In the Beginning
I feel I need to share here some of my past and my story since I may and have made references on other hub pages I have written. I hope that this will help any readers understand where exactly I have come from. It isnt always easy to dig up the past so this hub page may take a while to be completed.
When I was born on the 25th of May 1979 I have to admit I was a pretty cute baby, it was the kind of start any parent would want for a new baby. It was a lucky thing for me as my mom was struggling with drug addiction and I would have shared with those struggles in-utero.
My parents were not married and split up when I was born. My mother gained custody in spite of the alcohol and drug problems because back then the mother always got custody first. In my mother credit she did try to break her addictions and get clean. When things got to much for her or a bender got to much she would ask some sober friends to take care of me. Eventually my mother asked this couple to adopt me. The adoption was going well until my dad found out about it.
My dad had not been in my life since my parents split up and had actually gotten married and had twin boys. Dad wanted me with his new family and fought the adoption. This is where things get a bit weird. My adopted family were concerned about my dads new wife as she had problems with alcohol and they were worried that it was not the best situation for me. They had their foot in the door so to speak and were not going to lose me without being sure of my safety and happiness.
I was 5 years old when I went to live with my dad. The story according according to my adopted family is that it was only meant to be a visit and that my dad kidnapped me, my dad says the adopted family kidnapped me. This was a weird thing to be told at such a young age and I totally accepted both versions! Now a days I figure they were both being highly dramatic. The real point is that this began a custody battle in the courts that would take several years to finally sort out. The custody battle involved court order visits with my adopted family every summer (I got to fly by myself, and back in those days I loved that bit). I had court ordered therapist after therapist, a nun for a lawyer and all sorts. Lets just say the system as it was was crazy.
This is where my life with my dad and step mom starts and where I start to have memories about it all, everything before is what I have been told as I was to young to remember any of it myself.
Who's afraid of Hagerty House?
Who's afraid of Hagerty house is a childrens book. The kids at school used to use the title to tease me with but it didnt work very well, my answer was always a serious 'Me!'. Even kids know that its not really that much fun to tease a kid who is being abused about the abuse, it always seemed uncomfortable for them.
I hope my witticism was a cleaver way to introduce the delicate subject of abuse. When you mention abuse to people they tend to react with disbelief, like you are just over reacting to a few spankings you got as a kid for acting up. I know that memories are a delicate thing, that a few bad memories can color every memory. A person can easily forget the good times when the bad times are bad enough to make things seem like a total hell and it might seem unfair to kindle anger for years when there were a few forgotten good times.
I did kindle anger for most of my teenage years and have had to learn to let go of that anger in order to move on. In the spirit of telling a fair and even story here I will try to share a few of the good moments first.....
Some of my happiest memories are with my extended family, this would be the family on my dads side.
My grandma was the first true angel I ever met. She was always there to take care of me when my step moms drinking got out of hand for dad. I would go to spend a few days with her so dad could sort my step mom out easier. We would always have my favorite breakfast foods in the morning. Grandpa would wake up very early and make either, waffles, pancakes, or french toast (my favorite foods). I would wake up and start hooting like a rooster to which grandma would say
'who let that rooster in here?'
I would then go into her room and crawl under the blankets with her and watch the sun rise and cuddle. When grandpa called to us that breakfast was almost ready we would get ready for the day and then have breakfast. My grandma didnt have a lot of stuff for kids to do where she lived but she was into arts and crafts herself so would set me up with craft projects to keep me busy while she took care of her chores. In the summer time she would take me to the pool after lunch which I loved as I was a total water baby. It may not seem like much to others but for me those little activities were golden moments growing up.
One christmas my grandma had bought a cabbage patch doll (back when the were really expensive) and before the following christmas a neighborhood kid had stolen it. Instead of buying another very expensive doll for me she decided to make one. This doll was hand made and in my eyes even better as the face was soft and I could sleep with it. I still have this doll to this day.
My aunts, Kathleen and Noreen made just about every holiday special. They always shared hosting each holiday, thanksgiving, easter and christmas. My Aunt Kate had 2 boys so had a very kid friendly home and made for some lovely christmases. My brothers, cousins and I had some great times together sharing christmas presents and such.
My Aunt Noreen was married but never had any kids of her own. I think if she could have easily taken custody of me to sort out the ongoing custody battle she would have done so. I looked up to her and hoped I would be like her when I grew up.
These were the people who made me feel truly safe and loved. When I was with them I could be happy and at ease.
Endings and Beginnings
It feel at bit like telling horror stories writing about individual situations involving a wooden spoon being broken on my backside and all the rest of it so I am going to skip those kinds of stories. I do not believe that telling those kinds of stories serves any real purpose anymore so I will skip it here, suffice it to say that shit happened that wasn't very nice.
The upshot is that eventually the courts decided I was being abused and to remove me from his home. Now this story is one to tell and there is a good chance you wont even believe it!
My favorite movie as a kid was the wizard of oz, so I was watching that locked in my parents room (so as not to be disturbed by my brothers). While I was watching my step mom started pounding on the door, yelling through to hurry up because they were coming to take me away. By they she meant the courts. I didn't really hurry at first since I had heard this a few times before, usually in the middle of the night. I figured it was the same as those other times and meant that my step mom was just drunk. Within about 10 mins I had a bag packed and was being bundled into a car. I was taken to my god fathers house to hide me from the courts. It was a relief that my step mom wasn't drunk.
I spent a week with my godfathers family. We actually had a really fun time. We went to the amusement park great america and I had some of my friends to play with the rest of the time. I secretly hoped that my time in hiding would never end. My dad was being threatened with jail for kidnap so my time in hiding was short lived. Hey I guess there was a genuine kidnap in my story after all!
My dad came to have one last visit but was not the one to take me home to the waiting lawyers. He just wanted one last good memory with me before losing me for good (tho not really since I am a part of his life now, long distance tho it may be). We went and got hamburgers and a lotto ticket, he was really hoping for some good luck with something. He dropped back with my godfather and then was off to deal with his sadness by himself.
My step mom was the one who came to collect me for the lawyers. Before we started home we came up with a plan. She gave me $20 and told me to slip away from the lawyer at the air port and use the money for a taxi to a hotel, go into another nearby hotel to call her to come pick me up, I would then go to live with my real mom! (that was my childhood fantasy as I couldn't remember my mom at all.) Plan B would be to slip away at the stop over airport (halfway there, from California to Missouri, stopping off in Denver.) go to the hotel and wait to be collected and start my life with my real mom. We even had a plan C as A and B were really scary for me. Plan C was to just refuse to get on the plane, cry, scream, kick and do anything to keep from getting on that plane. I went with plan C and nothing would have gotten me out of that chair and onto that plane. The airline can not take a passenger onto a plane who totally refuses so the plan worked.
My lawyer brought me back to her office saying that she would call my dad and see if he would be willing to take me back for a few days so I could have a chance to have a real good bye with the whole family, including my brothers who I did not get to see before. I was over the moon and just knew they would say yes. After she made the call tho she would not tell me what the answer was until we were with my guardian ad litem.
My guardian ad litem had her offices in this small cottage house with a fire place. I was sitting on the couch when the broke the news to me, my dad had said no, he didn't want to have me back even for a little while and proper goodbyes. I stared into that fire and felt such pain that I can not even describe it here, I just wanted to jump into that fire and burn. I was 11 years old when I went to move to Missouri and to live with my adopted family again. A year later they finished the adoption on the same date as when they started trying to adopt me 10 years earlier.... life has some weird coincidences.
This is enough of my walk down memory lane for now, life in Missouri will have to wait until I am feeling fresh again, cheers.