I remember the day my adult world began. It was the day my grandmother (VaVor) had died. I was twelve years old, and the shock of the loss of any security of childhood seemed to be a distant memory. My grandmother was my security blanket in which I ran to, to make everything alright again. But the cancer had spread to her brain and she was gone too quickly. The sense of reality, in life moving on after the certainty of death, was overwhelming to my growing mind. Yet moving on was the only option.
Life changed dramatically in one year. My childhood was gone to me. I moved from my secure environment and familiarity to where my grandmother once was. I was now living in her home, though nothing was the same. I began to extend to the outside world of that area that once was so secure. The neighborhood, friends, city, schools, were a harsh dose of scattered, unfamiliar areas that were new. Nothing had the same safeness or embraceable warmth that had been a prominent factor in my life. I was now dangling from a limb and holding on while searching for love and security. Some sort of familiarity.
I met my ex-husband at the age of thirteen, one year after my grandmother’s death. He was close to four years older than me, but I fought to be with him. He gave me the attention that I desired and I so needed at that time. And our closeness and love grew quickly. It was a young, inexperienced love and bonding, but I believe that we both needed that closeness and security in our lives. I was still struggling to find a solid foundation, and he needed true compassion and a belief in him.
It became clear quickly that my ex-husband’s foundation was built on tumultuous land that needed more empathy and caring. Watching my ex-husband and his father in a fight trying to choke one another as I ran from the situation in horror only strengthened my belief in this concept . This example along with many other truths of harmful, out of the desired caring scope of parenthood, were talked about and experienced in my twenty-five year time span with him. This type of emotional harm cannot go without effecting someone in someway. He unfortunately brought forth some of these intolerant practices in our own family life.
By the delicate age of fifteen, living as a woman in a child’s body, I decided that I had a craving for a baby. I wanted to give my complete love away to a child that needed me. I wanted to have a reciprocal love that I believed was lacking in my life. My ex-husband, though scared and ambiguous (and horny), obliged. Almost a year after my daughter was born, we married. I was sixteen, and he was a few weeks shy of twenty.
Within a few years, I was still a teenager and a mother of three beautiful children. I always took my responsibilities unconditionally with the love, guidance, and care that was so deserved. My joy of being a mother was my first priority in life. And due to the differences in my ex-husband and my childhood backgrounds, I was guarded with fear and protection at all times. My childhood and beyond with my parents was filled with love and guidance, and protection. On the other hand, my ex-husband’s childhood lacked in those aspects. So our parenting skills were at odds frequently.
By the time my life hit the Tsunami of a breaking point, with the department of social services one minute knocking on my door, and the next minute them asking me to undress the kids to see if more bruises than the one on my son’s eye existed, life up until that bruise and the after results was contained and kept as happy and fulfilled as possible for the children. After that time (very near mother’s day) life completely changed for me. Within a few months I had my first breakdown that included psychosis, delusions, hyperchristianity, bulimia, and more. Fear and protection was still there, but a new and hyper-vigilant theme existed in the household. And the inexcusable lack of acknowledgement of responsibility for the state authorities inspections by my ex-husband throughout our entire marriage hurt to the core.
This was another stepping stone in life for me. There was complete lack of ability on my part to give entire care and responsibility for the children to my husband. My trust had been crushed, and though efforts were made with some counseling to restore that trust, the anger and behavior that caused the problems always won out until the day I left him, and after. It was engrained in his being. I stood married to him until my last child was already to move into his college dorm, and I had finished the final financial paperwork for his school. I suppose the fear of supporting my children alone kept me with my ex-husband. But God opened that door spontaneously for me to run, and get out.
Though I do not regret any of my time parenting and the raising of the best children possible, at times in the past I have grieved the loss of my childhood and teenage years. My teenage years were completely non-existent due to my own actions, though there were times when I was angry. I was angry at myself, angry with my ex-husband, angry at my parents for not stopping us in the relationship, angry for my lost childhood. But ultimately grieving a part of a lost life that was never existent is terribly hard, if not impossible. I started my life over in my late thirties, and was granted some of those experiences, though the satisfaction was lacking. Being in a relationship (the comfort of my youth) is where my heart belonged. Just a healthier relationship this time around is what I still pray for. So far these blessings are granted, though work and persistence is a must.