My parents divorced in 1992. I was 7 years old. My dad left and pretty much never looked back. He had joint custody but never took the time to see my younger brother and I. On many occasions he would drop us back off at home after only a few hours. My mom hadn’t worked since either of us were born and now found herself a single mom of two. We moved out of their marital house. It would be the first of many moves. I was 8 years old when we moved to East Brunswick NJ. My mom was struggling to keep up with working, paying bills and raising us. My father didn’t offer much in the way of help and would rarely send money. My mom took in a man that she claims was a friends boyfriend. Although the story changes every so often that I’m not even really sure who this guy was. He started molesting me. When it first happened I was so scared I didn’t understand. I told my mom the next day. What she said is “Your lying” that was it. No further questions were asked, nothing was looked into. I was told by the one person your supposed to trust that I was a lair.
The molestation continued at night. Not every night, three to four times a week. He would have to walk past my mothers bedroom to get to the room my brother and I shared. I would try to pretend I was sleeping. The hairs on my neck would stand on end as I listened. Hearing him come in the room. The springs on the mattress coming to life as he kneeled next to or sat on the bed. I would break out into a cold sweat and squeeze my eyes shut willing him away. He never went until he was down touching me. Sometimes he would say he would leave me alone if I just kissed him. I believed him every time but he wouldn’t ever stop. I lived in a constant state of anxiety. I didn’t sleep. It continued mostly at night till he realized that most afternoons my mom wasn’t home till dinner. So he started touching me after school. I tried to stay away from him. He always found me and made me feel trapped. This continued on for months.
It was 8 months. The only reason it stopped is because we had to move. My mom couldn’t afford the house we were renting. We moved to Dayton NJ. I was not the same girl, nor would I ever be. I rarely talked. If I did it was only to answer questions. I made a few friends but become very depressed and developed insomnia. We stayed in Dayton till I was just about to start 7th grade, then we moved again. This time to Mt Olive NJ. Another move, another school. I started 8th grade with the lowest self esteem. From 8th grade till I graduated high school we moved three more times. All within the same district. I was depressed and often times contiplated suicide. My mother was mentally abusive throughout the years. Treating my brother and I so differently that it was easy to see she favored him more. An example: The first time I used a tampon I was a junior in h.s. When I told her she said “well I guess that means your not a virgin.” Even though I most definitely was. If I put a bit of make up on she would tell me I looked like a slut. Various things of that nature.
My mother and I were constantly at odds with each other. There are various things that stick out but I’m not going to get into it. Just know it wasn’t a good relationship. I discovered alcohol and found that it numbed me and made me forget. I drank as much and as often as I could. With friends, without friends,didn’t matter. The end of Senior year I met a boy who found interest in more then just my body. Up till then I mostly let boys use me for whatever they wanted in hope of them liking me. They never did, they just used me for what they wanted and moved on. I was ok with that, I was used to being used. This boy was different. We started dating. We graduated h.s. And continued to date.
I got a call one day from my mom while I was out. I was helping her with work. Driving to various stores, doing store checks. She did store merchandising and would send me places to help. She was screaming at me to come home. I explained that I was still far out at a store but she could care less. When I got home the yelling continued. She was angery over a few dishes I had left in the sink that morning. Doesn’t matter, she yelled a lot. About all kinds of things. And don’t ever try to prove your case, she hated to be wrong. Things escalated and she ended up slapping me in the face and telling me to get the fuck out. So I did. I packed a bag and went to stay at my boyfriends house. His mom was nice enough to let me sleep on the couch that night but said I had to go home in the morning. The next day my mom came to my boyfriends house. His mom was already at work. She started banging on the door, screaming like crazy “give me my daughter back!” Over and over. Banging on the door trying to open it. My boyfriend was so calm. Telling her she needed to calm down, he wasn’t going to open the door. She continued to scream and yell and kick the door. A neighbor had seen and heard what was going on and called the police. I was crying and scared. Before the police came she took my license plates off my car and drove away. The cops came and said that since I was 18 they couldn’t make me go back to her house. They pulled her over a few miles away and got my plates back. My boyfriends mom said I could stay a few more days till things calmed down.
My mom called me two days after this. Crying, apologizing and asking me to come home. So I did. I went home. When I got there she had all my things packed up in boxes. Stood with the door open and told me to get my shit and go. So I did. I stayed at my boyfriends house for two months. It’s all his mother would allow and even though we aren’t together anymore I don’t think she will ever know how grateful I am. I stopped going to college, worked two jobs and saved up enough money to get my own place. Freedom. True freedom.
I continued working two jobs to pay rent. I drank. A lot. I cheated on my boyfriend. I did whatever I wanted for the first time in 19 years. I thought I was happy but I was just taking myself somewhere dark. My boyfriend and I dated for another two years. I broke up with him. I wasn’t happy. Throughout this time my mom and I slowly started talking and were in a somewhat good place. I wanted to go back to school and knew I couldn’t unless I asked for her help.
I was struggling to pay rent and decided to move back in with my mom so I could go back to school. She was living with a boyfriend at the time, there really was no place for me but she let me stay in her room. Her and her boyfriend at that time slept separately because he snored. So my mother and I shared a room and a bed. I found out during this time that my mom smokes pot. Morning to night. I had a feeling she did. In 8th grade I found her pipe. I remember asking her about it and she said it was a friends and being only 12 I had no idea what it was really for. My mom and I continued to fight. Mostly her yelling at me for one reason or another. I just kept my head down and focused on school.
My brother had graduated h.s. and was joining the navy. I was studying for massage therapy. My mom broke up with her boyfriend and we moved, again. She found a small house to rent. I helped with bills, rent and food. I finished school and started doing massage at a chiropractors office. I was doing well and was hoping to start saving money to get out on my own again.
I came home from work one day to my mom packing. Apparently she had stopped paying rent at some point and we were being kicked out. She found a place for herself to stay but I was on my own. I moved in with a girl I knew through mutual friends who was looking for a room mate. I was 22 at this time. I stopped doing massage which I loved dearly to become a waitress. I know. What the hell was I thinking? I wasn’t. I just wanted to party. To be 22. To not have to be responsible. The depression was still there and I was sweeping it under the rug with alcohol, pot and various sexual encounters. My mom and I stayed in contact but I enjoyed not having to answer to her.
For the next year I continued on. No long term goals. Not thinking about anything but my next paycheck or chance to drink….
Then I saw the light.
Till next time….