Broken Bicycles

When summer was finally over during that first year, I had to start school. my very first “new school” experience. i was freaked! new town, new school, my mom never bought me “cool” clothes throughout my entire school life. i was also not very thin, but i wasnt overweight yet, just thick and with a very very low self esteem (wonder why).. plus i was cursed with curly, poofy hair that my mom made me keep short up until around this time. i was every once geeky and lame looking.

on the first day of school, all of the new kids had to sit in the lunch room until they were assigned to their new teachers i guess? i was starting the 6th grade, so still in grade school. there was actually a student there that i went to school with before we moved, from the city. which was really weird, because we had gone to school together since kindergarten. so, major relief.. but its not like him and i were ever friends, but it was nice i think for both of us to see a familiar, friendly face.

that first day of school was long and boring.. the boy that i knew was put in a different class, so again i was on my own.. i hated being there and i had no desire to come back the second day. i was stuck riding the bus, which i had never had to before, and the ride home that day was a nightmare.. one of the high school kids at the back of the bus walked up and stuck a wad of slimy pink gum in my frizzy poofy hair. but i was too nervous to stand up for myself, and no one else around me seemed to care, they were all laughing hysterically.

the next morning, i went up to my bus stop waiting area up the hill from behind my house, and i was early.. i know i was early, because i was so worried about missing the bus, that i wanted to make sure i was on time. well, i waited for over an hour.. and the bus. never. came.

at first i went into panic mode. i raced back to my house and paced around the house. i had never skipped school before.. i had ditched school a few times. the first time was when i was in kindergarten (yep, really). my friend had a little bit of money, and mcdonalds was only about 10 blocks away, so we walked there and bought french fries. dont ask me how we got away with walking away from school when we were probably only 5 or 6 years old, or werent questioned at mcdonalds because i barely remember any of it.. my mom was informed by the school because when we were walking back down the street (i lived a block away from school, and my friend lived a block from me), we were apparently busted by the assistant principal, and i happily told him about our adventure that day. i ditched another time in 4th grade, but that was uneventful.. in either case, i suffered the wrath of my mom, and i was terrified that she wouldnt believe that the bus just didnt come.

after a while however, i gave up on trying to come up with a plan, and plopped down on the couch.. i was happy that i didnt have to go back to that school!

when my parents got home that day, everything was normal.. i was shocked that they didnt know, but really relieved too. so, i figured this was it. this was how i was going to play it. if the school didnt call her to tell her that i wasnt there, then they probably werent going to call her tomorrow right?

right!

i magically skipped school for 3, count them THREE (1, 2, 3) weeks without getting caught! i got an extended summer vacation πŸ™‚ every single day when my mom got home from work, she would ask “do you have homework?” and i would proudly state “nope, i did it in school”.

now, im not going to tell you what my moms job was, because i’m trying to keep as much anonymity as possible, but her job was one where she was no where near a phone for her entire work day, and i think it was technically a city job. so im assuming thats why she was never informed of my constant absences? but still, no letters? i intercepted the mail every day, but there was never anything in the mail box from the school, or any attempted phone calls.. so that shows how much this lovely school really cared for its students! not like it was a large school, it was in the center of this little town with a population of MAYBE 1,000 people, tops.

alright, so, 3 freakin weeks of bliss! you may ask “did you really think you could do this for the next 5 or 6 years??” but i didnt think long term really, i thought about the present, the future wasnt even a thought.

one day, mom comes home from work, and because before we moved, homework had always been an issue with me, my mom said to me “im just so proud of you and thrilled that you’re doing so well. im going to call your teacher tomorrow and just check in”.

i think my eyes almost fell out of my head, and the air was sucked out of the room. i was frozen to the spot where i stood. i think my life flashed before my eyes too. there was no way around it, i had to come clean.

“mom, about that…………..” and i unloaded the truth. i spoke the words so fast, i dont think she understood at first.

and then i saw it sink in. her face started to turn that shade of red that tells me that something bad is coming.

i waited for the slap or the cruel words or the screaming.. i braced myself.. but they didnt come, when i looked back at her through my flood of tears, she started laughing.

alot.

my mom was chuckling so hard she had to sit down. i got angry and yelled “stop laughing, its not funny!” and she stopped after a while.. i know that we didnt fight, but i dont remember how the talk went.. i know that i begged her not to tell dad.. and she said that she wouldnt (but of course she did).

she said to me that i wasnt in trouble, but i BETTER have my ass on that bus the next school day, or blah blah blah, probably some cold and mean threat that she regularly dished out. but i knew full well that she meant it. and i wasnt about to test it.

so the next day, i was up at the bus stop and waited. but again, there was no bus. but still, scared shitless that i would get the beating of my life, i knew i better figure out a way to get there. the problem was though, the school was 5 miles away, and i had 4 miles of gravel road to travel, and i better get moving.

bicycle! i knew we had some 10 speed bikes in the shed next to the house. so i went and checked them out.

all of them had flat tires, most of them were missing parts and didnt have a chain.

i took the best looking one anyway, flat tires and all. i got up to the road, hopped on and began to pedal away, but found that i was barely moving at a snails pace. i stood up to pedal, and probably got the biggest workout of my life. turns out, its damn near impossible to right a bike with flat tires on gravel. theres noooooo traction. but i said DAMN near impossible. not totally impossible. i road that busted up bike for 3 miles out of sheer terror of what my mom would do if i didnt make it to school.

just before the end of the road was in view, a beat up truck pulled up beside me with an icky looking, greasy mountain man in the driver seat, and his redneck daughter (maybe?) beside him, and when they looked at my bike, they chuckled, and asked where i was headed.. all i said was “school”, and he said “well yer a lil late looks like, wanna ride?” he showed me his watch, it was after 9! i didnt hesitate, i said yes.. he put my bike in the bed of the truck, and i climbed in with it. all i could think was that i HAD to get to school. if i was kidnapped, then maybe she wont be mad that i missed school again.

after a while i knew the school was getting close, but my imagination was started to get the better of me, plus, i had only been to the school once before, i wasnt sure how to get to it. i started thinking that maybe he really WAS going to kidnap me.. did he miss the turn? i think he did, wasnt it back there? where are we going? should i jump? what about the bike? do i get in trouble for missing school and being kidnapped, or do i get in trouble for losing the bike? oh my god, he did miss the turn!

he turned. pulled to a stop at the school curb, and hopped out. my heart felt like it was going to blow up and out of my chest.

the man lifted my bike up and out “ya shouldn’ be ridin this bike like you was. and this is just a 10 speed bike, its not meant to ride on dirt like that either. you should get one of them mountain type bicycles……”

“yep! thanks for the ride!” and i was racing to dump the bike at the bike rack near the doors and get my late ass inside.

for the next week, i rode that bike to school. the only difference being that i would leave for school at 7 so i could be there just before 8:30 when school started.

and it was working! my mom was happy, i was happy i wasnt fighting with her, however, my body felt like it slowly dying. riding a bike every day is one thing.. wonderful work out, leaves you feeling great. but fighting with a broken bike on a rocky road is a totally different story. you use muscles you didnt know existed. i doubt those muscles knew that they existed either.

(i never accepted a ride from anyone again either, lol)

that Friday as i was riding my broken bike home, i was about a mile away from home, a car rolls to a stop beside me.. i stopped to look, and when the dust settled, i saw my moms face. there was amusement, confusion and worry on her face.

“what in the world are you doing???” (she wasnt sick, i dont remember why she was home early)

we put the seats down in the back of our white ford escort wagon, and i practically dragged myself to the passenger seat and collapsed. i felt like i had just finished a week long marathon. she asked me again “what were you doing on that thing???”

i told her “i was afraid of missing school and the bus doesnt come to get me so i had to ride the bike”.

“You’ve been riding that all week?? why didnt you tell me that the bus wasnt coming for you?! i could have called and gotten it straightened out”.

oh.

i. didnt. think. of. that.

we got home and mom blew up the school’s phone, and demanded to know why the bus wasnt coming to get me. “we didnt think anyone lived down that road”.

my mom chewed that woman a new ass hole for #1, not sending a bus, #2, not informing her of my absences by mail or some form on communication “you can call my husband at his work! you have his contact information as well!” (oops, i never thought of that either!).

 

 

todays blog turned out to be longer than i intended, and it was really only about that one story.. i’ll have more tomorrow! πŸ™‚

luvs & hugs

history lesson

the last few days, ive been stuck in depression mode and feeling emotional, maybe because of the weather? i dont really know, but todays blog is probably going to be all over the place and messy and hard to read or follow.. bear with me, and read on.. hopefully tomorrow’s post will be better! Β πŸ™‚

from the time i was born up until i was about 12, we lived in a big city (nope, not telling where).. we had a cabin in a small town in neighboring state that my step dad built (will talk about step dad another time too), and we would stay weekends out there during summer time.. our cabin was on a large river, and it was beautiful, the cabin however, was rather crude as it wasnt 100% finished.

so, at age 12, i came home from school one day and saw a “FOR SALE” sign planted firmly in our yard, and when i came inside, my parents were sitting in the living room with another man and woman, and they were going over paperwork. i had NO idea what was going on, but i knew it wasnt good.

30 days later, we were moving out to our cabin in the woods 😦

the first time in my life i had to say goodbye to the friends i had literally grown up with since kindergarten. we had moved several times before, before my mom married my step dad, but i had never left my school or friends. this house was the house we lived in the longest, and i can still mentally picture the layout, and where everything was at.

side note: the family that bought the house, still lives there today, some 23 years later or so… (im terrible at math.)

i was miserable and freaked out and scared.. my parents kept their jobs in the city, and drove an hour each way to commute, and to finish out the remainder of the school year, which i think was only about a month and a half, i got the pleasure of commuting with my dad too.

throughout the summer after school got out, sucked.. my mom left for work at 4:30a.m. and my dad left for work at 6:00a.m.. mom got home around 4:00 in the afternoon and my dad got home at about 6 in the evening. it was like this from the age of 12 up until the age of 19 when i moved out, and we lived literally in the middle of NOWHERE. Zero supervision. my siblings; 2 half sisters, 1 step sister, 2 half brothers, and a step brother (later i discovered that i also had 2 more half brothers), were all grown and moved out on their own, either with regular jobs or whatever, and others were in some branch of the military. so i was utterly alone, 5 days a week, for nearly 10 hours a day. a 12 year old kid is BOUND to get into some kind of trouble, right?

yep!

during the summer, until i was about 15, i wasnt allowed to go swimming unless mom or dad was home.. and whenever i was able to, i was ALWAYS in the water. i was referred to as “the fish”. I also had ZERO friends as well. and this was what, 1993? we lived down a dirt roads in the middle of the woods practically.. the closest neighbors were miles away, and most of them were retired people living out their lives on their riverfront property.Β either we didnt get a satellite dish for the first couple years because there was no service providers out there, or my parents just didnt feel the need for it, i really dont know.. we had basic channels… 2, 4, and 6.. our little antenna at the top of the hill behind our house didnt receive much else. obviously no internet either lol.

i entertained myself by getting into my moms stuff, wearing her clothes around the house and playing in her high heels and acting out Zorro episodes.. or i watched soap operas all day, General Hospital was my favorite, and I absolutely LOVED Sony and Jason, they were my crushes. or i pretended to be Julia Child and would go into the kitchen and pretend to be on a cooking show and i would create (hideous) recipes by throwing whatever ingredients i could possibly find into bowls. i had a very large audience, and they loved me and my creations.

One day my mom came home from work early because she was really sick, and i had a huge bowl in the kitchen full of disgusting green goop, and i panicked. its not like we had a weekly garbage truck, we either burned our burnable trash, or my dad took garbage to work with him to dispose of it. he owned his business, so why not right?

anyways, this bowl, i didnt know what to do with it, i knew i would get into serious trouble as both of my parents were seriously anal, and my mom was borderline abusive and she too hated living out there as the stress of the living conditions and commute were weighing her down.. plus, she had always been this way with all of us kids.. i’ll get into more of that later too, but due to the blog im posting now, i’ll be throwing in some examples of her abuse in a bit..

so, i covered the bowl with suran wrap, and ran out the back door with it, up into the woods and over to a trail i had found some time before, and i threw it over the edge of the trail into a ravine type area. i dont know why i didnt just dump the contents into the garbage and wash out the bowl, that hadnt even crossed my mind. i just threw the entire bowl into the woods to save my ass..

this was the lame stuff i did that first summer to pass the time. there was absolutely NOTHING to do. so, my mom one day told me that i was lazy and getting fat (yes, she said that), and told me that i had to have the house cleaned every day before she or my dad got home.

dont get me wrong, when i mentioned above that my mom hated the living conditions, it didnt mean the house was gross or anything.. but it was an unfinished cabin. the walls were nothing more than exposed 2×4’s, insulation and wiring. bedroom and bathroom doors were particle board with a piece of rope for handles, and now that i think about it, i actually didnt even have a door on my bedroom until i was 14. we had a wood stove and space heaters to keep us warm.. deadly stairs from the living room to the two bedrooms. i say deadly because it more or less resembled a double-wide tilted wooden ladder. patches of super old carpeting that had been placed in some areas back in the early 80’s, and spiders.. spiders everywhere.. plus, we had gone from living in a 2 story, 6 bedroom 2 bathroom house with a rec room, living room and a family room, with an attached garage and storage shed, and an attic full of more storage stuff, to living in a tiny 2 bedroom 1 bathroom cabin with half of a living room, and a “laundry room”. we downsized a little bit, but lets just say there was a wee bit of clutter, and “stuff” everywhere, stacked upon even more “stuff”.

so cleaning was anything but simple.. and my mom was a neat freak in our last home, and there was no way i could perform miracles and make the cabin spotless for her…. so needless to say, her and i had some massive and ugly screaming matches. being slapped across the face was a regular occurrence for me, and she was happy to supply them. she admits today that she took out her misery and depression on me. it was not a happy time for her or me. my dad however was living his dream.

one time, i started my first period.. i didnt move off of the couch that entire 5 days.. i didnt clean anything.. the cramps were unreal. i had no desire to move. she came home from work one day, and she started in on me about my being lazy, and the longer i lay around, the fatter im going to get, and “when you have cramps, you have to move around”… my first period and she had NO sympathy or compassion for me. still sitting on the couch, i was screaming through my tears at her that my stomach hurt and “why are you yelling at me!?” and she literally pounced on me and grabbed one of the little 1970’s style throw pillows and covered my face with it and held it and me down with her weight.. all the fat comments directed at me, and my mom wasnt exactly little miss skinny..

i was in panic mode, i couldnt breathe, and i was scared, so with all of my strength i pushed her off of me and she landed with a loud thud on the floor, still holding the pillow. i screamed at her “you tried to kill me!!!!!” and i ran to my room, for the first time i was actually afraid of her. and she yelled back at me, “dont be stupid, i did not, i was trying to make you stop screaming”.

sometimes during our fights and screaming matches, she would tell me that she hated me and i wasnt allowed to call her “mom” anymore because i wasnt worth it. i would sob and sob.. the next day she would bring something home from work with her to buy my forgiveness.. my dad usually just ignored whatever was going on between her and i, and just turn the tv up. i think her and i had cabin fever… this stuff went on for the first few years living out there.. the brutality of it i mean.. i had no one to talk to, no one to look to for comfort or support.. i felt like a prisoner and i felt like my mom hated me with every fiber of her being..

before i go, i’ll leave todays blog with one amusing story of how i entertained myself during that first summer, and how bizarre my boredom really got. πŸ™‚

my parents bedroom had a sliding door that lead to a tiny 4×9 “patio” with a couple of wooden deck chairs.. for 2 weeks, as soon as i woke up in the morning, i would go out onto their patio, and at the top of my lungs i would pretend to be a crow “CAW!!!!! CAW!!!!!! CAWWW!!!!!!!” and i would go back inside and resume my day. for 2 solid weeks, except weekends obviously.. my parents were home, if they heard me doing this, they would have locked me up in the crazy hospital. i think the boredom was taking its toll on my poor brain.. i was really losing it lol. well i finally quit doing it because little did i know, sound carries very well and very long distances on water. im assuming there were people camping down river, because i heard someone shout back “SHUT UP!!!!!!!!” soooooo, that ended that!

luvs & hugs