Thanksgiving in particular is a hard one for me. The holidays like I mentioned in my last post are enough to put a lot of people in a funk, but Thanksgiving for me has always been the holiday to do it.
The other night as I was laying in bed not sleeping because I cant escape my thoughts, I was listening to my hubby snore while we snuggled. I had a pinch me moment and remembered all the times throughout my child hood that I was again not sleeping but thinking.
When I was younger I would turn towards my wall and pretend that I was somewhere else. I figured it was just a blank wall so the background, my surroundings, and my life could be whatever I wanted it to be.
There were so many times as a child that I wished for someone else's life. Its not because I didn't have the latest barbies or the cutest clothes because I did. I just generally didn't feel like a part of my family. Ever since I can remember I felt this underlining lack from my family. I felt misplaced, judged, misunderstood, and frustrated with the people who claimed to "love me". Starring at the wall in my current life I was reminded of this little imaginary trick when I was younger.
November 26, 2003
I come home from school to find my Grandma in my kitchen probably making some kind of oatmeal (which is what she's famous for in my book). I love her oatmeal. My dads no where to be found and my moms at work.
Later that night before bed my mom gathers our family around our coffee table in our living room. We're told that my dad has left. After that everything became a blur. I don't even remember what was said after that.
I go to bed that night, starring at the wall. Thinking. Sick in my own thoughts.
What did we do? What did I do? I don't understand? I have to get him back? What can I do to get him back?
My younger sister is in the background snoring. I stare at the wall. I remember thinking that I was going to fix this. I didn't know their marriage was going down hill for years before this. Sure I remember fights and arguments, I remember my 11th birthday being destroyed because of their equally bad attitudes. I remember plenty of times not feeling truly loved by either one of them. I am sure thats what both of them felt from the other. But I didnt understand why my dad would just leave, and the day before Thanksgiving. I went to bed late that night starring at my wall feeling completely abandoned.
My moms re-married, we live in a big over sized house that her and my step dad built together, although I never felt me and my sister were welcome there.
This house is filled with confusion, loneliness, denial, and materialism. I haven't talked to my mom in what feels like forever. I am in 10th grade, in a brand new area saturated by teenage girls who hate us. This was their territory and my part of the family was a disruption. My family stopped going to church after my parents divorce, my older siblings had there fair share of rebellion, and me and my younger sister got a kick out of saying swear words around them because it pissed them off. So my family was "evil".
School was hard. Blending two families that have completely different personalities and view points didn't work. We weren't able to talk about our emotions or our feelings. We were just moving on.
I am sleeping all day because its easier. Im not going to school because its easier. I am stuck in my room watching "The Holiday" on repeat because Jude Law made me happy. Thanksgiving is Thursday.
Tuesday 11/25 I get a knock on my door. I answer and my mom is there with 3 police men, my sister, my aunt, and a few garbage bags. She tells me to pack my things. Throws garbage bags at me and comes pushing into my room making all sorts of assumptions. She had found out I had been secretly visiting my dad. I was sick of not having a parent in my life that didn't give a shit and I wanted things to be resolved. I wanted to understand and be understood. My dad had bought me a phone so that we could communicate.
She tells me to pack my things. I ask what I need to pack. She doesn't tell me. I knew the drill. My mom had asked for a favor from her "friend" cops before. These were buddies of hers just like the time she drove me up on a school night to Primary Children's Hospital to be drug tested and "talked to". She used cops periodically to intimidate me. She wanted me to stay at the hospital over night. I remember over hearing my mom fake crying to the doctors saying I was dangerous. She was worried about her family.
I thought I was her family.
Being misunderstood was something I was used to at this point. Although it still bugs me. I was 16 and attempting to deal with issues from when I was 11. No one wanted to do it. I was frustrated, sad, lonely, angry, and confused. I was told over and over again that we were moving on. We weren't talking about it.
We lived in a rich neighborhood and went to church every Sunday. We were normal. We were trying to be normal. But I still had feelings. I couldn't just move on like my mom pretended to do. I wasn't interested in drowning my pain with denial and drugs.
All I wanted was to develop a relationship with my dad who I hadn't seen in 5 years. The little teenage rebellion I had was piercing my nose and skipping school to hang out with my dad.
Its Tuesday 11/25. Thanksgiving is Thursday. I am driving with my mom, my aunt, and my sister down to southern Utah.
We pull up to a place called Falcon Ridge Ranch. We go into the office and my moms chatting with everyone. No emotion. Everything's fine. I go into someones office and I am asked a variety of questions. They take numerous photos of me because I cant hold still long enough for them to get me in focus because I am shaking and crying. I don't understand whats happening. I don't understand what I did wrong.
We stand outside to say goodbye. I hold my older sister trying to explain that this shouldn't be happening. Its not fair, and I don't deserve it. I tell her to see through my mom's bullshit. She hugs me crying. I can tell she feels bad. But she doesn't understand the grande scheme of things. None of us do.
All I felt was abandoned. I felt like I was someone else's problem because my mom didn't want to do it anymore.
Thanksgiving. A day to be around your family. Your loved ones. And to be thankful. I remember my first night at Falcon. Laying there on whats essentially a pad, looking at the ceiling fan and wondering if it would actually do anything if I jumped at it. Obviously not. But maybe the physical pain would take away some of the emotional pain. I remember laying there closing my eyes wishing I was somewhere else.
There have been numerous times in my life that I wished I was where I am now. The other night while I was laying there listening to Josh snore while we snuggled. I looked at the wall and had a pinch me moment. I had made it. I am safe. I am happy. And I am not alone. This was what I wished for all those years before.
This Thanksgiving is going to be different. I am learning that these moments in life are just experiences. I am grateful for the experiences I have been through and I am grateful that I got through them. I am grateful for Josh. I have a lot to be thankful for and a lot to celebrate this Thanksgiving.