Today’s blog is dedicated to Angie, Will, Josh, & Andrew.
As a kid, I had the worst family. I was always ashamed of my parents and wondered why I got saddled with such messed up parents. Even as a young child, I was mortified eating in restaurants; my parents embarrassed me. My parents were loud and crass and didn’t care who they offended and my dad…good God, my dad. He openly talked about how offensive fat people were, how much he hated blacks, gays, anyone who wasn’t white, tall, and thin. Even back then I knew he was a racist ass. My poor mother was ill and was just trying to muddle through his abuse. For a pudgy, insecure child, this was the family from hell.
Of course, I wasn’t thin so my father told me daily how fat and ugly I was. A toxic emotional beating that still haunts me to this day. I can’t even imagine the pain he put my mother through. My other five siblings were not free from this abuse although through the years he doled it out in different ways. Life didn’t get any easier when, during my junior year of high school, my mother committed suicide. She had long suffered from depression and a couple years earlier from a brain hemorrhage. Her health was quickly deteriorating and she just couldn’t take her poor health coupled with an unsupportive husband. At sixteen, with my younger sister only eight years old, it was my darkest day.
But those of you who know me personally (and if you read my blog regularly) know I am a strong, well-adjusted, extremely happy woman. I have the most amazing family I could ever ask for. So how did that happen?
On that darkest day I was thrown into a leadership position of my family. Little did I know that this was the catalyst for forming the family that I had always dreamed of and for making me the woman I always wanted to be. Did it take some work? A little therapy? You bet ya! Actually, it took a lot of hard work, a lot of soul searching, and a lot of growing. But you know what? I wouldn’t change any of it.
I helped raise my younger sister, Angie, and became her sister/mom. To this day, we have an amazing and unique relationship that has survived many ups and downs. We are there for each other through everything. My brother, Will, came and lived with me the summer before his senior year of high school. I was happy to have him and never thought a lot about it. One day as we were walking through the mall he told me that summer changed his entire life. Moments like that make my life worth living. Since then Will and I have continued to grow closer and we, too, have a very unique and close relationship. I also have two other brothers, Josh and Andrew. Josh is finishing college and Andrew is finishing high school. I love having everyone over on holidays; I take so much pride in seeing my amazing family…the family I always dreamed of having.
Talking to a lot of my friends that were “acquaintances” back in high school I have found that so many of them were going through similar struggles at home. How tragic that at the time, a time in our lives when we needed each other so badly, we had to hide the truth about us. The truth that at home some of us were beat, had alcoholic fathers or mothers, had problems with addiction, or so many other problems that were too taboo to discuss. I will bet that many of the friends I went to high school with do not know the truth about how my mother died (before this post) because back then the subject was something we did not discuss. Part of why I do this blog is to get people talking, to make it comfortable to discuss subjects that are supposed to be taboo. I say nothing is taboo anymore. It’s not healthy to suppress your feelings!! Now start talking.
I would lay down my life for my family. I am so proud of every single one of them. They are my life and my strength.
Still Rockin’ It