Thursday, February 26, 2009
Dear Aunt Babz,
Has your mom ever annoyed you soooo much you want to runaway?
To answer your question; she sure did and I did run away!
My Dad was/is a Lt.Colonel but it was my Mom who was the Drill Sergeant. She was a taskmaster and I thought she was just being mean. She made me keep my room immaculate and I had to do dishes and clean the house, do laundry and on and on. I can remember thinking, "I'm not the maid here. Slave labor was abolished." I realize now, that she was teaching me life skills, a good work ethic and strong, sturdy personal habits. If I had only seen this, things may have been different.
I was always in trouble and spent most of my childhood, mainly my teen years on restriction; no phone, no going out. I had to stay in the house. I'm not talking a day or two, I'm talking weeks, months of restriction to the house.
We have a wonderful relationship now but back then it was real bad.I hated my Mom and I believed she hated me. She was so hard on me and when I messed up, I was then restricted. I was convinced she truly could not stand me. I was always getting in trouble, always doing something stupid and I had criminal behaviors, even then. I gave my Mom, a run for her money. I was real good at being bad and did not pay attention in school. Who the heck needs to learn about how to spell or fractions and junk. I wanted them to stop wasting my time because I knew it all.
I stole her Cadillac at the tender age of 14, in an attempt at running away. I was headed to Ocean City, Md., I lived in Virginia. I went across state lines and was caught, in Maryland. I was then fingerprinted and charged by the F.B.I. with Interstate Transportation.
That was not the last time I ran away. The very last time, Miss Know It All, was 16. I ended up getting pregnant. Running away from home, changed my life forever. There was never, any turning back and I had made those choices, me and me alone.
Looking In The Mirror
I wanted to be all grown up. What I didn't realize was, along with being all grown up, came responsibilities. I can look back now and laugh about how ridiculous I was. I am able to see now, just how badly I blew things out of proportion, just how badly I blew up my life. I didn't want to be told what to do because I thought I, she's just being mean. I didn't realize she was teaching me but you couldn't tell me that. I had no real understanding of what being an adult, really entailed. I thought I could take care of myself, after all, how hard could it really be? I immediately found that I couldn't even get a job without my parents signature on the work permission slip. Even if I had not needed a permission to work slip, do you really think I could have found a job, at 14 or even 16, that would have paid me enough to live on my own? I had no real skills but I knew it all. Nobody hires "Know It Alls," simply because they say so, huh? So, what's a girl to do in a big mean world of big mean people just waiting to take advantage of you?
I thought I was in love. This guy was taking care of me. He had me living with him and he bought my food and so on. Did I practice safe sex? Nope and I never thought "I" would get pregnant. Now, how stupid is that? Girls have been getting pregnant since the dawn of time. It's a fact, the simple rule of the birds and the bees. I was immature enough to think I was all grown up and knew it all. Yet, I couldn't even understand the very concept of how, when you have sex, you get pregnant. It's as elementary as it gets but why didn't I believe it could or would happen to me? When you get pregnant it changes your life and oh yes Lord, you will have to grow up. But not before you learn it all the hard way. Your childhood is ripped out of your hands and you get what you want; you are all grown up. All the crying in the world won't change a damn thing either. You can cry because you can't go out anymore because you now have to stay home with a baby. You can cry because you just flushed your chances of going to college down the crapper, much less graduating high school with the rest of your class. You can cry because your baby won't stop crying, even though it's been fed, changed, cuddled and it's still crying and it's the middle of the night. What do you do...call Mommy?
So, you do the right thing, you get married to a guy you later realize you never loved, not in the sense of the Prince Charming you dreamed about. You fight all the time because you really didn't know each other in the first place and you are not really compatible but you stay with him because now, you are pregnant again. Who's going to give a job to some young girl with a kid and one on the way. You don't even have your High School diploma because you were pregnant and didn't graduate. Why won't they hire you, you know it all? So, you cook and clean and try to be the good little wife and here comes baby #3 and you are happy but you hate your life and you stand there, in front of the mirror and watch in horror as your body gets stretched and distorted. Your pretty breasts are no longer youthful, you are covered in stretch marks and the circles under your eyes betray you.
Mrs. Know It All didn't sleep again last night. The oldest child is sick with a fever and threw up all over his bedding and it's the only set of Sesame Street sheets you own for him. So, you put him in your bed, put his sheets in the wash and then he throws up all over your sheets and child #2 just woke up because child #1 is crying because he's sick. You're not feeling so good yourself and you just want to cry. Next thing you know, you have two in diapers, you have this pouch that hangs at your stomach and you are standing in front of the mirror and you question, how the hell it all happened. You have stretch marks on your breasts and they just don't stand up like they used to. You don't have time to even contemplate it too much cause now baby #3 is crying and needs fed. You go to pick him up and he's pooped up the back of his chair and you'll have to clean that before you can put him back down but don't trip over all the toys on the floor. Those damn Lego's are the most painful, especially in the middle of the night, when you least expect it. You are so tired after cleaning up, chasing kids, doing laundry, cooking dinner, feeding the kids and you climb into bed, at the end of the night exhausted. The hubby wants to be frisky cause that's what they do. So, you lay there, tired and feeling half dead and let a man who you really don't love, make love to you. You just hope he'll hurry so you can get some sleep.
So, you stand in front of the mirror again, years later and you ask yourself, "What the hell happened?"
Now, you get them all into school and you keep thinking how you want to get out of the house, maybe get a part-time job. They ask you, "Well, Mrs. Know It All, what skills do you possess, besides knowing it all, that will cause me to hire you?"
Nothing is more humbling than when you realize, that even at McDonald's you have to be trained and that may be the only job I might be given the chance to shine?
Years go by, you feel empty inside. You are tired of your life and you want a change. You leave your husband, take his children and start out on your own. You find yourself in the same stupid mess, needing help. You meet another loser and tell yourself you are in love. He's abusive but you feel stuck. He cripples you with his abuse and you cry in silence. He drinks and you start just to get on the same page and tolerate him. You try drugs to shut out the noise and they work, so you think. You keep slipping further and further into the lies, just so you don't have to feel the mess you've created by your choices. Now, you're addicted and those children you love so much become last on your list of important things to take care of. You never stopped loving them but you had more important things to do. You have an addiction to feed, an angry addiction.
You look in the mirror and you see a woman, old before her time. Mrs. Know It All, has track marks on her arms and hates herself so badly that she no longer wants to live. But who wants to waste good heroin on killing yourself? It's when you don't have it and you are so sick, that you want to die. You look at yourself, a shell of a person, a waste of skin, waste of life. And you wonder what happened?
Mrs. Know It All then became a number OF6708. She couldn't look in the mirror from her Prison cell. She might kill herself with the glass. She was so glad she couldn't see herself but could only imagine just how pathetic she looked. She sure didn't know it all now. She sure wished she could turn back the hands of time but there's no such thing. There were no tears left for her to cry as they humbled her with their strip searches and indignities.
What she became aware of, what she did learn was that she had choices all along, from the very beginning. It took a lifetime to learn. It almost took her life.
You have choices in every single minute of every day. Your story is different but I think you just need some coping skills. If your Mom tells you to do something and you question it, you need to look at why she may be asking you to do that something. You need to talk to her. If the lines of communication are down in your house, build new ones. If you think something is unfair, ask her why she is asking you to do whatever it is, she's asking. Ask without an attitude and you just might not be met, with an attitude. Remember that your Mom is human, she's only a woman trying to be your Mom, that ain't easy. Ask yourself what is she trying to teach you instead of thinking she's being mean. Write her a letter and explain how you feel and ask her to explain. Never forget what it would like without your Mom, you'll never have another and you'll never find the same love a mother has, for her daughter. If things are strained, don't run, try to work it out. What choices do you have, to make things better? Make the right choice, please?
Yes, Mrs. Know It All was me. My name now, is... Mz.Babs Humbled.
Keeping It Really Real,