How does my story start?
For years I have struggled with this simple question. I have tried repeatedly to find a way to write about my past, about my personal traumas and to tell my story. At different points in my life, the attempts were filled with different emotions.
When I was younger it was hurt and frustration coupled with rage and damnation. As I got older I wanted to try to find a way to forgive and move on, a way to tell my story without holding the anger so close to my heart.
Each attempt to tell my story ended with frustration. Either I was emotionally drained and could not go on or I was so angry I wanted to break something.
We ask ourselves these questions, these futile questions when we think about the past. They all boil down to one basic question. Why?
For me it has usually been:
- Why me?
- Why was I born into this life?
- Why did my mother have to be sick?
- Why did everyone hate me?
- Why was I the one without love?
- Why was I looked down on?
- Why did they keep sending me back?
- Why did they not see me, only my actions?
- Why did I have to be the one to lose my family?
- Why did my family not protect me?
- Why didn’t anyone want me?
- Why wasn’t I enough?
Let’s face it, these questions are useless but inevitable. When you are the victim, it is natural to wonder why. To question the “fairness” of life.
Each one of us finds our answers in different way. Some choose religion, some choose to ignore the questions in the first place. Me I go in loops. Sometimes I feel like I have a handle on it, I am calm and matter of fact. This is the situation, this is my life, this is reality and I have to accept and deal with it. Other times, typically when I am having a bad day or I see a happy family on my Facebook feed, I feel that rage boiling up inside of me. Rage at the core of my being. Rage that I was forced to endure abuse, a distinctive lack of love, being tossed around like a broken doll, the throw away kid. I feel rage towards the family I was born into, rage towards the mother who abused me, rage towards the foster homes, rage towards the fact that I did not get to be who I was supposed to be. Then I feel grief. Grief from all that I was denied and all that I have lost.
How does my story start?
My story starts with a woman who loved babies. A woman who had an amazing singing voice. A woman who grew up in a loving home with her mother and father and three brothers who dotted on her. Let’s call her Molly. Molly started out her life loved. She had her mother’s talent for drawing. She grew up before cell phones, Facebook and tablets and computers.
In her story she lived with her mom and dad and brothers in the home that her parents built with their own hands. They had a forest out back with a pure spring fed creek. The water was so pure it was like glass. She had stability and security and as I have mentioned several times, love.
She was not particularly educated. Yet that did not matter. She met and fell in love with a man. They got married and they had five babies. When she was pregnant with her 4th baby, she developed mental illness. She became diagnosed as schizophrenic and manic depressive. This was in the 70s, so I imagine that her diagnosis would be different now.
As her illness progressed, her marriage crumbled. Her husband may have encouraged breakdowns, but I wasn’t there, this is really hearsay. At some point, they separated and he was granted custody of her children. He remarried and had another child, a boy around the same time as I was born.
My half siblings grew up in the Adirondacks in a trailer by a creek. They have their own horror stories and they have a different view of Molly. A softer view. I hardly knew them. Sometimes, usually when I was in foster care, I forgot they existed.
At some point Molly had a breakdown and ended up in the Mental Health Ward (MHU) of the local hospital. There she met a man who was addicted to drugs and in a program to detox. Apparently mental illness and drug addiction create great bedfellows because they started to see each other for a while. He even met my grandmother. He shower her pictures of his grandmother. She said I looked like her. All I know about him is that he was Italian and his family owned a pizza restaurant. I may know his name, if what I was told by my grandmother is true.
I was also told that he had a family, a wife and that when I was born, he had a baby boy around my age. I was told that he held me once, after I was born and then left me to my fate. Handed me back to the woman who caused so much pain while she herself was suffering.
I wonder if he ever thinks of me.
How does my story start?
My story starts on May 4th, 1977 around 8am. My story starts years before that when Molly became mentally ill. My story starts with a woman who loved babies so much she kept having them until her mother forced her to have her tubes tied. I was the last. I was the one who had to live with her and endure her illness and all the wonderful side effects that it caused.