Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Ancient Holiday Memories

At this time of the year I am quite emotional inside, everything seems to stir up old memories. I think of all the family that I am no longer in contact with(by no means do I wish to bridge that gap) and I think of all the happy times with them.. and then it makes me sad. I'm not saying depressed or that I dwell upon the matter, but there are moments throughout the holidays that make me crazy inside with turmoil about how I should feel about a situation or memory. I was an abused child, however not by my Mother or Father, instead it was my grandmother. She had gained custody of me around the time I was to start school, so probably around 5 years old. My parents were splitting up (and they were young) and I knew that things were rocky. I remember telling my grandmother as we rode in her blue pontiac on the way to her home that I wanted to stay with my parents one week and her the next. She told me this wasn't possible (and the fact that I was a little one I believed her) so at some point she claims I said I wanted to live with her. I don't have this memory. I wish I did, because I feel it would make it a solid fact in my head that I made the choice, it was my decision at 4 or 5 to go and live with my "Grandy" and "Gramps". My parents "signed me over" to her and I went to live with them. My first Christmas there was a bit rough. I remember we had a Christmas tree that had the fake snow painted onto it. An argument broke out and then a fight.... by the end of the evening several Christmas items were broken and I was hurrying to steal my new Sesame Street ornament from a toppled tree. I saved the cherished ornament (given to me by my kindergarten teacher) and I remember the tree being thrown out the back door into our car port shortly after. I don't remember Christmas with my parents and as I have grown up that saddens me. I vaguely remember waking them my last Christmas with them and running into the living room to see all the toys I had gotten.. and I remember most of the dolls and strollers from that Christmas. I would go on to guard these toys for all of my childhood. I wish I could remember celebrating more than that brief time with them, but I don't and at the holidays it bothers me. I don't think about these things much throughout the year, but once my birthday has come and gone and Thanksgiving arrives it's on my mind in down time. It catches me off guard most of the time and I acknowledge it and remind myself that I have had a very nice life since becoming an adult. I have made great strides in my lifetime to run from that toppling Christmas tree. At this time of the year I meet that sadness with great appreciation for the life I have created with Jordan. I may not have a family of my own blood other than my mom and dad, but I have family and wonderful friends who I hold dear to my heart. I have these bonds with amazing people that had I not gone through an unstable childhood that I may not have today.

Growing up and not living with your parents was weird. I live in the bible belt and most kids I knew were living in "happy" homes with both parents or a step parent and they seemed to have the world in their hand. I was being raised by an abusive grandma that I loved with all my heart and soul. In all the variables that go into a life, she was my constant. I was afraid of not having a roof over my head, clothes on my back and food in my stomach so I stayed. I made the choice mentally to stay, take it because you know that you have a home to come back to every day. I loved her and she betrayed me. I never told anyone that could have helped because what would that do to my stable environment? What would that do to my family? I was so afraid of not seeing the people whom I loved that I didn't say anything. My parents were oblivious to the things going on behind those closed doors. Nobody knew. I kept it all to myself, too afraid to reach out to my friends or anyone. I made friends with other girls who seemed to have the same daily battle at home and they haven't been as fortunate as I have in their adult years. I know why abused children rarely speak, they are afraid of losing any stability or constant in their lives. The person abusing them is their own flesh and blood or that of someone who is involved with their family. At this time of year I tend to sit and think of all the other little ones out there suffering through the same daily struggles as I did all those years ago. I pray that they find the strength to go on another day like I did. They have such difficult daily lives and they don't deserve it by any means. I hope for the day that they can look back and say, I made it, and I've come much further than I would have ever thought I would.

Christmas is less than a week away. It's nearly here, and the emotions are high. It's going to be a different Christmas for many reasons. I am really optimistic this year, looking ahead to the new year that will be arriving soon. So many wonderful things will be happening in our lives and I am just bursting with excitement at the thought of each one. So many things will be taking place in those first 6 months of 2008. I can barely wait to see how they all turn out.

Happy Holidays.


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