All I've said is how I feel.
I maybe couldn't help someone financially....but I'll listen for days. If they need a place, I have a spare room, if they're hungry, I'll feed them.
I'd do that for any one of you. For one reason or another.
We're a family of choice. I don't fool myself for a moment about the abuse in my background being formative. I reached out to the people I was told all my life could help me: Teachers, the police, therapists....my family....and no one saved me.My mammaw admitted once that helping me would have meant they would have had to commit my mom, and they couldn't do it. I've had to come to terms that I was alone at 11...that people saw what was happening...and chose my 35 year old mother over me.
I had to start taking care of her, and the house, and myself.So I CAN'T turn my back on the kids here.
I can't. I remember crying in Jeff's arms about it once. They'd called to torment me on Christmas day, and it all just flooded out. "How could they, I was just a little girl.."
Oh, no, I had to decide I couldn't be the victim.
I couldn't take that out on my boys, or other people.
They didn't do it. rom the day dad left, I was alone, except for my friends. Until I had Leonard. There was baggage I had to shed. Like I didn't HAVE to go there, and let them hurt me anymore. It's all a big, messy process, and I was pretty screwed up as a teen, young adult. My boys help. Art helps. This community.
So I've been there. wish people that were abused, people my age, that do follow in their abusers footsteps....who think it's normal to beat the shit out of a baby, or lock a kid in the closet like what happened to me...
Remember being that frightened little child.
The world is so big, and we're all so small, and they're smallest of all. Don't perpetuate it.If even one person in this community comes away saying they're better for having met me, safer, feel better about who they are, whatever, then that's why I was here.
It's why I stay up late talking to teenagers.I'm sure it's made more than one parent nervous. LOL. Those folks aren't the ones that worry me.
It's the ones that have no idea what their kids are up to, and don't care. It's funny. All my RP characters, well...my best, my current ones? All male. The kids on the sub would probably try and make me out to be trans.
I'm just...have always been more comfortable with male company.
I don't usually get along with other women. I either...threaten women in power somehow...
Or just unintentionally bristle to another Alpha trying to take over my space.
I don't do make up, hair, dresses, frilly things.
I wear t-shirts, jeans, some steampunk stuff.
Worship more...."traditionally" male forms of entertainment. And my abuser was a woman.Three women, my mom and two aunts. My cousins tried to join in recently. I shut that down.
I only deal with them as much as I HAVE to.
Trista, my cousins daughter got on the phone, after Misty had accused me, with no evidence mind you, that I'd tried to kill my mom when she "overdosed" on her medicine. It wasn't an overdose, and an overdose wasn't found in her system.
Her kidneys shut down, and the meds couldn't be filtered.I'd told Misty this, and told her that refusing to see reality wasn't my problem, and stay away from my house, and my family.
Trista snagged the phone "Don't you ever talk to my mom like that." and I said "Why don't you come on over here and say that to my face? Or are you a coward just like your mom? I notice this never happens in person."
"We just don't want to upset your mom in person." "My mom is sitting right there, you're as bad a liar as your mother.""Don't call me ever again" "Um....Trista, I haven't called you since you were 16 years old, don't even want your number. Lose mine." Last Christmas.
They'd gotten my mom out of the home two days before Christmas, knowing she could only be out 72 hours.
Then drove with her 3 hours out of town Christmas day.
I called to thank them for making sure my mom couldn't see her grandsons on Christmas.
We just started tearing at each other.
I said she never came and saw mom during the coma, when I was there from 5 am to midnight each day. She said "No, I just came when she was awake and you were wandering SOMEWHERE THE FUCK AROUND THE HOSPITAL, PROBABLY GETTING COFFEE" "Oh, right. See, A.) I thought you were coming to help me, give me a break. I should've known better, and B.) I didn't want to fucking be around you."
It got uglier.
I haven't talked to Misty since.
She apparently sent a message to my old cell number, mistook the lady that now has the cellphone saying "LOL" for lots of love, and said something sappy, and the lady cussed her out in Spanish, apparently she got ass hurt about this? I asked my aunt "Why would I curse Misty out in Spanish? Is she that stupid?"
I sent her a message, said "Misty, that isn't my number. Hasn't been for months." And she texted me back "Well, it was the one I had, and I looked up what all she said, and I just didn't know"
I never responded.
I can't help the breathtakingly stupid.
But that's how they are.
They get together and trade stories and....I don't know.
I don't know what they think.
I've done one thing I wasn't proud of, but when they brought it up to my aunt lucy, trying to say I was dangerous, she said if they'd hit Jennifer or Dennis when they were kids they'd be dead.
So they didn't try that angle anymore.I don't know.
I'm not like them, I don't think like them. She hit Jack for opening a gift my mom had told him was his. My mom was confused. The stroke did that.
The damage to her short term memory was severe. Jack was 3. I broke Amber's nose and cheekbone. It wasn't hard, I introduced her face to the table.
That was the incident where they tried to pass me off as dangerous.I said then "Not my kids. They aren't yours to do this to."
I don't know. Louisa, my ex, said once she had never met more hateful people. Ever. They were like the villains in books, that the house at holidays were poison.
That she didn't know how I did it.
After Mammaw passed, I stopped doing that to myself.
Then mom got sick, and they contrived to get Power of Attorney away from me. Mom kept asking me how, and I said she'd signed the papers. She'd cry and say "No I didn't, I'd never do something like that to you"
"Yes you did. I don't know what they told you, but you did."
"They did keep telling me to sign something, and I said "This won't hurt Renee, will it? Will it?"
Then my Aunt Lucy told me they changed the power of attorney because my mom asked them to.
And I don't know what's true.Aunt Lucy says she doesn't want it, she hates it, she didn't know my mom acted like that.
I said "I told you all. For 30 years."
"But you have it now. I took care of her since I was 11. It's time to just be a daughter."
I may never know the truth. I'd find them writing things like "Renee can't help you, don't call her."
In her notebook. The one she uses since the stroke took away her memory. I had to work. I joke around that my whole family only works until they can get on disability for one reason or another.
Misty, Dennis, Trista...they didn't need to work.
They could be there, daily, screwing with her.
Telling the doctors things. I still don't know how, but they got her medical records changed, and they somehow got someone to witness a woman who already wasn't in her right mind signing a paper to take power of attorney from her daughter.
And all I can figure, is they wanted to hurt me. They couldn't get to me any other way anymore.
I'd shut them out.
Someone asked me once if I believed people could be evil. The only answer I had was yes.I don't know why they hate me. Jennifer's been to prison. Trista has been a drug addict, stolen, and disgnosed as Bi-polar, then just depressed, then "I don't know"
Misty has had four husbands, spent all of her kids money from their dead dad, then kicked them out.But they hate ME. Aunt Lucy hits and gripes and screams, Uncle Ray beat my mom, screamed at anyone he wants all the time, particularly if he doesn't feel good. Took out my mom making sure Mammaw's living will was recognized on me and her both. He'd been put in charge of her will and all that, and wasn't going to give it to the hospital, so they could keep her on life support. He then flaked out when Mammaw had been depending on him, and let Aunt Lucy divide up the will. We got nothing. We literally needed a washer and dryer, and she took the ones there, and gave them to her son, who "Has a set probably better than these I gave him"
Uncle Ray took the ring off the table I'd paid mammaw for before she died....the Mason ring....my son Leonard was named for my pawpaw, and he'd been the Mason...it wasn't often said, but Leonard was the only great grandchild that was actually HIS. My mom and Uncle Ray were his, the first three were from another marriage
I was his only grandchild, and his birthday girl...
He gave me a room in the house, and there was a rumor Uncle Tommy insisted I leave because Mammaw was going to leave me the house..
Uncle Ray took the ring and handed it to my cousin Brian.
I got nothing of my Pawpaw's. They cleaned the house out by the time mom and I got there.
They gave her the food from the fridge.
The Super Nintendo....I got the two Furby I'd bought her. Mammaw was my real mommy...in all the ways that matter...and she was closer to my kids, that wasn't a secret. I took them to see her more. I've tried to ask people from the outside what's wrong with them...what's wrong with ME that they hate me so much..
The best answer I've heard is "You aren't like them"
My dad...well, lol. He's my dad, you know? "You're tall, you're not 400 pounds, you're beautiful, you're smarter than them, you're better educated than them."
"They have to try to drag you down to their level."
I don't know if all that is true, but I do think it's because I'm different.I suppose even the most spiteful famlies
have a black sheep.
That is Kyle, Ashley, Misty, Trista, and Amber.
Alec, Hailey, my very pretty cousin, Jennifer (LOL half the reason I don't buy dad's story entirely either.) I like Alec.
He hates his "Granny", my Aunt Lucy.
Like loathes her.
When she was bitching at me about buying Starbucks for mom when Mammaw was sick, he went and got himself a massive frappe.
The whole way there muttering to himself "Tell ME what I can do with my money, I dare her, I hate her so much..."
"Avoided seeing mammaw because that meant I had to see her, HATE her.."
Aunt Lucy, and the neighbor kids she likely has raised more than my cousin Jennifer, who Mammaw raised.
The day I brought Jack home from the hospital. The only picture I have of Mammaw with both of them. She'd made my favorite meal that day. Red beans mustard greens...hot tomatoes (It's a Texas thing" and unsweetened cornbread. She used to joke that she never had to call me to come eat them, I always somehow knew. I even got released
from the hospital to come get them, apparently.
My Pawpaw. I was born on his birthday. He showed up to the hospital with a few little dresses...said he was there to take his birthday present home. When he passed on, when it wasn't OUR birthday anymore...I nearly stopped celebrating.
It's never been the same.
Finally my Aunt Carolyn. My mammaws oldest daughter. She used to let me come spend the night, and always welcomed me into her home, even if just dropping in on my way home from work to say hi. Defended me like Mammaw would. She understood me, she'd smooth over fights that were happening because THEY misunderstood my intentions.
She died 5 years before Mammaw passed.My mammaw was in the room when they unhooked her ventilator. She sat talking with her until she was gone.They'd asked if she wanted to even be there, and she said "I held her hand when she came into the world, I'll hold it when she leaves."She was the same age I was when I had Leonard when she had her.
And I heard her talking to her as she was finally going down. She'd said even before going in "God give me strength...give me strength, I'm not stong enough to do this alone"
But as Aunt Carolyn was about to flatline, she asked her one last time if she wanted the ventilator again, aunt Carolyn shook her head, and Mammaw said "Well, then you just hold on to my hand until you see your Granny, and you take hers."
The grand sum total of people besides my dad and my new family I believe ever loved me like a family should. I'm so glad I had them. When I was a scared runaway, Pawpaw gave me Jennifers old room. That was "my room" until mammaw died. I could always come sleep there. Mammaw would get to play Mommy again with my boys. I still rememember her gently peeling Leonard's socks off
when he'd fallen asleep on the couch. He never even blinked. 5 kids, Us 6 grandkids, and our heathens, she'd had plenty of practice. She was closer to both my boys. She saw them more. She'd call me when she needed a "baby fix."
One of my greatest regrets in life...I'd seen her the night before she went to the hospital. She'd seemed fine. She was smiling and healthy. I'd been on the run, picking up something for my mom. Mammaw said "Are the boys in the van?" I said yeah, but I'd bring them to see her on the weekend, I didn't have time to slow down. She just smiled and said okay, and waved to them.
That weekend, with the best mom I'd ever known, never came. I blew our last chance to visit.
Even now that reduced me to tears. Grief is a funny thing.
They're all 3 gone now.
But I have my boys, and my husband, and that family now.
When they weren't going to let me in to see Mammaw before she died, it was them that literally gathered around me in a circle and walked me in so I could say goodbye.
They're my family. They held me together as that all happened. When they scheduled her viewing on my birthday, despite my Aunt originally saying if it landed on her grandson Ale'c birthday three days before that, they'd move it. Couldn't do that to him, but when Jennifer reminded her it was going to be mine, she literally yelled at her "Well she can't help it when she died!" Jack was 5 months old, he needed tended, I had to stop myself from sinking into depression, he needed me.
Like I told Freda at Big Jeff's funeral...everything I actually knew about being a family I learned from watching her and B.Jeff
I didn't know how abnormal it had been until I got out there and saw how other families worked. Then there was this...Remember me talking about my Mammaw, and how very beautiful she was?
The one where, when she was dying, an old friend of the family that hadn't seen us in close to 30 years came in....and picked me out as family from across the room. "I...my GOD, I knew this one was...." and she kept looking over at me and saying "She looks so much like your mother. SO MUCH"
I told my uncle that was impossible, Mammaw had been so beautiful...
And this is me around the same age...
I wonder if I can't see it since she was so perfect, and I was raised to believe I was so much trash.
This season can be hard on me. I keep thinking I should be at Mammaw's house, making candy and pies (Yes, this usually took an entire week to do). I do have one little secret up my sleeve, though, that makes it a little more enjoyable....
I got Mammaw's cookbook when they'd all left to go get some food. All those hand written notes, all the wonderful Christmas foods...I was the only one that ever helped her cook. So I snuck it home. XD
I may never understand their hatred, but I see this communites love...and everyone, I hope you all know...all understand...I'm here for you. I won't abandon any of you as I was abandoned. I'm not looking for fame or reward. Heck, I'm an artist, I used to joke when people would ask me what my degree plan was, answering "Waiting tables".
Fame and fortune will likely never be mine. That's okay. So much so that I just ask that you pay it forward. Find a sad child in the chat? I doesn't kill me to listen, it's my HONOR. And who knows...maybe one day some little kids are going to be calling me Mammaw.