That I should write a book about my life. At first I wasn’t sure if that was a good or bad thing because I’ve been through a lot of events that most children shouldn’t have to go through. But as technology gets better, more people who abuse, molest, and neglect children in any way, get exposed.
This one is difficult to write, even to an audience I don’t know but I’m trying to regain my emotional power so that I’m triggered less.
My story is filled with broken pieces, terrible choices, and ugly truths. It’s also filled with a major comeback, peace in my soul, and a grace that saved my life.
I spent the majority of the beginning of my life with a woman who didn’t want me. I was her first born. And she hid me in a drawer. No one knew about me. Not even the man that had given her the gift of childbirth. It’s a gift many people take for granted. I was her first child but I wasn’t her last. I don’t remember much of my childhood as I was told I probably conditioned myself to forget what happened. I remember bits and pieces and these people I will name. I won’t say last names but there are individuals who were found guilty of their crimes and served a sentence for it. Where they all are now? I’m not sure. I spent many weekends back and forth between homes like it was a terrible custody battle. My foster mom, Elizabeth, was an image of Betty White during the 1990’s. Her husband, Chuck, was a gangly, handlebar mustached, touchy man that had a thing for girls; little girls. We lived in a mobile home at the top of the hill out towards Sly Park…Grizzly Flats is the only thing I can remember from that area. Besides that one time Tahoe was on fire for a really long time along that stretch of highway. I remember the burnt, black trees and ground as we’d speed back and forth every other weekend headed to Sacramento. We’d get snow, wild animals, thieves, and even gold miners coming through our area all the time. Our road had a fork in it a short distance from the main 2 lane highway that either led to our mobile home or down towards the stream and caves that people would still frequent on the hunt for gold with their teeny, tiny sieves. It was 4 bedrooms, 2 baths. I had one room, Rosalie had the one to my right and Savannah had the one in between Rosalie and the bathroom. My room was closest to the front door and had the linen closet inside my room. My twin sized bed was covered in plastic. I rarely ever had stuffed animals nor blankets. I had lice all throughout elementary school and would wet the bed at my foster home all the time. Oddly enough, I never wet the bed when I visited the people who would adopt me. My hair was a nappy, unruly, curly disaster that no one knew how to tame. I once rolled a brush in my hair and couldn’t get it out. My (the one who adopted me) Mom had to cut my hair and I cried so hard but she was not remorseful and basically taught me a lesson by doing so.
Life wasn’t bad necessarily. I still had a roof over my head but it was hard growing up, not feeling wanted. I felt like I did something wrong because my own biological mother didn’t want me until her new boyfriend started paying more attention to me than she did. Unfortunately, this is all hearsay but he is actually the father of my siblings now so, who really knows. She ended up having 3 kids with him and of course, they’re not together anymore.
L to R: Me, K, L, S. Pictured here with my siblings grandparents outside of Cal Skate.
We were somewhat separated from each other early on. S got adopted into the same family I did a few months after she was born because our donor, the biological carrier, Nanette, gave her up without hesitation. L was raised by their grandparents, seen above, and K was raised in Ventura with someone else. I’m not certain if we have a blood connection with her. My adoption took a little bit longer due to Nanette not being able to make up her mind about releasing her parental rights, I’ve heard that it was because my siblings father liked me and she wanted to make him happy. Again, all hearsay.
I went through the same treatment in the foster home as I recall moments with Chuck that I felt uncomfortable or things wouldn’t make sense. It was supposed to be an all girls home, but I know there was a little boy who stayed with us for some time…not sure what happened to him or his name. He was young, the youngest in the house. You could always tell when the social worker was going to come visit because Elizabeth would make us clean. Savannah was mentally disabled and would throw temper tantrums, ripping off her clothes, crying, and screaming with drool dripping down her mouth. She wasn’t a young girl. She was the oldest and biggest of all of us. I don’t recall much interaction with her except on cleaning days because Elizabeth made us clean the floor with toothbrushes and Savannah had a full on fit. Rosalie was interesting and I recall things about her mainly because I had to talk to a private investigator in the 6th grade about things that happened at the house. Things I noticed in general and about the other girls. Rosalie had this like, red, auburn hair that was long and she was petite but taller than me. She was older than me so I would follow her around, we’d hang out with boys, or go wandering around the home that was surrounded by this tree with red, matte colored bark. But she would be mean to me around other girls. I’m not sure when it happened but she chopped her hair off. All of it. Straight up to her neck looking like Leonardo DiCaprio in What’s Eating Gilbert Grape. I remember she tried to kiss me because she said she was a boy and that’s what boys do, they kiss girls. It turned out that Chuck was molesting her and she thought that if she looked and acted like a boy, he would leave her alone. Chuck wouldn’t interact with us much when Elizabeth was home but I can vividly recall one time with him that still makes me cringe to this day. I don’t know if anyone else was home but he asked me to lay on the couch with him. I hesitated but he said it was ok. So he laid down on his side and brought me into his arms to lay with him the same way. We were essentially spooning and he had his arms wrapped around me tight as we lay there. I couldn’t tell you if the TV was on or not. Just that I remember his mustache hair on the back of my neck, his breathing inching its way through my hair, and rendering me paralyzed.
As I’m writing this I feel panic rising in my chest. Like I did something wrong. I didn’t speak about a lot of things, I still don’t because of the way it makes me feel. My stomach gets upset, I can feel my face frowning, and worst of all, like I’m going to be judged for what happened. That I let it happen. Isn’t that how society is towards women today? We basically ask for it by showing skin or being flirtatious. I was a fucking child. While this was happening in one home, I was being molested by someone else in another. AND those memories I still have because it happened for years. During weekend visitations prior to being adopted, it would happen, after the adoption in 1997, and well into middle school. I started my period in elementary school and he was home because he got suspended. I went to use the bathroom, tearing apart toilet paper, rolling it into little balls of tissue to stuff into the holes he had made around the doorknob, and there it was in my underwear. The mark of me becoming a woman. I was 9 years old. I yelled for mom and he was right behind the door, asking me, what did I need. I yelled mom again and he said the same thing. She eventually heard me and he left the bathroom. I struggle to even talk about this now and I’m almost 30. Yes, I was adopted into the family that had someone that was molesting me behind closed doors. I almost want to stop writing about it right now…but I know, for my sake, that I can’t. It’s hard to speak it, even with a therapist. I can’t look someone in the eyes. But I also can’t let it keep controlling me and internalizing it. We don’t have much of a relationship today, obviously. You won’t ever catch me at his house by myself just to hang out and if I am, it’s to pick up my dog because his girlfriend watches one of my pups during the day while I’m at work. (Side note: I’m in the process of selling my house and having two big ass dogs at home while people went to view my house, was not ideal). I don’t hold a grudge against him and when he has been there for me financially or when I needed something for my dogs, I didn’t feel like he owed it to me. I did my best to make sure I didn’t remain a victim. I use everything that’s happened, that does happen, as a motivator to keep going. Become so ambitious that people can’t even fathom half of the shit I’ve overcome.
My narcissist was….excuse me, is one of those motivators to keep going. He knew of these things that happened to me as a child, that I was adopted, didn’t know my real parents, and he used them against me. During one of our breaks, he was ‘dating’ someone. I put that in quotes because I came to find out he had never met this girl. They would talk on the phone and text but Skype or FaceTime would always fail when he would try to video chat her. Something would come up when they would make plans to meet up. I used to use Twitter and I found out, because I went looking for it, that they were talking shit about me because someone was pranking the both of them and they thought it was me. let the fucking record reflect that I am not that type of person. You, as a reader, may not know that, but I most certainly do. I do not make time to create fake accounts, call people from blocked numbers, nor to harass some woman over a man not worth keeping. Truth be told, I would post subliminal, petty shit. And she was looking to win, she did. They both did. The sad part is that I can still quote her post almost 2 years later.
“Shouldn’t you be more worried about finding your real parents and your molester brother instead of me.”
I was at work when I read that. You’d think I basically asked for it because I went looking for shit that was none of my business. But I loved him at one point and felt like I had made a huge loss. insert fat fucking laugh. I won’t deny that I loved him, ever, but I also will never let him back in. He told a woman he had never met, my personal business. Shit that happened that I had zero control over. It destroyed me. And after that, I have vowed to not give those events power to cause an emotional meltdown again. I went to therapy for months and I will occasionally have sessions with her now. And yes, it helped. A lot of it helped. I blamed myself for a lot of things and even with this relationship I was just in with J, I’m sure I wrote that I wondered what I had done wrong.
I’ve carried a lot of shame, guilt, and emotions about the things that have happened to me growing up. and little by little, year after year, I open up about it more and more. I hope people will stop saying that they’re sorry for what happened once they hear it. Why? Why be sorry for something you had no hand in dealing? Yes, I know that’s just, a common, polite response, but don’t be sorry. Be thankful. Be appreciative. Cuz I could have become a psychopath for all the shit I internalized, I could have failed and become yet another statistic. but I didn’t. so, you’re welcome. lol
You’re not a victim for sharing your story. you are a survivor setting the world on fire with your truth. and you never know who needs your light, your warmth, and raging courage. -Alex Elle