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My friend asked me to tell him someday about being homeless. It's easy to talk about being homeless and how I ended up that way. It's not so easy to talk about why I couldn't go back home. It's too tender a subject to say out loud without crying, so I wrote it down.

I made this entry locked to only 7 people, even though I think there's only 3 of you who actually read my journal. Feel free to not read this if you don't want to. I really don't feel like I have much right to complain.

It was the day I finished High School. The only person I saw that afternoon was May, my little sister's best friend, who was my best friend's little sister. Josh had graduated last year. May and I expressed our happiness that it was finally over, bumped fists, and said goodbye, hoping to get together over the summer.

We did get together that summer. For the funeral.

Later that night, I heard my sister and mother talking about the news report. A kid from town had thrown himself in front of a train. Even later, the name of the kid was released. It was Josh.

Immediately, I phoned one of my friends, begging that she get me out of there. I packed a bag and left crying. I didn't go back for weeks. I couldn't. It was like when you're at a party, and you go outside for a breath of fresh air, and realize you don't want to be there, and that you don't have to go back in... That's what it was like when I left that house. It felt liberating, and even though I felt further underground than Josh, my life began just then, and I could finally breathe. Of course, I didn't officially stay gone until November, but I'd say I spent a grand total of one or two more weeks there, all together since that night, until my boss gave me a spot on her couch to crash until her lease went up and we were able to get a bigger place together.

Why couldn't I stand being at home? It was a wreck. I couldn't deal with it anymore. Not after Josh's death. And not ever again. I was tired of being the First Pancake. The one you fuck up and just throw away. My sister Paulette was the Golden Child, and she was all my mother wanted.

It was always a contest with my mother. I could never be better than The Golden Child (known hereafter as GC). And my problems could never be more devastating than hers. I was always in last place to both of them. All her attention went to GC, until it was time to blame someone. All her support went to GC. And all her discouragement went to me.

No, that's not exactly true. Mom did encourage me from time to time about my artwork. Like when someone else noticed that I was drawing something, they'd remark how nice it was, and mom would say she always tells me I should do more with my artwork. And she seems so proud of me. But as soon as that person leaves, she goes back to ignoring me. If visiting people (friends or relatives) didn't notice my drawings, however, she acknowledged my presence by trying to embarrass me. Like any kid, I tried to emulate the adults, and when I messed up, or even hurt myself, my mother would be the first to point and laugh.

If she'd been this way to me without having a Golden Child, I would have been too naive to know anything else. But as I could see how well GC was treated, I knew exactly what I was missing. And it killed me every single day of my life, like little punches right in my chest. Like I was being mentally beaten every day.

Let's recount a few (a small few) key examples where I get burned on the back-burner.

One day (middle school era), I came home from a particularly good day at school and wanted to share it with mom (seeing how much she enjoys hearing GC's daily recaps) because I finally had something fun I could talk about. She barely paid attention, and when I called her on it, she yelled at me, saying she was too tired to pay attention to me and to just go to my room. A few moments later, my sister came home to tell mom about her day as usual, and I leaned up against the door to hear them laughing with delight and I felt my heart getting holes punched in it.

One day (high school era), mom asked GC if she wanted to go to the museum with her. I asked if I could go too, and to my surprise, she let me. The day was filled with "ooh" and "aah" and GC pointed at dull paintings that were almost exactly the same as the next, and mom pandered to her interest, and each new painting she saw drowned out my own points at the little things I thought were interesting, but I kept trying to get her attention like an idiot who doesn't learn, until she yelled at me, "What the hell do you want me to say? God, I'm dying for a cigarette." And then she continued to "ooh" and "aah" at everything GC pointed at.

How about something a little more painful...

One day (early high school era), GC went on a date with a douchebag. I knew he was a douchebag, but he was popular and handsome, so why would anyone listen to me? Well, a week later, he spread a rumor that they had slept together. GC was devastated and mom came to the rescue. She comforted her, hunted down the dirtbag and his parents, and raised hell, not forgetting to blame me for the rumor spreading, because I'm the big sister who should have stopped it. Her reputation wasn't very damaged and was quickly healed. Later, mom told me I was lucky that I wouldn't have to deal with situations like that because no boys would ever want to date me.

One day (late elementary era), mom made me go to a new doctor. He made mom leave the room for my checkup, and reported to her later that I was very fidgety. He didn't tell her I was just trying to keep my little legs out of his crotch, his hands off my thighs, and his fingers from exploring my uncharted regions. Mom yelled at me for embarrassing her and I never told her how my checkup really went. However, she found out later, when I told someone I thought I could trust, and she told someone else, and it eventually got back to mom who yelled at me again, saying it didn't happen, and how dare I sully the good doctor's name, and I don't know what real molestation is, and it's not like I was raped.

See that? It's always a contest with her.

She went through all the trouble of getting triple the regular dose of painkillers to dope her up in the stirrups (because she'd done so many drugs before) so the doctors could slice me out of her. She troubled herself with feeding me, housing me, and clothing me and all. She raised me for a little while, until she had another kid. Then it was no hugs, no bedtime stories, only a small helping of cold, lifeless toys who couldn't kiss me goodnight, couldn't hug me back, or admire my good grades, or laugh at my stories, or tell me that the monsters in my closet weren't real.

She spent my whole life beating me down, making sure I never felt like I could do anything with my life. Making sure I would never be able to believe in myself.

I left home because I was exhausted and heartbroken. Not just for Josh, but for every single night before and after that day, looking up at the cold stars above me, making a wish that would never come true, and crying myself to sleep. Every. Single. Night.

I heard once that if you can't see the path you're meant to take, then you should just make your own path. I just wish I had a weed whacker to help me out a little.

Homeless part 1 (or "Why I Hate Them All")
Homeless part 2 (or "What Do You Want in a Woman?" "My Dick")
Homeless part 3 (or "I Can Scrape The Mold Off This")



( 11 comments — Leave a comment )
May. 12th, 2009 08:27 am (UTC)
Oh diello, I'm so at loss of words. I was aware about the problem with your mother and sister, but not of how deep they were going... I really wish I were over in the USA right now and could come over and just talk to you, because I don't think I can express anything I want to say with written words :(
May. 12th, 2009 09:54 pm (UTC)
It's all right, V <3<3<3
I feel infinitely better having been able to actually share this with someone. I put things like this on a super-secret blog, but nobody reads that one, so it's like writing it in a diary. Feels good for the moment, but it's still bottled up. I'm glad I finally had the courage to type it all out in THIS journal, because now I really DO feel better :)
I love you <3<3<3 *hugs* <3<3<3
May. 13th, 2009 09:24 pm (UTC)
That makes me a tiny little bit happy. I wish I could undo the way your mother behaved (an still behaves, I guess ;_;), but I can't so listening is the only thing I can do. And I deeply believe that some things need to be written down and read...

*hugs tightly* And I love you :D
(I'll also bug my advisor so that I can go to Washington next year, than I can fly for a weekend over to Rochester! Well, that's the plan... Or I'll get you to Germany at some point!)
May. 13th, 2009 09:51 pm (UTC)
I would love that! I'll be getting my passport this summer :)
May. 12th, 2009 09:21 am (UTC)
. .this probably isn't any helpful at all, but. .I would have done the same if treated that way.

When reading something like this it makes the "it's hard to think parents could be so cruel something they created" not so hard to think.
May. 12th, 2009 09:57 pm (UTC)
I'm glad you weren't treated the same way, but if you were, and you ran away, you could always come to this side of the country and stay on my couch (and then Charles would HAVE TO move us into a bigger apartment like I want him to- hehehe).
(Deleted comment)
May. 12th, 2009 09:43 pm (UTC)
i should never have pried about that
Otherwise, I'd never be able to tell it. And now that I've got the painful stuff out of the way, I can tell you about how I got along in the car for 6 months. And the incidents leading up to being homeless, although sad, are not at all difficult for me to tell compared to the crap you just read. Just let me know when you want to hear it <3
May. 12th, 2009 04:17 pm (UTC)
Ironically, if a man treated you that way everybody would be up in arms. If your Mother does it nobody minds because she didn't leave a mark on the outside. A child doesn't know they're being emotionally abused, they just feel the hurt and suffer the consequences. At least as an adult you have the capacity to recognise (with your rational mind at least) that it was her problem and not yours. Hopefully in time your emotions catch up and you will truly be able to move on.

Not to mention, disbelieving a child when they talk about sexual abuse is the worst thing you can do short of doing it yourself. Even if my child had a history of making things up I'd assume truth (and TELL them I believed them) first. Any other reaction is bullshit. (And P.S for hilarity - OPRAH agrees that you don't have to be penetrated to be sexually abused. She did a little speech on her show so it MUST be true. Then she gave away some cars or something.)

In summation: No child is born unworthy so in the end there are no bad children, just bad parents.
May. 12th, 2009 04:20 pm (UTC)
P.P.S. Fuck the haters, mofo.
May. 12th, 2009 09:48 pm (UTC)
YEAH! With a sharpened chopstick or a cheesegrater!
May. 12th, 2009 09:47 pm (UTC)
...is the worst thing you can do short of doing it yourself.
True that. When she didn't believe me and yelled at me for lying, I felt filthier than when it'd actually happened.
Hey, Oprah! Can I have a car, too??
( 11 comments — Leave a comment )