High school was completely crazy! I had no supervision once I moved back to Joan’s house. I came and went as I pleased, no curfew and no restrictions. A teenagers dream life! I was responsible though for cooking my own meals, cleaning the house weekly, my laundry, having a job and paying for my gas and car insurance. I was handed a ridiculous amount of responsibility at 16. My friends loved my mom because of all of this and I pretended it was amazing. Yet deep down I was frightened, insecure, sad and very angry. Little did my friends know I was envious of their required family dinners, doing homework at the kitchen table, having to call and check in after school and be on a curfew.
Let’s start with the free reign to do what I wanted. If I was hanging out with friends my age, we were required to be to their home by a certain time. Honestly I loved the freedom at first so I rarely hung out with friends my age. I was typically dating someone 18 and older so our nights consisted of drinking, sex and mischief. In the 80’s we could have parties that lasted all night without any cops being called, alcohol was easy to get and if a home wasn’t available for our soiree then a field somewhere was just as good.
Drinking and driving was normal. No other way to put it, we drank and we cruised, radio blaring Motley Crue or Van Halen. We drag raced, no seat belts and open containers in the car.
School wasn’t optional in my eyes, but I loathed it. I had ADD and didn’t know it, I don’t think it became a real diagnosis until the 90’s, so I was considered rebellious as a student. Teachers thought I didn’t care about my education, so they didn’t care about me. Very simply put, they never invested time in me. I couldn’t focus on reading as I couldn’t retain any of it. I couldn’t understand why I could read an entire page and not have any clue what I had just read. I truly thought I was just stupid and my grades reflected that. I had to take summer school classes after my sophomore year and a full schedule of classes my senior year to graduate with a 2.5 GPA.
I was wild and out of control. I had a mouth like a truck driver, my bark and my bite were both terrifying, but you couldn’t tell by looking at me. I was an underdeveloped skinny girl who had to prove herself as a badass, for fear that others might feel they could treat me the same way Joan did.
My mom, the barfly, despised me. She didn’t EVER want to be bothered by me. Thursday through Saturday nights you could find Joan at her favorite watering hole dancing and drinking the night away. Typically dressed in a leather miniskirt, pumps, low-cut blouse, big earrings and even bigger hair. Just picture Tina Turner in the 80’s and you have Joan.
It wasn’t odd that sometimes we strolled into the front door at the same time on the weekends, typically between 2 and 3am. Both drunk, looking like hammered shit and never saying one word to each other.
Joan made it clear that she didn’t care what I did or how my grades looked. She told me to marry into money because I wasn’t smart enough to have a career that paid well nor pretty enough to have my choice of men. No wonder I didn’t bother at trying to be a better student, mom didn’t believe in me so why should I believe in myself.
I have to say that writing that last paragraph made me nauseous! I couldn’t imagine telling my children this EVER! My two beautiful gifts from God are my life and I will walk through hell to make sure they know they are loved and wanted and worthy! I don’t expect them to be doctors or engineers, I just want them to be happy and to follow their dreams. To feel loved and be loved by me. To know they are worthy of God’s love no matter what happens in life. To be kind-hearted compassionate souls to everyone and everything they encounter. To know that love is not conditional from me nor God.
I deserved better from my mother, her mother didn’t treat her this way, there’s no excuse for her behavior. I was her pig.