Sunday, January 8, 2012

My Problems with Alcohol: 8000 Miles Away

I arrived in the Carolinas!  Definitely felt like a foreign country to me because I mostly only remember living on an island for the majority of my life up until that time. I recall spotting a Piggly Wiggly grocery store on the way from the airport to my new home and cracking up.  Piggly Wiggly? Really?  I saw a squirrel for the first time and couldn't take my eyes off of them! This place was going to be my new home and boy, was it different! 

My father and his wife showed me to my bedroom.  It was such a girl's room!  There were ruffled mauve pink curtains, pink pull down shades and everything including my bedspread matched perfectly.  I remember thinking, wow, this is going to be my room? It was really well put together, although, I felt very out of place because it looked like it was made for a princess.  I'm no princess. 

 I didn't know how to act - they were so nice to me.  I really felt like I walked into someone else's dream!  I think I surprised them on the first day, because I began sweeping the kitchen floor.  I was trained to make sure the home was clean or there would be consequences.

Everything was good, except, I was anticipating something bad to happen because I was conditioned that way. My stepmother told me that while living with them, they would hear me screaming at night. I can't recall, but I believe it.  I used to have nightmares.  It took me a while to feel comfortable in my new home without being fearful that something was going to happen to me in the middle of the night.

My father's new marriage seemed so great!  I don't recall fights; definitely, no violent ones like he used to have with my mother.  We all got along, wonderfully.  Naturally, there were things we had to work out, but overall, things were good.

My step-mother had no children, and she treated me more like a mother than my biological one.  I really felt that she loved me.  She would take me shopping and assisted me with what to wear since I honestly did not know how to put clothes together. She taught me how to cook and designated a day a week where I would prepare dinner.  We planted flowers and did yard work together.  She even taught me how to drive a stick shift when I was old enough to drive.  I really got to a point where I felt comfortable enough to call her mom.  I believed she deserved to be called mom and as far as I was concerned she was.

Something started shifting.  My biological mother somehow came back into the picture and began confusing me.  There are so many holes in my memory during this time in my life, but I remember wanting to bond with her. My desire was to win her love!  Perhaps I had a taste of how good it was with my stepmom that I began thinking of possibilities of having that with my biological mother. You hear stories all the time of people who are abused who have an attachment to their abuser; it didn't help that she gave birth to me.  We began communicating again and it caused this battle between her and my stepmother and me and my stepmother.  My stepmom was trying to protect me from her because I was finally able to sleep at night without screaming; she did not want to see me go through that again.  And I wanted her to stop interfering with my mother's communications with me - I was really out of my mind!  Things calmed down for awhile and returned back to normal.

One of the major highlights, coming to live with my father was meeting his side of the family!  It was so nice to have an extension of people you are related to outside of just your parents.  I had grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins... It was really nice developing a bond with them after all these years.  I really felt so lucky to be able to have this wonderful experience now, finally!

Unfortunately, dark clouds began looming over my life again; a storm was about to hit that would turn my life upside down once again....

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