Friday, July 30, 2010

And as I cast my eyes round about, that perhaps I might discover my family

Warning... This post has the potential of being umm HEAVY! I probably should not post late at night but today's events are just the tip of the iceberg that has been building for years.

Tonight I found out on facebook that my sweet great niece was life flighted to Primary Children's Hospital after an accident at a public swimming pool. I was heart broken to find out this way, but I realize I should not be surprised. I have spent most my life feeling like I was on the outside looking in on a world I wanted to be a part of but never felt a part of.  (Except for the nightmare parts) Did that make any sense?

Let me explain....

I grew up in a home where life was hard. We were poor and troubled. As early as 2nd grade I can remember staying late at school helping my teacher, Mrs Clark, clean out her closets. (that maybe where my obsession with school supplies came from). I did not like going home. There was lots of yelling and hitting and inappropriate touching.
In third grade I remember being evicted from our home. I do not remember where my older brother and sister lived, but I lived with a friend, Jeannie Jacobson. I remember trying to be so brave and not worried that I would never live with my family again. I remember one saturday night trying to put my hair in curlers. I had this great set of curlers my Aunt Mary gave me (or atleast I thinks she did)! It had like 5 sizes and they were all stacked inside each other. Jeannies mom asked if she could help me put the curlers in my hair. I lied to her and told her I did my own hair all the time. (the truth was I screamed bloody murder whenever anyone washed or combed my hair and here I was trying to do it myself. maybe this is where I learned to be embarrassed at excepting help) My younger sister and brother lived with my parents in a motel room.
I don't remember how long we were apart, but when you are 7 or 8 anything more than a night or two seems forever. Since that time I have always felt like an outsider in my own family.

I have these amazingly beautiful cousins, they are at least 4 years older than I am but I worshipped them. Sherrie, Jenny, Lori and Lydia. When we hd family reunions they were the teenagers and I was one of the little kids. I wanted to be just like them. Again on the outside looking in.

When I was 11 or so I started watching my Aunt Mary's cute kids. Next to my Grandma, Aunt Mary has always been my hero. Again though I was the outsider just watching her family, wishing to be a part of it.

When I was 11 I also went to my first foster home. I remember wanting to be with my Grandma or Aunt Mary but couldn't. I was once again the outsider looking in. I love the Witts and am so grateful for all they taught me. I am grateful for the sacrifices they made for me, for the love they gave me and for the way they strengthened my tiny testimony.

I was allowed to go home 6 months later. My dad spent one night in jail, I spent 6 months away. Although I am old enough now to know I did not do anything wrong, back then I was sure everything was my fault.
I had learned to feel safe at church, and went as often as I could. It caused serious problems at home and my Dad told me I had to choose between my church and my family. My Mom told him to leave. This made me feel even more like I didn't belong. I remember everyone being mad.

A few years later my mom had a boyfriend who was inapproriate with me. My mom was drunk and didn't believe me. The next night he wanted to take our family to dinner and a rated R movie. No way was I going. My mom was so mad. She told me I could leave. She told me my religion was more important than my family and I was not welcome anymore. I was sure she was drunk, they all left and I stayed home. The next day all my stuff was packed. she was obviously not as drunk as I thought she was. I called my friend Stephen who called his friend David who called his Mom and they said I could stay at their house. I stayed that night and never left.

I know I made their life hard. Thou they never complained. Yet even almost 30 years later I still feel like the outsider looking in. Wanting so much to be a part of their lives but not quite comfortable enough to jump in.

So I guess I should not be surprised that facebook is my source of information for all things family. It is the epitomy of wanting to be a part but not feeling a part.

side note I cut this post short because my daughter had an emergency that needed to be attended to... we might revisit this topic later

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