I haven't really talked about my past to anyone other than my family. (My married family) and even then I've only said a few things here and there. My husband knows most of it and the high school friends I lived with when I ran away from home at 16 know a lot too.
So since I got an unexpected call from my mother of which I have not spoken to in 12 years, I felt it necessary to share why I have no relationship with her. See my mother had a problem with relationships her whole life and was always in abusive relationships with men and some of them abused me also. My mother didn't have her priorities straight. The first incident that landed my brother and I in foster care back when we lived in Tyler Texas was leaving us out in a hot car in the summer time. I vaguely remember this day but I was a toddler so I don't remember a lot. We had a station wagon and she put down the back seat so Charles and I could play in the back with our toys. I remember it being very hot and I took off all my clothes. I must have fell asleep because the next thing I knew strange people (probably police officers) were taking me and my brother out of the car. That incident landed us in CPS custody and then into foster care when my mother told the judge that she didn't have anyone to watch us while she was at work, so she kept us in the car.
I don't remember being able to say good bye to my mother, it seemed I was suddenly thrown in with people I did not know, I was scared and I know that I cried a lot. I remember crying myself to sleep at this new place which turned out to be a farm. This farm is where I learned how to ride a horse and collect eggs from the hen house and I learned very early to stay away from the electric fence around the hog cage. There were two older boys (twins) that were about 12 years of age that lived there on the farm and they were kinda mean to me. I remember them pushing me down in the dirt on my first day of school and leaving me a half mile away from home. It was a long way from the bus stop, at least it was in my 5 year old mind.
On occasions my mother was allowed to visit but we never got to hug her. My thoughts on the Foster Care system 20 years ago was that people who applied to be foster parents did it for the extra government money, while at the farm I learned a lot, but didn't really feel loved...
By the time my mother won back custody of us, I didn't know who she was. I think I was 5 when we went back to her. We lived in a trailer park in a not so good neighborhood, I did so poorly in school I had to repeat kindergarten. I had a lot of emotional issues that my teacher felt it necessary to hold me back. She was probably right. That was also the year I had my first back surgery. I had a spinal fusion due to scoliosis where they took a bone from my hip and fused my upper spine with it. I was in the hospital for weeks and remember asking for my mommy several times. My mother would get angry and come down to the hospital telling me how much of an inconvenience I was because the nurses kept calling her. I was in pain and wanted my mother, what can I say....
For years my mother had one relationship after another, a lot of them were smitten with me, but one guy got a little too close....my brother's father. From the age of 7ish to the age of 12, he molested me threatening that if I told my mother about this, that I would be putting her and my brother out on the street because he paid for the bills and if he were gone, then we would be homeless. I never said anything, but when I was in 6th grade and in the D.A.R.E program I hinted at something to my mother hoping she would pick up on it. She didn't, but my brother's father left town for a couple years and things started to normalize for me. He came back when I was 14 and attempted to do something with me he shouldn't have and this time I told him that I would tell my mother if he tried anything again.
Well he told my mother my accusations and my mother came into my room in the morning ripped the blankets off my bed and started yelling at me saying things about how could I ruin the family and make false accusations. She grabbed me by my hair and pulled me out into the living room, handed me the phone and told me to call the police if what I said was true. (basically mocking me) I didn't call the police, my mother was too angry. From 14 to 16 I slipped into a deep depression and was very suicidal. At 14 I had my second spinal surgery. I had Harrington rods put in since I was told that I wouldn't live past 20 because my spine would start crushing my lungs. My teachers brought me my homework when I was on bed rest for 6 weeks. I became really attached to my social studies teacher. She seemed to be the only one that cared about me. She took me under her wing and I confided in her about all the stuff that had happened to me. I had attempted suicide one day when I got back to school and when my mother was called because I overdosed on Tylenol, she was upset, Child Protective services was again called and because of my accusations of sexual abuse I was placed in a group home for 3 days under psychiatric supervision. My mother had told CPS that the sexual abuse I said happened was made up, so I had an interrogator questioning me about it the whole time I was there, I remember feeling horrible and I really just wanted to die. I didn't want to tell the social workers what had really happened because of how I felt I was treated. They ended up releasing me to my grandmother's house while my brother's father still lived next door. I tried once again committing suicide at my grandmother's house but I made a last minute call to Mrs. Kubasch, my teacher. I didn't say anything on the line but she knew it was me and came running. Out my bedroom window I saw her truck pull up and I ran outside to talk to her. I think I cried for like 10 minutes while she held me. I thought why couldn't I have had a mother like her. Even thinking about it now makes me want to cry. Over that summer in 8th grade I saw my teacher at least once a week. She had me over to babysit her grand daughter. It was my escape from home.
My mother didn't care much about my education. She never had one and didn't see it important. She kept saying that I needed to hurry up and get a job and forget about this school stuff as soon as I turned 16. Furthermore she was upset that I was in extracurricular activities after school, it kept me from doing what was important, looking for a job to help her pay rent. It was the least I could do since I sent my brother's father packing.
One day over the summer before Junior year of high school, my mother was particularly angry about something I did, or didn't do and I couldn't take it anymore. I packed a backpack full of stuff and ran away. I went to my friends house and from there another friends house and spent the night on people's couches for a week. Finally I found Andrea. She told her mother I had run away and her mother called CPS. CPS made me call my mother to let her know I was ok, while they recorded the conversation. The conversation she had with me over the phone telling me I would never amount to anything in my life and would probably end up being a whore did her in. CPS awarded me my emancipation. I continued to live with Andrea for about 6 months. That summer I went to church for the first time since going as a little kid and I gave my heart to God. I knew that God was going to make sure that nothing bad ever happened to me again. I became a Christian. A few months later a couple from our church, Desert Springs Bible Church in Phoenix, had applied to be foster parents but hadn't been placed with a kid yet. A church mentor mentioned me to them, Actually she is now my friend Rebekah and told them how I was living with friends and after meeting with Mel a couple weeks later I was living with them as their "unofficial" foster daughter. Since I was emancipated there was no reason for me to go thru the foster care system. It was the first time I had felt like I was part of a family in my whole life. The first time someone had made me a birthday cake or thrown me a birthday party, the first time someone had encouraged me to go to college and told me that I could do it, that I was worth it. I worked hard the last two years of high school, I enrolled in advanced placement classes of which guidance counselors discouraged me not to, that I would fail due my past grades. But I did it anyway, and I graded high school in the top 20 percent of my class and that is saying a lot for a class of almost 500.
Mel and Rich encouraged me all the way and helped me build my faith in God and in myself. I ended up going to a Junior College and community college before finally making it up to NAU, but I went to 3 different colleges and still graduated in 4 years with a Bachelor of Science. I worked hard and all I needed was a little encouragement.
So getting this call today from my mother not only sent chills down my spine, it dug up old feelings of insecurity that I had. It was not easy talking to her, but she apparently knew about J and had seen videos of him that my grandmother sent her. She was crying on the phone and asked me not to hang up on her and told me that she was happy for me that I had a family of my own and that I had done something good with my life and that all she wanted was updates on J every once in a while. That seeing pictures of him that my grandmother gave her made her smile and feel happy. So I agreed. But I really don't know if I want her in my life anymore.
You see I have made a vow to myself to surround myself with positive people and to never look back and to do all the things with J I never had growing up. I have documented everything J has done. I have so many pictures and videos of him to show him when he is older so he will always know he is loved. I have moved forward. And after 2 years of Counseling over the things I endured as a child I really can say that I have forgiven her......but it doesn't necessarily mean I want her in my life. I feel stuck.....I don't want to feel the way I used to feel when I was around her. I don't need that in my life. Can people change....sure. But I have my doubts. Is that wrong?