kids came along, he never treated me any differently than any of the other children. As a matter of fact, until I was about seven I thought he was my bio father. My older brother broke the news to me one afternoon as I was coloring.

Anyway, my bio father picked me up and I off I went to another town about an hour and a half from the rest of the family. As a child that seemed so far away to me. When I got there I had my own room and it was clean. My older brothers were there, so that was a small comfort. One them was already living on his own. My next brother was four years older than me so he was about 13. Of course he tortured me as older brothers have a habit of doing. I never went hungry or without anything I needed. It amuses me now that people think that having things will make them happy. I am here to tell you that is a lie. I learned this at a very early age. So my new life began and I can tell you I was not happy about it.

Saturday, August 11, 2007

On The Road Again

Both my girls bailed out on me tonight so I decided get to the next chapter in the story. So I left off at the fire. The church we attended at the time the house burned down owned a small house that was used for families who were in situations like ours. It had one bedroom, a living room, kitchen, and one bathroom. We were given clothes, furniture, toothbrushes and everything we needed. I mean it happened fast. Our house was gone but by the end of that first night we had what we needed. This was a true miracle. We lived in this house for a short period of time. My parents slept on a fold out couch in the living room. All four of the kids slept in the one bedroom.

At this point I believe it was somewhere around Thanksgiving. I don't remember much of the details but I do remember that we had the best Christmas ever that year. Members of the church donated gifts to our family. The presents were stacked against the wall. They wouldn't fit under our Christmas tree. It seemed like they were stacked to the ceiling. Maybe they weren't but to me it seemed that way. It is so wonderful how the members of the church pulled together and helped my family during this difficult time. I hope someday I can be a blessing to someone like those people were to us.

Surprisingly things seemed to look up for us for a change. This wouldn't last for long. My family was able to get government housing and we actually had a house where I had my own room. I loved it. We had a backyard and there was creek where we would build dams and catch crawdads(that's a southern term for crayfish). I think we may have even brought home a snake or two. Soon we learned that my mom was pregnant with her seventh and last child.

It's so strange how you can remember some things but not others. I remember mom being pregnant and I remember holding my baby sister. We must have moved soon afterwards. I can only assume that the decision to move again was for financial reasons. The next thing I remember is us living in a trailer in Gibsonville, NC. Things took a major turn for the worse about this time. My dad was unable to find work. Apparently there was no kind of help available to us. No food stamps, emergency assistance or anything of that nature.

I have heard some stories about things that were going on between my parents but I don't actually know what is true. I can only relate my memories. What happened next would change our family forever. My dad must have been feeling desperate. No job, no food, no money. Things were getting worse. I know that what he did next was wrong, but now as an adult I can understand how sometimes people do things out of fear and desperation. I think if he would have known what would happen afterwards, he would have made a different choice. His next decision would land him in prison for nine years........

In The Beginning

I have a pretty normal life now. I have a good job. I am attending college at night. I go to church on Sunday. I feel very blessed and happy about where my life is going. What it took to get me here is not so pretty. "Normal" is not something that comes easily to my family. I guess the best way to tell the story is to get right into it.

I am the third child out of seven. I have two older brothers, one younger, and three younger sisters. Myself and my older brothers are products of my mother's first marriage. My mother married my bio father at 16. Right after I was born she left him, and soon began dating someone else. My dad. My real dad as far as I am concerned. They soon married and along came the rest of the children.

We were always poor. I don't remember knowing it when I was small but looking back I can see it. We moved around a lot. I am not really sure why, but I do know that I went to a number of schools. Aside from moving around a great deal I was also painfully shy and timid. (Those who know me now surely think this is a lie)

The Fire

One of the moves we made landed us in a house out the country that I loved. We lived on the side of a mountain, I think in Tennessee. There was so much for a young tom girl to get into. There were woods out behind our house and stream farther out into the woods. I remember this as being a happy time for us. When Halloween arrived, we lived too far out to go trick or treating, so my dad made the house scary and hid all over the house jumping out and scaring us.
We all thought this was great.

During this time we attended church on a regular basis. One Sunday, we went to a stranger's house after church. My siblings and I were left there for what seemed a long while. When my parents finally came back to get us, were told that there had been a fire. The house burned down to the ground while we were at church. I remember knowing that this was a big deal, however I was only seven and did not realize how serious this was for our family. I can't imagine what my parents must have been feeling. Everything they had in world was gone. All the baby pictures, all of our clothes and furniture, everything was lost.

I don't want this blog to get too long. Stay tuned for further details :)

Friday, August 10, 2007

I Think I Messed Up

Recently a friend of mine asked me to do him/her a favor. The favor seemed harmless and no big deal for me to take care of. So I did it. Mistake number one. This seemingly innocent request has really turned out to be a pain in the neck. Now because I did this favor, some people are all in an uproar and this situation has created drama for me. Which I want NO part of. With having to deal with people like Mr. Pompous(see previous blog labeled Losers Like Me), raising the kids, blah blah blah you know what I mean. I just have no desire to be in the middle other people's drama. It is just too exhausting. Mistake number two. I thought I could fix this, so I found myself getting in even deeper. Well, I should have just let it go at that. I can't reveal anymore details in order to protect the jerks, I mean people involved. Be careful what you say "yes" to.

In a previous blog I made fun of Sissy's driving. I would just like to take a moment to say that her driving is not bad. She is learning very quickly and has really surprised me. Anyway I am writing this on my lunch hour at my desk so I need to wrap it up. Everyone, have a good weekend!

Wednesday, August 8, 2007

What's The Deal?

Recently when discussing teaching "Sissy" as she will now be referred to from now on, how to drive, someone stated to me that they NEVER got into a car with their child when they were learning how to drive. She made her husband teach her children how to drive. Uumm, that's all well and good but I don't have a husband. I haven't had one for a long time now.

This means that I have to do a great deal of the things that a dad would normally do. (Both fathers are out of state). I have to be the nurturer (is that a word?) and the disciplinarian (Lord, that one was hard too....OK I used spell check). I don't have the option of making the fathers do these things because they are not around. I am not looking for pity that's just the way things are. I have already given both girls lessons on checking the oil, adding oil to the car etc. Sometimes I wish I didn't have to do these things. I wish they weren't having to have me play Mom and Dad. I wish I made some better choices along the way. But without those choices I wouldn't have the girls, and I am grateful for them every day.

As my wonderful little sister says, "You get what you get, and don't throw a fit". So just in case anyone is wondering, I am not susiewearthepants because of my bossy personality. I wear the pants because I have to.

I am not some crazy, man hating freak. I like men just as much as the next woman. Obviously, some things have gone wrong in my love life. I am doing everything I can to learn from these experiences(mistakes).

Maybe someday I won't have to wear the pants anymore. Maybe I will gladly relinquish the pants some poor sucker(wonderful man). No matter what happens, it is a joy read blogs of other people who seem to have healthy relationships. Specifically, HW and Jen05. Thanks for sharing your lives.

Truthfully, I really hope someday to turn over the pants wearing to someone else. One of my fears is that my girls will grow up and leave me and I will die an old maid, all alone with nothing but a few cats and some ugly sweaters, constantly complaining about being cold and how my kids never come to see me. (LOL)

HW I read some of your older blogs and ran across the one you wrote about when your teenager started driving. I am so glad someone understands my pain. When you have a child, them growing up seems so far into the distant future that you can't even fathom it. Then you turn around one day and you are handing them the keys to your car. That's when it really sinks in that someday soon this child is going to go off and create a life of their own. When you are single it is even more scary. I have made raising the girls my life. What am I going to do when that part of my job is done? Very scary stuff. I had Sissy when I was 16 years 4 months and 3 days old. Therefore I am having to go through a good deal of this stuff(crap) much younger than a lot of people. She did tell me tonight that is glad that I am not old. That was very comforting let me tell you(insert sarcasm here).

On a last note, I am thinking of blogging some stuff about my horrendous childhood. If anyone thinks I should, let me know. Hopefully it will be inspirational and not depressing.

So that's the deal.

Sunday, August 5, 2007

Teenage drivers

I am here to tell you that teaching a teenager to drive is can I this? Well it requires nerves of steel. Which I do not have. The following is a typical driving lesson:
Honey, you need to stay in your lane.
BRAKES!!! Brakes would be really good now! ( I screamed this one)
Baby, the green light means you can go.
I really don't think you need to drive this fast, this is a construction zone. Or honey, you can go faster, the speed limit is forty through here.

I really think it must be some kind of conspiracy to make me insane. I have friends and family who will some day be in my unfortunate shoes. This next section is titled, "The secret rules of teenage drivers"

1. If no cars are coming you should floor it as hard as you can.
2. If there is oncoming traffic you should inch out as slow possible, ensuring a collision.
3. While driving on the interstate you NEVER maintain speed. You should go between driving 50 miles to 70 miles per hour. This will definitely promote poor gas mileage.
4. Be sure to drive slow in the left lane. This will p*ss off numerous drivers and cause them to give you the finger.

I am sure as time goes on I will be adding a few more of the secret rules. I will be sure to post them as soon as they become available.

On the bright side, at least I don't have a newborn baby hanging on my nipple and three two year toddlers. That blog really makes me feel like a whiner.

In other news, my youngest is aware of my blog and has informed me that I am embarrassing her. Like she didn't embarrass me all those times when she was a baby and made sure to poot in every public place that she could think of. Or the time she had a full blown tantrum at Chuck E Cheese when it was time to leave. No my friends, the fun has just begun.

Special thanks to my friend and personal mechanic who not only takes care of my car, but is also working hard to get M's car ready for her sixteenth birthday. I appreciate all your help.

Saturday, August 4, 2007

Am I A Grown Woman?

OK.....I have a minor crisis. I have lost one of my tennis shoes. I only have one pair of tennis shoes(I work in an office). Now, I work in accounting which requires me to be organized and detail oriented. What goes on in my house is sometimes is a different story. I have one of the shoes but I don't know what happened to the other one. How old am I anyway? Wouldn't it be funny if I called in to work and said, "I'm sorry I can't come in today because I have lost a shoe. If I find it, I'm sure I will be in tomorrow". Did I misplace it? Did one of the girls hide it from me to torment me? I don't know. What I do know is that I am thirty two(almost) years old and I have lost a shoe. What is wrong with this picture I ask you? I should not be losing shoes. I am not a kid. At least I don't think I am. I know where all my files are at work. Why can't I find one stinkin' shoe? Because I have NO organization at home. My house is not dirty, but I leave shoes all over the house. I don't know why I do this. Maybe just because I can. Possibly because I have to be organized at work.

This is not a problem unless you have an afternoon of school shopping to do and you are forced to wear sandals to go walking around all day. The sensible thing to do would be to put my shoes on the shoe rack that is my closet, but why I would I want to make things easier for myself.

Nana-if you read this K LOVES all the clothes she got. I came home this evening and she has very neatly organized all her clothes in her drawers. I have never seen them so organized! I am talking everything perfectly folded and stacked. I have never seen anything like it.

Maybe I need to take lessons from her. If anyone has any difficult suggestions for how I can keep up with my shoes, let me know. No easy solutions please....I like to do things the hard way.

Does anyone which saint I should pray to in order to recover the lost shoe? I'm not Catholic but it would work. Is it St. Anthony? I don't think it's Peter.

Friday, August 3, 2007

A Little Serious

As my new blog friends will soon discover, I have a very colorful family. I am the third out of seven children. I have three brothers and three sisters. My youngest brother has been struggling with drugs since he was about sixteen. Somehow a few years ago he managed to snag a wonderful woman in between binges. (Sometimes he will quit for a while but he always goes back to the drugs). Recently he completely went off the deep end and quit his job. To make money, he started selling the drugs he has been using. Currently he has several charges pending against him. They range from manufacturing, felony possession and a few other charges. MY SIL had not changed the locks on the door and he went into their apartment and destroyed all of the appliances.

It really makes me sad when I hear of these things. It's hard for me to understand how we all grew up in the same house and turned out so differently. All the rest of us suffered the same neglect and poverty that he did. Somehow he has never been able to break free from the past.

Drugs not only destroy your body, they destroy lives and hearts also. They don't just affect the users. My brother is not the only person in my life who has been affected by drugs. My ex husband is locked up on drug related charges(meth). He has spent more time in the last year locked up than he has been free. He hasn't seen our daughter since October of last year.

I don't let this get me down. I truly believe that someday or maybe even now, God will use these things in my life. Maybe to help someone else. I don't know. To my SIL. I love you and I am here to help however I can. If any of my new blog friends know anyone or hear of anyone in a similar situation, offer your moral support and friendship if you can. I pray that maybe my little blog can help someone else. If by nothing than making you realize that you are not the only one out there. To all single women. If you are dating someone who you think has a drug or alcohol problem, YOU CAN'T FIX HIM. You should immediately remove yourself from this situation. You can't help someone who doesn't want to help themselves. This is not a safe or healthy relationship. Take it from someone who learned the hard way!