I grew up in a trailer. As a result of that, I didn’t have very many friends. It seems that where you live is somehow a direct reflection on who you are as a person, even if you’re merely a child.
My father split when I was born, and signed his rights over to my step-dad when I was four. My step-father legally adopted me, and then when he and my mom divorced, it was as if I didn’t exist anymore. Only my brother, who is of his blood.
I have a middle brother that was adopted when I was three by a nice family because my mother fucked a married cop, and when she ended up pregnant, the cop decided he wasn’t going to leave his wife. My mom had no money, and we had no way to raise a newborn. She gave him up to an old family friend who raised him. He is currently a teacher in Spain, speaks seven languages and has just recently come out as bisexual (he was molested as a young boy by a neighborhood babysitter who was also male) … and his sexuality doesn’t bother me; he’s an amazing man that is using his potential to its fullest. He got the hell out of here, and he is living his life. He is having a wonderful time.
My mother is bipolar and a narcissist to boot. If you have a headache, she has a migraine. If you have a cold, she has the flu. She has always been through what you’ve been through, except worse. She has done more drugs than I can remember or count. She has been through abusive relationships with drug addicts, and had no problem raising her children in it. She uses men to her advantage until they are no longer useful to her. When I was 15, she had a guy friend that lived here and then moved out of state. She somehow convinced him that I had cancer and she couldn’t afford my treatments, and he was sending her tens of thousands of dollars. When I found out, I blew the lid off of her scheme and destroyed her primary source of income. She cheated on her first husband with the cop she got pregnant by. She cheated on my her second marriage (my step-dad) with a crackhead drunk that lasted for seven years. She cheated on her third marriage with his brother-in-law. While she was allowing ex-husbands brother-in-law to pay all of her bills, she was dating a cocaine addict behind his back. Eventually she married the brother-in-law and then claimed he was crazy, and she left him to go live with some cop until she couldn’t stand him, and now she’s living in a trailer with a construction worker that smokes pot all day (not that I have anything against pot) ….
I don’t know how my youngest brother and I didn’t turn out completely fucked up. I had a stint of depression amidst the men and the drugs as I was growing up. I tried to kill myself and got sent to a mental hospital for evaluation. Nobody seemed to care that my home life was absolute shit. My mother put on her game face and said I was telling a lot of stories for attention. Everyone believed her except for those that really knew her.
When I had my daughter in 2004, I swore that I would never give her the life that I had. There were a few years that we did live in a trailer. I never went to college because I ended up pregnant my senior year of high school. And even though we lived in a trailer, I have never done drugs, I’m not a drunk, and I have always made sure that she has what she needs.
And I don’t have anything against single-wides. There are some really nice ones out there. But I attach the stigma of my childhood to those kinds of homes. I see a trailer and I remember stepping over my mother, entangled naked with a man, a line of blow on the coffee table. I think of the lonely days and nights I spent outside, just because I didn’t want to go home. I think of how, at seven years old, I had to raise my brother because my mom wouldn’t get up and watch her child. I missed important parts of my childhood because I had to be a parent. As a result, my brother and I are pretty close. He has no relationship with our mom, and I don’t blame her. I speak with her on the phone, but I don’t see her. The last time we had an argument, she threw in my face that I wouldn’t let her live with me. Never mind the time that I did let her live with me and all she managed to do was run my bills and my stress level up. Or all the times I gave her money because she had none. Whenever I rebuttal with the fact that she threw me and my daughter out of her apartment because her drug addict boyfriend didn’t want us there, and I had to sleep in hotels and in my car, she says it’s because I always had men over at the house and she couldn’t afford to support us (the brother-in-law paid all of her bills and I worked a full-time job while she didn’t work at all) …. and not to mention there weren’t ‘men’ … I was dating one man after being cheated on and thrown out of my house by the abuser.
My main goal in life is to make sure that I always have a full-time job so I can support myself and my family, that my daughter grows up in the most stable of homes possible, and that I don’t ever end up like my mother. Last year my husband and I were fortunate enough to move into a nice two-story home …. but with that comes the bills of a nice two-story home. But I don’t mind being a little broke if it means that my daughter can have friends come stay the night without me having to worry that their parents are going to think we are poor white trash. I don’t think it’s fair for adults to assume the worst about children based on the income of the parents. I have worked very very hard to get where I am, and I hope that one day, when my daughter is older and on her own, that she can appreciate the life she had and where she grew up. I don’t mind doing without as long as she has the life that I didn’t get. I want her to be afforded all of the privileges that I didn’t get.
I’m not the perfect mother by any means. But I really do try my best.