I am going to step back and jump into a statement I mentioned in my previous post. “Dad had remarried and his new wife was not really receptive of now having three stepchildren, our summer was miserable and I remember looking forward to getting through it so we could go back home.” Miserable may be kind of a vague word but it describes a lot for me here, this woman was not a nice person she was very young, I am talking early twenties and she had a lot of growing up to do.
My Dad worked at an American Service Station may have been Amoco but I remember American being above the pumps this would have been 1967, he worked long days so when we were not in school we were at her mercy, if there was any homework we did it immediately after getting home then made our way to stand in a corner of the room, to keep us out of trouble we had to face the wall and not make any noise or else we received a whipping from her, I was second grade and my brother was in the first, little sister was about four years old at the time so she was not real good at standing in a corner which resulted in her sitting at the kitchen table with the step mom forcing her to look at an adult magazine that featured the devil and a woman, I remember her telling Sis this is what happens to bad girls. The only thing I remember about her cooking is that she always cooked English peas and we had to eat them whether we liked them or not, none of us liked them so while Dad was at work she would cook peas and we had to sit and eat them, to this day I gag when I see a can of peas.
If there was no homework or on the days she felt nice we got to play out in the backyard or even across the alley at our friend Connie’s house, everyday was not spent in the corner but it didn’t take much to get us there, the day I mentioned in my previous post about watching the police search the neighborhood started when we slipped out of the yard and went to Connie’s, the peas were almost ready and I just knew we were going to be called in soon so we took a chance and hoped to stay gone until Dad got home because she turned into a different person when he was home, she was actually nice to us and we played and had a good time as long as Dad was around but this time she called the police to report us missing which resulted in us being trapped inside for quite a while when he was working. We never told Dad what was going on and I am not sure if he knows or not now.
This is just the tip of the iceberg and I am not sure why she was this way towards us, she could have treated us differently and I am sure we would have had fond memories rather than the nausea and hate that I feel when I think of her, I could always see her face in my mind and it actually scared me to think of her, she lived in the same town as I in New Mexico and as you know I worked for a utility company, part of my job was collections and she made the mistake of getting behind on her bill and yes I was the one who had to contact her about collecting the bill, I drove to her house seeing her face in my mind and knowing exactly what I was going to say when I saw her, I made my way up the walkway to her steps and knocked on the door, expecting this demon from my past to answer, the door opened and there she was a heavy older woman with facial hair, quite a contrast to the young attractive woman I remembered abusing us, I smiled and introduced myself stating my company’s name and that I was there to collect the bill, she said she was having a hard time and couldn’t pay and wanted to make arrangements to pay later:
Former Step Mom: Hey I think I know who you are.
Me: Nope I don’t think you do.
Former Step Mom: Your Dad is JC
Me: Yes that is my Dads name.
Former Step Mom: See I know you.
Me: Nope you never did.
This is when I turned and made my way around the house to disconnect her service. This may not be a victory but it felt kind of good for a minute.
My advise is to speak up if you are being abused because you shouldn’t have to live in fear, there are too many people who have lived in situations like this whether as a child or as a spouse it is not fair for anyone to go through this. If you are being abused it is not a reason to turn your anger on to a child, if you were abused as a child it is not a reason to abuse anyone now, get help for yourself or talk to someone and get it off your chest this way, I have done a lot of talking and at the same time I have held a lot inside but on my birthday I promised my wife Cindy and also a good friend Susie that I would not worry about things that make me sad or long for things that I can’t change, I promised to write about things that make me happy and getting this off my chest is my path to that happiness.