My mothers life before she was 16 is vague to me. She did say her father was viewed as a genius in the military even with only an elementary education. And she did say her father was an alcoholic and was abusive to her siblings but never to her. She also says her mother was schizophrenic. Those are the few details I have of her family. How true any of that is I have no idea. With how easily my mother lies to get what she wants, no matter who it will affect anyone I am not sure how much weight I should put on anything I was told.
The story she tells of her teen years is this. At 16 she fell in love with a man in his 20’s. He was her soul mate. Her mother was not happy with this relationship. So offered her a trip, a cruise I think it was, if she would break it off with this man. She refused the offer and instead married him. He was in the military and she says they were so happy and in love. She got pregnant right away and at the age of 17 she gave birth to my older sister. She was everything my mother wanted her to be. She was born with strawberry blond hair and blue eyes and was a dream to take care of. Life my mother says was perfect.
From here there are two version of the story that I know of. You can decide for your self which you believe is the case. The first version is that at the age of 20 her husband came to her and told her that he was having an affair. He told her that he wanted a divorce so that he could marry this other woman. He told her at that time a divorce would not be granted unless there was a very big reason. And he did not want to ruin his career by announcing his infidelity. So he asked her to go have an affair so that the divorce could happen. My mother says she loved this man so much that she would do anything for him and deny him nothing. So she went out and found the most willing man she could and slept with him. The divorce was then granted. Her reward; me. She conceived me the night she had the affair.
The second version, the one I believe, states that at 20 she was finding herself alone a lot at home with a young child and nothing to do. Her husband gone sometimes for days or weeks at a time to training courses. She ended up meeting a man and starting an affair with him. She ended up getting pregnant with me because of this. When her husband came home he was easily able to figure out that he was not the father because he had been away. He divorce her.
Either way because of my conception, in my own mothers words, I destroyed her life. She lost the man whom she loved with her whole heart and instead was stuck with a curse; me. Because of the pregnancy she says she was forced to then marry my father. I guess getting a job and being a single mom was not an option in her mind. She said everything was fine with him till the night of their wedding. Supposedly that is when he started beating her. She went on to tell me that the home they lived in at the time was haunted. Supposedly by a very friendly, protective spirit. She says many times she would go upstairs to my bedroom and look in the door to see my crib being rocked but no one was in the room. She also says that my father could not beat her up there. That the spirit would stop him. Always causing his hands to miss and hit the wall instead. She says because of his abuse she was only married to him for 2 months. My father was also a military man. She blames me of course for having suffered at his hands. Her thinking was that if she had not been pregnant with me she would never have had to marry him.
She then went on to marry a third man. Another military man. My memories of him are of a good, kind man. One who provided for all of us very well. He shaped my mind for what I would later dream for in a husband. He was a rugged type of man. Enjoying being in the outdoors hunting, fishing, trapping. I remember watching him afternoons chopping wood. I would follow him around like a little lost puppy when he was home. And he always took the time to answer all my questions and I asked a lot. He never minded when I would get dirty. He taught me about kindness to animals and how being quiet and calm in myself would help to calm an animal if it was injured. He taught me about trapping, and hunting and fishing. And helped to cultivate my love of nature.
One of my favourite memories was when I was sitting in the garage watching him skin a deer he had hung up. I was sitting on my stool asking all my usual questions when my sister came in. She took one look and screamed. Then ran into the house yelling how he had killed Bambie’s mother. He turned around and winked at me and I grinned. I was only about 6 at the time.
My sister and I were like night and day and my mother played on those differences. I was a tom boy in every way. My sister was defiantly what I called a girly girl. My mother like to tell us that my sister was her little angel and I was her devil. She would always complain about how she could never dress me up and take me any where. I did prefer to be in pants and was not fond of dresses but when she would dress me up I tried so hard to stay clean. I idolized my sister. My mother was always telling me to be more like her then maybe I had a hope but I never succeeded in her eyes. She never wanted to take the time to teach me the tasks most girls just seem to naturally know. She thought teaching me to do hair styles was a waste of time so instead would keep my hair in a boys short cut. Telling me often that since I acted so much like one I might as well look like one. On the other hand my sister and my mother would spend hours together doing things.
Was I jealous of the obvious differences in our treatment? You bet. Did I act out some times? Yes. I remember one day I was so jealous that I went into my sisters room and gave all her Barbie’s buzz cuts. Boy was she mad. She then proceeded to go into my room and rip up all my books.
My mother likes to tell people I was a very violent child in my elementary years. I do not remember once being violent. I was too withdrawn. I would spend hours in the woods climbing trees and playing games. Many times bringing home wounded birds for my mothers husband to help me care for. Many a baby bird was rescued by us and later set free when they could fly. Around him I was at peace. He was my teacher, protector and friend.
During one of my wanderings in the woods I jumped into what I thought was a pile of leaves. Actually turned out to be a wasps nest. I immediately started to hear an angry buzzing. I tried to climb out as fast as I could but it was not fast enough. Soon I felt like my whole body was on fire. I ran as fast as I could back to the house screaming. My mothers husband ran to me as soon as he saw me and grabbed the hose. He sprayed most away with a hose but many had climbed into my clothes and continued to sting me. He carried me into the house where my mother waited and placed me on the table where he and my mother proceeded to remove my clothes and wasps. My mother all the time complaining about the trouble that seems to follow me and the inconvenience this was to her. I cried and cried and she told me to shut up and grow up. Her husband would tell her to calm down but she ignored him. Later he took me to the hospital where they gave me a shot and but something on the stings. Warning him that I could have an allergy now. And I have ever since.
Another time he helped me in a huge way was when I was 8. It was lunch time and my mother had called us in for lunch. I was stupid and ran into the kitchen without thinking. And banged right into her. She had been carrying a pot full of boiling hot chicken noodle soup. The whole pot ended up dumped all over my head, face and sweat shirt. I screamed. She started screaming at me about watching where I was going. He ran into the room took one look at me and picked me up and ran me to the tub. He turn the shower on immediately as I ripped my shirt off. My melted skin and muscle came off with it. He grabbed a towel soaked it in water and wrapped it around me and rushed me to the hospital. I was in shock and made very little noise at this point. In the hospital doctors said I had third degree burns to my face and chest. That I might go blind in my left eye and that I would most likely have permanent scarring. When I later got home my mother refused to help with changing my dressing on the wounds. He helped till he had to go away on course. After that I had to care for it myself. Any time my mother saw me she would tell me that if I was left scarred then it would be my own fault and maybe it would serve a lesson to teach me to stop being such a problem. I was blessed to have no scarring but I did end up with a lot of nerve damage.
When my mothers husband was around I felt like I was part of the family but when he wasn’t I was defiantly the odd one out. My mother would throw elaborate birthday parties for my sister. Big co-ed sleepovers. During the evening I had to always stay in my room. At night when asleep the kids were allowed to play pranks on me. I remember one were it was still quite cold out with a lot of snow. The kids had all snuck into my room and carried me outside. I woke up in the morning damp and cold. They thought it was funny. My mother yelled at me for being outside in my pj’s. I got a nasty cold from that experience.
Every memory I have of my younger years are of me either alone or me trying to be a part of my mother and sisters relationship. It became normal for me to work so hard just to hear one word of praise. But the rare times she did give praise she also gave an insult as well. I never felt good enough. Never felt wanted by my own mother.
One day I remember quite clearly was the day she showed up at my school to pick me up. I was 10. It was April Fools Day. She drove me and my sister home. When we got there she told us to go to our rooms and fill the suitcases there with our clothes. Most of my sisters room was empty of toys and things she enjoyed. All of mine were still in my room. I had no idea what was going on. I packed my clothes and came down stairs. She put everything in the car. It was so packed that I barely had room in the back to sit and I was a slim girl. She then drove the rest of the afternoon and most of the evening. She was leaving him. She took us to her friend house in another province where her and her two kids lived. I cried as soon as I was alone. I wanted to go back and stay with him. Though I was never to see him agian.
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