TMI warning! Anyone reading this who knows me should be warned, that in my search for better understanding of why I do and think the way I do, there may be upcoming instances of “oversharing”. If you are squemish or prudish, you might want to reconsider reading further. If you don’t know me, hold tight. You are getting ready to. In any case you are probably going to get to know me better than you ever wanted to know anyone. You have been warned.
In my travels through life, I have come up with the generalization that everyone wants to feel special and feel wanted. Not that big a deal, right? Then there are those of us who KNOW that we are special.
I have always felt like I was special in a totally different way than anyone else. By the time I was ten, I had fallen out of the car and went skidding across the pavement on my hands and face and my brother had thrown a knife in my foot AND I had tried to shave with a straight edge razor and laid the skin on my cheek wide open. I didn’t write these incidents off to bad parenting-I wrote them off to the fact that I was special. Our house burned to the ground when I was in fourth grade-the January before I turned ten. I was the kid that found BOTH of the silver eggs AND the gold egg at the Easter Egg Hunt (the fact that my Mother made me share them with my siblings is a totally different story), and if someone was going to win something in a raffle-it was me-because I was SPECIAL. So the special part I’ve had covered, at least in my head-where it’s important-it’s the WANTED part I have struggled with through most of my adolecence and early adulthood.
I’m going to stop and repeat something that I have told numerous people throughout my life-including my children. When you have children of your own, NEVER lose track of yourself at their age. Don’t forget what it felt like to be a 9th grader struggling with your identity. NEVER forget how awkward it can be to try to figure out who you are and what you want in life. Also, don’t underestimate how sneaky and diabolical a 14 year old can be. I know, I know-this is your little precious and they would never look you right in the eye and lie to you. Bullshit. And don’t take it personally, it has to do with identity and oh my GOD-HORMONES AND TESTOSTERONE and sometimes the best parenting can just fall by the wayside in the face of really bad decision making.
I (being special, an ARIES and the by-product of REALLY bad parenting) was the Queen of really bad, impulsive decision making. I went for instant gratification and didn’t worry my pretty little head about the long term effect. I was pretty much left to my own devices growing up. My Mom and Dad worked full time and in the summer all three of us kids were left to run rampant.
Let me do a bit of back story here. My Mom and Dad were both the product of broken homes. My Mom’s Mom took off when my Mom was in eighth grade leaving Mom to quit school and try to raise her siblings. Her Dad was career military and used to scare the shit out of me as a kid. He tolerated us at best. The closest thing to affection from my Grandfather was one time we were out at his farm and he pulled a pear off the tree and peeled one for each of us. And THAT is my fondest memory of my Maternal Grandfather. My Maternal Grandmother used to blow into town occasionally and give us huge suckers and smother us with kisses and hugs. When I say occasionally, I mean about every 4-5 years. And to a 10 year old that would be twice in my lifetime. Then when she got sick and was dying-she moved to Rolla, so she could be close to the kids she had abandoned , so they could be there for her. How fucked up is that?
Then there is my Dad who was sent to live with his Uncle and Aunt until they wanted to adopt him and his Mother freaked out and hauled his butt back home. Until she remarried and her new hubby said that the girls could stay but Dad had to go-so he was sent to live with his Dad. That didn’t work so he was sent back to live with Grandma, who by this time was divorced anyway so it really didn’t matter.
So. Somehow these two found each other and the fates aligned and Boom-boom-boom three children were born in three years. They were married when Mom was pregnant with the first one (an Asshole Boy named Donny, who was raised to believe that because he was a boy, his dick was a magical sceptor that gave him power over all-totally delusional). Then eleven months later I was born and thirteen months after that, Darren (my sister who started off being alot of fun, until she fell into the same trap as my Mom and decided that it was her lot in life to play the martyr and stay in an abusive relationship-so she could say, “But we have been married for thirty-seven years!” Big fucking whoop! ) was born.
It’s ironic to think that when I divorced my third (yes, third) husband, my sister told me, “We all wish you would find someone and just stick with them.” Really? I mean REALLY? You don’t think that I wanted that too? Do you actually think I enjoyed the whole drama of a relationship going down the shitter and all the drama (not to mention the money!) that go with it? But I wasn’t going to sacrifice myself and my physical and mental well-being (not to mention that of my children) just to make you happy.
Back to my adolesence. I was raised out in the country. I went to a two- room country school for eight years and I read. A lot. We would go “to town” every other Saturday and Mom would drop us off at the library while she did her grocery shopping and ran whatever errands she needed to run. We would return the books we had checked out the last time and get new ones and then go up and down Pine Street in and out of all the cool little shops and drugstores for a couple of hours. Who leaves three kids from the ages of 8-11 to run amock for hours by themselves? My Mom.
One year that she had to have a bunch of dental work, I think it was the summer I was in second or third grade, she would drop us off at Schumann Park and leave us there for three to four hours while she was getting her teeth pulled or repaired or whatever the hell she was doing. The first time it was an adventure. By the third or fourth time it was torture.
During summer vacation we were out in the country by ourselves from the time I was in first grade on. Occasionally she would come and pick us up on her lunch break and take us to the city pool or to the hotel pool by Dairy Queen to swim for the afternoon. Most of the time it was feed the chickens, feed the rabbits, burn the rabbit feed dishes because the nasty things would pee in them and then flies would lay eggs in them and that turns into maggots, good times-all fun things for a third grader to do. Or chase the cows. They were constantly getting out of our pasture and would be on a neighboring piece of property and we would have to go find them and heard them home. Hot, sweaty and legs all scratched up from sticker bushes.
And read. I read everything I could get my hands on, including completely inappropriate books and magazines my parents had, but with no adult supervision, what the hell!
By the time I was in fourth grade and older we would ride our bikes up and down “E” Highway. Sometimes as far away as Carney’s Friendly Market at the junction or even down to Nagogami Lodge down on the Gasconade River.
Or I could walk to Christine Davis’s house or meet her halfway and she could walk to ours. On one of these trips, as I was walking home, I ran across a drugstore paperback that was pure unadulterated nasty. Just what a twelve year old girl needed. That was the summer I lost my virginity-to a candle. Pretty damn good sized pillar candle at that. No taper candle for this girl. Imagine reading soft porn until I had my twelve year old mind working into a total frenzy and then scouring the house for something that could scratch my itch.
Now at this point in my life, we went to church. Every Sunday morning we would go to Sunday School at 9:30. Well, we would leave the house at 9:30. My mother has never been on time for anything in her life. If something started at 9:30 we would leave the house, which was a good ten-fifteen minutes away, at the time we were supposed to be there. Brutal. So. Sunday school, then Church. Church on Sunday night and then Wednesday night for choir practice and youth group. I was into it, because it got me off the farm, and I got to sing, and flirt with boys. Then as I go older, I could sneak off into the dark hallways of the downstairs of the church and make out with my current church boyfriend.
So, now it was vicious circle time. Read smutty, historical romance paperbacks or magazines, get myself worked up into a frenzy, hump my pillow -much more effective than a candle. Release all of my pent up angst and then TOTAL guilt because of all the organized religion that was my life, and what I was doing was just WRONG and a sin. So I would pray for forgiveness and then I would read some more. I actually found this to be extremely helpful in my later “young adult” (oh hell-“older adult”) years. I didn’t need for some guy to figure out how to get me off-even if they couldn’t do the job-I had already mastered this and I could wait until they were done and if the magic hadn’t happened by the then-I could just wait until they fell asleep.
Then came the year of eighth grade. Singing in the church choir, I sat next to Roxanne Dietzmann-she looked just like her name sounded. Long strawberry blonde hair in curls. I wanted to look just like her. Actually I wanted to BE her. Petite, great figure, long lashes. I couldn’t copy the hair. Mine was brown. Mouse brown. And short, cut in a pixie, mostly because my mother only knew one haircut and she always cut our hair. But I could copy the nail polish and lipstick. Revlon’s “silver-lilac”. Beautiful.
I was oblivious to the fact that she was having an affair with one of the Elders in our church, until one day, I happened to watch the two of them obviously flirting with each other. Her in the front row of the choir and him in the front pew, heading up the deacons of the church, whicle his wife and two small children were sitting in the congregation. It was shortly after that his wife filed for divorce and Roxanne disappeared from the church followers. Any time I wear a lilac pink lipstick or nail polish, I think about the fall my illusions of romance were shattered.
During all of the awakened hormonal urges that were going on in my thirteen year old body, and with everything I had read, and seen on tv or in the movies, I decided that I was not going to be one of “those girls”. Now if you are thinking that I’m talking about “those girls” being “easy” or “sluts” or whatever you want to call them-then sorry. You don’t know me very well. “Those girls” would be girls that got a guy all worked up and then left them hanging. Of course it would take me several years to follow through on the “whole shebang”-but everyone knows that you can do alot of things before you actually get to going “all the way” and besides-I wasn’t doing it for them, nearly as much as I was doing it for me. And now, that I have finally got you to the point in my life where I am a teenager, with, hopefully a little better understanding on how I could have been even more fucked up than I actually am, you will just have to wait for the next installment. Lets call it -Impulsive Decisions 101 sidelined with Recreational Drug therapy 101. Good Times in the 70’s, or what I can remember, anyway…