Sunday seems to be my new posting day. That's cool with ya'll, right? Hopefully you politely said yeah. Today is a pretty serious post and it has a tad bit of mature content so if you aren't feeling that or are a younger viewer - you've been told! My blog has been taking off a bit and I have been getting some requests on my life story. I've met some rad peeps recently as well and we exchanged some milestones about our journeys so far. The result is usually similar to my new comrade telling me to share my story publicly because it'll help & inspire others *hopefully*. So today I wanted to give a fairly broad walk through of my life. Part of my blog is giving advice and relating to issues others are facing and usually it's tough to take advice from a person if you don't think they have the credibility to be preaching about something in the first place. Taking a step forward from that note, here is a little glimpse into my past and how I've morphed into the kinda neat person I am today. Enjoy!
I remember never being able to whistle. I tried and tried daily but never was able to sound more then that of a boiling tea kettle. I can remember people always saying that if you can't whistle when you are young then you should just give up. That always deeply irked me as a lad because I should have control over something as simple as whistling, right?
I grew up in a small, Catholic community in Philadelphia, PA. From a bird's eye view my tiny town looked perfect with a happily married mother and father at each household and they eventually gave birth to 1-3 beautiful, *perfect*, happy children and would then adopt a pet of some sort all while going to Church every Sunday and always being, well *perfect.* That is far from the case in this neighborhood though. My *perfect* community is full of hierarchies and fake agendas of politically needing to please everybody in order to maintain a *perfect* appearance. Appearances are everything. Think of a really poster 1950's town and that's still really how this area is. Sounds not so bad, though, right? It could be pleasant to live in a town where everybody walks around with a smile plastered on their face and where family dinners are at the same time every night with homework needing to be done right after!
What does MY family look like with that bird's eye view? My father owns his own landscaping company so he is in charge of maintaining all of the local businesses' primping. My mother is the secretary at the main elementary school in this neighborhood so she is at the center of all of the families. My brother is in the Marines and helped my dad with his business up until getting recruited. That is a wonderful, close knit family, huh?
I wish that was all I had to deal with in my house - drilled on smiles, assigned dinners, and the whole kit and kaboodle of being lovely. But, my parents are kind of the "head" of the hierarchy of the fucked up 1950's time warp I lived in. They own everybody in one way or another ~ they know police, judges, lawyers, and really everybody. Being at the top of the hierarchy gives them crazy amounts of power with getting away with crimes and doing whatever they feel like. What do they do with this power is probably what you're wondering.
My father cooks meth and sells it. Both of my parents are drug addicts and alcoholics as well. My parents are not in any sort of love ~ they only got married for the image. My father actually really lives in his shop that is miles away from my home. It's where he stores all of his landscaping tools and gets drunk/high daily. You know, living the dream. My mother lives in the house I grew up in and also gets drunk/high regularly when not working as a superstar secretary or selling speed. My house actually blends in perfectly with all of the single family homes in my town. You walk in and it's set up like a quaint, lovely place but there are secret rooms in the crawlspace, attic and roof that house meth stations. If there's one positive thing I can about my blood relatives, it's that they are smart to say the least - despite all that meth in their body.
If the drugs aren't bad enough, I dealt with extreme amounts of abuse from mom and dad. My father raped me regularly since I can remember, and he sexually/verbally & physically abused me too. He would bring me to his shop and hang me from the ceiling, naked, and torture me with his landscaping tools. He was careful with the placement of the lacerations and beatings ~ keeping them in places that typically aren't seen with my school uniform. (Catholic school, remember?) My mom never did anything sexual to me but was physically and verbally abusive. She definitely wasn't psychotic like my father with torturing me, either. She would just throw crap at me like lamps, chairs, whatever was in arm's reach at her Martha Stewart decorated abide.My brother, on the other hand, was just a clone of my father. I'm not sure if he was born that way or was just brainwashed to mimic every single thing my dad did. If my brother didn't follow blindly to my father, I know my father would act the same way as he did towards me towards my brother. So, he may have been just looking out for himself and then just kind of morphed into a sociopath.
I remember being made fun of a lot for being a "loner". This is actually a true statement because I've only had myself since birth to survive. I'm not sure how I got through infancy but I had to provide my own food, clothing, and necessities since I can remember. I dumpster dove for food for a majority of my childhood but then got kinda smart with getting myself jobs to provide food and clothing. For example, from ages 6-14 I convinced my lunch ladies to let me help them with their shipments at school. In return, they gave me a free meal everyday. So that's how I fed myself for all of my childhood basically. The lunch ladies would let me rifle through the lost and found before anyone else or would bring in hand me down clothes from their kids - so that was my wardrobe for a long time. It was stylish as fuck.
I knew if I made it to age 18 - when my parents weren't legally obligated to take care of me anymore - then I would be fine. If I could survive that Hell for 18 years, I would be able to live some type of life without them. I made sure to do well in school so that as soon as I got my high school diploma ~ I'd have some sort of chance at getting some income so I didn't need to live on the street and could eat. I also immersed myself into school with extra curricular activities to keep myself out of my house. If you're curious as to why I didn't run away, I did. But if you can recall, my parents are the head honchos of everybody and their mother ~ so if I was sleeping in the park for a few nights, I would be found fairly urgently and brought back to the doorstep of a well dressed meth home. CPS even tried helping me several times but evidence would "go missing"...and lots of convenient things would occur so that my family would be off the hook. If new neighbors moved into this town and saw straight through the acts of everybody, that newly moved in family would disappear in months. I'm still not sure how this was accomplished, but it was.
It wasn't as easy as I make it sound though. I've nearly died lots of times and still suffer from major health problems due to being around the chemicals of meth since I was an infant. My ribs were broken so many times growing up that they are inverted now ~ I actually got made fun of for this because I have what looks like "a third boob" around the area that's just my bones fully formed but in a deformed way. ( if that makes sense ) These deformed bones press on my heart which has literally dented it and make it difficult to function normally. I also have a few dozen deficiencies from my lack of nutrition for so long. From all of the physical abuse I have a terrible back ~ scoliosis to be exact. The cherry on top of my old lady body is a growth in my side that's growing on my intestines. It makes everyday life tough with not being able to really take in any nutrition from food and results in large periods of excruciating pain (and that's saying a lot from someone who won't shed a tear when stabbed, beat to the point of blacking out, and all that normal father/brother/daughter bonding stuff.) My left eye doesn't work and never has. It tries to work (hence no lazy eye) but I have been deserted of peripheral vision and depth perception. My teeth are all messed up from my them being knocked out before being ready. I actually still have the roots of my baby teeth in some spots. I had braces for a bit, because my school nurse knew my house had the money to get me some, and my parents were so accommodating to my brother, that to maintain their image they caved and metaled up my tooths. Unfortunately they didn't work because one night my father physically ripped them off in one of his episodes of torture. Anyway, my list goes on, but that'll be for a different day.
My plan of leaving home at 18 wasn't always the first thing on my mind, either. In high school, I dealt with normal peer pressure and things of that nature. I was bulimic and anorexic for a large period of my life ~ and have attempted suicide four times. After getting through those hurdles, I realized the plan I set for myself is the right way to go, so I stuck out living with some Catholic demons literally until the day I graduated high school.
This is where things got sticky. The only close(ish) friends I had were going off to college and would be living in dorms. I couldn't live with them. Well, I guess I COULD but that may result in them getting expelled and I didn't want that on my conscience. I couldn't exactly find a job right away fresh out of graduating high school so I couldn't just get an apartment solo. If I chose to live on the streets, I might as well just stay with my family and let them kill me (That's something they said they were going to do as soon as I turn 18, by the way - ever since I was a toddler. So that was also motivation to leave the house.) If I lived on the streets outside of my time warped community, I would get shot pretty soon ~ remember I lived in PHILLY. I'm tough but....PHILLY, one of the cities with the highest amounts of homicide in the country. Also, I'm whiter then paste so I'm automatically assumed to be a prissy, snobby and spoiled white girl. But, just like a vanilla frosted chocolate cake - I am dark in my soul but look ghostly.
So to get back on track, at the time I was "dating" a guy who was kind of a dick. I was planning on leaving him several times but then he offered to have me come with him to California. I immediately said yes because this was kind of my only option to escape. Upon moving in with this guy, though, his true form definitely came out. He had his own demons and took them out on me. Nothing too serious, just a little physical abuse at times, extreme controlling-ness (telling me how much I could eat and telling me when to sleep...ect), cheating...you can probably imagine the type of guy I'm talking about. But, I kind of lost faith in myself when I ended up getting stuck with this dude. He took all of my money (remember the controlling attitude?), wouldn't let me have a car (with my heart problem and other health issues - I was biking 24 miles / day to my job.....) and just a whole lot of negative energy. I tried to cover it up, to be honest because truth be told this wasn't that terrible compared to the Hell I just walked out of. I made it work to the best of my ability and became a shell. A lifeless, depressed shell that was just going through the motions. A really unfabulous and sad M&M, if you will. I actually tried to commit suicide by waiting for a train to hit me one night as well.... but then I met the best group of people that I am so thankful walked into my life. These friends helped me leave this guy and from there....well...here I am. It wasn't an instant transformation and it is STILL taking time to heal ~ but I am a strong, independent, and pretty awesome person now from surviving ALL of that shit storm that was my life for almost 22 years with no break from the horror.
I can whistle now, though, to give you an update. I think we, with almost everything, are in control of our life and where we end up. Look at me, someone who SHOULD be dead or at least a drug addicted hooker. But I'm not. I'm more then glad I got to the other side of the 1950's time warp because I am who I am thanks to all of that terrible-ness. I took control of my life by finding how to survive something I actually COULDN'T control until I was eighteen. Then - I was in another situation that was tough to control but I took the reigns and am here now - to share my story and let people out there know there is ALWAYS another side (or five, if you are in a Super Mario pipe) and you can always find that way out. It's harder for some and easier for others but the point is - learn to whistle. Learn to roll with the punches and adapt to the constant change that life is always going to shove in your way. Eventually - even if it's 22 years later - it's all worth it and you'll understand that going through a traumatic experience can end pretty well ~ but that's all up to you staying committed to whistle.
I am still mastering whistling nowadays. This practice comes with being in and out of the hospital because of my laundry list of irreversible health problems and suffering from insomnia/night terrors every night. Some day I will be a master whistler, but refrain from telling a person they'll never be able to do it ~ because I'm whistling at age 23 now.
From here on out, I wanted to start zooming in on chunks of my life to offer advice to those of you out there going through something similar. But, as I said, i wanted you guys to know me a little more (and this is seriously the most condensed version of my voyage so far - more condensed then a fresh can of Campbell's soup) and see why I feel like I can even give advice to you in the first place.
What I've Been Up 2 This Week:
MOVIE OF THE WEEK
Cape Fear // Robert De Niro
MUSIC OF THE WEEK
Drake // Right Hand
GAME OF THE WEEK
Theatrhythm Final Fantasy // Nintendo 3DS
COSPLAY OF THE WEEK
(~Okay this won't be a recurring item for me since I don't cosplay too often... but I went to a Halloween Party and threw together this little get up~)
Thx 4 reading, & as alwayz remember 2