Write what you know.
I received this advice from an old acquaintance a few days ago as I power walked into a grocery store. The first thought that popped into my cloudy head was, “what I know is dark and depressing, who wants to read that?”
This alienating sentence crowded the forefront of my mind for days. What was once stored in a filing cabinet marked DO NOT OPEN had persevered and kicked its way past all other ideas. So, being that my blog is anonymous, and no one knows who I am, I will write it here.
I come from a line of alcoholics, drug-addicts, domestically violent men, and the insane. This is going to be good. The first memory I have of being a child involves an apartment living room, surrounded by gang-bangers drinking beer while my mom gets her first tattoo of my brothers name on her back in the kitchen. Meanwhile, I am in the living room watching the sex-scene from Boyz in the Hood, fingers finally covering my toddler eyes. Did I mention that all the gangsters were men? Kind of an awkward place for a toddler to be while my mother is topless getting a tattoo, don’t you think?
Let’s skip forward a bit.
For the longest time, I had blocked out the shitty parts of my first few years on this earth. The only thing I knew as a young girl in kindergarten was that I moved from my mother’s house to my grandparents and she visited occasionally. My dad would come visit every Sunday and tell ghost stories while we ate McDonalds.
Skip forward a little more.
By the mature age of 10 years old, I decided I wanted to be like normal kids and say that I lived with my parents, not my grandparents. For me, this was a huge deal. Looking back, I have no idea why. My life was pretty good with my grandparents. They would feed me, give me Christmas presents, let us play in the neighborhood, go to the Boys & Girls Club, ride bikes, and help us with homework. But, my young mind was made up and I forced my younger sister to move with me. To this day, this is one of the biggest regrets of my life.
So I moved in with my mom and her husband. Driving around in the car with them one day, I remember them joking about something and giving each other a high five. The glee on their faces proved to me in in that moment, this was what normal felt like-sunshine basking on our faces, smiles, laughs, and mom and my new dad.
Shortly after the move, and we had less contact with our grandparents, as one does when starting a new life, things changed. One day, my sister and I were sitting on the couch waiting for our parents for some reason, we were going somewhere, and I was sitting with my legs open. I was ten, remember this fact. He comes out of his room and says, “close your legs, you look like a whore.” I closed my legs but then asked him, “what’s a whore?”
This is literally when things in my naive brain changed forever.
Cliffhanger…more to come.