The Storm

I’m in the middle of  a kitchen remodel.  I started the kids stripping wallpaper during the week and they had gotten a great start.  I decided to get to work on Saturday and see how much I could tear through.  I have given myself about a month to get the kitchen finished.  Well, I guess that isn’t accurate.  I’ve given myself a month to get all the public areas of my home finished.  The great plan is to paint everywhere that isn’t a bedroom.  We painted the bedrooms before we moved in and I’d planned to do everything else when the kids were with Bubba last summer but I knew child support wouldn’t be coming in and I didn’t want to put money out for paint and supplies when paying bills was going to become an issue.  I’m finally in a financial place that I can afford to buy the things I need in order to finish my home makeover!

I can’t believe I got the kitchen finished in one day!  There are still two trouble spots that Serenity is going to attack today, but we’re very ahead of schedule!  We worked hard all day and I even took all three kids out to run errands and do the grocery shopping.  A few of my friends expressed shocked that I was able to do all of that in one day.  I don’t understand that.  It didn’t seem like that much to me.  It’s just what I did.

Treun and I texted on and off all day.  We didn’t get to see each other because he’s had family commitments all weekend so far but we’ve kept in touch.  (Just as an aside, texting is wonderful!  We could stay in touch all day without interrupting his day.)  I finally got as much done as I could for the day and hit the shower.  I told him that it is a good thing we couldn’t see each other because I’d just taken the towel off my head and my hair was wild.  I decided to send him a picture.  He thought I was adorable.  (Big grin!)  He told me that he was thinking of Conway Twitty’s “I’d Love to Lay You Down” because of my comment about my hair.  I went to YouTube and listened to it.  I haven’t heard that song since I was a kid.  I did NOT know what it was about back then.  I sat here blushing.  I still have trouble believing that he wants me.  And he doesn’t just want sex – at least that is the impression I’m getting.

Then I saw Mr. Twitty had a song called, “She Needs Someone To Hold Her When She Cries.”  I texted that to Treun and he said he understood.  After 25 years of having someone there through thick and thin, his ex was just gone.  He said it was a huge adjustment.  Then he told me that the song, “That’s My Job” was how he felt about being a Dad.  I started to listen to it and started sobbing.  The beginning of the song tells about a little boy who has a dream that his father dies and is gone. He walks down the hall to his dad’s bedroom and wakes him up.  The dad is there for his child – to calm his fears.

“And he said ‘That’s my job,
that’s what I do.
Everything I do is because of you,
To keep you safe with me.
That’s my job you see.’”

My Daddy wasn’t there for me.  I was deathly afraid of the dark as a child.  To say I was terrified would be a gross understatement.  I don’t think I could express the kind of terror I felt every single night until I was 12 or 13.   We lived in a very rural area with no neighbors.  I knew all the things that went bump in the night were actually monsters out to tear me to shreds and start eating me while I was watching.  I remember laying in bed, hearing rustling outside my window (we had no air conditioning so having the windows open was the only way we wouldn’t completely swelter) and pulling my covers up to my chin.  I would lay there and hold my breath because if I didn’t breathe, the monsters couldn’t find me.

Going to Celia’s and Butch’s room was NEVER an option.  I don’t know how I knew this.  I don’t know if it was expressed to me or that I just simply *knew* it wasn’t ok.  I just knew that as afraid as I was, I was on my own.  I remember whispering, “Mom!  Mom!” because I thought that maybe, just maybe, she’d be able to hear me but the monsters wouldn’t.  She never did.  They never knew that I was petrified because I never told them.  I just knew that the only way I was allowed to sleep in my parents’ bed was if I was so sick that I was throwing up.  That was the only time any of us were welcomed into their bed.  I used to lay there at night, praying for God to help me throw up so that I could move to sleep in their room.  He never helped me though.  All of those nights, I was on my own, a slave to the terror.

I never wanted that for my children.  I never want them alone and scared at night.  Shane still has nightmares.  I now sleep with my door shut because Serenity likes to keep a small light in the kitchen on and light keeps me awake now.  (No, the irony is not lost on me.  The woman who was so afraid of the dark as a child that she was paralyzed can now not sleep with the slightest bit of light.)  Shane will whip the door open with all the force of his small body and say, “Mom!  I had a nightmare!!!!”  I throw the covers back and say, “Shut the door and crawl in.”  He knows, absolutely, that he will be welcomed into my bed, that I will lay my hand on his back, and that he is totally safe.  He knows I will protect him from the monsters that go bump in the night.  I will never leave a child to be afraid, alone in their bed.  Ever.

I sat here and sobbed.  Why did my parents throw me away?  Why couldn’t they love me?  Why did they have to pick Bubba over me in the divorce?  Am I such a horrible child that I deserved to be treated the way they treated me all those years?  Why did my sisters say they had such vastly different childhoods?  They told me that I wasn’t abused because they weren’t abused.  Our parents are near saintly so I *must* be lying about having been abused.  Well, I know that’s a crock of bullshit.  I know my reality.  I know the fear I lived in my entire life.  I know the guilt and manipulation that was sent my way.  I know, completely and wholly, that I was nothing like my sisters.  I was the black sheep.  I was different.  So, yes, I can and did have a completely different experience growing up than my sisters did.

I will just never understand how my parents, the people who were supposed to PROTECT me, turned on me and actually helped Bubba HURT me!  How do parents do that?  How do they justify this?  Why couldn’t they just love me?

The Storm was intense and nasty.  I called Endellion (seriously, what would I do without her?) and sobbed my heart out to her.  She cried with me, for me.  She aches for me when I’m in pain, the same way I do for her.  She can’t explain Celia and Butch any more than I can.  There is simply no way to explain their behavior.  There is no excuse.

For the most part I’m fine with not having parents.  For the most part I rarely think of them any more.  For the most part I’ve accepted that they are just unhealthy.  There are just days that I want my parents to love me.  There are days that I want them to have chosen ME in the divorce.  There are just days that I am sad that I don’t have the parents I deserve.  When that happens The Storm rages.

When it is over, I’m left to once again continue on with my daily activities, putting them behind me where they belong.


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